Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu Map Roundup

I had a hard time finding this by directly searching, so here it is . 

I already had a flu phobia b/c of my asthma and the times flu's landed me in the ER; now everyone else does, too. Great.


Oh, wait.  Here's another one.  Now that I think of it, there'll probably be a ton.


And another.

Had enough yet?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Even More Random Stuff When I Should Be Writing Case Notes

Recently a friend posted in Facebook the query as to what others would do if they were given $50,000 and a year off work.  (I said: Research and margaritas.)  

And completely unrelatedly, I am currently reading The Multiplex Man.  The book's premise is a technology that can "implant" knowledge or skills from one person to another, which is (of course) being used by the military to create the perfect assassin.  He gets the wisdom of various individuals practiced in their skills for a lifetime.  I have been thinking about what I would want implanted (and it turned out that the assassin got a good number of the things I wanted, interestingly.)  

My list includes languages (German, Italian, French, Chinese, heck--Sanskrit and Russian, too--why not?); survival and traditional skills (woodcraft, plant identification, farming, fishing, weaving and sewing, carpentry, smithing, food preparation and preservation); athletics (swimming and diving, gymnastics, yoga, various martial arts, climbing, riding); shop skills (electronics, welding, motor repair); medical (assessment and treatment, medications, surgery) ...really, I can't stop thinking of things I'd want and just don't have enough lifetimes to learn them in.  Or in some cases, reasons to use them, unless society collapses, which honestly I've been imagining happening since my teen years.

I also think it'd be useful to extract the skills of a woman who'd given prepared childbirth birth several times under various circumstances.  Or breastfed several children etc.  Or somebody who'd memorized pi to a whole lot of, wait.  Maybe somebody who had photographic memory of something useful, like aquifer maps, or whatever you will.

So what would your response be to the time and money question, or else your most-wanted skills?  (And wouldn't it be cool to have all of that at once?)

Medical Humor

An article about medical humor , with one especially bad pun at the end that I loved.

Almost Out

We are in the new place, and now so is (nearly) all our stuff.  We haven't done the cleaning of the old place yet, but will do it next weekend. 

Did I mention that I initially moved us by stealth last weekend?  Not everything, but the necessary things to tide us over at the new place, such as beds, some kitchen things, bathroom things, and most of our clothing.  I did this because I really, really wanted to be at the new place and moving stuff in with us, rather than at the old place and moving stuff out before us.  Also the old place was starting to really depress me after the break-in, and since I'd been emotionally detaching before that anyway.  I moved the stuff myself because TheLimey was worn out with transitions and doing all the heavy lifting, and simply wasn't up to moving that weekend.  I decided that if I wanted us over there, it was up to me.

The crux of the move was the mattress AKA our bed, which gave two grown men great trouble to move it up the stairs at our old place (because of weight, bulk, and width--it's a queen--or is that redundant? Well, it deserves redundancy as it is really big, large, huge, massive, and also heavy).  I knew if I could get that darn thing down the stairs, then I could do all the rest and the move was on.  I had Friday off and didn't mention that or the moving part.

I struggled with getting it down the stairs and had to crawl all over  and under it, moving a corner here and bending a section there and dragging that side and so forth, until it was downstairs. Then a neighbor saw me doggedly tugging it towards the car and helped me hoist it on top.  I coulda done it, but it was a lot faster with help, I admit.  He was actually the neighbor who had helped to get it upstairs last fall, and wondered how on earth I managed to get it out all by myself.  "I'm a very determined person," I answered.

I got the smaller mattress down myself, tied them to the car with rope, and took them to the new place.  Again luckily, a neighbor helped me get the big one up the porch stairs, but I did all the rest myself.  I then went back and forth getting the essentials, including the giant heavy TV and microwave.  I also put in changes of address for us at the post office.  I picked up TheLimey after work and revealed what I had done, and he was flabbergasted.  He was pretty much speechless for a really long time, maybe 15 or 20 minutes, trying to picture me moving the things I had on my own.  The word "insane" kept coming up for some reason, when he was able to speak.  Well, whatever makes it believable for you, dear.

