A collection of distilled sarcastic wisdom, numerous photographs, discussions of books and stuff to learn and more stuff to think about from a retired economics professor turned blogger and photographer.
One of the first do list tasks you were assigned in this list was to see your doctor and get a complete checkup. We would like to think that all doctors are careful listeners, take their time with you, and make sure you have covered what you need to tell them. Unfortunately, not all doctors are either compassionate or careful listeners. So you need to find one who is. Fortunately, my wife and I have had only a few disappointed us and we have had many who have earned our deepest gratitude and affection.
Several years ago I came across Dr. Jerome Groopman's great book, "How Doctors Think." I read it twice and recommended it to many others. Dr. Groopman tells us how we can help our doctors as they evaluate our situations. We need to make sure we have covered all of our bases when we see them. So go prepared with a list of current medications, current over the counter supplements, current symptoms, and a description of your situation. Don't leave anything out. While some doctors may be criticized for not asking enough questions, one of my doctors told me this past year when I was discussing Dr. Groopman's book with him that some of his saddest tragedies came from people who would not tell him all of their symptoms or what was really bothering them. He told me of one difficult case in which a woman could have mentioned her symptoms early enough to save her life from an inoperable brain tumor. Be sure to ask questions about your medications and review in detail your doctor's recommendations. Don't leave with just a "take 3 of these a day and come back in a month." Make sure you know why you should take 3 of something a day and what side effects you may have.
Thus, the total burden of a successful doctor's visit is not the complete responsibility of the doctor who should ask you his or her questions in detail. You, as the patient, must be a responsible and informed patient who takes an active role in your visit and in your treatment. So tell everything. Of course, we can be frightened witless of what we may find out. But what we may find out may save or prolong our lives and then we will be free of the burden of keeping worrisome symptoms to ourselves. What you may think is just a trivial or passing symptom may be the key to your survival. Let your doctor decide whether your concern is trivial and worth mentioning.
So the task for Day 17 of your Do List for the year 2015 is to take an active role in your doctor's visit and be thorough in mentioning and discussing all of your symptoms and health concerns. Don't leave anything out. If you have already seen your doctor and followed our do list assignment, and still have concerns, or realize you should have mentioned something else or feel you left something out, go back again and cover your bases. Good luck, may you enjoy good health, and keep working on your Do List. The Curmudgeonly Professor.
Thanks to David DeMille for his coverage of Olympic skeleton silver medalist Noelle Pikus Pace's keynote speech at the recent St. George UT economic summit meeting in the St. George daily paper The Spectrum on January 16 2015. Ms. Pikus Pace, now a motivational speaker, has overcome tremendous setbacks and difficulties to achieve her goals. And here is her advice, as reported by David DeMille, "Where you look is where you go."
So just think about those profound words and you have your task and your assignment for the day. You may even want to record this advice in your journal and write a few comments about where you are going. Setting goals is one of our do list tasks we have previously listed here in our blog. If you don't know where you are going, life will merely be a random throw of the dice, a gamble, depending on whims of the moment that will likely just lead to dead ends.
To elaborate on Ms. Pikus Pace's advice, she explains in DeMille's article that " . . .in skeleton, a slider has to look in the direction she hopes to head and the sled will follow." Thus, don't we also need to look in the direction of our goals, at the end of the road we are traveling, to know where we should go? This advice all sounds so simple and straightforward, we may wonder why we are even bothering to consider it. Yet when we consider the ups and downs of our own lives, and the travails and problems that others we know have faced and are facing, how many of these problems come from the fact that we have not clearly defined our goals? We often, very simply, aren't sure of where we are going or even where we want to go.
So your job for today is to firmly implant Noell Pikus Pace's motto in your brain, or tattoo it on your forehead if you want to, and remember: "Where you look is where you go." So when you know where to look, then the following will be easier and you are more likely to reach your destination without a lot of bumps and bruises and detours Good luck, and keep trying. The Curmudgeonly Professor.
One of the most frequent complaints and excuses is the time and shopworn lament "I don't have time." However, if you are serious about implementing even a few of the Curmudgeonly Professor's Do List Activities and making some changes in your life, you need to come up with a few minutes here and there to do some things and make some changes or you will never succeed. Unless you implement some of this Do List, you'll end up at the end of the week, the end of the month, the end of the year exactly in the same shape you are in today.
Overprogramming our life and our day's activities has become a serious problem for many. Get up, get ready for school or work, go to school or work or start the day's chores around home, come home, collapse, figure out something for dinner, take kids to sports practice, games, recitals, PTA, go and do volunteer activities at school and in the community, do the ironing, clean the house, shovel the snow, weed the garden, tend the petunias, make the beds, do the laundry, clean up after the dog, cat, or parakeet, pick up stuff every other thoughtless and messy person left scattered all over the house, look in the pig pens that are teenagers' rooms and cry, go to the grocery store, go to the drug store, go buy clothes for kids, bake cookies for the school sale, answer email, check facebook, read Twitter, answer the telephone, pay bills, read the newspapers, watch television, take medications, do exercises, go for a walk, change the diapers, mend cuts, scrapes, bruises, and wounded dispositions, go to the doctor, go to the dentist, go to church, take something for your migraine, buy gas, get the car serviced, renew your driver's license, go to parent-teacher conferences, go to school programs, mow the grass, rake up the leaves, clean out the garage, look for stuff that is lost and nowhere to be found, replace stuff that is broken in mysterious ways, run the dishwasher, unplug the garbage disposal, unplug the toilet, take a shower, wash your hair, fix your hair, get the mail, read the mail, take out the garbage, go get the garbage can, answer the phone, call the repair people for stuff that quit working, replace burned out light bulbs, replace the toilet paper rolls, fill the soap dispensers, clean up, wipe up, sweep up, mop, scrub, vacuum.
