Sunday, September 14th 2008

Nature’s violins, like manufactured ones, are yucky
posted @ 8:30 pm in [ ]

Phillip hates crickets. Fortunately, we have cats who like them just fine. In fact, they think they’re quite tasty. Except, apparently, for the legs.

Every once in a while, a cricket will get in the house (particularly this time of year, as the nights start to get chilly but the days are still sun-kissed and warm), and a cat will dispatch it, usually before Phillip has the extreme displeasure to perceive it. So how do we know the cats have been eating hapless wayward crickets? They leave the legs, or perhaps they spit them out (p’tui!).

Phillip further reports that his late cat Gwen, who was heroic in her ability to catch and execute the dreaded camelback crickets that would get in the house he grew up in, would also often leave the legs behind. This leads us to one conclusion: Cricket legs taste like crap. They might also be too pointy to eat comfortably. It would seem that nature’s violins are about as tasty and fun to eat as a Strad.

Monday, September 8th 2008

The complete and utter disappearance of my gym
posted @ 11:12 am in [ ]

So it looks like the thyroid thing is finally squared away. I have a higher-dosage prescription and I feel a lot better. Now that it conceivably matters again how much I exercise or what I eat, I had rededicated myself to gym time and food journaling and what-not. So, to that end, I sashayed off to the gym this morning with my newly reclaimed non-slugishness, and was surprised to discover that my gym was gone. That is, it was completely wall-to-wall cleared-out empty. Troubles with the landlord, they said, sorry.

So okay, I had probably outgrown that little gym in terms of my athletic and fitness hard-core-ness. It was a nice little community, though, it was cheap, it was close, and I took a Pilates-Yoga class on Friday mornings that I just loved. Feh! Lousy news, lousy timing.

Thursday, September 4th 2008

Another reason…
posted @ 11:43 am in [ ]

…why I haven’t been posting much is that I’m experiencing some personal lifestuff that I’m not ready to share with the whole freakin’ Internet. When I talk to people in person and they want to know how it’s going (or at least want to appear interested), I talk about work — which is something I don’t do here — which is too bad, because it’s the perfect evasive “out” in any conversation where I don’t want to look like I’m actively hiding about 90% of my life from the person who’s asking about it. Consequently, most of the stuff that’s on my mind is not all that pressable here.

Heyyy, I can tell you about the ongoing saga of the thyroid, though! I went to the nice family practice folks, got a nice doctor whom I like, and she gave me a nice prescription. I started taking a nice, low dosage of generic synthroid, which has made me feel a little better, and that’s nice, but it could be nicer. Yesterday, I got a nice blood test administered by a nice lady who was so practiced and good, I barely felt a thing. (It’s also possible I’m getting really accustomed to blood draws at this point.) Tomorrow, I should get a nice phone call from the nice folks at the nice doctor’s office, and with any luck, I’ll get an even nicer prescription that should help take care of this sucky problem.

For those of you who are concerned about the thyroid thing yourselves, here’s something you’ll want to know. Once diagnosed, the usual treatment is to start you off at a pretty low dosage and keep tweaking it until it’s right. Once it’s right, apparently, you function quite normally and feel fine. But because TSH is a hormone, it’s kinda wacky and hard to nail down. It takes a while to get it just right, and the health care provider doesn’t want to shock your system too badly. In the meantime, you can continue to pack on weight for no reason and feel like Jabba the Hutt after a bad night. The sooner you get started, the sooner it should get resolved. Just know it’s a process.

Wednesday, September 3rd 2008

Grand reopening!
posted @ 2:22 pm in [ ]

I confess one of the reasons I haven’t been posting that much lately is that I had SO much freakin’ spam all the time. Seriously, I had around 100 spambot messages an hour. Thanks to my fabulous host and hostess, though, that is no longer the case. Wordpress has been upgraded on the server, and Akismet is doing its spambot-kickin’ thing. I actually feel like posting when I don’t have to spend my blogging time zapping spam. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 2nd 2008

DNC Aftermath
posted @ 6:42 pm in [ - ]

A lot of folks asked me how things were going in Denver during the convention. I thought the convention had a nice tone, and it seemed like things were going well inside the Pepsi Center. Outside, though, was sort of a showcase of everything that needs fixing.

Of course, traffic and stuff sucked for actual residents. That was to be expected, and I was able to avoid driving too close to the locale myself, so that worked out. I did, however, turn down a few invitations to events that were nearby because I knew I’d be hard pressed to get there and it would have been easier to grow an inline-six and drive my own pancreas to an appointment than to park around there.

What was really alarming, though, was the police state atmosphere. Reporters with press credentials were prohibited from attending some events. Friends of mine were arrested for no apparent reason, because they were in parks after dark (as many residents are), and had their cars impounded. Warehouse space was set aside for the 25,000 arrests police expected to make. Needless to say, this warehouse space was without sufficient restrooms, food or water to house even a tiny fraction of that many prisoners for any length of time.

The whole thing made me queasy.

At least the RNC is being even worse. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! got arrested there while trying to get two of her producers out of the joint. You can see footage of her arrest here. Her vocal fry drives me cuckooputz, but nobody deserves that, and she’s an excellent journalist. Here’s what’s going on with that:

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfully detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.

Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which they were arrested law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. Several dozen others were also arrested during this action.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism’s top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists from the nation’s leading independent news outlet.

Democracy Now! is a nationally syndicated public TV and radio program that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.