Nursing sick children is part of the job description for parenthood, and mercifully, Kate is pretty healthy. Most of the time. Not now. She was down yesterday with a 100-degree fever, chesty cough, sore throat and general ickiness; I knew she was really sick because she didn’t move off the couch all day, mainlining “Suite Life of Zach and Cody” episodes for hours. My rule is: Don’t call the doctor until a change. This morning her fever was up to 103, a personal best for this kid. Called the doc. We’ll be going in later this morning.
I’m taking action on the diagnosis. Her voice sounds like it hurts to even whisper, so I was thinking strep throat, but the cough is wrong for that. Bronchitis, 5-2. Strep, 7-1.
Of course, thinking of odds brings us to yesterday’s sad news, about Barbaro. Even with all that’s been written about the colt, there’s still a certain bafflement in some people — how can a horse die of a broken leg? Jane Smiley explains it elegantly in today’s WashPost:
A horse’s hoof is wondrous structure — the outside horn is lined with delicate membranes and blood vessels that feed and support the bones of the foot. The bones of the foot are analogous to a person’s fingertips, since a horse’s knee is analogous to a person’s wrist. The racehorse carries a thousand pounds at 35 to 40 miles per hour using a few slender bones supported by an apparatus of ligaments and tendons that have no analogues in human anatomy. Every part of the system depends on every other part. What happened to Barbaro was that the engineering couldn’t take it. When it was right, as in the Kentucky Derby, it was perfectly right, and when it became wrong, it became irredeemably wrong.
I knew Barbaro was doomed last weekend when I heard that 80 percent of one of his hooves had to be removed due to laminitis. That’s practically an amputation. The part that was removed is the part that grows back, but to do so would take more than a year, and this after 8 months in slings and casts and padded stalls. Even banking on the return a horse like this can bring at stud — and thoroughbreds breed live, no artificial insemination for them, so he’d have to be sound enough to cover the mare — it would be cruel to put him through that. He’s happier in horse heaven, where only people wear leather.
They had the Miss America pageant last night? In JANUARY? In VEGAS? For the SECOND year? (Man, I’m out of it.) Still, though, you have to laugh — what feminism couldn’t kill, reality TV slaughtered without a peep. The new action is in Miss USA, with its rehab-attending top Miss and MySpace-disgraced wannabe Miss. Now there’s a pageant for today’s world, ain’a? And to think, this used to be considered the contest for girls who were too dumb to say they advocated world peace. Huh.
So, the San Francisco Chronicle started this new podcast — “Correct Me if I’m Wrong,” reader voice mails shared with the world. The first one was genius. Not only do we have a reader who uses terms like “prolix” and “tautology,” he goes off on a rant that’s one for the ages (“Aren’t you there to ensure that the English language is not pissed on by your sub-editors?”), and the readers responded with remixes, mash-ups and ringtones made from it. I wish I’d saved some of my better reader VMs, but none of them are nearly as good as this one; I got grouchy bitching, mostly, including one from a man who lectured me for five minutes about why I wasn’t using my husband’s name. (Time stamp: 3:30 a.m., a nice way to ensure the writer won’t croon “chuck you, Farley” back atcha.) There was a guy who used to call the Columbus Dispatch city desk at night, utterly stone crazy, and rant about the Irish Republican Army (he was a fan) and dropping bombs down the Queen’s chimney (which he advocated). One night he called as we were leaving for dinner, so as an experiment, we laid the receiver down on the desk and went ahead and took our break. When we came back an hour later, he was still talking.
Pilotless aircraft! Pilotless aircraft! Don’t you check these things?!
Gary Kamiya weighs in on those pesky readers and all their opinions, here.
Off to the doc. Temp’s down to 99 and she’s feeling better, but we’re going anyway.