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  • Activity

    • Ask the EyeDoc: The Air Puff Test

      12 years ago


      First of all, Whoo hoo! I am SO excited! Season Eight of Buffy has arrived!
      Georges Jeanty did (as expected) a great job and there are some laugh out loud moments in the story line: a very Buffy episode. I can't wait for issue 2!

      Second, RE Bus company stuff, I'll keep you posted as to what else we find out. Grrrr.....

      Third, I've had so many eye questions I may just have a "Ask the Eye Doc" section in my journals. Or a Big Eyeball Friday a la the Colonel. Here's one from AmandaJ3162 about a recent trip to an optometrist. She asks about the function of some tests she had. I'll talk about the first question here. (I'll get to the others!) Specifically she describes:

      ...the air machine. I hate that. *wait....wait....wait....WOOSH! air hits my eye*

      First, I know this was an optometrist, and not an ophthalmologist, because the "puff of air" machine is an estimator of eye pressure. It isn't as accurate as the applanation tonometer or the tonopen (see below). However, to use those devices, you have to physically touch the eye, and in many states optometrists (non MDs) are not allowed to do that.

      All of these devices check the pressure in the eye, which has been proven as a good way to check for a potentially blinding and common condition called glaucoma. In glaucoma, the pressure inside the eye is too high for the optic nerve and the nerve slowly dies off... it is much like having your arm fall asleep if you have it hanging over a railing... the pressure on the nerve deadens it. With glaucoma the pressure slowly kills the nerve. Patients frequently don't realize they are losing vision until a scary amount of their peripheral vision is gone. As I've mentioned in other journals, your brain fills in the missing spots, so folks can walk around not realizing that they truly can't see to the sides.

      Okay, so about the tests. The "air puff" test basically shoots a puff of air at your eye, thus deforming the surface of the cornea. The higher the pressure in your eye, the more difficult it will be to deform it. If you have a nice low pressure, your eye will be (relatively) squishy, and the puff will deform the cornea slightly more. There is a little monitoring device in the machine that electronically measures the deformation (I can't remember offhand if it looks at reflections of light or sound) and then calculates from that what the pressure in the eye would be.

      The gold standard is something called Goldmann applanation tonometry. If you will remember that yellow stuff your eye doc might put on your eye? It stings for a moment and then gets numb? That is an organic dye called fluorescein (a brick of which, incidentally, is used to turn the Chicago River green for Saint Patrick's day). It lights up neon green in blue light and really helps eye docs see scratches on the cornea. For instance, here is a patient with dry eyes. you can see how there are little dry lit up spots in the center of his cornea. Fluorescein also lights up the tear film a bright yellowy-green (see the pic again).

      So here is what the apparatus looks like in the eye doc's office. The end of the tonometer is a round, flat tip about 3mm across. If you put that flat tip on the (numb) cornea, you see a round circle of that yellowy-green tear film. However, the round flat tonometer tip has a little prism in it which takes advantage of the fact that when you apply just the right amount of pressure, the prism will split the circle of light that you see into two circle halves:

      The device has a little dial on the side which moves the tip forward and back by fractions of a millimeter so you can line up the inner edges of the split circle, which works out to be related to the force required to flatten that small area of the cornea, which in turn is related to the pressure in the eye. The handy dial on the side also tells you the eye pressure. No electronics needed, just good old physics. For those interested in the calculations, you can go here: www.opt.indiana.edu/riley/HomePage/new_Goldmann_tonometry/2Goldmann_Tonometry.html

      A good ophthalmologist can get a routine cornea exam and pressure measurement done in a matter of about 5-10 seconds while you look at the blue light.. And you won't feel it at all; most folks don't even realize I touched their eye, because the drop I put in the eye numbs them up so well.

      There is a new device, out in the last ten years, called a tonopen which is portable, and when calibrated, is pretty accurate. The problem with that is it tends to walk around in people's coat pockets and gets jostled a lot, so it has to be recalibrated constantly. But it is great for checking eye pressure on patients who can't get up to the slit lamp (like tiny babies, or people in bed in the hospital, or dogs or sheep).

      For some photos of these and the really old fashioned (but highly accurate) Shiotz tonometer, I found this site here sponsored by the U of Toronto.: eyelearn.med.utoronto.ca/ClinicalSkills/Measure.htm

      Okey dokey. Please see me after class if you have any further questions. Now go read that comic book!


      Today's Vocabulary Words
      Air-Puff Non-Contact Tonometry
      Goldmann Applanation Tonometry
      Fluorescein Dye
      Chicago River

    • Zombies. Rule. The Bus Company.

      12 years ago


      So, in follow-up to my last journal, in which the bus driver endangered my kid's life and narrowly avoided being hit by a speeding train.

      First of all, here is a Wiki article about that other accident I mentioned, the one in Fox Grove in 1995. Seven kids died in that one. You can Google Fox Grove Train School Bus and get lots of primary articles.

      Anyways, I called the school again today to find out what the fall-out was. The principal told me that the driver had been taken off of the route (wha?) and that the district was very concerned. Also she told me that, although she was "not questioning my parenting skills", she thought I should not have taken my son away from the scene as they were performing an investigation.

      When I told her that of course I'd asked one of the officers before taking Spyton the Principal seemed puzzled.

      Okayyyy.... so now I am wondering what the bus company told her. And why was there "an investigation"? I called the police non-emergency line but they said they couldn't disclose any information and gave me the public relations person.

