We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Tuesday, July 16. 2013
The good news is that whatever ill effects I've been feeling since around last Xmas appear to be nothing more than ultra-high blood pressure (something like 195 over 155, aka Stroke City) and something about an "elevated red blood cell count", but I never pay any attention to the details. It's just "gimme the pills" and I'm outta there.
I did, however, make one real glaring error in my last post on the subject when, puzzling over the recent diagnosis of ultra-high blood pressure, I noted that I hadn't recently changed anything in my dietary routine.
That is, if you call your lunches and dinners going from 5% frozen TV dinners to 95% frozen TV dinners over the course of a year "not changing anything".
I honestly (because I had ultra-high blood pressure at the time is my best excuse) wasn't thinking clearly and had only dashed back a year in my mind as I typed the words. In truth, until a year ago, I've never been into TV dinners much, usually eating either sandwiches (homemade, deli, Subway) or canned goods for lunch and dinner. It was only after the operation, when moving around became such a chore, than I fell into the warm bosom of easy pop-in, pop-out, meals.
Worse, I then discovered how delicious some of them are. The Marie Callender's Salisbury Steak is totally scrumptious. That set me down the whole dark path of going through every Marie Callender's and Stofer's on the shelf, plus the lesser brands, only to end up one day at a notable moment in my life. I had turned down the canned goods aisle by habit, glanced over the beef stew and chili and spaghetti and... and then just kept walking. It was the first time in my life I'd ever done that. All I had eyes for was the frozen section.
Such are the depths of the addicted.
Well, these days, all tuned into the Daily Value (DV) figure on the back of the package, I have heart palpitations just reading the labels of the things I used to gobble down by the bucketful. With admonishments of "DON'T EAT ANYTHING WITH A DV OVER 20%!!!" blaring in my head, most of the TV dinners and canned meats out there are somewhere around the (cough!) 50% mark. And that's what I'd been piling down for both lunch and dinner for almost a year.
And that's before grabbing the salt shaker and giving everything a good blast. In my whole adult life, I've salted very few things (eggs, potatoes), but once you're in the tropics, aka Sweat City, you just naturally start adding salt to your diet to make up for what you drip onto the ground while walking out to the car.
As a couple of commenters noted in the thread, some people are much more susceptible to sodium kicking up blood pressure than others, and it appears I'm of that group. I can only say "appears", though, as I've been on blood pressure medicine since that day so I can't really measure how the sudden lack of salt in my diet affects it.
I'd also note that both Bird Dog and Dr. Bliss have recently linked to the latest findings by the CDC that salt isn't as harmful as has previously been the notion, although I have reservations about the overall "IT'S OKAY, EVERYBODY, EAT ALL THE SALT YOU WANT! YIPPEE!" tone of the articles. Since human beings are involved, we always have to be on the lookout for that classic human foible of jumping from one extreme to the other, and just because something isn't as bad as previously thought doesn't mean it suddenly goes into the Eat All You Want! column.
I have a few more notes below the fold, but that's the gist. Again, my deepest thanks to those who have tossed a little something into my Help Keep Doc From Gnawing Off His Right Foot fund. Any help with these nasty medical bills would be very much appreciated.
NCIS fans, be sure to tune in tomorrow for an intriguing update!
The reason potato chips taste so salty is because it's right there on the surface. I once read on the back of a medium-sized bag of chips that there was more salt in a bowl of ice cream than in the whole damn bag.
As for blood pressure monitors, both the doc at the hospital and my local GP specifically said to buy an Omron by name and buy the one that goes around the upper arm, not the wrist. I hunted around Amazon for a bit and found this excellent deal. I brought it into the doc's and the nurse and I compared it to the higher-priced model the office used and it was almost the same.
Lastly, since I've 'rediscovered'' Subway Sandwiches over the past month, I've been slowly going through their whole menu, and I maintain that the best item on the menu (or not) is this. Yum!
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All terrific news, Doc! Well, I suppose possibly dying from a stroke isn't "terrific" news -- but you know what I mean. I'm gettin' a pretty nice paycheck this Friday so I'll toss a couple of doubloons into the pot in a few minutes. I just hope others here appreciate your posts like I do, especially the video pieces. I've simply never seen anyone else makes posts like that, and I've been around the web for a long time. Any idea why that is? Is the video part difficult?
BTW, you were right about yesterday's feature commentary. I ported it over to the plasma and the whole family watched it (along with "Cover Story") last night. Neither the wife or the kids had ever seen a 'fun' commentary before (as you noted, they're usually pretty dry), so a terrific time was had by all.
All the best,
"Is the video part difficult?"
That'd be my guess. It's not a pretty process. I first rip the disc to the computer using DVD Decrypter, then I frameserve the VOB files with DVD2AVI, then I use Gordian Knot to auto-crop the vid and make an AviSynth file which I then dump into VirtualDub for rendering to AVI. For the audio track, which DVD2AVI extracts, I run it through SoundForge to 'normalize' it (make it the proper volume for the computer), then import it into VirtualDub for the render.
Then I dump the AVI into Flash 8 for rendering to FLV for online streaming, then upload the vid and preview pic to the site with FileZilla. Then I paste the player code into the Maggie's editor, change the vid's name and resolution, and it's ready to go.
Piece o' cake!
Well, if you've already done it a couple of thousand times. :)
It's being in DVD format to begin with that makes it so tough. If it was just a computer clip, there are lots of free editors out there and it's fairly easy to just snip out a piece, but DVD is another animal.
There's also a money snag, in that Flash ain't cheap, and if you want the final quality to be almost-DVD level, that's what has to be used. All of the other programs I mentioned are freebies, but Flash is in a league of its own.
