Fear & Loaving

  • There's fiber, and then there's high fiber.Unwelcome fantasies of Rush Limbaugh
  • Sounds you didn’t know you were capable of
  • Last night’s dinner
  • A brief, fleeting vision of the solution to the Rubik’s Cube
  • Cowboy Walk

  • Renewed appreciation for Tony Orlando
  • Ophidiophobia
  • The punchline to the joke about the elephant and the monkey
  • Nine months later, a Martian litter
  • Nothing you didn’t try in high school
What to Expect From a Colonoscopy [US News]

An image to use for next year’s Christmas card.

I remember the conversation I had with my doc during my first prostate exam.

My doc: “Do you any discomfort?”
Me: “Hmmm… It’s, er, awkward.”
My doc (probably rolling his eyes): “I mean any more discomfort than you are feeling right now?”

“During the procedure, a long, flexible tube with a tiny video camera is inserted into the colon. The camera sends images to a monitor viewed by the doctor. The images can be printed and are suitable for framing.”

No shit, people: the news station I listen to in the morning is run by CBS, and they did a cross-promo contest this morning wherein a lucky winner is flown to New York, set up in a plush Park Avenue hotel, and is whisked the next day to have a colonoscopy. Surreal — the cheery music in the background… it was beyond belief.

Oh, and speaking of hot, gassy holes, there’s a volcano erupting in Alaska right now. You see, Jindal? You turn your back on a volcano for one freaking second and BOOM! You’ve doomed Anchorage to a cloud of ash for no good reason. Way to go, genius.

And in other news from Alaska — by way of London for some reason:

LONDON (AFP) – The son of tragedy-scarred poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath has killed himself 46 years after his mother gassed herself, The Times reported on Monday.

Nicholas Hughes hanged himself in his home in the US state of Alaska last week after battling depression, his sister told the newspaper, 40 years to the day after Hughes’ next lover also killed herself.

Hughes was a professor of fisheries and ocean sciences at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, although he had recently left the post shortly before he died to set up a pottery at home.

@chicago bureau: I had my first ‘scoping this year – on Jan 2nd, no less. I can say from experience that “set up in a plush Park Ave. hotel” would be a waste; the day before is entirely for “prep” by which I mean you drink vile purgatives and spend the day on or near the throne. Upside? Great way to kill a hangover.

The procedure itself is painless. In hindsight (heh, heh) I’m glad I had one, since my four polyps were benign and I’m back to eating processed meat products and all that other good stuff that is most decidedly not “colon healthy”. A family member, otoh, had his entire sigmoid colon removed prompting all blood relatives to rush to our local endoscopy clinic.

OK, this would be way funnier if I weren’t frantically trying to get Kitty into the teaching hospital at Oregon State Vet school today because I consulted another vet over the weekend and I’m terrified my baby has colon cancer.

@Nabisco: you drink vile purgatives and spend the day on or near the throne

You see, that was my thought too. I mean, you could repair to one of the finest restaurants in Manhattan and dine on two pounds of steak just before the procedure, but that would be just too predictable, really. Best to go with the Human Drano routine — it looks like water, but it’s not! — of course.

Makes you wonder if the maids at said Park Avenue hotel are going to get tipped any by the “lucky winner” or CBS. If there is a God — yes.

[ADD: Best to Cynica’s kitteh.]

I’ve had two of these — it’s no big deal. The funniest part is the Fart Room, er, Recovery Room, where they park you afterwards. All that air they pump into you has to go somewhere.

@NOJO: I think that’s the pig and the monkey you were referring to. The elephant and the monkey is a story about the need for cooperation to attain a goal.
The pig and the monkey involves a cork, and things turn out badly for all concerned.

TJ, about the plane that crashed in the cemetary? Very sad, buuut, it reminded me of my favorite polish joke.

Hear about the plane that crashed in a Polish cemetery? The authorities have recovered 1,200 bodies so far and they are still digging.