      Okay. At this point I was nervous that somehow I was in trouble for taking my kid from the scene of "an investigation" so I went to the police station and talked to the person at the front window there, asking if they needed my name etc, and they said, no, no one was injured, and if the police had needed Spyton's info they would have gotten it before releasing him to me. Indeed the incident was witnessed by a police officer who called the squad cars that pulled over the bus. Evidently the policemen I spoke with were detectives.


      So then I called another parent, who said, "I heard he got a ticket, and it is such a shame, because he is such a nice man. Anyway, he was probably being distracted by the kids on the bus. My daughter said the older kids in the back were making a lot of noise."

      "Right," I thought, "all that distracting noise when they were screaming in terror."

      Okey dokey. This is where I began to wonder if I had fallen into bizarro land where parents aren't alarmed when their children avoid death by six inches. And this guy has been with the bus company for over ten years. If he is still distracted by kids on the bus then he is in the wrong job.

      But now I think that the other parents just don't know what happened... they hear the story from their kids and likely assume that it was blown out of proportion. You know, because adults never believe kids. Which is too bad. That always happens in movies, and then the adults end up on meat hooks.

      Anyway, Spyton's dad, aka K3stut1s (or K3 for short), did some more thorough investigations by phone and get this: the guy who drives my kid's bus is the guy who trains the OTHER bus drivers the safety course.


      They said the guy is being moved to a different route (again, I have to say, "????") and hemmed and hawed. K3 is going to talk to the company manager tomorrow... evidently there have been a bunch of mergers and now there is one bus company, evidently staffed by retarded zombies, who now drive the most of the busses in the area.

      The one thing no one will say is what the driver was actually ticketed for. It still isn't clear to me whether the guy tried to beat the light or had just stopped the bus straddling the tracks and then the lights came on. I guess I just can't believe anyone would be so stupid as to try to beat a train crossing light.

      You know, all I needed to hear, from ANYONE, was, "The driver has been reprimanded and will be taking some driving safety classes in order to be sure this doesn't happen again." That would have satisfied me.

      But instead it sounds like they aren't doing anything at all about it. He's going to be endangering somebody else's kids on a different route. And if that guy is the guy who teaches the other drivers, who on Earth is going to be the new driver? Yikes! All I can think is... no more school bus.

      Anyway, I called another parent who in fact didn't know her kid had walked home from the scene... (I saw him walking past my house and called out to him yesterday afternoon.) She said her kid had said they almost got hit by a train and she thought it sounded really worrisome but her kid had said the police were there and she had hoped the cops took care of it. Her husband's a lawyer. I'm hoping she'll tell him. Or call someone. Or make some kind of noise. Men are so good at being scary. I do better with wheedling and wolverine-like annoyance. While smiling. I'm pretty good at that.

      Look, I have no desire at all to go after this guy personally, and utterly no desire whatsoever to sue anyone for money. For all I know the guy is some half-stroked out retiree... whatever. Maybe there was some explanation. I'm not into the suing. Believe me, there have been far greater injuries to me in my life I could have gone after, and won, if I were litigious. Which I'm not.

      But surely there must be some sort of regulatory statute or something that would at least make it mandatory for bus drivers to learn about not stopping on train tracks. All I'm asking is for some assurance that the drivers get training from some person or agency that is not themselves incredibly stupid. Or at least a straight answer about what happened.

      All this weird elusiveness and hemming and hawing and not releasing information and detectives and investigation crap makes me more weirded out and angry than anything.

      I don't think they will like me when I'm angry... and calm.


      Also, I would like to point out that litigious would have been an awesome vocabulary word. But, again, it just seems like the wrong place for it.

      PS: Spyton said he overheard some of the boys today were talking about how awesome the bus driver was for doing that cool stunt. Sigh.

    • No. Killing. My. Son. Thank. You.

      12 years ago


      What. The. F**k.

      Spyton called me from the bus to tell me he'd be late getting home because evidently the school bus driver didn't realize that there were two cop cars sitting right at the intersection who saw him "beating the train" and immediately pulled the bus over. So the kids were all stuck on the bus.

      So I immediately jumped in my car and sure enough, there is the school bus flanked by a bunch of police cars with their flashers on. The bus was about 2 blocks from the railroad crossing so the police must have been right there... or we have the best police response time in the world. I guess I should have asked the officers what the exact story was but I figured they were busy and I'd get some sort of explanation from the school district tomorrow and... I just wanted to get my kid.

      This was one of those weird times where my maternal instinct overpowered my intellectual knowledge that it isn't cool to be taken off the psycho bus from h*ll by your mom in front of your friends. I didn't care. My brainstem took over.

      Later we saw some other kids from the bus walk by as they had opted not to be driven home. Right. Smart move. I saw the school bus go by a little while later dropping off kids but I couldn't tell if it was the usual driver.

      It wouldn't be so incredibly horrible, but only a few years ago this exact thing happened in one of the nearby suburbs, except that that bus didn't quite make it out of the way of the Amtrak. Five of the kids sitting in the back of that bus were killed by the train back then. That night I watched a woman, a nurse who happened to be at the scene when the bus got hit, on TV talking to a news crew saying, "I just want whoever his mom was to know that I was holding him when he died, so he wasn't alone." I have nightmares about that woman all the time. I think that was the last time I watched network news. I decided it was just too horrible to watch anymore.

