Saturday, February 25, 2017

Breakfast Report, Health Report

     First off: half of a "banger" sausage, cooked up,* split and served between two slices of buttered rye toast with a fried egg and a little horseradish sauce, is darned good.  Chimichurri might be interesting to try in place of the horseradish and butter.

     Second, after a fairly wretched Friday at work, in which I was getting out of breath from the strenuous effort of walking twenty feet down a hall or lifting a piece of equipment that might've weight an entire pound, along with coughing, sinus blockage, etc., I came home, slept like a very tired person, and woke up a bit stronger.  Still some productive coughing but I haven't had to use the rescue inhaler yet today.  After all the gastrointestinal issues (which, while controlled, have not gone away), I'm not taking anything; I had a serving of yogurt last night and will -- albeit reluctantly -- have more of the stuff today.  I'm getting to where I don't totally hate the plain version if seasoned with salt and pepper.  Don't judge!
* I like to steam them in shallow, boiling water in partially covered skillet.   I added some rosemary to the water this morning, which I liked. YMMV.

Friday, February 24, 2017


     Progress in the matter of my heath has not, to date, been entirely satisfactory.  Further description would be tantamount to whining.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Better Late Than....

     I had distressing gastrointestinal symptoms starting late yesterday, which I blamed on the two antibiotics.  Subsequent problems that evening resulted in my taking some saved prescription meds to control it.  And then this morning--  Problem came back.  More gut-quieting meds, and they are "do not operate motor vehicles" stuff, so I stayed home and mostly alternated sleeping, coughing and scurrying down the hall.

     Persistent chills haven't helped.

     In the awake time, I e-mailed and then called the new doc-inna-box (which does have the advantage of being run by the same doctor factory as my primary care physician's office), to learn that one of the antibiotics, the Z-pack, was prescribed due to, and I quote, "an error."*  Ooops? So no more of that, and I guess I will be trying to choke down some of the right kind of yogurt for lunch, well away from antibiotic-taking times.

     Until this very moment, my intake today has been limited to water, coffee, tea and crackers (and, okay Tam, some potato chips).  I'm now trying some soup and orange drink.  Here's hoping for the best.
* How can this happen, you ask?  In true modern-efficiency fashion, M.D.s and their nurses are required to task-nest. (Unlike the neighborhood doc of yore, they are, after all, supporting an office, a rather large staff, and a big ol' corporation.)  So, nurse does the intake interview and doctor reads it before she does exam; after seeing me, she adds her initial notes, starting with request for nebulizer treatment.  Nurse sets that up while doctor completes notes.  Nebulizer runs while they work with other patients.  Doctor returns to check nebulizer, sees it is not done and I am not looking as chipper as hoped, leaves promising to return in a few minutes, modifies notes to change antibiotic.  Meanwhile nurse is setting up prescriptions to be faxed or e-mailed, sees new medication, adds it to order, sends it off.  Doctor returns, hands me paperwork (listing only one antibiotic), and I'm surprised to be given two later at the pharmacy, but the right doctor's name is on them. 
     This goes unchallenged until I call, at which point the electronic paperwork is backtracked and the mix-up found.  I know that because I was on the phone with an admin type who talked her way through the process while she sorted it out.  Someone in comments is going to tell me I otta sue, but that just makes medical stuff cost more.  They may need better software -- and I need to question stuff that doesn't match the paperwork I was handed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sinus/Inner Ear Infection, Bronchitis And Probably Yaws.

     I think that's what the doctor said, but you should never ask, "What's yaws?" unless you're willing to buy the next round.

     Ended up with prescriptions for two different antibiotics and a rescue inhaler, plus a nebulizer treatment right there in the doctoring-place.  It helped; I'm still wheezing and coughing but I haven't had a really bad out-of-breath episode since.  On the other hand, I haven't done much since, either, other than a stop at Panera Bread with Tam for a quick dinner while waiting for the prescriptions to be filled.  Went home, took drugs, laid down and woke up an hour later, overheated.  Laid on top of the covers and let the TV talk to itself (a series of declassified films about A-bomb tests in 1946, back when a poncho was plenty of protection from fallout) while I drifted in and out.  Finally pulled a sheet and blanket over me and fell asleep again, to sleep like an inert object until the alarm woke me, chilled, at 0600.

     Up now and I'll see how far I can get. To work?  To work would be good.  One step at a time, and I'm pretty sure the shower is my first step.  I'll see how things go from there.

     ETA:  Never got that far. Started coughing, can't seem to get it under control.  Sheesh.

     FETA:  (Mmmm, goat cheese!)  Eventually managed to stop coughing.  Laid down for a half-hour, decided I could be just as miserable on the clock and possibly slightly productive, and went into work. In hindsight, possibly not as clever an idea as it seemed at the time, but it worked out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I'm Chilled

     ...Except when I'm overheated, which happens infrequently.  Then I'm not chilled.  Yeah, still sick.  Managed to do laundry yesterday, very slowly, but ran out of energy.  Today I'll go to the doc.  Probably after Tam gets back from work.

Monday, February 20, 2017

And, so

     I am sicker than ever.  Slept Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday.  Woke up short of breath and feeling as if I were on a forced march.