@Ewalda: I learned that one in the 4th grade, noone I know remembers it. Punchline: “The poor monkey, trying to put the cork back in.”


My first was like a party, with my doctor, a resident, and a nurse in the room. I felt like a training dummy, which, in retrospect, I probably was.

God I hate Kaiser.

The photographic result to become the new FAIL picture on 4chan.

@Tommmcatt the Wet Sprocket:

Interesting. Do they have massage and vibrate options?

@Ewalda: Honest-to-gosh, I double-checked my memory before running with it, and while there may be a Pig Variant, the version I remember involves an elephant. You lose the visual when the corked beast is too small.

From the Canonical List of Elephant Jokes:

Three scientists were one day discussing what would happen if they rammed a cork up an elephant’s backside and force fed it for 2 weeks. But because the experiment had never been documented and the idea was hard to comprehend they decided to have a go. A week after the experiment had started they began to realize WHY the idea had never been tried, they were stuck for someone to pull the cork out.

One of the scientists came up with the bright idea of training a monkey to do the job, so they spent the next week training it to pull out corks once a buzzer had rung, then push it back in for another go. The big day arrived, they set up all the monitoring equipment and set out to a safe distance.

The first scientist went 1 mile away, the second went 2 miles away and the third went 3 miles. When they were all ready the first scientist pushed the button to sound the buzzer.


The third scientist (3 miles away) was up to his ankles in shit, the second (2 miles away) was up to his knees and the first (1 mile away) was up to his waist. When the others joined the scientist who was 1 mile away they noticed that he was in fits of laughter.

“What the %$*& is so funny?” asked one of the scientists.

“You should have seen the monkey’s face trying to get the cork back in!!!”

It’s all been downhill since fourth grade.


/off topic/

So, BSG.


Can we say deus ex machina? Even ST:TNG wouldn’t have had the cajones to try to pull that one; I would’ve preferred the timewarp.

Overall, I was satisfied with the finale, except for all that shit with SXXXXXXK, Chip Six and Chip Baltar. It was borderline parody, no?

@Original Andrew:

I certainly have those options, and a few more that aren’t on the official brochure.

@Original Andrew: As Manchu noted Friday, I was stunned into silence, and I’m still not quite sure what to make of it.

But given the themes they’ve been hammering all along, the resolution isn’t out of the blue, and I did like how they staged the Disappearance. As for the coda, I’ll let them have that, if only because anything goes better with Hendrix.


Here’s an excellent place to start, and I was happy with everything up until after the Final JUMP!, which was when things started goin’ sideways and never looked back:


I could’ve done without the coda completely, since it was kinda hamfistedly obvious and silly. Also, having RDM in the shot was just frakkin’ gratuitous. That and the general deficit of guns and esplosions–keeding!

@Tommmcatt the Wet Sprocket: OMG, my first time was like that too! I am sure you aren’t surprised.

DEVELOPING HARD: Wall Street now likes Secretary TurboTax. Dude dropped his plan this morning, indexes move 7% higher.

So everything is all better now. BUY BUY BUY!

@Original Andrew: Well, I’m inclined to be generous, so I’ll let them get away with a lot of shit. The shot of Brokeback Galactica was aweseome, and I was very satisfied with Tyrol’s move.

Meanwhile, apparently it was Stockwell’s idea to, um, conclude his storyline with a bang, and Ron sez he didn’t intend to over-egg the Hitchcock. But I’ll accept the cameo as a signature to the series.

Overall, I’ll let some other details float to the top for awhile. I’m not in a rush to judge.

@chicago bureau:


@chicago bureau: Everything is better now, and the wingnuts are rushing to find something else to bitch about. If they didn’t act like a bad high-school debating team (or bad grad-school seminar), they might have more credence, but they wouldn’t be near as much fun.

@chicago bureau: I’ve already taken out a second mortgage on the house, because at 4.5% they’re practically giving me the money. And prices can only go up, right? Right?


