Not the city, where I lived for 6 years, but the TV show.  I was in MBA School at the U of TX when that show first came out.  I hated it, but my room-mate was from Dallas and was addicted to it.  What I hated about it most was that it seemed to paint, by extension, all Texans as still scheming conniving, money grubbing vicious people.  I haven't bothered to peek in on the new series.  Sadly, today, the description is probably truer of more Texans than it was then.  I'm still trying to live down the notion that we're all as dumb hicks with a high school diploma or less, all own oil wells, and live on ranches.

I did hear that Houston was just voted the coolest city to live in, which I have been trying to tell people from other places since my teens.  wso maybe the word is getting out.

However, Dallas is not inhabited by a lot of Ewings either.  I just hate the notion that this new version of the TV show will undo the image of a metropolitan community with arts, well educated residents.  I loathe the glorification of petty, sabotaging, dishonest, disloyal people
 
 
Does it happen to you too?  When things you have to deal with NOW come in faster than you can process them?  

Some are actual things, like a leaking faucet, or a broken dryer belt...but you gotta fix it NOW.  Others are physical things, like waking up with a stomach bug you have no idea where it came from, but you gotta get on that toilet seat NOW. Or maybe your doctor calls and says "IÏ'm sending an order over to the lab for a  ____ test, and I need you to go have it done as soon as possible"  Then there are the emotional things:  you find out someone you love is gravely ill, or an old friend with whom things ended rockily calls, or someone screws you over.

I've now had a week like this. Like many other people, I find this a bit stressful.  Stress is not a good thing for an SLE patient like me.  So I have also now spent three days dealing with the physical toll stress takes on me.  That means I have had less energy to deal with the things I have to deal with.  So I'm now several days behind, which makes life ever more stressful.

I'm trying to get back into my happy place.  When I'm there, time slows such that a tortoise moves faster.  I get an incredible amount done in just a few hours.Working in the garden almost always puts me there.  However, exposure to sunlight generally intensifies my fatigue and aches, so that really isn't an option this time. I have prayed, and meditated and gotten nowhere nearer my happy place.  I have obtained some enlightenment however.  

I have realized that the reason I am separated from my happy place is that I have been wronged, I lost my cool, and although I got it off my chest, I am disappointed because I realize that the person who wronged me will never acknowledge that she did. I am pretty sure that behind her behavior is some mental illness.  I'm not sure what it is, but she reminds me of my bipolar cousin:  secretive, suspicious of others to the point of irrational paranoia, game-playing, deflective, projective, and manipulative.  I'm sure that I will feel better when this person is completely out of my life.  So if you are the praying type, please pray that she exits quickly and silently.  Thank you.
 
 
I just spent $471 on a doctor's office visit & lab work.  Before the month is out, I will spend another $460, and that doesn't include $50 worth of prescriptions.  Prescriptions which don't control the lupus any more.  I don't even see a family practice Dr any more ($120 per office visit) nor see the eye doctor every 6 months as I should because one of my meds (Hydroxychloroquine) can cause deposits in my eyes.  I need new glasses too, but am doing with reading glasses from Big Lots (3 pr/$5).  I haven't had a pap smear in years.  Nor have I had a colonoscopy, as I should have. I haven't been to the dentist in over three years.  I've quit testing my blood sugar on a daily basis because (a) I simply cannot afford the test strips any more,and (b) the prednisone I take raises blood sugar levels such that I feel it is futile to try to control it.

The good news is that the $460 more that I will spend will cover a panel of 6 blood tests that serve as a substitute for the $2000-7000+ liver biopsy I have been putting off until my platelet count got high enough not to risk bleeding to death, and six other tests, including an electrocardiogram.  On lab quoted me $378 for the blood tests.   The second quoted me $341.  What I figured out is that if I get some of them from the first lab, and some of them from the second lab, they will total $311..  The other panel of 6 ultrasound tests is $149.

Last week 6 July)  my local paper had an article about Texas's report on health care, I posted the results.  Allow me to repeat it here for those who missed it.

