Lenore

Dear Senator Corker,

I need to tell you about my sister’s medical condition and her need for hormone-blocking drugs in order to live. My sister Lenore has Acromegaly. Her pituitary gland produces so much human growth hormone that without those drugs, her bones and soft tissues would grow until her brain was pulled apart, her tongue would swell and throat would close. Even with these hormone-blocking drugs, she is in constant pain and inflammation.

She has to take hormone blockers every single day, without fail.
These drugs are expensive, $5000 a month at least.
Any interruption in the hormone-blocking means irreparable damage to her body.
Without these hormone-blocking drugs, she will die a long, painful death.

Lenore is a Registered Nurse with a dependent, disabled son at home (he is 29 years old this year and has Down’s Syndrome.) She works hard and often has two jobs to make ends meet.

Insurance doesn’t like my sister. They look for every chance to dump her. This is not acceptable.

I love my sister and want her to live in good health for as long as possible. I think Lenore is important. She is a good person, worth the long-term gain that the ACA provides to our people.

Please vote in favor of the ACA, which requires insurance companies to help keep my sister alive even when they don’t want to.

Thank you.

cc:blog

Memorials

Nearby park has an Army cemetery. I took my puppy with me Saturday morning to go for a run. We set out three smooth rocks I had painted: a bee, a car and a field of flowers. I hoped the people who found them would enjoy them.

By the time we were done, the park was overrun with scouts. SUVs and minivans abounded, each producing families, friends, troops-full of children. Several wanted to pet my five month old puppy, a few wailed in fear if he got near them. All three rocks had been picked up. 

Before we left, a park officer invited us to watch the scouts place small American flags on each of the graves. Over 2000 graves in just 11 minutes, he said. I did not ask what happened to the flags after this weekend ended. 

I showed the compass application on my smartphone to two scouts attempting to identify north from moss on a tree. A man about my age pointed southeast and said to the boys, “Your house is that way, north!” I did not hesitate to point north and show him the compass, too. 

One woman approached to pet my dog, looked into my eyes and said, “You were in the Society for Creative Anachronism!” I looked more closely and recognized her as well. We had caravaned together to a big event about 20 years ago. 

Another private park also had hundreds of large flags posted. People stopped to take photos. It was an impressive sight but again I was saddened to think that in just a few days, most of those beautiful new flags would be headed for the giant trash dump north of town. Garbage is sad; patriotic garbage is doubly sad.

Still, it was cheerful to see bright faced children at the park, visiting an historical site and cooperating on a big project.

I hope we eventually go down in history as people who realized our mistake in making a disposable culture, and clean up the dumps. 

Gardening, May 2017

Waxing Moon May 2017

Pulled a lot of poison ivy. Bought a 16 pack each of pink and white begonias are mostly in the ground as of Saturday the 6th. They are in shady, easily visible locations near the driveway to cheer the driver.

Sunday, pulled lots of weeds out of the spiral garden, cut the turf with the leaf-shaped cultivator which both cuts weeds and plows a furrow.

Bought tomato, pepper, and squash from Corinne at Twin Creeks Farm. Got tomatoes and peppers into the ground in the second north tier, put squash into the second east tier corners and planted beans on either side.

Under the Waning Moon:
Seeded sunflowers on the southern outer tier alongside giant marigold. Seeded lovage along the second east tier, between the beans and squash.

Then came rain, just as the Moon entered its fourth quarter. Hooray for rain on the garden!

I still have a few geraniums to put in; plan to put them around Mama Dori’s grave, which will take preparations against ticks and mosquitoes. Also have half a dozen moonflower seeds soaking. Should be able to put these in at the new Moon on Friday.

Reach Across, People

I am sick of political sniping.
I need real conversations on serious topics. My friends and relatives span the political spectrum. Instead of being able to discuss, most people regurgitate the shite that talking heads present as “facts” or “opinions”.

I see mockery instead of debate. This is tiresome. Reporters pose trick questions to people they disagree with and laugh behind their backs after being given a genuine answer. It gets us nowhere, in fact this sets us back.

I get mad and scream “TRICK QUESTION” at my television, like we used to yell at the teacher in grade school. Yes, I get so mad I forget the pundits on TV can’t hear me. I have to laugh at myself about this, to keep from just feeling defeated.

Americans assume that everyone who opposes them are “idiots”. This is so wrong.

Let me say that again. It is WRONG to assume that people who oppose you are stupid.

Did we learn nothing from school sports? The other team is necessary to play a game. They have their reasons, their talents and strategies, you have yours. And you are competing for the same goal. Coaches and teachers taught us to appreciate the opposing team. Where would we be without each other? Alone, going nowhere, that is where.

This is true of our political game, too. Both sides of politics wants our country do well. We want good things.

Some of those good things are really compatible. For instance, keeping our country secure and going solar. Equality and religious freedom. Individualism and education.

It is SO EASY to fight, split up, disagree. All you need is an unpleasant surprise. Let it grow into shock, disdain and anger, fueled by impatience from having to repeat yourself and failing to listen.

