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View From the Hospital

I'm doing some reporting at a local hospital, and I have decided that I am going to start taking better care of myself, starting this very minute. Death doesn't scare me, just the dying part, and certainly the going-to-the-hospital part, and all the unpleasantness therein. This is a nice hospital, but no one would mistake it for Club Med. It's pretty much a laughter-free zone. Here's a thought: Health-care reform should be based not so much on controlling costs but on boosting health.

Starting right now I'm going on a strict diet of leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables and flax seeds. (In the cafeteria there's a poster saying that flax seeds are "loaded with FIBER, LIGNANS, PHYOTESTROGENS, ANTIOXIDANTS and most importantly ALPHA-LINOLENIC ACID," making me long for the day when all we needed were vitamins).

It occurs to me that, as an infrequent user of health care services, I should tally the money I've spent on health premiums -- and that my employer has spent on its share of my insurance -- and demand a refund.

I can't remember the last time I was actually admitted as a hospital patient. Maybe in college. I had an appendicitis sort of thing. The doctor wanted to operate then and there, but I said I'd rather wait until morning, when I felt better and they let me go. That's about all the medical drama I've ever had. Broke a finger a couple of times. Had a sleep test a couple of times (slept like a champ, they told me).

What am I forgetting.

Oh yeah, the head transplant. That one always slips "my" mind.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 18, 2009; 3:31 PM ET
 
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Comments

Well, yes, Obama's often made the point that we have disease care in the US, not health care. (Am I the only one who listens to what the Prez says?)

I was Mudged - reposting:
Rachel Maddow had a retired Secret Service guy on her show last night, asking him about the yahoos who are showing up with guns. He said the fact that they were allowed to remain where they were probably meant they were nowhere where they could harm the president...But he certainly didn't think it was smart of the yahoos to be doing that. I suppose with Bush being pro-NRA, the yahoos didn't feel compelled to show up, and liberal types wouldn't think about doing that. But it worries me, because it's got to be a distraction for the Secret Service and local law enforcement. Rick Perlstein wrote a column about the "crazy tree in bloom" which was quite good, and had a chat today (which I have not read yet):
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/14/AR2009081401495.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: seasea1 | August 18, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Great Kit, Joel. My policy on hospitals is to stay strictly away from them.

I must caution, however, that in 5 or 10 years, you are likely to be a greater consumer of health care than in all the previous 50. That's just how it goes.

Posted by: Yoki | August 18, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Boy, you better be knocking on wood, Joel.

Cassandra, buying the house previously owned by the 501(c)3 sounds pretty problematic. You're starting to get into deep, deep territory only a tax expert can answer.

I don't care what anybody says: I'm not eating any damn fido estrogens.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 18, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

This is way cool-- anybody else's screen shoving all the text and comments flush right? Never saw that glitch before.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 18, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I've seen that before, 'mudge, but not right now.

Posted by: Yoki | August 18, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, that's the result of intense health care lobbying from the conservatives.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 18, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I haven't had the "pleasure" of a hospital stay since the childhood tonsil operation. But I distinctly remember spending the better part of a day with Raysdad when he had his neck surgery. When I was finally able to leave that building I felt like Ichabod Crane crossing the bridge. The feeling I had inside that building was a distinct, "Get me outta here!!" And that was in a nice, clean, quiet suburban hospital. I'm such a wimp.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 18, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article6799283.ece

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 18, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I've had that problem on and off the last few days, Mudge.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 18, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I just want to suggest that I have empathy. I can empathize with folks who have lost their jobs and have lost their house to foreclosure. I can empathize with those who face a serious health issue without insurance. What they are doing to illegal immigrants who are being rounded up is very unpleasant, BUT worst of all, according to the front page of the ePost, now the Lutherans are weighing gay clergy!!!!

Why can't the Lutherans just leave gay people alone and stop obsessing about their weight.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 18, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh Mudge, I hate to admit this but I remember Bob Steele. He was in a bunch of cowboy movies, right? When I was very little, I had a wicked crush on him. The name Bob is a bit problematic for me, having spent too many years with someone by that name!

Ah, hospitals, great when you need 'em but good places to stay away from generally. A visit to one will certainly make you rethink your health regime.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 18, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Actually, this is even better than the Times piece. Check out Stuart Little on the right!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1207076/Rat-eating-plant-named-David-Attenborough.html

Posted by: kguy1 | August 18, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

The text flush right thing, not the giant rat-eating nepenthes plant, that is.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 18, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

That plant is too cool. Why content yourself with wasps and butterflies when what you really want is a nice meaty rat?

Posted by: Yoki | August 18, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Yup, you're, kguy. That righthand photo is even ewwwwwwwwier than my original ewwwwwwww.

Well, here's another Sherlock Holmes mystery solved-- now we know what happened to the Giant Rat of Sumatra.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 18, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

SCC: you're right

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 18, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Now if we could only learn the truth about the politician, the lighthouse, and the trained cormorant.

Posted by: kguy1 | August 18, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

RT, Lutherans are very involved congregations that are just a little concerned about how the pastor is ever going to meet a nice guy to settle down with if he doesn't watch his weight and isn't that his third bake sale cookie?

Posted by: engelmann | August 18, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I just *knew* there hadda be another Bob Steele fan out there. Glad it was you, sneaks. Ol' Bob made 233 movies, many of them playing (drumroll) Tucson Smith. Best thing about him: he didn't sing.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 18, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

For those not steeped in Sherlockiana-

"Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, Watson," said Holmes in a reminiscent voice. "It was a ship which is associated with the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared."
From "The Sussex Vampire"

Posted by: kguy1 | August 18, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

complete change of subject:

For all of you who use a litter box for your cat(s) this box is really marvelous.

http://www.clevercatinnovations.com/

It is like a waste basket with a lid, with a hole in the lid. The cat has no way to scatter litter, he/she just drops down into the box and leaps back up when done. There are lots of instructions on how to acclimate your cat to the new box. I just set it up, and about 30 minutes later decided I should show it to the cat. Hauled the cat -- protesting mightily -- into the bathroom, looked in the box --- and she had already used it! I bought one at that store where the pet's go.

Posted by: nellie4 | August 18, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Neat Nepenthes. None of our Sarracenia pitcher plants are big enough for a rat, though the occasional cotton mouse (the cute Peromyscus gossypinus) could perhaps fall victim.

The Serengeti Plain of the North American carnivorous plants is Garcon Point east of Pensacola. A lot of it has been destroyed, but the state bought a decent remnant. Back in the early 1970s it seemed to extend to te horizon.

Otherwise, the road from Wilmington to Jacksonville NC used to be lined with Venus flytraps.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 18, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Nellie-We know that box well and think it is great for solo cats-or a pair of cats with good manners. However, we've found that style can tempt young cats to ambush older cats, causing the older cats to summon up some "out of the box" thinking.

Frostcats 2 and 3

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 18, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Bet that plant could eat a couple of nutrias as well as a passel of neutrinos (baby nutrias).

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 18, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you sent me to the Internet to research Bob Steele. What a trip! The first photo I saw of him took me right back to being four years old watching all those cowboy movies on TV. I wanted to be a cowgirl went I grew up, I was possessed. I found some other familiar names that were in some of his films, Gale Storm, Jimmy Dodd (Mickey Mouse Club guy), Gabby Hayes and Ken Maynard. Hayes, Maynard and Steele were the Trailblazers in a bunch of films. I don’t remember any one film, but I remember their names and faces. Thanks for jogging my memory and letting me relive my childhood! (I still love horses and would have one if they didn’t cost so darn much to keep!)

Posted by: badsneakers | August 18, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Ha! My cat couldn't fit in that hole. She'd have her paws up on the top, looking down into the hole and twitching as she tries to figure out how to get down it.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 18, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Martooni!!!!! So good to see your boodle handle, not preceded by "where is" or "has anyone heard from."

Cassandra-if the nonprofit was officially approved by the IRS as a 501 c (3) its financial reports to the IRS are a matter of public record. Before the IRS approved the status, articles of incorporation and bylaws would have to be filed, also public-these will tell you how property is to be disposed of to dissolve the organization.

I don't know the law in your state, but there are plenty of legitimate circumstances where the organization can sell property to a for profit entity either before dissolving, or without dissolving. Proceeds from the sale are reported on the annual Form 990 that has to be filed with the IRS, and if the organization dissolves the cash is then distributed as required by law.

Having said all that, the directors of the nonprofit may be acting perfectly within the law, but it certainly doesn't smell right.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 18, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

We just bought tickets (lawn, $22 each plus all the service charge bull----) to go see Peter and Paul (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame; Mary's sick, got cancer) at Wolftrap this Saturday night. Anybody else wanna go and make an impromptu BPH field trip out of it? We'll be bringing a picnic dinner and who knows, perhaps a bottle of wine.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 18, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Thunder and lightning everywhere,but just a thimble full of rain so far.

I am off to see Chicken Foot tonight at the Lyric opera house.Chicken Foot is Joe Satriani,Sammy Hagar,Van Halen's bass player last name Anthony and red hot chili pepper drummer Chad Scott.Should be a smokin show in a nice venue.I will give a review after I get to work later.

Have a great evening everyone!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 18, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Martooni! So wonderful to hear from you, but not happy about the reasons you've been incognito for so long. Poooooor Puppy. . . I'm faxing you good wishes and abundant karma (renewable) for your full recovery. I know I have chicken soup (with Tabasco as hot as you want it) ready to fax to you, too.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 18, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

""The technological impact of basic science has enormously changed the way we all live," Marshak said. "It's like when Albert Einstein came out with general relativity in 1915: he had no idea that Minnesota would use it, via GPS satellites, in order to plow straight rows of corn -- in the dark." "

I think Achenbach needs to explicate a little more fully somewhere, sometime...preferably, before he follows Froomkin.

Posted by: Nebreklaw01 | August 18, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Rough, Martooni. Glad you're back, skin or no skin.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 18, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Not really, it's a quote, not Achenbach's own writing.

Sorry you are still heartbroken about Froomkin. I never read the dude myself.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 18, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I'll be with you in spirit, Mudge. Sounds like a good show. I hadn't heard that Mary Travers is ill - that's sad. I missed out on seeing Joan Baez this summer - by the time I came to my senses that I should go, the show was sold out. gwe, never heard of Chicken Foot - should be fun.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 18, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

In the Boodle, no one knows you have psoriasis. Unless you are Martooni. And now me. Martooni, since I lost my last so-called decent job the stress threatened a major outbreak on me. I fought back with a new daily vitamin D regimen and curcumin. I sneered at the promise of curcumin until I tried it. (burned so many times before) Miracle. Obey the doc but hear me now. Besides, I missed you. Everybody did.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 18, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

*veryveryveryveryveryvery jellus of greenwithenvy* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 18, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

For years now it has been trendy to claim that medical care should be more about keeping people healthy than treating sick people. And although this is a fine sentiment, I don't think medical care is up to the task. At least not very often.

Staying healthy, I am beginning to suspect, has less to do with seeing a doctor, and a lot more to do with good habits, good genetics, and, most of all, good luck. Doctors can't really do much about these factors. And you don't really need a doctor to tell you that being overweight, eating poorly, and doing all those other unhealthy things we all do are, um, unhealthy.

Sure, there are many cases where seemingly healthy people with no symptoms and no relevant family history are discovered to have a life-threatening condition upon visiting a doctor, but I have read many reports that this doesn't occur nearly as frequently as many once believed. The value of routine tests and even the hoary old annual check-up are being increasingly questioned.

