Why a New Blog?

Because Live Journal is becoming unreliable. So I figured this is an omen for me to change! When LJ is up, it contains the history of the last several years of my life. It is at oldbogus.livejournal.com when it is running!

But I will start using this blog for the last few years of my life.  It will have lots of ups and downs so don’t expect it to all be fun reading! But I do try to be entertaining.

I was gonna use “eunuch” in the URL but I guess another eunuch beat me to it! My old URL, oldbogus.etc was deleted by WordPress for inactivity and I couldn’t easily use it. Besides I am not really Old Bogus anymore. I am me!

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Welcome to my world.

Update 8/15/11: I keep fiddling with the format and features. I started with just a tag cloud then learned WordPress, in their wisdom, limits that list to only 45 tags! If you look at my tag cloud on LJ, it is very long: 1224! So I am going to using a list for categories. Which means changing all the “uncategorized” entries to something more meaningful!

Deer!

I was sitting on the front porch at sunset when a large doe came in sight. This isn’t unusual but the rest of the herd came on in view. Eight of them and five of them fawns! And two of them still had spots. Now this was unusual.

Lily is on full alert with all those big animals around! Even though they have moved on down the hill.

Weather

It is dramatically cooler today: 76! But back to the 80s and 90s tomorrow. We’ll have to close up the house some tonight due to the cool north breeze. No rain. It is hard to believe that this is the beginning of August!

I was complaining of being bored and useless so Donna put me to work on a project I had planned a week ago: replacing part of our 2″ water hose. She was right; I feel a bit better and got some work done before the clouds wandered off. Of course now the hose is totally unusable until I get it it finished! But the section of old hose looked more like part of a lawn sprinkler system while we were unloading water!

My Right “Sleeve”

Working with the medical people in my life, I am filling out my right arm’s tats.

The upper one is the new one. My visiting nurse tried (three times to get a blood specimen. No luck. This old fart just will not cooperate! I ended up going to the Centura draw center where I knew it would go well. It did.

The Scorpion

This creature was in our kitchen sink this morning! After three tries getting a picture, it had a serious attitude!

I know climate change has altered our fauna, most notably Yellow Jackets have replaced Hornets up here. But scorpions?!

July 31

The last day of the month. August is looking even busier; the high (low) point being the surgery scheduled for August 7th. This is to replace my kidney stents and more kidney replumbing.

Today my visiting nurse is scheduled to make sure my vitals are vital. I really think her visits are a waste of time but this isn’t my call. After my surgery, my GP has to reapprove her visits. Every six weeks after my surgeries per Medicare procedures. sigh

I wrote my letter of resignation from the Board of Education and we will deliver it Wednesday. I feel I am slowly letting go of my life.

Lab Results

I found out today my PSA has dropped from around 400 to 280, showing a marked improvement in my cancer. And my kidney functions are normal! Now if i could just feel better to match!

My Arm Tats

OK. They aren’t tats even though these hematomas are aging.

The left one is the result of an IV attempt in Parkview on July 8. It is not abating very rapidly but do change shape as they “evolve”. The other is the result of a blood draw on July 20 by my GP. If I keep getting these, I will have full tatoo sleeves in a few months.

Birthday Recliner

This was a total surprise from my loving wife. And it is VERY comfortable.

The Post Office Is Not Broke

John Nichols on February 7, 2012 – 10:46 AM ET
 
Republican leaders in Congress are talking about dismembering the US Postal Service by cutting the number of delivery days, shuttering processing centers so that it will take longer for letters to arrive, closing thousands of rural and inner-city post offices and taking additional steps that would dramatically downsize one of the few national programs ordained by the original draft of the US Constitution. At the same time, supposedly “centrist” US Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Scott Brown (R-MA) are trying to build a “bipartisan consensus” for a death by slower cuts.
 

The postal service, we are told, is broke.

There’s only one problem with this diagnosis.

It’s wrong.

The postal service is not broke.

 

At the behest of the Republican-controlled Congress of the Bush-Cheney era, the USPS has been forced since 2006 to pre-fund future retiree health benefits. As the American Postal Workers Union notes, “This mandate is the primary cause of the agency’s financial crisis. No other government agency or private company bears this burden, which costs the USPS approximately $5.5 billion annually.”

 

That’s not the end of the debate about the future of the postal service. Along with Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sanders is working with key Senate Democrats—and, the group hopes, some Republicans who represent rural states—to develop amendments, and potential alternatives, to the “21st Century Postal Service Act.” Not only would they get the accounting right, they would remove barriers to the USPS so that it can compete and grow.

“I believe the Postal Service will find more and more senators and representatives standing up here in Congress to prevent rash and irreversible decisions, until USPS can present a cogent strategy for growing in a new era of mail,” says Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “A scorched-earth strategy, focused only on the short-term horizon, is a strategy for failure. It is a race to the bottom. The Postal Service needs a plan not only to survive, but to thrive. To do that the Postal Service must listen to its customers, understand its market, and play to its strengths, not trade its strengths away.”

