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Treating Meniere’s & Its Symptoms

All about Meniere’s Disease. Updated periodically.

When I’m questioned about why I’m retired already; or when someone airs doubts about my invisible disability, are you really disabled? the subject of Meniere’s disease is bound to surface. It is bound to surface because Meniere’s disease is the answer to both questions. If you just stumbled across this article on my blog and want to know, what is Meniere’s disease? I’ve never heard of it. I can understand that feeling. I’d never heard of it before its symptoms wrecked my life.

Continue reading “Treating Meniere’s & Its Symptoms”

Blue Dot is 30

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

Carl Sagan – Pale Blue Dot
NASA/JPL – Voyager 1 image of the Earth

In 1989, Voyager 1 was about to leave our Solar System. Dr. Sagan, who was a member of the mission’s imaging team, pleaded with NASA officials to turn the camera around and take one last look back at Earth before the spaceship left our solar system.

He then presented that grainy image of the pale blue dot to the world in this press conference.

The Planetary SocietyCarl Sagan unveils the Pale Blue Dot, 1990

Hat/tip to the Planetary Society. The featured image is the composite family portrait that the blue dot picture is part of.


Editor’s note. I ran across a story a few months ago that reminded me of this photograph, and while I was digging up the image at the Planetary Society website I realized that the image would be thirty years old today.

Rather than quote a story written for the twenty-sixth anniversary I wrote the above quick piece and scheduled it for the thirtieth anniversary date. NASA had been planning for this date longer than I had, though. They had been working on an updated image, and they had scheduled the release of the image for the day before the actual date so that news of it would make headlines on papers and websites well in advance of the anniversary. That’s the kind of impression you can make when you wield the manpower and economic force of a national agency.

nasa.gov

Failure of Justice

Came home to find out The Penguin has escaped from from Gotham City Jail yet again.

Posted by Jim Wright on Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Facebook – Stonekettle Station

The Orange Hate-Monkey has interfered in an internal justice department matter. He has directed his fixer/AG Billy Barr to reduce the sentence that his henchman Roger Stone is facing for violating the law at his direction. He is violating ethical rules and regulations in an effort to let his friend off lightly.

So just impeach Trump again. Just do it. Tomorrow do it again for the next stupid thing he does. Then again the next day. Then again the next day. Continue to repeat as necessary until his Stormtrumpers begin to understand the landslide that is waiting to crush them.

Everything that Trump does is a violation of some ethical rule or some guideline that isn’t strictly law, and every other thing he does is a violation of law that he pretends isn’t a violation. So impeach him a hundred times. A thousand times. Does it really matter how many times he is impeached, if every single thing he does should be something he is removed from office for?

Impeach him again. Just do it.


02/13/2020 (next day) – The hand-waving by the friends of the OHM’s new fixer/A.G. has begun. The host of this segment on Morning Edition spells out the timeline for the guy, and he still insists that Barr was not taking direction from the president.

Morning Edition – How Much Is Politics Influencing The Justice Department? – February 13, 2020

Occam’s razor would suggest that the guest is lying for his buddy Billy Barr who got his direction from the President right before he got involved in the case. Was given direction by a president who is too stupid to not broadcast the illegal things he does every day.

02/14/2020 – We discover today that Billy Barr is also interfering in the prosecution of Mike Flynn.

Mr. Flynn’s case was first brought by the special counsel’s office, who agreed to a plea deal on a charge of lying to investigators in exchange for his cooperation, before the Washington office took over the case when the special counsel shut down after concluding its investigation into Russia’s election interference.

Mr. Flynn’s case has been bogged down in recent months by his lawyers’ unfounded claims of prosecutorial misconduct; a judge has already rejected those accusations. Mr. Flynn then asked to withdraw his guilty plea, which he first entered in December 2017. His case has become a cause célèbre for Mr. Trump’s supporters.

On Tuesday, Mr. Barr and Mr. Rosen overruled career prosecutors’ recommendation that a judge sentence Mr. Trump’s friend Roger Stone Jr. to seven to nine years in prison after a jury found him guilty of witness intimidation and several false statements charges, in accordance with standard sentencing guidelines, and insisted on a lower recommendation.

New York Times

…but, you know, he’s not coordinating with the president in his efforts to exonerate or mitigate the punishment of his cronies.

