Open Thread Friday


Hello friends, volunteered to come back at the keyboard to write a series of Open Thread diaries which hopefully ends with Funky Fridays returning.

Catch up on a few issues from in my previous OTs and comments. The plants and animals on the farm are doing well. Expanded the vegetable garden and now have a strawberry patch. Almost all preparations for winter are in place. I keep thinking of one more project to get done. Hoping for less snow than last year. The possibility of the highway being rerouted through the property appears to be very remote according to Transportation Department personnel at the public meeting last week.

Going to try and create conversations on individual health, healthcare business in general and government roles in healthcare.

My introduction into healthcare business was in high school working a year at a verinary clinic trying to figure out a career choice. The clinic treated large and small animals Responsibilities ranged from cleaning the kennels to assisting the vetrinarians with weekly surgies, performing white blood cell counts with the microscope, develope x-rays and. Settled on pharmacy as a career.

When I started pharmacies were divided into 3 categories Retail, Hospital and Nursing Home or sometimes called Institutional and I worked in all three. The division was based on special categories of pricing provided by the pharmaceutical companies based on the potential for the category of pharmacy to shift market share of a product. For example the cost of a bottle of 100 Tylenol at retail level $2.00, nursing home $1.25 and hospital $0.01. Remember the slogan "Tylenol the pain reliever hospital use most.". Nursing home and hospital pharmacies would use at least retail pricing for customers. Mail order pharmacy came a little later and received significant price breaks.

In the mid 1980's about 80% of the retail pharmacies in Oregon were independently owned. One of the pharmacists behind the counter was likely to be the owner and greeted you by name. Prescription records were filed manually, prescription labels hand typed, patient med profile manually checked for potential problems and insurance claims were filed by the customer. If you had a question on vitamin supplements, bandage types, cold meds we would walk out from behind the counter to answer and often select a product from the shelf. A high volume pharmacy might have a counter person to ring up sales at the register. A few pharmacies had installed mainframe computer systems with third party software and a few writing their own.

Hospital pharmacies were billing for individual use or consumption of a product and often the department creating the most profit. The other hospital departments were using flat fee for services. Many hospitals were writing their own software for mainframe computers.

Nursing home pharmacies were usually located inside retail stores and maintained a separate inventory for the products with special pricing. One of the unique services offered was medication review or consultation monthly for nursing home patients and quarterly for assisted living. This turned out to be my specialty. Eventually designing a software package for laptop computers used by consultants across the country.

A few core opinions I have developed over time
1) The body is designed to stay healthy and heal itself from injuries, infections, toxins and chronic illnesses.

2) Be responsible for maintaining and improving your own health or listen to the designated person in your family (often wife or mother). Which includes finding a new health practitioner occasionally. Respect and trust between you and the one providing healthcare treatment can be as important as the treatment.

3) Learn to listen to your body and learn to see the small changes and physical clues in others and yourself. It is easier to do a minor course adjustment before there is a major problem. Insulin resistance discussed in several diaries recently is a good example. This link for some additional signs of insulin resistance.

4) Everyone is a unique individual and there is not one answer or one problem universal to us all. I think in addition to profit our bouncing from one extreme medical idea for another is not believing there can be more than one truth at the same time. A person can be made sick with a high carb diet and a low carb diet - it depends on the person, their time of life and other environmental factors.

5) It is an important to know when to reduce or stop treatment as it is to start. Overtreatment is a significant risks to health, including medications and exercise.
Sport medicine is a profitable business segment.

6) I consider the foundations to effect health are food, physical activity, mental activity and air.

7) The physical body will die after it is born and does not always function perfectly. It is what we do within the beginning and end that is important. Working with people who knew they were dying and still enjoying life brought a level of peace and acceptance to mine I can't explain easily.

8) Most people will ignore advice if it requires them to make personal lifestyle changes, environmental changes or learn and apply a new skill. It is easier to pop a pill, inhale a substance, have a surgery, or live with degrading health. (Inhale a substance - I was thinking of asthma inhalers)

9) Modern medicine theories for treatment and health are based on our understanding chemistry and biology. We have barely began to apply any understanding of physics, mostly within the scope of how it effects chemistry and biology. Yet most of us instinctively know a good joke or music makes us feel better.

