Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Holly mentioned something in her blog the other day about the vaccine for HPV and how the governor of Texas was mandating it for all girls in the 6th grade and older. I was going to leave a comment, but thought it would be a little too lengthy.

MFD had a follow up with her primary physician last week, and one of the recommendations was that we get her the Gardasil vaccine, along with the one for meningitis. Doc gave us some pamphlets about HPV and cervical cancer to read about before we made our decision. Much more information is available at www.tell-someone.com.

I am all for giving my children a vaccine that can possibly prevent a serious or deadly disease. Depending on the disease, I would have them vaccinated whether it was approved by the CDC or not, and paid for by insurance or not.

One of the universities in the state next door had a rash of meningitis cases a while back. Meningitis can and did kill young adults in a matter of hours. Those that survive can suffer severe consequences.

I played heck last summer trying to get the meningococcal vaccine for MFS before he left for college. Although the vaccine was highly recommended for those that would be living in dormitories and even required by some colleges, the CDC had not yet approved it. It was a very expensive vaccine and because many health insurances would not cover the cost, it was not readily available. My doctor’s office didn’t carry it, and when I checked with several health departments, there was a long waiting list. I did finally manage to get him back in to the pediatrician’s office, so that was a relief.

Now there is a newer vaccine available that has been approved by the CDC, so our current doctor’s office does now carry it.

The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices has approved the use of the HPV vaccine (Gardasil) for 11-12 year old girls, although it can be given as early as age 9. For older girls, ACIP recommends a “catch up” for ages 13-26, which basically means if they haven’t been vaccinated, they should. From the information I read, the vaccine is recommended even if the girl is already sexually active or has had HPV. This is because there are about 100 types of HPV, and she may not have been exposed to the four types the vaccine can protect against.

The ACIP recommendations have been presented to the director of the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services, but they have not been approved yet.

I believe that if the CDC has approved a vaccine, states have every right to require proof of immunization from school children. However, if a state, like Texas, is going to mandate a vaccine that has not yet been approved, and therefore may not be covered by insurance, the state should be responsible for the cost.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. When bovines quit producing methane.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Grey's Anatomy

I attended a special continuing ed ministry session the other night. I came home from taking MFD to guitar lessons, crammed a tape in the VCR, programmed it to record the last of a three part special of Grey’s Anatomy, and headed back out the door to an interesting meeting.

I came home after the meeting and immediately noticed something was wrong. The TV—my TV, in my bedroom (that I also graciously allow Hubby to use)—was on. And it wasn’t on ABC. Hubby swore he had just turned it on and he hadn’t touched it before.

MFD is very fortunate the show was re-broadcast. Unfortunately, Lovi had already told me Mama Grey dies.

I don’t watch a lot of TV anymore, but since I was young, medical shows have tended to be my favorite, followed closely by cop shows. It was probably Johnny Gage that did it to me. But there was also Medical Center with Chad Everett, The FBI with Ephrem Zimblist, Jr., the Streets of San Francisco, Adam 12, The Rookies, Marcus Welby, St. Elmo, Chicago Hope, ER, and the original CSI.

The only problem with medical shows is that I can get a touch grouchy about technicalities.

If you saw the second episode of the special Grey’s Anatomy, McDreamy was pounding and puffing away on Meredith as they arrive at the hospital. Well, the trauma scene was surely more than a few moments from the hospital. Why hadn’t he at least intubated her? I don’t care if millions of women were dreaming that they were Meredith and McDreamy was breathing life into their bodies. It was wrong.

You know, if Ambulance Driver had been in charge, she’d have been tubed, two IVs going, meds pushed, shocked a couple of times, and back to Normal Sinus Rhythm by the time they got to the hospital.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, so that’s not as romantic as what they did on the show. If they’d given AD the opportunity to blog about it, he’d have written it up even better than what they did. In fact, McDreamy probably would have heroically saved the day by single handedly bringing Meredith back to life.

Unrealistic? So what, she did mention miracles in the last episode, and it would have been technically correct.

