Saturday, 15 March 2014

Something to crow about

Apologies to my U.K. friends who have previously seen this on the Beeb.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Paraprosdokians (via my Granby MA friend Pam B)

1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

9. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

10. In filling out an application, where it says, 'In case of emergency, Notify:' I put 'DOCTOR'.

11. Women are not as stupid as men: they do not believe they  can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

13. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

15. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

To sleep: perchance to cease from snoring.

I've been sleeping a lot this past year. I often have had 8 1/2 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. But I have awakened feeling very tired, and have frequently taken two long naps during the day, falling to sleep within a minute or so of relaxing on a reclining chair.

My good primary care physician has tested me for any  blood conditions which may induce lethargy (e.g. diabetes), but all blood tests in every area come up good.

With all that in mind I took myself today to a medical Doctor who is Board Certified  by the American Board of Sleep Medicine.

For the first forty five minutes I had a consultation with a young medical student. He asked me a thousand and one questions, and also did a brief physical examination. This student was entirely thorough.

After his time with me he reported at length  to the M.D.,  who then talked with me, did some more physical exams, and declared that it's almost certain that I am experiencing sleep apnea. (This did not surprise me -  I have long thought that this might be the case).

It seems that the entrance to my wind pipe (I don't know the medical name) is about half the size it should be, ( and that there are medical issues with my tongue which I did not understand, but in my mind are associated with non-stop talking!)

Back to the windpipe entrance.  When I sleep the muscles relax causing this "entrance" to close. That means that I cannot breath (sometimes for as much as 45 seconds) until my brain reminds the muscles to do their job.

The chances are that I am sleeping a lot, but I am not sleeping well. That's why I always tired.

 So next Monday I will spend the night at the Sarasota Sleep Disorders Center, and be hooked up to monitors on many parts of my body (all of them mentionable). 

These monitors will enable all night reporting of just how I sleep - ain't modern medicine wonderful.

 The M.D. will see and analyze the date  before 6:00 a.m.  (He like me is an early riser). Depending on what he sees there might or might not be a second overnight stay with yet more tests.

The M.D. has a good bedside manner which leads me to trust his judgment. (I was also very pleased to see that he is using his skills to help train a medical student  -  that's so good).

He (the M.D.)  is almost certain that I have obstructive apnea (see below 1), and that I will benefit greatly by the use of a CPAP machine  (see below 2)

If all this pans out a great side effect will be that I will stop snoring.  My dog will be grateful.

I will report again next week.

I must add that I am very lucky to live in a part of the world where there are many, many doctors will all manner of specialties, and that I have superb health insurance. 

In this respect I am one of the world's one-percenters.


From Wikepedia

(1) Sleep apnea (or sleep apnoea in British English; /æpˈnə/) is a type of sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from at least ten seconds to several minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour.[1] Similarly, each abnormally shallow breathing event is called a hypopnea. Sleep apnea is often diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram, or "sleep study".

There are three forms of sleep apnea: central (CSA), obstructive (OSA), and complex or mixed sleep apnea (i.e., a combination of central and obstructive) constituting 0.4%, 84% and 15% of cases respectively.[2] In CSA, breathing is interrupted by a lack of respiratory effort; in OSA, breathing is interrupted by a physical block to airflow despite respiratory effort, and snoring is common.

(2) For moderate to severe sleep apnea, the most common treatment is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) device[32][33] which 'splints' the patient's airway open during sleep by means of a flow of pressurized air into the throat. The patient typically wears a plastic facial mask, which is connected by a flexible tube to a small bedside CPAP machine.[34] The CPAP machine generates the required air pressure to keep the patient's airways open during sleep. While pure CPAP machines require one to input a desired pressure (usually determined in an overnight sleep study), an APAP machine will automatically titrate the air pressure as needed to minimize apneas and hypopneas. Advanced models may warm or humidify the air and monitor the patient's breathing to ensure proper treatment.
Although CPAP therapy is extremely effective in reducing apneas and less expensive than other treatments, some patients find it extremely uncomfortable. Many patients refuse to continue the therapy or fail to use their CPAP machines on a nightly basis, especially in the long term.[35] One way to ensure CPAP therapy remains comfortable and effective for patients is to carefully consider the right CPAP face mask to be used. CPAP masks come in different shapes, sizes and materials to ensure effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. It is important to select the right mask to fit each patient.
It is not clear that CPAP reduces hypertension or cardiovascular events in patients who do not have daytime sleepiness; however, the lack of benefit may be partly due to noncompliance with therapy.[36]

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Cat snacks

If and when anoles get into my condo I consider them to be fair game for my cats.

