I, who lately have made too many trips to the hospital with my own ailments, was not the one who needed last night’s visit to the hospital ER. The culmination of mi novia‘s week-long fatigue, multiple (and long-lasting) nose bleeds with subsequent headaches, and abnormally high blood pressure prompted the trip to CHI in Hot Springs. The doctor who saw her seemed to agree that recent stressful situations (the death of her sister-in-law and her mother just days apart, coupled with travel to and from California and related strains and stresses) shouldered much of the responsibility for those symptoms. But he referred her to an ENT specialist for the nose bleed and gave her a prescription to address the blood pressure issue if it reaches a certain level. And he suggested an over-the-counter medication to deal with any addition nose bleeds. He instructed us to return to the ER, though, if the nose bleed returned and could not be controlled. Stress-relief and rest, too, were mentioned as treatments. Fortunately, when we arrived at the hospital around 8:00 p.m., there was no Saturday night ER frenzy (yet), so she was seen by nurses and the ER doctor right away. We were home by around 10. Of course, the evening’s excitement left us both wired, so we got to bed late (for me, anyway). So, we’re skipping church again (we missed last week to spend time with visiting family). Today will be a day of rest and relaxation for mi novia, provided I can persuade her to let me handle our to-do list by myself. My responsibilities as caregiver pale in comparison to what she has had to deal with over the past many months—but they remind me of what that role requires.


Early this morning I read an article on the AP website about onigiri, a Japanese dish of rice balls typically stuffed with various fillings and wrapped in seaweed (nori). The fillings (called gu) range from umeboshi (salted plum) to mentaiko (hot, spicy roe) and all manner of things in between. Onigiri are simple; made by hand of sticky rice, gu, and nori, though only the rice is absolutely required. The article mentioned various ingredients for gu,  some of which I might find to locate: salmon, shrimp, miso-flavored ginger, a pungent Japanese pickle (iburigakko), edible kelp (kombu). That notwithstanding, I think I’d like to try my hand at making onigiri one day before long. Feel free to join me. My understanding is that it’s healthy.


Even the Associated Press (AP) news website has allowed advertisements to creep in, though they appear on the home page only near the bottom. But CNN and FoxNews seem unconcerned that advertisements might be confused for news. In fact, I wonder whether the confusion is exactly what they are after; advertisers may pay more for something that looks like a genuine information source, rather than an obvious piece of propaganda hawking products or politics. The NPR website probably is nearly (or maybe even completely) free of ads-as-news, but I’m not as certain today as I was five years ago. Aljazeera includes ads on its various region-specific home pages; those ads, though, are quite obviously advertisements and not blatant attempts to trick visitors into believing they are dependable news resources. I understand their need to generate revenue, but I cannot trust news from sites that do so by misleading customers. I harp on this topic more often than I’d like, but it’s something I feel must be done. Though I doubt most visitors to this, my blog, site would be confused by the attempted misdirection. I’m just annoyed that news sources cannot be trusted to deliver news that can be trusted.


I have been up since around 5 this morning, very early for me of late. Until late last year, I was (generally) reliably up between 4:30 and 6. These days, no matter when I get up, I am sure to feel tired and in need of a nap within two or three hours of waking. I feel that need now. Ach! I’d rather feel energized and ready to take on the world. Instead, I get the impression the world is ready to take me on; and win. Perhaps another hit of espresso will provide the injection of fuel I need to overcome the desire to sleep. I’ll give it a try; if it doesn’t work, I’ll give in to my body’s desire for more rest. That, I’m told, is good for one’s health.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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