Archive for the ‘science’ Category

What’s the difference

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

I am not a biologist, so I didn’t actually read the article, but the headline, “4 new legless lizard species discovered” amused me. Don’t we have a name for legless lizards, as a group, already? I think it’s on the tip of my tongue…..snakes? yeah snakes!


Seattle Hempfest 2013

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

This was the first Hempfest, since Washington state legalized weed.  I go, and take pictures, almost every year.  It’s a great place to get some cool art, see lots of interesting looking people, and see people toking up in public.  This year, some things were already different.  If the final rules allow sales at festivals, next year could be very different indeed.

First thing I noticed, not a single seller of weed alternatives.  No sativa retailers at all.  Only one authorization clinic came this year; I’m hoping they paid attention to how strictly the DEA went with the people who rubber stamped authorizations last year….

For the first time I’ve ever seen, vendors of different bits of paraphernalia were actually using real weed, or hash oil, when they demo’d the equipment, instead of flavored essential oils.  Vaporizing technology was all the rage; ‘dabbing’ seems to be rapidly replacing ‘toking’ as the delivery method of choice for the kids these days, at least by song lyrics and average booth composition.  I also saw two local food trucks, over and above the regular fair food people that are at everything in this neck of the woods.

There were two electronic music areas this year, the ‘chill’ zone, and the energetic stage, both kept fairly steady crowds around, when the music was going (energetic stage didn’t get started as early as the chill tent).  I didn’t see the pseudo-ICP band playing this year, but I didn’t look for them either.

The army flew 4 helicopters overhead at one point, probably just a routine training exercise with a little detour to play with the potheads.  More interesting to me, was the private helicopter that buzzed the entire length of the park, around 4:20 Saturday, flying what looked to be too low, close to the shore, and too fast, to be legal, without some sort of special permit.  Of course, the new camera takes too long to boot up, to capture them =(



No cause for concern, just worries?

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

I got a copy of my radiologists report for my latest arm x-rays, and feel somewhat confused by the following pair of lines,


progress toward healing is seen without evidence of complications. There is asymmetric 
widening of the lateral radiocapitellar joint as before which is concerning 
for ligamentous injury.

Theres no complications, but there is cause for concern?

Don’t ask, just trust, you owe us

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

I got a $20 bill today for literally nothing, and I don’t mean that in the good way.

I mean, I got an invoice from my doctor, saying I owe them my co-pay for some recent services rendered.  Given that I had a motorcycle accident, I do not doubt that I will end up owing them far more than just that.

The problem is the bill doesn’t say what it’s for.  At all.  It says there’s “new charges”, and “pending insurance”, but it doesn’t show any line items for the values, just a big empty space where they should go.

I’m more amused than angry.  As a programmer who has done bulk processing application work before, I sympathize with the developer even, somewhat.  But I’m still going to call someone and point it out.

Terms of the Contract

Monday, May 20th, 2013

I get so annoyed by people, breathlessly pointing out that some company is going to abide by the terms of it’s contract, instead of going out of their way to instead act in a way that would benefit the consumer.  Of course they are going to do no more or less than the contract requires them, that’s why you have one.  Would you express the same disgusted disbelief, in the other direction, “why didn’t Joe pay ACME corp an extra 10%, since he really needed their product?”  Seems doubtful.

If you engage in fraud when signing up for insurance, it seems perfectly reasonable to deny a claim based on the fraud.  If I choose to save money on my premiums, by buying cheaper coverage, getting less coverage seems like a reasonable and rational outcome.  If someone gets cheaper insurance because they told the insurer they were non-smokers, and it turns out they deliberately lied, I’m OK with them having to pay for their own care….well sorta; since a lung cancer treatment plan generally ends up costing more than insurance and saving can ever cover, it’s not like the end bill wasn’t going to end up going to the State already…..which reminds me, I have to point out to my doctor, that motorcycle’s don’t generally include personal injury for the driver, only liability for injuries I cause others, and that they need to stop asking me for something that doesn’t exist, and use my regular health insurance.


