Monday, July 27, 2015

“…informed by reason and experience...”

“…informed by reason and experience...”  As one of the New York Times token conservatives, Ross Douthat is someone with whom I often disagree.  Time and again he demonstrates the reasons why the Democratic mouthpiece rag chose him: he's one of the least worst conservatives, from their perspective.  But in this case, writing about the Planned Parenthood videos, he is spot on.  An excerpt:
And the problem these videos create for Planned Parenthood isn’t just a generalized queasiness at surgery and blood.

It’s a very specific disgust, informed by reason and experience — the reasoning that notes that it’s precisely a fetus’s humanity that makes its organs valuable, and the experience of recognizing one’s own children, on the ultrasound monitor and after, as something more than just “products of conception” or tissue for the knife.
He starts with a story I've read before, but that ties in nicely with his piece.

I read in this morning's news that the Republicans have fast-tracked a bill to defund Planned Parenthood.  I suspect this is mainly for show, because I can't imagine a veto-proof majority passing it in either the Senate or the House.  But who knows?  Maybe the disgust of those who have heard about it (it's even on NPR now) will motivate even some of the Democrats to pull Planned Parenthood's funding.  Obama, of course, will veto any funding restrictions...

Security theater...

Security theater...  Via my pistol-packing mama:
Here are the latest results from TSA body scanning.
August Statistics On Airport Screening From The Department Of Homeland Security:
Terrorists Discovered
Hemorrhoid Cases
Enlarged Prostates
Breast Implants
Natural Blondes
(It was also revealed that 535 members of Congress had no testicles.)
This is, of course, a joke. What is not a joke, though, is the first line of that table. It's absolutely true that the billions of (our tax) dollars spent by the TSA on airport security has caught or stopped exactly zero terrorists.  Here's some essential reading on the subject.  All that money, all that inconvenience, has accomplished nothing real.  It does seem to have made some people feel better, somehow – but everyone I know who has an above-room-temperature IQ can observe for themselves just how ineffective the TSA is.  The scariest way to do that is to place yourself in the position of a terrorist, and try to imagine a way around the security.  Try it.  There, now, that wasn't very hard, was it?  Feel more secure now?

I use a password manager...

I use a password manager ... (1Password, which I recommend), so this post on Slashdot caught my eye.  Why do I use one?  That's easy: at the moment, I have 582 logins stored in my 1Password “vault”.  Probably 100 or so of them I've used in the past year.  Who on earth could possibly remember even that smaller number of secure passwords – much less the larger number?

So I do what many other security-conscious people do, especially those people with some understanding of cryptography: I secure my password “vault” with a very secure password that I have memorized – just the one, thank you – and then all my other passwords are randomly-generated strings between 12 (because some web sites limit me to that) and 24 (because I'm paranoid about advances in hash crackers) characters long, using a random combination of letters, numbers, and punctuation.  On my most important accounts, I change passwords fairly often (as 1Password makes this quite painless).

I've been doing this for quite a long time now.  I didn't record my first use of a password manager, but I believe it was in 1998 or 1999.  I can't even imagine going back to the regime of memorizing a password for every account.  And I certainly would never rely on a single password for multiple accounts ('cause then if a hacker somehow cracked any one account, he's into all of them that use the same password).

One consequence of using a password manager is that you'll find yourself frequently copying-and-pasting from the password manager into the web application you're logging into.  Something I've noted recently (the past couple of years) is that more and more web sites are preventing pasting into password fields.  I'm not sure what their motivation is, though I'm pretty certain it's misguided.  One thing they are definitely doing, though, is making life tough for people who use password managers – something I think they'd not want to do, since the careful use of a password manager clearly improves security.  Only a small minority (under 5%, possibly under 1%, depending on whose statistics you choose to believe) of users make use of password managers, though, so perhaps these web sites just don't care about them.  In any case, I certainly wish they would stop it!  And that's the subject of the post I linked.

That post really didn't have a lot of information in it.  Far more interesting to me were the series of poorly informed comments to it.  There are a few voices of sanity in there, but most of the comments are more like disinformation than they are useful.  That makes me wonder if the ratio of well-informed to poorly-informed comments reflects the sophistication of Slashdot users – whom I'd think would be much more sophisticated (about cryptography) than a random group of citizens.  If so, then no wonder there are relatively few users of password managers!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Senate votes to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank...

Senate votes to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank...  It's almost like these bozos don't care at all about doing the right thing for the country!  It's like all they care about is getting money from lobbyists to finance their boondoggles, mistresses, and campaigns!

