siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Today was the big day: we signed the contract with an assisted living facility and got the keys to her room. We can start moving things in immediately, she takes up residence July 12, two weeks from today.

Update re beds: D has decided she wants her full bed in there, at least to start, so it looks like we're not getting a temporary or new bed at this time. Thanks everyone for your suggestions! They were very helpful! Also, she has a week to change her mind about this plan.

After the signing, which was a 2+ hour process, we went out for lunch, then adjourned to her place and measured furniture.

Due to dealing with her move, I'm going to be somewhat hosed over the next two weeks. (If you have a favorite moving company that does small moves on the North Shore, feel free to mention in the comments. I have two recs already, but I could stand to get quotes from one or two more. Also, I feel nervous about trying to book movers in 14 days or less, so want a pool of leads at hand.)

I was hoping to get at least one post out this month, but right now I'm so exhausted I can't see straight, and I have lots of patients tomorrow and part of Friday, which is the last day of the month. We'll see.

The good news is that in the middle of July, whatever my availability had been, it (knock on wood) should be substantially improved. Not only will we be getting D settled, I have a bunch of patients all going on protracted vacations, so my clinical caseload will be temporarily lightened.

Once D is moved, we'll need to start worrying about what to do with her house, but there's no urgency on that. I think that while there's some minimal stuff that we'll get out of the way, G and I are planning on taking a nice break from Dealing With Things And Evacuating Houses for a little while.

Of course, all that goes out the window if D's health takes a turn for the worse – or for that matter if any other emergencies emerge. But right now I'm hopeful that later this coming month I'll be able to be around more and be shoving more posts out the door. Here's hoping.

spandrel

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 07:46 am
prettygoodword: text: words are sexy (Default)
[personal profile] prettygoodword
spandrel or spandril (SPAN-druhl) - n., the approximately triangular surface bounded by the outer curve of an arch and an adjacent straight-side figure bounding it; the surface between two adjacent arches and the horizontal cornice above them; a triangular space under a stair, or the material that fills the space; a horizontal, usually decorated member between the windows of each story of a tall building; the space, or the decoration within it, on a stamp between an oval figure and the corner.




Two spandrels marked S (thanks, Merriam-Webster). Lots of space-filling uses between a curve and a bounding rectangle. Used since the 15th century as spandrell, from Anglo-French spaunder, probably from espandre, to spread out, from Latin expandere, to expand.

---L.

QotD

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Why not be oneself? That is the whole secret of a successful appearance. If one is a greyhound, why try to look like a Pekingese?" -- Edith Sitwell (b. 1887-09-07, d. 1964-12-09)

siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Constant readers will recall that I wrote a three-part post titled, "Why You Can't Find A Therapist, No, Really". I posted Part 1 on Sept 1st and Part 2 and Part 3 on Sept 30th of last year.

The clinic I work for as a contractor recently paid me, for my last pay period, an amount of money that was four times my typical earnings. Admittedly, how much I actually get paid fluctuates pretty wildly, but I figured I would have noticed having either 4x in arrears or having seen 4x as many patients as usual. But I'm paid via direct deposit, and the corresponding statement saying what I was getting paid for is put in my mail box at the clinic, so I had to wait till I was back in the clinic – today – to pick it up and find up why I was getting all this money.

The statement mystified me when I got it. It was two whole pages of pairs of canceled previous payments and replacement payments and at first I couldn't make heads or tails of it, and then I realized that I was looking at a statement where almost all the patient sessions listed had happened in 2016.

As I mentioned, last month, for the first time in decades, we got a raise. A big raise. Not big enough to be adequate, but big enough to be astounding. It was, we thought, effective starting May 1.

No. Turns out the raise was retroactive. To – apparently – Oct 1, 2016...

...The day after I posted the final sections of "Why You Can't Find A Therapist, No, Really".

Rumor has it that the raise – more properly, the increase in rate paid by at least two of the Medicaid providers – happened because MassHealth (Massachusetts Medicaid) leaned on them to do so, to fix the emergent strike.

Um.

MassHealth? Are... are you there? Are you reading my journal?

If so, thank you! (If not, still thank you!)

I have a few other suggestions for things you could fix!

For instance: I'm currently doing an amazing job (or so my chart reviewer wrote) doing care coordination with a big medical team involving four clinics, three hospitals, and family all involved in the care for a patient with an emergent psychotic illness. I can do that because the patient has MBHP, and MBHP pays for case coordination if it's extramural. I'd like to point out that it's insane that if I have a 15 minute conversation about the diagnostic formulation for a challenging and high-risk case with an in-house psychiatrist, I don't get paid for it (and neither do they), but if I do the same thing with a psychiatrist at a different clinic, I do. How wack is it that I literally wouldn't be able to afford to spend the sort of time on this case that I did (and continue to!) if the patient hadn't coincidentally decided he didn't like my clinic's available psychiatrist and went and found himself another one through his PCP. Surely this can't be the incentive system you want me or the patient (or the psychiatrist) to be functioning under – one where patients are incented to get their psychiatric care from an entirely different facility from their therapist.

And thank goodness that he had MBHP, as pretty much an amazing fluke. No other MassHealth payers pay for care coordination at all. If this guy had been on NHP or Tufts/BMC when he came down with schizophrenia... I shudder to think. Do you realize how much I've been on the phone with MGH's ER and APS and social workers and psychiatrists at local mental hospitals in the last six months?

Don't you think there should be some sort of provision for what happens when someone presents with a psychotic disorder? Like, when a provider slams the big red "R/o Schizophrenia" button, the payer has to start paying for some case coordination? (I'd also recommend that for substance abuse cases, where patients can manipulate providers around meds; and in mandated reporter cases, where you should probably have payers pay therapists for their time filling in DCF/DPPC/DES or whatever.)

I have to think that the time demands of handling such a high-risk case are part of why some – maybe many – therapist are leary of working with psychotic or other high-risk patients. I've been there. I've twice spent four hours – half a work day – keeping a patient in crisis calm and coordinating with the BEST team and then the hospital, and never saw a dime for any of it. Who wants to bring a patient onto their caseload, for whom the total compensation divided across the total hours of work for that one patient come to less than minimum wage?

And I'm just talking about care coordination – I'm not even talking about CPT 90839 and 90840 which last I checked were still universally unfunded. Funding that would be way cool.

I have many other fine suggestions – I swear many of them even aren't just suggestions you pay me more money! I'm happy to talk more about reforms in mental health care.

