285) Life's a Blur

September 27, 2008

At Home: Liz and I get up around 8 cause we don't want to disturb the six girls (a number limited by parents ahead of time, since Shayna wanted at least ten) lined up on the living room floor all sleeping off their slumber party. Last nite they went ice skating and my best pic of the nite is posted here. Two of the girls are awake by 8:30 and the rest roll out about 9 or so. I make coffee and Lizzie starts the big pancake breakfast for the herd.

I Call El Milagro and Jason the Tech checks and finds I can come in at 2:00 today, which will give me time to get all set up in time to see Texas beat Arkansas at 2:30!

El Milagro: I arrive at the facility and theres a bunch of folks waiting outside, with one of the guys who brings his mother knocking lightly on the locked door. I walk up and he says no one is around to open the door. I knock LOUDLY on the glass and Jason the Tech, from accros the room, hears it and comes over to open it. He pokes his head out, looks around the full room, and disappears back into the treatment room... pops back out a few seconds later and calls about four of us waiters in. I have modeled assertiveness for these waiters.

I remember to weigh myself today, which is probably a first. Usually I walk right past the in-floor weighing station... Jason points me to the back half of the room and Rosie the Tech shows me my chair. She comes over to poke me and we discuss the candidate's debate... she thinks it was pretty boring... and that Obama looked "more presidential" because he was cool as a cucumber whereas McCain looked like he had a chip on his shoulder, and didn't really look at Obama and was smirking! "Smirking? I didn't notice that. I was surprised that they really agreed about most everything and thought it was funny that Jim Lehrer had to goad them into talking to each other." I replied. I added, "I think the public wants these debates to be like wrestling...", to which Rosie quiped, "Yeah! Candidates mud wrestling would be great!" And, we both simultaneously said, "WAIT TIL NEXT FRIDAY. That's the one to see..."

Mary the Nurse comes over and does my nursing evaluation while I am listening to Folkways and waiting for the UT - Arkansas game. When the game comes on ABC I switch my earphones to the TV switcher and settle back to watch the game. Today I forgot my dialysis bag and as I am sitting there starting to freeze I remember I have a flannel shirt and some candy in my truck. I call Rosie over and ask if it is against the rules to send her out to my truck to get my candy... and she replies that she can get it... and does. Yeah Rosie! Now I am happy as a clam under my flannel shirt cozied up with a bag of hard candy, watching UT smear Arkansas. What a day.

The only bummer that I hear about during the game is that Paul Newman* died today. Newman was a mega-star mensch! Pure integrity. I loved watching him in films since I was a youth and he always was a character that dripped "cool". We will miss him. Speaking of stars, this weekend is the Austin City Limits Festival and hundreds of bands are all gathered to entertain about 65 thousand people a day. Makes me think of my friends Edna and Richard, who I always hope will come in from California and Utah for this... Edna cause she covers Music for USA Today and Richard cause ACL used to be his favorite show. ACL, UT football, Shayna's birthday, and
Rosh Hashanah around the corner... keeping life on dialysis busy busy. So it goes on the planet.

Notes: In at 76.8 and out at 75.0 kgs.
* Howell,P. Paul Newman, 83, Acting legend, retrieved September 2008 online from thestar.com, http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/article/507744


284) Dieticians REVOLT!!

September 25, 2008

El Milagro: Got here by 4:30 even tho I didn't get away from class until 4:15. Jo Ann (the Tech I don't know but finally asked her name) stuck me and did a good job and Rosie the Tech came by to adjust the machine to her own idea of what it should be... saying, "He comes off at 8:30!" Then she reset my machine while Jo Ann got my bath. Jordy the Dietician comes up with my lab report and she complains that my phosphorous is UP again... this time only to 5.9, which is only .4 over the high mark... (3.5 to 5.5 in OK) and we both agree that that is much better than the historic 7 it was recently. "But", she says, "What did you do to get it up... not take your binders... eat cheese?" I replied that I don't know and I don't really feel like racking my brain right now to figure it out... "I'll just be more careful again!" Jordy complains that everyone does great at the mid month labs and then does worse at the final month labs and 'they' "grade me on the ones people don't do well on!" I am surprised 'they' grade her at all on a variable that she has virtually little control over... and she says, "They DO!" #1 I share that we grade family counselors on what they do, not how the clients do because they really have no control over their clients and I would think that in the medical community would be even more difficult to rate a dietician on her patients' lab results.

