Thursday, January 31, 2013

Perpetuating A Sense Of Entitlement

The massive amount of misinformation that one finds online is appalling. That misinformation can lead to a lot of arguments and outright hostility simply because certain people believe it. As I read blogs and Twitter feeds, I am finding that it is largely the Conservatives that accept this misinformation and fail to listen to anything resembling facts. I don't care how you spin it, half truths presented as facts are still nothing more than lies.

I do find it amusing as all get out when I read about Conservatives in their 40's and 50's that want to go "back to the 60's" without a single clue about what life was really like back then. From a safe distance of 4 or 5 decades, lower taxes and fewer people living high on government safety nets looks real good. The truth is another thing, but they don't know that, they stay connected to the internet to get their information.

In the 60's one car garages were the norm. Families had no need for anything larger because one car was all that was needed to get Dad back and forth to work. I don't know how many women had driver's licenses because all my friends parents did their errands the same way my parents did. On Saturday, when Dad didn't have to work and was available to chauffeur Mom and kids around. Kids were dropped off at dance or music lessons while Mom did the weeks grocery shopping. Everyone was usually home by noon because there were weekly chores. Lawns needed mowing, bedrooms needed cleaning, etc. And elderly neighbors would pay to have their lawns mowed, leaves raked or their sidewalks shoveled in winter.

Parents provided a small allowance for entertainment and things we might decide we wanted. If something cost more than we had, it was up to us to EARN it by mowing lawns, shoveling snow or babysitting. We weren't raised to believe we were entitled to something simply because we wanted it.

Life wasn't convenient. It required hard work and skills. In the 60's people were judged not on how many technology toys they owned, or how many sports programs their kids were in after school,  but on how well they kept their homes or how industrious or helpful to others their children were.

Conservatives scream about this sense of entitlement people have today. Just what do you think created that? When you give someone something simply because they ask for it, what lesson are you teaching?

In the 60's if an adult said your child did something, they were believed and the boom was lowered so that behavior didn't continue. In the 60's parents read diaries and snooped in their child's bedrooms so that they could keep abreast of what the child might be up to behind their backs. If something was found that hadn't ought to have been there, the excuse that it wasn't the child's wasn't accepted.  "That's not my pack of cigarettes, that's so and so's." Answered by: "It was found in YOUR room, YOU are responsible." It wasn't a lack of trust, it was the understanding that behavior was influenced by situations and people other than themselves.

In the 60's families weren't democracies, they were benevolent dictatorships. He who paid the bills made the rules and woe betide anyone who didn't follow those rules.

In the 60's people volunteered their labors to help others. Back then kids wanting to help others didn't make the news because they were the norm, not the exception.

I was raised that way and guided my step-children in that direction when they were residing in my home. They are raising their children that way as well. None of us feel entitled to anything that our labors can't provide and are grateful for anything we receive over and above that. None of us use food stamps or apply for Heap. Hub and I did apply for assistance in paying his hospital bill because we no longer make enough to have paid it on our own. I am eternally grateful that we received as much as we did, and we are paying the balance in monthly installments. Without complaints and without the feeling that we were entitled to more than we received.

The more you give some people, the more they feel they're entitled to. That is part of our problem even with those who make more than enough money to meet their needs. They feel entitled to more. We saw that attitude during the last election cycle. Simply cutting social programs isn't going to change anything. The problem isn't the program, it's the sense of entitlement that we built in to our society and until we change that, we will not ever get back to what made us a great society.

Life isn't about me and what I want, it's about what we've earned by our own efforts. It's about raising responsible citizens who are willing to work together towards common goals that benefit all. Instead we have people resorting to guns and killing innocent people because they're angry that they haven't been "given" everything they want. And how did they arrive at the idea that life worked like that? We raised them to blame their misfortune on everything else instead of accepting their own responsibility for their plight and doing something constructive about it.

We can't legislate behavior, proper behavior must be taught. We no longer teach, we rant about what's wrong. We take sides based on misinformation and fight to bury the positive in a world of gloom and doom. Then we look to legislation to change what we ourselves could change by altering our own behavior.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

I know that I need to eat healthy, high fiber foods. I also know that Hubby needs healthy low fiber foods. Finding what I need is much easier than finding foods that fit Hubby's need simply because low fiber foods are high in simple carbohydrates. Which makes them somewhat less than healthy. I also have a limited food budget so it's not possible for me to buy the high fiber foods for myself along with the low fiber foods for him.

