Pat Gaudette


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Random thoughts

Swine Flu

There’s plenty of confusion about what the “swine flu” is and what the symptoms are. Here’s a link to H1N1 (Swine Flu) and You from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Important reading!

If Only…

A few days ago I was driving on a two-lane country road with a posted speed of 55 MPH. It didn’t take long to end up behind a driver going 45. There was no reason not to go the speed limit, which I wanted to do, but apparently the driver in front of me was driving to his capability, the vehicle’s ability, or just felt like going slower. I was annoyed and kept waiting for ongoing traffic to clear so I could pass.

As is usually the case, the ongoing traffic was spaced out just enough that I’d have to really step down and go when I saw an opportunity.

And then I realized what road I was on. It was the same one that a couple weekends before, a man in a pick-up truck found himself in the same spot as I was in — behind a slower moving pick-up truck.

It was about 9:30 at night and it had rained most of the day. The headlights of intermittent oncoming cars cut the darkness.

He saw the lights of an oncoming car but took a chance that he had enough time to get around the pick-up truck. As he passed the other vehicle, he struck the two motorcycles head-on. One passenger was thrown onto the windshield of the slower pick-up. Three of the motorcyclists, couples in their fifties, died at the scene; one of the passengers died at the hospital.

If only…

Bad Cotton

Traveling through the South, I’ve seen quite a few cotton fields which spurred an interest in growing cotton of my own to satisfy curiosity about the plant. Today, after planting cotton seeds I purchased on eBay, I searched for more information about harvesting and found this YouTube video. Somehow, cotton products have lost their appeal. Not to mention that it's illegal to grow cotton in some areas of the U.S. without a permit.

Oh, No, She Didn’t!

I was helping out at my husband's business when the phone rang. The woman caller wanted to speak to the owner of the business or his wife. When I asked what she was calling about, she said it was a personal matter and asked if I was the owner’s wife. I asked again what the call was about and she said she needed to talk to the owner. I hung up on her. The call came from phone number 904-725-6043, with a caller ID of “Security Center.”

Two hours later, the same woman called again. This time she spoke in a particularly perky voice and asked to speak to “Donny.” When I said no Donny worked here, she laughed and said “of course not, I forgot the owner’s name – giggle – can I speak to him?” I asked what the call was about — although now I’d done research online and found the number reported as a spammer for a plumbing company — and she disconnected the call. She was a little slow on the disconnect and I heard her mutter “bitch” just before the line went dead.

No doubt she will be taking the challenge to get through the “gatekeeper” to the real owner and I will continue to log her calls as they occur.

Photoshop Reality?

The Famous Apology

I told myself I wouldn’t do this but it’s hard not to give an opinion about Tiger Woods’ “apology” and his many mistresses who feel it just wasn’t good enough.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned about marital fidelity but apologizing to a wife who has been betrayed is, in my opinion, more important than having any empathy whatsoever over the “suffering” of the other woman — or in Tiger’s case, the other women — who choose to have sex with a married man.

I could rant on but let’s just leave it at that.

Oh, what the heck! I'm glad Elin Woods made the decision to get out of such a toxic marriage. As far as the mistresses — well, gee, who cares?

Losing the Frown Lines

An issue of O Magazine contained a full page ad for Dysport, a prescription only “injection to temporarily improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) in adults less than 65 years of age.” One half of the entire page shows the almost life-size, flawlessly unlined, face of a young blonde model (whose photo may or may not have been enhanced by photo editing — a common practice in the advertising world).

The ad also has two 1-1/4 inch x 3/4 inch before and after photos of a “Maximum Frown” — not of the same model since the eyes and brows are different. The “after” photo shows the subject’s attempt to frown on “Day 14” after “50 units” have been injected into the frown area (I would be curious how she looks on days 1-13 and as the injection begins losing effect). It appears the woman couldn’t have frowned if her life depended on it, and from the wording in the four pages of fine print that accompany the ad, in some cases, it could.

I’m not going to quote all four pages of fine print. The following was enough for me. The bolding is as it appears in the magazine ad; the red highlighting is mine:

DYSPORT may cause serious side effects that can be life threatening. Call your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of these problems after treatment with DYSPORT:

Problems swallowing, speaking, or breathing. These problems can happen hours to weeks after an injection of DYSPORT usually because the muscles that you use to breathe and swallow can become weak after the injection. Death can happen as a complication if you have severe problems with swallowing or breathing after treatment with DYSPORT.

People with certain breathing problems may need to use muscles in their neck to help them breathe. These patients may be at a greater risk for serious breathing problems with DYSPORT.

Swallowing problems may last for several weeks. People who can not swallow well may need a breathing tube to receive food and water. If swallowing problems are severe, food or liquids may go into your lungs. People who already have swallowing or breathing problems before receiving DYSPORT have the highest risk of getting these problems.