And if they do, #2... they should rate them on the lab report that they have done most to impact, which is the Big Labs done at the beginning of the month. Those may be showing the dietician's work since they make signs, remind patients, and reward them for THOSE labs, not the end of month labs. So, it would make more sense, I think, for "them" to rate the dieticians on the Big Labs.

I call Jordy back over to tell her my thoughts on this deal and recommend she ask 'them' to start evaluating her on the basis of Big Labs... and cheer her on with a fist salute and a yell... "Dieticians REVOLT!!"

Today my radio is all fuzzy no matter how I set it and I still listen to the crackly fuzzy news until the ABC News comes on and I see Charlie inteview McCain and OBama both about the current financial crisis. As the news meanders on thru it's various stories, I am reading my next week's chapter in de Shazer & Dolan, about de Shazer's fascination with Wittgenstein's rambling philosophy and the connection he draws between it and SFBT... thinking to myself, "the students are gonna detest this reading...". And I read on... plowing thru the old references to theory construction, ontology, and pedagogy and the ways that de Shazer was influenced therein. I read some, consider some, drift off some and read some more...

And finally I decide it is time for some tube and I turn it on and lo and behold... there is the start of SURVIVOR GABON! WOW!! Synchronistically, I turn on the TV right at the beginning of the new Survivor... the first episode. So, of course I have to watch, if only to compare it to the past entertaining seasons and the boring ones. This one is in the middle of the jungle and the survivors include old and young and everything in-between... After Survivor I switch over to Grey's Anatomy and wonder if I'll get re-involved with this show this season... who knows?

So, Thursdays are back to TV nights for awhile... goodbye Wittgenstein hello Probst!* And, this Thursday my daughter is out right now with the family celebrating her 12th Birthday at Shady Grove... Happy Birthday Shayna!

Notes: In at 76.5 and out at 74.5 kgs.
*Jeff Probst on Survivor 17: retrieved online from Hollywood Insider


283) The Bailout; or as Kim would say, "another boring post"

September 23, 2008

El Milagro: Arrive almost thirty minutes late today and sneak in as someone is leaving. Carrie the Tech directs me to the first chair inside the door, sets me up, and sticks me. "Quick and dirty" could describe it. I put new batteries in my radio without turning it on yet. All the news today is about Congress balking at the Bush Administrations new travesty; the $700 billion gift to Wall Street otherwise known as the bailout package.* It seems, however, that Bush has finally been able to create a nonpartisan congress... united against this overt reinforcement for bad behavior!

I am excited about reading my Walter & Peller on the "hypothetical solutions frame" and I wonder if these two were NLPers, since their language tracks NLP... like "frames" and "framing". They certainly are on the behavioral side of these language strategies, the other side of the continuum from Gilligan's "Crystal Rainbow Pattern"!

Turn on the radio now and they just did another story about "the bailout". Paulson said a year an a half ago that the whole thing would be okay and now we must sink 700 Billion in with no oversite protections for the deal and no financial punishment for the leaders of the dabacle. Paulson did nothing for ages and now the administration wants to do change immediatly and secretly and with no alternatives or options up for grabs. Sound familiar?

So, I turn off the radio again and go back to my book. Basically a studious evening and rushing home to see the season premier of Without A Trace.

Notes: In at 76.6 and out at 74.4 kgs

*Prins in Mother Jones, available online at http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2008/09/decoding-the-fed.html


282) 2008 Walk for PKD

September 20, 2008

El Milagro: Got here right on time today, after participating in the 2008 Walk for PKD, which was practically across the street from us, at the Arbor Trails. Ran into Debbie the Blimpy Tech on my way in to the center... she is feeling good and excited about having her first baby at 26 in a couple weeks... around October first. I talk to her about calling La Leche League* when she delivers. Then I see Connie the Nurse and kid her about not being at the walk because she usually is at the walk... and she complains that she never heard about the walk... and I offer to show her my pics later when she has a minute.

I make my way to
my chair on the back wall and Debbie sets up my BP (105/67), Rita the Nurse does my nursing eval, and Gladys the Tech does the poking. I turn my radio on and can't hear anything, finding out that the batteries are dead again... I have two in my bag and it takes three... two does nothing and, of course, I now don't know which two are the good ones. So, I stick em all to my tongue but they are too small to zing... so I just put the radio away and settle on missing Tom Pittman doing Folkways. DARN! I settle on no TV and leave my earphones on to blunt the sounds around me... and write this post.