That’s the worst part of having a system of gummit dominated by a center-right party and a lunatic right-wing fringe party: we’re robbed of a legitimate public debate on basically every issue.

Sure, Nabisco. In fact, we can offer you a 3% APR on a mortgage with no closing costs and get a cash-out! You can take a vacation, or pay off all of your credit cards! All you have to do is sign here. Yes. That’s right.

[CB begins to rub hands together in a creepy fashion. Also: pace of breathing increases.]

@nojo: I’m reserving judgement until I can see all of this season again, but I must admit I came in with a chip on my shoulder after the previous season’s finale, and the “we were just kidding, that was the wrong Earth” thing got me grumpy this season.
Right now, I’m thinking that maybe the Before the Fall part was too sketchy, and the frakkin Veld bit was too detailed.
Nut like I said, lemme see it all again before final judgement.

@Ewalda: That’s “Veldt”, stupid. And “But”, not “Nut”. grrrrr.

@chicago bureau: I just bet the farm on GE. HOW CAN I LOSE???!!!

Too bad John Cleese just sold that ranch cuz this time next week… I think I coulda made him a pretty tasty offer. Oh yeah.

@Ewalda: I actually liked that particular move, and given the premise of the series, there were only two solutions. Battlegeek chose both, which I can appreciate in a meta sort of way.

But setting aside the finale, I did find the past twenty episodes (the “fourth season”) both rushed and aimless. Once you’ve set up the Big Reveal, the final act needs to be both methodical and relentless. I kept feeling like they were marking time, punctuated by Voyager finding the wormhole.

@chicago bureau: There is nothing evil about offering irresponsible loans to people who can’t afford them, in the hope, on the bet, that either: 1. Their incomes would increase and they soon would be able to afford them, or 2. The property would increase substantially in value before they default, such that the full amount of the loan is secured and recovered through foreclosure. That was a good bet, otherwise, they would not have done it. Hey, the people got to live at least tenporarily in a better house than they could have, so, they took a shot, if it didn’t work oput, big whoop, nothing ventured, nothing gained. People get all emotional.

People toss around the phrase “predatory lending” a bit glibly. The classic instances are when someone peddling second mortgages finds someone who fully owns there house, but has little income. Typically, these predatory lenders are allied with home improvement contractors. They offer to finance expensive (overpriced) renovations. You get a granny living on SS who inherited the paid off house when hubby died, loan her $50,000, and foreclose on a house worth $250,000 when she can’t pay. Thats predatory lending, Snidely Whiplash style.

But throwing a big no-doc adjustable at someone? Thats not predatory, thats taking a calculated risk, and, when the real estate market turned, it turned into a bad bet, but it was a good bet for quite some time.

Those people were gonna have to live somewhere anyway, they were gonna have roof expenses; they didn’t sink any savings into it, thats why they went for 90% plus loans. Hey, if it worked out, it would have been good for all concerned.

But the signees forgot about house (Wall St) rules and how they’re always stacked in favor of the house. Trouble is, they didn’t expect the house to go down in flames along with the gamblers.


Be honest though: none of the guys present at yours actually had medical degrees, right?

@Prommie: If true, then why are we blaming the borrowers? The banks took a calculated risk, but they’re not the “deadbeats”.

But then, the lenders took no risk at all. They quickly bundled and flipped those loans to someone else, and the underlying value got lost in the abstractions. But never mind that, since the value of the bundles was insured. By, um, AIG.

@Prommie: And not to rag — well, okay, yes I am — the housing market was as perceptibly overvalued as stocks, and arguing that the bet was good for awhile is taking Cramer’s line that stocks looked just fine. Until they didn’t.

Everyone was timing a bubble. You might call it a calculated risk, but it looks like a Ponzi scheme from here.

@Tommmcatt the Wet Sprocket: Couldn’t say – I don’t think doctors usually carry those around when they visit the restrooms at shopping malls.

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