Monday, June 30, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 30, 2008: 

Here's an interesting website about how to make your blog accessible to people with disabilities: for example, short paragraphs for easier comprehension, large print for those with vision problems, etc. Thanks to Ricky Buchanan for the link (her Not Done Living! site is on my links list)....

How to Make Your Blog Accessible

I should probably take some time and figure out out to better sort my links list, perhaps by subject? I'm not very good at messing with html, though.

One thing not on the site that I have a personal preference for is use of background color and font. I have trouble reading print on fluorescent color or busy patterned backgrounds and feel dark background with light print or vice versa is easier on the eyes (if you must use a patterned background, keep it subtle). Also, script-type and serif fonts are pretty for titles but shouldn't be used for body text unless rather large.

A glimmer of hope..... 

Update: I called Mayo's rheumatology department this afternoon, and the woman that answered the phone was SO NICE! Too bad we can't clone her and place her in offices all over the country, eh? And she actually listened to my long-winded explanation of my situation.

Long story shortish, she's gonna ask the Mayo rheumy to contact the Sioux Falls one, either via phone or with a detailed letter of referral, and see if we can't get things straightened out. And if there's no way I can see anyone before November, give me some advisement as to what to do in the interim. That way, should I get my Continuing Disability Review paperwork from Social Security (I am overdue for one), I can assure them that I am getting some sort of rheumatology care.

The woman also told me that many rheumatology offices across the country prohibit their patients from switching doctors randomly. Therefore, she gets calls like mine pretty frequently. So, even though it feels like I'm being picked on, I'm nowhere near the only one.

Hoping this will all be resolved within a matter of weeks so I can focus on something other than doctor procurement.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 28, 2008: 

Believe it or not, this is a serious article. And no, it has nothing to do with cannibals, heh heh....

Cannabinoids for Fibromyalgia Syndrome

I actually find this research promising because it would probably help people like me who can't tolerate most fibromyalgia medications due to nausea and vomiting. This would solve both problems at the same time.

But I don't trust our paranoid "war on drug" culture and think such medication will probably never become legal nationwide by prescription because uninformed drug czars will equate it with smoking pot. Heaven forbid anyone ever does that.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I have HAD it!! 

To quickly recap: I've lived in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for a year and a half. There are only two rheumy offices here, and I've been to docs in both offices, hoping to find one who would treat my Sjogren's which was diagnosed in 2003 in Denver. So far, all three that I saw in Sioux Falls not only disagreed with the diagnosis, they flat out told me that they wouldn't support my disability case.

So I went to the Mayo Clinic in December and January. They confirmed sero-negative Sjogren's. The rheumatologist gave me the name of a doctor here for follow-up care.

Unfortunately, the rheumy I was referred to went on maternity leave. I made an appointment anyway, and have been waiting six months to see her. The appointment was supposed to be for July 11.

This morning, I was awakened by a call from the new rheumy's office. They informed me that since I had seen someone else in that same office a year and a half ago, I could not switch doctors. If I wanted treatment, I had to go to the rheumy who in 2007 said I couldn't have Sjogren's with normal bloodwork, who said that I "only" had fibromyalgia which is never disabling, and who told me that exercise would cure me!

I explained that I was requesting a new doctor because the old one disagreed with my diagnosis and I did not feel comfortable seeing her if there was a possibility she would discontinue my treatment. I added that I had gotten a referral for the new doc from the Mayo Clinic. I asked if there was anything at all that could be done.

The reply was that they would have to get the new doc to approve transfer of care after she returned from maternity leave, but that it would take a month, and I would have to cancel the July 11 appointment. Then IF new doc agreed to take me as a patient, they would make a new appointment, but she is currently booking into November! They then tried to pressure me into seeing the doc I had last year because she is not so overbooked.

I would just tell them to forget it and go somewhere else, but there is nowhere else to go. The only other rheumy office in Sioux Falls won't take me as a patient. I'd prefer not to go all the way back to the Mayo Clinic for a simple follow up appointment as it's a four-hour drive each way and not covered by my insurance (and I won't be done paying for my previous visits for another year).

So I told the woman who called to go ahead with the transfer of care request. I'm not happy about not being able to get in until at least November as that would be almost a year since I was put on Imuran, and no one is monitoring me. I am due for a continuing disability review from Social Security, and if they see I haven't been to a rheumatologist in that long, they may falsely conclude that I am no longer that sick and terminate my benefits.

I never ever had this kind of trouble when I lived in Denver. Both of my rheumys there took me seriously and respected the professional opinions of my other docs. It was actually the Denver docs who told me I must stop working because I was making myself worse.

