From Events

These are Java Sparrows. I got a new feeder to replace the old rotting one a couple of weeks ago, and they took an hour or two to get accustomed to it. Now they’re happy because more of them can fit on the rail than could on the old one. The picture was taken through glass, which partly explains its fuzziness.

Dumb and dumber

Dear Bayer Back and Body:

Did you design your current commercial to imply the average male airline passenger is a completely unintelligent idiot, or was that just happenstance?

I mean, here’s a guy who is supposed to be a middle-aged American who’s asking the flight attendant on an international flight to Asia (his stupid pictograms have what look to be Korean characters below the illustration) if she has anything for his back pain. In perfect English she offers him Bayer Back and Body. That’s all right as far as it goes, but: he obviously thinks that Bayer aspirin is only for heart attacks and tells her (as though she were an idiot herself) that he’s not having one, that he’s got a sore back.

What middle-aged American wasn’t introduced to Bayer aspirin as a headache and mild pain reliever long before the medicos determined we should take it to preclude heart trouble? There can’t be any such dummies in the entire country!

Calendar notice

My mom and I each use an Oral-B battery toothbrush. I change batteries in hers about every six months. Mine needs to have new batteries installed every month or six weeks. I even bought a new toothbrush to see if the old one was a lemon, but the new one is running down just as quickly.

So I’m making a note. Today I installed two new Duracell AA batteries in the thing. The packaging says they have a 10-year guarantee. We’ll see how long they last.

Gout? GOUT?!?

North Korea officially acknowledges that Kim Jong Un isn’t feeling very well, report says

In July, North Korean state television showed a video of Kim appearing to limp during a ceremony to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung. The unusual footage prompted many to speculate about Kim’s health.

That speculation only increased in recent days; although Kim is usually a fixture of North Korean state media, his most recent public appearance was on Sept. 3, when he attended a concert with his wife.

Although the report did not elaborate on the nature of Kim’s “discomfort,” South Korean media and other North Korea watchers are full of ideas of what might be wrong with the dictator.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, for instance, reported that the North Korean leader could be suffering from gout, based on the limp, citing an unnamed source and the history of gout in Kim’s family.

Suffering with gout for three months? Jeebus. Don’t you idiots have access to indomethacin or colchizine or prednisone? With a few doses of one of those his gout should be gone.

I’ve had a half-dozen bouts of gout. I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy. Can I be busted for trading with the enemy if I send the Dear Leader 10 or 20 50mg doses of indocin?


The car registration is due in September, and I’ve been sitting on the bill for three weeks, not because I didn’t want to pay it but because I shuddered at the line I’d have to stand in at the Satellite City Hall down the hill waiting to reach the cashier. I don’t think I’ve ever spent less than an hour, muttering, watching The Food Network, or chatting with my fellow standees while waiting to pay the City.

With grim reluctance I went down there today, arriving at 1:20PM. There were four people in front of me. I was out of there at 1:25PM, $274.35 poorer but done for a year.

I don’t have any idea why this went so smoothly, unless going mid-week and a week before the end of the month has an impact.

I still need to make an appointment to get it inspected (that’s not due till October).

Medical news

I went up to Tripler today for my quarterly exam by the ENT guys, and once again they admired their surgical work and post-operative care. Nearly two years have gone by now and there’s no sign of a recurrence of the mouth cancer. That’s good.

I then went over to the optical shop to pick up a new pair of glasses. I finally got a new prescription from the eye docs, who’d gotten sidetracked by the visual field test for glaucoma. I didn’t do well on it the first time I took it. My eyes kept wandering away from the center light.

Here’s what they look like:

I like the style because there’s no full frame around the lenses. These glasses are almost invisible on my face. But, I’m not sure they’re going to work. For one thing, they are much smaller than my previous pair. That means virtually 5/8 of each lens is made up of the bifocal section. So far that’s difficult to get accustomed to.

For another, I’m used to sitting back in my desk chair nearly three feet away from the monitor. For whatever reason, I can’t do that with these and see the screen clearly. I have to sit up straight and no more than two feet away or even closer, about 18 inches.

The optician transcribed the prescription onto her order form. I’m beginning to wonder if she wrote it down wrongly, or if the company which made the lenses screwed up. I’ll give it a couple of days and if it doesn’t improve I’ll make an appointment to see the eye doctors again.

This is frustrating.

“Happy” in Saigon

The song is an international phenomenon, of course, with people dancing to it all over the world. Here’s one from Vietnam.

Look at those streets! Those people! I seriously want to go to Saigon to see the city and its inhabitants, and I’d never thought of doing that before.

I feel fine, honest!

Received this date:

Dear Linkmeister,

Your Primary Care Provider has referred you to attend a group meeting on Advance Health Care Directives. We would like to invite you to attend this meeting at the Ambulatory Care Clinic, 3rd Floor Conference Room, on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 at 10:00AM.

The Advance Health Care Directive allows you to give instructions about your health care and to name someone else to make your health care decisions if you are unable to make the decisions for yourself.

Gulp. What do they know about my health that they haven’t told me yet?