March 29, 2013

It's Fantasy Baseball Time Again...

...and as I need to do research for my team, the Generics, all blogging at The Pond is hereby and forthwith suspended until the auction is over.

After this post, that is.  Because if I suspended all blogging before this post, I'd already be breaking my suspension, wouldn't I? 

The auction is tomorrow morning.  It's not like I'm going to be gone for a long time or anything.  Probably not as long as some might wish.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:48 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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March 26, 2013

"How I Spent My Tuesday Night," by Wonderduck

Like this:

Around 515pm tonight, I was sitting in my office, counting down a cash register, when my heart skipped a beat.  Eh, no biggie, happens every now and again to pretty much everybody.  For me, it's gotten relatively routine... my doc told me it wasn't anything to worry about, after all.  And then it happened again.  Still, no worries... I've had it happen twice like that before.  Then it happened yet again.  And again.  For the next five or ten minutes, my heart was doing this oddball stuff.  When it happened twice in a row and I got all sweaty, I knew there was something very not good going on.

As I write this, it's around 1130pm, and I just got back from the Emergency Room.  Good news!  No heart attack, not even a "silent" one.  In fact all my blood test results came back clean... except for one.  It seems I'm hypothyroidic, which would account for some things that I was putting down to getting older.  I'm not a 25 year old anymore, after all.  The thyroid also has a definite tie to heart rhythm. 

So tomorrow, I get to call my doctor and make an appointment.  But I'm still alive, despite my body's best attempts at making me the opposite.  You guys can't get rid of me that easily.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:28 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
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March 15, 2013

3/15/2009: Never Forget

"A bat that apparently had trouble flying instead tried to hitch a ride on the space shuttle Discovery, NASA officials said.  The animal was last seen clinging to the foam of the external tank of the space shuttle moments before the Discovery launched, officials said.  NASA had hoped that the bat would fly away on its own, but admitted the bat probably died quickly during Discovery's climb to orbit."

May we all be as brave when we are afraid as Space Bat.  Now he belongs to the stars.

To Space Bat!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:45 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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March 13, 2013

My Favorite Joke...

I note that the Roman Catholic Church elected a new Pope today.  Former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has now become Pope Francis, the first of his name.  I've always been somewhat in awe of the position Cardinal Bergoglio now holds; whether one is a follower of his faith, some other, or none whatsoever, the Pope is the head of an organization that counts some 1.3 billion followers.  That little fact deserves some respect, right there.  But his elevation to Pontifex Maximus allows me the chance to roll out my all-time favorite joke, which is, alas, limited in times that it can be told and still be funny.

But first, some background.  It is a winter's morning in 1992.  The sky is blue and clear, with a sort of vividness that only occurs when it is bone-achingly cold... which it is.  There's maybe a foot of fresh white snow on the ground, everywhere but streets, parking lots and sidewalks.  None of the many people visible seem to notice the cold, however.  That's because this is Minnesota, and the residents are used to it being below zero.  Well, that, and everybody has on big hulking parkas that'd keep the wearer warm on the surface of Pluto.

Amongst these huddled masses, enter Wonderduck and his fellow grad student in lighting design, Mike.  Mike and Wonderduck get along pretty well; they're both from Illinois, outsiders to these here Northerners.  Further, they're currently the only theatre tech grad students and have the same grad advisor.  To say they spend a lot of time together would be something of an understatement: they have the same classes, work on each others productions (example: Mike is a show's lighting designer, Wonderduck would be his master electrician, and vice-versa), help teach the same classes, and so on.  The main difference between them is that Mike is pushing 40, while Wonderduck is in his low 20s.  Both have an interest in history, however, that often left the other grad students bored and confused. 

On this frigid morning, Wonderduck and Mike are walking from their reserved parking spots towards the theatre building, about a three-block stroll.  Normally not a problem, on mornings like this it could be considered something of a trial for us Illinoisans and our thin "southern" blood.  As we make our way towards the warmth of the tallest building in the city, we turn a corner that reveals the northern edge of the campus.  The theatre building is there, and just to the west, across a wide expanse of courtyard (that I was known to fly kites from, even in January, but I digress), the Freshman Dorm building. 