      So... Aren't the gates supposed to be down when the train goes by... or do they stay up if there is a car/bus underneath? Spyton said the kids were all screaming when they saw the train bearing down on them, and then they saw it whoosh past the back window.


      No Vocabulary Words. Too freaked out.

    • More Ask the EyeDoc

      12 years ago

      From gambitq72: Can your soft contacts somehow work themselves under your eyelid or behind your eyeball where you can't get them out, or is that a myth?

      That is in fact a myth, although I have had folks come in with the lens stuck up in the fornix of the eye (the crease between the lid and the eyeball, lined by the conjunctiva) where they couldn't get at it.
      If you find yourself in a situation where your contact lens (soft or hard) is stuck way way up under your upper lid, the culprit is usually just a dry lens or eye. Get some rewetting drops (I like Tears Naturale Free because it comes in little individual bullets that stay good for years) or even your contact wetting solution (not the cleaning solution!!) and put a drop in your eye to lubricate it, then look way up towards the lens... the lens is fitted to the front of your eye and will usually slide back onto the cornea if you can get it wet enough.

      In the worst case you can go into the eye doc and have them fish it out for you, although usually all I would do is put in some eyedrops and have the person look around until the lens got back on the eye.

      From nico: I remember reading that vacuum would kill you if you held in air in your lungs. If you didn't, you'd just die of cold.

      This is in follow-up to the "Eyes don't explode in space" question... I know about this actually, from my days in Farscape fandom ... there was a scene where Crichton had to jump out of a ship without a spacesuit and the writers went to NASA and asked about it and it turned out there had been a few accidents where pilots and astronauts had been exposed to vacuum. Evidently the calculated survival time is like 30 seconds or something, and yes, the secret is to not hold your breath, because the air does expand against the vacuum... so if you have your mouth open and are yelling as you jump out of your shuttle, the air will whoosh out of your lungs, collapsing your alveoli (bad) but not exploding them (very bad). Here is a link about it. Very interesting!

      From swifty360: [RE the movie Hostel and a gun battle with dangling eye] A guy takes a blow torch to a chick's face and it has the eyeball hanging out but I was wondering about the socket area itself. The effect that was in place was basically a really nasty burn wound type that has sorta smoothed over the top of the eye. I was wondering if that was the case or what it actually would look like if someone had an entire eye ripped out. If you've got a link to images sweet.

      You, sir, are a weirdo. smiley8.gif LOL! First of all, if someone took a "blowtorch to the eye socket" I would expect that the ensuing brain damage from having the frontal lobe cooked would kill the person and there would be no ensuing gun battle. Let's not even talk about the lack of stereo vision caused by one dangling eye... even if round eyes dangling were easily feasible... which they aren't .

      This thirst for dangling eyeballs is something that you (and a LOT of other people) have is something that won't ever EVER get quenched, guys. And once and for all, let me show you how incredibly UNGORY eyeball trauma is. For instance, here is a clinical photo of someone who has just had their eye poked out from fireworks. And here is a shotgun injury to the eye. I know, I know. What a let down. Sorry. I told you about the lady who left her lens on the corner of her coffee table. No one in the family realized her eye had been emptied until a week later when she came to the doctor and we examined her.

      Amanda had a list of great questions I will do next time, and I will have a Halo Action Figure Theater next time so that OboeCrazy will be actually able to look at my journal. LOL!

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      Meh... forget the vocabulary words... go look at that article from NASA. So cool!

    • Movie Eyeball Mythbusters

      12 years ago


      In response to the eyeball mythbusting post and video in my last journal, I got several questions about other showbiz movie eyeballs. One from H_Kitsune RE the wooden eyeball in Pirates of the Caribbean I added as an addendum to that journal. Here are some more queries from Sevenar:

      1) In the movie Outland, (and Total Recall, come to think of it), eyeballs explode or swell completely out of their sockets in explosive decompression situations. I always thought the small vessels on the sclera would burst, but not the eyeball itself, at least not immediately.

      In fact, there is really no reason why your eyes would explode at all. The vacuum of space would certainly make an expandable gas tend to expand an elastic container like a balloon, but the eye is completely filled with a salt-water gel. So, the worst that might happen would be that the moisture on the surface of the eye might vaporize away... but sorry, no expanding and blowing up.

      Actually, the inside of the eye can withstand IMMENSE pressures, and if the eye does finally succumb to the pressure, usually it cracks in a weak spot, like where a muscle attaches. This has been tested in cadaver and animal eyes - obviously by someone with way too much free time. I suppose the best you could hope for would be the eyes deflating a bit in a disappointingly non-spectacular way. smiley8.gif

      The fact that the eye is so tough is exploited by the surgeons who do LASIK (corrective vision laser eye surgery), because they apply a suction cup to the eye and crank up the suction until the eye is hard as a rock, so they can make their cuts very precisely. Ew. I'll stick with glasses, thanks.

      2) In an episode of ER, a patient's eye comes completely out of its socket due to a sneeze (I think. I was always under the impression that it was absolutely impossible to keep one's eyes open when you sneezed. ...) Later, they were having trouble popping the eyeball back into the socket due to pressure or swelling or some such. Couldn't a doctor just numb the eyeball with a local anesthetic, use a syringe to drain a little of the fluid from the inside of the eye so it would be a bit more compressible, pop it back in, and reinject the fluid or a saline replacement of some kind? Kind of like letting the air out of the tires so the tall truck can go under the low overpass?

