Alrighty, then….

I’m back, and I’m pissed. Our sons and daughters are dying in a war that the majority of Americans do not support, for a President that Americans overwhelmingly do not support, all while our economy and ecosystem are collapsing.

Impeachment is the only option.

If you are not a voter, you are THE problem. If you are a voter, and have not contacted your ELECTED representatives and demanded that they bring articles of impeachment or risk losing their own jobs, you are part of the problem.

Your sons and daughters are paying the price now, with their lives and their limbs.

Your grandchildren will grow up in a time when the United States is the most despised country in the world.

Impeachment is the only option.

Published in: on April 7, 2007 at 10:31 pm  Comments (3)  

For Hez

Death is nothing at all.

I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I and you are you, whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name. Speak to me in the easy way you always used. Put no difference into your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we always enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow in it.

Life means all that it ever meant, it is the same as it ever was. There is absolute unbroken continuity.

What is death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.

All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost.

One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

(Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918, Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, sermon delivered in St Paul’s Cathedral on Whitsunday 1910, while the body of King Edward VII was lying in state at Westminster.)

My sincere (belated) condolences to you and your family.


Published in: on February 2, 2007 at 5:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Something new for me …

Yesterday, I joined the National Marrow Donor registry, to donate bone marrow and/or peripheral circulating blood cells, which are stem cells in the blood which produce blood cells.

The donation process, of course, is much different than a simple whole blood donation, but the screening and tissue typing was quite simple. I just filled out about three pages of personal information, most of which was emergency contact information, and gave 4 mouth swabs.

Race and ethnicity do play major roles in transplant tissue matching, so there is a desperate need for people who identify themselves as Black or African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian, Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino to join to potential donor pool.

So now there’s a tiny bit more Native American DNA in the registry 😉 I may never get called to donate, but I feel good about being available. And if I do ever donate, I immediately join the elite bunch of blood and tissue donors who get invited to the annual Donor Recognition dinner, which I was lucky enough to attend with my mother (a 10 gallon blood donor) last week. More on that later 🙂

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Published in: on February 1, 2007 at 12:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Oh, this is nice

I got a letter this morning from someone all the way out in Huntington Beach, raving about our secret house BBQ sauce 🙂

That’s going on the menu next week. I’m thinking about offering a reward to anyone who can guess the super-secret ingredient. 😉

Published in: on January 31, 2007 at 12:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Doing the Math

Surely, there are so many people in this country giving blood every day, why am I always nagging YOU?

Let’s see …. 

There are approximately 201 million Americans between the ages of 16 and 65.

Of those 201 million Americans, about 60% are eligible to donate whole blood –  80,400,000.

Unfortunately, only about 5% actually DO give blood – 10,050,000.

Each donor may only give a pint once every 56 days – 10,050,000 divided by 56 = 179,464 potentially giving blood every day.

About 38,000 pints are needed every day in this country (never mind, again, the need of our sons and daughters deployed around the world)

So, what’s the problem, right?

Well, first of all, not every one of those 10,050,000 donors are going in every 56 days like clockwork.  Good, dependable donors actually roll up their sleeves about every 2.5 months, on average.  Assuming that all 10,050,000 are good, dependable donors, now you’ve got 134,000 American adults going to the blood bank every day.

About 20% will be deferred, due to low iron, illness, blood pressure issues, low body weight, recent tattoos / piercings, or certain international travel.   Now we’ve got 107,200 donors a day.  About 2% of the blood collected on a given day will not make it through the safety testing within the next 18 hours.  Now we have 105,056 pints.

No problem!

Not so fast.  Let’s talk blood compatibility.

If you need blood, you need blood that matches your own type.  If you are AB- , for instance, only about 1% of the US population has your blood type.  Assuming 1% of the donors actually going into the blood bank everyday are AB-, there’s only 1,050 pints of your blood type coming into the system daily. 

