Sunday, February 15, 2009

Getting Riled Up on

Getting Riled Up on
Current mood: pugnacious
Category: News and Politics

I typed this up just a moment ago, and figured it was rant-worthy to go in my Blogger blog. I'm also going to put it on my Facebook account as a note. Feel free to comment. I love comments. Even if you violently disagree, please comment.

The impetus for this post was an interesting thread started on by Ron, who actually had a very good question to ask. Instead, he got a lot of personal attacks and even people calling him a "parasite." It was interesting. I couldn't believe all the anger. And Ron was still nice about it as he was commenting other people's angry comments.

Ron is also an elderly guy, so I don't blaim him for thinking about the consequences of Universal Health Care.

He wrote: "Do the elderly recognize that they'll lose much of their slice of the Medicare pie should nationalized medicine become a reality?"

Already, 125 people had commented on his thread, mine probably won't pull up until the end, but here it is in it's entirety:


- OR -

TO OFFER CARE TO EVERYBODY (but wait in line for a long time - hope your cancer's not aggressive).

It's like Hamlet's soliloquy, "To be or not to be."

You decide with your vote and what politician you choose. You have that power and freedom of choice! Study them out carefully please. Don't just vote for them only because they inspire "hope." (And then use scare tactics six months later when they want to pass some bills ... ironic, don't you think?)

Ron has a very good point and I think that Anna and Doug should listen to it, rather than falling prey to one of the logical fallacies of attacking a person's character if they don't like what he is saying.

Whether or not our US health care system becomes fully universal (hopefully not) there will be some trade-offs. These trade-offs already exist in many of these "utopian" countries that you have mentioned: Great Britain, Canada, and many other places where they have some form of health care like unto Universal Health Care. It's called time and resources.

In America we have gotten very used to quick health care (relatively). If you go to an emergency room, you will be treated at least in the next 24 hours, depending on how life-threatening your problem is. We United States citizens want to be treated NOW! (We can be very impatient.)

Now go to Great Britain. You have some form of aggressive cancer. Right now (and for awhile) Britain has had really bad problems with long waits to be seen by a doctor -- we're talking a few months here, not just 24 hours. So you are going to croak while you are waiting in line. So guess what kinds of patients come to the U.S. to actually get some service? YOU GUESSED IT!

Also, if you are over 80, they will offer you hospice care ... and that's about it. You can die in comfort. Pass the morphine please. (I guess that's cheaper than a lot of surgery and expensive drugs, or to be on respirators for years.)

Long Lines Make Universal Health Care Suck IN Great Britain: (2008). Please read and be enlightened to the situation in Great Britain.

Excerpt from article:
Waiting Times. Waiting lists are a huge problem in Great Britain. Some examples: 750,000 are on waiting lists for hospital admission; 40% of cancer patients are never able to see an oncologist; there is explicit rationing for services such as kidney dialysis, open heart surgery and care for the terminally ill. Further, minimum waiting times have been instituted to reduce costs. “A top-flight hospital like Suffolk Est PCT was ordered to impose a minimum waiting time of at least 122 days before patients could be treated or the hospital would lose a portion of its funding.”

So based on what is happening in the British system, it is likely that more people will die in our country than they do now, just because of long waits and rationing on big ticket items.

Or you can pay more in Britain and get better care, like everyone eventually does, if they make getting health care for themselves a priority. Excerpt from the article, link included above:
"Private Insurance. 10% of Britons have private health insurance. Private health insurance replicates the coverage provided by the NHS, but gives patients access to higher quality care, and reduced waiting times."

How The Health Care System in Great Britain works, if you want a detailed answer:

Personally, I think Americans will have a hard time sacrificing the immediacy of our health care to offering it to all. It's just our culture and how we're wired. Unless we're lied to about consequences and then slowly discover them along the way, and then have a lot of "buyer's remorse," which is also very possible.

PLEASE!!! Study the issues and don't get caught up in rhetoric. VOTE WISELY! And remember, there's always a trade-off to every system or proposal. Find out what it is first before you get on the bandwagon. Find out what the unintended consequences will be down the road. Don't just live for today.