And then there is the alarming trend of doctors *always* finding something to treat. Issues of side-effects and inconvenience, (forget about cost) seem to be getting short shrift. Even if the improvement in quality in life is marginal, they will want to get you into the system And once you are in the medical establishment, it is really hard to extricate yourself.

The real problem is that people who know, or honestly suspect, that something is wrong with them either refuse, or much more often, are unable to go to the doctor.

Dealing with this, I assert, is always where the emphasis should be.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 18, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I felt the same way about insurance premiums, until I had my "minor" heart attack, and required a "minor" procedure, with a "minor" cost of $43,000 -- a mere $26,000 with the discounts negotiated by the insurance company. I doubt I would have had that much on hand all at once (either amount) if I had just held on to all those premiums, even though the premiums add up to more than that.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 18, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Then, of course, there was the time I was poisoned with anti-freeze, in Hawaii ...

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 18, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

My goodness, ScienceTim. Therein lies a tale, I am sure.

Just off to ride bikes; it is a lovely clear cool evening, and the river-side beckons.

Later, Boodle.

Posted by: Yoki | August 18, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Hope they caught the miscreant that did it, Tim!

Posted by: -dbG- | August 18, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

RD, I think you're right. And do let me generalize a bit more in saying that "generally" (except for some of us), people tend not to be really aware that they have a part to play in their own health care -- and indeed in the state of their own health! Physicians and other health care workers don't have radar vision, nor can they read minds (presumptions notwithstanding). And some people are lucky in "picking the right parents" (as my internist says) and some are unlucky. Genetics plays a big part of everything, but so does stress and how our bodies react to it. I think that the more aware we are of the stress in our lives, the bigger the opportunity we have to deal with it without killing ourselves -- by alcohol, drugs, overeating, other kinds of self-destructive behavior . . .

It really does take two to tango, and the more we take steps to take care of ourselves, the easier and cheaper it will be to continue to take care of ourselves, as well as make it easier (and less expensive) to help our health care providers take care of us in times of need.

Or, well, something like that. . . . .

I had another round of PT this afternoon (including Ultrasound on knee and back plus massage on back) -- I really, really like it, even if my hip flexors and tush muscles are complaining. Tough, TOUGH, I say! This is for yer own good, I say!

Gonna go watch reruns of Boston Legal. Always makes me laugh.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 18, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Lignans. Don't they sell them in Ikea?

TBG, I have a vision of the G-cat's white body parts disappearing into the black-hole body parts, which would allow her to use that litter box. She's certainly clever enough.

Two more days in lame duck job h311!

I've had 5 people trailing my every move since Monday a week ago, created over 200 pages of screen-by-screen .ppt instructions *with* them, going through processes and systems and how it all works. While this marginally prepares them for the everyday they'll be in trouble with even the minor exceptional.

But, . . . it is what it is and I'm considering turning off all my known phone numbers on Thursday afternoon. What would RD do?

Off to bed. It's going to take me a week or more to return to regular daytime awake hours, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 18, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I resemble some of dem remarks about guya named Bob.

Posted by: bh72 | August 18, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Just came back from a walk on the beach. It must have been at least 15 degrees cooler there than here, a distance of about one mile east and ten miles south. Felt good to walk barefoot in the sand and bathe our feet in the rather chilly ocean.

I agree about luck and genetics playing a major role in good or bad health. A friend's mother had severe rheumatoid arthritis and my friend now has it too, altho' no where near as bad. Another friend has a history of ovarian cancer in her family and now she is facing her second round of chemo for it. Heart problems run in my family but mainly on the male side. Of course I don't eat a lot of carp and I do exercise, which probably helps with my odds.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 18, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

As one of the 50M uninsured who happened to need medical attention recently, all I can say is that even though I didn't get to see the "paying wing" (where they leave the "good meds" on your pillow, I hear) I still managed to receive prompt and adequate attention. However, their thinly veiled attempts to find an alternative provider for my needs at every turn did not go unnoticed.

I'm all for a single-payer system and hope Obama is able to push through some meaningful reform, but even with our broken system I've learned that if you know how to work it you can make it work for you. If you're willing to spend hours on hold and are not too proud to beg, there are public and private resources that will help.

That said, it would sure be nice to just show an insurance card and get the "gold" treatment, but I'll take what I can get.

Posted by: martooni | August 18, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, bh72. Don't blow me up.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 18, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

As for health, has everyone been reading about our SALT situation? I've been reading food labels and the sodium content is shocking... trying to keep to 1500 mg/day is a real challenge. Of course, Europeans have strict limits on sodium levels. Canada is the worst for high levels. Something serious to think about.

Good health though is more than what you eat. It's about caring for yourself and knowing your limits. Taking vacations with loved ones, loving your pets, enjoying the simple pleasures of life, and enjoying free HD TV over the air waves...

Posted by: MissToronto | August 18, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Reposting from the last boodle. (Whenever will I learn to preview or back boodle?)

Scotty, rush your ticket order right now. The Pythons are coming!

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/monty-python-reunion-monty-python-reunion-monty-python-reunion/#comments

Posted by: rickoshea0 | August 18, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Martooni. Great to have you back. You have had a lot of people asking after you. Do what kguy said and ask about the side effects of your treatments. Possible liver damage isn't an option. Hope the Bean and Mrs. M are doing well. I took the kids to the beach about a month ago and they made me get on a Ferris Wheel. Oy.

Posted by: -jack- | August 18, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

A funny bit on "balance" in medical/science reporting (salty language alert)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIaV8swc-fo
(can't find a transcript)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 18, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

good to see you back here Martooni. May all the elves and sprites and good fairies head your way and give you some relief.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 18, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Fatuous garden comment meets pome. (When did this guy visit the gardens Chez Frostbitten)

Sunup to Noon Tonight

A constellation of
black-eyed susans
framed in the screen
of our kitchen door—

each dark peering eye
dead center in its radiant
gold-fringe petal-collar looks
as if it had
burst
from its core
an instant before

Though each susan keeps still
at the end of her stem
as if snapshot-clicked
except for a
nudging breeze
that streams between
mobs of livid phlox
the color of anger and lust
and daylily sprays which
like splinters of sun blaze
(having been carelessly
dropped by Helios
into our cool green garden
as he hauled his blistering
load of heat and light
from sunup to noon
tonight)

Jim Culleny; August 2009

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 18, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

gwe,
That should be one heckuva show. You have half of Van Hagar up there on stage. Michael Anthony was with Eddie but Sammy hadn't joined when I saw them in 1980.

And Joe Satriani will go lick for lick with Eddie any time. Have fun surfing with the alien, but don't touch any ice-nine.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 18, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I always liked this electric guitar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FdWPeHFAMk

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 18, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

DUX soda crackers from Colombia have only half the sodium of Great Value saltines. Interesting.

Was a nice sunset to walk the beach. Water and air the same temperature. The promised weekend Bill swell is looking like a disappointment.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 18, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, Martooni. Jumper, too.
Psoriasis is often part of an immune disturbance. M, I think you are on methyl trexate. Been there there with two family members. Can work to turn the immune system off. Serious stuff but can help in a flare.

How is the woodworking going? When you get better, please build these shelves for the bunker staircase. Make them paperback depth please:
http://thesteampunkhome.blogspot.com/2008/02/library-in-staircase.html

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | August 18, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Green Onions, Roy Buchanan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY2Z0juP-ag

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 18, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Lovely idea, somewhat unusual shot of a staircase.

I think that could be steampunked by using metal trim, maybe grilles, and a cherry or oak finish, and of course a steampunk fairy door.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 18, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Anybody still up? Robert Wright is the guest on Colbert Report in a few minutes.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 18, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

What network, 'mudge?

Posted by: Yoki | August 18, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Poop. Colbert is on earlier here. I missed Wright :(

Posted by: Yoki | August 18, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Joel, Good wishes.

(Am I allowed to say that?)

Posted by: rickoshea0 | August 18, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

martooni, man, it's good to see you back here.

Sorry to hear about your health issues, I hope you get back to '100% 'tooni all the time' very soon.

gwe, I hope Chickefoot's good. I've seen all those guys seperately, and only Chad with the Chili Peppers within the past 20 years.

Sadly, I've never seen those "superbands" work out all that well. Little Village broke my heart despite a really good album, and I don't see myself getting back on that train again.

As far as hospitals stays go, I'm knocking on wood over here. Haven't had to yet, despite a fair amount of knocking around and Emergency Room visits.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 18, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Comedy Central. 249 if you have DirectTV; otherwise I don't know. You'll be able to see both the clip as well as the full show on the Intertubes tomorrow, Yoki.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 18, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, Colbert and the Daily Show both come on twice an evening in these parts. The early one (8 p.m. here, and then Colbert at 8:30) is always the rerun of the previous night's show--that might be the one you already missed. Check to see if there's another one on later tonight (your time).

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | August 18, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Been there, done that WRT hospitals. Paying dearly for it, too, despite decent health insurance. Between myself and our son, this summer saw 3 CAT scans, and four hospital visits (2 ER, 2 overnight) = 5k, give or take a K, out of pocket. The total bill was nearly triple that amount. thus, insurance covers 2/3, we cover 1/3. The institutions are vigilant about collecting, as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6xkT7FMyTc

Posted by: -jack- | August 18, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

jack, I just love your late-night links.

Money is still taught in high school band/jazz band classes, especially to drummers and vocalists. Being my offspring of course #1 and #2 were never vocalists, but #2 was a drummer for a short while.

And it is an awesome example of early Motown. To my taste.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

back from an awesome show,if anyone gets a chance to see Chickenfoot,please do.A nice mix of Hagar's vocals and Satriani's guitar.Really cool light show too. They played in New York last night and said some guy passed out in the Front row during the show.Of course they wrote a rockin little song about it.Also I listened to their CD,which they played completely,it is a very good pick up.

My ears are still booming a little and I got 7 more hours of work.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 19, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Green Man, I love that you said "My ears are booming."

Good use of creative language. I can feel the throb. You are an artist.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

White House comment on guns at public events:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/18/AR2009081803416.html?hpid=topnews
Sigh. Sometimes the founding fathers dismay me.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 19, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Hey Yoki
how are things up north? Snowing yet? Te he he........

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 19, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Yes, actually. I looked at the peaks, and last night it snowed.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2009 2:10 AM | Report abuse

Wow,snow in August that is awesome.We could use some snow here,the last week has been triple H.Hazy,Hot and Humid,tonight's air feels as thick as soup.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 19, 2009 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Vintage Lady, all the best to you. And you too, Jumper.

Martooni, so good to see you back. Glad you’re on the mend and hope you get well soon.

I try to eat healthy as often as possible. Sometimes when I walk pass food stalls with delicious looking fritters, I break down and buy them. A few times a week, I take vitamins with phyto stuff in them. Does that count as taking care of my health?

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 19, 2009 3:31 AM | Report abuse


We call the pitcher of the pitcher plant “monkey’s cup” because monkeys drink the water collected in the pitcher. I’ve only seen those that trap insects.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 19, 2009 3:39 AM | Report abuse

martooni! glad to see you again, and i hope you get better soon.

mudge, regarding the hijacked russian ship, you are so right on. things just do not add up. and we'll probably never know.

Posted by: LALurker | August 19, 2009 4:25 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all. Yea! martooni! To me it just isn't right for you and others to be sick and stressed and rashed even more because of lack of coverage. Your story should be front page. I hope a plan is approved that helps you and your family out.

Re: Joel's head transplant. Be very careful, there, you might get thicker hair, but lose your ability to rotate head due to shortened neck, or something.

