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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in realinterrobang's LiveJournal:

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    Wednesday, December 24th, 2014
    10:10 am
    On a Happier Note, It's That Time of Year Again
    The time of year when I (re)post Hilchos Xmas, or How to Celebrate Christmas as If it Were a Jewish Holiday. Chag sameach, everyone!

    This gets funnier every time I read it. Your speculations as to why are probably correct.

    Current Mood: tired
    9:42 am
    And now the other...
    Gypsy seems to be sick. She's been avoiding me for a few days -- I chalked it up to Izzy being attached to me, but she seems to be moving badly today and refused her breakfast (that was the tipoff) and seems dehydrated. Vague symptoms like that worry me in a big way, as I've already lost one cat to cancer...

    Current Mood: worried
    Monday, December 22nd, 2014
    10:32 pm
    Random musical thought
    Has it ever occurred to anyone else that The Beatles' "Paperback Writer" is actually the world's shittiest slush pitch, in musical form?

    Current Mood: amused
    Saturday, December 20th, 2014
    9:05 pm
    Quotes, They Might Have Thought My Soap Was Plastic Explosive Edition
    Isn’t that “Chappy Chanukah”?
    -- Villago Delenda Est, Balloon Juice, comments [It has two different spellings in Hebrew, too, depending on whether you're using the nikud (diacritics) or not. So don't sweat it. -- ?!]

    It's a disorienting feeling still holding a taboo while half the population not only cast aside it aside, but embraced its opposite. It's like being thrown violently into a parallel universe.
    -- mgmonklewis, Alicublog, comments

    Popular culture would be my downfall on Jeopardy.

    Alex: “He was Angelina Jolie’s third husband.”
    Windriven: “Who is Angelina Jolie?”
    Buzzer:” Aehhhhhhhhh”
    -- Windriven, Science-Based Medicine,comments

    Oh god, poor Cuba is going to get more access to the Internet. Someone warn them
    -- Twitter user @bruce_arthur

    I had a math teacher once that designated people he would point at to curse for him. They each had their own word that he couldn't use
    -- RoundThreeFIGHT, imgur, comments

    And I can sing Maoz Tzur in Hebrew, too, but it's hard to sing and read nikud at the same time... Oh boy.Collapse )

    Current Mood: amused
    Thursday, December 18th, 2014
    7:47 pm
    Minding my own Izzness
    I had Izzy back to the vet's today for another follow-up appointment. Good news -- it seems that the corneal ulcer is gone, and things are healing up well. I need to continue giving him the antiviral and antibiotic drugs for another two weeks, just to rule out the possibility of a relapse, but he's doing well. He also can see out of that eye (the vet shut off the lights and shone a light into his eye to check), and Dr. Paul seems fairly confident he's not going to lose the eye after all, which is really good news. I am super-happy about this.

    He's also put on 400g in weight (not fat mass, even) in two weeks, bringing his weight to just over 11 pounds, at almost exactly 8 months old. GIANT KITTEN IS GIANT. This would explain why he's been eating everything in sight for the last couple weeks, including (alas) part of the top flap of a cardboard parcel box.

    Current Mood: relieved
    1:02 am
    Quotes, Christmas Shopping, Ew Blerch Edition
    In 1964, the U.S. surgeon general, Luther L. Terry, issued a landmark report. It linked smoking and cancer and set in motion decades of measures that deeply cut into smoking rates and tobacco’s profits and influence, beginning, first, with Congress’s passing measures that required health warnings on cigarette packages and later banning cigarette advertising on radio and TV.

    Can you imagine anything like that happening today? The Surgeon General (what Surgeon General?) issuing a report about the dangers of anything? Followed by Congress passing laws restricting how an industry operates? I simply cannot comprehend it. It’s like bizarro world, reading that.
    -- Michael Sokolove, from "How One Lawyer's Crusade Could Change Football Forever," quoted at Balloon Juice, and Violet, Balloon Juice, comments

    This reminds me of a dream I had a few years ago. In the dream I'm asked to define "Social Construction of Reality" for someone and I explain that it is when you don't know what to think about something and you ask the people around you what happened or what it means that it happened. I swear I actually have dreams like this. It was slightly clearer than the one where I was pursued by the flying beetles of objectivism on witchs brooms.
    -- Aimai, Alicublog, comments

