Full Disclosure: I got an email from the Amazon seller asking me to leave a positive review on Amazon if I was happy with the product. I was happy with the product.
All photos unedited for accuracy.
My partner has been having recurring Urinary Tract Infections recently. Don’t worry. He’s fine. It’s just an unusually mysterious medical problem for a male for which he is seeing a specialist.
Considering he has been in and out of the doctor’s office for antibiotics, I wanted to find a convenient way to test for UTIs at home. To do this, I researched the most popular urine testing kit on Amazon, and – at only $19.97 as of my purchase date – bought the UriTest 10 Parameter Reagent Test Strips For Urinalysis.
UTIs are a medical problem that affect women more frequently than men, with estimates of around 50% women getting a UTI by age 30 and 10% of men getting a UTI by the same age. Symptoms can include a burning sensation, feeling like having to pee but then having difficulty, and in serious cases, fever.
Considering my partner’s condition and my own statistical likelihood of having a UTI in my lifetime, I have a genuine motivation for making sure the tests are real and accurate.
I did a thorough reading of the Amazon reviews before purchasing to see what other verified customers said about the strips. There was enough dissent to persuade me to buy them and perform testing of my own when I got the strips in the mail.
- Two identical clean glasses
- My urine (Didn’t want to put it in too early.)
- Two UriTest Test strips
- The bottle’s reference guide
For the two tests, I dipped one stick in my own urine and one stick in tap water at the same time. I didn’t independently check the PH of my tap water, but NYC tap water is some of the most well-tested and high quality tap water in the country. I trust it to be at healthy levels.
I also had a routine physical done a couple weeks ago where I had a urinalysis that was sent to a lab. Everything in the test was normal, except for slightly elevated white blood cells in my urine. That is normal and they do not prescribe antibiotics for that small of an amount unless you’re having symptoms.
Conveniently, white blood cells, or leukocytes are the first test on the strips. For UTI testing, this test is the main test I was looking at today.
Left Strip: Urine // Right strip: Tap Water
Left Strip: Urine
- First box slightly purple. Means trace levels of white blood cells.
- Dark green box means blood in the urine. Which is completely normal because I was on my period during the test. It proves the blood in urine test is working.
Right: Tap Water
- First box not purple. Negative results.
- Specific Gravity same as negative bottle color
Left Strip Tap Water
This matches up exactly with the lab testing I had done two weeks ago.
I took multiple tests throughout the day and on different days to make sure the results were stable. They were stable.
The blood work results from the doctor show that I am not diabetic. I honestly can’t comment on the ketones accuracy as my ketone levels are fine and I’m not on any special diet. However, the glucose appeared different shades of teal at different times of day, which is completely normal for a person who is eating. And the blood in the urine disappeared both before and after my period ended.
Specific Gravity was also different for urine and tap water, which was also an expected result. SG is supposed to change depending on how hydrated you are. Everything was in normal range.
Diabetes testing is significantly more involved than a quick UTI test. As a former pharmacy technician in an area with significant diabetes type 1 and 2 populations, I would recommend talking to your doctor about their preferred brand of test strips and testing methods.
Healthywiser.com, the company that sells UriTest 10 Parameter Strips appears to have an emphasis on testing products. They say they have started as a small family business. Their main product advertised today is a Vitamin C beauty serum.
I don’t want to get too off-topic, but I actually have done a little previous research about Vitamin C serums. It is a legitimately helpful ingredient in skin care products that may smooth the skin with long term use. Many skin care products on Amazon use the same wholesaler, and while I don’t know who Healthywiser’s wholesaler is, I know their product is at a competitive price point.
Final Results and Score
I don’t have a giant lab to test every reagent on the strip to confirm that they are real. I also don’t want to say the tests are perfect. Manufacturing mistakes are possible, however getting more unlikely considering the technology available today.
