Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dermatillomania and Dermatophagia

I have a history of minor skin picking and biting.

When I was a young boy, I would go to bed at night and then grind the knuckle of my left index finger into something hard, such as part of my lovey, the corner of the pillowcase, or a button, zipper or seam of my pajama. The knuckle quickly developed a blister, which I chewed off during the day. Then, when that formed a scab, I'd pick and bite the scab. I kept that up for years, and it got nasty-looking, so I was always embarrassed by it and tried to hide it.

I'm having a flare-up of this again. It's the same knuckle, the same urge. But now that I know that it's part of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), I'm no longer embarrassed by it. In fact, I'm almost proud of it. When my wife and daughter ask about it, I just say, "That's just noives (nerves)."

As I type this and then pause to collect my thoughts, my knuckle finds its way to the seam of my jeans, at the inside of the knee, to grind some more. I put an adhesive bandage on it this morning to prevent myself from picking at it and biting it. It's really tempting to do that now, because there's a nice thick scab there just waiting to be picked.

I thought I had outgrown this behavior after growing up. But three years ago, when my mother went into the hospital for the last time, I started it up again. After she died, I stopped bothering with it, and it quickly healed.

This current bout started at the end of August, when my father-in-law went into the hospital, also for the last time. He passed away a couple of weeks ago.

So is this behavior somehow related to death?

Do you have a similar compulsion? If so, what seems to trigger it for you?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100929

Wow, is it Wednesday, again, already? I guess so!

Waist = 38.0"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Telegraph, The Typewriter and the Answering Machine

Obsolescence. The more quickly new gadgets become available, the more quickly older ones fall by the wayside.

Phone booths, and public telephones in general, are rare, if they still exist at all. Most people today carry a cellphone1 or, more likely, a smartphone. They have no need of a wired telephone. And since these public telephones are expensive to maintain (and somewhat prone to vandalism) they are being removed.

As GPS devices become ubiquitous, folks have less need of road signs that identify street names. So you can expect to see less of them, too. No, they won't be removed the way pay phones are. But they'll fail to be replaced. They will disappear first along the old, smaller roads that only local drivers are likely to drive on, and that have been subjected to construction. It's probably the current norm in Massachusetts to leave out street signs -- at least that's how it seemed while I attempted to drive to the Great East Festival in May2. In fact it was this trip that compelled me to buy a GPS3 -- something I swore I'd never do.

When we discovered that our answering machine was broken recently, I came up with my latest prediction for obsolescence -- the hanky. No, just kidding. I mean the answering machine, of course. Those same folks who sport cellphones are deciding to eliminate their land line phone service. And the fewer folks that have a land line, the fewer that need a telephone and answering machine. But of the two, the answering machine is more dispensable because you can subscribe to your telephone provider's answering service, which you need a telephone to use.

The answering machine that broke was one I bought in 1992. Back then I chose a model that used ordinary audio cassette tapes. That was because someone in the store pointed out that the cassette tape feature would be handy in the event someone were to dictate directions over the phone. I'd be able to just set the answering machine to record the directions, and then take the tape with me in the car and play it back on the car stereo as I drove. Considering how it was the cassette tape mechanism that broke, and that I never played back recordings in the car, perhaps it wasn't the best advice. On the other hand, I still have the first message that my wife left for me just before our very first date.

You can still find answering machines, of course, but the selection isn't what it was 18 years ago. There seem to be few standalone units, and my brief search didn't turn up any that recorded onto tape (not that I wanted one like that). But if you're hoping to be able to find an answering machine in twenty years, well, let's just say you should buy a few extra units now and stash them away.

Then again, answering machines, street signs and even the odd pay phone might always be with us. After all, decades ago many people predicted that computers would bring about the demise of paper. But as we know, we are still drowning in the stuff, especially around election time.

