The boring life of Jerod Poore, Crazymeds' Chief Citizen Medical Expert.

Happy 100th Birthday World War 1 (the 2nd)

In honor of the WWI centenary I present the 1914 War Map of Europe:
Click to Enlarge
Aside from being its being in pretty bad shape - it was over 90 years old and pretty tattered when I bought it, and at 47.5 by 36 inches it is not suitable for framing - this map has a lot of things besides a few intentional or unintentional errors to make it unique.

Not that they needed to use any intentional errors to protect their copyright, as they used the information overload style popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and still popular with the cartographers with National Geographic and the Encyclopedia Britannica.  From what I've been able to find, this is Pitman's improved adjustable war map of Europe, which is really most of H. Buchardt Petersen's Map of Europe published by the A.R. Ohman Map Co.  Whom Pitman has actually credited.  I haven't been able to find any pictures of either, just listings in a couple of library catalogs, the Library of Congress' A List of Atlases and Maps Applicable to the World War and a couple of antiquarian book listings (in the shape it's in I'd guess mine's worth between US$100 & US$200).

By "most" I mean it's obvious (even with my atrocious photography) part of the map is missing.  Note how names are cropped:
It's even blurrier up close
Why was part of the map cut off?  To make room for the sidebar of of information about demographics, infrastructure, and the militaries of the combatant nations, or ones that, at the time, seemed likely to join the festivities.  Appending these sorts of data to maps was popular in atlases of the time, but this is the only instance where I've seen it done on a map independent of an atlas:

I Guess Size Does Matter
Something I've never seen in an atlas is pictures of the heads of state.  Which makes sense, as atlases are supposed to last longer than the reigns of kings.  Or something like that:
Europe's Most Wanted
Note the bullshit term "Mikado" for Japan's Emperor that was popular at the time.  Missing from the pictures is the inbreeding.  King George and Emperor William were both grandsons of Queen Victoria.  Czar Nicholas was a first cousin of King George (their mothers were sisters), and his wife was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, thus a first cousin of George and William.  No wonder his son was a hemophiliac.  Another grandchild of Victoria, their cousin Marie, was married to the King of Romania, and William's daughter Sophia was married to the King of Greece.  It could have been worse.  Franz Joseph may have lost his heirs to suicide and Balkan anarchists, but he managed to avoid the Habsburg Jaw.  Granted, the Habsburgs managed to inbreed themselves into extinction 50 years before Franz Joseph was born, but you never can tell.

Back to the cartography.  For some reason someone, my guess is Pitman, thought it necessary to slap the name of each country in big, red letters near, or over, the same name that was already there in large, black letters in a typeface reserved for country names.

Most glaring error: Misspelling Luxembourg in big red letters:
Who Cares About Those Luxembourgers Anyway?
Bonus irony points: Luxembourg the country isn't identified in black letters with the appropriate typeface, just the capital city.  That may have been an intentional error of omission.

Close second: Making the Balearic Islands look like they belong to France.  That, however, could have been the printer's fault.  Some of the Greek islands, notably Corfu, look as if they belong to Serbia.  Yes, it's spelled "Servia" all over the place.  It was often spelled that way in the US, especially in places with a large Greek population, like New York City.  Anyway it's annoying that neither Buchardt nor Pitman bothered to identify which islands belonged to whom.  Then again, it may have been expected that the audience for this map was going to know that sort of thing.  Even Gibraltar has no indication that it was a British possession.  An atlas I have from 1907 is the same way.  The prevailing attitude seems to have been: If you didn't learn that in school you have no business looking at our fine cartographic products.  This sucker cost $1.50 in 1914, when the average worker, who never attended high school, was making around $2 a day.
Except, they did indicate a couple of things were Spanish:
Mistakes Were Made
I guess these are intentional errors used as copyright protectors.  Ceuta wasn't an island then and it isn't now, although it is still a Spanish enclave in Morocco.  Perejil 'Island' is little more than a large rock poking above the surface of the Mediterranean.  Spain is still holding onto its claim of it, because you never know what you'll find under the seabed in a three mile radius ... or however the hell they determine who gets what where in a narrow strait with three countries involved.  Listing anything in Morocco visible on this map as being Spanish is redundant, as all of northern Morocco was a Spanish 'protectorate' by 1912, but listing only three of the named features as such implies that the rest aren't Spanish, and thus incorrect.

