web analytics


This here contraption weds a camera to a kite for some intriguing low-aerial photography. (Ummm…I was sent the link by email and forgot to ask if I could say by whom). There are some cracking good pictures at the link.

The head photographer and my old art gig requisitioned (and got!) quite a large a remote-control helicopter to use as a photography platform. It didn’t turn out so well. Gear in those days was bulky, remotes were hinky and the camera shake was fierce. On the other hand, he spent weeks playing with a big, expensive toy and got the company to pay for it. So, w00t, really.

Also in my inbox today, also from someone who will remain anonymous because I forgot to ask, this link to an excellent album of some dude playing classical guitar pieces on a ukulele. Two ukes, actually, I think. It works surprisingly well.

You have to sign up at the link to download the album (it’s kind of interesting what they’re trying to do there, but no thanks)…but they’ll let you listen to the whole thing for free.

Me, I’ve got my annual bloodwork tomorrow morning early. I really, really don’t want to go on a statin, but I really, really don’t want to pick a fight with my doctor, either. He’s a crabby sod as it is. So I’ve been living on a diet that includes lots of oat bran, almonds, lecithin granules, apples and niacin. Does this shit really lower cholesterol? I don’t know and, in the bigger scheme of things, I don’t much care. I don’t think they’ve worked out the role of cholesterol yet; I’m just trying to queer the test.

I’m about an hour into my 14-hour fast and I’m feeling a lot of class envy at the moment. You people in the “sure, I’m going to eat dinner tonight” class, you really frost my ass. You know that?


Comment from Pupster
Time: April 29, 2013, 7:53 pm

oat bran, almonds, lecithin granules, apples and niacin

I’d think some statin would sound downright tasty by now.

Comment from MikeW
Time: April 29, 2013, 8:31 pm

Go to the store and pick up some fresh grapefruit. Even if you’re ambivalent about them, they’ll be your last if you get put on statins. We haven’t had any since my wife started a few years back.

They were so nice to have every once in a fair while. Slice it in half, loosen the segments, drizzle some honey on it, slip it under the broiler for a few, mmmm…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 29, 2013, 8:33 pm

I love grapefruit, but I don’t buy them often. That’s another medication potentiated by grapefruit, then?

Comment from Redd
Time: April 29, 2013, 8:45 pm

Wow, I was toying about asking you this over the weekend. In one of the Time Team episodes, they had a radio operated cardboard stealth jet (it was only about 1′ x 2′) and inserted underneath, was an inexpensive digital camera. They used it to look for ground features. I’ve read where they used a balloon, too.

Do you have any aerial photos of your land? I watched the Flying Archaeologist program and there could be a Roman fort underneath your house. Have you checked, Stoaty?

Comment from Ripley
Time: April 29, 2013, 9:07 pm

Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard: Biggs, what does that mean, hinky?

Biggs: I don’t know. Strange. Weird

Gerard: Well, why don’t you say strange or weird? I mean hinky, that has no meaning.

Biggs: Well, we say hinky.

Gerard: I don’t want you guys using words with no meaning.

[Sorry — it was just there.]

Comment from AltBBrown
Time: April 29, 2013, 9:55 pm

Ha! Only 12 hr. fast in ma neck o’ the woods. Talked to a cardiologist once and he said, if they could, they’d put atorvastatin (Lipitor) in the water supply like flouride – it’s that effective and harmless.
‘Course they’d double the Rain Tax due to the added bonus:

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: April 29, 2013, 10:44 pm

Yes… I knew a doctor who used to say that about beta-blockers.

Then the started to find out what they really did.

Just about lost count of the friends and relatives who’ve been messed-up by statins. Harmless, my arse!

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: April 29, 2013, 10:51 pm

Frost your ass? You mean with a sweet cream cheese based frosting, or German double chocolate? 😉

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 29, 2013, 11:19 pm

Ohhhh, Scoob…you’re evil, you are. Happily, raw vodka and tap water is quelling the hunger pangs pretty well.

Actually, Redd, you probably live on land older than ours. This sliver of earth was reclaimed from the sea not much before this house was built. Flat as a table and nothing under. Sometimes, I lie in bed and imagine the sea flowing over this spot.

One of our neighbors has a very strange earthwork on his land. Natural England explicitly told him not to dig anywhere near it. I’d so be out there with a fucking spoon on the first moonlit night.

Comment from AndStatistics
Time: April 29, 2013, 11:30 pm

>Slice it in half, loosen the segments, drizzle some honey on it, slip it under the broiler for a few, mmmm…

I’ve never heard of preparing grapefruit that way. Normally I’m not much for ’em, but that sounds intriguing.

