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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Some people should not be taken to an anime convention!


We attended MTAC this past weekend. We sold t-shirts as is our wont, and sold them we did. Some 600 people are wearing our Aardvark-ey goodness. I will share some of my thoughts in my next entry as I promised. This is parenthetical.

David Goodman attended the con, displayed some of his art, and sketched like crazy. He kind of sucked in the culture. He and his sweet wife invited us to their home for dinner Friday night, and were excellent hosts. Their three children were energetic and well-behaved, a difficult balance to strike, but they did so, and well. They were put to bed around 8:00 PM (I mean, who puts kids to bed at 8? It was refreshing, and hearkened back to a simpler time.) We sat and talked after a deee-LISH dinner of vegetable lasagna and salad. Rachel roasted some chicken and baked a potato for the Dread Dormomoo, who cannot tolerate wheat in her diet. It was such a lovely effort, done with grace, and very yummy according to my wife. We sat in the living room after, with cool air wafting through the screens, and talked, and laughed. The conversation moved from the sublime to the insane, with bad movie remembrances interspersed. David even sang for us. We had a wonderful time! Thanks and blessings to the Goodman clan.


Well, today was the day. I went to the doctors running the drug trials, and was given news and more. Dr. N. sat me down and let me know I was in the study. All the other stuff was preliminary to determine my suitability. I am in for seventeen months. It is already paying off, as Dr. N. gave me some intel. My BP is high (need a different prescription). My cholesterol and triglycerides are high, though not massively so. My blood sugar is on the high side, so I need to watch that. Here's the funny one: all my years as a rich young Republican (pause to chuckle) have paid off, because my uric acid levels are high.
That's right, friends, your Aardvark joins Benjamin Franklin, and his own grandfather in having gout. (God be praised, no symptoms have presented, and again, diet is key. In full-blown gout, uric acid crystals form in the joints, especially the feet. The crystals are long and needle-like, and cause intense discomfort) So back off the pork, and as much red meat. It's looking like a Mediterranean diet is going to be a winner overall.
I was surprised when Dr. N. brought two loaded syringes into my room. Today was the day. I got two shots of Man-No-More in my bum. (I jest, the treatment is not that drastic...it lowers testosterone production, not halts it.)

I have experienced a bit of light-headedness, and extreme lassitude, though that may just be convention lag. I received VERY happy news, in that my PSA level was a one. One to four is normal. My issue is BPH, not prostate cancer. The Aardvark does a happy dance.

I was gifted with a nifty gadget: a digital pedometer. It was presented as a thank you for participating, but I suspect it is a gentle nudge for me to try to look more like a burglar than a grocer. They want teh Aardvark hotness to come out.

The Aardvark feels the love.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I am hearing Jerry Wright blather about "black religious experience" at the National Press Club, being applauded by white guys guilty over their lack of melanin. The "attacks" on Wright are actually an attack on The Black Church, sez he. He is talking about black liberation theology, and is making many references to "The Hebrew Bible". His theology is firmly linked to the Judaizing teachers of the first century.

Here is my take: The unlearned black preachers of slavery days grabbed onto the story of the Exodus, and made it their own, longing for their own exodus from servitude. They did not recognize the supremacy of the PERSONAL transformation in Christ, not understanding that the physical exodus from Egypt was a type, a mere shadow of the reality of the spiritual realm. It is much the same as the end-time mania, believers insisting the figure is the reality, the type is the template, the figurative is literal.

AHA! The apostasy is revealed. During the Q&A, Wright was asked "Jesus said: 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no-one comes to the Father but by Me.'. What do you think about the Muslims?"

Preacher Wright sez "Jesus also said 'I have other sheep who are not of this fold.'.
He conveniently left off the rest of the verse: "I must also lead those, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock, one Shepherd ."

Oh, yes, Jesus was DEFINITELY talking about Muslims!

Wright's little soundbite that I have SURELY taken out of context makes it clear that he must be talking about Hay-soos his gardener, 'cos he sure ain't talking about Jee-sus.
Most of our elementary-level Sunday schoolers could refute that from Scripture.

I'm back, I'm tired, and I'm going to bed. Wright makes me cranky.

