Friday, December 15, 2017

An open letter to ABC News!

It was with no small amount of shock and some bewilderment that I've noticed how your advertising partners are doing such a poor job at portraying every racial and gender conscious group in a fair an impartial manner. Sure, they to throw in a few blacks here and I appreciate it, but I cannot even remember one single commercial that featured a woman wearing a burka or of Sunni men wearing sporty jalabiyyah's! Exclusion of these very important racial and religious orders is tantamount to your company being labeled as racist, in my opinion, and so I encourage your program directors to please mend their ways post haste.

Lastly, and in a desire to be completely fair and progressive, I think you should air a few commercials that are friendly towards our gender disoriented men and women. (I'm sure you may have a few working for you right at this time)! And you know what? A few atheists thrown in to some of your daytime programming might just add a certain flavor that would endear my future and devoted patronage...


Dan Owen
Center for the Underexposed!

McCallisters and the Gumdrop!

In the small town of Narge, somewhere in the USA, lived two small venues. One was upscale while the other one was no scale at all. Both served food and booze and had loyal followers. McCallisters offered a clean environment in which to eat with clean air to breath as you did so. Families frequented the establishment and most said they were content with the experience. The other facility lurked quietly on the same road, although it did not share in the same type of sparkle that it might have. You see the Gumdrop had grown a tad seedy over the years and decades. Entering the place, one had a sense of wandering onto the set of the Twilight Zone. That is if you could see very clearly through the wafting clouds of cancerous smog the constantly pervaded the air and which caressed every surface. Ah yes, two venues that could not be further apart and in the end only one survived!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rumors about alien object abound!

Recently, an object from another solar system buzzed ours! Named 'Oumuamua', the craft shaped object was first spotted on Oct. 19 2017, by astronomers using the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii. It was initially classified as a comet, but then regarded as an asteroid after further observations revealed no evidence of a coma (the fuzzy cloud of gas and dust that surrounds a comet's core). Very rapidly, the object made its entrance, swung around the sun and is now exiting stage right! Some people, like the author, remained alarmed.

Noted theorist, Dan Owen, speculated that it's approach angle was not unlike that of some sort of an attack run. 'If true', Mr. Owen went on to speculate, 'One has to wonder if perhaps it dropped off some sort of surprise for all of humanity!'

When queried further on what exactly he meant, Mr. Owen went on to explain that he had long been worried that an advanced alien civilization may have it in for us homo sapiens, even to the extent that they may have directed some sort of viral bomb that could even now be headed for earth.

'I'll tell you all,' Mr Owen went on, 'that rather than calling it Oumuamua, which means "a messenger from afar arriving first" in Hawaiian, a better term might be Shitstormsacoming!' Even Stephen Hawking seems worried!

Astronomers have been running exhaustive tests to try and determine if anything did, in fact ,break off of the object in such a way as to intersect with earths orbit. Those results are still pending....

Flu on the rise in early December!

Taney County MO - There is little doubt that the 2017-18 flu season is going to be a rougher ride than what we all had become used to in the past. As the graphic above illustrates, the incident of flu like illness is quite a bit more widespread in 2017 that it was during the same week last year.

Here in Taney county the numbers had ratcheted up from almost none in the last week of November to thirteen confirmed cases this year! Those kind of increases are somewhat concerning when they occur so early in a season that normally doesn't peak until February! As a result, health professionals are encouraging just about everyone to get out and get a flu shot as soon as possible. They admonish that it takes about a month of time for average person to build up any resistance after getting the shot! so, if you're just getting around to it in Week 48, then you won't see much in the way of benefits until sometime in January!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Just playing solitare!

I ran into Wilco whilst perusing the virtual worlds of the net. This song struck a chord!

Hey! Either you like your shit or not! The bottom line..

'Took too long to think
I was wrong to believe in me only...'

Two thoughts. One was how I must have felt, could I have felt, as I entered into this world as an infant and whose first taste of oxygen on virgin lungs must have been horrific. All of us newborns were subject to the pains of lost wombs for new horizons. Life then happened in a blur. Most of the time spent in not really seeing time. I was way too obsessed with event horizons.... I suspect that was true for most all of us.. And then, way before I was ready. Old age. Looking back, even surviving to be called old was an honor of a sort. Too many fellow humans did fall by the wayside over the years. I can't say that I really noticed. It was that event horizon thing.... And then. Way before I was prepared, the next birth canal awaited and I wondered if I should plunge head first or feet first....

For those looking to see more - There's always Psych 401...

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Flu rate doubles in early December 2017!

December 6, 2017 – It was with no small amount of concern when I read a Fox New article proclaiming that the incidence of flu cases had more than doubled over what was the case this time last year! According to the story, 'More than 7,000 cases of influenza have been confirmed in the U.S. so far this flu season -- more than double the number this time last year, CBS News reported, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.' Sobering new, so early in the flu season.

And the bad guy or virus seems to be the H3N2 Type A which did such a number on people in the southern hemisphere during their period of winter. The continent of Australia reported the worst number of cases in 2017 ever recorded with over 70,000 taken ill! And the thinking by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is that these nasty bugs are now headed for us up in the north! At the time of this writing, it appeared that the south central portion of the United States seemed to be leading the charge, as it were.

As we are heading into the early stages of the Christmas holiday season, now would be a good time for families to remember that one of the best ways to avoid catching the flu is to wash your hands frequently! I also did a short piece on some ways to avoid the flu for anyone with an interest!

Monday, December 4, 2017

It's early December and the flu is on the move!

A number of factors may make the 2017-18 season for flu something rather special! Already, the bug is showing up in more states than is 'normal' for the time of year. And, as the graphic above shows, it looks to be making significant headway in the central southern states! So, why do I think we might be in for a rougher than normal flu ride? Let me count out a few....

1) Every year, scientists look towards the Southern Hemisphere to help hone their predictions for what might happen here. When choosing strains for the coming year’s flu vaccine, they consider what’s circulating in that part of the world. That’s the good news. The culprit in Australia was the H3N2 strain of flu, which is included in this year’s vaccine and which dates back to Hong Kong in 2014. The bad news is that the H3N2 strains are some of the hardest ones for the flu vaccine to combat. All flu viruses make frequent genetic changes that help them slip around a vaccine. Influenza H3N2 viruses are particularly adept at changing as the vaccine is being made, rendering this year's vaccine less effective against them. Some experts cite an effectiveness rating of only about 10%!

2) Most of the patients that have tested positive, as of late November, tested positive for the H3 Type A strain. The same virus that did such a number in the southern hemisphere...

3) Only about 47% of American citizens even bother to get a flu shot, citing their robust health as a reason. Sadly, the virus doesn't really care about who it infects. It treats everyone the same!

4) There is some growing evidence that more Gen X shoppers are flocking to the malls, not so much for the shopping aspect as for the socializing aspects.

5) There is some evidence that the H3 strain may be more deadly that what had been normal

Flu season off to a tough start!
Flu shot may only be partially effective.
Mom of 2 dies day after flu diagnosis!