It’s also possibles that the testers leaving negative reviews on Amazon are accidentally contaminating their samples. When I tested, I used clean glassware, free of any soap and thoroughly washed. I put the test in for the recommended 3 seconds and took pictures immediately as the test instructions said they were ready, under the same lighting, for accurate results.
I am happy to confirm that, according to UriTest 10 Parameter Strips and my doctor, I have very healthy pee.
At only $19.97 for 150 test strips, free shipping with Prime, I found UriTest 10 Parameter Urinalysis Test Strips to be extremely helpful and easy on the wallet. Coming around to 13 cents a strip, the price of UriTest is a great deal for test results that used to only available at clinics and medicals offices.
My partner is actually doing much better and will be taking the UriTest preventatively. Next time he is feeling backed up in his bladder, I will go ahead and check if the strip turns purple or not. I bet it will be accurate.
Inflation chart by user Monkeyman (Creative Commons SA 3.0)
Things got heated in my comments section back in 2010-2011 on
Fact Checking The National Inflation Association And its Hyperinflation Fear-Mongering.
I didn’t have the time to address all the bad information. And honestly I didn’t consider it worth my time even if did have it.
But I have some extra good free time lately, some more health care policy wisdom, and the power of hindsight. Why not?
A user named Flagrantbagel left a supportive comment on my NIA article:
The following is an unedited copy of someone’s reply to Flagrantbagel.
Left January 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm
Now compare the Federal deficit by who controls the House (spending) on this handy dandy ‘Chart of Federal Debt’ published in the left-wing rag Esquire Magazine.
You will see that spending increased from the moment Democrats took control of the House in 1955 until they finally lost control of the House in 1995 and note the MASSIVE decrease which caused the “surpluses” IMMEDIATELY coincided with Republican takeover of the House of Representatives, and continued under the Republicans right up until the morning of September 11th, 2001. Wonder what happened then?
But don’t trust me. Go confirm it for yourself. Go straight to the horse’s mouth and hear Clinton tell you WHY *** HE *** shut down the Federal Government to prevent the budget from being balanced by 1997 under the Republican plan – SIX YEARS before he was willing to allow it to be done. Note once again that the President’s *** ONLY *** budgetary power is to VETO appropriations bills.
Because all spending comes from Congress, when a President repeatedly VETOES the Appropriations bills, the government runs out of money and must be “shut down.”
Source – Bill Clinton’s radio address 12/16/95 regarding the House’s proposed 96 budget:
According to Clinton, the *** ONLY *** possible way to balance the budget is to follow HIS plan, which is to “balance” the budget by 2003 – 3 YEARS AFTER he has left office. Balancing the budget any sooner, according to Clinton, will: • Deny Children Health Care • Deny them Schooling • Eliminate the School Lunch program • Deny Children Safe Places to live • “Deny them Air and Water that is safe to breath and drink” • Eliminate Head Start • Cut efforts to keep drugs and violence out of our schools • Undermine “Our efforts to meet educational standards of excellence” • End the Americorp program • Eliminate 350,000 scholarships • Take away “the Best student loans programs” • “will raise taxes” – Note, “raising taxes”, in this context is liar speak meaning that because government will not be able pay people’s expenses, they will be forced to pay for things themselves… i.e. Paying for things is a “tax” • “Children will be exposed to hazardous Waste” • There will be larger class sizes • “10 MILLION” people will be “forced to live near toxic waste sites” that “will not be cleaned” • Fewer children will be immunized • Millions will be force from Medicaid and onto Medicare adding millions to the Medicare roles • Millions will be denied adequate medical care
• “1 MILLION people will be forced into poverty”
Listen to it yourself. I entreat you.
…”And THIS is why I William J Clinton will shut down the government by vetoing the REPUBLICAN BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT… because “I will not let them hurt our children” 12/16/1995
Note: the dramatic Medicare cuts which Clinton is attributing to child rape, torture, and murder was claimed, by Democrats, to “Slash” Medicare by *** $38.5 billion a year *** for 7 years.