10) Technology is not always the best answer.

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great subject matter, have many questions on these matters.
Will try to check back later.
Cheers!

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May we be united and strong -- laurel

studentofearth's picture

@QMS I have figuratively pushed the boat off the dock and have some idea of a direction.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Lookout's picture

Glad to hear your farm report too. Thanks for your health focus. We do need to take control and there is no one size fits all.

In addition to physics, I think microbiology (our gut biome) has great potential for diagnosis and cures, and provides an interesting avenue of exploration.

I've been making yogurt from Lactobacillus reuteri and eating a half cup or so daily. Hard to subjectively evaluate the results, but my skin does indeed seem to heal more quickly.

Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) is a well-studied probiotic bacterium that can colonize a large number of mammals. In humans, L. reuteri is found in different body sites, including the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, skin, and breast milk. The abundance of L. reuteri varies among different individuals. Several beneficial effects of L. reuteri have been noted. First, L. reuteri can produce antimicrobial molecules, such as organic acids, ethanol, and reuterin. Due to its antimicrobial activity, L. reuteri is able to inhibit the colonization of pathogenic microbes and remodel the commensal microbiota composition in the host. Second, L. reuteri can benefit the host immune system. For instance, some L. reuteri strains can reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines while promoting regulatory T cell development and function. Third, bearing the ability to strengthen the intestinal barrier, the colonization of L. reuteri may decrease the microbial translocation from the gut lumen to the tissues. Microbial translocation across the intestinal epithelium has been hypothesized as an initiator of inflammation. Therefore, inflammatory diseases, including those located in the gut as well as in remote tissues, may be ameliorated by increasing the colonization of L. reuteri. Notably, the decrease in the abundance of L. reuteri in humans in the past decades is correlated with an increase in the incidences of inflammatory diseases over the same period of time. Direct supplementation or prebiotic modulation of L. reuteri may be an attractive preventive and/or therapeutic avenue against inflammatory diseases.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2018.00757/full

Dr William Davis got me interested...

I recently posted Wheat Belly and Undoctored Blog posts about the probiotic species, Lactobacillus reuteri, that in experimental models (aged mice) generated some fascinating effects, including thicker hair, no weight gain (compared to obese controls), more muscle preservation, increased dermal (skin) thickness and increased testosterone. They observed that the L. reuteri-supplemented mice looked and acted more youthful. What made the findings even more surprising was the magnitude of these effects: the increase in dermal thickness, for instance, was an unprecedented 35%, the increase in skin thickness 100%, the increase in testosterone nearly 8-fold.

Another study from this same MIT group supplementing L. reuteri (strain ATCC PTA 6475) to aged mice makes some additional fascinating observations:

Wound healing time was cut in half, essentially restoring youthful capacity for repair. Hair regrowth was more rapid.
Collagen deposition was dramatically improved. (Recall that collagen loss/destruction in skin and other organs is part of the aging process.)
Oxytocin blood levels in females more than doubled, likely explaining the acceleration of wound healing (as well as increased grooming behavior).

Once again, we have to bear in mind that these observations were made in mice and there was no parallel human study. We also need to be careful about the judging the effects of a single species of microorganism, as they do not exist in isolation but in a complex microbial community with multi-faceted interactions with each other and the host. Nonetheless, the effects were so dramatic that it is tempting to wonder if any of these effects translate to human benefits.

I shall soon be reporting on my personal high-dose L. reuteri experience, as some interesting things happened.

https://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2018/01/l-reuteri-gets-even-better/

Well nice to have your voice back. I look forward to more farm reports. We had about three days running in the 20's and we lost most of our lettuce despite the row covers. We'll just have to grow more microgreens in our little sunny room with the water heater in it. Fresh home-grown greens are hard to beat!

The kale and collards charged right through the cold spell.

Wish you all a great day and weekend!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

studentofearth's picture

@Lookout @QMS @Lookout for probiotics and your ready for a tasty winter.

The relationship of our body and microorganism is quickly moving from healthcare myths to scientifically understood relationships and marketable products. Fascinating area to consider and explore.

