Category Archives: Not stealing

Dear Electors

Today’s New York Times broke my heart by informing me (can you believe it? — A Newspaper!) that while the electors in the Electoral College will vote tomorrow (Monday, December 19), we won’t actually know the results until January 6.  Shit.

UPDATE!

I was wrong.  I misunderstood.  Perhaps I read the Russian rules.

Trump just now went over the 270 needed to become the 45th (and possibly last) President of the United States.

WE’RE OFFICIALLY SCREWED.

Now back to my original post which is now completely irrelevant:

Still, I want to take just one more opportunity to beg:

Dear Electors:

Please don’t let Donald Trump actually become President of the United States.  He’s cray-cray.  And could you possibly imagine listening to that 6th grade speaking style for 4 years?  Not to mention the fact that he’s already pissed off most of Asia.

Oh and there is that whole bit about Russia interfering with our election.

trump-and-putin

Google Image

So please, please, vote carefully.  Vote as if the future of the world is in your hands.  Because it is.

Sincerely,

2.8 Million (and counting) American Voters

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A Snowball’s Chance

A friend of mine sent this petition on to me.  I’m not really one for petitions.  I agree with research I’ve read that says that signing petitions makes people believe they are actually doing something.  And well, hollow gestures are, hollow.

Still, what the hell.  I signed this petition, and thought I’d forward it to you.  Remember what is at stake.

*****

Electoral College: Make Hillary Clinton President on December 19

trump-hillary

On December 19, the Electors of the Electoral College will cast their ballots. If they all vote the way their states voted, Donald Trump will win. However, they can vote for Hillary Clinton if they choose. Even in states where that is not allowed, their vote would still be counted, they would simply pay a small fine – which we can be sure Clinton supporters will be glad to pay!

We are calling on the Electors to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton. Why?

Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic.

Secretary Clinton WON THE POPULAR VOTE and should be President.

Hillary won the popular vote. The only reason Trump “won” is because of the Electoral College.

But the Electoral College can actually give the White House to either candidate. So why not use this most undemocratic of our institutions to ensure a democratic result?

SHE WON THE POPULAR VOTE.

There is no reason Trump should be President.

“It’s the ‘People’s Will'”

No. She won the popular vote.

“Our system of government under our Constitution says he wins”

No. Our Constitution says the Electors choose.

“Too many states prohibit ‘Faithless Electors'”

24 states bind electors. If electors vote against their party, they usually pay a fine. And people get mad. But they can vote however they want and there is no legal means to stop them in most states.

PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE!

And since hell is obviously freezing over, it’s worth a shot.

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Call Me “Rigger” on Election Day

So you thought I was a more or less law abiding citizen, except for when I bribe French government officials.  In fact, reality is far worse.

Because on Election Day, November 8, 2016, I will be in an undisclosed polling booth, watching.  And I’ve even been trained for this nefarious activity.  In fact, I’m one of the folks Donald Trump is so concerned will “rig” the election.

It’s true.  A coordinated effort has been made by the Democratic Party.  You see, on Saturday, I went to a class where my fellow instigators and I learned what to do.  And “fixing” an election is as easy as taking candy from a baby.

What did we learn?

Well, you may have to cover your ears/eyes/heart.  Because it is evil unbridled.

  1. Study the Virginia voting regulations.   They include information on acceptable forms of ID, what to do if a voter’s name on ID doesn’t match the one on the roll (if a woman got married, for instance, or if there is a slight misspelling), or the voter has moved, etc.  The regs say what is legal and what is not.
  2. Arrive at undisclosed polling precinct obscenely early (5-f’ing:15).
  3. Bring baked goods.
  4. Observe the non-partisans set up the voting machines.
  5. Check that all voting machines register “0” prior to the doors opening to voters at 6.
  6. Share baked goods.
  7. Watch as they open the doors promptly at 6.
  8. Monitor that voters are not hindered from voting.
  9. Assist the election official (the “Chief”) in instances where the voter has a problem — incorrect ID, came to the wrong precinct, not registered, name or address doesn’t match the voter list.  We learned how to ensure that the Chief follows the regulations.  As legal folks, we understand how to read the regs.
  10. When appropriate, let the Chief and/or voter know what alternate IDs are valid.
  11. If necessary and there is no legitimate way for the voter to cast a regular vote, have him/her cast a provisional ballot.
  12. Make sure nobody who has cast an absentee ballot votes again.
  13. Monitor the length of the line, let Dem HQ know if there are problems.
  14. Ensure the voting machines are working.  Let Dem HQ know if there are problems.
  15. Enjoy baked goods, lunch, coffee and bathroom breaks when possible.
  16. Repeat.

Nefarious, no?  Downright wicked.  The evil continues all day until the polls close at 7 p.m.  Then comes the fun stuff.