NEXT: Public school works !

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Mormon Dodge

As a Bible believing Christian who has at least half a brain, I read what it says about "Be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in you." (1Pe 3:15) and take what it says seriously. It indicates a need for transparency in doctrine and practice. If you wonder why I behave as I do (for good or ill) I am to give a reason for why . But when questions about some less-than-Biblically-orthodox beliefs and practices in Mormonism and its offshoots (Most of whom, reporters are quick to remind us, have NO RELATION to The LDS of Salt Lake City) arise, there is something less than clear in the answers.

When the Mitt Romney questions arose months back, the aether was awash with questions and concerns about (GASP) A Mormon In The White House, reminiscent of the fundamentalist worrying over the Long Arm of the Papacy running things during Jack Kennedy's presidency. Local chat shows would have A Local Mormon come on to reassure the masses that we're Just Like You, virtually indistinguishable from First Presbyterian.

BUT! When specifics like the secrecy Temple marriage, Unusual Underwear, and suchlike were raised, no chapter-and-verse was exhibited, neither from the Bible, nor from that putative "Other Testament of Jesus Christ". Instead, as one woman on a local station called in, when told that the secrecy made people nervous and distrustful, she said:

"It's not secret. It's sacred."

I for one was reassured.

I figured that it was just religious wooly-thinking. Many people put their brain in "Idle" when churchy things are concerned. Mark Twain was inaccurate when he wrote "Faith is believing what you know ain't so.", "Religion" more closely fills the bill. The Bible says (Rom 10:17) "Then faith is of hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." The Word of God -intel from the mind of the Almighty- hardly qualifies as "ain't so". However, the lady's comment on the wireless is apparently not aberrant.

This past week, when the news was fulminating over the Yearning for Zion sect's polygynous propensities, a member of the group, a wife and mother, was asked if she shared a spouse with other wives. In a tiny, mouse-like voice she indicated that she would not answer that. The reporter asked why not, and she replied

"It is sacred to me."

I hate to say it, but this way of thinking frightens me.It smacks of doctrinal talking points. If the True Gospel is being proclaimed by any LDS sect, then why the dodges, however prettily and "spiritually" phrased? Why the obfuscation? Makes me suspect that all is not, well, kosher in the Kingdom of LDS.

Makes a LOT of people suspect, I suspect.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Here is the next installment of
The Harrowing of the Aardvark.
(This contains clinical details, some humor, but no prurience that I can detect.Not much, anyway.)

It has been muchly busy this week. Yes, muchly.

I have been enjoying "Reboot" while I print shirts. The series began in 1991, so why is it better than much of the CG stuff today? The writing was excellent, not at all twaddly. The voice acting was top-notch as well. I'll be glad when it is legitimately released.
Tuesday, 15 April

I have been to the Doc twice this week. My previous visit, Dr. N. gifted me with a Fleet enema to clean out with before the exam. Joy. When I was a child, my parents had no more important concern than my habits of elimination, and because I hated taking time from whatever I was doing to go do the BM thing, I was frequently plied with Senokot, Fletcher's Castoria, Feen--a-Mint and the Dreaded Red Rubber Bag. I think that once they used C-4. Anyway, I was well familiar with the enema, so all would be well.

Tuesday, I went in for a full battery of tests, but because my BP was unusually high, we opted to put portions off. I had missed my BP pills, as I had run out, so I could only get to part of the tests. Of course, the fun ones. I discovered a facility for dropping trou before total strangers of either sex without embarrassment, which surprised me greatly, as I am a modest soul. I wonder if there is money to be had... I just fixed my mind on Matters at Hand, dropped my pants, bent over, and thought of England.

Medical technology is amazing to me. I had an ultrasound done of my prostate. Brethren, they don't rub a probe on your belly. Oh, no. There are those I am told that find such manipulation to be pleasant. I guess I'm just missing summat. I had to lower my pants to my ankles, get on a table, and lie on my left side. This is impossible to do and maintain any dignity, but I did my best. The Doc who ran the probe was a nice guy, and had the friendliness that belies the nature of what he does all day. I suppose hearing the patient talk helps to remind that the world is not all posteriors, unless you're in politics. He may get me to print shirts for his grand-daughter's school. I guess it is worth it.

