Saturday, April 30, 2011

UFC 129

I'm gonna say Georges St. Pierre by TKO in the first half of the third round.

Standing or on the ground, GSP will dictate the terms.  That's right -- even on the ground, I give it to St. Pierre.  He's no stranger to BJJ -- if BJ Penn couldn't submit him, I doubt Jake Shields will.  And we've certainly seen him take even talented grapplers down -- at will, with an expertise that's almost casual in appearance.

But it's likely that Shields will be forced to strike with him, making it that much more inevitable that St. Pierre will successfully defend for the sixth time.

Allez, Georges!

As for Randy Couture vs. Lyoto Machida -- I am a die hard fan of The Natural.  That said, I think Machida will take him. 

We adore Nate Diaz here at Marlinspike Hall.  We respect Rory MacDonald, sure... but we love the Diaz boys.  That's right, keep an eye out for The Manor Tag Team.

Enjoy the fights!

Results.  Otherwise known as The Morning After, at least around here, as we cannot afford both car insurance and pay per view.  Actually we can't afford car insurance, but this isn't about that.  Besides, insurance is not necessary in Tête de Hergé (très décédé, d'ailleurs) because accidents don't occur here, but most of us cross the border with fair frequency, and Lord, accidents surely do occur, and with considerable frequency, out there.  Your average Tête de Hergéen will swap her car out for a cutting edge racing bicycle conveniently stored at The Customs Shed -- for which every Patriot In Good Standing has the Master Key.  I opted for a Hot Chocolate Kettler Fly BF, back in the day...


Oh.  Right.

Well, okay.  So GSP looked like this after winning the fight by decision (50-45, 48-47, 48-47).  The most common adjectives being bandied about in description of the effort against Jake Shields are "boring" and "safe."  I have seen a few headlines saying that the left eye injury, sustained in the second round, is "significant," and immediately after the fight St. Pierre said he could only see blurs out of it -- so healing vibes are sent his way.  I was relieved to hear that Dana White said he had "no major criticism" of GSP's performance.  Oh, thank God.  Whew!  Pinhead.

Machida knocked Randy out... and that was purportedly Couture's last fight.  Of course, we've heard that before... In all seriousness, what a great guy, great fighter, and excellent rep for MMA.  And yes, it's time for him to retire, though no one can imagine him gone.

Rory MacDonald beat Nate Diaz to a pulp.  He did a great job whereas Nate seemed slow, predictable, uninspired.  He tried a little Stockton hometown trash talk, to no avail. Well, it may have availed him a couple of supplexes in round three...  MacDonald was controlled and strong -- it's worth noting that he trains now with the GSP crowd in Montréal (recently voted the place where I most want to live the remaining days of my life, but that's another post, I s'pose).

Friday, April 29, 2011

Buddy the Kitten v. CRPS/RSD

Get ready to yawn!

I had terrible trouble sleeping due to an increase in pain, mostly in my right leg.  When I got up, the first difference of note was a little more swelling than usual.  After toodling around for a few hours, the damp spot on my pants started waving at me, too.

This did in my resolve to not look at the leg -- something I do in the name of Perfecting Denial.  If I cannot see it, it does not exist.

Ah well, so the other day when Buddy the Kitten snared my leg with his precious sharp little claw?  He set the development of a small ulcer in motion.  It's seeping what I guess is called lymphatic fluid.

I tend to mimic the opinions and sayings of my cool, Hawaiian-shirted, sandalled-in-December neurologist.  He hates two terms often used by patients when speaking of CRPS/RSD:   spread and flare.  I believe his feeling comes from their use in highly unscientific and medically inaccurate ways.

Yeah, well.  When he experiences pain, drastic temperature change, and major discoloration MOVE from one part of his body to another -- like from the right leg to the left -- then he can pontificate against "spread."

But I agree with him about "flare." I "met" a woman online who claims to have been in a "flare" for some ridiculous period of time -- five years, I think.  All it means to me is an increase in severity of some symptom or other.  Quite frankly, if I focus on the word, I get so distracted by all the pain that I couldn't tell you if things were really worse or just seem that way.