Thank you for reading my reply. This is an important issue, and we should do a lot of thinking and research before we come to a final conclusion.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Facebook Sillyness - Danelle's High School Experience

All I can say is that it was a VAST improvement to the whole Jr. High scene. Yes I loved high school. I loved elementary too, but there's something about Jr. High that makes it the armpit of life. (I think my sister called it that, I can't take credit for it.) I just felt so repressed in jr. high, blah! Some of my art friends got pregnant, it was AWEsome. not really. (They were 14, at best.) My mom threatened to send me to private school because of my bad language (I had a potty mouth, I wouldn't cuss, but I'd say everything next to a cuss). But I didn't want to leave my friends, so I guess that threat worked...

1. Did you date someone from your school? Yes, but none of them really seriously. Never really had a boyfriend, or the DTRness, but boy oh boy I went on a lot of fun dates - picture scavenger hunts, video scavenger hunts, went on a treasure hunt, sent other people on treasure hunts, got free pie and then got handcuffed to a chair a few minutes later, had a HUGE pie fight (something about the pie?), wore matching pajamas with a back door, kissing rugby (but I guess we weren't necessarily on dates), crashed another school's Cotillion, then got kicked out, fire pits, scary stories about South Weber and skin walkers, went ice skating in clothes we got at DI, got heckled by some unruly kids, lots of good times.

2. Did you marry someone from your high school? No. I figured it would be at college, but it wasn't until I moseyed out to California. They have a great singles LDS scene. But so did Provo. I guess I was still too immature.

3. Did you car pool to school? Yes. I drove my sister, I drove Rachelle for awhile (and she put up with me listening to some pretty weird stuff, Bare Naked Ladies to Schubert Concertos. Who listens to Schubert in high school? Axe murders? I drove others on occasion. Sorry if I didn't mention you by name. Luckily my brother had gone on his mission and I got his blue-green Chevy truck, the exact truck that you had, Madison, except slightly different color. I occasional also drove the suburban, but Christine really got the full experience of that car. Oh, the bus was also great. I was just reminiscing about bus memories the other day. Our bus stop kids had an obsession with getting the bus to tip over on snow days. It was a really stupid idea and I'm glad it didn't work, but we'd all lean over to one side of the bus when the bus driver rounded this sharp turn on the corner. i think we even all sat on the same side one day and leaned. Didn't work. Yes, we were 14-ish. Not five.

4. What kind of car did you have? A truck. (A duck! jk) Chevy, Teal, extended cab, could fit six people extremely snuggly. During dinner theatre when I'd drive people home, I remember making Lisa Lloyd and Adam Nielson get in the back of the truck bed and I'd go flying just right over the dip on Sunset in the Oak Forest neighborhood and they'd go bouncing up and down. It was great! Risking other people's lives. I'm glad no one died.

5. What kind of car do you have now? A 2001 black Honda CR-V, I found it and bought it used on my birthday 7/7/2004, right when I had decided to drop out of astrophysics grad school. Tyson and my roommates were watching Emperor's New Groove while I was finalizing the deal with my gay neighbors. I guess I needed to cheer myself up. School had really beaten me down, and I felt dumb as a bag of hammers. I had just sold my 1996 Diamond-colored Cadillac, my dream car (thanks parents), because the price of premium gas was killing me (and it only got horribly worse, good premonition). Yes, no more premium gas cars for Danelle. I'm burned out on them. I had to rollerblade to school for a week, it was about 11 miles away. It was fun though. Except I almost got run over by a bunch of business men going to lunch, they weren't paying attention as they werre pulling out of their executive building parking lot (we're talking Newport Beach here). Luckily with my catlike reflexes I pushed myself off the hood of their car. I really wanted to punch the hood of the car and make a dent in their Voltswagon to remind them to drive more carefully in the future, but I controlled my temper. It's funny how much thought can happen in a split second.

