Simply ordinary observations from an ordinary person - sometimes having to do with health care issues, sometimes not. Topics will change as my attention wanders. Yours probably will too....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Morning Harvest

Thank goodness for gardens. Tomatoes don't care about dental bills, worn out tires, cats throwing up hairballs, or laundry which has to be done. Sucha bright way to start my day! :-))

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rx: A Big Dose of Beano

In the beginning there really wasn't a defined system. There were a few dedicated bean providers and many bean consumers. Not everyone had access to the bean providers and not everyone had money for the beans. There was a lot of making-do and some consumers suffered and died from lack of beans. But the bean providers increased and became very skilled at providing and eventually most consumers were able to obtain the beans they each needed.

As the demand for beans increased, the providers became overwhelmed. They wanted to study beans, and to research ways to improve beans, and to spend their time dispensing beans. They were very busy and didn't have the time to develop bean sale and collection techniques. That's when they were approached by friendly associates who said, "Let us control and count the beans - trust us, it will be a much better system. We'll collect from the bean consumers and then pay you for your beans. Everyone will be happy!" And so the system was started.

For a while everyone was contented. The bean providers focused on their science, the bean consumers had access to dependable supplies, and the bean controllers hired bean counters and perfected their system. But bean demand continued to increase, and bean research & development proved to be very costly, and the spreadsheets of the bean controllers began to have areas of red ink.

So the controllers met with the counters and discussed the situation. The bean counters reported, "All is well with Consumer A - he consumes very few beans. But Consumer B is becoming a problem - she is consuming much more than her fair share of beans. Consumer C is not a problem now, but might be a problem in the near future." The controllers pondered this and instructed the counters: "In the future, we will screen and exclude anyone who looks like Consumer B. The risk is too great. And we need to watch Consumer C carefully and expel him as soon as problems develops. Consumer A can stay". They were pleased with this plan and voted themselves a substantial pay increase.

The following month, the controllers and counters met again. The problem with Consumer B was resolved, since she was no longer consuming earthly beans. And all potential "B"s had been rejected from the system. But the bottom lines were still not pleasing so the controllers said, "Well, it's unfortunate, but we must cut back on provider reimbursements and increase consumer contributions. We need more coming in and less going out. It's not personal, just business." So the letters were sent and the controllers voted themselves a substantial pay increase.

In the meantime, the B & C consumers were scrambling to find beans. They tried the providers directly but were told, "No, we can't take you. We know you can pay for your beans this time, but there's no guarantee of that in the future. And if we take you now, we'll have to provide your beans forever even if you can't pay. We're very sorry - it's not personal." They tried the charity bean dispensers but were told, "No, we can't help you. You are not poor enough to receive charity beans. We're very sorry - it's not personal." They tried various controllers and were told, "Yes, we can take you. But you'll have to pay 10 times more than our other consumers because you're a risk to the sytem. We're very sorry - it's not personal." So most of the B & C's stopped consuming beans, accepting that the system worked for some but not all. And the controllers voted themselves a substantial pay raise.

But all was not well with the sytem. Neither the bean providers nor the bean consumers were happy. Both sides began grumbling and eyeing each other as adversaries, not partners. The word "reform" began to surface and the Controllers and their counters were not happy. Committees were formed, debates were held, impossible solutions were scattered around like handfuls of loose beans. Bean recipes were developed but turned bitter and unpalatable because of so many cooks in the kitchen. The recipes grew to thousands of pages and no one bothered to read the ingredient lists or cooking instructions. Each committe claimed to have a blue ribbon bean pot but no one could explain how to actually make the dish.

The controllers sent messengers out to sow beans of fear, discontent, and confusion. They said to the consumers, "Trust us, you have the best system in the world! If you change it, you'll have to wait hours in line for sour, defective, expensive beans. You might not even get beans, if you're too old or feeble! Trust us, we will take care of you!" And the consumers forgot that these same messengers were already keeping them from getting beans, and in their confusion they began to turn against the reformers.

In the end, the recipes were ripped, torn, and shredded by committees which could not quell the arguing, shouting, accusing, criticising, and distorting. The controllers looked at the piles of confetti on the workroom floor and nodded to each other. They retired to their board rooms, hung Mission Accomplished banners, and promptly voted themselves substantial pay raises.

As for the bean consumers? They made-do and some suffered and died from lack of beans. The reformers went home, hoping to never discuss beans again. The system survived and adapted to it's chronic illness. Sales of Beano increased and no one lived happily ever after.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Garden Gloves

First harvest, other than lettuce and herbs: 2 lemon cukes, 5 pickle cukes, handful of yellow wax beans, and 6 SunGold tomatoes. And all it took was 6 weeks of soil, fertilizer & compost, mulching, watering, weeding, training, supporting, and protecting. Awesome. Next up: carrotts, green beans, big tomatoes, and potatoes. Awesome. And not a single, slimy, slithering slug. Really really awesome.