  1. Make sure that anyone in line at closing time is allowed to vote.  That’s the rule.
  2. Ensure that the officials close and lock the door once everybody in line has voted.
  3. Verify that the number of voters who checked in = the number of votes cast (adjust for provisional ballots cast, naturally).
  4. Ensure that the Chief contacts the Secretary of State and reports the correct number of ballots cast for each candidate and the tally for any ballot initiatives voted on.  Presidential.  Congressional, local, ballot initiatives.
  5. Collect personal items.
  6. Go home.

Try to stay awake long enough to learn who won the election.

rigger-2

My badge from last time with my friend, Rigger.

I should tell you that when I did this in 2012, there was one incident. I’m sure you’ll agree it was obviously voter fraud.

An 86 year old woman came in to vote, but had already voted absentee.  She forgot she’d voted already.  She had trouble walking and had been dropped off at the voting station by her daughter.  “Oh, I guess you’re right,” she said when told she had voted already.  “I forget things sometimes.”  I called her daughter for her on my cell phone, and the woman and I chatted as she waited, eating baked goods.

*****

There are poll observers from both parties at many polling stations across the country.  It is one of the ways that our system ensures the integrity of the vote.  As a man I respect and admire said earlier today:

WASHINGTON — President Obama said Tuesday that Donald J. Trump should “stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.”

Speaking at a Rose Garden news conference with Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, Mr. Obama also called it “unprecedented” for any presidential candidate to “discredit the elections” before any votes were even cast, as Mr. Trump has done repeatedly in recent days.

“One of the great things about America’s democracy is we have a vigorous, sometimes bitter political contest, and when it’s done, historically, regardless of party, the person who loses the election congratulates the winner, reaffirms our democracy and we move forward,” Mr. Obama said.

Speaking of the tradition of a peaceful transfer of power after presidential elections, Mr. Obama said, “That’s how democracy survives.”

“I have never seen in my lifetime or in modern political history, any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s unprecedented. It happens to be based on no facts.”

Elections Matter. 

Vote on November 8

Make sure you know where to vote and have appropriate ID in states where ID is required.

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Eat Your Heart Out, Lip-O-suction!

Like many Americans, I’m overweight.  Mostly I’ve accepted what I look like.  At least I do until someone pulls out a camera.  Then I use my handy line:

Do I have time for liposuction?”

Sadly, there’s never enough time for liposuction; they usually take the picture anyway.  And when I see it I wish someone would suck away the extra bits and bobs.

Few things make me laugh harder than the idea of liposuction.  I first learned of it in 1986.  I was in the reception area of one of my then-clients, chatting with his secretary, Cindy, a constant dieter, when she announced:

“Did you know you can vacuum your fat away?” Cindy told me.  “It’s a thing called Lip-O-Suction.  They stick this little gizmo in your fat lumps and vacuum the fat out!”

“Why diet when you can vacuum!” I replied.  Me and Cindy laughed and laughed.  You just can’t tell me it isn’t a hilarious image:  Women lining up in front of the Hoover before a date.

liposuction 2

Eureka!  Or is it Hoover?  Sllluuuppppppp Google Image

Now, though, there is a weight loss gadget that makes even liposuction pale in silliness.  Because folks have been busily inventing even sillier ways to get folks thin.  Or thinner.  Or, to totally disrupt their GI tract.

Introducing The Aspire Assist.  A personal stomach pump.  Yeah, I thought they were making it up, too.

Stomach pump

Photo credit:  Aspirebariatrics.com.  But I found it at the article referenced below

The Aspire Assist helps with weight loss because it empties up to 30% of the contents of your stomach into the toilet.  Before it reaches the inside or the outside of your butt.  Before that cherry pie becomes love handles.  Before those abs look more like a case than a six-pack.

According to this article here’s how it works.

Patients have a tube inserted into their stomachs then threaded out through an incision in the abdomen and capped with a poker chip–sized “Skin Port” valve.[…]  Twenty minutes after eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the patient attaches a handheld device to the Skin Port and empties 30 percent of the contents of his or her stomach into the toilet.

Twenty minutes is enough time for your brain to be convinced that you are full, but not enough time for your stomach to digest the food, the inventors say, and that means 30 percent of the calories from your meal magically disappear.

Sounds too good to be true, ammirite?  You can have all the benefits of bulimia without puking!  Whoo-hoo!

Of course, as a fake medical professional, I have questions:

  • Can the Aspire Assist discriminate?  I mean, can it choose to pull the ice cream out and leave the broccoli to work its way through my GI tract system?
  • Can it pull the pasta but leave the protein and the vitamins?
  • Can it please suck out the wine I drink so that I can be less of a cheap date?

Go ahead.  I dare you to watch this.  (I didn’t.  Ewwwwww.)

I bet you didn’t play that video.  I’ll also wager you’re not gonna get an Aspire Assist.  anybody who has read this far is of above-average intelligence and has a seriously awesome sense of humor.

