It's 80° today. It's going to be 80° tomorrow. We've had a warm April so far.
I'm not complaining about this. The warm weather is pleasant, particularly when you've been ill for a fricking month. But it grates, precisely because I'm ill. (More on that in a moment.)
The flowers are blooming, the birds are doing the bird thing, and it's nice.
I'm worried this means we'll have an extra-hot summer, but then I remind myself that this is weather, not climate.
* * *
Having a pleasantly warm April means I could be doing a ton of things out in the driveway...if I wasn't still sick.
My brother warned me that there was a strain of viral bronchitis going around, which takes three weeks to get over. Well, it's taking me longer, for some reason, and I think I know what it is.
My cough gets worse every time I try to get some work done. The more I lay around and do nothing, the better it gets. I did chores on Saturday; it's not coincidental that there was no Fungus post on Sunday.
By and large, the cough is gone. I still can't laugh too much without setting off the cough reflex, but it's mostly gone otherwise and I haven't needed any cough syrup for several days at least.
...saying this will, of course, bring the cough back. I can't win. But if this crap doesn't end pretty damn soon I'm going to go see the doc. I just don't want to go see a doctor and have him tell me, "Hmm, yes, you have a cough. Here's a totally unnecessary prescription for cough syrup."
If it's happened once it's happened a thousand times, and I'm sick of wasting money on having someone tell me something I already know and give me a piece of paper for a stronger version of the medication I'm already taking. It's not getting worse; it's just taking its own damn time in getting better. What the hell is a doctor going to do about it?
* * *
Jalopnik on the Consumer Reports "don't buy" suggestion for that Lexus truck. The comments are good, especially SeanKHotay's: "Did Toyota forget to re-up their CR 'subscription'?"
I remember when CR would review three American cars and--at the end of the article--recommend a Toyota. Guess something happened.
* * *
A nurse practitioner is basically a nurse with a PhD. If you look at how the training for nurses progresses, it looks something like this:
90 days Certified Nurse Assistant...more or less. A CNA needs a single course. An LPN is like an Associate's Degree, and an RN is like having a BS degree.
2 years Licensed Practical Nurse
4 years Registered Nurse
A nurse practitioner is pretty close to being a doctor. He must do an awful lot of training and spend a lot of time working in clinicals, though not as much time as a doctor spends. I'm not sure about the grounding in basic science of a nurse practitioner; a doctor has to know physics and chemistry and biology.
The shortage of doctors is going to get worse under ObamaCare, and so you can expect nurse practitioners to make up the shortfall. As far as it goes, being treated by a nurse practitioner really isn't a bad thing so long as it's a routine illness or injury. That is to say, I wouldn't mind seeing a nurse practitioner for help with my chronic sinusitis or gut malf since I'm well-versed in what the symptoms are, what they mean, and how to treat them.
That's not a very good example, now that I think of it. Shoot--all I really need for those conditions is someone to occasionally write the appropriate prescriptions for me. "Hey, I've got X again; can you give me an RX for some BB?" I'm not going to ask for narcotics nor any other unnecessary medications; and for those conditions I know what I need, when I need it, and why.
But my point is, a nurse practitioner isn't going to be useful when a patient presents with something unusual or severe. Some medical care is probably better than no medical care but do you really want a nurse practitioner to perform an appendectomy? Only in the most dire of emergencies, I'd think.
They should not be referred to as "doctor", not in the clinical setting. They're not doctors.
* * *
I said here that Newt Gingrich is more conservative than nearly all the GOP elites of the past thirty years--but that doesn't mean he's conservative.
The problem with Newt Gingrich--regardless of the points Ms. Malkin brings up--is that he is simply not Presidential. (Okay, yeah, I know: neither is Boss Tweek. But thanks to the Democrat machine he managed to present himself as being so, and the press was uninterested in deflating the bubble. They would not be so reluctant with Gingrich.)
We're repeatedly told that Sarah Palin can't win in 2012; but if she couldn't win, Newt Gingrich certainly could not.
Ask yourself something: who is being attacked by the left, Newt Gingrich or Sarah Palin? Evidently Newt Gingrich is not regarded as much of a threat, because no one from that side says squat about him. Sarah Palin isn't even governor of Alaska any longer, yet the left continues to attack her like Jaws going after Roy Scheider. The liberals are scared to incontinence of Sarah Palin; Newt Gingrich doesn't even register.
The Democrats have taken a commanding lead in approval ratings and turned it into some of the most dismal statistics in recent history--and in the space of a scant two years, at that.