Re: Hospitals. Hospitals are otherworldly, but if one stay for a few days, inside becomes reality and outside becmes a goal to aspire to. Agree with Raysmom, even visiting/supporting family member in hospital can lead to feeling of escape once outside is achieved.

Hope slyness has inspiration for bunker breakfast/brunch, I can tell you that "fresh from ground beans" coffee is ready, toast and sliced cantalope from Cox's Farm market, maybe a bit of Dubliner cheese.

*Tim, stay healthy. It's cheaper.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 19, 2009 5:09 AM | Report abuse

Wow, you were up early, VintageLady.

Ham biscuits for breakfast should go well with cantelope, yum. This is the last package of ham, we'll have to make a run to the barbeque place that sells the ham when we are next in the mountains. Not that that's a problem!

Bible study this morning, we're in II Kings. I haven't read it yet so I don't know what terrible stories we'll discuss today. We're in the Elisha cycle, and some of it is simply deadly. So much violence! I'm not feeling awe and reverence for this stuff. Fascinating, but not stuff you'd read to the kids.

Posted by: slyness | August 19, 2009 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmph. Dead again. The Dawn Patrol is virtually a thing of the past.

'Morning, Boodle. Looks like it's just you and me, slyness and VL.

There's this that made me grumble: "Car dealers are growing increasingly impatient with the government's slow pace in reimbursing them for accepting trade-ins as part of its popular "Cash for Clunkers" program, even though Transportation Department officials say they are working to address the delays. [Bwahahahaha.]
...
"To deal with the issue, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it is tripling the number of workers who are processing claims to 1,100 contract and federal employees." [No comment. None printable in a family newspaper, anyway.]

*********
Today in Old Ironsides and Spacedog History

Aug. 19, 1812: The first major American victory of the War of 1812 occurs as the frigate USS Constitution (Capt. Isaac Hull) captures the British frigate HMS Guerriere (Capt. James Dacres) in mid-Atlantic after one of the fiercest ship-to-ship battles in U.S. Naval history; Guerriere was so badly shot up she had to be scuttled the next day. One American sailor claimed to have seen a British cannonball bounce off the hull of the Constitution, leading to her famous nickname, “Old Ironsides.”
1960: The Soviet Union recovers the satellite Sputnik V, returned to earth carrying the dogs Belka and Strelka, the first living organisms launched into and retrieved from space flight.
******

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

As threatened, my pictures of Pittsburgh, including a cutaway of a Primanti Brothers sandwich complete with fries and slaw.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/sets/72157621949039919/detail/

Or read more on my blog:

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2009/08/fries-are-not-condiment.html

This is NOT food that will keep you out of a hospital. Sometimes it's the quality of life, not just the quantity.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 19, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Good old Barney Frank does it again. I know a lot of people don’t care for him, but I appreciate how he speaks his mind and doesn’t suffer fools.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYlZiWK2Iy8&feature=player_embedded

Another hot one here. More errands to run and some more perusal of the web for job postings, there is nothing out there!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 19, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about missing muster but I'm on a new regimine where I try to get outdoors past the end of the driveway to pick up the WaPo every morning. It's not going as well as I hoped. Early in the summer I tripped and pulled something, so my jogging days are vastly curtailed. I was up to nearly a mile before it happened. Now I just walk most of it.

Besides, Wednesdays are Dowd Day so I had to slap together this pastiche of women in sex scandals, real and fictional.

http://dowdreport.blogspot.com/2009/08/hung-over.html

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | August 19, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I am one of those lucky people who have never been admitted to the hospital. Outside of a few checkups, and one outpatient procedure after the birth of our second child. I have pretty much avoided contact with doctors at all.

Of course, I have had checkups, including the one needed to get this job, which was most exceedingly thorough. Obviously I passed, although there was some concern about my hearing. It turned out I was simply pressing the wrong button. They doubtless concluded that I wasn't deaf, just not very bright. But I digress.

The thing is, I have survived this far blissfully untreated. And don't you doubt that I am grateful for this.

Although one of those head transplants might be useful.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 19, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Morning Boodle,
We just got our connection up at our new place in Chicago. Still lots and lots to unpack/arrange/buy/throw away, but I'll try to get back to the boodle soon.

Posted by: Southwester | August 19, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

My wife has compiled a long list of events for which she will NOT drive me to the emergency room. It includes bagel related injuries. I hope to never call her bluff on this.

My son spent nearly two weeks in the hospital recovering from ruptured appendix complications. Not a pleasant experience, but not a costly one to us. Since he got admitted from the ER, there was not one dime of copay.

The value of having at least one spouse in the public sector is good health insurance. Our take-away lesson was that anyone in a hospital needs a healthy involved advocate or proper care will not happen. We daily had some run-in over the level of care or lack thereof.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 19, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Go, Barney!!!!!!!!! I just gotta love that guy. Metaphorically.

It's about time--way past time -- that politicians began addressing these people on the terms they deserve to be addressed. It isn't that they are conservatives, it isn't that they are necessarily gun nuts-- they are just simply wackos, fruitcakes, demented, and somebody needs to tell them that. We have to stop pretending these moonbeams are somehow pretty much just like all the rest of us, and that we need to address their concerns. What we need to address is their mental health. Someone of high stature in politics or the media needs to stand up and admit the truth: a certain proportion of the American public -- 10 percent? 15 percent? I dunno -- is simply delusional.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

At first, I read 'Barney' as Joshua, the Commodore. After all, Mudge captains the history ship here.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | August 19, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

A quick comment about eating 'right' - a good friend of mine suggests that what constitutes 'right' for one person may be different for another.

We all have unique lifestyles and our bodies have different requirements. I also think enjoying food is probably good for one's mental and emotional health as well. Seriously, a good homemade carbonara can bring me to tears.

My point -- sometimes it's OK to stop and enjoy the fritters. I just did the other day, with corn fritters as a side to old-school Maryland crabs -- served on newspapers, with wooden mallets, drawn butter, sweet corn on the cob and enough Old Bay in the air to sting my eyes. Wonderful.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 19, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Oh, that Barney Frank clip was fabulous! I'm so glad some politians have the spine to call the nutjobs out!

I see in the morning paper a story saying that the Democrats are past trying to get the Republicans to work with them and are ready to go forward alone to get reform done. It is ever so, isn't it, with progressive legislation? I was a child in the 60's and so not tuned in to civil rights and Medicare, but isn't that how stuff got done then?

Posted by: slyness | August 19, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I made a pretty good eggplant parmesan last night. Flour, garlic powder, trace cornmeal in the breading, fried in mix of butter, bacon grease, schmaltz, and olive oil. Drained. Set on bed of cooked whole wheat rotini and added parmesan, then smothered in sauted mushrooms, covered in spaghetti sauce with hamburger cooked in it. More parm on top. Covered pan, 275 in oven for 45 minutes.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 19, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Actually, no, slyness, not much. The landmark Civil Right Act got passed basically because JFK was assassinated, and Lyndon Johnson was able to use that opportunity to ramrod that through Congress. It is doubtful it would have passed any other way. There was a unique and narrow window of opportunity, and LBJ rode roughshod through it. Absent JFK's assassination, I doubt it would ever have made it out of committee.

Truman asked for Medicare in 1945, and it was debated for 20 years. Johnson asked for it in 1965 as part of his "Great Society" program (again, using a lot of JFK's death momentum). Republicans, of course screamed bloody murder that it was "socialized medicine," yadda yadda, and fought it ever step of the way. Johnson was smart, though. He couldn't get too much past Congress, so he settled for what he could get. There were all sorts of exceptions and exemptions to it, lots of stuff and classes of people that wasn't covered. So LBJ got a bare bones version through. And then over the years, when Chicken Little realized the sky wasn't gonna fall, additional legislation was passed in tiny increments, adding this or that coverage, or this or that class of people to the basic plan (federal employees weren't covered until 1983). Basically, Medicare/Medicade was "nickel-and-dimed" into its present shape.

(See http://seniorjournal.com/NEWS/2000%20Files/Aug%2000/FTR-08-04-00MedCarHistry.htm for details of what was added when.)

This model suggests, therefore, that Obama should do the same thing: accept a small, modest reform bill --- and then over time nickel-and-dime more pieces to it. (I don't think I agree--but it's what that Medicare model suggests.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

There was a longer clip of the Barney Frank TH meeting with a man who had been unemployed for three months and in danger of losing his house. He asked what the government was doing about people like him. Frank tried to explain that he was sponsoring a bill to lend some of the TARP profits to people in danger of foreclosure. Well, the man said he didn’t think taxpayers should be footing the bill. No matter how hard Frank tried to explain that it was a ‘loan’ and it was from earned money, the man just would not hear him. Frank said to the man that he had come in with preconceived ideas and just wasn’t listening to Frank’s answers (duh!). So yeah, delusional, thick as a brick, stubborn, intractable, call it what you will but as this morning’s poll about healthcare shows, people believe the lies and myths and are just not open to logical, rational thought. It’s discouraging!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 19, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

The man asked what the governor was doing for people like him, but didn't think the taxpayer should foot the bill. Where does he think the government gets money?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 19, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Al.

I'm with bc on the sensual pleasures of food. When it becomes a prescription we've really gone too far. That said, I do eat fresh real food almost always. Except for those cheese-stuffed deep fried jalapenos. Oh my, yes. Those.

If you want to resurrect the Dawn Patrol, 'mudge, I'll step forward.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

SCC... let me try this again...

The man asked what the GOVERNMENT was doing for people like him, but didn't think the taxpayer should foot the bill. Where does he think the government gets money?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 19, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Magical thinking at its very best, TBG.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I love this sign... "Cut taxes not defense"

http://www.workdayminnesota.org/upload/editor/Image/2009/June/0616tax_protest.jpg

Posted by: -TBG- | August 19, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Hellooo? Do people really not make the connection between taxes and government spending? That's just amazing.

Posted by: slyness | August 19, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

What's with all the tags on everything in that picture, TBG?

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 19, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Wheezy,
I think someone is making the perhaps too subtle point that tax dollars have made their protest site possible.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 19, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

slyness, there's a guy in the pix with a sign that says "zero taxes." I've always thought such people were basically certifiable.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, yello. Confirming my belief that I'm slipping into early senility.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 19, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the "zero taxes" guy is an Alaskan. They have no state income tax and no state sales tax. Their solution to getting revenue is simple- oil money and federal funding. Why can't every other state be as sensible?

Posted by: kguy1 | August 19, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I missed it, too, Wheezy. (It's not just you who didn't get it. yello is too polite when he says it is "perhaps too subtle." There's subtle...and then there's "obscure.")

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

A huge set of Ernst Haeckel's illustrations. The internet is still evolving.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Kunstformen_der_Natur

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 19, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I know I'm math-challenged but even I understand income and outgo. How many of these lunatics are the same ones who got carried away with credit card and mortgage debt and are now wondering what the heck happened and blaming everyone but themselves?

Someone (not Barney Frank as much as I love him) needs to stand up and tell people in very s.i.m.p.l.e language how delusional they are and why.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 19, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Hello boodlers! It's my third first day of class! Figure that one out.

I always forget how fun it is to lurk here.

Posted by: SonofG | August 19, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Jumper! Love the Snakestretchers!!!!

Take me back (or roll my wheelchair back)

Posted by: russianthistle | August 19, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

kguy...

Alaska is the number one Socialist state in these United States of America. They take, and take and give themselves oil revenue and then take more.

And they don't like socialism.

hmmmmm.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 19, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Somebody get that child out of here.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

SoG's Boodling from class, and I'm teleworking from my sickbed...

