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The question is:

What is the greatest medical milestone of the last century and a half?

Did you think X-rays?

Penicillan?

Polio vaccine?

Nope.

According to a poll carried out by the British Medical Journal, sanitation is the greatest medical milestone in the last 150 years. More specifically, plumbers were more important than doctors in last 150 years of medical advances!

The clear winner among 15 milestones shortlisted by readers of the journal, included the development of vaccines, which has safeguarded many children’s lives, and the invention of the contraceptive pill, which was a contributory factor to significant social change. Antibiotics were in second place. Anesthesia took third place.

The winner was chosen by more than 11,000 members of the public around the world, who were invited to read articles championing each of the 15 contenders by prominent scientists, either in the journal or on the BMJ website.

Read it yourself at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/medicine/story/0,,1994182,00.html

And on another high note, the work of plumbers is not outsourced to countries where Englilsh is a second language. Think about it…

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As if I needed another distraction at work!

They are adding TV shows as well, but for now there are only a handful of ‘The Simpsons’ and “Seinfeld’ to choose from. You select your movie/show and then click on the ‘Launch Audio Player’ button. And there you have it. Just the sound. No extra dialog explaining anything. But then, the way I “watch” TV these days (multi-tasking on the computer, knitting, browsing catalogs), it is mostly just listening anyway.

What sort of movies?

  • A Beautiful Mind
  • 8 Mile
  • About Schmidt
  • A Muppet Family Christmas
  • Bicentenniel Man
  • Almost every single James Bond movie ever
  • Chicken Little
  • Every ‘Die Hard’ to date

well, you get the idea…

Bumbling around on the site I saw a “Add User” – so I added me. Which may or may not be the same as signing up which may not be an issue because I was able to listen to an early episode of The Simpsons without logging in.


FYI: A group of jellyfish is called a smack.

Who makes up these things??

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I promised pictures of progress on the problematic mobius beginning. It is in the final phase of completion as you can see. This vest merely lacks the armhole ribbing and then…I plan to knit a ruana!! (hear the swelling triumphant music? The scores of marching bands and confetti in the air?…you should!)

Well, yes, it *IS* a startling shade of red, but I have all this cone yarn given to me that I want to use up…I really should freecycle more of it. Even doubling, tripling, or quadripling the threads does not use up much of the cones. Keeping it and feeling guilty for not using it because that is “wasteful” is really a bummer.

It’s the latest fad. Everyone is doing it here at work!

This morning’s frosting of snow was still sifting down as I left the house. Although the steps had been clear yesterday morning, the deceptively soft-looking snow covered a new layer of ice underneath. Of course, I carefully…um…slipped. But carefully, so I landed not-too-hard on my well-padded tush, with my work bag full of knitting (no, I do not knit for pay–the work bag carries my lunch, too, and although it may seem like it from time to time, I am not paid to eat, either!) taking the brunt of the impact instead of my elbow and shoulder.

Brush off the car. Listen to the road report. Listen to the whine of cars attempting to stop as they near the bottom of our street.

Definitely a highway day. Cars are slow, but roads are plowed and showing salt and sand trucks in multiple locations. Definitely safer than the eye candy of my back roads which are made of steep hills and twisty, narrow roads.

So off I crawl to work. It took 25 minutes to travel 2 exits.

Overnight, the graceful curves of our company driveway became treacherous serpentine traps for the unsuspecting. I was going barely 15 miles per hour when I realized that my wheels had turned, but my car was into a serious Tokyo Drift maneouvre…slip-sliding straight towards the big delivery truck parked on the side of the two-lane driveway.

A minor scratch on my front license plate and a heart galumping skatey-eight miles an hour were the only damages.

WHY was the truck parked there, you ask? Because it had just helped another employees’ car out of the side ditch where it had landed after completing a 360-degree dance move of its own. Walking into the building I heard of more mishaps with the huge snow banks that line the parking lot.

Have I mentioned that I HATE February? These things only seem to happen in February. Beastly month.

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Yesterday was my last Friday with my Liam. For the past six months I have gotten up at oh-frickin’-dark-thirty every Friday and traveled 40-45 minutes to spend the day with him while his parents went off to work. The offer was originally given to cover the gap between his 12-18 month status when he would be eligible for entry in the day care/preschool center where his mom works.

