Tag Archives: Life

Health Care 2.0 and the endless cold

I really don’t like to write “complaint posts” but there is a good part to this story, so I’m going to indulge myself.

I’ve had this cold for three weeks now, and boy am I getting sick of it (pun intended). That’s three weeks of coughing, blocked up sinuses, and a runny nose. Several other people I know have had the same virus (they’ve been sick for a long time too). When it got to be three weeks for me I contacted my doctor’s office, to ask if I should come in and get it checked out. After the on-call nurse assessed me, she didn’t think I needed to come in (no fever or any disgusting symptoms I’d rather not mention here). But the good part of the story is I decided to go online and email my doctor about it.

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Winter mode

It’s been pretty cold here in Madison for the past week, and this morning our first big winter storm of the season began.

Snowstorm on Park Ridge Drive

Today I’ve officially gone into Winter mode. I put a batch of chili in the crock pot, and dug my humidifier out of the closet. While those shocks from static electricity are fun at first, it gets a little old after a few times. I also took my first pictures of snow for the season, from the warm side of my patio door of course.

Yes, winter has arrived.

Another one rides the bus

I took the bus to work today. Parking at the college is a BIG problem (too many cars for too few spots) and parking fees are going up in the fall. While the cost increase still makes parking there very reasonable compared to what the downtown lots charge, I decided I should start commuting by bus this fall. With gas prices currently going up and up, I thought, what am I waiting for?

So I hopped on the bus this morning. The choice is really a no-brainer. I can get a free bus pass from work, I save gas money, parking fees, and wear and tear on my vehicle. It’s also the right thing to do for the planet. If I want to be as much of an environmentalist as I think I am, it’s probably about time I did that.

What does love mean?

I got the following in a email today (source unknown), and thought it was worthy of passing along here. Happy Valentine’s Day!

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, “What does love mean?”

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”
Rebecca – age 8

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
Billy – age 4

“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”
Karl – age 5

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Sleazy sales tactics

So this morning my phone rings. I answer it and I hear that momentary, silent pause that tells you a telemarketer is on the line. First a little backstory. About a year ago I had an eye exam and bought new glasses at a certain national-chain eyeglasses store. I don’t want to disclose the name, but it rhymes with HensCrafters.

Telemarketer: “Hello I’m calling from HensCrafters to remind you of your eye exam appointment.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I do not believe I have an eye appointment scheduled at HensCrafters.”

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Christmas spirit

I spent a great deal of yesterday evening writing up Christmas cards to send out. As I got to a lot of the names on the list I start to wonder… Why do I have contact with some of these people only once a year? Some I intended to visit, or correspond with a lot more than I have. Where does the time go? It seems like it was just a few months ago when I was writing out my Christmas cards last year.

Holiday Tree at the State Capitol

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Where have all the paperboys gone?

Do you remember paperboys? (Sorry I know that’s not a gender neutral term. If I use it again, just think child who delivers newspapers).

These days, adults deliver newspapers while driving in their car. They throw the paper out the window and you’re glad if it lands in your driveway, much less close to your house. During rainy weather, you’re lucky if the paper isn’t thrown at a velocity that makes it scrape along the concrete and tear the bag open, leaving you with a soggy mess.

Back in the day (when I was a kid), newspapers were delivered by 12-14 year olds. I never had a paper route when I was that age, but I did have some friends who were paper carriers.

Continue reading Where have all the paperboys gone?

End of the summer dread

Right around this time of the year I often get a sense of emotional dread with the end of the summer. Dread probably isn’t the right word… melancholy might be more appropriate.

I think a number of factors contribute to that feeling. The darkness of the evening is arriving noticeably sooner every day. My summer vacations are over. Nights are starting to feel cooler. At work, we are gearing up our plans for the upcoming school year.

It isn’t so much that I don’t like the change of seasons. In a lot of ways, autumn can be my favorite time of the year. I don’t think it’s the fact that I’m getting closer to bitter cold days and nights of the winter. Although work is a little less hectic in the summer, I do enjoy the challenges the academic year brings.

Perhaps it’s the noticeable passage of time that bothers me. Winter is on it’s way, and the joys of warm weather will soon be a memory. The world is changing and there isn’t a thing I can do about it. I can only ponder how it makes me feel.

There is no more after 100 percent

Just reading a political blog tonight and one of the comments struck a nerve with me.

I am in most ways opposed to [a politician’s] plans and views of what America should be. YET this time we agree 10000%.

Ten thousand percent? How can someone agree ten thousand percent? One of the comments you invariably hear during interviews with sports stars is they are going to give 110% at the next game. How can a player give more than the possible effort they can give?

The librarian in me is compelled to look up the word percentage. The Oxford English Dictionary has this definition:

Any part or portion considered in its quantitative relation to the whole, a proportion (of something).

The whole is 100 percent. A person can only give 100 percent. If they give it their all, that is 100 percent. They cannot give more. If a player reaches deep down and comes up with that extra effort, that is the whole of what they could do — it is 100 percent. There is no more after 100 percent.

That type of comment is even more absurd when it comes to arguments. You cannot agree (or disagree) with someone more than 100 percent. I’m guessing people who make such statements probably got less than 100% on their math tests in school.

Ah… fresh air

Today when I got home from work the temperature was in the upper 60’s (F). The first thing I did when I got in the house was open the windows.

It was the first time I had the windows open in my place since last fall. That’s probably one of the best smells in the world — that rush of fresh air you get in the house when you open the windows for the first time in four or five months.

I do like the change of seasons here in Wisconsin. Feeling that change on days like today is good for my soul. I don’t think I’d like to be a permanent resident in a climate where the temperature is the same all the time — even in a beautiful setting like Hawaii. Okay, I probably wouldn’t pass up a chance to live in Hawaii for a time. But after about six months or so I would definitely miss seeing the leaves turn colors, tromping through snow drifts, and smelling that first breath of fresh spring air.