Comment from Sporadic Anti-Britisher Skirmisher
Time: April 30, 2013, 12:05 am

Being of robust peasant stock formed my taste in many areas and food is indubitably one of them.
Tonight, a nice Montana grass-fed beef steak with broccoli, 3 fingers of Black Label Johnnie Walker and some Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.
Then, neck-sizing brass and watching youtube gems.

Since this is a thread about cholesterol, I tackle mine in the old fashioned way: burn the living bejebus out of it. For a 45 year old codger, my LDL is barely above the lowest level. Forgot what my HDL is.

And +1 to Uncle Badger. Almost all people I know or knew were not better off after allowing statins or SSRIs into their systems.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: April 30, 2013, 12:26 am

Ah yes…statins. The drug that took me to the brink of liver failure. Harmless my ass. I’ve never felt so awful in my life. And the fibrate I tried next was as bad. Fish oil and niacin for me- been on those two for 20 years now and that’s all i’ll be taking for my cholesterol. Pass the grapefruit over here please.

Comment from steve
Time: April 30, 2013, 12:47 am

That whole almond oat bran lecithin diet just does not contain enough beer.

….in my professional opinion….

Comment from PatAZ
Time: April 30, 2013, 1:22 am

I have no problem with cholesterol, but my triglycerides were a little high. My doctor told me to take fish oil (4 capsules every day) and Red Yeast Rice Capsule (1 daily). It not only brought down my triglycerides, but also the cholesterol. A little pricy but if it works, I’m doing it. I prefer grapefruit with a light sprinkling of salt. My neighbor has a tree that gives me plenty during Jan-Mar.

Comment from SDN
Time: April 30, 2013, 1:48 am

Stoaty, down in Plano TX, my Internist only requires NPO after midnight for 7 am labs, and specifically exempts water. I’m diabetic and a pancreatitis survivor, so my bloodwork is extensive.

I think you need a different doctor.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: April 30, 2013, 2:35 am

Let him prescribe it, doesn’t mean it has to go in your mouth.

And statins kicked my cute little ass. Every joint in my body was screaming in red hot pain. Stay away from them.

Comment from Timothy S. Carlson
Time: April 30, 2013, 7:50 am

Holy shite.

I’ve been on a statin for cholesterol for years and years, pre-strokes. All of my aches and pains have been generally blamed on stroke effects – but could it be the statin?

Y’all have inspired me to head to the doc for a re-eval. Thanks!

BTW: Pineapple juice is pushed heavily here for lower cholesterol and heart health.

Comment from gebrauchshund
Time: April 30, 2013, 10:02 am

Eat moar bacon to keep those heart valves properly lubricated.

It’s science!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2013, 10:59 am

There. Bled into a cup and then walked into town and had the greasiest breakfast I could find. Cross your fingers.

Comment from AliceH
Time: April 30, 2013, 11:48 am

Good luck! For my part, I think the most salient point you make about all this is this line:

I don’t think they’ve worked out the role of cholesterol yet

Cholesterol levels in blood are presented as proxies of heart health, but it’s sort of like tree rings and the case for global warming — lot’s of factors affect the proxy metric, and not all of them are factors of any relevance to the property being tested (health and temperature, respectively).

Comment from Stacy
Time: April 30, 2013, 12:20 pm

Statins – NO. Do not do it. They don’t lower cholesterol for shit. There are internets and internets of sites out there with doctors saying FUCK STATINS. All they do is reduce the arterial inflammation that can lead to strokes.

Now for my own personal statin experience: hair loss (!!!), constant body aches, clinical depression (yes, near the self-harm level). Either tell him to prescribe those statins for his own ass, or take the scrip and bury it in the garden. Where it, no doubt, will sprout a progressive.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: April 30, 2013, 1:08 pm

I’d definitely take death by grapefruit over the fleeting chance that some marginally effective drug was going to save my life.

Comment from Deborah
Time: April 30, 2013, 1:35 pm

Husband was downright crippled after taking Crestor (rosuvastatin) for about six months (after he had a heart stent installed). Told his cardiologist that he wasn’t going to take it anymore, and they worked out a deal with some OTC things (fish oils, et cetera).

As for me, I believe in red wine—the redder the better.

Grapefruit and Gin, thank you very much. My landlord brings me bags of grapefruit and little crummy-looking oranges that taste so sweet and pure it makes me want to dance around the kitchen (from another property—alas, not the one I lease). If I ever get a house that has dirt underneath (not rock), I am planting grapefruit, oranges, and lemons.

