March 24, 2017

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of March 24, 2017. Had the 3rd Peritoneal Dialysis training on Wednesday. Part of the training was to do a manual dialysis session. Manually inject the dialysis fluid   … wait 20 minutes, then drain it. No problem injecting   … but after 15 minuets, it would not drain. The catheter was clogged. So   … next Wednesday, Susan’s surgeon will go back in and unclog it.   Disheartening   … but all part of the learning curve.

The miracles of new technology!! (BBC NEWS) — Solar-powered skin for prosthetic limbs. “A synthetic skin for prosthetics limbs that can generate its own energy from solar power has been developed by engineers from Glasgow University. Researchers had already created an ‘electronic skin’ for prosthetic hands made with new super-material graphene. The new skin was much more sensitive to touch but needed a power source to operate its sensors. Previously this required a battery but the latest breakthrough has integrated photo-voltaic cells in to the skin.” Work is continuing on a prosthetic graphene penis enhancement. Unfortunately, developing cell integrated photo-voltaic cells for the enhancement has proven problematic. Apparently, once stimulated, as the enhancement grows in size   … the photo-voltaic cells fall off.

Speaking about sensors: (BBC NEWS) — Fruit-shaped sensor ‘can improve freshness’ “A new fruit-shaped sensor could help cargo companies to keep fruit fresher in transit, researchers say. The device – which mimics the size, shape and composition of real fruit – is packed in with produce in transit and closely monitors its temperature. It comes in orange, apple, banana and mango varieties, and alerts firms to problems with their cooling processes, allowing them to take action. It could also lead to fresher fruit for consumers, researchers said.“ Obviously   … it is important to keep your bananas fresh and cool.

When they talk about the “miracle” of birth: (BBC NEWS) — Sperm swimming technique ‘all down to simple maths’. “ How an individual sperm swims, against all the odds, through fluid to reach the fallopian tubes has been revealed – and it’s all about rhythm. Researchers from the UK and Japan found that the head and tail movements of sperm made patterns similar to the fields that form around magnets. And these help to propel sperm towards the female egg …   When a man has ejaculated, 50 million to 150 million sperm are produced, and these cells immediately start swimming upstream towards a woman’s fallopian tubes. But it’s not an easy journey – there are lots of hurdles to overcome for the male sex cells, which are just 0.065mm in length. Only one sperm can penetrate the woman’s egg and fertilize it, so the race is on. First, they have to survive the vagina, where conditions mean most die. Then they have to avoid dead ends and being trapped before reaching the uterus. On the way there are marauding white blood cells ready to kill them. Finally, the remaining sperm arrive at the fallopian tubes, where they are fed and nourished. But has an egg been released at exactly the right time to welcome the winning sperm? If not, the journey has all been in vain.”  Life is a competition.

Also a problem in our America: parents who refuse to have their children immunized because they believe immunization triggers autism. (BBC NEWS) — Australia considers childcare ban on unvaccinated children. “Unvaccinated children would be banned from childcare centers and preschools under an Australian government plan. Some Australian states already have “no jab, no play” laws, but PM Malcolm Turnbull is calling for nationwide legislation. Health groups have supported the push, arguing parents and the community have an obligation to protect children. An Australian Child Health Poll survey of nearly 2,000 parents showed 5% of children were not fully vaccinated. Mr Turnbull said more needed to be done, citing the case of a baby who died from whooping cough.   “This is not a theoretical exercise – this is life and death,” Mr Turnbull said. “If a parent says, ‘I’m not going to vaccinate my child,’ they are not simply putting their child at risk, they are putting everybody else’s children at risk too.” Vaccinating children is not a legal requirement in Australia, but failing to do so makes parents ineligible for childcare rebates.” A quick “Google” lists an incredible number of studies debunking an immunization and autism link.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings and watching the evening news. For the last 4 election cycles, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016   … Republicans have campaigned on a promise to repeal Obamacare.   They won the House, the Senate and the Presidency with the support of folks opposed to Obamacare … and today, when finally having the opportunity to do so   …   lack the cojones, the political will, to get it done. Obamacare is in a “death spiral” and will go the way of the buffalo. When it does, (and it will), Democrats will be able to blame Republicans for failing to fix it.   Fact is? There is no difference between a Red Pig and a Blue Pig   … a Pig is a Pig, (reference to “Animal Farm”) Sunday Lunch and a Movie? Pork Roast, (somehow appropriate), Egg Noodles, Creamed Corn and a Garden Salad. The movie? “Passengers [2016]”.

