Monday, November 19, 2007

Just A Friendly Reminder That Mother Nature Can Still Kick Your Ass

"My girlfriend and I went on a picnic. I don't know how she did it, but she got poison oak on the brain. When it itched, the only way she could scratch it was to think about sandpaper." --Stephen Wright

One of my first blog posts ever was about a run-in I had with poison ivy. I have been lucky that I have gone almost three years since being afflicted, but my luck ran out a couple of weeks ago when I must have touched some while cutting down a few dead trees on my property. Below is a picture of what my forearm looks like now, 12 days after first noticing the small blisters.

I was lucky this time, check out this guy, or even worse, this one. I remained diligent in keeping the infected area clean and dry, and the rash remained fairly localized. I have had it enough now that the first time I feel anything I bust out the Fels-Naptha brown soap and go to town on it. The lye in the soap seems to dry out the poison ivy oils, and keeps it from spreading. I have been doing this 2-3 times a day for the last 12 days. Some people find vinegar compresses or rubbing alcohol helps, and I know one person who said it feels better if you pee on it. My brother-in-law once had it so bad on his ankle, he poured gas on his foot and lit it on fire. I wouldn't recommend this. What did work for me was running hot water over the infected area, which in some strange way, felt really, really good. Like crack cocaine good. From what I've read the hot water allows all the histimine that is building up in your system to become released. Histimine is what causes the itch. It is only a temporary relief but it does last up to 8 hours or until the histimine builds back up.

Listening to: Alejandro Escovedo- Bourbonitus Blues

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Who Didn't See a UFO in the Early '80s?

I am about as nonpolitical as they come these days, and this here blog is by no means meant to be political in nature, but this is too good to pass up. In her new book (which I swear I didn't read), Shirley McClaine states that more than 25 years ago presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich saw a UFO while at her Washington state home. Kucinich was asked by MSNBC moderator Tim Russert recently, "did you see a UFO?" Kucinich replies, "I did,...” before stressing that it was unidentified and reminding the audience that former president Jimmy Carter also saw a UFO. "It's unidentified. I saw something,'' he said. "Also, you have to keep in mind that more- that Jimmy Carter saw a UFO- and also that more people in this country have seen UFOs than, I think, approve of George Bush's presidency.''

Does that make Kucinich a crackpot? Not in my opinion. The term UFO is so generic, it can be anything from a meteor to a weather balloon, and besides, Kucinich has a lot of wild ideas that he has said out loud, but the fact that he claims that he saw something in the sky that he could not identify does not make him crazy. At least he's honest. What’s crazy is Kucinich admitted knowing Shirley McClaine. Not that he has a chance of getting close to the White House, but I’m still surprised the Republicans haven't jumped on this, the only thing I can think of is if my memory serves me right, Ronald Reagan made a similar claim back in the day.

Listening to: Josh Ritter- The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter