Archive for relationships

Open Medical Records

App idea where a user goes and has testing done and the testing agency conditionally releases the information electronically. A user can give a code to another party to allow them access to the test results.

The example that I was first thinking of was for dating. Someone who is considering a liaison might be favorably inclined if their potential partner could show them a recent clean bill of sexual health. If doing so meant a simple exchange between smart phones.

The legally tricky part would be the laws surrounding release of medical records. Some cryptographic function would have to be considered equivalent to a signature.

I suppose though that would simply be in the contract the user signs when getting the procedure done.

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Finding A Voice

I think that one of the things that people who eschew virtual relationships don’t realize is technology doesn’t and can’t provide an alternative to the physical presence of another person, but some things are possible online that aren’t in other places. People who are unheard in day to day life sometimes manage to find a voice.

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Fighting Decrepitude

As I get into my 30s, the older people in my life are getting to be really old. My grandmothers are now in their 80s and my parents in their 60s. They’re starting to reach that age where things are starting to fire a bit less precisely than they did once upon a time.

My mom’s mom in particular seems to be getting to a point where her perceptions really can’t be trusted. I didn’t really understand the extent of things and postponed a visit by a day when I was at home. I was under a deadline and though it was a pain, I thought she could adapt.

Apparently the stress of it was a bit much and she ended up calling the police because she thought there were people in the attic of her house. When the sheriff came out couldn’t find anything, she was convinced they’d sneaked into the basement.

It seems almost comical except that she really believes it and is genuinely upset at the people sneaking around her house. She is reconstructing her world and understandings of her relationships with the people in her life to bring consistency to her worldview. So not only is she scared and upset, it is dividing her from the people who care for her because she is convinced they’re in on the conspiracy.

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What Makes An Addict?

Jenni and I have been discussing addiction the last few days. I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit following a discussion with one of my cousins about cutting off his dreadlocks.

His family had been pushing him to cut them for years since they never really bought into the Rasta lifestyle. What finally brought him around was his court date after the police raided his grow houses.

So he’s all cleaned up now and attending narcotics anonymous meetings. It’s been about three months since everything went down and he’s still waiting to find out what exactly the government is planning on doing.

One of the things he has working in his favor is the near complete lack of money. He had a friend who had an idea for a raw foods vegan grocery and he lent the guy pretty much all his money and cosigned on the lease for a building.

The grocery has since failed, taking with it any profits from his growing.

He has a social problem in that his parents don’t agree with his lifestyle and want him to shape up into something they respect more. He has a legal problem in that the government doesn’t like the plant that he enjoys growing. What I am not really convinced of is that he has a moral problem.

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I Thought I Had An Irritating Job

I was hanging out with my little brother over the holidays and he was describing some recent problems he’d been having around the office.

He’d been working for a Servpro franchise in Asheville, but he quit a month or so ago. It turns out that Servpro was called in to clear out the inside of an old building after a fire. Because of the age of the building, they had to have an environmental contractor come through and check the place out before they could do their work.

Jenni’s been taking cancer epidemiology this semester and she was telling me about just what an amazing carcinogen asbestos is. The primary issue is simply as an irritant it incites cell growth and eventually the formation of tumors. Airborne asbestos fibers tend to be short enough that they are invisible to the human eye.

Matt was there and walked the environmental monitor through. The next day, before any of the results were in, his crew was ordered in to clear the place out. When Matt balked and said that he wanted a respirator, he was told that was simply “too bad.”

The next week, the results came back and the ductwork that they cleared out was full of asbestos. How extensively Matt was exposed and what the long term health effects will be, we have no idea. To add insult to injury, Matt found out that after he left the place, they’ve been recommending against his hiring whenever he lists them as a previous place of employment. He’s a “troublemaker.”

Jenni and I have both been encouraging him to find a lawyer and sue the Servpro franchise out of business. This is theoretically a country where our justice system gives at least half a shit about working conditions and the risks that his company took which could some day kill my brother were certainly criminally negligent.

Surely they can find some lawyer who will take the case for a percentage of the award from a successful suit. As much as I want my brother and the men who work with him to be compensated for what they did to him, I want the company to either be run out of business or at the very least to think twice before they ever cut corners that can cost people’s lives again.

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Awareness — On The Proper Type Of Selfishness

DeMello Continued

On The Proper Kind Of Selfishness

The first thing I want you to understand, if you really want to wake up, is that you don’t want to wake up. The first step to waking up is to be honest enough to admit to yourself that you don’t like it. You don’t want to be happy. Want a little test? Let’s try it. It will take you exactly one minute. You could close your eyes while you’re doing it or you could keep them open. It doesn’t really matter. Think of someone you love very much, someone you’re close to, someone who is precious to you, and say to that person in your mind, “I’d rather have happiness than have you.” See what happens. “I’d rather be happy than have you. If I had a choice, no question about it, I’d choose happiness.”

