Friday, May 20, 2016

Linguistic Haiku V - At the end of the day

Linguist Asleep in Bed
Cartoon Image © Catherine Chernyakova |
Linguistic Haiku V

The Linguist relished
hitting the sack "at the end
of the day"  after

hearing the phrase five
times in three conversations
by mid-afternoon!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Linguistic Haiku IV - You're Kidding

Surprised Emoticon
Cartoon Image © Yael Weiss |

Linguistic Haiku IV

When our response to
a verbal surprise is "You're
Kidding", linguists cringe!

Summing the times we've
really been "kidded" should  change
our exclamation!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Linguistic Haiku III - I Mean

Two friends talking
Cartoon Image © Fantasyart |
Linguistic Haiku III

Conversations thick
with "I Mean" are boorish and
cause linguists to scowl.

Most listeners catch
what the speaker "means" without
constant reminding!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Heart: A Decade Later

Image © Designua |

        A Tribute

A decade has passed
since my mitral valve repair.
Who would have surmised
I would still be here!  Kudos
to Doctor Gammie and Team!

Verse is Tanka: 5,7,5,7,7 Syllabic content

Click on "Heart: Mitral Valve Repair"  to check out details of Humble Blogger's Mitral valve repair at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore on 5/11/2006.  A momentous time in my life!

Currently my heart is in atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) about 80% of the time even though just before my mitral valve repair,  heart surgeon Dr. Gammie performed a cryogenic (cold) MAZE (ablation) procedure for amelioration of the atrial fibrillation.  The procedure wasn't 100% effective but my A-Fib is now controlled with the beta blocker Metoprolol and (of course) warfarin to increase blood clot time. I've toyed with the idea of fine tuning the ablation treatment but so far have done nothing additional.   Unfortunately I was not taking Warfarin when I suffered a stroke on 9/12/2012, from which I've recovered quite well :)  See link in this blog "Time to Say Goodbye"

Below are results from a cardiac ECHO done 11/3/2015:

Transthoracic Echocardiography Report (TTE)
Patient Name KUBIATOWICZ DAVID Date of Study 11/03/2015
Date of Birth 04/18/1942 Referring Physician ARDOLF, JOSEPH C
Age 73 year(s)
Gender Male Interpreting HEHC OUTPATIENT

Procedure Date
Date: 11/03/2015 Start: 12:37 PM
Study Location: St Johns
Technical Quality: Adequate visualization
Patient Status: Routine
Height: 69 inches Weight: 189 pounds BSA: 2.02 m^2 BMI: 27.91 kg/m^2
HR: 67 bpm BP: 125/85 mmHg

Mitral valve disorder, atrial fibrillation and aortic aneurysm.

Normal left ventricular size.
Normal left ventricle wall thickness.
Left ventricular ejection fraction is visually estimated to be 60%.
No regional wall motion abnormalities.
Normal right ventricular size and systolic function.
Mild dilation of ascending aorta .
An annuloplasty repair is noted in the mitral position.
Posterior leafle with marked reduced excursion c/w repair.
Mild mitral regurgitation is present.
No evidence of mitral valve stenosis.

Left Ventricle
Normal left ventricular size.
Normal left ventricle wall thickness.
Left ventricular ejection fraction is visually estimated to be 60%.
No regional wall motion abnormalities.

Right Ventricle
Normal right ventricular size and systolic function.

Left Atrium
Moderately enlarged left atrium.

Right Atrium
Moderately enlarged right atrium.

Great Vessels
Mild dilation of ascending aorta .

Aortic Valve
Tricuspid aortic valve.
No evidence of aortic stenosis.

Mitral Valve
An annuloplasty repair is noted in the mitral position.
Posterior leafle with marked reduced excursion c/w repair.
Mild mitral regurgitation is present.
No evidence of mitral valve stenosis.

Tricuspid Valve
Mild tricuspid regurgitation.
Estimated right ventricular systolic pressure is 32 mmHg.

Pulmonic Valve
The pulmonic valve is not well visualized.
Mild pulmonic regurgitation is present.
No evidence of pulmonic valve stenosis.

Pericardial Effusion
No pericardial effusion.

