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09 September 2008

A little catching up: My news. I've been very quiet and withdrawn this summer, obviously, and pretty much heat-paralyzed - but a couple of awesome things did happen... [More:]

the very best of which was the new blood test results on our dog, Sky. When we got her, she had borderline positive test results for Canine Leishmaniasis, an incurable and potentially fatal infectious disease that affects dogs mostly in the Mediterranean basin. It's very common among stray and neglected dogs, though any dog can get it, since it's transmitted by sandfly bite, and also by blood transfer from an infected dog, including via mosquito, which transfers the disease when it feeds on an infected animal and then bites an uninfected animal.

A blood test made before we adopted her showed that she had been exposed to the disease, and while not positive for Leishmaniasis, was also not exactly negative. She was borderline. Another blood test, a month after we got her showed exactly the same results. But the latest test, from last week, came up negative. Negative! We asked our Vet, "like, how negative?" and she answered, "like zero negative". Zero!

I cried. So that's the most awesome of the awesome. (Risk remains, of course, for new infection, but we take safeguards, and healthy, cared-for dogs seem less likely to acquire the disease.) I had been secretly hoping for a more promising test result this time, because I had been told that often rescue dogs with positive results, but who are not symptomatic, will get improved results after adoption... but tried not to think about it too much, so that I wouldn't be disappointed. But Yay, zero negative!

Also awesome? In a much more selfish way? I got me a Kindle, and I now I have more books to read than I will ever manage to consume in my life. I've been non-stop reading and it's making me pighappy after a such a long period of book drought (due to lack of affordable English language books here).

Bad news? Other than heat depression, some of you might remember that I fell and hurt my foot? That took a long time to heal, was nothing pretty, and looks like it's going to leave a nice scar. But it eventually healed, and all was well until... I had another run-in with a sidewalk, which this time basically ripped out a big toenail, and I'll spare you the details. Let's just say "ouch!" and also "ugh!" and again I'm limping, and soaking my foot, and bandaged, and black and blue, etc. This apparently has been my summer of living dangerously, at least as far as my right leg is concerned - which is kind of weird since I've mostly just stayed in all summer. Apparently, I shouldn't have left the house at all.
How's the kindle? Is it good? Does it feel weird to be reading something that isn't a book?
posted by seanyboy 09 September | 07:00
Great to hear from you! I have been wondering what happened to you (and iconomy) lately and been sad that two of my favourite Mechazens have been mostly MIA lately. Hope your leg gets better soon.
posted by dg 09 September | 07:37
Man, I'm so sorry to hear about another foot owie! Take good care of yourself, and enjoy the Kindle. And really big yays for Sky!
posted by Specklet 09 September | 07:45
aw, thanks, you guys!

Seanyboy, I really love it, and I got used to it not being a book-book pretty quickly - though I think I would love any good e-reader (something that uses e-ink). If I were in the U.S., I would probably wait for a newer model on the Kindle, though, because the biggest problem is that it's "next" and "previous" buttons are awkward, so it's a bit difficult to hold without accidentally pressing them occasionally. You get used to it, but it's a bit of a pain.

However, for me it's the best thing since internet. The last two English language novels I bought here (paperback) each cost 20 Euros, which to me is outrageous. I've been buying books occasionally from Amazon UK, which is cheaper, but I calculate that VAT, plus shipping, etc. adds about 40% to the list price. So I've been treating books like special, precious treats, and now I have, literally, thousands of books to gobble.

For someone who doesn't have easy/affordable access to books for any reason, or for those who do a lot of reading while commuting or travelling, I think it's well worth it (in my case, I figure I would have spent the same amount on about 30 books or fewer as I did on my Kindle). Otherwise, I'd say for the Kindle, at least, wait until they get the newer versions out to resolve some of the physical problems, or wait 'til prices come down generally.

More than anything else, I'm not very pleased about Amazon using a format that can't be read by other e-readers, because that means that if you buy a lot of Amazon E-books, you are locked into using the Kindle - until someone effectively breaks the drm. It's been done, but as I understand it you need to have Python on your computer to use the program. I'm sure someone will come up with something. At the moment, though, I'm a bit sparing with buying e-books from Amazon... We might want to get a different E-reader for my husband (Kindle doesn't handle international characters at this point, so he can't read his Greek texts on it), and I don't want to have books that I won't be able to share with him on a different E-reader.

blah, blah. I have a lot to say, obviously, but I'll quit. If anyone has any specific questions, though - shoot, and definitely if you aren't in the U.S. and are thinking of getting one, I'll give you my valuable insight. :)
posted by taz 09 September | 08:01
I wondered where you've been and I'm glad you're back. What GREAT news about your dog.

