Yesterday I went to visit with the good “Doc Holliday” to find out what kind of condition my condition was in. To everyone’s delight, my ferritin had dropped to 223, 170 points down from January and 600 points down from last August (I say “to everyone’s delight”, only because Trillium and Judie had not, as yet, seen the numbers; they want me to be completely de-magnetized). We spent an hour together poking and prodding each other; he physically, I informationally. All of my organs appear to be in good working order (he thumped and poked a couple of these). Therefore, the hemochromatosis prognosis is good. I am supposed to go to the Infusion Center for a phlebotomy once every two months (bad news for the boys and girls in that institution). Since I dropped fifty points doing that from November to January, I am not opposed to the treatment.
After reviewing all of the blood work, “Doc” thought that my triglycerides were high (248; the high end of normal being 149). My HDL was one point below normal (39 instead of somewhere between 40 and 60). My LDL was 30+ points higher than the extreme (130 instead of between 0 and 99). Some of this could be explained by the fact that I was not fasting at the time the blood was drawn. That’s my story anyway. The truth probably has to do with the number of maple bars and “wheat dogs” that I have eaten during the last couple of weeks…. along with the potato chips, the salt water taffy, and the leftover Chocolate Christmas Oranges that I have been compelled to eat (by compelled, I mean that they were left out in plain sight). He said that I need to exercise (“Ooooohhhhhh! Nooooooooo!”) and change my eating habits (dirt instead of food).
I asked “Doc Holliday” what would happen if I did not pay attention to these numbers, if I just went on my merry way, content that I was not part of the static electricity generating machinery of the planet. He said, “Well, there is a .5 percent chance that you could have a heart attack or a stroke in the next five years.” I then asked what would happen if I went on this regimen that he was suggesting, a procedure that would mean that every time I ate something it would seem like I was grubbing for truffles in the back yard. He replied with a smile, “Well, your risk would be reduced to a .25 percent change of a heart attack or a stroke.”
“So,” I said, “What you are saying to me is that the odds of my not having a stroke or heart attack are 99.5 to 1 if I keep on eating what I am eating, but if I switch to daily doses from my compost pile I can improve my odds to 99.75 to 1.”
“That’s essentially it. Isn’t medicine wonderful? Aren’t you glad you came to seek my advice about all of this? Welcome to the club, brother; we are all going to be miserable together!” I went home with mixed emotions, which I quickly unmixed by having a handful of sour cream and onion potato chips, followed by a pork loin sandwich.
This morning I thought better of all of this and decided that I needed to be a little more rational. During my slumbers I had the phrase “the Golden Mean” pass through my mind several times, together with the phrase “the Iron Mean”. Not wanting to ignore communications from my “space pillow”, I came down early this morning to flesh out this entry by Googling the two phrases. Needless to say, I have enough material now for about six 5000-word essays.
There are four major “Golden Mean” entries to be found on the web. The first is an epistolary novel by Nick Bartoch, the third in the “Griffin and Sabine” trilogy. It sounds boring and since Bartoch lives in British Columbia, it probably is; the book is no doubt beautiful, but boring none the less, kind of like Vancouver.
The second entry has to do with mathematics. I read several articles on the “Golden Triangle”, the “Golden Rectangle”, and the special relationship between a man’s belly button and his nose. The conclusion that I came to was that Johannes Kepler and his fellow mathematicians all had a thing for maple bars and pork loin sandwiches and did not beat the odds. The best thing that can be said about all of their number crunching is that the whole universe may be reduced to the square root of the number 5 divided by 2. These guys may also have been suffering from undetected hemochromatosis with ferritin counts in excess of 1,618,033, all of the iron having been deposited in their brains. I was not impressed.
The third is an Aristotelian concept, suggesting that the relationship between truth and beauty may be mathematically quantified. All the numbers aside, however, the simplest redaction of his ideas may be stated thusly: “Both beauty and truth have symmetry, proportion, and harmony”. I had noted this already in the perfect dimensions of the “Maple Rectangle”.
The fourth articulation of the “Golden Mean” was conjured up by Confucius in the sixth century BC. It is sometimes called the “Unwobbling Pivot”, or the “chung yung”. In this philosophy the mind is to be in a state of constant equilibrium (a kind of intellectual mugwumpism that does not include maple bars or pork loin sandwiches; no extremes of any kind). The advocate of the “Golden Mean” never leaves the path of duty (he does exactly what his doctor, his wife, and his sister tell him). The man that observes the “Golden Mean” is a gentle teacher and never has contempt for his inferiors (which leaves out sarcasm, broad humor, and just about anything that makes me laugh, including this blog). And finally, a man of the “Golden Mean” always behaves himself according to his status in the world (What in the world does that mean?).
I have concluded that I am not fit for any of the preceding definitions of the "Golden Mean" and have decided that I should be an advocate for the “Iron Mean”. I Googled that phrase later this morning and found that there was actually such a thing as the “Iron Mean”. Here is the mathematical formula for the "Iron Mean":
“The percentage of time I love you now far exceeds the moments when I want to brain you with a skillet”.
Iron reduction, truth, and beauty are all interrelated! This is the key to Einstein’s Unified Field Theory! I need another maple bar to see if I am right!
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