Friday’s arcana

Tonight we had our graduation ceremony for the Hippocrates Circle group. These are about 30 bright young middle-schoolers who want to become doctors; as I think I mentioned, I made a spectacle of myself a couple weekends ago by scoping my own throat twice to give ’em a good show. (I tried to convince our urologist that he should volunteer for Hippocrates Circle next year. Now that would truly be memorable.)

In the little graduation pamphlet that listed the kids’ names, someone had written, “In this group are four future pediatricians, nine general surgeons, eight family practitioners, five orthopedic surgeons,” and so forth. Numbers guessed at by yours truly — I forgot to bring home one of the pamphlets. When I read this, I wanted to get up and talk to the assembled students, teachers, family members, nurses, and administrators, and tell them the secret of medical school: it’s the exceptional student who leaves med school the same as he entered. Future Ob-gyns become pathologists, pathologists become radiologists, radiologists become orthopedic surgeons, and so forth.

Psychiatrists become ENT docs. There’s just no telling.


No alcoholism runs in my family, but I think I could seriously get effed up over Irish whiskey. It goes down like a dream, even the relatively cheap stuff. I believe that folks who shell out big money for aged scotch and other fancy shmancy whiskeys simply have not yet tried Irish whiskey.

Thanks, Dean.


So it turns out there’s a name for the music I like: post-punk. The list includes Laurie Anderson, Devo, The Cure, Swans, Violent Femmes, Bauhaus, Joy Division, Talking Heads. And it’s a pretty damned long list, too, probably hundreds of hours I could spend snooping You Tube to find bands on this list that I like. (Why aren’t The B-52s on the list, though?)

Just at random, sort of, I listened to some Josef K (meh) and Lydia Lunch (better). I wish I could tell Pandora, “Just feed me post-punk, ‘kay?” But Pandora always wants to branch out and give me pop. Which, you know, is kinda antithetical to the whole post-punk feel, The Human League notwithstanding.

And can I just say that the more I listen to Joy Division, the better they sound? It’s a good thing I wasn’t into them back in college . . . Is there a better song about depression and suicide than New Dawn Fades? Brought tears to my eyes reading those lyrics, knowing something of what Ian Curtis went through. And I’m relatively well adjusted now.

Back to the list.


Someone could make a lot of money by creating a combination cat piss detector and deodorizer. The deodorizer part is easy: CarraScent would detoxify a car that had harbored a dead badger in the Mojave Desert. But what is it that makes cat piss so noxious, and could anyone build a detector for it?

Quick google provides numerous answers, but the leading contenders are ammonia and musk. Since you don’t have to find every component of cat urine, just one part, why not go after the ammonia? And there are indeed ammonia detectors commercially available. And oh, goody, the cheapest one I could find is a hair over $300.

Still, it would beat having to get down on one’s knees to sniff the furniture.


Yeah I know y’all aren’t gamers, not many of you, but I want you to know that Dragon Age 2 rawks. I dig that my badass male warrior can romance damn near everyone regardless of sex or species and grin his way through all of it. The only negative feedback from my group came when I flirted with a male elf prostitute: my in-game sister took issue.

Which brings me to the game’s one flaw. It won’t let me romance my in-game sister, Bethany.

She has one hell of a grip on that staff.

She has one hell of a grip on that staff.



  1. Mary says:

    Cat urine shows up under blacklight. :)

  2. Walnut says:

    I’ll bet you learned that on CSI: Vet Squad!

  3. Mary says:

    Or so I’m told. (I had a couple eft whe the exhusband moved out, and I was told to keep one since it helped one find cat pee. I haven’t needed to try it – Luna has predictable spots she likes.