June 3rd, 2008

husband with NOT engorged dog tick = bad

toddler with engorged deer tick nymph = much worse


T. woke up around 6 a.m. this morning (this is _really_ weird), then again at 7 and at 45 minute intervals or thereabouts for the rest of the morning. He was wailing and carrying on, and hit his ear a couple of times, but he also touched a lot of the rest of him and I figured if he had ear soreness at this point, I could think about taking him to the doctor, but it was likely just part of the head/chest cold we are currently sharing. I also, tiredly, thought, we should have done a tick check last night, but didn't feel up to pursuing it while he was thrashing about.

After J. came over (this would be reliable, regular child care), she noticed in the inner upper curve of his right [ETA: actually, left; I was having his right vs. my right issues] ear, something which turned out to be an engorged tick and, after tweezering it out, a deer tick nymph if my eyes and my comparison to a picture on the intarnets is to be trusted. We think (P. was also visiting, and it was helpful to have three people help with this exercise, because I had to do the last _unengorged_ deer tick myself and that was a pain for both T. and I) we got all the mouthparts; it is definitely still alive and crawling (well, it was when he went into the bowl preparatory to putting it in a plastic ziploc bag.

I e-mailed R. to notify him of the cursed event and then called the doctor's office and told them what had happened and they said T. needs to be seen and have a 2 p.m. appointment today. I will say one thing for my aversion to doctors: when I _do_ decide we need to go see one, they don't argue about it and they generally get me a same-day appointment. Back when I went to doctors frequently, they tended to feel otherwise and I often had to wait for days, by which time whatever virus I had was mostly resolved thus proving they were right (or had turned into something more treatable because by then bacterial). I do sort of wonder how they are going to react to us showing up for T.'s tick, and then looking at the snot running out of his nose and hearing me cough. We might get some additional looking over while we're there.

ETA: just as a sidelight, while I was doing a residential course for Wilderness First Responder, a couple of the young guys (who would be taking Outward Bound jobs after passing the course) were quite adamant about _never ever ever_ using tweezers to remove a tick. They had this involved story about using a match to get the tick to detach. I don't recall that we ever involved an instructor in this conversation, and later on I heard similar confirmation of same from acquaintances who did a fair amount of hiking in the West. This is useful to know NOT because it's how you deal with ticks (you should, in fact, use tweezers), but because virtually every respectable article online about how to remove a tick goes to some pains to list a variety of these methods and then say DO NOT DO THIS! and then goes on to describe proper tweezer technique (slow, no twisting, don't squeeze too hard), which is kinda laughable (I mean, these fuckers are _really small_ and when it's your kid, you are not going to be all calm and Totally In Surgical Control) but I'm 2 for 2 so far in having a live tick with all parts apparently present at the end of the process so I guess not totally impossible.

I'm trying to decide how this compares to wasp-in-diaper. I think it's worse, since I suspect this is going to be hanging over our heads for a few weeks, whereas the wasp thing was over and done with by the next morning.

Asus EEE arrived

And I am posting from it. The keyboard will take some getting used to especially the right side shift key. But right now, my toddler apparently just peed and needs a new diaper.

Yup. You can hear it when he gets cover instead of cloth.

In unrelated news of moisture that needs to be addressed, I am now completely convinced the dishwasher has a concealed leak that is oozing out under the trim under the cabinet that holds the sink. This would explain the persistent ants.

Back on the "desktop replacement" laptop

I have to say that I won't be switching to the Asus immediately as my one-and-only, but I suspect I'll be using it for more than just major-travel (must get USB EVDO. And probably an external optical drive). Which probably means it needs antivirus software. *sigh* The world of PCs.

comparing incomparables

I was discussing the Fit v. the Prius in J.'s journal, in the larger context of a discussion of other difficult-to-compare things. In browsing from Seattle Housing Bubble, I ran into this:


Searchlight Crusade is kinda interesting, altho I will concede they have their whackjob moments. But this article is an a-number-one example of why I don't like to do these comparisons.

Here's the deal: incremental reduction of debt incrementally reduces risk. Total elimination of debt makes a qualitative difference in one's financial options. The author I've linked to calls this "psychological". Yeah. Whatever. But it is _not_ in your head. Your run rate is way lower and the set of Badnesses that can happen to you as a result of financial reversals is substantially reduced.

Of course, eliminating debt leaves you, along with the rest of us, still prey to death, taxes and the needs of one's offspring.

At moments like these, I have to laugh at R. and I being together. We frequently disagree on all manner of things, but boy, when it comes to this kind of financial thing, it's really a no brainer for us. That said, we are planning on picking up a mortgage if/when we find something to buy. It'll be a 30 year fixed and we'll pay it off. Way early, one way or the other.

9 years median in a property is kinda fascinating, too.

ETA: one step back was this article, about how people just don't seem to be sensitive to rolling closing costs into a loan balance, something which always weirded me out and made me not want to refinance because I could never figure out how it all was going to play out.


I think it might be kind of a "magic money store" thing, where the numbers are so incomprehensible that you just quit paying any attention to an extra $1-20K. Which I am sympathetic to, but try very hard to resist.

looooong day: colds, tick, dishwasher

I mentioned the tick. I've mentioned the colds. I don't know if I've mentioned the ants that have been harassing us for months (at least weeks; I think it really has been more than a month). R. checked and thought it wasn't the dishwasher, and we kept thinking we were just somehow getting splashing from the sink. There have been problems with the sink: the sprayer cord cracked and that caused problems.

But it was always dry under the sink, until you got down to the baseboard.

Today, I _knew_ there'd been no splashing: everything was dry. Except where it was oozing out under the baseboard next to the running dishwasher.

Hmmmm. I had this happen, er, like, ten years ago (no way, yeah, well, maybe longer. *sigh*) when I lived in a rental house in Ballard. Ants no matter what we did (and we had an exterminator in!). Until the dishwasher was replaced, which took care of the problem completely. But because of the kind suggestions of one of my readers, I had subscribed to Consumer Reports online, so I know what to try to buy to replace it. Fletcher's (who sold us the chest freezer which patiently sits in the basement awaiting a dedicated circuit. Or an extension cord if we get tired of waiting) will get more of our business tomorrow.