Thursday, December 20, 2012

All rub no tug

I spent a good part of the day today at the doctors seeing a physical therapist.  My insurance will pay 80% of 60 visits before the end of the year after $400 deductible.  So it doesn't make sense for me to go until after New Years.  Unless the world ends tomorrow in which case I'll probably be stuck pushing a habanero cart up a flaming hill only to have it slide back down again just before I reach the molten lava spewing from the top.  Anyways....I had a hot Asian therapist and she had me lay on the table while she rubbed here and there to see where I hurt and what was tight.  I'd heard that on the flip over that's when the good stuff comes into play but she was all business....Must just be an incorrect stereotype...DAMNIT.

Once I got over my initial disappointment she had me do all sorts of bending and moving.  She measured my legs, my quads, and all sorts of things.  Then she had me walk this way and that while watching me.  After that it was a bunch of stretching and a short run on the treadmill.  She came to the conclusion that my problem isn't my knees at all....that they are merely a symptom of a weak left hip.  She said with tight hips and glutes that aren't firing properly my knees are doomed.  The plan is no running for another 2 weeks.  Absolutely no one legged squats or leg extensions....because weak quads isn't the problem so all those exercises were worthless.  Meanwhile I'll be doing lots of icing of the tender tendons to get them under control....and lots and lots of these stretches.  When the new year comes we'll start in on strengthening that left hip.  No more crooked TerribleTerry.  I guess I still could have a "happy ending" after all.

I've been involving myself a good bit in the gun control debate recently.  I've come to the conclusion, besides the fact that Americans are stupid creatures that are controlled by biological urges and emotional triggers, that we as a population do not know how to have constructive dialog.  One side shouts their position, the other side shouts theirs...then they change the wording and shout into the wind each time getting louder and more shrill....each wondering why the other side isn't convinced by their shrill media sound byte regurgitation's.  In all of the shouting there's an absence of thought.  An absence of dialectic....and instead an abundance of phatic grunts.  Dialectic, was described by the ancient philosopher Plotinus, "as the most precious part of philosophy, and the point’s a valid one; the ability to sit down with someone who disagrees with you about some important issue, discuss the matter, determine what common ground exists and where the differences of opinion lie, and either resolve the disagreement or sort out the questions of fact and value that have to be settled in order to resolve it, represents a high level of the practical wisdom that philosophy once upon a time was meant to cultivate".

It's frustrating trying to have an intelligent debate, and I suppose the medium I'm choosing, social media, is a poor one.....but that's the only medium our tribe uses to record their clicks, grunts, and guttural articulation.  Instead of getting to the meat of the discussion I find myself more often than not pointing out failed logic, inaccurate facts, or the complete absence of statistics backing up their argument.  By the time this is accomplished the person has turned to someone amongst their gathering who hears their phatic utterances and relates with them....and they go about grooming each other and preening.  Informed debate you see.....I seem to have forgotten....requires informed people.  DOH!!!!

With any debate in this country what I've found are one group who loads themselves up with scientific, peer reviewed data that the broader world has come to believe as facts.   They are then forced to match them up against another group who is armed with a select set of biased data, purchased by the company profiting most from the status quo (ignorance) and passed off as fact to a population of people who can't tell the difference and are extremely happy not to.  The people armed with facts aren't prepared for a group of people who tell half truths with pretty smiles.  The people armed with incorrect data love finding data that confirms exactly what they want to believe and are more than happy to declare it gospel no matter how absurd the story their interpretation of the data would require.

Anyways......before long I just come back to the conclusion....that we are truly fucked.  My choice is to preach to the choir, or to stand in between sheep and goats and try to lecture them in English in such a way that would allow them to understand each other.  It's just not happening. 

The argument I was just commenting on was about having armed teachers in our schools.  I offered some facts and was shouted some snippets that basically said "I'm afraid so we need to try something".   I pointed out that if we were to try something it would be best to research current locations where things are different (and gave facts) or historical examples like the old West where things were as they proposed, and use those facts to decide on a workable path.  In each case the only replies were for people to pull some wild fantasy scenario where....this one time....having a gun MIGHT have changed something.  Never mind all the facts and figures that show that the consequences of arming teachers would cause more accidents and problems than would be gained by defending against his/her fantasy scenario (or unfortunately the very real and tragic scenario last week).

The debate then trudges down the path of their uninformed scenario and it gets wilder and more clearly unworkable...and yet the person never falters.  I tried to show them data where professional armed guards in prisons...have accidents ALL THE TIME with their guns.   Statistics showing where police forget their guns laying around at local restaurants, or have them stolen from their cars....way more often than they (trained professionals) successfully shoot heavily armed men with body armor.  I mean....I've been heavily trained my entire life on getting dressed.  I have about 35 years experience doing it.  I think it's even acceptable to call myself a professional at putting clothes onto my body.  Yet somehow...with all this training....a  few times here and there....I managed to walk out of the bathroom with my fly down. 

