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March 10, 2004

Posted by Teresa at 01:35 PM *

I was too optimistic about getting over the scrud, and spent part of yesterday in the ER (SOB, SAT 100, peripheral edema, fever). Be assured that you lot are not forgotten; I’m just incapacitated.

I’d have more regret about not being there to squash that idiot Yngve, over in Patrick’s weblog, if everyone hadn’t had so much fun playing with him.

Comments on Bah.:
#1 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 01:55 PM:

Well, damn, that sucks. Want some healing magic? (I always ask first; it's an oath thing, and some people's religious beliefs prohibit them from accepting.)

#2 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 02:13 PM:

Relax, don't worry about us, and get well soon. And don't push yourself and have a relapse, please!

#3 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 02:13 PM:

Well, I hope you get better soon.

That seems to be the major nastiness about the bug circulating this winter. Just when you think it's gone, it comes back to bite you.

I can't imagine how much worse me and my husband would've gotten bitten, if not for our flu shots (and yes, we got the "right" shot).

#4 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 02:19 PM:

Rest up and feel better soon!

#5 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 02:34 PM:

By all means, rest, that sounds terrible.

I note that Yngve's web site (what little I could stand of it) is an excellent example of... well, various things discussed back in Slushkiller.

#6 ::: ben ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 02:45 PM:


Parsing news like that is... well, the experience of parsing news like that.

Warm thoughts.

#7 ::: Ailsa Ek ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 02:55 PM:

Ugh. Sympathies and I hope you're feeling better soon.

#8 ::: Yoon Ha Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 02:57 PM:

Best wishes, and squash the evil germs. Get rest, etc.!

#9 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 03:07 PM:

Doubtless there are many people already nagging you about getting plentiful rest and fluids.

Get well soon!

#10 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 03:10 PM:

oh dear.

I feel guilt.

Do you still have some soup?

#11 ::: Tiellan (KimGonzo) ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 03:41 PM:

Ooh, rest up and let people take care of you! I hope you feel better soon!

#12 ::: Saheli ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 03:54 PM:

Hope you've got all the soup, soft blankets, and warm fuzzies you need.

#13 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 04:22 PM:

Get Better! (please)

#14 ::: Rana ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 04:54 PM:

Ugh. I hope you're feeling better soon!

#15 ::: Sean B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 05:17 PM:

Oh Man! That is a true bummer. I'm sorry you're still suffering. I hope you get well quickly!

I think I speak for all of us when I say that I get giddy at the mere thought of you taking on Yngve. Woohoo! That would have been fun to read. Ah well. Rest up and eat that chicken noodle. (Veselka in the E. Village has great chicken noodle to go. If you need a noodle run, just say the word.)

#16 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 05:35 PM:

Adding my voice to the "Feel better!" chorus.

#17 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 06:00 PM:

Wow. Sounds scary. Hope yer feeling much better today. *passes the chicken soup*

#18 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 06:02 PM:

Rest and get well soon, Teresa!

#19 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 06:50 PM:

T: I told you so. I mean, I'm sorry to hear it. I've been suffering with the dammed stuff what feels like forever now, but is really just about 2 1/2 weeks. Fortunately it hasn't sent me to the hospital.


#20 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 07:16 PM:

Good grief, from the way people are reacting you'd think Yngvi was a louse or something.

#21 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 10:02 PM:

If you're up to providing a data point: How many hours in the ER before seeing a doctor?

Last time I was in the ER, a few years ago, took about four and a half hours. Newspaper a few days ago reported the average time in the Phoenix area is now six hours.

#22 ::: Rivka ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 10:03 PM:

Yikes! Hope you're feeling better.

#23 ::: Merav Hoffman ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2004, 10:27 PM:

Maybe we can each give up our horrific colds for lent?

It's the season for both.

Feel better and rested.

#24 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 01:44 AM:

Feel better soon, Teresa! Glad it wasn't worse than it was.

#25 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 09:58 AM:

Get well soon!

#26 ::: LNHammer ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 10:19 AM:

Get well. Rest. Ignore us as we tlak asmnogt uvorlsees.


#27 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 11:10 AM:

"Kalt! Gostman rolsuvees!"

"Keep it up. The robot's buying it."

#28 ::: Julie Mensch ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 11:14 AM:

Horrors! Being sick is the worst. Here's wishes for a speedier recovery.

