Friday, April 27, 2007

It's Spring Fever....

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

This post is inspired by ED -Doc Around the Clock's most recent web site post in which he displays some wonderful paintings he has done. Go check them out. He is on my sidebar links.

We are once again having some more cold, wet and dreary weather. So, in keeping with my longing desire for some seasonably warm spring weather, I thought I would put up these copies of Monet's works. :)
Printemps by Claude Monet
Printemps ~Claude Monet

Springtime - I love the pink blossoms on our weeping cherry tree along with all the pretty sunshine yellow forsythia bushes dotting the neighbor hood. We are still waiting for the apple tree to blossom. The leaves are becoming noticeable on the trees and bushes. The lilies have pushed through the ground and the grass is so green that it looks like England or Ireland. (Check out the pics on Little Blue Petal - also on my sidebar) Pretty soon the mountains will all be covered in green and the rocks will be hidden by the tree foliage. (I do love looking at the bare mountains - that is a fun fall-winter thing)

Water Lilies with Clouds by Claude Monet
Water Lilies with Clouds ~Claude Monet

This pic is similar to a print of one of Monet's "Water Lilies" sans clouds that I have on the lower half of my refrigerator. It was one of the Monet prints given to me by a dear friend, my mentor who has been in hospice for 10 months now. I will post about her in the future and why I believe she is one of the key people that God has placed in my life.

You know, the kind of friend who awakens things within you that even you didn't know existed with in yourself. One who teaches, inspires and at times stretches you to your limits. A friend who miraculously shows up or calls just when you are feeling at your lowest, as though she had some cosmic sense of your distress - no doubt God inspired. The kind of friend who forgives you 70x7 no matter how many times you have let her down and still believes in you and that your friendship will transcend time and space lasting throughout eternity. A friend who you can tell your inner most secrets to and you know she will never under any circumstances reveal to anyone at anytime what you have confided. Someone that gets your humor - even when it is joking about her dying - because you both know if you don't laugh, you will cry...and sometimes you cry anyway. Someday, I will tell you about my dear friend, my mentor.

I love that when I turn around from my kitchen sink that I see this large "Water Lilies" print because it reminds me of the little pond out in the back. This time of year when it is sunny, you can see the water sparkling amidst the wind blown ripples. The warmer weather will cause it to fill up with the marsh plants and we will soon hear the large bull frogs joining in with the chorus of crickets, cicadas and later the locusts. This little pond is occasionally visited by one lone crane and sometimes a pair of ducks. The kids frolicked endlessly by the water's edge as they were growing up, catching fish, turtles and frogs and getting muddy - proof of their spring/summer fun.

And I think of my friend. :)

Jardin a Giverny by Claude Monet
Jardin a Giverny ~Claude Monet

Jardin - garden. I don't know why, but jardin is one of my favorite French words to say. I guess because I love the sound of it - it sounds so beautiful to me. Yes, like dancing at the computer to the tropical tune in the previous post, I am repeating the word - jardin- while sitting here, just because I can. While I think all languages are intriguing I think the French language is the most beautiful.

Soon, my husband will be planting zinnias, sun flowers and vegetables. We will have other flowers to. The really tall sun flowers are one of my favorites because they remind me of tall, happy people. :) I love to look up at them, seeing their beautiful yellow heads contrasting a blue sky and I am fascinated with how they turn to follow the sun all day. My absolute favorite flower? Roses!

Admittedly, I am biased - but our little Devan Cosette (5 yrs old) is quite the artist and no doubt has mommy's talent and artistic abilities. Move over Monet - here comes Devan Cosette. :)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

My Apprentice Prediction

This is for Angry Medic,Medblog Addict and anyone else who follows The Apprentice.

I think Trump truly likes all of them, but I think he views either James or Stephanie as the serious candidates.

Nicole is enthusiastic, talented and successful in her personal life but I think that she needs more experience and time to mature. I think it is wonderful that she and Tim have a chemistry going but I think it knocked him off his game and he would have been better off keeping his focus on the task at hand. Trump liked the energy between the two of them and it made for good entertainment, but still I think they both should have agreed to stay focused and to get together after the competition.

Trump likes Frank because he admires the fighter in him and both he and his kids like his work ethic. However, they have already said they didn't think he was polished enough for the position but would like to have him heading one of their construction sites. Trump also identifies with Frank because he is from the Bronx like he was.

James and Stephanie make an excellent team. They have been a dynamic duo.

I believe it will come down to one of them and I am hard pressed to choose which one. If I absolutely have to pick someone then I think it will be Stephanie. So, we will see who it will be, unless he decides to hire them both. He did want to do that in a previous Apprentice but the winning candidate said no. These two do have a mutual respect for each other.

I loathed the commercial Nicole and Frank did because I do not think it was appropriate to make fun of someone who was destitute, regardless of the guy's history. I felt pained when the kid pointed at the man indicated he was the reason for the bad odors. I am someone who believes that ALL people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We never know why some people walk the paths they do and we should not judge.

The other commercial was excellent! Loved it!

Time to go watch TiVo! :)

Wow! It was Stephanie after all! I do think it was close. I would have been happy if either one got the position. It was a no brainer that it was not going to be Frank or Nicole. Turns out Trump did not approve of Nicole and Tim's relationship which did not surprise me. if I were in management, while I would've thought it was cute I very much would have questioned whether or not they really wanted to work for me. I think if you are in that competition - you have to wear blinders so as NOT to be distracted by anything so that you can press forward to the goal - which is to win the apprentice position.

I didn't realize that Trump and his kids did not approve of Frank and Nicole's commercial in which they poked fun at a dirty destitute person. I was truly surprised last week when the audience laughed and seemed to approve as did Trump & co. I re-evaluated my opinion after that and I still felt that it was disrespectful. I am glad they brought it up this week.

I didn't warm up to this Apprentice season until the last 4 or 5 episodes. I still prefer the NY locale. Also, that they not focus on the haves and have nots, but prefer when most of the focus is on the assigned tasks. I did enjoy the ocean shots though.

Finally, I did not care for the ending to this season. I was disappointed that they did not have one grand finale of a task where they enlist the help of their former competitors.

This girl hopes that there will be another season, but that it will return to the program's original format. :)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Beautiful Day!

I love this pic because of it's ethereal quality.



I woke up early this morning to the sound of younger son, Chris, mowing the lawn. He had already opened all the windows, (still a little chilly to do that early in the day) and put up and opened the umbrella on the picnic table. He also weed whacked. His father will be pleased to see this when he gets home from work. Last week he put the Adirondack chairs out. (I love Adirondack chairs!) I am sure he is inspired by the wonderful weekend weather forecast for our area - sunny and in the 70's. A welcome relief from this cold, dreary weather we have been having.

I love winter, but this girl is ready for some fun in the sun and all the wonderful things spring and summer bring. (No - I didn't do the renal scan yet.)

I love the smell of fresh cut grass! I love today! I hope everyone is having a beautiful day too - if not in great weather than in some other special way. :)

I'm off to take Mom grocery shopping then up to the Bermuda Triangle to look for summer shoes and clothes. :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Yesterday is history...

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why it is called a present. (Author unknown)

The Present :)

http://www.labefana.com.au/fg03-1.jpg




A young man wanted to purchase a new Christmas gift for his new sweetheart and as they had not been dating very long, after careful consideration, he decided a pair of gloves would strike just the right note, romantic but not too personal.

Accompanied by his sweetheart's sister, he went to Nordstrom's and bought a pair of white gloves. The sister purchased a pair of panties for herself.The image “http://www.stacysews.com/pics/brazil.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

During the wrapping the clerk mixed up the items. The sister got the gloves and the sweetheart got the panties. Without checking the contents, the young man sealed the package and sent it to his sweetheart along with this note:

I chose these because I noticed you are not in the habit of wearing any when we go out in the evening. If it had not been for your sister, I would have chosen the long ones with buttons, but she wears short ones that are easier to remove. These are a delicate shade, but the lady I bought them from showed me a pair she had been wearing the past three weeks and they were hardly soiled. I had her try yours on for me and she looked really smart. I wish I were there to put them on you the first time, as no doubt other hands will come in contact with them before I have a chance to see you again. When you take them off, remember to blow in them before putting them away as they will naturally be a little damp from wearing. Just think how many times I will kiss them during the coming year. I hope you will wear them for me on Friday night.

All my love, Charles

P.S. The latest style is to wear them folded down with a little fur showing.

