Monday, March 22, 2010

What I did this weekend....

1.) Filed and shredded documents that have been languishing.

2.) Finished, all but the felting, ANOTHER pair of French Press Felted Slippers (Christmas 2010 gift).

3.) Watched my tournament bracket get kicked to the curb...thanks a bunch Pitt and Kansas.

4.) Napped.

What I didn't do .......

1.) Watch the news (except for sports).

2.) Watch the cowards and greedy SOBs in the House pass what has to be the worst legislation in the history of the republic.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The week that will never end.....

... and here's why.

As you'all may have noticed, I rarely post about health issues here. Just generic flu and such, nothing exciting, which is really how I like it. With crappy health care on the horizon, I'm even more old skool about posting forever information on the web. However, this past week, has been, well, from hell.

Cutting to the chase...if you ever want immediate care in an ER, just write chest pain on the little intake slip; sprain your ankle, "chest pain", cut your finger, "chest pain". You go right to the head of the line, even if you're standing upright, and not in particular distress. OK, I'm only kidding. Only write chest pain if it's true, and it was for me this past Monday.

Backstory: I'd been feeling pain for about a week (yeah, don't say it), but I'm pretty savvy about heart symptoms, and this felt muscular, and was relieved (somewhat) with NSAIDs. Saturday, though, at the end of a gymnastics meet (didn't participate HAHA), might have been all those great male buns in tights, I was seeing stars. As we drove home, I mentioned to my DH that I was trying to decide whether he should take me to the ER. In typical fashion he said, "Well, we're halfway there, so decide now! Don't wait until we get home!" Men!! Yoi! (I may add here that because I've got a pretty good background in the medical arena, understand the lingo, and can even spell the hard words, he defers pretty much to me.) Anyway we went home, I took 500 mg of Motrin, and the pain eased. By Monday though, when this hadn't resolved I called our doc. Though it is a large practice with a cadre of PAs, EVERYONE was booked. The nurse finally said, just go to the ER, even though this doesn't sound like a heart issue, women get weird symptoms, so go.....So I called DH at work, and he took the afternoon off and took me to the ER where we remained for 5 hours, they poked me more times that I could count, Xrayed, CT'd and EKG'd. I rang the bell on two blood tests, and with further testing determined that I had slight pneumonia and pleurisy in my left lung. They threatened to keep me overnight, but my wonderful doctor, who has been treating us for twenty years, told them to hold off, that he'd followup.

We did followup today, and things look like they're resolving. Still going to do a minor test to make sure nothing is missed, but wants to wait for the pneumonia to clear up. Smarty boots is our doctor. If the pneumonia had been on my right side, or both sides, this would have probably been different. Leave it to me to have lung problems exactly where my heart is supposed to be.

Some interesting things. We have a small town hospital here. In the trauma center where I used to work, you had to go through a medical (ETA: left for entertainment purposes, this should be metal detector!) detector, and a guard searched your bag. Not so here. EVERYONE from the treating PA, to the RNs to the LPNs, to the volunteers, were so nice! Professional and nice. And they were busy! It was Monday, and everyone who had problems over the weekend showed up. It is spring break week, so everyone who had been holding off because of students, showed up. (An aside: When I first felt the pain, it was "State Patty's Day" here, a totally bogus excuse for students to get blasted, and I added that to my "whether I should to to the ER" calculation because they are always busy treating alcohol overdoses. It was a resounding NO!)

They have TV's attached to each ER bed. Now, had I been alone, without my iTouch and knitting, that would have been a nice option. As it was, though, we had to endure soap operas and Judge Judy, from the bed next to me. (And that woman was being treated for migraines. Does bad daytime TV contribute to migraines?) They have free wifi, so when they told me something I could look it up immediately on web md. I tried to knit, but the IV--IN MY WRIST (which is the oddest place anyone has ever installed an IV) made it uncomfortable. On the plus side, there is no evidence that I even had an IV but for a little soreness. Speaks to the skill of the RN.

On discharge I was told to use Motrin(!) if I experienced more pain. What is it they say, even a stopped watch is right twice a day.

So we're back to business as usual that means:

On the way to drop my car off for maintenance service, my DH's car, with NO prior warning, decided to quit. Yes, just quit. We had to have it towed to the garage, cancelled my service, and are awaiting the diagnosis.

I was planning to travel to a campus to deliver two presentations at a campus wide event, only to find out that their chancellor passed away yesterday, from a serious illness. They are forging ahead with the event anyway. Which is rather shocking on the surface.

