Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yarn Barf

My package of yarn barf arrived today. What's 'yarn barf' you ask? Well, in this case, it was about a dozen skeins of yarn thrown into a dryer 4 years ago. Through a friend of a friend from ravelry, I aquired this untangling project. I know, I'm insane, but for some reason I like untangling string. I'm just hoping I didn't bite off more than I can chew!!! Larger images are here and here

Update: I've managed to extract and ball up the small black/grey tangle in the upper right corner. I'm pretty sure the rest is not going to untangle nearly that willingly...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Financial aid

Well, it looks like the deadlines for financial aid are February 15 for the FAFSA and April 15 for PHEAA. January 1 is the earliest I can file according to this page. The actual financial aid pages don't seem to have 'current' information on deadlines. I can only assume that these dates still stand as general guidelines for Fall enrollment.

I know Ralph and I have talked about all this info in the past, but I'm slowly taking baby steps to actually follow through with it. I'm still torn about what degree to actually go for, let alone the logistics of 1) dealing with large groups of students at class change 2) getting around physically on campus and how sore and tired I'll be and 3) getting to and from campus on a daily basis. I guess it's one hurdle at a time.

Amanda and I talked about how school went for me the first time I attempted it. I would hit roadblocks and turn a different direction instead of trying to get past it. Though the medical leave I took in '95 was an 'either/or' reason. I could either take classes and work towards my degree OR I could work and make money. I simply couldn't do both. It was too exhausting mentally and physically. In retrospect, I wonder if that was an early warning sign... Besides, working (almost) full time directly lead to me my full time job/career. I gained valuble experience that was essentially worth a degree in the SysAdmin field. I met and was able to influence a number of people in various ways (positive, that is). So who knows. I can't go
back and change those actions, only learn from them and apply that knowledge to my future actions.
I've been knitting. A lot. I think I've messed up my right hand again by doing it. I've had to stop and even wear my brace again. *sigh* On the plus side, I was able to make about 2 dozen rolags of the wool/alpaca. That doesn't seem to use the motion that make my hand hurt, so that's a good thing. The other thing I've been doing is winding skeins into balls. The photo is of 3 balls of set wool/alpaca blend ready to knit! yay!!!

well enough for now. hugs and love to you all

OH! btw if anyone needs it (Duckie =) 814.308.4145 I've been bad about remembering to call people. Like usual

Sunday, October 18, 2009

XMRV and CFS/Fibromyalgia

Brand-spanking-new research out of the Whittemore Peterson Institute shows a strong indication that a retrovirus (XMRV) is tied to Fibromyalgia!! It was originally shown to correlate with prostate cancer. Further research then tied to it Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well as Fibromyalgia.
"The spectrum of neuro-immune diseases including: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS), Atypical MS, Fibromyalgia and Gulf War Syndrome, share common abnormalities in the innate immune response inc, which result in chronic immune activation and immune deficiency.

We have detected the retroviral infection XMRV is greater than 95% of the more than 200 ME/CFS, Fibromylagia, Atypical MS patients tested. The current working hypothesis is that XMRV infection of B, T, NK and other cells of the innate immune response causes the chronic inflammation and immune deficiency resulting in an inability to mount an effective immune response to opportunistic infections. "

The paper that presented this (if you're like me and like reading the actual technical paper) can be found off of
Science/AAAS's web site.

This is huge news. Its some of the first concrete evidence that there's really something going on within the body of people who suffer these "syndromes". Personally I find that word distasteful on a number of levels. 'Syndrome', to me, has a lot of negative connotation. It is like a pat on the head and not being believed. Thousands of people suffer in similar ways and yet there's still a large percentage that think, "Oh, it's all in your head." because there's no conclusive test to "prove" you're sick. There's even doctors like this. I know because I have encountered it on occasions.

While the blood test is not publicly available at the moment, they are working on getting it set up. The other down side is that there's no treatment, per se, for it currently. At least it's a step towards better understanding. It's a tiny beacon of light in a very dark tunnel. =-)


The Crafty Bitches were going to go to The Manning's Saturday, but the weather was just too aweful. The roads were a mess, the snow was still coming down, and traffic was backed up for god knows how many miles on 322 east as we were leaving town. We ended up turning around and going to Cephalogal's place and knitting. We're going to do the Manning's next weekend, instead. Oddly enough, that works out better for me since I get paid on Wednesday. I didn't have any money this weekend. (not that I expect to have a lot this weekend, but a little is better than none =-)

Other than that, I've not been up to too much other than spinning with the new wheel. I've been rather lazy about email and calling people (sorry!) Hope everyone is doing well.
hugs and love