9/27/2009

Someone Actually Paid For This….

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 9:28 am

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, July 1, 2009.

A retrospective case study from The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University titled:

The Effect of National Football League Games on Small Animal Emergency Room Caseload.

Really.

Four veterinarians all with board certification in multiple specialties. Huge numbers of hours spent reviewing case files, doing statistical analyses, writing, reviewing, and submitting their article to the leading veterinary journal in the country and it’s about effin’ FOOTBALL? Not even football in general, but the 2007 season for the New England Patriots (now granted, the Patriots apparently play at a stadium that is close to the Tufts University veterinary school, but still….) They even mentioned that the football season in question was “particularly exciting for the New England Patriots, as the New England Patriots completed the regular season undefeated, which is a rare event.”

Someone thought that putting the money forth to do this study was worthwhile. The authors apparently thought that the time it would take them to do this study was worthwhile.
And since their major conclusion was, and I quote,
“Findings of this study indicate that popular professional sporting events, particularly in geographic regions with a dedicated fan base, may affect the caseload of a veterinary emergency room and that staffing alterations may be warranted.”
it makes me wonder if the funding for the study was from the NFL.

The article does cite a study done in Great Britain about admissions to pediatric emergency rooms. Apparently on weekends that new Harry Potter books have been released there has been a significant decrease in admissions because all the kids are home reading Harry Potter instead of outdoors “participating in more potentially reckless activities.” Also the authors did cite a study done about the effect of the full moon on admissions to veterinary emergency rooms (full moons increase veterinary ER visits which we in the community have been noting for a LONG time). So I did get some useful information out of this article, but still…..

Yeesh. I’m glad I’m not required to actually read EVERY study that’s published in JAVMA.

9/23/2009

I’m In Ur YouTubez, Elevating Ur Discourz

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 10:36 am

My Dad sent me this link today, and I think I might have peed myself a little:

9/19/2009

That is *just* not something you see every day

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 3:04 pm

See, I thought my mother in law was the Costco queen.
Joan does regular Costco runs to the warehouse closest to her and will fill a cart to overflowing which generally fills the back of her mini van. When we were in Hawaii in June and Joan was preparing for the onslaught of all five of her children, four in-laws, two kids, three rats, and a dog all under one roof, the Costco haul was two and a half carts, the back of the mini van, and some of the back seat. It was a pretty serious Costco run.

I was making our own monthly warehouse shopping run this afternoon. Saturday isn’t my favorite time to go to Costco, but that was the way it turned out this time and so I had to face the crowds. The Southcenter Costco has, of course, a proportionately large Costco sized parking lot and I always try to park near the back because it’s easier to find a place to park and I don’t have to deal with the nonsense of people cruising the aisles looking for the spot closest to the door. I’d rather walk, rain or shine, than deal with the idiots who are willing to wait for upwards of 10 minutes at a time while someone else fills up their trunk just to avoid having to walk a few more steps. I take it as a sign that I’m living my life right when I can manage to get my shopping done and checked out well before the yahoos that waited to park closer to the door manage to do so.
Parking philosophy aside, this afternoon I parked well back in the back as I usually do. Since this particular Costco is right up against the Tukwilla section of the Green River trail there are frequently people parked back there who aren’t Costco customers. Campers and RVs aren’t uncommon. When I got back to my car with my haul, at some future point I’ll probably wax philosophic about purchasingingredients versus purchasing food, I did notice the oddity of a bus in the parking lot. A big bus. Like a charter sized bus. Unusual place to want to bring a bus, I thought, but since I wasn’t driving it, what the hey. I guess bus drivers have the right to sit and watch the river go by on their lunch break just like everyone else.
Except….
Except, the bus had all of its cargo hatches open.
And once I got closer to it I noticed that the cargo holds were mostly full of…. Costco purchases. Just then the second wave of people with laden carts came down the parking lot and started emptying their carts into the bus.
A charter sized bus, with a big Boeing logo on the back as it turns out, with 12-15 people of Asian heritage and absolutely BULGING with Costco merch.

Now THAT is a Costco run.

9/16/2009

Well, That Was Interesting….

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 12:01 pm

In the midst of the unholy shit-storm I’ve been facing at work for the last three months or so, I decided to drop my Internet Service Provider, Zhonka Broadband. Once a fine, fast and friendly team of wireheads offering competitive, high-quality service, they seem to have dropped off the map completely. I can’t get anyone to answer an email, no one ever picks up their phone, and their voice mailbox—terminally full and unable to accept messages—no longer even features their company name. I get the feeling that, as a business, they are just barely holding their shit together, spiraling in towards an inevitable crash of downed name servers and a padlocked NOC full of equipment set for auction. I don’t know that, because I don’t know anything at this point. However, having smelled smoke, I have no intention of waiting until I feel that burning sensation.