Spread of toxin effects. In some cases, the effect of botulinum toxin may affect areas of the body away from the injection site and cause symptoms of a serious condition called botulism. The symptoms of botulism include:

  • loss of strength and muscle weakness all over the body
  • double vision
  • blurred vision and drooping eyelids
  • hoarseness or change or loss of voice (dysphonia)
  • trouble saying words clearly (dysarthria)
  • loss of bladder control
  • trouble breathing
  • trouble swallowing

These symptoms can happen hours to weeks after you receive an injection of DYSPORT.

These problems could make it unsafe for you to drive a car or do other dangerous activities. See ‘What should I avoid while receiving DYSPORT?’ “

Why not just color your hair blue and purple? People will focus on the hair, not the frown lines. Weird hair seems more socially acceptable than a breathing tube, loss of bladder control… or death. At least it is in my social circle.

Quoting further; again, the red highlighting is mine:

“DYSPORT is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used:

to treat the abnormal head position and neck pain that happens with cervical dystonia (CD) in adults

to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) in adults younger than 65 years of age for a short period of time (temporary)

CD is caused by muscle spasms in the neck. These spasms cause abnormal position of the head and often neck pain. After DYSPORT is injected into muscles, those muscles are weakened for up to 12 to 16 weeks or longer. This may help lessen your symptoms.

Frown lines (wrinkles) happen because the muscles that control facial expression are used often (muscle tightening over and over). After DYSPORT is injected into the muscles that control facial expression, the medicine stops the tightening of these muscles for up to 4 months.”

This is an expensive and potentially dangerous (deadly?), temporary “fix” for frown lines. I’d be curious what a user does on their 65th birthday when they’re too old to keep using this product and their frown lines return. Assuming they live that long.

Eyewitness Accounts

My husband and I were the third car in the left turn lane of a four-lane highway. We were heading east, turning north. When the traffic light turned green for our lane, we watched in horror as two cars collided in the intersection, sending one, a black SUV, airborne. In mid-air, the vehicle rolled over. It then came down on its top just inches away from the first car in our lane.

My husband called 911 on his cell phone while I grabbed my small videocam and joined the other people who were rushing to assist the accident victims. I videotaped the scene as I approached and heard a man say that everyone in the SUV, several teen girls, were okay. A young couple with two small children looked dazed as they stood in the middle of the intersection beside their compact car. Within ten minutes there were fire rescue vehicles, police cars, and ambulances on the scene.

The woman driving the first car in our turn lane and I compared notes as to what happened and we both agreed that we had a green turn arrow when the accident occurred. She said the SUV had been going south, at a high rate of speed, and was hit by the compact car as it was turning west (left) from the northbound lane. I agreed that the SUV had been going south but thought the compact car had been in the eastbound lane turning south. When my husband and I compared notes later, this is also what he thought happened.

The intersection was completely shut down while emergency personnel jacked up the SUV and removed the girl pinned in the front passenger seat. She and another girl were taken to the hospital and the rest of the girls called family or friends to pick them up.

When a police officer asked my husband and I for our statements, we both said the turn light had been green for us and that the SUV definitely had been traveling southbound at a high rate of speed. We said we were almost positive the other car had been turning south from the eastbound lane.

The next day, a story in the local newspaper had photos of emergency personnel at the overturned SUV and gave details of the accident. According to the police report, the SUV had been northbound at a high rate of speed and turned left (west) in front of the compact car as it headed south. The police charged the driver of the SUV with causing the accident.

Even though we were right there and saw the cars colliding, we didn’t really see what happened! As “eyewitnesses,” we got it all wrong, even the woman in the first car whose view of the intersection was completely unobstructed.

Sex Offender at 14?

Explicit nude photos posted on MySpace.com brought child pornography charges against a 14-year-old New Jersey girl. If convicted, she would be forced to register as a sex offender which will have lifetime consequences for a very stupid act many teens do on a regular basis.

The girl, who posted about 30 “very explicit” photos so her boyfriend would see them, will have to live with the knowledge that anyone with access to the Web could view them, including authorities trying to protect kids from being victims of child pornography.

Today’s technology makes it too easy for teenagers to post nude and/or sexually explicit photos of themselves to the Web or send them to their boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s cell phone. Once posted, the photos become fair game for anyone who wants to download, print, or further distribute them.

“Sexting” is texting with sexually explicit photos and, according to Wikipedia, is done primarily by teens. Sexting photos are as “safe” as the person they’re sent to which often means they end up being posted online or sent to other cell phones and then onto the Web. The Wikipedia article links to several news articles about teens sexting and the dire consequences.

ANY photo, once posted online or sexted, can never be erased.

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