Friday, June 08, 2018

Homeostasis: believe the hype

ho·me·o·sta·sis
the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.

Say the body of homo sapiens sapiens allows the temperature to fluctuate 1°F either way.
Now say that leeway shrinks imperceptibly over the years until you're north of 40 years old and that leeway might have shrunk to 0.5°F each way. If it raises 0.6°F you get hot flashes. It falls 0.6°F and you get chills.
And if you pay attention you find all sorts of things that cause the internal thermostat to spike: caffeine, alcohol, a carb-heavy meal, nervousness, panic, stress - not too mention the outside climate.

Deep controlled breathing helps cope with the hot flashes. It might actually help bring the temperature back into the homeostasis zone too.
As for the chills? Movement (calling it exercise is a bit of a stretch for what I do) and wearing clothes in layers.

And can both happen in the same day? The better question is can both happen minutes apart?
The answer is yes. Yes they can, and it happens often.

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Axle Powers

Reunited
I was a fool to ever leave your side
Me minus you is such a lonely ride

Oh wait. The Paris Peace Accords and the Treaty of San Francisco had something to do with that separation.

But Will & Grace came back.
Roseanne came back.
Murphy Brown is coming back.

It's the Return of the Axle Powers!


Friday, February 16, 2018

Why I try to avoid WebMD

Been feeling a little off my game for the past week or two.

Today I typed in three generic symptoms expecting UTI to be one of the possibilities.

It wasn't.

But intercranial hematoma was an option.

Now I've got that in the back of my mind. No pun intended.

Soothing words from WebMD

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Yesterday, you remember yesterday don't you?

Yesterday I took the bus downtown for my annual checkup.
As my stop was approaching I started getting ready to get off the bus, when I discovered I had a giant wet spot on my left thigh.
Where did the water come from? It was water, wasn't it? Please let it be water!
It didn't appear to come from my shoulder bag.
Was it when I put the pan in the sink to soak? Could I have splashed that much water?

Then I reach for my hair clip and find half of the clip has broken away. What! When did that happen? How did it happen?

At my checkup I found out I was doing the exact wrong thing for my dry skin. For future reference: do not apply retinol (aka Vitamin A). It DRIES out your skin. Vaseline is better.

Today I rode the train downtown and during the ride I felt water on my leg. I had a large wet spot on my right thigh. What!
This time I found the culprit: I hadn't closed my water bottle tightly and it had been leaking straight through the shoulder bag onto my leg. There wasn't much water in the bag, and nothing in the bag looked impacted.

Two days in row. Two. That I failed to close the water bottle tightly enough.

I had a normal reaction. The water bottle, about 60% full, was tossed - water and all - at the Jackson stop.

Friday, October 13, 2017

My questions on October 13, 2017

It's alleged that Russian advertising on social media platforms turned the election for Trump.
The Democratic Party refers to the above as Russian hacking.

Q: What, precisely, did the this amorphous group of Russians do to impact the 2016 election?
Q: How do you know it was Russians?
Q: How did their actions impact vote totals?
Q: Which states were the focus?
Q: If it was the "Russians" and they did it by "advertising", then why was their advertising better than Clinton and the DNC's?
Q: Why didn't Clinton and the DNC's advertising work?
Q: Which group(s) were targeted by the "Russian" advertising?
Q: Proctor & Gamble cut $100mn from digital advertising with zero impact to sales growth. How come the "Russians" are better at digital advertising than P&G?
Q: What foreign agents acted on Clinton and the DNC's behalf during the 2016 election?
Q: How many foreign agents supported Clinton's candidacy?
Q: How effective were their efforts in social media?
Q: How were votes affected by "Russian" advertising quantified?
Q: Who successfully reproduced the vote counts using the methodology?


Thursday, August 24, 2017

To the edge and back with my hair

My hair is damaged. The hair at the nape of the neck is fried.

So, I cancelled plans for a color & highlights.
Realized I may not be getting my hair cut for a few months. It needs to grow a lot before it can be cut.

And then last Saturday (Aug 19) I opted to deep condition the hair with coconut oil and honey. It worked. It also wouldn't rinse out.

Monday was awful - it was so greasy and stuck to the sides of my head that I cringed the entire day.

Monday night I used egg whites and lemon juice to remove excess oil.
It worked, but still didn't get it all.

Tuesday I washed the hair with sulfate-free shampoo.
That got the rest of it out.

Wednesday I realized the ends are destroyed - those need the deep conditioning. So I applied a little coconut oil and left it in.

Today, Thursday, I applied more coconut oil to the ends. They really are a hazmat zone.


Wednesday, July 05, 2017

The operation was a success: the patient didn't die yet.

Illinois is on the cusp of passing its first budget since 2015. (Last budget voted on and passed was in 2014, under Gov Quinn.)

From Crain's Chicago Business:
The House and Senate adopted a $36bn fiscal 2018 budget.

Gov Rauner vetoed the bills: the main appropriations bill, separate measure on revenue, and budget implementation bill.

which the Senate then voted immediately and passed 36-19 to meet the veto override. 1 Republican joined the 35 Democrats in passing that bill.
The House had already adjourned for the 4th of July holiday - they're expected to vote today, 5 July 2017.

If the House passes the bills to meet the veto threshold, then these are some of the things that will happen:
Mayor Emmanuel gets the OK to refinance pension funds; raise the city's 911 tax by $1.10 to $5.00 per phone line per month; receive $300mn next year for Chicago Public Schools.

The state will cut back on the share of income tax receipts that go to the CTA and Metra.

The individual tax rate goes from 3.75% to 4.95% permanently (at least, there is no sunset provision as the last income tax hike had).
The corporate rate goes from 5.25% to 7%.
Both take effect July 1 - but the Dems had wanted it to be retroactive to Jan 1.
The General Assembly expects the hikes to bring in add'l $5bn/year.

Dropped the idea of extending sales tax to services such as dry cleaning.

Budget includes a projected sale of the Thompson Bldg for $300mn.

Operations of most depts will be reduced 5%.
Colleges and universities payouts will be cut 10%.


Meanwhile, Wolf Richter at Wolf Street reports on just how well consumers are positioned to absorb the new and bigger cash grabs:

  • The average monthly car payment jumped to a record $517/mo in June '17, from $510 in May.
  • The length of average car loan is now 69.3 months.
  • Average amount financed jumped by $631 from May to June 2017, to now be $30,945.
  • Car and light truck sales fell 3% YOY, to 1.47mn vehicles
  • 6th consecutive month of YOY declines
  • Truck and SUV sales rose 4.1% to 933,378 units. But car sales fell 13.2% to 541,982.
  • Sales to fleet customers fell 7.8% in June
  • Manufacturers' incentives ranged from 12% of transaction price (GM, Ford, FCA) to 15% (Nissan, Kia)