justxploring's Blog

Passing your local BP station?

Someone recently told me he plans to boycott BP and I asked what message he thinks it will send to one of the world's largest companies.  "Well, it'll tell them I don't approve of their response to the oil spill."  

Really?  Well, just in case you don't know, BP doesn't own the stations in your community.  They are franchises owned by individuals, maybe one of your neighbors, who makes a few cents on every gallon and sells lottery tickets and convenient store items to supplement the income from the gasoline sales. 

So if you want to send a message, write to your elected officials, volunteer at www.lagulfresponse.org or take a bus to work (of course you don't know if the bus company uses BP products) but boycotting a local operation where a clerk depends on his $8 an hour is pointless.   Tony Hayward et al will still make millions in income with stock options.  These local franchisees are under contract.

Entry #206

Prayers & Suggestions

Hi, everyone.

I just got out of the hospital, so forgive my post if it's a bit incoherent.   On Monday I went to buy my Fantasy 5 ticket and my life changed in 30 seconds.  I was leaving the store when I felt a hard bang on my hip & right thigh, sending me flying.  It's all a big blur to me, but I must have lost consciousness when I hit the floor.  I remember hearing a man apologizing and saying he wasn't looking, but all I was concentrating on was getting off the floor and I couldn't move.  Then there were paramedics all around me.  One put a collar on my neck and then they put me on a stretcher and into an ambulance, started an IV, took blood, etc. 

I'm too sore to rant & rave about the days I just laid in bed waiting and waiting and the lack of care.  I lost my health insurance and I'm convinced my case was handled very differently because of it.  But, honestly, I'm in too much distress to debate health reform.  The X-rays showed no breaks at first, so they wanted me to get up and walk.   On Thurs, after begging for 3 days to talk to an orthopedic surgeon, an MRI was ordered because I kept grabbing my lower abdomen each time I tried to sit up which is indicative of a pelvic injury.   An LPN told me that a fracture can't be very significant if it takes an MRI to find it.  I'm not sure that's true, but I'm sure glad I didn't give up complaining.  The results were positive for pelvic fractures. 

I have a wheelchair and a walker (not through the hospital) so for now I'm getting around in the house independently and, if absolutely necessary, I guess I can pay someone to do errands.  I know an HHA who will charge me $10 an hour, which is reasonable, but it will add up to a lot of money and I can't work, so the care needs to be well organized without a lot of small talk. 

Well, I thought I'd stop by LP and ask for 2 things:

(a)  Your prayers.  Send good vibes my way, please!  I am frightened out of my mind.   I'm so relieved to be out of the hospital, however.   I'm able to cook a little by lifting myself slowly out of the wheelchair and I even bathed..well, sort of.  I just got sick of stinking like a gas station restroom, and nobody in the hospital bathed me.  It's also nice to be off the bedpan, no matter how much it hurts to stand.  I washed my hair too, by standing over the toilet and pouring a bucket of water over my head.  I'll never look at a person in a wheelchair the same again.  Wish I had a walk-in shower.  Never thought about that before, but it really makes a difference when someone is injured. 

(b)  If you have firsthand experience with this type of injury, please share it with me.  I'm so confused, because every website states to keep your body weight off of the fracture, but I was told to walk as much as I'm able, although even a small step is very difficult   I was also told there isn't anything I can do except wait until it heals.

A note to post-menopausal ladies reading this blog entry.   Please make sure you take care of your body by eating right, taking vitamins & minerals, getting a bone density test and exercising regularly.  The crash into my body was very forceful, so I probably would have been injured anyway, but I now realize I'm in terrible shape.  People often say I look great because I'm naturally slender and have few wrinkles, but that's only skin deep.  Last year I broke a couple of toes and, when my baby toe didn't heal, I stopped my daily walks, but I should have continued light weight lifting and stretching exercises.  Trust me - you need to stay strong in case you have an unfortunate accident like mine.   If I had more upper body strength, I'd probably be able to use the walker a little more, but I look like a stick figure.  Of course if your weight is unhealthful, listen to your doctor, but be happy if you have a little meat on you.  The anorexic-looking models do not represent real women with curves so enjoy your pasta tonight!

Entry #205

Only a 5 year sentence? Is this a typo?

When I read this story today, I figured it must be a mistake.   In May, a 23 year old Idaho man was upset that his 2 year old daughter was crying, so he grabbed her out of the crib by her arm and shook her, punched her, and threw her on the floor.  Then he took his cigarette and burned her toes 15 times.  This is the story from June 4 about his arrest.


Medical records show that he had abused the baby in the past and her arm had been broken just 10 days earlier. 