Funny how a greatly exaggerated $38.5 billion Republican cut caused all of that, but when a Democrat (Barrack Obama) cuts over HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS – a.k.a. over FIVE HUNDRED BILLION – from an already insolvent Medicare system, it will only “add efficiency” and cut “waste”.
Liar. Thy name is Democrat.
First I want to clarify I am article OP, not the comment OP – Flagrantbagel. I personally have no love for nor advanced conceptualizations of George Soros.
I am not tricked into thinking billionaires’ have great content of character just because they own some philanthropic organizations.
> “Fact Check this”
Oh, I will.
Deepblue did a massive information dump, which is a handy trick to sound smarter than you really are in debates. I will address this by order of importance of his claims.
Romney’s right: Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion. Here’s how.
Sarah Kliff: “The majority of the cuts, as you can see in this chart below, come from reductions in how much Medicare reimburses hospitals and private health insurance companies.”
If Deepblue wants to come back and argue about health care policy, I am more than willing to do that. I personally believe that top hospital administrators need to get paid less in order to tackle the budget problems of administrative bloat. Cutting Medicare reimbursements is a necessary step towards balancing the entitlements portion of the national budget.
I am not happy with how the think tanks lately have been discussing cutting Medicare reimbursement by 40% for Medicare-for-All. That is too steep, too fast and could potentially disrupt services.
The ACA cuts that Deepblue refers to, however, were no where near that drastic and the Medicare-For-All bill at this point is more symbolic than a hard proposal.
Bill Clinton’s Speech
I took up his offer and listened to this C-span speech he linked. From 1995. Since apparently these “Liar, thy name is Democrat” people can’t let Bill Clinton go years later.
The thing about budgets, a fact that that Deepblue skirts, is that they are mostly planned FOR THE FUTURE. Federal, state, local budgets. They are all decided on in advance and don’t kick in as soon as they are passed, except for the immediate money needed to keep services running.
All those bullet points are indeed possibilities of Republican proposed tax cuts. Both now and in 1995. Children, students, and the chronically impoverished are extremely different affected populations than those affected by Obama’s Medicare reimbursement cuts, which are mostly eaten by the hospitals and insurance companies.
“you might want to glimpse at Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution”
I have inside info that Flagrantbagel might actually be lawyer. I’m sure he HAS looked at Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution sometime at school.
You do not want to get into an argument about the case law precedent of presidential powers involving taxation with me or Flagrantbagel, Deepblue.
You will not win.
That is all for today.
In 2011, I wrote a post called “On Feminism and Egalitarianism” which was a follow-up to the post “SlutWalk NYC is pissing me off with its DSK protesting.” You can read the comments on all the posts, where I feel like I fairly dealt with the criticism.
Normally I wouldn’t be highlighting a controversial post at a critical time in my writing career. (If I had no backbone, I would simply delete the original post.) But, in the spirit of evolving conversation, I want to leave no stone unturned in documenting my evolving views in the context of societal change.
One aspect I neglected to emphasize, that I probably could have done a better job at in the original post, was the legal aspect.
Due Process is a very important issue to me. I don’t want to make this a “I was a victim, so I can’t be biased” point, but I have personally had my Due Process violated and was told by a private lawyer that they wouldn’t take my case. This discouraged me from even thinking about taking the case higher up to maybe the ACLU.
But I understand why the lawyer didn’t take the case. It would have been an uphill battle against a system in a case with somewhat unprovable evidence and questionable damages.
I’m not saying the alleged victim in the DSK case was lying. I’m not saying there’s no possibility the prosecutor dropped the case because of political pressure. All I was saying is that frivolous charges and lawsuits exist, and that sometimes (albeit rarely) people in power or not in power are falsely accused; I don’t know the specifics of this case other than what the media reported, and unless Slutwalk NYC had a source on the team with more inside information than NYT, they didn’t know the details of the dismissal either.
DSK sounds like a scumbag. I believe, through study data and personal experience, that when there’s multiple allegations about sexual abuse, there’s usually more fire than conspiratorial smoke.
