A Little HELP HERE? Category

Got the FLUE

26 Mar 2010 In: A Little HELP HERE?

There is ANOTHER bird in the chimney. Or, perhaps, a completely DIFFERENT another bird. At least I know better than to attempt THIS again.

Sooooo, rest in peace my avian friend. What a week.

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Three Days: 10,000 Signatures

24 Aug 2009 In: A Little HELP HERE?, LIVESTRONG

Call me lazy (really – go right ahead if you must – I’ll just lie here and take it), but I think this says it all:

Last month when I started the Tour de France, I asked you to join me in signing the World Cancer Declaration. Your response has been staggering —you and more than 100,000 others added your names to this urgent global push to fight cancer.

In three days, the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit here in Dublin will come to a close. It’s an incredibly rare opportunity to urge some of the most powerful people in the world to commit the time, energy and resources needed to make a world without cancer a reality. And we can do just that if we add 10,000 more signatures to the Declaration before the Summit ends on Wednesday.

Will you ask your friends and family to help us add 10,000 commitments by Wednesday night? It only takes a moment and every name counts:


Cancer affects all of us. By 2010, cancer is projected to become the leading cause of death worldwide, yet the fight against cancer lacks urgency and focus. That is why we must take matters into our own hands and force cancer onto the global agenda.

The LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit in Dublin will do just that by bringing governments, communities and survivors from all over the world together pushing for new commitments to stem the growing impact of cancer around the globe. Closing this commitment gap is a critical step towards a world without cancer.

We have just three more days to make the World Cancer Declaration as powerful as possible. Every additional name we add will lend weight to our cause; every single new voice adds urgency to our fight. I know we can reach our goal if each and every one of us asks someone close to join the fight.

Will you ask a friend or family member to join us before Wednesday night? It only takes a moment and will make a big difference:


Lance and the LIVESTRONG Action Team

P.S. From August 24–26, individuals from all parts of the world are uniting in Dublin, Ireland, for one goal—a world without cancer. Visit our blog for the latest updates from the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit.

How can you argue with that?

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For Sale

2 May 2009 In: A Little HELP HERE?

FOR SALE: HP Scanner, five or six years of age, with USB connection and software for MAC or PC. Has magical powers. Indeed, you will have suspected that it has supernatural dirt UNDER the glass, but as you aren’t certain you will simply clean the top of the glass in every manner possible. Then you’ll scan (seriously) OVER ONE HUNDRED PICTURES at a very high resolution to add to the digital images for your beloved niephew’s wedding slide show. You’ll keep cleaning the class as you go along, but you won’t scrutinize the pictures DURING the process because you’re aiming for ultimate efficiency in the process itself. Subsequently, when you start to examine the images, you’ll find that as you have blithely scanned along (not completely blithely, I admit, you’ll have an small and inexplicable feeling of DREAD in your gut) more and more lints and smuts have somehow infiltrated the scanner. The thing seems sealed, so it’s very bad magic that gets the filth inside, I tell you. Even more festive is the green line that began to appear on the right side of the pictures (depending on how they are oriented on the glass).

You’ll get great images such as these:
William and Sarah are matching cows.

These aren’t even the worst pictures; they just made me especially sad for some reason.

The magic of this particular scanner is so much more impressive when you look at them in high resolution (as they are for a slide show, remember). These “save for web” versions don’t really impress; you just cannot imagine the extent of the lint and the crud. I assure you that actual, high-resolution scans are UTTERLY FILTHY and get worse with each subsequent scan. Moreover, I think I cropped the second image so that the green line wasn’t in that shot. But I did attempt to take the big smut of my Baby Brother’s lips. It was so large that I ended up recreating his lips. The result was so horrifying that the image longer exists.

So there you have it. Any takers?

A little Henrike update. This is part of an email she sent me the other day. I debated about splashing it on the world-wide web without permission and decided – HELL, YES!

Okay, this is getting ridiculous:

I had a LIVESTRONG Army booth at a regional cancer hospital, where I talked about the whole LIVESTRONG movement and gave away yellow bands when I suddenly realized that someone stole most of my LIVESTRONG magnets, buttons and wristbands. I had about 100 wristbands, 10 magnets and tons of buttons and they’re all gone, can you believe that? Never mind that I received the wristbands for free. I planned on raising some more money with those and they are all gone, now. I can’t believe those people! I was thinking about filing a report with the police, but they pretty much told me that they didn’t have any hope of them finding the thief, since I didn’t see him/her.

