7 Quick Takes: COVID, Politics, and 21st Blogging Anniversary Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Andrew Fauci vs. Rand Paul. I saw this meme today and was curious about it.

Apparently, Rand Paul (who has a medical degree but is not certified by any reputable board) decided to repeat the fallacy about Anthony Fauci having ties to the lab in Wuhan that created COVID. Sorry Rand, I’m with Dr. Fauci on this one, given that he actually has the credentials to back him up, something you don’t have.

— 2 —

Dispatch from a doctor. My friend Katie is a pro-life Catholic hospitalist (adding the adjectives in case people might listen better with them), and she posted the following message:

Vax up!

For those who aren’t aware, a “hospitalist” is a doctor who takes care of you IN THE HOSPITAL. (The red spot on her forehead is from the faceshield she wears in addition to her mask when she walks into a patient’s room.) In other words, she’s seeing scary cases coming into the hospital again. Listen to Katie. Vax up!

— 3 —

Break-through cases. For those who are going to cite the fact that there are still people who are vaccinated that get COVID, here’s the difference between someone who is vaccinated and someone who is unvaccinated:

Vax vs. un-vax

— 4 —

Make good choices. I thought this was interesting advice.

Make good choices.

— 5 —

Finally, someone putting my feelings into words. For those people who say that other people should deal with [insert thing] because they had to deal with it, I have a message for you:

Weird, miserable energy.

— 6 —

U.S. residential school stories. For those who remember me blogging on residential schools for Native Americans a few weeks ago, one of the things I promised to do was learn more about the issue in the USA. Here are a few stories I read this week:

AP: US churches reckon with traumatic legacy of Native schools

AP: Tribe claims remains of kids who died at assimilation school

Salt Lake Tribune: Lost lives, lost culture: The forgotten history of Indigenous boarding schools

— 7 —

My blog is old enough to drink. So, um, my blog turned 21 on July 20th. *raises my can of Coke to it*

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Hot! Hot! Hot! Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Hot! Hot! Hot! We are looking at temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s up here this weekend… and possibly triple digits! We get some days in the summer that are in the 80’s this year, but it is really rare for us to get into the 90’s. I’m not even sure if we’ve had triple digits in my part of Washington while I’ve lived here! The county is setting up cooling stations for those who don’t have A/C this weekend.

We were talking about the weather last weekend during the call with my brother’s family, and his father-in-law (who is up visiting from Arizona) snarked that it will be mildly warm. It was a 108F when he left Arizona. (Yeah… that’s why I don’t live down there.)

— 2 —

COVID deaths now mostly among unvaccinated. I saw this story on Facebook, and I’m sharing it because the Associated Press tends to be one of the most middle-of-the-road and unbiased media sources. I also looked to see if there was anything from the CDC or National Institutes of Health (a.k.a. REPUTABLE sources for medical information) on vaccine efficacy for those who have already had it, and they are saying that it looks like only one dose of the two-dose series is needed to achieve immunity comparable to those who got the series but did not have COVID.

Get vaccinated, y’all.

— 3 —

Daniel and COVID shot #2. Kiddo got his second vaccine on the 18th and did very well again. Skagit Regional Health’s Vaccine Clinic was really focused on making this a positive situation, and we had a shot giver who was touching everything to Daniel before putting it on the site. I thought she was going too slowly because he was anticipating it, but it worked out well. He has one week to go before he can start doing errands with me (wearing a mask of course).

— 4 —

Phone games redux. Since my post on them last week, I removed Klondike Adventures from my phone and finished all the puzzles on Cross Logic. I’ve since gotten into a new game called Einstein’s Riddle Puzzle, which is the logic games on steroids. I kind of wish it had the format of the boxes like Cross Logic does (so you can figure out the main parts of it), but it has kept my attention.

— 5 —

The Far Side. If you are a fan of Gary Larson’s comic, The Far Side, there is a Facebook community for you! It’s a highlight of my day to find all of my favorites on there.