The Morning PKD Walk Report: We arrived at the church without dog and signed in and I talked Sheila the Volunteer into a volunteer whit
e t-shirt instead of the normal sea green shirt; arguing that I wear white t-shirts AND that is better advertising if I actually wear the shirt AND I am a team captain of a team that didn't collect any group money AND I like the polycsystic kidneys picture on the back of the shirt AND I can use it to show folks what my kidneys look like instead of describing them... AND I think that one won her over so she made me promise to act like a volunteer AND she gave me a white shirt! Liz quiped to no one in particular, as we walked away, "He gets things because he turns on the charm".

The girls talked me into driving back to the house to get Chelsea the Dog and Chelsea was really happy to come to the walk. Then I wandered around looking for donuts and surprisingly find Kirk and
Aaron, who are working with TNOYS to develop our new data system and have already done our new version of the website (www.tnoys.org). They are here to support PKD because of relatives and because they worked on the PKD walk donation page this year. Kirk seemed surprised to see me here too and to find out I'm on dialysis as I am to find him connected to PKD. ¡It's EVERYWHERE! We talked briefly and then ended up doing the whole walk together; me discussing my adventure with PKD and dialysis and them collecting information and being friendly 'neighbors' during the walk. Chelsea the Dog was unusually well-behaved, possibly because of the crowd, and Shayna ran the course, of course, ending up third.

A highlight for me was walking with Kirk and talking about paired exchanges and Austin's not moving too fast in that direction ("too complicated", according to David the Transplant Social Worker) and hearing Kirks brain wheels, "start a non-profit to connect people up for sharing"... I am sure we'll talk further at some point.

We finished up the walk and Liz, Shayna, Chelsea, and I sat thru the awards and Liz tracked the silent auction for her things... and helped the silent auction volunteer take up the auction sheets. We ended up with some free passes Shayna can use for ice skating and a novel Liz wants to read. Liz ended up volunteering to work on the silent auction next year and I got a lapel pin for my suit.

Gladys asks about the walk and I show her my pics and she remembers that she did the walk 3 years ago at Dell Center. I turn on the TV and catch Mike Barnes' Texas Tailgaters... we are weak on defensive backfield according to the Couch Coaches... and one of these guys predicts the 3 top Big 12 teams this year as Missou, OU, and Kansas! Where's TEXAS bud? How can you be at the Texas Tailgaters Show and NOT say TEXAS is BEST?!? What a dumb show! So, we're playing Rice tonight and I'll miss it cause I'm outa here early today. I surf...

Find a Bond movie with PB as Bond; The World is Not Enough (1999) and watch... then another movie with my girl Drew Barrymore... Ever After... and watch about 20 minutes before its time to unhook and move on. So it goes.

Notes: In at 76.5 and out at 74 kgs.
*La Leche League of Austin, available online at


281) The Note

September 16, 2008

El Milagro: In at 4:30 today… traffic from my class to here was terrible. Rosie the Tech is working with a new guy from somewhere near Houston/Galveston, saying he’ll be going home Saturday, hopefully. Rosie kids me about being early… my machine won’t be ready for 11 more minutes. I’m in the corner today, playing Little Jack Horner… Kim the nurse comes up and sets my BP monitor, takes my BP and does a nursing eval. She mentions that the bell pepper recipe “looks easy” and I ask if she tried it and she shakes her head “no”.

Rosie comes over to stick my quickly and I am on my way to another blood cleansing. Dr. Venkatesh comes by for the doctor’s “drive by” and I’ll have to rename this activity because Venkatesh takes long enough to have an actual conversation with people… even me who always says, “Just fine” to almost every question. I want to find a name that respects her paying more attention, and yet continues the notion that it is less than an appropriate “doctor’s visit” that they charge our insurance for. Any ideas from readers?

Jordy the Dietician is with the doc, as is Jo the Nurse. I ask Jordy, “Where does the name Gordy come from?” and she quickly replies, “Its JORDY!" Short for Jordan?”, I pursue. “Yes. Did Rosie have something to do with this… she calls me Gordy”, and I quickly retort, “Yep. Rosie told me your name was Gordy… thanks for clarifying.” She glares at Rosie and goes off down the row with the doc. I say loudly behind her… “Rosie! Gordy? That means little fatso… how dare you call her fatso…” and then Rosie blows her top at me. Its all worthy of a good laugh and it seems all are in a good mood today.