Electronically signed by JOHNSON, THOMAS MD(Interpreting
physician) on 11/03/2015 03:27 PM

Monday, May 9, 2016

Linguistic Haiku II - Like, You Know

Breakfast conversations at Starbucks
Silhouette Image © Vanda Grigorovic | 

Linguistic Haiku II

If you use "you know"
and "like" throughout sentences,
the linguist will scream!

Most listeners don't
"know" and the word "like" begs for
a comparison.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Wine: Muller-Thurgau, Batch 001

Complete Wine Kit with 4 gallons of juice

"Winexpert's German Muller-Thurgau is crisp and clean, with a grapey fruit character, low to medium acidity, and a pleasantly fragrant aroma. Vibrant flavors of crunchy green apples are imparted in its floral residual sweetness, aided by the addition of our F-pack (grape juice) finishing package"  ( Text in quotes "" from Winexpert's Description).

"Müller-Thurgau is a white grape variety (Vitis vinifera) which was created by Hermann Müller from the Swiss Canton of Thurgau in 1882. It is a crossing of Riesling with Madeleine Royale. It is used to make white wine in Germany, Austria, Northern Italy, Hungary, England, Australia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, New Zealand, the United States and Japan. 

When Dr. Müller created the grape in the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute in the late 19th century, his intention was to combine the intensity and complexity of the Riesling grape with the ability to ripen earlier in the season that the Silvaner grape possesses. Although the resulting grape did not entirely attain these two qualities, it nonetheless became widely planted across many of the German wine-producing regions.

By the 1970!s, Müller-Thurgau had become Germany's most-planted grape. A possible reason for the popularity of this varietal is that it is capable of being grown in a relatively wide range of climates and soil types. Many of these vines were planted on flat areas that were not particularly suitable for growing other wine grapes because it was more profitable than sugar beet, which was the main alternative crop in those locations. The vines mature early and bring large yield quantities, and are less demanding as to planting site than for example Riesling. Müller-Thurgau wines are mild due to low acidic content, but nevertheless fruity. The wines may be drunk while relatively young, and with few exceptions are not considered to improve with age. These facts meant that Müller-Thurgau provided an economical way to cheaply produce large amounts of medium sweet German wines, such as Liebfraumilch and Piesporter, which were quite popular up until the 1980s.

The turning point in Müller-Thurgau's growth however was the winter of 1979, when on 1 January there was a sharp fall in temperatures, to 20 °F (-7 °C) in many areas, which devastated most of the new varieties, but did not affect the varieties such as Riesling which have much more hardy stems, after hundreds of years of selection. In the decades since then, the winemakers have begun to grow a wider variety of vines, and Müller-Thurgau is now less widely planted in Germany than Riesling, although still significant in that country and world-wide.

While the total German plantations of Müller-Thurgau are declining, the variety is still in third place among new plantations in Germany, after Riesling and Pinot noir, with around 8% of all new plantations in the years 2006-2008." (Text in "" is from From Wikipedia)

Humble Blogger's Tuff-Tank fermenting the Muller Thurgau wine. The Batch 001 was started 4-28-2016.  A link in this blog to Pinot Grigio wine describes the Tuff-Tank fermenter (including sterilization)  in detail*

*Note:  The black dot to the left of the label is the target for an IR Temperature "gun" light beam which reads the inside temperature of the tank (assuming the inside temperature is nearly the same as the temperature on the outside of the tank through it's thin wall).  The black tape to the left of the dot holds a digital temperature probe (beneath a piece of bubble insulation) tightly against the tank.  The probe wire leads to a digital temperature readout device velcroed to the upper left side of the tank. Both IR and digital temperatures agree to within 1 degree F.

This Batch 001 of Muller-Thurgau wine above is diluted to 6 gallons using "Chippewa Spring Water" bottled at the source in Chippewa Falls, WI (4 gallons grape juice and 2 gallons of spring water). The juice will be fermented to "dryness" (most of the sugar converted to ethanol) and then 1/2 quart of Muller-Thurgau grape juice will be added back for additional flavor and a bit of sweetness. 

Keep tuned for further developments.