lilfluff: This is a foxish creature known as a vedrig from Tod Wills' (Djinni) webcomic Ekwara. (Vedrig with Butterfly)
I figure I've got two weight loss methods I can use:

1) Get kidnapped by evil aliens who put me to work in the microchip slave mines of Tau Ceti IV. Exposure there to the mysterious Chemical X will perfect my body as well as give me superpowers with which to defeat the evil aliens and return home. So far the aliens have declined to kidnap me. :(

2) Exercise more and eat less. Until I get the chance to implement method one I am giving this one a try. I'm down 14 pounds since September, so I guess it's an acceptable substitute until superpowers. :} I'm using a combination of Google Fit for step tracking & app linking, Runkeeper for outdoor activity tracking, a Withings scale for automated weight tracking and charts, and MyFitnessPal for tracking what I eat and calorie budgeting. Note, if you want to do the same I started one app at a time and made it a habit before adding the next. I am now predicted to reach goal weight in November 2016 if I maintain my current progress. So again, I suppose it's an acceptable standby until superpowers.

So why post this? A long way of saying, "Feel free to poke me from time to time and ask how I'm doing fitness-wise."
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Another post got me thinking about pharmacists who want to be allowed to pick and choose which prescriptions to fill. Now, there are some reasons I can think of why this could be reasonable. They might see that Doctor A has prescribed Medication X while Doctor B has prescribed Medication Y, which in combination will have serious side effects. It would be reasonable for the pharmacist to say, "Whoa! I don't think Doctor B knew what Doctor A prescribed. You really, really ought to make sure he knows this. If you want we can call his office and ask if he still wants you to take Medication Y when you are also taking X, or if it really has to be that medication we can call the other doctor and ask if he can change his prescription." Or perhaps they might have just received some kind of notice about previously unknown side effects. Perhaps most importantly they might see reason to believe that the prescription is fraudulent. (I actual saw this happen about a month back. The pharmacist said they wouldn't be able to fill the prescription until the next day. Then as soon as the person left, they called the doctor who had supposedly written the prescription. Strange, but the doctor's office says they have no patient by that name, nor is other information on the form correct.).

That said, whenever people come out arguing for pharmacists to get to pick and choose what to fill, they hardly ever seem to be giving more than token time to these issues. Probably because pharmacists are already able to take those issues into account. Nope it's given as a moral argument. "But it would be horrible to force the poor pharmacists to fill prescriptions that offend their beliefs."

To which I have to say, "Yeah, and who held a gun to the pharmacists head and told them, 'Go take pharmacy classes, get licensed, and work as a pharmacist -- or die!'? No one? Really? Then how is the possibility of this occurring a big surprise?" Should I be allowed to get a job as a bartender, and then say, "Whoa! Wait! Hold on! I'll serve people soda, or soda water, or if they insist mock cocktails, but I don't believe in drinking alcohol. No way I'm serving beer! And don't you dare fire me for this, I'm just obeying by moral principles!" I'd get laughed out of court, and if I went to ask my state or federal reps to change the law for me, I'd get laughed out of their office.

You know, you walked into the job eyes open. Either fill the prescriptions without a darn good reason, which doesn't include, "But I don't wanna," or maybe *you* ought to pay the expense of hiring your replacement.

It makes about as much sense to me as the kid who enlisted in the Marines, and then come Gulf War I said, "Whoa! Wait! I only joined for the college money, I don't believe in killing people, even in time of war, let me out!" Really? In you joined the Marines? The Gung Ho, storm the beach, kick the door in, and clear the way for the rest, Marines? You're a pacifist and you somehow didn't realize joining the Marines might mean going into battle? Right. You think my IQ is lower than my height in miles, don't you.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
From "5 Myths About Health Care Around the World," at

Under the header, Foreign health-care systems are inefficient, bloated bureaucracies. "U.S. health insurance companies have the highest administrative costs in the world; they spend roughly 20 cents of every dollar for nonmedical costs, such as paperwork, reviewing claims and marketing. France's health insurance industry, in contrast, covers everybody and spends about 4 percent on administration. Canada's universal insurance system, run by government bureaucrats, spends 6 percent on administration. In Taiwan, a leaner version of the Canadian model has administrative costs of 1.5 percent; one year, this figure ballooned to 2 percent, and the opposition parties savaged the government for wasting money." (emphasis added)

Can we at least have a rational debate about improving out health-care system? While we're at it can we also be honest enough that if it's going to be government run that we make that pass constitutional muster (with something more palatable than the "let Congress do any bleeding thing it wants to do" Interstate Commerce Clause AKA The "Limitations? What? You thought we were serious when other sections imply any kind of limit to Congressional Authority" Clause).
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
As reported on Slashdot, an appeals court has ruled that the USDA can ban any testing beyond the current USDA testing for Mad Cow Disease. 2 to 1 the judges ruled that the USDA can can prohibit test kits from being sold or used to test for the disease. The USDA's argument is that even though the test kits aren't used until after the cows are killed, using them amounts to a medical treatment of the already deceased bovines.