(no subject)

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 09:06 pm
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
[personal profile] randomdreams
What's worse, when a person who has in the past acted like a normal human suddenly starts posting racist things, or when someone with an astoundingly racist user name posts normal and even informative things?

[meteo, me] squelch. squelch. squelch.

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 09:29 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Oh god I didn't know it was possible to be this wet without actually wading into a body of water.

(no subject)

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 06:45 pm
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
[personal profile] randomdreams
I went to the cardiologist this morning. She said a month of heart monitor showed nothing: my heart works fine at its normal 65bpm resting rate, and just as well during an hour of 170-190bpm bike riding. The echocardiogram showed no blockages or obstructed arteries, and no weird beats.
So it's back to the original theory, that my blood pressure drops when I stand up, and then I faint.

My manager had a somewhat awful, stressful day at work, because we have a contract worth more than 3x our total revenue the whole time we've existed, so we are desperate to make it work, but they won't really tell us what exactly they want, because it's proprietary (and they know quite well that despite all the NDA's we've signed, we're developing a similar product to sell to their competitors.) My manager is in the middle of this, and is so frustrated he can barely think. I asked "want to go for a lunchtime ride?" and he replied "I might just keep riding." It turns out that when he goes hate riding, he is *markedly* faster than he usually is. This is the guy for whom I usually end up dropping off the back of the pack to ride with him for the rest of the ride. Today I had to slow down a little to get him in my draft and back with the main group twice, and he led for a lot of the ride. He was a bundle of energy. When we got back I asked him if he'd thought about work during the ride and he sat down on the floor, then flopped back on his back, and said he couldn't even remember his name. He was still there five minutes later when I went to do something else.

Thought of the Day

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 05:28 pm
grim23: (Default)
[personal profile] grim23
Train for Life. Make every rep count. Be prepared. - Nick Koumalatsos

blewit

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 07:44 am
prettygoodword: text: words are sexy (Default)
[personal profile] prettygoodword
blewit or bluette or blewitt (BLOO-it) - n., either of two species of edible pale-blue mushrooms (genus Lepista or Clitocybe or Tricholoma), being the wood blewit and the field blewit.


The field blewit is also called blue-leg. Not to be confused with bluet, which encompasses any of several different species of plants having blue flowers, including genus Centaurea, which includes the cornflowers, genus Houstonia, and species Oldenlandiopsis callitrichoides, or creeping-bluets. All of these are probably variously spelled diminutives of blue, or possibly of French bleu, blue.

---L.

Vicariously Disabled.

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 10:07 am
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

I doubt he even remembers enraging me. But I almost screamed at him.

I’m still not sure whether it was his fault.

But let’s rewind. I have a friend who has pretty severe walking issues – he gets only so many steps in a day before he collapses. Most days he can get to nightfall without needing a walker – and he works hard, very hard, not to be seen as a burden.

More so, he struggles to be seen as a person. If you’ve never friended someone with a disability, you don’t quite understand how a visible handicap can eclipse someone’s personality. People tend to assume that everyone in a wheelchair acts the same – they talk a little louder, a little slower, they’re quicker to dismiss their opinions because really, do they know what they want?

Disabled people struggle to be seen. And my friend, well, he worked really hard to be more than his disability –

– which meant he pushed himself hard at conventions. Lots of covert sweating, casually leaning on bars, sitting down when they could. Because if he displayed weakness, the conversation would shift from all the happy things that made his life worthwhile and would focus on “Are you all right?” – which is a question he asks himself entirely too damn much as it is.

He wanted the con to be a vacation and not an explanation. Which was why his disability was, largely, not quite a secret among friends but something where the extent wasn’t entirely revealed unless you were in the know.

And my friend had held up well during the day but was starting to fade in the evening. He was looking for, well, let’s call him The Guy Ultimately I Wanted To Yell At, or Tguiwtya.

He was looking for Tguiwtya. Because he was good friends with Tguiwtya, and and wanted a few moments to hang with Tguiwtya to hang out before he collapsed. And my friend texted Tguiwtya to say “Hey, I’m on my way,” and Tguiwtya had said “I’m in the back of the ballroom.”

Tguiwtya was not in the back of the ballroom.

I ran into my friend, looking exhausted, who asked me if I’d seen Tguiwtya. I knew he’d walked all the way down from their room to meet Tguiwtya, exhausting the very last of his daily steps, and getting back up to the room would be an effort. I said I hadn’t.

He plopped into a chair, sweaty, miserable, waiting for Tguiwtya to show. I kept him company, brought him water. But Tguiwtya wasn’t responding to texts. And eventually, my friend said, “Well, let’s see if I can find him,” and staggered off, leaning heavily on his cane.

I wondered if he was going to make it.

I left. And lo, a couple of hallways down, there was Tguiwtya! Merrily laughing with a bunch of his friends. I collared him.

“Hey. Our friend’s walking the halls looking for you.”

He looked puzzled, as if unsure why I’d bring such a trivial thing to his attention. “Yeah,” he said. “That’s fine.”

I almost screamed.

What I wanted to yell was, “Do you fucking realize how much effort it takes for my friend to find you? You said your dumb ass would be at the back of the ballroom, and they exerted themselves to get to you because they like you, and now they’re straining themselves to find you again, and your answer should not be some pudding-faced ‘that’s fine’ but ‘Yes, sir, I will get right on that.'”

Then I saw Tguiwtya’s friends, crooking their necks at me.

Did I want to make a scene?

Was it worth looking like a fucking maniac in front of all these people, just to make a point about someone’s condition? Because they didn’t know. They couldn’t understand unless I literally barged into their conversation, twisted it, made it about this, and….

Oh.

Shit, that’s gotta be what it’s like all the time, isn’t it?

Let’s be honest: Tguiwtya should have fucking known how much effort it took my friend to walk all the way down to meet him. I know for a fact that my buddy had talked to Tguiwtya about his illness. He was one of the inner circle, one of the folks who’d pushed a walker for my friend.

But how many times do you want to call some able-bodied person out for not comprehending something that they cannot experience? For Tguiwtya, “walking to the ballroom and back” was such a trivial effort that I doubt he even contemplated it as an effort.

Would I be damaging Tguiwtya’s friendship with my friend by explaining what an accidental asshole they were being?

That was, I realized, a brief window into being disabled. People don’t see your illness, even when you make it clear to them. They can’t comprehend that this background static of their lives could be a deafening uproar to anyone else.

And you always get to choose: make an embarrassing fuss and maybe get accommodated, maybe get rejected – or keep the peace and keep a friendship that means less but at least you get to keep it?

