Saturday, April 24, 2010


1) Job hunt likely impending.

2) Exploring education (where and how well does it transfer are critical concerns).

3) Got the new battery in the truck. Have high-beams now, no low-beams. Checking fuses tomorrow.

4) Mom's car is croaked. May stay that way, may not, but it's time to move her to something more traditional.

5) Teaching Mom to drive a stick shift after a 50yr vacation.

6) Am hoping the "decade of excessive entertainment" is winding down.

That is all for now. Texas looks ever more charming. Bill Gates Sr is pushing for an Income Tax in WA. 800 million in new sales taxes and tariffs. And a projected 2011 deficit (again) for the state and its' subordinate counties and municipalities - and an inability to comprehend that cuts, deep painful cuts, are necessary.

More later.

Non-PC Moments

Ran across this facebook group. Giggled.

Dear Lord -

This year you took my favorite actor, Patrick Swayzie.

You took my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett.

You took my favorite singer, Michael Jackson.

I just wanted to let you know my favorite President is Barack Obama.


Seriously, if he does pass (no great loss edit. to the body politic; I am sure he has friends and family who would miss him, and did he not hold elective office, he would be essentially harmless despite his beliefs...and he'd probably even be a pleasant, if deeply misguided, conversationalist), may it be in some fashion that is utterly and undeniably of natural causes - and may the good Lord protect us all from the likes of Biden and Pelosi.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

What she said...

Crankyprof pretty well nails it.

My Condolences to the families and the people of Poland for their loss. May they weather the storm, growing ever stronger in their all-to-recently renewed national identity.


Fond Memories....

Now and again, all unexpected, and with increasing frequency as the years pass...seemingly random events trip memories fond and rather less so...for the last day or so, a Rocky Horror Picture Show reverie and a sad smile for a terribly repressed and rigid young man I once knew...and an abiding appreciation for one of the early ribald and irreverent contributors to that young man loosening up, growing a bit of tolerance of himself and others, and an appreciation for folks with a different spin on life.

Thank god for Rocky Horror Picture Show, Long May It Wave!!!

And for the virgins and the veterans...find a Rocky Near You...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter - The Neices were Pleased...

The girls, 11 and 14, were pleased with their loot. This year began the shift away from candy (a very slow shift, I grant) to other noshes (cheese!) and next year will evolve towards books and clothes yet further...with more cheese and noshes thrown in.

Regrettably, eldest niece is persuaded that vegetarianism is somehow virtuous (we all hope for her recovery), thus a great big liverwurst would likely not be appreciated by her next year.

After determining her father was likely to be the bane of her future potential boyfriends, her mother suggested that she could instead be picked up by said boyfriends over here - at which point elder niece nearly imploded with horror, as she is fully aware I'm a wee tad protective and have a far broader range of material with which to terrify a teen-aged boy into good behavior than even her rather dreadful father can summon.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Seattle Fireworks Saved....

Recently the call went out on a local radio show that for the first time in ninety years (barring war-time intermission) Seattle would be without a Independence Day fireworks event. Suddenly, corporate entities and private persons stepped forward, as covered in the Seattle Times, and provided the necessary cash to make the event happen.

In the comments section I responded to various forms of vitriol.

First, it's a grand thing when a group of folks can come together to save a treasured community tradition such as the July 4th Fireworks and speaks well of the underlying spirit of uncompelled generosity amongst Seattle's corporate and private citizens.

Second, *it's their money*, whether they are private persons or corporate entities, and they can and should decide to spend it on causes, events, and priorities they support.

Third, sometimes, when you disagree or take exception, the best policy is to just shut up and either be elsewhere or take it like a grown-up - in the interests of letting others take some joy which has no great surplus thereof. Those sufficiently small of heart and mind as to be unable to see or accomplish this relatively simple task are worthy of condemnation as prigs, spoilsports, and killjoys.

Fourth, many of us, even in Seattle, do celebrate Independence Day in the traditional spirit - thankful for the nation we have (or have had, depending on your viewpoint of the current administration and the historical comparisons you may or may not draw), and grateful for the sacrifices of Lexington, Concord, Gettysburg, Doughboys and GI's, and the seldom sung warriors of the Civil Rights movement.

Fifth, before you protest, remember it was those sacrifices that bought and kept your right to protest, to free speech, freedom of the press, and the rest of the panoply.

Just once, let us be gracious and thank the assorted donors for gathering together the necessary funds in a community spirit seldom seen since the divisive Vietnam era, and helping to keep the lights on in Seattle.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A response to an old friend, and their belief in Single Payer Nirvana

A friend goes on for a bit about how single-payer is the one true path, and how NHS and CanHealth (NHS-Lite) are really great...

Note, I didn't say that I don't believe our system is fouled up to some extent. I am stating that I think that our current direction takes us from bad to worse, and that single-payer simply accelerates the process. I worry that, unsupervised, "efficiency" and "saving the taxpayer money" folks (recall that elected sorts, who've done so very well at other things, will be the ones allocating the funds and making the rules) will triumph over caregivers and individual patient interests..

I'd really much rather see us go from bad to better, but that doesn't appear to be in the cards at the moment. Small steps, letting each state find its' own way, seem the best bet to develop a system that works better...rather than putting all our bets on one option and hoping that we got it right. 50+ chances to get it right, rather than one big bet.

Some level of malpractice reform might be a good start. A subsidized catastrophic coverage policy for folks below a certain income level (both the income level and the threshold for "catastrophic" are separate discussions). A modification to EMTALA such that ER's aren't such huge money pits that hospitals are closing them. More community clinics, locally run and funded, operating on sliding scale. Legalizing shopping for insurance across state lines. Implementing high-risk pools for the uninsurable. Separating (as has one of my doctors) the practice of medicine from the practice of paperwork (he refuses ALL payment other than cash up front, but is happy to make records available to patients wanting to make claims with second or third parties - says he spends more time with patients, at lower cost, and is able to provide better care as a result than he could if he was running a paper mill....

I want to keep the gov't well out of it, though, because I count on government to keep an eye on both practitioners and insurers - and however limited they are in competence at that project, they will do far better than supervising themselves. Folks seem capable of EITHER "regulator" OR "regulatee" - but not both at the same time.