    Newtown has razed the school that was site of the attack, which ended when the 20-year-old gunman, Adam Lanza, shot himself to death. It recently acquired the home where Lanza lived with his mother, who he shot dead before the rampage. That building may also be torn down.
    -- from "Residents of Newtown gather to remember anniversary of Sandy Hook massacre," Reuters

    Everything affects everything. It’s all tied together, and the starting place hardly matters: A just and righteous system will have a positive impact on everything we care about, just as an unjust, exploitative system makes everything worse. Increasingly, it seems, there’s an appetite and even unity to take on the billionaire class.
    -- Mark Bittman, "Is it Bad Enough Yet?", The New York Times

    Oh, my hand.
    -- translation of marginal note from a medieval manuscript, quoted in "Cheeky Complaints Monks Scribbled in the Margins of Manuscripts," The Atlantic

    At least I got a few things. *sigh*Collapse )

    Current Mood: awake
    Sunday, December 14th, 2014
    2:10 am
    Quotes, I'm All Alone, With No One to Do Edition
    Authoritarianism, like rust and mold, never sleeps.
    -- fleeting expletive, Balloon Juice, comments

    I wish we had the New York times that only exists in the heads of conservatives.
    -- Helmut Monotreme, Alicublog, comments

    I don’t believe anyone is a rape victim until their rapist is convicted. Due process matters.
    -- Twitter user @ChuckCJohnson

    The only way to avoid cancer is to die of something else first.
    -- ProgJohn, Respectful Insolence, comments

    For a tongue-in-cheek sci-fi movie, it turned out to predict a remarkably accurate vision of the future. That it was set in Detroit now looks like a stroke of brilliance, and that city's troubles have led to a revival of interest in the film (not to mention the obligatory, shitty remake). Despite being a patently silly film, it was also prescient in some ways.The basic functions of local government along with huge portions of its infrastructure are being sold off to private corporations. Violence and crime are rampant in some of the more sordid Rust Belt has-been cities.
    -- Ed, "ED-209," Gin and Tacos, on Robocop

    Even the Giant Monster Kitten isn't helping much today.Collapse )

    Current Mood: awake
    Sunday, December 7th, 2014
    11:36 pm
    Quotes, Acting Like Black Shabbat Edition
    We frequently complain, rightly, about sociopathic/incompetent/whatever cops who do stuff like this. At what point do the bureaucrats and politicians who hire these people face any culpability? Ever? My bright idea tonight is that the next time a cop shoots a kid for no good reason we prosecute the shithead who hired him. Maybe standards would magically go up.
    -- Heliopause, Balloon Juice, comments

    Circle K? Did the neon bulbs for J, E, and R burn out?
    -- Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard, Alicublog, comments

    my father drove drunk when i was a year old, he wrapped the front of his car around a phone pole leaving his passenger to lose an arm, his foolish self wound up in hospital for 2 years with permanent brain damage and leaving the right side of his body paralyzed for life, he remembers everything before the crash, but suffers permanent short term memory loss... he's left remembering all the good things about his life before the accident and is stuck forgetting anything he did in the last week. it's an existence i would not wish on hitler.
    -- flassk, imgur, comments

    YouTube’s view potential seems, if not limitless, at least very large. Why even set a view count ceiling? Why does this thing exist? The short answer: MATH. (And if you never envisioned a world where “Gangnam Style” could teach you something on that subject, allow me to remind you that this is the Internet.)
    -- Caitlin Dewey, "Kim Kardashian may not have broken the Internet, but Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ literally just did," The Washington Post

    Each spring thaw, like clockwork for three generations now, the grounds literally spit out the most sensitive evidence of the Holocaust – the remains of Sobibor’s victims, in the form of hundreds of bone fragments — some the size of coins — left over from the Nazis’ attempt to destroy the evidence.
    -- Matt Lebovic, "Is Sobibor to be the new ‘Disneyland’ of Nazi death camps?", Times of Israel

    It's lots of fun!Collapse )

    Current Mood: tired
    Saturday, December 6th, 2014
    8:02 pm
    25 Years Since the Montreal Massacre
    ...and in some ways, nothing has changed. In some ways, things are worse. (What backlash?) After Elliot Rodger, it almost seems like a waste of time writing about this.

