Monday, October 27, 2008

What's Next?

Wikipedia had a front-page article today on the NeXT computer. When I was in grad school in 1990, I decided to do a paper on the NeXT computer for a class. I can't remember why, but it seemed like a good idea. I (felt like I) was computer savvy, after all, having taken programming courses in high school and as an undergrad. I've often said that I would have had a minor in computer science if only the University of Texas had offered minors. But they didn't, so I was saved from having to actually take all those computer and science courses, and instead took Pascal pass/fail.

So I went to a demonstration of the NeXT--it was being offered to universities--and I remember standing in front of that oh-so-sleek cube, with the amazingly crisp grayscale display. It was 17 inches! And there were these things on the screen. Icons. Now, you have to get in the wayback machine and remember that in 1990 there were no icons on PC's. Macs, yes, but I wasn't a Mac person. And I stood there and admired it, and even poked at the keyboard a few times, and I did move the mouse around--but I didn't know what I wanted this beautiful computer to do. And the very geeky guy demonstrating the computer couldn't tell me what I wanted it to do, either, so I left and wrote my paper from articles I got out of the library.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Steady as She Goes

Now, I certainly don't have it as bad as this:
Scott's Diabetes Explanation: The Airplane Analogy but it's similar. I need to keep asking myself if I'm tired, and, if so, what kind of tired? I really want to get on the total auto-pilot....


Monday, October 06, 2008

Just Lucky, I Guess

NPR ran a story on resorting to superstitions when you feel out of control.
When Not In Control, People Imagine Order:
"New research shows that when people perceive they have no control over a given situation, they are more likely to see illusions, patterns where none exist and even believe in conspiracy theories. The study suggests that people impose imaginary order when no real order can be perceived."

Last week, when I returned to Stanford for my diagnostic mammogram, I panicked because not only had I not brought my cache of cool-but-read magazines to deposit in the waiting room, I had not even read my latest copy of CURE. If it turned out bad, I'd know why. But it didn't. I'm still not sure I can go without reading that issue of CURE--it's bound to come back to haunt me!


Friday, October 03, 2008

Twice as Fun

Every year, in the fall, it's time for testing. And now that I'm up for yearly mammograms, the advances in technology are working against me. Digital imaging finds a LOT. Last year the "screening mammogram", the standard, found something and I had to return for a "diagnostic mammogram" to find out it was nothing. Nothing they could identify, anyway, so unless microscopic aliens were setting up shop, I was good to go for another year.

So this year I figured it'd happen again, so when I went in for the screening mammogram I asked the technician to look at last years images to make sure she covered any suspicious ground.

Oh, she says, I meant to look at your previous images before I brought you in.

Go ahead, I said, I'll wait. And I stood there, because there was only one chair and it was in front of the computer and she was in it, and I didn't say anything because I didn't think distracting her would help anyone and she eventually took the images.

And I got the calls, a scary-sounding call from a nurse from each of the three doctors I'd asked the reports to be sent to. They use the trying-not-to-frighten-you-but-you-better-take-this-seriously voice.

So I go back, and when I do I explain the situation and ask each and every person I talk to how to get around this two-trip effort. The best answer was from the radiologist who came out personally to say that my images looked fine. She said that she really didn't know how to combine the two in my situation because it was the insurance company who wouldn't pay for both at the same time. But if there was a symptom they would essentially skip the screening and go straight for a diagnostic. And something transient, like pain, would be the kind of symptom whose disappearance would be easy to explain after the diagnostic screening. Thanks, doc!


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?