A few years back, there was a movie out—I can’t remember the name…it had Denzel Washington in it, portraying a father fighting for his son’s life. I heard it was a pretty good movie, but I wouldn’t know, because I got irritated right off the bat.

Accident scene, young woman in a smooshed up vehicle, obviously dead, and they close in on her Medic Alert bracelet. The intent was to let the viewer know the young woman was an organ donor.

Problem 1. Most people I know sign the back of their driver’s license to indicate he/she is an organ donor. Medic Alert bracelets/necklaces let the medical people know if you have special conditions, i.e. you’re allergic to penicillin, you’re diabetic, you have a pacemaker, you’re on certain medications, etc. Not too many people run around with a Medic Alert bracelet that says I AM AN ORGAN DONOR in case they are in an accident and die.

Problem 2. She was dead. You can’t transplant the kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, etc. if she’s dead. You could use her eyes. But I don’t think that was what the little kid needed because I seem to recall he was tubed. Mm hm, yep. Because I believe he talked around the tube.

[sigh] Is it so hard to put a little more thought into something that isn’t as easy or romantic doing it the proper way, so that it can look easy or romantic AND technically correct? C’mon, you’re supposed to have expert technical assistance, make them earn that money. Don’t just tell them “oh, that’s not nearly as dramatic as doing it this way,” and watch them cringe and close their eyes as you film it your way.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hillary Clinton

I do not like Hillary Clinton. If you have a problem with that, you might as well leave right now. I can’t think of one issue in which she agrees with me, so she doesn’t have my best interests at heart. I’ll admit I may not have the best rationale for casting a particular vote, but it sure as heck isn’t based on sex, race, or religion. I don’t think jobs should be awarded according to sex, race, or religion, so I think anyone that votes based on that may not have all their oars in the water.

Now, if you can find an African-American, Muslim, pro-life, octogenarian female, I might reconsider.

But that is not Hillary, and I refuse to vote for her just because she is a female and America is ready for a female president. Not this American. As far as I am concerned, Nancy Pelosi is too close in line for the presidency.

Anyway, my favorite CWO has sent some campaign info that my remaining loyal reader may enjoy:

Senator Hillary Clinton was invited to address a major gathering of the American Indian nation two weeks ago in upper New York State. She spoke for almost an hour on her future plans for increasing every Native American's present standard of living, should she one day become the first female President.

She referred to her career as a New York Senator, how she had signed "YES" for every Indian issue that came to her desk for approval. Although the Senator was vague on the details of her plan, she seemed most enthusiastic about her future ideas for helping her "red sisters and brothers."

At the conclusion of her speech, the Tribes presented the Senator with a plaque inscribed with her new Indian name - Walking Eagle.

The proud Senator then departed in her motorcade, waving to the crowds. A news reporter later inquired of the group of chiefs of how they had come to select the new name given to the Senator.

They explained that Walking Eagle is the name given to a bird so full of $hit it can no longer fly.

A bumper sticker for both parties.
FINALLY, someone has come out with a 100% bipartisan political bumper sticker.

The hottest selling bumper sticker comes from New York State :


Democrats put it on the rear bumper.
Republicans put it on the front bumper.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Enough Is Enough

I would like to report 518 members of Congress for waste, fraud, and abuse. All of them that voted for and the ones that voted against. Because if debating and voting on a “non-binding resolution” isn’t a waste of time and my hard earned money, I don’t know what is.

Sit down, folks. Somebody else got hold of the keyboard, and it isn’t the Saint.

I’ll hand it to Senator McCain. He chose not to return to Washington DC for the vote, and called the symbolic measure “meaningless.” My sentiments exactly.

What was the point of this whole exercise? To “send a message” to President Bush? I believe that message was sent in November, and Democrats are merely rubbing it in the president’s face with their posturing that achieves nothing other than stirring up the pot. It’s time to move on.

Republicans aren’t any better, whining because the Senate Majority Leader wouldn’t allow a vote on an alternative measure that vowed not to cut off funds to the troops. What would that accomplish? Again, nothing.

