Well, this is going to be something of a variety post... well, actually, I think I'll post some of the old stuff that I'd written up in the last two weeks on napkins during my lunch breaks and backdate it or something. Yes, yes, things from the fevered mind of the Cynic.
Oh... and a little FAQ stuff regarding the diabetes stuff that I posted yesterday regarding questions that I've gotten over IM and whatnot:
Diabetes, eh? Care to elaborate?
Oh... my bad.... details. I'm still confused that people want to know these things... I try not to know this stuff, and I'm the one with the sickness. Anyways, I have Type II Diabetes and I'm non-insulin dependant. Right now, I'm taking pills twice a day to help regulate my blood sugar, but the idea is to regulate down to where I can go of meds.
Doesn't being diabetic involve sticking yourself with needles? I thought you hated needles.
The Cynic is deathly afraid of needles and refuses to think more about the subject. Kindly refrain from referring to the subject again. -- The Cynic's Subconscious Mind
You sound depressed, are you ok?
I'm quite fine. Please stop worrying if I'm going to die or anything like that. My dying would be too easy for all parties involved... I intend on living long enough to make all of your lives very unpleasant. I wouldn't want Anna to get out of helping pay off my loans that easily either.
I was going to title this one "The Last Mountain Dew"... but I figured I'd try to be slightly serious given that 95% of respondents haven't found this nearly as funny as I have.
You see... I haven't posted for the last two weeks or so because stuff of a rather serious nature has come up and I've kinda been on the fence about it. As some of my more insightful friends will tell you, while I may talk a great deal and tell stories and give my opinions, these things rarely give insight into my own personal trials and difficulties. That's because I prefer to think of myself as invincible and whatnot... and I really would just as soon not advertise problems that I might have. However, this is going to come up with a great many of you sooner or later, and I do like people to tell me stuff... so sometimes that means that I have to share personal stuff as well. After all, my friends like knowing these things... or something.
Anyhow, for the last two months or so (maybe three) I've been drinking an ever-increasing volume of water on a daily basis, experiencing some numbness in my left hand, sweating like crazy and having random, abrupt changes in the quality of my vision (going from 20/20 the next day to 20/80 the next and then perhaps back again 2-3 days later.) So, I began doing a bit of research at about Spring Break and I said "hrmmm.... that's not good." And then I promptly attempted to repress this and hope things would go away... after I told my wife.
So, two weeks ago, my wife informed me that I'd stalled long enough and she was dragging me to the doctor. Turns out, I have diabetes... who'd have guessed?
Now, most of you have spent some time with me in person, but for those who haven't (and I'm not huge on posting pictures, either), I am not a small man. Nor am I a man of small appetites. Oh... and I drink a lot of Coke. Well... drank.
You see, your average person has a blood sugar level of somewhere betweek 120 and 160 or so. 80-180 is the acceptable range, but under 100 and over 160 and things start to get weird in your body. At around 300, the amount of sugar in the body gets to the point where the body begins dumping a significant amount of sugar into urine to get things under control and in poorly-hydrated persons, comas can occur. Typical glucometers measure up to 500 mg/dL... mine was off the top of the chart.
So... the fact that the doctor didn't hospitalize me is probably a Good Thing, but suffice it to say that I've been on meds and strict orders as to what my diet can and can't consist of for the last two weeks. The Tuesday after I registered off the chart, thanks to an assortment of medications and an absence of sugar, I was down to 187. So it would seem that I'm not going to die... except from fear of needles.
You see, I have to get a glucometer of my own (which was finally purchased last night, after a week of procrastinating) and measure my own blood sugar so that I can figure out what food does which to my blood sugar and whatnot. That's sticking myself with a little spring-loaded razorblade and taking my precious bodily fluids and plugging them into a little demon-box that tells me to drink less Coke.