    CBC has a good article and the former mayor of Montreal, Jean Doré makes the point absolutely: "Twenty-five years later, why do we have to continue to commemorate this event? It's because equality between women and men has still not yet been achieved." (And because the killings of women for being women go on, and on, and on...)

    Current Mood: angry
    Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
    11:58 pm
    Thinking About Cerebral Palsy Again
    I am having some sessions with a new temporary trainer at the gym starting next week, as the marvellous Renee is in Costa Rica (lucky person!) getting her yoga instructor's credential, which means I have to explain to him about cerebral palsy.

    Which gets me to thinking yet again about how there's such a paucity of research done on cerebral palsy, particularly in adults, which infuriates and frustrates me, particularly since CP has been recorded in the medical literature since the 1860s. (While Sir William Osler wrote the first book on CP, William John Little first described the condition -- technically spastic diplegia of the lower limbs.)

    The Wikipedia page on spastic CP contains a basically unsourced passage which comports with the results of my own research:

    Unusually, cerebral palsy, including spastic cerebral palsy, is notable for a glaring overall research deficiency—the fact that it is one of the very few major groups of conditions on the planet in human beings for which medical science has not yet (as of 2011) collected wide-ranging empirical data on the development and experiences of young adults, the middle aged and older adults. An especially puzzling aspect of this lies in the fact that cerebral palsy as defined by modern science was first "discovered" and specifically addressed well over 100 years ago and that it would therefore be reasonable to expect by now that at least some empirical data on the adult populations with these conditions would have long since been collected, especially over the second half of the 20th century when existing treatment technologies rapidly improved and new ones came into being. The vast majority of empirical data on the various forms of cerebral palsy is concerned near-exclusively with children (birth to about 10 years of age) and sometimes pre-teens and early teens (11–13). Some doctors attempt to provide their own personal justifications for keeping their CP specialities purely paediatric, but there is no objectively apparent set of reasons backed by any scientific consensus as to why medical science has made a point of researching adult cases of multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and the various forms of cancer in young and older adults, but has failed to do so with CP.


    So... How the hell do we get people interested in basic/translational research on CP and sequelae in adults??? It would probably be instructive to know exactly why the research isn't getting done, for starters, but failing that, fixing the problem from its symptom, not its source, would be perfectly ok with me.

    Current Mood: tired
    3:54 am
    DGlenn Update
    dglenn has been very ill and was in hospital for a few hours tonight, after becoming dangerously dehydrated from a bug with nausea, vertigo, and breathing problems, as well as the Total Body Migraine. Glenn is out of hospital now, and last I heard, getting prescription anti-nauseants from a 24-hour pharmacy with sheepie.

    Poor Glenn sounded like sie was dying earlier, and sounds about ten billion times better now.

    And with that, I'm going (back) to bed. There's at least one cat waiting for me.

    Current Mood: anxious
    12:15 am
    Quotes, Going Like Gang Boxes Edition
    I remember when they sold tasers as a less lethal alternative to shooting people. Problem is they never use tasers in place of a gun. They use tasers in place of talking.
    -- Mike J, Balloon Juice, comments

    I just finished reading Absalom, Absalom! It was like old home week.
    -- coozledad, Alicublog, comments

    Why is the queen of England on Canadian money?

    Because England basically raised Canada until we were old enough to make our own decisions.

    America left home super early

    and made bad life choices as a result.
    -- tumblr users dayoftheknight, fanstasticarepickles, canadiansoccergirl, and metamaterials, spotted on imgur

    By the end of the war, and for a long time after it, Canada had the fourth most powerful air force in the world (after the U.s., Britain, and Russia) but took its military orders from the Brits or the Americans -- always somebody else. Same with the army. In the First World War, the Canadian Corps was at least kept together as a unit. But in the Second, we allowed part of it to be hived off to Italy, leaving the remainder for Normandy. Everybody commanded us but Canadians. And the navy. We were doing most of the convoy duty in the Atlantic and taking our orders from London. All our nationhood pissed away by chicken governments.
    -- Dave McIntosh, from Terror In the Starboard Seat, PaperJacks, 1981

