Monday, April 20, 2009

Fear, Hawking, & Stupid

The Republican Noise Machine, their Party jukebox you might say, knows only a couple of tunes, and fear is a big hit.
They were at it again over the weekend, blathering that President Obama was making the country less safe, first by giving the okay to release four torture technique memos from the Justice Department.
I say hogwash! In the unlikely event that Al Qaeda didn't already know what it would be like when their members were interrogated by U.S. intelligence agents, they could simply go on the Internet and look it up, as most of this information is already public, a lot of it coming from the Bush Administration. In reality, a concept the Republicans don't quite get, the banning of these forms of torture, and it is torture, which the President initiated, will erase an important recruitment tool for terrorist organizations, thus making the country more safe.
Second, they're all worked up that Obama met with Venezuela's President last Friday, Hugo Chavez, and was cordial. They said this confirms the President will not be tough with adversaries of the United States. If I remember correctly, Mr. Chavez was a critic, or adversary if you will, to George W Bush, not the U.S.. I think the President summed it up quite nicely: "It's unlikely as a consequence of me shaking hands or having a polite conversation with Mr Chavez that we are endangering the strategic interest of the United States."
Sorry Republicans, we're just not afraid anymore. We have a real President now.
Stupid Republicans.
Next, I hope we are all in agreement when I state that we all wish the brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking a speedy recovery. He is the retired Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University,. a post once held by Sir Isaac Newton. He is famous for discovering that black holes emit radiation, among other things like naked singularities (oh my!), and functionally surviving amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, which has left him paralyzed for most of his life. When first diagnosed with the neural disorder when 21 years old, doctors gave one or two years until he died. He is now 67.
In 1991, I attended a screening of the film, "A Brief History of Time," at Caltech, in Pasadena. The movie is a documentary concerning the life of Hawking, who was present at the screening, and who addressed the audience. I remember it vividly. He cannot speak directly, but uses a computer generated voice he controls with his fingers. And he's funny. He's even been on "The Simpsons."
He is very ill now with a respiratory aliment, and has been hospitalized. I wish him well.
Finally, I went to see Physician Assistant Brown this morning at the VA Clinic here downtown. She acts as my doctor, and has done so for many years. A lovely, black woman, in her sixties I'd say. I was there to discuss my thyroid which doesn't want to make thyroid juice anymore, so I have to take a drug called levothyroxine each morning to compensate. The problem is the dosage. For a long time I used to take the pill with milk to wash it down. Sounds fairly harmless, doesn't it dear reader, but it seems the drug reacts to the calcium in the milk in an unhelpful manner, which used to drive P.A. Brown crazy.
"I've never seen levels like this before. One month your up, the next down. You're driving me crazy," she'd say.
I told you so.
She sent me to an endocrinologist who is a specialist in these manners. She told to stop taking the f--king pill with milk, which I did. Now my levels were too high. The endocrinologist lady spoke to me on the phone one day and told me not to worry, that the technique was working, and she needed to simply lower the dosage.
"I'll prescribe a lower dosage which I want you to take for four to six weeks before coming back in."
"But I never received the meds," I explained to P.A. Brown.
"Happens all the time," she said. "You'll have to talk to the pharmacist."
She instructed me to go to the pharmacy and tell them I never received the new medication, take it for 4 to 6 weeks, get a blood test, go see the lovely endocrinologist lady ( she really is lovely), and then come see her again in 3 months.
I have the ability to follow simple instructions.
"When are you supposed to see the endocrinologist again?" the lady pharmacist asked.
"After I take the lower dosage meds for four to six weeks," I told her. "But I never received the meds."
"Our records show it was sent out on March ninth and delivered successfully. I can't issue any more than eleven pills to you without another prescription or I'll get in trouble. Maybe your manager has it."
"I've asked him, he doesn't have it. Eleven pills won't do me any good."
"Sorry," she said.
I walked back to my box, muttering to myself, and hating bureaucracies.
I attended the Garden Club. Lovely Erin has returned to us a tad sunburnt from her trip to Arizona. She didn't feel like talking about it very much, however.
After gardening I returned to my box and promptly found the lower dosage meds in my desk drawer, Which means at some point in the past I had placed it their, unless the medication fairies were up to their old tricks.
I find that unlikely.
Stupid Joyce.

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