59 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 1-29-20

  1. The header is one of my favorites of the icicle shots, so I cropped it to emphasize the length of the “crop” and their reflections. This one reminded both me and my husband of a musical instrument, and when I posted it onto Flickr the first comment said the same thing, and so I e-mailed it to 6 Arrows last week, and she and her children enjoyed it and commented on how to play it.

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  2. I also thought of a musical instrument when I first saw the photo.

    It’s an early morning for me, I have an 8 a.m. dental cleaning (groan) and then I have to ‘chase’ a story we missed (but everyone else seemed to miss it also).

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  3. Morning all. Taking Lucy and Archie to Bible study and then need to head to the airport for a trip to Denver. My daughter just texted that she is sick!!!

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  4. It has been beautiful around here lately. Sadly, all the ice we have is very damaging to roofs. Sidewalks can be quite dangerous, also. Although, the side walks around our church are kept clear, people have to get around or over the snow and ice where they park on the street. That keeps some of the elderly at home this time of year. In those cases it is nice that they do have the tv and/or radio to bring them some Christian preaching/teaching and music. Same with CD’s etc. Another reason to be grateful.

    I am usually up, Chas, I just do my quiet time/bible reading and prayer first thing. I then check out any posts or messages from family. Then I enjoy coming here to see what you are all up to.

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  5. Good morning all. Up and at em three hours ago but life just keeps happening.
    Daughter says she is not a morning person either. Kind of should of thought of that before bringing a little life into the world. She is up and on the road by five two mornings and by six three mornings. Baby slept until almost seven thirty this morning and is now playing on her mat. I prefer watching her during the day to watching during the night so it works for me. And is working for both of them.

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  6. Supposed to rain the next couple of days, with snow, then get up into the fifties followed by snow. Must be February in Idaho coming around the corner.

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  7. The reason I am here so early is that, as soon as I’m up and dressed, I come to sent DIL a msg saying we are ok. If the site isn’t up yet, it may take another hour. After breakfast.

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  8. OK, dental appt done, next one in August is made. And I’m feeling more awake. Luckily, both my dentist and doctor are just blocks away from where I live. Hygienist is a local gal so we talk (well, she talks, I mostly “uh-huh” or mumble back) about all the scuttlebutt going on in in town.

    Big drug bust this morning at our local homeless encampment, apparently there’s a lot of meth circulating through the encampments right now so police are hoping to get to the distribution source which they also believe is local. The encampments are a narcotics marketplace.

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  9. DJ, thanks for the recent article links on Jim Lehrer. I don’t watch news anymore now, but back in the day, when I was teaching school, I’d get home and turn on PBS when I was fixing dinner. The MacNeil/Lehrer news hour would come after the PBS kids’ programming, which 1st Arrow, my one child who was a daycare kid, would like to watch.

    Lehrer always struck me as a quietly sensible newscaster. He didn’t insert himself into the conversation like he was some big, “listen to me”-type person. I liked what seemed to me like an easygoing style.

    The article I first read on him mentioned his news partner as being named Robert MacNeil. For some reason, I thought his name had been Robin MacNeil. Same person, but two different names that people might use for him? Or two different people? Or I’m not remembering Lehrer’s partner’s name correctly?

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  10. mumsee someone involved in the raid this morning told me it was surprising how many women emerged from the tents as police arrived and began rousting folks out.

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  11. I can’t get into my e-mail.
    It doesn’t really matter. I don’t get important stuff through e-mail. But as I said, I use it to tell DIL we are ok.
    Thing is. every two weeks I have to loge in with a personal identifier and e-mail password. This, I suppose, is to refresh their system.
    Anyhow. I am doing the same thing I have done every two weeks for years.
    No luck.
    There is a notice that you can e-mail some help source directly if you have a problem.
    I e-mailed them, explaining my problem.
    I presume they sent an answer.
    In my e-mail.