6. It's Friday night. Where are you? Meh. Getting someone's house with bagels, or doing unpleasant pranks to someone's car. Possibly doing my own stunts by jumping into a moving vehicle. Maybe barricading someone's house. Maybe playing the piano. Maybe going to a movie with friends or family.

7. What kind of job did you have in high school? I worked at Old Navy one summer. A guy I had known from elementary school and Kids R Music choir worked with me, and he was now flamboyantly gay. We still had a really good time unloading clothes shipments at 5 am on a Saturday, talking really loudly while everyone else was half-asleep and answering in grunts. I guess we were both morning people.
We laughed a lot. There was a girl that unloaded shipments and worked with us too, and she was awesome. I wish I could remember her name.

8. What kind of job do you do now? Meh. Temp work. Getting my master of education at Drexel U. Watch my nephew here and there. Sell used CDs to the local used CD store. It's a life. Hopefully I'll be teaching and doing physics demos in a high school classroom soon.

9. Were you a party animal? Not really. I was not good when I had to function without sleep. I remember vividly and ashamedly that Jennifer Williams kept us up all night talking about weird things when we were having a sleepover the night before graduation, (I remember Ralae telling her to be QUIET!) then we had to get up early and sing in the choir, then there was the senior all-night party where we were essentially locked in the school, and I started crying uncontrollably during the hypnotist show in the auditorium around midnight. I felt soo stupid, but I couldn't stop crying, I was so tired. Okay, seriously, you can't make this stuff up. Luckily I had my trusty red blanket with me and I think I just laid down somewhere in the school and passed out from sleep exhaustion for a few hours. (We had the all-night party to deter drunk driving and student deaths the night of graduation, in case you are unfamiliar with them.) But on the flip side, almost every night in high school I would always read whatever book that was laying around until 3 or 4 am. I'm a party animal when it comes to reading books!

10. Did you get suspended or expelled? I got in big trouble from the tennis coach when I missed practice one day to do street painting and show my school spirit. I was pretty pissed about that. I was also pissed when we had that sub one day in choir and a bell rang and we all left early (I think I am getting memories mixed up here - wait, I asked the sub if I could direct because it was obvious that she didn't know the song and wasn't very good at sight-reading, and she tattled to Mr. Wright, but I think I just got a warning for that.) Anyway, I think we left early and Mr. Wright was there and dismissed us, but then he was mad we left and gave us all 'U's, bad citizenship grades. I don't remember crying, but my mom does. I ranted to her about it and I'm pretty sure he got a pretty persuasive call from my mom. But we still had to go to detention. It really sucked, and I remember the detention guy asking us, "Why are you here?" We looked like good kids, and we let him know how stupid our teacher was about sending us there. Oh well, we did our time.

11. Can you sing the fight song? Yes. Good times. Thanks choir! Oh yes, and Pep Club sophmore year. Too bad our football team sucked that year, but got immensely better the next two years.

12. Who was/were your favorite teacher(s)? Ya know, I had a lot of great teachers. Mr. Harris was an awesome physics teacher, and probably influenced my career choice, Ms. Spencer was fun, I enjoyed her as a creative writing teacher at times, but she had her bad moments too, I guess you gotta take the good with the bad. I also learned a lot from Mr. Wright, although I didn't enjoy him much as a teacher. I had some great seminary teachers, most notibly Mr. Read. Reader? Something like that. I learned so much about the gospel from him. (I enjoyed Ms. Spencer's creative writing with Ryan and Joel. We really had a good time. Remember the Scarlet Ibis? Ibish?)

13. Where did you sit during lunch? At first outside in the commons area with my packed lunch. NERD POWER! Then I started eating in the cafetaria with choir friends. We used to mix nasty concoctions from all sorts of food and then dare people to drink it, and sometimes reward them with prizes if they did. I think Adam told Lisa he would always accompany her for choir pieces if she drank it, and she did. Blech! It was really gross. Oh, we also played Pit, the card game. Some of my happiest high school memories! I got so good at the game I could influence other people to win. I could tell what they were collecting and start passing them that item. And they usually won. It was fun picking the winner. (I got tired of winning, and I tried to give everyone a turn, without actually telling them that. Sorry if I spoiled any surprises.)

