Thursday, 15 August 2013

By on August 15th, 2013 in science kits

09:50 – Mid-August and it’s currently 61F (16C) outside, with the highs over the next few days to be in the low- to mid-70’s (~ 22C). That’s more like October or even November weather for us. No let up in the rain, either. We’ve had 3+ inches (7.5 cm) since last Saturday, and the next few days have more rain in the forecast. A cool, wet August is very unusual for us. Usually, we’d be baking, with high temperatures in the 90’s or even triple digits, and worrying about the drought.

I’m still working on science kits. Today, I’m packaging some of the chemicals for that state virtual learning AP Chem order. For some reason, the AP Chem manual specifies a lot of anhydrous chemicals. The problem is, a lot of anhydrous chemicals are hygroscopic, which is to say they suck water out of the air to hydrate themselves. Many are deliquescent, which is to say they’re so hygroscopic that they’ll continue sucking water out of the air until they have enough water to go into solution. You can actually watch this happening with many anhydrates: pour some into a weigh boat on the balance pan, tare the balance, and watch the mass increase as the anhydrate sucks water out of the air. Trying to package these anhydrates while keeping them anhydrous is no fun at all. And it’s a losing battle.

47 Comments and discussion on "Thursday, 15 August 2013"

  1. Chuck W says:

    Fall colors should be spectacular out East this year. We have not had much rain here in the Midwest since the middle of July, but recent temps have been more like summer in Berlin than summer in the US. No one had (or needed) air-conditioning in Berlin. Even when we had days into the 90’s, nights always got down into the 50’s, and building walls are so thick that it insulates one from any daytime heat. Pilgrims wrote about the harsh US climate, and they weren’t talking just about winters.

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Out east? That’s an interesting construct. I think of “out west”, “back east”, “down south”, and “up north” as common usage.

    Barbara and I are watching One Tree Hill, a “teen drama” that was filmed in Wilmington, NC and set in a fictional town somewhere near there. Last night, three of the characters drove up to New York City, but one of them referred to the trip as “drove down”. I’m trying to imagine any Southerner referring to a drive to NYC as “down” rather than “up”.

    Incidentally, although OTH is a pretty good series, it gets my vote for the worst-ever theme track. It’s loud, annoying, and “sung” by Gavin DeGraw, a guy whose voice makes Dylan’s look classically trained. I don’t know what on earth made them use it for even one episode, let alone for the first four seasons.

  3. MrAtoz says:

    Here’s the Amazon link to a home learning book from Cool Tools:

  4. Chuck W says:

    I think of anything north of Florida as the East; East Coast as NYC; never used the term Down East, but a lot of people around me did when we lived in Boston. I always thought of Pennsylvania as the East, but having now had family live there, they say the natives think of it as the Midwest. Of course, there’s nothing West about Midwest and I always thought it strange that Minnesotans think of themselves as the Upper Midwest.

  5. Lynn McGuire says:

    Is there a dearth of grants and scholarships for young ladies going into STEM colleges? I have a acquaintance of mine who is having trouble getting money for his daughter in Washington state. He has even resorted to cyber begging (as he calls it):

    “Speaking of her and her pursuit of a degree, here’s a little plug for an Indiegogo project we set up about that…
    So is that trying to be creative when we’re short on funds or is it just cyber-begging? I guess it depends on one’s perspective. Naturally would prefer to have never been in the position to consider it in the first place. :-/”

    My reply:
    > A girl in STEM should be able to qualify for all kinds
    > of grants and scholarships? I am assuming that she has
    > applied all over the place?

    His reply:
    “I’d thought so too, but almost nothing came through for her, and nothing specific to a STEM degree. My other daughter, who is going into her last year of college and is also pursuing a science degree, did a little better in her first year but not by much and, if I remember right, also didn’t get anything specific to STEM. When we went through the orientation this summer they indicated that field-specific scholarships are more likely for juniors and seniors. I don’t know if we’re just not looking in the right places or if there just aren’t as many scholarship opportunities as we expected.”

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Probably the latter. The goals of financial aid programs nowadays are:

    1. to suck the parents completely dry
    2. to make as little as possible of the aid in the form of grants and as much as possible in the form of loans, which the parents are also responsible for (see 1.)