Comment from Deborah
Time: April 30, 2013, 2:26 pm

P.S. If I had some strange earthworks on my land, I’d be for renting some ground-penetrating radar equipment, and taking a look-see. He could always say he was checking for abandoned pipelines, wells, caverns, ancient boundary markers, et cetera.

Comment from twolaneflash
Time: April 30, 2013, 2:37 pm

Some idiots talk about putting statins in the water like flouride. My brief encounter resulted in deep muscle pain, especially in the legs. In America, EVERY adverse event is to be reported to the FDA, but few are. I went on a fibrate and tolerate it well, with cholesterol controlled. The problem with fish oil capsules is the ones that don’t give you the burping aftertaste of fish are more expensive than prescription meds.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: April 30, 2013, 3:51 pm

The truth is, stress and personal mood seems to affect cholesterol tests more than anything else. You can go from normal to too high just based on how you feel at the moment.

Comment from Deborah
Time: April 30, 2013, 4:07 pm

That explains a lot! Husband HATES needles, and turns white if the blood bank calls 🙂

Comment from Redd
Time: April 30, 2013, 5:33 pm

How long do you people want to live anyway? Everything begins to hurt, your friends are all dead, you can’t eat what you want, etc. Old age is not what it is cracked out to be. Oh, and doctors talk down to you.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: April 30, 2013, 6:54 pm

How long do you people want to live anyway?

Long enough to have another beer.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: April 30, 2013, 7:14 pm

Niacin works, but it’ll turn you pink. I do hope your physical went well.

Comment from BJM
Time: April 30, 2013, 7:24 pm

@Mrs. Compton -“Let him prescribe it, doesn’t mean it has to go in your mouth.”


I tossed the bottles into a drawer. I had to refill monthly to keep our insurance company off my back…how wasteful & stupid is that?

We adopted a quasi vegetarian diet with some fish, a bit of Parmigiana, greek yogurt and goat cheese as flavoring, but no other dairy as it was beginning to seriously disagree with me anyhoo. Almond milk tastes pretty danged good on cereal.

We also take supplements and imbibe a bit of red wine most evenings and have done so for years.

My next annual blood work was aces…all at or below “normal” and I’d lost a stone (the Spousal Unit’s results were similar).

After the doc finished patting himself on the back I told him the truth. He was pissy, but had to admit that it worked.

What we are not doing is turning our diet into a religion or lifestyle. I detest diet nags/martyrs as much as foodie snobs. The occasional dim sum lunch, slice of bacon or fudge sundae doesn’t make a whit of difference other than making us happy.

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: April 30, 2013, 7:25 pm

I often wonder how feasible it’d be to attach a video camera to my Husky’s head.

To see what he gets up to whilst he’s owning up the woods of North Yorkshire.

It’d have to be on a walk though, otherwise it’d just produce video of him burying whatever it is of mine he’d stolen, or licking his bollocks.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: April 30, 2013, 8:19 pm

Just reading the posts here proves the importance of individual medical advice – plus a doctor who is devoted to your health. Not possible with OCare or socialized medicine where the individual is not recognized. But hey, its all free!

I had no problem with statins, but Slo-Niacin (no red face or itching) was just as good. And pure, fresh pomegranate juice (not the canned kind) was also great. Doc advised fewer carbos and more lean meats, plus stress reduction. Numbers went down, but also had to add mega fish oil tablets, yuk.

Alas the red wine made me dizzy and bad headaches in the morning. Maybe I was medicating too much, but after 3 glasses its hard to know.

Comment from Redd
Time: April 30, 2013, 8:26 pm

I often wonder how feasible it’d be to attach a video camera to my Husky’s head.

Very: http://goo.gl/NugkY

I watched the video posted at the first link. It was fascinating.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: April 30, 2013, 9:34 pm

Someone attached a camera to an eagle and set it free, he got some astounding footage.

“Old age is not what it is cracked out to be. Oh, and doctors talk down to you.”

Not just doctors. Nearly everyone starts talking to older people like they do pets and children. Like you get stupider after a certain age, or something. I’ve never done it and it makes me want to punch them in the gut.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2013, 9:39 pm

My dad is getting up there, and he sounds like it. He forgets words and ideas and his voice is terribly weak and quavery.

Sometimes when I talk to him, I imagine what it would sound like if his end of the conversation were read out loud by a young actor and I realize…yep. Still a very smart man.