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  12. Don’t laugh.
    A more stupid thing is happening in the Senate right now.
    In front of all the world.
    If those guys had a lick of sense, they would be embarrassed .

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  13. I can’t imagine how desperate a person to want the body of a stranger who sleeps on the street.
    I would be afraid, if for no other reason.

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  14. Remember, a lot of people give up their children as they cannot fight those demons. People who would normally love and care for their children, laying down their lives for them. But the addiction is too strong.

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  15. Many also panhandle and steal as a way to pay for food, drugs and other things. It is very sad. But because no one, especially not our government, knows how to deal with the multitude of issues fueling all of this, it also becomes a very frustrating problem for communities.

    I think people are generally compassionate toward those who lose their apartments after a job loss or some other life difficulty — it doesn’t always take much to push people over that line and into catastrophe. But most of those living on the streets fall into another category, more vagrancy than plain homeless, and those are the ones most difficult to help (because most aren’t particularly interested in giving up their tents and law-free lifestyle — and they’re often younger and able to run the streets on bikes and scooters). Communities are losing much of their patience for that type of “homeless.”

    When we (photographer and I) were trailing along with some of the homeless counters late at night last week, one young couple came out of their tent to talk to the city and county folks. They were probably around 30, looked clean & seemed very sober, polite and eager to find out how they could sign up somewhere for help. Said they’d been homeless for 2 years, but didn’t go into specifics. No one had offered them a housing voucher or other aid, they said (hard to believe, however, as social workers are all over that area pretty much every day). But they seemed out of the norm for the usual street ‘campers’ who have many more problems to overcome.

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  16. Seems there are people who want to be out of there, and people who think they are stuck, and people who want to stay like that. Many of the encampments seem to have their own legal system/police force/government. I don’t know if anybody listens to those who think they are in charge.

    It also appears, many have resources (social security benefits for example) and can use the handouts and freebies for the essentials, and the SS benefits for the illicit. Seven billion people on the earth, they won’t all think the same. But they all need Christ.

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  17. But even the director of the Christian homeless shelter nearby, a former Skid Row LAPD cop, said he’s quite frustrated by the many who turn down repeated offers of shelter and help.

    He’s been at this for a very long time, has a large encampment now in the alley right behind his shelter — he spends a lot of time out there listening and talking to people, trying to get them re-connected with family members, trying to get them simply inside the mission doors. They are all, he likes to remind those who will hear, made in the image of God, after all.

    But the discouragement can be heard in his voice sometimes. He says the victories are “few” — but the joy (of those victories) is great.

    Nothing new under the sun, life is often very hard for many.

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  18. Picking up on mumsee’s comments, when asked about the encampments, the mission director says they’re a society within a society — and yes, their own rules and loyalty. He said one woman who had been assaulted refused to report it to police because she was afraid she’d be “kicked out” of the encampment by her peers. Many experience drug use for the first time when they land in an encampment. The environment offers people companionship and shared resources, protection. Or that is their perception once they’re inside and that becomes their lifestyle.

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  19. And drug dealers know they can find ready customers there, maybe even find middle-man distribution sources for their wares.

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  20. I was reared during the depression. Lots of people were poor.’
    We were, part of the time. I don’t recall any people living on streets.

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  21. But we also had and enforced vagrancy laws. Now, it is much easier to be homeless. A lot of people want to help. Free tents, free blankets, free food, free phones….

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  22. I can actually understand some of the draw. I like camping so the tent is fine. life with no bills sounds good. No chores or responsibility.