      First of all, you only have to put a drop of anesthetic on the eye to numb it before draining fluid. You never, ever shoot anesthetic into an eye, as it would kill the retina.

      Although you can drain fluid from the FRONT of the eye (in front of the iris) you can't easily drain from the inside of the eye, because it isn't just water, but is rather a gel filled with collagen. If you suck that out you tend to pull off the retina too. And the best you can suck out of the anterior chamber is maybe .3cc.

      What they were showing there is a prolapsed eye, and actually what that is isn't that the eye has fallen out, but rather the eyelid slips back. The problem is that the lid spasms when that happens and it gets hard as a rock and it is really hard to just yank forward again. The way you deal with that is to anesthetize the eyelid and facial area with a local block of a drug like novocaine to relax the eyelid... that usually does the job, and then you can shoehorn the lid back into place.

      There are some patients, particularly thyroid patients and some black patients who have their eyes pop out like that and they just push 'em back in with their thumbs. I don't know about sneezing, but I've heard it can happen with coughing. Weird, but true.

      3) In an episode of Deadwood, a person's eye is completely gouged out in a street fight, with the gory orb dangling down the guy's cheek from what presumably are blood vessels, or the optic nerve, or whatever. I don't know too much about the eye's rear surface or connective tissue, but I just can't believe that there's two or three inches of slack in the optic nerve, connecting muscles, or blood vessels that would let a gouged-out eye just hang there like a yo-yo. ...

      Yes, well, this is my favorite Hollywood eye-related gaffe and I blame Looney Tunes. Even in an eyeball that has been carefully dissected away from the surrounding structures in order to maintain its integrity (and therefore its round shape) the optic nerve is only about 25 mm long... that is from the back of the eyeball into the brain. That is about an inch. About half of that is in the optic canal, so about half of that is in the socket. So if the eye itself is an inch long (see my last journal) if you pulled the eyeball all the way forward, then the optic nerve would only extend, on a good day, to where the middle of the eyeball is. That isn't even the edge of the skull's eyesocket.

      My first two months at Wilmer I had 12 open globes come in... that is 12 eyeballs come in that had been "poked out" in some way. Two of them were on the same guy (he'd gotten on the bad end of two broken off beer bottles due to some argument between him and a fellow migrant worker- the assailant had even rubbed some grass and mud in the sockets to be sure. Man, oh man...), and even after many more over the years, and seeing my colleagues' slides, and 6 academy meetings, and G-d knows how many Ophthalmology journals, I have NEVER seen an intact round eyeball hanging on a string from trauma.


      Because it isn't anatomically possible, and technically unfeasible.


      Today's Vocabulary Words

    • I think my brain died a little...

      12 years ago


      ...this morning I flipped on the TV while I was eating breakfast (well, not breakfast so much as a cupcake) and I accidentally watched about 20 minutes of David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury: Agent of Shield.

      Who knew bad Marvel-based television could cause this much neurological damage? I think the vision is coming back, but I still can't feel my legs.


      Although I have to say there was a funny bit where he reached under his eye patch and pulled out a ping-pong sized blue eyeball (with an inexplicable 4 inch wire dangling from one end) that turned out to be a directed explosive which allowed him to get out of a meat locker he and his team were locked inside of.

      In your face, MacGyver! In your face!

      I won't dignify the ping-pong ball thing as anatomically possible with any sort of... no, I won't do it. Just thinking about it is making the ringing in my ears come back.


      Okay, I have to say something.

      OboeCrazy and other people grossed out by eye stuff should not read this or click on the link. Seriously.

      When a person loses their eye for some reason, in general, they don't end up with a big scary gaping socket that you see in movies . A real human eye is about 24 mm in length. but there is all sorts of other tissue in your eye socket... think about how big the hole in a skull is where the eye would go... right?

      There are all sorts of muscles and fat and connective tissue etc.

      If just the eye has to be removed (a procedure called enucleation) then the eye BALL itself can be replaced with an implant. I can't be sure what the latest and greatest thing is these days. When I was in training they were using this stuff like coral... porous with lots of holes so new tissue and blood vessels could grow into it. (You need blood vessels to grow into an implant as much as possible to prevent infection)... and then they'd cover the ball with sheets of tissue... they were using connective tissue from organ donors, but I think they use manufactured stuff now. Anyway, they pop that thing in there and then if possible they re-attach the eye muscles to it and cover it with the conjunctiva of the natural eye. So instead of a terrifying gaping socket, when the person's eye is closed it looks fairly normal. When it is open it just looks like solid pink, like the inside of your cheek. These folks go to an ocularist who makes these really big contact lenses called scleral shields made to look like their other eye.. and since you've kept the patient's own eye muscles intact, when he moves his "eye" around the shield moves too. The shield has a little bump in it that fits onto a little peg stuck in the coral ball.

      I found a patient information video that really explains it well. There is a moment where they remove the artificial eye (which again, is JUST A CONTACT LENS) which seems like it would be really scary, but then you can see the what the eye looks like ... no gaping hole.

      Once you see that, I would suggest you turn it off, because they take a pair of tweezers to pull out the little peg, which can look pretty gross if you aren't used to seeing that sort of stuff. If you do watch it, though, I can assure you that the patient feels no pain with that.

      Here's the link: www.ioi.com/patient/index.htm#
      and Click on the Patient Information Video

      If you see this, you'll see why I laugh so much when they show people popping out this round thing on movies... it just doesn't work that way. If they really had a ball that was like that, then when their eye was open, it wouldn't move with the other eye, and it would either get popped out by the other tissues in the socket. If the socket were really empty, then it would rattle around in the socket in a very entertaining fashion.