(Author unknown)

I thought a little levity might be a nice change from all the tax talk. :) I found this in some papers that I was cleaning out and I laugh every time I read it. Hope y'all like it too. :)

Vouloir C'est Pouvoir!





The Taxes are done! Hallelujah!
Vouloir c'est pouvoir! (Where there is a will, there is a way!)




Yikes - it's Day Light!

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I have just pulled an all niter doing these taxes. I haven't done this since the mid 90's.

Yes, I am a tired, although quite happy girl that we are getting some refunds after all. :)

Thank God - I did find that little box of misplaced receipts and just as I thought, they were in the attic. Fortunately, the Bermuda triangle up there didn't swallow the receipts or me up during my quest to find them and I got back down in short order and without being tied to a rope! ;)

I always back my receipts up with doctor office print outs, etc. It is a good back up system. Then I log all the amounts, etc. and add the totals for each office and then finally add all the totals for each section. Then I triple check the figures and again when entering info into the tax program. It's actually fun when everything goes smoothly. I did end up in tears around 2:40 am, but I will come back to that.

Egads! I had something like 24-28 visits to the urologist's office alone. Probably around 26 and the remaining payments were either mailed to their billing or I paid with another check besides the one for the co-pay. Also, I was able to deduct for 504 miles driven to his office and the office is a bit under 9 miles from my house. Then of course there were other doctors and the hospital, etc., etc. Suffice it to know it is the 1st time we have ever been able to deduct medical expenses on the Federal forms. We can thank my ureter for that. Believe me though, I will take good health over a tax deduction any day!

I have been going to my PMD since early 90's and I probably haven't seen him 15 times in all these years. Not even my OB. Thankfully, I never had a chronic condition before this and I pray that this too shall pass and the urine too - uneventfully. :)

O.k., younger son will be getting up shortly for school (he's a senior) and so I am going to surprise him with a nice breakfast. Back later.

Around 2am I was ready to go to computer and input all the info, but my husband's last pp stub was missing. I had it a couple of days ago and thought I put it in the basket with the other tax info and it was not there. I was looking everywhere. Prior to doing taxes, I had also been organizing and throwing out old papers/documents, etc and had filled a good size box for shredding. I emptied that and went through the entire thing. Nothing. The last PP stub has info regarding pertinent info on the past year's deductions. Earlier, I had been playing a pretty, romantic old song (For your Precious Love-the song just melts me) that I hadn't heard in forever, so I put it on replay and forgot about it because I was so focused on recording and totaling everything. So, all along that song was on in the background.

By 2:40 am, I gave up and just started to cry. I have never cried over glitches before, but I was tired and I think that the music was adding to a more sad feeling and I was thinking about younger son graduating and then of one of his classmates that died in a car accident last year and how is mom must feel knowing that her son would have graduated this year, and then I started thinking about a doctor who had lost his son last year in a car accident and he would've graduated too and then about Va. Tech massacres. It just hit me how short life can be and how precious it is and that we shouldn't waste time, but appreciate every relationship and the time that we have together. It wasn't about the pay stub anymore.

Then I just happened to look at the middle of the table and there it was in front of me the whole time. I really don't know how I didn't see it. So, even though I had it, the tears were still falling. My husband had gotten up, was surprised to see me crying, but he consoled me with a warm hug and I was good to go again. (Sometimes, even just a hug is the best medicine and makes the world right again.) So I entered the info IC.

The only other time I was up all night was the first year that I used the Turbo Tax program back in the 90's. I had worked in ED registration on the 3-11 shift and so as soon as I got home I started doing the taxes. I had everything together, but was going slowly as I wasn't familiar with it and I was reading everything. Around 1:30-2am, I went to get some jelly beans from the kitchen. As soon as I came into the computer area, the light flickered. I turned to look at the light and almost simultaneously thought " Oh no! I hope the comp..." Too late! It crashed and I didn't think to back anything up and I lost everything. Suffice it to know that everything was printing as the birds were waking and the early morning sun began peeking into the room. I didn't realize the state program wasn't included and so had to do that the old fashioned way and fast!

So, except for that year and this year - tax time is usually uneventful other than the fact that I procrastinate in doing them.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sorry About the "R" Rated Cartoon - but I Do Appreciate the Humor :)


http://www.empirewire.com/images/tax2.jpg
*I decided to pull the "R" rated cartoon. Maybe I will put it back sometime... or not.
I am sorry about the 2nd cartoon, the "R" rated one, but I do appreciate the humor in it. Yes, I am feeling a twinge (o.k. - more than a twinge-but I'm still amused by it) of guilt in posting it. One of my absolute favorite comedies of all time is "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" and anyone who has seen that movie will remember the infamous scene where Steve Martin loses it with the clerk and he uses the "F" word, seemingly as every other word during his tirade and I think it was quite humorous. :)

Suffice it to know that I am so annoyed at myself right now, that I could spit nails at ME! I have yet to find that one small box with important info for about a quarter of the year's tax deductions. This, by the way, is why the wonderful accountant I mentioned in a previous post gets amused with me sweating it out. Every single year, I wait until April to do this stuff - but then- I procrastinate until I get so close to the deadline that I have tax dreams. I also don't allow for a problem with the tax program, or for the possibility for a confusing (to me) change in tax law/info or as in this year - my quest for the missing receipts. Obviously, if this was January/February - no big deal.
Ha! I must've been delusional, back in one of my December posts when I actually thought I would get an early start on taxes and send them in early! I will get totally into it in short order, (always do) because I get that adrenaline rush as the pressure mounts. I do work well under pressure. I guess I like the challenge or am I a masochist? Seriously though, I CAN think of more interesting ways to challenge myself. However, from a psychological perspective - one would observe that obviously the gain for me to continue this practice of filing so close to the deadline is greater for me on some level than if I were to file earlier OR I would do it differently.
Once and only once - I filed for an extension when we were getting a refund!
I know the last cartoon is about being late with the NY state budget - but I liked "deadline-schmedline". Deadline - schmedline! Go ahead - say it. Out loud-it's fun. DEADLINE-SCHMEDLINE! :)
Younger son just came in to inform me that I am not getting anything done. Out of the mouths of babes - even if they are 18. He's right!

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Well - at least I haven't resorted to this yet! :)


Thursday, April 12, 2007

In MY Perfect World...it Could Happen!

snoopy tax humor  strip
Ah...yes...tax deadline is near. No - I am not done. Yes I did start a couple of weeks ago. Yes, I have been procrastinating with a capital "P" and have been miserable because the whole time that I have been in avoidance mode, I am ALWAYS aware of what I am not doing.

However, when my accountant haunts me in my dreams like he did this morning, I know his dastardly invasion is a wake up call (sans alarm) to GET THE TAXES DONE!

I always do our taxes - pretty basic. I actually do like doing them, BUT I didn't keep track of receipts and medical info, etc. and so now I have to play detective. The problem is I can not find one small box. It has to have the missing info that I would use to itemize deductions. I have gone through EVERYTHING - every drawer, basket and box. The thing is (and this isn't good) I vaguely remember putting a larger box that I am now thinking contained the smaller box, up in the attic before Christmas. I joke about our attic being like the Bermuda Triangle - that once something goes up there, we never see it again. If we didn't tie ropes to ourselves - WE wouldn't find our way back out! :) (I do have the holiday stuff color coded though.)

We don't have a complex financial set up so I do think doing our taxes is pretty easy, especially with the Turbo Tax program. The first year I started a home business, I went to an H&R Block rep. I had EVERYTHING - categorized and itemized and totaled with attached receipts. I was surprised when I saw that all she did was check my totals and then applied them to a schedule C form. So, from that point on I have rarely used an accountant unless something was different from the norm due to certain new tax laws or different circumstances in our lives.

I haven't spoken to our accountant since April of 2004 regarding tax year 2003. Due to a small inheritance we were put in another tax bracket that year. I was practically apoplectic when I saw what we were going to have to pay in! I kept reviewing and reworking the program, but to no avail. So, finally in exasperation ... I called this wonderful man, the accountant who we have used in the past.

Sometimes, I have called him over the years if I had a simple question and could still do it myself. This particular year was more complicated though and so I called him a few times. I asked him to bill me for a phone consult and he chuckled and said " No that's not necessary. I actually enjoy hearing you sweat it out." and he chuckled again. I am amused that he was amused. :)

I have input some of the info into the tax program and do love to see the refund going up. However, I am not a happy girl at the moment because the refund number has gone down drastically, but I still have to input a few more itemized deductions, although I still have to add the disability payments for the Federal taxes. Then I will review ad nauseam , hoping to find someway to get the numbers go in our favor.