Then Sherry the Social Worker comes up to ask about sharing web links with a new patient who wants good info on the web about dialysis… specifically around her response to it… water retention, etc. I give her my blog address, DaVitas, and AAKP to share. She asks how close I am to having to get on Medicare and I shrug… according to her my insurance will only cover my dialysis for 33 months and then it’ll be Medicare and I’ll have to pay a small premium ($90) every month to keep the coverage. “Great!” I think… another darned bureaucracy to deal with.

I listen to NPR while reminding myself of my ratings of class member’s participation today. I jot down my rankings of their participation and move on to watch the ABC News… and then go back again to Public Radio. I doze and wake up and channel surf and find a TV movie called “The Note” on the Hallmark channel.
Of course I get 2/3 of the way thru this engrossing movie and then am unhooked and kicked out of the center. And even the website doesn’t tell the ending. Asi es la vida… we never seem to know the ending… only the present. Maybe that’s why they call it the present.

Notes: In at 77 and out at 74.3 kgs.

The Note, retrieved online from http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/publish/consumer/home/shows/the_note0.html


280) Diez y Seis de Septiembre

September 16, 2008

El Milagro: The boards are off the windows and the Winds of Ike are just a memory... except for those made homeless:* those evacuees in middle school gyms in Austin; those friends of ours whose individual stories we hear by bits and pieces every day; and those colleagues from Galveston come to Austin with 60 youth and staff separated from their families. These folks are now like the tribes of Israel trying to find a place to stay for the next few months (?) until they can return to the island. They came to a private school in Austin and cannot stay there as long as it'll take. So now they are moving to a Jewish Youth Camp in Wimberly for an unknown amount of time. Our friends tell stories of how they are holding it together amidst the bureaucratic hurdles (like the feds needing to check the camp out for "security" for a small percentage of ORR [Office of Refugee Resettlement] youth). TNOYS will help these member agency folks by recruiting local PEAKS people to go out and do activities with the kids while they are in the area, provide library resources for experiential programming, and be there to emotionally support our colleagues!

These folks are up here from the first organized youth shelter in Texas, the Albertene Yaeger Center, started by a woman for homeless youth just after the Great Storm of 1910 wiped out the island and left youth of all ages wandering in despair. We who are lucky enough to be spared this kind of despair need to continue to reach out to the weather-related homeless. One way to do so is to donate to the Red Cross (
1-800-redcross or go to http://www.redcross.org/.).

Okay. So I get here and notice the windows are open to the bright blue sky and I forget to weigh in cause using the new in-floor weigher isn't a habit yet... Rosie the Tech comes up and in the beginning salutations and catching up, I unhook my BP monitor and go weigh in at 77.0.

Rosie has been off for a few days taking care of her ill brother after he got out of the hospital for some complications from his cirrosis of the liver. She says she is happy to be back here and I reply that I am happy to welcome her back. She sticks me quickly and Celeste the Nurse comes by to do my nursing eval. She and I talk about a national insurance plan (Hillary's), the homeless adults who stand on the corner of Oltorf and 35, and the possibilities for homeless men to work if they stand at the local pick-up point downtown. She is from the Phillipines and reports they have no help at all over there... that families must care for their own and there are really no social services to speak of. Her slant seems to be that the help we have here is too easy to get for people who really could work. My slant, of course, is that the richest nation in the world ought to provide a minimal income of each and every citizen, including complete medical care for all.

Okay. So, I should be opening my Saleebey and reading up for Thursday... I don't feel like it... so I listen to NPR and cruise thru the channels on the TV and end up watching some continuing news of the Winds of Ike. Then I snooze for a bit and wake up around 8 to watch a bio on Angelina Jolie's work with youth of the world. Then it is time to leave and I zip outa there fast to rush home to a dinner with my family. So it goes.