 

Or there is another agenda here: privatization to benefit FedEx and UPS. Nah. That is way too cynical. ;)

CFLs May be bad for your Health

Inspired by a European study, a team of Stony Brook University researchers looked into the potential impact of healthy human skin tissue (in vitro) being exposed to ultraviolet rays emitted from compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. The results, “The Effects of UV Emission from CFL Exposure on Human Dermal Fibroblasts and Keratinocytes in Vitro,” were published in the June issue of the journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology.

“Despite their large energy savings, consumers should be careful when using compact fluorescent light bulbs,” said Professor Rafailovich. “Our research shows that it is best to avoid using them at close distances and that they are safest when placed behind an additional glass cover.”
 
Oops! We are using them in our desk lamps.
 
I do wonder if really cheap ones are worse than more expensive ones. Many of ours were bought at a heavy discount.

Fu-Xing

Fu-Xing

This is the former Jade Garden.

My Doc Appt

Today I went to see my urologist as a followup from my last hospital stay. I have never had such a whirlwind visit. Doc seemed more concerned about my pee bags not being strapped down than anything. Ultimately he decided to do some replumbing on my back when he replaces my kidney stents on August 7. He is hoping to simply all the tubing on my back. OTOH, it bothered me he had no concern for my kidney functions.

In answer to one of my cell texters, Yes, I had a nice lunch of an overdone petite sirloin and veggies I am not supposed to be eating! Lol. I am rarely sick enough to go see a doctor and not eat. ;)

The Bookless Library

They are, in their very different ways, monuments of American civilization. The first is a building: a grand, beautiful Beaux-Arts structure of marble and stone occupying two blocks’ worth of Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan. The second is a delicate concoction of metal, plastic, and glass, just four and a half inches long, barely a third of an inch thick, and weighing five ounces. The first is the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the main branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL). The second is an iPhone. Yet despite their obvious differences, for many people today they serve the same purpose: to read books. And in a development that even just thirty years ago would have seemed like the most absurd science fiction, there are now far more books available, far more quickly, on the iPhone than in the New York Public Library.

It has been clear for some time now that this development would pose one of the greatest challenges that modern libraries—from institutions like the NYPL on down—have ever encountered. Put bluntly, one of their core functions now faces the prospect of obsolescence. What role will libraries have when patrons no longer need to go to them to consult or to borrow books?

 

Less than twenty years ago Nicholson Baker could lament, in an eloquent New Yorker article, the disappearance of physical card catalogues from libraries. (Among other things, he criticized electronic catalogues for their “neolithic screen displays and excruciatingly slow retrieval times,” as if the technology would never improve.) But how many readers are still troubled, in any serious way, by the disappearance of those old catalogues? (Recently the Yale University library unceremoniously junked its old card catalogue drawers, filling a large dumpster with them.)

 

The Passive Voice Blog

Our school library does not have a card catalogue.

Aurora theater shooting: Trauma rooms scrambled to save lives

AURORA — In the early hours of Friday, Children’s Hospital Colorado received word that an ambulance was on its way with a female patient in full arrest.

 

She had three severe injuries to her lower chest and abdomen.

A team of at least six attending doctors and residents and five or six nurses were ready in an operating room to work on the woman.

 

As a former ER volunteer, this was my first thought: the shit was hitting the fan all over Denver ERs.

Similar scenes were played out across Aurora and Denver emergency rooms as staffs geared up, calling doctors, nurses and security staff. Even additional custodians were called in when the chaos began after 12:30 a.m.

 

The injured streamed into six metropolitan Denver emergency rooms in police patrol cars, ambulances and private cars.

 

Six went to Children’s Hospital; 23 to University of Colorado Hospital; 15 to Medical Center of Aurora; four to Swedish Medical Center; two to Parker Adventist Hospital and six to Denver Health Medical Center. Officials at Emergency Medical Services Command were sending patients to hospitals with available rooms and staffs.

Parker is on the SE side of Denver. I am not sure how that came down but assume the victims were from there. It had to have been a harrowing scene.

 

In each hospital, emergency room doctors set up triage areas. Patients had gunshot injuries from a high powered rifle, buckshot injuries from a shotgun, shrapnel injuries from flying metal and debris or burns from tear gas.

“We were already having a very busy night,” Sasson said.

 

How Many Millions of Cellphones Are Police Watching?

by Megha Rajagopalan
ProPublica, July 11, 2012,

In response to a congressional inquiry, mobile phone companies on Monday finally disclosed just how many times they’ve handed over users’ cellphone data to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. By the New York Times’ count, cellphone companies responded to 1.3 million demands for subscribers’ information last year from law enforcement. Many of the records, such as location data, don’t require search warrants or much court oversight.

 

Is this a great country or what?

 

While the Times calculated the number of overall requests from law enforcement, each of those requests could cover more than one person.

For instance, when seeking location information, law enforcement agencies frequently ask for “tower dumps,” which list every phone in range of a cell tower at a particular time. In cities, where cell towers are located close together, it is possible that the locations of thousands of people might be swept up in a single request.

Even outside of urban areas, ubiquitous small boxes known as microcells, which help you get cell reception in crowded places like shopping malls, also record highly precise location data. Sprint noted in its letter to Congress that each subpoena it received “typically” asked for information on multiple subscribers.