The cats have a lot of fun batting the anoles around the lanai, or carrying them around.

After the feline fun the confused anole becomes snack food for one or other of the cats  (usually Ada).

But the anole heads  are never eaten.  Instead they are left on the rug as a kind of trophy, a sign of feline prowess.

If I could find an anole-head taxidermist I would make and use a trophy display case, and would thus honour the immense bravery of Adelaide and Ada.

Anole pals

Creating more anoles

Monday, 10 March 2014

Bristol U.K. - when a young man travels up to London ( and sees two magnificent buildings)

 I had been through London as a child   when my Mum took me by long distance coach from Bristol to visit relatives in her birth place of Lowestoft in Suffolk.

It's hard for me to remember my age at the time of that trip. It was certainly before 1958, the year  when the original 'bus/coach station was opened in Bristol. 

When we took that trip our coach (the U.K. name for long distance buses) left from Princes Street, before the 'bus/coach station was opened.

So maybe I was aged ten or eleven. For some reason or other (so far as I can remember), my twin sister was not on that trip, but I think that my brother Andrew (born 1950) was with us.

Memory is tricky.  I can only be certain that we began our coach trip on Princes Bristol, and that it took all of ten or twelve hours to travel the 240 miles between Bristol and Lowestoft, via London.

It's the London bit that I remember.  We left the Victoria 'bus station on the second leg of our trip to Lowestoft.  We were seated near a young married couple.

The man tried to interest me in the London landmarks as we drove near them.  I was a little shit and refused to show any interest in what he was pointing out.  After all I was from Bristol, and I had the provincial disdain of all things London.

I remember this so well because Mum gave me a "wigging" on account of my rudeness to my would-be tour guide.  She was right.

My next visit to London was in 1961  I had been interviewed by the branch manager of the Westminster  Bank  in Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire  (one Donald Kirby) to join his staff.  He approved of me, but in those olden days I also had to be interviewed by some big-wig at the Bank Head Office in London.

I took myself by train from the Bristol Temple Meads station to Paddington station in London.

From there,  at aged 17,  I was determined to master the London Underground like a pro.  (No London resident should be allowed to judge me as a county rube!)

I navigated the "Tube" with great success and emerged at the "Bank" Station in the City of London.

There  (unlike my earlier trip through London) I was in awe.

In awe of the London businessmen with their rolled umbrellas and bowler hats.  In awe of the Bank of England building -  "The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street".  In awe of the magnificent Head Office of the Westminster Bank at 41, Lothbury.

And I got the job!

London Businessmen 1960's 

London Businessman with rolled umbrella (and Ford Anglia car)

The Old Lady of Threadneedle St.

41 Lothbury.

Bristol U.K. I dream of.... part two

Bristol was bombed often during World War II -  as a result of which the old medieval centre with its nine churches  almost ceased to be.  Wine Street was badly damaged, and never recovered post war. St. Mary-le-Port Street and Castle Street just about ceased to be.

Corn Street survived, as did Broad Street which runs west from the north end of Corn St. 

Broad St. also has some   treasures as you will see.


1.  "Council House" (pronounced "counts louse" in Bristol dialect) refers to the local seat of civic government.  I have heard (to my dismay) that the counts louse in Bristol has been re-named in American style as "City Hall"  blah.

It was built in 1900 by Henry Williams, with the Pre-Raphaelite style facade by William Neatby, who was the chief designer for Doulton and Co., as the main works for the printer Edward Everard.
Most the building was demolished in 1970 but the facade was preserved as it is the largest decorative facade of its kind in Britain.

Old Bristol Council House (corner of Corn and Broad Streets)

New Bristol Council House, Park St. Foundations laid before WW II but building not completed until the 1950's

New Bristol Council House, Much derided when it was completed on account of it's neo-Georgian style - (but I always liked it)

Christ Church with St. Ewen, Broad St. One of only two City Centre Anglican churches to have regular Sunday services.

Law Court, Broad St.

St. John's on  the Wall at the foot of Broad St. Built on the old city wall (now closed for services)

Grand Hotel, Broad St.  I thought it to be very grand when I was young.

Quarter Jacks at Christ Church, Broad St.