this week i

drew the sample for our 2012 employer health benefits survey.

drove to the west virginia mountains with my father.


unpacked the car.  and look at that, you read my mind.

rented a cabin.


sat on the porch.

didn't anticipate the altitude weather difference.

communed with nature.

video

found an arcade room in the lodge..

..with other relics too.

now know what the locals do for fun.

watched waterfalls.

enjoyed scenic overlooks.

visited the self-proclaimed highest incorporated town in the state.

ate american breakfasts..

..and desserts.

headed out..




walked the tour..

which included a stalactite organ

..and yes, they do weddings.

wonder what percent goes to coinstar.

always discover something new at the natural history museum..

..and apparently am not the only one.

attended the smithsonian's feature on bioluminescence..

video

complete with deep sea mimicry goggles

draw-your-own ocean monsters

..and wicked witch of the west impersonation opportunities.

am still of the age where everything feels good.  even hurt, it all feels good.  pray that never changes.

reminded myself what a.m. and p.m. stand for: ante meridiem and post meridiem, latin for before and after mid-day.

kicked around the feasibility of some sort of nafta-expansion that would give all united states, canadian, and mexican citizens the right to live, work, and travel freely in each others' countries.  with the current state of the euro, it's hard to imagine currency unification makes any sense and this idea doesn't necessitate open borders, either - everyone still has to pass through inspection, so other non-citizens legally in one of these three countries couldn't simply hop into another.  why are we constricting ourselves?

downloaded colonization ©1994.  slower than i remember.  this, civilization, and starcraft - my three favorite games.

walked to the new mlk memorial with emma.  prime real estate.

read a bit..

(1) manhattan's park in the sky

historic preservation, adaptive reuse of obsolete infrastructure, green urbanism, and private-sector funding and stewardship of civic amenities

(2) the case for transparency in war powers

(3) american post-secondary education

no one knows how long families will be able and willing to pay for four years of largely symbolic training that steadily becomes more expensive and loses impact

americans..now owe almost a trillion dollars in student loans, more than they owe in credit card debt

(4) russian propaganda

'life in russia,' the journalist told me in the democratic bar, 'has got better but leaves a shitty aftertaste.'

(5) the arizona crossing

arizona, he said, 'has to come back into civilization'

for every illegal migrant apprehended, border patrol estimates that three get across

water stations in dozens of locations in the middle of nowhere

arizona is for immigration what mississippi was for civil rights

(6) in the protests

that goldman sachs built its new headquarters without putting the words 'goldman' or 'sachs' on the exterior of 200 west street is, at least, a little telling.

(7) the electorate

johnson in 1964 was the last democrat to win a majority of the white vote.

women vote ever more clearly on class lines; men don't.

like tightrope walking in the dark with a gorilla on one's back.

(8) somalia now

fragments of a pulled tooth still wedged deep in the bleeding gum

'where is the un, where's the money, where are all those experts?  there are all sitting in nairobi, spending the aid money on supporting their own lives.  they should be here, working.'

he tried to insert the tube for a drip into a child's skull.  i asked him: why not his hand?  he looked at me, lifted the child's tiny hand and said: 'find me a vein here and you can have my lunch today.'

back in the hospital a man sat on a piece of soiled cardboard, holding his son's head high, a tube inserted into the child's nose.  a visiting delegation from an arab charity passed by.  they went up to the father and his child, and a man in a white jacket with the charity's logo kneeled next to the child.  the father looked at him respectfully while he held the child's head and turned to face one of his colleagues, who was holding a camera.  the man grinned, and the other man took his picture.  'ok, muhammad, it's your turn,' the kneeling man said, and they switched places.

(9) ows

"mike check!" one of the women cried, and with a unison roar the crowd repeated her words.  this was "the people's mike," used in lieu of bullhorns, megaphones, or other amplification devices that were prohibited because the protesters had no permit..the crowd has to repeat every word

mohamed bouazizis of the united states

(10) banking: the prosecution rests

not a single criminal charge has been filed against anyone at a major bank

the failure to bring strong criminal cases also makes it difficult for most americans to understand how these crises occurred.

12/8

this week i

picked up a gps and figured out how to approximate google street view technology in haitian slums..

here's some canal building

..and a road.

hope this kind of map will be useful to send to off-site donors who want to see progress on construction.

admit that my contribution was almost nothing compared to these folks..



..and here are the fruits.



observed some of imc's other projects nearby.

latrines

sanitation seminars, free t-shirts

bucket distribution
video

..and wells.


spun around for the views.


toured port-au-prince's public hospital as the guest of the american doctors running an emergency medicine training program.  there are, what, fifty medical specialties?  haitian physicians only have access to training in about five of them.  imc has been running e.r. clinics to up it to six.

might've conducted an impromptu medical training myself.  remember how kathleen sebelius says cough into your sleeve?  phase two: end those germ-sharing handshakes and make the switch to hygenic fist-bumps.

understand but can't get over the extent of earthquake damage and lack of repairs.  here's the condemned pediatric ward.

think haiti wins the wildest public transit award.  c'mon wmata, you never try anything fun.



met the family of an old friend, made a postcard from her sisters..
video


video

..and sent a virtual kiss.  the world's amazing, huh?

12/1