Mercedes Lackey once gave out a great recipe that I have since used on my entire family. Consists of a 1lb or so of ground beef, a large can of V-8, some shredded cabbage, your choice of potatoes, carrots, onions or other veggies, and fresh garlic to taste.

Put it on and let it simmer. All them good vitamins will pump you up in no time!!

#29 ::: Ulrika ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 01:39 PM:

yuck. sorry aboot the crud. we had it out here, thanks to everyone bringing it straight from boskone to potlatch, but nothing quite so dire.

on the other hand, when you're feeling able, link over to unqualified offerings - he links to something kevin maroney found, called a character cleaner. surely this is the spiritual child of the spell checker and the error correcting modem.


#30 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 02:18 PM:

Don't Die, Mrs. Nielsen-Hayden!

#31 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 02:57 PM:

Something I'm going to try next time I have a cold:

Chicken needle soup with big wads of really, really hot kim chi cabbage floating in it.

That'll open up the sinuses for sure.


#32 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 03:00 PM:
Chicken needle soup with big wads of really, really hot kim chi cabbage floating in it.

That'll open up the sinuses for sure.

And hey, if it doesn't, the peritonitis will make you forget all about your respiratory problems anyway.

#33 ::: Yoon Ha Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 04:05 PM:

Needle soup, Stefan? Youch.

It never fails to amaze me what strange things people do to kimch'i/kimchi/gimchi. For the record, I have never touched bulgogi gimchi pizza, and I don't plan to. *grin*

#34 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 04:33 PM:

Needle soup will open up your sinuses too, if your snort it.

I meant to mention ginger beer as a chaser for the hot noodle soup with kim chi.

Kim chi pizza . . . hmmm. HMMMMMM.

#35 ::: Sara ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 05:12 PM:

I hope you feel better very soon. I recommend hot and sour soup if you want to sip and vindaloo if you want to chew.


#36 ::: A.R. Yngve ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 05:20 PM:


I've been called much worse things than "idiot" in my 35-year life, and bigger and meaner people than you have tried to "squash" me, sometimes with their fists.

I live in Norway. Come and visit me sometime!


#37 ::: Yoon Ha Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 06:23 PM:

Stefan, is ginger beer some near relative of ginger ale, or am I in the wrong ballgame entirely? :-)

Dang, and now I want an afternoon snack.

#38 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 06:42 PM:

You're in the ballpark.

It's really, really, strong ginger ale, although there are home-brew varieties that may be less so.

By strong, I mean mouth-on-fire -stuff-runs-from-your-nose-dear-god-why-did-
I-drink-that strong.

Popular in Jamaica, so you'd find it in immigrant neighborhoods in NYC.

Ginger beer is much harder to find on the West Coast. I'm still looking for a Portland area distributor.

I'm not prepared to shop on line for it, though:

#39 ::: Tom ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 06:55 PM:

I hope I didn't pass on my germs on Sunday while I imparted my bad puns. It turns out that I went to Friendly Neighborhood Physician this week and found I have had pneumonia for the past few weeks.

Be well; I don't have that many audiences who know about serendipity.

#40 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 10:10 PM:

yuck. sorry aboot the crud. we had it out here, thanks to everyone bringing it straight from boskone to potlatch, but nothing quite so dire.

Well, but I thought I was over it! That's the evil genius of this nasty little bug. You think you're over it and wham! It's baaaaack.


#41 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 10:12 PM:

I apparently missed the Applied Pestilence panel at Boskone, so I didn't get whatever the hell it is that's laid everyone else low. The more blog entries I read about it, the happier I am to not have that particular health problem (this is not schadenfreude, I don't want all y'all to be sick either).

I've seen a pretty good ginger beer at Trader Joe's. Or there's always the "mistake wasabi for guacamole" trick my grandmother did once. (Only once.)

#42 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 10:26 PM:

There's an interesting take on the wasabi trick in a movie titled, aptly enough, Wasabi. It had Jean Reno as a French cop who hasn't seen his Japanese lover in 19 years, but still pines for her. He's called to Japan for her funeral, and discovers he has a daughter and several million dollars belonging to the Japanese mafia.

If there was an Oscar for best use of golf clubs, he would've won, hands down.

Highly recommend it, especially if you're tired, sick, and in need of a good dose of action-comedy.