In this 2018 climate, I am no longer comfortable using the word “egalitarianism” casually. I have seen this word hijacked by too many MRAs who are more concerned with their own oppression than by the oppression of others.
And, of course, the power structures in this country have changed. If you’ve read this far, you know what I’m talking about.
I’m not an argumentative person by nature. If a person (usually a man) asks with a loaded tone if I’m a feminist these days, I just say Yes and leave it to them if they want to argue.
This was actually a Photoshop high school assignment over a decade ago, hence the TV No Signal (Mic check at first second), the one minute exact limit, and awkward insertion of photos.
I took this assignment to the next level though.
“Why would you smash a guitar?”
It was in my parent’s basement and seriously neglected and rusted. I got my dad’s blessing, don’t worry.
Camera: Canon GL2 . Thank RHS media dept.
Reminder to self that I should really get Google Analytics advanced certified.
I did my research before singing with a so-called “content farm.”
The last thing I wanted, as a person who considers herself a decent writer, is to be exploited by a company with a selfish agenda that doesn’t respect quality writing. That’s what led to me Suite101, a Canadian-based publishing platform that is currently defunct. Suite101 was a moderately pleasant surprise.
You had to apply and submit a writing sample to start writing for them. You had editors. There was a $10 minimum payout. (Better than say, $50, which most writers will never reach.) The general quality of writing was well beyond the awful spew that is at the most well-known content farm, Examiner.com.
The item in the contract that caught my interest the most with Suite101 is that publishing exclusivity rights expired after a year. If you are a publishing company reading this, and you want to know what…
View original post 165 more words
Conor McGregor landed more punches (111 of 430, 26%) in 10 rounds and at a better percentage than Manny Pacquiao (81 of 429, 19%) did in 12 rounds.
This is a monumental achievement for a man boxing analysts said had a 0% chance of winning the fight.
Not only were the fight metrics impressive, it was a highly entertaining fight. Part of that is due to Floyd fighting less defensively, but it was also due the intense pressure Conor put forth in the early rounds, landing several highlight reel uppercuts.
The MMA community is proud of Conor. I’m proud of Conor. I didn’t think he would win (In my head, I gave him a 5% chance of a knockout.), most MMA fans didn’t think he would win, but even winning 3 rounds against the best boxer on the planet is an extremely satisfying outcome for the underdog.
Not only did he dish out the jabs (27 of 98, 28%) he was able to slip or defend Floyd’s power punches for a majority of the time, making him comparable to other top boxing contenders.
Power punches landed on opponents by Floyd:
De la hoya 57% Pacquiao 48% Canelo 53% Maidana I 65% Berto 68%
When I looked at past boxers who came close to beating Mayweather I thought of Maidana. Mayweather vs Maidana I was a fight not so dissimilar from the McGregor fight. Maidana fought at awkward angles, forced the action, and dirty boxed his way into a draw on one of the judge’s scorecards. Of course, Maidana did a lot better than anyone, landing 226 punches on Mayweather.
Conor looked like a more awkward but less skilled Maidana. But why would he be more skilled? He gave up boxing at age 15 to train MMA and only started training for the Mayweather fight about 9 months ago.
He has years of MMA skills that he had to suppress for the Mayweather fight and that could not have been easy. You could see through body posturing he had an urge to dump Mayweather on his head every time they clinched.
Despite his success, Conor is not the most skilled martial artist in the UFC. He doesn’t have the near-perfect take down defense of Jon Jones. He hasn’t submitted anyone since his Cage Warrior days. He got choked out in round 2 by another skilled MMA boxer, Nate Diaz, in their second fight.
Despite his flaws, I would say he has the best MMA boxing in the game. His distance management and accuracy for MMA striking is statistically near the top of the game.
And the level of opponents he has been able to knock out with his power left puts him at the #3 pound for pound UFC fighter of all time.
He beat Nate Diaz in their rematch by bringing in kicks to set up punches and manage his distance. He managed his cardio better. This brings up the other talking point about McGregor – his adaptability.