  • A liver transplant patient, on average, will need six – 10 units of red blood cells, 20 units of plasma and 10 units of platelets (or one – two units of apheresis platelets).
  • A kidney transplant patient, on average, will need one – two units of red blood cells.
  • A heart transplant patient, on average, will need four – six units of red blood cells.
  • An adult open-heart surgery patient, on average, will need two – six units of red blood cells, two – four units of plasma and one – 10 units of platelets (or one – two units of apheresis platelets).
  • A newborn open-heart surgery, on average, will need one – four units of red blood cells, one – two units of plasma, and one – four units of platelets.
  • Prostate cancer surgery may require two – four units of red blood cells.
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm may require four – six units of red blood cells.
  • Bone marrow transplant, on average, requires one – two units of red blood cells every other day for two – four weeks and six – eight units of platelets daily (or one – two units of apheresis platelets) for four – six weeks.
  • A leukemia patient may need two – six units of red blood cells and six – eight units of platelets (or one – two units of apheresis platelets) daily for two – four weeks.
  • Patients with sickle cell disease, on average, need 10-15 units of red blood cells to treat severe complications.
  • A premature newborn may need one – four units of red blood cells while in Intensive Care.
  • Will there be blood if you need it?

    There was, when I was 17 and needed 6 pints after tearing an artery in my leg.  There was not, last summer when a friend’s father with leukemia needed 4 pints a day.  The leukemia did not kill him, he died of heart failure when the blood bank could not deliver what he needed.

    I went on to college, marriage, children and the opportunity to advocate for important causes in my community, because the blood was there.

    And for KC’s dad, it was not.

    Approximately 2,412,000 American adults eligible to donate blood have KC’s father’s type.  And yet, it was not there.

    So that’s why I nag 😉

    Published in: on January 26, 2007 at 4:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

    Please Save a Life This Month

    January is National Blood Donors Month.  About 39,000 pints of blood are needed every single day in US hospitals and emergency rooms alone, never mind the many, many units needed daily by our sons and daughters at war. 

    Only about 5% of American adults eligible to give blood, actually do so.  Even fewer of us do so on a regular basis.

    Does it hurt?  Well, it feels like someone stuck a needle in your arm, yeah.  And, truthfully, for small people like myself with itsy bitsy veins, it can be uncomfortable. 

    Have you ever gotten up at night, stumbled aound in the dark,  and caught your little toe on the edge of a dresser or doorway?  Well, giving blood is way less painful than that 😉

    And they give you cookies!  And most of the time, they give you other stuff, like T-shirts and concert tickets!  And if you’re in my neck of the woods, they’ll send you over to my place for a free pizza or sub!

    And cookies!

    Stop wussing out!

    Published in: on January 19, 2007 at 11:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

    Baby, it’s COLD outside!

    We had snow in SoCal, in the inland valleys! 

    So let’s make soup 🙂

    Actually, I was in the kitchen whipping up a huge batch of my secret barbeque sauce, but since we use that in the store, I can’t share that recipe with you.  Too bad, it’s yummy! 🙂

    But once I’ve cleaned up that mess, I’m making a hearty bean with bacon soup for tomorrow.  I’ll put it together tonight and set the crockpot to start it up ten hours before dinnertime tomorrow.  That recipe I can share, at least until we add soups to our menu 🙂

    You need:

    3 cups of dried navy beans
    3 quarts of water
    10 slices of bacon
    3 onions, chopped
    1 cup diced carrots
    1 cup diced celery
    28 ounces of tomato juice
    2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
    1/2 cup honey
    1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    2 tsp salt
    1 tsp pepper
    1 bay leaf

    Put the beans, honey and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, and boil for two minutes. Cover and let stand for one hour.

    Cook the bacon until crispy in a large stockpot. Remove the bacon to paper towels, drain and crumble.

    Add the onions to the bacon drippings and cook until tender. Now add the beans and cooking liquid to onions in the stockpot, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about an hour.