I find it a confusing concept and when I invoke "flare-up" privileges, I feel mostly embarrassment.  But I still do play the Flare Card a couple of times a year but never longer, I don't think, than two or three days.  Seriously, if you are calling something a "flare" that has been going on for weeks, guess what?  It's not a flare...  It's a change.

When I use it, I really am saying:  My pain and discomfort, as well as my ability to deal with them, are beginning to feel out of my control.  I am going to give in to them for a little while.  During this period, please don't hassle me.  I will get back to doing-the-best-I-can as soon as possible.  If you feel I am abusing my Flare Privileges, please just say so.  I will take your opinion under advisement.  Thankyouverymuch.

I wouldn't normally invoke "flare" on the basis of change in one limb but today, I'm gonna.  Part of it all is that because I need to keep this bloated ugly leg elevated to keep down the swelling, that leaves me prone to overthink my overall pain, and therefore to make myself feel worse. 

Lucky me, I've got this insane kitten (and rotating Dobbies and Marmies) who has volunteered to keep me company.  And an Alex Cross murder mystery.  And diet root beer.  (I know better than to bitch about this to Fred... life with me is one long, interminable flare of a different sort, I figure.  And besides, yesterday I managed to destroy a microwave and a coffee maker, which ought to keep him busy as he sets out to replace these household necessities this afternoon.  Bless his bones.)

Again... in addition to trying to gross you out, I also provide these endearing little videos of funky feet and hellacious hands so that people who wonder what CRPS / RSD looks like can know.  Please be aware that symptoms do vary a little from person to person, and that what something looks like doesn't necessarily translate clearly into severity of pain, etc.  If you have symptoms of CRPS, don't put off seeing a doctor who knows what it is -- early treatment is the way to a cure.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday's Catcam -- Full of Woe

Sammy and Dobby

UKBB a.k.a. Little Boy

Okay, so... in my continuing efforts to avoid serious thought, I present an update of The Feline Remnant of Marlinspike Hall.

It's a traumatized Remnant.  We lost the Heart, the Center, of the Group last July when we euthanized Sam-I-Am, whose kidneys failed and who was suddenly stricken with an apparently voracious cancer.  He was such a sweet, intelligent, loving, and hilarious cat.  I miss him everyday.  He was the only Manor resident to be able to read me like a book.


The next unexpected feline death took Uncle Kitty Big Balls from us, just about a month ago. 

A word about how the atmosphere has shifted requires a word about genetics.  UKBB and his sister Marmy Fluffy Butt were two gorgeous homeless cats that Fred began to feed about 3 years ago.  The best guess of our vet is that they were 6-8 months old and abandoned.
When we met them, Marmy was awfully, fearfully, hugely pregnant.  She is really a very tiny girl, a fact well-hidden by her voluminous coat.  Anyway, at the time, we only had Sammy, and I was okay taking one cat in... We decided on Marmy, despite her nearly feral nature and her clear preference for being left the hell alone, because she looked absolutely miserable and other lives depended upon hers being saved.  I tried hard to come to the decision of adopting them both -- but the thought of TWO wild cats and a litter of kittens -- plus Sammy -- overwhelmed me.  Plus, I always tend to believe that others out there are going to do the right thing.  "Surely someone will take him in."  Later, I bolstered my arguments with the notion that he could hardly be disease-free after that much time on the street, and did not want to expose the other animals.  Yeah, I played the public health angle.

She terrorized Sam-I-Am and strategically took over any area that he would have to cross in order to get to his food and his litter box.  Marmy is a real piece of work, quite unaware of how difficult she is to love. 

It turned out that she also lacks any maternal instinct whatsoever.

Fred basically served as her midwife, and had he not been around, Dobby, possibly the most compassionate smarty-panted cat in the universe, would not have survived his own birth.  Dobby was the runt of Marmy's litter of five kittens, and she decided she was done with the delivery process about half way through -- the bubble over her head clearly communicated "Wake me when they are all here -- I need a nap."

It was quite the sight,  Marmy nursing those kittens.  They irritated her to no end... They would, for example, just latch on for a nursing session when she would snarl, get up, and stalk off... dropping valiant kittens every few steps.  The tried to hang on;  She was intent on shaking them off.  I lived in terror of running over a blind, mewling, tiny rug rat with my wheelchair as she scattered them willynilly.  We took over, pretty much, hand-feeding them, keeping them clean, trying not to badmouth Marmy in front of her innocent babies.  Little pitchers have big ears and all that, you know.