    Tuberculosis tortured my sister and left her an invalid that had to be restrained with ropes tied around her bed. My parents did everything in their power to keep Marian alive and comfortable, but they just didn't have the dosh to get her the best clinics, find her the best doctors, or the right medicines. Instead, she wasted away before our eyes until my mother could no longer handle her care, and she was dispatched to the workhouse infirmary, where she died at the age of ten, eighty-seven years ago. Mom and Dad couldn't afford to bury their darling daughter, so like the rest of our country's indigent, she was dumped in a nameless -- nameless into a pauper's pit.
    -- 91 year old Harry Smith, "Keep Your Mitts Off My NHS" speech, Labour Party Conference, September 24, 2014

    Something's happening here...Collapse )

    Current Mood: awake
    Saturday, November 29th, 2014
    11:13 pm
    Maybe we're on the mend?
    I'm no longer feeling quite so much like I've been lightly run over, and Izzy's eye seems to be improving. He's had the eye open a lot more today, and it doesn't look quite so direly cloudy as it has.

    That said, I spent most of the day in bed, as well as most of Thursday and yesterday.

    Current Mood: awake
    Friday, November 28th, 2014
    2:52 pm
    Things that are not mosques
    Like, oh, say, a famous cathedral...

    h/t james_nicoll

    Current Mood: amused
    12:42 am
    Grawlix, grawlix, grawlix
    So the doctor thinks it's just a virus. I wasn't aware that any virus save la grippe gave you the whole-body migraine (I'm into the Tylenol with codeine, and I never take that shit because it tends to upset my stomach), or green/bloody discharge, but I got a new nasal steroid, and we're rolling with that for now. *sigh*

    The weather is really bad out there (again), and I must have stood near my doctor's office waiting for a bus going east (didn't care which one of the two showed up) for nearly an hour, bus suggestions in this town being what they are. When I got on the bus, just a smidge before 8PM, the driver asked me if I needed a transfer, and when I said I did, he said, "I'm going to give you an extra-long one, because who knows how long it'll take you to get where you're going." I said thank you, and went to sit down.

    When I got settled and actually looked at the transfer (which normally expire after 90 minutes), I noticed it expired at 11PM.

    I said, "Wow, that really is an extra-long one. Thank you very much, sir!" I could still use it, but if you think I'm going out there again...

    Current Mood: sick
    Thursday, November 27th, 2014
    5:01 pm
    Argh
    Scary-coloured and bloody stuff is coming out my nose again, and I feel like someone's taken a meat tenderizer to me. Even my hair hurts. Off to the doctor's in about three and a half seconds.

    Current Mood: sick
    Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
    9:08 pm
    Quotes, Going to Bed Angry, Getting Up Angrier Edition
    Once again, I think we have a mistranslation between the Midwest and the rest of the country. In the Midwest, we know that if an authority figure speaks to you very, very quietly, you are fucked beyond belief. Apparently, that doesn’t translate as “anger” to the rest of the country.
    -- Mnemosyne, Balloon Juice, comments

    I thought about forming a Church of Apathy but, meh.
    -- gokart mozart, Alicublog, comments

    [G]rousing about health care is still unofficially Canada’s third national sport after curling and hockey.
    -- Sara Robinson, "10 Myths About Canadian Health Care, Busted," PNHP.org

    Jim Blish advised me to stop writing for a year and catch up to what had been published in the field in the past. He called women’s writing the “dirty diaper and dishpan field of fiction.”
    -- Kate Wilhelm, "Interview with Hall of Fame Author Kate Wilhelm," Amazing Stories

    Did you hear about the convert who fell into the vat of single-malt next to the real pool [mikveh]? Took the rabbi 18 attempts to save him ...
    -- Richard Hoch, Facebook, comments

    Also, I am not feeling well, either.Collapse )

    Current Mood: sick
    4:24 pm
    News Things -- Izzy's Eye and Weather Blather
    So Izzy has a corneal ulcer (what the vet called a "melting ulcer"), probably caused by a bacterial infection on top of a herpesvirus infection. So he now has antibiotic pills, antibiotic ointment, anti-inflammatory eyedrops, and antiviral pills to take, and it's going to be touch and go over the next week as to whether he might lose the eye. I'm upset, to say the least...