#43 ::: Ted ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 11:08 PM:

The Boskone Plague-Vector isn't entirely new- I attended Boskone three times, and twice came back with Something Nasty. This, and the smell of overchlorinated pool (hopefully fixed by now), are the only things I wouldn't recommend about Boskone...

Re: Ginger Beer: One time, I was in a Jamaican takeaway place in South London. I bought a Meat Patty and a Ginger Beer- thinking it was like the Jamaican Meat Patties in New England and a ginger ale.

I now like to think of my reaction to both (ie, 'Jeez, this is hot! (drink) Aaa!, This is hot!') as my little contribution to keeping silent comedy alive.

Oh, and Hot & Sour Soup clears sinuses, no doubt about it.

Best wishes, speedy recovery.

PS: The 'threats with a language barrier' scene makes the Wasabi movie worth it.

#44 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2004, 11:43 PM:

Trader Joe's . . . of course, thanks! I'll drop by the local branch Saturday.

#45 ::: Yoon Ha Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 05:35 AM:

Now we must see if there is a Trader Joe's in the region, especially since The Husband is under the delusion that wasabi is to be eaten in great gloppin' chunks. He can drink tabasco, too. *shudders* Ginger beer sounds right up his alley; he jokes that he burned out all his taste buds, but I'm not convinced it's a joke...

#46 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 06:57 AM:

It's a nasty illness: very sorry to read that it attacked you again when you thought you had it beaten. I hope that you get appropriate therapies and some rest and make a swift and complete recovery.

#47 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 07:33 AM:

It took me about three weeks to throw it off -- mostly. Then this Monday I came down with a fever for about 48 hours. And while it seemed to be associated with a different condition, I'm not sure ...

Lots of sympathy. Hope you're feeling a bit better now.

#48 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 09:00 AM:

It was a hot day, and my friend and I were hungry in the middle of a day knocking about in Colonial Williamsburg and environs. We stopped at a deli, and while they were making my sandwich and quartering a dill pickle, I browsed the drink cooler for something to slake my need for fluid refreshment. Lots of off-brand granola sodas, beers, crazed waters and nothing was catching my... ah! Ginger beer! Sounds delightfully refreshing; I'll have one of those!

At the table, I set aside the plate and twisted off the cap, releasing a friendly puff of moist vapor and surface-effect fizz that whispered to me of sweet surcease of thirst. I tipped the chilled bottle to my lips and essayed a modest swig.

A sixty-fourth of a second later, I was already on the third Kubler-Ross stage or so, hopelessly offering hearty portions of my eternal time in exchange for a do-over on the previous action. No dice. It was like a medium-sized ginger mine had exploded in my head. Not a land mine, but the place where stoop-backed slaveys in flashlight helmets labor day and night to pull the damned substance out of the ground. Kaboom. My head was contaminated with Chernobyl-strength ginger radiation, my mouth and nose were permanently flavored with red-hot ginger, and the entire world was permeated with such a strong pong of it that everything in my cone of vision looked like goddamn ginger.

"You okay?" my friend asked in a very ginger-sounding voice. I blinked and mewed and scrabbled about for my pickle spear, which proved to be far too gingery for a second bite. Likewise my sandwich.

My friend's ginger beer left the table as pristine as it had arrived. I don't recall what happened next. It's like a blackout sketch. Perhaps a man dressed as a pilgrim came up and hit us with a pheasant.

I still like some things with ginger in them. Homeopathic quantities. But it's sometimes funny, perhaps, to watch me when I've just realized that I'm about to eat something with the dread spice in it, and I go through this moment where I'm trying hard to evaluate just how much ginger, and whether it's the bituminous kind.

#49 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 09:45 AM:

*snigger* Kip, that's wonderful. My SO and I first encountered ginger beer on our honeymoon, driving up through Vermont or New Hamshire on our way to Bar Harbor. We found it more insidious -- it wasn't the first sip that did us in, but the third or fourth. Not the best thing to be drinking when piloting a car loaded down with bikes on twisty and unfamiliar New England roads... Good stuff, though, and an interesting mixer if you want a strong drink that bites back.

#50 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 10:35 AM:

Whereas I find myself wanting to ask Kip if he remembers the brand name...

