Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Just Say No To GMO

From the beginning, my doctor has said that GMO foods are bad. She never says why exactly except that she will say that we don't feed our body what it needs when we consume GMO foods. Her medical advice is geared towards the instruction of methods by which we can be in health. It goes beyond the standard admonishment to control fat, sugar and salt consumption.

The GMO issue is extremely controversial and on the surface appears to be based more on the fear of the unknown rather than on scientific evidence. There's really very little to be alarmed about when the process by which a GMO is created is nothing more than removing genetic material from one plant and introducing it into another plant to give that plant the desired properties belonging to the donor plant.

Genetic modification can be used to increase the nutritional value of that plant's produce. It can create a virus resistant strain, a pesticide resistant strain or one that will grow in less than desirable soil conditions. Genetic modification can be and is used to change the color of things as well. That is how rose growers achieve all those multiple colored variants of the rose. Slightly different process, but still genetic modification. That's not all bad, but I have questions.

One of those questions concerns Monsanto's insistence on farmers not saving the seeds from this years crops for planting next season. The only reason I, who am not a scientist, can come up with is they know what properties altered first generation GMO seeds have, but don't know what properties future generations of those seeds will have. This is concerning to me and largely why I have worked for a year to remove GMO products from my pantry.

The other question I have is based on what foods I know contain GMO ingredients, is there a link between GMO and our obesity problem?

It would be easier if producers of our foods were required to label for GMO ingredients, however I am reminded of the trans fat labeling that isn't the truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I am aware of what words to look for on the labels and far too often find those words listed in the ingredients. I would assume the GMO guidelines, if they were ever established, would allow producers the same leeway to claim something is 0 GMO if the percentage is below a specified amount.

I am going to include a link in this post to a list of foods containing GMO ingredients. Once you've looked at it, I'm positive you'll be shocked at just how much of it you have in your homes.

Products containing GMO ingredients

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wisdom, Found In The Strangest Places

I took a minute yesterday to clean out the spam comments I'm still acquiring and one of them made me laugh so hard I'm still chuckling about it this morning. It took the time to tell me I'm an excellent writer but I really need to do something about the quality of my titles.

It was posted on the "Family Mystery and Josephine" entry and actually included a request for additions to my posts like videos. Mind you, that was a post that included a video. Would have been nice if it would have included what kind of videos I should be adding to my post. Come to think of it, a link to someplace that teaches writers how to choose a title would have been of more benefit than the link to it's website.

Seven years of blogging and not one person prior to this had ever said my titles suck, except for me. I actually think that all the time, which is probably why I find the criticism funny. When I decide on the title of my essay I think it sucks, but on my list of first world problems it rates somewhere near the bottom. If I were serious about this blogging thing, I'd create a hundred or so alter egos and click the link to the spammer's site and troll him, her, it...whatever. My reward for that behavior would be some sort of nasty bug guaranteed to kill my computer dead. I'll pass...thanks.

Driving home from work yesterday a Phil Collins song came on. It actually fits my attitude these days towards the internet community. It's called "I Don't Care Anymore". There's a short chorus that says "I don't care what you say, I don't play the same games you play." My attitude is more one of boredom with it rather than the dark anger suggested in the song, but that actually is where I am with my interest. None of which occurred to me until I read the spam comment and heard the song.

I remember when it was so interesting to me that I'd figuratively froth at the mouth if I couldn't get online for some reason. I suffered from the "Oh my GAWD I'm gonna miss something" syndrome. I would literally check my connection every few minutes breathing a sigh of relief when it came back. These days when it goes out I just go do something and when I think about it, I'll check it and it's almost always back by then. There are times when I can see the satellite is up and running, and I don't take advantage of it because what I'm doing in the real world is more important to me. I have a connection and I'm not using it? Unheard of, but true.

Now, I'm not interested in finding anything new and shiny because I've learned it tarnishes at the same rate everything else does. Of course, nothing anymore is really new and shiny, it's just the same old crap with a new coat. Pretty soon the new coat turns as brown as the crap it covers and everyone rushes off to find a new and prettier coat. Nobody ever addresses the crap, it just gets covered up again which leaves a seething  mess of frustration behind.

"And as for me I can sit here and bide my time 
I got nothing to lose if I speak my mind. 
I don't care anymore I don't care no more"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Giving Thanks

About 2:30 this morning I was dragged from the arms of sleep by a thunderstorm. There was, for a split second a wash of annoyance at having been so unceremoniously ripped from my dreams. Then I remembered Moore, Oklahoma.