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  23. There is no time that the destitute have not gathered in large numbers in cities. Such places were present in first century Rome and Jerusalem – beggars and street workers were continually encountering Jesus and his disciples in urban areas – in Paris and London from medieval to modern times, and every other city worldwide. Those respectable people who want to get rid of the undesirables in their cities have often made vagrancy rules over the centuries – Dickens wrote in ‘Bleak House’ about how vagrancy laws merely harried the weak and helpless, without changing anything for the better, the eternal “move on” until there is no other place to move. The respectable have gone so far as to hunt the destitute down and kill them, as death squads and National Police do in Bogota, or, more typically ignore them and let organized crime rule them as they do in the slums of Mumbai, India, or Cape Town, South Africa, or the favelas of Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil. It is on record that among the sins of two of the world’s earliest cities Sodom and Gommorah was the charge that they did not help the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:49), so nothing has changed in the some 6000 years since those cities were burned up in fire and brimstone. The problem of poverty is one that is unsolvable, as Jesus indicated Mark 14:7), which is why Paul’s admonition to not become weary with doing good (Galatians 6:9) is so very applicable in working with street people.

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  24. I think most of our cities and towns and villages go to great lengths to help the destitute. Not all want help and many just want to be free to live life their way. But simple respect of others and their stuff would go a long way to helping people get along.

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  25. Even little towns like this one have food pantries and many willing people. Housing is available. But there are people who want to live free. Fine. We have many free livers out in the mountains. They disappear into the wilderness and show up when they feel like it. They are not bothering anybody. People camp in the National Forest, and as long as they move every two weeks, it is free. State land is available. BLM land is available. All we ask is that they don’t trash the places. We have public restrooms. Using the sidewalk as one’s personal commode would not go over well.

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  26. It’s really complicated because we tend to group everyone as “homeless” when the phenomenon we’re seeing here, at any rate, really takes in so many different groups. And the explosion of tent cities in LA and elsewhere is often due to lawsuits that have forced cities into a hands-off position, allowing tents to go up and stay up and allowing people to amass huge piles of belongings in public areas. There’s about a 4-block area in our town near the waterfront that’s basically impassible if you’re on foot. That’s where the 30 arrests were made today, mostly on drug and felony warrant charges — and many of them women.

    They’ll be back out on the streets soon enough, of course. It’s just a merry-go-round as we try to figure out the best ways to deal with all of this within the constraints of the law.

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  27. Well, this was a busy day. Finally got the go-ahead to post that spaceX story we’ve been sitting on for a week now. Whew.

    The new doctor experience yesterday was interesting — I like her, but didn’t really care for the vibe in the office (they’ve taken over my old doctor’s office but everything will move down to their practice across town in about a month). Felt very officious, a ton of “psych-eval” type questions to answer (Do you ever feel anxious or hopeless?) fired at me, one after the other, by “computer girl” who was probably 25 and seemed not to have any real personal connection to me or others (but she may have been overworked and super busy). She just needed to type it all into what will become my new medical record, I suppose.

    “Do you brush and floss your teeth every day?” Yeah, I lied there. “Yes.” I brush at least twice a day, but floss maybe a couple times a week?

    I guess it all just strikes me as nanny-state invading the medical system (and some of this actually may be required for them).

    Haha, then there was the very “woke” news channel that was on the TV in the waiting room. My former doctor was pretty conservative and wouldn’t have cottoned to that, to be sure. lol It was pretty annoying to have to listen to, frankly.

    But I do like the doctor, she seems very thorough and a good listener. East Indian maybe? So we’ll see how it all goes.

    And they’re having to adjust to all the “old salts” in this port town, longshoremen and fishermen and all the croats and italians who have been here forever and have been going to the former doctor forever (“Hey, Tommy!” one old guy exclaimed seeing his buddy in the waiting room). It’s bound to be a bit of a culture clash. We’re all used to the “small-town,” old-school GP.

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  28. Someone on NextDoor in my area posted this: I had a water main leak and had two astronomic water bills, does the LADWP have a one-time forgivenesses policy for that?

    lol

    Someone replied they were granted a $30 discount on their $700 bill.

    LADWP is pretty unforgiving in general. 🙂

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  29. Our clinics put those questions on a questionnaire and fill it out in the waiting room. I assume somebody types it in later. And I almost always recognize somebody there. This last time, I did not but had a lively discussion on grand children with one nice lady. I did not let her hold the baby as both she and her significant other had masks and coughs.

