Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I'm Saved!

In research that appears to have been undertaken in a direct effort to save me from my own lifestyle (narcissism alert!) scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine have figured out how to convert fat cells into liver cells

Allow me to quickly quote the article link above:

'Unlike most other organs, a healthy liver can regenerate itself to a significant extent. But this capacity cannot overcome acute liver poisoning or damage from chronic alcoholism or viral hepatitis.'

I had no idea a healthy liver can regenerate itself.  Probably because my liver has been gasping for breath since 1985. 

If you're at all familiar with my life choices (what some would call 'raging alcoholism') and growing waist line, this is nothing but good news for me.  I would be cartwheeling down the street if I was sure I wouldn't be bed ridden for the effort. 

Just think, I can now drink even more beer.  Then, when I get fat - a definite side effect of beer drinking, by the way - I can have liposuction and have those cells put into my liver where they will convert and make me invincible.

Invincible, I say!!!

Granted, these tests have only been performed on mice, but my new life partner, Dr. Gary Peltz (MD, PhD, super fucking smart) says the techniques are easily adaptable to humans.  I should point out that I added the 'easily' to that last sentence because I am nothing if not wishful thinking.

Even better, the process of taking fat cells and doing something scientific-like to them to convert them to liver cells takes only nine days.  Quick enough that I could go on once last mega bender before recharging with my own blubber.  Science is awesome!

As a side note, the good doctor points out that this may replace liver transplants.  More importantly, since the process uses the patient's own cells to regenerate, the use of immunosuppressants (drugs people have to take so the body doesn't reject the translplanted organ) will no longer be necessary.

More livers all around, please and thank you.

Well done, people at Stanford. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Random Thoughts

Some ramblings for your consideration.

-  Just as I'm getting back into writing in this space, I get promoted.  WTF?  I've basically just jumped multiple levels to become in charge of the entire North American Department.  I should point out that I have ZERO managing experience and this entire idea is going to implode like a supernova.  The whooshing sound you'll hear in the coming months is my effect on my company.  Might as well change my nickname to Black Hole.  Well, wait....that sounds gross.

-  On the plus side, I can now approve my own travel plans.  And there are several offices in southern California that need some TLC.  I should probably spend the month of February there introducing myself and taking people out to dinner. 

-  While I'm flattered for the unexpected promotion, I can't help but hark back to that classic Monster.com commercial and cringe a little:  'When I grow up I want to be a middle manager'.

-  One positive in my blogging break (I refer to it as a hiatus to trick myself into thinking anyone cared) is the lack of bizarre advertising spam comments that used to follow each post.  So, either Google has rid the world of them or they have no idea I exist.  Kind of like the rest of the world.

-  While I'm thoroughly enjoying 'Brooklyn Nine Nine' I can't get past the similarities to 'Parks and Rec'.  All the characters are the same in each show:

The competent, yet goofy lead

The humorless, tough chick

The eager, competitive one

The dude that should have retired years ago and sticks around to be the butt of everyone's jokes (if there is an episode that reveals Christy Brinkley as his wife, I'm out).

The best friend who kisses ass

The no-nonsense leader of the office (precinct)

And, as I found out, there is a reason for this: The original 'Parks and Recs' show runner is now in charge of 'Brooklyn Nine Nine'.  So at least he's ripping off himself. 

-  My long held theory regarding fantasy football is being confirmed on a weekly basis. I firmly believe that if you don't have an elite quarterback, you have no chance.  I would go so far as to say QBs should be drafted ahead of running backs. 

Sadly, it's my own team confirming my suspicions.  I have Cam Newton who has been up and down all year.  On games he gives me over 30 points, I'm undefeated.  Games under 30....not one win.  So yeah.  It's been that kind of year.

-  Anyone catch that David Blaine special last night?  I don't think there is any hidden, sleight of hand with him.  I think he's actually a wizard.  There is no other explanation.  Harrison Ford's reaction to one of his card tricks is fantastic.

-  My wife's uncle died a couple of weeks back and we decided it was time to introduce our boys to the wonders of wakes and funerals.  My eight year old was enthralled with the entire process.

'Is that him?   Why does he look like he's sleeping?'

'Why don't they just close the lid of the coffin?'

'Casket?  That's the same thing as a coffin?  Why don't you just call it a coffin?'

'When will he become a zombie?'

'Who is taking care of his dog now?'

'Why are there things in the coffin with him?  He can't use them anymore.'

'How come some people get buried but others get burned up?'

'Can I jump in the grave?'

'If I die, make sure you put in my iPod so I still play games.'


-  The joys of management #1:  Since the announcement came out regarding my new position I have received and replied to more emails than I have my entire time at this company.  It's been three days. 

And...there is another one.  Gotta go. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Human Good Luck

My oldest son is spoiled.

Not from me.  I make him work for his food.  Raking the yard, emptying the trash, feeding the dog.  My boys hold their own. 

No, he's spoiled from a sports perspective.  He's had more championship parades during his first thirteen years of existence than I had my first 35. 

Here's the time line of his life from a sporting perspective:

June 2000:  Born

February 2001:  Patriots stun the St Louis Rams to win Super Bowl.  Still one of the more incredulous sporting events I've ever watched live.  So unexpected was this Patriots turn around from league laughing stock to Super Bowl champs I still vividly remember the mood at that parade.  Not so much 'Yay, we won!' and more a 'Am I dreaming?  Is this really happening?' vibe.  Basically there were five million people acting like we all got high off the same, mammoth bong. 

October 2003:  The one blemish on his psyche:  The Grady Little Game. 

February 2004:  Patriots win Super Bowl #2

October 2004:  Following the most stunning comeback in baseball history, the Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years, fueling speculation that the end of the world was near. 

February 2005:  Patriots repeat.  Ring #3 for the Brady/Belichick team.

October 2007:  Red Sox win again, proving karma is paying back Red Sox and Patriot fans for everything that had happened in their lifetimes.  With interest.

February 2008:  Pats go 18 - 0 and reach their fourth Super Bowl only to lose due to the most ridiculous catch in NFL history. 

June 2008:  Celtics crush Lakers in game six to claim title 17.  Eldest son had started wearing Garnett jersey about 10 minutes after watching him play.

June 2010:  Celtics make Finals only to run out of gas and lose game seven in LA.  This despite Kobe shooting 6 for 24.  As a Bostonian, I'm required to bring that up in any mention of this series. 

June 2011:  Riding the good vibes of the other three teams, the Bruins bring the Stanley Cup to Boston for the first time since the Ford administration. 

February 2012:  Patriots reach Super Bowl #5 only to lose to arch nemesis Giants and Eli Manning for the second time.  I blame Wes.

June 2013:  Bruins make improbable run to the Stanley Cup finals only to lose in devastating fashion when the Blackhawks score 2 goals in .5 milliseconds (or so it seemed) in game six to end the series.  Everyone believes the decade of dominance has come to a brutal end. 

October 2013:  But wait!  Here come the Boston Red Sox riding team chemistry, clutch hitting and Boston Strong to win yet another World Series. 

Let's add up this mind boggling run:

3 World Series - 3 rings
5 Super Bowls - 3 rings
2 NBA Finals - 1 ring
2 Stanley Cup Finals - 1 ring

Summary:  9 championships and 4 close calls in 13 years. 

Another way to phrase this is from my oldest:  "I guess I'm just good luck!"

Little bastard.