This is just wrong.

I’m sorry, Henrike, but I just want people to understand what you’re up against. Forgive a crazy lady? And in all fairness, to anyone reading this, I should tell you that after that previously quoted section in her email Henrike promptly tried to balance it out by giving me some positive news and, as always, generous encouragement.

So remember: You can give to a WONDERFUL cause (the Lance Armstrong Foundation) through an INSPIRING source (DUHHENRIKE – click HERE to donate – or HERE – or, if you prefer, HERE) and she can actually go to the LIVESTRONG™ Challenge. She IS the International mentor, after all. And time is running out. I’m not harping am I? I don’t want to nag, but it is important… VERY important.

I know, “Shut up, Kate.”

Pretty Pink

6 Apr 2008 In: A Little HELP HERE?

Dear Rit® Dye People:

Pink. Pink? I’m no expert, indeed, but when one dyes several white objects comprised of natural fibers (as per instructions) and adds the cup of salt to the dye mix (as per instructions) and inserts the items into the washing machine “wet and unfolded” (as PER INSTRUCTIONS) and one uses TAN DYE (#16) one expects said items to turn some shade of TAN. Okay, I admit that, uhm, someone may have used a surfeit of said dye, but one still expects a result in the tan colour family.

Rather, I discovered THREE DIFFERENT SHADES of PINK when the garments were examined in the washing machine. Bleach did nothing to diminish this phenomenon. Therein were gentle pink, PINK pink, and some shade of…CORAL.

That is all. Just wondered.

A Curious Consumer

Perhaps more important things later?

That is a message I would like to impress upon my Father. He’s in the hospital again. He’ll have good care; hopefully he doesn’t need another angiogram.

But through my worry I find myself so angry and frustrated. One of the VERY few nights I don’t play vampire (trying to be a “normal” person and sleep more often AT NIGHT) and my Dad’s up all night having dizziness, trying to faint, having stomach symptoms. His solution was to sit and take his own blood pressure to see how low it was – again and again and again. Finally, I guess he woke up my Mother at about 5:00 a.m. and they went to the hospital when he finally decided that seven thousand REALLY LOW blood pressure readings were not good.

I had no idea. I went out to the garage to get cat food at about 7:00 a.m. and wondered where my Mom had gone so early. I called her hours later, because I was getting VERY curious and a little concerned about the early departure, etc. and she told me where they were. I thought perhaps my insisting on the paramedics at the airport last month might have made an impression. I imagine that he thought that since they let me drive him home (his oxygen saturation was okay, his EKG was okay, his blood pressure and pulse were low, but not dangerously). He just didn’t really listen very closely to the part about FOLLOWING UP WITH HIS DOCTOR because they couldn’t do blood cultures and other tests. And I’m not sure he listened to the part about how stents can get clots and can collapse and all such fun. He was leaving town again in a few days so he followed up the by calling the nurse. AHHHHHHHHH!

He has seen the heart specialist since then, which was good. HOWEVER, after spending time feeling like he’d narrowly eluded his own death, he went back to his same, over-working, over-stressed ways (I grant you, it’s hard to change a stressful nature, but the WORK…).

And let’s put the heart problems aside, and the stroke risk – even the foreboding hernia – and talk about what should be considered his most drastic health issue – the cancer. What is going to happen if he has to go on chemo when the androgen therapy finally fails and they don’t have a post-androgen solution yet? The man WILL NOT wash his hands effectively, cover his mouth when he hacks all over – you name it. I can’t imagine a worse person to be immunodeficient. We’ll have to hose him down regularly with hand sanitizer, I guess.

I’m truly sorry, this is not the sort of festive holiday message I would have liked to post right now. But this just impresses so strongly in my mind that my number one holiday wish for EVERYONE I know and love (okay – and for the World) is that they take good care of themselves. And please, please let the medical professionals take over when you are at a loss.

My best and warmest holiday wishes to everyone; GOOD HEALTH and happiness to all.

