Saturday, July 7, 2012

HFPT™ and a Zombie lunch

Beth, Shane3Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far, and it may very well have been the hottest one since 1988. I know we set a record for the day with 102°, although I don’t know if that’s the hottest it’s been around here since ‘88. Anyway, it was a perfect day for Happy Fun Pool Time™ over at Shane and Matt’s.

Shane had an early start to the day, having to be at work at some beastly hour like 4:30 am, so he was home around 12:30. I got over there around 1:30, and we chatted a bit before we hopped in the pool. Ken was able to cut out of work a little early and got there around 3:30, and Matt got home from work at maybe 4:30. Poor Shane was really tired, but we managed to keep him from falling asleep in the pool! It was a very low-key afternoon spent chatting, listening to some poolside music, and enjoying the water. It felt incredibly good on such a hot day, and we appreciated the hospitality very much! (I didn’t get any pictures yesterday—this is one from last summer.)

We cleared out before 6 pm, so that Shane could get some dinner and hit the hay for another early start this morning. We got home, and I knew immediately that I was going to need a nap. The heat and sun just drained me! We found out later that Shane was so exhausted that he fell asleep on the family room floor...just passed out for about three hours! It’s really amazing what this heat and humidity does to your body, and how it can exhaust you. Sadly, I’ve read that this heat wave has resulted in about 45 deaths across the country so far. The cooler temperatures are starting to move in now, and it’s going to be a wonderful relief.

Today was another hot one—99° maybe—but we ventured out, anyway, to take Ken’s Mom to lunch. We headed down to the metropolis of La Paz (Please pronounce it with a flat a, not La Pahz—this is Indiana, not Bolivia!) to Pat’s Bar. I’ve written about the place before; Shane and I went there as kids (they have a family side, too), and recently went back a couple of times. It’s a neat little local place, and I love giving our business to these kinds of places. The new highway bypass could be a problem for places like Pat’s, so I want to try to help them as much as possible. It’s easy to do with Pat’s, because they have an extensive menu with great food! Mom A. really enjoyed her lightly battered and fried fish, Ken had a burger, and I had a beef sandwich that was a cross between a Philly Cheesesteak and a French Dip. Yummy!

While we were there, one of the screens was showing the AMC marathon of “The Walking Dead.” It turns out that our bartender/server had never watched it, and had just started watching the marathon today while she was at work. She was totally hooked! We were like “Ohhh, it’s the best!” and she kept asking us questions. “Does he find his wife and kid this season?” (That was easy to tell her yes, because Rick and Lori and Carl found each other again in the episode that was showing right then.) But then she was asking if Lori tells Rick about her and Shane, and if Rick kills Shane, and we said, “You have to watch. We can’t tell you.” Haha! She was just dying to know what happens, but we weren’t going to spoil the surprises. We just said to keep watching, and if it got busy and she couldn’t watch that evening, we recommended getting the DVDs. I said, “The second season gets even better!”

We’re still watching the marathon, and it’s a good reminder of just how great the show is.

Oh, and I took a brief nap when we got home today, too! I honestly can hardly wait for the temperature to drop off a bit so I have more energy and can get back to my workouts. This seems to be happening right now, and it is such a relief to have the windows open and feel some fresh air that doesn’t feel like I just opened the oven! Ahhhh!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

For the love of all that is holy, let it end

Temperature mapI don’t want this to turn into a weather blog, but it’s pretty much all I can think of about the moment!

Look at that map. Just look at it. (We’re the white dot.) I think it hit 100° today, tomorrow it’s supposed to be 102°, and Saturday 100° again. I felt kind of crummy when I got up this morning, sluggish and sort of dizzy. I was never able to really shake it off, but felt okay enough to go out and pick up sticks and storm debris in the yard. I took water out with me, and I stayed in the shade almost the entire time (we have lots of trees), so I was being careful, but it still got to me. I wasn’t out for long, but I really did not feel good when I came in. I was a little nauseated, and was happy when that finally eased up. I laid on the loveseat for a while, the with A/C blowing on me, and felt better after a little while.

I was mentioning this on Bookface, and my niece Jennifer commented that when she was in Thailand (super hot and humid), it really got to her, too. She said a pharmacist advised her to eat some potato chips for the salt. That makes sense, because I know your electrolytes can get wonky when you get dehydrated (I’m such a bench chemist, I know). I didn’t have any potato chips downstairs, but I had some sea salt bagel chips and had a few of those. That really seemed to help, and I’m feeling quite a bit better now.

I wondered why this was getting to me so much. Jen speculated that it was just sneaking up on me after several days of this, and since I’m a small person, it might be affecting me more. I’m not going to an air conditioned office every day, too. Although we have the room A/C running in here, when it’s this hot, it doesn’t cool it off completely. You can still feel the heat and humidity. (Thank science the bedroom one is a different that small room, it gets fairly cool in there, and we sleep pretty well.)