    The real reasons men dominate the sciences are:

    (1) extremely bright people are overwhelmingly male. Once you get out to the genius+ range of IQ, men outnumber women by 1,000:1, 10,000:1, and more, depending on how far out to the right you’re looking. This is an inevitable result of the fact that sigma for women’s IQ scores is significantly smaller than sigma for men’s scores.

    (2) Very few women are mathy. Of the many women I have known, I can count on one hand the number who were truly comfortable with any math more advanced than integral calculus and differential equations. Women often do better than men at high school level math, but in university and grad school they are no longer competitive with the mathy guys. This is also reflected in the percentages of women with terminal degrees in the various sciences. The harder the science–in the sense of mathematical rigor–the fewer the women. There are lots of women biologists, many fewer women chemists, and women physicists are extremely rare, as are first-rate women mathematicians.

    It probably also has something to do with the fact that men’s and women’s brains are wired very, very differently. Men tend to be interested in things that interest women little or not at all, and vice versa.

  7. MrAtoz says:

    I started a UTMA for my twin daughters for college when they were born. They just turned 18 (seniors in HS) and their accounts are worth about $45,000 each. Not enough for a top school all the way through, but enough for UNLV (Vegas) if the want. I knew the student loan/scholarship programs would suck.

  8. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who are professors at colleges and universities ranging from state schools to top-ranked private schools. One thing they are all pretty much agreed on (although for obvious reasons the expensive private school professors don’t say so publicly) is that for undergrad it usually doesn’t make much difference where you get your degree. How much a kid learns at undergrad level is much more a function of the kid’s intelligence and work ethic than the ranking of the college. It’s at the grad school level that people start paying attention to which school granted your degree.

    There are some exceptions, obviously. I’d probably hire a BS engineer out of Cal Tech or MIT before I’d hire one from a state university, but the exceptions are mostly in the hard sciences and engineering. Same thing for a kid who wants to get into a top-ranked science or engineering grad program. He or she may get in with a degree from Winston-Salem State University and decent test scores, but it’d be a lot surer with an undergrad degree from Duke or Wake Forest or wherever.

  9. OFD says:

    When I was serving my sentences at grad schools in MA and NJ twenty or more years ago, it was amusing to see that the comparative literature departments were 100% women and the physics departments the opposite. I, of course, was mainly surrounded by women in the English department with some overlap to comp lit. Interestingly, though, when I took a course in medieval philosophy at Rutgers, it was all guys. It was an amazing course, too; grad-level PhD candidates in the field and little old me; taught by a Jewish professor, it covered Christian, Jewish and Islamic philosophy and theology of the period between 800-1300 AD. Some mind-blowing concepts, too.

    Speaking of mind-blowing; we got the news late last night that our son’s young sister-in-law shot herself to death yesterday up here. I don’t have any other info yet but needless to say, whole families are shocked and bummed out. I know she was adopted and that she’d had an abusive and awful childhood before that; last saw her this past winter down in South Royalton while we were unloading a car full of groceries; she’d told me she was bummed by the series of shitty part-time jobs and other crap and I told her that things would get better eventually. Guess not.

  10. MrAtoz says:

    My condolences Mr. OFD. It’s always sad when someone takes their own life when so young. I’m sure the family is devastated.

  11. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that, Dave.

    There are obviously times when suicide is the best choice–someone with terminal cancer suffering agonizing pain, for example–but I have never understood why people kill themselves to escape temporary problems. I guess the young woman must have been suffering now and assumed that she’d be suffering for the rest of her life. It’s very sad.

  12. OFD says:

    Mrs. OFD just called me; apparently the girl got ahold of whatever firearm at her adopted mom’s house early last night, before dark, and had in years past been out hunting with her mom’s estranged/divorced husband, her adopted dad. Mom’s bf heard what sounded like a shot, allegedly, and found her in the woods near the house, deceased. That’s all we know; I told wife we can’t assume it’s suicide yet, although that seems pretty likely due to her state of mind for the past year, allegedly having gotten worse, and more volatile. Could have been accidental discharge if she tripped or whatever but of course that’s grasping at straws.

    Another factor is that two other kids at her high school down there (southern VT on NH border) have killed themselves recently.