Par for the course, eh?

*quick Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 19, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Son of G, my kids are in their third first day of classes also - first day was just a "meet and greet" kind of day, then the first four classes met for the first time yesterday, second four meeting today for the first time.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 19, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

mudge,
just dropped by to read and eat my BLT. Nice cup of coffee, then off to work. Speaking of food. Has anyone talked about the Whole Foods "thing?"

Posted by: russianthistle | August 19, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Don't think so, weed. I read the article as well as Parker's piece and my total reaction was "meh."

Scotty, you still sick? *shaking my head and faxing some chicken soup it couldn't hurt*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Weed, Wilbrod and I discussed it the other night. Just can't figure why the guy wanted to alienate his customer base that way. Trying to get fired? Someone said he sold a large block of stock the day before the editorial appeared, so he knew what would happen.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 19, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, get better! Teleworking... it is a faulty concept, isn't it?!

otherwise known as 24 x 7 x 365 availability.

or - tethered.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 19, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

howdy, sonofg!

the barney frank video is great. that's definitely what more people need to do - call a spade a spade. frank could have pushed the envelope more on how offensive it is to throw around the term naziism.

Posted by: LALurker | August 19, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of teleworking, some of you folks may be unaware, but the fed gummint has a long-standing official policy encouraging telecommuting. Which sounds nice, until you learn that the same fed gummint has a ton of restrictions and rules, and bends over backwards making telecommuting as difficult as possible. You just wouldn't believe.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"Sadly, No" pointed out last week (when Mackey's editorial came out) that his suggestion to have a checkoff on income tax forms to donate to health care for the uninsured has this problem: if each and every one of the 140 million taxpayers checked the box and donated $10, that would give the 50 million uninsured $28 each with which to buy health care. Sadly, No suggested this for $28: a box of bandaids, a bottle of vodka, a bottle of aspirin, and a sharp knife to perform one's own surgery.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 19, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

On a related not-so healthy foodie note, some of the guys who ran the late, great Louisana Express in deep downtown Bethesda (closed when the former owner passed away), have opened up a new place on the other side of Bethesda, Lousiana Kitchen & Bayou Bar.

They're using the same recipies that I've been partaking of for -- sheesh, must be close to 25 years now. Can't wait to have one of their dynamite oyster po' boys, a bowl of crawfish bisque, and a tall, cold Abita. A slice of the good life for around $15, IMO.

On a side note, when I go to the hospital, and have to get some serious work done, I'm going to consider set up a deal when I can sell parts off to pay for the needed procedures. If I need my appendix removed, go ahead and take one of my nice healthy kidneys while you're in there, and give me the difference for paying for the surgery & associated costs and what you can sell it for in cash.

I'll call it a Reverse Health Mortgage.

Southwester, I'm glad you made it there safely.

And SoG, it *is* a lot more fun in here than working or studying, isn't it? Hope you're doing well.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 19, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

bc,

most wonderful post about Louisiana Express. The restaurant location on Bethesda Ave actually closed before Peter passed away. At the time, the property owner wanted to really jack up their rent.

I knew Peter way back when he was running his restaurant at 18th and Columbia.

Carlos, who along with Jose in the kitchen, run the new place almost exactly as Louisiana Express.

bc, you have the spot pegged. I have so many fond memories spent at the old place with my daughter.

Peter actually worked with Carlos and Jose to take a first shot at getting the new spot, but the deal didn't get done for quite a bit. Reality of the economy set in as we know can happen and the guys got the place.

You can still listen to the original music mix of the Louisiana Aces and so many other greats and Peters art has migrated up from DC to Bethesda avenue and now the spot on Cordell Ave in Bethesda, just off Norfolk.

Me? a bowl of Chicken Gumbo along with a freshly baked biscuit.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 19, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, I didn't realize you were still ailing and I do hope you feel better soon. The worst of my cold is over but my back is sore, not the side that hurt in the spring. I am taking it easy but moving a lot so it doesn't seize up or anything. I must have strained a muscle vacuuming or something.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 19, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

badsneakers,
I thought you hurt your back early spring doing the Shot Put in the annual boodle decathlon competition.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 19, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I've been thinking about parting out the old corpus too, bc, but in a perhaps more serious way. I've always been an organ donor, but as I get older, the postmortem utility of my organs becomes increasingly problematic. Also, when I looked into donating my body to a medical school I learned that they don't want organ donors (except corneas) for obvious reasons. So there seemed to be a conflict between two equally good causes, organ donation and medical education. Then I learned of a third option, the "body farm", The Forensic Anthropology Center at the University of Tennessee. Here's their mission statement-

"Forensic anthropology is the application of the science of physical anthropology to the legal process. The identification of skeletal, badly decomposed, or otherwise unidentified human remains is important for both legal and humanitarian reasons. Forensic anthropologists apply standard scientific techniques developed in physical anthropology to identify human remains, and to assist in the detection of crime. Forensic anthropologists frequently work in conjunction with forensic pathologists, odontologists, and homicide investigators to identify a decedent, discover evidence of foul play, and/or the postmortem interval. In addition to assisting in locating and recovering suspicious remains, forensic anthropologists work to suggest the age, sex, ancestry, stature, and unique features of a decedent from the skeleton."

Donated remains provide these folks with the means to make real world tests to determine cause of death, time of death, pre and postmortem injury, animal and insect damage, etc. It's CSI type stuff. And, they accept bodies after organ donation, even for skin grafts. I'm giving it serious thought. Here's their site-http://web.utk.edu/~fac

Posted by: kguy1 | August 19, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The body farm at UTenn is featured in one of Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta novels, titled (strangely enough), "The Body Farm" It's pretty good.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Yanno -- sometimes I should just take my own advice and stop reading Steven Pearlstein's columns. I sent a comment to his live chat just now, but I don't know if he'll post it.

Other than that, I hope all who are ailing will feel better soon, and for those who are not ailing, whaddya wanna do now?

Nah, I gotta get some more work done before I tuck into some lunch.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 19, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Very funny rt, nope, don't have the upper body strength for shot put.

The book 'Stiff" by Mary Roach has a chapter about the UTenn program. It's a very interesting, if somewhat gross book.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 19, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Grrrrrrrrrrr.

"Poll: Most Americans Not Concerned About Swine Flu

By Jon Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 10:16 AM

"Most Americans are either "not too" or "not at all" worried about the swine flu hitting home and broad majorities have confidence the government and local health providers will be able to effectively deal with an outbreak, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll."

Didja get that? "...have confidence the government and local health providers will be able to effectively deal with an outbreak..." Oh, yeah. But don't let the government get involved in health care. No, we don't want no steenkin' government intrusion.

"Eager to stem the spread of the H1N1 virus, several federal agencies joined forces today to release new guidelines for businesses to use in the upcoming flu season." Sure glad them damn feds are staying out of health care.

"A key component in the federal response is the swine flu vaccine currently in production..." By whom, you may ask? By the pharmaceutical industry? Uh, why no. Private industry doesn't wanna make the stuff. Too afraid of lawsuits. It has to be the fed gummint. But glad we don't have no gummint intrusion. The private system works just fine.

"In general, nearly three-quarters have confidence the government can respond effectively to a swine flu outbreak in this country; more than eight in 10 say so about their local health agencies."

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Sometimes I just wanna bang my head against the wall.


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Careful there Mudge. Last time I checked self-inflicted cranial damage isn't usually covered.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 19, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I think it's covered, but has a Tier 3 co-pay.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 19, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

In my case it's a pre-existing condition.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I think I need some boodle mojo this weekend. We're going to visit one of my very best friends who has, unfortunately, become more and more conservative as she gets older. Normally she's a very bright, inquisitive sort, but lately she's swallowing whole some of the rumors flying around the internet. Our last conversation consisted of me trying to find some ground we could agree on regarding health care ("insurance companies suck"). I think we're going to have to stay away from politics; otherwise I'm going to spend the entire weekend on line with snopes and other myth-debunking sites.

I will, however, draw the line if she goes in the direction of "Obama ruined the economy." No, sister. This here recession is 18 months old, or so I read.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 19, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you, Mudge.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! And copious laughter. Amazing. . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | August 19, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Just carry an unconcealed weapon when you go, Raysmom.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Unloaded--I wouldn't want Raysmom to test her self-control like that, Mudge.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 19, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Don Hewitt passed away:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/19/AR2009081901811.html

Posted by: seasea1 | August 19, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I'd be tempted to point out that those are the same idiots who said Obama was a muslim. But that'd probably lead to a shootout.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 19, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Great pics of Pittsburgh, yellojkt. And you spelled the rivers correctly! I didn't realize the bridges were named - I guess renamed is what I mean. You got my beloved Fort Pitt Bridge, which gives me a panic attack even when I'm not driving. Nice that you went to the Carnegie Museum. The Phipps Conservatory is near there and well worth a visit. If you like gardens, which maybe you guys don't so much. And Frick - what a piece of work he was. Great art collection.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 19, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Meeting with auditors can be magic--a spectacular effect here, a little misdirection there, the big finish. . . then walking out of the meeting sighing with relief that they bought it. Last audit here!

A day and a half left. Everyone is flagging, the high(er than mine were) spirits of everyone who had to learn new tasks now evaporated as it's sunk in (1)they actually have to perform said tasks and (2) new tasks add onto their regular work.

I'm coming down with something, but my spirits are now good!

SonofG, I can't say the same for you since we all know *always* that you're fun to be around.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 19, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I saw the Barney Frank clip on Larry King last night. I heart Barney Frank. I thought too, he should have been more explicit in how awful and wrong the Nazi comparison is...I bet the right wingers will have a totally different take on the whole thing.

Larry King had Ron Paul, Rep Song (D-CA) and Sanjay Gupta on, talking about health care. Ron Paul took some pretty wild diversions from health care - he always ties everything to monetary policy - and Sanjay would screw up his face as to not explode. Pretty amusing.

I have a visit coming up with my BFF from high school who turned into a right wing fundamentalist. Will have to steer the conversation away from politics, health care, etc. She's in Alaska on vacation, so I imagine it will be hard to avoid Sarah Palin.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 19, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the nice comments about my pics, seasea. Overall, my wife and I rated Steel City just a little higher than Bawlmer for Struggling Former Industrial Town Trying To Stay Economically Viable, but we may be a little jaded and biased against the hometown.

It was a little hot for the Botanical Gardens, so we may have to hit them the next time. The Oakland area was the pleasant surprise of the whole trip. What a cool, funky college town vibe. And some still in business used bookstores to take my money and fill my shelves.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 19, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Howdy boodle. Just a quick drive by, and many thanks for the Barney Frank link, to the fine man himself, and the people of MA who continue to elect him.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 19, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom,
Take comfort in the knowledge that facts are on your side. Two weeks ago my dad sent me an e-mail pass-along alerting people to watch A Very Special Hannity on August 9. Out of morbid curiosity I tuned to see a run of the mill re-run and quickly went back to Degrassi.

Then last week he sent me another e-mail presumably from the same person saying that the episode had been yanked for mysterious reasons at the last minute, but that it was available on YouTube...for who knows how long, implying some sinister cabal was trying to suppress it.

The links went to clips from a Hannity fear-mongering special that aired October 6, 2008, just before the election. It was clearly not new nor groundbreaking.

I replied to my dad saying that whoever is sending him those links is treating his friends like idiots if they think they can pass off nearly year-old shows as news. I haven't gotten a reply.