And finally, in rememberance of 16 de Sept:

"Estoy vivo cuando todos los otros se sienten muertos,
pero soy la muerte
para todos quiénes temen la vida.
Soy el guerrero Mexika espiritual de el
Sexto Sol, despertado del sueño
de 500 años de esclavitud.
Soy todo lo que voy a, yo ser todo que era,
Soy todo que será.
Soy el Mexika del Sexto Sol. "
Ramsey Muñiz
Notes: In at 77 and out at 74.5 kgs
*Amazing Hurricane Ike Photos retrieved online from
** Retvieved online from El Grito de Septiembre 16, http://www.freeramsey.com/Diez.html


279) Sunday Dialysis

September 13, 2008

El Milagro: I arrive just after noon today and walk into a room still darkened by the boarded up windows and with all the staff gathered around the nurses station with Susanne the Administrator and the Regional Boss speachifying. Jason the Tech points out my chair on the back wall.

Jason comes over to stick me a few minutes later and I tell him about talking to Mitch and Mitch's salutations to him. He does his usual client-centered cannulation and reports on the new semester at Austin Community College. Also Amanda the Tech is here and comes by to say "Hi" as is Connie the Nurse who'll probably do my nursing eval. I tell Connie aboout being happy about coming in Sunday instead of Saturday and she replies that I am the only one who's happy... everyone else is complaining, it seems to here, and at least 4 people didn't even come in today. Turns out El Milagro was opened yesterday for evacuees from Houston. I mentioned to Connie that they should tell the complainers that they were responsible for the center being able to help out the folks from the Winds of Ike and that might make them feel better... Connie figured they already had said that... I replied, "No... they just told us they were closing because of the weather..." She thinks there were 12 evacuees dialyzed yesterday.

While El Milagro was opening up for evacuees from the Winds of Ike, we were celebrating the
opening of Sycamore Creek Concerts and T & G's 20th anniversary at their new "barn" northwest of Dripping Springs... and very happily hearing the melodies of los Romenceros (with special guest Paul Glasse), and the harmonica and voice of Him and Her with themselves (Brenda Freed and Michael D'Eath).

Connie the Nurse moves on and I set to reviewing a few chapters for next class... turn on Prairie Home Companion and then realize that the regular boisterousness of Garrison's show jazzels my concentration on the readings... so I flip it off but keep the earphones on to dampen my neighbors too loud TV show.

Kim the Nurse comes over to do my nursing eval and I again remember that I have forgotten to bring her the recipe I promised her. "STUFFED GREEN PEPPERS!! I must remember this" I say to myself again... since I have forgotten to remember ten times ten now. She reports that she got rain last night finally and wonders if it is from the hurricaine or from some other weather... I don't know that so I shrug and then she shrugs. The Winds of Ike completely missed us in Austin, except for the one breeze that rang my Paulo Solari wind chimes out back that haven't rung in 10 years.

While I'm reading Dr. Moritz rushes in and gets on the computer inside the nurses station. He's working on Sunday? By quarter to two I'm done with deShazer & Dolan and move on to Saleebey... and read until 2:15 when I find I rather listen to American Routes, which is featuring the music of Johnny Cash today. I close my book, lay my chair back, pull my hat down over my eyes, and let early Cash run through my brain.

Notes: In at 76.6 and out at 74.6 Kgs.


278) Waiting for the Winds of Ike

September 11, 2008

El Milagro: Arrived here at 4:20 this afternoon and had NO wait. As I drove up I noticed workers were just finishing up boarding the windows in fear of the Winds of Ike, which will enter Austin on Saturday. I am a bit surprised that El Milagro is so worried. Later we all got a notice that the center will be closed Saturday and us Saturday folks will have to come in on Sunday for our blood cleansing. Carrie the Tech cannulates me and she is doubtful; thinking that these Winds of Ike will be “no big deal”. Jo the Nurse comes over, does my nursing eval and she doesn’t know what to think… although they both agree the windows boarded up, from the inside, seems a little creepy.

I get Carrie to call Susanne the Administrator over and probe her for the “answer” about the boards and closings… she reports that it was the Regional Boss who said, “close down the district” (which includes the Austin-Laredo corridor, except for San Antonio, and the Austin-Victoria corridor complete with Luling, Gozales, Quero… Beeville). Susanne says also that the boards belong to the building owner and they asked El Milagro if they wanted them up, so Susanne said, “Sure” and emphasized the statement with a shrug of her shoulders. Okay.