It’s been three years now. In order to get a sense of the history of what OHM means, I will link a few crucial posts. I wrote The Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) when it became clear that the Republicans were going to nominate Donald Trump.  I wrote The GOP Cuddles Up To the NSDAP when the GOP refused to ostracize the OHM for his dangerously xenophobic populism. I wrote Caveat Emptor on the day Trump lied with his hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the US constitution. I wrote Bullshit is Bullshit on the day I stopped even trying to catalogue the blatant disregard of the truth by the OHM. It mystifies me why people still listen to him, and why the OHM still holds the office of the president. #MAGA means Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans. Anyone who believes differently is a MAGA themselves, otherwise known as a Stormtrumper, h/t to Berkeley Breathed.

Featured image is a screenshot of this New York Times story.

Victim of Weather, Again

Brain fog and vertigo for the third fourth day running today. It started sometime Saturday morning, and now it is Wednesday morning. I’m going back to my World of Warcraft marathon. Hopefully I’ll have more to say than this, soon.

RAnt(hony)-ings

I tried doing a few of the vestibular exercises today (Tuesday) nearly fell over twice. I’m done.

RAnt(hony)-ings

Existence Is

The AtlanticA 97-Year-Old Philosopher Faces His Own Death – Jan 14, 2020

What Is the Point?

Herbert Fingarette

Each person’s existence carries its own meaning, this much is clear to me at age 56. I’m not likely to get anywhere near 97 years of age. The genetic and social burdens I carry will probably kill me long before I make it that far. But who knows? I certainly don’t. I plan to live for as long as life brings me joy, and not for one minute longer if I can arrange that.

Like the veteran philosopher, this amatuer philosopher has pondered the meaning of existence many times. I cannot come up with a reason for life beyond the one I gave in the first sentence. Either you find your meaning for continuing for yourself, or you don’t. If you don’t, your existence is liable to be shorter than the person who can find that reason for themselves.

People without purpose tend to wither away. When I was stricken with illness that wouldn’t kill me, but rendered me incapable of continuing to indulge my passion for architecture, for designing and building, I came dangerously close to doing just that. It was the interference of family and friends that kept me here, allowed me time to find new purpose. Otherwise I would have been gone years ago.

A few years ago this week, I held my dying mother in my arms, and wept at the cruelty of the world that would kill this noble woman this way. Kill her with a cancer that she refused to treat. She felt it was the end of her time. And so it was the end of her time. And so it is for all of us, if we allow it to be. Or not.

Or not.

Accept that you know next to nothing about life and living. Savor each new thing, each new day, as if it is your last. Never miss a sunset if you can help it. Catch the first sun’s rays when you can. Breathe in life and then exhale it to enrich the world around you. Each and every day is a new day with new things to learn. Existence is its own purpose. I wouldn’t have it any other way, myself.

RAnt(hony)-ings

Submitted to the Atlantic. Featured image link, another bridge/sunset from Bing that I had to track down.

Respect for Mitt Romney?

The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did.

New York Times
C-SPANSenator Mitt Romney votes to convict President Trump – Feb 5, 2020

…but even Mitt Romney thought it was okay for the president to stonewall the House of Representatives in their desire to investigate the president. Again I ask, who would have thought this way if Obama had stonewalled all eight (yes, eight) of the Benghazi hearings? Almost no one.

RAnt(hony)-ings

Connectivity – Take 1,178

I lost connectivity. It feels like it has been over eleven hundred times. If I’m feeling even more vexed, it will feel like more times. I blame LG for this. This time, number 1178, was definitely all LG’s fault. I have a new phone. A new LG phone. I had an LG phone before last week, but now it is a new, five day old phone.

The new phone required me to take four days off from doing just about anything else other than trying to get data from the old phone to the new phone. A task that proved fruitless to the very end. That is the short version of the story.

The family switched from Ting to T-Mobile sometime in 2019. I liked Ting. I liked it because it was cheap. But then the prices went up, and our usage went up, and the Son started watching movies on his phone at college, and suddenly we were spending enough on cell phone charges that we could probably save money going with a standard carrier instead of a minute and data swapper like Ting. So we bit the bullet and changed to T-Mobile as a family, and I got a new LG phone to replace the Motorola G5 that inexplicably didn’t have NFC capability on it.

That was when the fun started. The first LG-Q7+ was always flaky. It kept giving me operating system errors and crashing at unexpected times. I dutifully tried to troubleshoot the poor thing for several months, tweaking this, changing that, reloading this or that application. No luck. Then one day it decided that it couldn’t take pictures anymore, so the LG-Q7+ that was my first-ever cell phone provided by a carrier’s plan had to be replaced.

