Dropping the Chaff

Before I get someone horribly alarmed, as I go into this post, I’m not dying.  I just have the worst case of stomach flu I’ve managed to acquire in seven or eight years.  It introduced itself while I was away from home yesterday, and I almost didn’t make it to the public bathroom in time before I threw up all over the stall.

Right now going onto almost twenty four hours without food, and water is enough to make me queasy.  I’ll try sports drink after I nap, I think.

There is something to that “the prospect of being hanged in the morning concentrates the mind” but it doesn’t take that.

For the last five years, one way or another, I’ve been sick, and knowing you only have so many spoons means that you have to concentrate on what you need to keep going and what can drop.

Not everything I’ve dropped is good.  I’m late by a year sending books to some people.  Or two years, or so.  And my subscription page just sort of died on the vine, no matter how much I tried to revive it.  I simply didn’t have the strength.  So I would push and do it for a couple of days, then relapse into silence.

I did more or less keep this blog going, though, and I finished probably ten novels (I don’t feel like counting) which is low for me, but not bad.  However “mistakes were made”.  Stuff like series left to languish, which I need to recover, like Musketeer mysteries and Witchfinder.

In fact when I was really ill, only the books for Baen got done, because they were waiting for them.

Now I feel better — excepting today which is like a blast from the past, howdy! — my problem is having energy to do many things, and therefore being unable to concentrate on one.

It occurred to me, as I finished the post at Mad Genius Club that I was flagging, even though most of the words are quotes.  So I only had the time for maybe a short post here, and then I’d have to nap.

It reminded me of how many of my favorite artists did their best work on the last few years of life, when you have to concentrate with everything you have just to turn out product.  It makes you decide what is really important, and what is chaff and can be let go.  (Okay, things like dishes and cat boxes WILL get done, after the nap.)

Of course, the best thing to do is to organize yourself so you can get work done while you’re not dying.  It combines the best of health and the concentration of near death.

Ask yourself, if you were very ill (temporary or permanent) what do you absolutely need to get done today?  I bet it whittles down the to do list wonderfully.

As for me, I’m going to take a nap then work on Alien Curse.

222 thoughts on “Dropping the Chaff

  1. Hate stomach flu’s when I get them. So a list of things absolutely must be done….
    Well, guess that’s easy for me. Taking care of the Squire and that’s it. Full time job on it’s own making sure his belly is full, nappies changed when needed, and nose wiped as some cases may be. Other then that the rest of the world can go hang. 🙂

  2. Right now going onto almost twenty four hours without food, and water is enough to make me queasy. I’ll try sports drink after I nap, I think.

    Start with very small sips. Think teaspoon. And give it time.

    Under the circumstances I won’t send virtual soup and tea… but consider yourself gently hugged.

      1. Might just be hormones– I never use to have the problem, but lately I’ll get nauseous for days on end for no apparent reason besides “probably hormones.”

          1. Thank you for the warning; happen to have just gotten my Female Exam, all good.

            Apparently it’s just a version of what some of y’all poor gals have been going through since puberty.

            1. How old are you? Apparently there’s a lot of my friends going through perimenopause (pre-menopausal symptoms showing up to thirteen years before menopause) in my age bracket. A couple of them severely enough to get hormone replacement therapy—and I’m trying some things for PMDD. (And I never had PMS, so this *sucks*.)

              1. Mid-30s; we’ve got another on the way, so I’m pretty sure my hormones are on par, probably just getting closer to “normal” female stuff. Actually had cramps one cycle….

      2. oi
        a double flu hit? You had the nasty one earlier in y’all’s peak season, did you not?
        My former lead at work suffered the stomach flu last week. He moved to another department to become a Supervisor, but was giving the tour of my department to corporate bigwigs, and felt fine, as it lasted less than a week for him. He did miss 3 days of work.

        1. The killer flu was last year, and I had a few mild bouts of it over February after school started again. Poor Vincent was the one taking care of us after a while, as while he got hit by it, it only lasted 3 days. For a change, it was his sister who brought that plague home…

  3. Ask yourself, if you were very ill (temporary or permanent) what do you absolutely need to get done today?

    Very good question to ask as our days (or mine, at least) tend to fill up with so many unnecessarily “important” things.

    Ten or 12 years ago when my digestive system decided to attack itself (hey — ulcerative colitis is idiopathic, so that’s how I explain it to people), there were days when all I could focus on was setting short term goals. I remember actually stopping on the walk to the train station and (mentally) scolding myself: “you’ll get to the train station when you get there, and you’ll get on the next available train that’s going in the correct direction; you can’t worry about anything else.” It was amazing how liberated I felt by that self-scolding.

    If I was faced with a similar situation again, my list of daily tasks would quickly reduce to managing cats (incl litter box) and managing myself at the basic level necessary.

    1. There are very many very excellent things demanding our immediate attention, the important thing is to learn what for each of us is actually important. Along the way learning to streamline tasks, learning to delegate, and learning to say no-that-is-not-my-job-now will help.

    2. I have Chron’s disease for more than twenty years now and I have learned same as you about focusing on short term goals. I started taking good quality probiotics a few years ago and those tablets have changed my life, digestion problems have mostly disappeared.

      1. Not to play Internet Holistic Physician, but….
        Have you tried fermenting your own sauerkraut and salsa? I would be curious as to your experience if you had. I would encourage you to try it (at least it’s yummy!) and see, if you have not.

        (Fermented stuff is probiotic. Loads of people swear by it. (Yeah, I know.) I enjoy some of it, though I’m by no means a fanatical fermenter.)

        Though, since we’re talking “short-term goals”, fermenting might not qualify, depending on your definition of “short-term”. (It takes a week or two for a large batch of kraut or salsa.) 😉

        1. I don’t make my own but I buy sauerkraut and kimchi, I alternate between two and eat as side dish with one meal a day, and I also buy yogurt that has ‘active probiotics’. However it is probiotic pill I take daily that works best for me.

            1. Now doctors are starting to understand how important microbiome in our gut is, many companies have started to produce fermented items. I have tried kefir, pickles, tempeh, natto, kombucha .. but my favs are cabbage and yogurt.

        1. I am in Canada and brand I buy is Progressive high potency probiotic. I didn’t do any research, a nutritionist friend told me to go to organic food market and get probiotic with most active ingredients and that’s what I did. Changed my life, Chron’s disease barely affects me now.

  4. Well, if I were really ill my boss wouldn’t expect (or want) me to come in to the office… but that’s not an option most of the time.

    But it does work as a mental exercise for filtering out what’s not really so important, and focusing one’s attention only on the most important things.

    BTW, Sarah, if a bit of humor would help you feel a bit better today, I think you’d enjoy the comment I wrote yesterday on Wayne Blackburn’s guest post, which you may not have seen yet if you’ve been feeling ill. Read Writing Observer’s comment first for the context, since my joke works far better if you’ve just read his comment.

