It may have saved me from broken bones but there are other, worse things to suffer from.
Went to the Urologist Tuesday and found out I've got three kidney stones in my left bladder that are around 20mm! I saw the x-ray and they looked more like half a centimeter each! There are also multiple smaller stones scattered around for good measure in both sides.
When I thought it couldn't get worse, he said he wanted to do a prostate biopsy while I was under because I have indications of prostate cancer ...
It's not all bad though, when I saw the x-ray I said something about "Rolling Stones" and immediately said, "I'm a ROCK Star!" A nurse near where we were talking laughed and asked if she could have my autograph.
User Notes huh, must remember to thank Mini-Mia for letting me know about this field.
... doctors use a laser to break up and pulverize stones ...
What they didn't say was the method of "delivery" and the fact that extra large stones just don't break up very easily. I will have 1 or 2 procedures per side to get all the stones vice easily twice that using a laser through the urethra ... and it would have to be inserted anew each time!
I was given that option but decided for speed over comfort.
User Notes huh, must remember to thank Mini-Mia for letting me know about this field.
So I'm sitting at the computer trying to eat a burger and the phone rings. It's the next door neighbor and he says "Quick, go look in your front yard!" Well I didn't see anything and when I said so, he said to look at the sidewalk.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear?
I've never seen anything like it/them. After some research I believe they are Egyptian Geese. They are not native to Texas or anywhere else in North America. The Egyptian Goose is not really a goose, but is actually a Shelduck. It is a cross between a goose and a duck. It has many duck-like characteristics, but it also has some external goose-like traits. They are mainly found south of the Sahara in Africa, along the Nile River Valley, and in southern Israel. So how'd they get here?
From a web site I found: "With more than a 2-foot body length and a wingspan of nearly 58 inches, the birds are hard to overlook. A big white wing patch gives them an even more arresting appearance, particularly in flight.
Egyptian geese have been imported from their native home in Africa south of the Sahara as decorative birds. Those that have escaped private ponds or aviaries have established hardy feral populations that seem to be growing in numbers."
Why is this a problem? It seems they are very territorial, unfriendly with other bird species, and have been known to drive other nesting birds out. And they're big enough to get away with it. They're much closer to swan size than duck size. Still, it seems I have a breeding pair (they mate for life) and these are the first I've seen.
Last Edit: Dec 12, 2015 20:12:17 GMT -6 by stepper
I looked at the local DNR sites - they make it easy to give them your contact information, and to donate to their causes, but no hints about notifying them of any kind of sightings. I guess they're afraid that might make work.
Dinner: Nope - ham. Actually, I can't say that I've ever had goose. When I was young dad went duck hunting and I remember having duck for dinner, but nope - never had goose.
Thanks Scrappy. It seems Texas doesn't consider these geese an invasive species - or at least not yet. If I broaden the search I found more, and a couple really great pictures, but it seems only one of the colleges in the area is doing a study on them and they aren't inviting input or even sightings.
Last Edit: Dec 14, 2015 18:18:35 GMT -6 by stepper
I was surprised to see some of the same invasives on the link Scrappy (waves hello frantically at Scrappy) posted for Texas that we have here. That's the thing that's so scary about them - how adaptable they are, and how quickly they spread. Emerald Ash borer made the Texas list, but it's there yet (it's in southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana though - so it's on its way. Watch out).
Did I mention one of those f***ers landed on me this fall while I was racking leaves in the ravine? The neighbors had to have three dead ash taken down, (sad; the trees were 50-60 feet tall), and I guess some of the adult borers were still lingering in the trees. The stupid thing flew away though, before I could squash it. Not that it matters - I don't think there's an ash tree left alive in the entire state.
Did I mention one of those f***ers landed on me this fall while I was racking leaves in the ravine?
I take it this was followed by the 'bug dance of death' and a notable disturbance in the force?
The thing that bothered me the most was that we had 4 Italian Cypress trees that were getting tall and full when all of them were attacked spider mites. Nothing worked in way of fighting them and I ended up having to cut them down. That was no fun at all - they were 10 years old and as much as I wanted to replace them with the same thing, I didn't because I figured the stinking mites would suck the life out of the new ones too.