How many of you felt selfish when you said this? Many, it seems. See how we’ve been brainwashed? See how we’ve been brainwashed into thinking, “I — how could I be so selfish?” But look at who’s being selfish. Imagine somebody saying to you, “How could you be so selfish that you’d choose happiness over me?” Would you not feel like responding, “Pardon me, but how could you be so selfish that you would demand I choose you above my own happiness?!”

A woman once told me that when she was a child her Jesuit cousin gave a retreat in the Jesuit church in Milwaukee. He opened each conference with the words: “The test of love is sacrifice, and the gauge of love is unselfishness.” That’s marvelous! I asked her, “Would you want me to love you at the cost of my happiness?” “Yes,” she answered. Isn’t that delightful? Wouldn’t that be wonderful? She would love me at the cost of her happiness and I would love her at the cost of my happiness, and so you’ve got two unhappy people, but long live love!

Ok, my answer to this one is a bit, um… adult. If you are young and don’t read adult-type things then you should probably stop here. Seriously, don’t send me nasty mail later if you read past this and something offends your more delicate sensibilities.

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Finding God

I discovered what I needed to help me find religion. Forget about the Methodists and Unitarians, apoplectic about ten minutes into the aerobics class I went to tonight I was praying fervently for either myself or the instructor to drop dead, I was in sufficient pain to not really care which.

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Methodists vs. Universalists

I went to the Methodist Church this morning to get back in touch a bit with my childhood roots.

To some extent I was comparing it to the Unitarian Universalist Church I went to last weekend.

Accessibility: This one went to the Methodists hands down. They’re right by Vandy, and what is more important they’re accessible by bus. To get to the UU Church I had to walk through the lawns of a string of $500,000 houses because they’re half a mile down a busy road with no sidewalk from the closest bus stop. (I’m giving my car to MPP.)

Friendliness: This was what bothered me the most at the UU church. I stood around for a long time and almost no one said “hi.” How a community treats strangers is important to me. In the Methodist Church I had at least half a dozen people say “mornin'” to me or introduce themselves. In fairness though, I was at the morning service at the UU church, and a good percentage of the folks there were guests themselves.

Study: This one I’m not really fit to judge. The UUs have a meditation room open between the early and late services when the Methodists have Sunday school. Sunday school was somewhat interesting, but we didn’t really dig into anything. I didn’t try the meditation room. I’m really wanting to talk to people and understand their positions as of late. I just want them to be a little older than me (which the average college student isn’t).

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No Mas Límones

The week of 1,000 lemons will be drawing to a close in a mere hour and a half now. Jenni and I spent a good hour wandering the isles of the Whole Foods picking out epicurean delights to fill our tomorrow.

One would think that the cost of the extravagance of our foodstuffs would be offset by the Spartan nature of our diet for the last week, but that turns out to not be the case. One of the three ingredients in the master cleanse, maple syrup, ran $40 for the half gallon we consumed. Lemons, at 50¢ apiece, we consumed 50 of. So all in all, not eating was about $12 a day. Not too shabby for two people, but far pricier than Ramen and potatoes.

I asked Jenni if she had learned any important lessons and she feels she now has a much better sense of just what her hunger feels like. She says it peaked around the second day and hasn’t really gotten worse sense.

For my part, the way she deals with food boggles me. She laid around the house watching the Food Network for most of the day. In the way some people would discuss the subtlety of a good book or the bouquet of a fine wine, she lays about all day contemplating eating things.

Myself, I spend most of the day not thinking about food at all. After about a minute and a half of watching mozzarella folded into phyllo dough, I’m famished. Well, I definitely want to eat. I think if anything I have a far worse understanding of my hunger than when I began.

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Lemony Britches

There is nothing like the peaceful quiet of solitude: a time to center in one’s own mind an experience. A time when you can be yourself without the constant pressure to perform that is so much a part of modern life.

In those still moments when we can be ourselves, we can not only connect to our emotions but also to our bodies. Loosening the ties, kicking off the heels — taking a break from the rat race to just be comfortable in our own skins.

A word of warning to any of you who might seek to cleanse your innards with lots of lemons. Drinking nothing but liquids will have an affect on the composition of your gastrointestinal contents. Everything gets a bit more fluid.

This is important to bear in mind should you, while kicking back after a long day, find yourself experiencing the physical ramifications of relaxation. Tried and trusted bodily signals should perhaps not be interpreted in the same way they were previously.

You might end up shitting your britches. Just a heads up.

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