Gridiron Holy War

24 Nov 2007 In: A Little HELP HERE?, Blood is Thicker...

Yes, it was the big rivalry game of the year: BYU versus The University of Utah. Let’s just say my Father is a die-hard BYU fan (he is a BYU professor). Since the University of Utah is my alma mater, I derive the greatest pleasure from the football rivalry through giving my Dad a REALLY HARD TIME and teasing him about it whenever possible (as he takes it a little too seriously).

But the title above refers more to the idea that I almost had to tackle my Father at the airport today so that he’d let the paramedics take a look at him. He did not want to miss the game, for one thing. But, there are times in one’s life when one can say, “Sit down!” with the right balance of force and concern so that a man who, as a rule, does NOT listen to one me very often, OBEYS (although grumpily). And I had to do something other than body-slam him (though it was very tempting), as this seemed rather counterproductive to preserving his health.

It’s been a LONG day. I’m going to “part II” this whole thing. Aren’t you all excited.


8 Oct 2007 In: A Little HELP HERE?, I fell down, I Have Learned THE HARD WAY

My Powerbook is sick – VERY ill. It happened last night so suddenly; one minute my baby was perfect (as usual) and then – BLACK SCREEN. A spontaneously black screen on any computer is very disconcerting, needless to say. I won’t go elaborate on all the things I attempted to get it going again (switching batteries and power sources, etc., etc.).

I will say that Kate Logic™ (remember – like standard logic but with half the fat) dictated that since the screen was black (I could still hear a slight noise when I booted up that indicated SOME sort of processing – but no comforting boot-up “bong” – like that has anything to do with the keyboard), I removed all the keys and cleaned out as much cat hair and as many lint balls as I could. I got several bloody wounds in the course of this endeavor (what a surprise). This did not fix it. Even my life-blood did not fix it. The LIFE-BLOOD from MY VERY BODY.
Come on - IT'S SO COOL.

It looks like the image above, incidentally, except with a few lil’ dings and scars and such. Oh – and it doesn’t have the posh Intel Core 2 Duo processor in it like the newer models. This does not mean I love it any less.

And just so you know, I have NOT dropped it recently. The Guru’s reply the that statement was, “Recently??”

Speaking of the Guru, he has taken my precious baby home with him to try and fix it (because I cannot imagine that he has anything better to do). Bless him (again and again).

When I ponder this serious problem, I wonder if it has something to do with Murphy’s Law or Karma or wretched irony. Why? Because just the other day I was thinking, “I haven’t backed up my computer in a long time!” See?

Please, people around the World who may read this blog (even if it’s just two or five or nine of you), pray or meditate or send positive energy to my beloved Mac (whichever method floats you boat). I love it so (too much, no doubt – though I DO love my Kitten Children more)!

This entry was typed with much resentment towards Windows on a wretched PC.

She Vants YOUR Blood!

28 Aug 2007 In: A Little HELP HERE?, Blood is Thicker...

Mmmmm, BLOOD!

Well, not much blood, really, but she would like to stick you repeatedly with needles. Perhaps I should explain.

Shirleen is taking at phlebotomy course (as I’ve outlined previously she already knows how to do pretty much everything else in the World). My faux nephew, Tyler, is taking the course, too (bless his needle-phobic lil’ heart). She needs volunteers to be poked (need I add WITH NEEDLES) tonight (Tuesday, August 28, 2007) and on Thursday at 6:00 p.m.

Shirleen practiced on me the other night, and, as someone who’s had their blood taken for various tests at least once a month or so all this year and someone who used to participate in a specialty plasma donation program (those needles have the girth of earthworms), I can tell you she did an excellent job. I can’t vouch for anyone else, mind you, and I don’t know whether or not she has to share her volunteers. That adds an air of titillating risk to it, yes?

So let me know if you’d like to spend your Tuesday and or Thursday evening this week letting neophyte phlebotomists stick you with small-gauge needles for the sake of learning – nay – for the very future of medicine and healthcare.