    So we have, currently, one sister driving down there today from Cabot, VT, a pretty good haul, and another one flying up from Paris Island to Boston where son will pick her up today and then they’ll drive up to the mom’s place in White River Junction, mom having been hysterical last night. Son will change places with DIL because somebody has to stay with our grandkids in MA. Wife is asking her employers to try to get somebody else for next week’s gig in Alabama, but it’s not immediate family and not utterly crucial, so we shall see. I emailed son and told him to let me know if I can do anything; so we’re all kinda hanging here today.

    Chances are either wife and/or me will be going down to take care of our grandkids, whom the deceased used to baby-sit.

    The girl was a good, decent young kid who’d been through the mill pretty badly and must have just given up and despaired. I am familiar with how bad that feels. Some of us carry on anyway and then we eventually learn that all the shit passes at some point, but she never got there.

  13. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    What a shame. Not just about her, but about the other kids. Suicide used to be extraordinarily rare among young people. Now it seems to be common. Perhaps we just hear about it now and didn’t before, but I suspect the rate has actually increased significantly over the last couple decades.

  14. OFD says:

    Yeah, I think the rate has gone up; twice as many people now for one thing; and awash in constant media, not much of it in books anymore. And I’ve heard more stories in the last few years of how nihilistic the public school system has become and the bullying and psychological pressures that kids face. I also have a niece in high school down in MA who has suffered from the bullying and ostracism and a subsequent eating disorder and my brother and SIL have struggled with it for years now, with therapy, counseling, etc., etc. And if it isn’t guns they get hold of, easily enough one must admit, since there are half a billion to a billion, some of them not very well controlled by the owners, and they’re determined to kill themselves, they can easily do it.

    The mind-set seems to be one of utter despair; that there is no hope; and there is no one for them, no one who cares. A typical refrain is “I have no one.” But the girl yesterday had a boyfriend who just recently gave her a pile of roses, seen on FB. And three sisters who adored her. And extended family who would have gladly bled for her, including Mrs. and Mrs. OFD up here. What else can ya do???

  15. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Not a thing.

  16. Chuck W says:

    Add my condolences, please.

    In my experience, women seem more prone to give up than men. I have personally known (not well) 2 women who did themselves in, and many others who have significant problems coping with what seem to me as the ordinary, everyday obstacles of life that cannot be avoided. I think all of us here have had a shitty job, but you just keep moving, and eventually one comes along that is less shitty than previous ones, and finally, you decide to make the best of one of them.

    The women in my life have always seemed to intentionally cause problems by setting themselves up for a fall. Both wives purposely quit jobs before having something else to go to (without even looking for something to go to before quitting), although #2 was much more resourceful in finding the next gig. Daughter just came to blows with her roommate, and as a consequence, she must vacate by 1 Sep, and she has not even looked for an alternative place. Geez. Don’t piss off your roommate to the extreme until you have another place to go. How difficult is that to realize?

    Plus, women always seem to want a flowered path with no problems whatsoever—and I mean none WHATSOEVER. Even bees land on flowers with no nectar; they just move on to the next, they don’t shoot themselves. In my experience, if a man has a job he doesn’t like, at least he has enough curiosity to come to work every day and learn something, until he finds a better situation. Women (at least the ones I know), just say fuck it, I ain’t puttin’ up with this, and end up getting nothing whatever out of the job.

    I remember when my daughter got her very first paying job in a kitchen store at the mall during high school. She complained to me that all they did was spend every day moving stuff from the back of the store to the front, and from the front to the back.

    Why? I asked.

    She had no idea. Then you aren’t learning a damned thing from that job and you will be worth no more (she frequently complained about her low wage) to the next employer than you are to this one. Men and women are radically different and it is a wonder they can live together at all.

  17. OFD says:

    True, all that; and my own experiences with women over the decades have been eerily similar. In this case, the shitty jobs or no jobs at all was not the sum total of her issues; she’d had a miserable abusive childhood and then in her adopted family, the mom and dad split up quite acrimoniously and actually came to near blows at one point and they got restraining orders on each other; these are our opposite-number grandparents. So the one relatively stable family she finally got to also broke up, with the divorce thing, and then with her sisters growing up and getting married and having kids themselves, thus moving away. So now adoptive dad is gone, sisters are gone, mom has a new bf and by the way, mom, our opposite-number grandma, is a real wack job who thinks her shit is ice cream, to put it bluntly and coarsely, as is often my wont, sadly.

