Saturday, July 30, 2016

I actually have something on my mind today...

But we're getting ready to go away for the night, so I think I'll write about it tomorrow.  I'm definitely ready for our little jaunt to the next country.  It's been way too long since we last went to France.  We live so close to it and there's no excuse for not visiting more often.  I'm hoping to rectify that in the coming year.

Anyway... I don't think I'll bother bringing my laptop on this trip.  Just gonna take the dogs, Bill, and a change of clothes and see what happens.

Hasta la vista...

Friday, July 29, 2016

Politics give me a pain in the head...

For the last few days, I've been struggling with a problem that I've dealt with on and off over the years.  I get tension headaches from exercise or sex or anything that makes the blood pressure shoot up.  This issue isn't something that goes on every day.  I have a few attacks within a week or so, then it goes away for a couple of months.  Dr. Google says that exercise induced headaches aren't all that uncommon.  They are pretty painful, though.  I have noticed that I get similar physical responses from reading about politics.

I think the Internet has, in many ways, brought people closer together.  It's also made people less civil, especially when it comes to politics and religion.  Many people tend to be braver behind a screen than they are face to face with someone.  So if you dare to write or say something about politics or religion, you can expect to be taken to task by someone.  It happens to me all the time, though I try not to post too much mean spirited vitriol.

Because politics discussions give me a pain in the head, I decided to look for things to distract me yesterday.  I watched all the Little Britain episodes over the past couple of days.  They made me laugh, which didn't lead to a headache.

Bill and I are going to France tomorrow, just for an overnight jaunt.  We're taking the dogs with us.  We planned this trip on the spur of the moment, because I need to get out of here for a day or two.  Just want a change of scenery and maybe a chance to buy some good French products.  We live close to France and Switzerland, yet we never go there.  I want to change that.

When we planned our journey to eastern France, we didn't know that our landlords had arranged for part of the fence around our yard to be replaced.  We won't be here while that's being done.  I'm hoping it's not a sign that they want to sell the property, though they did tell us when we moved in two years ago that they were planning to replace the fence.  They also replaced the windows around the time we moved in.  But, you know me.  I tend to borrow trouble sometimes.  A lot of the things that worry me never actually come to pass.

What they really need to do is replace the toilet in the upstairs bathroom.  It's an annoying old fashioned model that, if you don't stand there and hold the lever down for thirty seconds or so, will not send enough water down to push debris into the sewer system.  Eventually, it clogs the pipes and backs up into the washing machine.  We solved that problem by changing toilet paper and flushing the toilet more thoroughly, but it's still a pain in the ass.

Aside from politics giving me a headache, there's also some change afoot for Bill's job.  He's being promoted to assistant manager.  He will get a raise and a lot more responsibility.  I don't know how much of a raise he's getting.  Bill, being the sweet, humble guy he is, says he doesn't need a lot more money.  All I hope for is that we still get to travel and we don't have to move again anytime soon.

Despite my tendency to borrow trouble, I have to admit that Bill and I have come a really long way.  There was a time when we really struggled with money.  I remember about ten years ago, telling Bill that the money problems were temporary and that eventually, we'd have a really good lifestyle.  I was right.  But, you know, as Don Henley sings "In a New York Minute, everything can change."

I need to relax.  At least my tooth is fixed and paid for, right?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The princess and the fairy cop...

When last we left Princess Knotolia, she was learning about the local drama erupting over the paper peddler, Herr Verkauf.  The crowd was becoming more and more animated as they talked among themselves about Herr Verkauf's infamous threatening scroll.

Among the members of the crowd was a low ranking drunken constable.  He stumbled to the front of the crowd to speak.  "Heeeey..." he slurred, slurping from a pewter goblet full of bourbon, "I'd like you all to meet my brother, Christmas.  I know he's a fairy, but he's as tough as nails and a better cop than I am.  I called him and he's now on the case!"

The crowd mumbled incoherently as a fairy riding a unicorn with wings appeared.  The unicorn reared up on its hind legs and let out a triumphant neigh as Christmas the fairy cop hung on for dear life.