     Todays Houston Chronicle': Federal Report ranks state worst in nation for services provided The headline? TEXAS 
     HEALTH CARE BASHED. World ranked medical center and weak or very weak on 9 of 12 health care delivery 
     categories. Of course part of that is that we have the nation's highest uninsured populace -- 25% VERY WEAK on 
     home health care for elderly & disabled who live at home, for diabetes care
     BEST SCORE (average) on mortality & potentially avoidable complications of PRIVATELY INSURED PERSONS
     BELOW AVERAGE on those for uninsured & those covered by Medicare & Medicaid 
     DEAD LAST on caring for breast cancer patients under 70
     Rick Perry's press secretary's response? "Texas will continue to fight the federal government for more flexibility to 
     meet our health care challenges, which is crucial to effectively improving our health care system." 

Today's paper (9 July) offers this:  Fewer Texas doctors taking poor patients  
     -- Doctors accepting new patients on Medicaid has dropped from 67% in 2000 to 42% in 2010 to 31% this year.  This is 
         due to the Texas Medicaid program reimbursing the doctors at low rates.
    -- 27% of Texas patients lack insurance, making Texas last in the nation in % insured.
    -- For Medicare, the % of Drs accepting new patients relying solely on it went from 78%in 2000 to 66% in 2010 to 58% 
        this year. The federally managed Medicare pays better than Medicaid, administered by the state.  This time the drop 
        is attributed to onerous Paperwork.
   -- only 46% now accept poor children covered by CHIP
   -- Texas medical students leave to take up residencies elsewhere because the state doesn't fund enough positions.
   -- The number of primary care physicians in Texas is 72/1000,000 in urban areas, and 52 per 100,000 in rural areas.  
        Thr national average is 128/100,000.  On the other hand the number of obstetricians has grown.  Many doctors are
       slated to retire over the next 10 years.


Check out these news announcements and stories.  Pay attention to the TIMING.
Aug 26, 2009 ... HOUSTON – Gov. Rick Perry today highlighted Texas' efforts to combat the state nursing shortage by further investing in nursing education.

Jul 14, 2010 ... Texas is facing a shortage of 71000 nurses by 2020 as demand continues to outpace supply, the Texas Department of State Health Services ...

Jul 13, 2010 ... The state is facing a shortage of 71000 nurses by 2020 as demand continues to outpace supply, the Texas Department of State Health Services ...

Fall of 2010  ELECTION IN WHICH PERRY IS RE-ELECTED
Aug 29, 2011 ... Day 29: The state has dramatically reduced support for nursing education, meaning Texas will continue to face a critical shortage of registered ... 

Mar 30, 2012 ... In response to mounting concern about Texas' nurse shortage, the Texas Legislature created TheTexas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies ... 

This is the best medical system in the world?  
 
 
Happy 236th Birthday America!   [I started this on the Fourth.]

I make this wish with a heavy heart, because I believe we have lost a lot of what made this nation strong.  I sincerely hope it is not too late to recover it.  

Above all, we are not "ünited."  Never in my lifetime have I seen this nation so subdivided by so many criteria, nor so hostile and scornful toward one another, nor so indifferent to each other, nor, indeed, so ignorant of each other.  Nor, frankly, have I ever seen so many people voicing delusions nor behaving so dysfunctionally..  Every day, I want to scream at someone "GROW THE HELL UP! FACE REALITY! Above all, GET OVER YOURSELF!"

We have grown so impressed by wealth, and so dependent on money for what we think is happiness, that most of us have lost touch with the concept of "enough."     In recent years, I have heard people go on and on about how the poor in this nation have cars, air conditioning, TVs, internet, yada, yada, yada -- how they aren't really poor compared to people in other nations.  Fine.  OUR poor aren't living in those other countries.  It is the disparity between what others have and what you 
  
The median household income for  the US in 2010 Census data was $49,445.***  This is the figure which divides the top half of income earners from the bottom half.  Since income is a skewed distribution, this is the appropriate measure of central tendency for income, not the "average,"  or arithmetic mean income, which is exaggerated upward by those households with  very high income.  that average income figure is $67,530.  Let us look at the entire range of household  incomes, however.

