Now for a garden update. That little shelf greenhouse has worked wonders. I have spinach, marigold, all three varieties of tomatoes, stevia and eggplant seedlings up and thriving. I will have to transplant the spinach early next week. Oh, and some portulaca seedlings are poking their leaves out also. I didn't get any of those last year. We also stopped by the Home Depot store yesterday and got a 20 gal round garbage can with a locking lid which I converted into my new compost bin this morning. I drilled lines of 5/8 in holes in the sides for air and drainage. I can easily mix the contents by tipping it on its side and rolling it back and forth on the patio. I will wash out my two other (former) compost containers and repurpose them. We also found a small short-handled spade. A full sized long-handled spade would be too big to work in my 30 gal tubs and they are much big for working comfortably with a trowel. We are supposed to get clear weather over the weekend and I plan to get the trellis pieces put in so I can put up the plastic tents over the tubs. That should warm things up nicely.
Another bit of good news is that the first Social Security check came in. That did a lot to improve our mood here. There is something very corrosive about not being so short that the little pleasures are ruthlessly put aside to say nothing about larger pleasures. We can't go hog wild but we aren't looking at being nibbled to death and we can actually plan for different contingencies.
On the issues front--I found this blog by way of Elaine of Elaine's Place. The author makes a number of points that are really well taken and reflect many of my own thoughts. The whole process has been (and is) a total embarrassment. Worse that embarrassment is likely to continue when other contentious issues are considered (like financial reform and immigration reform). And, most of the more fundamental issues are not at all addressed. Who pays but not how much they pay. It obliquely deals with the cost of insurance to business and individual consumers but not in any way does it deal with the cost of the services that insurance is supposed to provide. Nor does it deal with a major problem--medical procedures and medications peddled to the general public many of whom will then pressure their doctors for those procedures or drugs. I recently saw a news story on 'what you shouldn't ask your doctor for.' People who go into the doctor and ask for an antibiotic are likely to get it even if the antibiotic is not effective for their condition. The author of the cited blog notes that many patients with back pain want MRIs even though for 98% of them it is useless. Think about how we are whipsawed between competing studies like the ones recently released on a couple of osteoporosis drugs; one claimed that the drugs might contribute to hip fractures in long term users (5+ years) followed within days by another claiming no such result. I will say that the news I saw did a decent job of indicating the shortcomings of BOTH studies.