I then went on to a nurse-practitioner, that healthcare pro who is a little lower than the angels. She was a sweet gal, who has a passion for her calling. She is frustrated with Alabamastan's strictures on her ilk. Only three states in the union restrict a N-P from prescribing controlled substances. Our Fair State is one. We share the view that the N-Ps are the finger in the dike, preventing our society from being inundated by the demands of National Health. If we don't have enough enabled N-Ps, woe be unto us as a nation of soon-to-be dotards.

She took the necessary metrics, then paused as she surveyed her sheet. "It says you must have a digital exam.(I really should have held out my hand.) I'm sorry. It makes no sense as you had the ultrasound." Well, drop trou, and bend over."Rule, Britannia...!"

Wiping one's bum clean of lube is utterly impossible to do with dignity with a stranger of the opposite sex in the room. She was charming, and looked at her chart, and the corner whilst I conducted my kleenex-ey business, and then got my pants situated.
I've got to say, these professionals really are. I mean, we had humor -how can you not- but not crudity. We were friendly in an uncomfortable situation. I am VERY blessed that these people are conducting the study. They put me at ease.

Friday, 18 April

Today, I was instructed to come in with a full bladder. I could SO be the practical joker, but I am being a Good Boy. The 40-minute drive afforded me the chance to nurse a Big-Gulp sized iced tea. When my 9:00 appointment came around, I was beginning to notice. Dr. N. called me in, we chatted, she took my blood pressure, which was high, but not as high as before. She weighed me, first in English, then in Metric (She said when the Kg screen came up "You'll like this number better.") I was really starting to notice my bladder, now. We discussed the need for the urination test to have a sufficient sample, so I agreed to go ahead with the EKG. I had to lie down on the exam table . Oy.
Lying on one's back does NOT help one to forget the bladder. I had to be still to settle my heart. Dr. N. trundled the EKG machine in and proceeded to hook me up. It just took a couple of minutes, and lo! I still have a heart. I then suggested that we move on to the next test, and she took the hint. "Your eyeballs floating?" she quipped.

"No, but they have changed color." I retorted.

(You may all guess what I read as a yout'.)

We went to the next exam room, in which resides the Urinate in the Machine test. I looked for the hidden cameras that would catch my comic jerking when the current from the machine made its way up the electrolyte-laden stream, but apparently everything was legit. The contrivance was a white-enameled bucket with a spinning disc in the bottom, which emptied into another white bucket, I guess a litre or two in capacity. All this was connected to a paper plotter.

I was disappointed. I was rather hoping for the clown head with a balloon on it's hat, like the watergun game at the fair.

Dr. N. left and shut the door, whereupon I got relief. For a long time. Finally I was through, I washed up, 'cos I was taught properly, and opened the door. The Doc came in, checked the graph. "Low flow, low strength."

She looked at me and said "Well, you can't write your name in the snow from across the street like you used to." Sigh. Age takes ALL our hobbies away. From my vantage point during the test I did not see the reservoir. When I moved around the machine, I saw that it was filled to within a centimeter of the top.

But wait. There's MORE! She led me to the Ultrasound doctor's office, had me lie down on the exam table, and pull my waistband as low as possible and still maintain decorum.
I felt like a swimsuit model. She glopped some cold lube over my bladder, and got another ultrasound probe, and sonar-ed my bladder to check if it was really empty.

"One ping only, Vasily."

Nope. It STILL held about a fourth of a litre. This is not good, and is ultimately the point of this whole thing. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that wraps around the urethra in men. It secretes fluid which is used as a delivery system for sperm. A major portion of the intense feeling at sexual climax is from the muscles squeezing the prostate to eject the fluid. This is not an unimportant gland. As men age, the prostate tends to enlarge. This presses on the urethra, rendering it difficult or impossible to completely empty the bladder. This causes discomfort in the night, making for multiple trips to the bathroom when you should be sleeping. There are other symptoms as well. A real problem is for old urine to remain in the bladder, making a breeding ground for infection; a UTI is zero fun.