    Now combine everything in your 4 quart crockpot, including the crumbled bacon, cover and cook 10-12 hours on low. Remove the bay leaf before serving. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

    Garnish with some grated white cheese (Swiss is great!) and maybe a spoonful of chunky salsa.  Serve with hot cornbread!

    Published in: on January 13, 2007 at 6:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

    Crazy Days and Crazy Nights …

    … translates to wasted days and nights 🙂

    I have spent yet another four hours of my life trying to guess the “blind items” at Crazy Days and Nights

    If you are into gossipmongering, but don’t care for the hateful, just plain MEAN stuff from the likes of Perez Hilton, check out Ent Lawyer.

    He claims to be an “entertainment lawyer” working in L.A. There is some debate about that, but I tend to believe him, as he is extremely careful about every single word he uses.

    Every word matters, come on over and help us guess …. if you really have an entire lifetime to waste

    Published in: on January 4, 2007 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

    New Year, New Tools

    It’s New Year’s Day, and I’m not going to waste  much of my precious naptime (or your’s!) on a maudlin post reflecting back on 2006, nor am I going to enumerate all the ambitious resolutions that realistically I’ll break sometime in the first quarter of 2007.

    You’re welcome 🙂

    One thing I’ll do more of in 2007 ….

    Having noticed that I constantly get traffic on my “Techie Stuff” posts, even when they’ve fallen into the archives, it occurs to me that perhaps there are a LOT of people like me – just want to know, in simple language, how to fix something or do something easier. 

     I don’t want to know why something doesn’t work, I want to fix it.  I want things that DO work, and I want them to be easy.  I prefer quick and simple little programs that do what I need done over huge bloated apps with features I’ll never understand, let alone use.

    So, I’m going to post more of those things, and start 2007 with one of my very favorite new finds.  It’s free, it’s small, and I found it via Sourceforge – it doesn’t get any better than that 😉

    We all know, of course, that we should use different passwords for all of our accounts, they should be random, and we should never have them written down anywhere, and certainly not on those Post-It notes cleverly concealed under the keyboard.


    That was fine, ages ago when most of us only had a handful of passwords to keep track of. That was before we did all of our banking, all of our shopping, all of our bill-paying online. That was before we had multiple email addresses for multiple purposes, and blogs and forums and message boards to log into. And that was certainly before all of the secure sites started requiring us to CHANGE our passwords from time to time.


    We all need KeePass. Small, easy to use, free, and recommended by a trusted site, KeePass fulfills every one of my requirements for Stuff Worth Downloading.

    Just download the app, install it, come up with ONE master password that will “unlock” the database, then you can store every other password you use on every site in one place that is NOT under your keyboard 😉

    KeePass will generate random passwords for you, auto-type them into forms, and even allows you to keep notes such as what day this bill is due, or what email address you used when you created that account. It’s very small, which makes it portable, so I can carry all of my log-in and password information on a thumbdrive.

    KeePass stores the data in highly encrypted form, so even if you lose that thumbdive, no one will be able to read your data without that one master password you created at the start. AND it locks itself back up, so if you walk away from your desk with KeePass sitting on your taskbar, it’s going to ask for your master password again when the window is restored, thwarting that suspicious person in the next cubicle 😉

    I have no idea what my banking passwords are.  Now I don’t care.

    Easy, free, small, does what I need it to do. That’s good enough for me 🙂

    Published in: on January 1, 2007 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

    And so, it’s done

    Saddam Hussein has been executed.  The Butcher of Baghdad is dead.

    So what has been accomplished?  He became irrelevant when he was captured, he no longer had the means to do harm to anyone.  And now he is spared a lifetime of irrelevance, decades perhaps of being just another powerless loser having yet another bologna sandwich for lunch.

    Death was too good for him.

    Published in: on December 29, 2006 at 8:07 pm  Leave a Comment