Friday, June 13, 2008

Mr. Lake visits

Today if all goes well Mike will arrive in Dresden. And then next week we'll leave for Africa.
The plan is to fly into Nairobi, do a 3 day safari, and then figure it out from there. Probably head to the coast of Tanzania and out to the islands there and hopefully get in some diving.
I have a history of traveling with Mike,

from scaring away monkeys in Ecuador

to acquiring black-market rice liquor in predominantly Muslim Indonesia

To getting lost in a jungle in Malaysia

To generally acting a fool in the back of a pickup cruising through Thailand

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fox News is so transparent.

I didn't know if it was just me, but a couple of times I thought Fox news was loading their Obama headlines with subtle references to stereotypical "black" culture items. For example when he clinched the nomination, and I can't exactly remember the headline or find it, it was something like "Historic Performance in Crunch Time" or something. Basically it was a sports headline. Something reserved for an athlete. But today I saw this on some blogs. Fox news referring to Michelle Obama in a headline as "Obama's baby mama". I mean, are you kidding me? Not even "Obama's baby's mama", but "Obama's baby mama." It just kind of leaves you speechless.

And on a related side note, I feel sorry for the normal people of West Virginia and Appalachia, cause we've been hearing a lot of absurdly idiotic, racist, and ignorant comments coming out of there. You can only conclude the press (and often foreign press) is sifting through hundreds of hours of taped interviews for these "gems", and it's not putting the region in a good light.
For example, the guy that said :

'We'll end up slaves. We'll be made slaves just like they was once slaves,' he said. Telvor, a white Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton in West Virginia's primary, said he planned to vote for Republican John McCain in November. 'At least he's an American,' he added with a disarmingly friendly smile.

Or the women featured in this Daily Show clip, on why Obama didn't do so well in West Virginia.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Trabi kaufen

Today we (Tony, Cliff, and I) went and had a look at some Trabis for sale.

On the left is a 1968 Trabant 601 "Kombi" (Station wagon). On the right is a 1989 Trabant 601 Limousine.

Cliff and Tony discuss the rewards of a 2-stroke engine.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I WILL vote this time!

Mailed the paper work out today to do all I can to get a ballot for the presidential election.
Last year it took a mailing, several emails, and THEN several phone calls to Virginia to get the people there to realize they were supposed to be sending me a ballot. And then, THEN, after my third conversation with the nice lady in Virginia she acknowledged that they "found" my application and would be sending me a ballot - it never actually came. (Which later I found out happened to thousands of people overseas - makes you wonder when you think about how VA was considered nearly a swing state last election and that it goes without question that most non-military overseas voters are going to vote Democratic...)

Now it seems VA could really be a key state - so I think I'll raise hell to make sure my vote is counted - at least for peace of mind.

Obama signals Republicans face fierce fight in Va.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Yellow Fever Virus Kicking My Ass

Well, a live attenuated version of the virus called 17D. Know the difference between the one that causes Yellow Fever and kills people and the one that is used for vaccinations?
Well, scientists don't either. They only really know it works. Every time somebody is given the attenuated live virus they become resistant to the really bad virus. And most of the time they do not die.
Real virus, or 17D version currently kicking my ass?

The virus I got 3 weeks ago was the same as the one discovered/isolated in 1937. They got it then by taking virus from a man infected with Yellow Fever from Ghana, infecting some monkeys with it, accidentally killing some lab workers with it, and eventually passing it through mouse brain and chick embryo tissue over and over until it seemed to be benign.
Today ongoing research is still conducted to try to find out the difference between this "attenuated" virus and the real one, and why it seems to be so good as a vaccination.

When I got the vaccination the doctors just told me not to exercise for a week. For a week I had no ill affects. Then about 10 days after the vaccination I suddenly got some flu-like symptoms: cold sweats, headache, sore muscles over the entire body, exhaustion. Then 24 hours later they were completely gone. The internet confirmed this was most likely from the vaccination. In 2-10% of cases, patients experience flu like symptoms 7-10 days after vaccination for 24 hours. That seemed pretty cut and dry. Even interesting after it was over, thinking this live virus was running around eliciting an immune response, but one that my body nicked fast.

But then 3 days ago, 17 days after vaccination, I started to get symptoms again. Started with lightheadedness and dizziness all day Friday. Then Saturday the whole-body muscle aches, fatigue, etc came again. Spent the whole weekend on the couch.

This morning (Monday) I was still immobilized so I dragged myself to the doctor. He was rather unimpressed, and relatively convinced it's my immune system still dealing with the vaccination. Peracetamol (Acetaminophen) was his answer. So I just have to wait and try to fight the pain with Acetaminophen and hope for the best. Thing is, things I found on the internet only have side affects of vaccination lasting under 2 weeks. It's been three weeks for me now. The only evidence of those are where people end up in the hospital fighting for their lives!
Like these guys:

Case 3. On September 17, 2001, a man aged 36 years received YEL in preparation for travel to Brazil. He had diaphoresis, fever of 102.2º F (39.0º C), rigors, and headache 13 days after vaccination; 16 days after vaccination, he lost consciousness and was hospitalized with severe headache and fever of 106.0º F (41.1º C)


Case 5. On February 7, 2002, a man aged 41 years received YEL and hepatitis A vaccine in preparation for travel to Venezuela. Six days after vaccination, he had low-grade fever, headache, and myalgia, which worsened over several days; 16 days after vaccination, he was hospitalized with fever of 104.0º F (40.0º C), headache, and rigors.

The main lesson from this is probably to not read the internet.
But I'm waiting for that super-high fever to kick in.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Summer is here. I'm blogging this from my cell phone. See how it works. The color me my hefeweizen seemed to attract flies, which would get stuck there since it was sweating profusely.