To this day, I’m still not sure if I should have yelled at him. Maybe I should. But he wasn’t my friend, and even if he was, I’m not sure I wanted to dress him down in front of a crowd of people.

What I do know is that I doubt Tguiwtya even ponders that moment. If he does, he thinks of me as the asshole who gave him a vicious side-eye when he didn’t break off his amusing anecdote to rush to meet our friend in the ballroom.

But I remember.

I learned something that day.

I hope I learned to listen.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

(no subject)

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 08:02 am
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
[personal profile] randomdreams
I went on a solo lunchtime ride yesterday and encountered a large wild turkey in eastern Longmont. They invariably make me think, on first sight, that they are hideously disfigured Canada geese, like they've been caught in an industrial accident or something.

QotD

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2015-05-05:

"He who lives to see two or three generations is like a man who sits some time in the conjurer's booth at a fair, and witnesses the performance twice or thrice in succession. The tricks were meant to be seen only once, and when they are no longer a novelty and cease to deceive, their effect is gone." -- Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher.

(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)

alegar

Monday, June 26th, 2017 08:04 am
prettygoodword: text: words are sexy (Default)
[personal profile] prettygoodword
alegar (AL-uh-ger, AY-luh-ger) - n., vinegar made from ale.


As opposed to vinegar made from vino, or wine. This was much more common in medieval England than it is now. It has a much stronger taste than wine vinegar, or even cider vinegar (which would be cidegar? cidagar?). And yes, there was also beeregar (fortunately much rarer). The stem at the end of all these is French aigre, sour.

---L.

QotD

Monday, June 26th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers." -- Ray Bradbury (b. 1920-08-22, d. 2012-06-05), Dandelion Wine

flwyd: (earth eyes south america face)
[personal profile] flwyd
(slightly different wording based on existing positions)

Senator Gardner,

Thank you for your recent op-ed in the Coloradoan arguing that science should be nonpartisan. Thanks also for your work to ensure that Colorado’s leading research institutions like NIST, NOAA, NCAR, and NREL receive sufficient funding to further understand our complex and dynamic world. For over 50 years, Colorado researchers have been instrumental in understanding the Earth’s weather and climate.

I am writing in support of Citizens' Climate Lobby, a nationwide nonpartisan group committed to fair, effective, and sustainable climate change solutions. Earlier this month, 1000 Americans, including 35 Coloradans, traveled to Washington and met with representatives and senators from across the country. CCL is building bipartisan support for a carbon fee and dividend proposal. This proposal would help relieve Americans from the challenges faced by climate change while accelerating American businesses focused on clean energy, all without increasing the size of government or putting American exports at risk.

The last two decades have seen remarkable changes in temperatures and climate, contributing to bigger heat waves and more frequent natural disasters. I experienced the changing climate first hand during the 2013 Boulder floods. When I woke up on September 12th, the thousand-year flood had turned the canyon road to my house into a roaring river. While I was fortunate and avoided significant loss, my family’s lives were disrupted for several months and several friends were much harder hit. Without systemic action to address the rapidly warming atmosphere, this kind of disaster will become more common, straining the ability of first responders and relief organizations to help those impacted.

Energy lies at the core of any economy, and fossil fuels have long played a key role in the American economy. We now know that carbon dioxide emissions are a major contributor to climate change. It is therefore crucial that we transition to a lower-carbon energy mix. The most efficient way to make this transition is to put a price on carbon emissions so that the costs of fossil fuels are no longer externalities. To avoid sudden disruption to the American economy, CCL’s proposal begins with a modest $15/ton fee, rising predictably every year. The money collected will be rebated equally to all Americans. This dividend will give citizens and businesses the opportunity to respond to market changes and to invest in transitioning to a affordable clean energy solutions. These investments in turn will create new jobs and help keep America competitive in global energy technology. Over the course of a generation, we can make the transition to a resilient low-emission economy.

Although President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Accords, it is still crucial for America to take action on climate change. CCL’s proposal would help America take the lead in clean energy while boosting our economy and creating jobs. The proposal includes a border adjustment to ensure that American exporters remain competitive. This will also incentivize our trading partners to implement their own national carbon fee, leading to a global decline in carbon emissions without the need for complex multinational treaties. A substantially similar proposal was put forth by James Baker, George Shultz, and the Climate Leadership Council. It has received support from many leading organizations and individuals including Larry Summers, Stephen Hawking, ExxonMobil, and The Nature Conservancy (https://www.clcouncil.org/founding-members/).

Sincerely,
Trevor Stone
Boulder, CO 80304


Senator Bennet,

Thank you for speaking out on the Senate floor in support of climate science. Thanks as well for publicly questioning President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Although the U.S. is no longer part of that international process, we can still work as a nation to reduce carbon emissions, grow the American economy, and build resilient communities.

I am writing in support of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a nationwide nonpartisan group committed to fair, effective, and sustainable climate change solutions. Earlier this month, 1000 Americans, including 35 Coloradans, traveled to Washington and met with representatives and senators from across the country. CCL is building bipartisan support for a carbon fee and dividend proposal. This proposal would help relieve Americans from the challenges faced by climate change while accelerating American businesses focused on clean energy, all without increasing the size of government or putting American exports at risk.

The last two decades have seen remarkable changes in temperatures and climate, contributing to bigger heat waves and more frequent natural disasters. I experienced the changing climate first hand during the 2013 Boulder floods. When I woke up on September 12th, the thousand-year flood had turned the canyon road to my house into a roaring river. While I was fortunate and avoided significant loss, my family’s lives were disrupted for several months and several friends were much harder hit. Without systemic action to address the rapidly warming atmosphere, this kind of disaster will become more common, straining the ability of first responders and relief organizations to help those impacted.

Energy lies at the core of any economy, and fossil fuels have long played a key role in the American economy. We now know that carbon dioxide emissions are a major contributor to climate change. It is therefore crucial that we transition to a lower-carbon energy mix. The most efficient way to make this transition is to put a price on carbon emissions so that the costs of fossil fuels are no longer externalities. To avoid sudden disruption to the American economy, CCL’s proposal begins with a modest $15/ton fee, rising predictably every year. The money collected will be rebated equally to all Americans. This dividend will give citizens and businesses the opportunity to respond to market changes and to invest in transitioning to a affordable clean energy solutions. These investments in turn will create new jobs and help keep America competitive in global energy technology. Over the course of a generation, we can make the transition to a resilient low-emission economy.