    No further idea on the girl’s recent mental state and what caused it or any other specifics at this point. She just gave it all up and cashed out at not even 18, I think.

    “Men and women are radically different and it is a wonder they can live together at all.”

    There it is.

  18. SteveF says:

    I sympathize for the surviving relatives. Not so much for the girl. Unless you have a serious chemical imbalance or brain tumors or something so that you can’t comprehend reality or can’t control impulses (emphasis on “can’t”, contrasted with “won’t”) I don’t have any sympathy for someone who kills herself because life is hard.

    That said, pardon the following unsympathetic question: If a teenager is messed up to the point that he or she seriously considers suicide, is it better if he or she does it or does it usually work out better if he or she is talked down and grows up and contributes to society? I used the atrocious “he or she” because I’m sure there are sex-based differences. I know it’s not uncommon that a man who goes on a killing spree had considered suicide when younger. I’ve heard similar about women who kill their own children but haven’t been able to find statistics. I’m guessing this is well-nigh a forbidden topic for research, though I’ll admit that’s just a guess based more on cynicism than knowledge.

    As for what Chuck said, I agree with most. In particular, women in the US by and large want the effortless, painless path to happiness, with happiness meaning “I want what I want when I want it”. I don’t have enough global experience to know whether this is true of most women in all cultures throughout time, most women in not-totally-male-dominated societies, or just the modern US. Women (at least in the modern US) are much more inclined than men to bail out of a job or a relationship that hits a low point. It’s easy to guess that this is because they know the courts will side with them against their husbands and US society is much more tolerant of a woman who doesn’t have or can’t keep a job. As above, though, I’m guessing this is a forbidden topic for research, especially given that most sociologists are women.

  19. OFD says:

    I was just considering some of this earlier; and thinking of how hellish it is right now for surviving immediate family down there, and not a damn thing they can do about anything, other than try to comfort each other. No idea what the cops have found out yet, either. As for the girl, I believe she did have some kind of med issue and was on meds, in addition to all the other shit in her life, previously.

    I’d guess there are a bunch of people who’ve had suicidal thoughts or actually made half-ass attempts but eventually got over it and grew up and became decent, productive people, albeit with perhaps more sympathy/empathy for others so afflicted.

    Agreed on all too many modern U.S. women and what they expect and want from life, from what I’ve witnessed over the decades, including my own immediate family. Not so with Mrs. OFD, though, who came up at least as hard a row as Mr. OFD. (our childhoods were good; but early adulthood was nightmarish for both of us.) Not true, either of MIL, who at 85 still drives herself twelve hours to northern Noveau Brunswick or down to Florida and moves furniture and paints pretty good pictures and otherwise is sharp as a tack; former teacher and guidance counselor in Glens Falls, NY public schools, circa 1950s and 60s.

    Wife should be calling soon with latest griff. (they’ll all call her out in Wyoming after she’s had a fourth day of very intense training, but not me just up the fucking road here, go figure).

  20. OFD, my sympathy. I’ve been through it with cousins – more than one. It used to be that suicide was much more common in men. Also that firearms were the tool of choice for men, with other violent means following; whereas women much more often chose drugs, poisons, or slit wrists. Not sure how that all looks now.

    As an aside, I wonder if what seems to be a growing occurrence of suicide is related to the growing expectation that society is going to collapse? Oh, not a direct cause-and-effect, but that something triggers an attitude which causes both? Certainly, we seem to have a growing nihilistic attitude. We no longer appear to believe that society is advancing – that we are learning more and progressing mentally and materially. I assume that suicide is much more longer to be carried through at some low point if you believe that you have nothing significantly better to look forward to. I can understand that, I guess. I’ve been there myself, but I reasoned that I could make sure of it, or I could try for an improvement. That either my future was in my hands, or I could ensure that it was totally out of my hands.

    There’s also the growing failure to believe in a future beyond physical death, of course. If you believe in life after death you’ll have an incentive to go forward. If you don’t, then just pulling the switch can seem logical at a low moment.

