More words I can’t leave alone

Filed under: @ 6:12 pm

Reading medical journals is often a crap shoot. Sometimes what you get is interesting and immediately engaging, sometimes it’s a bloody bore.

Three words I picked up on a recent troll through a half stack of the Journal of The American Veterinary Medical Association.
(Note, please, that, like a stack, a half stack is a metaphysical measurement of things that you know you gotta, but don’t necessarily wanna, read. The actual number that comprises a stack or a half stack varies depending on how many of the item there actually are and how much, or little, you actually want to read them.)

I’ll give you the first because there is no way on earth that y’all will be able to work backwards through the etymology of it and come up with any sort of answer.

A gossypiboma is a sterile, benign, inflammatory mass that forms within an abdominal cavity around a retained surgical sponge.
Isn’t that a great word though? Isn’t it just like the medical establishment to have come up with an actual word for something like that? I’m the first to admit that mistakes happen, but it sounds so much more official and so much less “Oops! THAT wasn’t supposed to happen!” when you have a cool word for it.

The next two are related and you are going to have to work through the etymology of them to come up with a definition.

Major word nerd cred attaches to those who can come up with definitions without resorting to a dictionary, a thesaurus, or Wikipedia. Parents might, and I emphasize the might, just have a little edge over those who aren’t parents.



Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 11:27 pm


Early Tuesday morning, a medium-sized dump truck backed up our driveway and delivered a cord of mixed hardwood. We don’t typically heat with wood—though if we have another verdammt middle-of-the-winter power outage we may change our minds about that—but we do have a spanking new fire-cum-barbecue pit in the back yard, which we intend to use as a replacement for our venerable “two army-issue broiler pans filled with charcoal sitting on cinderblocks” arrangement at our various and sundry holiday grillvaganzas.

Fire Pit

It took me about five hours to move and stack the wood along the east side of the house, setting a leisurely pace so as not to cause my spine to explode, sending me shrieking across the sky on a contrail of suddenly-liberated synovial fluid. Later on, I thought to look at the stills from our driveway surveillance camera, and what I saw there gave me a hum-dinger of an idea.

So here, for your amusement, is a time-lapse of my log-haulin’ Tuesday, set to the musical stylings of Yello’s Tied Up! It’s a toe-tapper, and safe for work, so turn those multimedia speakers up! 🙂

[flv width=”640″ height=”480″]http://www.uncle-andrew.net/blog/movies/woodpiler.flv[/flv]



Filed under: @ 12:46 pm

Keyboards really need a sarcasm font.

So The Saga of The Elbow continues. Plain ol’ tendon pain has progressed, despite truly epic amounts of ibuprofen, to little zingy pains along the dorsum of my left forearm that extend to the tips of my center two fingers. Sometimes when The Elbow is in a real snit I get cramps in my left forearm and a line of twangy pain along the line of the triceps. And DON’T talk about touching my elbow itself, to say nothing of bonking it. Do you know how many times a day your elbow bonks against things?
LOTS that’s how many.

And I grant, I’ve not been good about “resting”. But how can I rest one half of what my job requires all day every day? I could take time off of work, but with only eighty hours of paid vacation time (thirty hours down for the year), another forty hours of sick time (ten hours down for the year) and nonrefundable tickets to Hawaii in December taking up all of the rest of those available hours….
Yeah. Unless I decide to activate my disability insurance and take myself off of the payroll for however many weeks (and I AM considering it) a lot of time off of work ain’t gonna happen.
A year when the business contracted from three doctors to two, a year where we’re only JUST getting our heads above the water in which we found ourselves at the end of last year is NOT a good time to have half of the income generating capacity for the business down an arm.
And the spring and early summer, smack in the middle of prime garden time (not that there’s been a lot of good garden weather) is NOT a good time to expect me to sit around the house. Everywhere I look there’s stuff that needs to get done. AIGH!

I can’t walk because swinging my arm makes my elbow hurt and walking any distance with my arm in a sling makes my right shoulder and my neck hurt. To say nothing of chafing. Yikes!
I can at least ride the recumbent bicycle which we’ve recently installed in the family room. Even that will make my arm hurt some though because the arm rests (the “handlebars”) are far enough down that I have to have my arm in full extension to be able to reach and that, yep, makes my arm hurt.

So I snork down ibuprofen, and add ice and a cat when I can and I bitch a lot. Sorry about that, but I’m not, as I’ve mentioned before, a patient patient and forced immobility makes me cranky.

I have, however, started with acupuncture which at least made The Elbow more comfortable. Whether or not it’ll be any long term use remains to be seen, I’ve only been for one session, but it’s a place to start.

Anyone want an elbow? Only slightly used.


How can I leave this one alone?

Filed under: @ 7:36 pm

One of my VIN buddies (a colleague with whom I interact and chat online) posted a story this morning about an emergency call that he got over the weekend.

A woman called him, rather out of the blue, she wasn’t a client but he is one of the few people in his area that does house calls.
Him: “Hello?”
Her: “Um, hi. Is this Dr. X?”
Him: “Yes.”
Her: “Oh good, listen, I was hoping you could come out to my place and dart my beaver.”

What’s better, of course, was that she was serious.


Lew Sends

Filed under: @ 5:52 pm

Things have been fairly placid chez us simply because neither of us have had any major work crises.
Work is placid, or at least has been placid, therefore minimal ranting gets done. Minimal ranting equals boring blog fodder I guess.

