Thursday, April 2, 2015


The pain in my right hip has finally been identified and treated. It's been hurting me for the past 6 weeks or more and increasing in pain levels during the past two weeks. I finally got in to see my favorite pain doctor and she wasted no time in diagnosing the pain as an inflammation of the SI joint. Sacro-Iliac to most people. She made my day by telling me that I looked like I was in a lot of distress and she was going to see if she could fit me in right then for the treatment. She did just that and in a few minutes I was laying facedown on the treatment table. She uses ultrasound to guide the needle in to place. Like most doctors, she told me that I would feel 'a little pinch'. A pinch? Maybe a pinch by a gorilla! I gripped the edge of the table as hard as I could until she told me it was all done. A corticosteroid had been injected into the joint and I should start feeling the effects within a week.

It looks like I have my life back. I was taking an awful lot of pain meds during the past two weeks.

And, although the steroids do a great job, they aren't a permanent fix. I now have 3 different sites that have been injected. It's like driving a car that has 3 recapped tires. many people even know what a recap or retread tire is?

The big news here is the drought. Now classified as California's worst drought in over 1,000 years. Well, we are breaking a record; is that a plus?

Now that the governor has declared a mandatory 25% reduction in water use we will see the lawyers rushing to defend the rights of their clients to use as much water as they want. The oil industry is going to be targeted as a water waster. Supposedly, they use 200 million gallons a day for fracking. Water that is now hopelessly contaminated. Another target will be the corporate farms that are able to drill deeper and buy more powerful pumps to water their almond and pistachio orchards. These are trees that require more water than most and they were planted after row crops were dug up because the price for almonds and pistachios is so high now. In the lower San Joaquin valley, the ground is subsiding almost a foot a year in places as the supporting aquifer is drained. All very serious stuff and a lot of money is involved. Although agriculture uses 80% of the water here, they only contribute 2% to the states GDP.

One of the more powerful sectors of the economy is technology. And strangely enough, no one seems to notice the amount of water used in microchip manufacturing. Here is a fine article that details the amount of water used in a 'Fab' or a 'Super fab'. These fabs can use between 2 to 4 millions gallons of water each day. These microchip foundries also use an inordinate amount of power. Here is a report on that.

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