Tuesday Afternoon Open Thread

You're on your own for a little while. This is an Open Thread.

Update (TL): I was at the pharmacy a few minutes ago to get some prescription eyedrops and they had a big sign for the Shingles vaccine. I decided to get it. Shingles is a risk for older people who had chickenpox when young, and it is an ugly, painful recurring disease. The vaccine costs $220.00, but Anthem/BCBS paid for the whole thing. Just another reason I hope my policy is still available and affordable next year. The pharmacist also told me he got an email this morning that previous restrictions in Colorado on the Swine Flu vaccine have been lifted, and it will be available to all, not just those in high risk categories.

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    for oculus (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by lilburro on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:10:55 PM EST
    some reports from the Clinton summit:


    My favorite part:

    "His message was very simply it is so important that this be done, that there are so many people, I think 30 percent of the population he said at one point or another, don't have any health care coverage," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told TPMDC, "and so the ability to fix the problem is really upon us."

    Well DUH.  And why does she seem to be hearing these numbers about the number of uninsured for the first time?

    Because (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:20:44 PM EST
    (and I hate to say this), Dianne's either not too bright, or a pure politician.  Or some of both (IMHO).  I never particularly cared for her when we lived in San Francisco during her tenure on the Board of Supervisors, as President of the Board (after Moscone was assassinated, along with Harvey Milk, who, BTW, was our Supervisor), and subsequently as Mayor of SF.  

    And why, again, is Boxer being primaried? (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:13:42 PM EST
    Hm? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:17:10 PM EST
    First I've heard of that.

    Oops. Not primaried. Fiorina will be (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:20:41 PM EST
    GOP candidate for Boxer's Senate seat.

    AMA votes to seek repeal of 'don't ask,don't tell' (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:06:08 PM EST
    CHICAGO - The American Medical Association on Tuesday voted to oppose the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and declared that gay marriage bans contribute to health disparities.

    The nation's largest doctors' group stopped short of saying it would seek to overturn marriage bans, but its new stance angered conservative activists and provides a fresh boost to lobbying efforts by gay-rights advocates.

    "It's highly significant that the AMA as one of this country's leading professional associations has taken a position on both of these issues," said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, a Washington-based advocacy group.

    The health disparities measure "in the long run, will certainly help efforts to win marriage equality," Carey said.


    Interesting. Segue: physicians. My (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:29:02 PM EST
    daughter told me last night her physician father's concern about health care reform is tort reform--which our state already has.  Hmmm.  

    Well (none / 0) (#49)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:33:13 PM EST
    the beauty of tort reform is that you can always have more of it.

    I had somebody telling me earlier that we need to limit punitive damages awards in order to keep the cost of malpractice insurance down.  Do they realize that insurance doesn't cover punitive damages?


    $250,000 cap here on non-economic (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 06:01:52 PM EST
    damages has not resulted in lower med mal premiums.

    I recently met (none / 0) (#74)
    by lilburro on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 08:55:03 AM EST
    a soldier about to go to Afghanistan at a gay bar.  The injustice of DADT is obvious on paper, but to be face to face with someone who has to deal with war without being able to fully be himself was really moving.  Moving for me anyway, he was bravely set to go and not having the issues I was :P

    If anyone should be banned from service, it's homophobes....


    A neighbor of ours told us today (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by athyrio on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 06:21:00 PM EST
    that he and his wife (in their 50's) this year have to pay $2000.00 per month for their medical insurance and that's with a $10,000.00 deductable...Who the heck can afford that?? WOW...

    I have been wondering about this (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by ZtoA on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 10:17:23 PM EST
    Would this bill positively impact your neighbors?

    I have a pre-existing and am self employed and have been repeatedly turned down for health insurance since I lost cobra just after an accident. If companies are required to cover me are there effective cost controls for premiums? Also, if I get an extremely high deductible catastrophic policy, it that enough to avoid the fines?