#51 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 11:54 AM:

Me too, Graydon. There's a brand in the local healthfood store that comes in three different strengths. The highest has 26 grams of ginger per bottle. That's the kind I get. There used to be a "Jamaican" brand that had a thin layer of ginger oil on was best to pour that over ice, in order to get the flavor effect for the full drink.

BTW a "Dark And Stormy" is dark rum with the strongest ginger beer you can find. (I can't drink anymore and I'm off sugar for the duration, sniff. Have one for me.)

#52 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 12:03 PM:

Feel better, Boss. Hope you have good things to read, and some yarn to play with.

Does anyone know if Schweppes still makes ginger beer? Theirs was the best I've ever had--back-of-the-throat ginger attack, not too sweet. And I haven't seen it in years.

#53 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 12:20 PM:

Sorry, I can't remember the label at all. I do remember that the bottle seemed clear at first, and afterwards it was ginger colored.

#55 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 01:34 PM:

Wow, they even have Diet. I wonder how hot the Diet is. And, of course, whether it's NutraSweetened.

#56 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 02:50 PM:

From the link Tim provided:

"I first discovered Blenheim a couple years back when the Seattle Restoration Hardware store stocked it one summer."

Nothing unusual about that. The stuff makes a great lacquer thinner.

#57 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 03:14 PM:

I have to admit that while I enjoy the bracing blast of Blenheim, for everyday drinking I prefer Reed's (especially the cherry variety--super nummy) or Barritt's (with or without pineapple).

For some reason I find myself pronouncing Blenheim in the English manner ("Blennum"), but I expect that's wrong.

All of the above are available at Beverages & More, if you have one of those in your neighborhood.

#58 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 04:48 PM:


If we're going to talk about ginger beer, may I recommend Bundaberg, an Australian brewed (as opposed to "add some colouring and flavouring to soda water") ginger beer which is available in the US in Trader Joe's *some* of the time. And Bevs-n-more, and sundry other places that stock import/exotic stuff.

Not quite a trained attack ginger beer, but enough of a bite to be interesting.

The really hard mix it with that other fine product of the Bundaberg sugar industry. Personally, I think this a waste of good ginger beer.

#59 ::: Kip Manley ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 05:28 PM:

I had a roommate who once brewed an alcoholic batch of ginger beer in a giant soup pot. (Maybe I should scare-quote that "beer," since I have no idea exactly how fermentation was established, augmented, or maintained.) Stuff had a wicked kick. Really good with Coke, go figure.

Also: if you find yourself in need of a throat lozenge that Means Business, that is not some vaguely medicated candy but instead kicks a hole through clogged sinuses and threatens the nasty raspy stuff clinging to the back of your throat with various obscure provisions of the USA Patriot Act, I must bring to your attention the wonder that is Fisherman's Friend. Powerful, with a bitterly sour taste that will appeal to the Calvinist within. I swear by them every cold season, with occasional retreats to Ricola, when I want to pamper myself with vaguely medicated candy. --Added bonus: nifty collectible tin!

#60 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 05:52 PM:

Ginger goes with lots of things nicely. For instance, Blenheim's makes an excellent ice cream float, particularly with peach ice cream. (I put this in a post earlier today, which seems to have been grabbed by the Aether Pirates; if they throw it overboard, apologies for the repetition.) I can't -drink- Blenheim's, even the Not So Hot, without about a third sprudelwasser, but the ice cream balances it.

Glad to hear that Fisherman's Friends (as immortalized by Paul Simon) are now coming in tins, like Those Other Pastilles. They used to come in a paper bag inside a flimsy box. The bag, once opened, was not reclosable short of number eight silk and Steri-Strips, and leaked the little devils all over pockets, etcetera. They were still really good for bad congestion, and I still keep them around, though I use Ricolas for everyday airway maintenance. One can have a Ricola going pretty much constantly, while extended FF use has a high wear coefficient.

#61 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 06:09 PM:

Mike -

There was a guy in my gaming group in Kingston who would crunch Fisherman's Friends in (admittedly small) handfuls. Gave me the squeams.

#62 ::: Karin ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 06:50 PM:

Re: Ginger Beer: One time, I was in a Jamaican takeaway place in South London. I bought a Meat Patty and a Ginger Beer- thinking it was like the Jamaican Meat Patties in New England and a ginger ale.

Ted, I sympathize. I once ordered a Reed's Ginger Beer (not even a strong one, in fact) alongside a plate of Jamaican curried goat.

