Monday, December 13, 2010

Why it IS constitutional to require people to purchase/pay into health insurance

In this country, whether you have insurance or not, you get healthcare. If you are hit by a truck, they whisk you away to a hostpital, and they fix you. They don't ask if you can pay, they just save your life. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes. My hospital alone does over $100 million in charity care EACH YEAR.

People say that it won't happen to them, or that they don't smoke/drink/eat crappy foods, so they shouldn't need health insurance. Well, these same people are just as likely to get hit by a car or fall off a ladder or step off a curb wrong and shatter their ankle. It happens. And when you don't pay into some sort of health insurance, that ENTIRE BILL gets passed along to some charity care payment system, which is likely funded by tax dollars. If you had some sort of insurance, most of that bill would be the responsibility of the insurance company, and we could focus those charity care payments for the smaller portion that the patient has to pay (if you are unable to pay it). More people could get help, and our tax dollar requirement for healthcare would go down.

I work in a hospital. I focus on discharge planning. I see the costs of healthcare. I can see the hospital charges for my patients, and they are OFTEN up above $100k......and these are trauma patients with fractures. Not heart transplants or dialysis patients--just broken bones. Often *very* broken bones requiring multiple surgeries or amputations...but these are people who were healthy, walking around, normal people....until their life suddenly changed in the blink of an eye.

When this country devolves to the point where we will let you die in the street if you have no insurance, then I will support your right to choose not to have health insurance. Until then, you've gotta pay. We are gonna scoop you up and run you to the nearest trauma center, and do our best to fix you, regardless of the cost. You should bear the responsibility of helping to pay for your care. No, I don't think this healthcare legislation is perfect....but it IS a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A small Boo Kitty update

Boo went back to the vet on Monday for a blood draw and follow-up visit. His results came back on Tuesday.

He has gained over a pound, which terribly impresses our vet (Dr Bergstrom). His creatinine was 6.5 when he was first diagnosed (severe kidney disease is a creatinine over 5.0), then dropped to 5.0 after a few days of IV fluids. After a couple weeks of subcutaneous fluids at home and a new renal diet, his creatinine is now down to 2.5 (normal for cats is up to 2.4). Almost in the normal range!! Everyone is quite impressed.

Boo had an ultrasound a few weeks ago, to further diagnose the WHY of his kidney disease. It showed that he has some sort of congenital deformity in his kidneys. They look funny, aren't shaped right, and are now damaged enough that they weren't able to see the normal kidney structures. Sounded very ominous. But...he lived with them for 8 years, and has found a way to compensate for them.

The vet is pleased enough with his progress that we have been instructed to back off from the daily SQ fluids and do them every other day instead. We are also starting him on calcitriol, a Vitamin D supplement/hormone that helps keep needed nutrients in his body (that his damaged kidneys would otherwise urinate out). All in all, it was great news.

Boo is back running around and chasing things and being his regular self. Shadow took a minute to re-accept Boo, but they are hanging out now just like they used to.

In the long run, we have to figure out our vacation plans, since we will not always be able to bring Boo with us like we did at Long Beach last week. There are boarding services offered by our vet, and I have also heard of groups organized for people who have cats on SQ fluids at home, where we would help each other out when people go out of town. Boo will likely be on the every-other-day fluids for his entire life, and now has the twice weekly calcitriol (which is thankfully in a fish-flavored liquid I can easily squirt into his mouth).

The timing of this all could not be more perfect. We basically spent a mortgage payment with vet bills and supplies on Boo. We also happen to have been in the middle of refinancing our mortgage, so we take December off from paying it (3.63% APR/15 year fixed.....unbelievable!!). What great timing! Instead of having some extra money to save or play with, we used it for Boo. Totally, totally worth it. Especially when he climbs onto my lap, curls up in a ball and looks at me upside down. Then squirms around, looking for the perfect petting position.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Meet the Boo Kitty

This is Boo. Or, more commonly referred to as the Boo Kitty. We adopted Boo from a shelter in February of 2003, just after our beloved kitty Sahab died of feline infectious peritonitis. We wanted Shadow to have a brother to grow up with, and the Boo Kitty fit the bill.

Boo's adoption story is special to me. I found him through a shelter that places pets in PetCo stores. He was in a cage in the center of the store with his brother. I met Boo and his brother, and chose....his brother, who was friendly and happy and playful. I picked him up and walked to the front of the store, then changed my mind. That frightened, fearful, terrified kitty I had left behind would surely have a harder time being adopted. The happy one would easily find a loving home. So I picked up the Boo kitty and brought him home to become a part of our family.