Um. Right. Pull the other one.

It is at least fortunate to know that one of the judges still has functioning brain cells. "I find unpersuasive the Department’s arguments that a product with no other use than the diagnosis of an untreatable and invariably fatal disease is a form of 'treatment.'" Wrote Chief Judge David Santelle in his dissenting opinion.

This case came about because a Creekstone Farms Premium Beef decided to see if they could export successfully to places like Japan and South Korea if they pledged to test 100% of what they sold. Only there was that pesky USDA rule that said no one was allowed to do any testing beyond the USDA tests.

It is also fortunate to see that there isn't a total lack of brain function in the judges who ruled against Creekstone Farms. While they have upheld the USDAs authority to prevent the sale and use of the test kits, they did send the case back to the lower court to decide whether the ban was arbitrary and capricious. Hopefully we'll the lower court will rule in favor of a safer food supply.

I also have a suggestion. Go ahead an allow the USDA to ban any further testing. But also rule that in any case where the rancher can document that they asked to do additional testing and were denied, USDA official who ruled against testing (not the agency, but the individual official) shall bare full legal liability in the event anything does slip through. They won't mind being required to carry heavier liability insurance than surgeons, right? After all, the current testing is sufficient enough to require banning further testing, right? Right?

Thought so.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Aw hell no. Erick Wujcik blog

Keep in touch with your doctors people, and if you don't feel good have it checked out.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
And since I am talking about weight that's a good thing. Weighed in at 205.8 this morning! Woo! Now I just need to keep descending to new lows.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Back's are wonderful things. Without them our organs would fall out and we would hardly be able to move. Sadly it seems it is really easy to pull a muscle in your back. Especially when you do something really daft like bend over to put away a dumbbell. Ow. It will stop hurting eventually but until then, ouch.

On the other hand I have continued to make a habit of using the walking path at work. It's pretty easy to go outside, do four loops to walk a mile and then slip next door for a one dollar hot dog (hold all the trimmings). Sure, hot dogs aren't exactly popular health food, but they are cheap. Of course I can't eat more than about three a week before I don't want to see them again, but on the other hand they are cheap.

Then today I got to do the workout program known as taking my sister shopping. I'm pretty sure that involved at least a mile of off and on walking. Then we walked out to buy dinner. Now admittedly pizza also isn't considered a great health food. But at least we walked there and back. I also refrained from adding a heavy helping of parm, and sadly forgot to stock up on pepper flakes. Pepper flakes are one of those, "Why didn't I try these before?!" things. I started sprinkling them on my pizza and some pasta about a year ago. Last time I remember trying them before that was back around fourth grade, and I think I both got some stuck between teeth and sprinkled on way to many for a first time taste.

Now I just need to remember to buy more yogurt.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
I'm afraid I may have a sinus infection. Ick. I hate those, even before you start taking medicine it saps away energy and makes you feel, not so much bad as blah. On the other hand I think I may be over the worst, in which case it probably isn't a sinus infection. Have to see how I feel tomorrow.

Just for additional giggles I got a nail in one of my tires. The shop was going to patch it, but when they looked closer the nail had damaged the sidewall so they are replacing it instead. Good news is that's covered under the warranty, so that tire doesn't cost me anything. Bad news is I still needed to replace two tires that I had damaged by driving on them when they were under inflated. Those did cost me. Cheap enough to pay for them out of checking, but ugh, I really didn't need that expense right now.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Harvard researchers announce new nanotechnology cancer test.

I imagine similar methods ought to be possible to test for things other than cancer. Can you imagine a day when you can go in to see your family doctor and with one drop of blood and a $5 test kit be checked for everything from cancer to that season's strain of the flu? Throw in other developments such as a group I heard about that was working on an MRI machine that could fit on a tabletop without the need for cryogenic cooling of it's magnet and the future of medicine looks pretty good.


lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)

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