"Greetings, folks!"  the fairy cop said as he nimbly dismounted the winged unicorn.  "I am here to save the day!"

The mumblings among the crowd grew louder as the fairy cop smiled, showing off his teeth.  He looked adorable, dressed in a little police uniform, complete with a service revolver and baton.

Princess Knotolia looked carefully at the little fellow.  He was very muscular and his uniform fit perfectly, as if he'd had them tailored by the same person who tailored Frank Poncherello's uniforms on CHiPs.  Knotolia couldn't help but gaze at the fairy cop's ass, which was perfectly shaped and proportioned.  She imagined all the unicorn riding gave him a butt that could crack walnuts.

"Pass me that bourbon, would you bro?" Christmas said.  "I'm parched after a long ride over here."

The drunken low ranking constable poured his brother a healthy measure of bourbon in a pewter goblet.  Christmas accept the beverage with a hearty thanks.  Then he tipped the goblet and guzzled the strong brown booze down in one swallow.

"Ahh!" Christmas said with a belch.  "Don't worry, folks.  I don't drink and ride.  My trusty winged unicorn here, Rick, has an excellent sense of direction anyway.  So if I tie one on, he'll get me home safe and sound."

Rick, the winged unicorn, let out a hearty neigh as if in agreement.  Then, much to Princess Knotolia's surprise, the creature made a sound that was remarkably like snarky laughter.  She wondered what Rick the winged unicorn would say if he could speak.  Then she smiled and shook her head, imagining that the creature probably had lots to say.  In fact, if she spent enough time listening, Knotolia felt certain that she could decipher the magical creature's accent into something intelligible.

Christmas set the pewter goblet down so his brother could refill it.  Then he addressed the crowd.  "Now, this fellow, Herr Verkauf, is simply an asshole.  I notice he's been on the rampage, kicking people out of his Friend Zone and building a wall.  Next thing you know, he's going to be demanding that the people on the outside of his wall pay for the damn thing!  That's not right!  If I didn't know better, I'd say he was a little xenophobic.  But I don't know better and I don't want to be sued, so bear in mind that what I'm saying here isn't being represented as fact.  I think it's important to make these points clear because I let my legal insurance lapse and wouldn't want anyone to catch me with my pants down..." Christmas said, his blue eyes twinkling.

"What is the point of all this yammering?" Sable asked.

"Oh, I don't know, dearie." Christmas responded, again flashing a grin.  "I enjoy hearing myself talk.  Rick does, too."

"Well shut the fuck up unless you have something truly useful to say." Sable snapped.  "I'm in a bad fucking mood.  I don't like bourbon and I don't like bullshit.  There's too much of both at this party."

Christmas gave the redhead a look of sheer horror and said, "You don't play, do you?  Calm your tits, will ya?"

"I've been arrested before.  You don't scare me, fairy cop." Sable said, her eyes narrowed into slits.  "Now cut out the bullshit and let's get down to business.  That Herr Verkauf dude is a dick who needs dealing with."

"Really?" Christmas asked.  "Because he's built that wall around himself and so we'll not be harassed by him anymore.  Besides, this'll all blow over with the next drama in our land.  Why bother?"

The low ranking drunken constable poured Christmas another goblet full of bourbon and handed it to his brother.  "Thanks, bro.  Don't mind if I do."

Sable stopped for a moment and said, "Well...  I guess you're right.  Besides, I'd rather be partying.  Someone pass me the pulled pork barbecue and enchiladas."

"Why don't we play a nice rousing game of Cards Against Humanity or something?" Christmas suggested.  "Forget about insurance and focus on having fun.  But be careful, because you don't want to get sued.  You're already taking a chance inviting me here, since Herr Verkauf explicitly asked you not to go to the police."

"You know what I want to do?" Sable asked.  Without waiting for an answer, she said "I want to do naked limbo in the forest.  And I want someone to put pieces of fruit on my chest as I pass under the stick.  And I want Rick the winged unicorn to provide the entertainment.  I hear he does some mean karaoke."

"Yeah, that's what he says." Christmas agreed, casting a doubtful eye on the creature, who had just started eating a lily.