The goat was delicious. At least the first two or three bites were. After that, I felt like the top of my head was going to come off, and as with Kip, I don't remember much of the rest of the meal.

#63 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 07:43 PM:

In my neighborhood, there are three different kinds of ginger beer in two liter bottles in the soda aisle of the supermarket.

Two of them arent very good, though.

Ginger beer with hot chamomile and fresh lemon juice, with or without a shot of something, is extremely good for what ails you, while bourbon and ginger beer with a splash of sweet vermouth is the perfect summer drink (as a nod to the Manhattan, at our house we call that a Washington Heights)

The perfect nonalcoholic summer drink is, of course, ginger beer and iced tea with a scoop of peach sorbet.

#64 ::: Jason ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 11:51 PM:

Urk. Feel better, Teresa. Soonish and all. Or later, if you're so inclined.

#65 ::: Rivka ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2004, 11:54 PM:

We're fond of this homebrewed medicinal tea, in our family. To a mug of black tea, add:

(a) a teaspoon or two of powdered ginger, preferably from a fresh bottle;
(b) a jolt of lemon juice;
(c) a half-ounce to an ounce of Irish whisky;
(d) honey, to taste.

This isn't the "hoo boy, that'll clear your sinuses!" thing that other people are suggesting - it's just immensely fortifying, and leaves you with a warm glow-y feeling in your upper chest. It's very nice when you've been coughing or short of breath and your lungs feel all fragile.

Our local Chinese restaurant has a crabmeat-and-corn soup that's fabulous when you're sick. It's thick with swirls of egg, very easy to eat, high in protein, warm, soothing, and unchallenging without being flavorless - the good version of bland. The last time I had bronchitis, I wolfed down quarts of the stuff.

I hope you're feeling a little better, Teresa.

#66 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2004, 12:45 AM:

Another Bundaberg fan here -- the convenience store two doors down from Other Change often has it available. One of its major advantages is cane sugar rather than High Fructose Corn Syrup.

I personally find none of the ginger beers particularly hot, except the diet Blenheim (haven't tried the regular) which appears to have added capsicum.

#67 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2004, 02:21 AM:

Duly noted, although that's a bit far me to go just to get Bundi - unless I'm *really* desperate. The trouble with Mountain View is that lots of shops stock it, but not all the time, and when one's out, they're all out. Not entirely unconnected with assorted Australians I know who consider corn syrup the work of Satan and have been known to clean a store out of its entire stock of Bundaberg...

#68 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2004, 11:41 AM:

Belatedly, I add my best wishes for your full recovery ASAP, Teresa -- we need you!

(An aside on cleaning out the shop: I have a rival female coffee yogurt addict here in Prescott AZ, and woe betide either one of us if the other has just swept through. Even worse, only two of the main supermarket chains carry the stuff. Grumble.)

#69 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2004, 11:57 AM:

At the risk of taking all the fun out of beer hunting, a quick Google for (e.g.) "Bundaberg ginger beer" found a number of places from which this beverage can be ordered on-line., in particular, seems to have quite a range of ginger beers, including three kinds of Blenheim (diet out of stock at the moment).

Of course, if it's available locally it's likely to be less expensive. is the home page for the brewer of Bundaberg ginger beer as well as "Two-Up Horehound" and other dangerous-looking beverages, copies of TV commercials for same, and computer "wallpaper" featuring Bundaberg themes.

`"Bundaberg ginger beer" distributor' produces some information about distribution, which led me to the knowledge that both Bundaberg and Blenheim are distributed in Canada by Clarus Canadian Springs, see -- they also apparently distribute at least some products to at least some states: Illinois, Ohio, and North Dakota are listed in the Distributors area of their web site, with some notes of local retailers.

#70 ::: Ted ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2004, 12:37 PM:

Dumb thing, but it seems to work...

When I'm at work, and coworkers (and braver customers) complain of a general sinus/throat thing, this seems to help: a tall (handled) glass of steaming-hot water, with a liberal shot of honey and lemon, with a good shake or three of salt to follow.

Then, with instructions to do this someplace quiet: breathe the steam in first, then (when it's cool enough to do this), gargle half, then take a good swallow of the (now settled) honey & lemon.

