Love In The Time Of Scurvy

The phrase in the title, “Love In The Time Of Scurvy,” was a favorite of the Prince de Gloves.  He used it for a variety of reasons but mostly to show how strange life can be. We can have love in a time of scurvy.  Surely the scurvy is all around now.  We can’t visit our grandchildren.  We can’t play handball because the YMCA is closed.  We can’t play bridge.  When we tried to do it electronically it seized up.  The ski trip to Vermont was shut down.  Tom Brady is leaving the New England Patriots.

Could it get any worse?  Of course it can.  But in this time of scurvy there is some love.  Where is Tome Brady going?  Who is a Buccaneers’ season ticket holder?  It is a long story but the answer is us, MWG!

Sidebar: A few years ago we wanted to see the Pats play in Tampa Bay.  It was cheaper to buy season tickets and sell the rest rather than buy tickets for the Pats on the secondary market.  We kept the tickets because it gave us another team and it was fun to buy and sell.  Plus we went to see the Bucs in London.  We have suddenly become really popular with our New England relatives.  End Sidebar.

Now we have lots of folks asking us about tickets.  We have opportunities to go and visit folks in Florida.  You might not have quite as good a deal or TB might not go to TB but we encourage you to find the love in this time of scurvy.

To Patronym Or Not

As we have discussed before, Icelanders have an interesting naming system.  As Wikipedia says in discussing Yrsa Sigurdardottir:

This is an Icelandic name. The last name is patronymic, not a family name; this person is referred to by the given name Yrsa.

Thus, in the Icelandic phonebook (do they still have those?) you would find her under the Ys.  What should librarians in other countries do?  Should her books be in fiction under SIG or YRS?  At the local library they have come up with the worst solution.  Some are under SIG while others are under YRS.  So when you are looking for Arnaldur or Yrsa you should probably go patronymic first but check both names.  Our next visit to the library should be fun.


It seems that all the good titles have been taken for odds and ends so we are calling this Signs.  We only have two items.  We are serious about exactly one so you need to pick it so we don’t get nasty comments.

We were shopping with the Lady de Gloves when we came upon a hand bag that was marked “Vegan Leather.”  We dismissed it as an oxymoron but lately we have been wondering if somebody is making handbags out of vegans.

We had a wonderful horoscope today.  It said, “Double-check numbers.  Review financial records and budgets.”  We have little faith in horoscopes but we have already done the Sudoku

Sidebar: We always double-check the Sudoku with 27 check marks.  There are nine vertical checks, nine horizontal checks, and nine checks for squares.   If the center number is blank we do that last and check the center square last.  There will be four tens plus a five.  End Sidebar.

and hope, amongst other things, the Internet delivers our bank statement so we can reconcile and visit the budget.  Fun times!


An invitation came today.  It was from the National Review Institute announcing that the William F. Buckley, jr. Prize Dinner would be in Chicago.  Our heart was aflutter as we love celebrations, the National Review, and WFB.  Chicago is as close as this is likely to get.  Black tie was not a problem.  It was pricy but we are not going to be regular attendees.

Sadly, the date conflicted with an event with kids and grandkids and that made it an easy choice about missing the event.  Life, politics, and economics are about priorities.  We have unlimited wants and limited time and money.  Most of the decisions are easy and routine, and, of course, everyone has a different utility function, but some are more difficult.

Sidebar: Lots of our northern students wanted to decamp to southern climes.  To make a point about different preferences we would tell them that, climate-wise, we would like to spend the Northern Hemisphere summer in Iceland and the Southern Hemisphere summer on the South Island of New Zealand.  Sixty degrees year-round would be heaven for us.  End Sidebar.

None of our elected representatives get their do list done.  They prioritize a few things and hope for the best on the rest.  We think a carbon tax would be a nice replacement to the federal gas tax.  We don’t have a sports car but we do have a tux.  We will probably never get to a Buckley Dinner and it is a great disappointment but one we are prepared to cope with because life is about priorities.  Perhaps we will send them a check.

Sample Of One On TPA

We were surprised to see an Instapundit link to the continuing debate over tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) in the NYT.  Big organizations have made their decision:

Stroke treatment guidelines issued by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association strongly endorse T.P.A. for patients after they’ve been properly evaluated. But treatment must start within three hours (in some cases, four-and-a-half hours) of the stroke’s onset, and the sooner, the better.  [Emphasis added]

But individual doctors have dissented.  We are about individual rights so we have some sympathy for those doctors.  And TPA only works for certain types of strokes so the properly evaluated in the quote above is critical.  The NYT quotes an example of the dissenters:

At Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Dr. Scott Bisheff, an emergency medical physician, tells patients there is great uncertainty about whether T.P.A. helps or harms. If it caused bleeding in a patient’s brain, the consequences could be catastrophic.