Bipartisan support for climate change legislation is growing in Congress, and I urge you to help bring it about. Please also ensure that any climate legislation passed by the Senate follows the fee and dividend model. Not only will the dividend help offset higher energy prices for struggling citizens, the revenue neutrality is crucial for gaining Republican support. Both climate change and renewable energy affect everyone, so it’s important that the bill is supported by leaders and voters across the political spectrum.

Sincerely,
Trevor Stone
Boulder, CO 80304

Slaw Recipes

Sunday, June 25th, 2017 10:25 pm
dr_tectonic: (Default)
[personal profile] dr_tectonic
More than one person asked for the recipes for the two kinds of coleslaw I brought to the Floyds' birthday barbecue this evening, so I figured I'd just post them.



Apple-Bacon Coleslaw

Ingredients

* 3 Tbsp olive oil
* 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
* 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
* 1 Tbsp lemon juice
* 1/2 tsp hot sauce
* 1/4 tsp salt

* 1 (16-ounce) package shredded coleslaw mix
* 2 large apples, cored and diced
* 4+ cooked bacon slices, crumbled / chopped
* freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well to coat. Chill for at least half an hour.

NOTES: Use a good eating apples, like Galas or Fuji. Don't use Granny Smiths. Precooked bacon works fine if you don't feel like dealing with frying it up. You can go heavy on the dressing.



Vietnamese Slaw

Slaw

1 package coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage + carrots)
1 small white onion or 3-4 green onions, sliced thin
1-2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1-2 carrots, julienned (macho) or sliced (lazy)
1 handful cilantro, chopped / shredded
1 handful mint, chopped / shredded (de-stemmed, also)

Mix everything up in a great big bowl.


Chicken (optional)

Add a pound or so of sliced / shredded cooked chicken to make it a main dish.


Dressing

3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp crushed / chopped garlic
a few shakes dried crushed red pepper

Whisk everything together in a small bowl. Pour over slaw and mix well just before serving.
Tip: For a potluck, double the dressing; put the ingredients in a small mason jar and shake it up to mix before serving.


Topping (optional)

2 Tbsp peanut oil
1/2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Fry the garlic in the oil until pale golden, then stir in the chopped peanuts and brown sugar.
Alternately: just crunch up some honey-roasted peanuts and fried onions to make an easy approximate topping.



Bonus recipe: here's the recipe for carb-free parmesan spinach balls, which I brought to Craig's housewarming yesterday and to games night at Jeff and Alice's last weekend. The original recipe calls for Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs; to make it low-carb, I substituted chopped nuts, which also solves the problem of the originals being too dry.

No-Carb Cheesy Spinballs

Ingredients

* One 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
* 1 cup walnuts or pistachios
* 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 2 Tbsp melted butter

* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp parsley flakes
* 1/2 tsp black pepper
* 1/2 tsp garlic powder
* 1/2 tsp onion powder
* 1/2 tsp dried oregano
* 1/2 tsp dried basil

Preparation

Chop nuts in food processor to breadcrumb size.
(If not pre-grated, use the grater disk on the food processor to grate parm.)
Mix dry ingredients (nuts, parmesan, and spices) well in a large-ish bowl.
Preheat oven to 350.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with Pam.
Squeeze the spinach to drain, then add to bowl.
Using bare hands, mix until homogeneous.
Add eggs and butter and mix again.
Form into 24 ~1-inch balls and place on baking sheet.
Bake 22 minutes, until well-browned.

The base recipe doesn't make all that many; you may want to double it for a party.
Uncooked spinballs reportedly can be frozen and baked on short notice.

QotD

Sunday, June 25th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Ice cream is the perfect buffer, because you can do things in a somewhat lighthearted way. Plus, people have an emotional response to ice cream; it's more than just food. So I think when you combine caring, and eating wonderful food, it's a very powerful combination." -- Jerry Greenfield

[Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating! And unrelatedly, distant greetings to all my friends gathered in NYS for ice cream and camaraderie this weekend -- hoping next year I can manage to make it up there myself again, after too many years absence.]

Agriculture as a Multi-variable Optimization Problem

Saturday, June 24th, 2017 11:53 pm
flwyd: (red succulent)
[personal profile] flwyd
I love the debate that I get into occasionally… They say, "You know the way you farm won't feed the world versus the way we farm. We're feeding the world," and I love it when they say that, because they say, "You just can't produce enough."

… I say, "Okay, let's have that debate, but before we have that debate, I want us to both stipulate that neither farming system will feed an endlessly increasing population." The Earth has got a carrying capacity, and once you get beyond that carrying capacity, neither one of them is going to feed the world.

And most of them will stipulate that… And I say, "Okay, well I'll go ahead then and capitulate right up front that if we're going to run out of acres first, you win. You can feed way more people than I can if acres are the only limiting factor. If we get unlimited water, unlimited petrol fuel, unlimited antibiotics that don't create pathogen-resistance unlimited fertilizer resources you win.

"But now if the limiting factor becomes water, I'm probably going to win, because I don't use as much water as you do. If the limiting factor becomes petrol fuel, I win, because I don't use as much of it as you do. And if the limiting factors become phosphates and potash and these other depleting resources, I win, because I don't use as much as you. And antibiotics and pesticides, and so on. I win just about any way we do it other than acreage."
— Will Harris of White Oak Pastures on industrial versus sustainable agriculture, quoted in Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating food systems for a changing climate by Laura Lengnick

Well put. It's something of an engineering approach to food.

(no subject)

Saturday, June 24th, 2017 08:46 pm
threemeninaboat: (Default)
[personal profile] threemeninaboat
[personal profile] ivy and I were singing this song as we were capturing Pokemon gyms last weekend

Another June 101/1001 Update

Saturday, June 24th, 2017 03:04 pm
grim23: (Default)
[personal profile] grim23
Life is in the here and now. Either we meet it, we live it - or we miss it. - Vilama Thakar


Goals Completed: 4
Goals in Progress: 33

I've been really busy working on things on my list, in pretty much all categories.

In Body, I've gotten a good week of Tai Chi training in around all the other things, and even gotten to the gym a couple of times and ran a fun run 5K. I've started longer runs in preparation for the 10K next weekend, and I expect that it'll be a good run. In Mind, I did get my formal zazen practice for the month completed, and I'm working on another book. In Maintenance, I did complete my First Aid/CPR course, and I've seen my new dentist (no cavities!). In Zombie Preparation, I've continued to clear out and upgrade both Ol' Number 3, and prepare for deck work up top.

