Category Archives: Health

Ballot Deposited & Blood Donated

Getting things done, checking things off the list!

I know that there are vast stretches of this country where one of the two political parties has been working very hard for decades to make it extremely difficult for some people to vote. I understand why – it’s because they know that they can’t possibly win a free and fair election, they’re fascists who have to stay in power at all costs, and the ony way they can do that is by cheating or stacking the deck. That’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s documented fact. Just read the laws they’ve written and look at the gerrymandered maps that they’ve rigged up.

California’s the exact opposite of that and I sort of love it. When it’s time for voting, EVERY registered voter gets a ballot sent in the mail, and it’s easy to get registered. If you want to be kept in the loop on where your ballot is, sign up and they’re happy to overwhelm you with notifications. When they are going to mail out the ballots in a few days, I get a text, and email, and a phone call. Again when they actually do mail out the ballots. Again to remind me that the ballot should have arrived to remind me how many days there are to get it sent back.

Then when you put the ballot in a drop box (like I did tonight) you’ll get another round of texts, emails, and calls when they pick it up from the dropbox. And again when it’s scanned and counted.

Overkill, FTW!!

Every time I get even the tiniest little bit of annoyance or bother about it I think about Florida and Texas and Ohio and Mississippi and Georgia and I’m just fine with what California has going for it.

After dropping off my ballot, it was time to go donate a pint. I asked them to take only the blood that was saturated with those little hemoglobin H1C molecules and leave behind the ones that are still fresh and empty and happy. They smiled and nodded a lot, but I have suspicions about their sincerity.

The needle thing is fine, but I would really like to get back the arm hair on those patches where they yanked it all off  while removing the adhesives. Yanked it off gleefully, I might add.

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Filed under Health, Photography, Politics

Oxygen Is Good

We seem to be very divisive as a society these days, willing to argue passionately about just about everything.

Is there anything we can all agree on?

How about the idea that oxygen is good, especially in the lungs in sufficient quantities to sustain health and well being?

Now, if you’re a piece of iron and you want to avoid rusting – okay, oxygen might not be your friend.

If you’re a random cloud of hydrogen or methane and you want to remain uncombusted, you need to stay away from oxygen. And sparks. And especially sparks and oxygen together.

But for those of us with lungs and a design based around respiration as a core function, oxygen is good!

(Can you tell how late it is and how little time I had to write this tonight and how bereft I am of good ideas?)

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Filed under Health, Photography, Random Blatherationings

Side Effects

When last we left our plucky hero, he had chosen to get both the flu vaccine and the latest bivalent COVID vaccine at the same time and at least for the first few hours there were minimal side effects…

Okay, maybe not THAT bad, but the thought to use this occurred to me at about 02:15 when some side effects were kicking my ass, and it seemed funny enough then. Things have been slightly foggy since, so it might be as close as I get tonight to an original or coherent thought.

From 02:15 until about 09:00 I was up every hour with MASSIVE chills. Like, teeth chattering so hard that I thought that I was going to chip a tooth. Meanwhile, on the outside it felt like I was on fire with fever.

Yet, on the couple of times that I was semi-coherent enough to think at all, when I checked my temperature it was fine, never even hitting 99°. And the house wasn’t particularly cold, with the living room thermostat showing about 76°. Yet I was going to pull a muscle I was shivering so hard

Whatever it was, it was over by 09:00 or so. Since then I’ve been a bit foggy and tired, but not like I couldn’t think at all or couldn’t stay awake. Right now a handful of short naps have helped and I’m really hoping for a better night’s sleep tonight, but all in all, it hasn’t been that bad. And, obviously, even with the few hours of last night’s issues, it’s been many, many orders of magnitude better and easier than getting COVID, the flu, or both.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Make good decisions.

Welcome to October! We’re almost holidays adjacent!

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Health

September In The Rear View Mirror

After trying for a while to find the new bivalent COVID vaccine booster, suddenly our local hospital had appointments up the yazoo. It’s also flu season, and while I’ve heard from a number of friends that getting both at the same time will kick your ass, we didn’t have any plans for the weekend, so when we went in we decided to roll the dice.

The flu shot side.

The COVID booster side.

So far, so good! Tired and a touch of a headache, but that just means it’s a day that ends in “y.” The injection sites are sore, the flu side much more than the COVID side, but it’s far from debilitating. Minimal body aches, no fever, no chills…

Knock on wood, and we’ll most certainly see what tomorrow brings, but the first signs are hopeful. And, of course, even if it gets worse, it’s still orders and orders of magnitude better than either getting the flu or getting COVID.

Stay healthy, stay safe, stay cool out there!


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Filed under CoronaVirus, Health, Photography

Happiness Is Only One Line Showing On A COVID Quick Test

You know – sort of like this!

We tested when we got home from our Chicago/Chambana trip, and then again five days later. We’re good!

I pretty much don’t go out at all still, or at least compared to pre-COVID days it’s much less than 10% as much. A lot of that is working from home instead of going into the office, but also going to sporting events, the CAF hangar, concerts, movies, shopping, and so on.

And when I do go out, I’m masked. Period.

And I’m fully vaxxed, including two boosters, and I’ll be getting the bivalent booster as soon as I can, which should be soon.

