I will never understand people.

Filed under: @ 8:52 am

I saw a patient yesterday, a 2 year old beagle. We’ve been seeing said beagle and her brother their entire lives. And for the past 18 months we’ve been telling the owners: “Your dogs are fat. You need to control their diet or they’ll just keep getting fatter. Here’s a diet plan for them, follow the diet plan and your dogs should be fine.”
We’ve given out diet plans, we’ve given out charts mapping the dogs’ weights, we’ve given out free bags of diet food and measuring cups to go with it.
Yesterday the female weighed in at 45 pounds. A beagle her age and size should weigh 25 pounds at the most. 20 pounds would be ideal.
Yesterday the male weighed 56 pounds. That’s an appropriate weight for a full grown black lab. A beagle his age and size should weigh about 30 pounds.

And I said flat out: “Your dogs are grossly obese. If they continue at this rate they might live to be five years old, but I doubt it.”

I gave them a diet plan, a simple piece of paper that lists how much food to feed each dog and how frequently. I didn’t give them another bag of diet food because I know for a fact that they didn’t follow my recommendations the last time so there’s no point in me wasting the money to hand them another bag of food when it’s not going to do any good.

It’s hard for a person to restrict their diet. In the first world we have free will, enough money, and overample resources enough that dieting is a billion dollar industry in this country.
How hard is it for a dog to diet? If one person is in control of what the dog eats, even if it’s a whole family of people responsible for what the dog eats, how hard is it to come to an agreement that the dog eats only what is recommended? The dog doesn’t have any say in the process and certainly doesn’t have the resources to do anything about it if they don’t like it.

When it’s been made as easy as is possible for you, when you have gotten a freebie as a starter, and especially if you’ve been told that your dog is going to die if you don’t modify their diet why not do it?
Hubris? Stupidity? Stubbornness?
I know people aren’t reasonable, but sometimes the sheer unreasonability of my species overwhelms me.


You know you’ve gone too far….

Filed under: @ 9:06 am

When Mr. Sulu calls you a douchebag.

Oops! Sorry! Broken link.

Try this one.



Filed under: @ 8:36 am

Snow day, snow day, SNOW! DAY!

It took me two hours to drive the 10 miles from Renton to home last night. It took Andrew 45 minutes to drive the 2 1/2 miles from the airport, where he was picking up Shawn, to home yesterday afternoon.

When I got home yesterday evening I called my boss, she had asked me to call and let her know that I got home okay, to tell her that I politely declined to do anything like that again anytime real soon. Our practice is at the top of a very steep hill which isn’t enough of a major thoroughfare to be plowed, but which is enough of a major thoroughfare to be extremely busy. There’s an alternate route down off of the hill, but that routes me through downtown (such as it is) Renton and onto 405 to get home. Which is the route I took home last night. I did just fine, my trusty all wheel drive did me proud. No, it was the rest of the world that was flat out terrifying.

Nope, nuh-uh.
Ain’t doing that again.

I rather suspect that the practice is closed today anyway since, well, none of the staff and very few of the clients will be wanting to attempt that drive.

Me? I’m staying home. I’m going to shovel snow. If there’s enough of it I may make a snowman. I’m going to clean the house, and make macaroni and cheese for dinner.

It’s been a long time since I had a snow day. 😀



Filed under: @ 9:08 am

Seen the Kohls’ new “after Thanksgiving Day sale” ad on TV? I couldn’t find a link to it or I’d post it, but no big loss.
Basically it’s a well made up woman prating about how wonderful the Kohls’ sale is going to be. But what got my dander up, which is quite a trick for me at 0630, is the phraseology of the ad:
“American women are defined by three small words ‘After Thanksgiving Shopping’!”

Okay, speaking as an American woman I would like to hereby state that I am not, in any way, shape, or form, defined by shopping at ANY time of the year to say nothing of the Black Friday lunacy that happens at malls and department stores across the country.
And Kohls? Just for the record I find it offensive in the extreme that you are willing to define each and every individual American of my gender as the stereotypical mid-50’s middle class June Cleaver type who is so slaveringly dedicated to getting the best bargains first that she’ll be at the doors of your store at 0300 (really) this Friday just to get her Christmas shopping done.

