September Events in Reno

One of the reasons that Reno is such a wonderful place to live because there are so many things going on here.

Last weekend Duke and I went to the Reno/ Tahoe Blues Festival. We enjoyed sitting outside on the grass and listening to great music. I must admit I brought a book. It was quite a juxtaposition reading an English Family saga set in Cornwall during World War II while sitting outside in shorts on a hot Reno afternoon enjoying the blues.

September is full of events.

September 2-7 is the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off. I missed last year because Duke and I were out of town so we are definitely planning to go this year.

September 11-13 is the Reno Balloon festival. We went in 2007 and it was wonderful beyond anything I had imagined.

September 16-20 are the Reno Air Races. Duke went to the Newcomers Club Men's breakfast Thursday morning and heard a presentation about the races. They sound great. We are planning to go this year for the first time.

September 23 -27 is Street Vibrations the annual Reno motorcycle gathering. I don't ride a motorcycle but it is still fun to see all the bikes.

Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin and Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher

Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin and Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher – How's that for two ends of the spectrum.

I frequently read several books at one time and I just finished these two. Your Inner Fish is a fascinating book about evolutionary biology. Neil Shubin is a paleontologist, a professor of anatomy and a science writer. Coming Home is a family saga set in Cornwall before and during World War II. Rosamund Pilcher is a British author of romance novels and mainstream women's fiction.

I thoroughly enjoyed both of these books.

In Your Inner Fish Shubin uses his experience and knowledge about geology, anatomy, DNA, and fossil hunting to explain the  latest thinking about how man evolved. The book is fascinating and very readable. Here is an entertaining quote from the last chapter:

"Fish have gonads that extend toward their chest, approaching their heart. Mammals don't, and therein lies the problem. It is a very good thing that our gonads are not deep in our chest and near our heart (although it might make reciting the pledge of Allegiance a different experience). If our gonads were in our chest, we wouldn't be able to reproduce."

Coming Home is a very enjoyable book. It is the kind of English family saga that you can wrap yourself in and just feel good. It is set in Cornwall the part of England that Pilcher is from. Her descriptions of the countryside are wonderful and the people she writes about are people you want to have as friends. Sometimes I just want to read a feel good book and Coming Home is one of the best.

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Our Beer Machine

Back in the 1970's Duke had a job as a Pepsi truck driver. He got the opportunity to buy an old Coke machine that was being replaced. As long as I have known Duke the Coke machine has been unplugged and gathering dust in the garage. But over the last couple of weeks Duke has been cleaning and refurbishing the machine and now it works beautifully and it's in our kitchen.  You can't by soft drinks in bottles any more so now we have a beer machine in our kitchen 🙂

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I’m in Favor of Health Care Reform!

I'm going to do something today that I haven't done in the almost five years that I have been blogging. I am going to take a political stand. Ronni Bennett at Time Goes By asked that elder bloggers stand up and be counted about where they stand on health care.  I am for health care reform for the following reasons

  • It bothers me tremendously that 15% of Americans have NO health care coverage (cit.
    census.gov). We spend more on health care than 191 other countries
    studied and are ranked 72nd by overall level of health (cit. WHO).
    These numbers are all related. We can do better. I hate that as a country we are so second class, actually 72nd class in this department. I hate that the French, The English, The Canadians etc can all look down their nose at us when it comes to health care.
  • It bothers me that we ration health care today by how much money you make or we just let the insurance companies ration it. That just seems wrong to me. I unfortunately listen to Hannity and Limbaugh when I am in the car with my Dad. Both men rail against health care rationing as though the rationing we have today does not exist.
  • It upsets me that my daughter who has diabetes probably would have a very hard time if her company went belly up. When my second daughter's company went out of business cobra coverage wasn't even available. How could either of my daughters possibly afford health insurance as an entreporeneur. They both have pre existing conditions.
  • As my Dad has spent so much time in the hospital lately I have seen how wasteful our current system is and how it rewards the wrong things. For example Dad's doctor said he could be released from the hospital but they kept him and charged Medicare for another night because they couldn't arrange transportation to the rehab facility. I am convinced that the shortage of transportation was no accident.
  • On the whole people with Medicare like it. My Dad who is a Rush Limbaugh Republican and who has Medicare and great cheap secondary insurance through his former employer has no complaints about Medicare. A lot of people think government can't possibly run an insurance program well but it seems to me that Medicare is proof that a public insurance program can work.
  • People say we can't afford health care reform. Given how much health care costs today I don't see how we can afford not to change the current system.
  • When Duke and I left California we had to give up Kaiser where your medical records were computerized. When you had a test at Kaiser it was in the system, when you had a prescription it was in the system. The system I deal with for my Dad where the only one who knows what meds he is on or what is medical history is or his history of tests is him is stupid.

My friend Myrna forwarded to me this email from David Axelrod. I think it makes the case much better than I have. I urge you to read it.

Ronni Bennett who launched today as elders for health care reform is collecting and listing on her site blogs from elders on this subject. I Like what she says about why we need to stand up and be counted. (I'm an over 50 elder even if I am too young for Medicare)

" It has already become a kneejerk reaction for reporters on
television, the internet and in print to preface their reports on town
hall meetings and other reform events by noting that participants are
mostly old people. Their references are sometimes snide and dismissive
as they point out the ignorance on display and the raucous nature of
the gatherings.

I want to believe those elders are a tiny minority. Let's show the
internet world tomorrow why we believe all citizens should have
coverage at least as good as the Medicare we enjoy."

I have always believed that the private sector is more efficient and better at getting things done than the government but I now believe that in the case of health care other countries are right and we are wrong. We need to give the government responsibility for continuous improvement in the quality and cost of health care. Every American should have basic health insurance coverage. Our medical system can and should lead the world.

What do I blog about?

One of the pieces of advice I often see in book and articles about how to blog is that one should pick a subject to blog about. For me that is impossible. I have a multitude of interests and I enjoy blogging about all of them. Tomorrow I might find something new that is interesting and then I'll blog about that. Thank heavens I don't feel any need to monetize my blog and I can blog about what I want ot blog about.

Recently one of my Reno blogging friends – Ron at Local So-and-so blogged about the exact same thing.

I loved the way he put it.

"As for me, I'm content to meander along, like a lazy flowing river,
curious to see what's around the next bend. Who knows, maybe I'll find
a purpose for my blog there, or maybe even a way to make some real
money without selling my soul to the Devil"