Fortunately or unfortunately its replacement was another LG-Q7+. The LG-Q7+ is not a bad phone. Personally, I think it runs circles around the Motorola G5, and that’s just because I can use it to do electronic transactions without having to dig for a card. But because it was another LG-Q7+ I thought that this was a good time to try the LG Mobile Switch software that I hadn’t bothered to use when I changed from the Motorola to the LG the first time.

That first time I set it up? I just fired up the smartphone, selected language and country options, then I told Google it was my new phone, and Google set it all up for me in about a half-hour. It was fast and easy, but I was never certain that letting Google set it up hadn’t been half the problem that the first LG-Q7+ was having with it’s memory.

So, silly me, not allowing something that works stand in the way of trying something new, I loaded up the LG Mobile Switch software and set it to copying and transferring the dozens of gigabytes of data that I have on my phone. I wanted this to be a straight copy from phone to phone, so I didn’t bother to associate the new LG phone with my Google account in advance. I figured it would know it was my phone after it initialized the new installation. This was my first mistake.

After I got the data transferred, the Switch software coughed up an error. It said that it couldn’t transfer Amazon music to the new phone. I figured I’d just install it on my own when I had the new phone up and running, so I pulled the sim card and SD card from the old phone and popped it into the new one.

It started up fine, but then I noticed that some of my data from the old phone didn’t copy. Data that wasn’t in Amazon music. Data that I couldn’t transfer on my own. My Google Fit data, specifically. So I started the transfer process again, thinking it was the error that caused the data glitch. This was my second mistake.

The second data transfer completed without error, but when I looked at the phone records I realized that the data had been duplicated, and the Google Fit data disappeared when I opened the application. This is the point where I should have stopped, reset the new phone, and let Google know that I was trying to set up a new phone, starting the process by accessing my Google account first. Had I done that (this was already two days into the four day torture session) I would probably still have my Google Fit data.

I didn’t do that. Instead I deleted data from the individual applications (!) and started the transfer process a third time. I figured that I was only clearing data from the one phone, it wouldn’t affect the actual data on my old phone. When the process completed the third time, I still didn’t have the data I wanted. What was worse is that when I went to check the old phone, I watched as the data was deleted from it as well.

The weird part was that a phone that wasn’t currently connected to the internet in any way, didn’t even have a sim card in it, could get instructions to delete data and then delete it. My best guess is that the command was transferred during the brief moments that the phone was on the network to do the third transfer, and that the data purge was simply waiting for me to fire up the app the next time, which I did.

I tried resetting the old phone to factory specs and then reinstalling the data from an old backup, but the damage had been done already. The data in the backup had also been deleted; or if it hadn’t been deleted, it was deleted when it was sent to the new installation. What was worse is that the LG Mobile Switch software still hadn’t duplicated some of the other data that it should have copied, if it was actually doing what it promised to do.

So on the fourth day I reset the new phone to factory specs and downloaded the backup from Google to the new phone, just like I had done the first time with the flaky first LG-Q7+. Annoyingly LG Mobile Switch insisted that I allow it to copy data from my old phone, even though the old phone had been reset to factory specs and returned to T-Mobile the day before. I had to figure out how to get the software to stop bugging me to copy data, which meant telling it “yes I want to copy” and then canceling out of the process after it got to the start screen.

It would have been nice if the LG Mobile Switch software had prompted me to log into my Google account as a precursor to starting the copy process, so as to let the dumb new user know that logging into your Google account was going to be required for the process to be successful. That would have been a big help. Not being so willing to try new things just to be able to screw up in new and interesting ways (and then write about the process) would also have kept me from accidentally deleting seven-ish years of fitness tracking from my Google account.

I started writing this on Monday, February 3rd. I got the new phone on Thursday, January 30th and started setting it up that day. As I started writing, I was logging into the last of the hundred or so apps that I have on my phone. What this experience has taught me more than anything, is that I really need to do some weeding of old apps from my phone. Not having to wedge data on to tiny old phones has made me lazy over the last few years. I really don’t know what all those apps do, or why I have them other than I thought “oh, cool” while listening to a TWiT or TWiG or All About Android episode, and then forgetting I installed whatever it was after I finished fiddling around with it. Why is it that everything requires regular cleaning, even the tech?

Looks like I’ll be duplicating the data collection that my doctor requested me to do about two weeks before I changed phones. I had just finished entering the last set of data into Google Fit and just needed to copy it and upload it to his website. If only I had done that first. If only.

