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My e-chum, Veronica, recently returned from a trip to the Phllippines. This picture is part of her trip, and just made me howl.

clipped from www.who.int

Swine influenza, or “swine flu”, is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease of pigs, caused by one of several swine influenza A viruses. Morbidity tends to be high and mortality low (1-4%). The virus is spread among pigs by aerosols, direct and indirect contact, and asymptomatic carrier pigs. Outbreaks in pigs occur year round, with an increased incidence in the fall and winter in temperate zones. Many countries routinely vaccinate swine populations against swine influenza.


How can I protect myself from getting swine influenza from infected people?

To protect yourself, practice general preventive measures for influenza:

  • Avoid close contact with people who appear unwell and who have fever and cough.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly.
  • Practice good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active.

  • What is swine influenza?

      blog it

    Another piece of the Free Roxana campaign.

    A nice piece of work by James Buck.

    After I left my magnanimous former employer, I was out access to Photoshop. Now, I suppose I could manage with the Vista built-in tool, or Picasa. But I’m not one to do things the easy way. I chose to mess with Gimp, the illustrious open source image editing tool. More specifically, especially since I have a PhotoShop background, I went with Gimpshop, which gives me a Photoshop-esque experience. Better, I suppose, than downloading CS3 from bit torrent or something. Though I’m not a power user, I find the thing quite nice. Some day, I hope that I’ll be able to turn the most grotesque face into a supermodel. We all have our dreams, eh?

    I had a lovely interview this afternoon and feel good about how it went. However, this is balanced with the knowledge that many others have also been interviewed. Though it is for a position that I would be excited to get, I’m not all angsty. I’m just not too worried about the whole unemployed thing right now. However, that’s due to luck, and some skill (I guess). Savings will hold out for a bit yet, and my wife works…and it’s quite unlikely she’ll loose her job (she teaches junior high special ed…I shudder at the thought). Our worst case scenario is a radical lifestyle shift. Perhaps losing one of the cars (and it’s payment), and dropping such things as cable (the horror!). And I’m not so hell-bent on working. Work, for me, is more about contributing and making an impact. That, truly, is a luxury.

    Reminds me of my grandfather. He was “retired” (acted upon him, not of his choice) when I was about 12. His life was wrapped up in his job. He was in the same role for 30+ years, and was devastated when it ended. I learned, way back then, that I would never fully roll my identity into my job/career.

    However, there is something that’s giving me chills right now: the Swine Flu outbreak. Job loss sucks; bankruptcy sucks, too. But neither one of them will kill you, or worse, someone you love. Fortunately, here in the States, that’s less of a worry since we have some of the best medical care on the globe. Still, the severity of this helps keep all the other problems in perspective.

    Ah, this fits me sometimes.

    from xkcd

    Update: This clip was pulled due to terms of use violation. Thus, I’ve pulled the link

    I’ve developed several plans since my layoff back in February. My first, main, plan A, whatever, has been to pursue a BA in Applied Computing at the University of Washington’s Bothell campus. Part of this was to have the State pay for this (I’ve been taking classes part-time in the evenings pursuing this). However, it doesn’t look like that’s going to work. Mainly, degree completion is NOT on of the Commissioner Approved Training options. Thus, though I still await the official answer, I’m pursuing alternative tracks.

     

    Now, I’m trying to position myself as a communicator with solid “social media” skills. I’ve seen several positions for such. Sadly, no bites in this sector yet. We’ll see, though. This is where I put the lion’s share of my resume focus.

     

    Lastly, I have my fall-back of administrative assistant work, which I’ve done plenty of. My resume is strong for this, and I have several opportunities lurking nearby via temping. “Contract work” is particularly tempting as I would have some additional freedom to continue my tech development. This is especially nice since I have no idea when I will get an answer from the WA Employment Security folks. Their letters say 4-6 weeks; currently, we’re at 9 (yes, I’ve reached out to them, and have been told “it’ll take more time”, they’re swamped”. Sigh…

    from xkcd.com

    My e-chum, Suburan Diva, has partnered with Hebrew National for Picnic with a Purpose. Ok, I don’t know how formal this arrangement is, but the idea is great. However, I’m finding bits and pieces about this around the web.

    Anyway, the idea of an informal gathering, with friends and family, to raise funds, gather gifts, or otherwise pitch-in and help out the community is wonderfully gracious. This, really, is something I must try to make happen, too.

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