"Hey Christmas!" the feisty blonde shouted, "Does Rick have a siren?  You know, for emergencies?"

"Oh yes, he does..." Christmas said, giving his buddy a sidelong glance.  "That's the only time I can really understand his accent.  When I am in hot pursuit, Rick makes a siren sound and yells out, 'Pull ovah!  Pull ovah!'  It's pretty fucking cool."

"I wanna hear it!" the blonde shouted.

"Now, let's not have any of that.  If Rick turns on his siren, the whole forest will hear it." Christmas warned.  "He also gets really excited and pees on himself.  You don't want to have to clean up that mess, do you?"

"Well shit... I guess not.  But it sounds so cool." the woman said.

"We have to conserve Rick's energy.  He's not so young." Christmas said as he drank more bourbon.

Suddenly, Rick's face was distinctly registering annoyance as he threw his head back and let out a deafening siren sound.  The creature's white mane and tail blew in the breeze as he said "Pull ovah!  Pull ovah!"  For a moment, the winged unicorn was alive with mischief.

"You still got it, dude." Christmas said, patting his friend on the shoulder.  "I'm so proud."  Then, with a drunken lunge, Christmas vaulted himself onto Rick's bare back and the two took to the sky.  "Calm your tits.  I'll be back later," Christmas promised.  "I need a bourbon run.  Giddyap, Rick!"  

Hillary Clinton defended a child rapist and laughed about it?

Yesterday, my former English professor from Longwood University posted the following picture, along with a comment that she wished this particular lie would go away.

I probably heard about this at some time, but it slipped my mind.

I don't want to write too much about the specifics in this case because the case is not really why I am inspired to write this morning.  The meme my prof shared was linked from, and there you can read an extensive account of what actually transpired.  What I want to write about is the part of the meme where it says "Hillary got my rapist freed."  

Bill and I were talking about this last night.  I said, while admittedly under the influence of a very nice red wine, that even if what's written on this meme is completely true-- and it's not--, as a lawyer, it was Hillary Clinton's job to vigorously defend her client.  If her client got off or got a reduced sentence, then Mrs. Clinton presumably did her job well.   Even if the guy she was defending was guilty, it wouldn't have been Mrs. Clinton's job to bring him to justice.  It was her job to protect her client's rights.  That's what good lawyers are supposed to do.

In 1975, Mrs. Clinton, then known as Hillary Rodham, was a young lawyer who took on this case involving Tom Taylor, a then 42 year old indigent man who was accused of raping a twelve year old girl.  She did not "volunteer" to represent Mr. Taylor.  A judge assigned her to the case because Taylor wanted a female attorney and there were only a few of them available in the area at the time.   She took the case because she had to and she worked hard for her client, even though he was indigent and couldn't pay her handsomely for her efforts.  

Anyone who has been accused of a crime, whether or not they are guilty, is entitled to competent legal representation.  Anyone in that situation with a functioning brain would want a decent attorney to represent them.  My opinion is that even if I might personally find it distasteful that an attorney would defend someone reprehensible, I would also expect a good lawyer to be professional and advocate for their client.   It sounds to me like that's what Hillary Clinton did.

As to the part about the victim "making up the rape story", what actually happened is that Mrs. Clinton requested that the girl undergo a psychiatric evaluation.  She did so because she had been informed that the accuser was emotionally unstable and had a history of seeking out older men and fantasizing about them, then claiming that they had attacked her.  Mrs. Clinton was also informed by a child psychologist that adolescents sometimes exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences.  Under those circumstances, wouldn't it have been prudent for Mrs. Clinton to have the girl checked out by a mental health professional?   

Let me ask my readers this question.  If you or a loved one were accused of a crime, wouldn't you want your attorney to do everything in their power to keep you or your loved one out of prison?  Wouldn't you want to be considered innocent until proven guilty?  Because what we're talking about, here, is someone going to prison.  A prison sentence, in and of itself, is horrible enough.  But it doesn't just affect the person being sent away.  It also affects their families and society at large.  And being convicted of a felony can have a seriously bad effect on the rest of a person's life.  