Travel and Adventure, though, is the main focus of this post. I took a roadtrip to Utah via southern Idaho and found a few really old geocaches that let me complete the hard part of my grid of finding at least one geocache placed for every month since geocaching started (called the Jasmer Challenge), a goal that's been on my list since the second list. I also worked on my goal of finding the oldest caches in new states/countries that I haven't already found, and got two. Additionally, I found an old Oregon geocache, way at the eastern part of the state, that was part of the Oregon History Challenge.

The main reason for the roadtrip, though, was to buy a Black Rock Ranger Jeep, a Burning Man icon called the Whorse, that needed some love and attention. The Jeep has been dropped off at my mechanic and is being worked on to see if it'll be ready for the playa this year. She needs some love and elbow grease and some faith, at this point. The Jeep comes with a hard top, a bikini top, some custom parts, a tow package, and a ham radio. *smile*

Some hiaku:

sweat blinding my eyes
8am is still too hot
got to run earlier

Warm sunny days
being outside versus the gym
training at odd times!

The Jasmer Challenge,
memories of the journeys -
Well worth the time!

QotD

Saturday, June 24th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"We're at a party at a Chuck e Cheese. This place is like something you'd subject a Panamanian dictator to. Why does it exist?" -- Zinnia Jones, 2017-06-03

(no subject)

Friday, June 23rd, 2017 09:19 pm
threemeninaboat: (Default)
[personal profile] threemeninaboat
"I really wanted to drive my Spitfire into work today, but it is all rainy."
"I'm sure your STi consoled you."

acuminate

Friday, June 23rd, 2017 07:43 am
prettygoodword: text: words are sexy (Default)
[personal profile] prettygoodword
acuminate (uh-KYOO-muh-nayt) - adj., pointed, tapering to a slender point. v., to sharpen, to make pointed.


The sharpening can also be for an edge, rather than just sharpening the point -- this, despite the etymology: from Latin acūminātus, past participle of acūmināre, to sharpen to a point, from acūmen, acuteness. The adjectival sense is almost entirely used in botany (an acuminate leaf) or zoology.

And that wraps up this week's grab-bag of random words -- back next week with another round of the usual mix.

---L.

“Polyamory Doesn’t Have Limits.”

Friday, June 23rd, 2017 10:23 am
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

I was told the other day how true polyamory didn’t have rules. You just got to fuck whoever you wanted, and nobody could stop you or it wasn’t polyamory.

Okay.

Let’s break that down.

Because people forget rules weren’t inflicted on people wholesale by malicious bureaucrats. Rules are like pearls, which are beautiful to us but an irritant to an oyster. Oysters create pearls because they can’t get a piece of sand out of their tendermeats and layer it in nacre until they have a ball of Stuff stuck in their craw. That’s not great for the oyster, but it’s better than having sand ripping up their insides.

And like a pearl, every rule started with some Problem that was causing distress, and people decided to wrap a Rule around it – because as annoying as that Rule was, it was better than the initial Problem.

Now rules, as I’ve noted, are the failure state of polyamory. You’d be better served by utilizing expectations, which aren’t quite as brittle and lead to better understanding. But rules and expectations both are solutions to the same ultimate problem:

You’re hurting someone you love.

They feel abandoned when you don’t text them at the end of the night. They feel threatened when you cancel dates on them to go out with New Person. They feel exasperated when they’re spending their dates with you as a pseudo-relationship counsellor, picking apart the reasons you’re fighting with your other partner all the time.

But hey. You have no limits. So even if your partner’s cat just died and they’re desperate to not be alone tonight, fuck that! You had a date. And you’re not cancelling that because NO LIMITS!

What’s that?

That’d be cruel? You wouldn’t leave your partner alone during a time of need?

Well, I guess you have limits.

“That’s different!” you cry. “That’s what I wanted to do! I chose to do that of my own volition, not because of some stupid rules!”

Here’s the secret to rules, my friend:

Everyone chooses them.

There’s no legal contract for any poly relationship saying, “I have to stay with this person.” There may be consequences, divorce laws being punitive and all, but there’s consequences for any bad decision. You treat them badly enough that they refuse to talk to you, you don’t get the hot sex or the emotional support. If you’re really a shithead, you may lose friends over the breakup. There is no consequence-free decision.

As such, people may bitch about rules, but ultimately they chose to stay with the person who enacted them. Why? Because the irritant of the rules is better than losing that person entirely – or better than the less-critical problem of “I love them, so I don’t want to make them feel bad.”

You’re not better because you made a decision on the fly to alter your behavior to be with someone. That’s how relationships work. You negotiate, you compromise, you figure out where your elbow hits someone’s eye.

And in a lot of cases, you don’t do something that would bring you magnificent satisfaction because you know it would hurt someone. Unsafe sex. Taking someone else to the concert you promised you’d take them to. Disappearing for a two-week vacation with a new sweetie without letting them know where you’re going.

All those are limits.

“They’re self-imposed limits!” you cry – but now you’re changing the argument. Because polyamory was supposed to have no limits, man. Total and utter William Wallace-style FREEEEEEDOM!

…except that compassionate human beings, when given the choice to do whatever they want, will often choose not to do things that injure the people they love.

True freedom involves the ability to self-limit.

And so “Polyamory has no limits” often is a synonym for “I am a sociopath who is only out for my own satisfaction, and anyone who inconveniences me in any way will be shunted aside. I don’t give a fuck about you as long as I get mine.” It’s not so much an ethos as a warning sign that this person is not someone you want to date unless your Venn diagram of what you desire overlaps theirs perfectly.

And yes. It’s perfectly logical to stop dating someone whose feelings are so sensitive you can’t avoid bruising them; I’ve done it myself. But that’s not “I have no limits” so much as “Our limits were irreconcilable.” There’s nothing wrong with a hedonistic relationship based on pleasure, either, so long as everyone involved chose it honestly. It’s possible to have a relationship with such low limits that you never brush against them.

But I generally find that the people who bristle at any idea of limitations are the people who bristle at the idea of other people having needs. They want no limitations because really, anything that obstructs their satisfaction is an enemy to be destroyed.

Date these people at your peril.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

Friday word: Snollygoster

Friday, June 23rd, 2017 10:04 am
[syndicated profile] lj1word1day_feed

Posted by med_cat

Snollygoster, n.

Definition:

an unprincipled but shrewd person

About the word:

The story of its origin remains unknown, but snollygoster was first used in the nasty politics of 19th century America. One definition of the word dates to 1895, when a newspaper editor explained "a snollygoster is a fellow who wants office, regardless of party, platform or principles...."