But you can't have a dialog about potential problems if the people you're speaking with are spewing fear.  Because fear can't be confronted with facts, or statistics, or logic (especially in a society where those things aren't understood).   You can only fight fear with LOVE.....and we don't have much of that at our disposal in a nation based on, encouraged by, and enthralled with..........selfishness.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The state of things

It's been a while since I posted so I thought I'd just get grumpy and get it done.  I've had some things on my mind to post but the subjects I wanted to express were deserving of an outline and I just didn't want to do the work.  I didn't want to put down something that wasn't coherent either so I did nothing.  Plus I'm tired of the multiple blog thing.  I figure fuck it.  I'm writing how I feel.  Deal with it or go away.

1)  My dad is going to die soon.  I haven't let it hit me all that much.  I feel this anxiety building inside because I know I'll need to face it, face him, face my siblings, and I know it's going to be a real fiasco.  My sister opened the disaster by flying home.  She never went home for any weddings, my mom's chemo, brain tumor, hip replacement, or anything else.  There's potential financial gain from a will so she had to go home all dramatic like she's there for everyone.  She called me from his bedside and lectured me in front of the other siblings because I wasn't there for him, and them (and she darling). 

2)  I switched over to cycling and rode 240 miles in 4 rides.  It was a bit obsessive.  It was the last warm days and I had stuff on my mind.  One of those evenings saw an altercation with an enraged motorist.  Sometimes I just can't help myself but tickle people who can't control themselves.  I like to poke and prod them.  It's not healthy and I'm not sure why I like it so much.  This particular fellow came to a stop sign at the same time as me on a road that ran parallel to the bike path.  The cars across the path were stopped and he had nowhere to go...but insisted on pealing out and roaring up to the stopped cars blocking the path while looking me in the eye...just to be a dick.  So I sprayed my sports drink through his open car window into his face.  By the time he jumped from his car I was well on my way safely away and the dumbass threw his keys at me.  It hurt like hell but I caught them.  Taunted him appropriately with his keys....and rode off leaving him to ponder how he would now move his car off the road.....and get home.

3)  Went to the doctor for my patella tendonitis and he basically told me what I already knew and is having my go to physical therapy.  I've been online and looked high and low and have been doing all of those exercises but hopefully the PT doctor has some I should be doing and am not, or will find some I'm doing wrong or something....because it's not working and I'm starting to feel entirely too happy cycling myself silly.  He did tell me to take a month completely away from anything that irritates the tendon.  That sucks.

4)  I've been a bit of a dating machine.  I've had to resort to keeping a notebook with details about the girls because I'm a little out of control.  So I guess I'm doing it Romneystyle with my binders full of women.  I'm honest and fair with all of them.  It seems that's what dating is nowadays.  This constant swap where nobody wants to choose any so they choose all.  It sucks, I feel like I"m the evenings entertainment and nothing more, so it begins to be difficult not to treat them like the evenings entertainment.  I'm having fun but I want something real.   I had a dream last night that Lyuda and I got back together.  I miss her a lot.

5) This shooting deserves a post of it's own.  I've stated my opinions on here.  I think it was bad of me to stop.  I think people need to rage against the situation.  I silenced myself because I didn't want to sound like a zealous broken record.  Humans are selfish creatures and capitalism rewards selfishness.  Things like religion that teach altruistic behaviors, although flawed, have value.  As we've swapped real religion with the "religion of progress" we've allowed the worst of human traits to thrive.  I want things and laws limit my access to them so laws are bad....  There is no thought given in this egocentric worldview to consequences.  I want  car, but if everyone in the world drives a car traffic will suck.  I want a gun but if everyone in the world has a gun crazy people will do bad shit.  Nobody wants to give up anything even if it helps better society.  

We also dismantle every social safety net.  I don't use it so I don't want to pay for it has become the Republican creed.  It's Socialist for rich people to help anyone.  They'd rather everyone donate to causes they feel are important.  Who thinks health care for crazies are important until their child dies at the hands of one?  You end up with LiveStrong making millions and other less popular things getting nothing. 

Within a week what I'm sure we'll see is some item, that Americans can buy....that will make them all feel better about it.   After September 11th it was a flag decal for your car.  For the Iraq war it was a nice yellow "Support our troops" ribbon.  What sticker or what purchase will soothe your heartache this time.   It'll be something and it'll catch like wildfire.  10% of the profit will go to Gun Control, or Mental Health programs.  The rest will make some schmuck rich off your fear and guilt.  There's not how we inhabit our world that's the's them.  It's THOSE people.  Buy this and show your support and THIS to protect yourself against THEM.

Every post I saw that said arm the teachers I made sure to post that once the teachers and everyone were armed we could do away with the cops because the world would be safe.  It's like cashiers at the supermarket.  Who needs cashiers....or cops...if everyone can just handle their own.   Notice nobody has said anything about the fellow wearing body armor.  So not only do all the teachers need weapons....they'll need body armor too.    If everyone in the world was handed a tennis racquet soon enough you'd have all kinds of people with tennis racquet sized lumps on their skulls.  Pass out guns to an entire population and see what you me.....the utopia you're envisioning would look strangely a LOT like Somalia.