So we've been living at the new place since then--thank goodness.  Moving is hard, but it's worse when stuff is disappearing slowly and then you have to move yourself and your essentials in one day into a place with piles of stuff waiting. that I think of it, we're still dealing with the piles of stuff hiding our essentials to some extent, but I maintain that it's better regardless.  We had TP, shampoo, mugs, diapers, clean sheets on a made bed, and a can opener from the get-go.

Limelet likes the new place, especially the back yard, but he did ask to "go home" several evenings.  I'd started calling it the "old home" a while ago to get that term in place, as opposed to the "new house" in which we now reside.  We've taken him back to the "old home" a couple times so he could see it emptying and say goodbye to it in his way.  The first time he was sad (I think it was a shock seeing all our stuff gone), but the next time he seemed fine with it.

I did feel sad going to the old place Sunday.  Poor lonely and empty house.  Now that the shock of the break-in is over I can be melancholy, as I always am, about moving. There was one forlorn squirrel there that looked at me sadly from the back yard.  Luckily I had left a handful of peanuts in the cabinet for this return trip, so I was able to gratify his/her pitiful look by tossing some peanuts out there. I'll miss watching the full moon rise through the living room windows and the tall pine, and I remember Limelet's great joy at finally having more than 6 square feet in which to run back and forth.  

I planted vegetable plants at the new place this weekend with Limelet, which was fun despite his frequent treading on the onions and basil.  I really love the new place and the new yard.  The inside is absolute chaos with stuff everywhere, as we have not put things in their new homes yet, but that will come.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Jacked. So to Speak.

Last weekend was great.  No one was sick, we all got good sleep, we didn't get any scary information from daycare implying our child has brain damage, we had our lease signed and set for our new place to live, and the weather was nice.  We actually went out to the park on Sunday afternoon like a normal family!  It was great.  We couldn't get over how awesome it was to just have a weekend with no drama or trauma for once.  One nice weekend since we've been here!  

I wondered if we were jinxing ourselves by talking about it out loud, and apparently we were.

I got home yesterday with a struggling child under one arm and a pile of coats and bags under the other, only to discover that our front door was wide open.  Further inspection showed that our back door was also wide open, as well as our garden gate.  After several hours of waiting around for campus security and then police to go in with guns drawn and secure the premises (as they say), we learned that--indeed--our laptops had been stolen, as well as TheLimey's toolbox (which was in the office, too.)  

The adjacent neighbor (it's a duplex, or some other name like that) actually saw the guy with the toolbox and asked what he was doing--"Just picking up some stuff."  Picking up indeed.  Maintenance is kind of casual around here, so he thought the guy was maintenance.  I kind of think that if the neighbor hadn't challenged him, he might have gone back inside again.  We theorize he made two trips because of the muddy bootprints on the carpet near the back. I'm writing on my work computer now, of course.

We were finally getting our affairs in order, moving from "desperate" through "urgent" and finally getting to "basic and important"--really for the first time since we'd gotten married.  

One of the things we finally did was to get the new drive ordered laptop. So we could rebuild it in preparation for my using it to work on this summer.  I spent weeks and weeks waiting for that drive earlier this year, but this time it shipped the day we ordered it.  Pretty ironic that it will likely arrive today, the day after the laptop  was stolen, since we've been trying to do this rebuild for THREE YEARS!  Conveniently, I had gathered all the software (and the paperwork from my computer) together and clipped it with an office clip, and set it on our desk next to my laptop.  Because there it isn't, any more.  I hope that possibly Dell may have a record of what the serial number is, which I will go to see about in a minute.

One good thing about that, though, is that I backed up all my stuff to Dropbox.  Thank heavens.  Because I have exactly two more lines to edit on my dissertation before it's accepted for binding, as of last Friday. After that I can apply for graduation. Also because I realized this morning that Dropbox will tell me the last IP address where my computer was used online, as well as when.  Unfortunately I would have to delete all my files for another user to not be able to access them, which means that then I can't access them.  However, I have a feeling that whoever has it is probably not going to dig past my password into my files, but will simply wipe it for their own smug stolen-goods sales use.