Source: Merriam-Webster Online, Top 10 rare and amusing insults

QotD

Friday, June 23rd, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"We stand on the shoulders of giants who bothered to login to StackOverflow and explain their problem in words easily indexed by Google." -- SwiftOnSecurity, 2017-06-01

[But also, of course, to the ones who came before StackOverflow, such as Alan Turing (b. 1912-06-23, d. 1954-06-07)]

(no subject)

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 09:39 pm
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
[personal profile] randomdreams
Nobody wanted to go riding at lunch today because everyone was tired and there was a lightning storm outside.
Wimps.
I rode over to Xilinx and rode with them instead.
We rode down to Niwot almost entirely offroad, because Bill has a brand new cyclecross bike. I was on my road race bike, sliding all over the place on the gravel and sand.
It was exhausting.
My coworkers DO all want to go out riding tomorrow, but I don't think I'll have time.

Pirate the bunny is so blind sometimes I feel like I need to hand-feed him to get him started on new food I put in his cage.

Monty got jumped by a posse of four chihuahuas today, all loose. We ran, because I don't want to have another chihuahua eaten.

My phone updated itself and has turned into Super Naggy Phone. "I see your battery is at 30%, would you like me to turn off Bluetooth?" Which gets really annoying when it tells me about six times a day that I have the ringtone silenced and might miss calls and would I like to change that. I'd like a NO FOREVER button.

We have milkweed growing like, well, weeds. We are cheering for monarch butterflies.
20170618_200811
Some architecture at Regis University, mostly for [personal profile] basefinder
20170617_220306
A sunset for [personal profile] elusis
20170621_202607

I have a friend on G+ who is in an awful situation: a lesbian dying alone of lupus in her mother's basement in the deep south. She wants a lightsaber. I'm making the drive electronics for a lightsaber acting prop. This is a sample board for fitment purposes, to make sure that one channel of lighting works correctly with a control board someone else is doing, and also provides a one-shot-producing microcontroller using a hall effect sensor. The intent is that when a magnetic ring she wears gets close to the system, it detects the magnet, sends out a single pulse, and the control board handles sequencing and colors, then when her hand moves away it sends out a second pulse. (It's a silly way to handle off/on, in my opinion, but I'm working with someone else's design.) The whole works is a three channel, 1 amp per channel, LED driver with high efficiency, all designed to fit in (while not overheating) a 22mm in diameter cavity inside an aluminum lightsaber body.
I found an old body washer and bored it out to 22mm to make sure it slid snugly over the board.
20170622_213515
The board is only about 1/3 loaded: one channel of LED driver and the microcontroller, and one big ol' coilcraft inductor to make sure it fits in the enclosure. It's missing two more drivers and another regulator to provide high efficiency power to the microcontroller. If I get the time I may port the code over to a TI microcontroller that uses 1/1000 the power of this one and costs 1/10 as much.

Thursday words: chiasmus & synchysis

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 02:48 pm
[syndicated profile] lj1word1day_feed

Posted by prettygoodword

chiasmus (kai-AZ-muhs) - n., a reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases; any linguistic structure with an A-B-B-A pattern.

synchysis (SIN-ki-suhs) - n., a parallel structure in the order of words in two phrases; any linguistic structure with an A-B-A-B pattern; (rhet.) a confused arrangement of words in a sentence, such as an inversion taken to extreme.


I like chiasmus, for chiasmatic structures are likeable. "He knowingly led and we followed blindly." It's useful all sorts of way for binding phrases together and highlighting that they are bound. It's also capable of quite subtle effects, such as when used as a pattern of alliteration binding four key words together without being obvious about it by alliterating all four on the same sound. The name comes from the Greek letter chi, written Χ -- and why becomes clearer when you write the schema thus:
 A  B
  \/
  /\
 B  A 

The great variety of meanings for synchysis, which is the much more common structure, comes from a technical use in Latin poetry, where a line in the form adjectiveA-adjectiveB-verb-nounA-nounB (because case inflections have to match, it's clear which adjective has to go with which noun) is known as a golden line, which is a delicious device but does greatly deviate from standard word order.

Regardless, both are originally technical jargon from ancient Greek rhetoric.

---L.

QotD

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"[...]
 For want of me the world's course will not fail;
 When all its work is done, the lie shall rot;
 The truth is great and shall prevail,
 When none cares whether it prevail or not."

  -- Coventry Patmore (b. 1823-07-23, d. 1896-11-26), "Magna est Veritas", The Unknown Eros, 1877 [spotted in a tweet by @aristofontes]

[personal profile] sabotabby is focused

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 09:01 am
rydra_wong: dreamsheep with spork and "SheepSpork" logo; no, it wouldn't make any more sense if you saw it  (dreamwidth -- sheepspork)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] metaquotes
Possums and communism are basically my whole life.


Context is locked; QWP.

Wednesday word: flounce

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 07:14 am
[syndicated profile] lj1word1day_feed

Posted by trellia_chan

Sorry for the missed weeks!

flounce: [flouns]

verb:

1. To move or go in jerky, exhaggerated, bouncy motions, often out of anger.

2. To fling the body about, to flounder.

noun:

1. An act of flouncing, a flouncing movement.

2. A strip of materal pleated and attached at one ege with the other edge left loose and hanging, such as on a skirt, curtain, or slipcover.

Origin of the verb and first noun: First known use 1535-1545. Origin obscure, possibly from Norwegian, flunsa, to hurry.

Origin of the secound noun: First known use, 1665, from obsolete French frounce, to gather in folds.

lanuginous

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 07:45 am
prettygoodword: text: words are sexy (Default)
[personal profile] prettygoodword
lanuginous (luh-NYOO-juh-nohs) - adj., covered with fine soft hairs, downy.


Lanugo is the soft woolly hair that covers the fetus of some mammals, but this adjectival form covers any downiness. It's most often used in botany (and spelling bees) as elsewhere we already have the excellent word downy. Adopted in the 16th century from Latin lānūginōsus, from lānūgō, down/wool -- and so also the root of lanolin, wool-grease.

---L.

QotD

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"'Come with me,' Mom says.
 To the library.
 Books and summertime
 go together."

  -- Lisa Schroeder, I Heart You, You Haunt Me (2008)

[A happy summer solstice to all who mark it! (Exact time was about five hours ago.)]

galeanthropy

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 07:45 am
prettygoodword: text: words are sexy (Default)
[personal profile] prettygoodword
galeanthropy (GAY-lee-an-throh-pee) - n., the delusion that one is or has been transformed into a cat.