14. Favorite music group? Bare Naked Ladies, John Williams The Last Crusade soundtrack, John Williams Sneakers soundtrack, Hook soundtrack, R.E.M., Cranberries, U2.

15. Where was your favorite hang-out spot? At my locker. Katie gave me one of those gargantuan tins of Altoids and I'd pull it out randomly and say, "Altoid, anyone?" like an "air hostess from the 60's." - Flight of the Concords. Also, Katie Wilcoxson's house, hands down! Watching Space Ghost laughing my head off! Ralae's house was also very fun. Many people have very fun houses. The Drake, etc. I also liked having the occasional pool party.

16. What was your school's full name? "Northridge High School, a.k.a. 'That other school in Layton.'" -Ryan Uhrey put it best. :-)

17. When did you graduate? 1998, make it great!

18. What was your school mascot? The Kah-nigget! (knight)

19. If you could go back and do it again, would you? No, I did it perfectly. I'm done. Time for the next adventure. (I can't believe I used to get up at 6 am to practice the piano! Adam's turned me from a morning person into a night owl! Okay, my family did too, bunch of freakin' night owls!)

20. Did you have fun at Prom? I didn't get asked to my prom. Sad llama face. :-( But crashing Roy's Cotillion felt like Prom, I think I was Quintin's date, he had a girl on each arm. Good old polygamy. ;-) Okay, not really! So it was like a prayer being answered. Yes, we had fun. Moreso than I would have had at Prom anyway.

21. Were you involved in any school clubs/sports? Pep Club, Mesa? some kind of science club, we went and saw Gattaca (NOT Mensa), Varsity Tennis, Choir, possibly others.

22. Are you going to your high school reunion? I went to the five year and had a blast. I don't know what happened to the ten year, but I couldn't have made it anyway. Facebook kinda negates the reason to have high school reunions anyway. I read that in an article somewhere.

23. One of your favorite high school experiences: Ah geez, I'm starting to get tapped out on high school experiences. I guess this is a pretty stupid experience, but my tenth grade English teacher (trying to remember her name) had us write a book report on the classic of our choice and I chose Pride and Prejudice. It was really hard to get into, but then the language just clicked and it was really fun finding the ten quotes, responding to them, and I really liked writing the paper. I hadn't liked English since I had had Mr Puzy (sp?) in Jr. High but started to like English and reading and writing again, if only occasionally. I still wouldn't have taken AP English, not for a million dollars. Writing essays was the bane of my existence. Also another reality that drove me to the sciences. Bring on AP Calc, AP Bio, and AP Physics! Good times! However, creative writing is another story. (I also read How To Win Friends and Influence People in that class. Another all-time favorite book, and preparing the assignment and presentation was superfun. People got really creative.) Another favorite was getting a free pizza from Little Caesars at closing with the trouble-making girls, taking a bite out of every piece, and leaving it on Tyrun's porch. Talk about weird. But funny. I'm laughing about it right now. it's like, Hey, a free pizza! Wait a minute, every slice has a bite taken out of it. WTC? (What the crap?) We liked to play weird pranks like that. It was Utah for crying out loud! Also, it was funny to hear coach (Mr. Harris Physics Teacher) say, "Ah geez, what do you think I am, a Seven-Eleven?" if someone forgot their pen or pencil or something.