Sure, Black Friday lunacy isn’t anything new (riots over Cabbage Patch Kids anyone?), but it’s getting worse. Stores open at midnight, people trampled to death in the rush to get into stores, and the little gem that I read on Fark last week about this nutjob who has been camped out outside a Florida Best Buy for the last TEN DAYS just so she can hold her place (and places for some of her family) in line.

Craziness. There is NOTHING that I could imagine being that important to ANYONE that would make putting up with, to say nothing of actively participating in, this sort of mass hysteria worthwhile.

Friday November 26th is National Buy Nothing Day.
At the very least I’m going to be staying at home. In an attempt to minimize my purchases of natural gas and electricity I’m going to sleep late and go to bed early (or maybe I’ll just be taking advantage of a rare day off, you never know 😛 )
Eat leftovers. Read a book. Put up your holiday decorations, shovel snow.
But please help restore some sanity and don’t go shopping. Especially not at Kohls.


Um… you’re kidding, right?

Filed under: @ 8:47 am

I was at the dentist’s last Thursday to have my teeth cleaned.
The dentist in Bellevue.
The dentist that knows that I drive from Normandy Park to Bellevue on what has got to be the winner of the “hideous local freeway” award.
The dentist that knew that I was on my way to work, back along the same hideous freeway, right after I was done having my teeth cleaned.

For some reason my dentist checks blood pressure on her patients.

And so the DUH moment of the week….
Dentist: “Wow, your blood pressure’s really running kind of high, is that normal?”


Food Fright, Part 25

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 6:00 pm

If you own a television you’ve no doubt seen these gawdawful things being advertised incessantly thereon as of late.

The burning, itching, swollen-and-accompanied-by-painful-discharge question that most readily comes to my mind is, how galactically, mind-crogglingly bad must a pizza be before dipping it into a plastic tublet of ersatz Ranch or (insert your favorite quantity of question marks and/or exclamation points here) “Polynesian” sauce sounds like a good idea?

Some food combinations just naturally complement each other, at least for the plurality of Western palates. Pasta and cheese. Seafood and freshly-squeezed lemon. Peanut butter and jelly. Anything not actively toxic and Nutella. And certainly, pizza is itself a prime example of the synergy of certain foodstuffs, a magical congregation of flavors, textures and aromas that has proven wildly popular for so many people. But unless you are a member of a very specialized minority in this great big gastronomic rainbow of diversity that finds anything and everything—from sashimi to sloe gin fizzes—improved by the addition of ranch dressing, there is simply no getting around the fact that a pizza only benefits from the application of same if it was a very, very poor specimen of the genus to begin with.

Using this line of reasoning, every can of Miller Lite should come with a free packet of “Flav-R-Crystals” one might elect to add, to make the stuff taste like something a bit more palatable. Like Rustoleum.

Round Table’s tagline for many years now has been “The last Honest Pizza”. How honest can your pizza possibly be if you need to slather it in something else in order to fix it?

Cheap bastards probably don’t even use fresh Polynesians.

How Do You Listen?

Filed under: @ 9:07 am

So we were watching Elvis Costello on The Colbert Report last Friday.
Elvis performed a song off his new album National Ransom.
As the song concluded Andrew noted “Well that was a bit of a change for Elvis Costello.”
I asked him what he meant and he replied that the song was more upbeat in general than the majority of Elvis Costello’s works.
Now ignore the fact that, despite what Andrew says, I wouldn’t know an Elvis Costello song if it came up and bit me on the ass, I realized that I had no idea, absolutely NONE, what the recently concluded song was about.

It’s no big revelation that Andrew and I have different tastes in music. My interest in much of what is popular peaked about twenty years ago (and I’ve got some ideas about the correlation between my beginning to ignore popular culture and my beginning graduate school, but I’ll leave that alone right now), Andrew has kept up in trends and in bands and is far more aware of any music than I am.
But how could we have both been in the same room, in the same quiet, low distraction room listening to the same piece of music and have come away with far different experiences?