He only had 6 months between his devastating loss to Diaz and his subsequent victory. He changed up his style significantly in between fights and decisively won the fight with the media members and the judges. Conor has a high fight IQ and demonstrates that he learns and adapts to able to make the right changes between every fight.
People said Conor wouldn’t be able to fight like a boxer. He would have too many bad habits. His stance would be all wrong and leave him open to too much punishment.
In the end, McGregor did take too much punishment and gassed out. At this point, I would have to say it’s just genetics rather than training flaws. Some people just don’t have great cardio or they have the wrong muscle fiber types to fight long fights. Still, fighting 9 and a half 3-minute rounds, with comparable fighting metrics to the greats, with the undisputed best boxer of all time is no joke.
Conor may have been able to last all 12 rounds had he pulled his own Mayweather vs. Pacquiao and spent all 9 months of training working on defense and turtling instead of counter punching. But that’s not his game. Surviving is not his game. Fighting and promoting is his game, and the fans won because of it.
When I was 14, I had a Yahoo Geocities website. It was terrible. It was everything you expected from a 14-year-old’s personal webpage—autoplaying music, self-congratulatory inside jokes, and a whole lot of pop-culture (Invader Zim!) references. One of the sections of the site was a “shrines” page, which contained collages of whatever male celebrities I was crushing on at the time. One of these men was Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington.
No more were the posters of *NSync and Aaron Carter. What used to be 100.3 Z-100 hit music radio was now 92.3 K-rock. And crooning love songs were now replaced with angsty ballads of bitterness and betrayal.
I bought blue flame shoelaces from Hot Topic to mirror Chester’s blue flame wrist tattoos. I claimed to have a “thing” for men with lip rings. I made my middle school agenda book cover a meta-collage from my “shrines” page, Chester Bennington taking a prominent position near the top.
14 Years Later – 7/20/17
I was getting ready to go to therapy with my psychologist when I refreshed my Facebook page and found out Chester was dead.
The news broke via TMZ less than 30 minutes before my Facebook friends got to it.
I was supposed to see Linkin Park live for the first time in my life the next week Friday, July 28th – at Citi Field in Flushing, NY.
I didn’t have much time to process before I headed out the door to therapy. The shock was still fresh. “How did this happen?” “I was just listening to Linkin Park.” “What is going to happen to my tickets?”
The last time a suicide of a celebrity affected me was in 2008 when David Foster Wallace hung himself.
DFW understood depression:
The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.
While DFW’s literary musings on depression and suicide gave some insight into his mind in the final days, Chester Bennington leaves only a few interviews, regarding childhood abuse and the dissolution of his first marriage, and the lyrics to his songs.
“Breaking the Habit” seems oddly prescient.
The fact that it was Chris Cornell’s birthday was probably not a coincidence.
Drugs and alcohol probably didn’t help.
But we’ll probably never know what Chester was thinking as he was preparing to hang himself in the early morning hours less than a week before his tour with Machine Gun Kelly was about to start.
Suicide is an awfully complicated subject to wrap when your head around. When it hits this hard and this close, the emotional fallout is hard to predict.
“I don’t think this will affect me too hard,” I told my therapist. “There’s just so many celebrity suicides these days; I think I’m kinda numb to them.”
That was just the shock talking.
I felt it later that night.
David Foster Wallace once said that the purpose of good literature was to make readers feel less alone. I think I can say the same about good music.
Thank you, Chester Bennington, for helping me and many others feel less alone.
“And. And but so. And but so then. We all fell in love with living again.”
I’ve been using Acuvue Oasys for years now. When they first came out, every eye doctor I had told me they were the best. They are both disposable and extended-wear, so can be worn for 24 hours and replaced every 2 weeks. They are made from silicone hydrogel, which is considered superior to regular hydrogel lenses for maximizing oxygen to the eye.
