Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Shoulda Been an Astronaut

It's dead, Jim? Give me 60 credits and I'll give you a pill that will make it stick up like this

Heard an interview with a disgruntled surgeon on NPR's Marketplace yesterday as I was pulling into the Walmart parking lot. Since I was trying to remember a spark plug number and only caught the last part of the interview, I probably shouldn't comment. But I will. I find well off people whining about stuff that hasn't happened yet extremely interesting. And I don't have to put anything in context. Or even be reasonably accurate. It's a blog.

The guy is a surgeon down south somewhere and doesn't quite have that Marcus Welby attitude we like in our doctors. Some of the gripes are understandable - excessive cost of malpractice insurance and excessive court judgements. I wish the new health care legislation had addressed those. But the stuff about some undefined "agency" coming between him and his patient. I got the distinct impression he was talking about the fee structure between him and his patient. Boo fucking hoo. If it's not the government through Medicare beating him down, it's the insurance companies. But unless he's 110 years old it's not like he didn't know that going in. Doc ends the segment saying that he'd leave medicine tomorrow ( for a job that pays a minimum of 150K) and so would all his doctor buddies. I get the impression that his patients wouldn't object too strongly.

But maybe I'm being too harsh. Eight to ten years of schooling following by the constant pressure of not fucking up enough to get sued or kill someone. I'm certainly not built for that kind of work. I screw up all the time, but hey, it's just money and nobody dies. The decision to enter the medical profession should be based on more than the promise of future financial reward. And I'm sure it is initially for a lot of doctors and maybe all the bullshit regulations and bullshit people they have to deal with destroy that initial Marcus Welby (I guess most of them want to be House now but without the bad leg) feeling. I'm sympathetic.

Update: I'm less sympathetic. On the way home from work I fell in line behind an overloaded lowboy, escorted front and back. On the lowboy was a yacht or cabin cruiser of some sort. 40 or 50 feet? I dunno. It was big. Stenciled across the stern............Medicine Man.

Double update: Shit. I found the link and I just reread the interview and I realize I may have misinterpreted the good doctor. Well, more than may have - I did. My apologies - but I'm going to post anyway, striking out my more blatant errors and claim it involves a generic doctor who speaks at Tea Bagger rallies.

Friday, April 23, 2010

All You Tots - Drink My Shots

Agreed.  Too bad. He carried that team on his back last year but this is just too creepy. And there seems to be a pattern here. College kids, college bars? Making a move with your dingle dangling? Stay classy, Ben. I've been a Steeler fan for about 40 years and I don't generally care about an athletes personal life but I just can't look at the team the same way unless they dump him. I can't imagine Mr. Rooney is too happy either.

And speaking of dingles dangling in the breeze. I know just how disconcerting it can be to be exposed to a weiner when you least expect it. In fact, I still remember the incident so I may well have been scarred for life. We were on our way to Bookbinders in downtown Philly, my brother and I tagging along behind the parents when we were approached by a loud, incoherent drunk with his dick hanging out. Dad put his arm around Mom and without a word ,navigated her around the danger zone, leaving my brother and me hanging. I guess in that situation it's every man for himself. The parents never said a word. We did. "Hey, did you see that? Ewwwwww!". I don't care who you are. That shit's creepy.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

When You're Right...

So, Kelsey, about babysitters -if loving them is wrong, do you want to be right?

