Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Foreign Policy Flirting With Chaos

A Foreign Policy Flirting With Chaos

The most egregious case of fecklessness has been on Syria. Doubts about American dependability were raised far and wide.

American foreign policy is in troubling disarray. The result is unwelcome news for the world, which largely depends upon the United States to promote order in the absence of any other country able and willing to do so. And it is bad for the U.S., which cannot insulate itself from the world.
The concept that should inform American foreign policy is one that the Obama administration proposed in its first term: the pivot or rebalancing toward Asia, with decreasing emphasis on the Middle East. What has been missing is the commitment and discipline to implement this change in policy. President Obama's four-country Asian tour in recent days was a start, but it hardly made up for years of paying little heed to his own professed foreign-policy goals.
President Obama at a news conference on Monday in Manila, where he defended his administration's foreign-policy record. Charles Dharapak/Associated Press
This judgment may appear odd—at first glance the Obama administration does seem to have been moving away from the Middle East. U.S. combat forces are no longer in Iraq, and the number of U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan (now below 40,000) will soon be 10,000 or fewer. Yet the administration continues to articulate ambitious political goals in the region. The default U.S. policy option in the Middle East seems to be regime change, consisting of repeated calls for authoritarian leaders to leave power. First it was Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, then Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, followed by Bashar Assad in Syria.
Yet history shows that ousting leaders can be difficult, and even when it is not, it can be extremely hard to bring about a stable, alternative authority that is better for American preferences. The result is that the U.S. often finds itself with an uncomfortable choice: Either it must back off its declared goals, which makes America look weak and encourages widespread defiance, or it has to make good on its aims, which requires enormous investments in blood, treasure and time.
The Obama administration has largely opted for the former, i.e., feckless approach. The most egregious case is Syria, where the president and others declared that "Assad must go" only to do little to bring about his departure. Military support of opposition elements judged to be acceptable has been minimal. Worse, President Obama avoided using force in the wake of clear chemical-weapons use by the Syrian government, a decision that raised doubts far and wide about American dependability and damaged what little confidence and potential the non-jihadist opposition possessed. It is only a matter of time before the U.S. will likely have to swallow the bitter pill of tolerating Assad while supporting acceptable opposition elements against the jihadists.
Meanwhile, large areas of Libya are increasingly out of government control and under the authority of militias and terrorists. Egypt is polarized and characterized by mounting violence. Much the same is true in Iraq, now the second-most-turbulent country in the region, where the U.S. finds itself with little influence despite a costly decade of occupation. Terrorists now have more of a foothold in the region than ever before.
None of this should be read as a call for the U.S. to do more to oust regimes, much less occupy countries in the name of nation-building. There is a good deal of evidence, including Chile, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea, that gradual and peaceful reform of authoritarian systems is less expensive by every measure and more likely to result in an open society, as well as less likely to result in disruption and death.
The Obama administration's extraordinary commitment to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is also difficult to justify. Even before the recent breakdown in talks, the dispute didn't appear ripe for resolution. And it must be acknowledged that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute no longer occupies center stage in the Middle East. The emergence of a separate Palestinian state wouldn't affect the troubling events in Syria, Egypt or Iraq.
The one vital undertaking in the Middle East that the Obama administration has pursued energetically is negotiating with Iran to place a ceiling on its nuclear capacity and potential. The administration deserves praise for ratcheting up sanctions against Iran—Tehran's interest in a nuclear deal has increased as a result. The challenge will be to come up with an agreement that is enough for Iran and not too much for us and for Israel.
These diplomatic endeavors take time. A secretary of state can only do so much; time spent in Jerusalem and Geneva is time not spent in Tokyo and Beijing. And there is much that could be done in Asia. Regular consultations are warranted with the principal powers of the region, including China, Japan and South Korea. Crisis prevention and crisis management need to figure prominently in a region characterized by growing nationalism and rivalry and few diplomatic channels or institutions. So, too, does planning for a transition to a unified Korean Peninsula. Long-promised increases in the U.S. air and naval presence in the region need to become a reality.
The U.S. must also increase its involvement with Europe. American inattention, combined with Ukraine's own political dysfunction and the European Union's bungling, set the stage for Russian expansion into Crimea. Shaping Russian behavior will require targeted sanctions, greater allocation of economic resources to Ukraine, a willingness to export meaningful amounts of oil and natural gas, and a renewed commitment to NATO's military readiness.
The administration also needs to focus on the strength and resilience of the U.S. economy and society. This is not an alternative to national security but a central part of it. The energy boom is a major positive, but also needed are comprehensive immigration reform, infrastructure modernization, free trade and a willingness to tackle entitlements. Absent such efforts, economic growth won't be as great as it ought to be. The opportunity will also be lost to do something about U.S. debt before it explodes, driven by surging Medicare and Social Security costs and higher interest rates.
The challenge for the Obama administration is not just to ensure American strength and continued internationalism in the face of growing isolationist sentiment. It is also a case of sending the right message to others. We are witnessing an accelerated movement toward a post-American world where governments make decisions and take actions with reduced regard for U.S. preferences. Such a world promises to be even messier, and less palatable for U.S. interests, than it is today.
Mr. Haass is president of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author, most recently, of "Foreign Policy Begins at Home" (Basic Books, 2013). This op-ed was adapted from an article in the May/June issue of the American Interest.
From the Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Doctor's Declaration of Independence