Just some trivia:

My sister (30 year critical care veteran) tells me that the term is no longer ER, Emergency Room, but ED for Emergency Department. (Who knew?) And that shortness of breath which used to be abbreviated SOB, for millennia, is now SOA for "shortness of air" because some SOB was offended.

Ben Rothlisburger had better get his act together. Outside of the whether or not charges are filed, he is going to wear out his welcome in Pittsburgh. I've said it often in this space, Pittsburghers love their athletes, if they work hard and stay out of trouble. (Think blue collar esthetic.) That's why they love the hockey guys so much. You rarely see them in the news--unless they're visiting a hospital or bowling for charity. To be fair, I feel that Rothlisburger is getting roasted somewhat unfairly, at this point. He buys an expensive house in podunk GA to get out of the limelight, goes to a local watering hole, and barring charges, cannoodles with the locals. None of that is criminal. (If charges are filed -- all bets are off.) But buddy, you need to pay better attention, that's all I'm sayin'.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Wednesday General....

*1* This is the time of year that I think if I ever see another snowflake, it will be too soon (sorry Bezzie). We were just beginning to see our snow pack shrink. We still have about a foot on non-pavement areas, and the "warmish" days, like the mid-30s, encourage some melting, but keep us from having flooding runoff. The other good news is that it means we will probably have a well replenished water table, and no drought this summer, if everything else is normal. Yeah, sweet corn! Then this morning we wake to a soggy layer of snow [again] all over everything not pavement. Right now, as I type, there is a granular snow pelting down.

This is also the time of year, when after three months of constant wearing my winter gear makes me look like a homeless person. With vehicles encrusted with road grime, and just everything generally filthy, there is absolutely no way to keep anything clean. Ugh....that's all I can say.

*2* As I wrote yesterday the Penguins played the Sabres at home last night, so the two people who were the focus of the gold medal game were back together. While I'm sure many sports franchise PR departments are filled with bright people, the Penguins PR people have displayed sheer genius for years. (This in a town that has a 6 time Super Bowl team, and a [supposedly] major league baseball team, and big time college basketball, just to name a few.) From having their star players hand deliver season tickets, to having the players deliver pizza to the construction crews building their new arena, and to the students standing in line for the "cheap" seats right before the games, they never cease to grasp an opportunity to connect with the community. Last night before the game they had a short ceremony and introduced ALL the Olympians on both teams. Reserving Ryan Miller, Brooks Orpic, Marc Andre Fleury, and, of course, Crosby for last. It should not surprise anyone to hear, that the loudest, standing O was for Ryan Miller, who looked a little nonplussed by the response. Miller and Fleury were both sitting out, and were just wearing sweaters, but it was clear, that Miller was startled when he stuck his head out of the runway and only waved to the crowd as an afterthought. I thought it was pretty classy of the crowd. I also thought that Miller should enjoy it while he can. The next time the Sabres show up, there won't be any me.

When the winning Olympic goal was shown on the scoreboard, there was actually a scattering of boos. Not for Crosby certainly, who is loved in Pittsburgh, but for the result.

*3* As for the disposition of the Oceania sweater. I'm very temped to "experiment", but resisted, and cast on for a second Bonne Marie Ce Ce. This one in Classic Elite, All Weather Cotton (Which I can't seem to find anymore, I originally got mine from Webs almost 2 years ago). And will have long, rather than short, or 3/4 sleeves. (The Oceania sweater will have the ends sewn in, and will be "presented" to my mom. Maybe I'll wear it once or twice first, just because. She won't mind, and I'll be careful.) I cannot say enough about Bonne's patterns. They are immaculate, and I'm a chronic pattern mis-reader. I am also a big fan of her sizing. And I like her style--but that's just me.

I'm also in the final throws of Saroyan. But it's looking like I may run out of yarn before I'm done. I only had two skeins of Manos Silky Wool (about 300 yards, but I suspect less). I may have to rip back. But it is such an easy pattern to knit, it will not be a hardship. I just would have liked it a little longer...n'at.

*4* Finally, after a lull of sorts, I'm being bombarded by these (all three arrived in my junk box today):

We are pleased to inform you of the announcement today of winners of the NETHERLANDS ONLINE LOTTERY held on 19th February 2010.Your Company or your personal e-mail address is attached to winning number 20-01-2005-02MSW, with serial number S/N-00168 drew the lucky numbers 887-13-865-37-10-81, and consequently won in the first lottery category.

Hello My Dear How Are You And Your Family,
From sister Mary Konate
My Dearest in Christ

My name is Mrs. Mary Konate a nationality of Kuwait . I am married to late Mr. JAMES KONATE who worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died in the year October 2003. We were married for twenty years with a child. He died after a the illness that lasted for four days.