— 6 —

Volcanic eruption videos. Given that I was born the day after Mt. St. Helens erupted, it isn’t surprising that I have a fascination with them. I came across this video a few nights ago, and it’s fabulous. My favorite part is when you can actually see the shockwave from the first eruption propagating in the clouds.

— 7 —

Supervolcanoes. My family jokes that the Discovery Channel has documentaries for the purpose of scaring the public. Stuff on Yellowstone’s supervolcano falls into that category. It’s the first one mentioned in this video.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Phone Games Edition

7 Quick Takes

It’s finally the end of the quarter for me and the end of the school year for Daniel. My brain is fried from dealing with all of this as well as a family medical emergency (prayers are appreciated), so here are some phone games I have enjoyed. (These can all be found on Google Play. No idea about iTunes.)

— 1 —

Bubble Shooter Rainbow. This is one of those bubble popping games, but there isn’t a story attached (like Bubble Witch) and it’s fairly brainless, so I play it while watching YouTube or when I need to think through something with my hands full. It was a good thing to have

— 2 —

Word Collect. This is one where you get six or more letters and have to make words of a certain length out of them. I have a word unscrambler page bookmarked on both my laptop and phone for this game in case I need help.

— 3 —

Klondike Adventures. This is my current serious addiction, and it’s one of those mining camp/homesteading/town-building games but with a story attached. Besides doing things in your camp (like growing crops, building furniture, feeding livestock, etc.), you’re also going to different locations and doing quests. I’m a sucker for an interesting story, so they are doing a pretty good job of keeping my attention.

— 4 —

Clockmaker. This is a spooky Victorian-era game which has you do “match 3” levels at various locations to get items you need to continue in the game. I thought it would be a lot of logic puzzles, but I only saw one or two. If “match 3” stuff is your happiness, I recommend it. If not, skip it.

— 5 —

Alice’s Restaurant. This gives you 6-8 letters (usually in a circle and usually easy in terms of what they are spelling) and you have to put words from those letters in a crossword puzzle format. I find it much easier than Word Collect, and the stars you earn allow you to remodel a restaurant and then an island hotel. There’s also a story that goes along with this one, but it’s not quite as compelling as the one in Klondike Adventures.

— 6 —

Cross Logic. This is one of those logic puzzle games where they give you a grid, and you have to figure out what to put based on the clues they give you. They offer three levels: easy, normal, and hard. My only complaint with this one is that you can’t pay to make the ads go away.

— 7 —

Words with Friends. Scrabble is a family bloodsport. This also kept me entertained when I was in the hospital with pneumonia in 2019.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Dislodged G-Tubes, In-Person Church, and Anti-Vaxxer Stupidity Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Unexpected Seattle trip take #1. Fifteen minutes before my therapy appointment yesterday, Daniel walked in and handed me his g-tube (which is supposed to be sitting in a hole in his stomach called a “stoma”) with the balloon fully inflated. This would normally not be as big of a problem because I normally have a spare tube on hand that I can install… but some idiot (we’ll call them “Jen”) forgot to order a new one the second after they replaced the old one. I did have a partial kit but said kit did not include a syringe with a tip small enough to do the deflating/reinflating of a balloon. I managed to get it deflated using the end of a feeding extension, but there was no way to reinflate it, and I couldn’t get it back in Daniel’s stoma.

Cue me hurriedly throwing jammies, underwear, and a spare set of t-shirt/jeans as well as my daily meds into my laptop bag (in case we were there overnight for surgery), grabbing two Cokes out of the refrigerator, explaining to my therapist’s office that I wasn’t going to make it because my kid was having a medical emergency while throwing things in the trunk, and jumping in the car with Daniel to haul butt down to Seattle Children’s Hospital ER because that stoma closing up means emergency surgery to fix it.