I’ve been hearing, “We support the troops, we just don’t support the war” for a long time and I am sick and tired of it. But no one has satisfactorily explained why it is so offensive. One person compared it to a coach telling his team, “I believe in you guys, I just don’t believe you can beat this team.”

Bull hockey. No coach is going to tell his team they can’t win. At least, not before the game, and not if he wants to remain the coach.

A better comparison would be: “We support students, we just don’t support what they’re learning.” (How many of you have ever said “What in the heck are they teaching kids these days?”)

In this case, the students are along for the ride, they have no choice but to learn what they are taught. The same is true of our soldiers, they are following orders. However, like a team with a good coach, they are carrying out their orders to the best of their ability, with as few or as many resources as they can get, because you never know what will happen. How many times has the underdog come out on top, even after facing overwhelming odds?

So, what are our students to do? The School Board has stated it doesn’t like what the students are learning. The Board tells the school superintendent they don’t like it. However, if the superintendent approves the education, the Board’s statement accomplishes nothing. Then the Board tells the superintendent that it won’t approve the budget unless the students all have an A average.

If you make some substitutions, you have Congress telling the President it won’t fund the war unless certain conditions are met. They still oppose the war, but as long as the troops are “properly” trained, equipped, and rested, they’ll approve the funds.

Meanwhile, our students and our soldiers are still left hanging.

The difference between the School Board and Congress is that Congress was paid to spend four days debating something utterly useless.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to use the precious time to come up with some viable alternatives instead of puffing out your chest and declaring over and over that you’re the winner?

To me, the only thing worse than a sore loser is a poor winner, and that is what the Democrats are right now. A sincere winner would be saying, “No one likes war. Let’s work together to resolve this situation, get our troops home, and stabilize the Middle East without jeopardizing our national security.”

[sigh] LawDog has his fantasy, why can’t I have mine?


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Themed Nights

You can visit a theme park, attend a themed party, or have a favorite theme song. Now you can also have the night of your “themes” thanks to themed mini bar packages being offered at certain hotels.

The “Get It On” mini bar sounds a little interesting to me. I wonder if they allow substitutions—like Asti instead of champagne or Barry Manilow instead of Barry White. They probably charge extra for that.

I am definitely feeling the need to get away for a few days. Two questions: do I want to bring Hubby along, and what kind of theme can I dream up?

If I expect breakfast to be brought to me in bed and to have my bath run, I suppose I’ll need Hubby, so that answers the first question.

On to the second.

How about Margaritaville? Bring the bucket of margaritas, glasses, salt shaker, and a Jimmy Buffet CD.

Maybe you all can help me out and fill in the blanks, or come up with your own? I know how creative my readers can be. (Just please remember this is a family site and that MFSG visits once in a while.)

Something like the LEO Special, with water pistols, handcuffs…

Medicine for the Medic, with the little doctor kit, instructions for chest massage and mouth-to-mouth…

Cowboys and Indians—feather headdress, peace pipe and/or hatchet (depending on the mood) (or maybe the hatchet belongs in the Lorena Bob It collection?)…

The Mile High Club—packages of peanuts, mini booze bottles, plastic pilot wings…

The Newlywed Game—Sex 101 for Dummies…

My personal favorite, the one I think I’ll investigate, is the Romancing the Stoned package, if I can figure out what comes with it besides a joint and some munchies.

Thanks to Ambulance Driver and Diamond Mair, I’ve now been visiting Dragonwatch regularly. We’ve got quite a bit in common, he also has an interesting and rather eclectic background. You’ll see he’s been added to my list on the side, run over and tell him hi.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Rotary Wing Flight Lesson

Before we begin, I have to get some things off my chest. I am hurt, hurt, hurt, that someone would call my helicopters ugly and that they only fly because the earth rejects and repels them. My IP’s taught me it had to do with smoke and mirrors, and I believe them. I think there was mention of rubber bands, too.

