Saturday, May 18, 2013


Included below is a summary of the definition of empirical (research) from  and the ever famous Wikipedia   (in other words, don't take my summary for it, do your own research :)  )

Empirical is an adjective meaning that something is observable or may be experienced.  This is a practical method of research, as in the evidence or research is based on factual and observable (practical) results which are documented and either support or decry the original claim.  Data are collected, they should support the theory or question which should be clearly defined and answerable with data pertaining to the theory.  The Empirical method is one part of the Scientific method for proving or disproving any number of theories our learned minds come up with.

Why I am blathering on about this?  As you will note from the above flexible, digital thermometer has been molested!  No worries, it still works!!  I use this thermometer to test the water temp before I get in the tub.  My temperature sensors are all off and I generally end up either scalding or freezing myself in the tub.  Enter the thermometer.....I digress.....

Our dear son, "DS", decided that he wanted to use our jacuzzi tub.  No problem,a little teenage body can get achy too.  We caved like wet paper towels and gave him the green light.  We went up later to take a bath.  I noticed my thermometer looked odd.  I inquired after its health.  DS denied any knowledge of the thermometer, then feigned shock at the sight of it.  He went so far as to say "It looks like someone chewed it!  After a few more days of raised eyebrow interrogation and some water-boarding  he finally fessed up to chewing on it.  His "theory" that he "proved" through "empirical research" was that......"there is nothing inside the bendy tip"  I informed him that the information needed to go from the metal tip to a micro processor and thermistor inside the thermomer.  (Actually I forgot the words thermistor and microprocessor and said it something along the lines of)  "Are you insane?  Of course there is a strip or small cable relaying the temp to the circuitry"  his answer "Nope I chewed it really well, there's nothing in there!"

I' told DS that when the thermometer breathes it's last (yeah I know it can't breathe) that we will gently slice open the flexy tip to see the inner workings.....

Stand in awe of the next generation of empirical research  "I chewed it really well, Mom!!"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


tick tock, oink, plink, meow, tinkle, purr, shushing, shushing (skiing)...real onomatopoeia are all weird words and kind of fun words to say.  But there are other words, real words, tangible words that often people find themselves repeating because they either sound so nifty are fun to say or are just plain weird.  Like the word onomatopoeia....that's just plain weird!  I understand the root and all, but the name doesn't conjure that image up for me.  It makes me think of some incurable infection.

doctor~  "I'm sorry ma'am, I hate to be the one to tell you but you have..."
woman (interrupting)~ "oh no! don't tell me it's bubonic plague!"
doctor~ "No ma'am"
woman (sobbing) "oh thank heavens!"
doctor~ "It's worse than that, I fear!"
woman (gasps) "tell me it's not..."
doctor~ "I'm afraid that it is"
simultaneous~ "onomatopoeia!!!"
woman (wailing)

Mourners at the funeral solemnly place the blame with the day she went shushing down the slopes accompanied by the merry tinkle of bangle bracelets, while listening to a sound track of cats meowing and purring in time with the tick tock of a clock.   The only one who would ever know how the woman contracted the deadly onomatopoeia infection was her pet cockroach. The truth lay concealed behind her was the chewing gum she was too ashamed to continue keeping on the bedpost over night.  The cockroach saw his chance, ate the gum, promptly contracted the deadly onomatopoeia infection and wiped out the entire apartment complex's roach population.

Other words I find irritating are duty, lugubrious, scissors, studio, apple, bucolic, dog, serendipity, camaraderie, calisthenics, aerobics, donkey, bowel, medicine ball, 'tude (short for attitude) zenith because it reminds me of Judith,(not that there is anything wrong with the name Judith, I just had a nasty run in with a Judith and it scared me until along came Judith Light in Who's the kind of dispelled the Judith scare but not entirely...I guess that's more a phobia than a word aversion) pizza pie, supper, there are insanity runs deep.  I try to avoid saying those words.  (yes I am entirely sober)  I don't think I like that word either, sober.

Words I like are diaphanous, cumbersome, nebulous, zephyr, nadir, linoleum, pizza, pie, lemon, Antigone, radio, television, tv, dinner, honey (but I don't really like honey all that much unless I have a sore throat) rhubarb, blueberry, cherry, cat, lion, wolf, hamburger, horse, down, up, down pillow, pillow, ball, bell, glia, pencil, play, pond, pussy willow, willow tree, tree, worm, dirt, grass, plastic, paper, cradle, cuddle, gel, jelly, bread, milk, potato, sunflower, flowers.  Those are all really fun words to say.  I like the way they roll off the tongue, the way the sound when said.  I like words that tend to sound like the beginning of a song, or are lyrical.  What's lyrical to me may certainly be poison to your own ears.

I will try to find a way to work one or more of my favorite words into a conversation.  There are times I sing the "L" is such a lovely letter song because so many favorite words are in there!  Linoleum, lollipop, lemon, lightbulb.  I may have already done something similar with a post about liking the letter "L" but this goes beyond that.  There are entire words I actually will go out of my way to avoid saying.  If I hear one it really annoys me and I find myself looking for a word to cancel the irritating word out.  Wow...I may need therapy after a re-read!  Pity my husband and son!

What are your words of avoidance and words of choice...I know you have them.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Cure??

I see a cure as further than I ever imagined…..

Just sounding off on this....I used to think that a "cure" for SCI was just around the corner, especially after Christopher Reeve was injured and that Super bowl commercial came out.  Now that I've been dealing with a mild cord injury and an odd one at that, I never would have understood (still don't really, it seems too odd) that spinal cord injuries came in more than one basic type.   I don't see a "cure" as really coming any time soon. There are so many variables.  I have horrific burning nerve pain, I can't process sensory information worth a darn, my motor coordination is good most of the time but things don't respond quite right....

Now imagine that a person with the SCI has zero function, zero sensation and has been dealing with that for let's say 2 years also.  They still remember walking, moving, going to the bathroom and long for it more than anything.  That person gets "the cure"  but they wake up to nerve pain burning off the charts, nothing responds the way they remember it or expect it, they don't always need to cath but don't understand that they need to time bathroom functions or find other methods to empty. 

How can that be a cure for them when it plunges them into a new form of nightmare oddness.  In my sci groups people say they'd do anything to be "cured" to "walk again", "go to the bathroom again”, but when I ask them if they would pass it to their children...they clam up.  When I ask if the "cure" left them nearing insanity from the sensory overload and hypersensitivity...they also clam up. 

I think people are mistaken when they think a “cure” will mean a return to normal.  I no longer see that as happening.  I see that perhaps the most people can expect is some return of feeling, maybe some muscle movement, but how long will it take to build those atrophied muscles back up?  Will they get enough messages to the muscles to build them up or will it leave people in a greater state of disability than before, because of too much information and no way to process it?  What if a person is married, has kids, a job and a full life by most definitions…then all that goes away because the cure ruins the peace they had.  I can see that happening in some cases.  There are so many types of paralysis and incomplete paralysis, things I never considered until I met more people and they met me. 

What would a cure even be considered?  Walking? Feeling? Going to the bathroom? Etc….(wink wink).   Some people even have full sensory ability but zero motor function…what if the cure left them with no feeling but the ability to walk, but in the process they lost (wink wink)  So may what if’s! 

How long will it take to figure this out?  I am aware there have been many strides with stem cells, I know there are other trials going on.  I can’t help but wonder what this will mean for so many people.  It’s exciting and sobering.   

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I've been making tamales for days now.  It's a bit more tiring than it was before, but the reward is so yummy!!!