Monthly Archives: July 2013

radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless, noble

I believe only one or two of these adjectives at most appropriately apply to me.

All of them apply to the gas known as Radon (a byproduct of either Uranium or Thorium). Radon is everywhere – inside houses and outside. Average outside levels can be as high as 0.75 pCi/L. (Picocuries per liter. It’s nice that Marie and Pierre Curie have been memorialized forever with a unit of measurement) The national average outside is 0.4. The national average inside homes is 1.3. The average for homes in St. Louis County is 4.0. And the EPA recommends taking action on any home above 4.0.

The home my wife and I are buying currently has radon levels of 4.4. So we will be installing a Radon mitigation device upon moving in.

Here’s an interesting risk chart from the EPA

If 1000 people who never smoked were exposed to radon levels of 4 pCi/L over a lifetime – 7 could get lung cancer. Roughly equivalent to the risk of dying in a car crash. Not exactly a horrific risk level, but on the other hand, reducing the radon level is still a good idea.

The risk is higher for those who have smoked.

Have you checked the radon levels in your home?

We have normality

“…probability factor of one to one…we have normality, I repeat we have normality…Anything you still can’t cope with is therefore your own problem.” – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Caught up on sleep. Receiving the results of the Radon inspection today, and that should conclude the inspection phase. The house is very well-maintained, and assuming the radon levels are OK, we shouldn’t be asking very much from the owners. The rest of this should be as smooth as the smooth object of your choosing.

Well…except the packing. Why does there have to be packing?

The Inverse Relationship of Sleep and Blood

Wednesday Morning last week:

Basherte: Have you ever had insomnia?
Me: No

Wednesday evening: The Basherte and I put a bid down on a house.

I don’t think I have had a normal night’s sleep since.
I may have gotten close to a normal night last night, but not nearly enough to catch up.

The inspections are coming to an end today and tomorrow. We’ve been told the house is insurable, and the loan is approved. The things for me to be stressed about are being checked off one by one. Packing will be a pain, but that shouldn’t be as stressful, since the outcome is more certain.

Some people might wonder if I lied to my wife, or not. This isn’t really the first time in my life I have had issues with sleeping. But I don’t consider it ‘insomnia’ if the stress that is causing it is so clearly identifiable. The diagnosis for me is ‘stress’ not ‘insomnia,’ and it happens very rarely. (And it usually doesn’t last more than a day or two.)

My nose also bled this week for the first time in several years. I had several nose bleeds around the time I was initially dating my Basherte. She didn’t understand the cause back then, but now she finds that hilarious, and compares me to Stan on South Park.


All-Star Game Prediction – American League

As I posted last year, my whereabouts the evening of the All-Star game have correlated with the winner for nineteen years. The National League has only won if I was home. Once is a fluke. Twice is a coincidence. Nineteen times in a row? (I said 20 last year, but either I miscounted, or rounded up.)

This all began in 1996 when I joined a writer’s group that met on Tuesday nights, and the National League started losing the All-Star game. Of course, in 1994 and 1995 the National League won, and I am fairly certain I was home watching the game those two years. I don’t have evidence for this, but the odds are relatively certain.

In 2010, the Writer’s group switched to Mondays. And guess what happened? I was home, and the National League won! And they continued to win in 2011 and 2012. So, starting in 1994, and for 19 years, my whereabouts have correlated with the winner.

Alas, the group switched back to Tuesdays. I won’t be home tomorrow.

I am rooting for the National League for two reasons.

1) Because I always root for the National League. I am a St. Louis Cardinals fan; they are a National League team; I root for the National League.

2) If the National League wins this year, there is finally proof that my whereabouts are unrelated to the final game result. That will be a wonderful feeling. I will never again feel guilty that I wasn’t home on All-Star game night. Rationally, I know that there can be no real causation between my whereabouts and who wins. But irrationally, the evidence keeps piling up year after year that I am the cause.

But, alas, if I have to make a prediction, judging from past history, I’d have to predict the American League. Of course, my history of predictions hasn’t actually been very good. May that continue. (I need to update that 2005 post on my predictions, but I suspect my record hasn’t improved by much since then.)

Update: The American League won. 3-0. However, I decided to stay home and watch the game. Therefore, I am not responsible for the American League winning. I no longer live in an irrational world; my All-star Game Albatross has flown away and shall bother someone else in the future.