Income ***                   % of households earning     Cumulative Percent  Width of Interval
$           0-$11,000                       10                                        10                          $ 11,000          Note 5% earn $ 5565 or less
$ 11,001 - 20,000                       10                                        20                          $   8,999         Note 5% earn $11001 tp 14900
$ 20,001-25,000                         5                                        25                            $   4,999         
$ 25,001-29,000                           5                                         30                         $   4,999
$ 29,001 - 33,690                       5                                        35                            $   4,689
$ 33,691-38,663                         5                                        40                            $   4972
$ 38,664-43,853                         5                                        45                            $   5189
$ 43,854-49,445                        5                                         50                            $   5591
$ 49,446 - 55,198                      5                                          55                           $   5752
$  55,199-61584                        5                                         60                             $  6385
$61,585-68,678                         5                                         65                             $  7093    NOTE:  the average, mean income is here
$68,679-76763                         5                                         70                              $  8084
$76,764-86,294                        5                                         75                              $  9530
$86,295-98,062                        5                                         80                               $11767
$98,063-113634                       5                                         85                              $15571
$113635-136765                      5                                        90                               $23130  NOTE:  Above this is the top 10%
$136766-180472                      5                                        95                               $43706 NOTE The next intervals will be 1% 
$180475-195714                      1                                         96                              $15239
$195715-216095                      1                                         97                              $20380  
$216096-245810                      1                                         98                              $ 29714
$245811-56019008                  1                                        99                              $55,773,197  NOTE:  1,780,230 households earn 
                                                                                                                                                                           MORE than $ 56,019,008
$56019008 -149999974            1                                     100                             NOTE No households earned more than 
                                                                                                                                                $149,999,974

Here's a nice picture of this:    US INCOME CISTRIBUTION 2010      

These should be examined in comparison to Poverty Thresholds and Guideline      s.

In income terms, the MIDDLE CLASS, on the basis of this household data is $25,000 - $86,294, 

Individual Incomes 2010         Median $ 25,197    Mean  $38,337

Here is a historical comparisonz;  US INCOME DISTRIBUTION 1947 - 2007.       This important thing to examine the ratio between the lowest quintiles and the highest.   Please note that the 20th percent is the UPPER limit of that quintile, while the 95th is the LOWER limit.
                20%   40%  60%   80%
1947      5.09    3.16  2.33   1.64
1967      4.85    2.95  2.20   1.61
1977      5.17    3.09  2.18    1.58
1987      5.95    3.45   2.36    1.63
1997      6.66    3.81   2.56    1.73
2007      7.08    3.98   2.63    1.75
2010      6.84    3.59   2.22    1.39

CLASS WARFARE?

Alot has been said about class warfare, especially by those with money in regard to those without.  Here's a nice chart below [Share of Total Income]  of the redistribution of wealth that has been going on in this nation since 1967.  You tell me who has won the class warfare, ok? Then tell me if you want things to continue this way for you and yours for the next 30 years.  Oh yes, and before you put your mind to all of that please consider the political reality.