Unfortunately, we’ve got two more days of this before it breaks. I hope folks who are without A/C are able to go to places to cool off, whether it’s the library, the mall, or a cooling center. This is pretty dangerous stuff. If a relatively healthy (and not totally old!) person like me feels this crummy from it, you know that those who are more vulnerable have to be really hurting. Please stay safe, everyone!

I made sure the bird bath was filled for any critters who want a drink or to cool off, and I set out a little bowl for Chip and Dale (our chipmunks). Tomorrow afternoon we’re going to enjoy some Happy Fun Pool Time™ at Shane and Matt’s, and boy, is that ever going to feel good! Hey, it’ll be like a bird bath for humans!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lunch and a movie

Statue of Liberty fireworksFirst of all, Happy Birthday, sweet country o’ mine! I hope you have all had a happy (and cool!) time with family, friends, or just with your bad self. Although we had an invite to a small get-together at my sister’s pad this evening, Ken and I decided to do our own thing today. We had already made plans to do a movie, and since Ken has to get up at the usual time tomorrow morning, we thought we would just have a low-key day today. I’m glad we’s too damn hot to socialize today! haha I don’t mean to harp on the weather, but it really is beastly hot at the moment. It’s kind of odd, because when we were traveling through the Mojave Desert, I felt fine up until the heat and dehydration hit me like a sledgehammer. The humidity here makes me feel lethargic from the get-go!

We both managed to get our workouts in this morning, but believe me, it was a sweat fest! With the recent storms, I need to get out into the yard and pick up a bunch of sticks before Ken mows this weekend, so I might try to do that fairly early and that will be my workout tomorrow. I think I might as well just put on a bathing suit before I even start!

After a quick and decent lunch at BW3, we headed over for our movie. We had decided to see “Ted,” and it was a fun choice! We both loved the unedited trailer for it, and although we don’t see that many comedies at the theater, we both wanted to see this one. I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud that many times at the theater! Seth MacFarlane is a genius, and Mark Wahlberg let his Ted and Mark WahlbergBahstan freak flag fly. He was adorable, and so was Mila Kunis. “Ted” was nasty and lovable at the same time. Giovanni Ribisi has a small but cringe-inducing role (“I think we’re alone now....”). If you are easily offended, this movie is not for you. There are some truly vile jokes, although if you’ve ever seen “Family Guy,” your loins will be girded for them. MacFarlane holds nothing sacred, so be warned.

There were plenty of pop culture references, which is always fun in a movie. The biggest one was probably the one involving “Flash Gordon” (the movie). This was a surprisingly good movie, with some really wicked humor and a pretty damn sweet love story. (More than one love story, actually...Patrick Warburton has a brief but memorable role.) I have no idea why there were some younger kids in the audience...really, people? This is not a movie for the young or the timid, but we laughed a lot at it, and we weren’t the only ones laughing in the theater. After a great trailer, I was prepared to be disappointed—don’t you hate it when they put all the good gags in the trailer? That wasn’t the case here. Plenty of fun stuff, and I look forward to getting the DVD so we can watch it again eventually. If you want a little summer “getaway” and you can handle plenty of foul language and adult situations, this is a really fun way to spend a couple of hours. I recommend it!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Welcome, Earhole!

EarholeAnother super hot day here in the Bend, and the next couple of days are supposed to be a little bit hotter. We’re pushing 100° the next couple of days, and the dew point is well over 60°. I’ll go into the highly technical and detailed explanation of feels like a frickin’ SAUNA out there! Man, I hope everyone is staying safe and cool. This is really some dangerous heat.

I had a very pleasant afternoon, though, because I met up with my buddy Jim for lunch and lots of talk. Jim SOMEHOW managed to forget his wallet at home. Hmmm! Well played, sir, well played! Haha! It had been far too long since we’d gotten together, which was obvious when we realized that we’d been sitting there gabbing for three and a half hours! It went by so quickly, and it was so much fun. We got to laughing about some stuff, including about how much alike we are. I had a great time, and we definitely need to get together more often. Although Jim is one of those friends where, even if I haven’t seen them for several months or even years, we pick up like we saw each other just last week. I’m fortunate to have several friends like that in my life, and I appreciate them very much!

Since Jim was a former coworker, he got me caught up on things at the Micro lab. The big news lately was a freakin’ BRUCELLA exposure! WHOA! In all my years in Micro, I never saw an actual case of Brucella, and it was the first time for many of my former coworkers with as much as or more experience as I had. Apparently someone came into a local hospital, and our lab worked on his blood culture. Vitek (the main instrument in our lab for identification and susceptibility testing) identified it as Brucella, and some confirmatory testing backed it up. This was a big deal, because it’s a highly transmissable organism, and the most common lab-acquired infection. Basically, anyone working in the department when the culture was being worked on was considered to be exposed, and 16 people had to take prophylactic antibiotics (I believe Jim said it was Rifampin and something else, for three weeks), as well as occupational counseling about watching for symptoms. An additional 14 people were exposed in the hospital where the patient was admitted.