It may be placebo effect, it may be the 'ritual' involved, but the gargle salt-water/honey and lemon thing are both tried and true- it usually seems to offer at least a few hours' relief.

#71 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2004, 06:30 AM:

An old drink quite popular among the young when I was young (probably out of fashion now)
Stone's Original Green Ginger Wine which gets a glowing review, especially for medicinal purposes at that link. A sample:

"Here I sit, wrapped up in a blanket, big mug of steaming honey and lemon in hand, box of tissues at my side and feeling completely miserable. Ah yes, it's cold season again. Forgive me if I splutter and sneeze on you.

If, like me, you can't or won't let a cold stop you working, or have a house and kids to organise, then take my advice and buy yourself a bottle of Stone's ginger wine.

Ginger wine. Yes, wine made with ginger. Actually, the wine is made with raisins imported from Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, which ground ginger is then steeped in for several weeks, before being left to mellow and mature. The whole process takes about a year..."

There's pictures of the bottle & some info at: (Australia's oldest wine magazine, they claim) (supplies for the homesick, we have them for Brits & Yanks, & most of the other 140 nationalities here) "Stone’s Original Green Ginger Wine has been made in Australia since the early 1960’s to the same recipe as it has been produced in England since 1740. Stone’s is believed to be one of the oldest registered wine or spirit brands in continuous production since its initial launch."
Or, for the German-speaking, at

Though if you're interested in checking it out, you'd have to track it down in your area. It does seem to be around, possibly from UK sources, in the USA.

Thinking positive thoughts for all the virus-stricken ones out there. At least can be good excuse for getting in much-needed rest. (Epacris, aka Pollyanna)

#72 ::: LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2004, 11:12 AM:

Sympathies, T. Heal swiftly.


#73 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2004, 02:54 PM:

Okay, now I've checked whether one of the ingredients is available in the US...

My preferred option for Really Really Bad Cold/Sore Throat types of feeling rotten is to make up a mug of Robinson's Orange Barley concentrate with hot water, with a couple of teaspoons of honey. Similar effect to the lemon juice and honey in hot water, but has more sugar and less acid, so a bit kinder on raw throats (and why I use Orange Barley rather than Lemon Barley). Plus soluble aspirin or soluble aspirin/codeine depending on level of pain, although the latter is not an option in the US. (Low dose co-codeine is available without a prescription in the UK and Australia.) If you want the extra vitamin C, add fresh lemon or orange juice.

Robinson's Orange Barley Water is available in the US from import stores, but if you buy it online, shop around - I was staggered by the variation in price.

As for blocked nose, sinuses, other mucous membranes, I eventually ended up buying an electric steam inhaler after Creeping Con Crud turned into antibiotic-resistent chronic sinusitis some years ago. It's a lot better than sitting there with a bowl of steaming water and a towel. It's even more effective with a crystal or two of menthol, but the steam alone is fairly good.

And knowing just how bad Creeping Con Crud can be, I hope it's showing some sign of improvement by now.

#74 ::: Rachael HD ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2004, 01:54 PM:

Gosh TNH, seems like you've been sick for ages. Feel better.

Don't ever fall asleep with a Fisherman's Friend stuck to the roof of your mouth, nor zinc lozenges. It causes the taste buds to malfunction for days.

#75 ::: Trent Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2004, 08:24 AM:

I hope you have fully recovered.

#76 ::: Trent Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2004, 08:36 AM:

I was going to post about Yngve but, when I finished, figured it belonged Patrick's thread.

Take care.

#77 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2004, 05:49 PM:

You are still alive, right?

*sends along virtual chicken soup and more well-wishes*

(I know I already hoped you were feeling better, but several days going by without updates does worry one ever so slightly.)

Be well.

#78 ::: sean ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2004, 06:32 PM:

I'm officially worried.

#79 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2004, 07:40 PM:

Someone should drop by the Flatiron building with ginger beer and zinc tablets.

#80 ::: Stephan Zielinski ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2004, 09:15 PM:

She's alive. (Or at least she was this morning.) She sounded as coherent as one can expect from someone in the middle of an office move.

#81 ::: Andy ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2004, 09:43 PM:

I think I know SOB-- shortness of breath, right?-- but what's SAT 100 mean?

#82 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2004, 09:44 PM:

Office move?

Are they going to need a different zeppelin mooring?