Marmy's Litter

You'd think that producing such a great, healthy litter might transform her into a less beastly beast, but no, if anything, she got worse.  And now, poor Sammy was terrorized by the five kittens in addition to Her Fluffy ButtNess.  Sammy was a timid, gentle soul.

Dobby was clearly different, and not just in a runt kind of way.  He was clueless, fearless.  He loved Sammy from the get-go, and seemed to have decided Sammy was more his mother than that Long-Haired Menace we kept returning him to...

Fred promised me before we took Marmy in that he would place all the kittens by 9 weeks.  As the fourth month of their lives passed, I began to take a jaundiced view of Fred and his promises.  Finally, I suffered a nervous breakdown after the bazillionth discovery of kitten piss in my closet and the covers of whatever books I was reading serving as their chewy pacifiers.  "They must go," I cried, as Fred slipped the straightjacket over my head...

He can get me to do most anything, Fred can.  Part of that has to do with loving him and wanting to make him as happy as can be and part of that has to do with me being the most gullible person alive.
Without cracking a smile, he asked, "So which one are we going to keep?"

Although worried about his health and possible developmental problems, we chose Dobby.  Actually, that was also why we chose him, as during our interviews of folks who wanted a kitten, we never found a situation where we felt he'd get the extra nurturing he seemed to need.  (He was just... different.  For instance, instead of searching out Marmy's teats, he preferred to climb her.  It was his favorite activity -- crawling and climbing in the opposite direction of whatever food was being served.  He was *tiny*.  And, we though, although gregarious as heck, maybe a little stupid.  I mean, Sammy, trapped inside his fear of little, clambering things, would knock him into the next week, and Dobby'd come bouncing right back to him, obviously thrilled at having been noticed...)

So we ended up with antisocial, always pissed-off Marmy Fluffy Butt, the intimidated Sam-I-Am, and the always up for a thrill Dobby. 

Fred actually had to carry Sammy to his litter box because Marmy would attack him viciously if he dared to cross the imaginary plane of her territory.  We had to feed him in our bedroom, too.  This went on for at least several months.  It ended the day he pooped and peed in the bedroom and I suffered my second straight feline-induced psychotic break.  Restrained in the Happy Chair, I howled that Marmy's Reign of Terror had to end... and that no one was going to toilet inappropriately from that day forth.

During all this time, Fred kept an eye out for Marmy's brother, still homeless.  He continued to feed him and would sometimes sit out by the moat late at night, talking with him.  They clearly loved each other and I began to feel like the Big Bad Meanie.

The following year, the next April, I was doing my usual spring fling, hanging out in ICU on a respirator, following one of the seven surgeries on my shoulders -- I was beginning to not do so well post op, pulling stunts like coding and refusing to breathe.  I was getting better but still couldn't manage off of the vent, and was very tired.  Fred arrived to visit one evening and was clearly agitated.  I was able to communicate by writing, so I set out to find out what was wrong.  "There is something I have to tell you," he began, grimly.   Honest to God, it crossed my mind that maybe he wanted to turn off the respirator and cut off my nutrition... He must finally have had enough of me...
But the actual "conversation" that ensued boiled down to this:  Uncle Kitty Big Balls had turned up at the Manor in horrible shape, all skin and bones, covered in abscesses and unable to walk on one of his hind legs... and Fred wanted my permission to take him in, permanently.  His timing was impeccable and his performance, flawless.  I was so relieved that he didn't want to "humanely euthanize" ME, that I nodded vigorously and wrote a great big "Okay!" on my writing pad.

(He claimed later that he couldn't read the scrawled "please don't unplug the breathing machine...")

UKBB and I sort of went through a few rounds of rehab together.  He had his surgeries -- I had mine.  He ended up having part of a foot amputated and required complicated dressing changes for his multiple fight wounds.  And yes, he had HUGE kitty balls... but not for long.  Just long enough to earn the Uncle Kitty Big Balls sobriquet.  Mostly, we called him "Little Boy."