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  30. And former GP is from a settled Croatian family with a long last name ending in “ich,” deep local roots like most of his clientele. But he’s experiencing the onset of Parkinson’s and is having to ease out. 😦

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  31. Mumsee, there were a lot of questions on the forms that I filled out ahead of time, but then there were these verbal questions they fired at you. So awkward. I don’t mind discussing some of those kinds of things with a doctor with whom I’ve established a relationship, but it just was weird being in an office of strangers asking you all of that — and knowing this would all probably be etched in granite in your computerized file.

    Pod mate had a weird experience in that realm — long time ago, when her husband was unemployed for a brief time, she’d disclosed to her doctor that they were struggling. Those times came and went, but recently when she was in for an appointment one of the nurses/doctors(?) asked her “Are you still having marital problems?” She was pretty incensed, asked them to please erase that from her chart as it was old and irrelevant information. They said they’d remove it.

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  32. I think the electronic medical record does make it worse. In a paper record, at some point data becomes so old that nobody’s ever going to see it again. But everything from the practice I’ve been in for 25 years has now been typed retroactively into the EMR without any indication that most of it is resolved.

    Another problem is that instead of having to write something down, they just have to check little boxes, and can easily check the wrong one. The funniest thing I found in my online chart, about a year ago, was “Problems related to living alone”. I have lived alone for a total of about two years in my whole life, and the last time was 30 years ago. I made them remove that!

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  33. Jeopardy online test come and gone. I seem pretty consistently to score in the low 30s, and it’s widely believed you need 35 (out of 50) to be considered. True to form, tonight I got 31. Unless I get a lot smarter I don’t think you’ll ever see me on the show.

    (They don’t tell you your score, but as I’m taking the test I make an audio recording, reading the questions and my answers aloud. Then I can play it back and check the answers afterward.)

    Peter, on the other hand, scored in the high 30s last year if I remember right.

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  34. The stupid thing about all that medical data remaining “forever” is that you keep having to answer the same questions over and over as though they don’t know anything at all about you. But then some of their data is simply wrong. I looked at the handout the doctor’s office gave me one day as I left, and on the bottom it mentioned my diagnosis with breast cancer. Well, not only had I not received such a diagnosis (or any diagnosis for anything, as I recall), I hadn’t even been tested for any cancer. I had to call and tell them please take that off my record, as it’s inaccurate. I didn’t want that to be an insurance issue! But can you imagine if one of the kids had seen that, or if I had had any test that made such a diagnosis possible?! I knew it was inaccurate, but under different circumstances I might not have known that.

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  35. Daughter has it in her records that she had chemo for breast cancer, but she self reported. I told them that as far as I knew it had never happened. Daughter agreed that she had lied. I hope they removed it as yes, that could cause problems later.

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  36. And in the paper records no one would ever be able to decipher the doctor’s handwriting anyhow.

    I’m pretty cautious about how I answer some of those forms.

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  37. And Cheryl makes a good point about possible ramifications on insurance coverage. It’s all a connected web, I don’t believe any of it is truly confidential.

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  38. My sister was in the hospital after the birth of one baby, and she found out she had to have a visit by the psychologist before she could leave. She wasn’t crazy about that idea (no pun intended), but didn’t figure she could refuse. I was present for the interview. One of the questions she was asked was whether or not this baby was “planned.” She answered that yes, he was, but rightly thought it was none of their business. Afterward she told me she was caught off guard by the question and she was glad she could answer yes, but she determined that if she ever got that question again, even if she and her husband hadn’t “planned” the baby she would still stay yes–it seemed a safer answer, it was none of their business in the first place and she didn’t want to provoke any follow-up questions . . . and whether or not she and her husband “planned” the baby, God did.

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  39. That was my sense, ‘none of their business’ really. And those answers are recorded with no context.

    Kevin’s answer (problems related to living alone) must have been confused with my chart 😆

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