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Cosmic Quote #83

“No serious futurist deals in prediction. These are left for television oracles and newspaper astrologers.”–Alvin Toffler.

And stock market predictions are the province of charlatans–and economists.  For cogent discussions of what the future might be, and all the issues it may entail,  be sure to visit my futurist blog and podcast at www.seekingdelphi.com.

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Cosmic Quote #42A–Towel Day

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”–Douglas Adams

One deadline you absolutely can’t miss is Towel Day.  Keep your towel handy and don’t panic.

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Cosmic Quote #79

“If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?”–Will Rogers

Here’s a hint.  You can’t fix stupid with stupider. Maybe the biotech industry can come up with a solution.  But then, who am I to argue with Will Rogers?

You can check out my lame attempts to make the world a little less “stupider” on my futurist blog (and accompanying podcast) Seeking Delphi.

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Tales of a Veterinary Spouse #12: When Pigs Fly

“I am fond of pigs.  Dogs look up to us.  Cats look down on us.  Pigs treat us as equals.”–Winston Churchill

Warning: this post contains tacky pig cliches.

Huey, making himself at home

Huey, making himself at home

Meet Huey.  He’s an eighty pound mini-pig and he lives at the Beacon Falls Animal Hospital, my wife’s practice.  The employees love him, the clients love him. The client’s pets?  I’m not so sure, but maybe we’ll take a survey.

And me?  I love him as long as he stays right where he is.  Cheryl wanted to keep him at home–in the house–but I put my foot down on that one.  One weekend was enough.  We have two dogs in the house,  a barn cat, appropriately named Barney, and a backyard full of four horses and over 20 assorted birds (chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl).  Enough is enough.  So I love Huey as long as he is the office mascot.  If Cheryl brings him home again, he’s bacon.

As for pig stories, Cheryl has just this one really good one from her distant past days in mixed practice (meaning both large and small animals).  The patient’s name was William, and he lived in a pen on his owner’s property–a Yale cardiologist who lived in a big house on a very small lot in Hamden, CT. It was not exactly a farm community.  Oh, and William was not exactly a mini-pig;  he was a 600 pound Yorkshire porker.  Wow.

The cardiologist called Cheryl and reported that William, who had been adopted as a pet after having been used for research purposes, had an abscess.   OK, easy enough.  But the address somewhat spelled trouble as she knew it to be in a neighborhood near the New Haven line that has very large houses on very small lots.  Out of curiosity, she inquired if William–a boar–had been neutered.  The client answered in the negative.

“You really ought to castrate him…male pigs smell terrible and, in your residential area, the neighbors may not be too happy about it.”  The client answered in the affirmative.

Easy peasy, right?

On certain occasions, they do fly.

Wrong.  There would be no story if it was.

Cheryl set out with her intrepid junior associate,  Sue Farmer (nee Cole) to tackle William.  On arrival, they found William in a small backyard pen on spotless shavings, being attended to by the Cardiologist’s wife.   She had a martini in one hand and was feeding the pig cannolis with the other.  Beautiful cannolis.  Cheryl and Sue looked enviously at the cannolis, but weren’t offered any.

Cheryl immediately took charge.  Figuring she was the senior of the two docs, and had seen and heard and done plenty of pig medicine in vet school at Purdue, why not?  She calculated the dosage for a 600 lb pig…and administered Rompun™ and ketamine intramuscular.  Down went William.  No problem.

“OK, you get the abscess, I’ll get the balls,” she instructed Sue.

No problem with the abscess, but then, after prepping, came the balls.

YEOWEE!  Pigs fly–at least this one did.  William jumped up and scrambled around the pen, while blurting out the most godawful squeals imaginable.

Ok.  Going back to the drawing board she administered another 300 lbs dosage of the two anesthetics, again intramuscular.

Down went William again.  Scalpel wielded.

STRIKE TWO!

