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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   trouble with doctors
Monday, February 13 2012
Tonight was the Bachelor, though it was also buffet night at the Garden Café, and Gretchen thought the menu looked really good. So Sarah the Vegan, Nancy, and I (the Bachelor crew) convened in Woodstock at the Garden Café, where we met up with Gretchen, who was just getting back from two hours spent at her doctor's office. I rode with Nancy, and as we passed the Ashokan Reservoir, I noticed that it still hadn't yet frozen this year. This is the latest the Ashokan has ever gone without freezing since I've lived here, and, since temperatures have already started climbing, at this point it's unlikely it will freeze this winter at all.
At the Garden Café, the buffet featured lasagna, which lay a little outside the usual fare. It wasn't as good as Gretchen's, and what I should have done was combine it with the lentil glurp (which looked kind of gross but tasted delicious).
Over dinner, Gretchen told us about her ordeal at the doctor's office today, a consultation about a possible infection of Lyme Disease. A couple weeks ago Gretchen had some blood work done and was told that her blood showed high levels of Lyme antibodies, and so, despite a lack of symptoms, she'd been put on a month-long course of antibiotics. Today, though, her doctor told her that her blood had actually showed inconclusively-low levels of Lyme antibodies, and perhaps that course of antibiotics had been unnecessary. When it comes to interacting with the medical profession, Gretchen is uniquely cursed (an irony considering that her uncle, brother, and father are all doctors). Eleven years ago, Gretchen contracted mononucleosis, leading a doctor to express concern about her thyroid hormone levels, which in turn led to a regime of medication that in turn led to dangerously low blood pressure and hundreds of dollars in uninsured medical expenses. All of this was in spite of the fact that her thyroid symptoms are typical of mononucleosis. More recently, a doctor told Gretchen she had an eight centimeter (apple-sized) cyst in her thyroid when in fact its diameter had only been eight millimeters (grape-sized). The lesson in all of this is that if you aren't suffering from a life-threatening condition, it's best to avoid doctors entirely.

Over in Bearsville, Nancy, Sarah, and I were forced to watch Wheel of Fortune because there was still a half hour to kill before the Bachelor. The woman who owns the house where Sarah is staying is off in Florida, but she has allowed various members of her family to spend the night there as they've traveled through. One of those family members was there tonight, a 20-something niece named Marguerite. She was unfamiliar with this season of the Bachelor (and also, more puzzlingly, with Bittorrent), but she seemed to enjoy tonight's two hours (that we'll never get back) almost as much as we did. Regarding tonight's show, I have to say that I'm really starting to like Courtney, the woman nicknamed "the Mean Model" whom the producers have edited in a way that makes us want to hate her. But to me, she just seems sassy, earthy, and clever, while all the other ladies strike me as prissy dullards.

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