  21. OFD says:

    All sounds about right to me, Don. Much of what the kids her age seem to be dealing with is nihilism, in the schools, in the media they pay endless attention to, and I don’t know how many have reasonably strong religious beliefs anymore. By strong I mean something beyond Unitarian or Congregational or Rosicrucian.

    A firearm in this case because her adoptive dad had taken her and her sisters hunting a few times, I guess and the mom, though estranged/divorced, must have had at least one in the house and the kid knew where it was and how it functions. Unknown at this point what role the mom’s bf had other than finding her in the woods.

    I’m pretty familiar with firearms but don’t think I would use that method on myself if I wanted to be absolutely sure of dying. Seen too many incidents where it didn’t work.

  22. Miles_Teg says:

    When I was in upper high school (age 15.5-17.5) there were three classes of “smart” kids, 2-3 of middle of the road kids and 2-3 of “dumb” kids doing art, biology, classical studies and even lower ranked subjects.

    By some miracle I got in to one of the three “smart” kids classes, probably because I insisted on doing both physics and chemistry. I was talked in to doing only a single unit of maths, one of my all time worst mistakes that I regretted within months. The difference was amazing: the kids were quiet, studious and smart to brilliant. Some of the kids in my classes were mentioned in the state-wide exam honours lists for being first or second in the state. (Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of them.)

    In Year 11 we had to do six subjects. English was compulsory for everyone (it put me to sleep, literally) and the smart boys took physics, chemistry, two units of maths and one other arts type subject. Very few smart boys didn’t take all four STEM subjects. The smart girls were different, almost all of them took two units of maths but they took biology as well (and neither physics nor chemistry), which I considered a dumb kids subject. I suspect that this was so that they could take more arts type subjects, like history, geography, and foreign languages.

    In Year 12 it was harder to generalise. Only five subjects were done in Year 12, and most of the smart girls dropped down to single unit maths so they could take extra arts type subjects. Mercifully, from my point of view, English was no loner compulsory. The smart boys almost without exception continued with physics, chemistry, double maths and an arts subject.

    At Adelaide Uni the hard science and maths subjects had more males than females, but there were quite a lot of girls (25-40% of the class, I would guess) and some of them were fearfully smart, even at third year level. But most of the very best maths students were male.

  23. Miles_Teg says:

    Sorry to hear about your family’s loss Dave.

    Most of the suicides I’ve known have been guys. In Year 11 a classmate died and the boy I sat next to said he’d hung himself. (A girl in that class died of leukemia in the same year.) In the year end school magazine the girl’s death was reported factually, the guy’s death was reported quite ambiguously, which made me think it must have been suicide.

    In 1983 an elder at my church in Adelaide committed suicide, the whispers were that the union was making life hard for his small business.

    Most of the other cases have been guys too. I don’t know if they are representative of the general population. I do think that males respond better to knocks to their self esteem better than females. On the other hand, a brilliant co-worker in the Eighties was said to be contemplating suicide because he’d been strung along by a woman who only pretended to be interested in him. One of my friends told me to be very careful what I said to him as it was thought anything might set him off.

  24. brad says:

    @OFD: All the best during a difficult time. I think you nailed it: as a teenager or even young adult, today’s difficulties look insurmountable. It takes experience to realize that bad times do end. Sad that she didn’t make it far enough to understand that.

    @Chuck: I had a similar discussion with my oldest son, when he had his first job helping out in a child-care center. His supervisor was pretty inexperienced, and about 3-4 months into the job my son was just totally frustrated. His supervisor kept jumping on him, because “he wasn’t cleaning the table well enough” and other small shit.

    After a meeting with the supervisor, where I discovered that she (a) was very inexperienced in her role and (b) she had never worked with a guy, much less a teenage guy before – plus know my son’s character, the situation became clear. His supervisor was almost certainly having to tell him every little thing to do, and he was making no effort to understand the “big picture”. I had to explain to him: it’s not about cleaning the table – it’s about understanding what’s going on, taking responsibility, and doing whatever needs to be done without having to be instructed. Man, the light bulb that went on was blinding, and the problems completely went away.