I thought that since I had only worked SIX WEEKS during the entire year in conjunction with with the fact that we have been paying a lot of medical bills and my husband's OT got drastically cut because they hired someone, that this year we would definitely get a good refund and it is not looking good. I wonder if the accountant is feeling my vibes of perplexity? Now, where is that box?..........

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Who's been fooling....

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Five Early Memories...the Meme Continues...

1. I vividly remember the day I made my 1st friend. I was 3 years old. One morning, after breakfast I bounded out the back door and I immediately noticed over to my left that there was a boy playing in the sand next to our back yard. He was playing with a shiny red metal dump truck. I can still see how the early morning sun was reflecting on the shiny red metal. I ran back in to ask my mother if I could go play with him and she said yes. So, I bolted out the door and ran over to him. His name was Devin, Devin Lester. So, there we sat, in the sand playing with his shiny red dump truck. It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship. I liked to play with his trucks and he liked to push my doll carriage. We did everything together and once a ridiculously stupid thing, but then we were only 5. He decided to go to the bathroom outside, right there in his front yard and then he told me to step in it. So, I did. Then I froze because I realized what I did and so I screamed that piercing kind of scream that little girls have and really loud. Immediately, Anthony a 16 year old boy burst out the front door, down the steps, from a house three doors away-and ran over to us. My mother, 2 doors away was there in short order too. She asked what was wrong. I (still frozen in position) looked down and said “Devin pooped outside and told me to STEP in it and I DID!” Then I started sobbing.

2. When I was 3, my mother left my father and we went to live with her parents at the Jersey Shore. They were Scottish and used to call me their “wee bonnie girl” (roll the r’s) or their “we bonnie lassie”. Grandpa would sit me on his lap and tell me stories about the “wee ghosties and the wee goblins” and Grandma made the best meat pies and apple pies ever.

3. I was a friendly little girl and have always enjoyed interacting with people. (Still do) One evening (I was about 7) I was riding my bike down the street. That evening there were 3 retired couples sitting outside in front of each of their houses. As I went riding by I said “Hi Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone, Hi Mr. and Mrs. Russell, Hi Mr. and Mrs. Johnson” and then I turned around and on the way back up I said” Bye Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, bye Mr. and Mrs. Russell, bye Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone.”

4. (a) Sometimes as a teenager, I would get these zany ideas and then act on them. I know I kept my guardian angel very busy, if not amused. :)
This one hot summer day, I got this brilliant idea for my girlfriend (Iris) and I to rub real butter all over our bodies because I figured if you could use cocoa butter, why not real butter? So, we did and we glistened. :) We later got into the back seat of her father’s Cadillac as he was going to take us to the beach. He gets in the car and immediately starts sniffing and says “WHAT IS that S-M-E-L-L??” I proudly announce that we rubbed butter all over ourselves to get tan. This man had the patience of a saint with us, but this day he yelled in exasperation “It smells RANCID! Get out of the car and WASH THAT STUFF OFF!”

(b.) Another idea of mine was that after the waves break and there is all that frothy whitewater around us that maybe we could use it to whiten our teeth. I don’t remember why but I had the notion that salt whitens teeth and so I suggested that when we are in the whitewater, that we should crouch down, open our mouths but keep our teeth closed and let all that salty whitewater wash between our teeth. We did this for a summer. Need I say more?

(c.) For some reason unbeknownst to me now, I had the brainy idea that if I climbed up on the roof of our house, laid down while holding on to the peak, that I would get a better suntan because I was that much closer to the sun. (We lived in a one story house.) So, I got a blanket and climbed up the ladder onto the roof. So, there I was, in my bikini, lying on my blanket clinging to the roof. It only worked while on my stomach though as I had to hold on so I wouldn’t slide down. That didn’t last too long as I think a neighbor must’ve told on me because one day my mother caught me and I caught heck for doing that.

5. One crisp autumn night in October, when I was 17 and a senior in high school, I was walking toward home from the lake. A guy I was dating who was 4 or 5 years older than me (in my mind casually dating him) happened by in his car and stopped to see if I wanted to go for a ride and do something. So, I said “Sure!” I told my aunt and uncle and then off we went. He offered me a can of soda. He told me he wanted to go see some friends who were in this cabin in the woods and I said that would be o.k. By the time we got to this cabin a few towns away, in the woods and in the middle of nowhere – I was starting to feel really tired. When we got inside this very rustic cabin I could see there was a bunch of guys huddled around a fire that was burning in the fire place. They were all older and I didn’t know any of them. They were nice and I was too na├»ve to be afraid. Still that friendly girl and trusted everyone. I was becoming more tired by the minute and one of the guys said “Here- take these. (He held up a little plastic container) They’re No-Doze and will wake you up. So, I took them. After that, I was hardly able to stay awake and so the guy that brought me there said they had bedrooms there and that maybe I should lie down for a while. So I agreed. He brought me in there, but he kept trying to do things with me and even though I kissed him I resisted everything else. Finally, he gave up and said he would take me home. I know nothing happened sexually because even though I dated, I wasn’t sexually active and I definitely would’ve known if that happened. I should have known better. I started dating him in the summer, but was dating others too. He was always trying to get me to do things and called me his blonde haired vixen(blonde highlights), but I never gave him any reason to think he would have his way with me. A few days later, I heard that the cabin had burned down that night. It never occurred to me that they were up to something bad. We never went out again after that. Oddly, we never spoke again. We just went in different directions and I didn’t think twice about it.

You know how random thoughts go through your mind and you think of something from the past? This one day when I was 27, I thought of this incident and it hit me “ OMG – he slipped something in my soda when we first left and his friends gave me something other than No-Doze at the cabin!” That could’ve turned out very differently. Maybe they were hoping I would pass out – I don’t know.

Maybe, my guardian angel did something to scare them and they changed their mind or maybe he got an attack of conscience. Thank God I wasn't harmed!

Hmmm...who shall I tag? I tag Medblog Addict, Fat Doctor, Health Psyche and View From the Trekant. Am I allowed to tag that many?

Monday, April 9, 2007

It's All About the Blue

Your Power Color Is Blue

Relationships and feelngs are the most important things to you.
You are empathetic and accepting - and good at avoiding conflict.
If someone close to you is in pain, it makes you hurt as well.
You try to heal the ones you love with your kind and open heart.
What's Your Power Color?

My aunt used to say "If it's blue Patricia likes it." I am totally taken with the color blue. I am drawn in like a moth to flame by the color blue in all it's varying shades.

You could line up 50 people wearing various colors and I will hone in on the ones wearing blue every time, like a magnet. I like men in blue shirts and also dark blue suits- like the shade of blue suits the president wears. Favorite color to wear is turquoise, although I also like to wear pinks and other colors too.

One of my favorite cars was a 1985 T-Bird, which was a beautiful dark blue with varying shades of lighter blues on the upholstery and dash board, etc. I loved that car because it was sporty, fun to drive and because I felt totally immersed in blue when I drove it. Ha! I know I didn't save any money off the sticker price when we purchased that car because I loved it so much that I was practically bouncing up and down on the seat when I took it out for a test drive. :) As a matter of fact I was so anxious to get that car, the day we were scheduled to pick it up from the dealer there was a hurricane and I still wanted to pick it up. Fortunately, my husband was the voice of reason for me and we waited a couple of days.

I have almost always had a blue bedroom. We are due to paint it again and I sometimes think that I want to go with a different color, but I really like waking up to being surrounded by blue, so the only thing that will change is I am going for a deeper shade of blue.

I really liked it when the Docs switched from green scrubs to the blue scrubs - much better!

I love blue skies, blue oceans and aqua pools. If I am really thirsty, I prefer to drink water out of a tall blue glass - preferably turquoise.

My girlfriend's daughter stopped over today to give me a turquoise glass bunny that she picked up in the store. She said that when she saw it, she knew she had to get it because she knew how much I loved that color. It was so sweet of her to do that. :)

So, now y'all know how weird I am about the color blue..so soothing and beautiful. It's all about the blue. :)

P.S. These fun little tests have been amazingly accurate with the results that come up.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

He is Risen!



He is risen!

I would like to share a few interesting things I have learned about the events after the resurrection.

The most elite Roman guards of that day would have been assigned to the tomb of Jesus because it was considered a priority to the Jews in charge that his body not be stolen. Otherwise, rumors would start that he was alive and people would believe that Jesus was who he said he was and that would've caused a lot of problems for both the Jews and the Romans.