I've been sick for 11 years. All I am asking for is a qualified local specialist to continue my current treatment with medical exams and simple bloodwork a few times a year. Why do these rheumatology offices turn that into such an ordeal?

I am angry and exhausted by all this garbage. I would warn anyone with a rheumatological disease, whatever you do, DON'T move to Sioux Falls, South Dakota! The docs apparently are stuck in the year 1985.

I would continue, but I can't think anymore.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 24, 2008: 

Time for some cynical political humor! Thanks to Dr. Karen for sending this to me....

This is the first time I've tried to embed a video on this blog. If for some reason it doesn't work, someone please let me know.

Monday, June 23, 2008

"The older you get, the better you realize you were." 

George Carlin has died. He was rude, lewd, crude, and socially unacceptable, and those were just a few reasons why I liked him. He was also funny, intelligent, verbose, and he didn't give a flying rat's ass what people thought of him.

I grew up hearing Carlin's more radio-friendly material back when he did characters like Al Sleet, the hippy-dippy weatherman ("tonight's forecast: dark!"). He would do "broadcasts" from from a fake radio station called "wonderful WINO". I have two of his vinyl albums, "Take-Offs and Put-Ons" from 1972 and "Occupation: Foole" from 1973.

I was fortunate enough to see his act live in Las Vegas in 1996. No topic was off-limits, including bits on how to disguise a fart and how many euphemisms there were to describe a penis. I got a side-ache from laughing so hard.

For those of you not familiar with his humor, here are some examples. Do not click on this link if you are easily offended!
George Carlin Quotes
I have seen several of his one-liners on t-shirts not even realizing their source.

Carlin's legacy, of course, will be his "seven words" routine, which started out as a list of things you aren't allowed to say on the radio. It was perfect irony that an anti-censorship rant should be debated all the way to the Supreme Court. But he didn't just say the words to shock people; he delved into why they were considered offensive and why we were so hung up on language.

Carlin's strength was observing what was sacred or hypocritical in America and turning it upside down. The political correctness movement only gave him more material. He had the courage to get to the heart of a matter and say what many were thinking deep inside, and find something amusing in it.

He wasn't all controversy, though. Some of my favorite routines were on such innocuous topics as: what does and doesn't constitute a sport ("Tennis is not a sport. Tennis is ping pong played on the table."), the contents of one's refrigerator, the "place for my stuff" routine, what dogs are really thinking, parental rules, etc. He made sure we were aware of cliches that didn't make sense, how to get out of jury duty, and people he could do without.

He recorded 14 specials with HBO, most of which I have seen. They afforded him the First Amendment right he so vigorously defended, that of free speech. I consider him a great American because he knew the importance of being allowed to express an opinion, no matter how unpopular it might be.

George Carlin was the embodiment of responsible rebellion, of righteous anger, of giving permission to laugh at what isn't supposed to be funny. I shall remember him with a smile. And perhaps, an inappropriate word or two.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 21, 2008: 

'tis the season for biting insects and sunburn! Thus, I did a quick product review for But You Don't Look Sick....

Bull Frog Mosquito Coast Sunblock and Insect Repellent

Now that my printer connection is working properly, I am busy copying medical records for my rheumatologist appointment July 11. I hope to God this doc will agree with the verdicts of the Mayo Clinic and will support my current treatments. I am soooo nervous about this.

Will be posting Neflix rental reviews as soon as I finish writing them.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What are YOUR 10 top 10? 

Just finished watching the American Film Institute's "10 Top 10" list. Now, you can't get the list on any link; I had to become a member of AFI to get PDFs to download. But the cool thing is that now I can download ALL their lists, so I think I will do that eventually with all the categories that interest me and make comment on them.

Here are my personal faves from their 10 top 10 lists, in order of preference for each category....

1. Toy Story
2. Pinocchio
3. Shrek
4. Fantasia
5. Finding Nemo
6. Cinderella
7. Bambi
8. The Lion King
9. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Honorable Mention - Lady and the Tramp, Toy Story 2, Shrek 2, Charlotte's Web, Monsters Inc, Alice in Wonderland, Robots

1. Lord of the Rings
2. Wizard of Oz
3. Big
4. It's a Wonderful Life
5. Groundhog Day
6. Harvey
7. Field of Dreams
8. Miracle on 34th Street
Honorable Mention - Brazil; Harry Potter; The Chronicle of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe; Pleasantville; The Princess Bride; Edward Scissorhands; Pirates of the Caribbean; Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Topper; The Purple Rose of Cairo; Splash; Peggie Sue Got Married; Mary Poppins; Heaven Can Wait; Ghost; Babe; Batman; Clash of the Titans