Brucella is a bacteria that most often infects livestock, including cattle and sheep, and can cause spontaneous abortions. Humans usually get it by drinking unpasteurized milk. Why anyone would want to drink unpasteurized milk is beyond me! Brucella, Campylobacter,, thank you! Anyway, it was pretty shocking to hear about it, and it really was a big deal for them—as it would be for any lab worker who was exposed. Sounds like everyone is okay, but being exposed to one of the main organisms that is used in bioterrorism had to be unsettling!

After we gabbed for a few hours, he headed over with me to the nearby Claire’s where I got another earhole. Jim already has a couple, and decided not to get another one, but he came along with me. It was quick and easy (and Jim spied some super cute boots that I think I’m going to have to go back and check out!), and relatively pain-free. My ear was a little bit red afterwards, but that’s not surprising, and it seems to have calmed down now. I shall care for it well and faithfully.

The title of this entry comes from Cousin Shane. A while back, I posted about how after not being able to wear earrings for a while due to sensitivity, I tried again and managed to reclaim my earholes. Shane commented, “Welcome, earholes!” I don’t know why that made me laugh so hard, but it did, and I’ve never forgotten it. So when my ear was getting “punched” today, I thought, “Welcome, earhole!”

Monday, July 2, 2012

O the humidity!

Vintage summer heatI wish I could say that Ken and I looked this cool, calm, and collected. He fared better than I did, since he was in the air-conditioned office, but after a full day of 95° and high humidity, I was ready for him to bring up the living room air conditioner from the basement. Thanks, honey!

I love having the windows open and love the fresh air. Heck, I even love the heat! But once it passes 90° and the humidity cranks up, that’s when it starts getting to me. I can handle it for a couple of days, but this looks like it’s going to last through Saturday. At first, when Ken offered to bring the AC up, I said, “Nah, I think I’ll be okay.” Then I folded a load of laundry and said, “Okay. Let’s bring it up.” haha I’d reached my limit, and it’s starting to cool off in here. Ahhhh!

I really feel for those people who are still without power in this sort of heat. It’s pretty bad. I could really feel it the past couple of mornings with my wheeziness (my own fault for smoking for so many happy we both quit!), so anyone with respiratory problems needs to be super careful. This really is the kind of heat that’s dangerous for a lot of people, and I hope they get the power on for folks on the east coast soon. Stay cool!

I’m looking forward to lunch with my pal Jim tomorrow. It’s been a while since we got together, so I can hardly wait to catch up with him! Afterwards, I think I’m going to go get another earhole, a third one in my left ear. I currently have two in my left and one in my right. Since I’ve been able to start wearing earrings again after a few years of hiatus (some sort of weird sensitivity), I’ve really liked wearing them again and even making some of my own. I told Jim he could split the piercing with me and get another earhole if he wants one, but he says if we’re going to do piercings, he wants a barbell in his face. HA!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A bazillion thanks

Thank you3Thanks to everyone for the kind comments here, in messages, and on Facebook. It means more to both of us than you can ever imagine. The support we received from those who knew more about it has kept us going, made us smile and laugh, and just generally made a HUGE difference. Although we are both positive people, there were times when even we got discouraged and disgusted, and that support was much needed. The positive comments we’ve received on this has encouraged us once again. Thank you so much!

A couple of comments made me think about something else I didn’t mention in yesterday’s entry...but then it ended up being long enough as it was! Ken and I have discussed that part of the reason for her anger towards us is that she was unable to manipulate us the way she does so many others. Her modus operandi seems to be manipulating through intimidation and sheer nastiness. Ken and I refused to be intimidated, and we pushed back against the most egregious of her claims. I’m sure it made her angry to not get the desired response from us, and that made her step up her attacks.

On a lighter note, I can tell you that her rather tortuous way of writing has left a few of us with some phrases that we still laugh about. I won’t divulge any of them other than the one I mentioned yesterday: bench chemist. Again, I really have no idea what that is (although I like Mark’s suggestion of T-shirts that say “Bench Chemists for Beth! 2012!”), but we substitute other words in there depending on the situation. One of my favorites was when we were at Andy’s graduation from Cal Tech, and Jen commented, “Bench graduates.” [laughing]

We had a nice visit today with my Mom (her knee is doing much better!), and it turned out that my sisters were there, too! Mom made us lunch (of course), and we all got caught up on stuff. They were interested in hearing a bit about our Route 66 trip, so we talked some about that. Diana seems interested in doing some of Route 66, as does our nephew Michael. I will have to discuss this with them more! Maybe I’ve made a couple more converts...? I hope so!