A Doctor's Declaration of Independence


It's time to defy health-care mandates issued by bureaucrats not in the healing profession.


By Daniel F. Craviotto Jr.

In my 23 years as a practicing physician, I've learned that the only thing that matters is the doctor-patient relationship. How we interact and treat our patients is the practice of medicine. I acknowledge that there is a problem with the rising cost of health care, but there is also a problem when the individual physician in the trenches does not have a voice in the debate and is being told what to do and how to do it.

As a group, the nearly 880,000 licensed physicians in the U.S. are, for the most part, well-intentioned. We strive to do our best even while we sometimes contend with unrealistic expectations. The demands are great, and many of our families pay a huge price for our not being around. We do the things we do because it is right and our patients expect us to.

So when do we say damn the mandates and requirements from bureaucrats who are not in the healing profession? When do we stand up and say we are not going to take it any more?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services dictates that we must use an electronic health record (EHR) or be penalized with lower reimbursements in the future. There are "meaningful use" criteria whereby the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services tells us as physicians what we need to include in the electronic health record or we will not be subsidized the cost of converting to the electronic system and we will be penalized by lower reimbursements. Across the country, doctors waste precious time filling in unnecessary electronic-record fields just to satisfy a regulatory measure. I personally spend two hours a day dictating and documenting electronic health records just so I can be paid and not face a government audit. Is that the best use of time for a highly trained surgical specialist?

This is not a unique complaint. A study commissioned by the American Medical Association last year and conducted by the RAND Corp. found that "Poor EHR usability, time-consuming data entry, interference with face-to-face patient care, inefficient and less fulfilling work content, inability to exchange health information between EHR products, and degradation of clinical documentation were prominent sources of professional dissatisfaction."

In addition to the burden of mandated electronic-record entry, doctors also face board recertification in the various medical specialties that has become time-consuming, expensive, imposing and a convenient method for our specialty societies and boards to make money.

Meanwhile, our Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements have significantly declined, let alone kept up with inflation. In orthopedic surgery, for example, Medicare reimbursement for a total knee replacement decreased by about 68% between 1992 and 2010, based on the value of 1992 dollars. How can this be? Don't doctors have control over what they charge for their services? For the most part, no. Our medical documentation is pored over and insurers and government then determine the appropriate level of reimbursement.

I don't know about other physicians but I am tired—tired of the mandates, tired of outside interference, tired of anything that unnecessarily interferes with the way I practice medicine. No other profession would put up with this kind of scrutiny and coercion from outside forces. The legal profession would not. The labor unions would not. We as physicians continue to plod along and take care of our patients while those on the outside continue to intrude and interfere with the practice of medicine.

We could change the paradigm. We could as a group elect not to take any insurance, not to accept Medicare—many doctors are already taking these steps—and not to roll over time and time again. We have let nearly everyone trespass on the practice of medicine. Are we better for it? Has it improved quality? Do we have more of a voice at the table or less? Are we as physicians happier or more disgruntled then two years ago? Five years ago? Ten years ago?

At 58, I'll likely be retired in 10 years along with most physicians of my generation. Once we're gone, who will speak up for our profession and the individual physician in the trenches? The politicians? Our medical societies? Our hospital administrators? I think not. Now is the time for physicians to say enough is enough.

Dr. Craviotto is an orthopedic surgeon in Santa Barbara, Calif., and a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
This article appears in the Wall Street Journal.


