Friday, May 20, 2022

Antibiotics And A Warning

      The RapiDoc (not its real name) went well, but came with a short lecture.  No, it wasn't about not startling the cat (I think that has sunk in) but on monitoring the deep slash across the back of my left ring finger and what to do if it shows signs of infection: go to the ER.  And the doctor meant go: I am not to give it time or try some different topical goo, just get in the car and get to the hospital.

      They have me on the latest, greatest antibiotic pills and if those are overmatched, the only next steps are things you need a hospital for.  So that was sobering.  My normal inclination is to clean and bandage minor injuries, then ignore them until they heal.  This time, I'll need to be a little more proactive.

      The nurse and doctor had me soak my hand in something mild for several minutes, swabbed every cut and puncture with iodine, coated it with triple antibiotic and bandaged it up a little differently to my first efforts.  When I picked up my prescription, I bought some self-sticking tape and non-stick bandages so I can copy what they did.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Doc In A Box

      Headed to the instant doc shortly.  Setting it up online wasn't so instant.  But my bandaid job from last night is not entirely adequate, so off I go. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

And Today, It Rained

      It rained off and on all day.  The good news is that the temperature dropped.

      I startled Holden the cat this evening and he went off like a hand grenade.  He was sneaking across my desk, which he knows he shouldn't do, intent on getting to a very narrow spot near the printers, which he knows is off limits.  It's a tricky process, especially since I have set things up to make it harder for him to get there, and I guess he didn't realize I had put my left hand under his tummy until I started to lift him--

      Panic!  He lashed out every which way at once and I dropped him in my chair, but not before he'd managed to rake my left hand pretty good.   There's a deep gash diagonally across the first knuckle of my left ring finger, a smaller one on my left index finger and a handful of scratches on the underside of my left wrist.  I applied a paper towel and pressure (and sobbed a bit) then washed them all out well -- twice -- and poured alcohol across them before bandaging it all up.  (Yeah, it's icky to wash out an injury but after a certain point in life, you just accept that it's going to not be much fun for a few seconds in exchange for being less trouble in the longer term.)

      Every last drive-in doc is closed this time of night and I'm not going to the ER for scratches.  Poor Holden seems a bit dazed by it all.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

OMG, What If I'm Not -- Kewl?

      Now, commenters are warning me that they might not sit with me at lunchtime!

      Guys, I eat lunch alone.  Always have.

      I get that a lot of the Right and the Libertarian Right has jumped down a fantasy rabbit hole, but I'm not even slightly inclined to follow.*  And it doesn't matter if a lot of people agree with my analysis, or if no one does.  We count votes to determine large-scale imponderables -- what kind of nitwit we want representing us in local, state and Federal legislative bodies, what kind of nitwit we want in the various Executive offices, and the election or retention of some judges, many of whom are nitwits or at least lawyers who failed to attract clients.  They're not great and at any given time, at least half of us dislike them, but it's what we've got.  Better voting for a selection of mostly-temporary nitwits than Leaders-for-life.

      Matters of personal belief or personal opinion aren't up for a vote, and if you change yours to run with "your crowd," well, a lot of people do, but I don't.  I look at the facts, I look at why I think things are factual and if that can be tested, and I make my own conclusions.  And yes, I look at my own tastes and my own opinions -- just as anyone does.  I don't care if that leaves me nodding along with most of the people around me, or on the front steps in my bathrobe yelling at clouds.

*  *  *
     Another commenter complains, "you chose to censor anyone who disagreed with you."  Nope.  I won't publish comments that are promoting racism or pernicious nonsense.  That's not "censorship," they can go publish that stuff elsewhere or shout it on streetcorners.  Or scribble it on their rifle like a loser.  I publish comments that disagree with me that do have some basis in fact, or that at least don't assume large-scale domestic villainy on the part of groups of Others.  ("Devil theory" thinking is a sure-fire indicator of bullshit.  The Bad Guy tends to be more symptom than cause, and the GOP's current Magic 8-Ball is a fine example of that: take him away and there are a half dozen others eager to step into the role.)  If you're not getting published here, it's because I think what you are writing is crazy or irrelevant.  If that stings, the treatment for it is to go publish elsewhere; I haven't put a gag on you.  I certainly don't owe anyone a forum on my own blog except myself.
* Most Nolan Chart tests I have run put me at top center, neither Right nor Left.  My parents were lifelong Republicans, socially conservative (but tolerant if you kept the shades firmly drawn), patriotic, fiscally conservative, commonsensical and interested in current events.  They snickered at conspiracy theories -- and Richard Nixon resigned while I was in High School, so there was plenty of conspiracy BS around.  Mom and Dad didn't fall for it and I doubt they'd've fallen for the craziness their party has leaped into, either.  The party of Donald Trump has very little in common with the party of Gerald Ford except for the name.  I can't pull anyone back from the brink but I will continue to point out that they're dancing on the edge of a volcano.