"Two years"? That's being generous. "Eighteen months" is generous. They've had the White House for fifteen months, and it's taken no longer than that for them to squander the surfeit of political capital they had in January of 2009.
ObamaCare is unpopuluar. The economy is in the toilet. Everyone is worried about the deficit, which has ballooned under Democrat control since 2008.
*sigh* The worst part of it is, I can't expect the Republicans to do any better. While the deficit expanded 300% in 2008, the Republicans spent a shitload of money before that, on all kinds of "compassionate conservative" bullshit--and none of it a good idea. George W. Bush signed the single largest expansion of federal education in history. The guys in charge of the GOP aren't "conservative"; they're Democrat Lite.
They're better than the Democrats, but only by degree.
The GOP elites are the ones telling us that Sarah Palin can't win in 2012, by the way. The country club republicans, the moderates, the people who think that we can get the press to like us--they're the ones who don't like Sarah Palin, and they don't like her because she's a conservative.
* * *
Walter Williams on the costs of minimum wage laws.
Applying federal minimum wage laws to American Samoa has already resulted in the loss of 2,000 jobs. In Samoa, $3.26 per hour is a good wage; but because the federal minimum wage has been extended to Samoa, Chicken of the Sea has moved to Georgia, creating 200 jobs there.
Starkist might follow suit. 8,000 jobs, which paid very well by local standards, will then have been lost.
Samoans, thank the Democrats for looking out for you!
* * *
Heh heh heh. Henry "Nostrilitis" Waxman is not, after all, going to haul all those corporations up before his committee to take them to task for obeying federal law and taking charge-offs against profits due to the costs of ObamaCare in a highly public and federally-mandated fashion.
I guess it finally got through the nose hair that this meeting would be highly embarassing for Democrats in general and Waxman in particular, because all those corporations were doing was to follow the law.
It would have been fun to watch as witness after witness politely and calmly handed Waxman his own ass. Unfortunately the Democrats were smart enough to call it off.
* * *
Curmudgen Emeritus is at it again, with this gem:
This is good news, friends: The Left has given up on arguing with us and has fallen back on an overt strategy of defamation and deceit. We have the evidence. All that remains is to publicize it adequately.Emphasis his.
* * *
I saw this story elsewhere, but decided to link it via this Missorah.com piece because...well, just because I felt like doing it that way. Ha, ha.
$57,000 per year--and none of them are disabled; they just don't feel like working.
At first glance I'm flabbergasted by it, but then I think about it: WTF, if you don't have to work and can sponge off government with no approbrium nor reduction in your standard of living, who the hell wouldn't?
There are some people who wouldn't, even if it meant living in a cardboard box and eating cat food; but how many people have that much pride, self-esteem, and willpower? I don't believe I do; if I discovered I would receive more money for sitting on my ass than going to a job every day I'm not sure I'd keep working. What the hell.
But this kind of situation can't be sustainable. I don't see how this can be widespread in England, because if there are a lot of people living this way, who pays for it? Where does the money come from to pay these people $57,000 per year to watch TV and breed? It's economically impossible; sooner or later the system must collapse.
Then there's going to be a lot of people sitting in their deteriorating council houses wondering when the government is going to rescue them, a la New Orleans during Katrina. Only (probably) without the wind and flooding.
What grinds my gears about this story, though, is the sense of entitlement displayed by these people. The woman isn't grateful she can live like this; no: "I don't feel bad about being subsidised by people who are working. I'm just working with the system that's there. If the government wants to give me money, I'm happy to take it. We get what we're entitled to. I don't put in anything because I don't pay taxes, but if I could work I would."
"We get what we're entitled to"? Why are you entitled to the money you acknowledge comes from the hard work of others?
"If I could work I would"--bullshit. You've got eight kids and want fourteen; you could work. You don't want to work; and you don't have to because your government is giving you all kinds of money.
Yet it's not enough; oh, no! "We can't afford holidays and I don't want my kids living on a council estate and struggling like I have. The price of living is going up but benefits are going down. My carer's allowance is only going up by 80p this year and petrol is so expensive now, I'm worried how we'll cope."
And: "I've always wanted a big family - no one can tell me how many kids I can have whether I'm working or not."
Okay, "how to cope" step one: STOP BREEDING. Once you squeeze out the podling that's in work right now, you'll have eight kids. STOP MAKING MORE.
