Sunday, March 31, 2002

There is a story on in the Health section, datelined "Washington, March 30" and headlined "Report: Alzheimer's coverage OK'd." The subhead is "NY Times: White House has authorized Medicare payments." The gist of the story is that Medicare will now pay for treatment, such as "psychotherapy, physical and occupational therapy and other services," to treat patients with Alzheimer's disease. This is great news, as such treatment is often a tremendous financial burden on the loved ones of individuals suffering from Alzheimer's disease; indeed, many patients have to do without such treatment, simply because they, or their caregivers, cannot afford it. Apparently, and here is the disturbing part, the government did not publicize their decision. Further, from the article: "When asked why the government did not publicize the new policy, a Medicare official told the Times the change was not announced because 'we saw it mainly as a technical matter for Medicare carriers[emphasis added].'" This is outrageous and unacceptable. If family members responsible for the care of Alzheimer's patients don't know about the policy change, they are unlikely to seek previously unaffordable care for their loved ones which was denied under the old rules.
Today is Easter Sunday, and His Holiness the Pope addressed his Easter Message (Urbi et Orbi) to "Men and women of the third millennium!"

Saturday, March 30, 2002

The widow of one of my first cousins had quintuple bypass heart surgery last month. She lives in a town about three and a half hours away. I couldn't get in touch with her Thursday or Friday, and I was becoming concerned about her. After getting no answer this morning and this afternoon, I finally got through to her this evening. She said that she was fine and had been out running errands. Whew! What a relief.

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Yes, since you asked, I am fickle! It was only on the fifteenth of this month, a mere twelve days ago, that I was singing the praises of a program by the name of SkwyrulPRO 4.0a. I am no less impressed with it now than I was then, however, now I'm using a different information management program, KeyNote, also free, which can be downloaded from the author's website.

Sunday, March 24, 2002

This morning, Mother and I went to the cemetery to change out the flowers on Father's and my sister's graves. The last time that we put new flowers out was several months ago. I got together a lot of old newspapers, some twine, a pocket knife, a folding chair, two plastic bags, and a large wrench. Then, we drove to the cemetery. When we got there, Mother sat in the folding chair and arranged the flowers. I tied the stems together with twine, using the pocket knife to cut it. Then I wrapped the stem-bunch with newspapers, to make a snug fit in each vase, which is a part of the bronze marker. Wrapping the stem-bunch with newspapers was something that my Father used to do, when he and Mother would put flowers on my sister's grave. Making the flowers fit down snugly into the vase keeps them from blowing out when it is windy. It was windy today, so I used the large wrench to weigh down the newspapers. The two plastic bags were for the old flowers, until I could get to a wastebasket at the cemetery. When we were finished, the vases were filled with new flowers and looked much better. I am so glad that we went.

Friday, March 15, 2002

I've been experimenting with an incredible freeware program by the name of SkwyrulPRO 4.0a, and I am very impressed with its capabilities. It is an information management program, which utilizes the "tree" metaphor for storage of data. You can find the program here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Received a letter yesterday from a quasi-relative. She was married to a first cousin of mine. He died of a heart attack years and years ago. On Valentines' Day, she had a heart attack. Said that she didn't want to call an ambulance, because she said that the driver would have taken her to the emergency room of the local, small town hospital, and she didn't want to go there. Instead, she drove herself to a clinic that she has gone to before, and they had her transported to a larger hospital in a nearby city. Long story made short: she had a quintuple bypass operation and is now doing well. Whew!
The mail finally gets through! The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service approves suicide hijackers' student visas.
What the . . . ?!?! It is satisfying to see a frightened terrorist. According to a report in the March 13, 2002 issue of USA Today newspaper, "The suspected mastermind of the kidnapping of American reporter Daniel Pearl threatened on Tuesday to make the USA pay if he is extradited from Pakistan to face charges in the United States." Apparently, he is scared to death that, if he is extradited to the United States, he will finally have to grow up, be forced to accept responsibility for his actions, and face the justice of a civilized world. USA Today further reports, "Omar 'told the [Pakistani] judge that America would suffer if he is extradited,' said Raja Qureshi, advocate-general for Sindh province." Like that is supposed to frighten someone. During the ongoing war on terrorism, the United States is going to suffer whether Omar is extradited or not, so extradite him!

Monday, March 11, 2002

This morning, I took my Mother to a routine visit with her hematologist. She was fine. As I drove her home, she mentioned to me that, last night, she dreamed that she was driving an eighteen wheeler, delivering gasoline to stations in other cities. In the dream, my Father, her husband of sixty years, rode with her in the cab and offered helpful advice about how to drive a big rig. He died last February the twenty-eighth. She was puzzled, because, she said, she never saw his face.

Friday, March 08, 2002

Great! It's Friday, and I'm ready for the weekend. It's not that I have anything special planned, because I don't. I'm just ready for a break.

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Tomorrow is my secretary's birthday. She is taking tomorrow off, so, today, I had twelve, helium-filled balloons and a big, "Happy Birthday" banner waiting for her when she arrived at work. She always does nice things for the other employees, on their birthdays, so I wanted to do something nice for her on her birthday. She will be forty-three years old tomorrow, and she has been with the firm since she graduated from community college! Another of the employees baked a pound cake and an Italian Cream cake. She brought a bag of chips, some punch, a birthday card, some homemade fruit salad, some plastic plates, and some plastic cups. I brought a half-gallon of orange juice. Whee!

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

While surfing, the other day, I stumbled across a commenting system, for web logs. Also, a site meter, to track the number of visitors, and other statistics. In other news, last night, I dreamed that one of my teeth fell out! Note to self: make appointment with dentist, soon.

Sunday, March 03, 2002

I must say, I'm pretty proud of myself. I managed to stay in my pajamas all day long!

Saturday, March 02, 2002

The Friday Five:
1. What's your favorite vacation spot? I haven't really been to many "vacation spots," but, of the ones that I have been to, I like Twin Falls, Idaho.
2. Where do you consider to be the biggest hell-hole on earth? Afghanistan, before the Taliban were driven from power.
3. What would be your dream vacation? An around the world cruise on a freighter.
4. If you could go on a road-trip with anyone, who would it be and why? My son, because I enjoy his company but don't get to see him often.
5. What are your plans for this weekend? To relax, be lazy, and finish reinstalling all the computer programs that were wiped from my computer's hard drive when I had to reformat it.