You can add to this list but you get the general idea. We are all extraordinarily busy with extraordinarily burdensome and busy schedules. We wear ourselves out, we have too much stress, we keep doing what we have always done because we don't want to take time or don't think we have time to make the changes we know we absolutely, definitely, need to make.
So just as keeping a daily food diary is critical to monitoring our food and insuring that we will start down the road to losing weight, keeping a daily record of how we spend our time will help us see where we can pare a few minutes here, maybe 10 minutes there, and maybe just skip some stuff that really doesn't matter. Then we can spend a few minutes thinking about what we need and want to do to change our daily lives so that we can end up where we want to end up and not just keep repeating, over and over and over, the same mistakes and routines that have never got us any place. So have a good time thinking about how you spend your day and lay the foundation for better time management in your future days and weeks. Good luck, and keep going. The Curmudgeonly Professor.
You can still find stuff to photograph in January but you have to make allowance for the fact that the trees are leafless, most perennial plants are dormant, and everyone and everything is waiting for spring when the roses bloom and the trees leaf out again. Not all plants are beautiful all the time nor do they have on their best adornment. But all plants are interesting and complicated all year around and they deserve to be photographed in their less showy season.
The Curmudgeonly Professor regrets that it has taken him until Wednesday to write his scholarly review of Episode 2 of the 2015 release of Downton Abbey. He has been immersed in deep thoughts and has checked with special experts on the Episode (to wit, his sisters) and has been steeped in puzzlements and conundrums as to the enigmas tossed out by Epsode 2. Here are a few lucid thoughts about Episode 2:
Why is this big old barn of a mansion called an Abbey? I thought an Abbey had something to do with church and that it was populated by religious types wearing cloaks, cowls, and such.
Bates, apparently, was demoted to a near lineless performance in Episode 2. Is this lack of words from him any harbinger of what might happen as the police show up at the end of the episode, at long last after several long months of dithering, looking for Mr. Green?
Molesley finally gets the rank and recognition he has craved so earnestly as Jimmy is tossed out to a horsecart ride somewhere after being caught in bed with Lady So-and-So. Now Carson informs Molesely that he can be first footman, second footman, third footman, fourth footman, or whatever footman he may wish to be. More worries, obviously, about the demise of the upper crust.
Barrow lowers the boom on Baxter for being untrue to him after he was responsible for getting her job. As we pointed out last week, Baxter fessed up to Lady Cora, and one week later, Lady Cora seems no closer to telling her whether she gets the sack or can stay on. Baxter avows she is a new person now. Now Barrow must go snoop for himself and not depend on blackmailing Baxter.
Lady Rose has apparently ingratiated herself into the standard crew of upper crust folks at Downton, and provides a continuous source of irritation to Lord Crawley as she proffers her wisdom about the wonders and joys of a wireless. Lord Crawley knows, basically, one word. No. But eventually we have a wireless, which will be shoved off to a distant library, after they have all stood at stiff attention following the Dowager's lead to listen to a few words from King George.
Lady Mary is giving us all fits as we worry about her feeling that she needs a trial run at a week of you-know-what with Lord Gillingham before she can have even the teeniest possible clue that she wants to spend the rest of her life with him. We are left wondering how the adjoining bedrooms in Liverpool work out, since Lord G. avows that he knew the manager and thus could arrange such a convenient situation.
As if poor Anna hadn't suffered enough humiliation, Lady Mary sends her off to the apothecary for a grueling and embarrassing purchase of a contraceptive. At least Anna got a Golden Globe award for best supporting actress in a TV series, to which we all say, Hurray! Now leave the poor lady alone and don't make her do any more embarrassing things. All just to make sure there are no little Lord G's wandering around Downton keeping Lady Mary's other son, which we assume is being carefully tended in some mysterious back room somewhere, company.
Lady Edith's attachment to her daughter Marigold is becoming more and more of a stretch. The wife of the farm couple who has the baby is not happy with Lady Edith, obviously. And what will happen when little Marigold is taken up to Downton to play with her little cousin, the one belonging to Lady Mary, and do we even know his name?
No mention of crop rotation, or grain sales. We assume agricultural economics are sound enough to perpetuate the upper class for another week.
Is the Carson-Mrs. Hughes romance still afloat?
Barrow admits, at least honestly, that no one in the Abbey likes him. That also goes for all of the millions watching the show, Mr. Barrow.
We are left wondering, according to the spoiler for Episode 3, if the Dowager has a skeleton (or two) in her closet that will be revealed to us.
You can buy a Downton Abbey cookbook from Amazon if you so desire. Also, you can purchase one of those little jingly bells you can ring to summon your servants or to indicate to your wife that you need a cold, refreshing beverage.
At least by waiting until Wednesday to pontificate on Episode 2, we are that much closer to Episode 3. Maybe the return of Mr. Selfridge and Foyle's War may be a tad more interesting and exciting. Or maybe we will get worked into a lather over Episode 3. Happy watching this weekend.
Oh, my mistake, a dog is wagging his tale for a couple of seconds at the beginning of Downton. But is it the same dog? Looks like a smaller version, and they barely show him at all.
Oh, I almost forgot, Lord Crawley announced at dinner that he didn't kill anyone. Did that have to do with the Russian revolution? Not sure, I couldn't get everything clearly sorted.