     Called in sick and promptly fell asleep again.  Just finished rustling up a meal, nothing much, and I'm going to get cleaned up, find enough clean clothes to to wear and get myself off to the doc, assuming I can find a doc-in-the-box that is both acceptable to my insurance company (the one I've gone to for years hasn't been since late last year) and still in business.  At my present rate of activity, that's going to take all day.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Hamfest Haul; Still Sick

     I did get to the hamfest, and picked up a bunch of connectors (PL-259s for RG-8 and 8X-sized cables) and a few books -- Rider on Resonance and Alignment, one of their "An Hour A Day" tutorials, a bit stuffy but packed with useful information.  Also Elmer Bucher's The Wireless Experimenter's Manual, a 1920 book aimed squarely at the then-burgeoning amateur radio community, with lots of late spark-era data and projects as well as very early vacuum-tube and radiotelephone equipment for the home constructor.  Better build that rotary gap quick! The next ten years would see enormous advancement in the field, as broad, noisy spark signals gave way to needle-sharp CW, clear voice and the beginning of radio broadcasting.  I found a nice reprint of the Hugo Gernsback 1935 Short Wave handbook, too, with equipment as different from the Bucher book as a laptop is from a portable typewriter.

     Other finds included a trove of Cannon "P" connectors, which are king-sized microphone plugs dating back to the late 1930s (and my house-standard for low-impedance, non-carbon mics); a collection of telephone-type lever switches for an ongoing project; a nice 0 - 1 Amp RF ammeter in a box with coaxial connectors that will be a useful gadget, if it works; and, of all things, a telephone dial mounted in a soup can with an L bracket so you can fasten the thing in a convenient location for -- well, I'm darned if I know.  The price was right and it was interesting.  Also, I have a nice old Art Deco phone with a seized-up dial that this one appears to match, so....

*  *  *
     Returned home after a couple of hours, very sleepy, and proceeded to do nothing much.  Nuked a lasagna (Evol brand -- not bad!), ate it, fiddled around a bit more, and went to sleep early, waking multiple times only to cough, sneeze, and eventually discover that sleeping on one side had caused my sinuses on that side to fill in a manner both horrible and not (you'll be happy to know) especially describable. So here I am, enjoying sausage hash with onion and egg (and a layer of flour in the bottom of the pan* with some paprika and pepper), and almost tasting it.  Going back to bed is looking better and better.
* Just a thin layer, fingertip-sifted.  This helps with the excess grease and forms a nice, crunchy crust.  I'm sure it's not good for you.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


     I still don't feel great -- yesterday afternoon was an exercise in willpower -- but there's a hamfest this morning.  So I am hoping to do a walk-through, get back home on time for brunch, and go back to bed.  Is this wise?  Probably not.

Friday, February 17, 2017

No Bench

     It turns out that whatever Tam's got is not what I had earlier -- and now I've got it, too.  I woke several times during the night, coughing, and had trouble getting back to sleep.  It's a nasty, insistent, near-dry, wheezing cough that tastes metallic, not easy to ignore.

     So, call in sick, right?  Wrong.  We've got a tech out on vacation, the third day-shift tech is only on days Tues-Thurs, and that leaves exactly one genuine Engineering Technician on duty after the early-morning tech departs: me.  So if I can possibly haul my wheezing self out of the house, I need to proceed onward to work.  It's not dedication -- I don't trust the technical managerial types* to not make a mess of whatever will break today.  Nice fellows, but they don't hardly sling solder and haven't for years.
* From 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., there will be three (3) Engineering managers to one maintenance tech.  In fairness, there will also be one or two operating techs and a technical assistant, so at worst it's a 1:1 ratio.  I have absolutely no opinion to share about this.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

And It Continues (Also, Television)

     I'm figuring Tam's ailment for some strain of flu -- some strain that the flu shot I got may have conferred some protection against.  She doesn't seem to be having the kind of horrific sinus drainage my cold of a few weeks ago was causing, and has been achy, chilled and exhausted for several days now, with a persistent cough.

     Whatever it is, it is very clearly No Damned Fun At All, and about her only consolation is the weather.  Yesterday was about as cold as it's going to be for the next week, and even then it was as sunny and cheerful a day as could be wished for, especially in February.

* * *
     On the recommendation of multiple friends, I have been watching the series Better Off Ted.  Highly amusing, especially if you happen to be working for a Large Soulless Corporation (or even a small one).  I'd like to pretend the absurdities of Ted's workplace are new to me, but a lot of the fun is watching some of the familiar daily madness get played all the way through. 

* * *
     One other wonderful treat: on my way to work yesterday, the college radio station I listen to -- a rare non-NPR noncommercial station that alternates classical and jazz -- played the entire overture to Rossini's The Barber of Seville.  While I can't quite say it is the most fun you can have at the wheel of moving automobile in city traffic, it certainly comes very close.  Thank you, Bugs Bunny, Chuck Jones, Michael Maltese and Carl Stalling!  --And you, too, Mr. Rossini.   (Of course, I was listening to it again after hunting up links; I put on headphones when Tam came into the office, but she stopped me and said, "Oh, don't, I was liking the music!")

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I Guess We're All Sick Here

     I have a lingering sore throat, mild cough and assorted sinus nastiness but poor Tam was feeling pretty bad yesterday afternoon and worse this morning.  When I went to wake her for breakfast she was suffering aches, chills and occasionally coughing in a manner reminiscent of a Victorian tragedy.  Thankfully, the clock -- and preventive medicine -- has moved on since Victoria's day, though not quite far enough to spare all the trouble, so please step quietly as you move around the Internet today and let Tam get some rest.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Another Movie

     I recently watched The Dish, one of several films with this title; the one I watched tells the somewhat-fictionalized story of the role the big radiotelescope dish at Parkes, New South Wales, Australia played during the historic Apollo 11 flight and landing, complete with power outages, high winds, and inconveniently-timed VIP visits.

     ...And what a role it was!  The big dish at Parkes was used for more than telemetry and voice reception; video of the first human footsteps on the moon was received there and relayed to the entire world.  The control/receiving room at the dish was meticulously recreated for the film, exteriors were shot at the dish itself, and the wondrously-askew Patrick Warburton plays NASA's man on the scene.

     An entertaining film, filled with engaging personalities and a positive attitude.  I recommend it.