And dat's de scoop, super-snoop!
Gosh - and you make it sound so easy! You did, however, certainly answer the question. :-)
Not quite. At this point, I feel a little shaky when standing up after sitting for a while, but I was told that was to be expected. I'm also sleeping longer overnight, so that probably helps everything overall. Thanks for asking!
Go to salt works, and get some French sea salt. Fleur-de-sel coarse.
I think someone mentioned sea salt in the last post, but not French sea salt, so thanks for the tip!
I agree with BobZ. I've never seen anything close to your video pieces. There are lots of articles-with-vids out there, like on Cracked.com, but they're almost always YouTube embeds, usually with half of them long removed. Capturing that precise moment, like in the shorties in yesterday's post, is what makes it all so different.
What do I need to do to play them on the TV? Bob's description sounded like fun!
Rob - The problem is that it'll cost bucks no matter which way you do it. The standard way would be to buy a video card with a 'Video Out' jack on the back, then you'd send that and the Audio Out to the TV (or control box) like from any video device.
The other option is to use a mem stick to copy the video to an XBox, which will then send it to the TV, but there are a few hitches, like the XBox will only take a certain format, so each 1-hour episode would take a couple of hours to render to the required format first.
Not pretty, but certainly doable. Since Bob said "port" it over to the TV, I gather he's using the first method.
Best wishes on a healthy recovery!
Have you ever read "Fast Metabolism Diet" by Pomroy?
Worth a read.
Kauf - Interesting tip. A quick Google search yields a video on it which I'll get to later today. Thanks!
RE: Your BP
Could there be something impinging upon or blocking your renal (kidney) artery as a result of either your tumor or the surgery?
RE: High RBC
Are you on any male hormones or meds from Mexico?
Well, no to the hormones and Mexico, and it doesn't appear to be as serious as a renal problem, simply because it plummeted from 195 to 127 a day after starting the medicine. It then went down to 97 the next day, heh, at which point we changed the medication slightly. It was 127 this morning, which is about average at this point.
Great news, doc! I just tossed a little something in the cookie jar. And you might be interested that your NCIS post yesterday might have won a couple of new viewers over. I posted the link to it for my FB buds last night and a few of them were so taken by the clips that they headed over to Netflix for season one. Very cool!
Again, glad you're better! Hugs!
You've got two new simultaneous problems since your cancer diagnosis and surgery - elevated red blood cell count and very high blood pressure. Since you're not dumb, it's probably occurred to you that just maybe the two are related. Alone, either the high BP or the high RBC can cause you to have a stroke. So, instead of being dead, you'll just be a handicapped vegetable, curled up in bed and drooling on yourself. If your doc hasn't put 2 and 2 together and suggested searching for the cause of these two problems, it would be a good idea to find a real doctor.
Actually, you caught me in a bit of an exaggeration (my usual hyperventilating writing style, in other words) when I said "highly" elevated cell count. It was just "elevated", and I've amended the text. Sorry, didn't mean to mislead you, and thanks for the sincerity, but you know me and my love for adjectives. For that matter, my cholesterol was also 'elevated', but that's to be expected given my (past) eating habits and lack of exercise.
Just curious, what exactly was your RBC count (you can include the Hgb and Hct if you have them)?
Don't have a clue. As I said, I never pay attention to the details and immediately toss out any paperwork outside of invoices. When I write this chapter of my autobiography, I want it to read "One day I got sick, then I got all better! The End." Remember, this wasn't "cancer", just the possibility of, so I've never related to official 'cancer victims' and 'support groups' and all that. I just want to shelve the whole thing and move on.
Doc - Having almost lost my right foot once in a car accident, I sympathize with your plight. I just tossed twenty clams into the kitty. Not much but, as you said, it all helps. Since we're all being so praiseworthy, I'd note that while I like the vids and such, it's the computer stuff I like most. I see stuff here that's on none of the eight or so tech sites I visit daily. MyFunctionKeys is an incredible time-saver, and the way AutoSizer will open a program in an exact spot on the screen is a huge help because of the stuff I do. Many thanks for all of it.
Any thoughts on Windows 8.1?
"Any thoughts on Windows 8.1?"
Er, not really. They added a Start Menu ("Wow!"), but apparently it's pretty weird to operate and nothing like the usual one. Otherwise, it's just "table software" in my eyes. Once you bypass all the tablet stuff, it's just a normal Desktop (without proper Start Menu), so why bother?
"so why bother?"
Trust you to whittle a tough question down to its essence. :-)
Salt and Taste. The taste of salt is related more to particle size than mass, therefore a very fine salt will Taste 'stronger' than ordinary table salt. Also [some] diuretics flush both sodium and potassium from the body so watch your potassium level. I use a product 'NO Salt' to maintain potassium level when I have hand and leg cramps.
No I do not Practice Medicine and am an expert in nothing....
"No I do not Practice Medicine and am an expert in nothing...."
Well, if that's true, then it could be argued that you're an expert in what you don't know.
Always look on the bright side. :)
Somehow I missed that golf movies clip, so thanks for mentioning it. It was great! Terrific selection of scenes. And very glad you're feeling better. I had high BP a number of years ago but getting into the right exercise/diet routine got everything back on track. If you try, you should eventually be able to dump the meds.
I had a friend with high blood pressure and he would not eat frozen dinners. He told me the freezing process requires high salt content in the food, so you might want to avoid frozen dinners and see if that helps the blood pressure.
I mentioned frozen dinners in the post, now known as "Public Enemy #1" in my book. The canned meats are just as bad, DV-wise.
Mi casa es su casa.
(That's German for "Great, always nice to hear from you.")
Isn't that "My Igloo is your Igloo" (a rough Germanic translation)...?