Step two: ditch the luxuries. "The family have a 42in flatscreen television in the living room with Sky TV at £50 a month, a Wii games console, three Nintendo DS machines and a computer - not to mention four mobile phones. With their income of more than £42,000 a year, they run an 11-seater minibus and the seven-seat automatic Mercedes." Ditch one of the cars. Drop the satellite TV and at least two of the mobile phones.
Jesus, this kind of stuff pisses me off. I'm glad I don't live in England, because if I did, I'd probably go find these people and punch them in the head until candy came out.
* * *
I was pleased to see that Steven Den Beste linked my bit about female anatomy in anime in the post I linked to.
* * *
Speaking of punching people in the head, I've been wishing--more and more--for THE SLUGGER! to come and save us.
If I wrote about THE SLUGGER! before, I don't remember doing so.
His superpower is to teleport--transcending time, space, and reality--into anything being shown on TV or a movie screen, and to teleport out again. He uses this power to punch stupid people.
Picture it: you're watching TV and a really, really annoying commercial comes on. That "ShamWoW" guy is hawking the SlapChop junk and being a douche...and suddenly, THE SLUGGER! appears and pounds his face in. And disappears before anyone can react.
The kids are watching Yet Another episode of Spongebob Squarepants when THE SLUGGER! appears and feeds Spongebob his own teeth.
President Obama is on the news again, talking about how his plan will create jobs, when THE SLUGGER! appears and knocks his block off. The Secret Service manages to grab him, but he disappears right out of the handcuffs.
Later, Obama tapes a message from the relative safety of the Oval Office decrying the violence. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief when the video is safely in the can and THE SLUGGER! has not appeared.
...yet later that evening, when the video is shown on the news, THE SLUGGER! appears and decks Obama again. And the next morning, Obama's face sports two black eyes rather than one.
THE SLUGGER! occurred to me again on Monday night, when I was waiting for House, MD to come on. As a promo for new eps of Glee, two moronic actresses who play cheerleaders in the show were acting like stereotypical cheerleaders and telling us the program lineup for the night, and I found myself wishing THE SLUGGER! would appear and slug the both of them.
And since then I have been wishing mightily for THE SLUGGER! to come and save us.
* * *
Last night's episode of V was not very good.
Every bit of character development which occurred in that show was 100% predictable.
The stuff with Erica's kid--Jesus Christ, could you guys at least think about what you write after you've written it and before you take the script to the director? It was freakin' boilerplate taken from every bad TV drama ever.
1) Mom and Dad got divorced after a kid had a bike wreck.The whole thing happened like it was on rails, bing bing bing. The only thing which was different about this iteration was number 6, marked with an asterisk: the girl is in fact a sauroid alien in a human suit.
2) Kid is convinced he caused the divorce.
3) Blood tests determine Dad isn't kid's father, though Mom never had an affair.
4) Parents get divorced because Dad is convinced Mom had an affair but keep the reason secret.
5) Dad wants to tell kid.
6) Kid's girlfriend* overhears Dad talking to Mom on phone about it.
7) Girlfriend tells kid.
8) Kid freaks out.
9) Kid accuses Mom of lying to him and runs away.
I roll my eyes in disgust at the whole thing, because this kind of crap was trite TV before 1980--and TV wasn't any good back then, let me tell you. They could have done better.
And number three--didn't they try, I don't know, a paternity test? The story said that the kid's blood type couldn't come from parents with the blood types of Erica and her estranged husband; the father must have been someone else, yet no one thought to do a paternity test to see whether or not the kid had the same genes as his father? They never tried to redo the tests to check the results?
The kid is 17 years old; Erica acts like he's 10 and he acts like he's 13. The stuff with Erica and her son and family problems is the weakest part of the entire freaking series. It's the shittiest television I've watched in a long, long time; if the rest of V wasn't much, much better than that, I wouldn't be watching the show at all.
...in fact, the stuff with Ryan and his wife is beginning to pall, too. Right now the main reason I keep watching the show is to see what the Vs are actually trying to do, and to see how the human resistance manages to survive. But if they keep showing episodes like the one that was on last night, I'm going to drop it.
* * *
From Big Dick's Place:
The explosion occurs at 0:14. If you see big spherical clouds or flame effects move rapidly from a fire--followed by flaming shrapnel flying high in the air (at 0:15) moving away from the window would be a wise thing to do. This guy's lucky that all he got was scared when the shock wave arrived around 0:20, because if it had been powerful enough to break that glass, he would have ended up in the hospital.
Finally, I can't find a way to embed
this hilarious cat video. But it's hilarious.