The State of the Union? It Sucks

Tomorrow will make only the third time in my adult life that I have consciously skipped the State of the Union (SOTU) address. I don’t listen to the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) talk. As in, I don’t ever allow myself to hear his voice if I can help it. I talk about how I evolved this maintenance strategy here,

RAnt(hony)-ings

I did contemplate watching the first SOTU that the OHM stank up the House of Representatives with, but I decided that my mental state simply couldn’t cope with that much hatred and disinformation so shortly after I had to come to grips with the fact that no-one was going to do their job and keep the unstable piece of shit out of the office of the president. So many people not willing to do their jobs before it became my quandary whether I should do my job as an informed citizen and tough out the bullshit, or simply admit that there was no benefit to be had in listening to the speech at all.

That decision is what lead to my ultimate decision to block all the things the OHM said, and limit myself to just noting all the things that he and his administration did. A much less daunting task than sorting the bullshit into (yuge) piles.

We have now come full circle as a country. What was so evident for me in 2015 when I tripped over the obvious hatred of elected Republicans,

RAnt(hony)-ings

Is now apparent to the vast majority of Americans. The Republicans? They only care about power. They only care about holding power, and they think that is all anyone around them cares about. They are, to paraphrase one of my favorite political commentators, despicable people or to quote Hillary Clinton, They are a basket of deplorables. They are so proud of being deplorable people that they wear that label on their clothing.

“Yes” they say “I’m in it for the power alone. I have no morals, I have no standards. I just want my party to be the party in power. That’s all you want, so why not?”

This attitude was on display as far back as Bill Clinton’s SOTU when Newt Gingrich orchestrated the Republican dismissal of Democratic legislative proposals because they came from Democrats, even if those proposals originated in conservative think tanks. It reached it transparent heights during the Obama administration when the Republicans pissed on the Affordable Care Act and called it Obamacare even though it was a direct copy of the Massachusetts system proposed and signed into law by Governor Mitt Romney, now Senator Mitt Romney.

So no. I won’t even be watching tonight. I will not be the hypocrite who boos ideas that he approves of just because they come out of the OHM’s mouth. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and the OHM can mistakenly do right things or propose the right ideas for the wrong reasons. The problem is the man, not the office or the party, when it comes to the SOTU. The man is a charlatan, and I refuse to listen to his lies.

It’s been three years now. In order to get a sense of the history of what OHM means, I will link a few crucial posts. I wrote The Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) when it became clear that the Republicans were going to nominate Donald Trump.  I wrote The GOP Cuddles Up To the NSDAP when the GOP refused to ostracize the OHM for his dangerously xenophobic populism. I wrote Caveat Emptor on the day Trump lied with his hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the US constitution. I wrote Bullshit is Bullshit on the day I stopped even trying to catalogue the blatant disregard of the truth by the OHM. It mystifies me why people still listen to him, and why the OHM still holds the office of the president. #MAGA means Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans. Anyone who believes differently is a MAGA themselves, otherwise known as a Stormtrumper, h/t to Berkeley Breathed.


I have always hated the responses to the State of the Union address. I went so far as to write this article,

RAnt(hony)-ings

…after the Republicans in the legislature cluelessly continued to offer their unwanted #MeToos to Obama’s excellent speeches. But my loathing for them goes back to when the practice first caught my eye, back in the days of Newt Gingrich’s bad faith demonstrations against Bill Clinton. But even during the eight years of W.’s pathetic leadership I thought the Democratic responses were lukewarm at best. Mostly because the opposition never seems capable of capturing what it is that the the people opposed to the president really think about his speech and his policies.

This year was different. For the first time in my adult life, the response seems more like what the average citizen might be thinking right now. Not the official response which is still cringe-worthy. No. I mean the radio interview that she gave to NPR afterwards.

Morning Edition – Michigan Gov. Whitmer Gives Democrats’ Response To State Of The Union – February 5, 2020

Nancy Pelosi tearing up the Orange Hate-Monkey’s speech was the highlight of the evening. Why? Because it’s all the Stormtrumpers and the media want to talk about. They all look like fools. Did she do something illegal? Get a life, people.

The manifesto of mistruths presented in page after page of the address tonight should be a call to action for everyone who expects truth from the President and policies worthy of his office and the American people. The American people expect and deserve a President to have integrity and respect for the aspirations for their children.

Pelosi Statement on State of the Union Address

She gets it. She understands what Trump is. So does Veronica Escobar,

the greatest threat to our security is a president and a Republican-controlled Senate that act only in their own interest

NPR – KUT

I was raiding in World of Warcraft while all of this went on. I think I spent my hours more productively that way.

