Tag Archives: thoughts

Call Me Mr. Hare

Well, I haven’t blogged for two years but here I go again.  How time flies.  Since I last blogged, Obama was elected President (thankfully the world hasn’t ended), Haiti experienced a devastating earthquake, the world has seen a financial meltdown and the U.S. has been saddled with a bigger mountain of  debt than previously seen.  In the two years from the last time I picked up a pen (well, typed at my computer and blogged), Michael Jackson died along with GM and Ford, though the latter two have been given another chance at life.  Since 2008,  gold and silver have been on a tear, the Tea Party has taken center stage and pigs have flown.   That is, the New Orleans Saints have done the impossible and won the Super Bowl.  The point is, there has been plenty about which to blog.

I’m not sure why I stopped blogging, though.   Maybe  it got old.  Maybe I got busy.  Maybe it took too much precious time.  Maybe I ran out of things to say. Or maybe I just got tired of the process of blogging.

But then maybe I’m like the hare.  You know the story that,  in a nutshell,  goes like this.   Mr. Tortoise and Mr. Hare are in a race.  Mr. Hare sprints to a lead, takes a nap and wakes only to find that he was beaten to the finish line by the slow moving Mr. Tortoise.

I often find myself more like Mr. Hare.  I find it pretty easy to take hold of something and sprint all out and  even do really well at whatever the particular challenge is.  But then, in time, whether I’m distracted, tired, or just downright bored, I might just fade away into a nap of sorts, much like Mr. Hare.  Even so, after some period of time I wake up, only to find that I’m behind or that Mr. Tortoise has passed me by.

My blogging hibernation is  probably the result of a combination of things and is probably a good thing for me to reflect upon.   You see,  I can be very determined at times but that determination can wane into  laziness.  I can be very excited about something but  it can quickly become a bore to me as I become distracted by something new.  Sometimes I just have too many pots on the stove, too many irons in the fire.

I guess I could try and wax eloquent and be even more philosophical but alas, there’s something else calling my name.  So here I go again.  I’m off to the next project, the next distraction.  Who knows if I’ll be back blogging.  I’m sure I will at some point, maybe today or this afternoon even, as it seems I always come back to the things I leave behind.

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Would I Be A Doctor Again?

I’ve heard over and over again from some doctors how they’d never go through the process again and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.  So I’ll answer the question.  Would I be a doctor again?  To quote Sarah Palin, “You Betcha!”

In my experience, becoming a doctor has been very rewarding.  I can’t complain.  So where do I start explaining why?  Well, there are the belly-button pearls for one.  “Belly-button pearls?” you ask.  Yes.  Belly-button pearls.  You know, those wooly-booger types who let the lint in their belly fester and roll around with the hair just like a piece of sand in a clam.  After many moons, that simple piece of fuzz become a nice round, smooth, rock-solid belly-button pearl of great price.

Well, really there are some other nice benefits.  For one, especially in this economy, there is no shortage of requests for doctors in just about any part of the country.  Hopefully I won’t be searching anytime soon, but if I had to, I could almost pick where I want to live.  Of course I’m leaving near about as close as you can to Heaven without dying, so I’m thankful for that.  And how can a doctor complain when just the average salary of a primary care doctor is around $150,000?  That’s good enough for roughly being in the top 5% in the U.S.  And that’s not even including the fringe benefits of insurance and retirement.

Not only is the pay pretty good for an education that’s not much longer, if any than other post-grad professions, the time involved can also be quite satisfying.  Right now, I pretty much work 4 1/2 8-hour days a week with a day a week and one weekend a month of light call that often results in no phone calls or hospital admissions.  I’ve been in jobs as a doctor where I had no call whatsoever and worked more like 8:30 to 4:30 with a half-day off each week.  Throw in 4 weeks of vacation and another week of education and it rivals some of the best vacation packages around.

But there’s more than just money and time.  There’s the satisfaction of being able to help people.  There have been many times when I’ve been able to really come in handy for someone for whatever reason – maybe calling something in for a friend, maybe giving some realistic medical explanations for people confused by what they’ve heard.  Or maybe it’s just helping someone have hope again when everything seems to have been taken from them.

There’s also the challenges.  Imagine diagnosing someone with Malaria or cancer or other systemic diseases.  Some aren’t easy and straightforward which requires a lot of study, a lot of interdisciplinary discussion and just downright praying for help in figuring things out.

Being a doctor afforded me the opportunity to go overseas and help some less fortunate people with medical needs.  Life lessons are important for personal growth.  The opportunities I had to learn from people in foreign countries has been something I can’t really put a price tag on.  How can you go to the store and buy something that will truly open your eyes?  Where can you purchase a change of heart or a realistic understanding of the plight of third world societies?

I could go on.  Sure, being in the Medical field has its downside.  Insurance companies can be a nightmare and a big hassle.  The government tends to like to put its sticky hands in everything and medicine is no different.  Some people can’t afford some of the studies it takes to diagnose their problem.  Others have serious side effects to medicines or damaging results do to physician error.  Some patients are just quite demanding and expect too much (but then again, they do pay their bills for the most part). 

But to answer the question again, yes, I would do it all over again.  I can’t imagine there being another job I’d like to do except being a professional football or baseball player or a professional music star.  But I can’t do those, so the best thing is to be what God has allowed me to be.

Is This the Best We Have?

Not many would argue that President of the United States isn’t, if not close to, the top job in the world, the so-called “Leader of the free world.”  Yet, I feel like I’m constantly scratching my head.  How have we gotten ourselves here?  This is arguably the most important job in the world, at least in the U.S.,  with so much to be gained or lost, and yet who’s running for the post?  They don’t look like the best, maybe just mediocre as far as the total picture, qualifications, age, etc.