Mmm, writing this was cathartic or something. It was good to reminisce. Okay, I guess cathartic isn't quite the right word, but I was letting something out, not bad tension and anger, but just another side to me that I had forgotten.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's happening here

Okay, not much. Same old same old. That could be one reason why I haven't written. Also, if any of you are friends with me on Facebook, you could use your deductive reasoning about how I said I beat Final Fantasy XII to realize where all my free time has gone. To playing video games. Stinking, time-wasting video games. It's sad. Okay, but school for me got out early and it was just the month of December that I wasted. And I visited family and did stuff and lost a little weight, so I don't feel too bad about it. I just don't want to relapse again. It doesn't help that Adam encourages me. I do like to please him. :-)

Our status quo is that: Adam is in his first year, second semester of law school at Washington University in St. Louis. (I say in St. Louis because people would THINK we were in Washington State or Washington D.C. - it helps nip any misunderstandings in the bud, and that's what teaching is all about.) He is enjoying his classes, although it snowed a whole lot yesterday and he had to trudge through a lot of unshoveled sidewalks today in his sneakers. He said it felt like trudging through deep snow, uphill, both ways. And then he laughed at his hyperbole. Or sounding like someone's grandfather.

When Adam isn't in school or here reading, studying, or working on assignments, he is putting on fun shows for us to watch like 30 Rock on Hulu, or The Office, or Netflix movies piped from our laptop to our new flatscreen*, and then he plays video games like old school Final Fantasy, or sometimes The Political Machine 2008. He also cooks for us when I'm not feeling up to it. It's very nice. :-)

Today I picked up two baby shower gifts at Babies-R-Us. It was the first time I had set foot in the store and it made me a little scared about having babies. Not too scared, but it gave me a lot to think about. I didn't realize that babies needed soooo much stuff, and I feel like I should already start getting all the free and cheap baby stuff I can pick up. And I could kick myself for already passing up the chance for a free stroller. The people next door had set theirs outside with a sign that said "Free." Grrrr. And we have some space where I could just store it for a bit. I'm hoping we can start a family when my student teaching is done or after (or during) my first year of teaching, that I hope happens as soon as this August. I am starting to get more and more interested in babies, and it's about time I had some of my own.

I couldn't believe all the things that Babies-R-Us had. Aside from the obvious - strollers, cribs, carseats, bottles, clothes, blankets, diapers, books, toys, breast pumps - there were also mattress pads, fitted mattress sheets, mattress pad covers, changing stations, changing station covers, all kinds of bedding, pack-and-plays, pads for the pack-and-plays, it was exhausting. And I couldn't believe how much everything costs!!!! I would need to take out a loan just to get my baby the "necessities."

Onto something more pleasant, I am almost done with my Master's program at Drexel U. I am enrolled in two classes this quarter, and I have two more classes to take next quarter at the same time I do my student teaching. I'll be teaching at Ladue High School, a great high school in the area. My cooperating teachers are two physics teachers at the school. I'll most likely be with one for the morning classes and then another for the afternoon classes, something like that. It will be great to see the two teaching styles and be able to find my own style in the classroom. I should have my Master in June. :-) Wow, that is really coming up close. Okay, I'm sorry, I feel like this is all I ever talk about these days, but it is what is going on for me. I also temp for a nice temp agency and have been placed at Missouri American Water Company twice and it has been a very enjoyable work experience.

Today one of my Drexel classes met in a virtual classroom and quite a few of the students could participate. We were using Wimba. I was feeling especially techie and not only had my microphone hooked up for comments, but my webcam was also up and running. It was really fun. We talked about our class projects called Action Plans that help us incorporate technology seamlessly into our lesson plans. We also discussed Bloom's Digital Taxonomy, an extension of the regular taxonomy which focuses on higher-order thinking and critical thinking skills.

*Sidenote: Our biggest news is probably that we got a flatscreen a few weeks after Christmas. Adam found an amazing deal on the Internet at that we just couldn't pass up. Adam was pleased because has such a great return policy that if there was a problem with the flatscreen it could be easily remedied.