These Roman soldiers would not risk their lives by letting anyone take the body nor would they fall asleep on the job. To do so would mean certain death for them, so it was in their best interest to make sure that Christ's body stayed in the tomb. When the tomb was sealed it would have the imperial seal of Rome on it and under no circumstances was that seal to be broken.

But God.......had other plans.

Another interesting fact is that when people went in to see the empty tomb, they noticed Jesus had taken the time to fold his garments. This would seem to indicate that he wasn't in a rush to get out of there or that people hadn't come to steal his body away because if they did, they certainly wouldn't take the time to fold his garments. Also, maybe He was neat and tidied up after himself. :)

The scriptures state that he appeared to the apostles who were behind closed doors. Scientists have indicated that there are more than the 3 1/2 dimensions (Height, length, depth and time going forward) that we are familiar with and that there are at least 10 or 11 dimensions and possibly more. That may explain how Jesus was able to materialize into the room or disappear or appear to people in other encounters as well .

His resurrected body could be felt and he could participate in activities. Jesus even built a fire on the beach while the apostles were fishing. Then he cooked the fish and ate with them. He fellowshipped with them.

So, because Jesus loved us so much, he sacrificed his life for us. He miraculously rose from the dead 3 days later, with an immortal body and did all the things I mentioned and more. We can expect to have the same immortal bodies as Christ resurrected with. (Awesome!) Life doesn't end on this earth. It is the beginning of an eternal destination and a continuation of what we are here, but so much more enhanced.

All we have to do is to call upon his name and ask him to be our Savior. For anyone who doesn't believe in God - just ask him to show you he is real and he will find a way to do just that.

God loves all of us and he has a plan and a purpose for each of our lives.


Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Seven Last Sayings of Christ





He has risen!

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The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said..."

(Matthew 28:2-6 NIV)



The crucifixion of the Messiah was prophesied in the old testament hundreds of years prior to Christ's birth.

The following scriptures are taken from the NIV Bible.

In all probability Luke 23:34 is the first of the seven last sayings of Christ while he was on the cross.

These seven things were spoken in the following order: 1. From 9 a.m. until 12 noon, he spoke the word of forgiveness: Luke 23:34 "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
* The cross is all about love, forgiveness and salvation. Jesus made this statement after having unjustly and cruelly been betrayed,beaten, mocked and nailed to the cross to die. At this point the soldiers were at the foot of the cross gambling for his clothes. Jesus taught about forgiveness, saying that we should forgive 70x7 and that we should get the log out of our own eye before we try to get the spec out of our brother's eye.

2. The word of salvation: Luke 23:43 " I tell you the truth,today you will be with me in paradise." *Jesus said this to the thief that was next to him on the cross who acknowledged his wrongdoing and asked that Jesus remember him when he got into his heavenly kingdom. This is a type and shadow for what we can expect when we look to Christ for forgiveness of sins and as our Savior.

3. The word of love: John 19:26,27 "Dear woman,here is your son." and to the disciple," Here is your mother." The disciple John and Jesus were especially close and is why he is referred to in the scriptures as the beloved disciple. John is the only disciple who stayed at the crucifixion as the others were afraid and went into hiding. So, Jesus was telling both of them that from now on John would be looking after his mother. Also, John is the only apostle to have died of natural causes. (The other apostles were martyred by being beheaded, stoned,crucified, hanged, speared,dragged, beaten, etc. Peter requested that he be crucified upside down because he said he wasn't worthy enough to be crucified as his Lord was.) I have heard it suggested that John may have been spared these methods of death because of his loyalty. He was boiled in oil but miraculously survived it. He was then sent to the prison island of Patmos, where he wrote the book of revelation. He was later freed and was the only apostle to die peacefully. (The gospel of John is a good chapter to start with in the New Testament and is often referred to as the book of love. While the King James version is poetic, I personally prefer the more modern translations that are closest to the original Greek and Hebrew)

During the three hours of darkness, from noon until about 3 p.m., no words were reported until about 3p.m. when Jesus cried out in a loud voice - 4. The word of spiritual suffering: Mark 15:34 " Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" * While on the cross, Jesus, who was without sin, experienced the most hideous form of abandonment and emotional suffering of mankind and took it on as if it was his own.

5. The word of physical suffering: John 19:28 " I am thirsty." * Being crucified is one of the most painful ways to die. He endured so much suffering even before he was crucified. Jesus said "By my stripes, you are healed." Those stripes are the brutal lashes that gouged into his skin and muscle, etc. at the hands of a Roman soldier using a Roman Flagrum - a whip that had acorn sized metal tips along with glass, bone and nails embedded into it.

6. The word of triumph: John 19:30 " It is finished." * This really was the most perfect plan of human redemption. Jesus is the only man that claimed to be the son of God, that died and rose again with an immortal body. He said that he came to set the captives free. Some people have looked at the cross as a murder weapon. First of all Jesus wasn't murdered, he surrendered his life - he was the ultimate sacrifice. He could've stopped this at any time and he was given the opportunity to do so, but because he loved (still does) all of humanity so much - he went forward with the plan.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." The cross is symbolic of victory over death. Now all people can turn to God in repentance and faith and receive eternal life.

7. The word of committal: Luke 23:46 Father into your hands I commit my spirit."

The last seven sayings of Jesus are short. The following article points out the physical reasons as to why it would have been both so painful and difficult for him to speak. He was struggling to breathe and every breath was painful.

The following is a synopsis (for anyone not wanting to read something long at this point) of a longer article (to follow) published by JAMA in 1986 regarding the crucifixion of Christ. I have heard the scientific arguments for the crucifixion of Christ before and found it interesting to read through the information again.

Jesus of Nazareth underwent Jewish and Roman trials was flogged and was sentenced to death by crucifixion. The scourging produced deep stripe like lacerations and appreciable blood loss and it probably set the stage for hypovolemic shock as evidenced by the fact that Jesus was too weakened to carry the crossbar (patibulum) to Golgotha. At the site of crucifixion his wrists were nailed to the patibulum and after the patibulum was lifted onto the upright post (stipes) his feet were nailed to the stipes. The major pathophysiologic effect of crucifixion was an interference with normal respirations. Accordingly death resulted primarily from hypovolemic shock and exhaustion asphyxia. Jesus death was ensured by the thrust of a soldier s spear into his side. Modern medical interpretation of the historical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead when taken down from the cross.

(JAMA 1986;255:1455-1463)



Reprinted from JAMA - The Journal of the American Medical Association

March 21, 1986, Volume 256

Copyright 1986, American Medical Association

By Permission of Mayo Foundation



ON THE PHYSICAL DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST



William D. Edwards, MD; Wesley J. Gabel, MDiv; Floyd E Hosmer, MS, AMI

From the Departments of Pathology (Dr. Edwards) and Medical Graphics (Mr. Hoamer), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; and the Homestead United Methodist Church, Rochester, Minn., and the West Bethel United Methodist Church, Bethel, Minn. (Pastor Gabel).

Reprint requests to Department of Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905 (Dr. Edwards)


The life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth have formed the basis for a major world religion (Christianity), have appreciably influenced the course of human history, and, by virtue of a compassionate attitude towards the sick, also have contributed to the development of modern medicine. The eminence of Jesus as a historical figure and the suffering and controversy associated with his death have stimulated us to investigate, in an interdisciplinary manner, the circumstances surrounding his crucifixion. Accordingly, it is our intent to present not a theological treatise but rather a medically and historically accurate account of the physical death of the one called Jesus Christ.