I’ve got the garden mostly planted, tennis elbow bedamned, the only bits that are left are some onions that I’m hoping to get in this week and the black beans which won’t go in until the weather heats up a bit. Say when hell freezes over the way things have been recently.
I’ve even got flowers in bloom in the flower bed out front. Very exciting since I don’t really know what I planted there and I’m enchanted to see the changes day by day.
Some day when I empty the photos off of the current memory card I’ll go out and take photos of the garden.

I had a lovely birthday, thanks. On The Day I was off work, got tomatoes planted, got a massage, and then Andrew and I took the Link (we’ve started to refer to it as “The Yay! Train!”) downtown to have dinner at Ruth’s Chris (mmmmm, big hunk of COW) then we wandered up a few blocks to see a taping of Wait…Wait! Don’t Tell Me! to which we are thoroughly addicted. It’s great to watch live and we came out with the most popular current schwag, a Wait Wait reusable grocery tote. It’ll go great with my Car Talk reusable grocery tote and it was a very convenient way to carry my cow leftovers. Dude taking tickets at the door to the Paramount had the…gall? Nerve? Chutzpah? Hope? to tell us that we couldn’t walk in with the leftovers. Um…. Thought we just did. I think he was maybe hoping that if he told us we’d have to toss them that we’d hand them over in an attempt not to waste food. And since none, not ONE, of the dozen or so other Paramount employees with whom we interacted that evening mentioned anything about us carrying a little discrete plastic bag with “Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse” on it, the more I think on it, the more I think I’m probably right about the ticket dude scamming for leftovers. Tough titty ticket dude. That was a spectacular chunk of cow and even though the “sauteed wild mushrooms” were actually sauteed Agaricus spp. (Andrew says they were criminis) there wasn’t any way he was getting the leftovers away from me.
Anyway, Wait Wait schwag. Right.
It was funny, too, to see the streams of people leaving the theater, all of us identified by the identical blue and white grocery totes. The only other people that were on our train with a Wait Wait bag got off at the Mount Baker station.

Friday I didn’t work either so I spent the entire damn day in the garden. Finished the rototilling, planted volunteer potatoes, planted onions, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, melons…. Pulled radishes, pruned, weeded. A remarkably , wonderfully calming way to spend a day, especially since it didn’t rain on me while I was running the tiller.

We had a small to do here on Saturday. Andrew made me my traditional birthday dinner of shoyu chicken, amongst other meaty edibles, and we had a truly remarkable chocolate mousse cake from Alki Bakery. After the comestibles had been comested we all sat down for a screening of Gamers II: Dorkness Rising. This is NOT a slick Hollywood production, it is NOT well acted, and the effects are done by Magic Marker. However if you have ever participated in, lived in a home with someone who is participating in, or have friends who have participated in, a D & D campaign, it’s DAMN FUNNY. The first time I saw the movie Andrew had to stop it about halfway through because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. Every so often I still get the giggles out of nowhere.
The coolest gift of the day: My brother comes through again.
Last year Matt and Shannon got me a signed copy of Keith Knight’s “I Left My Arse In San Francisco” (with personalized original artwork too! I’m SUCH a fanboy).
This year, despite the scary, scary Disney Princess gift bag (with glitter!), the coolest thing again came from my loving brother. Matt & Shannon got me a towel. A BIG towel. A big towel with stripes. I’ll let you know if the the towel is soaked in nutrients and the stripes are different flavors.

Both kittens (okay, yes, they’re past two, but they’re still kittens dammit) are still wearing flexible e-collars. Flitter’s arm is healing. SLOWLY, but it is healing.
The scratch on Pogo’s belly which he has been licking at would heal if the little idiot would stop finding a way around his e-collar to lick at it. Obsessive compulsive little idjit.

We had the dude out last week to look at the roof and give us a quote on replacing the old, highly flammable shakes that I’ve hated since the day we moved in here. If all goes right we’ll have a (shudder) new roof this summer. Let me tell you how MUCH I’m looking forward to having construction monkeys crawling all over my house pounding and thumping for three days. Every so often I’ll go back and re-read the posts I wrote during our sewer/interior remodel/landscaping ordeal in 2008. And every time I read them I am so profoundly grateful that IT’S OVER! If I wasn’t certain that the bloody damned roof was going to catch fire on July 4th, start leaking this fall, or blow off completely next winter I wouldn’t even contemplate it.
When we were facing moving to the third house in three years back when my Dad moved us from New York to Federal Way and then from Federal Way to Bellevue, my mother told him that if he decided to move again anytime within the following 20 years or so that she was going to fly to Hawaii and he could just call her when it was all done. I’m much of the same mind when contemplating another major remodeling bout. Except that if I buggered off out of the house and hid at my parents’ place until the roof was done I’d have to take the cats with me and Dad is allergic to cats.

And, thank GOD, my review class is over with. This class was one of three review modules offered by my online veterinary addiction (VIN) which are designed to prepare me to take the ABVP test. I don’t HAVE to take the courses to sit the test, but the courses are a good basic review of stuff that may pop up on the test. Study guides, as it were. But time consuming, annoying (people that are excellent medical practitioners aren’t necessarily excellent lecturers), and a REALLY big commitment during the spring and summer when my life is going in thirty different directions at once. I’m not taking the second module (July through September) but I may pick back up for the third module in October. Or I might just go crazy and save myself the time.

But now it’s dinner time, I’ve been sitting at my computer for an hour, and I still need to get my lunch ready for tomorrow, drop down to the grocery for some milk and bananas, and figure out how to attach tongue depressors to the cats’ e-collars so they can’t lick around them, all before bedtime at 8:30.
No, not at all busy right now. You?

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