Cause Celebre

Wow… if you didn’t see the opening of the Tour de France – and let’s face it, you probably didn’t – you might have heard about the world-class narcissist who stuck their body and a sign in front of the pack in order to get on TV… AND THEN CAUSED A MASSIVE PILE-UP.

On day 1.

At stage 1.

No? See below. It’s just encroyable!

The spectator who caused the Tour de France pileup has reportedly fled the country | The Week

Then this mental mannequin supposedly bailed on a flight outta the country. How do they know? If they couldn’t identify the person then where’s the traceability? Who knows them? I’m sure there’s plenty of guilt and shame lingering over what they call a soul, but I understand why they won’t come forward to accept their punishment. FFS, people have murdered people for being fans of an opposing team THEY DO NOT PLAY FOR… so imagine being the person holding a sign that says “ALEZOPI-0MI!” prior to causing a massive crash that sends heavily-sponsored and (likely drug-enhanced) bike riders to l’hopital! Yeah, get le fuck outta towne.

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Stage Coaching

I got into coaching for the same reason a lot of parents do; because no one else would. I like sports, grew up playing them, did multiples (soccer, baseball, basketball, football, track & field) and even competed in college. I had great coaches, and I had some who were great examples of how not to coach. Now, as I volunteer as a coach on my kid’s teams I am always looking for ways to simplify a sport’s tasks for the kids so that they understand, improve, gain confidence, and most importantly, don’t embarrass their parents when they get in the game.

I had to learn how to coach, and that’s where I harkened back to the days of old and found some incredible stuff on YouTube. Right now I’m coaching 2 sports and one of them is soccer for a boys team, ages 10-12. Some kids are taking it as an opportunity to compete and improve. Some are outside and active and that’s enough for their parents to have paid >$150 to get on a team. And some have almost no idea why they’re out there. So I’m using a lot of various tactics to keep these kids interested and wanting to play. I’m not a great soccer coach, but with a bit more lead-up time this season might be going a bit more smoothly. The league I’m coaching in does the bare minimum for their coaches. I’m not alluding to a need for any sort of payment, but any organization should make it as easy as possible for their volunteers to want to coach and do so sober.

As can happen at any level and in any sport there was a near meltdown of all fundamentals in last night’s match. Even as we walked off with a 7-0 loss, I know it could have been worse. 5 games into the season the team looked like it was their first day on the pitch together as they played way out of position, crowded the ball, stole from each other, dribbled ahead of their speed, and had some of the worst attitudes they had displayed all season. Some of the most vocal griping about their positions or their teammates came from kids who performed the worst. This is an opportunity for me as their coach to address and correct it by reminding them of all the things they’ve done wrong for the past 8 weeks. Or ask them how they would correct it and guide from there. We have 2 games and no practices remaining so I guess we’ll see…

There’s a fine line in coaching kids that must be walked – on one side is “What the kid thinks they can do” and the other side is “Where their skills fit best.” Sometimes it’s a thin line, sometimes it’s a gaping, impassable maw of genetic reality. Coaching happens where you create scenarios for the kid to bridge or narrow that gap and gain confidence. As seen above, a lot of kids, in their minds, are ready for a shoe endorsement and developmental contract with their favorite team. In actuality…

As a parent with a kid on the team I want my kid to be having fun out there, but also competing. Not just “getting a win,” but learning that Intentional Effort leads to good outcomes. I can always tell a player what they need to work on to get better, but it’s up to their parents to remind them to go work on it 5 times before the kid decides they want to. YouTube is an under-utilized coaching tool, frankly. A simple search for “Basic Soccer Dribbling Skills” will get your kid, or you, a very solid foundation of the most basic skill in soccer. So I often send out links to kids and parents for them to check out. Then when they show up on the field I can ask “What did you get from the videos I sent your parents?” and they can say “You did?” and I can say “Ah, okay, I see now. Why are you wearing sandals to soccer?”

So it all goes in phases, sometimes every time out, to see who is ready to play, and who is just killing time before dinner. There will come a time in a sport where the kids get cut or don’t play enough or it’s far more serious and has a lot more implications than where these guys are at. The best you can do as a parent is to support your kid’s efforts, encourage goal setting, and remind them that good things come to those who work. Doing 5 minutes of focused skill work every day – since most leagues limit practice to 2 sessions or 2 hours a week – will help their coach not start replies to requests for playing time with “Seriously?”