Just as his sister Marmy was obstinately feral, Little Boy hungered for affection and almost could not get enough of Fred.  He became Fred's shadow and remained his raspy-voiced confidante to the end.  Me, he liked enough, but seemed to know that I was the one that had cursed him with an extra year as a suffering stray.  He showed me affection when I doled out salmon, chicken, kibble, or catnip. Ours was a utilitarian relationship.  He liked to watch me with Sammy, and learned the ins-and-outs of life in Marlinspike Hall by copying Dobby, his precocious nephew.

I discovered the Magic Spray we add to their food to take the stink out of their litter box leavings thanks to UKBB, as he produced stinky poops that defied description.  Having been undernourished for so long, he dedicated his life -- beyond The Fredster -- to food.  His coat grew back in, thick and luxurious, and he developed a muscular but quite round belly.  He looked not unlike some burly underworld figure who might keep a stogy clamped between his teeth.

So now we had Marmy and her brother, as well as her kitten, Dobby -- and Sam-I-Am, who sometimes looked at us reprovingly, clearly not one of The Family:

Marmy, Dobby, UKBB:  Related?!

It was easy to love the three boys, each with an engaging personality, each craving affection.  Marmy remained an enigma.  Every few days, I had to trap her so as to be able to comb out her matted hair.  You would think I was trying to murder her.  The thought crossed my mind as she hissed and scratched her way through that bonding exercise.  As hard as I tried to introduce her to Grooming 101, she still produced several python-like hairballs a week -- more fun for me, as apparently I am the only human within a 10-mile radius who ever noticed them.

Sammy and Dobby were so tight, it was amazing!  Dobby brought out the kitten in my old guy, and he was often sighted flying through ballrooms and libraries, grinning and skidding around corners, Dobby hot on his heels.  It was a happy time for the two of them and who knew that Feline Hide-'N-Seek had so many rules?  Still, Sammy saved his best for me, and got me through many a long afternoon or night.  He was a large-boned cat but stepped so delicately around my feet and legs that he never hurt me... except when he absolutely had to -- you know, like when it is 5:05 AM and breakfast has not been served.

Dobby turned out to be an angel and we take complete credit for every one of his amazing attributes.  A frequent refrain around here is any variation of Dobby is so wonderful because he's never known anyone but us, never known anything but love...  (I know, I know -- Saccharine Gag!)  He is a mediator and protector, and has a huge heart full of concern for the welfare of others, species be damned.  He can figure his way through, out, or into any physical obstacle.  He opens doors, he turns light switches on and off. He fetches and "sits" on command.  He comes when he's called and if you don't understand what he wants, he will tap the item and then you, in turn.

When Sammy lost his appetite at the end and I was ridiculously frenetic about getting nourishment into his dying body, there were a few occasions when Dobby carefully walked him to the kitchen in the middle of the night, and reminded him how to eat and drink.  It broke my heart.  Sammy would do his best for Dobby.  Yes, I am weeping.  I miss him and loved him that much.  Most days, I would gladly swap human companionship for a chance to be with Sam again.  Let's put it this way, Friends -- I probably kissed that cat more times than I've planted one on my Darling Fred.

After Sammy's death, Dobby went into a depression that he hasn't quite gotten out of yet.  He still strolls the grounds late at night, calling his friend.  He still sometimes has a thought of him and runs to me with questions in his eyes.

UKBB, Little Boy, suddenly went into ketoacidosis.  We had noticed that he was drinking a lot, and decided that we were going to make an appointment with the vet.  He became deathly ill the very weekend we made that decision.  It struck him quickly and we did the best we could for him, got him the best of care, but too late.  We have that guilt and can't get rid of it.  Fred is heartbroken.

A phrase that is antithetical to my nature keeps occurring to me, though, regarding UKBB, and Fred does seem to understand it.  Because of Fred, Uncle Kitty Big Balls had his thirty minutes of wonderful.  Because of him, he knew warmth and care, healing and fun, love and friendship.

You may accuse me of anthropomorphism all the live-long day, I don't care.  To quote Paul Simon, and why wouldn't I?  -- I know what I know.

The day after UKBB died at the emergency vet ICU, I had my first ketamine treatment.  I know now that I wasn't anywhere near as "high" as it seemed then, but I was definitely disinhibited by the experience.  We found ourselves admitting that the hole left by Little Boy's death was too much, and that we each had already entertained the notion of adopting a kitten.  This flies in the face of what's "right" to do, of course.  So we did it -- that being how we came to have Buddy the Kitten.