Someone evil in me just can’t resist this, DW—most fun: flying, anywhere, not only for free, but getting paid to do it!

Now, on to our instruction…

Lesson 1: Terminology

I know it can be difficult, but practice saying “rotary wing” until it flows off your tongue without sounding like “roarroarreering.” It’s much more impressive to say “rotary wing” than “helicopter.” Then, when someone asks you why it’s called a rotary wing, you can say it’s because the wings aren’t fixed, like, say, a fixed-wing.

When you become as experienced or tongue-tied as I am, we old-timers call them a helicopter. Not “chopper,” as to be confused with a Hog. Or, you could say, “I’m in a Chinook unit.” My understanding is that CH-47 Chinooks got their name from an Indian tribe and word meaning “wind.” I guess they were also called “Hooks” because in addition to the troops and cargo DW mentioned, they could also sling loads with the cargo hook. I never heard anyone in an aviation unit call us (or me, even) a “Hooker.” Of course, there weren’t many of us (wimmen folks) flying them back then, and I guess the guys might have taken offense to it. Hmmm, matter of fact, Hubby would probably knock someone flat on their behind if someone called him that, even jokingly. Anyway, when you get really, really good, you just say “I’m a –47 driver.” Everybody that’s anybody knows what you mean.

Back in my day (when dinosaurs roamed the earth, as Holly would say), we still had Huey-drivers. Those of us that hadn’t transitioned into the Chinooks yet were constantly told that “skids are for kids.” Ha ha. When I went to flight school, we were first taught on a TH-55. They look very similar to what Dave Berry was describing. (By the way, there really is an organization called the “Whirly Girls.” I had a chance to become a charter member back when I was young and inexperienced. Should have taken them up on the offer so no one would question my orders.) It was a two-seater, and anyone with claustrophobia hoped their training was in the summer so the doors would be off.

“T” stood for “training,” and “H” was for “helicopter.” You know the military, everything has to be designated something. So there’s A for Attack, B for Bomber, C for Cargo, F for Fighter, U for Utility. (And all this time you thought A was for Alpha, B was for Bravo, C was for Charlie…) We had a lot of good stories in flight school: There I was, in my AH-55, 5000 feet, the enemy hot after me…

Ok, I think that’s enough information for now. I don’t want to overwhelm myself, I mean, you, with too much all at once.

BossMan says it’s time for me to get my behind over to the house and get to cleaning. The Inspector is coming tomorrow and the Appraiser on Tuesday. Boss is getting a touch hespis and wants things perfect. (Gee, I sure hope it doesn’t make any difference if the place still isn’t completed.)

Flight instruction will resume……some day.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Helicopter Rules

If you’ve never been in a helicopter, this is about as good an explanation as you can get!

Written by: David Berry
Nationally Syndicated columnist

TODAY'S AVIATION TOPIC IS: How to fly a helicopter.

Although flying a helicopter may seem very difficult, the truth is that if you can drive a car, you can, with just a few minutes of instruction, take the controls of one of these amazing machines. Of course you would immediately crash and die. This is why you need to remember:

RULE ONE OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: Always have somebody sitting right next to you who actually knows how to fly the helicopter and can snatch the controls away from you. Because the truth is that helicopters are nothing at all like cars. Cars work because of basic scientific principles that everybody understands, such as internal combustion and parallel parking. Whereas scientists still have no idea what holds helicopters up. "Whatever it is, it could stop at any moment," is their current feeling.

RULE TWO OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: Maybe you should forget the entire thing.