Unfortunately, the court system doesn't always get it right.  Innocent people have been incarcerated for crimes they didn't commit.  A few have even ended up on death row.  There have been recent cases of people on death row being exonerated.  Some of them spent decades anticipating their deaths at the hands of the government.  Can you imagine what it would be like to spend years in prison under extremely tight security for a crime you didn't commit, especially if your punishment was execution?  If you were lucky enough to be exonerated, how would you feel as you were set free?  What kinds of challenges would you face in society?  Think about it.

Personally, I think it's better to err on the side of letting guilty people go free than locking up innocent people.  Moreover, Mr. Taylor did not go free.  Mrs. Clinton arranged for a plea deal to a lesser charge that carried a maximum sentence of five years.  The judge gave Mr. Taylor four years probation and a year, with credit for time served.  That may seem like a very light sentence, but it was the judge who handed down the punishment, not Mrs. Clinton.  

The girl in this case had advocates.  There were people on her side.  It was not Mrs. Clinton's job to work for the victim.  Mrs. Clinton was working for the accused.  It was her job to advocate for him, even if he was a terrible person.  She did her job well.  It's too bad that people react so emotionally to cases like these.   

Now, I am not necessarily a fan of Hillary Clinton's politics and I don't have plans to cast my vote for her.  I do recognize her as a very ambitious, hardworking, shrewd, and accomplished woman.  She's also an excellent lawyer.  She is probably perfectly suited for her career in politics.  She cut her teeth in law, which is not a career for people who aren't prepared to set aside their own personal principles for the good of their clients.  Of course many people hope for politicians who are humane and compassionate, but the truth is, the most successful politicians have to be aggressive and shrewd.  Otherwise, they'll get steamrolled.        

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A review of Shannon Miller's It's Not About Perfect: Competing for My Country and Fighting for My Life

Hi everybody.  I know I could be writing about politics or that poor French priest who was murdered near Normandy yesterday, but I think enough people are writing about those topics.  Besides, it's high time for another book review.  I used to crank them out weekly and now it takes me a lot longer to plow through my reading.  Today's review is about America's most decorated female gymnast and ovarian cancer survivor, Shannon Miller, and her book It's Not About Perfect: Competing for My Country and Fighting for My Life.  

With help from ghost writer, Danny Peary, Miller published her book in the spring of 2015.  Although I kind of quit watching gymnastics years ago, Shannon Miller comes from an era when I did used to tune in.  I remember seeing her when she was just 11 years old, competing in a meet that was aired on the now defunct cable channel, Home Team Sports.  Even back then, she was very impressive.  Years later, when she and her teammates won gold in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, I remembered her performance as a child and marveled at how far she'd come.

Shannon Miller at age 11.

Today, Shannon Miller has a degree in law and is the mother of a son and a daughter.  Her daughter, Sterling Diane, was born against the odds after Miller had her left ovary and fallopian tube removed and endured nine weeks of chemotherapy.  Miller has her own foundation, Shannon Miller Lifestyle, which is devoted to encouraging health and fitness for women.

Miller reminds readers that her potentially deadly cancer was discovered when she was feeling just fine.  It was a routine visit to her gynecologist that uncovered a cancer that often kills women because by the time it's discovered, it's too far advanced to treat effectively.  I agree with her on an intellectual level that people should pay attention to their health.  However, as a healthcare consumer, I think it's very difficult for many folks to be attentive to their health.  For one thing, it's takes time and money that many people don't have.  For another thing, seeing doctors is potentially very demoralizing.  Most of us would rather be doing something else.

In her book, Miller doesn't focus too much on cancer or even married life.  It's Not About Perfect is about eighty percent about Miller's gymnastics career.  I'm okay with that, because I was interested in reading about gymnastics.  Let's face it.  Shannon Miller is where she is, for the most part, because she is such a talented athlete.  It makes sense that such a large portion of her life story would be devoted to life in the gym.  I appreciated her comments about the historic 1996 Summer Games, too.  I was in Armenia at the time and didn't get to watch them live.  Readers who would rather read about Miller's struggle with cancer may be disappointed that there's not more included about that battle.  In a way, the book's title is a bit misleading.