It's not fair to give an animal (or a child) a "job" to do in exchange for their admission to the fellowship of family... but we have done that, I confess.

Buddy is responsible for comedic relief, for offering his soft kitten fur to absorb our tears, and for cheering the desolate Dobby and the sad Marmy Fluffy Butt.

A word about Marmy.

You'd not know she is the same cat that was so wild and totally insane for... what?  Almost 3 years. She was changed by Sammy's death.  That very same evening, she came straight to me, climbed into my lap, and... stayed.  She chirps instead of meowing, and her inflected bird calls were a strange comfort.  She clearly had years worth of things to say.

For the longest time, she literally attached herself to me, to the point where I almost longed to be catless.  Whatever happened in her self-centered little soul that day has lasted... Well, until we brought Buddy the Kitten home.

We figure he brought back her nightmare of giving birth and being constantly accosted by needy sucking mouths that demanded she put herself last. "I ain't doing this again," read the cartoon bubble over her head.

Below are four (4) cat videos.  Surprise!  You being as smart as you are, they are self-explanatory -- except for the long one, the third one. 

Yes, it makes me laugh out loud!  I went into my tiny "office" in search of a book, and was followed by none other than the aforementioned kitten.  As I turned to leave, I noted several things:

-- Buddy the Kitten was cowering in the corner under a stool, between two bookcases;  and
-- Marmy was sprawled on the rug in the small hallway outside my office, clearly pleased with herself for having trapped the hapless baby while appearing to be all innocence and light to the Dumb Human.

This little scene is repeated over and over all day.  She (innocently) blocks his path, and gets extremely pleased with herself for doing so.  He slinks into a corner, shaking with fear (for she has introduced him to her claws). 

And then, TA DA!  Dobby will arrive and help defuse the tension, often either running Marmy off in a game of chase, or simply escorting the frightened kitten out of the area (and back to me).  It is a HOOT.  He's like a United Nations' Peacekeeper, but more effective.

The other vids are just... stuff.  The day the kitten dedicated to learning how to leap.  Dobby's continual patronage.  Marmy strolling by, exuding oppression.  The usual stuff.

I know cat vids are boring and cat stories more so... but that's about all I can do today.  I have a doctor's appointment to talk about more pain-killing measures and frankly, I keep breaking down and don't really want to go.  The Pity Party will end, I promise.  I'm thinking... tomorrow?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When you forgive someone for bumping into you, do you say anything?

I'm still on my humor kick, and yes, I am aware, thankyouverymuch, that this requires a very possessive pronoun.  That is, my humor is not your humor.

But, Friend, you must not have been here very long, for you've forgotten both the driving question and the pertinent answer behind elle est belle la seine la seine elle est belle --

Whose blog is it, anyway, Darlin'?

Back in July 2009, I amused myself one day by checking out the latest open questions over at Yahoo! Answers.  Logically, that post was titled "The Disambiguation of Pain (produced the Pisan Cantos): A working theory."

I went back to Yahoo! Answers this afternoon to see what was weighing on people's hearts and minds.
Here are some of the current wonders and worries, in the same order that I found them, juxtaposition sometimes being all the charm:

When you forgive someone for bumping into you, do you say anything?
Sometimes, I say something and sometimes I don't. I just let them go like it never happened.

How did structures from histories past end up underground to be found by excavations?

Do they simply sink under their own weight?
Will the same process happen to modern architectural engineering?

What is red crosses phone number?

Im 10 years old and I need to do this project plese help for the sake of death

My 11 week old baby was bottle feeding every 3 hours and having about 5 oz each feed?

and had started sleeping 8 hours. but a few days ago he stopped drinking as much and is now having about 2 to 3 oz every 3 hours . and is still sleeping 8 hours ar night . he's not ill as is happy . do u thinking he has just had a growth spell?

What boy's name goes with these siblings names?

The siblings names are Evelyn Sophia, Amelia Celeste, and Oliver Miles. :) Thank you!

Tips for juggling a soccer/football (feet)?