      1. Nope. Only service I was in (and even then rather… peripherally) was postal, which despite pop culture claims, most certainly does not count. It’s just that somehow my mind doesn’t follow what might be called Standard Pattern, so.. this sort of thing happens. And this sort:

        “Water is strange. Its solid form is less dense than its liquid form, thus ice floats.” “Oh, like plutonium?” “Wha…?”

        1. “Water is strange. Its solid form is less dense than its liquid form, thus ice floats.” “Oh, like plutonium?” “Wha…?”

          Oooh, is that so?!? Cool!

          1. Sorry, I know my views on religion and spirituality are not even close to mainstream. Stranger is one of my favorite books because it is one that I think provides an interesting glimpse into what is to be human and human potential. I don’t know that I agree with everything that Heinlein has to say, but I do find it fascinating enough that I’ve read Stranger about 10 times.

            Online life. . .I think ‘misfits abound’ might be an accurate statement. I’ve run into people online that I’d never let near my home, at least unless I was fully armed and ready for trouble. I’m sure some of them are harmless but in some games (Eve in particular) there are quite a few players that I suspect would score high on the sociopath scale.

            I follow another blog frequently and a frequent topic of discussion is how close the Left resembles a death cult. Issues ranging from support of abortion to the current craze of 70 ‘genders’ and how they will impact relations between the sexes and how that will continue to have an impact on birthrates. Progressives seem to have a hatred of humanity and at one level (at least to me) it seems that they are engaged in a social engineering experiment with the goal of reducing human population. (Which is also fueled by statements I’ve seen by various people on the Left urging a massive reduction in population).

            Bookwormroom.com is an interesting blog, if any of you feel like reading and joining discussions you’d all fit in.

            I stuffed myself with steak in celebration of my move finally getting approved so feeling very sleepy 🙂

            1. Yeah, they say character is what you do when you can’t possibly be harmed or benefited by those it touches– and by that, there are a worrying number of bad folks.

              A lot of good ones, though, just only takes a few turds; definitely a good training for lock your doors IRL.

              1. Sometimes that’s actually difficult. Not as much as it used to be since I’ve been ‘off the farm’ for just about 30 years. That’s been as much of a function of my job as anything else. (Security).

                Since I live in one of the reddest states in the country (I’m about 90% positive there are actually more guns in this state than people), I’m not really worried about home invaders or robbery.

                Integrity. One of those things that seems to have been lost among a large portion of the population and is seen as a ‘sucker’ trait. If I see that word in a company’s mission statement it’s usually a good indicator that they have none.

                  1. That’s worked out well for Google. . .(Which I’m about 90% sure was your reference. . .)

                  2. N.B. – “Evil” is a variable term. Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.

                    I rather wonder whether a superior court (other than the Ninth) couldn’t rule this instruction unduly vague and unenforceable.

        2. Liquid nitrogen is transparent. Liquid oxygen is pale blue.

          While the physics types explain that the sky is blue because of Rayleigh scattering yadda yadda, I prefer to think it’s because of oxygen contamination in a mostly-nitrogen atmosphere…

            1. Ah. That’s why my aunt’s worst fear working there was watching one of the physicists doctoring his coffee … He and one of the other researchers were discussing liquid plutonium in their break room. After that, she stayed on the financial end and rarely mingled with the brainiacs unless she had to. Until now, I hadn’t understood what she meant.

                1. He wasn’t putting the plutonium in his coffee. He and his colleague were discussing liquid plutonium while putting cream and sugar in his coffee. To a non-scientist, that combination of events was a little unsettling. That conversation happened over 30 years ago and she can still remember it clearly today.

    1. Yeah, I was going to post a Helpful Tactical Note that you should always pop flares when you dump chaff, and execute a hard break into what you think is the threat axis, since you don’t know if they’ve maybe shot a radar guided missile, an infrared missile, or both at you.

      Now I won’t bother, and instead say “get well Sarah!”

    1. I think we ALL would like designer’s bodies. I’d even consider a few mental hacks before moving my consciousness over.

        1. The best thing I can think of regarding designer bodies is they’d remove a lot of excuses. At the same time, when everyone in the world can have a ‘perfect’ body. . .how boring would that be? I’d bet there would end up being maybe 15-20 ‘stock’ bodies with some customization features. (skin, eye, hair color, and errr, ‘sexual’ related enhancements, for both sexes). Though being able to get an entire new body would make us functionally immortal and make things like sex changes be actual sex changes. Okay, a ‘male’ brain that has been in a ‘male’ body for 40 years deciding to inhabit a 20 year old female body or vice versa. . .That could be a really interesting psychological study!

            1. Never watched it. That’s about the time I really started not watching movies/TV. Is it worth watching and does it do a good job of covering the topic?

              As I was cooking lunch I started thinking about it more and something like that could have the potential to truly revolutionize our understanding of the differences between the sexes and improving those same relationships. It would have to be a transfer of consciousness and not brain transplant though.

                1. True, but I don’t think I’ve really thought about it all that in-depth before. Most of the instances I can remember it being played out are in comedies and the personality features of the original sex are usually maintained for comedic effect.

                  We could get some really good insights into nature vs nurture. Ok, this person in this body with this consciousness acts this way, when we swap A with B what traits are retained? Is there a radical difference in cognitive abilities? If so, are those cognitive abilities similar between the original personality or do cognitive abilities remain more consistent? Are there observable physical changes in the brain with a different personality driving? Are there long term changes in cognitive function? Even things like how much of IQ is nature vs nurture?

                  Sorry! I seem to be in a little bit of mad scientist mode today 🙂

                  1. *grin* Notice I didn’t say it’s played out….

                    The angle I come at it from is theological, because humans are both body and soul– so, what part is which?

                    Like you point out, how about ability to think? We know that changing the body can change that–even lean on it when we desperately need to stop thinking and grab a glass of wine.

                    How about things like sexual attraction? Temper? Self control in different areas?

                    We can be pretty sure that the motivaition for self control will stay steady– I can not do things very easily simply because I promised, but not doing it just for me, it doesn’t work.

                    I keep playing with the standard “become your character” trope with the mandatory minimum of one female and one male that play the opposite sex in game, then of course the different species and the ones who are “only” different heights, strengths, abilities, etc.

                    What happens when the person who has been clumsy their entire life is suddenly graceful? An acrobat, even?

                    1. I’m hoping at some point and time our scientist become more interested in things like God, the soul, and spirituality. One of the most interesting theories I’ve heard is that yes, God is part of all of us and everything else, God is also learning about us and him/herself through us and all of creation.

                      All those things would be fascinating to track as well. Plus a ‘straight’ person in a body of the opposite sex? Does the the original attraction to that sex remain constant? Does it change over time? If it changes, when the original personality returns to their original body (OP and OB for short) does that again change sexual orientation?