So when I first heard about Hubble’s offer for a free box of contact lenses, the first thing I wondered is, “Yeah, but I can I get my brand of lenses?”
The answer is no. Hubble instead focuses on users who change their lenses daily.
Here’s a medical opinion on Hubble lenses from an optometrist at Yin Eye Care:
Different contact lens materials let different amount of oxygen through the plastic to the front of your eye. The oxygen transmissibility (Dk/t) of the lens material affects the long-term health of your cornea and your comfort. Hubble contacts are made out of a 20+ year-old lens material called methafilcon A, which has a Dk/t of 18.8. Research shows that a Dk/t of 24 is necessary to maintain cornea health and avoid swelling. Dr. Yin recommends much newer lens materials that let in a higher amount of oxygen to prevent problems with discomfort, red eyes, blood vessel growth into the normally clear cornea and unexpected changes in prescription. Current contact lenses have Dk/t measuring over 80 which allow 4+ times more oxygen to your cornea than older lens materials.
According to CLspectrum.com the dt/k of my lenses, Acuvue Oasys (Senofilcon A) is 147, surpassed only by the Air Optix’s Night and Day (Lotrafilcon A) with a dt/k of 175.
So Hubble advertises $30 for 60 lenses. Only a $1 a day sounds like a pretty good deal right? Well, that’s $365 a year if you wear them every day.
I get my lenses on lens.com which slightly undercuts buying directly from my optometrist’s office.
My eye doctor told me because I take my 24-hour lenses out for 12 hours at night, I can actually wear them up to a month without throwing them out.
12 Acuvue Oaysis Contacts are: $41.99
I have astigmatism in my right eye, so 12 Acuvue Oasys Contacts for Astigmatism are: $66.40
I get a year’s worth of the one of the best contacts on the market for $108.39 plus taxes and shipping. Even if I wore them 24 hours and doubled the cost, I could still get them at a fraction of what Hubble charges.
Consider your eye health and check the price of your eye doctor’s recommended contacts if you’re thinking of switching to Hubble.
New Yorkers are fearing the impending April 2019 shutdown of the Manhattan to Brooklyn L subway line. The contract for Hurricane Sandy repairs spanning the train tracks between 8th Avenue and Bedford Ave, Williamsburg, was awarded two years ago and plan to last at least 15 months, ending by August 2020.
The issue has been a hot topic among local politicians who are generally pushing for alternative travel routes including other subway lines, a new inter-borough bus line, and expansion of select bus services.
The L train services over 400,000 commuters daily with at least 250,000 depending the line to travel between the connecting boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
So what’s New York state going to do about suddenly losing this essential subway line? Well, the MTA released a 38-page PowerPoint presentation explaining their plans and they’re not pretty: http://web.mta.info/sandy/pdf/Canarsie-6-08-17_website.pdf
- 75% – 85% of commuters will be shunted to other subway lines. The M and J lines connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn will bear the brunt the burden, with the G suffering on its connections going up to Queens.
- The MTA admits 75% is the ideal target to avoid overcrowding. They have not yet released specific plans on how frequently trains will be running to accommodate all the new riders.
- Only between 5% – 15% of riders are estimated to use a proposed inter-borough shuttle bus service. This is where plans get messy. THERE IS NO DIRECT SHUTTLEBUS ROUTE PLANNED IN BETWEEN 8TH AVENUE AND BEDFORD AVE.
- As you can see, the shuttle buses will run from Grand St. L stop to no further than Prince St./Broadway. This means if you want to get from Bedford Avenue to 8th Avenue you will have to transfer 3 times in between shuttle buses, subways, and select bus service.
- The rest of anticipated ridership will consist of ferries, bicycles, and taxis. The MTA has not yet released plans for increases in ferry ridership.
The Democratic Primaries this year fall on September 12, 2017. When you vote please pay close attention to the travel agendas of your city council candidates. Hopefully, local politicians can address this mess of a plan and fight to keep New York City’s subways running effectively and efficiently.
Click here to register to vote.