Just grew a variety of mushrooms from household kits and exploring how to implement ideas presented by Paul Stamets. Think I got the original link for Fungi Perfecti from one of your comments.

edited to ad link.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

enhydra lutris's picture

the Friday slot for a while and for that mini-bio. I do need to talk gardens a bit, but have important early am errands, so will have to just say hi and have a good one for right now.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

studentofearth's picture

@enhydra lutris between errands. Only a few weeks to the shortest day of the year and it makes daylight hours more precious.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Pluto's Republic's picture

It was just what I needed to hear.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
studentofearth's picture

@Pluto's Republic

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I made a somewhat desultory effort over the last couple of years (two whiskey barrels) and didn't get very large roots. That's basically my history when it comes to root veggies, anyway. I don't know if it's me or Florida.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

studentofearth's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Soil temperature can sometimes make a difference on yield, in addition to soil moisture consistency. The type of wood used in the whiskey barrel could also effect thee type of growth. The climate is dry here and if a whiskey barrel is not lined with plastic drought stress happens real quick.

Ideas from other gardeners.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Anja Geitz's picture

Thanks for stepping in this morning. All of your points resonated with me, but I found this one particularly interesting:

Most people will ignore advice if it requires them to make personal lifestyle changes, environmental changes or learn and apply a new skill. It is easier to pop a pill, inhale a substance, have a surgery, or live with degrading health...

This could easily be an essay topic alone. I'm not sure what the psychological profile is for those who choose to live with degrading health rather than make changes to their diet and activity level. Or rather, what the psychological prolife is for those who DO choose to change the way they eat and live to enjoy better health.

My own personal story has taught me a lot about my relationship with food. As the daughter of a chef, I have always been surrounded by good food, and I love to cook myself. But I also have a sweet tooth, and as the years have ticked away, my love affair with sugar has taken its toll on my body. Recently I made a huge change in the way I eat and I have never felt better in my life. My bursitis is gone, the pain in my knees is gone, the inflammation is gone. I've lost 30 pounds, I sleep better, my energy level is through the roof, and I even think the change in my diet has made me think clearer. Yet when I tell people all of this is due to cutting out sugar and eating a diet that is mainly plant based along with lean protein, a lot of the responses I get is "oh, I could never do that, I love my bread (sweets, etc.) too much."

Better than your health?

So it seems. My Sister worked as a registered dietitian in long term rehabilitation centers where over the last 20 years she began to see people admitted into what we consider "old folks homes" at younger and younger ages with diabetes related problems. Some of them on 20 meds a day! When my sister would sit down with them and consult them on their food choices, she would hear, "oh, I can't do that, I love my muffins (waffles, bagels, etc.) in the morning too much". They would rather risk amputation, blindness, and the complications that come with taking 20 different pills a day, than give up their muffins? This completely mystifies me. Yet, there it is.

It's a cliche to say health is all we have, but without health, your life can become very small, and very painful. Both physically and psychologically. I've seen it close up and many times self inflicted. I am choosing a different path because it is my hope that when I'm 90 years old I will still be hiking up the foothills in my neighborhood, both literally and metaphorically, until one day *poof* I drop dead.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

studentofearth's picture

@Anja Geitz by people. Why do people vote for policies that hurt them in the long run? Why go through varies cosmetic medical procedures that overwhelmingly show long term complications? Why work at a job or participate in a hobby that harms your long-term health?

Is it avoidance of pain that must be overcome to achieve possible long-term gain? Is it not wanting to stop one of the few pleasures in ones life? Is it faith that one is part of the subset of people who will not have a negative outcome? Is it rebellion of not being told how to live one's life? Is it the desire to participate in activities done by your family and friends and not be isolated or shunned?

Dramatically changing diet is not always easy and is often and isolating behavior. Many social functions are related to food and drink, any changes may effect interaction with family, friends and business associates. As I advanced up the career ladders many social function involved social drinking. Drowsiness hits me quick. I would go to the bar and order my own drink of choice tonic water with a slice of lime. Looked like a Gin & Tonic and the server would then give a refill of the same drink for the entire evening. I was not shunned as many others who did not drink for a non-socially appropriate reason.