                      Over a longer term how does having a choice of things like sex and skin color effect culture as a whole? Talk about the ultimate tool for teaching empathy! What if, as part of growing up, you’re required to not only spend x number of years as the opposite sex, you’re also required to experience life as at least 2 different races? Would that even be a relevant requirement in 20-30 years?

                      And, like you’re saying are we going to end up with ‘beast-kin’, people who chose to take on traits of certain animals? Whether it be appearance, ability, or both 🙂

                      Again, my apologies, stuff like this captures my interest. It’s why I love science fiction and fantasy!

                    2. *Shudder* requirements like that are both what I’m pretty sure would happen, and why it’d be a nightmare.

                      For sexuality, writing about it would mostly tell you about the assumptions of the writer– to pick on your “find the words to gesture at the neat idea” word choice, the notion that sexual orientation is a singular block; we’ve already got issues with folks insisting that desiring physical contact indicates a desire for sexual intercourse, which is freaking nuts.

                    3. True. Depending on the effects of swapping around like that it could actually lead to causing more long term harm than benefit. Plus the fact it is required is pretty much crap. I got carried away thinking about how it could help us improve relationships between the sexes and maybe races.

                      No, physical contact does not (always)indicate a desire for sex. As Sarah has pointed out numerous times, we’re social animals, part of that is an almost innate desire to be touched. It’s kind of like flirting. There is flirting for attention and flirting with intention. Touch can mean anything, an attempt to comfort, a way of connecting, showing support. . .

                    4. Jumping back to religion, a theological point that always stuck to me is that a possible reason for the Incarnation is because it’s God, with skin on.


                      I frequently think part of the sex-mad thing going on is that folks are utterly starved for physical touch, but have been trained sex is how you get it.

                    5. If you go back to ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ we’re all God incarnated, we just don’t all let ourselves know it.

                      Yes. The digital age is already creating a new distance between people. Working from home is one of the biggest reasons I’m moving. For this to work longer than a few months I need to be in a place where I have stronger social ties.

                      I don’t think #metoo is going to have a positive impact either. The sex-mad thing I think is a number of factors all playing out. The natural inclinations of the sexes, the new wave of trying to make women have the same mores regarding sex as men, that not having sex is viewed as being almost unnatural. . .

                    6. If you go back to ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ we’re all God incarnated, we just don’t all let ourselves know it.

                      I really do not wish to touch that with a ten foot pole and will instead just say “no.”

                      It would be an ugly and unpleasant discussion to no good purpose.

                    7. I don’t think #metoo is going to have a positive impact either. The sex-mad thing I think is a number of factors all playing out. The natural inclinations of the sexes, the new wave of trying to make women have the same mores regarding sex as men, that not having sex is viewed as being almost unnatural. . .


                      They’ll try absolutely everything but what was working, because they “know” it’s evil and repressive.
                      And there will be no shortage of loud, abusive users who will attack anybody who brings up a problem, right up until folks can’t ignore that it’s being rubbed in their faces. Probably after that, too, but other users will take the chance to attack the first….

                    8. Basically pull flowers for Algernon into every skill tree.

                      Admittedly the idea of “what if I was different” is a very fun one to write or even just think of. If it was honest, even a dream style VR would be an extremely interesting opportunity. Plus probably gives other benefits to what we actually know about the mind.

                  2. I know you’re speaking more of brain chemistry, but observing online virtual worlds can be really … eye-opening.

                    MMORPGs are one setting where I’m not sure how much RL v. VR gender really plays out.
                    Something like Second Life (SL), OTOH, where there’s a much more rounded community (music clubs (and, yes, strip clubs), places to roleplay, places to explore, more relationship oriented, etc.) and you can present yourself as anything you want, is really interesting to observe. Interacting with cross-personalities can be wild.

                    And, of course, since it’s online, there’s this whole range of personalities that you might avoid in RL, but encounter in SL. A very broad range of personalities.

                    1. I agree. Online worlds are fascinating to observe. If I was still doing the whole Psychology thing I’d probably be working on a paper dealing with sociopathic behavior and tendencies as observed on Eve Online.

                      That behavior is interesting but the whole body swap and what it would allow us to learn and study. . .yah, lol, I’ve already written way more than anybody else is interested in reading 🙂

                      Do you read much under the ‘litrpg’ category? There was a series I read last month where the game hardware/AI had the power to influence your choices. If you chose an evil aligned character the game could influence your thoughts and in that way encourage ‘evil’ behavior.

                    2. Not sure if you know this already, but the Japanese version is “isekai.” Meaning the characters get switched into another world– probably usually video games.

                    3. Husband and I have been gaming as a couple for…about fifteen years, now. I’m about 50/50 on if I play male or female, he’s almost always a female character. (Much smaller tolerance for Really Ugly Character models, and he likes being uncommon character types.)

                      Only a handful of folks have correctly guessed which of us is female, mostly because they’re entirely sure he’s a woman because he’s polite, empathetic and can’t catch a dirty joke without proper priming. (I, on the other hand, grew up calling the list of people who were coming for fertilizer “the shit list.” Earthy, I think they call it!)

                      It’s really funny right now because we’re in a guild where everyone knows Elf, because he’s almost always in voice chat– but there’s a French speaking guy who is…well, seems to be doing stupid dominance games. And his computer can’t hand the chat program. So he only knows our in-game characters, and that we’re married.

                      He is absolutely sure that Elf is the wife, and keeps hitting on him, and flattering like crazy. And being pass-aggressive rude to “her” husband; I’ve got pretty high tolerance to catty behavior, so it’s mostly funny, but even a couple of other folks have noticed it. Female, he’ll be an over the top “nice” guy; dude, he’ll be “is he rude, or just unable to manage basic English?” (Most of the other folks in the guild like him, and he can’t harm anything, so I mostly am laughing that he keeps trying to get my goat. It would be like if a lady supermodel was flirting with me– the sheer amount of “Oy, vey, have YOU got the wrong person!” is…amusing, and I don’t need to feel bad because he’s trying to be a jerk.)

                    4. I once did a night at a haunted house back in college and only realized after guys kept protecting their girlfriends from me (I’d growl at them) that I was “reading” as male.

                    1. Don’t know if it was the same as the one I read in an old collection of Hugo or Nebula winners. The operator of a body-swap place mused on the common initial reactions to wake up opposite-sex. The man in a woman’s body would immediately feel his-her chest. The woman in a man’s body would visit the restroom, presumably to use the urinal.

                      I suspect those from HERE, if they partook of any sort of body exchange procedure would start with systems inventory or checklist which would get more detailed as it progressed:

                      Eyes.. light sensed – good.
                      Open.. images.. good.
                      Where’s a color vision test?
                      And so on.

                    2. No, probably not. This one examined the unconscious things that happened with the mind swap—the gender-specific flirting behaviors, for example. And the leader of the project, at the end, swapped her mind with a butterfly.