Guest Article: Ideas Concerning A Post-Collapse World, by M.S.

Guest Article: Ideas Concerning A Post-Collapse World, by M.S.

The collapse will obviously be violent and downright depressing. The cities will see conflagrations, mass killings, and famine, similar to what is seen in urban warfare. Because of the violence and difficulties living in the cities, there will likely be a migration of survivors into the rural areas in search of food, shelter, and peace. Luckily for those in rural areas, most “urbanites” will be on foot since gasoline will be gone quickly in a collapse, either from poor usage planning or thievery. These sojourners will not get too far before they either settle in nearby suburbs with relative stability or in refugee camps, or they die from either brigands or myriad accidents.
One of the more virulent aspects of the collapse that will affect all people everywhere will be disease and pestilence. Normally treated and suppressed communicable sicknesses, like influenza and colds, will kill many who cannot receive treatment. Simple cuts will cause cases of tetanus and/or infections. Medicines will become the most valuable of commodities.
Areas that were once arable, like the California Central Valley and other farmlands of the West, will return to desert. Other stable farmlands that utilize modified crops will fail as well, especially the Midwest, where vast farmlands will be rendered untenable by the vast areas to cover as well as the deficient genetics of the crops used. Pestilence will reign because of the lack of pesticides and other chemicals used to protect crops. Most rural areas will not be immune to the collapse.
The only farms that will survive will be those small-scale farms that utilize traditional methods of both durable crops and a proper crop rotation. These farms will be operated by individuals that know and understand the environment in which they live and have adapted the learning of “Physiocracy” into their farmstead.
These farms will be tended by large families or survival groups that provide both manual labor and defense of their lands. The success of the farmstead will be dependent upon the physical fitness of the group and the skill sets of individuals. The farmstead will also be in community with other farms or survivors in development of a community of mutual defense and charity.
So what’s next?
Once stability has been established in communities throughout a region (either through diplomatic efforts to establish communities or through decimation of fighting forces in combat), civilization can begin to rise once again. Depending on outside threats, the nation will be able to reunite under similar circumstances as our current system, or the nation will be “Balkanized” for a considerable amount of time.
For the nation to reunite, the small communities that were once opposed to each other would have to be united against a common foe, like an invading army. This army would either be from a region of the country that quickly reestablished itself or from a foreign nation bent on conquering the old United States. It seems unlikely, though, that a foreign power would rise to such an occasion. Also, the quick establishment of a region would depend upon a lot of pieces coming together, especially access to natural resources – the most important of which is food and water.
In the Balkanized model, small communities that survived the collapse would become independent states, commanding areas delineated by natural barriers– mountains, rivers, and desert; a population of people to hold the territory; and diplomatic agreements with other communities. These communities will probably have differing forms of government and lifestyles, depending on how they managed to survive.
From a historical perspective, these states might resemble the ancient Greek city-states or feudal Europe. There will be differences amongst themselves, but they’d be united under webs of treaties and promises of mutual defense. There will likely be small wars, especially over borders and natural resources, but there will also be diplomacy. The individual states may see fit to keep themselves separated from other states, especially if the state holds an advantageous position of natural resources or strategic location against its neighbors. These advantageous states will eventually be able to exert control over their neighbors, either through diplomacy or war, and will expand outward.
Pockets of similar growth will be seen throughout the country, until the small states have become large states. In the end, it seems logical that these states will eventually unite into a new United States. Questions remain, however, as to how the new U.S. will look. Will it be founded under the Constitution? Or will there be some new form of government?
While that could be debated, it seems logical that the original families and groups that created the original stability will hold considerable control in the evolution of the states. The rise of powerful families is another logical conclusion to the destruction of modern society. There will likely be an aristocracy of sorts, possibly similar to the Roman division of Patricians and Plebeians. The landowning families may develop large estates with the lower-class citizens working the fields.
Eventually, gasoline would become available again, and machinery will overtake the agrarian lifestyle that got people through the crunch. The question would then be how will cities develop themselves? Would it be like today? Would technology learned today be applied to create futuristic cities? Would the future government be like Orwell’s 1984, controlling every aspect of life? Who knows?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Chicken & White Bean Soup

Chicken & White Bean Soup

By H. L.