1 Everyone except me, that is.
2 It might've only seemed that way because I put off buying new eyeglasses and couldn't see the signs.
3 Also, we were planning to drive to Washington DC, and I wasn't going to force my wife to pretend to read a map. It actually was helpful, or at least better than having no clue about which direction to take. And in DC, you definitely don't want to wind up on certain roads appearing to be lost.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dave Barry on Cats

There are no Seeing Eye cats, of course, because the sole function of cats, in the Great Chain of Life, is to cause harm to human beings. The instant a cat figured out that the blind person would follow it whether it went, it would lead this person directly into whirling unshielded manufacturing equipment.

From Dave Barry's Homes and Other Black Holes.

Dream: Dinosaur Head at the Dinner Theatre

I'm with my wife and daughter in a large plain room. We're seated at a table at one end of the room along with others at other tables. All the tables are up against the walls. Our table is the only one against this wall, and a window is set into the wall above us. The window opens into another room, a projector room. The floor appears to be bare concrete. We're here for entertainment, and the show is about to start.

An emcee strolls about the center of the room. He gestures toward our table and says, "Those folks are in for a real treat," insinuating that a lot of scary action will take place near our table. The theme of the show has something to do with sea monsters. My expectation is that the floor will become sea water, and we'll be able to see creatures coming up out of the water.

A large object thuds onto our table as if it came out of the window. It appears to be the head of a dinosaur, a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It's about the size of a pony's head, richly textured, and a sickly reddish-pink hue. It looks so real, too, since the skin seems torn where the head was severed from the body. From my vantage point, I can see a whitish, plastic, ribbed tube positioned from the floor to the underside of the table. It's right underneath the head, so I infer that the head will be electronically controlled and become animated through wires that pass through the tube. I suppose that it will be one of the "creatures" that rise up from the water.

At this point my wife and daughter show their nervousness by moving to another table against an adjacent wall. But I decide to stay at the table. Isn't this what we came to experience?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Revenge Against the Evil Eyeglass Scammers

I've had to wear eyeglasses since I was eleven years old. Back then I was afraid of the kind of teasing I'd get. As an adult, I finally have the self confidence and composure to not worry myself about such silly nonsense. Besides, who's going to laugh at my eyeglasses when they have my pot belly and gray hair to ridicule?

But as an adult I am afraid of the folks who sell eyeglasses. I feel their sole purpose is to profit heavily from my minor handicap. I don't know why I feel this way, unless it's the fact that they do not publish the price of any of their eyeglasses in their advertisements.

Why is it that I can figure out, in the comfort of my own home, how much I will spend on a bunch of bananas, but I have no idea what my next pair of glasses will cost? Whereas every week, three local supermarkets pay for circulars that show the prices for many items, the only kinds of advertisements I see for eyeglasses are those that promise savings of $100 or "Buy one and get a second pair for 50% off." These eyeglass advertisements are accompanied by large paragraphs of fine print that explain that the offer does not apply to certain brands, or children's glasses, or it excludes the cost of the lenses.

Naturally, after you go through the trouble of showing up in the store and selecting frames that look somewhat stylish, you find out that, A, the coupon does not apply, and, B, that the pair you picked out cost "only" $300, and C, that the special lightweight progressive lenses bring the total price up to $600.1 This actually happened to me the last time I bought both frames and lenses from a local Lens Maker store. But luckily, although they did not accept my health insurance, they did offer 50% off to policyholders such as myself. I was still not happy, because I'm a cheapskate who believes that some wire and glass should not cost $300.

It was nearly as frightening and upsetting as when I bought my wife's engagement ring.

So when I got my latest prescription, I was relieved when the doctor said that my eyes changed only one step. Unfortunately he said that last year, too, and I put off getting new glasses back then. I can't read street signs (even when I can find them), so this time I resolved to get at least new lenses for my old frames.

But even getting just replacement lenses is expensive when they're scratch-resistant carbonate progressive lenses. So when I heard on the Clark Howard show that you can get a pair of prescription glasses online for only $8.00, I was very interested. He was talking about Zenni Optical.