Wait.  That is what they care about.


The HillReason.

Next up: the House.

I ate at Long John Silver's just once...

I ate at Long John Silver's just once ... about a million years ago.  Never again.  So I got an extra good laugh at this story.  Love this quote:
“Each bite of the Golden Fried Abomination From The Deep contains within it the futile screams of the great beast’s countless victims, their last vision on this earth its monstrous, unblinking, blood-red eyes. And every last forkful has a light, crispy crunch, with just a hint of garlic.”

A shortage of sand...

A shortage of sand...  My pistol-packing mama (whom I'm visiting in just 10 days!) sent along this poster, thinking I might want to put it up.  Milton Friedman is one of my heroes, not least because reading one of his books was my first exposure to economics that I could make sense of.  That was back in the '80s, and I was absolutely delighted when Estonia decided to use his teachings as the basis for much of their economic structure – including their flat tax.

Friedman (who died in 2006) had a talent for producing pithy, memorable quotes.  Perhaps his most famous is “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”, but there are many more.  One of my personal favorites, and one that I recall rather frequently these days, is this:
“Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”
That notion, if you think about it, explains much of what I lament in today's America...

Progress in Paradise...

Progress in Paradise...  Got the first topcoat on the bottom of the trailer bed – just over three hours of brushwork.  I'm not going to be losing this trailer in the weeds :)

A reader emailed me to ask why I was going to the trouble of brushing this paint.  Why not simply spray?  I'd be done in a few minutes!

Well, there's actually a good reason.  On rough, unfinished surfaces, properly brushed paint will adhere far better than sprayed paint.  By “properly” I mean brushed from multiple directions with the brush held nearly perpendicular to the surface, and a light pressure applied.  When brushed in this way (assuming a decent, fine-bristled brush) the brush's bristles will force paint into every nook and cranny on that rough surface, wetting it all.  When the paint dries, the brushed paint has a large number of nearly microscopic wedges and braces against the texture in the underlying surface.  Sprayed paint simply doesn't do this.  Instead, it forms a thin film just above the pits in the rough surface, without ever wetting the inside of those pits.  Sprayed paint's adhesion is entirely from the chemical adhesion to those surfaces it did wet.  Properly brushed paint has (a) a larger wetted surface area, and (b) all those mechanical interlocks with the rough surface.  The properly brushed paint is much more resistant to abrasion, more waterproof, and will last longer.

The “self-leveling” (making a smooth surface) of modern paints is extraordinarily good.  With a quality modern paint, brush marks are almost never a problem.  This certainly wasn't true when I was a kid; getting the brush marks out of brushed paint was a bit of an art back then. Paint chemistry has come a long way!

It's worth noting that the argument for brushing over spraying really only applies for rough, textured surfaces – and even then, only if durability is the objective.  Anytime you're painting with appearance as the main objective, spraying is going to be better.  That's especially true if you've got access to a high volume, low pressure (HVLP) sprayer – they make it quite easy to produce paint finishes that look absolutely perfect.

Morning in Paradise...

Morning in Paradise...  We (Miki, Race, and I) took our usual morning walk, finishing just before the sun hit the valley floor.  The Wellsville Mountains to our west were lit up brightly, though.  It was a beautiful walk through the crisp morning air.  Nothing exciting happened, though I did have one little surprise.  I was walking back down toward home, dogs straining at their leashes in front of me as usual.  I heard a little rustle behind me, but didn't think anything of it.  The dogs took no notice, so I figured it couldn't be anything animal; it must be the breeze rustling the barley.  Then I heard it again, and yet again – so I turned my head around to look, and there was a great big old house cat, padding along unconcernedly behind me!  When I stopped, he marched right up to me, twined around my legs, and treated the dogs like long-lost buddies – and they returned the treatment.  I'm pretty sure the dogs have never seen this cat before (and vice versa), so why the friendly greeting?  I've no idea.

Shortly after I got back, our neighbor Tim D. came walking over to move his hand lines.  I gave him a hand with that, and with setting up three more hand lines on our field (where he's running alfalfa).  He, his two dogs (Lexy and Louie), and I had a nice time together while we got that all going.

Now it's time for me to do my shoulder exercises.  Here comes the burn!

My kind of crazy people...

My kind of crazy people...  Meet rwasa: a full-on HTTP and HTTPS (web) server written entirely in x86_64 assembly language!  No libraries, no dependencies – just pure, unadulterated, studly assembly code.

Performance, of course, was the objective.

