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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Listeria in Your Lettuce? │ Spinal Manipulation for Acute Low Back Pain as Effective as Pain Relievers │ Danger in Even Short Term Oral Corticosteroid Use

With last evening being Friday, I sat up a little later than usual watching T.V. (via our Android TV Box) with my younger brother Mark. It was 11:59 p.m. before I was in bed.

The first break in sleep serious enough to have me check the time was just a few minutes after 4:00 a.m., so I took the opportunity to use the bathroom and drink some water.

My next time check was 6:49 a.m., so that was when I decided to rise so that I could get to work adding more content to the post I am still working on at my Amatsu Okiya website. I was certain that I would have the post wrapped up by tomorrow, but now I see that doing so won't be likely.

Besides, I just think that I may vote early tomorrow. If I do, the polling station for my area is about 1¼ miles away.

The official voting date for this provincial election is May 9, but I just realized prior to starting today's blog post that early voting became possible as of today ─ I had lost track of today's date.

Anyway, as I worked on the post at my Amatsu Okiya website, I had grown very groggy by the time I was about half-done what I wanted to put into it. Still, I persevered. And about 10:18 a.m., I was back in bed without having eaten anything as yet ─ just my first mug of a hot blend of instant coffee / cocoa powder.

I was in bed for just over 1¼ hours ─ that rather surprised me, for I wasn't all that certain that I had managed too much of a nap. But I guess I did.

It started lightly raining just after midday, even though we had a dry night and morning.

I want now to post more photos taken at Wat Pa Phu Kon in the Na Yung District of Udon Thani Province. They were taken during a visit that my wife Jack made last Fall to see her mother in Thailand for the first time since early March 2013.

The family home is in the very large village of Nong Soong, which is about a 15-minute drive from the city of Udon Thani.

This will be the fourth consecutive post in which I have included photos taken at that location on (I think) November 14, 2016.

Let's start today's set with this nice shot:

This is my wife Jack:

This is Lumpoon, the eldest of my wife Jack's two older sisters:

This is my wife Jack's brother-in-law, the husband of her eldest sister Lumpoon:

And that brings a close to the full set of Wat Pa Phu Kon illustrations.


Although lettuce is commonly found in our refrigerator, I haven't bought any in several years. And I never buy those pre-packaged mixes of salad vegetables.

Researchers just recently found that Listeria bacteria can thrive throughout a lettuce plant, get consumed by anyone, and not show symptoms of infection in the new host for as long as...well, read about it for yourself:



Romaine lettuce is actually the type of lettuce that I would buy if I bought lettuce, for I have doubted for years that the so-called 'head lettuce' has much going for it by way of nutrition.

Do we have to stop buying lettuce or any bagged salad vegetables? (That second report mentioned a bat found in a bagged salad ─ I located a report about it at USAtoday.com, if you are curious: Decomposing bat found in prepackaged salad in Florida.)

Actually, I do not buy too many vegetables at all. The green ones I stick to seem to be mainly kale, Swiss chard, and the bok choy types. And green onions.

But that's really nasty that something that starts making us terribly sick today may have been eaten in a salad a couple of months earlier!


Apparently people suffering from low back pain can get at least as much relief from spinal manipulation ─ back cracking ─ as they do from pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Obviously you would not want to subject yourself to someone who is not skilled at performing this sort of procedure.

This treatment has been known to be as effective as NSAIDs for quite a few years, but it's always nice to have further research reinforcing that conclusion.

Here are some reports on the latest study:




Isn't it that odd how the last report titled its article in such a way that one might conclude without reading the article that spinal manipulation is not very effective at all? It actually went on to say just what the other two reports did ─ that this treatment was not at all inferior to pain relievers.

The low back pain the study concerned itself with was the acute sort ─ not the chronic type that someone might have been suffering with for months or even years.


I honestly have no idea if I was ever administered a synthetic corticosteroid for any medical purpose. As the Wikipedia article I linked to states, corticosteroids are administered for "a variety of conditions, ranging from brain tumors to skin diseases."

But how safe are they, even for short-term use? Here are a couple of reports on the latest research:



This was the study's conclusion:
Oral corticosteroids are frequently prescribed for short term use in the US for a variety of common conditions and by numerous provider specialties. Over a three year period, approximately one in five American adults in a commercially insured plan used oral corticosteroids for less than 30 days. The short term use of these drugs was associated with increased rates of sepsis, venous thromboembolism, and fracture; even at relatively low doses. Additional studies are needed to identify optimal use of corticosteroids and to explore whether treatment alternatives may improve patient safety.