Now I know that the local eyeglass provider is a professional that not only sells you glasses, but measures your eyes, adjusts the frames for proper fit, and, above all, tells you most sincerely how marvelous you look in them. I knew I could do without the flattery, and I was pretty sure that I could adjust a pair of mail-order wire-framed glasses myself. It was the measuring part that made me nervous.

You can't just look in the mirror and measure the distance between your own pupils. That's because you have to look at one pupil first to align the ruler to it. Then you have to look at the other pupil to read off the measurement. But in the process of looking at the other pupil, you've moved your eyes, and the ruler is no longer aligned to the first pupil. I could ask my wife to measure my pupils, but she gets physically ill from any activity that involves numbers. She could probably drive on an interstate if the exits were marked with letters or named after edible items: "Exit Bacon Cheeseburger, Right Lane, 1 mile."

So the need to have a pupil measurement was a deal breaker. Reluctant to give in, I carried the prescription around for a few more blurry weeks. I wondered if the Lens Maker store wrote my pupil measurement down in my records, and I could get a copy of it? But actually, they didn't do a good job of it because my two lenses were not aligned to my eyes -- I could see somewhat clearly through only one lens at a time. Maybe I could get my daughter to measure my pupils? No, although she's fine with numbers, I don't think she'd align the ruler properly.

But then I had a brilliant idea! I decided to use my existing pair of glasses as a measuring fixture! I cut a small Post It note in half, and placed the corner of one half on the right lens of my glasses while I was wearing them. I placed it such that the corner pointed to a distant object that I focused on. Then I did the same with the second half of the Post It. After making sure that both corners pointed to the distant object while I gazed at that object, I removed the glasses and measured the distance between the two corners. It was 60mm. Bingo! I was ready to order.

I called up the website and used the guide to help me find frames. I decided to get bifocals instead of progressive lenses -- they're cheaper, and they offer clear viewing over a wider lateral angle than progressive lenses (a fallback in case I screwed up the measurement). Not all frames are compatible with bifocals (or progressive lenses), so that limited my choices a bit. Also, I wanted wire frames so I could bend them easily. I wanted full rims, which are more durable than the rimless lenses that use a flimsy fishing line to hold the lenses. And I wanted them to look fairly good.

Thus I chose frames that cost about $27. With the lenses and two additional clip-on-like sunglass accessories, plus a spare pair of glasses fitted with single-vision lenses, my absolute total was just $72, which, at the local Lens Maker store would've entitled me to not even a single lens.

The order arrived three weeks after I placed it. I was a bit nervous, especially since I did not receive a confirmation e-mail, and the website promised typical delivery of two weeks. In fact, the order arrived on the day I decided to contact them. Nevertheless, I am happy with the bifocals. To adjust them I bent the ear piece to fit more closely behind my ear. And that was it!

If you're as tired as I am of getting ripped off by your local provider of eyeglasses, I would recommend that you buy your next pair online. But I offer some caveats. First, stick with wire frames that you can bend if you need to. Second, be prepared with a set of jeweler's screwdrivers and know how to use them. You will eventually need to snug a screw that holds the arm in place or even the lens in the rim, although I haven't had to do this yet. Three, don't depend on them if you need eyeglasses right away.

1 Or, in New York city, "six hundred friggin bucks."

Shadow Shot Sunday Plant

This is from a tall plant in a small atrium...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100922

Last week I hit the upper limit of my weight range. So now I'm trying harder to resist the temptation of high-carb foods. It helps that after a traditional Polish supper of kielbasa and pierogi, I felt so fatigued that I needed to go to bed at 7:30pm. So when I feel myself reaching for something unhealthy, I remind myself of the severe effect it can have. And I reach for a tall glass of cold water or tea, instead.

And I'm pretty sure that my craving for high carbs is related to the dwindling amount of sunlight we're experiencing in the Northern Hemisphere. I wonder if I can give myself light therapy?