SOURCES

The source material concerning Christ's death comprises a body of literature and not a physical body or its skeletal remains. Accordingly, the credibility of any discussion of Jesus' death will be determined primarily by the credibility of one's sources. For this review, the source material includes the writings of ancient Christian and non-Christian authors, the writings of modern authors, and the Shroud of Turin. (1-40) Using the legal-historical method of scientific investigation, (27) scholars have established the reliability and accuracy of the ancient manuscripts. (26,27,29,31)

The most extensive and detailed descriptions of the life and death of Jesus are to be found in the New Testament gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. (1) The other 23 books of the New Testament support but do not expand on the details recorded in the gospels. Contemporary Christian, Jewish, and Roman authors provide additional insight concerning the first-century Jewish and Roman legal systems and the details of scourging and crucifixion. (5) Seneca, Livy, Plutarch, and others refer to crucifixion practices in their works. (8,28) Specifically, Jesus (or his crucifixion) is mentioned by the Roman historians Cornelius Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, and Suetonius, by non-Roman historians Thallus and Phlegon, by the satirist Lucian of Samosata, by the Jewish Talmud, and by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, although the authenticity of portions of the latter is problematic. (26)

The Shroud of Turin is considered by many to represent the actual burial cloth of Jesus, (22) and several publications concerning the medical aspects of his death draw conclusions from this assumption. (5,11) The Shroud of Turin and recent archaeological findings provide valuable information concerning Roman crucifixion practices. (22-24) The interpretations of modern writers, based on a knowledge of science and medicine not available in the first century, may offer additional insight concerning the possible mechanisms of Jesus' death. (2,17)

When taken in concert, certain facts -- the extensive and early testimony of both Christian proponents and opponents, and their universal acceptance of Jesus as a true historical figure; the ethic of the gospel writers, and the shortness of the time interval between the events and the extant manuscripts; and the confirmation of the gospel accounts by historians and archaeological findings (26,27) -- ensure a reliable testimony from which a modern medical interpretation of Jesus' death may be made.

GETHSEMANE

After Jesus and his disciples had observed the Passover meal in an upper room in a home in southwest Jerusalem, they traveled to the Mount of Olives, northeast of the city. (Owing to various adjustments in the calendar, the years of Jesus' birth and death remain controversial. (29) However, it is likely that Jesus was born in either 4 or 6 BC and died in 30 AD. (11,29) During the Passover observance in 30 AD, the last Supper would have been observed on Thursday, April 6 [Nisan 13], and Jesus would have been crucified on Friday, April 7 [Nisan 14]. (29) ) At nearby Gethsemane, Jesus, apparently knowing that the time of his death was near, suffered great mental anguish, and, as described by the physician Luke, his sweat became like blood. (1)

Although this is a very rare phenomenon, bloody sweat (hematidrosis or hemohidrosis) may occur in highly emotional states or in persons with bleeding disorders. (18,20) As a result of hemorrhage into the sweat glands, the skin becomes fragile and tender. (2,11) Luke's descriptions supports the diagnosis of hematidrosis rather than eccrine chromidrosis (brown or yellow-green sweat) or stigmatization (blood oozing from the palms or elsewhere). (18,21) Although some authors have suggested that hematidrosis produced hypovolemia, we agree with Bucklin (5) that Jesus' actual blood loss probably was minimal. However, in the cold night air, (1) it may have produced chills.

TRIALS

Jewish Trials

Soon after midnight, Jesus was arrested at Gethsemane by the temple officials and was taken first to Annas and then to Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest for that year. (1) Between 1 AM and daybreak, Jesus was tried before Caiaphas and the political Sanhedrin and was found guilty of blasphemy. (1) The guards then blindfolded Jesus, spat on him, and struck him in the face with their fists. (1) Soon after daybreak, presumably at the temple, Jesus was tried before the religious Sanhedrin (with the Pharisees and the Sadducees) and again was found guilty of blasphemy, a crime punishable by death. (1,5)

Roman Trials

Since permission for an execution had to come from the governing Romans, (1) Jesus was taken early in the morning by the temple officials to the Praetorium of the Fortress of Antonia, the residence and governmental seat of Pontius Pilate, the procurator of Judea. However, Jesus was presented to Pilate not as a blasphemer but rather as a self-appointed king who would undermine the Roman authority. (1) Pilate made no charges against Jesus and sent him to Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Judea. (1) Herod likewise made no official charges and then returned Jesus to Pilate. (1) Again, Pilate could find no basis for a legal charge against Jesus, but the people persistently demanded crucifixion. Pilate finally granted their demand and handed over Jesus to be flogged (scourged) and crucified. (McDowell (25) has reviewed the prevailing political, religious, and economic climates in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus' death, and Bucklin (5) has described the various illegalities of the Jewish and Roman trials.)

Health of Jesus

The rigors of Jesus' ministry (that is, traveling by foot throughout Palestine) would have precluded any major physical illness or a weak general constitution. Accordingly, it is reasonable to assume that Jesus was in good physical condition before his walk to Gethsemane. However, during the 12 hours between 9 PM Thursday and 9 AM Friday, he had suffered great emotional stress (as evidenced by hematidrosis), abandonment by his closest friends (the disciples), and a physical beating (after the first Jewish trial). Also, in the setting of a traumatic and sleepless night, had been forced to walk more than 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to and from the sites of the various trials. These physical and emotional factors may have rendered Jesus particularly vulnerable to the adverse hemodynamic effects of the scourging.

SCOURGING

Scourging Practices

Flogging was a legal preliminary to every Roman execution, (28) and only women and Roman senators or soldiers (except in cases of desertion) were exempt. (11) The usual instrument was a short whip (flagrum or flagellum) with several single or braided leather thongs of variable lengths, in which small iron balls or sharp pieces of sheep bones were tied at intervals. Occasionally, staves also were used. (8,12) For scourging, the man was stripped of his clothing, and his hands were tied to an upright post. (11) The back, buttocks, and legs were flogged either by two soldiers (lictors) or by one who alternated positions. (5,7,11,28) The severity of the scourging depended on the disposition of the lictors and was intended to weaken the victim to a state just short of collapse or death. (8) After the scourging, the soldiers often taunted their victim. (11)

Medical Aspects of Scourging

As the Roman soldiers repeatedly struck the victim's back with full force, the iron balls would cause deep contusions, and the leather thongs and sheep bones would cut into the skin and subcutaneous tissues. (7) Then, as the flogging continued, the lacerations would tear into the underlying skeletal muscles and produce quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh. (27,25) Pain and blood loss generally set the stage for circulatory shock. (12) The extent of blood loss may well have determined how long the victim would survive on the cross. (3)

Scourging of Jesus

At the Praetorium, Jesus was severely whipped. (Although the severity of the scourging is not discussed in the four gospel accounts, it is implied in one of the epistles (1 Peter 2:24). A detailed word study of the ancient Greek text for this verse indicates that the scourging of Jesus was particularly harsh. (33) ) It is not known whether the number of lashes was limited to 39, in accordance with Jewish law. (5) The Roman soldiers, amused that this weakened man had claimed to be a king, began to mock him by placing a robe on his shoulders, a crown of thorns on his head, and a wooden staff as a scepter in his right hand. (1) Next, they spat on Jesus and struck him on the head with the wooden staff. (1) Moreover, when the soldiers tore the robe from Jesus' back, they probably reopened the scourging wounds. (7)

The severe scourging, with its intense pain and appreciable blood loss, most probably left Jesus in a preshock state. Moreover, hematidrosis had rendered his skin particularly tender. The physical and mental abuse meted out by the Jews and the Romans, as well as the lack of food, water, and sleep, also contributed to his generally weakened state. Therefore, even before the actual crucifixion, Jesus' physical condition was at least serious and possibly critical.

CRUCIFIXION

Crucifixion Practices

Crucifixion probably first began among the Persians. (34) Alexander the Great introduced the practice to Egypt and Carthage, and the Romans appear to have learned of it from the Carthaginans. (11) Although the Romans did not invent crucifixion, they perfected it as a form of torture and capital punishment that was designed to produce a slow death with maximum pain and suffering. (10,17) It was one of the most disgraceful and cruel methods of execution and usually was reserved only for slaves, foreigners, revolutionaries, and the vilest of criminals. (3,25,28) Roman law usually protected Roman citizens from crucifixion, (5) except perhaps in the case of desertion by soldiers.