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) I remain nicotine free. Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   …   and the Editorial Staff)

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March 17, 2017

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of March 17, 2017. Susan and I had our second Peritoneal Dialysis Training on Wednesday. This session was training to perform manual peritoneal dialysis, where “a cleansing fluid flows through a tube (catheter) into part of the abdomen and filters waste products from the blood. After a prescribed period of time, the fluid with filtered waste products flows out of the abdomen into a collection bag and is discarded.” The manual part consists of connecting bags containing the dialysis fluid and collecting fluids from the abdomen, to the catheter and manually switching between them, while monitoring fluid levels. Manual peritoneal dialysis must be performed several times a day and takes between 15 – 30 minutes each time. Manual peritoneal dialysis is a backup for a Peritoneal Dialysis Machine, (PDM), should there be a power failure or the peritoneal dialysis machine malfunctions. A PDM is a mechanical device a little bit larger than an IBM Selectric Typewriter   …   it automatically switches between bags and monitors fluid levels A PDM is portable, can be connected to the catheter with up to a 32’ hose and is used once a day for 6 – 10 hours. Most folks use it at night while sleeping. Beats the hell out of sitting hooked up to a Hemodialysis Machine, at a Hemodialysis Center, every other day for 4 hours. With a PDM   …   you can have a life while on dialysis!!

Many believe racism exists in our America. Does this prove it does? (CNN) — Study: We think black men are bigger than white men (even when they’re not). “When we look at black men, what is and what we see are often different things. Namely, we may see black men as bigger, stronger, and scarier than white men, even if they are the same size. In a new body of research published by the American Psychological Association, 950 online participants from the US were asked to rate black and white men based on their weight, height, strength and build. “We found that these estimates were consistently biased. Participants judged the black men to be larger, stronger and more muscular than the white men, even though they were actually the same size,” said the study’s lead author, John Paul Wilson of Montclair State University. The findings got even more ominous from there. Not only did participants distort the size of the men, they also identified the black men as, essentially, more of a threat deserving of force. “Participants also believed that the black men were more capable of causing harm in a hypothetical altercation and, troublingly, that police would be more justified in using force to subdue them, even if the men were unarmed,” Wilson said.” Isn’t the definition of racism, “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior?” And doesn’t that beg the question: “Is it racist to judge black men to be larger, stronger and more muscular than white men?”

And a candidate for “Darwin Awards”:   (BBC NEWS) — Man dies charging iPhone while in the bath. “A man was electrocuted as he charged his mobile phone while in the bath, an inquest has heard. Richard Bull died when his iPhone charger made contact with the water at his home in Ealing, west London. A coroner ruled his death was accidental and plans to send a report to Apple about taking action to prevent future deaths. Safety campaigners have warned about the dangers of charging mobiles near water following the inquest. Mr Bull is believed to have plugged his charger into an extension cord from the hallway and rested it on his chest while using the phone, the Sun reports.”  Well .. I can see another warning label on iPhones: “Do Not Charge Your iPhone While in the Bathtub or Shower.” 

In the “I am male and have no clue”, news. (BBC NEWS) —   Girls ‘too poor’ to buy sanitary protection missing school. “Girls in the UK are missing school because they cannot afford sanitary protection, a charity has said. Freedom4Girls was contacted by a school in Leeds after it became concerned about teenage girls’ attendance. The group provides sanitary products to women in Kenya – but is now doing the same in West Yorkshire. One teenager told the BBC she taped toilet roll to her underwear and missed school “every month” because of her period. Two teenage girls spoke to BBC Radio Leeds about how they tried to cope without tampons, sanitary towels or pain relief. One of the girls said: “I wrapped a sock around my underwear just to stop the bleeding, because I didn’t want to get shouted at. And I wrapped a whole tissue roll around my underwear, just to keep my underwear dry until I got home. I once Sellotaped tissue to my underwear. I didn’t know what else to do. “I kept this secret up until I was 14 years old and then I started asking for help. No comment.