Some individual losing weight rapidly can experience increased pain and risk adverse health effects. It could be toxins where stored in fat cells in an earlier part of life. During the times of quick weight loss the toxins will be released back into the body.

Another example diabetics are often given medication that increases the intensity of feeling hungry and lowers blood sugar at specific times of the day. If diet changes are not coordinated with monitoring and possible dose adjustments they may experience a low blood sugar event. If behind the wheel of a car or unsteadiness resulting in a fall any longterm benefit maybe totally cancelled out by the accident. Another real issue is the food choices offered to diabetics in restaurants and institutions are unimaginative, lacking flavor or lead to different problems. A low fat plate with lots of fruit can raise ones blood sugar to a higher level than a muffin. The fat in the muffin and added butter slows the absorption of the sugar and the person may not experience as of dramatic swings in blood sugars.

Sorting out all the dietary advice is complicated and confusing. Which professional is providing the best advice. The professionals are lined up on all sides of the issues. I keep my license current which requires participating in continuing education and passing exams. This year I took a diabetic course and one question was related to dietary counseling. Paraphrasing: "Should you recommend a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates for diabetics?" I wanted to past the test and responded "No" which was the correct answer. Not the nuanced advice I have given many diabetics.

I still have not addressed potential psychological profile differences that was the core of the comment. Part of the reason psychological profiles are harder to alter and if we start there many other factors contributing are simply ignored.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

earthling1's picture

#9 in your essay struck me as so true.
The old Readers Digest booklets had small homilies spread throughout it that were labled "Laughter is the best medicine" and were my 1st go to every month ( I had a subscription). It always put me in a good mood.
Music was even better at relieving stress and was very uplifting, although, as you noted, over medication can be harmful. My hearing has suffered from the years of headphones and R & R.
As a pharmacist, you were probably in a unique position witnessing the unfolding of the opioid crisis and hopefully can touch on your viewpoint sometime in a future OT.
My 3 acre "hobby farm" is coming along nicely. Have got power installed now and just yesterday wired up the pump and it's pumping 20 gallons a minute!
Yay.
Continuing to build an enormous compost pile and some will be ready next spring.
Have a peach, necterine, and two cherry tree saplings ready to plant in early spring and 40 pine and grand firs to fill in some bare spots along the salmon spawning creek to help keep it cool.
Will do a further update essay soon.
Thanks for hosting.

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studentofearth's picture

@earthling1 The short description implies some serious work done this last season. Looking forward to show and tell. Please include the techniques used to incorporate the biochar.

So close in miles, but different climates. My pump is torn apart to prevent freezing. Congrats on the water, good flow for 3 acres.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

snoopydawg's picture

Looking forward to meeting Ms. Sally.

Looks like Biden has stepped in the deportation poo big time. He is still defending Obama deporting 3 million immigrants which over 56% did not commit any crimes. Ooop...

Biden Under Fire for Telling Immigrant Rights Activist Demanding End to Deportations to 'Vote for Trump'

"Please don't take money from corporations," said a woman in the audience.

"I do not take money from corporations," replied Biden, whose campaign last month greenlighted the creation of a super PAC organized by corporate lobbyists who serve clients in multiple major industries, including fossil fuels.

"You listen to Bernie too much, man, it's not true," added Biden, referring to rival 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

This should leave a mark. But it gets much worse.

Just wow. Deport the dreamers who have no pathway to citizenship just because they dare call out ByeDone for defending Obama? Nice... Boy some people have sure changed a lot since the early days of Hope and Change.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

studentofearth's picture

@snoopydawg He is such an established Democratic politician this may cause minority groups to re-look at their support of the party establishment. thanks for the clips. If you did not provide them I miss the dialog that is happening.

Sally must have lived in a warmer climate or mostly inside, no winter coat yet. She was extremely happy when I found an old T-shirt and almost put it on herself.
SOE Sally.JPG

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

snoopydawg's picture

@studentofearth

She is darling and I'm glad she is settling in with you and your pack. Is she a tri color or two tone? Two tones are called vanilla beagles. Well that's what I call them. Arooooh! Charlie has the softest aroooh when the sirens go by. Yesterday a fire truck passed us and when we continued on she had her head out the window arooohing. People just laughed at her and drove on.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

I didn't so you can imagine my surprise when the first one came out. "It's broken." Lol their brown comes in later.