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A Team Of One Voice

The past year, as of today pretty much, was one of some low-grade tumult – I use that word rarely because I’m not sure I know when it applies – and a fair amount of stress. I work as a software development manager, project manager, and roles that fall into those categories. I have been doing that for about 15 years, and study best practices of doing that a lot. It’s far more about The People than The Product. But a year ago that Product was put on-hold.

Long story-short, I was among a large group of people laid off due to the impact of COVID-19 on The Economy. We didn’t know what was gonna happen around this place, and a lot of companies had to look as far ahead as they could. So that meant, for some of them, cuts were necessary.

I was among those who were cut. It sucked. I was restless and agitated like a guy who wanted to not be laid off from a company he truly loved working for. But I understood the path they had to take, and I was also one of newer employees, less than 6 months on the job there, so it made sense in a lot of ways. So I did what a lot of people do in that situation; I thought applying to a lot of jobs would help!

Well it did, sorta. For months, no bites. Nothing. I slowly expanded my job searches to include skills within my role, and that did help the opportunities open up a bit. But again, for many months, not a lot of companies were hiring. The most-secure, well-positioned places were actively interviewing and probably bringing people along. I applied for more than 100 jobs, had over 40 interviews, and one company’s interview methods stood out. I won’t mention their name, because I’d still like to work for them, but this was peculiar…

Why bring it up? Because something was up with the whole deal.
There were multiple rounds of job-related conversations, different teams of peers, inter-departmental leads, and recruiters. Everything went really well, I thought, but there’s only so much you can glean from some people’s reactions. They wanted me to talk to a variety of people so that they could make a “team decision,” and this can be a struggle for someone who loves to talk about anything except themselves. Ugh. BO-RING.

After 4 rounds and about 6 hours of discussions, the lead recruiter called me. They all really liked me, thought I could do the job, but were passing because one of the 7 people I talked to wasn’t sure I had enough experience working with a particular workstream. But I was in the system and it might come around later. FFFFFffffart…

Hmm… It was the old Catch-22 of “not enough experience, and not gonna get it here.” Okay, been there before. So one of seven people thought it was an issue. Okay… It bothered me because either it was not a team decision, or the recruiter was protecting my feelings and I had mega-shat the interview process. I always ask for feedback from interviews so I can sharpen up particular areas. His only feedback was that I had provided some answers they hadn’t considered before, liked my personality, but yeah, just that one person and that one thing…

Either “that one thing” carried much more weight than the other areas, or they weren’t sure how to tell me just straight-up “Nope.” But after meeting with all the teams, I figured it’s more the latter. If it’s a team decision, one voice shouldn’t swing it that far.

Eventually I did get contacted by a company I had previously worked for, so I knew What and How They Did What They Do. One hour, 3 people, and 24 hours later I had an offer. I was in the middle of talking with 2 other firms who wanted to schedule me with 6 other people and 4 more interviews, and after a while, from the side of a candidate, it all seems like a pageantry of Importance within the company.

So I’m back and working and have a all new tumult to emotionally intelligence.

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Political Theatre – This Isn’t “Hamilton”

This week America will witness the second impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump, a malignant, delusional wanna-be dictator and elite-level, flaming-pants liar. I’m only somewhat stunned that the Republicans in Congress haven’t come out against him in hopes of righting the listing frigate that was once the pride of Judeo-Suburban America. I grew up in a conservative house that attended church a LOT, and the Regan era was spoken of in tones of reverance in a manner I can best describe as “brainwashed.” I see it again with people I know to vote, lean, or finger-point as Republicans.

While the GOP’ers will cry “foul,” and say that you cannot impeach a President after they are out of office – and are going to keep screeching that this is all “Political Theater” to punish the Trump legacy (yeah, no shit, that’s the reason you indict and pursue people for inciting riots and insurrections that result in the deaths of 5 citizens) – those who speak out publicly FOR the impeachment from the Red side of the aisle are the bravest in the room. They have a bigger vision of what the Republican Party could be, a new messaging and re-branding with a cleaner identity than the hilariously misguided, easily-duped, Confounded-by-Consequence Honkeys (PIPE BOMBS, folks) who chant their own mottos but vote Republican out of a moral conviction to screw over an imaginary, darker-skinned person.