The server was written by some folks from Australia operating as “2 Ton Digital”.  I've no idea who they are, but I'd love to meet them some fine day :)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Progress in Paradise...

Progress in Paradise...  Helped my neighbor Tim move his hand line this morning.  He needed to leave for an hour long drive to his granddaughter's baseball game, and he was out at the crack of dawn to move those pipes.  I spotted him starting on it when I took the dogs out for our morning walk.  I could tell Tim was feeling a bit anxious about the time, so the two of us just went right to work and moved those pipe lickety-split.  It was quite amiable, working side-by-side, and chatting a bit.  Tim was greatly relieved to have that done so quickly, and he practically ran back to his house to get ready to leave :)

I made a run to Home Depot to pick up a few parts for the great stake-bed trailer project.  Yesterday I finished up the assembly of the floor, except for the stake pockets which I'm going to paint before I mount them.  So this morning I hoisted the floor assembly up onto sawhorses, upside down.  The weight was right at the limit of what I can do by myself!  Then I spent the next three hours putting a coat of primer on the bottom of the floor assembly.  This is quite a tedious process because of the style of construction I employed (2 x 6s mounted an inch apart).  I want the somewhat porous floor so that dirt, leaves, etc. will fall through, but that slatted style sure does make for a lot of awkward surfaces to paint!  I will probably put two coats of paint on top of the primer, so I think the floor is going to take roughly 20 hours of work to paint.  That's more than everything else put together!  I'm not done at that point, either, as I still have the stake sides to build and paint.  This is going to be a bigger project than I had imagined!

Scott N. (the fellow we lease our south field to) came by today to pick up his bales of hay.  I had a chance to talk with him, and he's quite happy about the state of the field.  The weeds don't bother him in the slightest, as he knows from experience that the first year after you plant alfalfa, it's just getting established and the weeds can successfully compete with hit.  Just wait until next year, he said – it will be gorgeous.  And profitable :)

Scott uses an interesting machine to pick up the bales.  He just drives his tractor, and the machine picks up the bale, orients it correctly, and stacks it neatly onto the wagon he's towing.  If I counted correctly, he can pick up 180 bales of hay at a time with this contraption.  I haven't seen him unload it, but he tells me that you basically just drive the wagon out from under the hay, which plops right down on the ground without disturbing the stacking.  That's ever so much easier than throwing bales on a wagon by hand, as we did with Tim's hay last year...

Undercover video of Planned Parenthood...

Undercover video of Planned Parenthood ... plotting to sell (illegally) dead baby parts emerges and shocks the nation.  In reaction, the (shocked) Attorney General of California leaps into action.  What does she do?

Why, she opens an investigation into the people that took the video.  Of course.

Somewhere, Stalin is laughing his butt off...

Rustlers in Paradise...

Rustlers in Paradise...  This morning I went out to work in the shed at around 4 am.  As I opened the front door of our house into the darkness, I heard a loud and widespread rustling high in the pine trees in our front yard.  I'd never heard this before (and I've been out at this hour numerous times), so I flipped on the front outdoor lights (which light up the entire front yard) and walked out, looking up all the while.  As I approached the pine trees, the rustling got louder and louder – and with a sudden burst, bats came flying out of the pines.  Dozens and dozens of bats, about the size of a house finch.

Assuming those were insect-eating bats, this was a bad night for the bugs in our neighborhood :)

Canada and the U.S. about to go to war?

Canada and the U.S. about to go to war?  Nah.  All Canada would have to do is say “boo!” and Obama would just hand the islands over.  The American lobstermen, though, are a sturdy bunch.  They might just counter-attack...

Wait, what?

Wait, what?  Illinois just passed a law forbidding the payment of state welfare benefits to dead people.  This notion is apparently novel in Illinois, and required codification in the law.  Well, they are famous for letting dead people vote!

And I thought California's governance was bad!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Progress in Paradise...

Progress in Paradise...  Debbie is much more cheerful the past week or so, as she now is able to get about a bit on her walker.  She can also do some (relatively) easy physical therapy that's getting her range of motion back, and building her strength.  Several times now when we've had visitors, she's been up and out of the bedroom to see them.  She took a real shower, too, now that she can maneuver into it.  All good.  Progress!

My shoulders, they burn!  The physical therapy exercises they gave me are deceptively easy.  The first few repetitions seem like nothing at all.  But by the time I'm halfway through them, they're starting to squawk.  By the time I've finished the prescribed 20 repetitions, the burn has set in.  I suppose that's probably good for me, but it sure doesn't feel like it right now.