In its earliest form in Persia, the victim was either tied to a tree or was tied to or impaled on an upright post, usually to keep the guilty victim's feet from touching holy ground. (3,11,30,34,38). Only later was a true cross used; it was characterized by an upright post (stipes) and a horizontal crossbar (patibulum), and it had several variations (11). Although archaeological and historical evidence strongly indicates that the low Tau cross was preferred by the Romans in Palestine at the time of Christ, (2,7,11) crucifixion practices often varied in a given geographic region and in accordance with the imagination of the executioners, and the Latin cross and other forms also may have been used. (26)

It was customary for the condemned man to carry his own cross from the flogging post to the site of crucifixion outside the city walls. (8,11,30) He was usually naked, unless this was prohibited by local customs. (11) Since the weight of the entire cross was probably well over 300 lb. (136 kg), only the crossbar was carried. (11) The patibulum, weighing 75 to 125 lb. (34 to 57 kg), (11,30) was placed across the nape of the victim's neck and balanced along both shoulders. Usually, the outstretched arms then were tied to the crossbar. (7,11) The processional to the site of crucifixion was led by a complete Roman military guard, headed by a centurion. (3,11) One of the soldiers carried a sign (titulus) on which the condemned man's name and crime were displayed. (3,11) Later, the titulus would be attached to the top of the cross. (11) The Roman guard would not leave the victim until they were sure of his death. (9,11)

Outside the city walls was permanently located the heavy upright wooden stipes, on which the patibulum would be secured. In the case of the Tau cross, this was accomplished by means of a mortise and tenon joint, with or without reinforcement by ropes. (10,11,30) To prolong the crucifixion process, a horizontal wooden block or plank, serving as a crude seat (sedile or sedulum), often was attached midway down the stipes. (3,11,16) Only very rarely, and probably later than the time of Christ, was an additional block (suppedaneum) employed for transfixion of the feet. (9,11)

At the site of execution, by law, the victim was given a bitter drink of wine mixed with myrrh (gall) as a mild analgesic. (7,17) The criminal was then thrown to the ground on his back, with his arms outstretched along the patibulum. (11) the hands could be nailed or tied to the crossbar, but nailing apparently was preferred by the Romans. (8,11) The archaeological remains of a crucified body, found in an ossuary near Jerusalem and dating from the time of Christ, indicate that the nails were tapered iron spikes approximately 5 to 7 in (13 to 18 cm) long with a square shaft 3/8 in (1 cm) across. (23,24,30) Furthermore, ossuary findings and the Shroud of Turin have documented that the nails commonly were driven through the wrists rather than the palms. (22-24,30)

After both arms were fixed to the crossbar, the patibulum and the victim, together, were lifted onto the stipes. (11) On the low cross, four soldiers could accomplish this relatively easily. However, on the tall cross, the soldiers used either wooden forks or ladders. (11)

Next, the feet were fixed to the cross, either by nails or ropes. Ossuary findings and the Shroud of Turin suggest that nailing was the preferred Roman practice. (23,24,30) Although the feet could be fixed to the sides of the stipes or to a wooden footrest (suppedaneum), they usually were nailed directly to the front of the stipes. (11) To accomplish this, flexion of the knees may have been quite prominent, and the bent legs may have been rotated laterally (23-25,30)

When the nailing was completed, the titulus was attached to the cross, by nails or cords, just above the victim's head. (11) The soldiers and the civilian crowd often taunted and jeered the condemned man, and the soldiers customarily divided up his clothes among themselves. (11,25) The length of survival generally ranged from three or four hours to three or four days and appears to have been inversely related to the severity of the scourging. (3,11) However, even if the scourging had been relatively mild, the Roman soldiers could hasten death by breaking the legs below the knees (crurifragium or skelokopia). (3,11)

Not uncommonly, insects would light upon or burrow into the open wounds or the eyes, ears, and nose of the dying and helpless victim, and birds of prey would tear at these sites. (16) Moreover, it was customary to leave the corpse on the cross to be devoured by predatory animals. (3,11,12,28) However, by Roman law, the family of the condemned could take the body for burial, after obtaining permission from the Roman judge. (11)

Since no one was intended to survive crucifixion, the body was not released to the family until the soldiers were sure that the victim was dead. By custom, one of the Roman guards would pierce the body with a sword or lance. (3,11) Traditionally, this had been considered a spear wound to the heart through the right side of the chest -- a fatal wound probably taught to most Roman soldiers. (11) The Shroud of Turin documents this form of injury. (5,11,22) Moreover, the standard infantry spear, which was 5 to 6 ft (1.5 to 1.8 m) long (30) could easily have reached the chest of a man crucified on the customary low cross. (11)

Medical Aspects of Crucifixion

With a knowledge of both anatomy and ancient crucifixion practices, one may reconstruct the probably medical aspects of this form of slow execution. Each wound apparently was intended to produce intense agony, and the contributing causes of death were numerous.

The scourging prior to crucifixion served to weaken the condemned man and, if blood loss was considerable, to produce orthostatic hypotension and even hypovolemic shock. (8, 12) When the victim was thrown to the ground on his back, in preparation for transfixion of his hands, his scourging wounds most likely would become torn open again and contaminated with dirt. (2,14) Furthermore, with each respiration, the painful scourging wounds would be scraped against the rough wood of the stipes. (7) As a result, blood loss from the back probably would continue throughout the crucifixion ordeal.

With arms outstretched but not taut, the wrists were nailed to the patibulum. (7,11) It has been shown that the ligaments and bones of the wrist can support the weight of a body hanging from them , but the palms cannot. (11) Accordingly, the iron spikes probably were driven between the radius and the carpals or between the two rows of carpal bones, (2,10,11,30) either proximal to or through the strong bandlike flexor retinaculum and the various intercarpal ligaments. Although a nail in either location in the wrist might pass between the bony elements and thereby produce no fractures, the likelihood of painful periosteal injury would seem great. Furthermore, the driven nail would crush or sever the rather large sensorimotor median nerve. (2,7,11) The stimulated nerve would produce excruciating bolts of fiery pain in both arms. (7,9) Although the severed median nerve would result in paralysis of a portion of the hand, ischemic contractures and impalement of various ligaments by the iron spike might produce a clawlike grasp.

Most commonly, the feet were fixed to the front of the stipes by means of an iron spike driven through the first or second intermetatarsal space, just distal to the tarsometatarssal joint. (2,5,8,11,30) It is likely that the deep peroneal nerve and branches of the medial and lateral plantar nerves would have been injured by the nails. Although scourging may have resulted in considerable blood loss, crucifixion per se was a relatively bloodless procedure, since no major arteries, other than perhaps the deep plantar arch, pass through the favored anatomic sites of transfixion. (2,10,11)

The major pathophysiologic effect of crucifixion, beyond the excruciating pain, was a marked interference with normal respiration, particularly exhalation. The weight of the body, pulling down on the outstretched arms and shoulders, would tend to fix the intercostal muscles in an inhalation state and thereby hinder passive exhalation. (2,10,11) Accordingly, exhalation was primarily diaphragmatic, and breathing was shallow. It is likely that this form of respiration would not suffice and that hypercarbia would soon result. The onset of muscle cramps or tetanic contractions, due to fatigue and hypercarbia, would hinder respiration even further. (11)

Adequate exhalation required lifting the body by pushing up on the feet and by flexing the elbows and adducting the shoulders. (2) However, this maneuver would place the entire weight of the body on the tarsals and would produce searing pain. (7) Furthermore, flexion of the elbows would cause rotation of the wrists about the iron nails and cause fiery pain along the damaged median nerves. (7) Lifting of the body would also painfully scrape the scourged back against the rough wooden stipes. (2,7) Muscle cramps and paresthesias of the outstretched and uplifted arms would add to the discomfort. (7) As a result, each respiratory effort would become agonizing and tiring and lead eventually to asphyxia. (2,3,7,10)

The actual cause of death by crucifixion was multifactorial and varied somewhat with each case, but the two most prominent causes probably were hypovolemic shock and exhaustion asphyxia. (2,3,7,10) Other possible contributing factors included dehydration, (7,16) stress-induced arrhythmias, (3) and congestive heart failure with the rapid accumulation of pericardial and perhaps pleural effusions. (2,7,11) Crucifracture (breaking the legs below the knees), if performed, led to an asphyxic death within minutes. (11) Death by crucifixion was, in every sense of the word, excruciating (Latin, excruciatus, or "out of the cross").

Crucifixion of Jesus

After the scourging and the mocking, at about 9 AM, the Roman soldiers put Jesus' clothes back on him and then led him and two thieves to be crucified. (1) Jesus apparently was so weakened by the severe flogging that he could not carry the patibulum from the Praetorium to the site of the crucifixion one third of a mile (600 to 650 m) away (1,3,5,7) Simon of Cyrene was summoned to carry Christ's cross, and the processional then made its way to Golgotha (or Calvary), an established crucifixion site.

Here, Jesus' clothes, except for a linen loincloth, again were removed, thereby probably reopening the scourging wounds. He then was offered a drink of wine mixed with myrrh (gall) but, after tasting it, refused the drink. (1) Finally, Jesus and the two thieves were crucified. Although scriptural references are made to nails in the hands (1), these are not at odds with the archaeological evidence of wrist wounds, since the ancients customarily considered the wrist to be a part of the hand. (7,11) The titulus was attached above Jesus' head. It is unclear whether Jesus was crucified on the Tau cross or the Latin cross; archaeological findings favor the former (11) and early tradition the latter. (38) The fact that Jesus later was offered a drink of wine vinegar from a sponge placed on the stalk of the hyssop plant (1) (approximately 20 in, or 50 cm long) strongly supports the belief that Jesus was crucified on the short cross.