    Wow (none / 0) (#64)
    by Spamlet on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:52:20 PM EST
    I'm 60, self-employed, and pay $515 per month for a "premium" plan (copays for every little thing, but no deductible) through Kaiser. Is this a case of one or both having committed the sin of acquiring a "pre-existing condition"?

    You know those sometimes demented (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:31:07 PM EST
    comments one sometimes reads on newspaper websites?  Here is a cautionary tale: Chicago Tribune

    I'm with the Trubune commenter... (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 08:52:14 AM EST
    this lady needs thicker skin if she's gonna get into the politics racket...and she needs to keep her kid off the computer if he can't handle it.

    does the first amandment (none / 0) (#65)
    by coigue on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:13:37 PM EST
    really provide for the right to be anonymous in your free speech?

    That seems over the top to me.


    Jeralyn-- (none / 0) (#2)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:43:33 PM EST
    Was this at King Soopers or Safeway per chance?  And, if so, did they have the H1N1 vaccine available now?

    The H1N1 vaccine (none / 0) (#9)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:55:09 PM EST
    is not very available where I live- they are having lotteries in the nearby school districts to see which schools get the limited supply to vaccinate their students.  I don't intend to get the vaccine (H1N1 does not appear to be as much of a problem for us "oldsters"), but I would like to get the regular, seasonal flu vaccine, which is also unavailable around here.  This does not make me feel any safer about the government's response to any possible bio-terrorism attack, or, for that matter, a truly terrible global pandemic (H1N1 may be bad enough for those affected, but it's nothing on what could happen, according to my husband, who is a virologist).

    Not very available here, either -- so (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:35:16 PM EST
    some advice, along the lines of getting the shingles vaccine.

    The major problem with any flu is complications, especially pneumonia.  I know this all too well.  Get the pneumonia vaccine, which is good for seven years.  Getting it years ago changed my life, as I had started coming down with complications annually.  Since getting the pneumonia vaccine, I haven't come down with bronchitis, pleurisy, etc., either.

    It is some comfort to me now, with the lack of H1N1 in my city (I was able to get the regular flu vaccine), and with a high-risk condition but not a high-enough priority among the high-risk conditions.  I may get the swine flu, in one of the areas of the country with a high rate of it and in a job that is putting me in contact with lots of people coming down with it.  But at least I am less likely to get complications from it.


    And it's about the cost of a flu shot (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:36:33 PM EST
    as I ought to have added about the pneumonia vaccine -- not at all like the pricey shingles vaccine in terms of cost.

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:51:45 PM EST
    The pneumonia vaccine is well worth it.  My parents got it, and it particularly helped my father, who was prone to respiratory infections and pneumonia pre-vaccine.  I don't have that problem currently, but will look to getting it in the near future.  I would think that, with contagious diseases, the good old government would step in and encourage, nay, subsidize, vaccines.  I suppose that the shingles vaccine is way too expensive for this even to be considered, but if you have shingles, you are contagious for varicella zoster for anyone who has not had chicken pox, or the chicken pox vaccine.  This can be a particular problem for adults who have not had it, and, especially, for pregnant women.

    Pleurisy! (none / 0) (#57)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 06:05:17 PM EST
    Ugh! I've had that, and it's not fun, like having broken ribs all up and down your chest.

    Is the pneumonia vaccine specifically protective for other lung/bronchial infections, or just anecdotal evidence since you haven't been having those problems since then?

    I'd been considering getting the pneumonia shot, but you've convinced me now!


    Anecdotal testimony, entirely (none / 0) (#60)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 06:11:25 PM EST
    but I'll tell you, after a first bout of pneumonia (from not clearing anesthetic from my lungs after minor surgery), I just kept coming down with it every year for several years as well as the other respiratory complications -- until the pneumonia vaccine, starting something like ten years ago.  No such complications since from far-less-often colds, flu, etc.

    And I don't think that I changed any other ways of life that would account for it, unless I finally got enough immunities by just becoming soooo old.