But it is that sort of FUD that is being spread. This garbage is easily refuted or fact-checked, but since it feeds preconceptions, people don't bother.

I just fight lies with truth. And then smile and stay silent while trying to keep my eyes from rolling.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 19, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

RIP Don Hewitt...

I kinda think seeing the Michael Vick travesty finally did Don in.

And I just wish we could all admit that most of what passes for "investigative TV journalism" these days isn't muckraking, it's slinging $h!t without regard to reality in order to entertain.

Don't get me started, I'm already flushed and cranky...

*SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 19, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Scotty,
Just don't watch any daytime TV. It'll kill ya.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 19, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Don't get me started, I'm already flushed and cranky..."

There's days Scotty and I not only trade Shop Steward duties, we trade personalities. More's the pity for him.

*faxing him another 55-gallon drum of chicken soup it couldn't hurt*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

*standing back and waiting for 'Mudge's Grover waves and Snoopy dances*

*teeheeheehee* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 19, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

OK, maybe I'm just a thick ol' Southern boy, but I genuinely don't understand the uproar over Whole Foods Mackey's health care opinion piece in the WSJ. Reasonable people can disagree over whether his suggested approaches are sufficient or even desirable, but I don't think that serious people can accuse him of suggesting anything particularly radical.

His statement that the Constitution doesn't stipulate rights to food, shelter, or medical care was a bizarre bit of demagoguery, and his implication that a healthy Whole Foods-kinda diet should keep us all out of the hospital till we're fully geezered is self-serving ignorant crap. He blithely ignores the fact that a significant number of people aren't formally covered under any plan, and therefore receive health care that's inadequate and/or expensive. But his piece wasn't really about any of that junk, and his health care reform proposals weren't exactly the equivalent of advocating the ice floe treatment for the poor or anything.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 19, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Afternoon, friends. Mudge, the Dawn Patrol might be a little down, but certainly not out. With all the medications, I'm out like a light, and can't seem to get back in my regular routine. I haven't given up.

Slyness, I see you still have ham biscuits. Oh, be still my heart.

The Repubs have people believing that they can live in this world without paying taxes. I like to tell those folks, and they're beyond delusional, suppose the city you live in didn't collect taxes, those giant rats that live around you would take up residence in your home. Or when you dial the fire dept., no answer, and certainly no truck. People know better, but they want to carry their point, so they play mentally deranged. It makes them sound good, and perhaps if the face doesn't make babies cry, they might look good too. Repubs should be hung on sticks for perpetrating that lie.

Of course, in the end it all boils down to control. Everybody wanting to call the shots, but no one wanting to follow. And that my friends, pulls the cover off "worth or value". A majority of people in this country feel that their very existence has more "value" or "worth" than some others. And this notion usually stems from hatred, because at the end of the day, even in the early hours of the morning, we all need the same things to survive, and I'm talking basics here. And in the evening of our lives, we will all do the same thing, leave this world for another world, and none of this nonsense will friggin matter.

I think there's a smell too, frostbitten.

We're still doing "air" that one can wear, and heat to go along with that. Perhaps a thunder boomer today.

Take care of yourself, 'toon. I'll keep you in prayer. Have a great day, folks.*waving*

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 19, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I'd be more impressed if he hadn't sold a big chunk o'stock the day before his comments. So he's got the mouth, but he's not putting his money where it is.

One of the local radio stations had a song this morning about Vick, set to the tune of *Welcome back, Kotter.* Most memorable line was about Vick coming to the Eagles, better lock up your beagles.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 19, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Have decided to go on a personal crusade refuting the idea that our Senators and Congresspersons in DC get "free health care for life." What a pity Princess Sparkle Pony will lose her health coverage when she is unseated, but there you have it.

Wish I could have seen Pa Frost-in-law's face when Mr. F told him not only do Senators get the same plan all federal employees get, but that they pay 12 times what the frostfam will pay under the military's Tricare retiree plan. Tricare is run by civilian companies that bid on covering military family members and retirees in very large regions (5 I think). Very controversial when first introduced, but pretty well loved these days. Why controversial? Soldiers and their families didn't want any stinking civilians running their health care. They had to keep MTFs (Military Treatment Facilities) as a choice for primary care or it would have been sunk before it could start.

Some of this is treading over old ground here, but I figure if I pick just a couple lies to refute someone else can pick up a few more.

The other thing I want to do is have a t-shirt printed to wear to town hall meetings. "We're #35!!" would be on the front, then on the back a list of the WHO health rankings with nations 1-34 printed above the US.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 19, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Make that "We're 37!!"

Or-- "We're no worse than Slovenia!"

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 19, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

FYI- Slovenia is 38th in outcomes, and 35th in health care spending as % of GDP. Pretty close to getting what they pay for I'd say. The US, 37th in outcomes, second in spending. And people are mad at Obama? As the frank Mr. Frank would ask "on what planet do they spend most of their time?"

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 19, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I love your shirt idea, Frostbitten! I had heard 37, not 35, but whatever.

Bob, some folks are most upset by Mackey's Margaret Thatcher quote to lead off, the use of which implies that Obama's health care reform is socialism. From memory, it's ~"socialism is fine until you run out of other people's money"~

I'm copyrighting the "approx quote" thing. Unless someone else already did.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 19, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Mackey is a delusional Randian. And I bet many of his customers are too. It's not a crime, but as his wallet bet, it can't be good for business.

It seems he had a sock puppet issue as well.

http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/07/12/whole-foods-ceo-posted-online-attacks-about-wild-oats/

That would be the bigger outrage.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 19, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

*laughing at yello's objection to sock puppets*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Hi boodle, For those who don't know and may find it of interest I am employed again starting next Monday! I am beyond happy because I found a good fit for me and travel which I like. After five, long, soul-searching months I am one less person on the unemployment stats. Yay!

Posted by: Windy3 | August 19, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

*doing Scotty's Snoopy dance*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Good for you, Windy. Congratulations!

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 19, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Yay, Windy! Good for you!

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 19, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Glad you appreciate the irony, mudge. There's no bigger zealot than a convert.

Congrats on the job, Windy. The Boodle recovery is underway.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 19, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The Recession's over!! Unemploymented has just plummeted!! Yayyyy!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

http://www.jetblue.com/jetpaws/misc.asp

Black dog struts with gnome
that's not black, slim nor leggy.
My money back, please.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 19, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

OK, it was just a teeny-tiny plummet. But still. Hey, I'm an economy-is-half-plummeted/economy-is-half-bubbled kinda guy.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

In honor of Windy--congratulations!

Who's peekin' out from under a stairway
Calling a name that's lighter than air
Who's bending down to give me a rainbow
Everyone knows it's Windy

Who's tripping down the streets of the city
Smilin' at everybody she sees
Who's reachin' out to capture a moment
Everyone knows it's Windy

And Windy has stor-my eyes
That flash at the sound of lies
And Windy has wings to fly
Above the clouds (above the clouds)
Above the clouds (above the clouds)

[Flute]

And Windy has stor-my eyes
That flash at the sound of lies
And Windy has wings to fly
Above the clouds (above the clouds)
Above the clouds (above the clouds)

Who's tripping down the streets of the city
Smilin' at everybody she sees
Who's reachin' out to capture a moment
Everyone knows it's Windy
[Repeat And fade]

Posted by: -dbG- | August 19, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of Mackey and the right to food, 18th century England had periodic food shortages, which set off price rises, which resulted in food riots.

The authorities knew not to kill food rioters--soldiers were to whack them with the flat sides of their swords. Efforts had to be made to control prices and find supplies.

There was very definitely a duty to prevent famine, even if there wasn't exactly a right to food. I think we can safely assume that the founders of the US understood that full well.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 19, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Yay, Windy! (One fewer person to compete with me for a job - hahaha.) I suppose I should apply for my state-mandated 3 this week, although I did attend 2 workshops which count toward that. Sometimes I think I'm an overachiever even while unemployed...

The problem with the Whole Foods guy is that he apparently forgot or didn't know that his customer base skews very liberal...

Posted by: seasea1 | August 19, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Fabulous news, Windy, congratulations!

Posted by: slyness | August 19, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

dbG beat me to the lyrics, but here's a link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU8vOQNvd3c

If the comments on the video are to be believed The Association will be making a swing through western Canada next month. Wonder what kind of crowd they'll draw in Moosejaw.

Congrats Windy!!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 19, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I certainly didn't mean to imply that I don't realize that Mackey's a self-righteous blowhard! But still, several of his policy proposals appear to me to merit consideration. The rest of it is all just noise that I have a hard time getting too wound up about.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 19, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay Windy!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 19, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Lost jobs blowing by
Now kite over Windy's way
And become real fruit.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 19, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Yay Windy! That leaves seasea and me and who else amongst the boodlers? I haven't been out a month yet, seems like forever. It's hard finding three jobs to apply for this week. I haven't found one yet!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 19, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Those Europeans are so sophisticated and liberal-

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/08/19/82314.html

my favorite line: "We don't have to be tolerant all the time,"

Posted by: kguy1 | August 19, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Wilbrod I didn't acknowledge you yesterday. I just took a quick look at the boodle before rushing off to enjoy Trace Adkins at the Britt. Best thing about working there besides getting free tickets having a parking pass for the musician's parking lot.
Trace made a condescending remark about funny how this tour started in Jacksonville, Florida and now he here is in Jacksonville, Oregon. He likes Jacksonville, Oregon better, BIG cheer. Then goes on to say his wife is from Jacksonville, Florida so when he is there, he has to put up with the in-laws.
After security spent all night keeping the oversellious (is that a word?) women away from the stage, in his last number he invited all that wanted up on the stage with him to perform the onky donk.
Also unusual, in the opening introduction, the announcer said contrary to the signs about no photos and recordings, take all the photos you like. As far as recordings, the sound level was blasting so high toward us, it's doubtful and quality recording could be made. Just got back from hauling trash and glass. The show was a sell out and it appeared to be a beer drinking crowd.
Now for some medicare facts:
Just got the bills for my fasciotomy repair for palmar/dupuytrens of my ring finger.
Surgery Center $3120, after medicare payment, $264.52
Surgeon , Dr. Appleby $765, after medicare $51.13

Posted by: bh72 | August 19, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

seasea, I have to admit I thought the same thing. I went one step further and wondered if Windy's job came with a secretary, or if she might hire me. But then, the thought of moving across the country to become employed isn't too appealing. Yet.

So, badsneakers, count me in your tally. I've been looking for over a year and getting nowhere. Crunch time isn't for another two years for me, though, so I don't think I'm trying hard enough.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 19, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I am quite gladly unemployed for the moment, but have some feelers out. The real job search will begin after I replace a few more toilet gaskets, clean carpets, and generally spruce up the rental property. Meant to take a month off between jobs last year but I only had 48 hours. It was not enough, thus the long dreary list of chores ahead.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 19, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Ouch, not cheap even with insurance.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 19, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

But it's worth it to be able to use all four fingers again to hold a shovel and run a wheelbarrow again. or even point it out to clip the fingernail.

Posted by: bh72 | August 19, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Totally worth it, but still ow.

I'm unemployed until I can make a full career change. Even then, I expect to be underemployed.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 19, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Frosty, are you still mayor of Frostbite Falls?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 19, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Add me to the boodlers yelling YAYYYYYYYYYY WINDYYYYYY!!!

bh72, I am literally salivating over being on Medicare (currently 2 years and 10 days, if eligibility is still at 65 and not older). What is your Medigap insurance like?

