seticat: (** 2lumps - sigh - mine)
Has anyone out there ever gone through the process to get approval for a VA home loan - Certificate of Eligibility (COE) VA Form 26-1880?

Without going into details at this time, it's looking like my housing where I'm at may becoming flaky at best and tenuous at the worst so I'm looking into getting approval to buy a place out here in Idaho. I'm trying to pre-plan on how much lead time I need before I can start home shopping, etc.

I really don't want to move. I absolutely *hate* moving. But I hate not knowing what's going on around me even more. I'm looking at staying in this general area not only because I simply can't afford to move back to WA State [cost of move, cost of living, 10% sales tax, etc] but there's something appealing about a less then 15 year old 3+ bedroom, 2 bath place going for under $75,000. It really *is* a buyers market out here.

Believe me, there's a big part that wants to move back to W. WA to be with friends, but the finances just aren't in the cards. And Mom [Mom-in-Law] isn't in the best of health despite what she tells me so there's some concerns on that front. I *might* consider W. Oregon, but I'm afraid the move would break me.

That's the one advantage with the COE. It's good anywhere.


I just wish life would settle down for a while.

Verdict In

Nov. 7th, 2011 02:21 pm
seticat: (med - staroflife-usa - njemtgirl)
Conrad Robert Murry = guilty on the count of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson.

Whether he caused Michael Jackson's death actively or through passive negligence, it is *my personal opinion* that he *did* provide substandard and inadequate care in a complex medical situation in an inappropriate setting using medications far better suited to be used in a critical care setting.

I am personally and professionally satisfied with this outcome.
seticat: (** 2lumps - argh - mine)
'Other Son of Bug Buster' was by late Saturday afternoon and gave the back of the bottom cabinets/drawers and the baseboards a spray of some sort of sticky emulsion that will create a barrier. 'Either Son of Bug Busters' will be back either Monday or Tuesday [depending on the weather] to go around the outside of the house foundation.

Status report so far: not one single little hexaped seen.

Of course, I'm still keeping the kitchen light on because I don't want any surprises.

The really fun/interesting about this whole experience? 'Both Sons of Bug Buster' know this house inside and out because the used to come over than play here with all the other area kids back when this was a lot more rural area. Father Bug Buster' [who is no longer dealing with bugs on Earth, but probably manages any needed pest control in the Afterlife] knew G'ma and G'pa Johnson quite well which may explain why both son's were willing to come out at a minutes notice on a weekend to spray this place.

They probably know this place better then I do.

Gotta love the small town rural life.

Ya know...

Nov. 4th, 2011 03:08 am
seticat: (** 2lumps - argh - mine)
...when you head into the kitchen at 'Oh-Dark-Awful' to make your self a pre-bedtime snack, flip on the light switch and all the little black specks you thought were 'poppy seeds' on the surface of the breadboard start heading for cover, they may not be poppy seeds.


2.5 hours later all the counter tops have been sprayed with a 'biologically safe' ant spray and then washed back down, all the dishes in the dish drainer have been rewashed, all the appliances have been wiped down, the floor vacuumed [twice] & the base boards sprayed with self same spray. I didn't do the breakfast nook tonight because I didn't see any of the little bastards there [only by the kitchen sink] and didn't want to end up shifting everything to the other side of the kitchen, doing all of that and then shifting it back. [I have a tiny, narrow, one-butt kitchen], but I'll do that tomorrow.

Ghod, but I *hate* bugs inside!!!

Gonna hit Home Despot or somewhere tomorrow and get the industrial sized bottle of ant spray to go around the outside edges of the house - again. And if those little bastards come back and try to set up camp like they did last year in the bathroom, I'm calling in the 'Big Guns' [tm]. I still have the business card from the 'Bug Busters' who came by last year.

I know bugs have their own little ecological niche in the food chain and all, but that niche is *not* in my house!

This incident may put me off poppy seeds for the rest of my life.

Just sayin'...

UPDATE: After two more breakouts this am and afternoon, I've called in the 'Bug Busters'. It's like calling in an air strike, I know, but this house was owner built in the early 50's and simply has too many nooks and things for me to deal with. And this is the same guy who took the ants on last winter when they made a surgical strike to invade the bathroom. He's used to working in food production areas and knows what to use and not to use.