— 2 —

Unexpected Seattle trip take #2. We got down to Seattle pretty quickly and didn’t hit any traffic until Shoreline. I also missed my exit, so Daniel and I got a lovely view of downtown Seattle while going across the Ship Canal Bridge before getting turned around. Thankfully, Seattle Childen’s Hospital has valet parking at the ER, and this is *SO* helpful because I could get Daniel in super fast and not have to deal with finding a parking space. I apparently used all the right words because we got taken back immediately. They had someone do vitals while someone else went to go grab some catheters to try and keep the stoma from closing more. I had to help hold Daniel while they got the Foley catheter in, and we were having to do things like grab c-clamps and wrap the end in a diaper as Daniel was creating negative pressure by fake-coughing before we could get it clamped. He was thankfully happy chilling on the bed playing with the TV remote and his tablet, and I got to talk to medical staff, email Jon to let him know what was going on, and let my boss know the situation. (My boss, bless her, had called my student for yesterday, and the student let her know to pass on prayers from her as well.)

— 3 —

Unexpected Seattle trip take #3. Eventually, a fellow and her attending came in, and the fellow checked the tube to see if it was damaged. Luckily, the balloon hadn’t been damaged so it was salvageable. She deflated it and tried putting it back in, but she needed a stylette to try and get it to go in straight. I suggested she grab a kit for a tube of a slightly different size as it would probably have a syringe, stylette, and lube that would help get it back in. While she ran and got the kit, the attending (who was holding Daniel’s arms) was asking me if I was a nurse because I seemed to know what I was doing. I replied that I’d been dealing with g-tube changes for almost 3 years, so I knew what should be happening. When the fellow came back, she lubed up the tube some more and started working on getting it down in the stoma. It wasn’t a pretty process, to say the least, because she was having a heck of a time getting it back in correctly, and I would have lost everything I had eaten in the last week if I was at all squeamish. (Stomach contents were coming out of the stoma as she maneuvered it, and I was blotting them off Daniel’s skin with the hospital blankie.) Eventually, she got it situated in the right place again, and I offered to check placement for her. The placement was good and Daniel was able to have a Pedialyte bolus feed without Pedialyte leaking out, so we were able to be discharged after just being in the ER for 90ish minutes. Our nurse got us squared away with paperwork, printed out a paper on what to watch for, and sent us on our way.

— 4 —

Why I love Seattle Children’s Home Care. I had conversations with them during the drive home about getting a spare tube overnighted to us, and I accidentally missed their last call because I was in the shower. Apparently, they decided to have someone drive it up to us (at least two or more hours because of rush hour), and I was shocked when a white van with a “Seattle Children’s” logo on it pulled in front of the house. The driver got out and handed me a g-tube kit. I almost hugged him.

— 5 —

So how is Daniel doing? I limited his food and drink to clear liquids and really plain things in case he had some nausea after what happened. He was cranky last night but didn’t seem too bad today. There hasn’t been any discharge or swelling, so I think he made it through this OK.

— 6 —

In-person worship. My church returned to in-person worship last Sunday, and it was so strange after worshipping online only for 15 months! It was like walking out of my cave into springtime after hibernating. It was like this strange and familiar thing from my past was happening again. (I can’t even really describe it all that well.) It was well worth all the quarantining.

I swore that I would wear my Easter dress from last year when we came back to in-person worship… so here’s the pic!

I haven't gained any COVID weight! Shut your mouth!

Why yes, I do have a mask that matches my dress! (Both are from Old Navy.)

— 7 —

Anti-vaxxer stupidity. If you believe that the COVID vaccine causes you to become magnetized, please proceed with haste to your nearest medical facility and ask for a lobotomy because someone has clearly ruined your brain.

THERE. ARE. NO. METALS. IN. ANY. OF. THE. VACCINES.

THE. KEY. STUCK. TO. THAT. IDIOT. NURSE. BECAUSE. OF. SEBUM. ON. HER. SKIN.

