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orthodoc 07-15-2013 08:20 PM

Thanks, Bruce (x0x0x0). The least I can do for the techs is to make gas along the way, although considering I can't seem to eat anything it's probably not an issue.

Sundae 07-22-2013 08:05 AM

Off to my first official work meeting tonight.
Not worried about that per se. Just the dress code.
Smart/ casual.

What is this smart/ casual?
Is it office wear? Is it what you would wear on a date? Is it what you would wear for a lunch out with your family?
It's set to be the hottest day of the year so far. Smart/ casual can kiss my arse. I'm wearing cropped office-style trousers (see Thame thread for similar.)
It's not denim, they have no holes in them and you can't see the crack of my arse.

Possibly a plain, fitted t-shirt top with a little jewellery to dress it up.

Smart/ casual.

orthodoc 07-26-2013 04:24 PM

Packing for another trip - didn't even have time to do laundry after getting home late yesterday. :right:

I hate packing; it makes me anxious. I am the person who will end up at a medical conference with three ball gowns, a red t-shirt, and no underwear. So I overpack and still end up without necessary things.

Going to just throw lots of stuff in the cases and get out of Dodge before the Pittsburgh/weekend traffic gets too ugly. If I end up in Michigan with nothing but ball gowns and a red t-shirt I'll take pics. :p:

Nirvana 07-26-2013 07:03 PM

Have fun and take pics anyway! :)

glatt 07-29-2013 07:17 PM

Earlier this year a small group of attorneys left my firm. It was a loss. I liked them, and they brought business into the firm.

I just got an email that another small group of attorneys is leaving. They were all assholes, so I won't miss them. But it can't be good for the firm.

It's still a big place, but I'm not feeling so confident about its health. I'm wondering how marketable I am.

Lamplighter 07-29-2013 07:46 PM

Once the second group is out the door, send a email to the first group:

"They're gone. It's OK to come back now"

Griff 07-29-2013 07:50 PM

...or tell the first group you may be available.

orthodoc 08-06-2013 09:00 PM

I have an all-day interview tomorrow for my old job. However, it has to morph into something very different from its current structure to have a chance of success. So my multiple interviews will consist of selling that concept to those who matter.

BigV 08-07-2013 10:17 AM

good luck, that kind of thing stresses me the hell out.

orthodoc 08-07-2013 09:12 PM

Thanks - the interviews went very well today. It looks like it may be possible to work out a different practice structure; everyone was enthusiastic. I hope it all works out.

xoxoxoBruce 08-07-2013 09:24 PM

Very good, go get 'em.

Clodfobble 08-08-2013 08:41 AM

The kids are about to have three days in a row out in the sun doing water activities. This is great for them and all, but pale, blonde little Minifobette burns if she stands too close to an incandescent bulb. I can slather on the sunscreen every hour like I always do, but I think what I really need to do is go buy her a giant sunhat with a string to keep her from losing it.

BigV 08-08-2013 02:04 PM


Originally Posted by Clodfobble (Post 872751)
The kids are about to have three days in a row out in the sun doing water activities. This is great for them and all, but pale, blonde little Minifobette burns if she stands too close to an incandescent bulb. I can slather on the sunscreen every hour like I always do, but I think what I really need to do is go buy her a giant sunhat with a string to keep her from losing it.

I strongly recommend a surf shirt (also known as a rashguard for protecting the wet skin from rash from lying on the board all day). They come in every color and pattern that swimsuits do, from solids to patterns. One nice element for your situation is that some of them come with high necks, like a turtleneck, and with long sleeves. You'll get far more protection for her (and his) torso with such a shirt than you would do with a sun hat. Plus, you can't lose it and it works equally well in the water. There are lots of designs, loose, tight, long and short sleeved. We used these in Hawaii and I loved them. Very effective.

