August 2009 minutiae
- Google translates a review of Narcolepsy
from Spanish: "It is more history than anything else, but it makes you think of a couple
- So one of the many niggling medical problems I've had lately was a bump on
the fifth metacarpal bone of my left hand. I didn't think much of it until I
happened to gently press it against the wall while adjusting the shower
temperature and was hit with a jolt of intense pain. So I went to a local
doctor, expecting that he'd look at me disdainfully and say that it was
nothing the way doctors do, but instead he said that, yeah, that was definitely
something and I needed to go to a hand specialist ASAP to get it checked for
malignancy and most likely to get it removed. (This took him about 30 seconds,
for which I was charged $150. Amount covered by my insurance: $0.) This was
late Friday afternoon so I had to wait until Monday morning to make the
arrangements. While waiting and worrying, I suddenly remembered: two of my
favorite students of all time were a pair of sisters up in the North Bay,
and their dad was a hand surgeon! So I wrote to their mom for advice and she
said I should just come up and have her husband take care of it.
Made things a little less stressful.
Anyway, it turned out be harmless, though I did have to get a couple of
needle sticks that killed half of my hand for a while (in fact, I'm typing
this with only eight fingers). Small price to pay not to have to wonder
whether I have bone cancer or something.
- While I was in the waiting room a young girl came in with her mother. After
they'd sat down, the receptionist asked the mother for the girl's date of birth,
and the mother replied, "One one two thousand." I wonder whether she arranged
for induced labor in order to secure that birthdate for her daughter.
- espn.com comment: "what a pre madonna"
- A commenter on Stephen Granade's blog, in the middle of a string of posts
declaring that Stephen's post questioning the motivation behind ostentatious
Christian jewelry and t-shirts constituted persecution!, declared that
"That's between you and God and the final day of "— and then added a smiley.
- Around the net I saw various parents discussing (and kids complaining
about) the first day of school... on August 11th?! When I was a kid school
didn't start until a week after Labor Day.
- Some girl from Spain has a picture of Ditko and Crango as kittens in her
online photo album. I wondered how that happened but now I hypothesize that
it is because they came up when she searched for "gatos" (or possibly
- salon.com: "The National Enquirer is reporting that 'secret DNA tests'
prove Rielle Hunter's 18-month-old daughter Frances is, in fact, the spawn
of a particular former presidential candidate. (Hint: It's not Dennis
Kucinich.)" No kidding. If there's one guy in the world I think we
can safely assume is not cheating, .
- A lot of my shirts had become too worn out to be wearable anymore so
I ordered some more from ebay.com. It's always kind of a crapshoot, because
the pictures only tell you so much and you never know what the texture will
be like until the shirt arrives. I just received two shirts, both from not
only the same company but also the exact same label, each of them billed as
"100% polyester," but one was pleasantly soft and the other seemed to have
been made out of a cheap backpack.
- One problem with using Yahoo mail (as I do for dealing with online
purchases) is that Yahoo tries to feed you the most inane stuff. Example:
Want to make just the right impression to land the guy you're into? First,
find out his astrological sign. And then, approach him in a way that's likely
to jibe with his unique personality. Either that's a non-sequitur or the
person who wrote that doesn't know what "unique" means.
- Lizzie posed the following question, which she heard on the radio (and
which I've reworded slightly): You have a choice between two travel packages.
#1: You can travel through Europe for a year with a stipend covering
reasonable expenses. #2: You can spend ten minutes on the moon. Which
would you choose?
When she first asked me, I considered both options, weighed the pros and
cons, and decided that on balance I'd slightly prefer #2. But then when I was
typing up the same question on another site, as I tapped out the words "ten
minutes on the moon" I started to tear up and wondered how I could have
considered option #1 even for a moment. To stand on the surface of another
world... to look up at the sky and see, with my own eyes, a beautiful swirled
disc that constitutes the cradle of every living creature we have ever known...
I have to think that that experience would beat the fuck out of a year of
repeating whatever this month's tourist phrasebook says translates to "please
take this back, I'm a vegetarian."
(Now, a year in Europe vs. a year on the moon, and I probably take
- The best cheddar cheese I've ever had was a block of
Times Past farmhouse
cheddar that I got at the Bread & Circus in Hadley, Massachusetts,
in 2002; I've never been able to find that type again. The second best
was the California mild cheddar I just got at Trader Joe's. I think it's
the cheapest cheddar in the store and it's totally great.
- Geography fun: the entire continent of Europe lies north of where I
grew up. All of Europe (including the island of Gavdos, Greece) lies north
of 34.8 degrees. I grew up at 33.8375 degrees north.
- Mandy posted a link to a story about someone at the University of
Toronto who claimed to have had a breakthrough in erasing specific memories
from the brains of mice. The idea is that rape victims could be relieved
of their traumatic memories, etc. Mandy was outraged and wondered whether
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was
coming true. I have a fair amount to say about this topic —
where do you think the Jewels of Anopt in Evil
Creatures are going? — but right now, let me just go on
a frivolous tangent:
What if you could get your memories of your favorite works of art
wiped? You could watch your favorite movie for the first time all over
again! Listen to some amazing records that you don't remember
having listened to a thousand times already! Of course, you might learn
that you like them more for your associations with them rather than for
the works themselves...
- latimes.com fire map:
...is that a volcano?
- Lisa Maxwell posted a link on her Twitter feed to
a clip from Guitar Hero 5 showing off one of the featured songs:
"Smells Like Teen Spirit." One problem, though... that's supposed to be
Kurt Cobain? That's Scott Lucas in a blond wig! Seriously, what did the
developers use as source material,
Local H's 1997 Halloween show at the Double Door?
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