Doctors, Ice Cream, and Space

FAVORITE SAYING FOR TODAY: “Disagree with anyone about anything, but just don’t be disagreeable about disagreeing.”

Written January 19, 2007: Well today was medical for the Trimbles. Friday is John’s day off, so we got up at Ugly O’clock to drive clear across Los Angeles to the University of Southern California Dental School. I got a thorough exam and casts taken of my teeth by a charming young lady nicknamed Sako, with whom I will be working throughout my treatments. John went to his dental appointment with another student and got three teeth pulled. I wasn’t prepared for that.

After that, I had lunch (John’s mouth was full of cotton) and we drove back across LA to San Gabriel to see my doctor. We got sidetracked by a Fosselman’s Ice Cream parlor, so I took the “can’t seem to lose weight” problem off my complaints list. I hold by the theory promulgated by a grand old ice-cream maker who claimed that ice cream cannot possibly have any calories. After all, calories are units of heat, right? And ice cream is frozen, right? I rest my case.

The doctor said I was doing fine but my blood pressure is a bit higher than usual. Since I usually have “normal low” blood pressure, this is not a problem. When I told Dr. Castro that I was going to the Chiapas Highlands to learn backstrap weaving and Mayan dyeing, she said it was no surprise that I had slightly elevated blood pressure. She also referred me to the Pasadena Health Clinic for my Mexican trip vaccinations, and recommended that I get a tetanus booster, too.

By the time we got home, John was one miserable puppy. He put new cotton in his mouth and took a nap. Then Jason came home and fixed John some scrambled eggs and hot biscuits for dinner. We’ve got such a super son-in-law!

COMET McNAUGHT: Has anyone seen the comet? This is one of the most spectacular space visitors we’ve had in a very long time, and we are sooooo frustrated that the best views are on the other side of the world from us! McNaught is visible from the Southern Hemisphere, with a head almost as bright as Venus and with a fantastic curved tail. It looks more like a sci-fi magazine cover than anything else. View amazing photographs at Space Weather News: and then click on all the great daily photos. Anyone in the Southern Hemisphere should go outside at sunset, look west and see for themselves. Get on the Space Weather list by contacting:

VENUS AND THE MOON: Here is something both hemispheres can enjoy. Saturday, January 20, the crescent Moon glides by Venus at sunset, forming a beautiful ensemble in the western sky. Look for the pair just before the sky fades to black. Venus and the Moon surrounded by twilight-blue is a scene of special beauty. Visit for observing tips and updates.