Of course, it offers no protection for her face and ears and scalp (yes, I've had my scalp sunburned through my hair, it's very very uncomfortable) and only some protection for her neck, depending on the shirt. For that, a big hat is a good idea. Failing that, getting some of the industrial strength sunscreen is your next best bet. Back in the day, I used zinc oxide for my nose. Go on, laugh. It was not clownishly unfashionable then for the lifeguards to have white noses. And it blocked 100% of the sun, it was water-proof, *and* you could tell when it was time to reapply due to wiping, not water or sweat. But you do have the white clown makeup appearance factor. There are other invisible products I've had good success with since then, like Bullfrog. I know there are others. I liked the Bullfrog because the beeswax in the formulation really gave it staying power.

orthodoc 08-08-2013 02:38 PM

Big hat, spf 30 fabric shirt and preferably leggings (maybe a wetsuit?), and tons of sunscreen even under the shirt etc. ... it's frustrating, but pale, blond people are more prone to skin cancer from UV exposure than others. A bad burn in childhood sets you up, as you obviously know, Clod, since you're concerned about the sun/water activities.

Living where you do, this is tough. Maybe encourage her to start horseback riding (shameless plug here for the benefits of horse activities for all ages :p: ) - you have to cover up except +/- for arms, and you wear a hat ... it saved my skin back in the day when everyone slathered themselves in oil and lay in the sun.

Clodfobble 08-08-2013 06:07 PM


Originally Posted by BigV
(yes, I've had my scalp sunburned through my hair, it's very very uncomfortable)

We are very familiar with this type of burn. We already put sunscreen right on her scalp (makes her hair look ridiculous,) but it's hard to get all the nooks and crannies. I found her a big straw cowboy hat at a sporting goods store this afternoon that somehow fits her tiny head. Keeps her face and shoulders completely shaded, and it stood up to being soaked with water during today's activities, at least. Day one = burn-free. Two more to go.

BigV 08-08-2013 06:10 PM

Excellent. Wishing you and her all the best.

Griff 08-09-2013 07:25 PM

and day 2?

Clodfobble 08-09-2013 10:30 PM

She returned to the house with pinkish cheeks, but it was gone by bedtime so I'm thinking it was just flushing from the heat. Tomorrow is the big push, 10 hours at Schlitterbahn. But she'll have her cowboy hat, which worked great on Day One, so at this point I'm more worried about how I can make sure Minifob gets his second/third sunscreen application when he is likely to be out of my hands all day.

Clodfobble 08-11-2013 07:46 AM

Schlitterbahn report: Minifob has just the slightest twinge of pink under his eyes, Minifobette has no sunburn at all.

Me and Mr. Clod, on the other hand, both have mild sunburns. His covers his entire chest, shoulders, and back, and mine is just on my back--where he was the one to apply the sunscreen. Clearly there is something lacking in his technique. It's not bad though, the kind that will clear up in another day. My feet suffered far more, walking around barefoot all day on a mixture of scratchy pool bottoms and burning-hot concrete. Mr. Clod's FitBit said 18,000+ steps. It was a fun day, but too damn long.

Chocolatl 08-11-2013 08:10 AM

Reminds me of a time my husband got his own back. Big white handprints outlined by a pretty good sunburn.

Glad the minifobs fared well!

orthodoc 08-12-2013 06:37 PM

Three-month follow-up and it seems there was a question on the CT scan after all. Bilateral adnexal masses, stable but persistent since the scan last October. So I get an ultrasound 'at my earliest convenience', because a history of breast cancer + bilateral masses + persistence beyond 12 weeks = high risk.

What are the odds? About 50%. But I may be in the good 50%. That's what I'll believe until they tell me otherwise.

xoxoxoBruce 08-12-2013 07:57 PM

Damn straight, there's no sense in worrying about shit that may not happen. That's like paying interest on money you didn't borrow.

glatt 08-12-2013 07:58 PM

I like your attitude.

Griff 08-13-2013 06:08 AM

Yeah, well done orthodoc, stay positive.

orthodoc 08-14-2013 01:38 PM

Not good news on the ultrasound this morning although it could be worse. Still I win a trip to the Gyne-Oncologist in Pittsburgh next Tuesday.

xoxoxoBruce 08-14-2013 01:41 PM

Pulling for a good outcome in Pittsburgh. :fingerx:

BigV 08-14-2013 01:48 PM

I'm rooting for you too!

glatt 08-14-2013 02:18 PM

I'm sorry Ortho.

orthodoc 08-14-2013 02:23 PM

Thanks, guys - it could still be all right, so I'll keep assuming that. This weekend I'm going to visit my oldest son in Arlington and just have a good time.