I’m still just astonished that everyone isn’t doing that. When the zombie apocalypse comes, we don’t have a prayer if the response to COVID is any indication.

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Does anyone like going to the dentist?

I ask this as someone who was in the chair for about 90 minutes today in what I thought was supposed to be the final visit of three to get a crown replaced. It was supposed to be 30 minutes, not 90. There wasn’t supposed to be any numbing or drilling, yet there was. And “final” got tossed out of the conversation early, so I’ll be back soon to try it again.

Not to mention that the re-scheduling and yet another try is now messing around with my schedule to get to Chicago for Worldcon in two weeks. Gee, which would I prefer to do, be back in the dentist chair or be at Worldcon in Chicago? Tough one, I know.

That got me to thinking about the “common knowledge” that being a dentist makes your stistical chance of committing suicide skyrocket. Is that true? It certainly seems to make sense, but it may or may not be.

More critical to me is the impression that every time I visit the dentist because something has started to hurt, it seems to hurt worse when I leave and never seems to get better at all even through two or three (or four!) follow up visits and procedures. It’s only after I lie on that last follow up and say, “SURE! FEELS GREAT! NO PAIN AT ALL! 😁” that it finally starts feeling a bit better in the following weeks.

Or maybe that’s just me.

With luck tomorrow will be a better day. No dentist, less pain.

Maybe I’ll write something. (I’m writing something.) Maybe there’s a good surpise waiting. (There’s a good surprise waiting.)

Maybe the dentist karma thing is the payment I need to make to pay my dues as an artist. (What a crock!)

For now, some more Extra Strength Excedrin or maybe even a couple Tylenol PM.

If my dentist truly loved me, she would give me some of the really good painkillers. She didn’t. She doesn’t. I’ll muddle through. But I won’t be chipper and cheerful about it!


Filed under Health

Texture – August 15th

Have you paid attention to your breathing lately?

Is your gut tight? Can’t remember the last time you took a deep, full breath? Try one, maybe two. Deeper. Doesn’t that feel good?

That nagging headache? What can we do about that? Maybe take that fancy smart watch and set an hourly alarm (and actually pay attention to it!) then take sixty seconds to breathe.

Not breathe and work on that spreadsheet. Not breathe and read those emails. Not breathe and scan through Twitter.


If it helps, there are apps out there. Free ones, paid ones, simple ones, fancy ones. Whatever.

Do that for a day or to. Be fanatical about it. See if it makes a difference.

And yes, I am talking to myself, reminding myself of what I know but don’t do. You can join the conversation and do it too.

Let me know if it helps. I think it will.


Filed under Health, Photography

Blue & Black

Following last weekend’s tripping incident (do I go to the penalty box for two minutes?) my arm has decided that it’s now time to turn some graphic shades of purple, black, blue, and yellow in addition to continuing to be tender.


Well, yeah, except that the “other guy” was gravity and it kicked my ass. Again, the good news is that I had the presence of mind to not stick out my hands and end up with two broken wrists and instead tucked and rolled, landing on my “off” elbow and shoulder.

To take my mind off of that, today I got to spend almost two full hours in the dentist chair. What I had thought would be ten minutes of biting down into goo to get a mold for a replacement crown turned into an ordeal of poking, prodding, numbing, needling, drilling, grinding, burning, sanding, polishing, and biting down into goo. About mid afternoon the anesthetic wore off and my tongue, cheek, and gums have spent the rest of the day getting reacquainted after their little nappy-bye, with lots of “WTF happened while we were asleep??!!”

I’ll be taking drugs to get to sleep tonight. If anyone needs me bright and early tomorrow morning, I plan on being neither.

I am FrownyFace McCrankyPants. I want ice cream but that would only make it much worse, and if that isn’t an indictment of our times I don’t know what is.


Filed under Health, Photography

I Got Home!

To find that after almost five weeks of watering the lawn at about 25% rations (twice a week instead of four times a week, for 8 minutes instead of 15), the lawn is turning brittle and brown quite nicely.

Good thing that it’s been in the 90’s and low 100’s and dry as a bone, too!

If it were my house I might be making changes in the landscaping, but it’s not. I’m sure the owner isn’t particularly happy, but thems are the rules and they seem to be enforcing it. I’m not planning on getting fined.

Now we just need to wait a couple of days and see if our somewhat obsessive wearing of masks and keeping as distant as possible from others at Baycon was effective. There are already reports of four COVID cases, but not necessarily in areas or panels we attended.

We’ll see. Whether or not we come out of his clean will have a lot to do in the final decision of whether or not to go to Chicago in September for Worldcon.

Fingers crossed…

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Filed under Fandom, Health, Photography, Travel


I spent a chunk of Saturday morning getting a CT scan on my head, which was cool!

I have no results, nor do I have any clue what they wanted to look at, although my sense of it was more of a “Well, let’s eliminate this just on the off chance that it might be an issue” for whatever they’re fiddling with.

So, for now I’m going with the old joke – “Results Negative – NO BRAIN FOUND!”

Funny until proven wrong!

What I was REALLY hoping for was superpowers, maybe even the newly acquired superhero skill set of Zoey in one of my favorite shows of the last couple of years. Nothing yet.

Getting old is not for the fainthearted.


Filed under Health