    Well, there is always (none / 0) (#69)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 11:03:47 PM EST
    that possibility... when my mother passed a few years ago at 93, she hadn't had any kind of viral infection in more than 20 years.

    I had bacterial pneumonia once many years ago, cleared up quickly with antibiotics, but a most misterable, awful few days.


    While I am a year older... (none / 0) (#14)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:01:13 PM EST
    ...as of last Friday, I don't think I fall into the "oldster" category quite yet.  But since I do have a chronic condition (but was still 3rd priority), I want to get it just in case.  And since necessity dictates that I have to work instead of spend hours and hours waiting in line at the local clinic, I've been waiting until I can get it at the local grocery store.  

    I had no problem getting the seasonal vaccine--a couple of months ago at that.


    The regular flu vaccine (none / 0) (#23)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:12:28 PM EST
    is not available where I live right now.  Not at the local grocery stores and pharmacies, not at my doctor's, not at the county public health clinics.  I would have to drive two hours to get it.  I'm just going to wait.  As for the H1N1 vaccine, if you have a chronic condition (which I don't), it's probably not a bad idea to get it, just in case.

    Not the government's (none / 0) (#55)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 06:01:05 PM EST
    fault.  The small number of companies that can make H1N1 are the same small number that can make seasonal vaccine.  So they're seriously overloaded.  More important, it turns out the H1N1 doesn't grow as readily in the production facilities as seasonal, so the companies were only able to produce about a third as much vaccine by this time as they had anticipated.

    Ridiculous to blame the government for that, or even the vaccine companies.  Blame Mother Nature if you have to blame someone.


    It was at Walgreens (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:01:36 PM EST
    the one at Rose Medical Center. They said they will be getting the swine flu vaccine.

    OK, thanks. (none / 0) (#17)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:03:31 PM EST
    I'll have to remember to ask at King Soopers when I run over to get my PK Rx filled tonight.

    That's BTD's post (none / 0) (#53)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:57:56 PM EST
    not Jeralyn's

    Never mind :-) (none / 0) (#59)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 06:06:12 PM EST
    Have we (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:44:03 PM EST
    actually had rational political discussions in this country in the last 2 years?  I think I missed it between screeds about female candidates (their dress, their laugh, their winks, their body parts, their children, their husbands, their tears, their speech patterns, etc.) and older candidates (who don't use Blackberries, who aren't young and hip, etc.); pundits taken in by shiny objects with tingles of hope and change; party spokespeople moving ever more to the fringes and trying to get the great soundbite while sounding more and more out of the mainstream; robocalls; Greek temple columns; birth certificates; false and gratuitous charges of racism, socialism, fascism, and Nazism; beer summits; date nights; tax evaders; bi-partisanship; and 11 dimensional chess.

    To tell you the truth.... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:32:52 PM EST
    it is very difficult to remember when the country really did have a "rational" discussion about the big issues. And, that has always been with us. Both sides have a tendency to turn up the volume and pull out all the stops when the subject is war, foreign policy, etc.  Remember all the flags and flag factories and super hyped "patriotism" during the Bush years. How could we not remember, uh? Well, now we are once again facing the hyperbole about the horrors and ghastly happenings if we change the healthcare system even incrementally--shades of the non-rational discussion of 1994. The real challenge now may well be how to tamp down emotion when our communication methods (mainstream & internet) are easily employed for hyperventilating as well. (Mea culpa: I've certainly been guilty of overdoing the emotion in the jab & thrust of daily communication these days.)

    What you get (none / 0) (#5)
    by jondee on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:50:20 PM EST
    when the overriding goal is nurturing a nation of economy sustaining, adolescent impulse-buyers.

    Only 2 years? (none / 0) (#44)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:27:18 PM EST
    Feels like my whole adult life...rational political discussions are complex, our mass communication mediums are not conducive to rational political discussions.