Trump’s rise to popularity, and the subsequent rise to power, led to some exposure of America’s fault lines of tectonic bigotry. He bobbed to the top of a movement of faux-psychology around the “demasculinization” of The American Male. I have a bit in my comedy act about how, if anybody were to try and storm the cockpit of an airplane, there are a lot of guys on there who would relish the chance to live out their bloodsoaked Rambo fantasy. Odds are, without a gun in their hand, 99% of men with this idea wouldn’t budge from their seat. And it’s that same mentality that has led to…

this study pinpoints a more powerful influence: how much people buy into the idea that men are dominant, tougher, more powerful, or high-status than other people.”

My opinion is (worthless but I think) that Republican Senators value their seats in office more than upholding the Constitution. They’ll use word salads and mental gymnastics to state why the former and worst-ever President can’t be impeached having left office. So the GOP’ers will sit on another one and wait around for the next election cycle while collecting paychecks for having done little to nothing to help their voters. Instead of taking time to divest themselves from a malignant presence and re-think their messaging and platform it’s easier to just point at Democrats as being on an expensive witch hunt to destroy the legacy of Donald J. Trump. I would say it’s a great reminder of how close America is to getting its Reset button pushed. Until then, grab your popcorn and vote like it matters.

Posted in Crime, Government, life, Psychology | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Nothing All The Time


When you’re at home more than not, and not “at work,” the way many a person is in the past year, a lot of stuff happens you have to navigate through in order to keep that slice of your world going, while not having an emotional meeting of “Fan & Poop.” What am I talking about?

For 99% of the mornings for the better part of the last 10 months I have been the first one awake. Coffee’s made, Gratitude list is written, light mobility work to wake my older joints up, argue with my cat as if I don’t know she needs to be fed, etc. Then the kids are up, wife’s up, and the day gets going. I make breakfast 98% of the time, because I saw first-hand what a shit morning the kids have if they make breakfast for themselves (either toaster waffles or heaping bowls of cereal). They’re growing and should have a quality fueling before sitting in Living Room Elementary for the day.

Then… about 30min after they start their school day… their first portion of on-line school ends. And I hear the feet moving around… and almost immediately there’s a pit in my stomach because they’re about to approach me about one of these things:

  • News about a video game feature they want to purchase. Fortnite, if you’re unfamiliar, has dominated their past calendar year for videogaming. It’s a free download that they have spent, easily, over $500 on. The minimum wage is still $7.25 and they have yet to get a job, so… I instituted a rule that we don’t talk about any videogames before 12:30pm or else screen time is cut in half for the day. Worked like clicking on a Facebook ad for washable, flattering face coverings that one time and now it’s Always On.
  • News about a video they saw on YouTube. “This guy was on his bike on this street and, guess what? (the answer is never “Chicken Butt” and you’ve grossly overestimated my desire to play this game) He was doing this thing (white noise swells in my brain) right into a garbage can.” This might be the equivalent of my childhood trying to tell a story of what happened at school or at Ricky Brady’s house when he found some cigarettes. Sorry kids, I checked out. You might see this some day, but I wasn’t listening.
  • They’re gonna just stand there waiting for something. It’s a lingering that I sense and it takes me out of whatever I was doing. I’m also the de facto Activity Coordinator, PE Instructor, Math T.A., and Lunch Lad in this school. Now I have to remind them of all the extra stuff they can be doing. And when they’re “bored” or “finished with school” at 10:13am, there’s always the f*cking vacuum cleaner, fellas. OH LOOK WHO HAS EXTRA SPELLING TO PRACTICE…
  • Can I Come There For a Minute? This means my wife’s new computer is reacting to something she did or didn’t do and I didn’t see it and it’s freaking out and she needs my help on it. This is where all of my encouragement and directives to use search engines were reiterated to Empower The User, and have gone unheeded. OR this means there’s a box of stuff that I guess we have to sort out Now, and my schedule or plans are moot. So you have to protect your time, as kindly as possible, when this happens in any form. If you can go from activity to activity w/out issue or loss of momentum, Bless Your Heart. I can’t, and if I do, there’s a gremelin in my

So on top of all these things, is the overlay and dichotomous appreciation of the time I’ve spent with my family since being let go from my job last April. It was sad to be let go due to how much I appreciated that job and that company, but in the big picture, a lot of people are far worse off than we are because of the COVID-19 fallout in America and around the world. I have been lucky to have much of our financial and family stability already in place before the crisis hit. I have had some of the most creative – and most emotionally severe – periods of my adult life. And I applied to over 130 jobs in the past year. But that saga is for another entry.