I think it has a lot to do with our tastes in music.
When I listen to music, especially a new piece of music, I listen…. Well I listen to the music. It takes a long, LONG time for me to be able to parse the lyrics to be able to follow the story, as it were, of the song. If the actual music of the song is unappealing I won’t have a chance to understand the story that the musician is telling. A quick glance at my CD rack shows a lot of The Beatles, Joan Armatrading, Eurythmics, Peter Gabriel, They Might Be Giants, and almost the entire Steeleye Span collection.
And so my tastes in music run towards the upbeat, the simple, the bouncy, the regular of rhythm, or music that is sad and tragic, but has instrumentation that makes it appealing for me to listen to.
Which is, I think, why I have absolutely no interest in rap or hip hop. To me music in those genres sounds like a bad Saturday night in a cheap apartment complex and I can’t listen long enough to get interested in what the musician is commenting on or the story that they’re telling.
The same for punk, heavy metal, and country. There’s just not enough about the MUSIC involved in these pieces to make me listen to the lyrics.

I won’t make any comment on grunge. I don’t like grunge because I hate Nirvana and I hate Nirvana because I lived next door to those over amped little freaks one year at Evergreen when I was studying molecular and cell biology, and organic and biochemistry all at the same time. To me Nirvana is inexorably linked with biochemistry, cell structure, mitosis, and SOO-sie and I will never be able to shake that. Enough ranting.

I have a friend who can’t stand ANYTHING classical. To me that’s like hating vanilla. How can you dislike something that is so patently unoffensive? But I guess she’s listening for the song, or for the story and I’ve got to admit that there’s not much story involved in classical music. At least not any story that’s easy to pick out of the music.
So do you listen to the song or do you listen to the music? And what music do you listen to?


Electoral Ponderings

Filed under: @ 9:27 am

Listening to NPR this morning we were, of course, treated to a large volume of election coverage of one type or another. One story in particular struck me.
In the last – maybe – 20 years voting in person at one’s local precinct has become far less common. In this particular story the reporter was interviewing several people at an early voting site in Ohio. Some were voting early to avoid the election day crowds, some were voting because they had other commitments on election day that would keep them from being able to vote, a couple were at the early voting site only because they had driven friends who were voting at the early voting site, but who planned themselves to be at their local precincts voting in person on election day. The excitement of the environment of the precinct voting was what these people were after.
And it occurred to me to wonder.
I’ve almost always been a mail-in voter. When I was a child I’d occasionally go with my parents to their local precinct when they went to vote and I have to admit, it was cool with all the official election paraphernalia, the voting booths, etc. And I’d do it as an adult except…..
Except that voting by mail is much more convenient in that I don’t have to get up early on election day, get ready for work early, then drive to my local polling station to stand in line to wait to vote and risk being late for work.

When did a privilege, a duty of a free adult living in a democracy, an OBLIGATION to my country, my fellow citizens, and myself, become a nuisance? Something that you HAVE to do.
One of the voters at the early polling station that was interviewed on the NPR story was saying “I wish there were some way to make it easier. Maybe some day people can vote at home somehow — like on their computers or something.”

I have a boss who would absolutely be understanding and supportive of my tardiness if I were late to work because I had been voting.
Legal or no, I wonder how many people don’t? Especially those disenfranchised voters working low wage high turnover jobs. I wonder how many don’t vote because they can’t risk their job for a process that might matter, in however small a fashion, to them, but doesn’t matter to a working environment that only sees people as a function of their attendance and their production?

I don’t think voting should become easier. I don’t like the idea of changing “Election Day” to “Election Season” (GOD forbid this process gets drawn out any longer. I swear, one more campaign ad and I’m going to slit my wrists!). Our parents, our grandparents, our great grandparents (or, in my case I’m old enough that only my great grandfathers) wouldn’t have blinked at the idea of missing work, rescheduling appointments, or doing whatever needed to be done to be able to cast their votes.
I don’t think voting should become easier.
I think voting should become more important.

Happy Election Day everyone.


Apropos of Nothing

Filed under: @ 9:03 am

By the 42nd week of the year that Andrew and I both turned 42 I recorded 42 inches of rain in our rain gauge.

Scanning through my recent spam quarantine, I’ve noticed trends.
For several weeks I was getting spam advertising cheap “Rolex” watches.
For the last month it’s all been variations on a theme of “Something Hideous About Your Tax Return” and “UPS Package #1234567” both from very official looking .gov and UPS.com addresses.
The past seven messages I’ve deleted out of my spam quarantine (in the past two days for the record)?
I wonder how long this one is going to last.

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