And to be honest, I simply can't wait a week or so to see if any of the 'remedies' I've tried so far actually do anything. There's something about pulling out the breadboard and have a swarm of 'poppy seeds' come out at you that induces a shrill, piercing girly scream out of me. It's like last winter. Picture if you will, sinking into a nice hot relaxing bath only to realize there's a crowd of six-legged voyeurs staring at you and your 'privates'. Or living in mortal fear of one of them crawling in under the rim of the toilet seat and coming to visit just after you've sat down.

I am *not* going back to that 'scary place' again. VA doesn't have enough meds to deal with the aftermath.

UPDATE Part Duex: 'Son of Bug Buster' will be coming out tomorrow to deliver the needed 'Chemical Warfare Agents'. Which is probably a better solution then my digging a moat, filling it with gelled gasoline and tossing in a flare...
seticat: (** 2lumps - o_0 - evilgrins)
When the hell did a group of you decide to channel a bunch of drunk soccer fans? I hope at least some of you were mortified at your behavior when you sobered up.
seticat: (gen - worldinhand - starjourneying)

*Please* comment. I would be interested in your thoughts about the message:'It's not always what you say, it's how you say it.'
seticat: (med - dr-teddybear - lizardspots)
Sorta-kinda a follow-up on my little escapade in the local ER and the 'bus' ride up to the ER at Boise. Not coming as any surprise, my VA doc ordered a cardiac stress test which I took last Tuesday. But coming as a bit of a surprise to me,I didn't get a clear pass. Now in my favor, the cardiologist did the whole ' It's most likely a false positive test'. I tossed the occasional PVC. No runs of them. No doubles or triples, just one every now and then. [FWIW: I have a history of having done that a time or two in my past and they seemed to clear up on their own. The guess back then was stress and too much caffeine. ] And they weren't anything I felt during the test.

And yes, I looked over the EKG myself, not that I'm an expert at reading them, but I can pick out the major problems fairly well. For those of a medical bent out there, these looked like the occasional unifocal PVC. No change in atrial rate,no inverted P wave, no T wave depression, no QRS notching. Just the occasional 'bloop' rather then the expected 'blip'

On research done once I got home, I'm in the perfect category for a 'false positive': female, coming up on 60, etc. The VA cardio said that 20% of stress tests can run a false positive, especially in my gender and age group and when those 20% are followed up with other testing only about 1 in 10 actually have a cardiovascular problem. So actually I'm considering those good odds if I've figured the math right [20% = 1 in 10 and then 1 in 10 comes out to 1 in 100]. Considering I'm working out on the treadmill at the Y [albeit not running, but a brisk walk], line dancing twice a week and mowing the lawn here [which take 2 hours if I go non-stop with one water break in the middle], I think I'm in fair shape. But on May 31st, I get to do this: thallium isotope stress test or the local VA equivalent.

Oh joy.

But it beats the heck out of getting a catheter in my crotch [ ie: cardiac catheterization] which I am adamantly against unless someone can give me so solid reasons to do so. 'Just Because' is not good enough right now.

So we'll see.

Carry on....
seticat: (Default)
Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Yes, the threat level will go up. Yes, we most likely will see some form of terrorist response. But I can't help but feel the world is a better place right now.

Just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
seticat: (gen - signal-boost - mine)
Budget cuts shutdown SETI

Shamelessly copied from [ profile] syrwolf

SAN FRANCISCO — In the mountains of Northern California, a field of radio dishes that look like giant dinner plates waited for years for the first call from intelligent life among the stars.

But they're not listening anymore.

Cash-strapped governments, it seems, can no longer pay the interstellar phone bill.

Astronomers at the SETI Institute said a steep drop in state and federal funds has forced the shutdown of the Allen Telescope Array, a powerful tool in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, an effort scientists refer to as SETI.

"There's plenty of cosmic real estate that looks promising," Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the institute, said Tuesday. "We've lost the instrument that's best for zeroing in on these better targets."