1 quart chicken broth
1/2 cup rice
2-3 tablespoons dehydrated onions
1 15.5-oz. can white beans
1 13-oz. can chicken
3/4 cup dehydrated spinach

Cook first three ingredients, until the rice is done.
Add the next three ingredients (including liquid in cans) and cook about 10 more minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Notes: We grow Malabar spinach, dehydrate it, and store in quart jars in the pantry. We also make homemade chicken broth, reduce it, and freeze in ice cube trays, then just use about 5-6 cubes with water. Homemade broth tastes better than store canned, and it will give your immune system a boost. If you use dried spinach and canned broth, this recipe can be made straight from the pantry.

More notes: You get two recipes. After serving roasted chickens, pick off most of the remaining meat and refrigerate or freeze. Put all leftover bones, skin and drippings in a big pot, generously cover in water, and slow simmer overnight. The next day, strain off the broth, return the fat to the bones, and in a separate pan reduce the broth by half or more. Then cool, freeze in ice cube trays, pop your broth cubes out into a gallon baggie and return to freezer.

Put more water over the bones/skin/fat and cook for another day, longer if needed. Strain out the bones. They will be soft enough to mush up with your fingers, except the middles of the weight-bearing bones. You can toss the hard bones in the fire, and they become part of the ash you could use to supplement your compost in the garden. Return the mushy bones to the pan and add carrot peels, leftover mashed potatoes or rice, small amounts of green beans, stale corn tortillas, anything that is good for dogs. Cook until done, hit the whole thing with the immersion blender, cool, freeze in ice cube trays, pop into baggies, return to freezer. The dogs love these dog popsicles in the hot summer. In the winter, we serve them in a bowl, melted.

Important reminder: If you ever try to make chicken and noodles out of the wrong ice cubes, you will understand the importance of large clear labeling on your baggies. Thanks. – Brenda from AR