              1. It’s more of “inhabiting” a body to do stuff while your real body is vegetating.
                If you have been involved in (or have an interest in) online virtual reality settings, it was pretty interesting. It’s a mystery/cop movie, but some thought was put into the story and the setting, imo.

              2. “Sight of Proteus” by Charles Sheffield might be better. Sheffield’s world allowed people to change any physical characteristic, from sex to eye color, including mods like being able to breathe water, survive long periods of vacuum, etc. It was a bit too tedious and expensive for casual whim, but within the financial means of most people.

                How do you track a criminal when he could be… anyone? Right down to the DNA?

                1. I think Charles Stross? might have one as well. I’ll have to dig through my library and see if I can figure out if he’s the correct author or if I’m totally off base.

                  If (when?) technology and science advance to that point I’m hoping we’ll have figured out a way to track the criminals. A serial killer able to change everything and be functionally immortal? That’s not the stuff of nightmares or anything.

          1. I recall a story some years back where that could be done, and usually the first thing the transferee would do is have sex with someone to experience the difference.

            1. It makes sense. I don’t think anyone ever has not wondered what their partner is actually feeling while having sex. Which would then probably lead to things like ‘wow, did I just totally suck at that, better try again. . .’ or ‘holy crap, no wonder he/she liked it when I did x/y’.

              1. This might be less an issue for homosexuals?

                I recall Jack Chalker doing a good bit of this back in the Eighties (IIRC). He took into account the effects of hormones on the brain, albeit more with characters turned female as back then we had less understanding on the effect of Testosterone on personality.

                1. I’m not honestly sure. When you get into brain function and other issues at that level I think we enter pretty firmly into conjecture. That’s part of the reason that thinking about being able to actually investigate all those areas tripped my brain today. Psychology is still an area that resembles voodoo. I don’t think we understand nearly as much as we assume we do.

          2. BTW, as to boring….
            In Second Life, it can get rather boring on the visual as concerns ‘bodies’. Partly because the newer, better avatars are not really editable (the old-style ones could be very personalized within the gross parameters), and partly because “ideal” is what so many aim for.
            Second Life is full of tall, leggy, blondes with great racks. And dudes that look like Ahnuld in Terminator with tattoos. OK, there’s also a surprising number of redheads. It’s actually a joy to run into someone with a nicely sculpted but slightly unique avatar, and especially one that looks like a realistic human being.

              1. Amusing little anecdote the Housemate told me recently. Apparently someone complained about the sheer amount of customization on Star Trek Online, grumbling that it was about as time consuming as the average JRPG’s (having seen Final Fantasy XIV’s… it’s not AS bad, and FFXIV’s is so much prettier) and demanding to find out if the character designer was a Japanese game designer.

                Someone with a very Japanese name says “No.” Under the name is the title “Lead character designer.”

                1. *snickers*

                  Silly thing to complain about.

                  By the way, speaking of ff14, keep your eyes open for Roes doing a Haka– they put one in, called “Sun Drop dance” or some such. Only been able to find whatever they call humans males or Lala males doing it. Elf is urging both of our guild Roes to get it, plus the catboy.

                  Noticed the white mage Roes have a lot of ballet moves, too–and they did it RIGHT for the “walking fridge” form; the character design in that game is just awesome.

                  1. Sadly, I played it only during the open beta. I would have liked to continue playing, but I couldn’t afford to, and then our Internet connection got too crap to keep playing anyway. It has the prettiest character design I’ve seen outside of Lineage 2.

            1. Sorry, paperback, I should never try and post while I’m also bouncing between a post, my EOD reporting, and getting ready to go stuff myself with steak 🙂

              1. Wings. We all want wings. Although some people want tails too. If you’re really anti-social, go for the quilled porcupine look.

                1. If you get wings, you’re gonna want a tail. It’s aerodynamics.
                  (Though a small addition to your legs/ankles might be adequate.)

                2. Wings can be a pain.

                  You have to keep them very close to your body in most rooms.

                  People are always shooting at your wings in order to “bring you down”.

                  The only thing worse than having wings is not having wings. 😀 😀 😀 😀

                3. Yes 🙂 I’m going to start working toward my PPL this summer after I get moved and settled in. Having actual wings (as GWB points out below) probably would require a tail.

                  Then again to get my butt off the ground I’d probably need a 30′ of wings on each side, that’s not going to be light! *Ponders how much he’d weigh with 60′ of wings. . .*

      1. I want to be the same weight and strength, but about four or five inches taller, same coloration, better jaw configuration, and minus the congenital quirks I inherited from the maternal line. Oh, and a slightly faster metabolism would be appreciated.

        1. Perfect eye sight, fixed knees, and straighter, whiter teeth. Even after nearly a decade of braces. . .ugh.

          If the knees get fixed so I can run again I’ll take care of the weight stuff on my own.

          1. I’d probably go with 35. Enough age to appear mature and by that age my body had filled out nicely. In retrospect, while I’m not always happy with my physical flaws, I think that the longer term impact of having them has actually been beneficial. I’m ‘smart’ enough to be aware of my flaws, but in a way, flaws also serve a purpose in keeping us at least somewhat humble.

      2. Heck, I’ll take same body if the fact that my mind hates me were dealt with… Although definitely wouldn’t mind tinkering.

    2. I have a really good body, but because of the word “plutonium” in this thread I will not discuss where it is.

  5. Hope you get feeling better soon!

    I’d read Carl Jung’s ‘Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious’. Fascinating book, but reading it makes me feel very uneducated. He casually references so much material that isn’t covered in a ‘modern’ education. Since I do contract work, I tend to keep things organized and in good order.

  6. There’s a few paleo diet blogs I dip into for recipe ideas. One suggests that bone broth or coconut water are easier to handle (and fit better with a low sugar/carb diet) when you’re in the “just one sip every hour” phase of recovery than do drinks like Gatoraide. I wish I remembered my cousins’s recipe for “tears,” though. It’s an easy home-made substitute that has worked well for us in the past.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon. The ‘flu this year has been pretty awful.

    1. Have to be careful with coconut water, as I learned, because it is great for electrolytes but it also causes diarrhea if you drink more than a cup or two during 24 hour period.

          1. Normally I’d laugh, but dehydration and messing with electrolytes can be serious. This WHO doctor actually had two, and I can’t remember either.

            FWIW, Tom Baker was my favorite Doctor, too. He also played a good Puddlegum. And if you ever see the film A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, look for the appearance of John Pertwee, the third Doctor.

            1. There are lots of formulas depending on what’s available. One quart or liter of water to 6-10 teaspoons sugar to 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt seems to be the minimum standard. More water is fine.

              If you have orange (or other citrus) juice, or banana, or molasses, or “raw sugar”, or “no-salt” (potassium chloride), or baking soda around, there are more complicated formulas which are better; most of these still involve sugar and salt, but substitute other things for SOME OF the sugar and salt (exception: molasses and raw sugar substitute entirely for the sugar.)