This was what I was thinking on a recent Saturday morning as I stood outside a small airport in South Florida, where I was about to take my first helicopter lesson. This was not my idea. This was the idea of Pam Gallina-Raisstguier, who flies radio reporters over Miami during rush hour so they can alert drivers to traffic problems ("Bob, we have a three-mile backup on the interstate due to an overturned cocaine truck"). Pam is active in an international organization of women helicopter pilots called (Gloria Steinem; avert your eyes) the "Whirly Girls." She thought it would be a great idea for me to take a helicopter lesson. I began having severe doubts when I saw Pam's helicopter. This was a small helicopter. It looked like it should have a little slot where you insert quarters to make it go up and down. I knew that if we got airborne in a helicopter this size in South Florida, some of our larger tropical flying insects could very well attempt to mate with us. Also, this helicopter had no doors. As a Frequent Flyer, I know for a fact that all your leading U.S. airlines, despite being bankrupt, maintain a strict safety policy of having doors on their aircraft. "Don't we need a larger helicopter?" I asked Pam. "With doors?" "Get in." said Pam.

You don't defy a direct order from a Whirly Girl. Now we're in the helicopter, and Pam is explaining the controls to me over the headset, but there's static and the engine is making a lot of noise. "your throttle (something)," she is saying. "This is your cyclic and (something) your collective." "What?" I say. "(something) give you the controls when we reach 500 feet," Pam says. "What?" I say. But Pam is not listening. She is moving a control thing and WHOOOOAAAAAA we are shooting up in the air, and there are still no doors on this particular helicopter. Now Pam is giving me the main control thing.

RULE THREE OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: If anybody tries to give you the main control thing, refuse to take it. Pam says: "You don't need hardly any pressure to... " AIEEEEEEEEEEE "That was too much pressure," Pam says. Now I am flying the helicopter. I AM FLYING THE HELICOPTER. I am flying it by not moving a single body part, for fear of jiggling the control thing. I look like the Lincoln Memorial statue of Abraham Lincoln, only more rigid. "Make a right turn," Pam is saying. I gingerly move the control thing one zillionth of an inch to the right and helicopter LEANS OVER TOWARD MY SIDE AND THERE IS STILL NO DOOR HERE. I instantly move the thing one zillionth of an inch back. "I'm not turning right." I inform Pam. "What?" she says. "Only left turns." I tell her. When you've been flying helicopters as long as I have, you know your limits. After a while it becomes clear to Pam that if she continues to allow the Lincoln statue to pilot the helicopter, we are going to wind up flying in a straight line until we run out of fuel, possibly over Antarctica, so she takes the control thing back. That is good news. The bad news is, she's now saying something about demonstrating an "emergency procedure." "It's for when your engine dies," Pam says. "It's called 'auto-rotation'." Do you like amusement park rides?" I say: "No, I DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOnnnnnnnnn't"

RULE FOUR OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: "Auto-rotation" means "coming down out of the sky at about the same speed and aerodynamic stability as that of a forklift dropped from a bomber. "Now we're close to the ground (although my stomach is still at 500 feet), and Pam is completing my training by having me hover the helicopter.

RULE FIVE OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: You can't hover the helicopter. The idea is to hang over one spot on the ground. I am hovering over an area approximately the size of Australia. I am swooping around sideways and backward like a crazed bumblebee. If I were trying to rescue a person from the roof of a 100-story burning building, the person would realize that it would be safer to simply jump. At times I think I am hovering upside-down. Even Pam looks nervous. So I am very happy when we finally get back on the ground. Pam tells me I did great, and she'd be glad to take me up again. I tell her that sounds like a fun idea.

RULE SIX OF HELICOPTER PILOTING: Sometimes you have to lie.

Coming soon to a blog near you—free flying lessons.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Finally! After all this time, I can’t believe it’s finally here! I’ve almost forgotten how long I’ve been waiting for this. After all the money spent…all the setbacks…contracts, negotiations, specifications………All the hard work, all the time put into it, changing this, changing that, the give and take, ups and downs………….The last minute substitutions, who’s responsible for this or that, who’s to blame for this or that, who really deserves the credit……The details, the vision, the appraising…….The heat, the cold, the rain, the snow………The arguing, the yelling, the hugs, the pats on the back………Pride, thrill, agony, pain………..We’ve seen it all……….

And now, at long last………..

Drum roll, please……..

No, no, no, no, no, no, NO! The house is NOT done…..

Football season is over.

Now all that's left to talk about is whether Prince's guitar was just a guitar.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bore?