I thought Miller's book was mostly well written.  She comes across as a pleasant person, albeit more religious than I expected.  She mentions her faith more than a few times in her story.  I have nothing against people who have faith in God.  Some people may feel like this book is a bit whitewashed in that Miller mostly keeps her comments about her coaches and gymnastics very positive.  She writes about working out with serious injuries, enduring surgeries, competing when she was tired or sick, and glosses over the politics involved with assembling an Olympic team.  But I got the sense she didn't want to alienate anyone and, perhaps, was not quite as candid as she could have been.

Interestingly enough, I read in a review on that Shannon Miller was raised Christian Scientist, which means that early in her career, she didn't necessarily go to doctors.  But she and her mother, Claudia, are both cancer survivors and were saved by the powers of modern medicine.  It would have been a great asset to Miller's book had she written more about that aspect of her faith.  Apparently, in Shannon Miller: My Child, My Hero, her mother's book, the Christian Science part of her upbringing is discussed.  Now, even though that book was published in 1999, I'm thinking I might have to read it.  Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows how much I like to learn about fringe religions.  Edited to add: I read a large excerpt of Claudia Miller's book on Google and it looks like a lot of the information is pretty much the same as what's in Miller's most recent book.

Miller also is mum about her first marriage to ophthalmologist, Chris Phillips.  That marriage did not last long and Shannon mostly says it's because they didn't know each other very well.  Of course, perhaps it was best that she not write too much about that marriage since her ex husband basically accused her of infidelity.  From what I gathered, the split was nasty and it was probably best not to rehash the relationship in the book.  I remember photos of them in People magazine when the wedding happened and other readers probably do, too.  

I thought it was pretty cool that Shannon included photos, including one of her smiling radiantly while holding her son, Rocco, and sporting a totally bald head.  Her trademark frizzy hair has since grown back after it fell out during chemotherapy.  It looks like it's no longer frizzy.  Shannon's looking sleek and professional these days.

Anyway... It's Not About Perfect: Competing for My Country and Fighting for My Life is probably not a bad read for most gymnastics fans.  It's not really juicy or scandalous, but it's not terrible.  Those who want to read more about Shannon's personal life or struggle with ovarian cancer may be left wanting.  I think I'd give it three and a half stars.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Newsflash... Twiggy can sing!

British model Twiggy's heyday was long before I had any sense.  I know her best from QVC and America's Next Top Model, where she was a judge for a few cycles.  Today, while searching for a long lost tampon ad from 1990, I ran across Twiggy performing an interesting ditty with The Muppets.  Have a gander at this!

Well damn... I guess she's not just a pretty face!

As a kid, I was a big fan of The Muppet Show, but I don't remember seeing Twiggy's episode.  Even if I had, I probably wouldn't have remembered it because I truly didn't know who she was until she was teamed up with Tyra Banks.  But I must admit, she's cute in these performances.

Here she is covering "In My Life" by The Beatles. 

And doing a little acting, too...

It occurs to me that I probably should have put this on my music blog, but I was just a bit intrigued by this bit of nostalgia.  I see according to Wikipedia, she's done a lot of singing over the years.  Why didn't I know about this?  On another note, I really miss the Muppets.  I'm glad I got to grow up during their heyday.  


The princess and the paper peddler...

This is another non-sensical fairy tale post that will only make total sense to certain people.  I hope others will simply enjoy the story.  Maybe later, I'll write about something everyone will get.

When last we left her, Princess Knotolia was on the brink of blasting one of her so-called "friends" out of the Friend Zone Forest.  The Minister of Masturdebaiting was quivering there on the brink of a disgustingly messy explosion as Knotolia's finger was poised over the button that would catapult him out of her land for good.  But then, just as she was about to make the big commitment to act, Knotolia heard a male voice in the distance.

"Before you press that button, fair princess, I have to ask you...  Are you properly insured?"

"What?" Princess Knotolia queried, suddenly confused.

There was a rustling in the bushes and out popped a mild mannered looking guy with glasses.  He gave the princess a friendly smile and said, "I sell insurance.  I can find you the best rate for any of your insurance needs.  Just give me a few minutes."