I began, in the middle of the lightening and thunder, to give thanks.

I gave thanks for my ability to see, hear and understand just how lucky I was that when this storm passed I would still have a roof over my head.

I gave thanks for the knowledge that my loved ones were safe.

I gave thanks for the reminder that while I may feel that my troubles are insurmountable, there are those whose problems actually are far, far worse than mine.

I may have lost sleep, but hundreds have lost their homes and 91 families have lost forever the ability to hold their loved ones in their arms. I have lost nothing compared to that.

Monday, May 13, 2013

I Object

What am I objecting to?


My hours got cut at work again. This time I decided to get firm and tell them that if I'm only going to be given 16 hours a week, I am only willing to work 3 days. If I get called to cover a case on a day off is one thing, but to regularly schedule me for 2 hours a day isn't going to work for me. Three days allows me time to myself and still gives me the ability to provide coverage for others if needed.

My schedule was rearranged and I got out of bed Saturday morning planning on some online fun. My fun was interrupted by a brief thunderstorm which necessitated I shut down the computer. When the power came back on, the computer didn't. I tried using Hubby's 10 inch Acer netbook. Typing on that was so painful that I only lasted 15 minutes.

The price of desktop computers these days was an eye opener. Hubby's truck just got a new engine so we could stay in business and that wiped out our available cash. Much of April was spent with almost 0 business income since there was no truck to conduct business with. Then it took a week to change out the engine and whatever parts needed changing with it. So, I simply didn't have the money to replace the dead computer.

It was 8 years old and the tech guy at the local repair shop said he wouldn't be able to get the parts anymore. So, it looked like I was going to have to tough it out with Hubby's 10 inch. Tried it again and the verdict was...NO.

Fortunately Best Buy had a Toshiba 15 inch on sale for less than $300. The price is a thumbs up, however Windows 8, the operating system is a big thumbs down.

There is a tutorial for it somewhere in this thing. I can't find it. The very fact that I have a workable screen and was able to download Chrome browser occurred entirely by accident. I had to password protect this thing before it would even allow me to see the thumbnails which you get until you create the desktop. Problem with the thumbnail view is that once you open it, there are no icons that will help you navigate it.

If you wave your cursor around long enough something with icons slides out the side of your screen. It, of course, doesn't stay still long enough for you to actually click on anything except the settings icon and the power off icon. I use that a lot since I keep clicking into things expecting it to resemble something I'm familiar with, finding out it doesn't and not finding the way out of the screen.

I'm sure I will figure it out in time, if I can find where they hid the tutorial. In the meantime I can shut it off and hope I don't break the power button turning it back on so much.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Doctors Just Don't Like It When Patients Say NO!

Gus is a 72 year old friend of ours. He's in pretty good health except for the need to take blood pressure medications. He decided that his Medicare HMO was costing him too much money for what he was getting and decided to make a change. His monthly payment now is slightly higher, but his co-pays are enough lower that it offsets the increase. Unfortunately his existing doctor wasn't a member of the new HMO so he had to choose a new one. Standard procedure and not something he had a problem with.

The new doctor orders the usual round of blood work, and asked Gus if he'd take a stress test. Gus hadn't ever been called upon to do so but he thought it was a good idea, so he agreed. The stress test showed nothing unusual and he thought that would be the end of it until the next doctor's appointment. When he went for the follow-up, the new doctor recommended he have a number of other tests. He had x-rays, a cat scan, and a colonoscopy. He understood why the scope might be a good thing, but the x-ray and the cat scan didn't make much sense. Neither did the other tests that he endured whose names he's forgotten since they made no sense to him.

Gus had no symptoms of any diseases or other health problems. His heart function was shown to be normal and there was no fluid or anything that shouldn't be there in his lungs. He simply wasn't prepared for what the doctor asked for when he went to the second follow-up. Frankly, I don't think I would have been either.

He and the doctor were discussing the normal results on ALL of his tests when suddenly he asked Gus if he smoked. Gus hasn't smoked in 47 years. He told him he smoked for 5 years of his life when he was a teen and in his early 20s. To which the doctor responded, "I'm going to order an endoscopy, we need to make sure your smoking didn't damage your lungs or heart."