Sitting here waiting for Susan to come home and Editing these Ramblings. We will work in the yard tomorrow: “Spring Cleaning”. Sunday Lunch and a Movie? Lasagna and a garden salad. The movie? “Elite [2017]”.

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) I am now close to 4 years nicotine free. Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   … and the Editorial Staff)

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March 10, 2017

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of March 10, 2017. On Wednesday, Susan and I attended our first Peritoneal Dialysis Class. An eye-opening experience   … it triggered the realization that Susan and I are in for a massive life style change. Susan and I were both fearful   …   overwhelmed. No longer. In part because of this class   … but more so, the following Internet resource https://www.freseniuskidneycare.com/ We have learned that kidney failure is NOT a death sentence, but a change in life style. Dialysis, like brushing your teeth or combing your hair, is just something you do. With and by the Grace of God, with a little planning, there is NO reason we can not enjoy a full and happy life together. Our glass is half full!

Other medical news? (BBC NEWS) — Neanderthals ‘self-medicated’ for pain. “Neanderthals dosed themselves with painkillers and possibly penicillin, according to a study of their teeth. One sick Neanderthal chewed the bark of the poplar tree, which contains a chemical related to aspirin. He may also have been using penicillin, long before antibiotics were developed. The evidence comes from ancient DNA found in the dental tartar of Neanderthals living about 40,000 years ago in central Europe. Microbes and food stuck to the teeth of the ancient hominins gives scientists a window into the past. By sequencing DNA preserved in dental tartar, international researchers have found out new details of the diet, lifestyle and health of our closest extinct relatives.” Now we kn w where our “self medicating” gene came from.

In the political news   … nothing has changed. Folks that don’t like Trump, (for whatever reason), continue to snipe and find fault, no matter what he does. If he found a cure for cancer   … they would argue he did so to benefit his rich friends. His supporters are no better. If he was accused of performing unnatural acts with chickens   … they would argue he was only engaged in good animal husbandry practices. Fact is   …   the current political discussions are monologues broadcast by the 10% nut jobs on the Democrat and Republican sides. I can not remember such political polarization in my lifetime. Need proof? (BBC NEWS) — Reasons to vote for Democrats tops Amazon bestseller list. “Amazon.com’s bestseller list has been topped by a US political manifesto with a twist – all 266 pages are blank. Reasons To Vote For Democrats: A comprehensive Guide contains no words other than page headings and a bibliography. “You can go cover-to-cover in about 15, 20 seconds,” author Michael Knowles, a conservative journalist, told Fox News. A one-word cover review of the literary phenomenon-cum-political joke simply reads: “Thorough”.”

And in the legal news? (BBC NEWS) — The ‘robot lawyer’ giving free legal advice to refugees. “ When Joshua Browder developed DoNotPay he called it “the world’s first robot lawyer”. It’s a chatbot – a computer program that carries out conversations through texts or vocal commands – and it uses Facebook Messenger to gather information about a case before spitting out advice and legal documents. It was originally designed to help people wiggle out of parking or speeding tickets. But now Browder – a 20-year-old British man currently studying at Stanford University – has adapted his bot to help asylum seekers. In the US and Canada, it’s helping refugees complete immigration applications, and in the UK, it can aid asylum seekers in obtaining financial support from the government.” The ‘robot lawyers’ have formed a Bar Association, in the UK have contingent fee contracts, (25% of whatever “financial support” they can get for their clients)   … and like their flesh and blood counterparts … are universally hated by the lay public.