    Still, they didn’t offer him a permanent position. As Chuck says, men and women are very different, and no where is this more apparent than in their approaches to child care. My son will entertain the kids with pillow fights, races, and rough-and-tumble games. Need I say that the kids – especially the boys – love this?

    Meanwhile, the clucking hens who have never seen a guy doing child care, are in the back quietly freaking out. If he sticks with this career, he’s going to have some tough times…

  25. Ray Thompson says:

    A few days ago I had to make a trip to the ER for some heart issues. Aside from the annoying procedures what struck me as odd were the questions. One in particular stood out from the usual drug usage, checks for needle tracks etc.. They asked me if I had any thoughts of suicide. Why would I come to an ER for heart issues if I was thinking of suicide? On the report the hospital mailed me there was indeed my response about suicide and the physicians assessment of my mental state regarding suicide. Is suicide now that big of a problem?

  26. brad says:

    @Ray: That’s just really weird… Hope all is well with the ole ticker?

  27. Chuck W says:

    Oh, those questions are to satisfy the lawyers. When I go to my cardiologist, the nurse asks me a whole series of about 20 questions. Never had one about suicide, but you can be assured that the question has arisen because of some connection in a lawsuit somewhere between heart problems and a suicide.

    Actually, in the last 4 years I have been doing video work for lawyers, as the medical field has moved from handwritten charting to computer, they have tried to systematize every aspect of healthcare. I cannot say I disapprove, because ‘med mal’ is 90% of the video we handle; almost every case results because somebody somewhere in the process did not catch something they should have. Assessment—especially after surgical procedures—has become overwhelmingly important.

    Expect more, not fewer questions as time goes on.

  28. Ray Thompson says:

    Hope all is well with the ole ticker?

    It goes back many years, about 40 to be approximate. Started missing heart beats, at least that is what it felt like. Went to a private hospital then on to a VA hospital (a real dump) because I was held captive under an enlistment contract by Uncle Sam. Begged to go home so I was let free to see the doctors at my main base.

    Diagnosed as a myocardial prolapse. Lived with that for 35 years. Then my primary physician recommend a heart stress test, radiology testing sonic testing on the heart because of my age. Just to get a baseline. That test found no problems including a completely misdiagnosed condition that I lived with for 35 years.

    The condition that should have been diagnosed is premature ventricular contractions. Really annoying. Feels like your heart is stopping. Had a bad spell at night, enough to wake me up. Since the cardiologist had indicated I had no problems I figured I should make a trip to the ER.

    Hooked up to an EKG and the ER doctor watched several incidents. He made the diagnosis and said there is nothing that can be done. I am going to die. He also said it is not dangerous and I should not worry about it. Sent me home.

    I will, however, suffer a stroke when I get the bill from the ER as my crappy insurance will not pay squat as I have not met my deductible. Even then the insurance company always finds some way to not pay. “Oh, you missed the small print, bottom of page 835, we don’t pay for ER visits on months that end in ‘Y'”.

    Expect more, not fewer questions as time goes on.

    I think I answered about 50 questions on this visit. What if you are really in trouble? Do they wait to treat until all the questions have been answered?

    Many of the questions had to do with drug use and sexual preferences and partners. The usual check of the arms and between the toes for needle tracks. The questions about having thoughts of suicide were really strange I thought.

  29. brad says:

    Well, of course, we’re all gonna die – nobody gets out of here alive. At latest with the heat death of the universe.

    EMTALA – the law of good intentions that has thoroughly screwed up emergency rooms everywhere. Drug seekers faking crap in hopes of getting some free narcotics; people who think the emergency room is the place you go when you have the flu, because its free (for them, anyway); people who just want someone to talk to – and the medical people have to treat them all equally. I expect the questionnaires are just an attempt to put some kind – any kind – of speed bump in place.

  30. Ray Thompson says:

    Well, of course, we’re all gonna die – nobody gets out of here alive.

    While we are on the subject, a person I know that is associated with my organization (Tau Beta Pi) has been issued a death clock. He was the parliamentarian at the annual convention. He has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and was told he has about two months to live.

    Sounds terrible. However, you now have a finite date for the final journey rather than the uncertainty. Imagine if you will the possibilities.

    Take that big expensive trip without concern for cost as you can blow all your money without having to save.