Clodfobble 08-14-2013 02:26 PM

I'll be thinking about you next week, ortho. Good luck with everything.

orthodoc 08-14-2013 03:53 PM

Thanks, Clod.

limey 08-14-2013 04:24 PM

Sending you positive vibes, Ortho!

Sent by thought transference

glatt 08-23-2013 09:59 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Next summer, we're supposed to have a big glatt family reunion near Yosemite for my parent's 50th anniversary. The place we are staying was 2 miles from the flames of that big forest fire as of yesterday afternoon. And the wind is blowing the fire that direction.

It's the John Muir House at Evergreen lodge, the bed at the end of the green arrow in the picture below. I understand the fire is 2% contained.
Attachment 45228

glatt 08-23-2013 08:28 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Looks like the flames are lapping at the door of our lodge.

Attachment 45238

orthodoc 08-23-2013 09:38 PM

Maybe a different venue for next year?

Clodfobble 08-23-2013 09:50 PM

They'll have almost a year to get the insurance payout and rebuild. Bigger and better, I say.

BigV 08-23-2013 10:12 PM

with a wider no burn barrier

Griff 08-24-2013 08:19 AM

We went to Yellowstone a couple years after the burn and again 20 years later. It made for an interesting trip, so if you have a place to sleep it'll be cool.

glatt 08-25-2013 09:12 PM

According to their Facebook page, the manager was able to get back to the lodge today, and found that the fire fighters had saved all the buildings at the lodge. So next summer, we'll be staying in a nice lodge in the middle of an ash tray. It should be interesting.

Hope the wildfire slows down soon. I don't want all of Yosemite to be gone.

I saw in one article that they didn't have any federal aircraft fighting the fire initially because of the sequestration. It wasn't until it was huge and out of control that the Feds found funds somewhere to fight it. But now it's too late. It gonna just keep burning.

Gravdigr 08-26-2013 01:16 PM


Originally Posted by orthodoc (Post 873348)

I could have lived my entire life not knowing that was a thing.

monster 08-26-2013 01:27 PM

Retrospectively......I was shitting bricks leading up to Hebe's driving test. But she passed, so all is well

glatt 08-26-2013 03:15 PM

Way to go, Hebe!

Now she can drive herself to everything.

Griff 08-26-2013 03:56 PM

Lil Griff is driving everywhere now. Its nice but Dads worry.

orthodoc 08-26-2013 06:01 PM


Originally Posted by Gravdigr (Post 874226)
I could have lived my entire life not knowing that was a thing.

I could have, too. Priests/priestesses of the jade palace and all that, they should only have to deal with beauty, right?

Reality sucks, and these things do exist, and one will be turning me inside out on Wednesday to see if bad things are happening. Hopefully they won't be, and I'll walk away without a few more parts but with more hope for the future. It's a trade I'm willing to make. Crossing my fingers that the universe is willing to make that trade as well.

busterb 08-31-2013 09:39 AM

Ultrasound of liver, the 16th.

Griff 09-04-2013 05:36 AM

It keeps on coming, doesn't it b?

The UPK I'm supposed to integrate with is way under numbers. So I left a highly subscribed one with a terrible co-teacher for a good teacher but no kids. Normally our organization would just take the hit expecting our special ed services to absorb the funding hole but the sequestration disaster nuked our bottom line so...

Lamplighter 09-04-2013 11:00 AM

UPK = Universal Pre-Kindergarden ?

Big Sarge 09-04-2013 04:40 PM

The 10 year old girl next door is a latch key kid. She lives with her grandmother with whom I have spoken to only once. She & her brothers have used my phone before to call their grandmother or father, but always on the front porch. Today, she came home and the power was off at her house. I think they didn't pay the bill. Anyway she needed to use the bathroom. I let her in to use it, but I was here alone. She was here less than 5 minutes, but you know how things are now days. What would you have done??