    The other day, we had a horrendous windstorm -- sustained winds of 75kph with gusts to 100 (that's about 50mph). It's surprising we didn't have billions of trees down all over the place, but I think we got lucky, particularly with the deciduous trees. I think it was late enough in the year that the deciduous trees didn't have leaves that would be pulling them harder, but early enough in the dormant season that they haven't yet gotten really brittle. Nevertheless, my Mom called me yesterday morning and said the big spruce tree on the neighbour's front lawn two doors up from their place had fallen down across the road, blocking it, and taking down the power lines, so they had no power. The temperature was falling, and they have an electric stove and furnace... She was also talking on her cell phone. I guess the phone lines were down too.

    I didn't know they had a generator until two days ago, but it will will run about half the house, and they had a fire going in the fireplace.

    My mom called Ontario Hydro to tell them about the tree, and made sure to tell them there were wires down (and tangled around the tree), and a broken wire, but apparently the message didn't get from the call centre in Toronto (whose brilliant idea was that?) to the people on the ground hereabouts, as yesterday morning, a supervisor in a white pickup truck was out looking at it, and my dad went up to talk to her, and she said, "Wow, this is really dangerous. We had no idea it was this bad!" which nearly caused my dad to throw a rod, but anyway.

    I actually got to see the mess in front of my parents' neighbours' house. There were actually two trees down, both of them large spruces, at least 60 feet high. The power lines were tangled around the one tree, and one wire was completely broken. A telephone pole was broken off at the ground, and then snapped in half besides that. The road was closed and there were barricades and cones up.

    By the time I got there, the trees had been cut up and moved off the road, and the power lines were at least inactivated, but not fixed. About 24 houses had no power. The major deal with this is that because they live in a rural subdivision, besides all the usual things you can't do if you don't have electricity, if they don't have hydro, they can't run their water pump. Dad's genny was running the sump pump that's keeping their basement from being inundated by the high groundwater right now going, but it doesn't have enough oomph to run the water pump. They were drinking bottled water, washing their hands and things with water taken from their (outdoor covered) hot tub, and trying not to need to flush the toilet too much (which they can do with buckets), since the septic tank pump wasn't working either, and they didn't want sewage to back up.

    They weren't too worried about cooking, because they have a gas barbecue with a burner on it, plus the genny will run the microwave and/or the toaster oven, and, if worst came to worst, they've got a couple of Coleman stoves and a propane stove in the kitchen of their camper-trailer. They were using some of the power from the genny to keep the fridges and freezers cold, though. (Times like these I realise that although my parents seem like they have ridiculous amounts of stores, given their living situation, it's not as weird an idea as it seems.)

    Current Mood: annoyed
    Sunday, November 23rd, 2014
    10:15 pm
    The end is in sight, very much in sight now
    On Monday, I had that horrible Thing With All The Eyes (aka the pyogenic granuloma) taken off my lip. I had to sort of talk the dermatologist into it, since she originally wanted to do a punch biopsy on it, and said that it might resolve on its own after the biopsy. I said, "Why don't you just take it off?" and she said, "Well, since it's so big, it will probably leave a large scar." I said, "It's on the inside of my lip! I don't care, just take it off! Just do it." (I figure anybody who's going to be seeing the inside of my lower lip probably is not going to care overmuch that there's a scar there. I know I sure don't.)

    So she did.

    I've had stitches in my lip ever since, theoretically the dissolving kind, but they weren't dissolving. Finally, tonight, I got so fed up with biting and pulling on the loose knotted ends of the sutures while I was trying to chew anything that I got out my tiny nail scissors, sterilised the blades, and then cut the knots and pulled the stitches out.

    SOOOOOOOO MUCH BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!one!!!eleventy3!!! ARGGGHH!!

    Now there's this sort of weird lenticular divot in my lower lip, but it's a hell of a lot less annoying than either the granuloma or the stitches. And you can't see anything from the outside.

    Current Mood: awake
    Thursday, November 20th, 2014
    9:42 pm
    Sleep schedule is more like sleep fuggit yeah whatever
    ...but I am a very tired critter right now, so I think I'm going to go to bed and see if I can't reset my sleeping and waking to something resembling normal human hours, with the caveat that APPARENTLY I AM NOT ALLOWED TO SLEEP BETWEEN 5 AND 7AM ANYMORE, thank you very much, Mister Izzy and Miss Gypsy. (Ever since she's lost a bunch of weight -- which is to say since Jorj died -- she's taken to jumping everywhere on the bed, including onto me from the mattress.)

    Current Mood: tired
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