by Brad Nelson 6/28/16
Turn down your damn radio. • It was hot on the Left Coast yesterday. In my part of the People’s Republic of Washington State, it was 80 degrees. I don’t know what that is in Celsius, and I don’t want to know. I have no interest in being a global citizen.
So I’m sitting at a stoplight at a busy intersection with my windows rolled down. The air conditioning broke a couple years ago and it’s just not worth fixing. A friend said it could cost upwards of $1200.00. The car is slowly devolving into various things that are “not worth fixing.” Things still worth fixing are the brakes, tires, steering, and probably the legal stuff like turn signals. But the frills are going by the wayside.
But I digress. Did I say it was a hot day? It must be the heat. So here I am sitting at the intersection with my windows rolled down. And this is not going to be a story of some punk kid (or, worse yet, a wigger) playing his music too loud. And in such cases, the problem isn’t so much the volume as it is the content. Pop music these days is truly horrible. Rap is absolutely toxic. Name your poison, death by girly-man aridity or deadly anger masquerading as music.
No, in this instance I’m the one playing my music loud, or at least loudish. I am, after all, one of the civilized. And what’s playing? Oh, you silly person. Why, Sinatra, of course. I was blaring some groovy song from Come Swing With Me: ”Almost Like Being in Love” with also features a swingin’ arrangement by Billy May. And I got a subtle, but strange, look from the 30-something fellow in the car next to me. It wasn’t a look of derision like I would have given some punk blaring pop or rap. It was a quizzical look with perhaps just a brief glimpse of approval.
Who knows? He may have truly heard something he had never heard before and was genuinely curious. Or he thought I was from Mars. But I make no apologies for open-air Sinatra. God knows the crap from others we all have to put up with. A little Mr. S would likely to the Vulgarites some good. And, oh, that look was worth it.
Mother broke her hip a couple weeks ago and this has given me more familiarity with the health care system than I ever wanted. Her orthopedic surgeon comes highly rated and he seems to have done a first-rate job. But the rest of the system outside the Big Poobahs is pretty thin. Long story short, if you or a relative has to make a trip to the emergency room, the hospital, or a rehabilitative facility, understand that there is no one really looking out for your interests. (I can see Annie tapping her knee and nodding in the affirmative.) Unless you are proactive, these places can be downright bad for your health. Do not just sit there and go with the system. The system is very broken and certainly not oriented to attending to people’s needs.
For my mother, we had to takes steps several times for just basic stuff that should have been a normal part of a nurse’s (or doctor’s) duty. Urinary infection? Hey, how about taking a test. They agreed this was a good idea and could be causing some of her symptoms. Oops. They never took the test. We reminded them again a few days later. I think they did take a test, but I’m not sure. I’ve got brothers and sisters also intervening.
One night I came to visit her and she was hallucinating. Severely. Did the nurses or staff know anything about it? Well, it might have been hard to have this communicated to them because most of the help staff there at the rehabilitating facility do not speak good English. I had the hardest time commenting with one of them. Now imagine you are an elderly person whose hearing (such as my mother’s) isn’t all that good to begin with.
Luckily one of the interns there (and I’m not making this up) looked up her problem on the internet and came up with some likely causes. Calling Dr. Google. I mean, I’m not making this up. I held my tongue. And this guy was actually sincerely trying to help. But why are we (or Medicare) paying for a staff to sit on their asses at their stations Googling for remedies while non-English speaking nurses do the minimum of care?
I was not much impressed by the Chinese Fire Drill nature of the operation. And, mind you, this is one of the highest rated facilities in the state.
As it happens, none of this will likely matter. Mother seems to have lost the will to live. She does nothing now but make excuses for why she is not eating, why she isn’t doing very good at her rehabilitation exercies, etc. I guess we might all find ourselves there eventually. But the lesson to learn from this is stay home if at all possible. Our healthcare system is extremely over-rated. There is no exaggeration in my voice when I say that I think the main function of the healthcare system is to employ as many people as possible to sit behind a desk. Giving careful and attentive care to the patients seems to be an afterthought. Outside of toilet functions, you’re on your own.
And if you’re in your 70’s (and I’m serious), consider wearing padding on the hips, as well as knee and elbow pads as well. What is going to get you is a fall. I think I could make a fortune selling hip pads for the elderly. Maybe make them a bit stylish. Maybe a Sinatra motif. Broken hips are the kiss of death, generally speaking. Avoid them.
Inhale Love. Exhale Hate.
I had reason to make a rare excursion to Facebook. One of the reasons was to check out a hot chick who is a friend of a friend of a friend. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and all that. Well, I realized again why I don’t spend much time on Facebook. It’s pretty stupid. This one chick was a nature-lover — perhaps a modern-day Pagan. Her page was full of drippy slogans, including “Inhale Love. Exhale Hate.”
We are witnessing the fortune cookie-ification of our culture. I do think it’s a good idea to inhale a little love and minimize the hate. I get very frustrated with much of conservatism which has devolved to just various ways to express how dissatisfied one is. I’ve always tried to get people to also focus on the positive, to tell a funny story, or just focus on another aspect of life other than what the Obamas are doing to screw our country.
There is at least a tiny bit of wisdom in the “Inhale Love. Exhale Hate” shtick. Very little, in fact. Think of that ditzy mayor broad (of which city, I forget) who said regarding the Jihadist who blew up all the Democratic voters at the homosexual nightclub that all that was needed was to love then more.
I wonder if Satan is still having a good laugh when he inspired the Beatles to write “All You Need is Love”?
Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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