Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Several notes in search of a theme

A few things on the 19 Minutes radar screen this afternoon, none of which is really worth more than a paragraph or two (and boy, that portends great things for those of you who keep reading!)...

Wauwatosa currently smells like feet, as though a train car full of old sweatsocks derailed, and the authorities forgot to mention it to the citizenry. It's hard to actually ascertain where the smell is originating, aside from being in proximity to both the railroad tracks and the Menomonee River. I initially thought it was coming from my car, but it seemed unlikely that my car would choose only to smell near railroad tracks or a river. As far as smells go, it's not as bad as the Thomas Edison Service Area on the New Jersey Turnpike. But it's a shade less pleasant than my college locker room after a baseball game - except on days when our locker room was shared by middle school wrestlers, which still ranks as one of the Top 10 Worst Odors of All-Time.

Also, it's been mentioned by several readers that last week's unlikely appearance by Plato at a southeast Wisconsin bus stop shelter may have been connected to a phenomenon known as Bookcrossing.com, which encourages people to catch-and-release books, and then chart their progress on the Internet. After perusing the site, I'd be inclined to agree - though the book was in funky enough shape that I didn't get close enough to see a Bookcrossing sticker. Regardless, it doesn't explain the story's other details, such as the "Pixie Power" backpack.

And then, there's this news from London's Financial Times:

European credit markets notched up a new record on Tuesday, after the spread on the so-called “Crossover index” – a basket of credit default swaps on risky European corporate bonds – tightened to its lowest level, implying that investors are now more relaxed than ever about default risk.

I would comment on this development if I had any idea what it meant.

Finally, if your plans call for you to spend any time drinking barium in the radiology department at Froedtert Lutheran Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin, keep an eye out for my dignity, which apparently went missing yesterday morning. Actually, you could do much worse than to be taken care of by the staff there (Renee and Mary were far more pleasant than the barium). On the other hand, the experience of standing around a hospital waiting area, wearing a hospital issue gown, watching "The Price Is Right", as doctors and visitors and painting crews shuttle by, is not something I've seen mentioned in the literature on Crohn's Disease. It was, however, a welcome respite from the smell of feet.

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