If you think this is obsessive, you should hear me yell at the Hitler Channels whenever they display incorrect maps.

And what the fuck do I mean by World War 1 the 2nd?  WWI was the first global conflict fought where most combatant nations used all-out total war - where each nation uses practically, if not actually all of its resources, infrastructure, policies, and social structures, for the war effort - but it was the second truly global conflict.  The first, where the concept of total war began, is generally considered a series of wars that happened 100 years prior to WWI: the Napoleonic wars of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  They are not so much a series of wars with a bunch of treaties everyone ignored than a single prolonged war fought at a much slower pace than today, with more time between battles.  Battles that were fought in Europe, Africa, Asia (barely), the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Caribbean Sea, and North America.  The US was involved as well.  Our disastrous War of 1812 was siding with Napoleon for his original reasons (spreading revolutionary democracy) as well as getting tired of having our ships stolen and sailors kidnapped by the British Navy.  We botched it for a lot of reasons, like joining in on the fun several years too late and not taking the invasion of Canada seriously.

While the war was basically between the French and British empires, it really pitted France, and later Denmark (after it was attacked by England for being in the way), a newly liberated Poland, Persia (briefly), and eventually the US, against England, Russia, Sweden, Sardinia (it was an important country back then), the Ottoman Empire (thus the battles in Africa and Asia), and whatever countries failed to keep Napoleon from conquering them, including Switzerland.  Prussia, Spain and Austria fought on both sides at one time or another.  So did some other countries, but they weren't seriously on Napoleon's side.

The aspects of total war developed at the time included the mass conscription of soldiers and having most of the industrial output of France and England being dedicated to producing war matériel.  There were also insurgencies in occupied countries, most notably Spain, and brutal repression of same.  Modern guerrilla tactics were born during Napoleon's occupation of Spain, and they haven't had to change much in 200 years.  While they didn't invent it, nobody does scorched earth like the Russians.  Invading Russia is a sucker's game.  For the technology available at the time, the Napoleonic Wars were the closest thing to total war seen until the American civil war, the first true total war.

We Don’t Have a Monopoly on Bigotry

Apparently President Obama doesn’t know what it is like to be a member of an oppressed minority.  

Let’s change one word in what Mr. Obama said.

“We don’t have a monopoly on black people.”

Look at Nigeria, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The black people there are killing each other by the hundreds, thousands, and millions over religious and ethnic differences.  In the United States the same thing is expressed as Bloods versus Crips and East Side versus West Side.  In the 1990s it was Tutsi versus Hutu in Rwanda and Burundi.  In the US it was Tupac versus Biggie Smalls.

The United States has the best justice system in the world.  Our juries are comprised of citizens vetted by qualified attorneys who attended first-class law schools, lawyers just like the President and the First Lady.  Our prisons are full of black people for a reason.  George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing Trayvon Martin because black people are as prone to violence as crazy people.

The solution to all the violence caused by black people is simple.  Put all their names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and anything else useful in tracking them in an FBI database, accessible to anyone so they can’t buy guns at gun shows.  Or get jobs.  Or rent apartments in my neighborhood.  Some people suggest we preemptively round up all the black people and put them in jail, or camps, or send them back to Africa, or just kill them.  That seems pretty extreme, but how much violent crime do they have in Sweden or Iceland?  White people haven’t gone to war with each other over ethnic differences since the 20th century.  Muslims don’t count, because they’re worse than the blacks.