Today Mario Gonzalez Jr was convicted and sentenced to two five year terms, to be served simultaneously "with the possibility of 10 additional years in prison."


I think he should get 5 years for each time he held a cigarette to the baby's toes and another 10 for breaking her arm.   Better yet, maybe a couple of his fellow inmates will break his arms and burn his toes before they slice something else off. 

Just my opinion.

Entry #204

It's not funny any more

I signed onto Lottery Post to post something really funny about getting old.   I had nothing political in mind, because it was just a lot of silly stuff like

"You know you're getting old when you sit in your rocking chair and can't get it started."

I had a long list and wanted to share it. 

However, the first blog subject I saw was very disturbing to me, because it's just not true. It is spreading the venom & hatred the extremists are spewing by the minute, saying that Obama was insensitive to the shootings at Fort Hood. 

I watched the President on television after the shootings, well before there were any reports about his comments.  I'm home almost 24/7 because I need surgery on my foot and it's difficult to walk.   I remember very clearly what he said.  Here is an excerpt from his speech.  He is also attending a memorial service for the victims of the massacre at Fort Hood.

“As some of you might have heard, there has been a tragic shooting at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas. We don’t yet know all the details at this moment; we will share them as we get them. What we do know is that a number of American soldiers have been killed, and even more have been wounded in a horrific outburst of violence.

“My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and with the families of the fallen, and with those who live and serve at Fort Hood. These are men and women who have made the selfless and courageous decision to risk and at times give their lives to protect the rest of us on a daily basis. It’s difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas. It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil.

“I've spoken to Secretary Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, and I will continue to receive a constant stream of updates as new information comes in. We are working with the Pentagon, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security, all to ensure that Fort Hood is secure, and we will continue to support the community with the full resources of the federal government.

“In the meantime, I would ask all Americans to keep the men and women of Fort Hood in your thoughts and prayers. We will make sure that we get answers to every single question about this horrible incident. And I want all of you to know that as Commander-in-Chief, there's no greater honor but also no greater responsibility for me than to make sure that the extraordinary men and women in uniform are properly cared for and that their safety and security when they are at home is provided for.

“So we are going to stay on this. But I hope in the meantime that all of you recognize the scope of this tragedy, and keep everybody in their thoughts and prayers."


He spoke again and said: 

"We cannot fully know what leads a man to do such a thing. What we do know is that our thoughts are with every single one of the men and women who were injured at Fort Hood.

Our thoughts are with all the families who've lost a loved one in this national tragedy.

And our thoughts are with all the Americans who wear, or who have worn, the proud uniform of the United States of America.

They are Americans of every race, faith and station. They are Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and nonbelievers. They reflect the diversity that makes this America. But what they share is a patriotism like no other." Mr Obama praised the reaction of soldiers and civilians to the initial shootings at Fort Hood.

We saw soldiers and civilians alike rushing to aid fallen comrades, tearing off bullet-riddled clothes to treat the injured, using blouses as tourniquets, taking down the shooter even as they bore wounds themselves.

We saw soldiers bringing to bear on our own soil the skills they had been trained to use abroad."


Regarding the time it took for him to respond, does anyone remember that Fox first reported that the gunman was killed?  He is alive.  How about that the first responder to the scene was also killed?  She's also alive.  So should someone rush to the podium and say anything to beat a deadline or wait until he has more accurate information?   

Guess some people just aren't used to hearing a leader who thinks before he speaks.

Entry #203

Largest Private Home in the United States?

Even if you won PB, this home would be out of your budget!  I was looking up home values on Zillow and came across this blog. 


I wonder what his utility bills run every month?  Eek 

Good thing I don't live in this house, however.  I'd never be able to find my keys!  LOL

Forbes had an article on America's most expensive homes and the #1 was priced at $125 million, so I'm not sure if this house was overlooked since its estimated value is over $202 million.  Here is the Forbes article from June 2009.


Entry #202

Taxes Unconstitutional

Since I'm blocked from posting on another blog, I want to post my answer here.

Is taxing health care benefits unconstitutional?

No, it isn't.  However, that doesn't mean I approve of any tax bill.  What is unconstitutional is forcing private citizens to buy health care from for-profit companies.  A single-payer system would change this.

If a tax on benefits is unconstitutional, then what about unemployment tax?  Yet, nobody would ever collect it after losing a job if it didn't exist.  Forcing a business owner to carry Workmen's Compensation is also unconstitutional, but if you've ever had an accident in a state where it's mandatory, you're probably very happy there's a law to protect you.

What about mandatory auto insurance?  If someone smashed into you today, I bet you'll cross your fingers he has a current driver's license and carries insurance. 