The soldiers and the civilian crowd taunted Jesus throughout the crucifixion ordeal, and the soldiers cast lots for his clothing. (1) Christ spoke seven times from the cross. (1) Since speech occurs during exhalation, these short, terse utterances must have been particularly difficult and painful. At about 3 PM that Friday, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, bowed his head, and died. (1) The Roman soldiers and onlookers recognized his moment of death. (1)

Since the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the crosses after sunset, the beginning of the Sabbath, they asked Pontius Pilate to order crucifracture to hasten the deaths of the three crucified men. (1) The soldiers broke the legs of the two thieves, but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. (1) Rather, one of the soldiers pierced his side, probably with an infantry spear, and produced a sudden flow of blood and water. (1) Later that day, Jesus' body was taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb. (1)

DEATH OF JESUS

Two aspects of Jesus' death have been the source of great controversy, namely, the nature of the wound in his side (4,6) and the cause of his death after only several hours on the cross. (13-17).

The gospel of John describes the piercing of Jesus' side and emphasizes the sudden flow of blood and water. (1) Some authors have interpreted the flow of water to be ascites (12) or urine, from an abdominal midline perforation of the bladder. (15) However, the Greek word (pleura (32,35,,36) used by John clearly denoted laterality and often implied the ribs. (6,32,36)

Therefore, it seems probable that the wound was in the thorax and well away from the abdominal midline.

Although the side of the wound was not designated by John, it traditionally has been depicted on the right side. (4) Supporting this traditions is the fact that a large flow of blood would be more likely with a perforation of the distended and thin-walled right atrium or ventricle than the thick-walled and contracted left ventricle. Although the side of the wound may never be established with certainty, the right seems more probable than the left.

Some of the skepticism in accepting John's description has arisen from the difficulty in explaining, with medical accuracy, the flow of both blood and water. Part of this difficulty has been based on the assumption that the blood appeared first, then the water. However, in the ancient Greek, the order of words generally denoted prominence and not necessarily a time sequence. (37) Therefore, it seems likely that John was emphasizing the prominence of blood rather than its appearance preceding the water.

Therefore, the water probably represented serous pleural and pericardial fluid, (5-7,11) and would have preceded the flow of blood and been smaller in volume than the blood. Perhaps in the setting of hypovolemia and impending acute heart failure, pleural and pericardial effusions may have developed and would have added to the volume of apparent water. (5,11) The blood, in contrast, may have originated from the right atrium or the right ventricle or perhaps from a hemopericardium. (5,7,11)

Jesus' death after only three to six hours on the cross surprised even Pontius Pilate. (1) The fact that Jesus cried out in a loud voice and then bowed his head and died suggests the possibility of a catastrophic terminal event. One popular explanation has been that Jesus died of cardiac rupture. In the setting of the scourging and crucifixion, with associated hypovolemia, hypoxemia, and perhaps and altered coagulable state, friable non-infective thrombotic vegetations could have formed on the aortic or mitral valve. These then could have dislodged and embolized into the coronary circulation and thereby produced an acute transmural myocardial infarction. Thrombotic valvular vegetations have been reported to develop under analogous acute traumatic conditions. (39) Rupture of the left ventricular free wall may occur, though uncommonly, in the first few hours following infarction. (40)

However, another explanation may be more likely. Jesus' death may have been hastened simply by his state of exhaustion and by the severity of the scourging, with its resultant blood loss and preshock state. (7) The fact that he could not carry his patibulum supports this interpretation. The actual cause of Jesus' death, like that of other crucified victims, may have been multifactorial and related primarily to hypovolemic shock, exhaustion asphyxia, and perhaps acute heart failure. (2,3,5-7,10,11) A fatal cardiac arrhythmia may have accounted for the apparent catastrophic terminal event.

Thus, it remains unsettled whether Jesus died of cardiac rupture or of cardiorespiratory failure. However, the important feature may be not how he died but rather whether he died. Clearly, the weight of historical and medical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead before the wound to his side was inflicted and supports the traditional view that the spear, thrust between his right ribs, probably perforated not only the right lung but also the pericardium and heart and thereby ensured his death. Accordingly, interpretations based on the assumption that Jesus did not die on the cross appear to be at odds with modern medical knowledge.

References

1. Matthew 26:17-27:61, Mark 14:12-15:47, Luke 22:7-23:56, John 13:1-19:42, the "The Holy Bible" (New International Version). Grand Rapids, Mich. Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1978.

2. Lumpkin R: The physical suffering of Christ. "J Med Assoc Ala" 1978;47:8-10,47.

3. Johnson CD: Medical and cardiological aspects of the passion and crucifixion of Jesus, the Christ. "Bol Assoc Med PR" 1978;70:97-102.

4. Barb AA: The wound in Christ's side. "J Warbury Courtauld Inst" 1971;34:320-321.

5. Bucklin R: The legal and medical aspects of the trial and death of Christ. "Sci Law" 1970; 10:14-26.

6. Mikulicz-Radecki FV: The chest wound in the crucified Christ. "Med News" 1966;14:30-40.

7. Davis CT: The crucifixion of Jesus: The passion of Christ from a medical point of view. "Ariz Med" 1965;22:183-187.

8. Tenney SM: On death by crucifixion. "Am Heart J" 1964;68:286-287.

9. Bloomquist ER: A doctor looks at crucifixion. "Christian Herald", March 1964, pp 35 46-48.

10. DePasquale NP, Burch GE: Death by crucifixion. "Am Heart J" 1963;6:434-435.

11. Barbet P: "A Doctor at Calvary: The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ as Described by a Surgeon", Earl of Wicklow (trans). Garden City, NY, Doubleday Image Books, 1953, pp 12-18, 37-147, 159-175, 187-208.

12. Primrose WB: A surgeon looks at the crucifixion. "Hibbert J" 1949, pp 382-388.

13. Bergsma S: did Jesus die of a broken heart? "Calvin Forum" 1948;14:163-167.

14. Whitaker JR: The physical cause of the death of our Lord. "Cath Manchester Guard" 1937;15:83-91.

15. Clark CCP: What was the physical cause of the death of Jesus Christ? "Med Rec" 1890; 38:543.

16. Cooper HC: The agony of death by crucifixion. "NY Med J" 1883:38:150-153.

17. Shroud W: "Treatise on the Physical Cause of the Death of Christ and Its Relation to the Principles and Practice of Christianity" ed 2. London, Hamilton & Adams, 1871, pp 28-156, 489-494.

18. Allen AC: "The Skin: A Clinicopathological Treatise", ed 2. New York, Grune & Stratton Inc, 1967, pp 745-747.

19. Sutton RL Jr: "Diseases of the Skin", ed 11. St Louis, CV Mosby Co, 1956, pp 1393-1394.

20. Scott CT: A case of haematidrosis. "Br Med J" 1918;1:532-533.

21. Klauder JV: Stigmatization. "Arch Dermatol Syphilol" 1938;37:650-659.

22. Weaver KF: The mystery of the shroud. "Natl Geogr" 1980;157:730-753.

23. Tzaferis V: Jewish tombs at and near Giv'at ha-Mivtar, Jerusalem. "Israel Explor J" 1970;20:38-59.

24. Haas N: Anthropological observations on the skeletal remains from Giv'at ha-Mivtar. "Israel Explor J" 1970;20:38-59.

25. McDowell J: "The Resurrection Factor" San Bernardino, Calif, Here's Life Publishers, 1981, pp 20-53, 75-103.

26. McDowell J: "Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Historical Evidence for the Christian Faith." San Bernardino, Calif, Here's Life Publishers, 1979, pp 39-87, 141-263.

27. McDowell J: "More Than a Carpenter" Wheaton, Ill, Tyndale House Publishers, 1977, pp 36-71, 89-100.

28. Hengel M: "Crucifixion in the Ancient World and the folly of the Message of the Cross" Bowden J (trans) Philadelphia, Fortress Press, 1977, pp 22-45, 86-90.

29. Ricciotti G: "The Life of Christ" Zizzamia AI (trans). Milwaukee, Bruce Publishing Co, 1947, pp 29-57, 78-153, 161-167, 586-647.

