Friday, October 07, 2022

Fabulous Friday - Hotel Elkhart

When we were on the road, I mentioned the great customer service at the Hotel Elkhart, in Elkhart Indiana in my Wednesday Ws, they fixed my potentially expensive mistake.  

Not only that, the hotel was fabulous.  Parking is easy, with a city garage immediately behind the hotel with a door on that side into the lobby. Check in was efficient and polite.  And the room was huge.  There is just no other way to describe it, you could move around without bumping into things.  And very comfortable.  

It is part the Hilton Curio Collection, not cheap, but really not that much more than the hamster inn out by the expressway.  It is right on Main Street downtown.  Only a mile or so from where friends of ours live.  

I still come back the size of the room, everybody loves a big one.  


Thursday, October 06, 2022

Thursday Ramble - Empty Shoes

Get Out There And Vote Like Your Life 

Depends On It, Someone's Life Does.

John at Going Gently wrote recently about voluntary aid in dying. In the US we call it physician aid in dying. Ten states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing physicians to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to a terminally ill patient, who knowingly and with capacity requests it, twice, with a minimum waiting period between the two requests. The medication must be self administered. 

Some will argue that no person should control death.  For those persons this is not a good option.  For others whose belief system is that this is a personal choice, not controlled by some outside force, it may be a viable option.  

I have watched people suffer, wither, and die long and painful deaths.  I can understand the pain of living, being greater than that of death.  

I had a law student one summer do a deep dive into this.  There are two major limitation of the laws in the US. The person must be able to self administer, and the person must be mentally competent to request the medication.  

There are persons who are fully cognitively intact, but physically unable swallow or otherwise ingest the lethal medication.  It seems unfair that a person whose mind is trapped in an inoperable body is forced to suffer. But shifting the administration to another person increases the risk of abuse, or murder.  It also places an emotional and ethical burden on the person who administers the lethal dose. As much as I feel for the person trapped in this position, my concerns about abuse and placing the burden on another outweigh that for me.  

The deep dive that summer was brought on by a request for "why can't a person write into an advance health care directive that when certain conditions are met, if they are unable to make the request, they want their agent to make the request for them."  The ethical concerns here are even higher, how do we know that the person who has lost cognitive ability has not changed their mind? How do we assure that the person making the decision is not committing an act of abuse or murder? What about the emotional and ethical burden on the person the decision is delegated to?  

We concluded that state laws with these restrictions would most likely be found to be Constitutional in the United States.  The states have a compelling interest in preventing murder, making the challenge to these laws subject to a very high level of scrutiny.  

Further is help was allowed, I worry about the long term emotional and ethical burden on the person who makes the request, or sticks the pills into the mouth of a family member or friend. I have know people who have been involved in the accidental death of another person, in a car accident, and they carry a tremendous burden.  I have to think that for many the burden for an intentional death is even higher. And I really don't want someone who feels no remorse about killing, making life and death decisions for others.  

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Wednesday Ws : October already?


How did this happen?  It is October already?  It seems like just yesterday was Valentines day.  The weather has noticeably cooled off here, lows in the 50s F, highs in the 60's F some days.  

What is happening? There is an election in a month.  No real contested races where I live, but it is still important to get out and vote.  I skipped an election once, an idiot was elected governor, and spent 4 years thinking, I can't complain because I didn't vote against, or for the idiot.  Every election counts. 

What have I been doing about it?  Over the summer and into the fall I had a very bright undergrad student on an independent research project, looking at a pet project of mine.  Assistance available to voters who need assistance with voting.  He researched all 50 states, and this past week we published his results. This was inspired by Ron, a friend of mine who lives in Pennsylvania.  He is living with dementia, when he voted in the primary one year he had difficulty operating the computerized voting machine. The next time he went to vote he asked the poll workers to allow his wife to help him operate the machine, he knew who he wanted to vote for, he just needed help pushing the right buttons.  He was denied help.  If he had known beforehand what his rights were, he could have called the secretary of state's voter assistance line and they would have instructed the local poll workers what they could allow.  He had tears in his eyes when he said, "I still don't know if my vote was properly cast when I left the machine."  