The shutdown came just as researchers were preparing to point the radio dishes at a batch of new planets.

About 50 or 60 of those planets appear to be about the right distance from stars to have temperatures that could make them habitable, Shostak said.

The 42 radio dishes had scanned deep space since 2007 for signals from alien civilizations while also conducting research into the structure and origin of the universe.

SETI Institute chief executive Tom Pierson said in an email to donors last week that the University of California, Berkeley, has run out of money for day-to-day operation of the dishes.

"Unfortunately, today's government budgetary environment is very difficult, and new solutions must be found," Pierson wrote.

The $50 million array was built by SETI and UC Berkeley with the help of a $30 million donation from Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen. Operating the dishes cost about $1.5 million a year, mostly to pay for the staff of eight to 10 researchers and technicians to operate the facility.

An additional $1 million a year was needed to collect and sift the data from the dishes.

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the billionaire's philanthropic venture, had no immediate plans to provide more funding to the facility, said David Postman, a foundation spokesman.

The institute, however, was hopeful the U.S. Air Force might find the dishes useful as part of its mission to track space debris and provide funding to keep the equipment operating.

The SETI Institute was founded in 1984 and has received funding from NASA, the National Science Foundation and several other federal programs and private foundations. Other projects that will continue include the development of software and tools to be used in the search for extraterrestrial life.

Despite the shutdown of the Allen Telescope Array, the search for E.T. will go on using other telescopes such as a dish at Arecibo in Puerto Rico, the largest radio telescope in the world, Shostak said.

The difference, he said, was that SETI researchers can point the Arecibo telescope at selected sites in space for only about two weeks a year.

While the telescope in Northern California is not as powerful, it could be devoted to the search year-round.

"It has the advantage that you can point it where you want to point it and you can keep pointing it in that direction for as long as we want it to," Shostak said.

The dishes also are unique in the ability to probe for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations while gathering more general scientific data.

"That made the telescope a double-barreled threat," said Leo Blitz, a professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley and former director of the observatory that includes the Allen Telescope Array.
seticat: (cat - stars - myth_moondancer)

A thought by James Gurney

No matter what your spiritual pathway, think on this. Would we really recognize Christ or Buddha or any of the world's great teachers if we met them on the street today?

You never know, do you?

Treat everyone like a friend you simply haven't met yet.
seticat: (gen - worldinhand - starjourneying)
seticat: (* cat - bright-idea - p3nsive)
seticat: (gen - moon-purple - moonchulde)
Those out there who 'know me' know I've been in one for or other of health care practically my entire life. More than just my adult life - both my folks were registered pharmacists so I grew up with a copy of ''Gray's Anatomy' in one hand and a mortar and pestle in the other. Literally. A long, sad story why medical school and I didn't make the connection, but 'stuff happens' and on your move.

It's simply safe to say that I know 'way too much about a bit of everything and a fair amount about the cardio-pulmonary system, which was my specialty.

Suffice it to say that when I found myself with a truly epic 'heartburn' that wouldn't go away and numbness and tingling in my arms and jaw ... well... after 24 hours of this, I began to freak out a bit. I'd tried everything at home I usually do the first evening it started in: double up on my heartburn meds, several swigs Maalox, a round of baby aspirin and a sub lingual nitro [not for cardiac chest pain, it really and truly is for something else - after all a smooth muscle is a smooth muscle] and some dairy products [they usually help - Yeah, plain vanilla ice cream!] and after a few hours it's settled out. However, it started up the next evening so it was rinse and repeat, this time with no changes. So after making sure everything was settled at home [bills paid, cats fed, etc], I hie myself off to the local ER about four blocks away. And yes, I drove myself. I just couldn't bring myself to call the nice guys in the pretty bus with the lights on top. Dumb - I know.

Hey - at least I didn't try to drive myself to the ER at Boise VA - a good 25-30 minute haul away.

Anyway... after 5 hours of labs and chest x-rays and EKGs and O2 and 'another' round of aspirin and nitro and a waffling fairly young ER doc who wanted to do a bunch more tests but couldn't talk one of the in-house cardio guys into coming in, I got my 'bus ride' after all. All the way to VA Boise. In defense of the local cardio guy, I wasn't acute, just 'quirky' and I was all for discharge and test as an out-patient my own self.

