Thursday, August 6, 2009

Healthcare Reform Bill Agony– the Democratic Process at Work?

Posted in Liberty, Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , , , , , , at 10:00 am by Elaine Petrowski

I’m getting really cranky with all of the talk — or should I say conjecture, misinformation and fear-mongering, lobbying, pandering etc. — that’s going on around the issue of health care reform.

Got an email  today from (I’m assuming)  a well-intentioned friend. The You Tube video it led me to pointed out, among other things, that “someone sitting behind a desk  in Washington will soon decide if  your mother or grandmother can get medical treatment for Alzhiemer’s.”

Call me crazy, but to me this infers that potentially important decisions about my future medical care options will be decided by a panel of non-medically trained Washingtonians who are probably in a hurry to leave town for vacation.

(Supreme irony??? )

NOTE to  REP. SCOTT GARRETT (R,NJ); FRANK LAUTENBERG (D,NJ), ROBERT MENEDEZ (D, NJ), et al: How about all you hard-working representatives and senators do the job you were elected (in some cases, not by me) to do —  represent me!

And here’s how I’d like you to do that:

WORK TOGETHER (Do any of you recall attending kindergarten …where you were supposed to have learned  this? ) to author a bill that actually helps the American people improve their quality of life and the quality of their health care.

Quit pandering to special interests.  And don’t use fear.  Or  bait me with half truths, outright lies or with statements that twist the intent of the reform into pretzels.

JUST GET TO WORK AND FINISH a bill.

And then VOTE on it.

And don’t take your damn vacation until you do your damn job!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Raise Your Hand if You Need a Federal Law to Tell You Not to Text While Driving

Posted in Liberty, Life, Pursuit of Happiness, useful information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:16 pm by Elaine Petrowski

While I applaud the intent of the good Senators Menendez, Schumer, Landrieu and Hagan, and I do firmly believe the findings of the many researchers on distracted driving, do we REALLY  need a law to keep us all  from texting while driving?

Well now, we do seem to need laws to keep from us shooting each other, from sticking each other with knives, abandoning our spouses and children at the mall, and driving through red lights, not to mention about six zillion other potentially stupid human tricks.

Hmmm… come to think of it,  maybe we really do need the proposed ALERT (Avoiding Life-Endangering and Reckless Texting by Drivers) Act (or possibly we could just call it American Lawyers Easy Revenue Trail Act? )

Or, is it that we need an effective tool to punish those who text while driving?

My suggestion: forget the fine. A driving-texting offender will be prohibited from owning a cell phone, crackberry or  any other form of PED, existing or to be invented, for up to ten years, until his/her brain finishes maturing sufficiently to realize TEXTING AND DRIVING DON’T EVER MIX. (This applies if the driver is 16 or 96.)

Please …tell me that you DON’T EVER TEXT WHILE DRIVING? (Reported stats say 20% of drivers DO!)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

NYPD Aids the “The Hang Up and Drive” Movement

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:13 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Friday, the 13th of March 2009 was not a good day for New York City residents who chose to talk  on their hand-held cell phones while driving.  Seems the New York City Police Department implemented a crackdown and handed out 9,016 tickets for the offense in one 24- hour period.

I say HOORAY for the boys (and girls) in blue!

What do you suppose that says about the statistical likelihood you are encountering a great many inattentive drivers who are bumper-to- bumper, or worse yet, head-on, with you and your kids, parents, friends and family who are driving, playing and walking, each day?  Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Knitting DOES Serve a Higher Purpose

Posted in Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , at 7:09 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Recent addition to already huge stash of knitting supplies.

Recent addition to already huge stash of knitting supplies.

It was good news to  find out recently that knitting, a pastime of mine that I’m fairly obsessive about, which I’ve admitted to here before, has been given a new, higher purpose in the fabric of life.

Or so says the BBC.

In addition to providing usable garments (sometimes), cute baby gifts, a way to stay out of the potato chips and meditative, hands- on, creative “play” for many — not to mention the boost to the local economy that a successful yarn store produces –a Mayo clinic study, due to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology, shows that:

“Those who had during middle age been busy reading, playing games or engaging in craft hobbies like KNITTING were found to have a 40% reduced risk of memory impairment.”

Well, maybe.

And here’s why:

The problem with this research, reported the BBC article, is that the people who were surveyed already has some mild memory loss and thus might not be remembering correctly,  if, in fact, they did perform any of the memory-saving activities.

