No, I haven't actually been any place like this recently, alas ... but I have been too busy living my life to blog just for a bit.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Posted by juffie at 9:52 PM
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
|You scored as Harry Potter, You can be a little reckless and hot-headed at times, but a more brave and courageous friend would be hard to find.|
Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
created with QuizFarm.com
But what I want to know is how does Harry Potter feel being defined as "Love in the Time of Cholera"? (I refer you to my most recent post.) I love to take all these quizzes for interest sake, but even more, I love to see how impossible it is to line up all the results side by side and have anything that makes sense.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Well, this is what they say:
You're Love in the Time of Cholera!
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Like Odysseus in a work of Homer, you demonstrate undying loyalty by sleeping with as many people as you possibly can. But in your heart you never give consent! This creates a strange quandary of what love really means to you. On the one hand, you've loved the same person your whole life, but on the other, your actions barely speak to this fact. Whatever you do, stick to bottled water. The other stuff could get you killed.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
As the British would say, chance would be a fine thing! I do stick to bottled water, though.
Or then again, as the British would say, pigs might fly!
Which reminds me of the splendid day, a couple of decades ago, when some rock band (Pink Floyd?) wanted a flying pig on their album cover. In those pre Photo-shop days, they had to arrange to actually have one in order to photograph it. So they had the parade folk create them a giant inflatable pig, filled it with helium, and strung it up between the towers of the largest power station in the world in its day, Battersea Power Station, on the south side of the Thames river in London. (see photo - taken on the second attempt to fly the pig)
Alas, before they could photo it properly, the tethers broke, and away it flew, straight up into the flight lanes leading to Heathrow Airport ... to the astonishment, consternation, and confusion of a number of experienced pilots, it has to be said.
Hope they were sticking to bottled water!
Posted by juffie at 7:29 PM
Posted by juffie at 1:03 AM
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The population of France is 61m, or one-fifth the size of the US, of Germany 82.5m, just over a quarter the size of the US, of Australia 20.5m or one fifteenth that of the US.
In area, France is slightly less than twice the size of one state, Colorado. Germany is slightly smaller than the state of Montana.
When green Americans (among whom I count myself) blithely complain how we don't use public transport like the Europeans, I can hardly get them to understand the differences of scale and distance between people here as opposed to Europe.
I can not imagine these things would not also play in medical care and development. In Germany and France, for example, you need far fewer pieces of expensive equipment to serve the whole population ... in America with that few pieces of equipment some of the population could easily be 800 miles from the machine needed to treat them.
Or to put it another way, on our journey from New Mexico to northern California to see family, then on to Portland for GA, and straight home the shortest route to New Mexico again, we drove from London to Beirut, Lebanon and back again. See what I mean?
All that said, our system is certainly hundreds of per cent more brutal than it needs to be. But being hard-headedly realistic about the systems we admire even as we work to change things is still not a bad idea.
However, it is extremely naive to believe that nationalized medicine somehow means we have left individualism behind for dedication to community, and now share a commitment to take care of each other. Oh, it may have started that way, and many good people serving in the system still want it to be that way.
But faced by the proliferation of possible and exponentially expensive treatments, the motive of nationalized health services in many countries has become a dedication to care, strangely admixed with, and often trumped by, a governmental demand to cut costs.
It's not a profit motive, but the demand to cut costs can have strangely similar effects to those with which we are familiar in our profit-making system.
(Well, only partly profit-making after all. It is illegal for me to sell my kidney, though everyone else who handles it, from the doctors and nurses who take it out to the folks who carry it, and those who put it in someone else, will happily take their profit. Only I can not. Weird.)
The result for individuals of cost-cutting nationalized systems can be very similar to what we know. And even, perhaps, worse.
I know, I know, we want to keep the argument pure, and not, as someone said, "get bogged down in details of how other systems work", but the devil, as they say, is in those details.
If we still lived in England, my beloved husband would absolutely, certainly be blind, and probably be dead. He would be blind because NICE, the body who decides which drugs, already approved for use by the British equivalent of the FDA, can actually be used by anyone in the NHS. And none of the treatments which have saved my husband's sight are approved for use. It is considered that, since those who would have these treatments are elderly, and they are fairly expensive, it's a waste of money on those who will be dead soon anyway. So no go. There are thousands of people right now going blind in England and Wales for lack of the treatments my husband has been able to have here. And his heart condition was treated aggressively and he was home within 45 hours of diagnosis. This might have happened in Britain, too, though our good friend with a very similar diagnosis had to wait 6 months for treatment and only got it then because the fellow scheduled for that day had died.
Yes, our system needs to change, and yes, this is a religious issue - life and death, hey, isn't that our topic? - but please do not get too dewy eyed that a change will eliminate cost concerns. As I write, in England there is debate over the decision of several regional health authorities not only to have an automatic no resuscitation order on anyone 65 or older regardless of their health otherwise, but to prohibit surgery on all ages of smokers and the obese (as those groups have lower success rates) - again, ignoring the overall health of any individual concerned.
Heaven is harder to get to than one prayer.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Posted by juffie at 7:47 PM
Friday, July 6, 2007
And the raped woman only six years short of receiving her military retirement benefits who bailed out after repeated incidents ... "That was my career, and they stole it from me. ... Why is the attitude always 'Just shut up and leave it alone?'"
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Nothing much to say -- spent the day cleaning out files, papers, c$%p, junk, desk office stuff stuff stuff. Threw out 7 pounds of "Sermon Ideas" ... good grief.
But loved putting a couple of beautiful stoles online for colleagues to have if they liked. Passing on the glory.
Pooped now -- off to a taped Jon Stewart, well, you have to, don't you. A glorious spa bath (ask me, if you wish, about the very very very reasonably priced, need no installation, fabulous small personal Spas from Dream Maker Spas) out on our patio under the stars, tonight in the very windy post thunderstorm glory. And then to bed. ZZZZ.
Posted by juffie at 1:31 AM
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Posted by juffie at 1:15 AM
Monday, July 2, 2007
Posted by juffie at 12:33 AM