Back to babies, I think that our downstairs neighbors are going to kill us when we have kids. I'm not even sure what the housing policy is like - maybe we'll get kicked out of this building if/when we have kids, because of all the noise that emanates from a crying baby's mouth. But thinking about evidence, some of our neighbors in the next building (owned by Quadrangle, our same housing company) have kids (the very same folks that gave away their stroller) and I'm pretty sure that our contracts are exact. Our neighbors already hate us though, due to our creaking floors without a lot of padding. Our windows also have pretty big cracks underneath. Often we can hear whatever is going on outside or in the building next to ours, conversations, etc. And we know that translates so that people outside or nearby can hear whatever we are saying or doing. It's annoying because it's not our FAULT but we are getting blamed for everything! Our neighbors are so rude anyway, every time they think we are being noisy they hit their ceiling - our floor - very loudly with a broom handle or something. I tip-toe everywhere at night now. I even realized that I am doing it without even thinking about it. Surprisingly, I NEVER had neighbors this crochety at BYU. Or anywhere!

Something funny: So of course, we were being "too loud" by our neighbors standards, and we hear quite a few knocks while we're trying to watch something on, and we keep turning the volume down so that even we can barely hear what the actors are saying, and the show just doesn't make that much sense that way... :-( Finally the husband comes upstairs to ask us to be quiet. He comes up here and I would normally comply and be polite, but I am just too annoyed and demoralized to be nice anymore. So I roll my eyes and just comment how poorly the floors are insulated in a gruff voice. Adam is being nice. So the husband is like, "Do you guys have a subwoofer?" We even let him poke around. We of course DON'T have a subwoofer, we show him how sissy our computer speakers are and that we DON'T have surround sound for our t.v., yet again a case of woosy speakers. He even takes a few steps toward the speakers, looks confused and says, "Well where is that low bass sound coming from?" I wanted to say your crazy mind, but I let him put two and two together. I am now guessing that it was coming from neighbors across the back alley, they are partying types, or even the building next door. On the plus side, they haven't been bugging us as much since they were trying to blaim everything on us before. Maybe they've found someone new to terrorize! So the husband is actually pretty nice, and can be reasoned with, but his wife (who I'm sure is the main instigator and just gets her husband to do the dirty work) is a nut-case if I do say so myself. On the day we moved in, we had been up and down the stairs with boxes about twice and she came out and told us to be QUIET! Very rudely. And did I mention that we were moving in??? And it was 1 o'clock in the AFTERNOON on a SATURDAY?!? (NOT two a.m. on a Tuesday.) She is a nut-burger. Adam's bro-in-law was helping us move in and he was also taken aback by said neighbor. He was incredulous and said, "She actually asked you to be quiet?!?" Granted, she has been through some hard times. She is a teacher at a nearby school and has to get up at the crack of dawn, her husband in is an MD PhD program for the next 10 years or something (I think that he is one year through the program), and she broke her leg twice in the last year outside of our apartment complex. That sucks but don't take it out on everybody else!

I was already thinking of moving but we are so sick of moving and it would be so pointless. So we're staying until they can find some way to kick us out. And my crying baby will be waking up this wife in the early hours of school days and she will be pissed. And I will curtly tell her to invest in earplugs. Hey, I had to start learning to sleep with ear plugs in my last couple years at BYU because I had a hard time falling asleep and I was tired ALL THE TIME. They are uncomfortable at first but then they really do the TRICK! And you sleep like a freakin' LOG! Or else, we will be moving in 2011 anyway, and her husband will have seven or so more years left on his life-sentence of schooling. Or maybe they will move first. Seriously though, I only see their situation getting worse because I think this is one of the most QUIET buildings I have EVER lived in going to any school. While we were living in cheapo housing at UC Riverside, Asians were always outside in our pool area partying it up, screaming, laughing, playing loud music, until 2am on weeknights, and I feel absolutely NO PITY. And we just got used to it. We could have turned them in because of quiet hours and all, but instead you just tune them out and live your life, and pop in those ear plugs if you need them. :-) Problem is solv-ed.

However, babies crying through the night is something different. I think I would be bugged if I was in school and a baby that I was not related to was keeping me up during the night. This could be interesting. Hopefully I get a baby that has no interest in crying and sleeps 14-18 hours of the day.

haha, I should have known this was going to turn into a rant. I still have angry feelings toward our neighbors. Enough out of me. How are you doing?
Danelle ;-D