April 5th, 2007

Mama Deb

Minor Whine

I set my vcr and, I thought, my cable box to tape House and Tuesday's Idol. But somehow, the cable box got unprogrammed. I taped two hours of dead air.

(I read the recap for the Idol Results show, and I'm thoroughly spoiled *and* disgusted, so I'm not really caring about Idol anymore, but missing House is rather annoying.)
Mama Deb

My ideal stove...

1. Pilot lights
2. Sealed burners
3. Self-cleaning oven
4. 30" wide
5. Nice, deep oven

My current stove has 2,4 and 5. It has electronic ignition for both the oven and the burners.

Electronic ignition is a major pain. Why? Because it's a delicate piece of equipment that is easily damaged and wears out. The igniters for my burners no longer work. The rear ones never worked, and now the front ones do not. As I do not want to replace them - they're very expensive - I've been making do with a long butane lighter (safer than matches for many reasons, although I do have fireplace matches, too). This works fine, and I don't mind doing it - except for when I accidentally shut off a burner and have to relight right away.

When the oven igniter fails, I have to replace it. I've done that *twice*. It's $$$. I think we could have replaced the *stove* for less money.

So far, this one has lasted a couple of years.

The other convenience with a pilot light is cooking on yom tov. On yom tov, one does not start a new flame - one transfers an already existing flame. (This is apparently rabbinic, and new flames do not, say, render food treif the way cooking it on Shabbat would.) A pilot light means one can cook on yom tov in exactly the same way one can cook on weekdays. With electronic ignition, one is creating a new flame. So I have to keep a candle burning all yom tov as an external pilot light. I use a fireplace match to transfer to the burners. I keep the oven on a setting called "oven", which creates a pilot light there. (I could theoretically use that to transfer flame to the fireplace match, but the candle is more convenient.)

Fortunately, we hold that shutting off a burner is the same as removing wood from a fire - an act permitted on yom tov even though it will make the fire burn for a shorter amount of time. I don't need to keep a burner on all the time.

The problem is being careful to turn the knob such that it doesn't hit "light", which causes the electronic device to turn on, however ineffectually.

(Self-cleaning oven is obvious, I think.)

There's also an opinion that shutting off the gas to a burner is simply removing fuel from a fire, which is permitted on yom tov. So it's permitted to shut off the burner.
Mama Deb

trigger finger

I finally did some successful googling and came up with what I think is the problem with my thumb (still seeing the orthopedist about it.) It's called trigger finger,and the symptoms described - the joint "catches" and then "pops" like pulling a trigger - is exactly right. And I do have pain at the base of the thumb.

My age and condition (40+, diabetic) plus my hobby (knitting) are all risk factors. They don't list knitting per se, but any activity where you grip somethng tightly for a long period (like, say, a kniting needle) will cause/aggravate it.

It's treatable with rest, ice and nsaids, but there is also surgery - surgery that actually *works* and isn't long-term disabling.

Meanwhile, my best bet is to not "trigger" it - no knitting, of course, but also, I've been, you know. Testing it. Bending the thumb to see if it catches. Which hurts and is weird, but it's a human thing to do. Except not a good idea.

I'm also wondering about changing our trackball to a regular mouse.

Stopped wondering and did it - the new computer came with a mouse, so I just installed it.
Mama Deb

Father-in-law update

They're taking him off his blood pressure meds entirely, as his BP is too low - which could account for the sleepyness. Also, reducing one of his diuretics.

I'm thinking they're not used to congestive heart failure in an otherwise healthy, active man of his age, and are giving him the standard treatment.