    Buy that weapon and shoot some people you have always wanted to shoot that you felt needed shooting. Climb the fence at the white house, piss on the capital steps, threaten an airplane while riding on the plane. Test drive that expensive Mercedes, and keep it.

    What is the judicial system going to do to you? Sentence you to death? Already been done. At least in prison you get free medical and meals as you no longer have any money from the big trip you took. And you won’t be in there for long anyway.

  31. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Sounds like that movie, God Bless America. I thought it was very good, worth four of five stars; Barbara wouldn’t watch it.

  32. Lynn McGuire says:

    Huh. The last time I was in the ER with heart problems, two years ago thank goodness, they just hooked me up to a heart monitor and asked me how long my tachycardia had been ongoing. The only other question was about the medicine I was taking. Nothing about illegal drugs. No checks between my toes or fingers for needle marks (ugh!).

    I go back to one of my cardiologists next week. We get to talk about having heart surgery again. I am so excited! NOT! If I had continuous afib or tachycardia, I would be all for it. But since I have already lost the back side of my heart muscle to an attack, killing more heart muscle in a ablation surgery does not sound like A Good Thing ™.

    I have learned over the years that all procedures are compromises. They fix one thing and break another. My heart ejection fraction is just 53% as it is right now. I would hate to see that drop and my heart get even larger.

  33. brad says:

    Buy that weapon and shoot some people you have always wanted to shoot that you felt needed shooting. Reminds me of some random blog entry I read, suggesting a “Zombie Army”: Terminally ill people should be the ones to fire the first shots in a new American revolution.

  34. OFD says:

    Or old farts like us. Whoops. Like me.

    Meanwhile, on the national infrastructure security front, LOL, we have this:

  35. Alan says:

    Need to add a wireless card to Windows 7 desktop based on an Intel G33 ATX motherboard – what brand(s) have people had the least issues with that they would recommend? Thanks.

  36. Ray Thompson says:

    what brand(s) have people had the least issues with that they would recommend

    Just about any of them should work fine. I have used Rosewill from Newegg (cheap, three antennas, $15.00) with no problem. In marginal signal areas there may be some differences between cards and you may have to pay more.

    Dual band card:

  37. Chuck W says:

    What if you are really in trouble? Do they wait to treat until all the questions have been answered?

    Being the curious type, I pay attention to what people say during my work (other videographers pay no attention whatever to what is actually going on). A few things I have learned is that most people think they are in grave trouble when they are not anywhere near such a thing. Self-diagnosis is highly unreliable, and gets worse as one gets past 65.

    And here’s the deal about all those questions: rushing in and doing the wrong thing, really can kill or disable you (I have been involved in cases where that happened), so taking time to make sure the diagnosis is correct is better than the alternative.

    Both docs and nurses today are highly-trained. They don’t miss the important signs of a truly serious problem where time is of the essence. Believe me, if you come in with numbness in the arms, they will be rushing you into ICU with perhaps a crash cart as fast as is humanly possible. Everybody in the ER will be helping you and abandoning others.

    There IS a procedure for every alternative. If you cannot answer the questions, they have measures for that. And the questions branch—if you answer one way they may go on to the next topic; if you answer another way, there may be more questions to probe that topic deeper.

    Every conceivable hospital is involved in our work, and I know that inner-city ones deal with different issues in the ER than suburban ones. My guess is that wherever you went, that place handles more drug problems than you might imagine. In Indy, the poorer sections of the city have more drug issues than suburbia; you would think it would be the reverse, based on who has money for drugs.

    …people who think the emergency room is the place you go when you have the flu, because its free (for them, anyway)…

    Oh, this is reality for the US now—it certainly is reality around me. My elderly uncle had chest congestion that was getting worse, not better, and his doctor would not make room to see him, but told him instead to go to the ER. Docs don’t want work outside of the office these days, nor do they want to work beyond 9 to 5 weekdays, and many don’t even work that much. If you got sick and called your doctor and wanted to see him today, I’ll bet his office would tell you to go to the ER.