      Now if the person lost all the tissue in the eye socket (that procedure is called an orbital exenteration) then patients are left with a big weird hole which is unsightly. But they have specialists (ocularists) who make these prosthetics which go in the socket which stand up to casual inspection so the patients can go out in the world. Here's a page I found of a group that makes prosthetics.


      Scroll down to the middle and you'll see an example of a whole socket prosthetic. A patient might wear this under tinted glasses or something to help "sell" the look. These prosthetics, as well as the scleral shells are always custom made.

      Okay, that's my gross eyeball journal entry for the quarter.

      EDIT: IN response to a question by H_Kitsune RE the wooden eye featured in Pirates of the Caribbean: Although entertaining, that isn't accurate for the reasons above. Also, wood would be terrible stuck in a socket as it would be all infected and gross in one day. Also, I have to emphasize again that removable glass eyes are NOT balls, but rather these things that look like big contact lenses. When a person loses ALL vision in an eye from a bad disease like glaucoma, or retinal detachment, the eye sort of deflates (a process called phthisis) so there is room under the lid for these things. You don't see it as much these days, but back in the olden days they didn't have a treatment for those problems. So you can imagine folks in the 1800s wanting something to make their bad eye look good.

      Here's a fun link about the history of artificial eyes: artificialeyeclinic.com/history.html

      Now I gotta run off to guitar ensemble. Where no one will have their eyeballs hanging on strings or wired with explosives. This time.


      Today's Vocabulary Words

    • Class... Class... Class...

      12 years ago


      WAKE UP!

      (name that quote)

      Okay, so I have to admit that Pharmacology can be a pretty dry subject. Occasionally I look at my class and see that they all have the kind of expression that reminds one of a pithed frog having an absence seizure...

      Sort like this: smiley3.gif

      (Do they still pith frogs in schools these days? Or do they go straight to pithing the underclassmen? You kids with your rock-and-roll...)

      I mean, let's face it, as thrilling as I might find it, a newcomer to the field might find some of my handouts a little boring in places:

      *Note about Parkinson’s Disease: Drug therapy is targeted at either increasing the amount of dopamine made (Levodopa), reducing the amount of peripheral dopa converted (Carbidopa), stimulating the release of Dopamine from vesicles (Amantadine), reducing the metabolism of dopamine (selegiline, a MAO inhibitor), and/or treating with synthetic dopamine agonists. It is a good example of targeting many steps in the neurotransmitter pathway to fight one disease!

      Yes. That is an exclamation point at the end. Because it is really cool.

      Oh shut up.

      Anyway, now we FINALLY got to the cardiovascular section and I get to start making the heartbeat noise "Sha-shunk" at least once every twenty minutes. "sha-shunk... sha-shunk" It is a comforting noise, the sound of a heartbeat. They say it is because you hear it in the womb. I think it is because it has a good beat you can dance to. I give it a 82.


      Sorry, I just had an American Bandstand flashback and I got all confused. Wait... Who are you and where are your pants?

      Anyway, there was a point to this journal entry and here it is. It is completely unrelated to anything else, so ... MONKEY!

      I have a few important personal rules which I have found over the years to ALWAYS to be true. Therefore I frequently find myself feeling very foolish when I've broken my own rule. Here is an important rule I would like to pass on to you:

      Never, EVER post anything on the internet, send an e-mail, make an important decision or purchase anything after 11PM.

      It never, EVER ends well. For instance, yesterday in the mail I got a box from Time and Space Toys.com and when i opened it, I discovered that evidently six months ago I pre-ordered the following in the early hours of the morning one day:
      WTF am I supposed to do with this piece of cr*p? I don't even remember ordering it, although i have no doubt that I did, as I had Penelope Pitstop bedsheets when I was younger and I can imagine a half-awake me being gripped by nostalgia. But sheesh, twenty bucks? I swear I think I am possessed by an evil gopher after 11PM every night. An evil gopher that knows my credit card number.

      Another far more expensive item I ordered at 3AM two years ago was the enormous Buffy Scythe I've featured previously. Here you see me wondering what the heck to do with it last summer.
      I had it hanging on the wall when the weird cable guy was here. Maybe that is why he hasn't been by yet. If he does come back I will be sure to beat him mightily with this whilst Spyton clubs him to a pulp with a Louisville Slugger. You know, once all the flaming anti-zombie rounds run out from the fiery enchanted shotgun of Doom.


      I mean, I wanted a big weapon in the house, but...not like this. NOT LIKE THIS! smiley4.gif<--click

      So, in summary, I am a crazy person. And I feel certain that tomorrow I will regret posting this at 2AM. Thank you.

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      pithed frog
      absence seizure
      Penelope Pitstop
      Louisville Slugger
      Buffy! (Only two weeks until season 8!)

    • Zombies Rule Belgium

      12 years ago


      I was listening to Rush briefly today (hey, don't judge me) and I heard him saying he got nominated for the Peace Prize. Yeah, right, Rush. Go take some more black market pain medications. But, no... it turns out that I finally have proof that I live in a parallel dimension where radio personalities and robotic vice-presidents get nominated for the same prize awarded to Martin Luther King, Jr and Mother Teresa:

      Rush Limbaugh, Al Gore Receive Nobel Peace Prize Nominations

      February 2, 2007 4:54 p.m. EST

      Julie Farby - All Headline News Staff Writer
      Leesburg, VA (AHN)-Nationally syndicated conservative radio talk host Rush Limbaugh has been nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize by Landmark Legal Foundation-the leading conservative public interest law firm in the country.