Question of the day: Ignoring the sheer lunacy of the study (which I so hope I did not pay for in some way.), does anyone else find it unusual that this report, from the world-famous, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic and The American Academy of Neurology, came from the BBC network?

Or am I overworking my aging brain cells by thinking too much?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Okay, I AM the Handwashing Nazi. What of it?

Posted in Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , at 7:45 pm by Elaine Petrowski

The most basic form of disease prevention. So why do so many skip it?

The most basic form of disease prevention. So why do so many skip it?

As long as we’re on the subject of germ phobias and hygiene, what about handwashing? What’s with the totally D-I-S-G-U-S-T-I-N-G  one- out-of- three (!) grown MEN and WOMEN who do NOT wash their hands after using the restroom? Where did they grow up?

They are the reason I haven’t had an Altoid since 1999.

That year I had a charming colleague who liked to rib me about my ritual of ditching into the office ladies room to wash my hands before and after eating lunch. When I confessed a certain level of “phobia” for clean hands, he spontaneously volunteered  to share with me which of the men on staff did NOT make use of the sink and soap in the men’s room. When I protested that was “too much information” he grinned, winked at me and whispered, “Just don’t take any of those peppermints they pass around at the staff meetings.”

I’m ruthless when it comes to this topic. I once reported a waitress to the manager at a famous seafood restaurant at the Jersey Shore who came into the restroom, did her business, and then left, without even faking it and running the water. (She didn’t know I was there. But I saw her uniform swish out the restroom door.)

Just about a year ago now I allowed a promising, just budding friendship with someone I really liked… a lot… to whither away because she skipped this basic sanitary step the first time we went to lunch together. All I could think of was the cup of coffee she’d made for me at her house a week before.

Any two-year-old kid can learn this. Doctors and nurses live by this (please gawd?) There is a sign in every restroom warning the employees to do it.  Montessori teachers teach it. So do kindergarten teachers.

So, what’s with the 1 in 3 ADULTS who does not wash his/her hands? Didn’t their MOTHERS TELL THEM UMP-TEEN TIMES, TO WASH THEIR HANDS after using the toilet? WHAT are they thinking? That they are still defying MOM?

Have you ever “called out” anyone over the age of six, who “forgot” to wash his/her hands?

Is there (does there need to be???)  a polite way to request this small act of self-care from the humans you live and work with?

And if  YOU don’t wash your hands after using the facilities, can you please explain WHY?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Is This How the Plague Spread?

Posted in Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , , at 4:32 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Wondering if I’m the only one who is totally skeeved out by those credit card check- out swipe machine gizmos I’m starting to see all over?  You know the ones I mean … where you swipe your credit card and then use the attached stump of a plastic pen to sign, or rather, scratch, what’s supposed to be your signature, on the little screen?

I blame my newly acquired germ-phobia on a truly hideous upper respiratory “thing”  I’ve been best buddies with since mid-January. Other than a flight to and from Mexico, where I am POSITIVE all the flight attendants and all the other passengers were wishing I would succumb, right then and there,  just so I wouldn’t be coughing on them anymore, I’ve not ventured out much.

I’ve become somewhat of a recluse and avoided movies, social events, church services, board meetings and canceled dinner dates with friends because I  think of myself as a social pariah, mostly because my cough  sounds like a  seal with a pack- a- day Luckies habit. And the fact that it’s hard to stuff my latest must-have accessory –a full box of tissues –into even an oversized handbag.

Now, I know I can’t be sure how I picked up this bug. But today when I ventured out for –what else but more tissues and some vitamins?–  an  alarm sounded in my head when the clerk asked me to use the credit-card- swipe-thingy-with-convenient built- in-plastic-pen-stub. I froze mid- motion at the realization that everyone else who charged their purchases there today… even the ones who NEVER, EVER wash their hands… used that very same pen.

The easy solution would be to give up using my credit card and resort to cash, but that’s going to seriously undermine my “mileage slut” status. ( And future trips to Mexico.)

Tip: Fellow germ phobics (Have  I just created a few?) the exceedingly polite clerk told me that, next time, if I asked to avoid using the germ-matrix-credit-card- machine before he rang up the sale, that could be arranged. (So I can’t be the only one who’s asked, right?)

Now if I could just figure out how to avoid touching the door knob on my way out.

Be well.

And please do share your own germ phobias and/or your tips for staying healthy all winter!