    Talkleft excluded of course.  We're weird and do this for fun. Not that some of us aren't prone to irrationality, yours truly especially:)

    Frankly, sh*t gotta get a lot worse before we see an improvement...necessity will bring rational debate and problem solving back in style...I hope.  


    I didn't realize (none / 0) (#4)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:47:07 PM EST
    that you were a geezer, like me, BTD- I assumed you were a bit younger.  ;-)  I got the shingles vaccine last year, after I turned 60.  My main reason was witnessing my husband suffer through a bout of shingles, as well as the husband of a good friend, who suffered even more.  However, my insurance did not pay for the vaccine.  Ah, well, still money well spent.

    Jeralyn's the geezer (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:52:23 PM EST
    (Kidding). I am a teenager blogging from my parents' basement.

    Ah, yes (none / 0) (#13)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:58:52 PM EST
    I just noticed that the update was not from you.  I guess Jeralyn is "old," like me.  And are you wearing pajamas as you blog, BTD?  ;-)

    And he'd better get (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by lilburro on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:01:42 PM EST
    the H1N1 vaccine, in case he leaves his room to get more cheetos.

    Who disappeared Paul Krugman from (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:11:39 PM EST
    this post?

    Then you need the Cheetos vaccine. (none / 0) (#47)
    by steviez314 on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:30:39 PM EST
    That was Jeralyn's update (none / 0) (#8)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:53:31 PM EST
    I've got my dad scheduled to go get a shingles vaccine...they are pricey, but that's the benefit of the HSA plan, right? Fortunately, he can get his for free at the VA.

    We're considering switching to the HSA plan at work. I'm hoping we do.


    I really like my HSA plan (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:04:49 PM EST
    which covers 100% of everything after the deductible, including brand name and generic drugs and preventive care, but Anthem is changing it for next year. There will be a co-pay on prescriptions. I'm not sure about doctors.

    Will the money left in the savings account (none / 0) (#31)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:23:32 PM EST
    in 5 years when you can sign up with Medicare act as your supplemental insurance (at least as long as there's money there)? Even as sick as my mom was, her supplemental plan rarely had to pay out more than $30 a month for their portion of her medical costs.

    I remember my dad getting shingles (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:55:57 PM EST
    when I was a kid. Pure torture.

    Same (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:11:54 PM EST
    my dad and my mother's sister both got it, it was really awful for both. From the Mayo Clinic:

    [If it]b affects the nerves that control movement (the motor nerves), you may have temporary or permanent weakness or paralysis. Sometimes, the pain in the area where the shingles occurred may last from months to years. This pain, called postherpetic neuralgia, can be extremely severe. The elderly are at higher risk for this complication.

    Involvement of the facial nerve may cause Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which can lead to loss of movement in the face, hearing loss, loss of taste, and other symptoms.

    If you get it in your eye, it could cause blindness. It's also contagious "through direct contact in an individual who has not had chickenpox, and therefore has no immunity."


    not Mayo Clinic (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:14:17 PM EST
    that was from google health. Here's Mayo Clinic

    When I first asked my primary care (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:19:32 PM EST
    physician about this vaccine, the response was:  insurance companies are negotiating whether they will pay for it.  I sd. how much does it cost?  $300.  They didn't have the vaccine yet so I didn't get it.  Next visit:  covered with no co-pay.  

    Saw my mom go through it too (none / 0) (#68)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 10:45:37 PM EST
    Really horrible. I may get that vaccine myself, and I don't even get the annual flu shots.

    What's old is new again. (none / 0) (#7)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:53:20 PM EST
    WMD Part Two has arrived:

    Via the NYTimes:

    "KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan police and U.S. soldiers discovered a half-million pounds of the fertilizer that is used in most of Afghanistan's homemade bombs."

    I was sure that there was a connection between our involvement in Afghanistan and fertilizer.

    Do poppies need fertilizer? (none / 0) (#12)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:57:52 PM EST
    All plants do (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Fabian on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:10:34 PM EST
    but food crops are the heaviest feeders.  