I sure as hell am glad I never ran into a crazy black person like Wesley Willis.  He would have killed me with his keyboard.  I don’t know how he found the time to make so many records when he must have been killing more people around Chicago than all the drug dealers there.

Have I spewed enough hate for you, Mr. Obama?

I’m not in the least surprised you can’t associate the fear, hatred, violence, stigma and degradation directed at the mentally ill with the exact same thing directed at African Americans, Muslims, immigrants, homosexuals, Mormons, people receiving some form of government assistance, or anyone else not considered ‘real Americans’ by whoever defines themself as a ‘real American.’  Why?  Because the mentally interesting are less than human.  We’re the one group everyone can agree is lower than undocumented terrorists who have entered this country illegally to steal the jobs of domestic terrorists.

I don’t have a problem with being called “crazy.”  I self-identify as “batshit crazy.”  Politically correct “person first” bullshit isn’t going to make things better.  It’s not the terminology that hurts, it’s everything else.

Let’s examine things a little closer.

In referring to mass shootings, especially at schools, Mr. Obama also said, “We get a new one every week it seems.”

There have been 74 shootings at schools since Sandy Hook.  I could find instances of ten, count them, 10 people with either a history, or after-the-fact diagnosis, of a mental illness of some kind who were the shooters, attempted to harm people at a school, didn’t use a gun, or merely threatened violence at a school.   Incidents in the last two groups weren’t included in the 74 incidents that made it into whatever sources are used by the media outlets quoting that figure.  Doing really bad statistical analysis by including the people who didn’t use guns or didn’t do anything in the group of crazies who shot or shot at students, that means 13.5% of the most recent school shootings were committed, or potentially committed, by lunatics.  The generally accepted figure bandied about is one person in four will have some form of mental health issue in their life, so using even more bad statistics – just like politicians and most media outlets like to do - that’s not even meeting random chance probabilities.  We. Aren’t. The. Problem.

OK Mr. Obama, let’s replace “black” with “crazy,” and do a little editing, in part of what I wrote to show you how your bigotry will just make things worse for us.

The solution to all the violence caused by crazy people is simple.  Put all their names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and anything else useful in tracking them in an FBI database, accessible to anyone so they can’t buy guns at gun shows.  Or get jobs.  Or rent apartments in my neighborhood.  Some people suggest we preemptively round up all the crazy people and put them in jail, or camps, or just kill them.  That seems pretty extreme, but how much violent crime caused by crazies do they have in Germany?

You don’t think people have seriously suggested that we get rounded up and put away, or even systematically exterminated?  Think again.  Granted, preemptive imprisonment is a far more popular idea.

Jesus didn’t have a problem with us, and got pissed off at people who did.  Including his disciples.  Matthew 17:14-20.  That’s not a particularly obscure passage.  Give it a read, Mr. President, and rethink your bigotry.

Where’s NAMBLA NAMI?  How come they haven’t posted anything about what President Obama said?  Isn’t fighting bigotry and stigma supposed to be their job?  Oh, wait.  They’re totally into perpetuating the myth that mental illness = violence.  No, really.  Killing lots of people is just something crazy people do.  They just keep using the same press release, with a different town, shooter and body count.  They don’t expect any better of us.  We’re now nothing more to them than a reason for their existence as a professional fundraising organization.

Guess us crazies has to get all uppity about our civil rights by our own selfs.  Else we all gonna haf’ ta pass as not crazy by not goin’ to no doctors and takin’ no medicines that’ll git us in a big FBI list the whole wide world kin read.

Health Insurance Follies

I've needed to see a doctor for over a year.  Maybe even two.  I've got all sorts of symptoms that can't be written off as age, side effects, and/or depression.  I have health insurance, and I'm finally getting my act together to choose a PCP and make an appointment to see him.

Of course it can never be that easy.

