Friday, October 27, 2006

Update on my mom

She's got pneumonia, a very bad case, according to the doctors. But it's responding to the antibiotics, so things are looking up. She's been able to eat a bit, and she finally is in a regular room instead of emergency--it only took 23 hours to do that. It's in the "ACE" area--"Acute Care for the Elderly."

They said she'd be in the hospital at least through the weekend. I'm guessing it'll be a bit longer than that.

My mom's in the hospital

My mom has been visiting me here in New York. She came last Thursday, and was supposed to go back home Tuesday. But late Sunday night she started feeling sick, and spent most of Monday in bed, very weak. We cancelled her flight back, rebooking it for Wednesday. But she remained weak, maybe even got a little worse, running a bit of a fever, and we cancelled the Wednesday flight also.

Finally yesterday she was so bad I called my doctor, who advised a trip to the emergency room. The paramedics came, gave her oxygen and I think an injection of something, and she improved immediately. Then we all went to the hospital. It was the first time I ever rode in an ambulance--though they didn't use the siren except at one corner.

Anyhow, in the emergency room they checked her over, and over and over and over. A total of four exams by two residents (or whatever they're calling them these days), the attending physician, and my doctor, who came a bit later. All asked the same questions, and came up with the same diagnosis--some pneumonia in one lung. They eventually did a chest x-ray, though I never heard the results. They admitted her, and gave her anti-biotics.

The only problem is, they don't have any available beds. So she's stuck on a gurney in the aisle in the emergency room. She was sleeping on and off, even amid the noise. Hopefully in the morning they'll find a real place for her.

Altogether I spent about 7 hours at the hospital, mostly in the emergency room, except for a couple times when they shooed all the visitors out to the waiting area. There were all sorts of interesting things going on, in both places. But that will have wait for another post.

Get well fast, mom.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

52 reasons NOT to re-elect Republicans

For years and years people have complained about Congress. Poll after poll show that a majority think it does a lousy job, BUT these same polls show that most people think their representative and senators are OK (though lately the dissatisfied group is up to a third).

Well, folks, guess what--if you think there's a problem with Congress, your representatives are probably part of the problem, too. And it seems to me that the largest group of these problem politicians are Republicans--the party seems to attract more than its share of influence peddlers, perjurers, and, er, guys with an unhealthy interest in Congressional pages.

But if you are still inclined to return a Republican to Washington, take a look at this list on my friend Betty's blog. See if your representative or senator is on it, and click to see what he or she has been up to. To be sure, not all of them have been accused of crimes--some are just servants of the wealthy, or just plain senile. Read all about it. Then, on election day, send someone else to Washington.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Post Office: We don't care about you

The Associated Press reports that the Post Office has started a program to eliminate stamp vending machines in post offices by 2010. They claim it is too expensive to maintain them, especially as they have gotten older. They also claim some machines get little use.

Well, maybe if they didn't return change in dollar coins people would use them more. Or if they sold useful items, like "additional ounce" stamps--currently 24¢. Instead it's usually books of 20 first class stamps--$7.80 at the current rate. Which means if you don't have exact change, or $8 in bills, you get the hated dollar coins back. If they sold books of 7, people could just put in $3, which I think a lot more people carry around--$5 bills seem to be used a lot less than tens and ones.

The post office is increasing its use of automated postal centers, though, which is a good thing. They take credit cards, as well as cash. It would help to have more of them. The last time I went to the post office, two people were monopolizing the single automated machine, with a huge stack of envelopes they were mailing out, apparently from where they worked. Each envelope had to be done separately, with the zipcode manually keyed in, and the requested services entered (there is no "same as previous" option, apparently). So I had to wait on the line (long, of course) to see a clerk.

The thing in this article that REALLY ANNOYS ME is that the postal service is reducing the number of free-standing blue mailboxes. They have done that a little in my neighborhood already. I used to have one right at my corner, but it's gone now--though there is another only a block away, so it's not a big deal. What is a big deal is that they have reduced the number of pickups from that box to one a day. If I don't get my mail in by 11:00 a.m., it will sit there to the next day. To me, this just tells me they don't care about giving us good service.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Plats du jour

I found these three blocks apart.

10,000 visitors!

Despite the fact that I have not been posting much of substance of late, and my daily visitor count has decreased by close to half, this blog has now received over 10,000 visitors. I thank all my readers, especially those who have stuck with me during my periods of decreased output. I do intend to return to my previous level. My intermediate-sized projects of the last few weeks (e.g. my taxes, a visit by my mom) are now pretty much completed (though my Great Office Clean-Up Project must be renewed). So stay tuned.

Thanks again, all.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Say it ain't so!

I just got an e-mail from the guys in Girl Friday saying Lisa Jackson has split from them. It's also on their Myspace page. This is horrible! I love this group. The last time I heard them they were so together I wondered why they weren't playing a huge arena and not a small club.

This is sad.

Plat du jour

Big Man on Campus?