Always being around everyone’s Everything as well as one’s own is probably not healthy. There are days that the voices in this house, and even the sound of someone’s breathing, resulted in my forthcoming statement of “I am leaving, unless you need me here, then I need you to leave, because I need a buffer today, or I’ll be locking myself in the bedroom for two days. Flip ya for it?”

My friend told me that my presence and involvement in my kid’s days and activity, while reupping some professional certifications and networking and applying for jobs, has helped show my kids that being resilient is as important as being consistent. That was kind but also f*cking annoying. Pity Parties are only fun when it’s a “for one.” But after doing it all, I’m ready to as much Nothing as I can for a few days. I better put that on the family calendar.

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Everything All The Time

When you’re at home more than not, and not “at work,” the way many a person is in the past year, a lot of stuff happens you have to navigate through in order to keep that slice of your world going, while not having an emotional meeting of “Fan & Poop.” What am I talking about?

For 99% of the mornings for the better part of the last 10 months I have been the first one awake. Coffee’s made, Gratitude list is written, light mobility work to wake my older joints up, argue with my cat as if I don’t know she needs to be fed, etc. Then the kids are up, wife’s up, and the day gets going. I make breakfast 98% of the time, because I saw first-hand what a shit morning the kids have if they make breakfast for themselves (either toaster waffles or heaping bowls of cereal). They’re growing and should have a quality fueling before sitting in Living Room Elementary for the day.

Then… about 30min after they start their school day… their first portion of on-line school ends. And I hear the feet moving around… and almost immediately there’s a pit in my stomach because they’re about to approach me about one of these things:

  • News about a video game feature they want to purchase. Fortnite, if you’re unfamiliar, has dominated their past calendar year for videogaming. It’s a free download that they have spent, easily, over $500 on. The minimum wage is still $7.25 and they have yet to get a job, so… I instituted a rule that we don’t talk about any videogames before 12:30pm or else screen time is cut in half for the day. Worked like clicking on a Facebook ad for washable, flattering face coverings that one time and now it’s Always On.
  • News about a video they saw on YouTube. This guy was on his bike on this street and, guess what? (the answer is never “Chicken Butt” and you’ve grossly overestimated my desire to play this game) He was doing this thing (white noise swells in my brain) right into a garbage can.” This might be the equivalent of my childhood trying to tell a story of what happened at school or at Ricky Brady’s house when he found some cigarettes. Sorry kids, I checked out. You might see this some day, but I wasn’t listening.
  • They’re gonna just stand there waiting for something. It’s a lingering that I sense and it takes me out of whatever I was doing. I’m also the de facto Activity Coordinator, PE Instructor, Math T.A., and Lunch Lad in this school. Now I have to remind them of all the extra stuff they can be doing. And when they’re “bored” or “finished with school” at 10:13am, there’s always the f*cking vacuum cleaner, fellas. OH LOOK WHO HAS EXTRA SPELLING TO PRACTICE…
  • Can I Come There For a Minute? This means my wife’s new computer is reacting to something she did or didn’t do and I didn’t see it and it’s freaking out and she needs my help on it. This is where all of my encouragement and directives to use search engines were reiterated to Empower The User, and have gone unheeded. OR this means there’s a box of stuff that I guess we have to sort out Now, and my schedule or plans are moot. So you have to protect your time, as kindly as possible, when this happens in any form. If you can go from activity to activity w/out issue or loss of momentum, Bless Your Heart. I can’t, and if I do, there’s a gremelin in my

So on top of all these things, is the overlay and dichotomous appreciation of the time I’ve spent with my family since being let go from my job last April. It was sad to be let go due to how much I appreciated that job and that company, but in the big picture, a lot of people are far worse off than we are because of the COVID-19 fallout in America and around the world. I have been lucky to have much of our financial and family stability already in place before the crisis hit. I have had some of the most creative – and most emotionally severe – periods of my adult life. And I applied to over 130 jobs in the past year. But that saga is for another entry.

Always being around everyone’s Everything as well as one’s own is probably not healthy. There are days that the voices in this house, and even the sound of someone’s breathing, resulted in my forthcoming statement of “I am leaving, unless you need me here, then I need you to leave, because I need a buffer today, or I’ll be locking myself in the bedroom for two days. Flip ya for it?”

My friend told me that my presence and involvement in my kid’s days and activity, while reupping some professional certifications and networking and applying for jobs, has helped show my kids that being resilient is as important as being consistent. That was kind but also f*cking annoying. Pity Parties are only fun when it’s a “for one.” But after doing it all, I’m ready to as much Nothing as I can for a few days. I better put that on the family calendar.

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A Winter Break

Good gawd this drawn-out, long-ass, ridiculous-or-necessary lockdown is doing in our minds. At some point the return to whatever the next Normal will be us going to be a bit unwieldy, and I foresee people having reunions with old and new acquaintances ranging from “big dog happy pouncing” to “half-circling with a hand hovering over our phones in case this isn’t working.” Both are valid. And Washington state is now traipsing towards a re-opening, so getting back to “normal” is going to look like when Martin Luther King, Jr. hoped people be judged “on the content of their character”; not everyone is ready for that.

Coming out of the Winter/Holiday/Christmas break was much needed. On the horizon is “mid-Winter Break” which was also the unreleased Sting album that was to coincide with a Seth Rogen rom-com which Zoe Saldana dropped out of. MWB is the break between the Holidays and Spring Break to keep parents guessing as to what else they’re supposed to do to occupy their family’s time 6 weeks after 2 weeks of at least being able to look forward to Christmas. Not this time.

And hey… which Maker of Rules decided that families have to “go somewhere” every time a dead hero’s birthday rolls up? It reminds me of the time an exasperated friend of mine told her tale of woe on Martin Luther King, Jr. day about being unable to find a theater that was playing… “Selma“?
No…
Paddington.” Bummer, Tina.

So now things change up a bit. I have a new schedule each day, and it’s quickly showing me how important my time with my kids has been. As I get back to work here soon I am condensing everything I feel is a loose end and managing the fact that I’m not going to be as available as I have been for the last 7 months. After all this time off, I need a break.

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Not Woke, But Waking Up

It’s been WAY too long since I wrote anything, for a myriad of reasons. The past year has been all over the place, a true emotional roller-coaster for many of us with a variety of ups and downs, cut-backs, corkscrews, and barfing all over the place. This time last year I was transitioning off of a long consulting gig with a medical device company, having ushered in a new process which was created with some brilliant engineering and regulatory minds.

I was heading to a new job at a great retailer of outdoor and active gear, Eddie Bauer, which is celebrating its 100th year in operations.

I was coaching a talented group of kids through a season of rec-league soccer, on our way to the playoffs with some amazing wins and some good lessons learned in defeat.

I was learning more about how to communicate and work through issues in the house with my wife, truly conversing with her when we needed to find a solution.

Above it all was this pervasive idea that America was trudging toward something darker than it had seen in recent decades. The history of white people in America is dark and oppressive to non-Whites. This idea of a “Great America” is furthered by denial of the unpleasant roots of White History in America, and how it is not presented often enough, if at all, in most public schools. This allows for a willful ignorance to perpetuate through year after year of education. It wasn’t “us” so we shouldn’t be responsible for any of it! How can I be expected to be accountable for something people started 400 years ago? It’s not like it helped me! (Perhaps, but if you’re white in America, the color of your skin likely hasn’t held you back.)

Well, at the very least, acknowledge that the idea that America’s justice system has been inordinately oppressive and violent against non-white people, or BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People of Color). If you’ve yet to watch the documentary “The 13th” and have any desire to understand how Black communities seem like they “just can’t get it together,” get your ass on the couch for 2hrs and watch that.

Freed slaves had their land and property seized if arrested. So there goes a chance to build a life and generational wealth for a family. The “police” were nothing more than overzealous watchdogs cruising through areas largely populated with freed slaves. And that arrested party ends up doing what? Performing labor for the State, free of charge. It’s not an accident that it plays out like that, it’s fully by design. And it lands heavier on Black citizens than Whites.

Next would be how divided we are as a nation, and it seems more now than ever before, due to politics, right? I’d say “Nope.” I’d say it’s due to social media, and the unfettered access to it by people leaning both Left and Right on the political spectrum.

