Highway 431 Blog

Monday, August 31, 2009

I Couldn't Agree More!

Medicine in this country - for the most part, is nothing more than guesswork in a white coat.

-George Carlin

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Water Tragedy Or An Exercise? ::

I was down at Ditto Landing a couple of hours ago and the rescue squad was gearing up to go out. I didn't ask what was going on and they were in no hurry so either they were preparing for an exercise or for a recovery effort. I hope it was an exercise!

I never cease to be amazed at the stupid things people do on the water. I love being on the water and I have always placed safety first. The only close call I ever had was an outboard fire from a split fuel line once, but it was not a big problem. The wife was prepared to abandon ship, but a cooler head, mine, prevailed. Cost me $2.00 to fix that problem. I have always felt that panic is the leading cause of marine deaths.

As an aside, I spent 4 years in the US Navy and never set foot on a ship!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Past 2 Weeks ::

Have not been terribly good ones. A co-worker's mother passed away and another had a heart attack although he is back at work now. Hopefully things will get better, but in the meantime here's one of my favorites, Neko Case:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bad News ::

But it's not as bad as I thought when I heard about it yesterday. A co-worker stopped me in the hallway and told me than another co-worker in a different division had had a massive heart attack the night before. Now D. is only, I would imagine, in his early 40's and this sort of thing happens to younger people, but later in the day we found out that he is doing much better and the problem, although serious, may not have been as serious as first thought so we'll be waiting 'til Monday for more news.

The doctors seem to think that the heart attack was caused by an infected tick bite which caused fluid build-up around the heart. As one who lives in what passes for "the country" these days I often get several ticks on me in a day of working in the yard so I will be even more extra careful in spraying myself down and finding the little insects!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

1st Pepper Harvest ::

My pepper plants are wildly prolific this year and I just harvested my first batch of Jalapeños along with a couple of Habañeros although I will have tons more Habañeros soon. I started growing peppers several years ago with no clear direction in mind so I scratched my head when I had a basketful of ripe Habañeros and Jalapeños trying to decide what to do with them. I eventually found a recipe for Habañero pepper jelly so I make a few dozen jars each year.

I primarily use the jelly as a glaze for cooking,it's especially good on chicken, but I generally wind up giving most away and everyone likes it (some people absolutely love it!). I just get a kick out of making it although it is time consuming and expensive to make. I guess it's kinda a once or twice a year hobby!

Parker Griffith's Plan For Health Care ::

Is that he has no plan. Here is his response to my e-mail urging his support for single-payer:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me with your concerns. As your representative, I value maintaining an open dialogue with my constituents, especially on issues as important as health care.

As you know, the question of how to improve our health care system has divided lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. As a physician who spent 30 years treating patients from across North Alabama, I have a different perspective on this issue than others in Congress. I am concerned that the current health care legislation falls short of meeting its goals of reducing costs, increasing access, and protecting a patient's right to choose. Because this piece of legislation would have such a large and lasting impact on our nation, I want to make my position on this issue clear.

Our first priority is to make sure that we do nothing to harm our current system. We have the best health care system in the world, but we must reduce costs and increase access to the system. To meet these challenges, we must encourage greater competition in the health care market. One of the best ways to do this is by allowing individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines and by requiring providers to cover pre-existing conditions. While I believe it is necessary to increase competition in the health care market, I do not favor a government-sponsored health care option. I believe that a public option would result in less consumer choice and too much government involvement in health care.

Along with increasing competition in the health care market, any effective and sustainable reform must also be carried out in a fiscally responsible manner. As a fiscally conservative member of the Blue Dog Coalition, I am committed to supporting reform that takes into account our growing deficit. Expanding access to health care is vital, but we must not do so at the expense of our children's and grandchildren's futures.

One of my main priorities during the health care debate is to encourage Congress to take a thoughtful and bipartisan approach to reform. Wide-sweeping reform cannot be passed overnight. All our options must be carefully considered before finally settling on a package that is in our nation's best interest. To encourage this type of approach, I recently introduced legislation, H. Res. 643, which requires any major reform bill to be available to the public and Members of Congress at least a week prior to the final vote on the bill.

As the debate over health care reform continues, the key for Congress and the American people is to remain focused on health care reform's primary goal: improving our current system of care while also saving families, small businesses and the government much-needed money. Again, I appreciate your input on this issue. For more information on the health care debate, I encourage you to visit my website at http://griffith.house.gov where you can view daily news updates regarding health care reform as well as read my health care principles and correspondence with other constituents on this issue.


Parker Griffith
Member of Congress The office of Representative Parker Griffith of the 5th District of Alabama is not responsible for any electronic transmissions that are not sent from the dr.griffith@mail.house.gov email address.

I added a bit of emphasis to a couple of his points, but Griffith obviously has no desire for any meaningful change. The constituents of North Alabama who cannot afford health care, and there are far more than most people think, should be outraged at Griffith's stand on health care reform. He stated at his health care town hall meeting that he felt that health care was a right and I agree with that, but he certainly shows no leadership in making that right available!