As Susanne was explaining the closing, Jay the Boss Nurse came up with a new machine, saying, “I want to introduce you to my new machine…” called a Transonic Flow Machine… very modern looking but not as cute as WALL-E. He told the TFM to measure my fistula’s performance and it turns out, of course, that I have “0” recirculation and my vascular access flow is 1350 ml/min. Jay the Boss says, “That’s perfect!” so I have to believe him cause he IS the big nurse guy that you don’t wanna mess with.

Right around that time, Gordy the Pointy-toed Dietician comes up all smiling and a twitter to tell me that my phosphous is back down to 4.4 and I am a good patient to have had the guts to bring that baby back down again. Well, that’s not exactly the way she put it, but you get the point. I am good! "All of your lab results are good", she says… and, "I knew you could do it!" so I report them to you, dear reader:

Albumin = 3.8 (>4 is best)
Hemoglobin = 12.9 (>11 is best)
Iron Saturation = 30% (20 to 50% is good)
Ferritin (stored Iron) = 636 (200-500 is good)
Calc Corrected = 9.2 (8.4 – 9.2 is good)
Phosphorous = 4.4 (3.5 – 5.5. is within the limits)
PTH Intact = 147 (150 – 300 is normal)
Potassium = 4.9 (3.5 – 5.5 is good)
Glucose = 112 (80 – 180 is good)

Okay! Now for some luscious enchiladas! And French fries, yum yum.

When ABC News comes on I watch Charlie Gibson interview Sarah Palin and it is not to informative or revealing, in my estimation. Now I hear her idioms and phrases and “party lines” every time I listen to her and I want her to be transparent and genuine. Phrases like “right off the back”, “you can’t blink”, “reform of government”, and “energy independence” and “energy is a part of national security” stick in my mind during the interview. And, of course there is a lot on the news also about 9/11 and what everyone is doing to commemorate that black day.

I read a bit on my Saleebey book and then make some notes about my class this afternoon and things I want to do more of or change for next week. And then I lay back and watch the Weather station for awhile to see what the Winds of Ike are looking like. Later I cruise thru the channels but none of the usual fare seems interesting… and I end up watching I Was Biten on Discovery. Scary show that makes me sqirm. And fortunately, Carrie the Tech comes up to unhook me and before I know it I’m back into the world of balm… thinking, “another humid Austin night…” And so it goes.

Notes: In at 76.6 Kgs. and out at 74.6 Kgs.


277) Palinoscopy

September 9, 2008

El Milagro: Got here at 4 on the dot and waited until 4:10. I noticed because Celeste the Nurse asks me how long I waited today. She is constantly conscious of my waiting times these days... and that is a good thing. Michelle the Jovial Tech pokes me today. She is fast and painless and I like her a lot... but she isn't around most of the time. They set me up and I set up my radio-earphones-ATC system and settle back for some class prep (reading Saleebey) and making notes for how to compress my more-than-three-hour agenda for Thursday's class and listening to ATC.

I'm also curiously waiting for news about Sarah Palin, the new emissary of the far far right. Last week I had lunch with my dad and he asked what I thought of her... and I had to admit I didn't know much... so I have been paying more attention since then. Paying attention is an interesting concept: because we normally attend to things that we pick out of the myriad of data out in the cosmos. And, we pick out the things to attend to that we identify as worthy of attention, or glittering examples of what we already like and are attracted to. We cannot possibly attend to all the data, so we almost unconsciously select out the data that will fit into our personal, pre-conceived universe of brain pudding. So, what we attend to informs what we think, and what we think informs what we find to attend to. So, when I am out looking for information on Sarah I am finding materials that fit the criteria of "worthy" source data. I personally search for info that is "objective" AND I also know that there are many different perspectives on what is "objective" data... for example; I know that my dad and I have different definitions of "objective". [This is a example of the difference between the Modern and Post-modern world: the dissolution of the idea of Truth with a capitol "T"]. Anyway, my search for info on Sarah takes me to sources that I identify as "objective" like NPR, Snopes, etc. and I also will read most info sources that appear in front of my radar, unless they are fully situated in the realm of the absurdly right wing.

News has it at this point that the Dems, Independents,
Libertarians, and even moderate or liberal Republicans may be sufficiently alarmed as to join together to ensure that Palin doesn't get to a position of being "one heartbeat away from the presidency". From what I've read so far, my little brain worries that Palin might be even more dangerous to this country than Bush! She appears to be ten times as smart and way more devious. What do we think of trading a bumbling and stupid neo-con for a shrewdly vicious neo-con? For those who are studying both sides of Palin, read the Debbie Frost mirror image letter and the Kilkenny letter* and make up your own mind. Of course, we must always assume that the people writing these personal diatribes have the best intentions.