Comment from PatAZ
Time: May 1, 2013, 1:24 am

The tasteless fish oil capsules are too expensive for me, so I always take the after eating. I rarely get the burp-up.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: May 1, 2013, 1:55 am

My MD at the time first noticed my high (and I do mean chart toping high) cholesterol when I was in my early 30s. About the same time, my mama’s MD noticed the same about her cholesterol. We both declined statins at the time. I opted for fish oil and niacin. Mama chose no intervention. 15 years, 4 states and 5 PCPs later I agreed to statin intervention. Mama continued to decline statins. 2 years after initiating statins, 2 years of misery- every joint and muscle burned, a year recovering from severe liver impairment from statins, a 6 month attempt at a fibrate with more misery. I’m back to just fish oil and niacin. My cholesterol is the same as it was when I was 30 ( outrageously high). I’m married to a chef…we eat only fresh, local, in season….in other words, the dietician at the lipid clinic calculated our diet is low fat, low sodium….and my cholesterol and triglycerides are far above normal. My mama, who has declined all intervention, a FABULOUS cook, who eats only fresh, local and in season, just recently celebrated her 78th birthday. I’m willing to sacrifice a year or two of “living” for some real living….my mama is my inspiration.

Comment from Laurel Van Driest
Time: May 1, 2013, 3:22 am

That would be me with the Kite Aerial Photography. Now that I’ve made it to the Big Time Stoat Post, I shall keep my eyes open and fingers ready for the next Ready for Weasel Time tidbit.

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: May 1, 2013, 4:58 pm

Hmm-m-m…well, YMMV, as always, but –

I’ve been on a (relatively) low-dosage statin (specifically, Simvastatin – more about that in a bit) and fenofibrate (for some time, Tricor, but now probably will have to go with the “generic” – insurance says name-brand is a no-go, unless I pay full price)for – oh – ’bout 9 – 10 years, now, without detectible bad effects. I also have a small medicinal-alcohol dosage every day (either one beer or one glass of wine, preferably a white. Not a fan of red wine…), plus two low-dosage enteric aspirin, one or two fish-oil caps (the biggish ones), a grape-seed/resveratrol cap, 100 to 150 MG. of CoQ-10 and some vitamin supplements – a D-3 gelcap and one of those “silver” multivitamin thingies, currently.

Just chock-fulla that over-the-counter stuff, I am.

I tried niacin – gave it a pretty good run, in various forms, including the “time-release” stuff (the afore-mentioned Slo-Niacin) – but, no matter the form, I got an ever-increasing allegic reaction: face/skin itching and burning, night sweats – so…statin (and fenofibrate; LDL goes wrong with out some of each).

Fortunately, I had a very good cardiologist ten years ago. He told me the following:

1. All statin drugs are alike in one respect, which is, long-term, they are ALL corrosive, in one degree or another, to your body – they are oxidants when metabolized, simply to varying degrees depending on the particular type, the individual involved, and the dosage taken. They MUST, therefore, have the corrosive effects offset, generally by taking them ONLY IN CONCERT WITH an offsetting agent – usually (and most effectively) a co-enzyme.

That’s why I take the CoQ-10, a broad-spectrum anti-oxidant – which is a pretty good thing to take, BTW, even if you DON’T need to modify/regulate systemic cholesterol.

2. Statin drugs of various types DO vary, in both their efficacy for particular individuals AND in their bad side-effects on the human body. You may have to change the type of statin you use – and maybe adjust the co-enzyme dosage, as well – in order to get the useful effects to the desired level, and avoid the bad side-effects as much as possible, while offsetting the remaining bad effects with the co-enzyme. Somewhat the same situation with fibrates – although there’s apparently really only one “type” of that stuff currently available.

3. Finally – relative systemic cholesterol levels between individuals don’t mean nearly as much as a lot of doctors will try to tell you they do – what’s really high, and should be treated as dangerous, for some people, may be not only tolerable but quite “normal” for other folks – plus, it now appears that systemic cholesterol reductions, taken beyond a certain point, can actually be worse for some people, and don’t do as much good for a lot of others as was formerly believed.

Which all comes out, in the end, as the “human condition” being very complex, and difficult at times to deal with…

Bottom line: Statins – especially certain types – in the water supply is a VERY BAD idea – at least, until we know a whole bunch more about how they work – or don’t work – for most people, most of the time.

What works for some, is bad for some others – just like so many other things in life, right?

Comment from Oh Hell
Time: May 2, 2013, 12:38 am

I don’t know what my cholesterol level is and I don’t care. I avoid doctors as much as possible. I figure when I die, I die. I certainly don’t want to live long enough to sit in a corner and drool all day.
The sea life center in Seward had a sea lion with a camera on her head, but I don’t know if the footage is available. Probably just pics of doomed fishes…..

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny