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Cosmic Quote #89

“This you may say of man –   having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back.” –John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

“Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”–boilerplate investment disclaimer

The last time I took a half step back, I tripped over the lawn sprinkler and almost sprained an ankle.  But I managed to recover.  As for the current state of Western society, I’m not so sure that past performance will save us.  For deeper analysis of what all of this means for the future, visit my other blog (and podcast) at Seeking Delphi.™

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Cosmic Quote #88

“I look to the future because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.”–George Burns

‘Ol George, ever the straight man.  If I could only live to 100, like him, there’d be plenty of future to look forward to.  Too bad so many people are looking to relive the past. Believe me, it wasn’t as good as they think it was.

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Cosmic Quote #87

“For thousands of years, billions of people have found meaning in playing virtual reality games. In the past, we have called these virtual reality games ‘religions’.”–Yuval Noah Harari

Geez, I’m already self-absorbed enough with two blogs and a podcast.  Why would I need to bother (with) that guy?

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Cosmic Quote #86

“If it turns out that there IS a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. I think that the worst you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.”–Woody Allen in ‘Love and Death.’

And, as Woody also said: “There is no question there is an unseen world.   The problem is, how far is it from midtown and how late is it open?”  Anyway, if relativity, evolution and carbon dating aren’t enough to convince you creationism is bunk, consider this.  Even god couldn’t screw humanity up this bad in just 6,000 years.  (Boy am I gonna get hate mail)

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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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