Not a common mental condition, but enough examples have been documented to warrant coining the term from Greek roots galéē, weasel (also used sometimes for cats) + ánthrōpos, person.

---L.
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

Hey guys, I’ve got a quick-turnaround website to protest the AHCA – but while I’ve written the words and done the research, my web design looks like 2003 hot garbage.

If someone out there can commit to a professional, bare-bones web design to help me get out a three-page website this week, please email me at theferrett@gmail.com stat, along with a page or two that you’ve designed so I can verify you’re better than I am.  (It’s not hard, trust me.) And I’ll happily share details if you’re a professional who knows design and/or political protest and wanna email me at theferrett@gmail.com, because, well, it’s a last-ditch shot in the dark against the AHCA before it passes next week.

If you’re feeling volunteery, please email.  Thanks.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

QotD

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"This is not a monarchy." -- House Government Reform Chairman Dan Burton, a Republican from Indiana, after President Bush invoked executive privilege to deny Congress access to prosecutorial documents, which have routinely been turned over to Congress by past administrations. [ USA Today] (via outragedmoderates.org)

Monday word: prolix

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 03:14 am
[syndicated profile] lj1word1day_feed

Posted by ersatz_read

prolix (prō-lĭks′, prō′lĭks′), adj.
1. tediously prolonged; wordy
2. long-winded; tending to speak or write at excessive length

Etymology:  from Latin prolixus, extended, long

anoa

Monday, June 19th, 2017 07:39 am
prettygoodword: text: words are sexy (Default)
[personal profile] prettygoodword
anoa (uh-NOH-uh) - n., either of two species (Bubalus quarlesi or B. depressicornis) of small wild Indonesian water buffalo with short, sharp horns.


I got tired of playing a word in Words With Friends without knowing what it meant. Found on the islands of Sulawesi and Buton, this is the smallest of the cattle family, living in the rain forest as they do, looking somewhat like deer in the body. Name is from a local language, but whether Makassarese or Buginese or Sulawesi, dictionaries disagree.

---L.

QotD

Monday, June 19th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

[I didn't find the original source of this quote from Bryon Rushing, but I did find two fragments of this on Twitter...]

"MLK Jr said 'the arc of the moral universe always bends toward justice'. I'd like to add 'but not by itself'"

"[arc of justice] only bends toward justice because there are courageous people who grab it and bend it down"

[I wish everyone a happy and inspiring Juneteenth, and keep bending!]

(no subject)

Sunday, June 18th, 2017 10:57 pm
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
[personal profile] randomdreams
[personal profile] threemeninaboat and [personal profile] ivy and I were talking about the Myers Briggs Hell discussion, and as I couldn't remember what type I am I went and took the test and got my result.
ENFP – Every minute of the rest of your life has been scheduled for you – and it’s a long series of arbitrary, solitary tasks.

That is frighteningly accurate.

Wonder Woman

Sunday, June 18th, 2017 08:42 pm
dr_tectonic: (Dr. Tectonic)
[personal profile] dr_tectonic
Jerry and I saw Wonder Woman this afternoon, and both thought it was excellent.

I liked pretty much everything about it. It's not perfect (there are nits that could be picked), but I liked the choices they made about the characters to include in the story, and what they did with various elements of WW's character design, and the storyline was interesting and novel (during the credits I turned to Monkey and said "wait, that was an origin story and I didn't even notice it!), and they did a good job of avoiding the tired and obvious, and I liked the arc of the whole thing. And it didn't drag; despite being almost two and a half hours long, I never wondered how much longer it was going to be.

And I now have a theory about what's wrong with the other DC superhero movies. Diana is allowed to have feelings. Plural. At different times she's happy, and sad, and angry, and confused, and outraged, and delighted, and so on. She feels different things, and those feelings are important to the progression of the story. And that's interesting and engaging.

Whereas the other superheroes tend to be very one-note. The further along you get in the Batman franchise, the more the Dark Knight only exhibits a single emotion: grim, brooding, vengefulness. Oh, sure, maybe it modulates a half-step into vengeful anger or melancholy brooding, but Batman never gets to be happy or grossed-out or embarrassed or affectionate, just some combination of angry + sad. And after not very long, that gets to be really boring.

Superman is only allowed to be alienated and repressed. He may have other emotions, but their only purpose is to strengthen his alienation and repression. Boring. Batman vs Superman? All repressed-anger-sadness all the time. BOOORRRINNNG.

(The problem with Hal Jordan in the Green Lantern movie was not a lack of emotions other than smug cockiness, but the fact that the movie's emotional arc was incoherent because it was fixated on Hero's Journey Dammit even though it makes no sense for that character. So it was Confusing instead. Which turns out to also be boring.)

So here's to hoping that the Justice League movie manages to figure it out. At the very least, it's got six different characters in it; even if they're all one-note, maybe they'll be different notes...

QotD

Sunday, June 18th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters." -- George Herbert (b. 1593-04-03, d. 1633-03-01)

Letter to My Senator: Republican Health Care Plan

Saturday, June 17th, 2017 05:52 pm
flwyd: (transparent ribbon for government accoun)
[personal profile] flwyd
According to reports, Colorado's Cory Gardner is one of thirteen Republicans drafting a Senate version of the House's rush job American Health Care Act. Observers expect Senate leaders to try to ram this bill through before the July 4th recess, which doesn't give Americans much time to comment on the substance of the measure. This week is therefore your opportunity to talk to your Senators about the House bill and your feelings about health care in general. This BoingBoing post provides links to useful resources, including contact information for health care staffers for all Republican senators. Interestingly, 28 of 52 health care staffers have female-sounding names, with two or three ambiguous first names while only 5 Republican senators are women.

Senator Gardner,

Thank you for your work in support of an effective Veterans Administration, ensuring that Americans who have served their country can receive a high quality of care. I am writing because I have read news reports that you are among a group of senators developing a health care bill based on the one recently passed by the House. I have also read that Republican leaders hope to pass the Senate bill before the July 4th recess. I have concerns about both the process and the rumored substance of this bill.

America’s health care system needs improvement. Americans spend more on health care per capita than any other country, yet our life expectancy and other quality of life measures trail many of our peers in the G20 (https://ourworldindata.org/the-link-between-life-expectancy-and-health-spending-us-focus). This imbalance puts America at a competitive disadvantage. Higher health care costs lead to less discretionary spending, weakening domestic demand for American products and services. Worse overall health leads American workers to be less productive as they must take time away to care for their own health or for sick family members. The imbalance between coverage offered in the group market and individual market also makes it harder for entrepreneurial Americans to leave a large employer and start a new business. By increasing access to care and reducing its overall cost, America can become stronger, more productive and innovative, and more resilient as a nation.

