Monday, July 9, 2012

Stella's Brother

Stella's brother Jim is undergoing a quadruple bypass today, scheduled to start at about noon ET. This is a surprise to us, too. If you're the praying sort, your prayers are appreciated; if not, you can join me in hoping for steady surgeons' hands and a good outcome.

(This post will float to the top today until there's word on the surgery, which is several hours long.)

UPDATE about 6:25pm CT: we only just got word that Jim is fine; the surgery went OK. Why did we not get word sooner? Because the (expletive deleted) waiting room had a cell phone blocker in operation. (Sometimes I feel like pounding the truly stupid who are in charge of most things these days into an even deeper oblivion.) But never mind all that; thank Whom it May Concern that Jim is all right!

UPDATE Tues. morning: it turns out that the surgeons discovered Jim actually needed a quintuple bypass! As of this morning, he is still doing well. Thanks to everyone for your kind thoughts.


  1. I hope all goes well Steve. Here's wishing Stella's brother a speedy recovery

  2. jams and karmanot - thank you both, gentlemen, for your kind wishes. At long last, we found out, despite best efforts of stupid hospital administrators, that Jim is doing fine. I suppose Jim is lucky to live in an era when such improbable things as bypass operations are almost routine; they do them by the dozens in hospitals in Houston in the Texas Medical Center, though Jim was far, far away from here.

  3. I'm glad that the news is good, especially since short notice operations like this generally indicate that the doctors are worried about the condition.

    OTOH, there may have been an opening in the surgeon's schedule and Jim's doctors didn't want to wait if they didn't have to.

    Cell phone blockers are illegal without a specific license from the FCC, and AFAIK the only people who have them currently are Federal government agencies.

    You can buy the blockers cheaply, but turning them on is a Federal crime. I would think that someone in the hospital would do a little research on how the blockers work, because they can affect medical equipment more than cell phones can.

  4. Bryan, Stella's brother is a (cap-R) Realtor; when he called one of his clients, a physician, to reschedule an appointment because of some aches and pains, the doc asked a couple of questions and told him to go straight to the hospital, which he did. He was hospitalized Saturday; Monday (today) was the earliest they could schedule surgery. He is a very lucky man. Now if we can just get him back with no untoward infections...

    I've never encountered a cell phone blocker in any hospital waiting room in Houston, and I've waited in some of the best over the years. The notion that cell phones interfere with medical equipment has largely been debunked, especially if all equipment involved is of recent origin.

  5. This is very good news, Steve!
    I hope that pretty soon he will be able leave the hospital, with no untoward infections, as you say!

    Speaking of cell phone blockers, we have recently used one, in order to avoid students' cheating during the tests.
    Our students have lodged a complaint to "Hellenic" Telecommunications Organization.
    Yet, I do not know if a license is needed or not: let the Legal Service of the University find the solution

  6. Enfant, thanks for your good wishes. Regarding cheating on exams, whatever happened to old-fashioned writing of notes on one's wrist or shirt cuff? As for cell phone blockers, today's smartphones have such a large memory capacity that a student could practically carry a textbook's worth of information into the exam even without an external connection... you can't win.

    About the only approach that is effective against cheating is persuading students that it is wrong to cheat... not much, I grant you, but it's amazing what students can be led to do by placing the burden of honesty upon them.

    As a young kid, in about 4th grade, I cheated once, looking on someone else's paper at an adjoining desk. Two good things came of that episode: 1) I felt so ashamed that I never cheated again in my life, and 2) I still remember to this day that the capital of Sweden is Stockholm... which it still is, according to Mother Google! :-)



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