The local news is again warning people about watching children, small magnets, and button batteries. The boy and the magnets story was scary but the boy is okay. The girl and the button battery she swallowed is entirely different. Cute little girl - she didn't survive what the battery did to her. Sad.
They did a sort of demo on the news - they split a hot dog and then in the split they inserted a button battery in the middle of the cut. A couple hours later it had a nasty burn and in two days the center area looked cooked to burnt.
Maybe batteries should have some kind of coating. I had a 9-volt pop out its innards in my bedroom one year. I kept hearing pops, but couldn't figure out what was making the noise. And when I found the 9-volt with the bottom popped open, and its innards hanging out, I couldn't figure out what had caused it to happen. Not until Q mentioned batteries in her charger popped open. Then I realized the positive/negative tabs must have both touched the metal lamp and that let a charge grow until the battery popped out its innards.
Batteries should all be "female" ... and thus don't charge until something is plugged into them.
Last Edit: Jan 6, 2016 22:14:09 GMT -6 by Mini Mia
Well, I just meant so that there wouldn't be any way to make a connection when swallowed. If the battery gets trapped in a fold of skin, the skin couldn't connect the positive and negative to create a charge.
Button batteries have a positive and negative - the circuit completes only when something comes in contact with both. The only way to prevent that is to somehow destroy the circuit. Maybe some kind of coating that when dissolved or in some way modified (by stomach acid?), it prevents initiation of a completed circuit? Children are especially oral - perhaps some coating that makes them bitter - or a special ipecac coating? But even if such a thing were possible, manufacturers would not use the technology because it would cut into their profit margin. Only the public deaths of several children would create sufficient pressure on the battery manufacturers into the modification. And as sad as it is for any child to suffer this, it's still too rare for much attention.
I wasn't sure where to put this, but since taxes are never ending....
When I got home from work today I had a letter from the IRS. My reaction was pretty much what you might expect. Except, I haven't filed a return yet so how could they want to audit me already? Thinking it's best to deal with bad news as soon as you get it, I opened the letter right there at the box.
Turns out it wasn't what I expected. You may remember I said a little more than a year ago the Office Of Personnel Management (OPM) was hacked and all of my personal information (including everything from my secret security investigation) went with it? The letter was a notice that the IRS had a return using our names and SSANs, but they thought the return was suspicious so this was notice that for them to process the return, I had to confirm my personal information at a web site. (Red flag here - could be a phishing attempt.) The letter included a web site that referenced the IRS but wasn't their normal site, and a 1-800 number. Not trusting either, I called a number published in regular IRS documentation first. More than one really because the voice system kept saying they were experiencing exceptionally heavy traffic and to call back later - goodbye - click! This only comes after too much dialing and trying to find a person instead of electronic instructions to select an option that had more options behind it. Eventually I somehow was connected to a person - after waiting 15 minutes. I explained what was happening, and mentioned the web site and form number at the top. He said to look at the last line of the first page - and asked if it said you could start with www.irs.gov - it did, and he said that's their form letter - treat it as legitimate - so I did.
My first attempt with the site did not go well. It asks for identifying information and if you get anything wrong, you can't get through. I modified our address (instead of Canyon it was Cyn), gave them only the first five digits of our ZIP, and all of a sudden it was asking additional questions like Steppet's age range. Once it decided that I was me, it asked if I had filed for the year 2015 and I said no.
It responded by saying that processing on the previously filed return was terminated. And, having stopped this one, I cannot file electronically. I have to file manually now. To be honest, it's a hassle, but they didn't like something on the other return so they stopped processing on it for 30 days. It took me less than 90 minutes to kill the faked return. This is probably easier than trying to file after they've already sent a return to a bad location so I shouldn't complain.
I'm wondering if OPM notified the IRS to flag all the hacked records to look for anything even a little hokey.
That somehow makes me glad we had our taxes professionally done this year.
I'm glad they caught the bogus filing, Step. What a nightmare it could have been for you if they hadn't! I wonder though, if they can somehow track down the fraudulent filers to prosecute? You'd think there would have to be an address, or bank account listed on the form where the return was supposed to be sent. With all the OPM records that were hacked, you can't be the only government employee that has had false tax returns filed in your name.