Monday, May 16, 2022

You're Not The Boss Of Me

     Complaints, my, don't I get complaints!  "Your blog is usually interesting as long as you stay away from political rants," for instance.

     Look, sonny, if it's not interesting to you, go read something else.  You're probably late for a Bund meeting anyway.  I'm not writing for punks and fools -- Right, Left or just plain loony.  Don't like that?  My heart fair bleeds for you, except it doesn't.

     This is my blog.  I do it to amuse myself, not you.  I'll write about what I darned well want to, and if people don't like it, they're not obliged to read it.  

     The same griper takes me to task for not commenting on "Row v. Wade," which I think is in re the possible U. S. Supreme Court overturning or altering of their previous decision in Roe v. Wade.  Two things about that: one, it hasn't happened yet, so people on all sides of the issue are running around like headless chickens on spec; two, I believe that the only people with relevant opinions on abortion are A, pregnant mothers and B, doctors.

     My belief will not change no matter what the courts say.  Abortion, like guns, drugs and alcohol, is something legislatures and courts can make rules and decisions about all day long, but all they are really deciding is who they're going to make into criminals if the police can catch them; human behavior will go on, not much altered, no matter what the mostly well-off men in nice suits who went to nice colleges have to say about it in fancy language.  They can legalize and have some hope of controlling and limiting the related behaviors, or they can illegalize it and pretend it won't happen -- but it will, and it will be largely unrestrained, uncontrolled and unlimited.  That's the actual choice.

Stop Feeding Murderous Trolls

      The weekend saw another deadly nitwit of a mass shooter, this time in Buffalo, New York.  All the usual kinds of politicians came out and said the expected things (including blaming magazine capacity!).

     In a country of over 330 million, the supply of even one-in-ten-million people who want to work out a grievance by shooting strangers is plenty large.  You can even claim that with so many  people, violence is inevitable, and perhaps it is.  330 million includes plenty of aggressive criminals and violently insane people.

      I don't know if it necessarily includes this kind of criminal, someone so hopped-up on xenophobic rage-mongering that they set out to kill specific subsets of their fellow humans.

      There's an entire slice of news-and-commentary devoted to exploiting just this kind of anger.  There are serving politicians in both major parties who return to the well of bile over and over.  --But conservatives own the Buffalo shooter, who appears to have explicitly endorsed "Replacement Theory" in his crazysauce purported manifesto, the very same pernicious notion some GOP pols and Fox talking-head Tucker Carlson (among many others) like to slip in and wink at, knowing it's red meat to a base of worried WASPs.* Out of 330 million people, if you keep pushing buttons, you'll eventually come up with a bloody jackpot, a ticking timebomb who might have just screeched away in comments sections and chatrooms, who might have tripped over his own feet -- and instead gets fired up and motivated to go do something.  Something very bad.  Something I'm sure all the frontline, big-audience politicians and pundits would disavow.  They never meant that!  And perhaps they didn't.  Perhaps they don't understand that it is loaded.

      In the more-obscure (but hardly hidden) corners of the Internet are plenty of people who who damned well know they're handing out dynamite, and they cheer the blasts.  At one time, such ideas had no path to the mainstream.  Now they do. 

      Time to grow up.  Time to push such racist poison back into the universal disrepute it so richly deserves.  Time to stop feeding killer trolls.

       (I'm sure I'll get some both-siderism gripes.  Look, a killer is a killer is a killer; a mob is a mob is a mob.  I don't care what particular kind of murderous crap they espouse, it's wrong to go injure and kill others over it.  All citizens have a duty to stifle it -- starting with whatever part of it is within their easy reach.  What, you're afraid you political foes won't do their part?  Solve that at the ballot box.  Solve it in the public square -- without violence.  You can be the grown-up.  C'mon, it's not that hard.  Lots of Americans do so every day.)
* And to a considerable tranche of Catholics and Jews.  History suggests those groups are still on thin ice with the worst of the worst at the political extremes, but the human capacity for self-delusion is almost limitless.  It's a nasty day when that balloon pops.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Yes, I'm Still Blogging

      About what, I'm not sure.  Even the weather is a fraught topic these days.