To give you an idea of what I'm up against. If I decided to include a treat like brownies or ice cream just to break the monotony, Hub can't eat chocolate or high fat dairy. If I decided on strawberries or another fresh fruit, Hub can't have those either. Hub can eat turkey, chicken, grilled fish, or limited amounts of beef. He's sick of poultry, won't eat grilled fish and that leaves me with beef which he can't have more than once a week.

When my doctor offered a a seminar in Self Mastery with emphasis on making the correct food choices, I jumped at the chance to attend. I was doing so great losing weight eating the kind of foods found in a  Mediterranean Diet plan that it shocked me to learn that plan may have contributed to Hubby's very serious problem. So, for the past 6 months I've been eating the Low Residue diet provided by the hospital and I'm gaining weight. Which, of course, has elevated my blood pressure again. Not by much but I am again slightly above the borderline.

So, this seminar, I thought, would be a great idea. It would help me make wiser choices for both of us and allow me to make sure Hub is getting enough calories in order to maintain his weight. Crohns Disease is a nasty, painful problem. I've managed to feed him in ways that haven't put him into a painful flare, but he is bored with his choices and I need to find something to overcome that boredom. Especially since those choices aren't helping me at all.

First session was about how to form new healthier habits to replace the older unhealthy ones. It involves making one change at a time and doing that change daily, preferably at the same time each day for 21 days. The second session involved learning why the healthy foods are so important to being in health. I was impressed with the information on how high fiber foods control cholesterol. Made me realize that on the low residue diet plan Hubby is in serious danger of getting high cholesterol so cutting his consumption of fats has become important. Too bad turkey burgers don't taste more like beef. *sigh*

Today is how to plan a weeks worth of meals. I suspect that planning will involve major work in the kitchen. I know I need to go through my freezer, and pantry cabinet to get rid of all the things we shouldn't be eating so I can stock the right kinds of food. When I get the money, IF I get the money. I already know I have a chicken in the freezer that I don't remember buying. How do you forget something like that? I obviously won't be cooking it since it may be older than I care to think about.

I'm going to have to learn to date things I put in my freezer. That way I won't be running the risk of food poisoning. Hopefully this seminar and the new habits I'll form will aid me in cutting down the cost of wasted foods. On the bright side, at least since I won't be buying ground beef, I won't have to worry about pink slime.

I've begun to realize that this seminar may not be what I needed, exactly. I do think it's a step in the right direction. There are 6 sessions, total cost was $60. If I get nothing out of it beyond how to form new, better habits, and how to plan meals, I think I'm ahead of the game.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dear Internet, Quit Being Stupid

What does one do when there is an urge to write and nothing appeals as a topic? It isn't that I don't have opinions about so much happening in our world, it's just that I'm tired of trying to be heard. The amount of appallingly ignorant information available online has overwhelmed my mind. If one can't count on accuracy, how does one proceed to inform oneself? I have been shouted down so many times I'm tired of trying.

All this leaves me with my daily life as a source of blog material. I'm boring. No doubt about it, just plain darn boring. I don't participate in marathons, don't kayak white water rapids. I've never had the urge to jump out of a plane wearing a parachute. I don't hobnob with billionaires or with the artsy fartsy.

I could, I suppose, completely disappear and come back as some sort of fantasy character who is filthy rich enough to rub elbows with celebrities whose exploits would provide us with hours of stupid entertainment all a figment of my fertile imagination. I'd be found out in a heartbeat since my interest and therefore my knowledge of pop culture is slim to none and reducing. If I have to hear about Lindsay Lohan one more time I just might puke.

I am so over listening to stupid people talk about politics online that I'm spending more time online playing Tetris and less time talking to people. Please, if you don't know the difference between a dictatorship, a monarchy and a democratic republic, shut up. Just. Shut. Up.

I, who actually hate housework, have arrived at a point where I'd rather do housework than surf the internet. If that doesn't tell you how much stupid is found online, nothing ever will. I've been exposed to so much of the stupid for so long that it actually has begun to burn. And I have discovered that I might quite possibly be insane. If insanity is doing the same damn thing the same damn way and expecting a different damn result, then I am literally a looney tune.

I keep logging onto the internet, going to the same places and hoping that everyone has finally grown a brain. And I find the same old bullshit happening. Same misinformation. Same people fighting with each other. Same number of trolls, bullies, spammers and sock puppets stirring the shit stew. They don't ever take a break, do they?