#83 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2004, 12:07 AM:

Hello, all. Thank you for your kind wishes, and I'm sorry to hear that so many of you have also had the scrud.

Personally, I like the kind of ginger beer that makes you feel like your nose has just fallen off, though Mike's right -- peach ice cream makes it even better.

Like a cat that'd once sat on a hot stove and now won't sit on a cold one either, I've been avoiding Bundaberg ginger beer because I'd somehow gotten the idea that it might be connected with Bundaberg rum, the single worst tipple I've ever tasted. Just promise me the ginger beer doesn't have a distinct aftertaste of industrial solvent, and I'll be willing to give it a chance.

Julia, your soup was lovely and left Patrick feeling much improved, so thank you. I'll have to figure out what to put in your jar when I bring it back.

Additional material was provided by my local takeout Hunan, which does a pretty good $4.50 lunch special that includes a pint of hot and sour soup. As you sip it, you can hear the tiny screams of microbes dying in your sinuses and throat.

Andy, SOB does indeed mean Short Of Breath. SAT 100 means your oxygen saturation level is excellent. All medical personnel are required to respond to a reading of SAT 100 by saying, "Can't get any better than that." It's like the way that CAT scan and MRI techs who are taking pictures of the inside of your head are required to say, "Doesn't look like there's anything up there."

Hi, Stephan. Graydon, it wasn't that kind of move. Patrick's assistant Liz and I have been planning to swap offices since she was hired, but on any given day there was always something else to claim my attention -- you know how that goes -- so we arbitrarily decided we'd do it on March 16th. Thus, my first day back on the job was full of shleppage and flying dust. After about an hour of this, Claire Eddy (who'd taken charge of the move) ordered me out of the area because I was doing the asthma thing again. I was relegated to Claire's office, where I sorted out boxes of my stuff the others brought in.

Miraculously, by the end of the day Liz and I were both moved, and I have only two more boxes of stuff left to sort through and put away. Claire is a force of nature when she gets going. Meanwhile, the mooring is as it ever was; and we continue to hope for the advent of our mammoth.

#84 ::: Paula Liebermn ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2004, 02:18 AM:

I've stopped laughing hysterically--I've got ABC on, and several minutes ago, before the previous commercial break, it had a brief clip in honor (?!!) of St. Patrick's Day -- five young female step dancers, and to their right, up on stage with them, in step to the music tapping flippers in syncopation to the music and with an obvious premeditated order of flippers tapping and body movements, A DANCING SEAL OR SEA LION!

#85 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2004, 02:49 AM:

Paula -- the pig wanted scale and Justin Timberlake brought the potato.

#86 ::: DaveKuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2004, 08:20 AM:

I very rarely ask others to read something in particular, but I came across this and urge you to go read it. It's at URL

#87 ::: DaveK ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2004, 08:22 AM:

I meant to add that it might make you feel better.

#88 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2004, 08:33 AM:

Teresa --

My brain now contains, possibly for its sins, the image of a Phil Foglio painting in the style of the Dutch Masters, titled 'The Advent of the Mammoth'.

There are days when I wished I knew why my brain did stuff like that.

I hope the unpacking and settling process and all that good stuff goes smoothly and without distressing surprises.

#89 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2004, 12:36 PM:

Whew, and here I thought SAT 100 was only half as good as the minimum score. Too much of an academic background....

#90 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2004, 01:19 PM:

Or that they left out a figure. In Teresa's case I might suspect a 6 after the 1, for the verbal score.

Glad to hear you're feeling better, Teresa. Maybe next time anyone moves offices around at Tor, though, they should go to a hardware store and get dust masks to wear.

#91 ::: Stephan Zielinski ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2004, 05:28 PM:

> In Teresa's case I might suspect a 6 after the 1, for the verbal score.

Naah. She's pretty coherent, and as Tom noted, you usually get a 200 on the verbal section of the SAT just for showing up. I suppose a 160 might be possible if it had been an extraordinarily easy test that year...

#92 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2004, 05:35 PM:

Stephan, I meant a six between the "1" and the "00". As in "1600".

#93 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2004, 09:54 PM:

That would be the sum of the verbal and the math, I fear. Ranges only go 200 to 800.

#94 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2004, 01:16 PM:

Tom, you're right. My scrud -- actually, in my case, I think it's sinusitis -- sometimes seems to clog my brain as well as my nasal passages.

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