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Corvallis, OR, United States
My personal obsession with prion diseases with smidges of music I like and rescue dog advocacy from a disabled Oregonian.


Song in my Head: Feed your head........Jefferson Airplane.

In Season: long skirts, Mary Jane, a mean flu, metrosexuality

Alter-Abled News

From The Corvallis-Gazette Times:

DeFazio dead set against the so-called ‘pill bill'

If you're on Medicare and want to get an idea of what the proposed drug-benefit legislation means to you, check the calculator that Congressman Peter DeFazio has posted on his Internet Web site. DeFazio said from Washington on Wednesday he would vote against the drug bill when it comes up for final action in the House, which could be any time.

I am going to check this calculator out this weekend and see if this new Medicare bill will save me money or screw me. I am expecting the worst. Check back Saturday.


A hairdresser from Braunton has been told her family is the only one in Devon to suffer with a rare genetic condition. What Braunton resident Debby Humphreys, 40, had always thought of as "a family funny thing" was diagnosed as nail patella syndrome when she was 18 years old.

All her family suffered with the illness which passed from generation to generation

Some more publicity, from the UK, for nail-patella syndrome. Do you know anyone with missing thumbnails, bad knees and glaucoma?

From this week's Willamette Week:

Congressman Earl Blumenauer is investigating reports that PDX nemesis Attorney General John Ashcroft tried to block the Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards banquet. The banquet, hosted by the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, had been--and still tentatively is--slated for Nov. 22 at the Lloyd Center DoubleTree. But on Saturday the organizers called speakers telling them the hotel might back out. A hotel representative and NORML organizer Madeline Martinez would not discuss what the problem was, but Martinez says things appear back on track. Citing unconfirmed reports that the feds threatened the hotel with criminal charges, Kathie Eastman of Blumenauer's office says, "We're looking into it."

Several years ago, I worked as an Environmental Health Specialist. Food safety is an interest of mine, as I subscribe to a food safety e-group. Yesterday this disturbing article was sent to me:

Soldier with brain disease treated as slacker

By the time he shipped out for the war in Iraq in January, Special Forces Sgt. James Alford was, according to this story, a wreck of a soldier.
For five months, he had been doing odd things. In the Kuwaiti desert, he came apart. In April, his commanders ordered him to return to Fort Campbell to be court-martialed and kicked out of the Special Forces.
Confused and disgraced, the soldier moved back into his off-base home where he ate canned meat and anchovies, unaware of the day, the month or the year.
The story says that a month and several hospitals later, Alford's family learned he was dying of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, an extremely rare and fatal degenerative brain disorder akin to mad cow disease that causes rapid, progressive dementia.
Now, as the 25-year-old soldier wastes away in his boyhood home, his parents and his wife are, the story says, struggling to understand how the military could have misdiagnosed Alford's erratic, forgetful behaviour as nothing more than the symptoms of a sloppy, incompetent soldier.
Army officials have acknowledged that the 5th Special Forces Group erred and, more than eight months after Alford's demotion, they reinstated his staff sergeant rank.
Alford's parents were cited as saying they believe he has the "variant" form of CJD, caused by eating brains or nervous system tissue from an infected cow. They worry he may have got it from eating sheep brains locals served to soldiers as an honour in Oman two years ago.
But there is no evidence people can get the disease from sheep.
Doctors also note Alford didn't have the outbursts of anger and depression usually associated with the variant form of the disease, and his illness has progressed at the faster rate resembling the classic form.

This is bizarre and frightening. My son quit eating beef several years ago when he first heard of Mad-Cow disease. I don't want to be an alarmist but, you are what you eat. I still eat beef occasionally, yet avoid sheep brains at all costs.

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