The Curse of Faction

The Republican Party … was literally shattered into fragments, and we had no fewer than five Republican Presidential candidates in the field. In the place of two great parties arrayed against each other in a fair and open contest … the country was overrun with personal factions. These, having few higher motives for the selection of their candidates or stronger incentives to action than individual preferences or antipathies, moved the bitter waters of political agitation to their lowest depths.

President Martin Van Buren, writing about the election of 1824.

His book is a free Kindle book. Read the whole thing.

Inquiry into the Origin and the Course of Political Parties in the United States (1867)

Hat/tip to Facebook – Robert Reich. My Facebook share.

Women 2020

Facebook – Strange Women Lying in Ponds Distributing Swords
(yes there is a group for that. I don’t know if they created the image)

It could just be shortened to women in 2020, but I’ll take whichever.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Dennis The Constitutional Peasant

I mean, if I went around sayin’ I was an empereror just because some moistened bink had lobbed a scimitar at me they’d put me away!

Monty Python (the line itself)

The 2016 version as I posted it four years ago on Facebook.

Questions & Closing

Both impeachment cases have been presented, both the prosecution and defense. Now we will find out what the mood of the senate is towards the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) and his bullshit.

C-SPANU.S. Senate: Impeachment Trial (Day 9) – January 29, 2020

Prayer starts at 12:00 minutes into the video. First question is read at 15:45. Two hours in (the point where I started watching live) there is little doubt what the Texas Senators think. All of the Republican questions have been rather ham-handed gotcha questions that they can’t possibly think will advance the debate on the question before the Senate. The question of whether or not the charges brought against the president deserved to be given a proper hearing.

3:30 pm. Javelins and president Trump’s support of Ukraine. If the characterization by the president’s defense is accurate, then Donald Trump can’t be said to be working in the interest of Vladimir Putin. Putin would not want the OHM to sell the Ukrainians lethal weapons. That means that OHM and his defense are either dumb enough to think there was a server that Crowdstrike sent to be hidden in Ukraine, and that this was done somehow in relation to Vice President Biden and his son hunter. They are either that dumb, or they think that their audience is dumb enough to believe that fantasy could be true, and so sell that as a diversion. The depth of idiocy/ delusion this reveals almost beggars the imagination.

The OHM either believes the Q-anon conspiracy fantasy, or he likes pretending he believes it in order to cover his desire to throw mud at Joe Biden. Wow. Just wow.

6:30 pm. What we learn from people who call in to the C-SPAN line, generally, is that the supporters of Donald Trump have very little understanding of the facts in this case. This isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that the tuned away from FOX news long enough to listen to themselves talk on C-SPAN.

Clearly the talking point they’ve picked up is that the house failed to do a proper investigation. Anyone, ANYONE who is really paying attention knows that the OHM prevented a proper investigation. That is the truth about that specific point of inquiry. Every person who puts the blame on the House is either an idiot, is uninformed, or is lying. It has to be one of those three things. A minimal level of pushback by the talking head who listens and nods would reveal which one of the three mental states the callers are in. Too bad he doesn’t do that more often.


I didn’t even watch the second day of questions and answers. I meant to come back and catalog the first day of questions and answers, but by the time I had my phone working (that article is still in progress) and finished my World of Warcraft raids for the week (priorities) the Senate Republicans were too busy sucking Donald Trump’s cock (right there in public) to be able to do anything but pay attention to the job in front of them.

No witnesses. Nothing more on the subject of the most corrupt president in US history will be entertained by the Senate that is lead by his morally bankrupt Republican party. Closing arguments were heard this morning. I may or may not watch any of the continuing charade. Here, however, are the closing arguments of the House managers who have so valiantly lead the fight against the corruption embodied by the OHM.

C-SPANRep. Adam Schiff Closing Argument – Feb 3, 2020

So I moved this post up to Monday, February 3rd from Thursday, January 29th. The final vote will be on Wednesday. I’ve already started writing on that article. What has happened to this country since 2016 is unacceptable. It has to stop, and we have to stop it because no one else will.

It has been 3 years, 14 days, 7 hours and 35 minutes since Donald Trump should have been removed from office.

Trump isn’t Nixon and he’s not going to be held to account by Republicans. He’s going to weasel out, as he always does. As the rich and privileged and powerful always do. You knew it. You said so, right here, on my Facebook page, in my Twitter timeline. You knew. So did I. So did we all. Of course, we foolishly let ourselves hope it would be different, sure we did. We got excited there for a minute. Maybe this time Susan Collins and Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski would actually stand up and … well, yeah, like I said, foolish.

Stonekettle Station – Stalking Horse