Next came the BEST part. They drew four vials of blood. I am a member of the White Knuckle Club, and have passed out on one occasion having blood drawn. The sensation filled up my head, and the next thing I knew, I was having my head put between my knees. The gal who took my blood today was wonderful! I felt the needle go in...first try.
Then, she let My BP do the work of filling the vials while we chatted.. Dr. N. walked in, saw my death grip on the chair arm (I was unaware of it), unfolded my fingers and said to relax.

She didn't realize that compared to other times, I WAS relaxed! She is a caring soul, and I appreciate her concern.

I wear neither a clerical collar, nor do I work as a bartender, but my manner invites people to tell me What's Going On. Please pray for Dr. N. She has abused her back professionally and as a member of the horsey set -she rides- and has bunged it up but good. She has serious disc problems, and is in constant pain. You can see it when she walks, and hear her grunt when she sits. Pray that she be made well, and that if she is not already, that she will become a Kingdom Person.

Finally, after all this, I STILL had to go to the toilet and leave a urine specimen for the lab. I did, too.

Dr. N. gave me some instructions, and told me I have an appointment on Tuesday to have an MRI bone density scan. Since hormone reduction can cause a reduction in bone density, they are establishing a "Before" baseline. Bombardment with vast sums of EM energy. I can play "Philadelphia experiment!

Here is our latest! Maneki_Nekomimi. It's a cat-girl version of Maneki Neko, the "Lucky Money Cat" that is a part of Japanese culture. Riatsila did the art!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Change we can BELIEVE IN !

Face in the clouds. Photo: T. Fox

Oh,,.. MERCY! It's a SIGN!!!
The Lord is turning his FACE from AMERICA!
Wright was RIGHT!!!!

Wait...it's just water vapor and hot air.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

On with the show

OK, you win. I shall share the harrowing tale of the Aardvark as guinea pig.
(Does anyone know the Japanese word for "aardvark"?)

The clinical trial investigates the efficacy of a drug that is currently on the market as an agent to fight certain cancers in women. Its mechanism inhibits hormone production.
The idea is to see if this will work in men, resulting in the reduction of prostate size in cases of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH).

My doctor (Dr. N.) is a woman, a neat person, but had to use the word "castration" twice in the interview (in that the diminution of testosterone would not be at "castration levels"). So, this drug will inhibit my body's production of testosterone, which will reduce the size of my prostate (assuming that it has done as is normal in my family line, and grown to gamma-induced proportions. HULK SMASH!), which will in turn keep me in bed at night, rather than trotting to the bathroom. This is made of WIN, as the kids say now.

Unfortunately, the staying in bed may not be as advantageous as one might think. One of the side-effects of the treatment may be the reduction of my libido. The percentage is surprisingly low, but still possible, as is the other possibility of aggression being a side-effect. Wow, color me an Attack-'vark. This is one of the reasons I want to keep this journal, so as not to become insular. You will be outsiders with white lab coats and stainless-steel clipboards, and those neat astronaut pens that can write in microgravity.
You can make "ahem" noises if I seem too wiggy, or go silent.

Or you know, this could be the most boring thing ever, except for the shots.

Oh yes. There will be shots.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Professor Chaos (Rush Limbaugh) has unwittingly telegraphed to the world that he thinks the Whole Process is a game. Operation Chaos, the tactic to get Republican'ts to vote for the Hilldebeast so that McCain will have an easy straw (wo)man to knock over in November, makes this abundantly clear to me.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Timid Patriot.

The Blog-o-Versetm is rife with firebrands, soggy, soggy firebrands who rattle rusty sabres, and wave pistols loaded with subsonic .22s.

"The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots!" they cry in a whisper, because, you know, THEY might read it, and the suits in Ray-Bans and no sense of humor will come knock-knock-knockin'. Or they may just knock down the door. There goes the security deposit. They fill HaloScan with dark mutterings, hinting of Taking the Nation Back, of the Armed Insurgency, of American Revolution Revisited.

"Remember Ruby Ridge!"

Yet the mutterings are mere hints, bare suggestions of "what must be done". I cannot help thinking of the Founders of our moribund republic, who risked (and often lost) fortune, reputation, and life to cry "FREEDOM! LIBERTY! NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!" They openly published tracts, pamphlets, and books proclaiming Liberty, and giving reasons. There were militias formed of farmers and tradesmen who watered that Liberty Tree. While there was necessary secrecy as to strategy and tactics, the GOAL was published widely.