There are a lot of unfair expenses we are burdened with every day, especially taxes on our own property.  It's supposed to help the community, pay for local services and schools.  I don't have children, but I still have to pay the same millage rate as a family with 5 kids in school, and they get a huge break on their Federal taxes! 

Look at your phone bill sometimes.  There are so many surcharges and communication taxes that I can't figure out what they're for half the time.  So that's a tax on talking.

Not all taxes are bad taxes, but I suppose that's a personal opinion.  We pay Soc Sec & Medicare taxes so we have a cushion when we retire or become disabled, along with medical benefits.  For some very strange reason, many recipients of Medicare don't realize it's a 100% government run program, as close to socialized medicine as you can get.

Anyway, this wasn't meant to be a blog entry.  Just a brief response, although brevity has never been my strongest suit!  I would appreciate those who block me and others who have asked me not to post my opinions on their blogs to extend me the same courtesy.  I'm usually very open-minded and love to debate issues, but I cannot do that when dealing with the "just say no to everything" crowd.

Entry #200

Reporting Crime - your opinions are welcome

If you click on www.naplesnews.com there is a section on the front page "Collier County Arrests 9-20-09" with photos of all the people who were arrested, even for a petty charge.   Not one of these people has been convicted.  Yet, if you click on their photos, there is a description of the charge, where they live and their current occupation.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I've fortunately never been arrested and I don't condone crime of any kind, even petty theft.  But isn't this going over-the-top?  What if there was a misunderstanding?  Shouldn't a person get the chance to prove his or her innocence before everyone with a computer gets to see his picture?  This could cost a person his job.

On the other hand, boy is it scary to see how many people are driving around without licenses.  It only stands to reason that they don't have car insurance!   Yikes.


Link isn't working, but it's a short address.  You can type it! Smiley

Entry #199

If you take Advil or Aleve, please read this

As many of you know, in July I broke my toe.  A recent X-ray confirms that it still hasn't healed after 6 weeks.   Since I can't be physically active, I'm spending way too much time online, and today I decided to research studies on ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxyn sodium (Aleve) to help choose which over-the-counter drug will help me more.  The doctor gave me samples of Celebrex but it's done nothing at all to relieve the pain.  In fact, I'm much worse.  I was given a prescription for naprosyn, but I purchased the over-the-counter form of the drug, Aleve, instead.   I'm sure the anxiety of not working isn't helping either.  I hope I don't sound like a whiner, since this isn't a life threatening disease, but I'm going crazy wondering when the swelling will go down and I'll be able to put on a pair of shoes. 

Anyway, I came across these articles, all from reliable sources such as Massachusetts General Hospital and Consumer Reports. 


"Smoking and NSAIDs are probably the most important causes of failure in bone healing," says Dr. Malcolm Smith, chief of the Orthopedic Trauma Service at Massachusetts General Hospital. In fact, he said, with a patient who has had surgery to remove bone, "we give them NSAIDs to make sure the bone doesn’t grow back."


"In one observational study of about 400 patients with broken legs, for example, those who routinely took NSAIDs were 10 times more likely to have healing complications, and took an average of two months longer to heal, compared with non-NSAID users."


These articles are a bit more technical, but the studies report the same results.  When an NSAID has been taken after a break, it has an adverse effect on healing. 


"There was a marked association between nonunion and the use of NSAIDs after injury and delayed healing was noted in patients who took NSAIDs and whose fractures had united."

This is another study of people requiring back surgery.


"CONCLUSION: These data suggest that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs significantly inhibit spinal fusion at doses typically used for postoperative pain control. The authors recommend that these drugs be avoided in the early postoperative period."

It really concerns me that the public hasn't been warned if there is good reason to believe these drugs might inhibit bone growth and be contributing to the increase in osteoporosis in our country, especially in post-menopausal women.  I also don't know why a doctor would tell a patient to take drugs that have been proven in scientific studies to delay healing when a bone is broken or fractured. The COX-2 inhibitors like Celebrex interfere with tendon strength and might block/delay healing.

Although this article is about athletes who take NSAIDs to prevent pain during a strenuous activity, note this comment


"NSAIDs work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins,”substances that are involved in pain and also in the creation of collagen, Warden says. Collagen is the building block of most tissues. So fewer prostaglandins mean less collagen, “which inhibits the healing of tissue and bone injuries.."

So if you break a bone, remember this blog and ask for a painkiller that is not an NSAID or grin and bear the pain for a few weeks.  Tylenol is an alternative.   I haven't been able to find any scientific studies on scotch or vodka yet. 


