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Archive for March, 2013

posted on March 30th, 2013 under Books, Etc..., Random Musings

I’ve been sick since the day after Christmas.  It started as a cold, then laryngitis, then bronchitis and pre-pneumonia.   Then a lingering cough with episodes of severe coughing attacks.  After two months I made an appointment with a pulmonologist.  Handing her my huge envelope of X-rays, I described my cough and how long it had lasted.  “It will last 100 days” she responded.  “You have pertussis, whooping cough. It’s also known as the one hundred day cough because it lasts that long.”

I thought that whooping cough was a disease of the past.  The Fossil sisters in Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild had it, but that book was written in the 1930s, and the sisters likely had not been vaccinated.  I had all my shots as an infant, but the doctor went on to explain that you need booster shots as an adult, and there is now a combined tetanus and pertussis vaccine to ensure that adults get the booster shot whenever they get a tetanus shot.

When the Fossil sisters had whooping cough, Streatfeild wrote, “Whooping cough is a miserable disease, but if you must have it, the worst place is the Cromwell Road; it is so far from the parks and anyplace where you can whoop nicely in private.”  She was wrong.  The worst place is working in an office cubicle, or coughing in meetings in conference rooms, or on buses.  And the Fossil sisters ended up going to a cottage in Kent where “directly they got there they began to whoop less,” and then “went back to London without a whoop in them.”   I had hopes that the doctor would recommend some similar treatment, perhaps a long convalescence by the sea, but instead I was instructed in the use of an inhaler and scheduled for a lung function test.

Today is day 95 so in five days I should be well, unless the 100 days is just a rounded estimate.

posted on March 26th, 2013 under Etc...

It’s official. The updated ratings came out yesterday and I am the absolute bottom in the office basketball brackets pool. Number 40 out of 40. Even a dead dog came out ahead of me. (Our pool allows pets of employees to enter and the pets are not verified, apparently even to see if they are alive.)

Only the top three get any prizes and the first also gets bragging rights for the year. It occurred to me that the only two that will be remembered are the first and the last. I will have anti-bragging rights for a year. And if I am to be remembered for being the worst, I’d rather have it be in an office pool than something important such as performance evaluations at work or ranking at school, or something embarrassing such as being the worst at gym in high school. I was so bad that I was not just the last one to be chosen for a team, I was the one they lent to the other team if they were short on players.

I really have no incentive to improve my score by starting to follow college basketball. I was a team player by entering and I am sure that Number 39 is very glad I entered.

Besides, learning more about basketball would take time away from investigating if I can fit a visit to Valapaiso, Indiana into one of my regular trips to the Hoosier State, hopefully during the popcorn festival.


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Quote of the Moment:

“All the time you're saying to yourself, 'I could do that, but I won't,'--which is just another way of saying that you can't.”
by Richard Feynman