When Boo first arrived in our home, he was a mess. He had no hair on his neck, because a too-tight collar had not been checked, and it was rubbed off. He could climb up onto the couch, but couldn't figure out how to jump off. A little pitiful.

Within days, Boo came out of his shell and got the hang of running around and jumping off furniture and became a very sweet little companion. He got his name from his scaredy-cat demeanor--he still to this day hides from us when we are walking around, and from noises (even not so loud ones) and sudden movements. He is very sweet and loves to sit on our laps and head butt us until we pet him.

Boo has always had his issues. He over-grooms himself, and pulls out the hair on his lower back, so he looks a bit mangy. He also occasionally overgrooms his 'elbows' on the front legs, and we have to put him into a kitty cone to protect him from himself, because the skin there is more tender and will weep or bleed. But he is the Boo Kitty, and we love him.

Boo is very smart. He opens cupboard doors to hide from Shadow amongst our pots and pans. When Shadow was acting up and peeing everywhere, we could put him into the bathroom with the door mostly closed, and he couldn't figure out how to pull the door towards him to get out, but Boo has that skill down. We have never been able to keep Boo out of our linen closet, despite piling books in front of the accordian door to keep him out. Ethan says he takes after his daddy, the locksmith. He never met a door he couldn't open.

Boo is also very athletic. He tears around the house sometimes, chasing nothing at all. He will take our steps 3 or 4 at a time (while Shadow can only manage 2 or 3 on a good day). He also jumps up and hangs out on our pot-shelves above the kitchen cabinets. Shadow can't do this, and that area has become a bit of a Boo-Kitty sanctuary.

Boo is very instinctual. He 'buries' anything with a hint of an odor. His food, *my* food....anything. It stresses him out to have odors in the house. He is also very particular about food. He will freak out and meow until the food dish is full to the brim, then go about his business. He is not hungry, just worried about the kibble level. This is why Shadow is chubby. We keep food out all the time for Boo, and tempt him with treats....but he is never that interested, and Shadow ends up with extra.

We started training the cats to use the toilet instead of the litter box. Boo got this right away. He was at the point where he would pee/poo directly into the toilet through the small training hole in the special over-toilet litter box. When we had to back up a step to accommodate Shadow's slower learning, Boo took things into his own paws and started balancing on the garbage can (where we empty dirty litter into) and peeing/pooing directly into it. He gets what we are trying to accomplish, and is totally on board.

We very much love the Boo Kitty.

Last week, we noticed that Boo was tired and listless, and had lost some weight. He has always been very skinny, and throws up a lot because he scarfs his food down too quickly. We actually have him on a special kibble diet with really big kibbles just to force him to chew them up and slow down his eating. The vets in the past said he was pretty skinny, but since he had such great energy and was feeling healthy, they weren't concerned.

I took him into the vet last Friday, and found out that he had lost about 3 poiunds--from nearly 9 pounds in February, to 5.8 pounds now. Not good. The vet was hoping (with his usual excellent energy and skinny body) that he had a thyroid problem. Great--a pill a day, and a healthy cat comes back. We drew some blood and headed home.

I go a call from the vet on Saturday, telling me that Boo was in kidney failure with a creatinine of 6.5, and needed to come in right away for IV fluids. We took him in, and they placed an IV and kept him the rest of the day. We picked him up in the evening when they closed, and took him home for the night, returning him to the clinic when they opened the next morning. Three days of IV fluids and some meds. They were very impressed with his great appetite at the clinic, which is unusual for renal failure cats. They had been planning to force feed him while he was there, but that was not needed. Boo came home with an IV in, wrapped up in coban to prevent him from messing with it. We had an orange camoflauge wrap the first 2 days, then a Husky purple one the last day. Boo HATED that wrap. He would take a step, then fling that leg around, trying to get the wrap off, then take another step and repeat. It would have been funny if we weren't so worried for his health.