Before I dive in that end of the dumpster, there is a proven difference in How the brains of Liberals and Conservatives work. The most basic summary is this:

People who identify or vote more “Left” are found to be more open to new ideas, experiences, and empathy. There is a higher tolerance and understanding of inequality.
People who identify as “Conservatives” have a more rigid response to change, see “order” as comfort, and have neurological responses more associated with “fear” than “acceptance.”

from the article:
“Whereas liberals see the poor and destitute as largely being victims of misfortune, such as the unlucky fate of being born to poor minority parents, conservatives emphasize the role of personal defects, such as drug dependency, and unwillingness to work.”

So we’re now 6 weeks from The Election of Our Lifetimes. The amount of swirl – both from the Media and our own Minds – is unprecedented. I personally don’t think we need ANOTHER OLD WHITE MAN as the President. Abolishing the Electoral College would help there, having a greater-than-2-Party system could be ushered in with a 3rd and/or 4th party, and more people could be represented by the government.

We currently have as close to a Dictatorship as we’ve ever had. It’s corrupt from a standpoint of having sycophantic followers and donors being placed in vital Federal seats. Money speaking louder than qualification. And our courts are being packed with lifetime appointees with Conservative leanings. So here we go…

I’m not “woke,” but I’m waking up to a lot of things that I haven’t seen in as bright a light as is on them right now. There is so much work to do. A lot of people will never do it. They will never break out of whatever shell of comfortable ignorance surrounds them. A lot of us are trying to get educated so we know what to look for and how to truly be allies with our neighbors in a diverse nation. We can do better.

We can Make America Great Eventually.

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We Can’t Miss You If You Don’t Go Away

Well things have gone and gotten into an international garbage fire, huh? Governments are trying to quell the crash of their society’s fears against the crumbling economies, hinting that “everything will be fine when you’re back at work, producing, happy, normal, YOU WILL BE FINE WE PROMISE OR WE WILL FIRE YOU, AND YOUR FAMILY WILL DIE IN THEIR BEDS.” In the meantime, there’s a groundswell of sentiment backing the Workers of the World. As employees (non-CEO-levels) are forced to stay home, the world’s climate is seeing rest and repair while commutes and factories are reduced to almost nil in some places. And some people with almost no personality at all are missing the normalcy of a routine that was leading them to a nice retirement card and an early grave.

Now, there’s shit to be shoveled everywhere at all times. As someone who has shoveled shit of one kind or another, and will do so in the future, I have been trying to “stay productive” in the days since being sent to work from home (WFH), going on 1 full month now. It’s different and weird and not what any of us would want, but this is reality now. Dwelling in Reality is the only way to really center yourself when you don’t know what to do next. And sometimes shoveling shit isn’t really what you’re supposed to do at all.

Yesterday I, and 50% of the employees for the company I work for, were furloughed due to the quick, sharp decline in consumer spending. I am still processing feelings and ideas about it, from “they don’t see me as important” to “now’s the time to finish up the 1,000,000 things I say I’d do if I had time.” We’re also in the middle of a stretch where our kids are not in school, and we’ve done our best to homeschool them, or at the least, not let their brains go completely pudding-like. So now I can look at all the shovels and all the shit and decide what I want to do with either of them.

I surely have more to do than I have written down. In the past year I left one job, had 3 days off, and started the new one. Shortly thereafter I tore my quadriceps tendon, which I didn’t find out for about a month, then had surgery to repair it, and currently I am rehabbing that. Also in the past year I got into a debate online (I know… dumb move) about how workers control the industry, but nobody believes they do, because you’d never be able to organize enough people to walk out at the same time to cripple an economy “just to prove a point.” My point was that if every person in a major industry took a week off, and had their company pay for it by way of paid vacation time, the industry would see a hit that would likely correct the way of thinking. That introduced a larger, more problematic idea to get past.

The idea is that people fear the loss of their income so much that they’d never do something that drastic, something that would raise the ire of the company for which they trade time for production and knowledge. Not enough people would trade a paid day off to march in a protest if that meant they would lose time to do nothing around the holidays or take a trip somewhere. I know, this sounds very Marxist, and even though I’ve read only a wee bit of Marx and usually when I was hungover. I know this leans very socialistic, because it is from a Worker’s point of view. But again, I’m not against Capitalism. But a minimum wage isn’t the least you can make, it’s the least a company is forced to pay you, and some would pay less if they could, because Profit Margins, bitch.

