Monday, September 26, 2016


I don't know how much I will have to say today. We had three days of activity largely out of the house. Eye doctors appointments on the first two--Mom's one day and mine the next. They weren't scheduled for the same day because one of us has to be able to drive us home. Yesterday we had a day coach trip up to Saugatuck, Michigan which, though thoroughly fun, was exhausting. Today will be spent puttering and recovering.


We did spend the day yesterday puttering and resting. I did get things in the gardens watered and, on cue, we had a ten-minute monsoonal deluge. But I doubt that rain, or what fell last night, did enough by themselves. I shouldn't have to water today only because the plants are slowing down and need less now. The mums I put in a couple of weeks ago to brighten up the areas the tomatoes used to be are doing very nicely. I need to dead head some on one plant--but not today because we are expecting more rain. Well, maybe later today since the clouds have moved off and we have sun. But, as happens right around autumn solstice every year, my gardens will now spend most of the day in shade because the shadow of the house covers the fence. The two corners will still get direct sun and reflected light for about another month.

An interesting article on justice and punishment from Rebecca Gordon on Tomdispatch this morning.

Stephanie Land at the New York Times has a good opinion piece on the decluttering/minimalism movement and class politics. I have known people who have suffered deprivation at different times of their lives and, once they had the money, tended to accumulate things. A woman who has spent most of her childhood very short on food came home every month from the PX (military family paid once a month who shopped on base) with boxes and bags of food she had to somehow cram into spaces already jammed with food. At some level she knew it was a compulsion but she couldn't resist getting more while she could. She wasn't a survivalist/prepper and wouldn't have fit in well with that crowd and wasn't stocking up with an emergency/disaster in mind. Other people I knew had spent time very short of cash and the amenities/comforts it could buy and then made up for lost time when they were flush. Land is quite right to note that the "Black Friday" shoppers aren't all well off people who are clawing for things they don't need and would be better off without. Sometimes they are just getting by and plan their "Black Friday" campaigns with military precision to get what they need to make life a bit more comfortable. Minimalism can be a choice in which case it can be good. But it shouldn't be prescribed for everyone at all times.

Something else we need to watch out for: pumpkin puree that isn't really pumpkin. Damn!! I read the article and then went straight to the cabinet to find out if we had any and exactly what is in it. Mom doesn't get the pie filling or the puree but rather canned pumpkin and our cans say they contain only pumpkin. Hopefully, the processor doesn't take the same attitude as the FDA: a squash is a squash is a squash.

So another medical study, the results of which became standard treatment recommendations. has been shot down. Getting such studies re-evaluated is difficult because too many people (researchers whose reputations may be tarnished and journals who might get a reputation for publishing bad science) are invested in the original results. The problem with not getting such studies thoroughly re-evaluated is that people may suffer as much from the treatments as from the conditions for which they are being treated.

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