Romantic Comedy:
1. The Philadelphia Story
2. When Harry Met Sally
3. Roman Holiday
4. Harold and Maude
5. It Happened One Night
6. Moonstruck
7. Adam's Rib
8. Annie Hall
9. Sleepless in Seattle
Honorable Mention - Bringing Up Baby, The Awful Truth, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Sabrina, Roxanne, Say Anything, The Wedding Singer, Bridget Jones's Diary, Clueless, My Man Godfrey, Something's Gotta Give, Pretty Woman, As Good As It Gets, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Working Girl

1. 2001
2. Star Wars
3. A Clockwork Orange
4. Blade Runner
5. Terminator
6. Alien
7. Back to the Future
8. E.T.
Honorable Mention - Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Contact, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Minority Report, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Altered States, Total Recall, Westworld, Forbidden Planet, War of the Worlds, Jurassic Park, Men in Black, Cocoon, Starman

1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
2. Unforgiven
Honorable Mention - Dancing with Wolves, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Blazing Saddles

1. Bonnie and Clyde
2. Pulp Fiction
Honorable Mention - Bugsy, The Untouchables

1. Pride of the Yankees
2. Bull Durham
3. Breaking Away
4. National Velvet
5. Rocky
Honorable Mention - A League of Their Own, Seabiscuit, Pat and Mike, The Bad News Bears, Million Dollar Baby, Personal Best

Courtroom Drama:
1. To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Kramer vs. Kramer
3. A Few Good Men
Honorable Mention - The Accused, Amistad, The Children's Hour, Erin Brockovich, Philadelphia, The People vs. Larry Flynt

1. Rear Window
2. Vertigo
3. North By Northwest
4. Dial M for Murder
5. Blue Velvet
6. The Maltese Falcon
Honorable Mention - Gaslight, Memento, Rebecca, Spellbound

1. Gone with the Wind
2. Schindler's List
3. Ben Hur
4. Saving Private Ryan
5. Lawrence of Arabia
6. Titanic
7. Spartacus
8. Ten Commandments
Honorable Mention - Ghandi, Doctor Zhivago, Samson and Delilah, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Passion of the Christ, Forrest Gump, The Last Emperor

Monday, June 16, 2008

I'm a GENIUS! 

Ok, maybe not an ACTUAL genius, but I feel like one. My computer now prints, and no more stuck cursor! Yayyyyyy!

I've been working on this since Thursday. I un-installed and re-installed software, swapped USB ports, swapped power cords, and poured through various search results. At one point, I had the printer working in the old operating system but not the current one, which was frustrating.

What finally solved the problem was hooking everything into the new USB hub, deleting the selections in the Printer Setup Utility, and re-adding the printer with different user data. The weird part was the instructions for my current OSX version on the HP website didn't work, but the instructions for OSX version 10.5, which I don't actually have, DID work. The only part I don't get is how the printer stopped working in the first place.

Now I can get started copying medical records for my appointment with yet another Sioux Falls rheumatologist (this would make number FOUR) in July. I'll need to update my bio, too, but I think I'll get my current project, reviews of my most recent Netflix pix, done first.

I'm baaaaaack!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 13, 2008: 

This is hilarious! Thanks to Robert for sending the link my way....

Common People - a Kirk & Spock mashup

May William Shatner never develop mad cow in real life.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 12, 2008: 

Some amusements from Petcentric. The first is an article that suggests that our pets become more like us over time....

Fun Like Me

And this one is a video on testing your dog's IQ....

How Best Friends Think

I'm pretty sure Chip would score pretty well on the test. And I wonder if he would have fewer ailments if he had a different owner? Hmmm....

Testing, 1, 2, 3.... 

I just got the Mac back from the shop today, so I am testing it out to see if the previous problems have been fixed. I did manage to get the bugs with the browser and e-mail worked out on my own, but the inability to print and the cursor freezing up have persisted. I figure the only way I will know for sure if the cursor works is to type something relatively fast.

Unfortunately, the dudes at the Mac shop ran all sorts of tests and never found a reason for the problems. They decided the most likely culprit would be the USB port, so we've got a new one. It doesn't appear to have made a bit of difference with the printer connection, though, which is seriously beginning to piss me off as I have a rheumatologist appointment in a few weeks and need to print copies of my medical records.

