September 18th, 2008

WTI up more (above $100 right now), no baby

T. slept last night without interruption for close to 12 hours. We Are All Much Happier Now.

I have also learned that all three of J.'s kids went to 42 weeks and they are fantastic, smart, active, beautiful kids. So I'm just going to chill out about this and quit worrying.

Improving Job Performance By Changing the Job Description

Or, FEMA no longer supplies ice except in cases of "medical emergency" which is not defined.

It would be relatively easy for someone who doesn't live in a place like Houston and doesn't take cold-chain-mandatory medications and isn't heat sensitive to think that no ice is not that big a deal. However, it's worth remembering that in heat waves of the past, a lot of people died every summer from the heat all around the country. A/C changed that, so dramatically that now a lot of people live in places where they would die without it. So the ice thing has gotten more necessary, not less.

But even before A/C, even in the days of tenements, cold water (if that) flats, and 8-people-per-room in immigrant neighborhoods, Visiting Nurse Associations provided a very short list of things to help with medical problems and emergencies and high on that list (remember, _before refrigeration_, in many cases, so this ice was chipped out of a lake somewhere and shipped in sawdust) was ice.

The idea that the emergency assistance of last resort is just opting out of providing ice is breathtakingly irresponsible.

_This_ is the new and improved FEMA?

Live in fear. After all, that's how this administration got elected, got re-elected, and has generally evaded prosecution thus far. They want you to be afraid. They'll come up with new things for you to be afraid of. This one might not look that scary, but it really and truly is. These are people who care so little about the health of the people who are in their hands, that they will literally not supply the basics of health care as it was understood (correctly, in this case, and even more urgently today, since so much of modern medicine is pharmaceutical, and a lot of that requires a cold-chain) over a century ago.

flu shots for pregnant women! Oh, _that's_ a good idea

NEJM study, done on pregnant Bangladeshis (because _that_ is exactly the right population for modeling impact on US women, for example), some who received a flu shot in the third trimester and some who did not. They then tracked which babies were more likely to have a lab-confirmed flu and saw that the babies whose mothers were vaccinated were less likely to have a lab-confirmed flu.

So many things wrong with this.

(1) Because honest, those women and children _aren't getting enough mercury_ damnit! We need to make sure they get enough.

(2) Among the organizations funding the study: Wyeth, Sanofi. Wonder what _they_ do?

Well, I realize it has been a few years, and there's been a _lot_ of other excitement in the meantime, but let's not lose track of the fact that Wyeth's travails with the flu vaccine (injectable and other) have been extensive. They've had quality control problems. They've sold expired vaccines because they couldn't move them fast enough. Given the timing on when this research was done, it sure _looks_ like it is/was part of Wyeth's efforts to generate new markets for something that More and More People Did Not Want.

Sanofi makes a flu vaccine, too.

Gee, it's not like that might have anything to do with anything, hunh?

they made a _movie_ of WTO/Seattle?

You are kidding me.

That's ridiculous.

And it has Charlize Theron in it.

Words fail.

I was there (for day 1 -- I don't believe in attending Let's-Get-Arrested-Day for any event). I walked there, because there was no way I was going to drive and park my car in the middle of that crap. And I brought my gun (hey! I was legal -- I had a carry permit). We had cell phones and walkie talkies and a group that sort of split up and regrouped periodically. We had water bottles and wool scarves for the gas. We were not part of anything organized; we were Tourists. But we were informed tourists, and we got to talk to a couple of German delegates.

It was nice. I had so much fun I went back the next year for the anniversary and my cell phone interfered with the speakers on the carousel so I got to broadcast a bit before they switched it off (or switched frequencies or whatever). Not intentional -- as far as I'm concerned, they highjacked my personal call. So I returned the favor.

Just another one of those, I went to the riot and carefully skirted the Bad Bits. I am, at times, startled by how many times I've carefully skirted the bad bits of a riot.

that photo meme

Snagged from gwyneira:

1. Take a picture of yourself right now.
2. Don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair...just take a picture.
3. Post that picture with NO editing.
4. Post these instructions with your picture.

Boy I don't do anything with my hair, do I, shot of my face:

Dunno how to rotate it, but here's a shot of the 41 weeks and 2 days belly. Tried repeatedly to get the entire front to back within frame but my arm is not that long. Which says something. I don't think wearing all black is enough to disguise a belly of this size. And no, I'm not having twins.

Toddler Fun: Balance Bike

For what seems like forever (and has been at least weeks), T. has been Perfectly Happy riding up and down the driveway (we have successfully communicated to him how far from the end he has to turn around by) on a Little Tikes ride-on and a tricycle. For his birthday, I got him a Kettler balance bike, which is an extremely short, somewhat long for its height bicycle with no pedals. Think Like a Bike, but without the laminated wood and a whole lot cheaper.

He was interested in riding the bike around the downstairs when his papa first put it together for him, but once it was outdoors, there was Zero Interest.

Then, for reasons best known to him, in the last couple of days, he's been trying it out. Up and down, walking it, basically. And then running it. And then, finally, coasting it while seated, down the driveway.

A little note for anyone buying a house with an active toddler: make sure the driveway slopes _towards_ the house. The house I grew up in sloped towards the street. Bad. Very, very, very bad. As in, we rode our bikes smack into cars on at least a couple of occasions (like, we hit them, not the other way around). I realize there are drainage and flooding issues. Still.

Over the course of a single day, maybe 6 hours total, the kid went from cautiously walking it astride, to coasting it the whole way down the driveway. There's a skinned ankle, and I think he hurt his hand at least once and he's really frickin' cold now. But he's shockingly adept. Go figure. If he'd learn to use pedals (which his tricycle has), he could ride a regular bike almost.

If you've got a toddler who loves the ride-on, think about getting him or her one of these. And maybe get the video camera out at the beginning of the day.