I Now Have Fewer Platelets

I had a call waiting for me on the answering machine yesterday from the Red Cross requesting my platelets: the nucleus-less cells in your blood responsible for clotting. Apparently, because my blood is A+, which is very common, my platelets are also useful in “times of need” like now. Anyway, they called back a second time later last night, so I knew they must be serious: I went ahead and made an appointment for today.

For those that have given blood before, you know that they take a pint of blood through a relatively large needle. Well, to take your platelets, they usually need to take more volume of blood than you can actually give in a single sitting. That means that they need to attach you to a contraption that carries out apheresis, which ends up removing some of your blood, spinning it down to get the platelets, sending the platelets up to a large bag (much like your usual blood bag, but bigger), and then putting your blood cells and plasma back in your body. To do this, the machine uses a smaller needle than you usually use to give blood, and it requires that you maintain a reasonable pressure of blood coming out of your body, related more to how fast you’re closing your hand and less to your typical blood pressure.

So yeah, it was supposed to take about 1.5 hrs, and ended up being more like 2 hrs. The poor girl removing the platelets had to re-set the needle multiple times (not fully remove it from my arm…just move it further in or a little bit out) in order to avoid a valve in my vein, which was causing abnormal changes in the pressure going to the machine. Every time that would happen, an alarm would go off and the machine would stop going, prolonging my stay in that chair. Eventually, I started pumping normally and I got done, but I ended up doing half of what was intended. It was kinda neat seeing a bag of platelets, though, as they look quite a bit different than a regular bag of blood – whiter, cloudier…just kinda funky, in general.

Regardless, I’ll probably do it again, eventually. My arm is just fine and I came out of it unscathed, but the 2 hr time commitment is a bit more difficult to deal with on a regular basis. Apparently, you can give platelets every 7 days, as you replenish them within a day or two of giving.

It’s a good way to help some folks out, if you’ve never done it! Just take a magazine with you… 🙂

Energy Efficiency

electric

We’ll thank Maya and Morgan Moody for the idea, but it was suggested last year at Josh and Sharon’s wedding that we consider getting a single-room air conditioning unit for our upstairs bedroom. As many of you know, we live on the second and third floor of a brick building in Soulard, and one problem with living on the third floor of a brick building is that it gets hot up there and stays hot, even past dark. Having our central A/C maintain a comfortable temperature on that third floor (when the thermostat is on the second floor, mind you…) means that it’s running almost constantly, along with fans, etc. in the bed room to make sure I can sleep.

Well, we received a “personal energy report” from AmerenUE yesterday in the mail, telling us how much power we’d used over the last few years living here. As the graph above indicates, in the warm months of June, July, August and September (average temperatures ranging from 71 F to 81 F…but we’re talking about 100 F days in there, too…), we decreased our average energy use by a few hundred kWh. In our monthly billing statements, this translated to a savings of $101.33 over July – September.

We bought the single-room A/C unit in late-June 2008. We spent a little less than $100 on the A/C unit.

I think we made our money back. 🙂

Carol of the Christmas Pickle

So, many a year ago, we were given a plastic pickle Christmas tree ornament because, apparently, it’s something of a German tradition (though Wikipedia says it’s “completely of American origin”) to hide a pickle on the tree and have the kids look for it. The first one to find the pickle is supposed to get an extra present (although, neither Kristen nor I ever did!).

Anyway, with this in mind, please enjoy the following! 🙂

Typealyzer

So, I know mostly nothing about this site, Typealyzer, or how it works, but the idea is that you input the web address of the blog you want to analyze and it’ll tell you about the blogger’s personality. So, if you do mine:

ISTP – The Mechanics

“The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generelly prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts.

“The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.”

Then, it shows that I’ve got left-brain dominance, including Practicality, Thinking (logic, mathematics), and Sensing (order, habit, details).

Sounds accurate to me!! 🙂

How much did Bill pay Jerry for this?

Now, I haven’t seen this ad on TV, and seeing as it’s 1.5 minutes long, I doubt I ever will…

…but seriously…what is it even about?! Are they saying that Microsoft products are so bloated, they feel like you’re eating cake? Or that during all of Vista’s development cycle, Bill Gates was off buying shoes at a mall with Jerry Seinfeld?

I’m very confused…