More to come!

Letters at Snopes, online at http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/sarahpalin.asp


276) Dialysis: Opportunity for Study

September 6, 2008

El Milagro: I'm here at 1:30 today. Amanda the Smiley Tech pokes me and we talk about left handedness... she makes some comment about shifting her body around to poke me and being left handed with writing only... and I reply that my daughter Katie is like that too. As usual, she does an excellent job of poking me and I begin surfing the TV channels to find out when the UT game is on. UT is playing UTEP today: the school I work at versus my alma mater! Who do I root for? Well, probably it'll be UT... I love that Colt kid runnin' the team and all my in-laws are UT grads... but I'll also love seeing Sun Bowl stadium and remember the games I attended there and mowing the lawns that used to climb the end zones at a precarious tilt. Now the north end zone is filled with seats and the south with cement. El Paso is all excited about hosting the horns (see "Big moment for UTEP in Sun Bowl"*). I find that the game is on ESPN 2 after dark... so... DARN! I'll miss it cause tonight we are planning to go to Threadgill's to see the band I affectionately call Bellvue Unit... actually their name is the Belleville Outfit.**

Connie the Nurse is here today (my old nurse at Mortitz's office) and she says "Hi". Once I find I won't be watching UT football, I settle on ESPN football muted (Penn St. v.s. Oregon St.) while I am reading texts for my Thursday class. This reading for class will become one of my main dialysis activities for the fall: a forced sit down time to study! This is a good thing. Dialysis is a good time to sit and do things one has to do and doesn't usually make the time for in their activity-filled life. Today I am reading a chapter in Berg & DeJong's Interviewing for Solutions and a chapter in Murphy & Duncan's Brief Interventions for School Problems. As I am reading I am creating ideas for students' activities and practice situations for behavioral rehearsal of strengths-based counseling techniques. For example, I muse that I could ask them to pay attention to specific constructivist questions and collect them for later use... and... or, over the semester I could do a SF interview with each student on an "issue" or difficulty they have, and do it with the prerequisite that they NOT identify the "problem". This is always an experiment that leads to the person's recognizing the difference between "problem talk" and "solution-talk". So, my brain is flowing on down the river of ideas and options for my class as my blood flows thru the cleansing machine.

And Joe Paterno's boys are smearing the Beavers while I muse. Of course, to complete the system, I am listening to Ed Miller on Folkways in my ears as background music while reading and constructing ideas for class. Finally I get tired of all this and look for a good movie to relax to... finding Obsessed, with William Devane... and watch it for my last hour... without catching the ending. My hallucination is that it's gotta end in some 'surprise' ending, like the girl driving Devane mad and ending with his killing her and having to pay the price of his philandering (just my thoughts).

So, around 8:45 one of the Techs whose name I still don't know, after seeing her around for ages now (an older Hispanic woman who is less than detail oriented) comes over to disconnect me and patch me up. I sit there holding my holes for awhile, considering if I can sit til the end of this movie... and realize I can't wait that long... and that this is not really that compelling a movie and my hallucination about its ending is probably as good as the real ending. So, when I see Amanda smiling over, asking me "are you ready?" I nod in agreement and she gently tapes me up and I weigh out and walk into a balmy Saturday nite wondering if I will really feel up to a night on the town at Threadgill's. We'll see.

Notes: In at 76.2 and out at 73.9 Kgs.
BTW: You may notice I haven't posted since last Saturday. Adding teaching a graduate class to my schedule may impact posting on this blog. This last week I was swamped with two conference presentations, preparing for class, and lots of loose ends tying at work... so, the blogging fell off the map. I am devoted to blogging here for the sake of PKD and Dialysis people to read [with the GOAL of showing that folks on dialysis with chronic kidney disease and kidney failure CAN continue to live an active and prosperous life... supporting the notion of LIFEALYSIS that we see posted on dialysis workers' t-shirts]. So, we'll see how I can fit in blogging during these teaching months.
* Big moment... in Herald Tribune online at http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/09/05/sports/FBC-T25-Texas-UTEP.php
**Belleville Outfit online at