A sign of the times? Not something I needed when I was dating! Course, there was no Internet when I was dating! (BBC NEWS) — What are online dating sites doing to keep us safe? It’s a Friday night and I’m about to meet a hot date I hooked up with on a dating app. But how do I know he’s really who he says he is? After all, online dating fraud is on the rise and it seems easy for people to adopt false identities, stealing photos from other websites and concocting plausible back stories. Luckily, my date seemed legit, but if I’d been concerned I could have used a service like Circle 6. You can let six of your closest friends know where you are at all times, and with just one tap you can contact them should you feel in danger while out on a date.” Does anyone have 6 actual, real world, flesh and blood friends any more? I can see a couple going out on a date, both tap their 6 friends   … then sit back, nosh on some popcorn   … and watch 12 of their friends duke it out!! An entertaining, cheap, date!! Oh! And there is a popular “reality show” on MTV, Catfish: “The TV Show is an American reality-based documentary television series airing on MTV about the truths and lies of online dating.” It introduces people in real life to folks they have been “dating” online, in some cases for years! Nothing like confronting reality.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings watching the evening news. Apparently, there is another snow storm hitting the North East this weekend. One foot of new snow projected and temperatures in the low teens. A sunny 80 degrees in Pascagoula this weekend. I sure don’t miss the helter skelter temperature variations up north. And in other news, nude photos of female Marines   … springing online like mushrooms on the Internet. In response, the American Psychological Association has designated a new mental disorder: “Marinaphilia”, “developing debilitating palm cramps while viewing images of naked marines.” Sunday Lunch and a Movie? Lasagna with garden salad. The movie? “The Adventure Club [2017]”.

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) I am now close to 4 years nicotine free. Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   …   and the Editorial Staff)

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March 3, 2017

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of March 3, 2017 Short Ramblings this week. Spent the day at the VA, so I had a limited time to write them. Late yesterday afternoon, went to the bathroom to urinate and started bleeding. LOTS of blood!! Although the bleeding had stopped by this morning, I decided to go to the VA ER. After a bunch of tests and a CAT Scan   … seems I passed a small kidney stone, which resulted in a urinary track infection. Worse, I have two more small stones. Got back home a couple of hours ago   … and crashed! So much for the “Golden Years”!!

Last Tuesday was “Fat Tuesday”!!!! The last day of Mardi Gras!! Wednesday was the first day of Lent, (another thing they take seriously down here!!) Not a big deal up North … but down here on the coast … on Tuesday, parades and parties up the Kazoo!! (Chuckling) … I have no doubt, there will be a surge in births 9 months from Tuesday! On Wednesday? Asking forgiveness for all the crazy stuff done during Mardi Gras!!

Every generation has a picture seared into it’s memory. For some, the Saigon Execution picture in 1968. For me? The Kent State shooting in 1970. For this generation, the image of Carryn Owens, weeping while Trump, during his address to a joint session of congress Tuesday night, recognized the sacrifice made by her husband. Me and another million plus Americans wept with her. Sad that some Democrats did not stand and applaud, support her. Sadder yet, the wastes of skin who criticized Trump for taking the time to recognize this family’s sacrifice.

Really have nothing else to share tonight. Really sick of all the political posts and the sniping. Think I’ll start “unfriending” people who post nothing but negative political comments. There is more to life than that. Susan is off work tomorrow, so we will spend a quiet weekend together. Don’t know what I will cook on Sunday.

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) I am now close to 4 years nicotine free. Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   …   and the Editorial Staff)

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February 24, 2017

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of February 24, 2017. Since Trump won the presidential election, I have seen a bunch of posts on Facebook opining Trump is mentally ill. Some by mental health professionals. Can you really diagnose a mental illness based on watching televised presidential debates and sound bites broadcast on the evening news? I don’t believe so.

I earned an MA in Psych because I wanted to find out how sick I was before anyone else did. Apparently, so did many of my fellow Masters Degree candidates. Frankly   … a few of my classmates, I wouldn’t trust to watch my cat, (and cats are really “independent”)   … let alone diagnose or treat a human being. They were certifiable nut jobs   … who are now proud members of the mental health community. Many earning their bowl of rice   …. as “expert witnesses” in custody battles. I really enjoyed cross examining them after they rendered their “expert” opinion on which parent should have residential custody   …   in most instances based on an MMPI, (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory), and watching both parents interact with their child for an hour, in a therapist controlled environment.   The resulting testimony? Psychobabble!