Anyway - after a midnight freeway trip, it took the kindly and well experience VA ER doc all of 30" to have another set of labs run and be comfortable with the diagnosis of 1: atypical heartburn probably secondary to the fact I've been on the same acid blocker for 10 years and most likely I'd gotten used to it. and 2: the tingling was, most likely, secondary to some muscular nerve entrapment and pinching because I started doing upper body workouts at the why about a week ago. My cardiac labs were primo, my chest film shows some mild degenerative disc disease but otherwise clear and my EKG is a piece of art.

So I was basically a 'treat and street' at 0130 with the recommendation not to change any of my meds and see my primary doc at my regular scheduled appointment on the 18th of this month. [We won't touch on the fact that my car was back in Caldwell and I was in Boise - thank Buddha my Mom-in-Law was more then willing to get up and come up and get me]. The ER Doc *did* suggest I get a cardiac workup/stress test simply to have a base line even though we both agreed that my usual YMCA workout [35-45" on the treadmill at a 3% incline and 3.0-3.2 mph with a max heart rate of 108 at least 5 times a week with the occ. line dance class or yoga session thrown in] was a stress test all in itself. Also, I should get an upper endoscopy to rule out any gastric changes, a small hiatal hernia [nothing was displaced in the chest film], etc. And... [I knew there's be an 'and' ] since my last routine colonoscopy was 10-some years ago, I should get a repeat. Her comment was to get both on the same day to 'make a day of it'.

Ha ha... I'm not laughing, but I *do* understand. Same clinic does both.

We'll see what my doc here says on the 18th.

And on to a much nicer topic.

I haven't really mentioned here that I've been conducting a total body overhaul the last few months. December I got on the scales and freaked. 200-'way too much and I was creeping into a pair of size 18 pants. Also my doc want to double the does of my cholesterol med because my values were still doing 'Bad Things' [tm]. I bartered with her to give me a chance to make some 'significant life changes' and she, grudgingly, agreed. So I got myself a YMCA membership for my birthday present to myself, started on a 1300 calorie, low fat diet and started a food and weight log.

Today, when the clinic nurse checked in with me to make sure I was still doing okay since discharge, we talked about the labs the ER in Boise drew.

All the bad lipids have gone down, the good lipid went up and my cholesterol went from 236 down to 163: a drop of over 70 points! Also, when I weighed in dry today [first thing in the morning sans food, drink or clothing] I was 186# and I'm comfortably wearing a size 14. Woo Hoo!!!

I'm not planning on staying at 1300 calories [actually I tend to fudge in the 1300-1430 range] and will most likely fudge up to 1500 and a scosh on occasion. But I haven't worn a size 14 in 'way too many years. My b/p has gone from 132/96 down to 96/66 which is normal for me. I tend to compensate with a slightly faster heart rate - the low 80's. My overall goal was to make 155# by 1 Jan 2012 so needless to day I'm way ahead of my goal. But that's okay. 150-155# is just fine. I have no desire to try for lower. Heck I was 145# coming out of basic training.

I've had my 'Year of Mourning' and letting my life run itself. I will never forget Jeff and I will always miss him, he was 20+ years of my life, both good and bad at times. But I also know he would kick my butt all the way back to Washington if I let myself get sicker and sicker because I didn't want to face life and what it could offer.

I've got no idea what tomorrow will bring, but I'm planning on handing around to see.


Mar. 15th, 2011 08:27 pm
seticat: (fun - makes-you-stranger - dementia)
Okay, the occasional bug in the house I can deal with. Depending on what it is, it is scooped up and taken outdoors or smashed flat. So not counting the whole 'ants trying to take over the bathroom' incident of a few months ago, things have been okay since I've moved in here over a year and a half ago.