Political Control of the US Government 1967 - Present [45 years]
YEAR(S)              Executive Branch       US House of Representatives    US SENATE                                 
1967-1969        LBJ - Dem                   1967 - 1971 McCormack Dem     1967-1981 
1969-1974        Nixon-GOP                   1971-1977 Albert-Dem                  Mike Mansfield
1974-1977       Ford - GOP                     1977-1987 O'Neill-Dem               Democrat
1977-1981       Carter -DEM                   
1981-1989       Reagan-GOP                 1987-1989 Wright-Dem              1981-1985  Baker GOP
                                                                                                                              1985-1987  Dole-GOP
                                                                                                                              1987-1995 Mitchell-Dem
1989-1993      GHW Bush-GOP           1989-1991 Foley-Dem                
                                                                                                                                                                                                 1991-1999 Gingrich-GOP
1993-2001       Clinton-Dem                   1999-2007 Hastert-GOP             1995-2001 Lott-GOP
2001-2009       GW Bush-GOP               2007-2011 Pelosi-Dem              2001 Jan3-20 Daschle-Dem
                                                                                                                               2001 Jan20-June 6- Lott-GOP
                                                                                                                               2001 June 6 - 2003 Daschle Dem
                                                                                                                              2003-2007  Frist
                                                                                                                              2007-2012 Reid-Dem 
2009-2012        Obama-Dem                 2011-2012  Boehner-GOP  
                            GOP:  27 yrs                  GOP:  19 yrs                                  GOP: 19 years
                            Dem: 18 yrs                   Dem:  26 yrs                                 Dem:: 26 years

Share of Total income      

Source of Data***    NOTE 1:  The bod\rders may be sightly off on this calculator.  I say this because the point at which the calculator says 50% is closer to $49, 350 than $49,445.  
NOTE 2:  The logical problem with their statements about what each household can AFFORD for the government to spend is that it is predicated upon the assumption THAT BUSINESSES PAY $0 in TAXES!  Now that corporations are "persons" they are obliged to pay personal income taxes, I would think.  Bottom line:  When businesses accept that taxes are a FEE FOR THE PROTECTION OUR GOVERNMENT AFFORDS THEM IN TERMS OF MILITARY PROTECTION, INERNATIONAL LEGAL PROTECTION, TARIFFS, ETC and they have a RESPONSIBILITY TO THE REST OF AMERICA TO PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE,  ALL this hysteria and bad economic situation will stop.  

ADDITIONAL DATA
Distribution of Household Income 2010      
HISTORIC DATA incl by race    
 
 
Last week a 62-year-old woman in the pubilc housing project in Houston's Third Ward died from the heat.  She had a second floor apartment, which are hotter than the first floor ones.  The city housing authority said that since this complex was built in the 1930s, it was the responsibility of the tenants to provide air conditioning.  One of her neighbors said he gave her a fan to use.  Even that was not enough to save her in the 105 degree heat.  So, no conservatives, not all poor people have air conditioning, but maybe they should.  Or are you willing to say that this woman's life wasn't sacred?  And where is an elderly woman in public housing going to get the money for air conditioning?  Here are some figures for Houston 1999 - 2001.  Here are the statistics on heat related deaths in Texas from 2003 - 2008.  Here are some data through 2010.

The Houston Housing Authority provides housing to over 60,000 Houstonians.  Home Depot retails portable air conditioners with dehumidifiers for $279 which will cool 200 sq ft..  Why can't the Houston Housing Authority purchase enough of these at a lower wholesale price for the residents of units without air conditioning, put serial numbers on them, and check them out to residents, perhaps for a small fee, say $1 to $10 a month? Check them out like a library book, with the resident's name and unit attached to the serial number.  When a heat wave is predicted, something like an A/cMobile truck could go to the housing projects loaded up with units and check them out.  When residents no longer need the units, they could contact the Housing Authority to have the units picked up.   They could pay for themselves in 2-3 summers, depending on how early the summer heat started and how long it lasts before fall weather comes.

I don't have a lot of money myself, but as a Christian, I feel pretty sure I could cough up $5 for a month to help some poor senior have air conditioning.  To me, even one woman who dies from heat exposure is a violation of the Second Commandment.  Are there no churches willing to run or subsidize such a program?  We are outraged when someone leaves a child or baby in a closed car.  Why do we not feel outrage when we, as a society, leave elderly poor people in closed apartments to die in the heat? Are their lives no longer dsacred?

Just heard on the news that governments in the states hit by thie latest heat wave and power shortages  like Virginia are ëven delivering air conditioners...is that because the recipients are higher income and voters?  Golly, where did I get the idea that all US citizens are created equal and have equal rights?    What is it I don't understand?