First off, all of Gus's tests gave normal results. Any of the tests Gus took would have shown a problem in those 2 areas in...well...a heartbeat. I am aware that an endoscopy will show damage from smoking in the esophagus, but in the heart and lungs? I don't think so. Neither did Gus. He refused. Doctor got mad and practically threw Gus out of his office.

The blood work didn't contain a single abnormal reading. All values were in normal range. Gus doesn't even have high cholesterol, which would negate the idea of a stress test since Gus suffers no shortness of breath or any other symptom of heart stress. However, since he does have high blood pressure it is a good idea. The colonoscopy is a good idea too although at 72, an argument could be made against it being a medical necessity. Cancer treatment at that age can be more deadly than the cancer itself.

What Gus has chosen for his Primary Care Physician is someone who practices medical malpractice avoidance and not medicine. These kind of "practitioners" are becoming more common and are among the varied reasons our medical care costs are out of control. Literally thousands of dollars were spent here on unnecessary procedures and the specialists that had to conduct the tests, read the tests and provide the Primary with the results.

Among the things Gus said to the doctor, which might be why he threw Gus out of the office, was that he'd be damned if he'll pay for ANY of these tests if the HMO decides they weren't medically necessary. Which could happen since as far as Gus knows, there wasn't any submission to his HMO for permission to conduct these tests. It may be that prior approval isn't necessary, or it might fall under all the "preventative" tests that insurance companies are now required to pay for.

Gus is planning on looking for a different doctor. Not because this doctor is necessarily a bad one, but because he got mad when Gus exercised his right as a patient to say no. Successful healthcare is always a partnership between doctor and patient. That partnership doesn't give the doctor the right to demand something just because it will make the doctor feel better. The purpose of this partnership is to help the patient to maintain his state of health, not to help the doctor stay out of court.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Family Mystery Deepens and She Did WHAT????

I am no closer to finding out how Granddad Milo came to have that account journal in his possession. The only idea I had regarding it's source has bitten the dust rather thoroughly. It's source couldn't have been Grandma Fannie since the dry goods store she worked in didn't exist until somewhere around 1890. Obviously not the source of provisions for a Union Army Regiment being sent off to fight in the Civil War.

This historical research stuff is fun. Especially when you're dealing with a family who weren't the least bit interested in listening to "the stories" told to them as children. None of them got interested until all those who could have answered their questions had passed into the great beyond long ago. Figures, right? So, I am stuck trying to get at the information I'd like to have without the benefit of anyone with a memory of anything and without access to whatever other members of the family descended from brothers and sisters of Granddad Milo may have found out. They have their findings on Ancestry dot com where one has to be a member and PAY to do so. Ummmm, no. Not going to do that no matter how curious I get.

What I do know so far is this. Granddad Milo was born in either 1875 or 1874. He died in Feb of 1955. Grandma Fannie died in 1954 and was either born in 1888 or at a date unknown depending on which of the two Fannies buried with Granddad the cemetery has listed information on. Interesting since there is only one Fannie actually buried there. So much for cemetery records.

It also turns out that the Bert listed in the journal wasn't a brother to Milo, which is what everyone thought. Bert's last name is Nutt, which is the maiden name of Fannie, wife of Milo. If anyone had a truer last name, I haven't heard it. Seriously. Fannie seems to have been quite the gal.

Hubby remembers Grandma Fannie living with some really mean guy named Al. He is the person I need to thank for Hubby's lack of interest in sports. When the kids went to visit Grandma Fannie, if sports were playing on the teevee machine, kids needed to sit their asses down quietly and "shaddup gol dammit!" This order was almost always followed by a slap across the back of the head. The very fact that Al survived that behavior surprises me no end since Fannie was on the violent side herself.

It seems that Granddad Milo had a glass eye. He acquired it by making Fannie very, very angry. So angry that she threw a dinner fork at him for some infraction or other and it lodged in his eye. Apparently this wasn't the first attempt on his life, since Old Charlie said that Fannie was the only person or thing he ever knew Milo to be afraid of. It was, however the last. While he didn't have her arrested, he did put her out of the house and lived quite serenely until he couldn't take care of himself anymore.

Next avenue of research will be whether or not Milo's Dad could be the source of the journal. Fortunately I do have the information on who he was, who he married and how many kids they had. Even have their names so although I'm not finding out what I want to know, I'm at least getting somewhere.

Told you this was fun.