The past couple of days I've been working on a long-delayed project: building the bed for the ATV trailer chassis I bought. At right you see the bed in progress.  In the right-hand photo it's nearly done – I just need a few corner brackets on the “rim”, a bit of wood putty, and paint.  That rim will also get steel “pockets” to hold the stake sides.  The bed is 8' long by 3'10" wide; lots of room for a big load of brush or weeds.  The stake sides will be 30" high, so I'll be able to pile it pretty high!  Right now that bed weighs about 160 lbs, mainly because the lumber (2 x 8s and 2 x 6s) is still pretty wet.  It's amazingly hard to buy dry lumber any more.

This afternoon, Tyler from Golden Spike Electric came by to look at what it would take to put backup generators in for our house and the shed.  The house turns out to be a bit trickier than I would have thought, mainly because it's got a screwy service with two main breakers (one for 200 amps, the other for 100 amps).  I also got some wisdom from him about which models to go with, and on sizing.  Looks like we're going to go with a 45 kw unit for the house, and 22 kw for the shed.  That will let us run everything, no restrictions, during a power outage – and we won't have to have a split system on our breaker panels.  For things like this, simple, ample size, and straightforward are my preference.  I just want the backup to work, without any futzing about...

Why are there flags flying all over the place today?

Why are there flags flying all over the place today?  Because it's Pioneer Day, celebrated every July 24th in Utah.  That's the day in 1847 that Brigham Young and the original Mormon pioneers staggered into the Salt Lake valley to establish the first permanent settlements in what is today Utah. 

I didn't know this myself until just a few minutes ago :)  When we got back from our walk this morning, I noticed that the local Boy Scouts had planted a flag in front of our house.  This is a fund-raising activity they do – for $35 a year, they put up a 3' x 5' flag on a wooden pole, on 12 holidays a year.  Darned near everybody in town does this, so they're raising a few thousand dollars a year this way!  This morning, though, I had no idea why the flag was there.  One Google query and I had it...

Why we all hate Dolores Umbridge...

Why we all hate Dolores Umbridge...  Well, all of us who have read (or watched) the Harry Potter books.  It's certainly true for me: I would cheerfully throttle Dolores, and if there was a policeman watching, he'd probably help.  Why do we all hate her so?  Here's the explanation...

Morning in Paradise...

Morning in Paradise...  We (Miki, Race, and I) took our morning walk a little earlier than usual – so early that we actually got back before sunrise!  The time between about an hour before dawn and about an hour after dawn is full of changes, especially in which wildlife is out and about.  This morning we saw a deer about a quarter mile away, munching its way happily through the alfalfa.  We also saw a dozen or so quail, far more than we usually do.  About halfway through our walk (a half hour or so before dawn) we started seeing flycatchers and barn swallows, looking for the bug breakfast.  Early in the walk, a big fat vole came running down a rut in the road, straight toward Miki.  He completely lost his mind trying to get to it.  Race, two feet away, didn't see the vole and just stared at Miki, trying to figure out why Miki was going crazy.  Race never did see the vole :)

In the photo where the dogs are sitting on a bale of hay, that's the middle size of the three common sizes around here, and it's probably the most common size.  The dogs give you some idea of the scale, but keep in mind that the side visible in the photo is the small side – the long side is about twice that length.  The two of them easily jumped up to the top – they're good agility dogs.  When I posed them in front of the barley (second photo), they were both very puzzled about why we'd stop here, where there was nothing interesting to investigate.  Miki is looking towards the left because we had just flushed a pair of quail, maybe 10 feet away in that direction.  He badly wanted to go there!

Yesterday afternoon I went in for physical therapy on my shoulder.  Both the doctor and the therapist diagnosed my occasional right shoulder pain as caused by a weak supraspinatous muscle (who the hell comes up with these names, anyway?).  The therapist told me that this was very common with people who have spent years in a sedentary occupation and then become more active.  It only bothers me occasionally now, but they assure me it will get worse if I don't do anything about it.  The good news is that the treatment consists of the world's easiest set of exercises.  I've started them, and I'll be checking back in with them in a week. 

My neighbor Tim D. called me this morning, asking for some help.  His field was baled yesterday, with those medium-sized, 1,000 pound bales.  They're going to be sitting there drying for a few days, and he wants to start irrigating the east side of his field.  So he asked me to pick up some of the bales on the east side of his field, and drop them on the west side.  That will give him a bale-free area to start irrigating.  This is the same fellow who helped me, without my ever asking, about 1,500 times in the past year – so to have a chance to help him out pleases me greatly.  I'll be out there as soon as I finish my physical therapy...