In financial news, Dan's parents have volunteered to lend us the money to pay for the basement repair. As much as I hate to owe a relative money, they won't be charging us any interest, so it was an offer I couldn't refuse, heh heh. Also, they are willing to let us make really small payments to them each month until the Mayo Clinic is paid off next year and then larger payments after that until we have paid it all back.

Damn, the cursor is seizing up too! So the three days in the shop was a waste of time! So I guess Dan will get to haul it back over there for the third time.

Is it too much to ask to have a computer that works?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 11, 2008: 

Some things have to be seen to be believed. Link courtesy of Silverlady....

Gin the Dancing Dog

Wonder how long it took to train her to do that?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 10, 2008: 

Talk about funny money! This link courtesy of Dr. Karen....

New Bush Coins

I guess if Obama gets elected, he'll get his own coins too, since he keeps saying he is all about change!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 9, 2008: 

Warning! If you don't have a sense of humor, you may find this offensive. But I enjoyed this link sent to me by Dr. Karen.....

Reserve a Spot in Heaven

Sure beats belonging to the proper church and interpreting the Bible just so, heh heh.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Back online, sort of..... 

Although it might not appear that I've been "gone" due to the Raves of the Day posted with a future date, we had to put the computer in the shop on Tuesday. We were told our hard drive was in the death throes again, so even though we could ill afford it, I had them put in a new one with a bit more memory. Whether for good or for ill, I've crossed the line from the computer being an amusement to the computer being a necessity.

We got it back on Saturday and hooked it up. I wasn't on it very long because we had agreed to go to Dan's parents for an early Father's Day gathering. And I couldn't fire it up last night because of thunderstorms.

So I got started on my regular activities today. Came to discover that the stuff that was going wrong before, like cursor freezing, not being able to print, etc., still wasn't resolved! What's worse, now my default browser keeps vanishing so that I must re-download it every time I power up the machine, and my e-mail is screwy!

I am PISSED! Why the hell did I just spend a fortune when the hard drive probably wasn't even the problem?!? I will have to call the Mac repair place tomorrow and have Dan bring it in on Tuesday again (I can't lift our massive tower drive).

In basement news: the basement is a goddamn mess. The carpenter guys finally got their act together and stripped the south wall down to the concrete foundation. Approximately one-third of our basement is torn up now.

Taking down the brick fixture behind the wood-burning stove was a BITCH! The only way to do it was to break it up into pieces. This kicked up dust so thick that it aggravated my asthma while I was all the way upstairs.

And the brick the stove was sitting on was GLUED down to the floor! They ended up having to leave it because it would be a major problem getting the surface underneath smoothed out after chipping the brick out. So now I have this ridiculous brick platform serving no purpose that just begs to be tripped over.

Oh, and we still have the dumpster in our driveway and the stove sitting on the carpet in the basement! There is a layer of dust covering pretty much every surface downstairs that doesn't wipe away easily. I haven't spent much time down here as a result.

The next step is for the foundation guys to put in the anchors and drainage system. The earliest they can do that is July 7. I'm not gonna invest a lot of effort in cleaning up the basement before then because they will be creating more dust when they drill into the walls and floor.

Luckily, the foundation company says they can get all their work done in one day. Then I get to have the carpenter dudes come back and put in new drywall and insulation. I am hoping they can salvage the desk, cabinet and paneling and re-install them.

The main saving grace financially for us right now is that we got our economic stimulus check last week. I wasn't planning to spend it on our computer, though, as the entire check will not even cover a third of the total cost of fixing the basement. And I've still got a year's worth of payments to the Mayo Clinic to go.

I did allow myself one fun thing to do with my "rebate", though. I went to see "Prince Caspian" yesterday, yayyyyy! I did go to the matinee so I could get discounted admission.

Would like to add more, but I'd better try to get the checkbook straightened out before I put the computer back in the shop. And I need to copy my recently downloaded iTunes music onto some CDs since I forgot to do that last week.

Is depending so much on a machine materialistic? Or just sad?

Rave of the Day for June 8, 2008: 

Whether you can identify with these or not, they are funny! Thanks to Pete for sending them to me.....

A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor's office.

'Is it true,' she wanted to know, 'that the medication you prescribed has to be taken
for the rest of my life?'

'Yes, I'm afraid so,' the doctor told her.

There was a moment of silence before the senior lady replied,'I'm wondering, then, just how serious is my condition because this prescription is marked 'NO REFILLS'.'


An older gentleman was on the operating table awaiting surgery and he insisted that his son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation.

As he was about to get the anaesthesia, he asked to speak to his son.