We think the last sentence is stating the obvious but the first is just wrong.  We have a sample of one, Lady deGloves.  About 15 years ago she suffered a stroke.  We got her to the hospital in a timely fashion where she was properly evaluated first by the emergency room physicians and then by a neurologist.  The neurologist came to ask us if we should try TPA.  They called it tPA then.  Our non-physician analysis was that she was 100% incapacitated on her left side with severe speech problems.  When then poked her with needles we jumped but she did not notice them.  The doctor said there were risks but TPA might help.  We thought what does she have to lose and approved the treatment.  They administered the treatment and told us that she would be moved from the emergency room to intensive care.  By the time we met her there our analysis was that she was 00.01% incapacitated.  The next day the physical therapist came in and said there was no need for her services.  The emergency room physicians came to see the miracle.  She needed surgery later to eliminate the arterial blockage.  Now, 15 years later and without any problems, it is beyond obvious that we made the right choice.

We know the dangers of small sample size.  We know that there are risks associated with TPA.  We know you need to get to the hospital FAST

Sidebar: FAST stands for Face drooping, Arm weakness, and Speech difficulties.  The T is for time.  If you are too late you can’t use TPA.  End Sidebar.

when a stoke happens.  Don’t wait or your options are limited.  If they offer TPA after  we would suggest that you take the risk.

Travel Questions

We just got back from a long weekend trip.  When you are retired long weekends can show up whenever you feel like it.  Here are four observations from the trip.

  1. We forget the bar’s name on US 75, but it has a tag line of, “We only look expensive.”  We wish we had time to stop because the drinks might have been free to have the tag line balance out.
  2. We recently left Topeka.  We are trying to decide if Brown v. The Board of Education is a great decision or the start of wandering away from the Constitution.  It is not our area so you can discuss it among yourselves.
  3. In one day we crossed the following rivers: Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, and Missouri.  A nice day’s drive.
  4. Here are a few scenes from a mid-continent crossroad lunch.  One pair, MWG and the Lady deGloves, had new Boston tour shirts (review in the next post).  Another pair had new Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers shirts.  A third group was talking about playing Carnoustie and the challenges of driving and talking on the cell when knees don’t reach the steering wheel.  Fortunately, they are driving in opposite direction from us.

Road trips are a great opportunity to observe and take joy in the world.


The Greatest Room

Jay Nordlinger got a couple of columns out out The Greatest Room In The World.  Here is part two.  We were surprised that he only reported a couple of sports items.  We would have expected Fenway and Wrigley to be nominated but we are shocked to find out that the Plaque Gallery at the National Baseball Hall of Fame was not the most popular choice.  In fact, it wasn’t mentioned.

Another place we would nominate would be the Up-The-Hill Theatre at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin.   Here is a picture:

Ngs Marquee

It is hard to get better than Shakespeare under the stars.  They are rebuilding it so that it will be even better.

Squirrel Behavior

The Lady deGloves and your humble scribe spend much of the weekend starting a project in the yard.  We came to believe that squirrel behavior was much more pervasive than we thought.  We have seen squirrels carrying rocks from those we use for landscaping.  We have even found rocks when cleaning out the rain gutters but we did not know the extent of this behavior.

This weekend we were removing sod, lots of sod, for a combined garden and grandchildren play area.  Removing the sod revealed how many rocks the squirrels buried in 800 square feet.  We are in a part of the Midwest were rocks are not a natural occurrence.  We did not count them but there must have been at least one thousand rock buried there.  We did find one nut.  So if somebody compares your behavior to a squirrel you have every right to feel insulted.



Fame come in many ways.  We have seen it twice in two days.  Yesterday, my nephew notes on Facebook that we were one of the sad sacks in Albany International Airport that did not get out of town.  Today, in Impromptus, Jay Nordlinger says:

I think I have a favorite Web address — it’s for the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse: Isn’t that kind of cool? Although I also think of the airport in Los Angeles, known as LAX.

We are gobsmacked!  Our old school is Jay’s favorite address.  We think of the airport in California as the pretender.


We Are With Ann

Here is Ann Althouse on W:

He seems so gentle and modest. If he has any actual opinions on these subjects, he’s completely hiding them. And yet I’m sure many people think what he’s saying accords with what they think. He’s speaking the language of traditional American politics — the language Trump eschews. Me, I’m a proponent of clear speech. But Bush is being civil and diplomatic and continuing to follow his policy of not trying to cling to presidential power.

What a nice man. And yet they called him Bushitler.

He is a nice man.  He was a good president and an even better ex-president.  Like Truman and Ike he was able to walk away.   His sucessor should take notice.  So should the press.