Thank you, loyal Goldblog readers, for your sympathy and concern in re: my parasites. It's not really that bad. And there's a bright side to these things (as many of you know, I'm an inveterate optimist) -- the weight-loss benefits of tropical diseases. In the '90s, when I did a lot of work in sub-Saharan Africa, I was infected with malaria twice, and on one occasion I lost 25 pounds. Of course, my kidneys almost stopped functioning and my brain almost exploded, but I did lose 25 pounds, in about five days. Whatever second-string parasite I have right now won't do that sort of job on me, alas. These sorts of diseases are also a useful reminder of what the average African goes through each day. I was just in Liberia, where there are some excellent people trying to put their country back together again, but the challenges are vast, and they start with basic public health issues like clean water. I'm not feeling well enough right now to delve into the issue, which I suppose is the point -- it's hard to do useful things when you're sick all the time, and too many people in these countries are constantly sick from preventable diseases.
Can a band of locomotive experts save vintage railcars from ruin?