      According to Landmark President Mark R. Levin, the firm decided to nominate Limbaugh, who also serves as a member of Landmark's Board of Advisors, for his "nearly two decades of tireless efforts to promote liberty, equality and opportunity for all humankind, regardless of race, creed, economic stratum or national origin. These are the only real cornerstones of just and lasting peace throughout the world."

      Rush Limbaugh, whose daily radio show is heard by more than 20 million people on more than 600 radio stations in the United States and around the world, spurred Levin to nominate the conservative icon for the Nobel Peace Prize.

      In his letter to the Nobel Committee, Levin writes, "Rush Limbaugh is the foremost advocate for freedom and democracy in the world today. Everyday he gives voice to the values of democratic governance, individual opportunity and the just, equal application of the rule of law - and it is fitting that the Nobel Committee recognize the power of these ideals to build a truly peaceful world for future generations."

      The winner will be announced in mid-October, with the award presented on the Dec. 10th anniversary of its founder, Swedish businessman Alfred Nobel. Also nominated for the award is former Vice President and 2000 Presidential candidate Al Gore for his work bringing worldwide attention to the dangers of human-induced greenhouse gases and global warming patterns.

      And here I thought Al would get the nomination for inventing the internet.

      I wonder if Rush and Al will get to sit at the same table at the "Peace Prize Nominee Banquet" during Peace Prize Nominee Fun Week. I think Rush is a shoo-in for Miss Personality! Al Gore can win for "Biggest Power Bill"

      PS: Also, I had no idea my journal yesterday would start such a heated "Shotguns vs. Baseball Bats" debate. The winner for best comment goes to Kardiez, who said:

      The shotgun trumps the bat, easily. When you run out of shells, the shotgun then becomes the baseball bat.

      Maybe I can just get a baseball bat that is certified by the NRA. Gotta love that Charleton Heston. LOL!

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      Today's Vocabulary words will likely be usurped today by the inevitable ranting which will appear below. Because for some reason certain words make people see completely red and lose the ability to read a journal thoroughly in order to see the humorous intent in which it was... intended. Not have English speak gooder. I will list some common words that cause this reaction below. If you in fact have read this far, then please write in the comments section which word caused you to finally see red and begin to rant:
      free gold PLZ

    • The scary Comcast guy

      12 years ago


      So I called Comcast billing last week to fix that payment mix-up and the customer service lady who spoke to me was so nice that she managed to convince me to stay with comcast for my phone, and to switch to digital phone which would save me $30 a month.

      I am such a sucker for a pleasant Customer Service rep.

      Anyway, the guy was scheduled to come in today to install it between 9 and 12 and he showed up at 11:53. He walks in and sits down in front of my Mac Pro and starts trying to install the software to get the digital phone service online.

      I don't know if this is local or what, but there recently has been a spate of Comcast service guy-related murders and rapes that I've been hearing about... I think I've mentioned I really try not to follow local news, but some always trickles through. Anyway, I was all set with my cell phone in pocket, all dressed, ready to bolt out of the house at a seconds notice etc etc...

      The guy walks in, 30-ish, Indian, seems nice enough, seems to know what he is doing, chatty. We're chatting away and it dawns on me that he is asking a lot of questions about who lives in the house. Where's your husband? (I'm always married for the technicians that come in the house), where does he work, how old is your son, does your son do karate? I mean... wtf? And he is asking me what I do, what my husband does, what does stuff cost in the house, and I say to him, "Why are you asking me about my husband?" Then he starts telling me how his wife is going to medical school and he never works for anyone but himself and he used to have a BMW but he lost $90,000 in gambling and his other friend is a doctor and she owns a motel and a gas station.

      Oh, and at one point he called in to Comcast for some assistance and talked to the guy and then slammed the phone down and grunted "Prick!" at the phone. Then he said, "They don't want to help us. No one wants to help us."

      I hope he was talking about himself and me, and not himself and the voices in his head.

      *insert twilight zone music here*

      Anyway, it took him 2 hours to get the job done but it seems to work. But I mean, that was really weird. I like to be nice to the contractors that come by, but sheesh, I'm a single woman here with a little kid. I don't need some man coming in my house asking me about the value of my possessions and the number of able-bodied men guarding them.

      I swear I need a shotgun. Or a ready supply of hypodermic needles loaded up with Haldol®. Or a shotgun that shoots hypodermic needles. That would totally rock.

      So anyway, it creeped me out enough that I called the police and asked them what to do, and they told me to call Comcast and file a report, which I did. Because seriously, even if he was just being friendly and chatty, and likes to talk about how much all his relatives make (oh my god, he told me about the salaries and real estate holdings of all of his relatives) someone needs to tell him not to go into houses where there is a lone woman and ask about where the able-bodied men are and how much things are worth. Because that just screams "I am a burglar". On the other hand, are there a lot of Indian cat burglars? Just doesn't fit the stereotype. Hm.

      Blah. I gotta go shopping for shotguns.


      Today's Vocabulary Words
      Haldol® <-how pathetic is the world when the best link I could find was at WIki?
      cat burglar

    • Why, oh why a Y?