5G. STANDS. FOR. THE. FIFTH. GENERATION. TECHNOLOGY. STANDARD. FOR BROADBAND. COMMUNICATIONS.

BILL. GATES. ONLY. TALKS. TO. ME. THROUGH. THE. MICROCHIP. FROM. MY. FLU. SHOT. (OK… I couldn’t resist that one.)

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Prayer Requests and Stuff Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Prayer request #1. Thomas, the 5 year old son of Katherine of Gloria in Excelsis Deo has a bowel stricture, and they’ll be doing bowel resection surgery tomorrow afternoon Eastern time. Please pray hard. This is the 13th surgery in FOUR MONTHS and doesn’t include things done through interventional radiology. (Don’t believe me? Details are here.)

— 2 —

Prayer request #2. I was working with one of my students on Tuesday when I learned that my friend Ellen’s sister Jenny had been killed in a car accident on Sunday. Ellen and I met through our blogs 19 years ago, and Jenny eventually started blogging as well. I remember when she got her Ph.D at Cornell, hearing about her job hunt for a professor position, and hearing about what she was doing with her students on her blog and on Facebook. (Her pastor wrote a beautiful piece about her here.) Please pray for her sisters Ellen and Karen, her parents Charles and Barbara, her colleagues and students at Hope College (where she was chair of the Physics Department), and all those who knew and loved her as they mourn her passing.

— 3 —

OMGOMGOMG!!!!! Kelly (our Quick Takes hostess with the mostest) has announced that her book will be released on October 8th!!!!! (It’s also the saint’s day of one of my favorite saints, St. Pelagia the Harlot. Her conversion story was mentioned in my Medieval Europe class 20 years ago and has stuck with me.) I must make sure I clear Mount TBR (a.k.a. my e-reader) so that I can be ready to read it the second it appears!

— 4 —

COVID vaccine update. Shortly after I published my Quick Takes, I got an email from Debby, one of my readers, telling me that I was ALREADY ELIGIBLE(!!!!!) because of Daniel and his health issues. Once I was done with the quarter (a.k.a. TODAY!!!!), I looked into it… and she was right! I went to this site to see if I could find somewhere local that had appointments next week, and I was able to get one for Monday afternoon at my local grocery store pharmacy!!! They’ve done my flu shot for the last three years now. They have always kept an eye on me for 15-20 minutes after to make sure I don’t have an anaphylactic reaction due to my weird egg allergy, so I trust them as much as I trust my local health system’s vaccine clinic. (One of their pharmacists is actually a Blessed is She member!)

My deepest thanks go to Debby for giving me step-by-step instructions for how to do all of this.

— 5 —

Really?!?!?!? Cpt. Jay Baker made a completely stupid comment about the Atlanta massage parlor shooter “having a bad day” and is thankfully being removed from the case over it. (He also may lose his job, which I’m hoping happens because that was an inexcusable gaffe, coupled with some racist posts on his Facebook page.) I also don’t believe for one second that the shootings were not racially-motivated. There are plenty of massage places in Atlanta, and not all of them are Asian-owned.

Please also know that I am judging the daylights out of you if you make asinine comments about how coronavirus is the “China flu” or the “kung flu”. Hate crimes against Asian-Americans have skyrocketed since last year because of hateful comments like those made by Donald Trump and his despicable followers, and there is no excuse for that behavior. NONE.

— 6 —

Getting all Samuel L. Jackson up in here. One of my current relaxation things is the web game Taonga: the Island Farm, and it’s kind of like Farmtown or Farmville from the 2010’s. One big difference is that you have quests you can go on, and one of mine has me searching for items and battling these possessed plants called “malignant sundews” which are guarding the items I need to get. After battling 2 (!!!) of them while trying to get to an item, I started having thoughts about being “tired of these mofo sundews in this mofo game!”