After the 3rd day, we had Boo's blood drawn again. The results came back better, but he still showed kidney failure with a creatinine of 5.0. He also had a very low hematocrit of 18, but we think that part of that is a dilutional effect of all the IV fluids he had received that day. The vet recommended that we do an ultrasound on Boo the next day (wednesday), since he is far too young to be having kidney issues. We were hoping to see evidence of some sort of kidney infection that was not showing up in his urine, or something else (treatable) that we could work on. The final report comes out today, but what they found was just some small kidneys (congenital issue) with severe damage. No one is sure what this means long-term for the Boo Kitty. I learned how to give him subcutaneous fluids on Tuesday, and have been giving them each night since then. 100ccs of Lacated ringers in the scruff of his neck. I have only done it twice so far, but all I need to do is pet him and get him to lay on the floor for a belly rub. I slip the needle in and continue his belly scratching for 2-3 minutes while the fluid goes in, then remove the needle and tell him what a good kitty he is. He really is a good boy.

He had some diarrhea at the clinic, probably from stress. Today is his last day of flagyl, which is fixing the diarrhea. Already have normalish poo today, so it did it's thing. Boo feels much better this morning. He was hiding away and sleeping on his bed for most of the last week, but now he is roaming around his room and running up to get good belly rubs. They shaved his belly for the ultrasound, and I think he is really enjoying the extra sensitive belly rubs he can get now.

We have Boo living in one of our spare bedrooms. He has a litter box, water bowl, foods to tempt him, and several beds and hidey holes to hang out in. Shadow knows something funny is going on, and is having a hard time. Boo looks different, smells different, and is getting a lot of attention and special foods. So he wants to growl and slap at Boo, which is not OK right now. Boo needs rest and relaxation, so they are being separated unless we are right there to run interference. Hopefully their brotherhood will be re-established once Boo has his energy back and can defend himself again.

We love the Boo Kitty dearly, and are very happy that he is feeling a little better. He goes back for another blood draw in a week or so, and we will see how things are, but the most important part is how he acts and how he feels. Right now, it looks like we are headed in the right direction. As long as we can give him a good quality of life, we will continue the SQ fluids. If he can run around and play and enjoy things, it is totally worth it. We know that someday this will change, and we will have to let him go, but right now, things are looking up.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Am getting very excited about the upcoming holiday season.

We are planning to go on an Argosy Christmas ship cruise with Justin and Kim and company--always a fun time. I think the ship we are doing is the 11th or 12th or something like that. A few hours of fun and carols and hot beverages. Good times.

We are also going to go see the Nutcracker ballet. I am excited!! I have never been to the ballet. Also going with Justin and Kim. Seems to be a theme here....but glad we are tagging along.

Before the December Christmasy things we also have our upcoming Coast Christmas gathering, which should be a ton of fun. Clamming, lighthouse exploration, beachcombing and tasty cooking are all on the docket this year. Maybe even a Harry Potter movie trip, if I can convince enough people to do it.....

What else, what else....

Oh, we have changed our Florida plans a bit. Still seeing the shuttle launch (weather cooperation dependent), but we will head out a week early and go on a cruise. We are looking at the Holland America Line's Eurodam, which does a western Caribbean route. There are a couple other cruises we looked at and liked as well....but Kim may be able to get us a 'friends and family' discount, so I think we will stick with Holland America. Plus, the ship is less than 2 years old. And Justin and Kim took this exact same cruise on the exact same ship last year, and had a blast. Should be fun times. We are thinking of splurging a bit and going with a veranda rather than the cheapie no window room we would book otherwise. Woohoo!!

Anyway. That is the Amerson update for today.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Back on the blog again

I really need to quit facebook. I would totally post more on my blog if I did. It is just so darn easy to add pictures there, and write little snippets.

But...back to the blog.

New and exciting news for us involves our cats using the toilet instead of the litterbox. It is still a work in progress, but I am confident we shall prevail. Boo is 100%, but Shadow is still an asshole, so we will continue to threaten him into compliance.

Also new and exciting? We are refinancing our mortgage. Again. Yes, we have refinanced a lot (I think 3 times in the condo, and this is our third in the house??), but we have crunched the numbers, and since we are staying in this house for at least another decade, we will save oodles of money in the long run. Our APR is going down to 3.68% which is unheard of. You should refinance, too!! (not really....please run your numbers or consult a professional...) We will save about $400 a month in mortgage payments, and have already allocated that money.