"Who are you?" Princess Knotolia asked.

"My name is Herr Verkauf." the man said.  "You know, you are venturing very close to the border of your land and if you cross over, the laws will change drastically.  You should take care to be properly insured.  If not, you may find yourself in a world of financial hurt.  Your wimpy insurance coverage isn't nearly enough."

Princess Knotolia stopped to think about that possibility for a moment.  It was true that she liked to vacation in the adjoining land and sometimes stayed there for long periods of time.  She knew the people in that place were generally friendly and helpful, but would not hesitate to sue.  Though she was a princess, Knotolia didn't have a lot of money because she'd just lowered taxes for her subjects.  And the man seemed so friendly and helpful and his product seemed useful and reasonably priced.

"It will only cost you a small sum...  Just a few pieces of gold and you will be all set." Herr Verkauf continued.

"I'll think about it." Knotolia said.  Herr Verkauf had effectively distracted Knotolia from dispatching the Minister of Masturdebaiting.  The creature calmed down, got ahold of himself, and scurried off into the forest.  Knotolia sighed as she realized that they would meet again and she'd probably have to dispatch him at that time.  But for now, masturdebaitors would have their hero and Knotolia was temporarily glad she hadn't had to push the button after all.

That evening, Princess Knotolia sat down in her ivory tower and looked over the paperwork Herr Verkauf had given her.  He'd made a good case for buying insurance.  But Knotolia knew that not everyone in the kingdom felt the way she did about what Herr Verkauf was selling.  Word out on the foothpaths was that Herr Verkauf was an aggressive peddler who pushed his product on everyone.  The princess mostly tried to stay out of the disputes, realizing that people had the right to their opinions.  But it was true that she had heard a lot of scuttlebutt about the paper peddler.

Princess Knotolia decided to purchase a policy after the royal dog handler told her it would be a good idea.  Since she took so many trips to other lands, it made sense that she would be covered in case one of her little fur babies did something that damaged someone else's property.  Because it was easy, she bought the policy from Herr Verkauf and all was fine for awhile.

One day, Princess Knotolia went to the town square to purchase some kumquats and garbanzo beans. While she was there, she noticed a rowdy, but friendly group sitting in one of the private cafes.  Several in the group waved to the princess and motioned her to come over.

Unable to resist a giggle session, the princess approached the group and was soon mingling with everyone.  She set down her kumquats and garbanzo beans and laughed at the lighthearted merriment as someone passed around glasses of ale.  Suddenly, a low ranking, alcoholic constable said, "I see Herr Verkauf is at it again, selling his insurance policies."

The princess's ears perked up as another in the group said, "That motherfucker is relentless!  Every single time someone mentions buying a pet or taking a trip, he's got to open his big trap!  It's annoying as fuck!"

"I heard he's not even licensed to sell the insurance in the Land of Ass Clown.  I looked him up and he's not listed!" one woman said.

"You think maybe he's a fraud?" a young man asked, stifling a giggle as he stroked his pet monkey.

"I don't know, but he's always trying to peddle his papers to the people of this land.  He never stops!" the woman answered.

"He seemed pretty nice to me." Princess Knotolia said quietly.

"You just wait, princess.  You'll see the real Herr Verkauf." an outspoken blonde woman sneered.  "He's all about making gold and protecting his reputation."

"Well shit." Princess Knotolia said with a shrug.  "I'd better go now.  I have to go brush my hair and sleep for a hundred years."

The merry group members bid the princess farewell as she walked back to the ivory tower with her produce.

Weeks later, Princess Knotolia went back to the town square to purchase feminine hygiene supplies, big girl panties, and a box of Chiclets.  Once again, she ran into the boisterous group who were making merry with ale.  The mood was slightly more somber this time, as the leader of the group, a fiery redheaded woman named Sable, read a long scroll sent to them by Herr Verkauf.  Basically, the mild mannered salesman had threatened to sue everyone in the group for making merry at his expense.  He was pissed off and ready to make them PAY!

"He's lost his fuckin' mind!" the low ranking alcoholic constable shouted.

"He wants US to apologize?" bleated a young woman with comely cleavage.