If there is to be a reclamation of Liberty, a restoration of our Republic, a rescuing of the nation from the hands of those who seek its, and our, hurt, then we need leadership who will LEAD, who will organize, and give instruction to a people who have had the Necessaries bred out of them. We don't need bloggers muttering Dark Sayings, and talk radio callers-in who whine and wring their hands, and then think they have accomplished summat.

I don't know what to do. Most don't know what to do. Help us. But not with riddles.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

As much as I loved and respected Charlie, I have to point out the obvious. Namely, he was a TERRIBLE actor.
That's not to say, though, that he wasn't fun and compelling to watch. Thing's like "Soylent Green is made out of people!" and "Damn dirty apes!" were constant running gags in my family during childhood. We'll miss you buddy! "Soylent Green is made out of people!"...why go with the wordy quote? Pithy, pithy. "SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE." Now THAT'S pith.

Verbosity makes me pithy.

I pray you are chatting with Moses even now, Mr. Heston.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Dread Dormomoo waxes wroth

story is underwhelming. The proof of your sex is ultimately in your genes, not your jeans. This woman, "Thomas Beatie" unhappy with her birth sex-assignment, is having her plumbing converted. That's all. If a CSI swabs her mouth, even after she adds the dangly bits, guess what? "FEMALE!" her DNA will shout. So, the REAL story is: A woman is having a baby.


True, she is a self-loathing woman who has had her breasts cut off, and the nipples sewn back on the resulting plane, but, again, she is STILL A WOMAN!

Enter the Dread Dormomoo. She was watching the tube, and, lo, FOXspews had an article about this poor unfortunate's story.They showed a picture of her Manly Chest, nipples firmly attached.

FOX, in essence and fact, displayed frontal female nudity on daytime TV with no mosaic. The DD is no prude. She DOES have standards, however. Frankly, I think it unfair for FOX to allow Beatie to show her attributes (or current lack thereof) on telly, and NOT allow the same from Megyn Kelly or Harris Faulkner. Fair and balanced, people.

Seriously. The DD raises a valid point.The facts of the case are evident, and current Standards and Practices do not allow female nipples to be exposed (anything else goes, I guess. Just the little bullseye is verboten. David Gerrold in commenting on the Network Censors during the original Star Trek production said that you could show the upper breast almost to the nipple, but the under breast was forbidden. "I guess they were afraid moss grew there." said Gerrold.) Does this exposure signal the End of Western Civilization? Probably not, unless a bunch of offended Muslims choose to set fire to their shoes onboard planes, at least on the ones still flying. It does show that the newsies just don't think it through.

This is why they are called newsreaders in the UK.

Frontal female nudity on Fox. Can Page Three be far behind?

The real tragedy of this story is the baby. When born, the infant will not know the comfort and safety of nursing at Mother's breast. That tears The DD up most of all.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I give you a choice

I am embarking on a year+ long experiment. I will happily bring you along, because it will shed light on the World of Clinical Trials, because it might encourage the guys (at least) to take care of themselves and get check-ups, and because I will be able to indulge a penchant for gross-out humor.

Naaah, I won't go into over-much detail, but I learn that some of the side-effects MAY be psychological in nature, running the gamut from depression ("Hello darkness my old friend...") to aggression. This may be a chance for you to peek into the system.

The choice: I won't force you to endure this if you don't want to. I would far rather you stay and be comfy than have you endure the "ewwwwwww" factor, and move to sunnier climes.

SO, I will let you vote. For me to report here accurately, though with some filters, or keep it to myself (or on a separate blog) and do business as usual here.

Silence will be interpreted as assent.

And yes, I'm nervous.


I've never ever seen as many ants in my LIFE.
My compost heap is invaded! Little black ants, with tiny white babies. Ebony and Ivory at the bottom of my garden. The remedy? Death by manure! The compost is not heating sufficiently to render it inimical to formic incursion. Gotta scrounge the riding trail. I'm amazed at how fun my life can be. More on this later....