      12 years ago


      I am really very happy I have a son. But I didn't really want a son when I was younger. I had an amniocentesis when I was preggers with Spyton and so I had a photo of his chromosomes which unequivocally demonstrated that he was a boy. Boys are differentiated from girls by the presence of a Y chromosome, called that because it is Y-shaped. A girl has only 2 X-shaped chromosomes. Here are Spyton's chromosomes (it's my name on the photo as he was just a pea-sized fetus at the time). You can see the little Y (upside down in this picture) proving his masculinity to anyone who was in doubt. So cute!
      My husband was very pleased to be having a son but I was very deflated at the time. I had two sisters, and really had very little experience with baby boys. Or any sort of boys. And I had been looking through baby catalogs at all the cute baby dresses, and had already been thinking about having pink curtains etc for the baby's room. Also, here I was this 30-year-old MD PhD music aerobics Buckaroo Bonzai surgeon super-girl and I thought I would raise a little mini-me and we would wreak havoc on the world... in pink armor!

      But no, there was the Y chromosome mocking me. "Ha!" it was saying, "Ha! The males have won in the end! Now you will be giving birth to yet another one! Resistance is futile! Eat at Joe's! Burma Shave!"

      Now, since we knew it was a boy, and we were naming him after an older relative, he had a name in utero, and I started talking at him before he was born, so he'd kick me and I'd say, "Stop kicking me Spyton!" or I'd have to pee (for the twentieth time) and I'd say, "You're squishing my bladder, Spyton!" Then when he was born they handed him to me and I looked at his squished up purply slimy little face and I said, "Hello, Spyton!"


      Pregnancy is a time in life where it is nice to have the luxury to worry about inconsequential things like whether your child is a boy or a girl. Once the kid is born you have to start worrying about the important things, like: is he healthy? Is he safe? Is he happy? Yes, that's when the real worry begins.

      It turns out that the concern: "Is my kid still alive/healthy/happy?" is in fact the number one constant daily worry of parenting and hasn't seemed to lessen at all over the years. I've asked my mother and other older parents about this and they say that it doesn't go away at all.

      Which means that when I'm 98 and Spyton is 68, I'm going to be sitting in a rocking chair somewhere, wearing a silver lame jumpsuit, plugged into XBox Live, talking to my son with my XBox-implanted headset chip (playing Halo 48) and asking him if he is okay and if his bowels are moving properly and if he is eating the Soylent Green or is he just snacking on that crappy Dorito-flavored Soylent Red?

      And the whole business of him being a boy rather than a girl all worked itself out. Any time there is some boy-related thing I'm not sure about I have him just call his dad. Or we Google it. Or we ask you guys.

      Because it takes a village gamer/machinima web forum.


      Today's Vocabulary Words and Terms
      Burma Shave

  • Comments (3262)

    • zerowing

      13 years ago

      another new Journal update
      view now lol icon_mrgreen.gif

    • ReaperZero0

      13 years ago

      To every one out There on RVB
      What is your opinion of School?
      Of work?(can be chores)
      Of music?
      Of me?
      Of bigfoot?
      and finally of Free Money?

    • Pixilz

      13 years ago

      It might intrest you to know this exists:
      As well as this:
      And many, MANY others.

    • Elnea FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      13 years ago

      YES! SPYTON is my kid. I'm so proud!

    • DaPuma

      13 years ago

      Spyton's ur kid isnt he

    • Elnea FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      13 years ago

      Holy Frelling Asteroids!

      You're RIGHT!

    • HavokBlue

      13 years ago

      See: Elnea!!!

    • StpdPvtTuckr

      13 years ago

      Wow! +43! I hate you ;-)

    • HavokBlue

      13 years ago

      I have yet another surprise for you. Come look in my images.

    • dingolord

      13 years ago

      "...has a timeclock that he needed hooked up to the network..."

      AHA!!! You're from Ohio, aren't you? Or possibly Western Indiana? The only people I've ever met who say things like "needed hooked up" or "needs xeroxed" are people from there. Everyone else (including immigrants, foreigners and Canadians) say "needed to be hooked up".

      Actually... I'm from Baltimore, MD. But, yeah, as far as sentence structure goes, you're not really all that far off. smiley8.gif

    • StpdPvtTuckr

      13 years ago

      Holyshit! Weren't you a +38 two days ago? Wow.

      And by the way: Your son is the coolest little kid ever.

    • alkina

      13 years ago

      awesome work!
      luv ur art, keep it up!

    • quikthnkr

      13 years ago

      I am playing mod fairy today. All my friends are getting 2 each. Comments go to you current journal. +2

    • dingolord

      13 years ago

      because I get to feel the way immigrants do when they are trying to watch "Desperate Housewives" in their second language

      That is one of the funniest things I've heard all day! smiley1.gif Glad I can... um... thoroughly confuse you time and time again. smiley8.gif

    • gambitq72

      13 years ago

      As to where I got my name/nickname (risky behavior, or off of the X-men?)
      Both actually, But I primarily got the nickname for my ability to
      a) Pick locks (a fun little diversion for me)
      b) throw cards hard enough to cut into drywall
      So primarily Gambit off the X-men. Hope they put him in X-3

    • SipidersW

      13 years ago

      Hey Elnea, I was messing around with photoshop tonight and I put this together for you if you want it.
      I'll probably work on it a bit more later, current time is 5.25am, and I'm anxious to get some shuteye smiley8.gif

    • HavokBlue

      13 years ago

      Hey, Elnea, Come look in my Images... THERE IS A PRESENT FOR YOU!!!