SHRIEK!! William jumped up and this time landed straight down on the knife and severed his saphenous vein. Too say he bled like a stuck pig is…well…there never was a truer cliche. He  doubled his pace of laps around the pen, the formerly white shavings now only needing some blue dye to be truly patriotic.  They tackled William, bandaged the wound, and Cheryl then mainlined who knows how much drug into a vein in his ear.

This finally worked, and William was successfully neutered;  by this time in front of a crowd of neighbors who had assembled to watch the commotion.

Cheryl and Sue departed, as the cardiologist’s wife sat hugging the poor pig and crying, “Oh William, I’m so sorry William.” And she still had that martini in her hand.

Upon follow up discussion with the Yale doc, he casually mentioned that, oh yeah, William is difficult to anesthetize.   Maybe the next time she’ll be told that before pigs fly.

 

Follow my other, more serious blog and podcast on Seeking Delphi.

 

 

 

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Cosmic Quote #74

“A fool and his money are soon elected.”–Will Rogers

www.cartoonstock.com used with permission

http://www.cartoonstock.com
used with permission

One absolutely cannot possibly improve on anything Will Rogers ever said.  Really.  Ever.

For insights on the future of humanity, however, refer to my new blog and podcast at www.seekingdelphi.com

 

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Tales of a Veterinary Spouse #11: Kind of Blue

“There is no blue without yellow and without orange.”–Vincent Van Gogh

“All’s well that ends well.”–William Shakespeare 

MilesDavisKindofBlueThe bard was right.  Van Gogh was…um..uh–I have no idea.

But here is a story that ended well, though with an unexpected twist that makes it one of my all time favorite veterinary vignettes.

This happened some 30 years ago, when Cheryl was working her last job as an employee before starting her own  clinic.  Her partner in crime in this particular case was the junior associate in the group, one Susan Cole, a pretty and vivacious young blond just a few months out veterinary school.

It started one typical Monday morning, when in came a panicked old lady, Mrs. P, with a pearly white cat.

The cat was struggling to breath.

Mrs. P: “Save my kitty!!!”

Dr. C: “When did this start?”

Mrs. P: “Save my kitty!!”

Cat: “[cough] [choke] [wheeze]”

Dr. C: “How did this start?”

Mrs P: “Puhleeeaaase save my kitty!!”

Cat: “[gasp] [gasp]”

It was obvious that Mrs. P was not going to be any help.  Enter my intrepid Cheryl to consult.

“This seems to be some sort of respiratory distress, we’d better take an X-Ray.”  She advised.

Dr. Cole thought otherwise, and suggested drawing a blood sample first.  Cheryl was skeptical, but realized it couldn’t hurt, so that’s what they did.

The cat’s blood was brown. Freaking brown.

The two of them scratched their heads in puzzlement.  What could turn a cat’s blood brown? Cheryl observed that if they saw this in a cow they would diagnose it as methemoglobinemia, a condition that bovines get from eating cherry leaves.  You guessed it, cherry leaves are toxic to cows.  But cats?  How would this indoor feline even have access to cherry leaves, whether or not they are toxic to cats?

At any rate, regardless of the cause, the diagnosis was confirmed.  But, then, how to treat it?

“Well” Cheryl posited,”we use methylene blue to treat this in cows.  Let’s try it.”

Methylene blue is a dye that also has some medicinal purposes.  But  the cat’s wheezing and gasping for breath was rapidly worsening, so Sue and Cheryl  frantically calculated the appropriate dosing.  Let’s see.  Bovine dose, 60cc.  Feline dose…hmm…. 6cc.

They administered 6cc of methylene blue, and by golly, that cat rapidly improved and its blood and breathing were back to normal in no time.

End of story?  You know me better than that–there’s a little kicker.  Of course there is, there always is.  You see, there was a slight miscalculation in the dosage.  The feline dose should not have been 6 cc, it should have been 0.6cc.  But hey, what’s a silly little order of magnitude among friends.  After all, the cat got better.

blue catIt’s just that the pearly white cat turned….BLUE!!  Its skin, its gums, its sclera, its paws. Everything but its fur turned a bright shade of blue!