"Fuck him!" shouted a stouthearted warrior dressed in rusty armor.

"What's going on?" Princess Knotolia asked, stifling a yawn.  She'd missed her afternoon nap and was feeling weary after the long walk into town.

"Herr Verkauf sent some flying monkeys to our little group here and they tattled on us.  Now he's threatening us with LEGAL action!" Sable explained.  "But I think the joke is on him; because if what he claims is right, it is he who has broken the law!"

Princess Knotolia reached into her sack and pulled out her big girl panties and feminine hygiene products.  She could see they were about to become necessary.

"Imagine the nerve of him!  Does he think we're stupid?  Fuck him!" the rusty armored man shouted. "I'm going to the police!"

"Wow..." Princess Knotolia said.  "It seems like an awful lot of drama has erupted over some harmless fun."

It was true that the man who had seemed so mild mannered and helpful was showing a distinctly threatening side in the scroll he'd sent to the group.  In it, he had claimed that he had everyone's names and addresses and was prepared to use the full force of the law to get the group to stop picking on him.  And, as an ominous end to his screed, Herr Verkauf warned Sable and her low ranking constable friend not to share his missive with the others, yet he was also demanding an apology.  The princess had to admit that the note sounded almost like a ransom note--  "Don't go to the police or you'll be sorry!  But apologize publicly, dammit!"  Knotolia couldn't help but giggle at the mental image she had of Herr Verkauf furiously banging out his scroll full of demands and threats.

"I'm not going to apologize to that guy.  As Ferris Bueller famously said, 'If I'm going to get busted, it is not going to be by a guy like that.'" Sable snarked.  "I guess we'll see him in court."

"Seems to me that an apology is worthless if the person apologizing is insincere.  And I don't think anyone in this merrymaking group is feeling very sincere right now." Princess Knotolia said.  "Someone pass me a midol and a vodka tonic.  Shit's about to get real."

Tune in next time for the continuing story...

Monday, July 25, 2016

Docs who don't like patients who Google...


I really dislike visiting doctors.  There are a number of reasons why I hate seeing doctors so much.  I know I'll probably need to see one at some point, but for now, I do my best to avoid them.  And yes, when I'm feeling icky, I do Google.  I'm not ignorant when it comes to health matters and I firmly believe everyone should be educated when it comes to their bodies.  I guess I can understand why some doctors hate it when people Google too much.  On the other hand, some patients hate it when doctors, who are fallible human beings, assume they know more about what it's like to live in another person's body.  A physician may be an expert in medical care, but I am the expert on my body.  I have everyday experience with it. 

Maybe this phenomenon is really why I despise the medical experience so much.  Many doctors are overly authoritarian and talk to their patients like they are ignorant.  I'm not ignorant.  Moreover, because I am only focusing on myself, I have time to look for information that a physician with hundreds of patients doesn't have.  I also have more of an interest in doing that research because I'm the one directly involved and affected.  

I haven't seen a physician in six years.  The last time I went to the doctor, we were living in Georgia and I thought I was having gallbladder issues.  I still think I have those issues, but after an ultrasound, the doctor decided that they weren't enough to warrant surgery.  I wasn't actually hoping for surgery and was relieved when it wasn't recommended.  However, I am pretty sure I do have gallbladder issues because I have the classic symptoms and hit the four Fs... female, fertile, fat, and forty.  ;)  Many people have gallstones and never know it because they don't cause any problems.  I do get the occasional attack, though, and sometimes it hurts like the dickens.  I've had these issues for over ten years and know that the attacks are pretty much going to go away.  

The comments that came with this image were interesting.  A couple of people commenting claimed to be doctors and they hate having to waste time explaining to their patients why their Internet diagnoses are wrong.  They wrote that having to explain things to their patients often caused them to get behind in their work, which caused other patients to have to wait.  But I think any doctor who isn't interested in the patient's comments is probably not very good at what he or she does.  Sometimes, those patients who "self-diagnose" are onto something.  Aside from that, it's the patient whose best interest is served by a correct diagnosis.

So I guess I will keep Googling and avoiding doctors as much as possible...  Seems like the smart thing to do.