Just released! The 50 State Listing of Available Voter Assistance is a state-by-state guide that will assist voters to be able to fully participate in the electoral process. A free resource from the ABA Commission on Law and Aging. Download here:

(Oh my, there is a hint what I do in my day job.)

Where have I been?  The grocery store, the farmers market, the office.  After the road trip and diversion I am home for a couple of weeks.  

Who have I seen?  My sweet bear, my colleagues . . . kinda quiet. Actually a party hosted by our past director, with many of my colleagues and a past colleague. 

Where am I going? Into the office three times this week, I have a board meeting on Friday.  Later this month, Montreal and Boston. 

What have I been reading? Greenlights by Mathew McConaughey - he is at least a little crazy, but also seems to know how to get himself grounded.  

What am I enjoying? Baking, cooking, and the cooler weather.  I made an apple tart and my holiday fruitcake. 

What have I been thinking?  I really enjoyed the week away, and the last day of it I spent totally disconnected from the office. I need to do that more.  It helps me look forward to retirement. 

Who deserves an atta-boy?   Noah Austin for finishing the voting access chart.  

Who deserves a slap?  Vendors who guilt trip you into leaving a positive online review, even if you really are just happy, not thrilled.  1 out of 5, maybe 2 out of 5. 

What am I watching?  Gold Rush, and YouTube.  

What made me smile? A flattering message from a friendly blogger.  

How have I been feeling?  I came home with a bit of an upper respiratory thing.  Emotionally, pretty good.  I am responding well the craziness that can be life and work.  

What am I writing? Mostly stuff for work, a defense handbook, and a couple of program outlines for my friend in Hawaii who is plotting to get me back there for a couple of days of work. (Five days back in early 2015.) And of course, blog posts.  

What am I looking forward to? The adventures planned for this fall, and to reading your comments and blogs.  


Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Travel Tuesday: Buy the Funny Hat

Okay, I didn't take this one, my sweet bear did.  We had a couple of wonderful days in Venice.  Venice is crowded, and a little messy, and easy to get lost in, and when you have the chance you really should go get lost in it. 

I saw children wearing the funny hats, I envied them.  Then one of the vendors had them in adult sizes, how could I not?  I have to admit I didn't wear that one much after the trip.  I have local old man's hats that I bought in Italy and France, simple wool caps, that I do wear every winter.  

When I see this photo my mind flashes back to a day filled with fun, awe and wonder.  The hat adds connections to not caring what others think, we need days like that, we need a life of caring less what others think. Some will always like you, love you, find you fun and funny, some will always disapprove, you can't change what the haters think, so why try. 

Sunday, October 02, 2022

The Sunday Five: Accidents

 1: Have you ever stepped in wet concrete by accident? 

2: Have you painted a room? 

3: Have you ever fallen off a ladder? 

4: Have you ever broken a bone? 

5: Is this photo art or an accident? 

My answers: 

1: Have you ever stepped in wet concrete by accident? Only once, sunk in up to my ankles wearing suede shoes. 

2: Have you painted a room? Many times, but probably never again.

3: Have you ever fallen off a ladder? No, luckily 

4: Have you ever broken a bone? No, I'd like to keep it that way 

5: Is this photo art or an accident? If I told you, you would know. 

Please share your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, October 01, 2022

The Saturday Morning Post: Good Dogs

There is a tiny little dog that lives with a young woman down the hall. The dog backs up against the wall, snarls and barks when he/she passes another person in the hallway.  The owner does nothing, but grimace and say sorry.  She makes no effort to comfort or control the dog. 

The dog does not seem aggressive,  the dog seems terrified.  I have no doubt if threatened the dog would bite, but it seems to be trying to scare away anything that might be a threat.  It makes me wonder what the dog finds threatening, why the dog is terrified.  

It could be a history of abuse.  It could be that the dog is tiny and feels threatened by anything larger, and anything bigger than a rat would be larger.  It could be that the dog has never been socialized to people.  

People who are fearful, often act aggressive. People who are not use to other people, or people who are different, often perceive the unknown as a threat. People who are terrified, act in strange ways.  

The owner has not trained the dog, and the dog has not trained the owner.  Some of us are not able to be good dog owners.  

There is a trainer on TV who says there are no bad dogs, only bad owners.  Fix the owner, fix the dog.