First of all, I'm completely new to this sport, so if you have any ideas for other exercises I should be practicing, I'd love to hear them. At the moment I'm only working on dribbling and juggling, and once I'm sufficient in those things, I'm going to move on to shooting etc. I don't know if this is a good way to go about learning soccer. By the way I'm 18 and I can't find any clubs or anything near me that would accept my age and skill level. Anyway, in relation to juggling a ball...
I'm having trouble kicking the ball straight up. I've been told to keep my toes pointed, but then it goes flying forward. I've also been advised to tilt my toes slightly upward, but then the ball goes hurling towards my face, and the position of my leg just feels awkward and wrong. I know that practice makes perfect, but if I'm doing it the wrong way, I don't think I'll get better no matter how much practice I have.

Can my parents see what sites I've been to on my Itouch?
They are very tech savvy because my dad is an electrical engineer.... He is suspicious too... (at least I think) Is there anyway for them to see what sites I've been to?
I delete my history, but what about router logging are cookies or crap like that? What can I do to prevent it? Also, my dad has checked and seen savegames on the server or router or watever to see how late ive been up, is that the same thing? or not? My router is an action-tec if it makes a difference... Also I'm on an itouch 3G Like can he see this question? Because I get curious sometimes....

Which type of engineering would suit me the best?
Computer Hardware Engineer

Nuclear Engineer
Biomedical Engineer
AeroSpace Engineer
Environmental Engineering
I love Science and I'm okay at math but I'd be willing to try really hard to get to where I need to be.
Which has the highest pay?
Which is the most in demand?
I live in Virginia and plan to stay on the east coast for my whole life.
Which type of engineer has the highest starting salary?
Which type of engineer comes out of college the quickest?
Which has the best job market?

why does drinking alcohol stimulate sexual feelings in most people? (is this true?)?
how wine differs from beer in this aspect? and how quality of wine or beer adds to this?

What are the negative effects of calea zactechichi?
Im really into lucid dreaming and hear that ca lea z is really good for dreaming. (its a special herb from Australia or africa) Ive been all over the internet looking for any bad side effects to ingesting this plant but have only found rare allergic reactions and rarely occurring muscle swelling. But with a plant that seems borderline hallucinogenic there has got to be more. are there any LONG TERM NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS i should know about.

In trying to decrease my carb intake, what are good replacements for potatoes, my biggest weakness?
I'd like something or things I can munch on throughout the day. Please don't say peanuts, sunflower seeds or almonds, I'm trying to decrease my intake of those as well.

Google toolbar is missing?
Ok. so i log onto my computer today, and notice my Google Toolbar is GONE. but. the little ' X ' is still there, ( like where the toolbar would be. ) I've tried removing, re-installing. everything, that google help has to offer. and nothing works. can someone please help me, on how to get it back?

How can you tell if a dog has a blockage?

A question about commonly spoken French (native speaker)?

Is the ne actually nesessary to negate a sentence?
For example, Alizée has a song "J'ai pas vingt ans" which seems to mean "I'm not 20 years old"
Shouldn't it be "Je n'ai pas vingt ans"?


You're currently signed in as (e-mail address). Click here to sign out, and then sign in to your Outlook Web App account.
it keeps saying that when i try sign into my hotmail e-mail???? please help!?!?

What is a host family?

How long did it take for you to pass your driving test?

How many hours did you do to pass your driving test?

Why is my 16g septum ring so short?

I just got my septum pierced 6 days ago and I was wondering why is it so short. Is there any other septum rings that are longer?

What is the exact name of those hair barrettes....?

hi. What is the exact name of those hair barrettes that have a stick going in through one end and coming out through the other end? Kinda looks like a chopstick?

xkcd: "Circuit Diagram" (Plus Joe Bethancourt's "Faerie's Aire and Death Waltz")

xkcd is a webcomic drawn by Randall Munroe, complete with Forums and IRC Network, Foonetic.

xkcd:  Circuit Diagram

I thought this was hilarious until I read how stupid you had to be if you found it funny.  One commenter in this oh-how-"meh" thread said that it was just the EE version of this, The Faerie's Aire and Death Waltz... which I also find hilarious!  And brilliant.  It's from one of Joe Bethancourt's websites.

Guess I am easy.  I can live with that, especially since laughter truly is the best medicine.