The message that the House sent with the AHCA was that insurance premium costs are the biggest challenge facing the American health system. Premium costs are an important issue, but they pale in comparison to both the overall cost of care and the ability of many Americans to access quality care at all. Many of the premium savings offered by the AHCA are driven by changes which allow insurers to offer less coverage or to offer cheaper policies to younger and healthier people while older and at-risk Americans’ premiums will rise. These changes will not bring about a healthier or more resilient America. Rather, they will lead us to abandon the Americans who need help the most: the CBO estimates that the AHCA would cause 23 million Americans and 280,000 Coloradans to lose health coverage by 2026 (https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52752 and http://acasignups.net/ahca-coverage-loss).

2016 was a challenging year for my wife and I, navigating several medical crises. We were able to survive the financial aspect not because of low premiums or our ability to save about $2000 through a HSA but because of a reasonable out-of-pocket maximum and because in many cases our insurance-negotiated rates were half of the provider-billed amounts. My biggest worry as I faced months of illness was that I would lose my job and therefore my insurance. Under the AHCA plan and with my newly discovered pre-existing condition, I worry that if I lose my job that the high cost of American health care would lead to either bankruptcy or death. This is a prospect that Americans need not face: our nation is strong and innovative enough that we can find a way to ensure that every citizen can receive quality health care at a reasonable cost.

Finally, I am concerned that you and other Republican senators are developing this bill in private and are hurrying to pass it before the American people can come to understand the proposal and provide our input. America’s health care system needs significant improvements, but the situation is not so urgent that we cannot take six months to have a national conversation about how we can best ensure that Americans have access to the care we need. The United States Senate has a proud history as a deliberative body, carefully considering the impact of legislation not just on the current political cycle but on the effect it has on the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans for generations to come. The House version of the AHCA bill was prepared in such a rush that the CBO has not yet had time to estimate the macroeconomic effects and share that data with the American people. I hope that the Senate takes a more careful approach and listens closely to the people of Colorado and America. I encourage you to include success metrics for cost, coverage, and overall health in the Senate bill; if these metrics do not improve under the bill, its provisions should sunset.

Come 2020, the resilience of the American health care system will play a significant role in my voting choices. I will be swayed not by how low my monthly premium prices are but by whether I and the people I care about receive better or worse medical and mental health care than we could in 2016. I am blessed to have a good job and modest investments; I happily paid $221 for the Net Income Investment Tax knowing that it helps provide health care to those less fortunate than I. And I would gladly pay more in income tax to achieve a healthier and more resilient America.

Thank you for your consideration and hard work on this matter,
Trevor Stone
Boulder, Colorado

(no subject)

Saturday, June 17th, 2017 01:09 pm
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
[personal profile] randomdreams
[personal profile] ivy is staying for a couple of days. We sat up late talking about the world, which is invariably a great conversation when she's involved. We also hiked through a bog, which was equally great.
Today we had brunch in a park with [personal profile] basefinder, who gave me a neat book about thin-shell concrete structures, and talked about geiger counters a lot. We were going to play scrabble but the wind was strong enough it would have blown away the board. Instead we walked around the lake and admired red-winged blackbirds and baby ducks.
Monty did not eat any little dogs. Success is sweet.
Now I'm off to modify some bicycle pedals.

Yesterday I rode this.


I just about broke my collarbone, and now have cuts and scrapes all over.

[personal profile] bunsen_h on Doctor Who

Saturday, June 17th, 2017 12:52 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly posting in [community profile] metaquotes
Someday in the Whoniverse, an evil alien invading force will threaten to disable humanity's defensive capabilities by making humans remember all of the invasions that they've bizarrely forgotten about. When people are forced to notice things like the gaping hole in Big Ben, the weird monuments, the work camps, the missing family members, the damage to personal property, etc., humanity will be reduced to quivering catatonia.

Context has identified a minor plot hole.

QotD

Saturday, June 17th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"By shooting motes into kernels, worldken folk have shifted samesteads of one firststuff into samesteads of another. Thus did they make ymirstuff into aegirstuff and helstuff, and they have afterward gone beyond these. The heavier firststuffs are all highly lightrottish and therefore are not found in the greenworld." -- Poul Anderson (b. 1926-11-25, d. 2001-07-31), "Uncleftish Beholding", 1989

Friday word: Verisimilitude

Saturday, June 17th, 2017 02:29 am
[syndicated profile] lj1word1day_feed

Posted by med_cat

verisimilitude, n. veri·si·mil·i·tude \ˌver-ə-sə-ˈmi-lə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition of verisimilitude

1: the quality or state of being verisimilar

2: something verisimilar


Definition of verisimilar

1: having the appearance of truth : probable

2: depicting realism (as in art or literature)

verisimilitudinousplay \ˌver-ə-sə-ˌmi-lə-ˈtüd-nəs, -ˈtyüd-; -ˈtü-də-nəs, -ˈtyü-\ adjective

'
Examples of verisimilitude in a Sentence

the novel's degree of verisimilitude is compromised by 18th-century characters who speak in very 21st-century English

Did You Know?

From its roots, verisimilitude means basically "similarity to the truth". Most fiction writers and filmmakers aim at some kind of verisimilitude to give their stories an air of reality. They need not show something actually true, or even very common, but simply something believable. A mass of good details in a play, novel, painting, or film may add verisimilitude. A spy novel without some verisimilitude won't interest many readers, but a fantastical novel may not even attempt to seem true to life.

pelargonium

Friday, June 16th, 2017 07:51 am
prettygoodword: text: words are sexy (Default)
[personal profile] prettygoodword
pelargonium (pel-ahr-GOH-nee-uhm) - n., any of several southern African flowering plants (genus Pelargonium), the cultivated species of which are the geraniums.


Not to be confused with the plants of the genus Geranium, which were once considered part of the same genus. The pelargoniums are also called stork's-bills (after the shape of the seed-pod) while the Geraniums are also called crane's-bills -- a distinction that helps me not, as I have trouble telling cranes from storks just by the bill. The name was coined in New Latin from Greek roots Greek pelargós, stork + (gerá)nion, geranium, or stork's-geranium, to add to the confusion.

Pretty flowers, okay? -- and leave it at that.

---L.

QotD

Friday, June 16th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"People meeting for the first time suddenly relax if they find they both have cats. And plunge into anecdote." -- Charlotte Gray

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