So after much shopping around, I went with a residential DSL line from Qwest. Their proprietary caching equipment means that I get nearly a megabit of upload speed where another ISP could only offer 256k. (Someday I hope they’ll upgrade the equipment out here and I’ll be able to bump up to 7 or 20 mbps. And yes, yes, I know I could get “blazing fast Internet” were I to go with Comcast, but I would never be able to run all the services I want out of my house with their throttled, port-blocked Tinker Toy Internet service. I also kind of hate them.)

And just to make my life a lot more complicated, I decided that in addition to running my own Web server, I would now also run my own mail server and, in order to “simplify” (!) my control over both Web and mail servers, my own name server. Needless to say, this particular branch of the decision tree was a) grievously more complicated than I had anticipated and b) hella grievously more complicated than I had anticipated. It was only after having moved over to my new DSL circuit, reconfigured my routers, set up my DNS zone file and configured my mail server settings that I realized—well, was given to realize by a friend much more experienced than myself—something very very important: I was not going to be able to send anyone mail because I was not properly set up for Reverse DNS. Every time my mail server sent out a  message, the recipient’s mail server would politely ask Qwest’s global DNS servers who I was. And instead of replying “why, that’s mail.uncle-andrew.net”, Qwest would say, “oh, that’s anonymous douchebag Qwest customer number blah blah blah.qwest.net”. At which point the recipient’s mail server would yell “PSYCHE!” and drop the connection.

It is at this point that I would like to really talk up Qwest’s DSL Technical Support Department. They are open 24/7, and are just a toll-free call and a moderate number of asinine voice-prompts away. Within about three minutes of calling I was on the phone with a very helpful technician who, once she got it through her head that I really was running a mail server out of my home and not just using the wrong terminology to describe my problem (and oh, can you even imagine how many times these poor folks must have to wade through a sea of misused technical jargon and overheard buzzwords to figure out what the ignoramus on the other end of the phone really wants to do?), she promptly modified Qwest’s top-level DNS zone files to include entries for my mail and Web servers. They did this for me, a baseline residential DSL customer with nothing better to do with his time than complicate his life and theirs. Frankly, I’m extremely impressed.

I’m still working out some of the bugs, but things seem to be pretty stable at this point. Another week without any problems and I’ll be sending my former ISP a “Dear Zhon” letter. So now I can sit back, relax, and get back to neglecting my reading public in favor of my crushing workload. Stay tuned!

9/6/2009

With Apologies To Cute Overload For The Plagarism

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 9:07 am

But I’ve really got to put this to a vote.

According to scientific designation, baby mongoose are called pups.

I vote no, however. Really, baby mongoose should be called mongoslings.

9/1/2009

A Public Service Announcement

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 6:21 am

Those of you who are pet owners, pay attention.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR PETS’ TEETH!

I am less than 24 hours out from having an impacted and quite possibly infected wisdom tooth extracted and I have to say that my mouth hurts less now than it has in the last three weeks. That doesn’t have anything to do with the amount or type of pain medication I’ve been taking. The oral surgeon gave me Vicodin (hydrocodone and tylenol) for after surgery and I’d been taking Percocet (oxydocone and tylenol) before surgery. Both relatively high dose narcotic pain medications of approximately equal strength mixed with an almost completely useless compound that isn’t really an anti-inflammatory. I’d also been snorking down ibuprofen in as large a dose as I could take at a time.

What, you ask, does all this babble about pain medications have to do with your pets’ teeth? Well, I’ll tell you.

Dental disease of varying degrees is the most common health issue I see in my patients. This can range from teeth that are only a little grungy to teeth that make me gag (literally, I’ve had patients whose mouths make me gag and for me that’s a neat trick). The good pet owners listen to me about how important dental health care is for their pets. The most common excuse I get from the irritating (that’s the nicest thing I can say about them) pet owners is “Well (s)he’s still eating so I don’t think the teeth are bothering her/him. We’ll wait to do anything about it until (s)he stops eating.” or “It’s just a dog/cat, don’t their teeth fall out when they get old anyway?”
Wrong.
Wrong, wrong, wrong wrongity wrong.

I am at a point in my career where I have enough personal experience with my own pets and literally thousands of patients that I can point to specific examples as leverage to convince people that they really need to provide the care that I’m suggesting for their pets instead of the care that (pick one) Dr. Google, their breeder, their groomer, their nephew’s cousin who used to work for a vet (as a shit shoveler), their farrier’s friend who knows a lot about animals, etc. etc. etc. (and yes, for the record, I have had clients who offered each of these examples of people who are “experienced with dogs and cats”) suggests.

Now I have personal experience myself with whether or not bad teeth are bothersome. They are, they hurt, and having them taken care of makes a big difference in your quality of life.
So take care of your pets’ teeth. If your critter will allow you to brush them, DO IT. If your critter won’t let you brush their teeth, pay attention to your veterinarian when you’re told that something needs to be done. A reasonable appetite doesn’t necessarily mean that your pet’s mouth doesn’t hurt.

Now y’all will pardon me while I go take more Vicodin and snork down something soft and squashy before I go to watch Bugs Bunny cartoons with my cat. :mrgreen:


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