Some funny things should be enjoyed but definitely not be taken to heart.  Or to stomach.  Or drained into the toilet.

And some are just too weird to believe.

 

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Get Rid of Old, Unused Drugs

As it says in my “About” page, I do drugs and get paid for it.  Drug safety that is.  As a general rule, I don’t write about it though.  Today is an exception.  Consider this a public service announcement.

In 2008, I had some minor surgery where I was given 60 — SIXTY — Oxycontin tablets for pain.  I didn’t need very many at all because I am tough.  Also because I don’t need to add drug addiction to the list of problems with this ‘temple’ of mine.  Plus I really don’t like that out of control feeling I get from serious painkillers.

Still, I ended up with about 55 highly addictive painkillers in a home where my the-15 year old son lived.  Jacob is a good kid, but hell, why tempt fate?  Ultimately, I managed to get rid of them safely and securely.  But not everybody is so lucky.  In some places, prescription drugs are what thieves look for when they burglarize homes.

As I said, while I don’t normally mix work with the blogging (except when I’m goofing off), I think this is something everybody should know about:

Ditch your unused drugs Saturday, April 30.

Tomorrow (April 30) is Drug Take-Back Day, the annual nationwide push to stop people from trashing or flushing their unused medications. The DEA has set up hundreds of drop-off centers all across the country to orchestrate safe disposal of drugs. That’s no small feat — in the past decade, the DEA says it has collected more than 5.5 million pounds of unused pills. It’s a continual concern, since drugs at home can cause accidental poisonings, and drugs in landfills can pollute water supplies. [From my Daily STAT Morning Rounds newsletter]

To find a location near you (sorry, it’s US only) click on this link and enter your zip code.

***

This song has nothing to do with drug disposal, but it’s a great song.

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I’ll Take That as a Compliment

Dr. C wiped a tear from her eye, hugged me and laughed as she walked me out of the examination room after my semi-annual tune up the other day.

“I have never had this much fun during a consultation, Elyse,” she said.

I love this doctor, my gastroenterologist.  She is bright, listens, figures out the best treatment for me, and incredibly importantly for me, she has a fabulous sense of humor.  That’s incredibly rare for a gastroenterologist as I’ve mentioned before.

“I’ve been keeping up with all the research on poop transplants,” I told her.

Yes!  It’s fascinating, isn’t it?”

Even though they aren’t currently being used for IBDs like mine, well, I do keep up with the research.  Obviously, you do too.  Why else would you be reading this post about poop?

Canadian Poop

How could I resist this image?  I know it’s Canadian and they have single-payer health care and I don’t, but you will admit, it’s funny.  Thanks, Google Images. You’re the bomb.  Errr…

Did I lose you there?

Our discussion continued down that same hole …

“I read that you have to be very careful who you get one from,” I said, proud of the depth of my knowledge.  “I read that if you get one from a grumpy person, or a depressed one, you can take on these traits.  Or fat people (thanks, Carrie!)”

“I actually have a patient who had a poop transplant.  She had c difficile,  and the transplant came from a heavy person.  She’s actually gained a lot of weight!”

“I used to think I’d get one from my husband.  But he’s kind of a curmudgeon, and he has risks of a couple of other diseases that I don’t want to get.* But mostly it’s the curmudgeon thing.  I don’t want to become a crank.  Besides, he refuses to laugh at my jokes.  Since I’m often the only one laughing, taking his shit might make my career as a humor blogger short-lived.”

“You’ll have to just tell him to keep his shit to himself!” Dr. C said, roaring with laughter.  Suddenly she realized, oh shit!  I’m talking to a patient!

“‘My doctor says you have to keep your shit to yourself!’ — That’s what I’ll tell him!  –Maybe then, he’ll stop leaving his crap all over the kitchen counter!”

Poop!

Google Image.

“Maybe you have to get your poop transplant from a model — a smart and beautiful one.  You don’t want to get your poop transfer from somebody stupid, because we don’t yet know if it can impact your IQ.  So you should choose somebody really smart — a scientist might be good.”

I looked over at her.  She’s healthy.  She’s slender.  She’s smart.  She has curly hair like mine.

“I want a poop transfer from you!” I announced.

She quieted her laugh for a moment.

Uh-oh, I though.  I’ve gone too far.

“You know, that may be the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”

We both roared with laughter.

“Great. Lemme know when they figure out that poop transplants really do work on Crohn’s.  I’ll bring the sterile cup.”

Poop 4

Where do you think I found this?

 

* Nobody can say I don’t protect my husband’s privacy.  Ammirite?

***

While this blog was awaiting publication, I found this article in my inbox:

Gut Bugs Affect Cockroach Poop-ularity

By Jef Akst

Commensal bacterial living in the gastrointestinal tracts of cockroaches lace the insects’ feces with chemical cues that mediate social behavior, according to a study.