              There’s also a totally different *type* of drink, involving water that has been used to cook rice. That one is two tablespoons of rice to a cup of water. Bring to a boil, cook till the rice is tender, strain out the rice (which can be eaten normally.) This seems to be as effective as the other (more effective in small children), sterilizes the water, and is made from ingredients actually likely to be present in much of the third world, so while for those of us lucky enough to have safe tap water it’s more work than mixing stuff into water, it has a lot of promise to save lives in much of the part of the world where people actually die of dehydration in statistically-significant numbers.

              1. Our veterinarian has us do something like that when the dogs get upset stomachs. I d guess it could be scaled up for humans. This skips the electrolytes, except what’s in the beef.

                Boil hamburger (we keep a stash frozen). Prepare rice as normal. (Kept in the fridge)

                For the (50 pound) dogs, we’ll take a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of rice*, a half teaspoon of hamburger, and maybe an ounce of water. Heat in microwave just enough to soften the rice. Feed this every 1 to 2 hours.

                He says the rice water settles their stomachs, and barring food poisoning (the dogs had an affinity for dead critters, the smellier the better), this would do the job. We don’t let the dogs run around any more (ages 11 and 13), but changes in the weather will set them off. This stuff keeps them all right for the 1 day it takes them to recover.

                (*) Actually, the border collie won’t eat the rice, but we make rice bread (because gluten), and they love it. She gets tiny pieces of bread, but would go for the rice water & beef and leave the rice behind. With the bread/water/beef mix, she’ll clean the bowl.

                1. Hmm … chicken and rice is standard fare here for gastrointestinal distress. It varies from near soap to thick, and is cooked with only salt for seasoning. When I made some several weeks ago, I cooked drum sticks in a pressure cooker, then added quick rice and a can of cream of chicken soup, and cooked with the lid off until the rice was done.

            2. There were two Sinbad movies made in the Seventies, each with a Doctor in the cast.

              The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) had Tom Baker chewing the scenery as the villain, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) featured Patrick Troughton buried in beard and mane. Both films produced and with story & visual effects by Ray Harryhausen although neither directed by him.

        1. My gastroenterologist told me to make my own, one cup of water, one tablespoon of sugar, one teaspoon of salt and that works for me.

      1. Hmm. Just tried looking that up and didn’t find any evidence (either way) for that—though the side effects listed for drinking too much seem to be in line with most electrolyte imbalance issues. (IOW, it’s not a perfect electrolyte replacement drink—too much potassium, for one—so it has those issues as well.)

      2. “because it is great for electrolytes but it also causes diarrhea ”
        That makes it rather counter-productive for rehydration, doesn’t it?
        Probably plain water is best.
        You can buy flavoring in small bottles (intended for cocktails originally) that will give it some taste without too much sugar etc.

        1. OK, I can’t believe nobody else put this up in all this time:

          “You put de Lime in de Coconut, and drink ‘em both up…”

        2. Electrolyte-enhanced water is better than plain water for rehydration: the electrolytes both make the water easier on the stomach and increase absorption of the water. Oral rehydration salt packages are one of the unsung medical marvels of the late 20th century. Diarrhea kills children in the third world, and oral rehydration salts packages are waterproof, immune to heat and cold, and most importantly *cheap* (iirc they cost less than a dime to manufacture — Amazon will ship a package of 100 to your doorstep for $39.99.) It’s within the budget of a third-world health system and cheap enough that it’s not automatically stolen whenever it’s in reach.

  7. Don’t forget to force yourself to sit up for most of the day, as soon as you are able. Keeps pneumonia from developing.

  8. Dropping the Chaff
    I threw up all over the stall.
    Well, that’s a new euphemism my fighter pilot buddies will appreciate.

    (Please get well.)

  9. My family has found Pedialyte (or store brand equivalent) handy for such uses. Milder, with less salt, than sports drink. Others apparently do, as well, as I perceive there are adult formulations of the stuff.

    1. I keep a container of the powdered Gatoraide in the cabinet for days when I’m likely to wind up mildly dehydrated from exercise. That way “real” sugar instead of corn sweeteners, I can mix it thin or 1/2 strength, and I have to mix it, it’s not hanging out in the fridge yelling “DRINK ME, DRINK ME”.

      1. I have an expansive vegetable garden and expend a LOT of sweat on it during the summer. I also eat tons of tabbouleh during that time, and realized a while back that it’s pretty much solid Gatorade. Salt, sugar, acid and carbs. 🙂

          1. Tabbouleh and humus, on a rolled up pita. Occasionally I’ll shred some Vermont cheddar on it before rolling.

      1. Before I learned to take measures, I’d get hit by gluten intolerance. Had it long before it was really recognized. Managing fluid intake with both sluices operating was important, as well as a challenge. The first round put me in the hospital on IV (and commode) for 4 days.

        FWIW, water works for the first 12 hours when my stomach is emptying the wrong way. After it’s settled (sort of), I’ll use a bit of juice, usually apple, though I have to watch the sugar. OTOH, I haven’t been hit in a few years, despite the medical road trips in the past 5 months.

        $SPOUSE is celiac, so home cooking (20 meals/week) is gluten free and safe. My sensitivity grew over the years, to where I could go symptomatic if the taqueria’s house salsa was made with flour that day. We’re notorious for ordering the same thing there. We know what we can eat. Cholula for the win!

  10. Oh, wow. Talk about a timely post. I’ve been wiped out by some sort of upper respiratory infection for the last few days, and in the process, discovered that my ‘must-dos’ are feed the horses and muck out the stalls (which usually requires getting dressed, I suppose). Everything else can wait. Including feeding myself, yesterday.

    And I was happy to learn to writing- to the tune of a few hundred words a day, but whatever- has fallen into the ‘will-do’ category, even if I’m sleeping during the day and hacking up a lung at night. I seem to have developed a strange set of priorities.

  11. I find that sports drinks are too hard to handle when I’m sick like that. Pedialyte or a store clone is more gentle. (My favorite flavor is the Kroger brand grape, which happens to come in a sugar-free variety, so it doesn’t mess with my diabetes. The stress of throwing up and not getting fluid in messes with that enough.) I can count on throwing up from some cause at least once a year, so I just keep one buried in the back at the bottom of the fridge and a couple of more in a cabinet on the same shelf with ingredients that I rarely use.

    I had the stomach flu last week. Once I stopped trying to bring up meals I ate last year and the Pedialyte was staying with me I graduated to ginger ale and dry crackers, where I held for a couple of days. (I might have managed something else a day sooner, but I’m chicken.)

    Hope you feel better soon! Don’t worry about us; we’ll amuse ourselves.

      1. You have to look, though. A lot of “ginger ale” is neither* nowadays. I think one of the two standards still has ginger in it, but many had gone to artificial flavors (and HFCS) over the years.

