Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Healthcare can be defined as education also

Sometimes they say education is the paramount duty of state government. This sometimes means cutting things like the Washington Basic Health Plan for low income people to spend that money for schools. In a broader sense, access to healthcare can be seen as education also. Learning from one's healthcare provider about better diets and lifestyles. Often a trip to the doctor can be an educational experience. Sometimes people learn they have high cholesterol; for instance, so dietary and lifestyle changes can be recommended. In some cases, medication is needed, but how can one even know these things without being tested? Can be useful education indeed.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Obama Chavez handshake, we still buy their oil

President Obama is getting flack from the likes of conservative talk show hosts such as Sean Hannity for being civil and shaking hands with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Chavez isn't the kindest guy, but it doesn't hurt to attempt communication and civility.

Some folks think we should take a more antagonistic stance, but we are likely to just be a "paper tiger" if we take an antagonistic stance; we still buy Venezuelan oil.

As long as we're buying Chavez's oil, we're voting at the pump, so to speak.

Both Chavez and Obama are kind of over the barrel. Obama's country is dependent on the oil, Chavez's country is dependent on the money.

Being civil might as well be tried. It also gains points from other more moderate leaders in Latin America and around the world. Obama is playing to a big audience.

Being confrontational is an option, but that option looks kind of funny while we "vote at the pump" and buy their oil.

There are pictures of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein during the Regan Presidency. Rumsfeld later became our defense secretary while we went to war against Hussein during the Bush Jr. presidency.

Oil can make strange bedfellows.

I've never driven a car.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shorter school week. Shorter workweek

KUOW's April 13 show called "The Conversation" had talk about a 4 day school week. There's a proposal to allow 4 day school week in some districts here in the state of Washington.

Many of the callers seemed in favor. Is being done in parts of Colorado. Could even enhance education.

Main problem being what to do with kids on the day off when both parents are working.

Answer: 4 day workweek, in my opinion.

Here are some other tidbits I have found recently related to slowing down. Yes, I'm in favor of slowing down. Slowing at least moderately for a healthier life.

Recession can be bad news for some people, but good news for others.

City of Bellingham has been planning a repaving project on Forest Street for this summer. According to a recent Bellingham Herald, bids are coming in lower than expected for many road projects including the Forest Street repave. When contractors and materials are in less in demand, prices can come down.

Like the State Street repave of several years ago, they are also planning to go from 3 car lanes to 2 car lanes.

2 wider car lanes with a bike lane.

It's healthier.

No need to have 3 car lanes (6 lanes total with Forest going north and State coming south) It all ends up in 2 car lanes on the Boulevard anyway; within just a few blocks.

Then I remember recently chatting with a real estate agent in my favorite sauna.

He mentioned that property prices are still too high and should come down more so people can afford houses again. Lower prices might mean more real estate transactions as people will be able to afford to buy again.

In my opinion, property values have been way ahead of average wages. Declining values can hurt some people, but it wouldn't necessarily devastate the real estate industry. Realtors can still get a percent of sale.

The smaller sale that happens can be better than the bigger sale that doesn't happen.

America is still being bogged down from too much overhead, prices, land values, health care costs, interest on deficits, overpaid executives.

I don't mean to bog you down with too long of a list.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Ten years for domain name

Ten years ago, my Internet provider had been bought by another company. I decided to get my own domain name since it looked like my site was soon to be cast into the whims of corporate mergers.

Since 1995, it had been under the name of my dial up Internet provider.

Remember in Bellingham?

So what should my own domain name be?

Several ideas came to mind including "nudeworking," a word I made up to describe the type of networking I like doing around saunas and hot springs.

Back then, I was writing some mild homoerotic fantasies and adding them to my site. People encouraged me to write my safe sex fantasies as part of a workshop for safer sex that I was attending.

Workshops were from something called "Friend to Friend." Part of the funding even came out of Atlanta.

These fantasies may be a bit slow compared to our testosterone culture.


That's an idea also. Like life in the slow lane.

Maybe The Slow Lane could tie it all together.

Bicycling is slower than race car driving. An intelligent conversation is slower than the quick blow job; which wouldn't really interest me that much anyway.

Armed with several ideas for domain names, I talked things over with the waitress at a local restaurant.

She had time, business was slow that day.

My waitress thought it over and said, "Theslowlane is awesome."

Both ideas, Nudeworking and Theslowlane were OK, but Theslowlane tied it all together.

Bicycling, voluntary simplicity, contemplation, conversation and yes, even mild, "aesthetic style" eroticism. It's all under one roof.

That waitress was appreciative of slowing down. Not long before our conversation, she did get a speeding ticket, however.

Speeding in Montana when that state didn't even have a speed limit!

How can that be?

Officers could still determine that one's speed was not reasonable and prudent for conditions.

She was going 100MPH.

I've crossed Montana at closer to 10MPH on bike trips.

No posted daytime limit for cars seen along Clark Fork River in Montana. 1997.

Theslowlane sounded good. Even easy to remember so I came home and punched it into the computer.

It was available.

Easy to remember and available on the first try!

Maybe no one wants to be in the slow lane.

I registered, but assigned it to the wrong web hosting company. That company wanted my site to be "www.that_company'"

One of the other janitors, where I work as a janitor, gave me a magazine article that rated web hosting companies. I found the company where my site is hosted now.

It took a while to get the domain name transferred to another company where it could be ""

Not much money was lost, just a little time.

Back then, web based domain name management wasn't as easy to do as now.

I remember sending a fax with photo ID to the domain name registrar. Fax line was almost always busy.

Eventually the change took hold.

Then it took a while for domain names to "propagate" throughout the system.

Like two weeks or so.

Those were the days, but I didn't complain. After all, it's about the slow lane.

By April of 1999, most of my site was under and the heart of my web "empire" has been there ever since.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Loose sluts instead of slots

Someone doctored this billboard in Bellingham. I'm putting it under my funny signs label, but also makes sense to put it under "economics" given recent news.

Desire and devour.