18 August 2005

Back to School!

I've just discovered a new blog and am totally smitten. Check out The Phantom Professor. Educational and fascinating, but of course this is the opinion of a nerd who buys books such as The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins and Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation just for fun...

16 August 2005

Is this how it is?

I don't post on here on a daily basis, and haven't been doing this for very long, so I was amazed the other day when I checked out my comments. There were five comments on my last blog! I was so pleased. Someone's actually reading this crap!

Until I realized that two of them were spam. Two different irrelevant comments containing apparent commercial weblinks (damned if I was going to check them out) by an anonymous poster or posters. Is this common? Do I have to forbid anonymous posts?

I know that allowing anonymous comments creates the risk of asswipes randomly criticizing whatever I write. The other day I was reading someone else's blog and was amazed at the anonymous flaming that was taking place there. You know, one of those inDuhviduals who is OK with your opinion as long as it agrees with his, and who is too yellow a coward to back up his invective with a name. (I use the male pronouns as a convenience only.)

So we'll see. One more spam comment and Anonymous bites it.

13 August 2005

Doctor FeelNothing

Being an overweight, forty-seven year old desk jockey recently resulted in the inevitable -- a knee injury. Don't ask me what happened, it just started hurting like holy hell one day. Sure, there'd been twinges here and there for a year, and ever since moving into a two-story duplex I've been fascinated with the range of creaking and crunching sounds that my knees could produce climbing the stairs. But one fine spring morning I took my break, went for my usual six-block walk, and could barely crawl back up the stairs to work. There was no sudden snap, crackle or pop. It happened, as they say, not with a bang but with a whimper.

After enduring worsening pain, went to my doctor, x-rays showed nothing, so she referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. Of course the word "surgeon" sends up a huge warning flag; no surprise what comes next. He suspects a tear in the meniscal cartilage, recommends surgery and sends me in for an MRI. (Of course, when he gets the results he says they are "inconclusive" yet still wants to operate since it won't get better on its own. I say, slow down big boy, let's try some physical therapy, since it is getting much better on its own.)

That's not what really gripes me, though. This guy has no apparent personality. Very trim, forty-ish, average looking guy. Walks in, introduces himself, shakes my hand, then starts asking questions. There is absolutely no human connection. I might as well be typing responses to written questions. As I recall he did have me hop up on the table and he did briefly press different spots around my knee, but it didn't last more than 30 seconds (whereas the mere physical therapist examined every square millimeter of knee tissue for what seemed like 20 minutes). Then he prepares to leave, says his assistant will be in with some recommended exercises, shakes my hand again, leaves. Next visit, same thing. The handshake, the ten minute visit, another handshake, goodbye.

Of course I already have friends. I don't require this person to satisfy my need for human contact; indeed, my craving is for less human contact. What I need is to feel that I'm not just an old Buick with a bad wheelbearing. I'm a human and I really prefer to be around other semi-humans, not Dr. Android. And what do you think they're billing the insurance company? $200 per visit. At 10 minutes per visit, that computes to $1200 an hour. Or $100 per handshake.

Nice work if you can get it.

02 August 2005

Doctor, My Eyes...!

This morning the newest tenant in our building came in to introduce herself and her company. She brought us a couple of coffee mugs, pens, business cards, the usual. Seems like a very pleasant person.

Except for her apparel.

I could deal with the platinum hair and 80's makeup. The headband/scarf thing, not so much, but still wouldn't have felt moved to pontificate on the subject. It was the spandex.

Spandex is a wonderful invention. Swimsuits, hosiery, active wear, all are made better by the invention of spandex, lycra and all the other stretchy fabrics. But spandex has its place, and outside of a swimming pool its place is not on the ass of anyone over 30, much less over 40 or 50 and DEFINITELY not on any ass that's put on a few pounds.

This woman was not grossly overweight. Hell, who would I be to judge even if she was, since according to the charts I shall be buried in a piano case in a few short months. No, she just had the old middle-age spread going, albeit distributed unevenly, resulting in a butt proportionally reminiscent of the Widettes on the old SNL episodes. If dressed in clothes that fit correctly (read: loosely) I probably wouldn't even be able to tell you what she was wearing -- I probably would just remember that she was really friendly, outgoing and personable.

As it is, the image is burned into my retinas and I feel moved to pluck out my eyeballs. But before I do, remember and repeat after me:


Same goes for plaid.