I got the following text message from Shirleen on Friday (you’ll have to envision the little icon bolt of lightening – it won’t transfer by email):

I’m officially turned on:)

Now AGAIN, don’t get all concupiscent on me, this is MEDICAL, SCIENTIFIC and BIONIC. Hmm. That doesn’t sound too much better. But, referring back to my previous entries, particularly the one from August 11, 2007, you will remember Shirleen’s long overdue pain relief spine stimulating device has been implanted. Well, the surgical healing has progressed far enough, and, with the “bionics expert” looking on (evidently the rep for this device not only consults extensively with potential clients of this gizmo, he attends every surgery), they activated Shirleen’s anti-pain machine (with Bluetooth® technology).

I happy to report that she already is receiving some relief. When she’s completely healed from the surgery it should be even better (I should hope to shout).

Mind you, I think that not only is she entitled to some intense pain relief, I believe she deserves a bevy of tiny faeries to carry her to some cloud-enveloped island where she gets to lounge in an enormous bubble bath while handsome cabana boys fan her with gargantuan ostrich plumes and the scent of jasmine fills the air while the sounds of the gentle waves lull her into a well-deserved sleep. Oh – and there are other gorgeous cabana boys to feed her chocolate – especially delectable magical chocolate containing no calories whatsoever. And vitamins – one can subsist entirely on this chocolate, naturally, go to store and buy your vitamins to get healthy and strong.

Sadly, this is not to be the case. Instead, she was called into work to today so they could lay her off, because she is salaried and with the financial difficulties currently going on in the company they cannot afford her (I personally believe they cannot afford to lose her, but foresight is not the strength of most companies, in my experience). So now that she has achieved a state of increased mobility and will need less and less pain medication and so on, she will have to find a new job.

I’m not sure how she’ll feel about this, but I thought I’d just throw this out there: Anyone need a most excellent multi-talented employee? She can do anything, and if she doesn’t know how to do it already it will take her about five minutes to learn the task. Seriously.

She can expertly groom your dog (though there is a size limit to the canines with that now because of her back), help your bitch whelp its puppies (that’s not ribald – it’s the appropriate medical terminology) and then help you whip up a spreadsheet for financial planning, navigate a database, make multi-coloured explanatory charts and then do your taxes with her lightening-quick typing skills. Oh – and she can do all of this bilingually; she’s fluent in Spanish, too. Wait – she’s trilingual – she speaks some FINE teenager and can text message as fast and well as any sixteen-year-old. And don’t forget, she’s remote-controlled.

If anyone knows of any position that’s available at the moment, give a holler. She really can do just about anything. There are a few physical limitations – she shouldn’t dance, jog, do the “twist,” break dance, or, come to think of it, lift anything “heavier than a milk jug,” and krumpin’ is right out. I don’t know which or if any of these limitations change after more healing from the surgery, but I personally think the cane she uses adds a classy touch to any outfit or situation.

P.S. She has a certain sister who is relatively – okay – mostly unemployed. This sister is also multi-talented and very creative. Sorry, no Spanish, no cane, no puppy whelping (though she can throw a smattering – some smaller smatterings than others – of German, French, Italian, Latin at you, as well as a phrase or two in Russian, Spanish, Japanese, etc. and two phrases and some great song lyrics in Scots Gaelic).

Additionally, she is an ordained clergy person, can take the anal temperature of a feline, has excellent veins upon which many phlebotomists have trained, and possesses an unusual combination of knowledge concerning music (performing and teaching), theatre (performing and teaching), Shakespeare, genetic research, deposition transcription, some rudimentary knowledge of graphic design, retail management, event planning, medical ethics, U.S. Post Service approved address formatting and end-of-life care. She has been known in some work settings as the formatting and table and database QUEEN. What’s more, she has several seemingly useless skills that the innovative employer might find a way to utilize: She’s quite limber, she has double-jointed fingers and toes as well as an inordinately large cranium, an odd ankle deficiency, and she always carries a periodic table of the elements (an outdated version, but it will do for the basics). Oh – and she’s recently delving into cancer advocacy.

Mind you, Shirleen would definitely be a more ideal choice of employee at this point, and not just because she’s a single parent of actual human progeny rather than Kitten Children, but because it will still be a month or so before her sister has a minor medical procedure which should help a tad with at least one aspect of mood-leveling (positive mood-leveling is the hope).

Cheese Wisdom

Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cents quarante-six variétés de fromage?
(How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?)
G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
Les Mots du General (1962)



In Memorium