Saturday, January 27, 2018

Blood Pressure

By Fred Owens

Donald Trump is causing a lot of high blood pressure, but he doesn't seem to have any himself  -- based on his recent physical..... The doctors said he was overweight but otherwise fine. To me he shows a remarkable level of energy for a man his age and that puzzled me until I figured it out.
Trump doesn't read or think. I  could save a tremendous amount of energy if I did not read or think. I could get up at 5 a.m. and blast off some Tweets if I didn't think or read.
Enough about Trump. I called the Sansum Clinic here in Santa Barbara because my blood pressure showed an alarming increase. I asked to see Christine, the Nurse Practitioner, rather than Bryce Holderness, the MD.
I called the clinic and they put me on hold for twenty minutes, but my attitude was pleasant so I just put the phone on speaker and went about doing other things while I waited.
What did please me was the result. I told them my BP showed an alarming increase and I would like to come in to see the Nurse Practitioner, choosing her because she was more likely available. Dr. Holderness is a fine fellow but his time is portioned out in minutes. With Christine you get 15 even 20 minutes.
They said I could come in the next morning at 8:30. Isn't that good? I called the doctor with much less than an emergency, and they said I could come in the next day. This is why I like the Sansum Clinic.
And the problem was easily resolved. My BP had not increased, it was quite normal. Rather, my battery-powered wrist monitor was faulty, and too old, and giving false readings..... The nurse said it was time for a replacement.
I said I could use my girl-friend's plug-in electric monitor instead. I had brought that better monitor with me and it showed the same result as the one they use at the clinic.
Isn't that sweet? Now Laurie and I use the same BP monitor.
And it is time to explore lower salt options. Two days ago we had boiled potatoes with dinner. I put butter on them but no salt. It wasn't bad at all. The butter has enough salt in it to go around.
And cheese. I gotta think about that. Most cheeses are very salty --- I might have to cut back there.
What about cholesterol? Not a problem for me. My annual blood test and physical shows very good scores in that area. Basically I have a license to put mayonnaise on everything. That is my good fortune.
This is probably as much as you want to know about my health.
I manage my own blood pressure, and I try not to aggravate other people.. I do a lot of thinking and reading as well. In that sense I am in much better health than that clown in the White House, although we are the same age.
Mudslide in Montecito
We are six miles from the mudslide and scarcely impacted. It was a furious downpour that caused the debris flow. But the fact is it only amounted to an inch or two or rain. We are still in a drought. In Southern California we can have drought and flood at the same time. Most of us Californians know that.
Home prices here are astronomical. The median price in Santa Barbara is above $1.4 million. That prices cops and school teachers out of the market. A good town is where the cop, the school teacher and the nurse can all afford to buy a home. The police force has a hard time hiring people -- they even advertise about job openings on TV..... "You can start a career in law enforcement," the ad says. But if they take the job, where will they live?
California has too many poor people. If you factor in the cost of housing, then California has a poverty rate near to Mississippi. But you don't see that poorness here in blessed Santa Barbara.
It's a problem. I don't have an answer. I wish some elected official would say just that, "Housing is a problem and I don't have a solution."   That would be the honest thing to say.
That's one of the ways you can find out if a politician is telling the truth -- if they admit their limitations. Donald Trump has a solution for any problem you can think of, but I don't believe him. I prefer a dash of humility in our elected leaders.

Santa Barbara is an affluent community  -- good schools, a beautiful environment, a sound economy and a gracious social climate. We have the beaches, the mountains, the fine architecture  -- and good doctors.

Getting a quick appointment at a place like Sansum Clinic is one of the perks. We have lots of good doctors  -- they like living here too.

So  it's easy to skip over the alarming poverty in other parts of the state.

Californians voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a huge margin  --- as if we believed in ourselves. But the rest of the nation -- or larger parts of it like Pennsylvania and Michigan -- aren't falling for the California Dream.

It used to be you could be living back east, but you told the boss to take this job and shove it. Then you packed up the station wagon, piled in with the dog and the kids and headed out to California, where you quickly found a good job and the start of a sunny new good life.

You can't do that anymore. Our affluent coastal communities are getting too exclusive. The folks in Scranton are stuck there now and cannot escape from dreary winters, so they become angry and vote for Trump or they become addicted to Fentanyl. I don't know how to fix this.

St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto. I went to this excellent school in Canada. I belong to the class of 1968. We are celebrating 50 years now. I am unlikely to attend the Re-Union at this point, but I kinda wanna go.

The Fishtown Woods Massacre. That was 30 years ago, in 1988. They cut all the trees, tore down the cabins and kicked all the hippies out of Fishtown. Nobody wants to remember that awful day.

You're Not Even Jewish. "You're Not Even Jewish" is a story I wrote that has been published in the January issue of the Jewish Literary Journal. The story is about how I took an interest in learning to read and write Hebrew, how I taught myself that language and went on to a three-year participation in Jewish culture. It was very interesting. That's what Harvey Blume said. Harvey actually is Jewish and he said what he liked about being Jewish is that it is so damned interesting. He's right.

That's all for now. If you want to buy a subscription to Frog Hospital contact me for the particulars.

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

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