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Everything posted by Specialist

  1. No, the club T-shirts for one of the most exclusive organizations on the planet: The DVT/PE Survivors League. It started as an in-joke between Hugh and myself: There are no meetings, there is no newsletter, there are no T-shirts, and we've already paid our dues. Now that there are three of us on here, and it looks like two of us will be in town at the same time, it might be good for a laugh to get the T-shirts made. To become a member of the League, you must survive, and recover fully from, a Pulmonary Embolism that stemmed from a Deep Vein Thrombosis. We do not recommend you try this: Pulmonary Embolisms are usually fatal. It is a weak attempt at black humor, laughing in the Grim Reaper's face.
  2. Ditto. HH Hm. Maybe we are going to have to get those T-shirts made...
  3. This is for a one-week vacation trip. I go back again in February, for a seminar, for about ten days or so. The funny thing is I'm looking forward to easy access to Thai food as much as I'm looking forward to "other things"...
  4. It depends on who you talk to, whose statistics you believe, and how gullible you are with regard to those statistics. If you take the African numbers at face value, and you agree with their claim that the problem is AIDS, then, yes, it does so rank. If you look at the African statistics, you find two things. First, in the vast majority of the African AIDS cases, NO TEST FOR THE VIRUS WAS EVER DONE AND NO OBJECTIVE EVIDENCE EXISTS THAT THE DECEASED WAS HIV+, MUCH LESS HAD FULL-BLOWN AIDS. The diagnosis is based on a pattern of disease that looks a lot like malnutrition and other poverty-related conditions, that have been and continue to be pandemic in the African continent. Second, far more important: Africa has always had ugly life expectancy and death rate statistics. AIDS is a NEW disease. As far as can be told, it did not exist in the wild, in any measurable fraction of the population, prior to sometime in the 1970s or so. As a new, lethal disease, the introduction of AIDS to Africa should have made an obvious, visible change in the life expectancy and death rate statistics, since NOTHING ELSE WAS CHANGING and the old causes of death were STILL killing people, at the same rates. To oversimplify, with a contrived example: Suppose that Machine Gun Kelly is killing 100 FBI men per year. Baby Face Nelson moves into Kelly's turf, and starts killing 100 IRS men per year. Assuming an adequate supply of G-men, Uncle Sam should now be doing 200 funerals per year: 100 FBI and 100 IRS. If, however, Uncle Sam is only planting a total of 100 men per year, then someone needs to explain what has caused Machine Gun Kelly to hang up his guns. This, basically, is what the African statistics show. Despite the addition of a new, lethal disease to the mix, the African life expectancy and death rate statistics have not changed in a way consistent with expectation. It is not possible to find an uptick, or a before/after corner in the curves, that show that AIDS has become a significant player in the African Death Game. This calls the African AIDS statistics seriously into question. Once you question those, and you look instead at first-world data, you find that AIDS is a very small bit player indeed. Heart disease and cancer are MUCH, MUCH worse. So, for that matter, is influenza.
  5. Countdown clock started at T minus 4 weeks and counting. Airline reservation made, hotel reservation pending.
  6. That one went completely over my head. Translation, please?
  7. One more thing. We landed at Don Muang, and I did the long trek through the terminal, hit the currency exchange booth, did the long wait in line at immigration, had to walk to the next terminal to get my baggage, cleared through Customs, walked the gauntlet to get outside to the taxi stand... It was that moment, when I walked out of the building, and the heat and the humidity hit me, all at once, that I knew I was back in the Land of Smiles. And I can't tell you how good that felt!!! I could try, but I don't know enough superlatives.
  8. OK, I guess I should update this. I was in Bangkok for just over two weeks, which was about five days longer than I planned. The BAD news was that three days of that was an unplanned stay in Bumrungrad International Hospital (Sukhumvit Soi 3). The good news is that Bumrungrad is a world-class facility, every bit as good as a first-rate American hospital. I'd picked up some local GI bug. Diarrhea, high fever, dehydration. It was that last that put me in the hospital. The girl I'd been with the day before was having diarrhea, too, and we were joking about having to take turns going to the bathroom. After I got out, I checked on her. She was fine, none the worse for wear. I'd been the sick one. I'm not going to do the standard explicit Trip Report. Suffice it to say I had a lot of fun, with an assortment of absolutely delightful ladies. And I look forward to going back soon. But I haven't started the new countdown clock yet.
  9. T minus 5 days 15 hours 40 minutes to liftoff.
  10. Now at T minus 3 weeks and counting. Countdown continues, all systems GO.
  11. Now at T minus 1 month and counting.
  12. Now at T minus 2 months and counting. Discussion with management, to remind them of longstanding plans: CHECK.
  13. Now at T minus 3 months and counting. The airfare showed up on the credit card bill, so that part is committed.
  14. Airline and hotel reservations made, seminar registration in place, attitude adjustment in progress. I deliberately stacked a few extra days on the trip this time, to give me (a) more time to adjust the internal clock (not that I really expect to need it) ( more time to see the sights © a chance to meet some of you guys at Gullivers on Friday. I'm arriving very late Thursday night, 27 July 2006, departing Monday 7 Aug 2006 morning. Now I just have to maintain my sanity between now and then...
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