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(Frozen) Cosmic Quote #77

“Eskimos had over two hundred different words for snow, without which their conversation would probably have got very monotonous. So they would distinguish between thin snow and thick snow, light snow and heavy snow, sludgy snow, brittle snow, snow that came in flurries, snow that came in drifts, snow that came in on the bottom of your neighbor’s boots all over your nice clean igloo floor, the snows of winter, the snows of spring, the snows you remember from your childhood that were so much better than any of your modern snow, fine snow, feathery snow, hill snow, valley snow, snow that falls in the morning, snow that falls at night, snow that falls all of a sudden just when you were going out fishing, and snow that despite all your efforts to train them, the huskies have pissed on.”–Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers guide to The Galaxy

It’s going to be a long Tuesday

Here in New England we have only one noun for snow.  But boy, do we have adjectives. Lot’s of adjectives.  Lots of unprintable adjectives. Shit, I hate snow.   (If you’re snowed in and hard up for diversion, listen to my podcasts at www.seekingdelphi.com)


 

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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 #76–YouTube and Seeking Delphi Podcast

“I’m sure if Shakespeare were alive today, he’d be doing classic guitar solos on YouTube.”–Peter Capaldi

Yeah…um….NO!  I doubt it.  Shakespeare had his anachronisms, but that’s pushing it.  As for the animals in my household, well, they’ll have to be satisfied with Tales of a Veterinary Spouse.  But my Seeking Delphi podcasts are indeed now on YouTube, as well as iTunes.  All the subscription links are below. Way below.  Below the embedded videos of the first three podcasts.   Sorry, no funny cat pictures–this stuff is too important to get flippant.  Our future depends on it.

 

Seeking Delphi YouTube Channel

 

Seeking Delphi on iTunes

 

 

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Cosmic Quote #75

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”–John F. Kennedy

 

And idiot chickens with jet packs is exactly what we will get if we keep electing those clueless to the implications of 21st century technology, and the change that comes with it.  If you care about a better future, be sure to follow my other blog–the futurist one–and the podcast that goes with it.    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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Cosmic Quote #73

“It was a great success, but even great successes come to a natural end.”–Isaac Asimov, Robots and Empire

Ah. Everything meets its demise.  But an increasing number of researchers, in an increasingly visible corner of biotech research, have other ideas.  In my first podcast, available on my other, more serious blogI discuss the prospects for radical increases in human longevity with author David Wood.  His 2016 book, The Abolition of Aging, is a thorough study of the present state of anti-aging research and the many related issues.  Don’t die yet; if you do, you won’t live to regret it.

The podcast is available at www.seekingdelphi.com and is also available on iTunes

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/seeking-delphi-podcasts/id1198998455

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Coming Soon: Seeking Delphi, The Podcast.

Coming soon–like tomorrow–at http://www.seekingdelphi.com

Seeking Delphi™

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”–Thomas Jefferson

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

It’s not likely that Thomas Jefferson meant to disparage study of the past, it’s just, like Albert Einstein’s missive that imagination is more important than knowledge, he meant that it is our dreams of the future that enable us to build a better world.

I’ve been dreaming about the future since I was a kid.  Daydreaming, my parents would have said, and my wife certainly would say.  But that’s OK.  Somebody has to do it.  If humankind is going to survive the the challenges that lie ahead, somebody needs to be thinking further ahead than the next pay check, the next quarter’s profit, and the next election.   Let’s do it together.

On Seeking Delphi, the podcast, I’ll address many of the myriad uncertainties that lie ahead, some of them with existential…

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Cosmic Quote #2017-72

“I’m spending a year dead for tax purposes.”–Douglas Adams

“Another year shot to hell”–Anonymous

Douglas Adams had the right idea, though in my case I’d just spend the year dead to goof off.  In other words, nothing has changed.

But I am making one resolution.  My new Seeking Delphi podcast, on all things related to the future, will indeed debut by the end of January.  I promise.  Anyway, it’s too late for 2016, it’s already shot to hell.

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Cosmic Quote(s) #71

“Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”–Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

Dirk Gentlyís Holistic Detective Agency Season 1, Episode 1 Air Date: 10/22/16 Pictured: Elijah Wood (Todd) and Samuel Barnett (Dirk Gently)

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
Season 1, Episode 1
Air Date: 10/22/16
Pictured: Elijah Wood (Todd) and Samuel Barnett (Dirk Gently)

 

Tired of binge watching staid period pieces?  Ok, then. Eff it.  Binge watch this.

 

 

 

 

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In Memoriam: Ralph Branca

“Why me?”–Ralph Branca, after giving up Bobby Thomson’s 1951 pennant winning home run, forever known in baseball circles as The Shot Heard Round the World. 

Ralph Branca in his Dodger days

Ralph Branca in his Dodger days

Forever known as the poor soul who gave up perhaps the most famous home run in baseball history, Ralph Branca died yesterday at age 90.

What those who didn’t know him do not realize is that he was also one of the nicest, most down-to-earth guys who ever lived.  For a guy who married the boss’s daughter–Ann Mulvey, whose parents were part owners of the Dodgers in that era–that’s quite impressive.

How do I know?  I know.  I had the esteemed pleasure of working with Ralph, and for a brief time, getting to know him back in the 1970’s.  He was one of the players, along with Stan Musial, Ernie Banks, and his erstwhile nemesis, Bobby Thomson, to promote Major League Baseball’s 1,000,000th run promotion, which I was also a part of.

Ralph and Ann could not have been nicer to me.  I had their home phone number and was encouraged to call them if they could help me in any way.  But what really impressed me about Ralph was how he handled the infamy of having given up the famous “shot heard round the world” that cost the Dodgers the 1951 pennant (see below).   Most notable was a day I spent with him in the office of Ted Worner Associates, the public relations firm that promoted the millionth run.  Before we even began our day’s chore, two people from the office across the hall came over to meet him.  One of them recounted how he an his teenage brother had jumped through a glass coffee table and shattered it in reaction to Russ Hodges famous “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” call on the radio.  Ralph handled it with grace.

I spent the rest of that afternoon calling sports editors and telling them I had Ralph Branca on the phone to talk to them about the millionth run promotion.  But the first five minutes of the conversation always dealt with that fateful day in the fall of 1951.  What did he remember it?  How did he handle the crushing defeat? How did he live with it?

Ralph’s answer, always the same, was philosophical. It was devastating at the time;  but in the long term it became a positive.  It gave him a measure of fame he might otherwise never have achieved, and he and Bobby Thomson became friends and made many personal appearances together over the years.

One of my great regrets is that I lost track of Ralph and Ann when Cheryl and I moved to Indiana for her veterinary school years. He shall always be remembered as one of the nicest individuals I have ever known.

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