On one hand, we have a relatively young charismatic community organizer turned Senator who’s very popular.  On the other hand, a stagnant older fellow who’s been a Senator for decades, albeit sort of a “maverick” kind of guy.  Whenever they speak, they pretty much speak in hyperbole and without much detail in how they’ll truly change the country and what’s best about them.  They really don’t have much to say, that is, aside from the “I’m better than him because I’m for change.”

In what seems to be the most important presidential election we’ve seen in decades, this is it.  We’re down to these two men, our knights in shining armor, ready to resuce America.  How in the world do we not have better candidates?  Are you telling me that out of 300 million-plus Americans, this is the best we have?  Maybe you know something I don’t – you probably do.  Maybe the candidates know something I don’t – hardpressed to agree with you there. (Just kidding, I know they have more working political/governing knowledge than me.) 

The point is, in a country that frequently sends men into outer space, who’s seen men walk on the moon, where computers and scientific discoveries and great achievments have occurred on a regular basis, we’re stuck with these two guys as America’s best hope for the next few years.  Really, the decisions they make may well have an effect not only on us in the few years to come, but possibly for decades and onward.  So I constantly find myself popping the tums, rubbing my belly and scratching my head wondering,  “Is this the best we have?”

Sarah Palin’s Response to Charlie Gibson

Sarah Palin’s recent interview with Charile Gibson on ABC has received a lot of press and comments.  Many people feel like Charlie gave her a little bit of a rough, prosecutorial-like ride whereas some wish he’d gone further.  Here’s a video of how I wish she would have responded.  It would’ve been great.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUXRpjHxxD0

It’s My Right to Consume!

Over the last couple of years there have been major assaults to our economy.  No one can escape the news out of Wall Street where failures of once proud and strong companies seem to be occurring on a daily basis.   Gas prices are a huge issue for nearly every American as prices seem to soar regardless of what the price of oil is doing.  More than just a few people have been affected by the mortgage meltdown after family after family has seen their mortgage reset to a much higher rate.  Lots of people are crying foul.

I have a hard time pinning all these problems on the government.  I can’t bring myself to blame Bush who now seems to take the brunt of every criticism for just about anything bad that happens.   I don’t think we should blame Carter or Clinton either.  Though our politicians are to blame for policy such as Immigration, free trade, etc., we always look for a scapegoat when things go bad, rarely looking in the mirror for the answer.  I don’t care if you vote for Obama or McCain (well, I do but that’s beside the point for this article.)  It doesn’t matter who walks the halls of the White House, things will always be more or less the same when it comes to money.

So who’s to blame, who’s fault is it?  I’ll tell you who I think we should blame.  We should blame ourselves.  We live to consume and we expect to consume whatever our little hearts desire.  What captures our eyes today, we acquire today, by any means necessary.  It is OUR RIGHT to consume, or so we think and act.  “I’m American, I’m rich,” we seem to scream as we buy, buy, buy.  It’s an oxymoron, in my opinion, to see and hear people complaining about the government and how it got us into this mess.  It aggravates me to listen to people as they expect the government to do more for them, to give them more freebies, to have more tax cuts, to create more programs.  I hear about health insurance and how millions are unable to afford it.  Politicians cast blame on other politicians because Americans don’t have what they need, that houses are being taken away, that the economy is a mess.

But I have to take a step back and look at all of this through clear glasses.  Our “right” to consume has created a sense of expectancy among Americans.  We expect to get what we want, when we want it regardless of our financial position to obtain it.  I’ve heard people complain about not having money to buy gas or buy health insurance and blaming Bush or the government for the position in which they find themselves. 

Yet, I’ve seen those same people talking on cellphones, buying their 10 year old children cellphones, having cable TV, driving a new or pretty new vehicle, dressing in nice clothes, eating out time and again not only in fast food restaurants but more expensive chain restaurants and going home to a nice house.  I’ve seen them smoke, drink and have trouble walking from their paid parking to their $40 seats at the ballgame because of their obesity.  While they’re thin in the pocketbook when it comes to gas and healthcare, they’re gorging themselves with the excesses of consumerism and greed.  I would imagine cutting back on all of those things would save many households at least a few hundred dollars a month, maybe even $1,000 a month.  Not that I’d do it or would think anyone in the U.S. would, but I wonder how much we would save in one month if we ate just rice and beans with a litle bit of chicken, drank water and didn’t have a cellphone, an expensive car, cable tv or go to the ballgame.  Hmmm.  I’m sure I’ll get hammered that we should have those “essentials”.  After all, “WE ARE AMERICANS!”

Now I know that what I’ve just written doesn’t hold true for some people, some people are really cutting back everywhere they can and struggling just to breath.  But I do  believe it holds true for a majority of people.  Why else would we find ourselves where we are?  If we only bought what we could pay for with cash, would we be where we are individually or collectively?  Sure, big businesses are greedy and have created ways for people to have quick and easy access to cash.  They should be held accountable. 

And so should individuals.  It is not Bush’s fault or any other politician’s fault that we can’t afford gas or healthcare.  Yes, let’s vote for the best candidate, but we have to take responsibility for ourselves and our own financial decisions.  If we don’t have cash, forget putting it on that easily obtained credit card.  If we don’t have cash, don’t go out to eat.  If we don’t have cash, don’t text on a cellphone.  If we don’t have cash, get rid of cable.  It’s time that we own up to our desires and make rational decisions based on what’s in the pocketbook and not fulfilling our want to get, get and get whatever we want, whenever we want.  We can change all the laws that govern the economy, business and taxes, but unless we change our underlying attitude of “I deserve it”, we’ll continue to walk the same road, sometimes uphill and sometimes downhill, but always buying and getting.