I have posted before about We love it. We have funds for vacation, home upgrades, new car, baby(maybe), general savings, Coast Christmas, car insurance (we pay twice yearly), and season tickets. Money is taken out every month from our bank account automatically, and the whole thing really adds up quickly. We are putting the extra money straight into the home and vacation funds, since those are the ones that bit us in the behind this year. Face it--whether we have the money or not, we are going on vacation. Makes sense to have the money pre-set-aside so we don't come home to credit card bills. Same with the house--I am very glad we got our leafguard gutters....but didn't like having that on the credit cards for 3 months. Glad it is paid of now. Hopefully we won't fall into that hole again.

Suze Orman would still deny us if we asked her about our upcoming vacation, but we are doing it anyway. We are headed to Florida in February to go on a cruise, then settle on the shoreline and head to Cape Canaveral to watch the final shuttle launch. We are hoping to score tickets to be right on the jetty, and I will totally update everwhere if I am successful. Won't know until December, when tickets become available.

Anyway. We are looking at two cruises--a 7 night one, and a 6 night one. Good reasons for both of them, and may have a friend who works for the cruise lines be able to help us get a deal on the 7 night one. Otherwise, we will take the 6 night cruise. Heads to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, among other places. We will totally do Dunn's River Falls again (went there for our honeymoon) if we do go. Should be lots of fun!

We will have 4ish days after the cruise to enjoy the launch then head back to Seattle. Really looking forward to this one!

Our big vacation after this one I am hoping will be AUstralia/New Zealand. Maybe just Australia. We will see. I am targetting January 2012 for a 2-week trek. Sydney, Cairns, and the Great Barrier Reef at a minimum.

I am sure there will be other travels before this one, and we are TOTALLY going back to Europe. Many, many times. And I wanna see O in Vegas. And New York City. And Victoria with mom. And the Smithsonian. So many places, so little vacation time!!

Monday, August 09, 2010

What to say, what to say.......

Unlimited boringness is my life right now. Ethan was moving furniture (Unsuccessfully) and caused a big scrape and a hole in the wall, so he consulted with the wall-fixing people in the engineering department at work, and we learned how to patch a hole in the wall or a scrape. The hole is filled and I just covered the entire house in powder because I used the rotary sander to sand the putty stuff down so we can apply the orange peel texture and then paint overtop. I have one more area that needs sanding, and I don't care if it takes me an hour--I am doing this one by hand.

Bit of an issue finding the same color of white paint that the house already has--we have a can of white paint labelled 'snowdrift'...which turns out to be outside paint and not the same as whatever is painted all over the walls upstairs. This will be fun....

Other than that....we have decided to take all the furniture upstairs and exchange it with the furniture downstairs (see hole in wall above)....but that hasn't happened yet. Ethan tried to do it himself while I was sleeping, but got the loveseat stuck halfway down the stairs because he forgot that the couch 'legs' have to go OVER the railing for the stairs. So I tried to help him pull it back up, and used very poor body mechanics. Tearing pain and all that...and now I have an unhappy disc in my back. Awesome!! Much better now, and if the pain doesn't go completely away, one of the spine residents at work said he will write me a prescription for PT and I will get tuned up there.

Still working on Frank Sinatra the cat. The shelter in Rome is keeping an ear out for anyone travelling from there to the US--I will fly anywhere in the US to meet him/pick him up and bring him to Seattle. We will eventually get this worked out..

I am still working on *@&% issues at work regarding my vacation time--they have made it all but impossible to get time off....and then there is a sort of wishy washy 'first come, first served' policy where they said if you can't find someone to cover you for vacation time, the first one to request those specific dates off can still have them off......and I have THREE different vacation requests in with no coverage, and no one else wants those dates off.....and STILL not approved. Getting irritated by it all.

One of the dates I want off is for the CKC Scrapbook convention in Bellevue in November--I took Friday off from work last year, and went all day Friday and Saturday taking classes and had a wonderful time. Trying to do that again this year, and adding in an evening class on Thursday (a workshop to help me with design issues). Should be lots of fun....if I ever get approved!! I can cancel the classes within the next few weeks if I don't get the time off...but they need to really give me the days and be done with it. First come, first served and all that. I won't *even* get into the whole 'find your own coverage' drama. I did (I think) a good job choosing scrappy classes that actually use colors/themes that I have an interest in (multiple picture page ideas, travel themed classes, an envelope scrapbook class I plan to use for all the tickets and stubs from our Europe trip, etc)

We are also trying to take off a couple of days around Columbus Day in October (Seahawks bye week), and may head into Victoria, BC. Kenmore air (seaplanes out of Seattle) recently became an airline partner with Alaska Air, and it is only 10K miles ROUND TRIP to fly from Seattle to anywhere in WA or to Vicoria BC. Ethan said he was OK with the teensy seaplane idea, so we want to get this booked ASAP. If they have awful restrictions on using airmiles like some airlines, we may go to San Francisco instead to see a play calledScapin that Ethan saw back in high school and loved.