30. Pfeiffer CF, Vos HF, Rea J (eda): "Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia." Chicago Moody Press, 1975, pp 149-152, 404-405, 713-723, 1173,1174, 150-1523.

31. Greenleaf S: "An Examination of the Testimony of the four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice." Grand Rapids, Mich, Baker Book House, 1965, p. 29.

32. Hatch E, Redpath HA: "A Concordance to the Septuagint and the Other Greek Versions of the Old Testament (Including the Apocryphal Books) Graz, Austria, Akademische Druce U Verlagsanstalt, 1975, p 1142.

33. Wuest KS: "Wuest Word Studies From the Greek New Testament for the English Reader." Grand Rapids, Mich. WB Eerdmans Publisher, 1973, vol 1, p 280.

34. Friedrich G: "Theological Dictionary of the New Testament", Bremiley G (ed-trans). Grand Rapids, Mich. WB Eerdmans Publisher, 1971, vol 7, pp 572,573,632.

35. Aradt WF, Gingrich FW: "A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature." University of Chicago Press, 1057, p 673.

36. Brown F, Driver SR, Briggs CA: "A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament With an Appendix Containing the Biblical Aramaic." Oxford, England, Clarendon Press, 1953, pp 841, 854.

37. Robertson AT: "A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in Light of Historical Research." Nashville, Tenn, Broadman Press, 1931, pp 417-427.

38. Jackson SM (ed): "The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge." New York, Funk & Wagnalls, 1909, pp 312-314.

39. Kim H-S, Suzuki M, Lie JT, et al: Nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE) and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC): Autopsy study of 36 patients. "Arch Pathol Lab Med" 1977;101:65-68.

40. Becker AE, van Mantgem J-P: Cardiac tamponade: A study of 50 hearts. "Eur J Cardiol" 1975;3:349-358.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

* Fly on the Urinal - Aiming to Please

http://thisworldisnotforsale.com/cgi-bin/james/041025two_P_or_Not_To_Pee/peeing_is_fun180x206.jpg

Since this is about a bodily function and contains some graphics, this post may not be for someone who may be eating a meal at the computer or for someone who is easily offended. (Viewer discretion is advised) It may not be for anyone at all. However, I am amused and so.... I shall continue. :)

Someone sent me this e-mail tonight with pictures of these urinals in Amsterdam. These Amsterdam pics have made their rounds via e-mail and the blogosphere. However, it is the first time that I have seen them and so, admittedly this girl was curious. So I looked up info on these urinals ( I KNOW - I need to get a job!) and also found that JFK installed them as well. I also found out that the reason public toilet seats are horseshoe shaped is because the opening in the front is where men are most likely to hit the seat.

I find it amusing that some men need something to focus on to keep them aiming in the right place to minimize splash back (yes, there is splash back and evidently more or less depending upon certain variables) and keep everything in the urinal. Call me crazy, but I would think not getting urine on my clothing or anywhere else outside the urinal would be incentive enough! I can appreciate the fact that a seriously inebriated guy could be like a hose gone wild and even if the fly were flashing like a neon sign - he'd probably miss. For the rest of the guys though - seriously?

For the men who on a daily basis use urinals that encourage them to aim for the flies... I seriously hope there isn't some Pavlovian response for whenever they see a fly - that they feel compelled to aim, fire and shoot! ;)

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I like the design of the urinal area in the next 2 pics over looking the city - so airy. Although, it does look like they are set to pee down on the city. :)

These two last images depict an installation that features a lovely panorama of Amsterdam

These last two photos were taken in by AK in 2005.



T
he Urinals of John F. Kennedy International Airport

"Terminal 4 was reconstructed on the site of the old International Arrivals Building, reopening in May, 2001. These fixtures can be found prior to the security checkpoint."

Having seen their successful deployment in European airports, the manager of JFK installed "fake fly" in the new fixtures of Terminal 4.
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I also read that there are different places in Europe that have urinals with tiny goal posts and a soccer ball suspended from a thread. If you aim carefully, you can guide the ball into the goal.

peegoal
It's called Pee Goal
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O.K., now SeaSpray might be starting to get a little jealous because she does love a good competition! Compete with yourself. Compete with a friend. Compete with a group of friends. Hey! Why not have a loud bell that goes off announcing a winner like the water gun races at the arcades! Pee for prizes! Who knew? Who knew taking a whiz could be so much fun??

I'm getting punchy. Can you tell? I'm really tired and should go to bed, but these thoughts keep streaming out. Ha! Ha! No pun intended! :)

Actually, I can understand how someone might get a little bored and drift off and then not stay on target. The following paragraph is an excerpt from a comment that I posted On Dr. Schwab's surgeonsblog post called "Mini Me" which he posted in January of this year. (My comment ties in to this post.) Here is the link to the "Mini Me" post. Because Dr. Schwab said, "I said in a post a while back, there's nothing quite like stepping up to the table and making a bold and generous incision; especially when carrying it through skin and fat and fascia in one glorious and heraldic (if medieval) stroke. By contrast, poking little holes in a belly for inserting scopes is like peeing sitting down.", some of the comments(they were funny) were in response to that statement instead of his actual post on the size of incisions (open vs laparoscopic, etc.) and other comments were interesting responses to the actual topic.

Last August I was scheduled for a Mag 3 renal scan and the Doc had placed a foley in me prior to the test. I was also drinking a lot of water and there was a delay in getting into nuclear for the test. I had to urinate (notice - I am using the BIG word - urinate - indicative of how much I REALLY had to go) and stepped into the bathroom to do my thing - through the foley, like a guy standing up. O.k.,I thought. This is cool - it's definitely easier. But, then... it was taking so l-o-n-g and so I started looking around at the walls and the ceiling and the floor..and was actually getting BORED! The urine was STILL streaming out! I was just about to start whistling or humming to occupy myself when finally it dribbled to a stop. :) This would've been accomplished yesterday if sitting down! Now, maybe with male plumbing it streams out with more pressure and so maybe it is a tie. Is there a urologist in the house that can answer this?
Nothing personal - but I will keep my girl plumbing any day! :)

Now, if only I had that Pee Goal to play-with I would have been amused. I wonder....if I would've been drawn to the fly or is that just a male thing?

I hope I am not coming across like I am picking on guys about not being neat. I have been shocked to see how some women sometimes leave a toilet area and don't clean up after themselves. No excuse for that unless you are ill or physically unable to do so.

One day last spring when I was working for Lifeline I was having a busy day having to see clients that were located in different counties and so I had a lot of driving in between the scheduled appointments.

I preferred not to use their bathrooms when ever possible because I didn't want to inconvenience them and I was shy too. Instead, I became familiar with many public rest rooms. :) This particular day, I stopped at one of the larger hospitals in the health corporation that I worked for as I had to pick up some Lifeline units there anyway.

I have used the hospital bathrooms many times. This day, I went flying in there. No one was in the bathroom. When I came out of the stall area, I noticed that it looked different - really different. Hmm! I proceeded to wash my hands and as I casually looked up... I saw ...URINALS reflected in the mirror!!! Oh my God! I am in the MENS room! I couldn't rinse and dry my hands fast enough to get out of there! Still.. when I got to the door, even though I was totally flustered - I took a breath, composed myself, straightened my clothes and walked out of there like I knew what I was doing the whole time. I don't know if anyone was around to notice because I only had tunnel vision that I followed back out to the main lobby and out the door! Was I the security guard's entertainment for the day if he was viewing the monitor? I don't know. :)

Thank God a man didn't come in there when I was in the stall! I don't know what I would've done if I opened the stall door and saw a man using the urinal. I probably would have shrieked at a rather high pitch and scared him too. So much for good aim - fly or not. Besides, I think if a man heard some high heels on the floor in the stall, he'd probably get out of there pretty fast or maybe for a split second he'd think he was in the wrong place..well , except for the urinal. :)

So, aside from the fact that I found this to be amusing, perhaps, I was also drawn to this topic because for me, over this last year or so, it has been all about the bladder, ureter, kidneys and what passes through them when the plumbing is working the way it is supposed to. Yes, I guess that I have become obsessed with urine and the bodily functions involved in removing it. It is easy to take our health for granted when everything works the way it is supposed to. In my wildest dreams, I never would've imagined that the "U" word (urology) would have played such an important role in my life. So, since it is all on my mind right now......

P.S. I like this one, but I seriously hope that one would not be inclined to aim for the little fish on the rim! :)

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Dance of the Dolphins