As anybody who's experienced bitterly cold days like this one will attest, things like vehicles and buildings appear to smoke a lot when it's frigid, and this day was no exception.  Small cars would go by, leaving clouds of exhaust to rival any jumbo jet contrail.  Buildings seemed to have their own external microclimate, wreathed as they are in clouds of steam condensate.  For whatever reason, however, on this day the Freshman Dorm was pumping out enough of this stuff to make any nuclear power plant cooling tower feel inadequate, and it was all a pure, pristine white.

At this point, Mike turned to Wonderduck and said "wow, look at that."  Wonderduck, suitably impressed, nodded and said to Mike "Yeah.  You know what that means, right?"

A beat passed before Mike replied with excellent comic timing: "The freshmen have elected a Pope?"

Exunt two grad students, laughing uproariously.

And now you know why my favorite joke is only funny at very limited and specific times. 

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:09 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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March 11, 2013

Getting Better, Not Gotten Better.

Hey everybody, I've got great news!

The Dacia Sandero will not be appearing in this post!  Oh, and I'm feeling better already!  As you may remember from that long ago post from... yesterday, I think it was, I had been diagnosed with bronchitis, suffered a damaged muscle in my side, and was generally feeling just rather medically unhappy.  To solve the bronchitis, the doctor gave me azithromycin, an antibiotic that costs $15.52 per pill, which fact blew my tiny little mind and made me so very glad I have a full-time job with pretty decent health-care benefits.  To take care of the muscle-thingy, he... well, he didn't really do anything.  Not much he could do, to be honest, except say "find a position that makes it hurt less when you cough."  I've done so, and I'm awfully glad my job tends to keep me in the back room.  Makes it ever so much easier to and then .  That's just embarrassing to do every time I cough.

But to deal with the unhappiness, he gave me Cheratussin AC.  This is a foul tasting syrup that supports a dose of an effective expectorant... and codeine.  Truthfully, it's not doing all that much other than making me cough, which hurts, but the codeine is making it not hurt so much.  It balances out.  The bad part of all of these wonderdrugs is that, well, I came home from work, had something to eat, then immediately crawled into bed and stayed there until just now... meaning I didn't do the first official post of the new F1 season tonight.  I'll do it tomorrow, I promise.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:32 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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March 10, 2013

Why Create THOSE???

So, remember that cold I had?  For the most part, the symptoms have gone completely away, except for one: the cough.  The cough has stuck around like the last guest at a party, the one who just won't take the hint to get out.  Still, it hasn't been a bad thing... it sounded bad, but really didn't hurt or anything like that.  But then, last night, just as I was getting ready to go to sleep, I had one big cough...

...and it felt like most of the contents of those trays were jammed a spot just below my ribs on the left side.  From the amount of pain involved, I thought I had just broken a rib.  After a couple of minutes, I realized I hadn't, because I could breathe without pain.  I went to the Immediate Care place nearby this afternoon.  X-rays were taken, and the new diagnosis came down: I have bronchitis and perhaps a muscle tear.  It only hurts when I cough.  Or twist.

Or have this happen.
I've been given Azithromycin, and a prescription for a cough medicine that I want to have checked out by my doctor due to my heart thingy.  But hopefully this will make me better soon... I don't want to be sick for the first F1 race of the year.

UPDATE: I realized just now that I never did get around to explaining the title of this post.  When I ask "Why create those???", I'm referring to viruses that cause this whatever-it-is that I've got.  Both Ph.Duck and his spouse are dealing with it, and from what he was told, the ick that's in this area is actually two viruses, one piggybacking on the other.  One brings the cold/flu symptoms, the other carries the crap I'm dealing with.  I'd love love love to know why these things came to be. 

Posted by: Wonderduck at 05:42 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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March 05, 2013

Snow Day! Snow Day!

Duck U is closed today due to inclement weather.  To whit: lotsa snow!

It's a snow day!

UPDATE: As of 9pm, we're looking at 9.6" of snow on the ground here at Pond Central.  Far and away our heaviest snowfall of the winter.  In March.  When it's supposed to be over and done with.  *sigh*  I tell ya, Nature.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:48 AM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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