    Here’s an exact situation I had. Occasional stomach cramps; seemed worse at night. I thought it was just irregularity—and in the end, that is exactly what it turned out to be. On the third day of pain, I called my family physician. They could not make room to see me for another 6 days. If it stays the same or gets better, wait for the appointment, was their instruction; if the pain gets worse, go to the ER. The ER has become the place that screens patients for the doctors, not the other way around. It is the first line of examination for every ill nowadays, not just reserved for real emergencies. Just try and get a doctor to see you in less than a week. It does not happen (around here at least). That’s why everybody goes to the ER for the flu—because they would be over it by the time the doctor worked them into his busy schedule. Such a change this is from when I was a kid and the doctor came to our house to see me. I hardly ever saw the inside of a doctor’s office, because they did house visits whenever I got sick. Boy, we’ll have none of that going on these days.

  38. OFD says:

    Just a quick point; we’ve had either no insurance at all or shitty insurance in the last few years up here; and Mrs. OFD had to hit the ER twice, due to falls from her horse, and I had to go twice, once for a mind-blowing toothache where I couldn’t function, and once for severe asthmatic bronchitis and could not breathe and started to have chest pains and numbness; the latter case had me whizzing through the ER and being treated instantly. The relief it was to breathe again made me as giddy as a schoolgirl puffing on her first doobie.

    The bills for my two visits, at two different ER’s, came to a total of around $3,500, which they began hounding us for immediately.

    So a visit to the ER, with inadequate or no insurance, will cost you.

  39. SteveF says:

    Such a change this is from when I was a kid and the doctor came to our house to see me.

    Used to be that you were the doctor’s customer, the one that paid them. Nowadays, doctors in practices work for the insurance company or the government. You’re just the work product which allows them to be paid by their customer.

  40. OFD says:

    This may well change in the next few years; we may go back to docs and nurses and PA’s making house calls but they will have to be paid in cash or bonafide specie or in trade right away.

  41. SteveF says:

    “In trade”? You mean like the pizza guy delivering to the apartment with the three hot chicks? And why do I hear bawm-chicka-bow-bow?

  42. OFD says:

    What filthy minds inhabit this blog! Gee whiz!

    No, maybe the doc can give a shot of whatever to somebody in trade for some eggs or a gallon of fresh milk if the folks don’t have the current fiat currency on hand. Or piano lessons for his kid.


  43. Lynn McGuire says:

    This may well change in the next few years; we may go back to docs and nurses and PA’s making house calls but they will have to be paid in cash or bonafide specie or in trade right away.

    I have 79 year old friend who is a prostate cancer survivor. He had his prostate killed supposedly at MD Anderson’s photon gun six years ago. Lately he has been having some problems again and called his oncologist for a exam and PSA test. They told him that he just had a PSA test five months ago and that he cannot have another one for seven more months due to “the rules”. He volunteered to pay for the test and the exam and they told him that under Medicare rules, they cannot accept money from him. So now he is looking for a place that does not take Medicare so they will give him a PSA test.

    This is just wrong, especially when he is willing to pay cash. I told him to go to the MDACC emergency room and ask them to check him. I told him that he has nothing to lose. Any other ideas here?

  44. Lynn McGuire says:

    once for a mind-blowing toothache where I couldn’t function

    So what did the ER do for you?

    So a visit to the ER, with inadequate or no insurance, will cost you.

    Only if you have assets that they can take.

    This whole system is going to collapse under Obummercare. Of course, that is what they want. Me too, I HATE being in the middle of my employee’s health insurance decisions.

    That said, I want to be excepted from the death panels.

  45. OFD says:

    For the toothache they gave me antibiotics and pain relievers. By the time those ran out, the pain had mostly gone and I got by with Aleve and Tylenol.

    We have assets they can take.

    Yes, the whole system will collapse, and not just health care.

  46. Miles_Teg says:

    “Such a change this is from when I was a kid and the doctor came to our house to see me.”

    When I was a kid in the Sixties I remember our family doctor making a number of house calls to treat me.

    In the Eighties I once, somehow, managed to talk my GP in to seeing me at home when I was too sick to go to the clinic.

    I wouldn’t bother now, I’d just call an ambulance if it was really really bad and if not go to the no appointment GP farm where you just wait your turn. Sometimes that can be quick, another time I waited 2.5 hours and still didn’t get to see a doctor by 10 pm closing time.

  47. Alan says:

    Recommended if you live in one of the cities they serve:

    If not, try this for booking online appointments:

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