But not once, no, not twice, but THREE FREAKIN' TIMES I've had 'ant bombs' in the living room. An 'ant bomb' [in my short hand] is one of those eruptions that seem to have a specific center and then spread out in a wave in a 360 degree circle from the center. THREE of them! Tonight's I thought was just a dark spot on the floor when I may have missed a spot of dried kitty puke so I grabbed some wet paper towels to clean it up.

And it MOVED!!!!

So... several applications of not at all safe bug spray [I haven't been able to find commercial pyrethrin based pesticides anywhere around here so far]. laying down towels over the bug spray [more for me so I could walk around], lots of moving furniture around, more spraying, about 4 complete washings with my Swifter, a clean water rinse and now many bath towels laid down on the floor so the cat's paws won't touch any residual I think I'm good.

For tonight.

The first set of towels are in the garbage [because of toxins and a lot of dead ants], a couple of chests are up on wooden blocks, fresh towels are on the floor [with the others plastic bagged to go into the wash ASAP] and my shoes and pants changed - just in case.

Have I ever mentioned how much I really, REALLY hate bugs?

And yes, I've been in the South. Heck I spent a month in Israel with bugs bigger then the palm of my hand. But those were 'there' and this is 'here'. And this was the 'third... freakin'... TIME'! This is not like it's coming out of a corner of the room or something that would make sense. This is right in the middle of a clear patch of floor.


Added note: And now I have a headache. DAMN! Okay - the fan is now on and blowing out the open front door. To be honest, I'm not too worried that the cats got exposed to anything. I shut them in the bedroom [where they like to stay on the bed most of the time] until I was totally done, I 'was' leaning down several times to look at the floor and I 'am' a bit sensitive to organophophate.

Long story short involving bugs at another location many years ago, husband and I spraying, not thinking much about it, sleeping on the floor right near there and my waking up in the morning with a screaming headache, some drooling and pin point pupils.

Field diagnosis: nerve agent [organophophate] poisioning.

I *knew* all those Army courses I took in NBC would come in handy.
seticat: (** seasonal - spring-win-the-wild - anon)
Well, at least my 'Neighbors over the back fence' [vrs, 'The Guy who lives next door'] weren't asshats when I came rocketing out of the house trying to identify what sounded like a string of gunshots in my backyard. Evidently it's not illegal to set off ground based fireworks within the city limits of where I live. After I ID'd myself and mentioned that I was only checking because 1 - I'm an old combat vet and 2 - I used to live up on Hilltop in Tacoma [where you not only hear gunshots, but you get to where you can id the direct, the probable caliber and type of weapon], they were all cool about it and apologized if they had disturbed me. In fact one guy said he'd grown up in S. California and understood completely.

No biggie. I'm good so long as I know what it is. But I've been over here over a year and a half now and gun shots are really rare. I'd kinda got out of the 'duck and ID' reflex.

In other news, I have snowdrops coming up in the flower beds and back patio lawn. I hope they can cope - we supposed to drop back into the low 30's later this week. But I really like this little glimpse of Spring.
seticat: (cat - bad-day - beadattitude)
Found on the web by[ profile] siliconshaman
This is why Japan is surviving the global economic recession and western companies aren't doing so well. The Japanese CEOs tend to look out for their workers because they understand that it is the workers that make the company. The big US CEOs are more often worried about their own bennies and perks.

Can anyone imagine the average big western CEO doing the same? I certainly can't.
CEO of JAL Airlines
seticat: (* cat - pentacle - djinni)

Beautiful art by [ profile] meathiel
seticat: (* cat - snow-cat - sakuranym-kit_foxfire)
Tonight we get to welcome in the Winter Solstice and the Return of the Sun with a total Lunar Eclipse.  

I wish Jeff was here to share this with me.

But I'm sure he and Barak and all the others who have Gone Before have the best view from where they sit around a roaring fire toasting the Morning Sun with mead and stories.
seticat: (mil - dogtags - mine)

Oh really?

Nov. 9th, 2010 06:04 pm
seticat: (* cat - snow-cat - sakuranym-kit_foxfire)
They say "It" should only happen in the morning.

They say "It" should be gone by noon.

They say "It" is going to be the first of this season.

They say it's going to snow.

Oh ... joy.


seticat: (Default)

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