January 3rd, 2014


Informed Impulse Buy

First day back to work since the 24th. Got there at 9:07 (left home at 9:00, took the freeway, which is not practical before 9, and may not be after this weekend). Not much to do, but luckily the guy with the next product's test matrix spreadsheet was in, and he emailed it to me, so I spent most of the day perusing it and comparing things to the specs. Not to bore you, but it's a complex product, and figuring out how to translate the specs into a test plan is going to be a long, challenging process. I'll do some more of that tomorrow.

Gave calendars to boss and the two cow-orkers who were there. Left one on each seat of those who are on vacation. I still have 3 left, so if you didn't get one and want one, send me a snailmail address. First come...

Nails were due for a fill, at 1:20 I phoned for a 2 o'clock appointment, was told there were no more openings, but come at 1:30. I rushed to get there, and the front of the house was empty. The staff was in the back having lunch and the owner was at the bank. I offered to come back at 2, but they said to wait a few minutes. Owner did my nails, and gave her 2 o'clock client to another staff member until she was done with me.

I had been doing some research on sleep apnea and mattresses. This was precipitated a couple of weeks ago when I changed the sheets and saw that my 2-year-old discount mattress was starting to come apart on top in the area I use the most. When I went to flip it, there were two issues: 1) it has no handles and 2) the bottom is not like the top, it is not a sleeping surface it is a box spring contact surface.

All the info I have read on sleep apnea regarding beds had been useless and vague, saying that the mattress doesn't make a predictable difference, it's a personal issue. Everyone is different. But that can't be true, everyone's airway is basically the same, and there are only so many triggers for apnea.

European Sleep Works up in Berkeley has some solid info, they make a bed which they say helps, and an "oxygen pillow" which also helps. But they are hella expensive, too far to get to during work hours, and the only day I could get there would be Saturday. So I penciled in Saturday for a trip there, but meantime looked around other places I know about. Mattress Discounters is out, they sold me the piece of crap I have now. Sleep Train is out, they over-advertise and they have been constantly beating us up with ads begging for $$ for their foster children program. California has a pretty generous pay out to foster parents, so there's some special interest Sleep Train is scamming here. That pretty much left Mancini's Sleepworld as the last name brand local showroom.

I went to the Sunnyvale branch, big showroom, only one staffer. But Kevin knew his stuff, answered my questions, did not try to up-sell or hard sell me, and shared that he has severe sleep apnea, and the reason the sleep apnea sites were vague about mattresses is the real help is to have and adjustable frame which can elevate your head and feet a little bit. He made sure I thoroughly tested the five mattresses which would work with an adjustable frame and were designed for folks like us who get too warm on a standard mattress. And I played with the adjustable frame for a while on a nice mattress. And he found out that the best mattress in the place was due to be replaced by a 2014 model, and got me the floor model at a huge discount, and a new adjustable frame at half off. Checking online, those were good prices, made better by the free delivery/set-up and hauling away the old mattress & frame.

So that will be delivered Wednesday, they will call with a time window on Tuesday evening. Easy enough to work from home.

Home, Domino was perched on the arm of the sofa, not one of her frequent flyer spots. And got some stuff done:
- Moved the officecam to the other side of the room, where it can see me from the back, and Domino's favorite parking spot. This entailed installing a multi-plug outlet, moving the Midi keyboard out of the way, drilling holes and inserting plastic screw thingies, and losing my computer reading glasses.
- Watched the first half of the Sugar Bowl
- Hunted for my glasses. Finally found them on the floor of the office closet where they fell off while I was putting tools away
- Made a TV dinner
- Watched the second half of the Sugar Bowl, but missed an Oklahoma TD where the Tivo had rebooted when I turned off the circuit breaker to install the multi-plug outlet. And it did not add an hour as instructed, so I missed the last 4 minutes.
- Gave Domino her traditional half-can of Fancy Feast. Last night she left half of it over. If she does that again, we go to 1/4 can servings
- Updated my cats page on http://howeird.com/cats.html to reflect the singlehood of Domino and return of Kaan
- Updated my http://howeird.com/webcams.html page to reflect the change of Comcast IP address, and added camera. All cams have a guest login of "hacker" with no password.

For another day: check the links on the howeird.com links pages, and add stuff to http://howeird.com/grammar.html

Plans for tomorrow:
Work. Weekly report

I Suppose We Can Blame Religion and Lawyers

There's a local news story which has made international headlines. One of the reasons it has made headlines is the Media has, as often they do, simplified the story, making it seem like more of a dilemma than it really is.

An obese 13-year-old was in the hospital to have complicated surgery to try to mitigate her sleep apnea. It starts with a tonsillectomy, and continues to adenoid removal and finally trimming some of the tissue near the back of the throat. It is not a simple operation, and it is not a low-risk procedure. And it is rarely done on children.

But the Media keeps reporting it as a simple tonsillectomy, which we all know as a low-risk operation commonly performed on children.

Something went horribly wrong, and in the recovery room blood started gushing from her throat. It was sudden and massive and she had a heart attack. Though she was in a hospital, medical attention did not arrive in time to save her. She was put on a ventilator, but it was too late, her brain had been without oxygen for too long, and she was declared brain-dead.

Her mother could not believe her daughter was dead, declared that God would perform a miracle, hired a lawyer who managed to emotionally sway a judge to order to hospital to keep the girl on the ventilator.

A doctor appointed by the judge examined the girl and confirmed she was brain dead. But the lawyer convinced the judge two more times to keep the girl on the machine, while the family finds a facility which will accept her on life support indefinitely.
The girl is dead. Nothing is going to bring her back. But her faith in God's miracles is unshakable, and her lawyer's  15 minutes of fame is bolstering her faith.

I can understand the mother's shock and refusal to accept what has happened.

Part of the irony is that until they can perform and autopsy, they can't explain what happened. And until Mom decides to let her daughter rest in peace, they can't do an autopsy.