I've posted this before, I know...

I've posted this before, I know ... but I just love it!  I noticed something this time when I watched it: the paper doesn't advance as it should.  It should roll up one line each time he throws the return, but instead it just sits in one place.  That wouldn't work very well in real life!

News from Turkey...

News from Turkey...  It sounds great that Turkey is going to allow the U.S. to use two air bases for attacks against ISIS, as well as join the effort itself.  But Claire Berlinski – who lived in Istanbul, Turkey for years – urges great caution on interpreting these news reports...

Legalize prostitution?

Legalize prostitution?  I think there are many parallels between the case for legalizing drugs, and for legalizing prostitution.  I support both.  This video presents the libertarian case...

Strange times we live in...

Strange times we live in...

Kate is not happy...

Kate is not happy ... with the Alberta Human Rights Commission.  Kate is the proprietress of the awesome blog Small Dead Animals.  How do I know she's unhappy with them?  I read her letter:
Dear Alberta Human Rights Commission,

I'm informed that your Commission (via your proxy) considers the word "crazy" an insult.

I though of sending a simple "fuck you", but I've had second thoughts. I take it back: unfuck you.

You swine. You vulgar little maggot. You worthless bag of filth. As they say in Texas, you couldn't pour water out of a boot with instructions printed on the heel. You are a canker, an open wound. I would rather kiss the Law Society of Alberta than be seen with you.

You're a putrescent mass, a walking vomit. You are a spineless little worm deserving nothing but the profoundest contempt. You are a jerk, a cad, and a weasel. You are a stench, a revulsion, a big suck on a sour lemon.

God created houseflies, cockroaches, maggots, mosquitos, fleas, ticks, slugs, leeches, and intestinal parasites, then he lowered his standards and made you. I take it back; God didn't make you. You are Satan's spawn. You are Evil beyond comprehension, half-living in the slough of despair. You are the entropy which will claim us all. You are a green-nostriled, crossed eyed, hairy-livered, goisher kopf, inbred trout-defiler. You make Ebola look good.

It is hard to believe how incredibly stupid you are. Stupid as a stone that the other stones make fun of. So stupid that you have traveled far beyond stupid as we know it and into a new dimension of stupid. Meta-stupid. Stupid cubed. Trans-stupid stupid. Stupid collapsed to a singularity where even the stupons have collapsed into stuponium. Stupid so dense that no intelligence can escape. Singularity stupid. Blazing hot midday sun on Mercury stupid. You emit more stupid in one minute than our entire galaxy emits in a year. Quasar stupid. It cannot be possible that anything in our universe can really be this stupid. This is a primordial fragment from the original big bang of stupid. A pure extract of stupid with absolute stupid purity. Stupid beyond the laws of nature.

I began this note with the intent of writing something original, but I changed my mind. Originality should not be sacrificed to such a worthless cause. You're unworthy of the effort to string words together in a novel arrangement. In fact, I'm not convinced you're worthy of this obvious plagiarism. Plagiarism is too good for you, certainly plagiarism of material of this quality is too good for you, so I've butchered it badly. Writing this in steaming cat piss on a hot summer sidewalk would be too good for you. Writing this in the writhing bodies of one million wingless flies glued to a barn door with cow shit is too good for you. (OK, that part was original. I'm not without generosity.)

In closing, I hope this finds you unwell.
Note to self: do your best not to piss off Kate!

Do you believe immigrants (legal or illegal) are more likely to be criminals than American citizens?

Do you believe immigrants (legal or illegal) are more likely to be criminals than American citizens?  My own experience, and every credible study I've ever read on the subject, points to the opposite being true.  Want a taste what I'm talking about?  Read this, and especially read the paper it links to.  The politically-incorrect truth is that black American citizens are the overwhelmingly predominant group perpetrating crimes – and the vast majority of the crimes they commit are against other black citizens...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Silence of the Lapdogs...

The Silence of the Lapdogs...  The mainstream media, with only rare exception, has been completely silent on the recent revelations about Planned Parenthood's baby parts business.  Mark Steyn notes this:
When kids are slaughtered in a Connecticut schoolhouse or churchgoers are shot down in Charleston, the media jump straight on the public policy implications: gun control, Confederate flags at state buildings... But when baby parts are sold by an organization that receives half-a-billion in taxpayer funds, there are no public policy questions at all, and it is necessary to look away. Because the realities of abortion have to be crushed and smothered by the slick, blurry evasions of "a woman's right to choose".
Do read the whole thing.

Last night, tossing and turning while trying to sleep, my brain wandered to this story.  Most especially, I started thinking about what Planned Parenthood's “business” says about American society.  The next thought was “Is this really something we want to preserve?”

Good question.

I don't have a good answer, yet...

Propaganda pieces like this...

Propaganda pieces like this ... all too common these days in Russia ... do not ease the fears of my Estonian friends.

If you're not familiar enough with Russian history to recognize the inaccuracies in here, let me put it like this: it's as though Al Qaeda claimed credit for Manhattan's architecture...

“Well, that's awkward!”

“Well, that's awkward!”   It's a year old, but still on point.  Remy takes on the $15 minimum wage (the “living wage”)...

(Early) morning in Paradise...

(Early) morning in Paradise...  Miki, Race, and I left on our walk a bit earlier than usual – when there was just barely enough light to see.  By the time we got back, the hills to our west were just being brushed with sunlight.  On the way back home we had enough light to see well.

The highlight for the dogs was a sudden rustle of motion in the dry barley to our left as we came down the hill.  None of us could see whatever it was, so they were on full alert: eyes wide, ears perked, hackles up.  After a few seconds of this, a magpie sauntered out, took one look at the three of us, and launched into the air, away from us, squawking his unhappiness.  The dogs went bananas :)

The highlight for me was a male American Goldfinch (not my photo at left) whose yellow was about as glorious as its possible for yellow to be.  He flew from behind us, around my right shoulder to my left, and landed on a barbed wire fence not 4 feet away.  The dogs didn't even notice him.  I just stood there, gawking, for close to five minutes until he decided it was time to leave.  I was afraid to move, so I didn't get a photo.  The dogs thought we were resting, and laid down in the road, luckily for me.  What beautiful birds they are!

Speaking of birds...  We've been keeping hummingbird feeders out for the past few weeks, and we're now regularly attracting groups feeding at once.  The record I've seen at the same time so far is six – not quite the hordes we once had in Jamul, but we gotta start somewhere!  Oddly enough, so far I've only seen on male at the feeders, and just one time – all the other sightings have been females.  We've also had orioles visiting the feeders, as many as three at once.

Sleeping with an oximeter..

Sleeping with an oximeter...  Yeah, I never heard of an oximeter before, either.  It's a device that measures (and records) two things: pulse rate and percentage of blood oxygen saturation (in other words, how full of oxygen one's blood is).  The sensor is the little clippy thing (low in the photo) that goes over a finger.  I had a little trouble with that; it only liked my pinky fingers.  Last night I strapped that thing to my left pinky finger and slept with it on all night.  Today I take the unit back, and the hospital's sleep lab will analyze the results.

Why would I do this?  Well, there's a story, of course.  When we moved up here to Utah, we (very sadly) left our GP of over 20 years back in San Diego.  That meant we had to find a new one up here.  I tried hard to find an independent GP, but ObamaCare has effectively wiped them out.  I actually did find three of them, but they are not accepting new patients – all three of them are sort of phasing into retirement.  That means we had to find a GP associated with a clinic.  So I asked several people here I trust for references to GPs – and all of them turned out to have no more room for new patients.  Then I gave up and went to the closest clinic to us – in Millville, 8 miles north of us – and asked to be assigned to a GP.  We figured that then at least we'd have some sort of access to a GP, and if we didn't like the one assigned, we could then go on a leisurely search for a new one.

So last week I had my first visit with our new GP, Dr. Stephanie Thomas.  My first impressions were all good: she was great at answering my questions, looked for ways to help, and got the process of a physical underway (scheduling me for blood work, for instance).  She also did asked me some questions that no other GP has ever asked me: she asked how well I slept.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I've had trouble getting a good night's sleep my entire adult life.  It's rare indeed that I get 8 hours of natural sleep.  I have trouble going to sleep.  I wake up a lot, and then often have trouble going back to sleep again.  I can't sleep if there's any sunlight at all.  Any unusual noise will wake me up.  If I can hear a TV or radio, I can't go to sleep.  And on and on.  Anyway, after a few questions, Dr. Thomas said that I should be screened for sleep apnea.  The easiest way to do that is to monitor my blood oxygen saturation for a night, which is what the oximeter does.

I'm very curious what the results will show.  Many of my sleep issues don't fit the sleep apnea profile at all, though some do.  It sure would be nice to sleep better, though...