        But, you can always make ginger tea: a thin slice of ginger in a cup of hot water, add a little honey and lemon juice, let it steep a while.

        (* None of the regular-store-drink-aisle stuff is actually “ale” anymore, meaning brewed/fermented.)

        1. Those sold as Ginger Beer actually have ginger in them, and the vast majority are non-alcoholic.

          1. If you haven’t read it, here:


            I have… opinions on the matter as well. And little patience for oath breaking sons of bitches that allow *children* to be killed. *shakes head* trying to not get worked up over that. Heart and all.

            Last thing on that for now:

            Fear is a human universal. All of us have had a taste of it, from time to time. Courage is most certainly *not* a universal. But when a man makes an oath that contains “To protect and serve,” one bloody well should be able to expect he’d have the simple decency to turn in his badge if he can’t put himself in harms way. For the best of reasons.

            1. Given that there were four Broward officers standing around, methinks that orders were involved. One man might be a coward, but four?

              Four men stood around waiting, and didn’t bother trying to goad each other into acting? Nope, orders.

              1. Have they released when/if the school resource officer reached the parking lot and radioed in?

                The chances that there was any shooting going on is pretty dang low– the guy was GONE in 8 minutes, and since he fled in a group of students, there had to be a lot of running around still going on.

                Security footage should show it.

                1. If it was orders, then with all the supposed ‘fuckups’ of which there are too many, then …how are we to know this wasn’t a planned incident with the intent of disarming the People before a civil war?

                  Yeah I know, I know, conspiracy theory tinfoil hat area, but goddamn, it’s hard to not wonder.

                  1. I follow the “if it can be better explained by people doing CYA, go that way” theory.

                    Most of the supposed “mistakes” and “missed hints” were policy, after all; I still say it would be foolish to have a single person go in to try to clear a building with multiple exits, multiple stairwells, multiple levels and most likely no idea where the shots were– but the not DOING anything about MANY known, violent, criminal SOBs because they happened to be enrolled? The whole freaking “gun free zone but not a secured location” thing?


                    That’s part of why I’m waiting for more than conveniently dropped news that changes the subject away from “once again, criminals don’t listen to gun laws” or the latest case where the news got caught faking stuff.

                    1. Eh, hits my “defending a religion they don’t really understand” buttons.

                      Don’t know how accurate it is, but that’s the “feel” I get off of it.

                    2. Shadowdancer, I keep thinking “Why do the want to bring back the slave codes?” Considering that, historically, weapons are routinely confiscated from those someone wishes to oppress, I think the answer is pretty clear.

                      If someone reading this thinks it’s paranoid, I suggest they look through the legal codes of the slave states, circa 1860, and check out what it says about slaves and firearm ownership. Then follow up with how firearms were confiscated from blacks right before the KKK showed up in some Southern states after the Civil War, and how the British marched to confiscate arm in April, 1775.

                    3. I’d be a bit more mild and say it’s about removing weapons from those they feel threatened by….

                      Though, if you think about it, it’s rather worrying that they feel threatened by a group that if it were violent would not be the incredibly tiny percentage– even before you figure in relative populations– would be actually doing stuff.
                      It does make one wonder what they’re expecting us to respond to, that the ability to defend ourselves is so worrying.

                    4. Fox News has an article saying they were told by some on scene commander to stage outside and not go in.

                      It’s not clear who that “commander” was; but it was certainly completely opposite of what the active shooter protocol was that the Sheriff’s department had previously posted. Which means they utterly failed to do what they were trained to do and had regulations telling them what to do.

                      If the cops can’t and won’t protect you; then you have to do it yourself. And the best way to do that is with a gun. And any legislator, parental, child who tells you differently, or tries to stop you from being able to do so, is either ignorant, stupid, or your enemy. Hopefully the first, because ignorance can be cured.

                    5. If the cops can’t and won’t protect you; then you have to do it yourself. And the best way to do that is with a gun.

                      Which I’ve been just short of screaming while most of the web seems to be working on their noose-knots and chasing after rabbits. *angry*

                      The police cannot possibly secure all the schools in the country. Malls cannot manage it, and they’ve got far more “security”. You have to go to court house style security– and those have unacceptable wait times with a fraction of the population.

                      That means that removing self-defense is immoral, unjust and frankly bears at least part of the blame for these shootings, just as if there was a policy that you must leave your car unlocked, with the keys inside, to park at the school.

                    6. This being against the Right Wall and there being many additional comments it may be somebody has already mentioned the fact, but I have read the Broward Sheriff’s Department had not performed an Active Shooter Drill in over a decade.

                      Amazing leadership!

                    7. I understand the concern with not having a single responder go in, but having him go in is very likely to stop the shooting in short order. In almost every case, when the shooter knew they were being confronted, they either surrendered or turned the weapon on themselves.

                      That’s why it is CRITICAL to enter quickly, to shorten the carnage.
                      Also why arming teachers/staff can make a huge difference – response time is much closer to “immediate”. (Also, the discouragement factor, as these folks love to be in ‘gun-free’ zones.)

                    8. In almost every case, when the shooter knew they were being confronted, they either surrendered or turned the weapon on themselves.

                      Except that is based on them being confronted by their victims, not the police.
                      They don’t usually surrender or kill themselves for the police unless they’re cornered, although there’s a decent number that do so as soon as they hear the cop cars.

                      Also why arming teachers/staff can make a huge difference – response time is much closer to “immediate”.

                      From the studies of Active Shooter incidents, it’s about the only thing that will stop the shooter before enough cops to trap him show up– the “easy prey” growing teeth right before his eyes.

                    9. Except that is based on them being confronted by their victims, not the police.
                      Not true at all. Any valid* confrontation at all usually ends the spree – cop, armed security, armed victim, armed bystander rushing to the scene.
                      (* “valid” means someone who can actually put up a fight, not simply any old person not fleeing. This includes “within range” and “able to inflict harm”. Firearms simply make that possible from range.)

                    10. And… dummy that I am, I didn’t read your next comment until after hitting “post”.
                      I’ll have to look at those numbers pretty closely, since my personal recollection is of almost all mass shooting incidents ending immediately upon armed confrontation.

                    11. That is very accurate– especially since you and I are both remembering the attempted spree shootings that didn’t get up to the four dead required to be included in the study, and those are almost never long enough for police to arrive.

                      Simple physics means that if the cops have to show up at all, it’s already been going on a lot longer than it usually takes for a concealed carry person to respond, although I know a couple of cases that ended with only one or two shot were stopped by off-duty police. The week after that Portland shooting that was stopped by a dude who was willing to risk getting kicked out of the mall to carry, a lady cop who worked as a bar tender in a Mexican restaurant stopped another shooting. They never did release her name, since she acted as a private citizen….

                    12. Yes, my point about them stopping when confronted by a cop was not intended to exclude being stopped by others. I simply meant that if this particular officer had entered immediately and confronted the shooter (*might* be a big if, if he couldn’t locate the shooter), it’s very likely the shooter would have stopped that much sooner.