And what made me think of this? (CNN) — Psychiatrists fight over the ethics of diagnosing Trump. “You’d expect partisan questions about a politician’s sanity, but now there’s an unusual debate growing among licensed mental health professionals about President Donald Trump. The United States’ major mental health associations — including the American Psychiatric Association, which claims to be the largest psychiatric association in the world — are warning members not to wade into the debate, but some prominent doctors have done just that, publicly voicing concerns and questioning the very ethics of their profession … For the psychiatrists, it’s all spelled out in section 7.3 of the American Psychiatry Association’s code of ethics, a set of guiding best-practice principles for members — who make up most licensed psychiatrists. The section is informally known as the “Goldwater Rule” because it came about after what the association’s president calls a “very public ethical misstep” by psychiatrists who answered a survey about another Republican, presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. Details about the survey were published in a pre-election 1964 article in a now-defunct magazine called Fact. Of the 2,417 psychiatrists who answered the survey, the majority concluded that Goldwater was “psychologically unfit” to be president. In the 38 pages of psychiatrists’ comments, some said they could not diagnose him “by merely observing him on TV or reading what he writes,” but those who were critical of Goldwater labeled the candidate in unflattering terms, calling him a “dangerous lunatic,” “paranoid” and a “counterfeit figure of a masculine man.” Some accused him of having an “impulsive quality,” said he was “emotionally too unstable” and said he had a “Godlike self-image.” After Goldwater lost the election, he sued the magazine’s editor for libel and won his case.” …  “dangerous lunatic,” “paranoid”, a “counterfeit figure of a masculine man”, an “impulsive quality,” he was “emotionally too unstable” and said he had a “Godlike self-image.” Sound familiar?

As an after thought about mental illness? Good news. (CNN) — Cat ownership not linked to mental health problems, study says. “Studies have suggested that cat ownership could be linked to certain mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, but researchers at University College London say they found no link between cat ownership and the development of psychotic symptoms.”  Course   … cat ownership puts you at risk of getting “Cat Scratch Fever.”

On a different note? An interesting read!! (BBC NEWS) — Our Ancestors Where Drinking Alcohol Before They Were Human. Between 2005 and 2007, the suburbs of Los Angeles, California, saw several avian casualties. The victims were 90-odd cedar waxwings and the cause of their death was drunk flying. The tipsy birds had accidentally rammed into windows, walls, and fencing – and died of trauma. Before they met their tragic end, the birds had been feasting on the bright red berries of the Brazilian Peppertree. A post-mortem report on some of the birds revealed that their mouths, food pouches, and stomachs were full of whole berries and seeds. The birds had become so intoxicated by gorging on the naturally-fermenting berries that alcohol content in the liver of one reached 1,000 parts per million. Birds are not the only animals to come across fermented produce out in the wild. Mammals, in particular, often feed on fruit, nectar and sap – all of which are rich in sugars that can ferment and be potentially intoxicating. In 2000, Robert Dudley of the University of California in Berkeley proposed the idea of a deep historical link between fruit-eating animals and alcohol intake. With his curiously-titled “Drunken Monkey Hypothesis“, Dudley suggested that our early ancestors were introduced to alcohol in fermenting fruit, and that this might underlie our current taste for it.”  This twist in human evolution must have happened after our ancestors climbed down from the trees.   Hard to believe monkeys could survive swinging through the trees, drunk as hell! Certainly explains why some of our brethren act like lesser primates when they get tanked!!

VX nerve agents were outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. Not something you can buy at your local pharmacy! (BBC NEWS) — Kim Jong-nam killing: VX nerve agent ‘found on his face’. “ A laboratory report has confirmed that a nerve agent was found on the body of the North Korean leader’s half-brother, Malaysian police say. Kim Jong-nam was poisoned at Kuala Lumpur airport after two women wiped a toxin on his face. The chemical substance has been identified as “VX nerve agent“, police add. Malaysia has not blamed the North Korean state for the death, but says North Koreans were clearly behind it.” Ostensibly, signatories to the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention destroyed their respective inventories. North Korea didn’t.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings. Susan is asleep in the big leather chair in her office, recovering from her surgery last Wednesday. The surgery went well. She was off work Thursday and Friday. Hopefully she will have a couple of months before dialysis starts   …   which should give time for both fistulas to heal and be ready for use. Sunday Lunch and a Movie? Leftovers … the movie? “Assassin’s Creed [2016]”

Time to post these Ramblings. Later … I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) I am now close to 4 years nicotine free. Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can. If my post offends, I apologize … that is certainly not my intent. As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …   now retired and living in Pascagoula, Mississippi   …   and the Editorial Staff)

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