Friday, April 16, 2010

The World's Worst Catholic™ Explains The Practice of Religion

To me church was always like a pep rally for Jesus and I've always hated pep rallies. Every week or so they'd drag the entire junior high down to the gym to pep on the Red Raiders of Radnor who were god awful at any sport, anywhere. The idea being that forcible pep is better than no pep at all. You couldn't just say no so I'd sit there, morose, unhappy and refuse to pep. I hated being told to be peppy and Mr. Keene, the Pepmaster, would roam the boards urging the crowd into ever louder cries of pepism. He was a master but I remained immune to his charms and just sulked on that hard, cold bleacher. And I'm guessing my little act of rebellion passed unnoticed. But some kids were into it, really into it. And by and large most of the girls were into it and now that I think about it, the peppiest guys seemed to have the most active social lives. In retrospect, I may have miscalculated by not participating, since a bespectacled, 4'10", pimply guy needs any kind of edge he can find. As I said, some kids were totally into it, dancing around and cheering, some kids were kind of into it, clapping their hands, some kids would let out a half -hearted "woo hoo" once in a while and some kids, like me, would just sit there and glare. What the fuck does this have to do with spirituality, you may ask? Bear with me. I'm crafting something here... an analogy or a metaphor or something.

Which brings me to PZ Myer's latest spittle flecked attack (it's almost like he's wearing a hair shirt all the time) on fellow travelers who don't toe the hard line. This week it's poor Massimo Pigliucci, who wrote something to piss him off. And since I like Massimo because he sounds like Father Guido Sarducci, I will come to his defense and explain why Professor Myers is completely off base.

Belief in God and, more specifically, the practice of religion is more like a giant junior high pep rally than the actual game itself, where you have clearly defined sides. The continuum is not between believers and non-believers, the continuum lies between those who are irrevocably sure of their position, whether atheist or believer and those who don't really give a shit. It's not whether you believe or not but the importance you assign to belief or non belief. If you're going to get all bent out of shape about it you're on the same side of the continuum as any devout Seventh Day Adventist or glaring kid at the pep rally. I would think that in church, as in my pep rallies, there are a goodly number of non-believers or sometime believers in the pews, letting out a half hearted "amen" on occasion and just there for any number of social reasons. And religion's handy when people die. I can attest to this. Centuries of finely honed funeral rites are handy in channeling grief, not to mention for doing something with the body. I just can't see an Atheist Grief Ceremony as being much use. So, really PZ, I'm not a believer either, but what's the harm in a little churchin'? An atheist can never be truly free until he's comfortable enough to sing in the choir.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Leave Tiger Alone!

I tuned in to Moronic Joe this morning for my minimum required daily dose of stupidity as required by MSNBC. Gets me goin'. The stupid flows through my brain like shit through a goose and I got to get my stories in before the grand daughter gets up and changes the channel to Imagination Movers. I love those guys and their problem solvin'. And it's probably more of an educational experience than Morning Joe for both of us.  So the big story was that Tiger Woods managed to get through all four rounds of the Masters without grabbing some visored belle from the gallery, tossing her in a bunker and tapping her ass. Joe (can I call him Joe?)  tsk tsks his way through the segment, evidently displeased that Tiger didn't crawl the course on his hands and knees with his caddy  flagellating (that's flagellating,  people)  him the entire way. Also displeased by the fact that Tiger conducted the post round interview without breaking down and crying, and, worst of all managed to finish tied for fourth after a five month layoff. To top it off, Woods was not sufficiently yes massa to what Scarborough calls the great folks at Augusta Plantation and Golf Club. Two great traditions at Augusta - no chicks and dressing the caddies like field hands.  Then Scarborough polls his crew on their reaction to Tiger Woods, Mika looks disgusted, Mike Barnicle (in touch with the common man, if the common man was a drunk Irishman from 50 years ago) pulls his head out of his ass long enough to give a thumbs down, and Willie Geist, bless his heart, says "well, I like to watch him play golf". Well, Willie, I like to watch him play golf, too. You know why? Because he's the best fucking golfer to ever walk the planet, that's why. In fact, I like to root against him because he's so good it's hardly fair to the other guys. Joe ends the segment by mumbling something about mothers and kids and calling Woods a punk.  No Joe, a punk is someone who uses his holier than thou platform to slam a golfer whose misdeeds affect only his family and his poor sponsors while being curiously forgiving of wide stancing, mistress payoffing, diaper wearing Family Values Republican lawmakers whose actions actually affect a wide range of people. Well, maybe Joe's more of a douchebag than a punk.