A Book Review

Mrs. Clinton’s New Memoir                       
Yesterday on a panel on “Face the Nation,” we briefly discussed Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming memoir of her four years as secretary of state. It is called “Hard Choices”—they appear to be running low at the book-title store—and will be published June 10. The announcement of the title alone made news, which is a measure of how much interest the book, good or bad, will engender.
Books are good and it’s good to write them; the always more or less beleaguered publishing industry needs bestsellers, and Mrs. Clinton has provided them, most spectacularly with her previous memoir, “Living History,” in 2003. The public, which foots the bill for American diplomacy, has a right to be told as much as possible about the creation of U.S. foreign policy.
The book is being put forward as “a master class in international relations,” which is quite a claim and a rather silly one: a professional diplomat would be slow to make it. But members of political dynasties are not in the modesty business.
A quick look at the political utility of the memoir.
First, the book itself can provide a template for a presidential run. It can make the case for a coming national candidacy by asserting a breadth of experience and accomplishment. At the same time it allows Mrs. Clinton to get everything out there that she wants understood about her tenure as secretary of state.
Second, the book tour can function as a discrete pre-presidential campaign before the real 2016 campaign begins. Actually it can serve as a perfect predicate for a big national campaign. The launch will be highly planned—staff, organization, an emphasis on presentation, appearances across the country and on every major television news show, etc. Mrs. Clinton will have an opportunity to share her views in soft-focus settings and will no doubt uncork a few amusing or spirited deflections when asked if she is running for president. Clips of these moments will be played all over the place. All of this will keep her candidacy in play daily and raise her elevation as the most interesting and important Democrat on the scene. If she does not run, her party will be left high and dry. She crowds everyone out even as she doesn’t announce.
It will be interesting to see if in the book she reveals or unveils any 2016 campaign themes. She seemed to put forward a new line at Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit two weeks ago in New York. There Mrs. Clinton said partisanship is keeping America from greatness. This line manages to be critical of Republicans while also being obliquely critical of the president: It takes two to tango, and he led his partner poorly. No one can deny this has been a sharply partisan era; stressing the obvious is a triangulating move that suggests Mrs. Clinton is observing things from above the fray, which puts a happy emphasis on her maturity.
Third, the very fact of the book allows Mrs. Clinton to attempt to counter a growing perception, at least among Republicans, that she didn’t really have any accomplishments as secretary of state, and also that in American diplomacy in general the past few years there have been few triumphs to claim and many embarrassments to explain. During her time at Foggy Bottom a trend that preceded her continued and worsened: Foreign policy didn’t bubble up from the State Department anymore but was coming out of the political office of the White House. The secretary was more a public talker than a major voice in the creation of policy. Her communications people inadvertently lent credence to the charge by stressing that she’d visited more than 100 countries and traveled almost a million miles. Secretaries of state didn’t use to live on a plane.
She was a good soldier and accepted the reigning reality. But her successor, John Kerry, like him or not, is an example of what a secretary of state who takes chances and claims some autonomy looks like.
To counter the perception that she has little to tout, Mrs. Clinton will probably go heavy on recollections of personal meetings with heads of state and foreign ministers, late-night phone calls, and the telling of a personal sense of satisfaction and disappointment in various outcomes. The publisher calls the book a “personal chronicle.”
Fourth, Michael Duffy of Time magazine noted on “Face the Nation” that the book will be an opportunity to answer criticism in former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s own recent memoir. I’d forgotten that. Mr. Gates had praise for Mrs. Clinton and noted that both he and she had been offended by the “controlling” nature and obsessive credit-taking of the Obama White House. But he also charged that both Mrs. Clinton and President Obama had, as senators, opposed the 2007 troop surge in Iraq for purely political reasons. “Hillary told the president that her opposition to the surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary,” Mr. Gates wrote. Mr. Obama, he said, “conceded vaguely” that opposition to the surge had been political. “To hear the two of them making those admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”
It is hard to think Mrs. Clinton will not feel the need to answer that.
Fifth—we’re still on the political utility of the book—it will be an opportunity for Mrs. Clinton to address on her own terms and with her own data the question of Benghazi, which still lingers not only among conservatives but among others, especially veterans, their friends and families, who have a strong impression something bad and not fully on the up-and-up happened there, and in the weeks and months following the attack. Mrs. Clinton’s communications staffers will want to finish it off as a subject this summer so it doesn’t dog her in the campaign. At the same time, they won’t want the book tour dominated by the subject, which suggests a lot of interesting ground will have to be covered so that Benghazi doesn’t stand out too much.
Mrs. Clinton’s default is often to share her emotions about an event. Television interviewers like that too, because it makes for a dramatic interview. She and her advisors have a way of anticipating in advance what clips television producers will use in the making of a piece. One would be her famous retort to the questioning of a Senate committee: “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Those are among her most famous words. Something tells me they’ll be followed by a lengthy meditation on her anguish at learning of the death of her friend, Ambassador Chris Stevens, in the attack.
Sixth, a book is an extended document you can hold in your hand. It is standard media practice for political figures who are often asked the same question because they never seem to answer it, to begin their reply with , “As I’ve said before . . .” “As I’ve previously suggested many times . . .” I think media professionals believe that noting you’ve answered the question before subtly suggests your interviewer may be cluelessly unaware of your previous answers, or hectoring you. I don’t know whether this tack is effective or not—to me it always looks and sounds shifty—but Mr. Obama uses it a lot, as does Mrs. Clinton. Anyway, abook allows you to say, “As I’ve said before and as I went into at great length in my book . . .” It sounds like the predicate to something true.
Things to watch for? The degree, if any, to which she distances herself from the president; the degree, if any, to which she distances herself from ObamaCare. There’s probably a safe spot between warm support for its intentions and general outlines and acknowledgement of its problems. Maybe she’ll find it.
A final purpose of the book tour will be this: It will be personally energizing and heartening for Mrs. Clinton, who will be surrounded by her fans and by people saying, “Run Hillary, run.” It will be politically pleasurable for her. It is an insufficiently noted aspect of adult life that everyone’s pretty much trying to keep their morale up every day. A book tour is a morale enhancer for a political figure. If she didn’t walk in wanting to run for president, she’d walk out that way.
The great question is how tough the press will be, how acute in its questioning, how disciplined and tough-minded. That is, how seriously journalists will take their role as questioners, on behalf of the public, of a potential candidate for president of the United States. That remains very much to be seen.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

How Did We Survive Childhood Before the ’90s Safety Nannies Came Along?

By Paula Bolyard


When our first son was born in 1991 we were told to lay him on his tummy at naptime — never, ever on his back because it would increase his risk of choking and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). By the time our second child came along in 1994 the experts had decided that parents should never, ever let their children sleep on their stomachs because it increased the risk of choking and SIDS. A month after he was born the experts told us that we needed to buy a wedge that forced our son to sleep on his side. This would prevent choking and lower the risk of SIDS. Thus was our introduction to our generation’s obsession with hypervigilant parenting.

