An exciting morning at the doctor’s!

Nah, I lied. It wasn’t exciting at all, but that’s the best kind of doctor’s visit. I got referred to the dermatologist to check out a suspicious mole, they found another one today, and then I got spritzed with liquid nitrogen, some needles stabbed into me, and chopped into with some razor blades — just another day in a rough neighborhood. Will probably live. Might even have a couple of small scars to show off, although we’ll have to be really good friends if you expect me to drop my pants to see the one.

I was really hoping for more impromptu surgery, because now there’s no excuses for diving into the pile of genetics exams. I should have made them shorter and easier to grade.


  1. says

    This remote teaching business is turning me into an easier grader. Some of my calculus students lost points in an online exam because they forgot to bold the i, j, k in the vector notation for their answers: 2i + 3j + 4k is wrong! The answer 2i + 3j + 4k is right! Damn and damn.

  2. wzrd1 says

    @Ray Ceeya, what areas are irritated? Contact dermatitis or friction related?
    A barrier between you and the offending item might be possible and reasonable.
    As an example, if a mask boundary is causing issues, something like a liquid bandage solution can place the skin and mask apart, yet still prevent air leakage past the mask.

  3. says

    @4 it’s my hands not my face. Wrists and back. Friction related. It crops up once and a while. The fact that I have to wear gloves outside work is making it worse. But better that getting sick.

  4. says

    I discovered that I’m a harder grader. Since it was a take-home exam, I gave them a much longer and more thorough test than I normally would — I’ll know better next time.

  5. Larry says

    anothybarcellos @ #2

    Wow! Tough grader. In all my EE undergrad and grad classes that used vector notation, I can’t recall the professor or TA ever deducting points on exams or homework for not putting a little hat or bar over the direction unit vector (pre-home computer days).

  6. kenbakermn says

    Here’s my amusing mole anecdote. I was having one removed from my neck, and as the doctor was digging into the side of my neck with a knife she says “well, that’s strange”. What? WHAT!? Turns out I had a long, looooong, ingrown hair coiled up under the skin. She pulled it out and uncoiled it, probably 40 cm long.

    So, yeah.

  7. stroppy says

    Kids these days and their fussy little computers and fancy-assed FONTS ferchrissake. In my day we had pencils. Made out of dead damn trees! And you can bet your life we were damned thankful for what we had too! Not like today. Bold vectors my arse!

  8. christoph says

    @ Stroppy, #10: In my day all we had were the old wood burning computers! Kids today…

  9. blf says

    I can still remember using styluses on soft clay… back then, it wasn’t a case of the dog eating the homework, but it breaking in when drying in the sun or the fire pit. Then, of course, the dog ate it (the teacher wanted to see the fragments).

  10. wzrd1 says

    @Ray Ceeya, try, if you can find them, something like the Underarmor undergarments, spandex type thin garment, which would reduce skin friction.
    The gloves irritation might be reduced in a similar fashion with a sheer glove, somewhat like what arthritis sufferers wear.

    @PZ, I’d actually prefer the harder test. Makes sure I’m actually learning what I need to learn to proficiency, not learn it, test and forget it, to be bit in the ass later when I need it again.

    @stroppy, you forgot the uphill walk to school, both ways part.
    Laughably, to walk to any store around here, it literally is a walk uphill in both directions. I’m at the top of one side of a saddle terrain feature. Hill, modest depressed area, hill.

    @blf, that’s far nicer than when I was in school! The Great Meaniesaurus routinely shook me down for my luncheodon.

    I’ll just get my coat…

  11. wzrd1 says

    For some interesting stupidity, the PRC has begun targeting medical, pharmaceutical and research organizations engaged in COVID-19 research. Given Trump’s accusations to take the heat off of him, it’s almost as if they’re begging for him to nuke them, just to distract the heat off of his abject failure as a human and leader.
    I know precisely which team in the FBI is working this, I’ve interacted with them before on a network compromise.

  12. jrkrideau says

    @ 15 wzrd1
    the PRC has begun targeting medical, pharmaceutical and research organizations engaged in COVID-19 research
    OMG, it’s the weapons of mass distruction story all over again.

  13. bad Jim says

    As a Southern Californian of northern European descent, of course I have a dermatologist. I find the liquid nitrogen blasts to my face, hands and chest rather refreshing; the sampling with scalpel and cauterizing wand, not so much. Targeted scalping wasn’t successful, so I had to anoint my head with topical chemo, and now I have a giant tube of flurouracil just waiting for something to do. The most alarming experience was a crusty excrescence on my right hand, just to the side of my thumb, of which I took no notice but which the doctor deftly excised. It turned out to be malign.

    I like to think I’m comfortable in my own skin, but, yikes!

  14. JustaTech says

    When my SO has MOIS (MOES?) surgery (where the dermatologist takes a slice then looks at it under the microscope and repeats until they’re sure they’ve gotten clean margins) I sent him with a list of questions for the lab (because he wouldn’t let me come).
    The lab techs were so delighted that someone cared that they took a whole bunch of pictures of their lab setup and sent my SO home with the slides so I could look at them under my microscope.

    As for exams: when I was a wee undergrad the most feared and hated exams were the open-note, open-book untimed exams. They were truly cruel because for other exams you would study, take the test and be done. But an untimed exam is like a gas; it expands to take up all possible time and space, including time you’d like to use for eating or sleeping or say, taking your other exams!

  15. wzrd1 says

    @jrkrideau, Google “USBferry”, which is one tool they’re using to get into air gapped networks.
    Having dealt with the FBI team that handles these types of attacks, I’m willing to take them at their word. They’ll not bullshit and thereby ruin their reputation and any hope of cooperation with the various federal vendors that get compromised.
    I dealt with them over some DoD compromises years ago and a few years back, a seven year long compromise. In both, I sent a detailed traffic analysis, malware samples and analysis of pivot point and what was connected to the initial pivot point that was on the DMZ (laughably, for an IT security company, a forgotten, unpatched development server).