This is Dusty Dawg my first beagle. I named her after Dusty Baker when he was playing with the dodgers.

IMG_3924.JPG

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

studentofearth's picture

@snoopydawg First time I heard the Arooooh! rushed around the building, I thought there was a hurt animal. No just her - "glad I finally got your attention"

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

snoopydawg's picture

@studentofearth

First time I heard mine do that I thought someone kicked her in the ribs. Sara had just seen a rabbit and off she went after it. But instead of following it by sight she put her nose down and it got away. Ahh..the antics that they do keep me entertained.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

mhagle's picture

Although I hope everything is OK with Tim too.

Still struggling with gardening in Texas. Fall garden flopped because we only had a two week growing season. 99 degrees on 10/13 to freezing on 10/30. I moved most of my viable plants to the greenhouse before the freeze.

Wishing everyone a great weekend! I-m so happy

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

studentofearth's picture

@mhagle Been swinging here up in the seventies to low teens. Caught a few trees before they dropped their leaves. Fortunately all the sensitive plants are inside for winter.

Understand concern about Tim, A simple hi would be appreciated.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Amy is still on the impeachment bandwagon, but there were three good pieces today, one on demonstrations in Columbia and two on Julian Assange.

https://www.democracynow.org/

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studentofearth's picture

@Roy Blakeley I had dropped DemocracyNow from my daily review list.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

magiamma's picture

I look forward to your posts. Gardening and health related essays are welcome subjects. Looking particularly forward to more about your gardening efforts.

I grew up in Oregon when things were mostly small and privately owned. Very different now. Lots of big malls in Bluejean to go along with the expanding suburbs. The health store is still there on 17th (?), so there is that.

My go-tos to stay healthy are exercise, tai chi, water aerobics and walking in the Pogonip. All provide a good balance to reading about the climate crisis. If nothing else reading about it everyday has taught me to stay focused on the here now.

Thanks so much for doing taking this on.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

studentofearth's picture

@magiamma helps support the endurance required for addressing the huge problems we would like to influence.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Once an Oregonian always an Oregonian somehow the feeling of the land sticks with you.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

lotlizard's picture

right now. With election day coming up on December 12, each U.K. party’s leader is taking questions from what is supposedly an audience of ordinary citizens.

I tuned in by accident in mid-broadcast and seem to have missed Jeremy Corbyn. Nicole Sturgeon (SNP, Scottish National Party) just finished talking about Scottish independence. Now it’s Jo Swinson of the Liberal Democrats, reciting the standard arguments for “Remain,” that is, stopping Brexit.

Ha ha, some “deplorable” (a Leaver) is challenging Swinson on economic austerity, which the U.K. will be forced to continue if it stays in the E.U.

Another questioner just called Swinson out for playing the “Corbyn is anti-Semitic and soft on racism” card, and she doubled down on the accusations.

. . .

Swinson just gave a vigorous pitch for U.K. keeping nuclear weapons.

This is really good. A heck of a lot better than our U.S. primary (so-called) debates.

Now Prime Minister Boris Johnson is up.

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studentofearth's picture

@lotlizard plan on watching this evening. Will see how they sound at 1.5 to 2 speed. Doesn't seem so serious when everyone sounds like a chipmunk.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

smiley7's picture

Wonderful topics. Glad you're not going to be disturbed by the road, at least for a while; having followed some of our local projects, it can be a very long process, which is good.

Thank you for returning as i've always enjoyed your posts and comments.

Regards to Oregon and have a great weekend.

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studentofearth's picture

@smiley7 that is new to me. I like how you are gradually widening my visual and auditory experiences.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

orlbucfan's picture

Funky Fridays. Hope he is okay. The death of his wife/soul mate was devastating to him, natch. Appreciate the folks filling in, and enjoy the diaries and comments. I'm always fascinated by diet, health, and the human body. Rec'd!!

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" Our solutions to the climate crisis must match the demands of physics."
c/o truthout