We were instructed to bathe our kids in Purell and to sterilize everything that touched our bubble children. We were also told to instruct them about inappropriate touch from the moment they exited the womb. Instead of letting our children explore the neighborhood, entertaining themselves in the great outdoors, parents were encouraged to prop their children up in front of Dora the Explorer so they could vicariously experience her adventures in the safety of their playrooms (while munching on organic peanut-free multi-grain crackers and drinking hormone-free organic milk). Good parenting also demanded scheduling and supervising every minute of a child’s day.

This video is a nostalgic reminder of the freedom children have lost over the years. I was growing up (mostly in the ’70s), my parents had no idea where my brother and I were or what we were doing most of the day when school was out. During the summer, we’d leave the house in the morning and wouldn’t return until dinner time, often at the behest of our parents. After dinner we would play outdoors until it got dark. If our parents wanted us to come home, they would shout our names out the back door (our more refined neighbors would turn on the porch light). If we were out of earshot or ignored their calls, there were consequences miserable enough to keep us close to home the next time.

We organized epic neighborhood kick-the-can marathons and kickball games without the help of our parents. We settled squabbles and rivalries with heated arguments that sometimes led to shoving matches —  or if a really egregious injustice had been committed, we  hurled rocks. We participated in some organized sports, but they were not the center of our parents’ universe — a lawn in need of mowing generally took precedence over a softball game. Because we only had one car and my dad drove it to work every day, if we wanted to go to the local pool or the library (2 miles away) we rode our bikes (sometimes two to a bike), walked, or even roller skated.

Everyone I knew had a job in high school (my first was working for $2.00/hour at the Dairy Queen) and nearly everyone got a driver’s license the minute they turned sixteen. We exulted in our freedom and self-sufficiency when we were able to buy our own clothes and purchase our own concert tickets. Our parents didn’t have the option of tracking our movements by pinging our cell phones. If we needed to let them know we’d be late, we’d drop two dimes in a pay phone and call home (or if we didn’t have any change for the phone we would call collect and pay for our rank irresponsibility when we got home).

Somehow, we survived all this independence and freedom, mostly unscathed. And somehow, we managed to produce some of the greatest innovators the world has ever know. I realize that we can’t go back — we live in a day and age when busybody neighbors will call social services if they see your kids unattended in the wild.

But it’s worth thinking about the consequences of raising a generation or two of bubble kids and definitely worth considering how we can give our kids more unstructured time to invent, to create, and to imagine — to just be – free from structure and hovering helicopter parents. Because it’s becoming apparent that all the hovering and over-parenting, rather than helping our kids, has led to a generation of approval-seeking, naval-gazing, adult dependents who cannot navigate the world of adulthood without Buzzfeed or a government official telling them what to do and what to think about everything.


Long-Term Storage of Special Survival Foods

A good read:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Senior Citizen House Report

A Senior Citizen House Report

Well, it finally happened to me.

I was in a "nursing home" (I'm home now), though about 1/5 was more a rehab facility to recover from some serious incidents, like a car accident or more. Mine started out as a cellulitis infection that got worse during my episode.

The idea of practicing more diet and exercise had validity in my case. I got sore from using some muscles that I had let decline by age 66. And I have been running or walking for decades.

Anyway, where I was had around 180 beds, with about 150 going to women and 20 going to men. I estimate 10 beds were vacant a lot of the time but really don't know for sure.

Trying to sign up for a haircut resulted in some difficulty. I just did not know the "system" at the time.  What I objected to the most was having to use an in-house "beauty parlor" vice the "barber shop" I had always used. Well I bit the bullet and even went as a Marine. I knew I had more serious problems to bitch about.

I even got my first "shower" in quite a while. 

Things have progressed.  I expected something like the old movie "Shawshank Redemption", but instead had a nice warm shower that even got all my "privates" clean.  Heck, it was even a step above my usual Marine field equivalents,  and somewhat more sanitary. After all, I did suffer from a skin-type infection. And I had sponge baths during the interim periods.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Diet and Disease

Had some corn beef hash for breakfast. Made me think of some of my children turning it down because it looked like canned dog food. Now it is more expensive for obvious reasons. I even had some coffee this morning just because.  I had given it up. It was the one cup coffee maker style and tasted pretty good compared to some other coffees I have had.

Anyway, we all have our own diet we enjoy, and during my recent health episode I got to eat some "other" kinds of meals that were pretty good. It was an attention gainer to me.

There are other diets out there that are healthy too. Trying them out may surprise you.  And like many mothers have said, all things in moderation.