*starting to do my homework before the last minute*

Posted by: -ftb- | August 19, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't have any medigap. just out of pocket. Better check on the age eligibly. might be 67 or 69 depending on your birthday. My medicare insurance is $65 a month which they deduct from my social security.

Posted by: bh72 | August 19, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

like mine is in December so I got eligible at 65.

I ment birth date.

Posted by: bh72 | August 19, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Yay for Windy!

Posted by: Raysmom | August 19, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think that Medicare had delayed eligibility to ages higher than 65 (yet). Here's what their webpage says:
Note: You will be eligible for Medicare when you turn 65 even if you are not eligible for Social Security retirement benefits.
And here's a more detailed link:
http://questions.medicare.gov/cgi-bin/medicare.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=121

Posted by: seasea1 | August 19, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

bh72 -- mine is in 10 days (and Mudge's is sooner). Where do I go to look?

Posted by: -ftb- | August 19, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, seasea1

Posted by: -ftb- | August 19, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, your BD is on the 24th, right?

I just looked at the Medicare link from seasea1, and it told me all I need to know (at least right now). I will qualify in 2011.

And counting. . . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | August 19, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-as tempting as it was to step down when I decided not to run for a third term, about two days after the swearing in for my second, I am still mayor of Our Fair City. Just 16 months 12 days to go. I tell you the $35 monthly salary will be hard to give up. But, I get to keep the health coverage-free advice from the local hair stylist, and an automatic second opinion from the postmaster.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 19, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

New flower pictures from the grounds Chez Frostbitten
http://www.flickr.com/photos/39440065@N07/sets/72157621962494907/

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 19, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Frosti... beautiful. Please also post pictures of the snow in October so I can stop feeling jealous.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 19, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Yup, the 24th, ftb. And in fact, the two-week-long Birthday Bacchanal begins tonight. In a few minutes, Dottir #3 is taking us out to our fav local Chinese restuarant for my birthday dinner, since she won't be here on the 24th. Saturday night is the Peter & Paul concert, a birthday present from my wife. On the 30th we'll be going out to Famous Dave's, because that is FamDave's birthday, and everyone named David eats free, and there's a $15 discount. We're going with #1 dottir and her clan, because my son-in-law is named Dave, and his oldest son (my grandson) is named David (as is my my youngest son, but who can't come).

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 19, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Those are gorgeous, frosti. I'm so glad you have a description on the first one. I was trying to figure out what kind of sedum had a flower like that! I'm trying to get some cuttings from the sedums I have...may go to an all sedum, all the time landscape. I finally have some zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers flowering. And a few black-eyed Susans. But they're kind of small and pitiful.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 19, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Nasturtiums--winter flowers for us.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 19, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for sharing, Frosti! Your flowers are lovely.

Posted by: slyness | August 19, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

So I was just checking out frosti's Flickr photos, and then meandered over my own account. It turns out I had an email with a request to use one of my photos in a book, but unfortunately the request was made back in January for a book on BC waterfalls published in the spring. So I've missed my big break at calling myself a published photographer.

Posted by: engelmann | August 19, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Note to engelmann: check email more often.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

frosti, love the way you've interspersed flowers with vegetables! When I do bouquets I mix flowers and herbs, but they're planted separately.

engelmann, awwwwww! I hope you're asked again.

Another exhausting day. I think I'm going to bed now for about 10 hours. Tomorrow, the last one at the stbx job, will most probably be the worst. I already have 7 hours worth of teaching meetings. (I'm astonished, really. It just doesn't seem it should be *that* hard! But hearing them recite back process connections they've made really sounds like whisper down the lane.)

I have a sore throat and a fever--a few more days of this and I'd be really sick. However, :-)

Posted by: -dbG- | August 19, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Pretty pictures frosti. So there are more of us here out of work than I realized. I can't say I've been too upset at being home and able to do some stuff I wouldn't have easily gotten to otherwise. I took a photo from our trip which I had enlarged and dry mounted to be framed. Yikes it's expensive, but worth it. If the weather cools next week, I can paint the house. That's if Bill doesn't fool the computer models and run right over us, I probably wouldn't have a house left to paint.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 19, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Bill is still a stoopid name for a hurricane...

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

What would you name one, Yoki? :-)

I think, um, Cavendish would be a stoopid name for one.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 19, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful photos Frosti. I took some earlier myself of my plants. Tried to get my moonflowers as they opened but they open very fast, turned away for a few minutes and missed my opportunity.

engelmann - hope you get another opportunity to be published. Can you give us a link to the photo?

As much as I love taking pictures I do not have the camera or a real talent for it - but I do so appreciate the photos of people who do have the ability - several on this boodle come to mind.

SoTBG hope you had a great day in school.

This weekend we are off to Niagara Falls for a family getaway weekend - should be a lot of fun, hoping I can talk the family into a small hike to the Glen and take some photos in the woods, there are only so many goofy museums I can handle at a time.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 19, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Cavendish would be a GREAT name for a hurricane!

*moan* I shouldn't have gone back for that second spoonful of the combination egg fu yung. FYI, Tsingtao beer, made in China, is pretty good.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 19, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Hurricane Willsboughworthy, maybe, DBG?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 19, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

dbG-I first began freely mixing vegetables and flowers in NoVA where we had a sunny front yard, dogs in the backyard, and one of those snippy HOAs that takes a dim view of vegetable gardens where they think lawn ought to be. Now I find that if I'm going to till, weed, water and compost I'd just as soon do it for flowers as food.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 19, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they should have pet names? Hurricane Fido. Hurricane Spot. Hurricane Sparky. Hurricane Fluffy. (Or maybe pet names as in Hurricane Sweetcheeks, Hurricane Honey, etc.)

I'm thinking Hurricane Bill is just fine.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 19, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

EYE would name one Werner. Pronounced in the German way, of course. Vaynerrrhhh.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Why must hurricane names be chosen ahead of time. Better to wait until they've done whatever they're going to do in the way of damage, then be named to fit. The most destructive could then be named after whatever is the trendy baby name du jour, with the most obnoxious made up spelling.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 19, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Hurricane Murgatroyd! Hurricane Eulalia! Hurricane Rhododendronia! Hurricane Terpsichore! Hurricane Trixie, Hurricane Butch! Hurricane Skippy! Hurricane Harry Cane! Hurricane Kajal! Hurricane Bunny! Hurricane Bootsy!

Bill, not so much.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 19, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Hurricane Hairball
Clawed Bermuda peachy-keen
When Spot was a pup.

Hurricane Bingo
Watered Jamaica quite well
Then he broke some wind.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 19, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Hurricane Tyffani!

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 19, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Hurricane Princess Sparkle Pony!

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 19, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

dbG, funny how when you're doing a job it doesn't seem as complex as it does when you try to explain it to your replacement(s). Of course, yours I'm sure is particularly difficult to master. Give yourself a huge pat on the back and take care of that fever!!

Engelmann, I'm sorry you missed that shot at stardom but I'll be there will be more to come. I love taking pictures and think now that I have the time, I should be doing more of it. It's so easy with digital to see what you have and delete if it stinks.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 19, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

The thing about 'Bill' as a hurricane-moniker to my mind is that it is blows out before it reaches even tropical storm status. A hurricane name should be multi-syllabic, euphonious, rich. Just to show the depth of possibility. William, now, would do fine.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Since storms are named alphabetically, Billy would have a shot, whereas William would be a footnote.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 19, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I thought Tyfanni was a winner until I saw Princess Sparkle Pony.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 19, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I've been working on a story but will be back in the blogging game tomorrow. In the meantime, check out this piece in the Atlantic (warning: very long). I don't know that I agree with the author's ultimate prescriptions, but his descriptions of our current system are compelling:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200909/health-care

Posted by: joelache | August 19, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I suggest some back vowels at least.
Guttral consonants or some sibilance, too.

Hurricane Boris, Lawrence, or George.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 19, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Hmm.

I've been thinking Hurricaine Bill's a pretty good name.

I think it's a heckofalot better than a Depression.

Tropical or otherwise.

But that's just my opinion.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 19, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Hurricane Ethel. Now she would do some damage.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 19, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Has there been a Hurrican Stella. Now that would be great. Can you just imagine all those live shots from the reporters - Steeella!!!

Posted by: dmd3 | August 19, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

*Double Snort* for TBG and dmd.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I will not SCC hurrincan that was my attempt at adding southern drawl - that is my story and I am sticking to it.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 19, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I totally see you as a terrifying-but-unfailingly-gracious Belle, dmd.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Here she is... Hurricane Ethel...

http://i29.tinypic.com/qnoi1z.jpg

Posted by: -TBG- | August 19, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

William is good...but there's a terrible risk it could descend into...Willy. There'd be a heap o' trouble if that happened. A heap of heaps.

I find it somehow appropriate that Hurricane Bill is staying out to sea. Very nautical. Thoughtful. Considerate, even. A bit shy. Wishes to cause no harm. Probably nothing but a rainy day or two-- very romantic for those of us who like rainy days.

All in all, a hurricane I could call a friend, a hurricane to have a beer with.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 19, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

As opposed to Spot,
Who keeps humping your shinbone
And sniffing up north?

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 19, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey boss! That link was very good-and worth the length boodle. Much to think about, and I'm not sure I disagree with the prescription. Wonder how we'd get from here to there though.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 19, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

A rare on kit link for me, biggest Lies about Global Healthcare.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/08/18/the_most_outrageous_us_lies_about_global_healthcare?page=0,0

Posted by: dmd3 | August 19, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Yay! We're #37!

Both those articles had a lot to chew. However, it's a given that the current system is broken and radical measures are needed one way or another. Either a pure market system with safety nets or a single payer socialized system would be better than the hodge-podge of varying levels that we have now.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 19, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

A friend of mine wrote years ago that Hurricanes Need Better Names - you know, if they reach Hurricane status, we should give them names that makes people a little afraid of them, like Hurricaine Dahmer, Hurricaine Bundy (Ted, not Al), Hurricaine Stalin, Hurricaine Atilla the Hun, Hurricaine Chemical Ali, etc.

Hey, perhaps it would get people thinking about Hurricines as dangerous.

I personally would vote for Hurricaine Jagermeister, because that stuff's dangerous as well as *nasty*.

But again, that's just my opinion.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 19, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I think a good step towards health-insurance reform is to stop calling it "healthcare reform" and start calling it "health-insurance reform."

Posted by: -TBG- | August 19, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

TBG is right -- "healthcare" just oozes with Big Brotheryness.

About hospitals -- been in twice for fairly major stuff, always had good care. Once here in CA, once at Bethesda Naval Hospital, or whatever it is called today.

Oh, and three times for birthing babies.

Posted by: nellie4 | August 19, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

The Prez has been calling it health insurance reform for the past month or so.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25312.html

Posted by: seasea1 | August 19, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I think the hurricanes should be named like pro boxers or wrestlers.

I didn't make it back to west by god this week,which is a good thing since I get to go crabbing on the Wye River tomorrow.So see,just a different river with different fish species.In years past the wye has been known for big fat crabs,so I am hoping that holds true for tomorrow.

Hurricane Billy Bob would work for me!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 19, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

From the names of our dogs: Droopy, Pete, Scamp, Oakley, Bonnie, Izzzy, Butch, Belle Star, Oddball. I'm partial to Hurricane Droopy. then again, Hurricane Oddball rolls off the tongue nicely.

Posted by: -jack- | August 19, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Hurricane Grizelda. Hurricane Marge. Willard, Damien. Hurricane Cain. Hurricane Boris. Vlad. Hurricane Zenobia.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 19, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Hurricane Lenny.