Modern marvels of bandaging

Monday, May 6th, 2013

After a recent motorcycle accident, I’ve been dealing with a wounded knee, and the joys of trying to keep a moving joint clear and clean.  Two modern miracles of medicine have made this process much easier than it used to be.  The first is ‘the goop’ of modern antibiotic gels.  Keeping the damaged area moist yet free of infection has led to faster recovery and none of the itchy scabs of childhood.  But of course, to keep things moist, without turning into nastiness, means a bandage to cover the wound.  At far too large for any sort of band-aid, we are into the realm of rectangles of gauze and tape, which is where modern materials are again making the difference.  The non-stick pads are impressive in their ability to absorb body-fluids, and yet not pull away healing skin when their time is done, but the real ‘stars’ are the new non-stick tapes.  The first brand I bought was first-name (Johnson & Johnson), and seemed good enough, definitely not sticking to skin/hairs, and doing an OK job of being re-position-able, but with very strict parameters on re-use…even slight soiling left the tape unable to stick to itself again.  The second brand I tried was pharmacy-store-branded (Rite-Aid), and seemed equivalent to the name-brand; good for first usage, but of limited value for a second application.  The final brand I’ve tried is grocery-store-branded (Kroger), and is certainly the cheapest in many respects, and yet the most desirable for actual usage.  Unlike the more expensive brands, there’s zero possibility of re-using the tape, or even re-positioning a mistake during application; this tape practically fuses with itself, which means it stays on, but also means you can’t undo it without scissors….but it’s so cheap, it’s totally OK to toss after just one use.

Broken and Forgotten

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

One hand is still swollen, sore and weak, but out of the splint, so better than the guy under police guard, with two broken ankles.  Most importantly, or dually-important, I can take a shower, and put headphones on again (I could finangle them on, using the desk, but it was a pain to keep doing every time someone stopped by my desk).  The knee looks much better, and didn’t sting at all under the water.  Wasn’t up to going photographing of the mayhem last night, though, and just listened on the scanner.

It will be some time before I can start stretching and biking again.  I may get a second opinion; the ortho doc seemed really blase, gave the impression that treating me was a waste of his valuable surgical time.  Sounds like a few months of pain are to be expected. =\

Blue but not Blue

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Yesterday, I made an urgent trip to the doc, after noticing my fingers, on the arm in the cast, seemed blue and swollen.  When the doc came in (new guy I haven’t seen before), he looks at them and dismisses my concern, saying, “They are bluish, not blue.”  Thanx for the specifics doc.

First Motorcycle Accident

Monday, April 29th, 2013

When local people ask me what happened, and I mention where it happened, they know the why; train tracks at the apex of an S curve are dangerous to bike riders of any motility.

My memories of the moment have a sort of time stretched feel to them, the hand reaching out to catch the fall,even though that’s the worst thing to do, doh doh doh.  As I was getting up and collecting myself, I thought it just a minor setback to the day, perhaps a sprain in the wrist.  I walked to the nearby store, hoping to wait out the pain, or find a ride, but as the adrenaline wore off, I felt worse and worse, until it was clear I needed transport to care now.

A half dozen fire/EMT’s later, and I’m in my first ambulance.

At the hospital, a constant stream of staff, lots of xrays requiring painful contortions, and eventually a half cast splint and some bandages.  One radial head fracture, no ETA on healing time.

Can you become allergic to cats after having one?

Monday, April 15th, 2013

I’m really hoping that it’s just coincidental illness, and that all the sneezing and runny nose has nothing to do with my new cat.  I had 2 short hair domestic cats for ~16 years….it’s been 2 months since the last one passed on, and I was ready to start again.  I couldn’t find a pair at the shelter that I felt right about, but there was one sweetie who is at home now.   Right now, I’m still a little disconcerted every time we snuggle up on the couch.  She’s front declawed, and such a cuddler, it seems unlikely someone deliberately abandoned her.  Or maybe I’m just underestimating how little some people might care about their pets.  Either way, I wonder if someone is missing her, but I’m glad she’s with me now.