      P.S. I didn't make it, BladeZelvado made it at my request.

    • quikthnkr

      13 years ago

      I have a sneaking suspicion that the "Family" area is where many of those young boys with the squeaky voices are going to be corralled. I mean they have to put them somewhere. Everone knows the average gamer age is getting older and older and there is only so much foul mouthed whining adults can take before it's time to get the belt out and adjust an attitude or two. Sometimes I really want to do a Jay and Silent Bob on these kids (the end of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back they take the money they got from their movie deal and use it to track down, fly to, and beat the crap out of, everyone who sullied their good names on the internet; this was all done to the song "How Many People Wanna Kick Some Ass?"). One way or the other the video game companies need to find a way to segregate the underage from the legal age group. Spyton may be a good kid to play with and I have known a few others as well but the vast majority are unrelentingly rude and are absolutely consummate at ruining a good time.

      I stole this off of Sopwithcamel's page rvb.roosterteeth.com/members/profile.php?uid=188866

      I think it is pretty funny.

      A crusty old man walks into a bank and says to the woman at the
      window, "I want to open a damn checking account."

      The astonished woman replies, "I beg your pardon, sir. I must have
      misunderstood you. What did you say?"

      "Listen up. Damn it. I said I want to open a damn checking account

      "I'm very sorry sir, but that kind of language is not tolerated in
      this bank." The teller leaves the window and goes over to the bank
      manager to inform him of her situation. The manager agrees that the
      teller does not have to listen to that foul language. They both return
      to the window and the manager asks the old geezer,

      "Sir, what seems to be the problem here?

      "There is no damn problem," the man says. "I just won $200 million
      bucks in the damn lottery and I want to put my damn money in the damn

      "I see," says the manager, "and is this damn bitch giving you a hard time?"

    • StpdPvtTuckr

      13 years ago

      Thought you might appreciate this.

      You are the one who introduced me to Untouchable by the HaloGod.

    • ReaperZero0

      13 years ago

      bored as well but not as bored as

    • BigNiceJohn

      13 years ago

      I was thinking about who to add to that list, and I realized that I needed someone who's mere appearance would lend it an air of credibility... thast's why Oboe,s on there, I'm not sure why you are smiley8.gif

    • ChupaThingy5

      13 years ago


      I was board and had nothing better to do. I think the real challenge will be to do Spytons name.

    • HavokBlue

      13 years ago

      LOOKIE WHAT I DREW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (My Avatar) I've been working on this for ever. Last Night, I was almost done. I was inking it and my dogs bumped into me and I splattered India Ink all over it!!!!!!!!!!! Luckily, Photoshop was there to save the day!!!!!!!!!!!

    • predator02

      13 years ago

      so true................girls do play halo/halo 2...............i play it all the time...........

    • Nathan219

      13 years ago

      Holy crap, I never knew you were the one making all those awesome Master Chief avatars and artwork. I really admire that work.

    • Graee

      13 years ago

      If you play early in the morning, you play with a lot of British folk. I get off work at 7 in the morning so when I log in, everybody is from Europe somewhere. It's usually a pretty good time.

    • agent_z

      13 years ago

      there is the big hint to look in my images luke images and mikes images

    • Zylo

      13 years ago

      YOu have alot of friends, oh well though. GO SCI FI!!! GO MOMS in general. I think they are nice people. Always fun to joke around with.

    • Pixilz

      13 years ago

      Maybe so...still, nothing beats good ol' Bam!-B-Q

    • Pixilz

      13 years ago

      Too bad you didn't post today's journal on Halloween...*thinks of commercial and shudders*

    • zerowing

      13 years ago

      Well hello there, I hope you had a very Happy Halloween

      I know I did,
      Check out my latest Journal entry to see how it went!

      Catch ya later

    • hunternofear

      13 years ago

      i know some girls play halo and they are good!

    • invaderrizz

      13 years ago

      Hyperspace is an AWESOME book.


    • Chugabooe

      13 years ago

      Ok so it didn't take long.. thanks to AprilOO's help! So here you go!!


    • bigboy12

      13 years ago

      you can..thax!

    • OboeCrazy FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Freelancer

      13 years ago

      Ok, wait just one darn second...


      Why are you pointing your gun at Ghost Church's...uh...grenades? He's already dead, leave the poor guys private area alone!

    • bigboy12

      13 years ago

      do you what candy???childrens-candy-display.jpg

    • bigboy12

      13 years ago


    • bigboy12

      13 years ago

      i got 1 bigboy12 he makes muffins

    • bigboy12

      13 years ago

      be my friend i made you a muffin muffin.jpg

    • Zylo

      13 years ago

      I have my eyes on you.

    • silviaknismo

      13 years ago

      a portable is an outside classroom

    • fa0zim

      13 years ago

      Heres somthing that I made smiley0.gif

    • Seroth

      13 years ago

      hey its me! The guy who made the Spartan-Pirate image! Glad you like it

    • Pixilz

      13 years ago

      Blarg smiley4.gif .

      What's his face doesn't have any posts, journals or pics to bomb. I had to settle for leaving a nasty comment instead. Still, I think it just about sums up my point.

    • tryme

      13 years ago

      cool, the oppisite age of me. sweet, sweet youth smiley12.gif

    • Chirpy

      13 years ago

      smiley2.gif no replies

    • ChupaThingy5

      13 years ago


    • abeus

      13 years ago


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