We are also trying to take off some time around Labor Day to do....something. We thought about a big camping trip to Central Oregon, but haven't gotten a ton of interest from anyone on that one, plus it is getting down to the wire on reserving multiple camp sites. Might go to Portland for a couple of nights at the Edgefield McMenamin's winery--stayed there once before and really liked it. We shall see.

Still scrapping in my room on the weekends, mostly. I have now moved on from Germany pages to my first Amsterdam page. May skip all those flower pictures for now, though, and come back to that later on. I got some really cool old-timey paper with Paris themes, and I am looking forward to using that.

I guess that is about it for this update. Not a whole heck of a lot going on up here in the Emerald City.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More scrappiness

Bacharach, the town we stayed in. The letters RAC are attached to ribbons, which pull out the hidden journalling.

Two pages of Marksburg castle

Page 2 of Marksburg Castle

Page 1 of Marksburg Castle. A square of journalling hidden behind the picture of the castle

The view of Boppard and the Rhine River from the so-called '4 lakes view' atop a bluff. The scene of the crime for my massive German sunburn. Sonnenschutz, people. Sonnenschutz.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Recent scrappiness

I have started the long, never-ending journey of creating a scrapbook of our Europe trip. Taking it nice and sloooooow and enjoying all the memories of the things we did. Hoping to go back next April to Brussels, Belgium, then Amsterdam, then London. Or vice-versa. Brussels only because it is easy to find frequent flier flights into there. London because Ethan thought it was awesome and wants to experience it with me. Amsterdam, because Amsterdam is awesome and we want to try the craziness of Queen's Day again, and get a chance to check out the many museums and sights that we missed the first time around. Love that combination of 'anything goes' and the laid back, quiet atmosphere of the canals.

Bad Salzig, where we inadvertantly exited our train and spent an hour of our first full day in Germany

Two page layout of our Rhine river cruise

Page 1

Page 2

Our hotel in Germany.

I am not a big fan of seeing a lot of writing/journalling, so I generally type my thoughts up and hide them behind pictures on the pages--the hotel page has our bill and postcards and my journalling tucked behind the darker green patterned paper that the pictures are arranged on; the ribbon on page 2 of our Rhine cruise pages pulls out to show my journalling on a card there; and the large picture on the Bad Salzig page has journalling on the card tied with green ribbons you can see on the left side.

I have finally decided that my scrapbook style is more of a collage of randomly sized pictures arranged together, occasionally overlapping. Evenly spaced apart. Not actually randomly sized--my printer does up to 5x7 pics, so I can do 5x7, 4x6, or half pics (3x4 or 3.5x5), or quarter pics (2x3 or 2.5x3.5), so that is what I choose from. Works for me.

I have some more layouts done of our Marksburg castle tour and the town of Bacharach, but no pics just yet.

My scraproom

Spice rack re-purposed into an embellishment holder

My solid and pattterned papers, divided by color (solids/cardstock) and manufacturer (patterned)

My fishing tackle box repurposed into an embellishment holder. Each tray comes out, and has around 25 little compartments for things like buttons or prima flowers or brads/eyelets.

My newest addition--4 long trays of tip-out embellishment holders. Bought at an estate sale in Portland with Mom for a total of $6. Absolutely awesome and PERFECT for little things. The clear trays each can be easily removed for better access to the teeny things inside.

Ribbons on spools above my (neverused) printer that came free with our last computer.

Flowers sorted by colors into a variety of jars

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rome, Day 2

This was an action-packed day. We got up bright and early and headed out, walking from our hotel to the Colosseum. We had prebooked a group tour of the colosseum/Palatine Hill and Roman Forum areas for 0830. We gave ourselves plenty of walking time, and made it there with time to spare. We did have a heck of a time figuring out how to get from an upper street area, until we figured out that the nearby metro station had an escalator down to the lower level. Once we were down there, we saw two prominent stairways that we had somehow missed in our earlier explorations. Whatever. We *do* have great senses of direction, but they failed us at times. At least we are good map readers!!