Posted by: -jack- | August 19, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Hurricane Bill is fine, as long as they keep the names in the same vein for awhile. Hurricane Chuck, Hurricane Dave, etc.

Posted by: Southwester | August 19, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Hurricane Happy?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 19, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

It seems I'm so busy now while I'm not working I have no time to boodle 'cept at night and a little in the morning. Here's a little fun some of ya'll might like:
http://www.sporcle.com/games/anagramhistoryleaders.php

Posted by: Southwester | August 19, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I have to share one little story from my epic move. The whole thing was a hair's breadth from more than I could chew, but I did have one nice diversion en route. I should mention that with the truck loaded to the brim and towing my car on a trailer, I rarely got above 60 no matter the posted limit. Well, while on the Indiana toll road (speed limit 70 mph), I found that a couple trucks I was following both moved to pass a vehicle. I saw it, a pickup, and realized that I was gaining steadily even at my slow pace. The guy was driving about 50 and on this road there's posted minimum of 45. As a line formed to my left, preventing me from passing until they all made there way along, I impotently shouted towards the pickup, "What are you? Stoned?" Then I got a little closer and saw that he was. He had Vermont plates.

Posted by: Southwester | August 19, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Glad the move went well, s'wester. I was born in Evanston and lived in the Northwest 'burbs. until I was 12. We get there occasionally, to see family. Maybe our paths will cross at some point.

Posted by: -jack- | August 19, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Hee hee Southwester. Yes.

Glsd tp see you.

Jack!

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

@jack: let me know when you're in town and we'll go get a good stuffed pie.

Posted by: Southwester | August 19, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

This has nothing to do with anything. Just hot chops.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fAddh0aZYs

Posted by: -jack- | August 19, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

He may not have been stoned, SWester. Or at least, not *only* stoned.

Might have been a little paranoid and trying too hard not to draw attention to himself - because he's *really* a cheddar cheese smuggler on a run, moving Vermont cheddar into Wisconsin. And naurally, he'll take some Wisconsin back to Vermont this week.

Something else - I'm pretty sure that hurricane/named storms alternate between male and female names and that with each season, the first named storm also alternates bewtwen male and female. Naturally they increment alphabetically --This year, IIRC the first storm of the season was Ana, so second would be a male 'B' name -- in this case, well, you know.

Feel free to make the obvious jokes about this year's fourth storm and next year's second; I'm not going there...

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 19, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

SW, funny. Very. You gotta write that one down for the Lil' SWer (or should that be Lil' MidWer?) Definitely a keeper.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 20, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah...about that article JA linked to....interesting stuff, but...who wrote that title? My guess is they did very poorly on that section of the 5th grade standardized test.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 20, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

LiT, ???? I'm not seeing what you are getting at. But then, I have no idea what's on a 5th grade standardized test, if I ever took one, or if they even gave them when I was a kid (long, long ago). I heard this guy on NPR over the weekend, and thought it was an attention-grabbing headline. Now, the summary above the title is a bit awkward, for sure...

Posted by: seasea1 | August 20, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

seasea, Read the following paragraphs. The best title for this is.... and then multiple choice.

The impetus for the research was his father's death, but the article diverts quickly and delves into other areas. Yeah, pulls you in (as does his intro, and to his credit he then he keeps you in), but seems to me someone adept at this could come up with a more appropriate title.... Could be I'm just being overly critical. Or maybe a lot of these positions have been eliminated from the workforce of late. But what do I know.

Goodnight all.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 20, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure he is right on the ER care costs.

His sister may work on salary as an ER physican, but I can definitely say that I was billed for the ER visit AND separately by the physican on call that night in the ER. It was more expensive than a doctor's visit.
This was in Bethesda-Chevy Chase.

Because of this generalization from his sister's job, I'm now skeptical of his overall homework quality.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 20, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

And while I agree that pen and paper survives in many offices (and hospitals), at least where I am, everything is computerized.

I get my prescription, supplement, and allergy information shown to me every visit to be sure it is correct. It is a wonderful step up from pen and paper, for sure.

However such softwares are relatively new, maybe even less than 2 years old.

So, again, is he really up to date with his understanding of how healthcare works?

(And if your doctors' offices don't use computerized systems, I highly recommend it.)

I do agree that hospitals should disclose costs on request even to insured patients.

And I would argue that healthy kids should have lower healthcare costs, and that employees are more productive if they don't have to worry about changing jobs due to health costs.

He is treating health costs as fully independent of all the other government costs he mentions, that is what bothers me.

I like the catastrophic insurance standard, myself, but a lot of the problem with medical catastrophes is that aftercare can be lifelong.

"many people will prefer to pay a fixed monthly or annual fee for primary or chronic care, and providers will move to serve that demand. "

Er, isn't that what health insurance IS?

(Snark mode off).



Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 20, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Ah, I see what you meant now. The NPR story actually had more of what happened to his father - I was expecting to see some of those details, but they're not there. I don't like his solution for health care, not that I entirely follow what he's saying.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 20, 2009 2:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm willing to concede that sometime in the history of journalism there have been a few headlines that were more "Duh, ya think?" than this one, but not many:

"Sources: Blackwater Hired for Al-Qaeda Hunt"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/19/AR2009081904315.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: bobsewell | August 20, 2009 2:34 AM | Report abuse

By the way, am I the only one who REALLY appreciates the effort when JA comments, because it seems like anything that involves the use of the handle "joelache" must be at least mildly painful?

You may safely assume that if I start using the "bobache" handle, I'm in some actual pain. Maybe acute, maybe just nagging. But I'll be a'hurtin'.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 20, 2009 2:49 AM | Report abuse

This is such bad PR. Good thing President Arroyo is a Christian and I suppose not superstitious about such things. Something like this would go down very badly in a place like Hong Kong where most of the people there are ultra-superstitious.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/19/photo-caption-error-of-the-year/

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 20, 2009 3:44 AM | Report abuse

Bob, I hadn't notice until you pointed it out. I did wonder why he stopped at "e". Joel sure have a sense of humour.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 20, 2009 3:50 AM | Report abuse

SCC : That should be "has" shouldn't it? My English has gone to the dogs. (Sorry Wilbrodog, nothing against you.) I really need to do English 101 again. I apologize for all the bad English in my posts.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 20, 2009 3:58 AM | Report abuse

Am I early enough for Dawn Patrol? I'd hate to miss out on the gravy biscuits?

I think hurricanes should be named after small towns in North Dakota.

Hurricane Hazen
Hurricane Langdon
Hurricane Braddock
Hurricane Devils Lake

Save the really big cities like Grand Rapids for the superhurricanes.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 20, 2009 5:03 AM | Report abuse

Good morning you all. rainforest is a pretty handle. Funny, I always read Bob's handle as "Bob's well" or "Bob's swell". That can't be right as Bill has the "swell" the daze.

Joel, I read the first page in the article and will read it all, eventually. There is a whisper in my head each time I enter a hospital, it says "people die in hospitals". Assuming more people walk out well, or at least better, I know I am being silly, but there it is again, each time.

Since the first part of the article focuses on poor hygiene and infection, will now go over prevention sheet I have recently acquired and am still absorbing.


1. Wash hands frequently, carry and use alcohol based hand cleaners when soap and water are not available.
2. Avoid people who are ill, crowds, and recently immunized children.
3. Eat well washed, scrubbed or peeled raw fruits and vegetables.
4. Eat well done meats and fish.
5. Do not clean litter box, birdcages and fish tanks. Do not clean up animal waste. (wear gloves and mask if you must do the cleaning)
6. Use gloves when gardening.
7. Clean any cuts or scrapes right away.
8. Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush.

9. Do not cut or tear cuticles. Be careful with manicures/pedicures.
10. Keep surfaces (counters, door knobs, desks, telephones, remote control) clean with cleaners such as bleach solution, lysol, pine sol, undiluted white vinegar.

"Swell" list, huh? I need to buy vinegar, have red, but no white.

It's too early for me to consider dawn patrol/bunker breakfast, but there's fresh coffee.

First light must be comin'.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 20, 2009 5:25 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "these daze"

yellow, since you like gravy biscuits, howsabout some country fried ham with red eye gravy? Might as well have once over lightly fried eggs to complete the colestrol takeover breakfast, maybe some fresh sliced tomatoes to counteract the grease?

Swell.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 20, 2009 5:31 AM | Report abuse

Rule #2 would seem to preclude checking into a hospital. My paranoia is that once you are in the clutches of the medical industrial complex, they never let you go. From there on in, it's endless tests, medications, and follow-ups.

My doctor sent me the reminder that I'm due for a physical. All he is going to do is give me some blood tests, find out some odd sub-parts of the cholesterol level report that are out of whack, tell me to lose weight, and stick his finger up my butt.

Wahoo! What fun.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 20, 2009 6:02 AM | Report abuse

#2 is hard. Doctors' offices, church, malls, any public transportation, restaurants, galleries, museums. Not just the other patrons, the staff, too.

One could become a hermit....

Posted by: VintageLady | August 20, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse

VL,
Actually, I'm more of an omelette station guy. Give me some ham, two cheeses, mushrooms, and peppers.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 20, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Morning, everybody! So nice of VintageLady and Yello to fix breakfast this morning! I will enjoy, and I'm sure everyone else will too.

I heard yesterday that there was an error in medication dosage that has set back a lady in the church who is in rehab from a stroke. Scary that those things happen.

Stuff like that makes me want to avoid the hospital industrial complex at all costs. But then there is the example of my cousin who died in late April. She had not seen a doctor since her son was born in 1970. Now that's simply stupid, especially for someone who was overweight and smoked.

The real lesson is that we are personally responsible for our health and must make good choices ourselves. If we don't, we can't blame the medical-industrial complex entirely for bad outcomes. If you gotta deal with the MIC, though, it sure helps if you have an advocate closely watching the process.

Posted by: slyness | August 20, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

If it's Thursday, this must be the office... Yep, either I'm better or the thermometer was broken -- it read 98.6. At least I think it was displaying F and not C. :-O

Lemme get this straight: Sen. Grassley, of all people, sez the town hall sound-and-fury-signifying-nothing means the public health insurance plan is dead and lawmakers should compromise? (cover your ears, Wilbrodog) Talk about the tail wagging the dog. *rolling my eyes*

This is both very sad and very noble:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/08/20/kennedy_looking_ahead_urges_a_quick_filling_of_senate_seat

And how about Hurricane Health-Insurance Reform?

*pushing-fluids-and-ibuprofen-and-considering-a-surgical-mask Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 20, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

I'm taking the day off to spend with an old friend as has become our tradition.

We're simply going to have fun and enjoy ourselves, and discuss the larger meanings of life, such as why the human arm span is roughly equivalent to height, and who the first person to eat raw oysters was that person's relationship to the invention of cocktail sauce.

Have a good day, all.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 20, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle!

Re: Emergency care as a big driver in health care costs. The point of the article was that the prices for emergency care are high - but not the actual cost of the care. That appears to be driven by cost shifting. The author of the article uses his sister as an example, but doesn't base the whole claim on that one example.

Cloudy and cool here this morning. Hard to get motivated to get the things done that are supposed to make this jobless period worthwhile. But I will endeavor to persevere.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 20, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

If there was any doubt that the editorial office of the WaPo has gotten a lot closer to the WaTimes, there is an editorial today urging the end to the public option for health care. The end times must be upon us.

Posted by: ebtnut | August 20, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

That was a very enlightening article, but I too have problems with the conclusions. Yet the biggest problem I have is with the concept of "consumer-driven" medicine, at least the way it is sometimes implemented.

