Friday, October 06, 2006


I had an interesting conversation with a couple of coworkers the other day. We started talking about the joy of skinned knees in childhood. Remember how messed up your knees (and palms and elbows) could get from falling on the cement? How often did we run home yelling, dripping blood all the way?

Our moms were staunch believers in iodine (applied after washing the area thoroughly with a soapy washcloth) as the first line of defense against infection. I wonder, was it really sanitary to use the stick in the bottle (attached to the lid) over and over again on our wounds? They didn't wash it before putting it back into the solution, did they?

My mom had an especially brutal tool in her arsenal: a big red spray bottle of merthiolate. This stuff was bright red in color, went on cold, and, no lie, hurt more than iodine. I remember seeing commercials for Bactine, which was supposed to be painless. I begged Mom to buy it, but she insisted we had to use up all of the merthiolate first. I don't think we ever did, and I'll bet she still has that red bottle somewhere, ready to torment me at the first opportunity.

Turns out that merthiolate is actually one and the same product as thimerosal. Thimerosal is the antibacterial, anti-fungal preservative that is being eliminated from vaccines and other products because of safety concerns. Apparently, it's almost 50% mercury. Thanks mom.

As for the skinned knees, I am told that today's kids mostly miss out on that bit of fun. Seems they play inside more than out, and are less active in general. Pity. Nothing quite beats the glory of skinned knees, wounds earned on the field of childhood play.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Grand Remercie, Mes Chers Amis...

I hope Frank will correct my French grammar, spelling, etc. It's been a long time...

I am blessed with some kind friends who have been very considerate, thoughtful and supportive over the last several weeks, and I cannot say enough to thank them. Two girlfriends have kept checks on me and helped to look out for me (Zelda and Mommanator), even though they have challenges in their own lives right now. I can't begin to describe how much they have meant to me.

In his own inimitable way, Pax has kept my thoughts positive and focused on the best aspects of the future, always ready with plans for good things. And he always boosts my self esteem when I'm a bit low. A chat with Pax is always a great way to start the day, along with a trip to Pax's Coffee Bar.

Another friend volunteered readily to do some heavy lifting in spite of a bad back. I will never forget his generosity of spirit.

One last friend provided me with some much needed respite in the form of an impromptu midwestern vacation, and has been there to revive my spirit as often as necessary, day or night. Thank you, from the depths of my heart and soul.

So an enormous hug and a big bushel of thanks goes to each of my very dear friends. I hope I have the opportunity to repay each of you in kind.