Speaking of Coke... I haven't had one in two weeks, and it sucks. Coke Zero is not Coke and Splenda is not sugar. And needles do not belong in or around my arms. Suffice it to say that this has generally not been fun... but I have to note that my wife has been very supportive and that it looks like I'm not gonna die.
I'm still wondering if that would have been preferable.
Somewhat interestingly, I find myself arriving at a topic perhaps better suited to Toad's liking: namely, the "Brokenness of the System." As a backdrop: I have been closely following the Duke Lacrosse Rape Brouhaha and rather interestingly noted that after being cleared of all charges and proclaimed innocent, the players and their lawyers held a press converence . More to the point, the players questioned what their fates would have been but for the availability of high-priced lawyers and the wherewithal to fight a corrupt district attorney and what is increasingly appearing to be corruption within the testing labs used by the district attorney's office.
It goes almost without saying that in criminal defense law as with law in general and, indeed, any processional work, finances are closely tied to the quality of services provided. It is here that one must draw the qestion of justice being related to the price of lawyers. I mean, ostensibly, the adverserial legal system will bear out justice with the prepoderence of truth being the difference between success and failure on the part of either side. At least, that's how it goes in theory. Enter the much-vaunted public defender. If the legal process is to be likened to a fencing match, the public defender would be the fencer with a single rusty foil, fighting three to five well-armed opponents. While it can certainly be argued that the prosecution in many other cases is vastly outgunned in much the same way, it is virtuallyunarguable that the public defender is anything other than the weakest link.
As I sit here and read what I've written up until this point, I'm not sure that I have a solution. While it is certain that the legal system as it exists is relatively broken, unlike with so many of Toad's observations on government, I cannot say that it is the result of consistent decline. Rather, quite the opposite: Miranda, trial by a jury of true peers, public defenders: these are all improvements over the original trial law system as it was envisioned 200 years ago. While the system is not perfect, and indeed rape cases seem to highlight many of the chief flaws in it, legal reform seems to be headed generally in the right direction.
I normall don't post images... but this was too good to pass up.
I've always found it perplexing (and more than a little upsetting) that non-adult citizens have severely limited civil rights. As a high school student, this disdain was established in me as a member of the student newspaper when I discovered that Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier had established that our publication's first amendment protections were subordinated to the will of the school district.
The issue of the lesser rights of high school students is currently being argued further in the Supreme Court, specifically a variety of free speech cases, chief among those being infamous "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case.
To make a long story short (and I'm planning on getting into this at greater length later), I find it suspect that school districts are able to exercise curbs on free speech except as directly relates to free speech disrupting education. While I certainly appreciate the need to remove glaring distractions from the educational experience, I am perhaps more disturbed by the willingness of school districts to run roughshod over students' rights for "educational reasons." If someone could explain to me how publishing a story on teenaged pregnancy in the student newspaper or how holding up a seemingly-controversial but meaningless sign on a public roadside not even on school property significantly interfere with education, please let me know.
Yes, I know, I'm ranting. In the end it comes down to this... we don't let the federal government interfere with the free speech of public citizens at state colleges, government agencies, or pretty much any other public forum... except public primary and secondary schools, which can more or less limit the rights of students at their discretion. Maybe it's just my experience with the public school system, but I sure as hell don't trust them... do you? Surely, they're not all bad, and high schoolers are by no means qualified as adults... but I would prefer to err on the side of civil rights than the opposite... but that's just me. My wife would apparently prefer to subordinate EVERYONE'S Civil Rights to the educational process.
While I work on headier stuff, here's some entertainment that I've found.
The Unit: 1, Bird: 0
This clip is an older one, but still a classic... provided with commentary and slow-motion footge.
Bird With Mad Skillz
For those who think I'm being too cruel to animals, I am even going out of my way to provide a "cute" clip of a bird who thinks he's a drum machine. He's like Gallagher, only cool and with wings.
Stupid Human Tricks
And lastly, I present the Top 10 Female Drivers of the Year. We're not worthy.