Griff 09-04-2013 06:52 PM


Originally Posted by Lamplighter (Post 875142)
UPK = Universal Pre-Kindergarden ?

Yeah. We added a new kid this morning but still not good.

orthodoc 10-22-2013 09:10 PM

Going on a coal-mine tour tomorrow. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, somewhat ironically - after all, the people who work the mines get plenty of opportunity. Outsiders don't, however. I believe this is a long-wall mine. The thought of hydraulic shocks moving along as the shearer cuts into the seam, and the area behind collapsing ... makes me apprehensive. :worried:


I will try to get some pics, although I suspect only pics on the surface will be allowed.

Griff 10-23-2013 05:42 AM

Next time I want to bitch about my job reflecting on coal-mining would put an end to that.

glatt 10-23-2013 08:16 AM

Let us know how it goes! My grandfather used to talk about the coal mines all the time, but refused to ever step foot into one. Even museum ones that were deemed perfectly safe for the public to visit. The stories he told were amazing. Some crazy stuff happened in PA mines in the last century.

Lamplighter 10-23-2013 09:04 AM

I had not heard the term "long wall" before.

I watched a few of the YouTube videos on long wall coal mining.
Some are nothing but commercials for the mining equipment (e.g. Caterpillar, etc.)

This one explains what it is using animations:

Despite the politics of coal (Koch Brothers, global warming, etc.),
I am still amazed at the engineering.

Thanks for the introduction, Ortho...

BigV 10-24-2013 03:06 PM

I am apprehensive having discovered an open window in my basement.

It's too soon to tell whether or not I have a bigger problem on my hands as I haven't yet heard back from all the people who might have had access to the latch on the inside.

DanaC 10-24-2013 03:07 PM

That's going to be a real problem come the zombie apocalypse.

Jus' sayin'

Clodfobble 10-24-2013 04:25 PM

Don't you still have a teen or two at home who might have a desire to sneak out at night (or perhaps sneak their girlfriend/boyfriend in and out?) I'm just saying that even if everyone in the house says they didn't open the window, it still doesn't necessarily mean a break-in.

BigV 10-24-2013 05:18 PM

I do. That's why I'm not bothered yet, no answer from them, yet.

I seriously doubt a break-in, given the layout of the stuff around the window, etc. What I think probably happened is that someone opened the window, for some unknown reason, and didn't close it. I'm gonna ask in my least threatening srs-voice, the one I use for when I must have a truthful answer. I hope it works.

If the answer is no, then... then I'll need to expand my investigation, and then I'll be apprehensive. Because who the fucking fuck is opening my windows?

I'm gonna make an effort to reel in my imagination at this point.

xoxoxoBruce 10-24-2013 06:12 PM

It's funny how the memory slips away at your age. :p:

Lamplighter 10-24-2013 08:05 PM

But in your mid-60's, the $ comes slipping in ... all that is needed is your SSN.

orthodoc 10-25-2013 10:49 PM

Survived the coal mine tour but was too tired yesterday to comment ...

I'm very glad I had the chance to go. It was terrifying but important to do, rather like visiting a poultry production facility if you intend to eat supermarket chicken. Since I am intimately acquainted with the victims of this industry, I owe it to them to see where and how they become victims.

The mine I toured was exemplary in their cooperation with MSHA (the Mining Safety and Health Administration), their cleanliness and safety training, and their willingness to be transparent to outsiders. This was all positive. They did a fantastic job organizing our tour; they provided a complete kit for each of us (having inquired about sizes beforehand), with boots, overalls, belt, radio, small self-contained self-rescuer, goggles, hard hat with ear muffs, and headlamp. The radio had a tracker; the location of every person underground was monitored by the dispatcher above-ground.

