Personal

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Personal

It’s been a week now since my wife and I learned that our beloved dog, whom we’ve had for eight years, had terminal cancer. At the time I was so sad and down that I just couldn’t even imagine getting myself into the appropriately light-hearted frame of mind that I try to maintain. In the…

Reclaiming vicious dogs

Given all the heartbreaking stuff that’s going on with our dog this week, I’m rather grateful to John Lehrer for pointing me to this uplifting article about the dogs abused by the evil and despicable Michael Vick. It turns out that that bastard didn’t end up leaving all his dogs so vicious that euthanasia is…

Thanks to all…

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments about the recent bad news about our dog. (Even someone who really detests me because of my position on the vaccine/autism issue was in this instance kind.) I don’t know if I’ll feel much like blogging for a while; on the other hand, blogging has been therapeutic for…

Today is Friday, which has normally meant for the last two years that it’s the time every week when I poke fun at some particularly outrageous woo. Indeed. I even had a great idea for a 4th of July-themed post today that (I hope) would have been hilarious. I had even started to write a…

Nooooo!

The other day, I received something in the mail that was so horrifying, so disturbing, so utterly disconcerting that I had to go into my office and hide for a while to regain my composure. No, it wasn’t a death threat from some wacked-out antivacccinationist. Nor was it a scientific paper that was undeniable evidence…

AT&T: A brief rant

I love my iPhone. I really do. However, I don’t love AT&T so much, and unfortunately the iPhone is yoked to AT&T exclusively for the foreseeable future. I used to think Sprint was bad, and indeed it was and is in many markets. During my frequent trips to Chicago I found that the service was…

Turn off your damned phone!

I love my iPhone. I really do. There is, however, one thing I don’t like about it, a characteristic that (or so I’ve learned) the iPhone shares with many other “smart” phones, and that’s its annoying tendency to interfere with poorly shielded electronic devices. The phenomenon, known as radiofrequency interference, manifests itself as hysterical bursts…

Mid-week death crud open thread

I just can’t shake it. Try as I might to get rid of it, it just continues to grip my body like a tick that just won’t let go. I’m talking about the death crud, which I had thought originally to be a nasty cold but is now looking more and more like the flu.…

There, that’s better

Sadly, unlike his namesake, Orac is not immune to human foibles and human vulnerabilities. In particular he’s not immune whatever virus is going around at the moment. The damned thing felled my wife for over a week. I thought that I had avoided it, but apparently not. Now I’m starting to feel the unmistakable signs…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago

Thursday through Sunday, I happened to be in Chicago for the Society of Surgical Oncology annual meeting. Leave it to surgeons to schedule a meeting the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. In Chicago. That means the drinking in the city started Friday after business hours and continued all the way through Sunday–and that…

Hooked into the Matrix again!

I’m baaack. Well, thanks to free WiFi at Panera’s, I was never really truly away. Thanks to Comcast, I was away longer than usual. In any case, although between waiting for Internet access, running errands, and doing some snowblowing last night, I didn’t have time to do the usual epic substantive posts that I’m known…

I hate you, Comcast. I really do. My hatred of Comcast also explains the paucity of activity on this blog over the last few days. You see, over the weekend, I moved to a larger house, and I’ve had no Internet access other than Panera’s or Starbucks for the last three days. Before that, I…

And happy Thanksgiving to all…

…from EneMan. Here’s wishing everyone who celebrates it a Happy Thanksgiving. As you might expect, our blog mascot is joining in the fun, preparing the turkey, and loading up on tryptophan! Believe it or not, given my usual prolific nature, I’m taking the day off from blogging to engage in the traditional Thanksgiving Day activities…

Get off my lawn, you whipper-snappers!

Friday morning while doing some work in my office, I was treated to a discussion by the two hosts of a morning radio talk show. The talk was apparently prompted by a rather odd website, ihateyoungpeople.com, which asks: We want you to create a video of yourself explaining what you hate the most about young…

Now entering the Twilight Zone

Every so often, as a blogger, I get e-mail. Well, actually, I get a lot of e-mail, much of which I just don’t have time to answer (nothing personal when it happens), but every so often an e-mail makes me feel as though Rod Serling should be popping up at the end. I got this…

A weight off my back

Today, on my way into work, I did something momentous, something that marks a turning point in my life. It was a small act, but one that has lifted a huge weight from me. I put a check in the mail to pay off the last of my student loans. Free at last! And it’s…

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign…

Continuing the wind-down from vacation… (Don’t worry; the Orac-ian magnum opus-style posts will return whenever I manage to work my way back up to them again. Besides, it’s a holiday; do you really want to read one of my rants today?) One of the cool things about wandering around London was hearing and seeing the…

Me and Orlando Bloom

Note: We’re back in the U.S. However, it is a long holiday weekend here in the States, much like last weekend’s Bank Holiday weekend in England. Consequently, blogging will be mellow until Tuesday. Don’t worry, things will return to normal soon enough, but since traffic’s down due to over a week of mostly reruns and…

Here’s another random observation that hit us quite rapidly upon our arrival in London and is reinforced almost every time we decide to dine out: Why is restaurant service here so crappy? We’ve been to several restaurants now, and only one of them (ThaiSquare near Trafalgar Square) had reasonably good service by American standards. I…

Now that I’ve been in London for three full days, I’ve noticed a few more things. Here’s one. Although my experience is anecdotal over the course of a weekend, I’ve still been wondering: Why are the British so darned polite and friendly? Is it the long Bank Holiday weekend? (And why do they call it…

Now that I’ve been in London for a couple of days and have started to acclimate to my surroundings, I’ve started to notice some things. As I said in my vacation announcement, I don’t plan on doing a lot of blogging, but a short take here and there to break up the reruns definitely seems…

London Calling

Around the time you read this, barring any flight delay agonies, I will have touched down at Heathrow Airport to spend a week in London. It’s the first real vacation that my wife and I have taken, possibly since our honeymoon. Certainly it’s been the first time I’ve been out of the country since my…

Too much coffee!

Yikes! In my grant writing frenzy the last few days, this could easily have been me: Jasmine Willis, 17, developed a fever and began hyperventilating after drinking seven double espressos while working at her family’s sandwich shop. The student, of Stanley, County Durham, was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham, where doctors confirmed…

Random strange observation

Seen on the road on my way into work this morning: I passed a bus going the other way. I noticed that it had a prominent sign over its front window scrolling, “NOT IN SERVICE.” We both stopped at the light, the bus on the other side going the other way from me. I then…

The Hand of Doom

I hate flying these days. I’m almost certainly not alone in this dislike of what air travel has become. After all, between widespread flight cancellations and delays, service that would make even cell phone tech support seem attentive and pleasant by comparison, and the necessary but degrading security gauntlet, in which old ladies are treated…