Friday, April 25, 2008

580 Again

Driving 580 every day is such a crazy experience. I am always amazed at the craziest drivers of all - and those would be the soccer mom in the mini van or giant SUV. They are mulit tasking maniacs. Riding up on my ass with a car load full of kids, yaking on the phone, waving to me as she finally passes me at more than 80 miles an hour. I always wonder where do they have to be that they have to get there so fast? Can't they just try to leave a little earlier or maybe get there a little later.

All these thoughts were brought to a head on Wednesday on the way home from work. Big traffic jam, lots of police cars, multiple ambulances and fire trucks and traffice stopped. As we inched forward you always wonder what happened. When I finally got up next to the accident site it was a big mini van on its side and all crunched up. People being loaded into the ambulances others standing around looking dazed.

My first thought was don't let it be a soccer mom with that van loaded with kids.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Trolling

I go back and forth between the terms blog browsing, blog trolling, blog stalking, blog gazing. I have written in the past about when you blog browse, you know just click the next blog button at the top of this page, you would hit a porn page within ten clicks. Well that seems to have changed. Now blog trolling seems to bring you to a born again Christian page within ten clicks. I find this quite a change. As you also know about me, I find peoples faith interesting. Why they have it. How they keep it. If they lose it where does it go and how do you find it? Hmm.. Well in my trolling yesterday I came across a site from a family. Mom, Dad and five grown kids, every one had their own page on the site. They all dedicate their lives to Christ and he is number one in their life. The parents page was what got me to write about them. They have been married for 25 years and had this quote on their page:

“I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them.” (Jer 32:39).

Can someone explain this to me? My take is that there is only one way, it is my way and I am going to scare the crap out of you, your kids, their kids forever, for your own good.

Not sure if the God saying this is the God I want to know. I want someone a little friendlier.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hmm....

Travel Chick just loves Jon Stewart - she can get his show on the internet - she has no TV in Paris. I know some of you are shaking your heads and wondering how can that be. Well it is true. Barrack Obama was on Jon Stewart last night (which reminded me of Travel Chick - follow the bouncing ball). Jon asked him if it was true, that if he was elected he would follow thru on his secret plan to enslave the white race.

Jon Stewart could barely get thru the question and I thought Obama was going to swallow his tongue, he was laughing so hard. He denied that he had a secret plan.

This lead me to thinking - how many people think that. I know for a fact that some people (who shall remain nameless) think that if he is elected we will immediately be plunged into a muslim terrorist nation. Everyone wearing a turban and strapping bombs to our waists and blowing up ??? I am not sure who our enimies would be under this scenario, but these unamed persons really believe this.

Of course they also believe that if Hillary wins, we will all be living under communisim. Well, you now with that healthcare for everyone thing - big ole commie Hillary - will have us living under the red flag in a heartbeat.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Questions of faith

The quest to find faith seems to be everywhere. You see it in bookstores, movies on TV. Just about everywhere there is someone telling you how to find it, how to keep it, how to let it into your life.

I found this blog in my blog browsing one day last week. I thought for a long time about whether to post about it or not. This blog is not about a quest to find faith, in this life it has been found and is without question.

It all makes me question even more. I am not sure I would have this courage, the courage to still believe in my god after he/she has given me this test. I am always amazed when I come across someone that has this type of faith and wonder how they just let go and let god, as the saying goes.

I will warn you that this blog made me cry, made me cring, made me wonder.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bumper Stickers

You see them every day, on all types of cars, bumper stickers. I often wonder what it is that makes a person put a bumper sticker on their car especially those that move them from their bumpers to the painted parts of their cars. But I like looking at them so I thought I would share them once in a while. The hard part is remembering them, you can't stop and write it down, I'm thinking of calling myself and leaving a message or maybe I'll just call those nice people at on-star tell them and ask them to e-mail it to me.

There is one I see at least twice a day - one each way to and from work. It is:

"Jesus is Lord" All Saints Baptist Church

In the parking lot at work this one is very popular:

The Labor Movement. You know the people that brought you the weekend.

Today I saw:

Jesus says love your neighbor. I'm pretty sure that means don't kill them.

So, I'll keep my eyes open and try to remember them cause some of them are really inspiring and reflective.

Somedays the world of blog calls to me

On the Today show yesterday was a story about a woman, married to a much, much older much much richer man. It seems said rich old man no longer wants to be married to this woman. Well she decided to jump onto the youtube bandwidth and hire a film crew to air her concerns. This in itself did not seem strange, however on the msnbc.com link that linked you to the story the add that they force you to watch before the video runs was for perfectmatch.com - a dating service. Crazy?