'Yes, Dad, what is it?'

'Don't be nervous, son; do your best and just remember, if it doesn't go well, if something happens to me, your mother is going to come and live with you and your wife....'


Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.


The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.


Some people try to turn back their odometers.

Not me! I want people to know 'why' I look this way.

I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.


When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.


You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.


One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.


Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.


First you forget names, then you forget faces. Then you forget to pull up your zipper. It's worse when you forget to pull it down.


Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft...
Today, it's called golf.


Two old guys are pushing their carts around Wal-Mart when they collide. The first old guy says to the second guy, 'Sorry about that. I'm looking for my wife, and I guess I wasn't paying attention to where I was going.'

The second old guy says, 'That's OK, it's a coincidence. I'm looking for my wife, too. I can't find her and I'm getting a little desperate.'

The first old guy says, 'Well, maybe I can help you find her. What does she look like?' The second old guy says, 'Well, she is 27 year old, tall, with red hair, blue eyes, long legs, and is wearing short shorts. What does your wife look like?'

To which the first old guy says, 'Doesn't matter, --- let's look for yours.'

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 7, 2008: 

Funny stuff from Dr. Karen. I like the last one best.....

One for the girls

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my shape to keep.
Please no wrinkles, Please no bags
And please lift my butt before it sags.
Please no age spots, Please no gray
And as for my belly, Please take it away.
Please keep me healthy, Please keep me young,
And thank you Dear Lord, For all that you've done.

Five tips for a woman.....
1. It is important that a man helps you around the house and has a job.
2. It is important that a man makes you laugh.
3. It is important to find a man you can count on and doesn't lie to you.
4. It is important that a man loves you and spoils you.
5. It is important that these four men don't know each other.

Foot Note:
One saggy boob said to the other saggy boob:
'If we don't get some support soon, people will think we're nuts.'

Friday, June 06, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 6, 2008: 

Here are some new articles from A Hummingbird's Guide to M.E. The first is a checklist of issues a hospital might need to be aware of should you be admitted....

Hospital or carer notes for M.E.

The second, even more important than the first, discusses sensitivity to sedation that might, if not properly addressed, result in life-threatening complications during surgery....
Anaesthesia and M.E.

This is excellent material for anyone with a central sensitization syndrome. If you are anticipating a surgery or hospital stay, you might want to fill it out to fit your own situation. Or you may want to have it handy just in case.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 5, 2008: 

Here are some articles I got from a chronic fatigue newsletter. The first is about a theory that chronic fatigue syndrome may be cause by a rare reaction to a common virus....

An Interesting Hypothesis

This is a compilation of articles about chronic pain and other items of interest....

Research Roundup

This is a rather sobering article about the toll chronic fatigue syndrome can have on the psyche....

Personal Stories: Kay Puckett Honors a Friend Lost

I have been asked recently how I cope with being sick every day and not being able to live the life I used to have. I guess I am lucky that I am capable of making peace with my ailments and doing the best I can with what I have to work with. Not everyone is as fortunate.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 4, 2008: 

Ran across this on a blog I regularly read and couldn't stop laughing! Ok, so some of the math related ones were over my head, but still....

Joke Time!

And while you're on the site, check out the awesome photography of the author's adorable daughter and the trip to China where she was adopted. I think it's listed under "Ladybug".

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 3, 2008: 

Found this in the Fibrohugs newsletter (their site is on my Links list). How much do you really know about fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia Quiz: Fact or Myth?

I got all the questions right. I don't know if that's good or just sad.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 2, 2008: 

I may be the very last of the Baby Boomers (the cut off birth year is 1964), but this should serve as a reminder of where I'll be in 2014 or so, heh heh. Hilarious video sent to me by Pete.....

Wild Baby Boomers

Weird, being old enough to remember watching the first moon landing on live TV but not old enough to remember the Beatles on Ed Sullivan....

Bonus Rave of the Day for June 2, 2008: 

A reminder of 40 years ago: photos taken from the train carrying RFK's coffin and narration by the photographer. Link from Dr. Karen....

The Fallen

The sight of these hundreds of people watching the train go by is both saddening and encouraging. I was too young to remember it, of course, but I still hope it is something we never have to go through again.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Rave of the Day for June 1, 2008: 

And the uTube giggles just keeping coming! This one courtesy of Dr. Karen....

Young Hillary Clinton

Ms. Clinton was in Dan's home town Thursday. She focused mainly on issues of local interest like farming and renewable energy such as wind power. I am amazed how perky she still looks after all this campaigning.

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