No Clydesdales. How un-superbowl-manly. We were gypped, I tell ye!

I bet them horses wised up and gave ‘em hell during contract negotiations:

“We want oats and grain three times a day, not just twice, you miserly owners! And nuthin’ but the sweetest clover hay!”

“Hoof-icures once a week. I think French tips would look good, don’t the rest of you?”

“No more braids! My mane is hell to comb out after you do that. Besides, Fred says it makes him look like a sissy!”

“You better get Marge some breath mints, or I refuse to stand next to her!”

“Soap suds enema ‘til clear for ol’ Barney over there before every performance. He thinks his manure don’t stink, but I’m not gonna be hooked up behind him no more if you don’t take care of it!”

“Yer profits are ‘riding’ on us, fellas. I suggest you meet our demands or next year you’re gonna be talkin’ to the Belgians down the road.”

(And let me tell you, as a half-Belgian, them Belgian horses ain’t NEAR as stubborn as a Belgian woman, so you better hope they don’t have one as their manager.)

I dunno. I commented over at Lovi’s that it seemed the most excitement of the night occurred with the opening kick. All those sports commentators had just predicted the Colts would win by a large margin, and then Chicago returns the first kick for a touchdown right off the bat. I’d bet those commentators were really hoping to see a good anti-perspirant commercial right about then.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

National Health Care

As a nurse with a current license, I feel it is my obligation to keep my readers informed of the latest health care issues. As you may or may not be aware, National Healthcare has been a topic of discussion for some time now. Hopefully, the following FAQs (provided again by the CWO, who has no medical background whatsoever) will clear a few things up for you.

National Healthcare (HillaryCare) Questions & Answers

Q. With national healthcare, how difficult will it be to choose the doctor I want?
A. Just slightly more difficult than choosing your parents. Your insurer will provide you with a book listing all the participating doctors. The doctors basically fall into two categories—those who are no longer accepting new patients, and those who will see you but are no longer participating in the program. But don't worry, the remaining doctor who is accepting new patients has an office just a half-day's drive away and a diploma from a third world country.

Q. Do all diagnostic procedures require pre-certification?
A. No. Only those you need.

Q. Can I get coverage for my preexisting conditions?
A. Certainly, as long as they don't require any treatment.

Q. What happens if I want to try alternative forms of medicine?
A. You'll need to find alternative forms of payment.

Q. My pharmacy plan only covers generic drugs, but I need the name brand. I tried the generic medication, but it gave me a stomachache. What should I do?
A. Poke yourself in the eye.

Q. What if I'm away from home and I get sick?
A. You really shouldn't do that.

Q. I think I need to see a specialist, but my doctor insists he can handle my problem. Can a general practitioner really perform a heart transplant right in his office?
A. Hard to say, but considering that all you're risking is the $10 co-payment, there's no harm in giving it a shot.

Q. Who came up with this national health care thing?
A. Its roots go back to a concept pioneered by Larry of the Three Stooges who discovered that a patient could be made to forget the pain in his foot if he was poked hard enough in the eye.

Q. Will health care be different in the next century?
A. No, but if you call right now, you might get an appointment by then.


Friday, February 02, 2007

Flying Tip

I know, it's been a while, I'm surprised the Goddess hasn't left a comment. I've been cleaning or running around on errands for the house the last few days and can barely think straight. Or maybe that's see straight.

Whatever the case, I haven't had time to properly write or edit another post, so I thought I'd pass along this info for any of you that might be traveling this weekend.

You might keep in mind it came from a retired CWO I used to fly with. Aviators are in a class of their own, but I'm sure many of you can relate.

If you are sitting next to someone who irritates you on a plane or train....

1. Quietly and calmly open up your laptop case.

2. Remove your laptop.

3. Turn it on.

4. Make sure the guy who won't leave you alone can see the screen.

5. Open this page.

6. Close your eyes and tilt your head up to the sky.

7. Then hit this link: http://www.thecleverest.com/countdown.swf

I warned you.