The Kindle sounds awesome. Isn't having a backlog of books you want to read a wonderful feeling??? And with your bad toe you've got the perfect excuse to stay in with your feet up reading!
posted by Kangaroo 09 September | 08:21
Hi, taz! Welcome back!
posted by crush-onastick 09 September | 08:41

I'd been wondering where you'd been. It's good to hear your voice see your typing.
posted by deadcowdan 09 September | 09:20
Indeed... great to see ya again, taz! Sorry about the foot, but *w00t* about the healthy doggie.
posted by BoringPostcards 09 September | 10:18
Hooray for your doggie!
However, this thread is useless without PICTURES!

(I can relate to her -- I got a positive for Hepatitis a few months ago while being screened for a clinic study. I got two follow-up tests for confirmation and ended up being fully cleared, but whoa, was I scared for a while there. I guess it just goes to show you that you should always always get a second panel.)

I'm not into digital books just yet. I still find it too hard on the eyes or something, plus it's just not the same. I wonder if I'll ever convert?
posted by loiseau 09 September | 10:59

Most recent:

≡ Click to see image ≡

Most cute:

≡ Click to see image ≡


≡ Click to see image ≡

(that bunny came from iconomy!)

After we had her groomed, a couple of weeks after we first got her (the groomer had to almost shave her, because her fur was so impossibly matted):

≡ Click to see image ≡

When she was a Wookie - soon after we adopted her, before the groomer:

≡ Click to see image ≡
posted by taz 09 September | 11:13
Ah, What a dog! I am glad Sky is healthy. She is so, so cute!

You own a Kindle? You are a lucky dog!
posted by LoriFLA 09 September | 11:30
What an awesome pooch! Love those blue eyes. Glad to hear the good news on the vet side. Bummer on your foot - but glad to see you back. :)
posted by chewatadistance 09 September | 11:32
Hullo! Glad you're back!

Sorry about the foot but glad you've got yourself a nice source of English-language reading and a cute, healthy pup.

Welcome back!
posted by jason's_planet 09 September | 12:29
Sorry, life sucks at times - but it's good to hear that Sky is doing so very well. Good job!
posted by mightshould 09 September | 12:44
AWWWWW your doggie is SO CUTE!
posted by Specklet 09 September | 13:22
wb!!!!! HI SKY!!! *ear skritch*
posted by By the Grace of God 09 September | 13:28
You know, I was wondering if you were okay. I remembered last summer when it got so hot and it was difficult for you, so I was worrying. Thank you for posting.

It's nearly fall, so I hope the weather gets much nicer in Greece for you, and I'm glad you have the lovely Sky to cheer you up :)
posted by Sil 09 September | 13:30
Hey there, taz!
posted by jrossi4r 09 September | 13:56
I understand summer hibernation. The good news is that fall comes, every year. Yes it does. We're getting a preview of it today, and I am very happy about that.

That dog is so cute! You need to keep her hair on her, though. She looks small and naked without it.
posted by mudpuppie 09 September | 14:29
Good to hear from you, taz. And oh! those dog pictures, so, so cute.
posted by essexjan 09 September | 16:35
She looks a lot like Wallace, from Wallace & Gromit, which is to say, very cute. I hope the heat is abating, so you can feel better.
posted by theora55 09 September | 16:54
I am ever so pleased you have a healthy dog and are enjoying your kindle. Sorry to hear about your foot, though. Losing those big toe nails is ouchyouchyouchy. Please look after yourself and your feet.

Sky DOES remind me of Grommet, also! I think it's the eyes - she KNOWS stuff.
posted by goshling 09 September | 18:05
summer hibernation


Wonderful to hear from you, taz. Sorry about the toe, hooray in re Sky and Kindle.
posted by tangerine 09 September | 19:37
How great about Sky! She's getting the flokati look again. ;-)

Is the UK charging VAT on books now? I just had to pay shipping when I ordered something a few months ago.

*puts white light around your foot*
posted by brujita 10 September | 00:34
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