Tuesday, April 18, 2006

You Want an Order of High Culture With that Big Mac?

Thanks for the Memory to Sobek (who puts "it" in "Egyptian Deities").

A Very Brief History of Art, Featuring Mr. Potato Head

Someone must be very, very bored.

Just Breathe -- Oh, Wait, I Can't!

I SO FREAKING HATE stupid bureaucracy!

About five years or so ago I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea -- I occasionally stop breathing in my sleep. This can be a serious health issue, so I was issued a CPAP. CPAP stands for Constant Positive Air Pressure. A CPAP machine is a small air pump that forces a steady stream of air at slightly higher than atmospheric pressure throungh my nose to create an "air splint" that keeps my airway open and prevents the apneas from occurring.

So yesterday I went to the local medical supply store to get some needed replacement parts for the CPAP -- a filter to make sure I'm breathing in clean air, a new pad to protect my forehead from the mask, a plastic piece that holds the nosepiece in places, and a new strap that holds it all in place. I went in to this place when we first moved to Eugene, so they have my data on file -- which machine I have, what sized mask, and what size filter. They suggested that I just get a whole new mask assembly.

But they couldn't give them to me.



*deep breath*

OK, I understand requiring renewed prescriptions for things like drugs, especially for conditions that can change. But this isn't a medication -- it's a few pieces of plastic and a 1"x2" piece of hepafilter. And it's not like I'm some schmick off the street -- they have my data on file. And apnea is a long-term condition. But thanks to Federal regulations, I have to make a doctor's appointment, go see the doctor, make sure he gets my medical records from the sleep center in San Diego, pay the copay, just so he can tell them it's ok to give me a freaking face mask! Unbelievable!

To Your Health!

Last Night TFR came in after I'd gone to bed to tell me about an interesting news piece she'd seen on the local Fox affiliate. I was unable to find any local news links on their website, but a bit of Googling produced the gist of the article, if not the article itself. The gist of it is this: If you want to reap the greatest health benefits possible from drinking red wine in moderation, your best bet is Oregon Pinot Noirs.

Apparently, it's all about the resveratol. Resveratol is a flavanoid that has been linked by several studies to a reduction in heart disease and certain kinds of cancer, and is found in several foods, but most prominently in the skins of red wine grapes. And the grape varietal that has the highest levels? Yup, Pinot Noir.

But the report on TV last night highlighted Something else -- something that local growers have jumped on and are bragging about. That is the fact that Oregon-grown pinot noir grapes have even higher levels of resveratol than pinot grown in other regions. The reason for this seems to be the rainy, cool climate here in Oregon -- rseveratol is produced by plants to combat fungus, and the climate here is fungus-friendly (as witnessed by our booming wild mushroom industry), so the plants produce more of it.

Reveratol isn't proven to be a miracle cure, but it is believed to be the ingredient in red wine that makes it so healthy. And if you do decide to crack open a bottle of Oregon Pinot, here's an added benefit: it's darned good wine!