Dale Says

January 23, 2012

U.S. Health Care

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dale @ 12:04 pm

I was witness to the workings of the U.S. health care industry last week, and it was a very positive experience. My 86-year-old mother had colon cancer and needed surgery to have a large, malignant tumor removed.

The surgery was successful, and after recovery she should be able to lead a pretty normal life.

I was impressed with the quality of the facilities, the surgeon and nurses, and everyone who cared for my mother at Methodist Hospital in Omaha. It was gratifying to watch the system work, and to see the tender care given to an elderly lady.

The media is full of criticism of our health care system. But it is without a doubt the best in the world!

Thank you to everyone for saving my mother’s life!

January 16, 2012

Connections

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dale @ 12:52 pm

Over the years, I have found it comforting to have connections to the various periods of my life. These ties, which tend to be family members or friends, make the events that took place during the periods seem more real, and more significant.

My friend Mark, for example, provides a link to my high school years, and we periodically get together and discuss the sports, girls, and various escapades we somehow managed to live through. Likewise, my friend John provides a connection to my college years and to the time that followed school. And my mother is a linkage to my early years. That connection has been terrific the past decade or so, as she has been more open about sharing stories of my youth that she had previously shielded me from.

And my wife Patty is my tie to the past two decades, and we have photos, mementos, and stories to share about those years.

But there is one period of my life without a connection, and that causes a bit of a void in my life history. It’s the time in the early 1980s when I moved to California. It was an important chapter for me, filled with growth and adventure, and it would be nice to have a connection to it now.

It was a snowy March day in 1981 when I packed my Datsun hatchback and headed west from Denver to the golden state. Three days later, I drove across the Bay Bridge and into a new and exciting life. Worlds opened to me, including new friends, cultures, and places to explore. Settling in San Francisco required that I learn new neighborhoods, new foods, and new lifestyles, and my job demanded that I develop additional skills, take greater risks, and adjust to corporate politics on the big stage.

I was able to make those adjustments and survive, and I wound up enjoying the challenges and education.

But I no longer have connections to that period. I’m no longer in touch with friends made during those years, and my former work associates have long since gone their separate ways. And, as these things go, those years are becoming hazy and indistinct.

I vaguely remember that period for the many 49ers parties, especially the Superbowl celebrations. And I have some memories of work gatherings, including Friday evening happy hours, Christmas parties, and an occasional succesful project or promotion.

I remember training for and running two marathons (including one in blistering heat in Davis), and a “social” running club called the Hash House Harriers.

And I remember travel — to New York, Europe, and South America — and the excitement of seeing those fabulous parts of the world for the first time.

But even those memories are fading, some of the dates are uncertain, and a connection to that time would help firm them up.

I’ve considered some possibilities: I might be able to use Facebook to find and re-activate relationships from that time. Or, I could go back through the mementos I kept and re-connect the dots. Or, I even considered “friending” Jerry Brown, who was governor when I moved to California and is goverenor again now.

On the other hand, perhaps this article will suffice. The process of thinking back to that time and reviewing the sights I saw and things I did has brought back memories and helped crystalize my recollections of the friends and events of that period. Perhaps that will do, or at least it’s a good start. And, it’s another benefit of writing!

January 5, 2012

Sayings

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dale @ 12:00 pm

I was watching “The Law and the Lady” last night with Greer Garson. At one point she quipped, “They just disappeared like beer at a policemen’s picnic,” which reminded me of some of the terrific sayings my mother-in-law used to come up with. One of her favorites was, “Bless his heart, he’s as homely as home-made soap.”

It made me think of sayings about the stage of life I find myself in. One of my favorites is from Washington Irving: “After a man passes sixty, his mischief is mainly in his head.”

Another appropriate one, from Robert Browning: “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.”

But my favorite, from Abraham Lincoln:
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

January 3, 2012

View from 60: Iowa Caucus

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dale @ 12:06 pm

Today, the Iowa caucus will determine which of the Republican presidential candidates will surge into the lead, and which will drop out. It’s been a long and wild ride up to this point, with several of the candidates taking a lead and then exploding and falling back into the pack. There’s no clear leader, and the Republican party is widely divided.

The view from 60 is that none of the candidates seem capable of doing what I need done, which is to firm up an economy that has sagged for three years. With no income, I need my invested money to grow at least as fast as inflation, and I need to know that Medicare and social security will be available for me for the next 20 years.

I don’t trust the U.S. Congress to look out for my interests. They have demonstrated they are incapable of agreeing on anything important, and they have proven repeatedly that they are more interested in party dogma and getting re-elected than doing what is right for their country. So I rely on the Executive branch to bully or embarass them into doing what should be done.

So this year’s presidential election is crucial, and the Iowa caucus is an important first step in the process of electing a president.

Make a good decision good people of Iowa!

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