                      But everyone already inside the building was, by definition, already that much closer to the shooter. But all they could do was throw themselves in front of the bullets.

                    13. Except that from looking at events, if the shooter doesn’t end it before the cops get there, they’re going to have to be defeated by the cops before they quit. There are more cases of unarmed folks stopping the mass shooter!

                    14. Biiiiig quote, and link to the PDF of the active shooter study:

                      The majority of the 160 incidents (90 [56.3%]) ended on the shooter’s initiative—
                      sometimes when the shooter committed suicide or stopped shooting, and other times when
                      the shooter fled the scene.
                      There were at least 25 incidents where the shooter fled the scene before police arrived. In 4
                      additional incidents, at least 5 shooters fled the scene and were still at large at the time the
                      study results were released.
                      In other incidents, it was a combination of actions by citizens and/or law enforcement that
                      ended the shootings. In at least 65 (40.6%) of the 160 incidents, citizen engagement or the
                      shooter committing suicide ended the shooting at the scene before law enforcement arrived.
                      Of those:
                      ■ In 37 incidents (23.1%), the shooter committed suicide at the scene before police
                      ■ In 21 incidents (13.1%), the situation ended after unarmed citizens safely and successfully
                      restrained the shooter. In 2 of those incidents,24 3 off-duty law enforcement
                      officers were present and assisted.
                      ■ Of note, 11 of the incidents involved unarmed principals, teachers, other school
                      staff and students who confronted shooters to end the threat (9 of those shooters
                      were students).
                      ■ In 5 incidents (3.1%), the shooting ended after armed individuals who were not law
                      enforcement personnel exchanged gunfire with the shooters. In these incidents, 3 shooters
                      were killed, 1 was wounded, and 1 committed suicide.
                      ■ The individuals involved in these shootings included a citizen with a valid firearms
                      permit and armed security guards at a church, an airline counter, a federally
                      managed museum, and a school board meeting.25
                      ■ In 2 incidents (1.3%), 2 armed, off-duty police officers engaged the shooters, resulting
                      in the death of the shooters. In 1 of those incidents, the off-duty officer assisted a
                      responding officer to end the threat.26
                      Even when law enforcement arrived quickly, many times the shooter still chose to end his
                      life. In 17 (10.6%) of the 160 incidents, the shooter committed suicide at the scene after law
                      enforcement arrived but before officers could act.
                      In 45 (28.1%) of the 160 incidents, law enforcement and the shooter exchanged gunfire. Of
                      those 45 incidents, the shooter was killed at the scene in 21, killed at another location in 4,
                      wounded in 9, committed suicide in 9, and surrendered in 2.

                      Click to access active-shooter-study-2000-2013-1.pdf

                2. The last I heard, the BCSO grabbed the outdoor video from the school, and some news organizations were suing to get him to release it. Indications are there’s other sources.

                  1. About that …

                    Release the Florida School Shooting Surveillance Video
                    The sheriff and the school district are in full CYA mode. The public deserves better.
                    By Michelle Malkin
                    Open government isn’t just good government. It’s the public’s right.

                    In Florida, the Broward County Sheriff’s office and Broward County school district are fighting to keep hidden from view the exterior surveillance video from the day of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. As journalists and citizens who’ve waged uphill battles against secrecy well know, government agencies too often invoke broad disclosure exemptions in the name of protecting public safety when they’re really just trying to protect their own jobs.

                    Feckless Broward County sheriff Scott Israel and media-luvin’ school Superintendent Robert Runcie are defendants in an open-records lawsuit filed Tuesday by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Miami Herald, and CNN. The local officials claim that surveillance videos from cameras outside the school are completely exempt from sunshine laws because 1) they would expose the district’s security-system plan; 2) they are are part of an active criminal investigation; and; 3) they involve an active internal-affairs investigation of school-resource officer/BSO deputy Scot Peterson, whom Israel notoriously threw under the bus last week.

                    Let’s break down these specious excuses for keeping information vital to the public interest locked in a black box. …

                    1. The latest tale is that the responding deputies were ordered to stage, supposedly contrary to official policy. Can’t say I trust that SO on anything, after what the sheriff has said. “Amazing Leadership”, my ass.


                      Which links to a Fox story on this. (TL;DR the commanding officer said “Stage”, rather than “Engage”. The responders were Just Following Orders…) The Prog-trolls are thick in the pjmedia comments, which gives a sense that the story is right…

                  2. If the video is in any way altered, or lost, then we know exactly who is responsible, and if so, we should put that sheriff away for the rest of his misbegotten life.

                3. The video shows him standing outside for 4 minutes during the shooting, evidently. The Coral Springs police showed up and went in, and the shooter stopped when they entered (and dumped his weapon and tried to blend in).

                  1. That pretty much requires a near-zero response time for the SRO, and when did the other local cops show up?

                    That sounds extremely off; we know there are dispatch time records, this should be very easy to figure out, but the only one that’s put out anything is the sheriff. (Who, while he probably wouldn’t falsify reports, might neglect to mention relevant things.)

                    If, as reported, the school security footage was on a time delay then I wouldn’t trust the time-stamp on it.

                    1. I’m thinking it was the sheriff who made the initial statement about the video showing him standing outside for 4 minutes while the shooting took about 7. That was when he was throwing the deputy under the bus. It might have been a Coral Springs PD rep who mentioned it, though.
                      But that was the consistent reporting toward the end of the first week (and since).

                      The SRO had a near-zero response time because he was on the campus (it’s what he gets paid for). The reason that time was more than zero is because it’s a large campus.

                      The other locals showed up very quickly. The off-duty member of the Coral Springs PD was on the scene already and had only enough time to go into the building (unarmed, mind you) and rescue a single victim before his compadres showed up. (He then armed up and accompanied them back into the building.)

                      This gives more weight to the old saw about “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

                    2. The SRO had a near-zero response time because he was on the campus (it’s what he gets paid for). The reason that time was more than zero is because it’s a large campus.

                      Except that it’s not like a giant alarm that says “hey, this isn’t a fire, this is a shooting” goes off and lets everyone know that there’s a shooting going on.

                      The timeline the police put out is that it was seven minutes from when the shooter entered to when he left, and we know he went to the top level before shooting, and the sheriff was as you note very much throwing a scapegoat out there.

                      That’s why I want much better data than he’s willing to give, thus far!

                    3. It was identified as an active shooter. That word goes out pretty quickly nowadays (and sometimes erroneously – as in 15:17 to Paris).

                      It has to go out that way, as the procedures for dealing with an active shooter are exactly the opposite from a fire. In a fire you want everyone OUT. NOW. In an active shooter situation, you want almost everyone sheltering IN PLACE. NOW. (You don’t want to give the shooter more targets; acting as if it’s a fire is sorta like flushing quail while hunting.) So you have to immediately determine what the situation is.