They are back!

The goats! Back on the hills of Oakland. I think I might just bring my camera to work on Monday, maybe leave a little early and stop and take some pictures. Probably won't happen, I am sure they will have moved on to hills in other places by then.

Oh well, the momentary happiness they bring me will have to be enough.

April 18th

On the 18th of April in 75....

Yes, Paul Revere rode today warning the people of the coming British in 1775. This little poem always reminded me of the coming of someone else.

In 1926 Edward Lee Fuquea was born someplace in Ohio. The youngest son, the baby, the one that went away.

My father was raised in the back woods of Georgia and he finally returned there many years ago. I think he was happy there, don't really know, never asked. Long story that most of you know. Now he is in a nursing home there where he turns 82 today, hope someone visits.

That's it.

How do they do that?

I have been watching the goings on in Texas with great interest. While on the surface I really don't have a problem with polygamy, I have a problem with the forced marriage of young girls. I mean if someone wants more than one wife (why does it not work backwards) let them. Me, not going to happen, I don't share well. Anyway, I won't talk about the children here except to say they need to be protected, whether that is from the people they live with or the people they don't live with.

My question is "what is up with that hair"? I kind of understand the idea that you never cut your hair, some kind of modesty (again just on the women's part) that keeps you covered even if you have nothing on. I just have to ask how do they get that sweeping roll on the front of their heads??? They all seem to have it, it just kind of swoops up over their foreheads and then back into some kind of braid. I have always blamed myself for the hole in the ozone. Remember the 80's hair??? Well I don't think I carry that burden all by myself anymore since it seems that Auqa net 10 - heavy duty hold - never move your hair again - hairspray must be alive and well in San Angelo, Texas.

Another thing that I wonder about is how the women keep that same sweet even keeled tone in their voice while they are talking, no matter what they are saying. I don't have one, but I tend to think that if someone (anyone) took my child, I might just raise my voice.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Travel Chick News

Got an e-mail today from Travel Chick and she is moving back to California! She will be leaving Paris in August to return to Marin and be closer to her daughter. She will be making Sausilito her base of travel now and I guess this means I can no longer say: My friend Beatrice (her Parisian name) that lives in Paris.

Will I be sad that she is no longer in Paris? Oh yeah!

But I think I will be happier that she is closer.

Maison bienvenue, mon ami!

Birthday

Today is April 11th and it is my friend Jolie's 51st birthday or it would have been if she had not died almost 5 years ago. We held hands the first time when we were five and we held hands for the last time when we were 46. Lots of life had happened in those intervening 40 plus years. So much time and yet some days it feels like I am that little girl still. Sometimes I was a good friend and sometimes I was not, but I can't change any of that now.

My last visit found Jolie very sick and wishing I could do something more than love her.

Today I will have flowers delivered to her grave and wish for more.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Funny? Not funny?

OK, before anyone points this out, I know from personal experience that cancer is NOT funny. But, it does have its funny moments. This morning while watching the news there was a commercial for a fund raiser for testicular cancer. It is a golf tournament called "Have a Ball". Come on, think about it. It is funny.

While looking this up I found a couple fund raisers for testicular cancer that use the "Have a Ball" name. The NY METs (booo) had a Have a Ball night to raise awareness - RAISE awareness!!! It just does not stop.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Torch Trail

In 1984 I experienced a fantastic once in a lifetime thrill. The Olympics were being held in Los Angeles and the torch actually ran across the country. It ran 24 hours a day and was running thru my neighborhood during the night. I don't remember the exact time, but it was very dark and cold, but their were lots of people lining the streets and cheering as the torch bearer ran by holding the torch high and proud.

Now I can't understand why the Olympic committee even considered granting China the right to hold the 2008 summer Olympics. I can't understand why we as a country are going to the Olympics this year. We are fighting a war on the one hand to bring democracy to Iraq? And yet we are going to an Olympics is a country that is one the worst violators of human rights in the world? A country that actually has a plan to wipe out the Tibetan race by breeding them out of existence?

I feel very sad that the torch run is so controversal. Seeing that torch run by during the cold night so many years ago is a memory I cherish and I am sorry that more people will never have a memory like that.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Clean out your ears

The TV is on and I swear I just heard "naked as a circus performer". What circus is that and do I really want to see naked cirus performers? Let's really think about this, naked on the high wire, naked on wheel of death, naked in the tiger cage. None of which I would really want ot see. Hmm, what was that commercial really about?