Waist = 38.25"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I came across two great texts on forgiveness last week. They impressed me so much that I want to share them with you. Besides, folks are already making plans for Thanksgiving, even here in the USA where it will take place on Thursday, November 25. So now's a good time to go about forgiving people so that we can get on with what's important -- food and drink. Haha, no, of course, I mean, friends and family. So without further dodo:

The Potato Story...
One day, our teacher asked us to bring to school some bitter potatoes and a bag of plastic. He told us to put in the bag a potato for every single person for which we have hard feelings and write the name on it. And we had to carry the bag with us everywhere we'd go for a week. Some of the potatoes were really heavy and, of course, some started to deteriorate. The weight of the bag proved to me how big was the burden that I used to carry with me everyday in my heart because of all the hard feelings and rancor. I was being cautious not to forget the bag and so I started to neglect things that were more important for me.

This exercise made me think about the price we pay just because we can't forgive something that already has happened and that we couldn't change.

Many times we think that forgiveness is a gift for the other, without really realizing that we are the first who benefit from it. We all wear potatoes that turn rotten in our sentimental "bag". The incapability to forgive is like a venom that we take everyday, drop by drop, and in the end it poisons us. Forgiveness liberates us from the burden that bitters our soul and makes our body sick.

To forgive doesn't mean that you agree with what happened or that you approve it. To forgive doesn't mean that what happened isn't important anymore or that you give right to the one who's hurt you. It simply means to let go all of those negative thoughts that only cause pain and anger. Ghandi said: Forgiveness is the quality of the brave ones. Only he who is strong enough to forgive an insult knows to love.

Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand, “Today my best friend slapped me in the face.”

They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone, “Today my best friend saved my life.”

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone. Why?”

The friend replied, “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then, an entire life to forget them.

Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your benefits in stone.

Let go of any grudges and reconnect with those who are important to you or those to whom you are important. Make plans to be with them this holiday season.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday on the Horse Trail

Took these while hiking on a horse trail near my home....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100915

The effects of nightly ice cream are really piling up!

Waist = 38.25"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dream: Spy Plane

I'm in my living room. I hear a low-flying airplane circling my home. I look for it through the windows, which offer a panoramic view. Finally, by crouching, I can see the airplane -- a large, slow-moving, 4-engine, propeller-driven plane.

I sense that it is spying on me, so I try to hide behind furniture. But I still sense that it can see me, even though I've pressed myself into the space between the couch and the coffee table. It's as if there is no ceiling / roof on the house. So I slide myself under the coffee table. Finally the sound of the plane diminishes, and then I emerge.

I go outside into my home's courtyard. White stone walls surround my home, like a Mexican "abuela"1. Before closing the front door, I check that I have my key.

In some areas of this courtyard, there are sheltered corner-nooks that are formed because part of the outer wall connects to the wall of the house, forming a low roof. It strikes me as a more desirable place to be if that plane were to return. So I decide to settle in / under one for a while with a book.

1 The word "abuela" is offered to me by the dream, even though it translates from Spanish to "grandmother."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday at the Festival

These shots come from the Polish Festival...

Friday, September 10, 2010

BBC Book List Meme

BBC Book List Meme

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How many have you read?

  1. Look at the list and make those you have read bold.
  2. Star (*) the ones you LOVE.
  3. Italicize those you plan on reading
1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien (many times. A star for "Fellowship of the Ring," only.)
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (many times)
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams * (I've read all five books in this trilogy that were authored by DNA, many times)
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole *
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

My score: 22/100

Most of the ones I've read had been required reading for school.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100908

I'm back to drinking coffee to stay alert. I guess I'm eating more for the same reason.

Waist = 37.75"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Notes on the Pain Chronicles

These are my personal notes from The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering, by Melanie Thernstrom....