And that, of course, is still not the end of the story.  The denouement came the next morning, when Mrs. P. phoned to find out the condition of her kitty.

Dr. Cole took the call, and she answered with a straight face, within ear shot of just about every employee in the clinic.

“Oh, she’s doing much better, but she’s feeling a little blue right now!

Crash! Bang! Thud!  All over the hospital employees dropped whatever they were holding as peals of laughter erupted.  They say that in comedy, timing is everything.  I guess that goes for veterinary medicine, too.

Anyway, the cat’s normal color soon returned, and it turned out that Mrs. P had given it Tylenol.  Tylenol, you may surmise, is toxic to cats.   So don’t give your cat Tylenol.  This goes doubly if you have a yellow cat, as the antidote could turn the poor thing an ungodly shade of green.

Is there a moral to this story?  Yes.  The next time you are feeling blue, be thankful it is only a metaphorical, and not a literal, blue.

blue man gourp

 

 

 

 

 

If you are feeling blue, try my other blog, Seeking Delphi.™  That will really get you down.   😛

 

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Taylor Harry Fritz–er, or is it Fritz Harry Taylor?

Note:  This post previously appeared on The Blog of Funny Names

“Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row.”–Vitas Gerulaitis when he finally beat Jimmy Connors after losing to him 16 straight times.

Here at The Blog of Funny Names, we’ve always had a fascination with people who have two last names.  Outerbridge Horsey is the classic.  Then of course, there are those that have  two first names–like the eponymous Tommy John.

Taylor Harry Fritz.

Taylor Harry Fritz.

But seldom have we come across somebody whose name appears to be backwards.  But that would seem to be the case with rising 18-year-old American tennis star, Taylor Harry Fritz. If his name was Fritz Harry Taylor, we wouldn’t consider feting  him in these hallowed pages.  Or Harry Fritz Taylor, or even Harry Taylor Fritz.  It’s as if the names were picked out of a hat to come in that order.

But that aside, the tennis world is not laughing; especially the American tennis world.  No American man has won a major tennis tournament since Andy Roddick won the US Open in 2003.  No American man has even made the quarter finals of a major since Roddick, Mardy Fish (a great funny name as well) and John Isner all did it in 2011.  There is currently no American man ranked higher than #17 in the world (Isner)

However you order his names, Taylor Fritz may just be the guy to change all that.  He won the 2015 junior boys title at the US Open and finished the year as the top ranked junior in the world.   And after turning pro in 2016?  He won his first ATP tour title, qualified for the Australian Open, and has jumped to #65 in the world from a ranking in the 600’s in just a few months.  He is the youngest player currently in the top 100.  Last week at a tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, he got a real taste of the big time,  meeting all–time great Roger Federer in the second round.   He lost, but gave Federer a run for his money at 4-6, 7-5, 4-6.  I don’t know if Federer will be around long enough for Fritz to play him 17 times,  but I’d bet he won’t need that many to beat him.  And that goes no matter what order you say his names in.

As for me, if you’re tired of this blog,  you can go to my new, second blog, Seeking Delphi, and mock me there.

Cheers,

El Marko

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Cosmic Quote #67

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations.”–George Orwell

Non Sequitur www.cartoonstock.com used with permission

Non Sequitur
http://www.cartoonstock.com
used with permission

I can only imagine what George Orwell would have thought of The Donald.  A character for a dumbed-down 1984?  A character for a tragic 2016?  Maybe both.  It so happens my alma mater, Emerson College, was named the top journalism  school in the country by USA Today.   But hey, this is not public relations.  It isn’t even journalism. It’s both and neither. It’s ridiculous and sublime.   😛

Be sure to check out my futurist blog Seeking Delphi™

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Tales of a Veterinary Spouse, #10: What the Cat (and Dogs) Dragged In.

“The trouble with a kitten is that it eventually becomes a cat.”–Ogden Nash

Pet doors are a wonderful thing.  They allow your pets the joy of repeatedly going in and out without having to constantly bug you to accommodate them.