We were to meet our group and guide at the Arch of Constantine, situated right next to the colosseum. Ethan and I took pictures of the arch from every angle...and started to get a little worried when 0830 came and no one else was there. No guide, no one. Two or 3 minutes later, a man came running up to the arch and introduced himself as our guide. He was delayed on a metro train, it seems. And it turns out, we were the only ones to book the tour for this day. Private tour!! They charge a whole heck of a lot more for private tours than group ones, so we really scored a deal.

Our guide was the fastest speaking person I have ever met. Anyone who knows me knows that I am *so* not one to point this sort of thing out, being a fast talker myself.....but this was micromachinemannish. I will upload some videos of parts of our tour so you can hear. It took a few minutes before I was able to get my brain to move fast enough to understand what he was saying, but I got there in the end. The guide was British, and I believe the company itself is Irish-owned. Real Rome Tours, for those who are wondering. Anyway.

We started out learning about the Arch of Constantine. This is one of what was at one time over 100 triumphal arches. After massive victories abroad, they would build a commemorating arch and have a huge parade through the city, going through all of the arches. They displayed the booty they had acquired, along with the slaves and leaders of the conquered area (dead or alive). There were also massive paintings of the area that had been conquered, so the peasant Romans could see the land their government had gotten for them. The arches usually had a giant chariot on top, with horses pulling 'winged victory' (goddess of victory). This particular arch is mostly made up of sculptures/reliefs pulled from buildings or other monuments, since at the time when it was built, there were not many artisans left in Rome.

Palatine Hill and Roman Forum

From here, we headed over to the Palatine Hill area, learning about the origins of Rome and some of its fabulous history. Lots of ruins here that would not have made any sense to me without a guide. He really made those bits of stone and brick come to life. After this, it was over to the Roman Forum, where we saw more extensive ruins, and also some restoration work going on. There were several archeological digs going on, so a few areas were off limits, but we still got a lot of information on exactly what it was we were seeing.....and what we might have been looking at were we here a few thousand years earlier. There are still some temples that are used today as churches. My most favorite story was the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina--originally the Temple of Faustina, built by her husband the emperor when she died and was deified. When HE died twenty years later, his successor, Marcus Aurelius didn't want to be bothered making another he had Antoninus's name added on to this existing one. How tacky.

This temple's columns have deep groove marks near the top, when medieval people tried to tear them down. At that time, the temple was half buried underground, and they were not able to pull down those massive slabs of marble. So, they decided that this must be a holy place, and converted the pagan temple into a church.

The colosseum as seen through the Arch of Titus

The ancient Appian Way

The Colosseum

After the Forum, we headed at last into the colosseum. We beat the lines to enter here by using our Roma Passes, and took the elevator to the top, where our guide explained the history of the building. We told him that we had watched Rome:Engineering an Empire before we headed to Europe, which he loved. It was great, in depth documentary that gave us a good background on Roman history before seeing the real thing. We talked a lot about some of the info presented in that show, and learned which areas were a bit shaky on factuality. Once the colosseum was explored, our guide left us to take pictures and wander on our own. We took our obligatory photos, the headed out to find a restaurant to grab some lunch.

Arch of Constantine as seen through one of the arches of the colosseum

After lunch, we walked past the Forum to the Capitoline Museum, located sort of behind the Victor Emmanuel monument. This is billed as the oldest museum on earth, dating back to the 1400s. I was beyond excited to see the colossal hand of the statue of the emperor Constantine. It is huge--my entire hand just fits over his ring fingernail. This hand is pictured on a big poster here at Harborview, advertising for orthopedic hand surgery. It still gives me a little thrill every time I walk past the poster on the 6th floor east clinic wing. Anyway. They also have part of an arm and the head of this ginormous statue.

Statue of Marcus Aurelius--the only equestrian bronze sculpture to survive from ancient Rome (they thought it was the Christian emperor Constantine, so they left it alone whilst destroying all the pagan statues) This is actually a copy of the original, which is housed inside the museum and no pictures allowed.

We wandered through the museum looking at sculptures and paintings and artifacts, using an audioguide. After a few hours, we were museum'd out, so we returned the audioguides and headed back out into the glaring sunlight. Did I mention that it was raining when we were at the colosseum?? The weather in Rome changes even faster than the weather in Seattle.

One of the statues of Castor and Pollux (and their horses)--the twins that make up the constellation Gemini