Lord, why me?

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Psst! Need a Christmas Tree?

Since I was a tomboy/ragamuffin hybrid as a kid, nobody called me “Princess.” And the one time I tried to be a princess – the time when I was 4 and dressed up as a princess for Halloween and fell on my face in a Queen-size mud puddle – that pretty much cured me of any princess fantasies I might have had.

But there was one time, one time, when I really did feel like a princess. I felt that like a princess because I stood in an actual ballroom.  That’s where princesses hang out, isn’t it?

I looked around the room in wonder.  It was, of course, huge.  I easily imagined hundreds of beautifully dressed dancers waltzing around the floor. There were floor-to-two-story-high-ceiling windows all along the back of the room, covered in Scarlett O’Hara’s curtains. Thick, heavy green velvet drapes with gold brocade tassels holding them back. And through them, I could see to the sea. Long Island Sound.

I had forgotten my cell phone that day in 1965, so I had to use Google Images. Tthanks, Google!

This isn’t the actual room, although there are similarities.   You see, I had forgotten my cell phone that day in 1965, and couldn’t snap a picture.  I had to use Google Images. Thanks, Google!

A balcony surrounded the ballroom on three sides, and it too rose way up. The floor is what I remember most clearly, though: Black and white marble, a massive checkerboard, without a single scuff mark in the entire room.

As was true of all of my childhood adventures (or since it was a princess-thing, perhaps I should call it a fantasy), this one came to me courtesy of my brother, Fred.

You see, Mr. Richardson, the wealthiest amongst our very wealthy neighbors, had invited us to his house. And we were to use the front door! Because we — me and Fred (and our sister Beth) — were heroes.  Heroes always use the front door.

Wanna know what happened?

Well, one hot summer day, Beth and I were out in the backyard, when Fred came racing in from the outer limits of our yard, near “the fields.“ The fields was a tract of land owned by Mr. Richardson, located behind our yard.  It stretched for several hundred acres. Part of it was meadow, but part of it was made up of small, neatly spaced and impeccably trimmed pine trees.

The Fields Behind My House. I think. Google Image. So really, it could be anywhere.

The Fields Behind My House. I think. Google Image. So really, it could be anywhere.

“Tax haven,” my Dad said, rolling his eyes, when he realized what Mr. R was planting.  “A Christmas tree farm.”

Well, yeah. Probably. Whatever.

But Mr. R believed in investing in land, and he bought anything he could. (He was away when our house went up for sale, or according to my Dad, my childhood would have been spent elsewhere.  I will always be thankful for that trip of Mr. R’s.)

Anyway, Fred came running in from the fields, shouting “FIRE!” “THERE’S A FIRE IN THE FIELDS!!”

Beth and I didn’t ask any questions, but apparently we rushed into the house, called the fire department, grabbed brooms and blankets and rushed out to where Fred had seen the fire. That’s where the fire department found us. We had contained the fire, and there was very little damage. Without our intervention, well, who knows what might have happened.

So back to the Ballroom.

Mr. Richardson had invited us over to thank us. And he gave us a gift!

“I want to thank you for putting out the fire in my fields.  You were very brave, and I am very proud of you both.  And as a reward, from now on, for as long as you and your family live in that house,” Mr. R said, “You and your family may take any Christmas tree you want from my field.”*

 

Before becoming heroes, we had managed to get our Christmas trees for the $2 that Dad bartered with with for as long as we all could remember.  But our heroism took us to the upper crust of Christmas trees.  Because from that year on my family did, indeed, get our Christmas trees from Mr. R’s field.  We chose the biggest and nicest of them all, cut it down, and dragged it home.

But (and you know there’s always a “but” or a “butt” in my stories), it wasn’t strictly Kosher.

You see, not a whole lot of years later, in 1972, Mr. Richardson died. He willed the land to the Audubon Society, and ever since then, the Audubon Society has been selling those very Christmas trees. No mention was made, apparently, in Mr. R’s Last Will and Testament, for heroes who got free Christmas trees. No mention at all.  Naturally that didn’t stop us. But we also didn’t mention our prior claim to the Audubon Society.

And there was another issue.

If you guessed that my brother, accidentally started the fire, well, I will simply remind you that the Statute of Limitations is 7 years.  We’re way past that.  The Statute of Limitations is still 7 years on Christmas tree theft, isn’t it?

* I think there might have been other rewards; at least I hope so. Because I’ve always thought of Mr. R as a really nice guy. After all, he let me be a princess that one time, and, honestly, it was pretty cool even if I was more Cinderella than Snow White.  So I don’t want to think he was a skinflint who just gave us kids, who wouldn’t be paying for them anyway, free Christmas trees, for saving them.  Then again, it was the 60s.  Everybody didn’t get a trophy.

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