And then again, our plans are what keep God laughing. Liam is not going into the day care/preschool center where his mom works after all. He is in a local day care center for the next few months until his baby brother is born and his mom stays home fulltime. I could have returned to work at any time after the beginning of the year, but I didn’t want to miss this time with him. I was having too much fun.

Returning to work fulltime will put back the 20% pay cut I took to do this and also reduce my healthcare costs because the company will pay more of it for full-timers than three-quarter-timers. The money will be nice, no two ways about it. But I will miss our time together BIG time. It was a good trade and well worth it.

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We had artistic differences of opinion on what we actually built yesterday. Originally we agreed to make a dinosaur but Liam changed his mind and wanted it to be a dog. His dad said it looked like a seal. Liam and I agreed it was just plain fun. Cold, wet fun. Jake (snoot in the air in the upper left of the picture) was disgusted because we didn’t go on a walk instead of this.

Good thing I still get to see him on weekends and Wednesday evening dinners, but it won’t be the same, you know?

I try to do it at home. The drying effects of winter on my skin causes a variety of skin conditions. My skin develops more than just fissures. I am also visited by scaly, rough patches that itch, and pimple-like rashes that are *SO* not anywhere in the realm of feminine desirability.

So I grease up. My preferred grease item is the AVON bath oil “Light and Lush” – all the skin softening of the original with the added bonus that I can breath in its presence. The next day the sheets all need to be washed so I try to make it worth it on as many levels as possible .

Soaking for 15 to 20 (or 60 or….) minutes in a hot tub is never a problem for me. I love lounging in the tub reading catalogs, tech manuals, or bubble-gum books in the sci-fi, vamp, or murder/mystery genre. What IS a problem lately, is getting my hands on the bath oil. I broke down and ordered it for full price (yikes!) then the blasted thing was not filled for a month. They kept insisting on sending me the foaming wash. Nope. Not that. Want oil! Want the real greaser!

The day they finally got the order right I saw it in the next catalog for half price. I nigh on to flipped! Got the corrected price AND ordered two more…just in case… because I can’t find it on the corporate website at the moment, either.

….non sequitor….

Down at the loo at work I noticed the packaging on a fresh roll of TP. “Made with 100% recycled fibers”—I found myself fervently hoping that the recycling was done from someplace OTHER than the john!

I saw a cartoon today where a man complained: “If my imagination runs wild and the next day my legs are tired, does that mean I am out of shape?”

My imagination runs amok a lot, so you’d think with all that exercise, I’d be in better shape!

It is too cold outside to play – even for the dogs. They go out and come right back in and run around in the house. When their favorite playmate went to play with his “guy toy” (read: large snowblower), they all lined up on the couch to supervise.

No, there was no new snow.

The high winds did cause some drifting and my DH wanted to do a little more clean-up. He plowed out the drive pad which has a loose stone gravel bed. (Later, I end up picking huge gravel rocks out of the lawn all year when it isn’t covered with snow!) He plowed out the driveway (again). He widened the path from the street to the front door with his snow blower plow thingy. We don’t actually HAVE a path there, but that is how most people come up to the house, so he plows down to the dirt. Sort of like how I try to vaccum the leaves off the lawn in the fall, and about as futile!

Liam joined the dogs in supervising. Cute, yes?

My skin does not fit in the winter. Literally. It get spontaneous splits and cracks, fissures exposing raw nerves intended to function BELOW, not AT the skin surface.

My hands suffer the most. The dry air causes them to crack and then develop thick calluses along the edges of the cracks, creating even more “discomfort” in using my hands for anything normal like dressing, typing, turning pages of a book, or putting dishes away.

Superglue to the rescue! A few drops protect the raw, newly exposed nerves while the skin tries to heal.

The rate at which my body is falling apart has increased over the years. It used to be only a few serious splits every winter. Now it is held together with spandex and super glue.

My sister and mother went bionic. The new parts work far better and I am told that one day I might be a bionic subject as well.

But for now, I keep the super glue handy.

Duncan loves books
Duncan devours paperback books
Duncan is a dog and can’t read.
But Duncan loves books.

He even goes and gets them off coffee tables (a big doggie no-no) and samples the edges before chowing down on the back end of the book.

I recently replaced the ‘Digital Fortress’ novel by Dan Brown because I couldnt read the bottom half of pages in the last 3 chapters (they were short chapters). The co-worker I borrowed it from laughed and said I didn’t need to replace it and should have gone to the library to read the end of the book. She is recycling it. Oh well. I feel better for having replaced it.

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