First is choosing a doctor.  My insurance provider's website is one of the most user-hostile sites I've come across in some time.  My premiums hadn't been paid for three months because I thought all I needed to do to get the bills paid automagically was to sign up for it and enter all the information they need to pay the bill.  Turns out there's another page you need to go to in order to activate the fucking thing after all that.  And the first letter they sent me asking for the cash didn't arrive until two weeks after the second, which wasn't their fault, that's just how the mail is around here.  I'm glad they didn't cancel my policy.  

Trying to find a doctor through their site is painfully ... I don't know what the fuck they were trying to accomplish.  You can enter only one. parameter. at. a. time. regarding where you live, how far you're willing to drive, what sort of doctor you want to find, and what sort of coverage you have.  I can understand if they coded it that way in an attempt to speed things up, but the only thing it sped up that I can think of is how fast the code monkeys delivered it, because that's just lazy-ass coding.  Worst of all is the selection based on your coverage.  I can't remember what type of coverage I selected.  Can I look that up anywhere?  No.  It tells me where on the Olympic podium my plan is, but it doesn't tell me which network option I chose.  It's not on my card either.  As far as picking a local PCP is concerned, it didn't make any difference, but when it came to finding a shrink, therapist, and neurologist, I may as well just ignore their site and pick doctors based on whatever other info I can find.  Most of the shrinks they have are at the clinic where I went when I first moved to Missoula.  The clinic that was one of the reasons why I moved up here.  The clinic where every shrink I saw there retired on me and the EEG registered inconclusive when I was having a fucking aura during the test.  And the info they provide when comparing doctors is content-free.

Looking through the website of the regional health center to find a doctor was enlightening.  Two osteopaths (no thanks), three MDs, and five PAs.  Normally I would have gone with one of the PAs, but I think I need stronger medicine.  So of the three docs: 

One's an ENT.  Other than frequent nosebleeds, which are probably a side effect of fish oil as I used to get them all the time when I was a kid, and the occasional bout of tinnitus, those parts of me are OK.

One is ex-Navy who looks like he could play the part of a Navy doctor in a movie set on a ship during WWII.  He specializes in sticking things inside you and, based upon the results, cutting out stuff that's between your ribcage and thighs.  Ex-military I'm OK with.  I think I'd have a hard time convincing him I'd rather live with frequent minor kidney stones than seizures, or this fucking jamais vu I'm currently experiencing.

The third one is the Chief of Staff who specializes in family medicine and sports medicine.

The PAs are looking better and better.

I go with the Chief of Staff because he's also close to being a diagnostician, and that's what I really need.

So that's all set up.  The insurance company's website is happy I selected a PCP.  But it wants to know why I changed PCPs, and I can't update my policy without telling it something.  Selecting one because you enrolled in a new policy isn't an option.  Previous doc chosen in error is.

But can I make an appointment online?  Through either site?

Of course not.

I still have to deal with the phone.

I've been needing to make all sorts of fucking phone calls for three fucking weeks now.

On top of all that they limit prescriptions to 100 pills per fill.  That's 17 days of protriptyline, 20 days of 25mg topiramate and 25 days of buspirone.  My drug regimen is difficult enough as it is.  Not being able to get all my refills at once just makes my life that much more of a pain in the ass. 

I really need somebody to manage my life for me.

Alternative Geography

Courtesy of Bored Panda

40 Maps They Didn’t Teach You In School

There are a few selections from Yanko Tsvetkov / Alphadesigner. I especially like this one, showing the consolidation of social networks:

More Gorgeous & Hilarious Maps from Yanko Tsvetkov AKA ArtWerk, Alphadesigner

Five years back in The Map is the Territory I posted a map made by Yanko Tsvetkov.  Turns out he has a huge collection of these gorgeous, pointed, and hilarious maps in his Mapping Stereotypes project, many of which have been collected as Atlas of Prejudice Volume 1 and Volume 2. One example of the awesomeness:

Is the Stigma *THAT* Bad?

