What a colonoscopy is like

I briefly mentioned last year about getting a colonoscopy in December 2015. I was scheduled for a follow-up colonoscopy a year following and so I’m going back on Wednesday morning.

I didn’t go into much detail about the whole process though I find medical procedures somewhat fascinating. I chose not to do much blogging about my experience because it seemed a bit embarrassing. This time around, I will share details because I’ve since learned how important this procedure is.

I recall last time gradually coming out of a sedation-induced fog as I lay on the post-op gurney, the doctor coming in to say that they had collected two polyps that were being biopsied. They turned out to be precancerous, fortunately, but gave me a start. I was 46 at the time and on the young side for anything like this to be discovered. It was not an enjoyable experience (or prepping wasn’t, anyway – more on that later), but I’m glad I got it done since who knows what might have happened if I had put it off.
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Internet everywhere

Two recent events converged in my mind. Yesterday, I attended Google’s grand opening of its Fiber Space in Raleigh, where gigabit Internet connections are the norm. And on Saturday afternoon, I was in Garner’s Southeast Regional Library to pick up Hallie and observed that all but two of the library’s Internet terminals were occupied. It made me sad that in the years since I watched a mom and her son turned away from the library when no computers were available that a shortage of Internet access is still seems to be a problem.

I hope the big-gun Internet providers like Google Fiber, AT&T, and the rest continue working to provide Internet access to the people who need it most.

Punching Nazis and other shenanigans

During the weekend, someone shared a video showing neo-Nazi Richard Spencer getting clobbered in the face as he was doing a television interview. Many of my friends approved of it, saying it’s always the right time to punch a Nazi. I tried to see it their way but couldn’t fully accept this. Nazis are stupid and wrong, of course, and sometimes do evil things, but resorting to violence against them only empowers them and makes us stoop us to their level.

A more useful response is to shun these losers. This drains them of power. Now, this obviously wasn’t a winning approach in the 1930s but Nazis are marginalized today and we should do all we can to ensure they stay this way. Beating them down puts us in the same league as them.

I kinda felt the same way watching another video showing former NC governor Pat McCrory getting heckled in DC this weekend as he walked down a street. McCrory was a hapless, spineless governor – a weasel who sold out the people who elected him – only now he’s a hapless, spineless former governor.

That battle’s been won, folks. No need to fight it again. McCrory can do no further damage to North Carolina. Don’t make him some kind of twisted martyr for the right by giving him even a second’s more thought or attention. The bigger fish still driving NC into the ground from their perch atop the General Assembly are the ones who need to hear from us. They can no longer hide behind McCrory. It’s up to us to hold their feet to the fire now.

On a related note, Vice talked to former New York Times Magazine’s ethicist Randy Cohen, who echoes my thoughts.

FamilyTreeNow and privacy

Many people are concerned about how a so-called genealogy site called FamilyTreeNow.com makes anyone’s name, current and former addresses, and age available online. What’s important to note, however, is that this information has always been out there, available to just about anyone. As the Fortune article below points out, the United States has piss-poor privacy protections. If any good can come from stalker-friendly sites like FamilyTreeNow, it’s that they might spur citizen outrage and greater regulation on who can know what.

The cynic in me bets it will never happen. The nosiness of governments and the corporate plutocracy knows no bounds.

People began scrambling this week to erase their name from an obscure website called Family Tree Now after discovering a remarkable amount of personal information on the site—including age, home addresses (current and past) and names of family members and loved ones.

A friend called my attention to the site earlier this week after finding it contained detailed and accurate records about both her and mother. All you have to do is put in your name and state. I tried it out too and it immediately showed places I lived as well the name of a former partner. It’s pretty unsettling.

Source: Family Tree Now Discloses Personal Data That’s Hard to Remove | Fortune.com

Getting my head back into the game

Returning to Earth. Or Atlanta. Close enough.

I spent New Year’s day worshiping the Porcelain God but not because I’d celebrated on New Year’s Eve. No, my body has a way of freaking out all on its own and opted to do so a day after we returned from our trip to Spain. For the next two days, I felt disinclined to lift my head from the couch or bed save for the inevitable Call To Prayer. what a way to be welcomed home! If there’s a positive note in this episode, at least I waited until our vacation was over to get sick.
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A park is a park. Don’t restrict play!

No fun allowed.

No fun allowed.

This sign in the Iwo Jima memorial park in Arlington last week had me shaking my head. There’s this beautiful expanse of lawn behind this memorial and some bureaucrat wants to keep people from enjoying it! Did anyone stop to think that the men who bled during the battle for that Godforsaken island would’ve probably loved to be in that park, playing ball instead? Is there any better way to honor our country’s freedom than, you know, actually giving people freedom?

Before there was such a thing as public parks, society used cemeteries for this purpose. Picnickers would plop down right by the grave of Great-Great Aunt Martha and celebrate life. Somewhere along the line cemeteries and memorials mistakenly became places of “quiet reflection only.”

I can think of no better way to honor those who’ve passed than to celebrate the life we continue to live.

Biting the government hand that feeds you

Does this man work in government?

Does this man work in government?

Back when I felt compelled to enter political debates on Facebook, one of my conservative friends chimed in on a post I had regarding something about the government (probably me expressing my wistfulness for a health care public option). My good friend comes from the Ronald Reagan “government is the problem” line of thinking and commented something to the effect that the government can’t do anything right.

Even though we don’t see eye to eye on many political points he’s still a friend and I do respect him. It was all that I could do, though, to keep from pointing out that as a first-responder he actually works for the government. Not only does he work for the government, for all practical purposes he is the government. He is the public face of government to the people he serves.

That’s not to demean the work he does, of course. It’s important work. I just have a hard time understanding how conservative individuals who work for the taxpayers belittle the very government that they, themselves, make up. What accounts for this self-loathing?
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