"There are interesting differences in male and female opioid receptors. (The differences are also present in male and female rats.) There are three types of opioid receptors, most notably mu and kappa; most opioid drugs such as morphine target mu receptors. Few drugs that target kappa receptors have been developed, because early trials found them ineffective. The research, however, was conducted largely on men, and it turns out that women are more responsive to kappa-receptor drugs. One study of a rarely prescribed kappa-receptor analgesic (Nalbuphine) on postoperative pain in men and women ... found that the drug had the opposite effects on the two sexes, ameliorating female pain and exacerbating male pain." - page 175

Writing about a patient named George who scoffed at the idea of taking the anti-depressant Cymbalta, the author describes how he changed his mind when she told him that "antidepressants mitigate pain in rats as well as humans." She writes, "It had not been enough for him to be told that antidepressants effectively mitigate pain in humans, because he believed they worked in the wrong way. But to work for a rat -- that was really working." - page 223

"I used heat therapy with an ingenious product called ThermaCare [by Proctor and Gamble] -- pads that adhere to your neck or back that interact with the air in some way that makes them stay hot for hours." - page 253

Botox is used to paralyze neck muscles in order to relieve spasms that contribute to migraines. - page 256

Omneuron develops real-time functional neuroimaging. One application with fMRI is to help patients learn to lower activity in their rACC, "the part of the limbic system that gives pain its emotional valence. The pain of pain, as it were, is the way it's suffused with particular unpleasantness -- the sadness, anxiety, distress, and dislike that researchers refer to as dysphoria -- a reaction so fierce that you are instantly compelled to try to make the stimulus cease, not in five minutes, not in five seconds, now." - page 313, 316.

Further reading:
The War on Pain, a book by Dr. Scott Fishman

It's Hard Work Behaving as a Credible Patient, paper by Dr. Anne Werner & Dr. Kirsti Malterud, details "the ways in which women with chronic pain symptoms try to discern and comply with the hidden rules of the medical encounter in order to get the help they need. The women described struggling to present their pain in a way that others will feel is "just right": to make their symptoms "socially visible, real and physical" and to achieve "a subtle balance not to appear too strong or too weak, too healthy or too sick." - page 148 - 149

Monday, September 6, 2010

Little Bird

I wished for a ladder.

I crossed the parking lot and approached the building, a Chinese restaurant. I was astounded to find one.

So while my daughter and wife browsed inside the nearby consignment shop, I acted. That was the deal I made with myself -- if there were a ladder, I'd help, because I decided that this was test. To not act was to fail -- it was inhumane. So I set the ladder in place and climbed carefully.

There was not one bird but two stuck in the runny tar, next to a large ventilation unit. But only one bird, the one that I saw flapping from afar, was still alive and struggling.

I had hoped that just its leg was caught. But I was dismayed to find that its right wing was also stuck. I pried it off carefully and climbed down the ladder. Then I tried to figure out a way to hold it without getting my hands sticky as well. But instead I dropped it, and it fell onto the soft grass rather than fly away as I hoped it would.

Now what? I decided to find a heavily shaded area to let the bird rest in. I had water with me, too. So I set the bird down in the vegetation and placed a leaf full of water in front. Perhaps it could gather its strength and survive.

Back at home, I started to have nagging questions about the affair. Was the other bird its mate? Shouldn't I have kept them together? Was there a nest that I couldn't see behind the ventilation unit? The bird I "saved" probably won't survive with its wing disabled with grease or tar -- shouldn't I have taken it to a nature center? Why was the ladder in that spot anyway -- does this happen regularly? Are birds attracted by the grease in that area -- do they often get stuck and then have to get rescued by the restaurant workers? Should I have tried to contact someone at the restaurant?

Then I prayed that the bird would not suffer.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday Olive Oil

I was up late last night after turning off all the lights. I carried a flashlight so that I don't step on a sleeping pet. I forgot something in the kitchen and placed the flashlight on the counter. It created this shadow of the bottle of olive oil.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100901

School's back in session, and so we are waking up before dawn again. The call to hibernate is getting stronger, as is the call to load up on carbohydrates.

Waist = 37.5"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.