I started this blog back in 2008, and until a couple of months ago I would have maybe 25 page views a day. All comments were from online friends or others who found themselves here and possibly moved to say something. Not anymore. Now my page views are pushing 100 a day and my spam comments are equal to the number of page views I used to get before I became a spammer's haven. It's gotten so bad that Adsense has informed me I "seem to have a popular blog" and maybe I should consider monetizing. NO! Just NO!

Some of these spammers seem to feel that they need to describe the dog on woman action that is found in the pictures I'd see if I'd only click on the link they provide. Yeah, they leave me long and graphic comments at the rate of 20 to 25 a day. Plus the link back to their sites. At first I was asking myself why they do things like this. Then it dawns on me, they do it because it works. And right there is my entire problem with those who inhabit the internet. They're incapable of using their heads long enough to decide not to click the links. Then they complain about the amount of spam one finds on the internet. It's always someone else's responsibility to fix the problem. A problem that they most likely contributed to because they click every link they find. I bet they'd even click a link that said it actually was a computer virus that would kill your computer.

Internet link clickers, there is no excuse for you, leave. Unplug your power source and stay offline until you learn how not to encourage spammers, trolls and sock puppets. My life would be so much better if you did that.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Deleted Post

I published a post that changed it's formatting by magic or some other method I don't understand. Nothing I did would fix it, so this morning I decided to delete the post since it wasn't in easily readable condition. If I'm looking at something and thinking "What the HELL is THAT?" I'm not comfortable leaving it up for general consumption.

Some days I wish I could figure out if it was Blogger or me that needed the services of Captain Tune Up. Maybe both.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tell The Scooter Store To Take A Hike

For the past few months I have noticed what appears to be an increase in the number of motorized wheelchairs being used in the city I work in. I have 2 clients that use them. One of my clients has a regular wheelchair as well as a motorized one, the other just the motorized wheelchair. The nephew of a third client has a motorized scooter provided to him by the VA. All of these motorized means of transportation are paid for by the taxpayer. Actually the scooters are the least expensive, but since very few of these chairs/scooters are in the possession of people who can't walk, why do they have them?

Those who sell these drains on the taxpayers pocketbook will tell you it's to prevent the owner from being a shut in which is bad for their emotional/mental health. These chairs give them the mobility needed to get out of the house and enjoy life. Except, once the chair has been delivered, they tell you the chair ISN'T supposed to be used outside. The VA told my client's nephew the same thing about his scooter. They use them outside anyway.

Which brings me to my next concern about these chairs. How many medications are these people on? People who may not be in a sober enough state to drive a car are zipping around the streets in these things. They have pain, and may be on a dose of Oxycontin or morphine that would put the rest of us to sleep for a day. And there they are rolling down the street at 15 or so miles per hour without a care in the world. Does a driver who sees one of these people have any idea which way they're going? Hell, the people in the chair have no idea which way they're going. Trust me, I see the damage they've done to their apartments using these babies indoors.

Under sink cabinets with deep grooves cut into the doors. Refrigerators less than 2 years old with dents and grooves cut into them. Walls with huge chips of paint and plaster knocked off. These are HUD buildings, guess who pays for the repairs? Why the taxpayers do. These apartments aren't big enough to use these chairs inside them. Yet, these people have become so reliant on them that they won't get up and walk two steps to keep from damaging something.

The amount of pressure on doctors to order these chairs is a nightmare to them. The Scooter Store and Hoveround has the application of that pressure down to a fine art. Patient sees the ads. Patient wants one. Patient calls the provider of chairs and it's ON! Tactics even include having the salesman go to the doctor WITH the patient. I'm even being bombarded by ads. I checked the prices of chairs versus the scooters online. I haven't cleaned my browser out since and EVERY ad I see on any site I go to is from both of these places. Even in my email box. I can clean my browser out to get rid of them, it's not so easy for a doctor. For them, it's not just one patient.

Doctors who refuse to provide the prescription for these chairs have lost patients. In a way, Medicare/Medicaid and other insurance companies are contributing to this rip off of themselves. They won't pay for long term programs to help these people become stronger unless there's been a hospitalization that resulted in short term nursing home residency for rehabilitation. They won't pay for nutrition programs for the seriously obese. If a bone is broken, they'll pay for a few short weeks of physical therapy, but won't pay for long term PT on chronic back problems. Pain management these days consists of nerve destroying shots backed up by large doses of the "good" stuff. None of which would be necessary if people would actually do what the doctor asks them to do.

Lose weight, exercise, take a walk. They'd feel so much better if they did. I need to go clean my browser cookies out and go to work. I will feel much better then.