      I missed a small family reunion picnic yesterday because it took me too long to get enough gumption to attend -- and then on the way I promptly stumbled into some rebuilt/changed freeway that resulted in missing an exit and having to wander around to get to where I needed to be.  (City freeways are not my friend.  Interstate highways, I can more-or less manage, but this business of navigating tangled interconnections at speeds in excess of 60 mph overwhelms me.  In part it's due to lousy eyesight -- I effectively have no peripheral vision -- and in part due to having to keep track of too much in my visual field at once.  And in part it's because I dislike it intensely.)

Saturday, May 14, 2022

I Aten't Ded

      Kinda missed blogging yesterday.  I've been feeling physically lousy, and then there's the conceptual side of things: what's the point? 

      Old alignments have broken down and significant portions of the old blogosphere have bought into political nutjobbery of a kind that I had thought only grabbed public imagination (and the posturing of politicians) these days in the Third World and the struggling (not to mention occasionally backsliding) governments of the former Warsaw Pact.

      As near as I can figure, all it took was for the last survivors of the Holocaust and the last WW II veterans to die off, for memories of Stalin* to mellow against Russia's 20th/21st Century economic unrest and turmoil, and suddenly the idea of the Great Leader, of Caesar, was back and throbbing with blood, soil, and feel-don't-think bullshit.  People are cheering for it from Moscow to Warsaw, from France to...well, to right here.  The good old U.S. of A.  The French dealt the damnable notion a hard blow in their recent elections but the brass bands are still blaring here, and...I don't know.   When one party's leaning into the Leader Principle and the Big Lie good and hard, and the other party is milling around, rearranging their same old deck chairs and hoping the sinking will stop on its own, there's not much to look ahead to.

      Blogging as I once did about Those Clowns in Washington has become just another form of deck-chair Solitaire -- this does not mean our elected nitwits have suddenly become less clownish, just that there's less use in pointing it out; nobody's listening to anything bad about their favorite clowns.  Though some of the clowns are more evil than usual (and in a way that is structurally dangerous), the audience here under the Big Top is cheering and laughing louder than ever.

      Fates help us all when the lion-tamer shows up, pistol on his hip, cracking the whip.  A whole lot of people are gonna line up to go into the cage -- especially if they'll have a chance at the red meat of the fellow citizens they despise most.
* In case you're thinking, "He helped win WW II!  He industrialized Russia!  How bad could he be?"  Bear (ahem) in mind he was so bad that Nikita ("We will bury you!") Khrushchev officially denounced him...once he was safely dead and embalmed, and not one second earlier.

Thursday, May 12, 2022


      Last night, I woke up after midnight spluttering and coughing, having inhaled an unknown amount of acid reflux.  I was choking on the remainder of it.

      This despite years of sleeping on a large wedge pillow.

      Some delightfully-tasty horseradish slaw is the most likely culprit.  It was not overwhelmingly seasoned with the stuff, but there was enough that I didn't finish my portion.  It would seem that what I had was too much.  Didn't sleep much after that, and arose in the morning to a world that is tilting slowly back and forth.  It has not ceased, and I keep nodding off.  Perhaps I am lulled by it, like napping in a hammock or in a small boat.  Either way, it was obvious I wasn't going anywhere.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Migraine, Dizzy -- But...!

      Vladimir Putin didn't do anything especially awful yesterday.  Just his typical awfulness of trying to stomp a civilized country back into the don't-call-it-USSR, plus some downscaled parades and a speech that mingled the Usual Historical BS with the Current Warmongering BS.   I'm callin' it a win for the West: there is a point that the civilized nations of the world will consider to be too far, and he hasn't got the nerve to cross it.

      Me, on the other hand, I'm not going to be up to anything fancy today.  My goal is staying vertical and hydrated.  Can I achieve it?  Maybe.

Monday, May 09, 2022

That's One Round

      Yesterday and Saturday, I filled a thirty gallon trash bag with dandelions, mostly from the back yard.  That's not all of them, but it's as many as I could find.  Unfortunately, between that, laundry and Sunday dimmer (grilled flank steak, fresh mushrooms in a pot on the grill with garlic/parsley butter, baked potatoes and Brussels sprouts), I got nothing else done. 

      On the other hand, that was quite a lot, and I did clean out the grill, too.  The last time I used it, I had absent-mindedly left the lid up instead of closing it and shutting the vents.  I found it after dinner but by then, there wasn't much fuel left.  So that cost me a about an hour's worth of hardwood lump charcoal.  Aside from a few unburned pieces of charcoal, it left only nice fluffy ash, easy to pour into a trash bag.  I don't mind building up a nice bed of ash in the grill, but once it gets higher than the fire grate, it doesn't draw as well.