Now, the goal is a noble one, freeing the patient from the alleged tyranny of the doctor. But it also can push onto the "customer" certain decisions that they have neither the expertise not emotional detachment to fully deal with. I mean, do we want "customer driven" aircraft design? No, we want to be able to trust that the experts will know what to do best.

Alas, I have dealt with this many, many, many times when dealing with my daughter's health problems. Sometimes you just wanna stand up and scream, "I don't know what I want to do. You're the one with the fordin' medical degree."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 20, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Hurricane Schmuricane

Posted by: engelmann | August 20, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. "We are personally responsible for our health" bothers me quite a lot. It may be true about 10 percent of the time for full-grown sentient adults of moderate or higher means in most of Western Civilization, but the other 90 percent of the time, I'd have to give it a resounding no. It sounds good, but it simply isn't true, IMHO.

I wasn't responsible for catching scarlet feever in second grade in 1954 (nor was anyone else). I wasn't responsible for catching all those colds and flus over most of six decades (I get flu shots, but sometimes catch flu anyway--not my fault).

I don't believe any old people are responsible for catching Alzheimers. I don't believe a 6-year-old child is responsible for catching terminal lymphoma. I don't believe a newborn infant is responsible for his/her spina bifida. I don't think 90 percent of cancers are "preventable" or at least predictable. You can make a case for smoking and lung cancer, but that's about all. Absent some exceptional cases such as Love Canal and other industrial examples, I don't think most other cancers are the "responsibility" of the people who live there. (How were the residents of Love Canal supposed to know? What could they do?)

I don't think any poor people are responsible for their medical conditions, either here in the U.S., and absolutely not in any 3rd world countries.

I don't think anyone is responsible for their own (or others) malaria, typhus, ebola, and a thousand other diseases, ailments and conditions.

In fact, one has to be fairly well off and fairly well educated in order to be "responsible." In short, if you think you are in charge of your own health, you're pretty durn lucky in the grand scheme of things. At best, you are responsible for only a limited portion of it. Some diabetes and heart conditions yes, some diabetes (all type I and a lot of type II) and heart conditions (viz. Jim Fixx) a resounding no. Sh-- happens medically and biologically, just as it does everywhere else.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Quite so Mudge. Like I said, Good health does involve good habits, but is also involves good genes, and most of all, good luck.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 20, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

\rant on
Open letter to the Obama Administration:
I have been very supportive thus far but you are wearing on my patience. We elected you by a landslide. We donated. We went out and knocked on doors. We met in large crowds. You won.

We need to get back to other things now. This is a republic - we elect you, you govern.

Please stop with the daily e-mails urging me to get out and do more knocking on doors, donating, meeting in large crowds. Please stop being surprised that I still feel strongly about wanting you to do what I elected you to do.

I worked to get you elected - it's not my job to pass health care reform. That's your job, and you have the majority to do it.

So do it.

\rant off

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 20, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

See? I told you Hurricane William (only his close personal friends call him Bill) was a well-mannered and considerate kind of blow. He's dropped to a Category 3 (though he reserves to the right to change his mind).

I get a kick out of the weather service reporting him (it?) as being 325 miles north-northeast of the Leeward Islands, considering about half of one percent of the population know where in blazes the Leeward Islands are. (And the weather bimbos [a male as well as female term] call them the lee-ward islands, instead of loo-erd islands, as us nautrically inclined folks do.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Well done, Wheezy.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mudge.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 20, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Re your last big post, Mudge - a young mother in our extended family is battling leukemia. She is 35, usually (when healthy) runs every day, never smoked, eats healthy foods. The illness is most definitely not her fault in any way.

The superstitious, magical thinking that I can avoid illness if I do everything right - not so true.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 20, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Since no one else has posted it, here is the link to the definitive site for Hurricane names:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | August 20, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I know where they are. But I still think that description is kind of off. By saying 325 m NNE of them, isn't that like saying 325 m NNE of a Florida city, and then not say whether you meant Miami, Jacksonville, or Tallahassee? Do they mean 325 m from the northwesternmost point? From the center (which would probably be in the ocean)? Seems to me they left a lot of leeway. Maybe they think they don't need to be specific since it's not going to hit land. Unless the Azores get in the way.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 20, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Today we initiate Operation Higher Education. I am envisioning a two-pass process. First, the standard personnel-insertion run high enough to allow reasonable survivability yet low enough to minimize the potential landing area. Then, when the offspring has come to, he will identify an appropriate deployment area and put out the signal flares. Then we will execute the second low-altitude pass and deploy the palette with the requisite gear. Of which there is quite a lot. We shall then depart, with a wing wag of farewell, and the promise that the checks are in the mail.

At least, that's one approach.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 20, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I may be unusually pessimistic and fatalistic, wheezy, but I'm always aware of how tenuous our grasp on life is--that we could be wiped out at any time by almost any kind of natural or manmade disaster. I always get irritated when the TV people report on a murder, and they interview neighbors, who are invariably shocked and say things lie, "This is such a nice neighborhood; I never though this could happen on my block." I want to shout, "Well, why did you think THAT, fer cryin' out loud? Did you think people only get murdered in bad neighborhoods? Haven't you been PAYING ATTENTION for most of your life?"

People get mowed down crossing the street, commuting to work, crossing bridges in Minneapolis, eating oysters at the church oyster roast. They fall out of the sky, get hit by trains, or are on trains that hit other trains. They get run over by tractors at Woodstock. 9-year-old girls get shot by drive-by shooters. 14-year-old girls slit their wrists. Tornadoes take out schoolhouses. In my opinion, people have no special right to feel especially secure; if they do, they aren't paying attention.

Which is not to say people should be cowering in fear; but living requires a certain amount of courage -- and I also think, cheerfulness -- in the face of all this. But to pretend it can't happen or that we aren't all basically on borrowed time from the moment we're born--no. I don't hold with that kind of pollyanna magical thinking.

/rant off/

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Oooh, a neologism I like: Palinoidal. Meyerson uses it to describe today's Republican party.

Mudge, I can agree with you on choice to a degree. I didn't choose to have hypothyroidism, but I d@mn well chose not to be content with inferior treatment that didn't alleviate my symptoms, even though it is standard practice. Much of the chronic disease that plagues us - obesity, heart disease, diabetes - is the result of lifestyle choices. How much better would your health be if you lost weight? I'm dieting - and losing weight, thank God - and I feel better already. Even in this country, we bring much suffering on ourselves.

Posted by: slyness | August 20, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, about your 9:10, that's why I get frustrated with all the various reports about what to do to keep your brain working in the face of Alzheimer's. Work crosswords! Exercise! Eat healthy! Play music! Take charge of your own health! My grandmother was a professional musician who walked everywhere, made her own unsweetened yogurt to go with her fruit and all-bran, did a tough crossword every day, and played scrabble or boggle at any opportunity. So, maybe that helped, who knows. But we still lost her to Alzheimer's years before she died. Maybe all the advice isn't meant to imply that it was her fault, but it sure feels like it sometimes.

Posted by: -bia- | August 20, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

http://magicseaweed.com/hurricane/hurricane.php

A well-designed prognostication of hurricane swell/surf. I think Floridians will be just a bit disappointed. Surfers are probably already jamming the roads to the Outer Banks.

On health care, it really looks as though fast-rising costs are gobbling up every bit of available money in our economy. household income, education for children, infrastructure, health care for non-Medicare recipients, and maybe even national security are being pushed aside to feed Medicare.

Many Americans want the "best" health care for Grandma, apparently even to the point of mortgaging the house to finance procedures that Medicare won't pay. That attitude makes it nearly impossible for Congress to impose limits on spending/limits on ineffectual treatments.

So forget about cost-saving for Medicare until there's a severe crisis, maybe inability of the Treasury to finance the national debt.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 20, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

How's this for a medical mystery? For the first time in my life I've been referred to a specialist for something other than a bone break (and that was routine care in my misspent youth). Now the complaint for which said referral was made is clearing up on its own-at what would be an alarming pace if it were headed in the other direction. It may be but a distant memory by the time my appointment rolls around in October (NOT a military health care problem, the appointment was made to accommodate my schedule)

Which brings me to another medical insurance neophyte question. Should people covered under some kind of universal coverage scheme be able to go straight to specialists without a referral from a primary care provider? What's "typical" now?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 20, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what is "typical," Frosty, but in my experience over the past couple decades, you usually need a *&^%$#@*&^% referral to see a specialist. Which I think is nothing but a scam. Yes, there are some cases where going to a GP first makes sense--but there are plenty of other cases where the person is smart enough to recognize that such-and-such a problem needs to be taken care by a specialist, and I don't need to wait three hours and pay or loose $100 to have some GP tell me what I already know. (Notwithstanding it takes me two weeks to three months to get in to see my GP, and as bad or worse to see the specialist.) (And then they all wonder why people go to ERs because they have a headache or a cold.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Hurricane Snagglepuss

frosti, my health plan allows me to go straight to a specialist, provided that the specialist is "in network." That was a blessing when Raysdad had the ruptured disc. He needed surgery, stat, to relieve the pain. Any other therapy would have delayed the inevitable and left him in agony in the meantime.

Grassley's comments are part of the seemingly well-orchestrated efforts to delay any meaningful reform. All the more reason that those that disagree with the shouters need to make themselves known to their Congressional delegation.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 20, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Both my old and new health plans allow one to see a specialist without a referral, and though the new one will be very affordable (the Feds treat their own well), the old one was an arm, a leg, and a pound of flesh. We could just barely afford it. But personally, it made me feel kinda bad that my family got superior and more efficient care than a lot of people in my neighborhood (which included public housing) just because we had more money. Health should not be a privilege of the rich.

/rant off

Now it's off to Ikea, then hours of unpacking and organizing. See you tonight, boodle.

Posted by: Southwester | August 20, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Plaxico Burress pleads guilty, gets 2 years in jail:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/20/AR2009082000647.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Yay.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 20, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Scotty... what are the odds that he will be catching the ball in a couple of years for the Eagles?

Posted by: russianthistle | August 20, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Weed, in a few more years the average Eagles game is gonna look like an outtake from "The Longest Yard."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I've developed a little problem that I know would take ten minutes in my doc' office and a prescription to cure. However, my doc doesn't work Thursdays and Fridays in the summer and the one covering for him referred me to either the emergency room (no way on earth!) or the 'after hours clinic' which opens at 6 pm tonight. So I am suffering a bit today while waiting for evening. I realize the fear of being sued, but my 'ailment' is common, my doc has seen me for it in the past and I'm just annoyed by the whole thing. Of course I could spend the rest of the day at the emergency room and pay more for the same thing I'll get tonight...

Posted by: badsneakers | August 20, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Plax copped to one count of "attempted criminal possession of a weapon" after unintentionally shooting himself with an illegal pistol. What's "attempted" about what happened? Was it that he attempted to stop it from sliding down inside his pants? The charge should have been "reckless endangerment through lack of sense." Two years in the Graybar Hotel does seem harsh when he was the only victim, getting wounded as well as losing his job.

Posted by: kguy1 | August 20, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of pure, undiluted cruelty, Liz Kelly and the gang have a cruelly hysterical video of actors reading the twitter messages of notable celebrities such as Lindsey Lohan and P. Diddy, among others. The first actor doing the dramatic interpretation is our own Rachel Manteuffel; the third is Liz her own self. Very funny, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/08/14/DI2009081401148.html

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

kguy, considering that Burress almost shot his own you-know-what off, it's fitting he's going to spend some time in a penal institution.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: Moose13 | August 20, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

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