Entry #198

Hearsay Medicine

If I don't make much sense, it's because I'm on my 2nd glass of wine.   I am in so much pain right now that I'll probably finish a 3rd before I pass out.  (you can tell I'm not a big drinker. lol) Cheers

Anyway, on July 27 I was packing my belongings as I headed off to unknown pastures, and I walked into a piece of furniture.  What's ironic, and also really frustrating, is I said over and over to myself "Be careful.  You might trip over that chest."  No Nod

The sound that came out of my mouth at the moment of impact was deafening.  I'm staying in an over 55 community, so I guess my neighbors must be very hard of hearing since nobody called the police.LOL  I crawled to the fridge and put ice on my toes.  For days my foot was black & blue..more like a dark purple..and my baby toe was very swollen.  Then it began to look much better, but I still couldn't walk on it. 

I spent countless hours reading as many posts and articles I could find on broken toes.  Over 80% said "Don't waste your money.  You can tape your toes together and use ice.  Elevate the foot and rest."  So that's exactly what I did.  I also know what it's like to spend money to hear "I can't do much. Go home and rest.  That will be $250."  Then there was the time I went to the dentist for a cleaning and ended up getting a $1,200 root canal and then couldn't chew, but that's a whole other story.  So I just figured I'd wait a few weeks and it would heal by itself.

I'm writing now so nobody else suffers like this.  Today I went to Publix to get dinner and my lottery tickets and, when I got home, my entire foot felt as if someone set it on fire.  The pain is intense.  It's starting to swell again, except this time it's the whole foot.

I know that $200 is a lot of money, especially if you're not working or trying to find a place to live.  However, if you have an accident, go to a doctor right away.  You might later be sitting at home crying and praying you can make it until your appointment on Friday. Sad 

Time for another glass of wine.

6 Comments (Locked)
Entry #197

Quote of the Day

" I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400
people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University. "


William F. Buckley, Jr.




1 Comment (Locked)
Entry #196

Interview with Sargeant James Crowley

I posted incorrectly on another blog earlier.  I said that Sargeant Crowley, the police officer who arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, has a daughter serving in Iraq.   He does not.  His friend's daughter, who is Iraq, called him after reading about the incident. 

Just FYI, here is an interview with Sgt Crowley.  If you have 20 minutes to watch it, you will see a very different person than the "rogue cop" described by the media. 


You know which character I feel sorry for in this whole drama?  Lucia Whalens.  A woman (NOT his neighbor as wrongly reported) who works as a fundraiser for Harvard Magazine, saw some suspicious behavior and reported it to the police as any good citizen should do.  2 men were trying to break into a house.  Now she is being labeled a racist on the internet, newspapers and even on TV.  Makes you think twice before getting involved, doesn't it?

Entry #195

Other Income - IRS

It probably would have been more appropriate to post this in April, but I was reading an article about "other income" the IRS requests taxpayers to report.   I think the key word here is "taxpayers." Smiley 

Last Paragraph, Page 2

Stolen Money 

"If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless, in the same year, you return it to its rightful owner. "

I was going to write to the IRS and ask if I steal a car in 2009 and I return it in 2010, do I report it as income in 2009 and then take it as a deduction the next year?  


1 Comment (Locked)
Entry #194

A learning experience

I saw an ad for a short-term rental that said "420 friendly."   I paused and thought "I bet that has something to do with credit."  Then I figured it might be a sex code.    Nope.  I was wrong.  What would I do without Google?

(stop laughing at me)

3 Comments (Locked)
Entry #193

Selling Stuff Part II

Part I was my last blog entry in which I discussed the strange people who answer ads in the classfieds.  I just placed a new ad a few minutes ago. 

Leather rocker-recliner, reclines to full chaise.  34" wide.  Padded arms, contemporary.  Color is bone. 

Rarely used.   $50 or best offer.  Pick it up today! 

Here's why:

My next door neighbor always says to me "let me know if you ever sell your recliner, since I'll pay you for it."  I never had it for sale but, for some reason, she would always bring up the subject.  "If you ever move or redecorate, Nancy, make sure you let me know, since I really want that leather chair in your livingroom."  She's been living in the other half of my duplex for about 6 years.  I'm guessing she's said that to me for the past 5.

It's almost the end of the month.  I didn't advertise my leather rocker-recliner in the paper or on Craig's List because I'd feel badly if she didn't get it, since she's always been madly in love with this chair, even though I never thought about selling it.  She's offered me as much as $75.  So yesterday I knocked on her door and said "well, it's almost the end of the month, so I guess I better get that recliner over here."  She said "I don't need it."  I said "If money is a problem, you can have it for $35."  She just doesn't want it.

Jean-Paul Satre said it best.  "Hell is other people."

5 Comments (Locked)
Entry #192
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