I seem to be the only person on the planet selling Schizophrenia Sucks!, Fuck Schizophrenia, and Team Schizophrenia merchandise of any kind. I could possibly trademark the terms for use on crap like shirts & mugs. A concept that is crazier than I am.  Is the stigma against schizophrenia that fucking bad these days?

But why not be that fucking mercenary? I've got so many Amazon ads on Crazymeds I already feel like Jean Genet on the Marseille waterfront.  I'd still sell Team Schizophrenia stuff at cost, like I do now.  

I have a vague memory about getting a trademark on something, then making it available for use by the public, just to prevent someone from getting a trademark so no one else could use it.  If that is real and not a figment of my increasingly-unreliable memory, I'd do that for Team Schizophrenia.  As much as I dislike awarenessitis, apparently most people do need to be bitchslapped into the awareness that the mentally interesting, especially the schizophrenic, are not significantly more violent than everyone else.  So I wouldn't want any local organization doing a little fund- or awareness-raising to be prevented from creating Team Schizophrenia shirts if someone else wanted to corner the non-existent market of schizophrenia-related merchandise.

Updated: Crazymeds Is no longer Down

And now we're back up.  Yay!  I <3 lunarpages.

The entire Crazymeds site is currently down.  The problem appears to be at LunarPages, as their website is too swamped to let me open up a support ticket and the support lines, both toll-free and the real number behind it, are busy.  I can't even bring up nameserver info for Crazymeds, so something is hosed bigtime. 

Free at Last?

Day Whatever +1

No longer snowed in.  

By 17:30 yesterday a day's worth of rain and a temperature above 40°F melted enough of the snow around the truck to get me down there with a snow shovel and a few buckets of very hot water.  I managed to extract the truck and drive it down to the berm that's alongside the road.  That fucker is still about two feet high.  I collected the newspapers that had piled up, what mail made it into the box before it wasn't accessible, the package fish oil, which was left behind the mailbox.  Had I made it down there sooner I probably wouldn't have noticed it, as the plastic bag it was wrapped in was just peeking above the snow.  The website of the place I bought it from was less than helpful, as it shows the order as yet to be shipped in the first place.

Able to take out garbage.  Hoarding was a lot better before TV made it cool.

Today I broke through the berm.  It took several attempts, but the truck eventually made it through/over.  I picked up the mail and got some food.  The postmaster was surprised to see me, given how buried my mailbox is and how much snow was piled up in the driveway.

I-90 is open again.  I'll get my meds tomorrow.  I called in my refills and it sounded extremely chaotic at the pharmacy.  With the interstate closed for a day and a half and that being the only pharmacy serving half the county, I'm not surprised.  One more night on short rations for topiramate.

At Least I'm Not Alone

Day Whatever

I-90 is closed in both directions from the Idaho border to Tarkio due to intermittent avalanches.  There's black ice, heavy slush and assorted other road hazards associated with lot's of snow alternating with rain and relatively warm temperatures the rest of the way.  Tarkio is about half-way from Saint Regis to Missoula, and the name of the alt-country band Colin Meloy was in before The Decemberists.

Even if I were able to get my pickup to the road I'm not sure if I could make it to Superior via back roads in order to get meds.  The snow may melt enough for me to extract the truck and get to Saint Regis and pick up some groceries.

I'm just getting too caught up in what I'm doing to worry about crap like that.

Stir Crazier

Day 6 or 7

In answer to a couple of suggestions.