We have a greater power now. In a time when many of us looked at saving our jobs by going to work, we can help save communities and people and industries if we do waaaaay less than we are used to doing. There are skills to learn. There are museums you can tour, virtually. Work on your lunges. Come July you can have those bakery-fresh buns you always promised yourself you’d bring to the party. And if you would just STAY HOME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, there can be parties to go to, with people you truly like, who have jobs with golden shovels. Won’t it be nice to be missed?

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The Amazing Health Crises Part 1

I’m no fan of privatized health care. We’ve been in its shadow in America for so long it has been accepted as the Devil We Know. Lots of people are too frightened to go all-in on a Nationalized Health Care situation, wondering if the quality of care will deteriorate, like most things do when handed over to the government. I get it. I have dealt with insurance companies on deeply frustrating, emotional levels since I was in my early 20’s and trying to figure out why my joints were on fire and my skin was breaking out in scaly rashes. (answer, Psoriatic Arthritis!). Now imagine giving an entire Plan of Care over to Government Employees who are NOT in line to get bonuses based on the organization’s performance, and you might begin to picture a doctor’s office resembling a DMV lobby on a Monday near the end of the month…

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The problems that stem from the gap in having good coverage and having “not good” coverage, or no coverage, can be filled with money and doctors. By 2032, there’s a predicted shortfall of perhaps 122,000 doctors, both in Primary care and in Specialists.
The major factor driving demand for physicians continues to be a growing, aging population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation’s population is estimated to grow by more than 10% by 2032, with those over age 65 increasing by 48%. Additionally, the aging population will affect physician supply, since one-third of all currently active doctors will be older than 65 in the next decade. When these physicians decide to retire could have the greatest impact on supply.”

The rheumatologist I was a patient of recently semi-retired, and was one of less than 20 in the state of Washington (his number, can’t corroborate). The provider gap is expected to be filled by Physician’s Assistants and APRNs, likely doing more triage and low-severity care before referring on to the Doctors. Got gas? They’ll check you out. The gas is presenting as a green spirit that can telepathically communicate with birds? On ya go!

So we’ll have fewer doctors in relation to (potential) demand of people. Baby Boomers (about 74 million) make up a great portion of the population, and will in turn need more geriatric services and care as they near the Final Good Bye (Florida or Arizona). Factor in a generation that was caught up in few terribly destructive health crazes (jogging, low fat dieting, voting Republican) and you’re looking at more cases of Alzheimers, Dementia, Trumpism, and judging of younger generations than ever before. What then?

Well… I don’t really know. Here’s where I’d start with getting a nationalized health care plan going.

  1. Take SUPER GOOD care of yourself. Get away from refined carbs, which can cause inflammation, which is the underlying cause of most chronic diseases. I triggered my autoimmune issues with a diet of stress, bad sleep, low fat eating, low-grade beer, and sleeping in a weird, moldy environment in college. Keeping inflammation low-to-no will greatly lend to longevity.
  2. Forgive all student debt for Medical Doctors, or heavily subsidize their education, particularly for specialists in fields lacking care providers. Nursing is the 8th most-popular Major in college. Pre-Med isn’t in the top 10 (one study shows Health professions & related areas is #2 in 2017 but doesn’t differentiate between Nursing, Dentistry, etc.). Computer science is #1, but that’s an entirely different pursuit. (FTR, Instagram Influencer and YouTuber are not college majors, but should be charged a quarterly tuition) Student Debt should not be a barrier to entry for the betterment of anybody’s life and education.
  3. Get Rid of Betsy De Vos. She’s a malignancy to the education of American children, and should be treated as such. She’d rather keep people poor and under-educated, as an attempt at reserving higher education for wealthier families. She is the richest person on Trump’s cabinet. She’s never taught a class in her life.
  4. Slow-Roll the national health care plan. Phase it in a few areas at a time. Nothing jarringly huge. Take one service and subsidize it. Radiology. Every x-ray, CT Scan, MRI is paid for by the American Government. Soon you’ll see what works and what doesn’t, the potential areas of corruption, and who stuck what in their where-now?candy-cane

 

Ultimately, staying healthy is the best cure. Age and Life take their toll. I have a surgery on January 30 to repair a torn quadriceps tendon. Life happens. But in a nation with way more money than intelligence when it comes to spending it, we need to equate a Healthy Citizenry with a Healthy Nation. We have many more needs than faster fighter jets that will never fire a shot at a hostile foreign enemy. We need people to build solar panels and roads and tend to hemp forests.

 

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