    It's hard to know what purpose the fertilizer to be put to.

    If it's a primarily nitrogen fertilizer (I assume since phosphorous and potassium aren't particularly explosive) then it's less likely to be used for poppy cultivation.  Nitrogen is good for leaves and growing protein rich grains, not so much for flowers.


    Fertilizer (none / 0) (#33)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:21:40 PM EST
    I'm anticipating a steady stream of stories from Afghanistan to get us prepared for Obama's imminent announcement that he will send another 40,000 American soldiers to Afghanistan.

    It does hit me in the stomach to think of soldiers being put in such a place for reasons that no one cares to articulate.


    The only thing (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Fabian on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:28:43 PM EST
    that would justify sending more resources to me is an ironclad commitment from BOTH the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Anything less and we might as well plan our orderly withdrawal right now.

    Justification (none / 0) (#37)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:44:57 PM EST
    What would that mean?
    From what I read, the government in Afghanistan is run by our corrupt puppet. I don't even know who's really leading Pakistan right now, (Asif Ali Zardari?) but I keep reading that they don't like us sending drones over their territory killing people.

    So Karzai's commitment means nothing to me.
    He is us giving ourselves permission.

    And Pakistan?
    Enlighten me.


    The Taliban (none / 0) (#50)
    by Fabian on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:48:11 PM EST
    appears to move freely between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  IF we defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan and they just run to safety in Pakistan, then they'll be back again just as soon as conditions improve (when coalition forces leave).  Then what?

    Either we defeat the Taliban in both countries, or there's no point in fighting them at all.  (unless we want a Vietnam style war of body counts)

    I suppose to be totally accurate I should use the term The Insurgents because they say there are at least three separate groups who fight against the coalition forces and Afghanistan's central government.  "The Taliban" is a misleading term.  


    Why? (none / 0) (#63)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:45:35 PM EST
    Why is it that you feel that it is we who must defeat the Taliban?

    What did Gorbachev just say? (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:35:09 PM EST
    We couldn't do it and you probably can't either.

    If we aren't going to (none / 0) (#70)
    by Fabian on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 05:01:33 AM EST
    then why are we in Afghanistan?

    Excellent Question (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 08:54:13 AM EST

    If we aren't going to then why are we in Afghanistan?

    And therein lies the million dollar question that has been asked about fighting wars in a mountainous, landlocked country, with a miserable climate and very little fresh water, by a variety of nations, since the First Anglo-Afghan War back in 1839.

    Perhaps too many have always seen it as the connecting piece of a giant jigsaw puzzle.


    Is my point... (none / 0) (#75)
    by lentinel on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 09:54:56 AM EST
    I haven't the remotest idea why we're there.

    It seemed to me that Bush used it as a dress rehearsal for the invasion of Iraq. It didn't quite work out....

    I've heard about oil pipelines being a factor - or the drug trade - but neither motive is one that Americans would support. So the reason we're being fed is the same old updated domino theory of stopping the Taliban or Al Qaeda (it changes from week to week) before they come to Manhattan. Sometimes I've heard that the motive is to stop whomever from taking over Pakistan and getting their hands on their nukes. This is a relatively recent formulation - a reworking of Bush's effective "mushroom cloud" scenario that scared everybody into silence.

    This situation is absolutely stupefying to me.

    I never was much of a fan of Obama's. His speeches never moved me. But he did seem to have some sort of brain and at least a sliver of heart. Now I doubt even that. Considering that he is planning to send tens of thousands of soldiers into this hellhole, it is incredible and telling that he has said virtually nothing about it to the American people.