From Miss.Linda Kona
Abidjan,Cote d'Ivoire.
Good day my dear,
In confidence,I have to introduce myself for I am linda kona 22 years old,I am the only child of late Mr and Mrs.Peter kona.I prayed before contacting you,please do not see my mail as embrassment as we do not know each other.
I wish to request for your assistance in my efforts to see the transfer of my inherited money for investment under your care and directive,while I continue my education of there in your country.I inherited Two Million,Six Hundred Thousand Dollars ($2,600,000.00) here in my name with one of the prime bank in my country and I will require your assistance in receiving the transfer of the money in your local account for investment purposes.

Seriously!! Is there anyone left on planet Earth who responds to these things?

And don't call me "my dear"!! I'm not your dear!! And I'm in a foul mood.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Showdown at ....

... high noon.

Yeah, it's been some time since I last posted. Mostly because I've been having a "time" at work. I'd love to be able to post the strum and drang here, but I'm too cognizant of the very real possibility that someone would run across this. Nothing on the innernets is private...nothing. A mantra I keep repeating to myself. Just let me say, it sucks and let to go at that.

Here's another thing that kinda sucks. My Oceania Cardigan. Why you ask? Well, the pattern sizes were cosmic in proportion. Like a medium was listed as 44 inches across the chest. Yikes!

Even though I knitted it in pieces and checked the gauge now and again, and it seemed OK-- stitched together it is 48 inches wide. Yeh, I gained 4 inches somewhere in my journey.

And take a gander at that neckline. I look like a bobblehead when I put it on. To even get to this point, I also endured all kinds of trials and tribulations. Detailed on Ravelry (the Place That Shall Not Be Named if you're Bezzie) if you'd like to bore yourself.

I would like to rip and repeat the neckband, but because the button bands were 5 stitches picked up at the top of the neckband, I'm afraid I won't know what to do with the loose and floppy stitches at the top of the button bands if I rip out the neckband. I'm thinking I could finesse it. Like put the 5 stitches on a holder and somehow knit them in with the new neckband, but dunno....any suggestions?

Here's the view of the problem area....

See to the left of the button? It so happens that red stripe is where I picked up the stitches for the button band.

Ultimately I have two choices. Give it a go, and see what happens. If the worst occurs, I'll have to reknit the neck and BOTH button bands.

Or, make it a Mother's Day gift to my mother, who would love it just as it is....I think.

Next up is the Lotus Blossom Hat from Cat Bordhi's Treasury of Magical Knitting.

(Yes--the hat is shown on a mini-basketball, and sitting on duct tape. Cut me a break.)

I don't know what goes on in Cat's brain, but it is frightening. I just couldn't get my brain around the mobius headband part, and how it could work, but damn it did. Beautifully.

I used a bulky yarn, with a similar gauge, instead of two strands of worsted, and needed less than one 165 yard skein.

To add to the fun, it is reversable. this is the "inside".

I don't know what side I like better!!

Now I'm sure that it would look even better in a semi-solid yarn, but I wanted something to blend with my Noro Scarf, and this works beautifully.

It is not a "serious" hat. It looks rather like one of those wrapped turbans one sees on elderly ladies on park benches.

As a bonus, one can bind off after the band and just have a lovely mobius headband. I'm definitely going to work up one of those. Maybe with Malabrigo.

This pattern is easy, peasy. The yarn is Ester Bitran Talinay #201 which I purchased at our LYS Super Sunday sale.

Finally, I was pretty conflicted about the gold metal hockey game. It was a great game, regardless of outcome! Ryan Miller was wonderful. But wouldn't you know...the one time I wish Crosby wouldn't score, he does. I just hope he keeps it up for the playoff run. Something you gotta understand about Pittsburgh sports, we love our players. Keep your nose clean, be a contributor, and you will always have a place in Pittsburgh's heart. Ask Plaxico. There were probably people standing in line to load the moving van when he went to NY.

And Nancy, the grading curve jokes not withstanding....that's "E" for effort. Apparently spelling isn't your strength either......

ETA (3/2): Mr. KB who is languishing at home with the flu (after getting TWO flu shots this year), tells me the Penguins are playing Buffalo tonight at the "Igloo" (Mellon Arena). So not 48 hours later it could be another Crosby/Miller dustup. ( I fully expect the Sabres to sit Miller though. He certainly deserves it. Crosby, and the other Olympians will get a hero's welcome home.)