                      Of course, knowing it *is* an active shooter is different from knowing *where*, and knowing anything about armament, intent, etc.

                      (BTW, there’s an intersection between fire and active shooter that no one has yet exploited in an American school, I think. I doubt any potential shooters are reading this blog, but I still won’t go beyond that.)

                    4. “Pretty quickly” is a relative measure, not an objective one.

                      They got the first 911 five minutes before the guy was reported to 911 as being out of the building in a group of students that were leaving.

                      The fact that there were groups of students leaving the buildings means that people on scene, actually in the same building, didn’t know it was a “shelter in place” until they were out of their rooms and it was far enough to say “Screw it, running.”

                    5. Which is why the first thing he did once he got inside was to pull the fire alarm, to flush everyone out.

                    6. The SRO had a near-zero response time because he was on the campus (it’s what he gets paid for). The reason that time was more than zero is because it’s a large campus.

                      There’s your real problem, eh? Eliminate these huge campuses. Establish each “instructional unit” as widely dispersed finite sized groups — say, twenty-five to thirty-five students — and teach them in situ.

                      Those who claim that one teacher cannot possibly provide all the instruction needed are in contradiction of the state-affirmed modern pedagogy that the role of a teacher is to present the state-prescribed indoctrination instructional material as laid out in the scope and sequence lesson plans, with no actual background in the coursework being required. Alternatively, for those bitterly clinging to out-moded notiions of teachers having subject matter expertie being useful the alternative would be for teachers to shift from classroom instructional unit to classroom instructional unit while the students shelter in place.

              2. It has been reported that the Sheriff deputies were ordered not to enter without body cams, and nobody had brought one.

                I can kinda, sorta, understand following that order (though I sincerely hope I would not in that position) – but preventing the EMTs from entering was unnecessary to the point of being evil.

                1. Actually, that confirms what I have thought for a while: the Ferguson Effect was at work. When cops know they’ll be blamed and harassed whatever happens, collecting the evidence they need to avoid liability gets more important.

    1. *raises hand*

      I really should have thought of the agricultural stuff first, because no military experience, but… *shrug*

    2. It took me until the comments to even think about it as anything besides “the stuff that you have for a distraction.”

      A little bit of a round-about metaphor, but for this crowd rather than a general audience? Not even blink-worthy.

    3. I’ll admit to wondering just where Sarah had picked up that bit of jargon. And whether she was saying that the blog was to distract us.

  12. The FLU hit Day Job three weeks ago. The the worst point for the High School side, we had a third of the students out sick or physically present but still feeling cruddy.

    I’ve been fortunate. The only time I’ve been “Pull over now!” sick was food poisoning from a very, very cheap frozen turkey-n-dressing dinner. Never touched that brand again.

    1. Turkey-n-dressing sounds benign in contrast to my chili dogs from Hell. Cannot bring self to touch those again, either, which I find a pity and those who breathe the air around me seem okay with.

    2. Wife and I went out to anniversary dinner at Marie Callendar’s restaurant in California years ago and we both had the pasta primavera. We’d barely got home that evening before we spent the next 24 hours violent ill from it. Never went back to that restaurant, never buy that brand in the stores, and I have a hard time even looking at anything with a cream sauce without gaging.

  13. > Ask yourself, if you were very ill (temporary or permanent) what do
    > you absolutely need to get done today?

    Temporarily ill? My wife can deal with Dog and Child, and anyone else can suck my >ahem< .

  14. Hope you get well soon Sarah.

    This reminds me of sad situation I was thinking about recently. A lot of the Indie authors I have been reading in the last few years are elderly or retired. At least one has passed away (Alan Black). Many post about illness reducing / delaying their output. I miss all the good books that might have been if Indie publishing had blossomed a decade or two earlier. I suspect many of these elderly authors have rejection letters from the Gatekeepers in the past. I also suspect that even many conventionally published authors especially mid-listers could have published more. Limited shelf space, a low number slots in the schedule, lack of interest in their work by the revolving staffs of the major publishers, and so many other reasons artificially limited the published output of many fine writers.

    1. “so many other reasons artificially limited the published output of many fine writers”
      I don’t really know the condition of publishing in the 19th-century, but I suspect it was analogous, and I wonder how many unpublished Great Writers we have missed (women particularly had it harder then; think of all the pseudonyms and anonymous authorships).

      1. Are you aware of James Tiptree Jr. aka Alice B. Sheldon

        She accidentally outed herself when writing about her mothers death.

        Excerpt from Wikipedia
        Several prominent science fiction writers suffered some embarrassment. Robert Silverberg had written an introduction to Warm Worlds and Otherwise arguing, from the evidence of stories in that collection, that Tiptree could not possibly be a woman. Harlan Ellison had introduced Tiptree’s story in the anthology Again, Dangerous Visions with the opinion that “[Kate] Wilhelm is the woman to beat this year, but Tiptree is the man.” Silverberg’s article in particular, by taking one side, makes it clear that the sex of Tiptree was a topic of some debate.
        End Excerpt

        I read Her Novel Brightness Falls from the Air (1985) at least 3 times. I can still picture the worn library hardback. Highly recommended. Most of her work is short stories that I can’t

        She had an interesting life. Not at all Feminine for the time period. She worked for the Army Air Forces photo-intelligence group reaching the rank of Major. A few years in the CIA. A doctorate in psychology. All that I know about her is from the Wikipedia entry. It is an interesting read. Currently not politically slanted but more than enough triggers for certain people if she were well known.

  15. Are you aware of James Tiptree Jr. aka Alice B. Sheldon

    She accidentally outed herself when writing about her mothers death.

    Excerpt from Wikipedia
    Several prominent science fiction writers suffered some embarrassment. Robert Silverberg had written an introduction to Warm Worlds and Otherwise arguing, from the evidence of stories in that collection, that Tiptree could not possibly be a woman. Harlan Ellison had introduced Tiptree’s story in the anthology Again, Dangerous Visions with the opinion that “[Kate] Wilhelm is the woman to beat this year, but Tiptree is the man.” Silverberg’s article in particular, by taking one side, makes it clear that the sex of Tiptree was a topic of some debate.
    End Excerpt

    I read Her Novel Brightness Falls from the Air (1985) at least 3 times. I can still picture the worn library hardback. Highly recommended. Most of her work is short stories that I can’t

    She had an interesting life. Not at all Feminine for the time period. She worked for the Army Air Forces photo-intelligence group reaching the rank of Major. A few years in the CIA. A doctorate in psychology. All that I know about her is from the Wikipedia entry. It is an interesting read. Currently not politically slanted but more than enough triggers for certain people if she were well known.

  16. Years ago I was told and verified personally that maple syrup (the real stuff) will stay down when nothing else will. Keep a small glass by the bed and sip every so often. It is not perfect and won’t prevent dehydration, but it will get some food into you.

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