Pet doors are an awful thing.  They allow all manner of unwanted vermin to come in (mostly) and out along with your pets.  Or in many cases, to be dragged in by your pets.  Here are some examples.

Awful thing example #1: While you expect cats and dogs to freely use the pet door, you don’t really think a pet chicken would use the pet door.   Think again.  We had one that did, and it not only came in the house quite unexpectedly, but it joined Cheryl in the shower.  That’s a horror story even Alfred Hitchcock couldn’t have imagined.  Eat your heart out, Norman Bates.

Awful thing example #2: While our cats have frequently brought dead mice or chipmunks into the house and disemboweled them in the dining room (ick!), that is not the worst of it.  They bring live ones in and let them go.  The most notable example?  We had a living room full of guests for a tea for a local political candidate.  Just as the proceedings were about to begin, our cat, Velcro, dropped a live mouse by the side of a rather full couch.  The critter ran across the feet of about three people and hid under the coffee table as everyone scattered.  Cheryl caught it as the cat looked on with amusement.  The dogs were worthless.

Awful thing example #3:  While we are on the subject of the cat sitting back and watching in amusement as we and the dogs chased a live rodent, I present you with the case of the chipmunk in the laundry room.  Did you ever watch one of those Donald Duck cartoons where he tries to catch Chip and Dale?  Where he winds up destroying his house, his R.V., his camp site, or whatever?  It felt like we were in a Donald Duck cartoon.  The chipmunk was behind the washing machine.  The dogs went nuts;  but the chip was gone by the time we pulled the washing machine out from the wall.  By then, the chip was behind a pile of laundry.  Then it was in the pile of laundry.  Then it was behind the drier. Then it was under the washing machine.  The dogs were always one hiding place behind it.  Cheryl finally caught the thing–I swear she must have been a cat in a previous lifetime.   And our laundry room?  It looked like Donald Duck’s living room after a few minutes of chasing Chip and Dale.

Awful thing example #4:  This one takes the cake.  Cheryl and I were sitting in our home office late one evening, clicking away at our computers.  Why, it was the very room I am sitting in as I write this tale.   I glanced in back of me.  Our three dogs were all lying there contented to be in the same room with us.  And sitting right in the middle of them was what I, for a split second, took to be a rather large stuffed animal doggy toy.  For a split second.  But it wasn’t a toy. Good grief, it was a live possum, apparently playing possum!  We have no idea how it could have gotten in there without the dogs going nuts.  We can only guess that the one dog large enough to drag it in, must have done so.  Cheryl picked it up by the tail, dropped it outside the front door, and it sprung to life and dashed off.

Which finally brings us to Awful thing example #5: There is a rodent in this office, right now, as I write this post.  I saw it dash off the top of my desk and hide behind the file cabinet just as I walked in.  The fleeting glance I got of it was too brief to tell if it was a mouse or a chipmunk. But it has eluded me.  Don’t worry though, Cheryl will be home from the clinic with the dogs (they go to work with her every day.)  The dogs will, of course be useless, and the cat will sit back and watch in amusement as  Cheryl, as always, catches the thing.

Oh, and this one didn’t happen to us,  but Awful thing example#6, below, illustrates the further dangers of pet doors in the wild.  Stay safe, my friends.

 

Be sure to check out my new (second) blog, Seeking Delphi.

 

 

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Cosmic Quote #66: Happy Towel Day!

“Time is an illusion.  Lunchtime doubly so.”–Douglas Adams

Today's the day...

Today’s the day…

May 25.  Towel day.  It’s a tribute to one of the wittiest writers in recent history.  My lunchtime, though, is never an illusion.  I’d  sooner miss Game of Thrones than miss my lunch.  Maybe I’ll even  eat something messy at lunch today and bring a towel to clean up the mess.  Ah, if only that towel could clean up the mess of my life. 😉

Be sure to check out my (new) second blog–Seeking Delphi.™

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