Delivery anything is not an option, I've got stuff waiting for me at the post office, but I don't know how long they'll keep it.  Just as I cannot get out, no one can get in.  There is now about two feet of snow piled up along a 700-foot looped driveway.  Plus there's a berm near the road - created when the snowplow clearing the road goes by - that may be even higher.  The guy who used to plow snow for me, who had a nice, big Kubota tractor, dropped off the grid and I'm incapable of finding someone else to do it.
Having more supplies wouldn't be the same.  That scenario would be just like any other time I go two weeks without leaving the house, not seeing or talking with anyone, and not dealing with the Internet.  This is very different.  As my truck and trash bin vanish beneath the snow and I'm forced to eat food even less appealing than what I've been living off of during my 18-year-long permanent Lent with its ever-increasing list of denial; and there are full trash bags next to the kitchen garbage can as if I've graduate from pack-rat to hoarder; and the cats are going stir crazy because there is too much snow even for them; I'm now inspired to work on things like the books no one will read, one of which I've been writing on and off for 20 years.  These things, and others like them, have always been pushed aside because my life has gotten in the way.  Now that I've reached the point of really not caring I can work on them, along with, and not instead of, Crazymeds, which is no longer making enough money to support itself, let alone me.

Creative types know the drill: those bitch muses with their perfect timing of getting your juices all hot and bothered right before someone in your life needs (or is just especially insistent upon) you for something that is, or seems to them, to be extremely important.  Or your life makes demands of you along the lines of doing something that pays the rent or seeking medical attention.  Which choice do you make?  Pablo Picasso probably was called an asshole by numerous people, especially the women in his life.  The list of artists who suffered for their work is endless, and most of them not only died young and broke but remain anonymous to this day.

Knowing the likely outcome and not caring is very liberating.

Cabin Fever

Day 5, or maybe 6 of being snowed in.  While 12 inches of snow hasn't been a problem for my pickup, 16 inches was.  It's been sitting in a snowbank for the last however many days and I think I've managed to fuck-up the transmission.  After much digging and applying cat litter only the passenger-side front wheel and driver-side rear wheel were doing anything.  Running low on meds.  Been out of milk since Thursday?  Really feeling the lack of fish oil.  The idea of dealing with people is repugnant.

On the plus side, I'm getting a shitload of work done.  I should do this more often.

Plumbing Mystery Resolved

Mystery solved.  Thanks to a burst pipe.  In a wall.  Along the only pipe in the Monty Pythonesque plumbing that can't be isolated from the water pump.  So no running water, and the downstairs apartment is flooded.  I expect a nice crop of Peziza domiciliana any day now.

Fortunately I have 5 - 7 days of drinking water stashed away.  And plenty of snow.  It's not the heavy wet stuff, so bringing it to melt will be a pain, but at least I have something to wash with until I can find someone willing to come out here to fix the plumbing.  But I need to deal with the insurance first.  When they open on Monday.  

No matter what, I need to take care of this before all the snow is gone.  With any luck it will keep snowing and I can put this off indefinitely.

I'm so fucking chill...

What's the difference between yesterday (top) and today?

Yesterday I had hot water.

I'm close to my limit.  Really.  Fucking.  Close.  Crazy Meds isn't making enough money to support itself and now this. 

I'm pretty sure the water heater itself is working, and something is preventing the water in it from getting anywhere.  There's a leak somewhere, or the pressure tank is about to die, or something.  My guess is a leak, because the pressure tank kicks on once or twice an hour for no good reason.  And a leak would be the most expensive thing to fix.

I'm not even able to care all that much at the moment.  Right now I want to sell this dump to whatever "we buy houses for cash" douchebags will give me the most cash, sell Crazy Meds, clean out my IRA, buy a shack somewhere, and just drop off the grid.

meta update

  • I've moved more blogs back from the short-lived personal blog at another address.  There's still some more crap I want to bring back here, but it'll keep.
  • I've also moved a lot of stuff to the defunct blog roll, and deleted a bunch that have nothing to do with what they used to be (and of little interest) or are nothing more than parked domains.  I hope to look for more interesting blogs and sites.
  • I want to use the name Crazy Meds: The Blog for the real Crazy Meds blog's Feedburner feed.  That happens to be the name of the feed for this blog.  So if the three of you who are subscribed to this via Feedburner could please resubscribe via the form way the fuck down at the bottom of the page so I can delete the existing feed I'd appreciate it.
  • The essay on criminalizing mental illness as a misguided method of protection against violence is now available on OpEd News.