The Times’ calculation also doesn’t include specifics from T-Mobile, one of the four largest carriers, because it refused to provide them, saying “T-Mobile does not disclose the number of requests we receive from law enforcement annually.”

 

Amazing. Just a data dump.

Exactly who are police tracking?

 

It’s unclear how connected to a criminal investigation you have to be for law enforcement agencies to request your cellphone information. Stephen Smith, a magistrate judge in southern Texas who has advocated for clearer standards for location data requests, said law enforcement authorities sometimes even request information for every mobile phone a suspect has called.

“If you call and order a pizza, they might request the delivery guy’s records,” Smith said. These court orders are usually kept secret— during an ongoing investigation, police don’t want to tip off a suspect— but as a result, the vast majority of cellphone subscribers being tracked have no idea police or the FBI have their historical location information, whether they were suspected of a crime or not.

 

This is plain stupid.

 

Which agencies have been requesting the data?

 

Once again, we don’t know.

The cellphone companies didn’t say what proportion of requests was made by federal authorities and what proportion came from state and local police departments.

The American Civil Liberties Union earlier this year culled data from dozens of police departments, showing wide discrepancies in the ease with which police could obtain cellphone location data. Some police departments routinely obtained warrants; others requested swathes of records with far less court oversight. In response to a question from Congress about whether police had misused phone tracking, T-Mobile said it had identified two cases, which it referred to the FBI.

 

While much will be clutter: useless information, who knows what an agency on a vendetta might mine. And add it to your record. This is crazy.

 

Free Lizard — You Catch

DENVER — A sheriff has warned residents in a tourist town northwest of Colorado Springs that a strong, aggressive 6-foot lizard that eats small animals — including dogs and cats — is on the loose in the area.

Teller County Sheriff Mike Ensinger said Tuesday that a 25-pound pet Nile monitor lizard has gone missing after breaking a mesh leash and crawling away.

Ensinger said about 400 homes in the Woodland Park area were warned. He added that the animal, which escaped Monday and is known as Dino, has not bitten any humans — yet.

“We have a 6-foot reptile out and about,” Ensinger said. “If it gets hungry enough, we don’t know what it will do.”

Ensinger said his animal control division is searching for the animal.

Area resident Rick Stasi said the sheriff’s advisory was unsettling, warning “pet owners and parents are urged to use caution while pets and children are outdoors.”

Stasi said he plans to keep his two small dogs indoors.

Bradley Bundy, a veterinarian at Dublin Animal Hospital in Colorado Springs, said the lizard could inflict a nasty bite if cornered.

“This kiddo could hurt someone if they don’t know how to restrain it,” Bundy said. He added that the lizards are sold in area pet stores and look cute when they’re only 8 inches long, but they can grow to reach 9 feet when they get older.

Ensinger said officers may use a tracking dog if Dino isn’t located by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m not going after it,” Ensinger said. “I don’t do reptiles.”

My Hospital Room

My Hospital Room

Being in Parkview, I am well connected. My new cell works well down there, of course. The thing half under my pillow is the call button but most of the staff communications from me involve the phone on the night stand.

Everyone has a phone so I can call my CNA, the nurse, or for food. It works well if you dial the number correctly! Or the recipient is not on the phone. It does speed up staff responses.

But in the bathroom, ya still have to pull a call cord. And the response from the nurses station only talks to the rest of room! Oops.

The bowl is from home and is for nausea.

Leg Stockings

Leg Stockings

These are very tight stockings in an attempt to reduce the swelling in my legs. It felt good but didn’t shrink my legs.

One of my friends requested I post a picture of these. :)

Back in the Saddle

After several medical crises which affected my blogging, I will get back on line. I did manage to post to FB some but not here. Part of the reason was a stroke which made typing accurately impossible. I am slowly getting ovr that.

 

I just returned Saturday from a week at Parkview Hospital in Pueblo. I had NO kidney functions when I was admitted. Two surgeries and a body modification later, I have one functioning kidney.

 

I have a host of other problems, all of which stem from my cancer spreading. This is not what I expected in my retirement.

Back to Parkview

After my last visit to this hospital, I have had a catheter installed. It has not been a problem and this weekend was to be its last hurrah. We were to remove the thing Monday. The urologist wanted to be available in case there were a problem.

On my last visit, the doctor removed a lot of cancerous tissue from my bladder using his handy-dandy laser cutter. I gathered his concern was due to the large amount of tissue removed and whether what is left will function properly.

But now I am having some pain from my kidneys. The flow is just not adequate, especially if I am lying down. Not very restful and is getting worse. So I finally connected with my urologist late last night and we agree we would met at Parkiew when he gets back to town this afternoon.

Donna and I debated our possibilities and, even before he called, decided to wait to go. I was not in crisis mode so waiting seemed reasonable. Especially on a Saturday night!

So we packed our bags. I took another Vicodin and went back to bed. The doctor called back several hours later and we reached agreement.

So the first order of business is a CATscan to determine where the blockage is. This is not the course I expected my disease to follow.

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