    There will, some day, be a political (none / 0) (#58)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 06:05:24 PM EST
    solution that involves  the replacement of Bush's (and now Obama's) man, Karzai, and  his corrupt family along with a power sharing arrangement  with the Taliban.  This will be facilitated by the end of the American occupation and use of that component of the Iraq surge that was successful--buying off the tribal leaders.  Tragically, this will not occur for quite some time, after we have run through several Kabul leaders, lost thousands of American soldiers and contractors to death and serious injury, killed tens of thousands of the peoples of Afghanistan, and increased our debt on our Chinese credit card by a $trillion or more.  The quagmire-building is occurring well ahead of mission statements, strategies (other than more troops to secure the country, meaning both safety from our enemies and development of infrastructures where none previously existed).  Buckle up your seat belts it is going to be a bumpy couple of decades, until some future president arrives  supporting change.

    It's interesting (none / 0) (#11)
    by lilburro on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:57:19 PM EST
    to watch Booman deal with the end of 11 dimensional chess.  I'm just glad it's dead.

    Did you read Ilya's (none / 0) (#32)
    by me only on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:10:32 PM EST
    bleg about Kelo?  Does it change your mind at all?

    FYI (none / 0) (#38)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:45:54 PM EST
    It's quite rare to get shingles more than once, maybe even impossible.  

    Here's one link that talks about it.


    And a quote from Medicinenet

    Can you get shingles more than once? The jury's still out on that one, but most experts say no. "It seems that almost without exception, people get it either not at all or once in their life," Jorizzo says. "If they keep getting it again and again in the same area, it's likely to be herpes simplex -- the fever blister virus, not varicella-zoster."


    If I already had shingles, I'd stay away from the vaccine.  Vaccines have a low risk of side effects, but if it isn't necessary, why take that low risk?

    You can get it more than once (none / 0) (#77)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 08:49:47 PM EST
    Medicare says:

    The outbreak can last from two weeks to several weeks. A few people (about 1 in 5) will continue to have pain even after the rash has cleared-up. In rare cases shingles can lead to serious health problems. Most people will only have one outbreak in a lifetime, although a second and third outbreak is possible. Shingles can cause scarring.

    And, as I said above, glaucoma and blindness if you get it in the eye. Amazing that medicare doesn't cover it.

    I haven't had any side effects from the vaccine, it's been more than 24 hours now.


    Obama at Fort Hood Memorial (none / 0) (#39)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:48:28 PM EST
    Saw some of his talk on teevee (none / 0) (#61)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 06:14:29 PM EST
    and it looked to be very moving, and what I heard sounded very fitting -- only somewhat cliched, but these are the times for standard comforting words.

    It was an excellent call to get the commander in chief there for the ceremony.


    Something he's good at! (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Fabian on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 05:02:48 AM EST
    Now about the other 99.9% of his job....

    Comfort from Obama (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by lentinel on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 10:01:52 AM EST
    What gets me mad is that his nonsensical policies toward Iraq and Afghanistan are driving soldiers to suicide. This guy was driven to homicide when told he was going to be shipped there - at least that's what we were told before they figured that we should not have been told that.

    So - from my point of view, Obama continues a policy of madness that results in the unnecessary deaths of these young soldiers. Then he shows up, looks somber, delivers his cliches and bromides, and goes back to sending even more to their doom.


    My younger brother, who isn't young, (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:52:07 PM EST
    is leaving from Chicago area Thursday to ride his bicycle w/trailer to Austin.  Will blog en route.  Crazy.

    For a cause or just to do it? (none / 0) (#43)
    by coast on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:06:42 PM EST
    Our family is gathering in Austin for (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:27:28 PM EST
    Christmas.  And he enjoys long distance bike riding (although he is accident prone).  Fingers crossed.

    And, after a lovely return to autumn (none / 0) (#51)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:48:29 PM EST
    and the weather we didn't have in October in the Chicago area (near me) -- Thursday is the last decent day before November returns with a vengeance.  Good time to go south!

    But how far can oc's bro... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:52:13 PM EST
    get in a day?  I hope he's packin' his long johns oculus...that's awesome.

    "The Plan" is 60 miles/day; (none / 0) (#54)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 06:01:00 PM EST
    six days/week.  With a few days cushion, he expects to arrive in Austin Dec. 21.