Naked in a tiger cage
Naked at minimum wage
Naked with an acrobat
Naked would show all my fat

Naked at the circus? Not me!
Not in a seat
Not with a beat
Not even just my feet!

OK, Dr. Seuss has nothing to worry about, but that was fun.

Another reason to move to Paris

I get a daily news letter from an ex-pat that has lived in Paris for quite a long time. She gives some helpful tips on surviving in the City of Lights. Today's newletter was about healthcare, I thought a couple of things while reading it - why didn't I know this before and how come we don't have this in the good ole USA? Here is what she says:

My daughter woke up Sunday morning with chills, fever, sore throat, a congested and runny nose and every symptom classic of "La Rhume." A search on the Net said that there are close to 200 types of virus that can cause it, usually lasting four or five days. Ugh...for a 22-year-old not used to sitting still for more than 15 minutes.

Thank goodness, in France, the doctor is always "in" -- at least, when you call "SOS Medicins."

SOS Medicins is a nationwide "house-call" service founded in 1966 by a doctor named Lascar who had a patient die of a heart attack because he couldn't find a doctor on a Saturday afternoon.

The way it works is simple. If you're in Paris, you dial either 01.47.07.77.77 or 08.20.33.24.24 and provide them with your address. Within one hour (usually about 30 minutes), a doctor knocks on your door. He's carrying a bag of goodies, just like doctors used to carry (am I revealing my age?) and he/she does what doctors do...examine you. Then the doc on house call prescribes -- medicine or ambulance or whatever is necessary.

He also filled out a "feuille de soin" (a form attesting to the visit) that allows the visit to be fully reimbursable by social security or private medical insurance. Before the doc leaves, you pay by check or cash -- usually a very reasonable fee. Yesterday's visit was the most I'd ever paid -- 70 'whopping' euros. The whole process took a total of one hour and we were left with a prescription for four drugs and instructions to keep 'miss antsy pants' in bed for three days.

Just to make you really jealous, private health care insurance for those without the French Social Security is so inexpensive it's going to shock you. The annual premium of the "Jefferson Health Care Plan" private insurance offered by "Adinas" insurance brokers for those my age (50 to 64) is the 'break-the-bank' sum of 1,692€ (141€ per month). Add dental coverage and it's a 'painful' 393€ more. Believe it or not, the policy reimburses 100% of billings up to 100% of the French Social Security tariffs, plus 80% of billings up to three times the cost of the French Social Security tariffs (20% co-insurance), plus 40% reimbursement of billings between up to six times the cost of the French Social Security tariffs (60% co-insurance). Uh oh. There's no reimbursement of billings above six times the cost of the French Social Security tariff! (Adinas Insurance, email advantage@adinas.net, 17 rue de Chateaudun, 75009 Paris, Tel: 01.44.63.53.82)


I trekked down to boulevard de S├ębastopol and within a few moments, the four items of medication were in a bag (paracetamol, antibiotics for 10 days, cough syrup and a prednisone), the pharmacist was explaining how to take the drugs and all for a total charge of 20€!
Okay, guess how much the same drugs would have been in the U.S.? My guess -- maybe more than 10 times that!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Still casted

Well I am still in a cast. Eight weeks and I am still not healed. According to my research (yes, the internet) most fractures (95-98%) heal in four to twelve weeks. Those that do not heal are known as nonunion fractures. If a fracture becomes nonunion intervention (surgery) is required. Geez, how come I can't just have some kind of election to become nonunion? So I go back to the doctor in 4 weeks to get x-rays to see if I have unionized yet. OK, that is an inside joke, I do work at a union law firm you know.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Who in their right mind?

Barbara Walters is doing a special tonight - Living to be 150! Who in their right mind would want to live to 150? One guy says life doesn't start until 80. For Peet's sake, I rather be run over by a Lark!

Three Sisters, Two Casts - So Far

Got a call from Mommy Dearest yesterday. You know how you can just tell something is wrong by the sound of a voice? So, I could tell something was wrong. It seems that RI sister was painting the ceiling of her kitchen and fell off the ladder. She seems to have broken her left tibia in two places and may have broken her knee cap. She is currently in a temporary restraining cast, that goes from hip to ankle with steel rods keeping her leg from bending and waiting to see the surgeon tomorrow.

So I called RI sister and she is hopped up on goof balls - she got some good drugs!

Then I called XXX-XXXXXX telling her to avoid ladders and bridges in Paris, in fact don't do anything. Sit in a chair away from windows and electrical outlets, since things like this seem to happen in threes.