We spent about two hours in safety training and got to open and try out the self-rescuers so that we would really know how to use them, should there be an emergency while we were underground. We also got to open and try the bigger self-rescuer equipment (the small ones are carried on one's belt; they provide oxygen for 10 minutes or so, long enough - supposedly - to get to the caches of large self-rescuers kept underground every 1,000 yards. The large ones are good for 1-6 hours, depending on how much demand is put on them. Sitting down and breathing shallowly, they're good for 6 hours; walking vigorously to escape, it's more like 1 hour).

Once equipped, we descended via a 25-person elevator to the active part of the mine, 1,000 feet down. This isn't all that deep compared to many mines. Still - it was 1,000 feet. The mine itself has been in operation since 1956 and is 35 miles square (not square miles); there are quite a few other portals many miles away, including the original one that was built with the incline per Lamp's video. They brought the big equipment down the incline and have moved it from area to area ever since.

We exited the elevator and walked a short distance down a tunnel that was ghostly white, with square metal plates on the walls and ceiling and metal beams overhead. The miners drill and place roof and wall bolts to stabilize the tunnel walls and ceiling, and place beams every 4 feet along the passage. Metal netting covered the walls because the coal tends to crumble. Areas of the ceiling could frequently be seen to have crumbled and fallen between beams.

We got into metal 'man-trip' cars that ran on rails; they were diesel powered rather than electric. As we passed old passageways, I noticed that the metal posts holding up the unused openings had bowed significantly. Not something I was happy to notice!

We arrived at the active face and filed along its length. There were 240+ 'shields', essentially robotic supports with a long base, a vertical strut, and a shield that extended forward about 4 feet just under the ceiling. They were positioned close together; as we stepped across their bases, there were 2 long strides between each base. They held up the ceiling above our heads; looking to our left, I could see where the chamber had collapsed immediately behind the bases of the shields. The guide said that as the shearer moves ahead, the shields automatically shift forward. The ceiling behind them collapses within about 20 seconds. We asked what this does to the surface; the guide said that, in this location, nothing has happened on the surface. They are apparently creating 6-7 foot vertical spaces between shallower layers underground.

When we got to the end of the long wall face, the way was blocked by a sprayer shooting clouds of 'rock dust' over the pile of coal dust at the end. The rock dust treatment is used to make the coal dust more inert and less likely to explode.

The two big dangers in coal mines are: a) methane gas, which exists in pockets in coal seams and is highly explosive; and b) coal dust explosions. There are other less frequent hazards, but these two are the most common causes of mine disasters.

We watched the rock dust shoot out in clouds and settle over everything, including us. It is composed of 4-5% silica, lime, and other things. No one should be in that environment without a respirator.

The shearer, when it started up, was impressive. It operates like a circular saw with only a few reinforced teeth, spinning rapidly and crumbling the face of the coal seam into rubble. A long chain belt swept the rubble away to waiting cars for transport to the surface. Sprayers kept everything in the area wet, and yet coal dust still blew through the air and settled on our faces and in our noses and mouths.

There was no quick or easy way to exit the mine. Handheld cords with directional cones, described by the safety guide on the surface, were not visible. The tracks of the 'man-trip' were a better guide. The floor was wet, uneven, and slippery; sometimes gravel, sometimes mud. If we turned our headlamps off, the darkness was absolute.

The tunnels were as clean and tidy as humanly possible. The face was harvested using high-tech methods. The miners, who start at $70-80K at the age of 19 with a high school diploma and make around $100K+ once they have their 'black hat' miner card after 6 months, were all positive in attitude and proud of what they were doing.

But having seen 30 and 40 year olds who can't breathe, who are dying because their lungs are a giant mass of fibrosed scar tissue, I feel rather as though I've just visited a poultry farm. I ask, do we NEED these young men to die horrible deaths at 40, suffocating because their lungs can no longer transfer oxygen to their blood? Would any of us take a turn in the mines to ensure that the lights stayed on?

I don't know. I know that we are dependent on coal for the foreseeable future. The price is higher than the simple dollar amount we pay. On the other hand, higher wages than they could draw anywhere else allow high school graduates to support families and send their children to school.

I have my thoughts on the subject. What do others think?

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