— 7 —

Biden’s COVID vaccine goal. He is meeting his goal of 100 million people vaccinated 42 days ahead of schedule despite the previous administration leaving him no vaccine rollout plan. Everyone making stupid comments about “Sleepy Joe” can shut their stupid mouths because he is actually *DOING* something about the pandemic instead of ignoring it, ignoring scientists, and throwing press conferences to prop up his ego like Trump did.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Stoned Cats, Murder Mysteries, and Strange YouTube Finds Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

My current earworm. I was downstairs prepping a bolus for Daniel one evening when this was playing on one of the music channels on TV.

— 2 —

Cats! My parents’ elderly tomcat Jethro had to have his teeth cleaned on Monday, and they decided to remove some lipomas from his sides while he was under anesthesia. Jet did fine, but the incisions on his sides were large enough that he has some decent stitches, so he was the proud recipient of an Elizabethan collar (a.k.a. the cone). Minion had apparently never seen another cat in a cone because he puffed up… which is impressive when you consider that he’s a 15 lb kitty cat. His puffed tail is probably the best part. He also got hissy and started growling, so he was exiled from my parents’ room that night. Meanwhile, Jet was really stoned to the point that he was standing there watching TV. (He then started bumping into walls.)

— 3 —

Alpine, Washington. My literary catnip at the moment is Mary Daheim’s series of murder mysteries involving the fictitious town of Alpine, Washington in the Cascade Mountains. I was first acquainted with them 10 years ago and read them out of order over the last decade. I’m finally buying the e-book versions and putting them on my e-reader, and I am finding that I am enjoying them now that I am reading them in order, especially as I now am acquainted with the location of some of the places. The protagonist is a newspaper editor named Emma Lord, and I find that I can actually picture a lot of the events after living in a bunch of small towns.

— 4 —

Fauci ouchies, round 2. My parents get their second doses of COVID vaccine this weekend. I’m hoping that I hit the top of the list sooner than later. I will also be curious to know if I can get my shot at the local vaccine clinic or if I’ll have to go elsewhere given that I’m at risk for side effects. (I have an egg allergy, so they’ve always made me hang out after getting any vaccines or my flu shot even at my local pharmacy. I’ve also gotten allergy shots, so waiting for 20 minutes afterward is normal for me.)

— 5 —

What’s in a mortician’s purse? Caitlin does a riff on the “what’s in my purse?” thing that people were doing 6-7 years ago. And yes, she’s being sarcastic, especially about the fetal human skull made of white chocolate.

— 6 —

More of “Ask a Mortician”! So what’s the oldest mummy in the world?

— 7 —

Speaking of old things… Benjamin of bald and bankrupt explores an old caravanserai in Armenia.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: TED Talk Edition

7 Quick Takes

While I was editing my parish’s devotional book and trying not to play Taonga, I listened to a lot of TEDx talks as I needed some background noise. Here are some of the ones I enjoyed.

— 1 —

Caitlin Doughty. Caitlin is the person behind the “Ask a Mortician” YouTube channel. I decided to check out her channel more thoroughly after watching this talk.

— 2 —

Christian Picciolini. It’s unnerving to me that Christian was recruited to the White Power movement by someone seemingly expressing concern for him. He also admits that some of his music helped to radicalize Dylan Roof, the shooter in the attack on Mother Emmanuel church in South Carolina.

— 3 —

Darryl Davis. How many people would meet with someone who hates them to try and understand the reason behind that hatred?

— 4 —

Eric Hodgdon. He had a really positive message on how to get through after the death of a loved one.

— 5 —

Lucy Hone. This was helpful in seeing behaviors in my life that are beneficial in dealing with adversity. Lucy’s daughter was killed in a car accident, and all of her psych training had to ber sifted through to help her cope.

— 6 —

Greg Boyle, S.J. Because kinship.

— 7 —

Sue Kleibold. How do you heal from your son and a friend killing 13 people before killing themselves. Sue explains.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.