It is not pleasant to find out that your fellow patriots disagree with you. But let’s put some effort into weaving our country out of
both kinds of thread, thread pointing in different directions. That’s really how it works. Each intersection makes the fabric softer.

Because our country does not exist, not without all of us creating it together every day. It will be gone in the blink of an eye unless we work together.

Reach across. Reach up, reach down. Hold on to the people on the other side.

Surge of Road Building? Thanks but I Wanted a Bus

Radio news told me yesterday that my state is going to spend a gajillion dollars and 15 years building new lanes on congested interstates. This seems an exercise in futility – the roads they plan to expand already have four lanes on each side. All those previous lane additions have filled up with even more automobiles.

http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/tennessee-s-surge-road-improvements-also-brings-lots-construction

I wrote the following on the radio news’ website:

“I want effective bus routes to relieve congestion. I want to get on the bus at the corner of my street and get off a bus 15 miles later, up the street from my office. I want bus and I want news of light rail corridors being added so that I can get around town without having to fire up a single-unit combustion engine, waste a bunch of gasoline, and go it alone to fight traffic.

If I need to get from my house in Murfreesboro to my allergist’s office in Franklin and want to use our current mass transit, the Metro website tells me it would take two and a half days. That it stupid.

Nashville and its surrounds are one of the largest cities in the richest country on Earth. We should have a transit system that puts the rest of the world to shame, where each of us could travel in comfort and ease instead of taking our chances head-to-head against lunatics on the road.

Buses and trains are 1000% safer than automobiles. Adding bus routes would not cause 15 years worth of construction delays, it would just relieve congestion.”

I did not fact check the actual safety percentage of bus and train versus automobile. But the National Safety Council report for 2015 says, “38,300 people were killed on U.S. roads in 2015, and roughly 4.4 million sustained injuries that resulted in medical consultations”.

http://www.newsweek.com/2015-brought-biggest-us-traffic-death-increase-50-years-427759

http://asirt.org/initiatives/informing-road-users/road-safety-facts/road-crash-statistics

https://journalistsresource.org/studies/environment/transportation/comparing-fatality-risks-united-states-transportation-across-modes-time

Basically, each American has a 1 in 6,800 chance of dying in a car wreck each year. If I calculated correctly, you are 97% more likely to die if you drive rather than take a commuter bus or train. And that actually includes the drivers of those buses and trains. One quarter of commuter bus and train deaths are actually just the drivers.

Sure, people need to drive. I get it and I like driving, too. But I get no thrill or sense of rugged individualism from a boring commute to work. And now, for the privilege of continuing this tedious drive, I will have to deal with years of construction getting in my way instead of just catching a quick bus ride.

National Security and Public Lands

Dear Senator Corker,
I was stunned this weekend to hear that a Russian spymaster was allowed (invited) into the Oval Office, a place that has been off-limits to our former adversary for decades. Is this correct? Did this happen? I do not know what kind of security issues this might raise, what secrets might exist in that room. But whatever is there is now open and available to a country that has behaved aggressively towards the US and many of our allies.

This action was outside of your control, I am sure. But I am seriously concerned about the security of our executive office.

A business office might welcome a competitor, but the USA is not available for sale.
Or at least, it should NOT be available for sale. Our nation is bought and paid for by our own taxes and in the case of our military, our people’s lives.

I also learned this past week that Tennessee is seeking to turn our beautiful state parks over to private control. My concern here is similar to the above: this is my state. Those parks are maintained and kept in the interest of myself and our visitors. If private industries wish to run natural sites, they are welcome to seek out and purchase land that is for sale and leave our parks out of the question.

I do not wish to see our public lands turned over to the care of private companies. I do not want our lands developed or “improved”. These parks should remain basic and available to visitors as inexpensive, close destinations. Our parks provide rest and rejuvenation for people who cannot afford resorts or hotels, they provide homes for native wildlife, they provide open spaces for peoples whose lives are mostly enclosed.

Public lands comprise just 3% of the USA lands. These parks are our public treasures. Private industry wants to hoard treasure for its own purposes. There is plenty of opportunity for private industry in the remaining 90+ percent.

Please use what influence you have to shore up our security issues where Russia is concerned.

Please vote to keep our public parks and forests safely in the hands of the US public.

GotG 2 Cast Signs

US adventure movies are often populated by Gemini-and-Cancer-heavy casts. This film also features two Capricorns, opposite of Cancer, reinforcing the script’s parenting theme.

Michael Rooker 6 Apr 1955 Aries
Pom Klementieff 3 May 1986 Taurus
Zoe Saldana 19 June 1978 Gemini
Sean Gunn 22 May 1974 Gemini
Chris Pratt 21 June 1979 Gem/Canc
Chris Sullivan 3 July 1965 Cancer
Sly Stallone 6 July 1946 Cancer
Vin Diesel 18 July 1967 Cancer
Elizabeth Debicki ? Aug 1990 ? Leo/Vir
Karen Gillan 28 Nov 1987 Sagittarius
Bradley Cooper 5 Jan 1975 Capricorn
Dave Bautista 18 Jan 1969 Capricorn
Kurt Russell 17 Mar 1951 Pisces