I should have eaten before taking that nap late this morning, but I was just too sleepy to care to bother making a meal.

And so I napped, and then ate. I was too hungry to consider any exercise, although I might have done so anyway if I was home alone. My younger brother Mark was still here, as were both of my step-sons.

Well, it is 4:49 p.m. as I type these words, and I am still too full to do anything active. I think today will be a write-off. Heck, I have even been feeling groggy as I have worked upon this post doing the research for that previous section. I've now just fixed myself up my third caffeine fix of the day ─ I usually just settle on two.

The rain has continued without let. A good day to be shut in.

Earlier today, I sent out the following to a chap I have known since the latter months of 2002, although he and I have never met in person.

My first contact with him was by telephone ─ it was a work-related call. I was a Human Resources representative at DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) trying to get in touch with him concerning some money he was owed due to a salary revision that he as a former Lightkeeper (LI) was entitled to.

A Lightkeeper was someone with the following responsibilities: "the operation and maintenance of light-station equipment and the upkeep of the light-station buildings, landing facilities or grounds."  

So in essence, he was someone who operated a federal government lighthouse.

However, I was doing my job in Vancouver, while he (at the time that I was seeking contact with him) lived in Alberta and was involved with the manning of fire towers for that province.

When I first phoned him, no one answered. And then when the answering machine took over, it was a recording of The Three Stooges that started off with their trademark greeting, "Hello, hello, hello!"

I had been a Three Stooges fan since I was a kid, so right away I liked this stranger.

I left a message for him to call me back, which he eventually did. And we have remained in touch ─ via E-mails ─ ever since.

Anyway, this is what I sent to him earlier today:
Hi, Lynn!

I don't know anyone who would care about this except you, so that's why you're getting it!

I'm not absolutely certain at this late stage of life if I may have had some sense of what this particular Three Stooges theme song (play it) was; but if I did know in my youth, I forgot it over the many years since, without realizing it.

So for some reason today, it popped into my mind and I began wondering about it.

After some research, I located an audio of a duet recorded on October 25, 1923: Listen to the Mocking Bird.

The Stooges version was somewhat amped up or exaggerated, but I think you can make out the song as being the source for their theme ─ they had at least a couple musical themes, including “Three Blind Mice.”

That 1923 version was not by any means the first recording, for the song was actually composed in 1855, I found.

I don't know if you were ever a Waltons fan, but there was an episode where Jason ─ next oldest brother to John-Boy ─ played the song on a piano with the spinster Baldwin sisters:

But getting back to the sort of version that The Three Stooges were using, this was much more their style ─ I think it was recorded in the mid-1940s by a hillbilly group called the Korn Koblers (that link will probably ask you to choose to listen to it on your Windows Media Player). You shouldn't have any trouble at all recognizing it as being nearly the same as The Three Stooges theme!

Anyway, I've taken enough of your time ─ I'll stop here!
I shall close out today's post now now with a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster. I didn't have much living space, but I was renting it in a house located on Ninth Street, and about two houses up from Third Avenue.
THURSDAY, April 29, 1976

I got up about 6:20 a.m.

My perverse side dominated, so I went to Bill's, awakening him about 8:40 a.m. I stayed till he left at 10:00 a.m. However, none of his pornographics interested me, and I in fact lost the foul mood which so influenced me.

I came home with the uplifting Savage Sword of Conan #12.

It's really sunny, though my suite is cool indeed; temperatures are into the low 70ºs (20ºs C.).

I found it necessary after some exercising to lie on my back an hour or so; I feel so tired so often.

Another boring day at home.

Bed at 8:10 p.m.
My old friend William Alan Gill was renting a bachelor suite that was likely little more than four blocks from my room. 

Evidently I was in desperate need of some pornography, having recently parted with the last of mine. However, somehow I weathered the carnal storm that had possessed me, and did not help myself to any of Bill's rather 'uninspiring' stash to bring back with me when finally I left to return to my room.

It is so terribly unfortunate that Bill and I were never to retain our collections of various 'sword & sorcery,' fantasy, and superhero hardcover books, comics, magazines, and even fanzines. 
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