Packing Day

I miss the days when packing for a trip took 45 minutes, not all day, and didn’t feel like defusing a bomb, hoping not to leave anything critical behind. I did exactly that in Hawaii a few years ago when I showed up without eFlow nebs. I felt ill when I realized they were sitting on the counter back home. And our trip budget took a hit with overnight plane delivery on a Sunday. (Yes, chocolate-covered macadamia nuts can sustain you for a week, but you’ll never eat them again.)

Count 'em out, ride 'em in, Ride 'em in, count 'em out, Count 'em out, ride 'em in, Rawhide!

There are a lot of meds and devices to keep track of, and it’s taking all afternoon to round them up and triple check them.

We’re officially on East Coast Time now in my house. Dinner will be at 4:30 PDT today. Bed by nine or ten, not midnight. Transportation will be here at 4:45 a.m. I have to wake up at 3:30 a.m PDT and do meds.

I started cipro today. No streaks, but I’m not taking any chances. I decided to fire the gun at the enemy first and not wait for it to surprise me – yes, I could be President one day with that preemptive skill.

Theme of the day: Travel light. I bought a new, smaller suitcase at Target, and I removed all ballast from my backpack: coins; old receipts; individually packaged hospital meds I never took; and limited clothing.

Part of my green initiative is wearing the same clothes for a longer period of time before changing and washing them. I wear the same T-shirt, shorts and underwear all week. Remember, I can go three weeks in the hospital without showering. So, wearing the same clothes for seven days . . . piece of cake. The world can thank me in a few years for all the detergent I saved from the ocean, and the energy to run the washing machine and dryer. Just don’t sit next to me on day six.

I fly to AZ first. I chose the close layover so if something bad happens on the plane, I can drive home or go to a hospital there. I’m comfortable with Phoenix and know my way around. It’s also not far if my wife has to travel to see me.

With luck, my next post will be from a hotel in NJ, which is what we once code named the hospital when my daughter was young. “Daddy’s in New Jersey for a week.” Now, it’s where I’m really going, though given the choice today, I might choose the local hospital. At least I don’t need to board a plane to get there.

Frack Off

I worry about the Earth my daughter will inherit and its condition when she does. Our oceans are filling with plastic debris; many of our streams flow with poison in them; the planet is getting warmer; and we’ve almost reached peak oil production. And now, thanks to a new film by Josh Fox, I’ve learned that many underground water supplies and watersheds contain poisonous chemicals from a drilling and chemical process called Hydraulic Fracturing, or fracking.

Have you ever seen someone light tap water on fire? I hadn’t until I watched the film. It’s funny at first until you realize the water is poisoned and can’t be used. Then it’s not so funny. And it’s all in the search of clean energy – clean gas energy. The irony of this search for clean energy is that it depends on polluting techniques to unearth it.

(Would you like to see water catch on fire? Play the video below.)

The gas companies inject various chemicals into the ground to fracture the Earth’s crust and release the gas, where it’s captured by wells on the surface. Unfortunately, the majority of the chemicals they inject are dangerous to humans, not biodegradable, and poison water supplies – and the air above thanks to the venting of the wells.

It’s one of the best documentaries I’ve ever watched – simple, to the point, and revealing. Its sub-themes reminded me again of the power certain companies wield over our elected officials. Somehow our government continues to make decisions that are good for companies and bad for our well-being. This hypocrisy is very clear in the film, and makes me feel hopeless about our government’s ability to protect our interests and health.

Here is the link to the web site. Click on “drilling areas” to see how extensive fracking is in the USA:

Here is the link to the HBO site if you’d like to watch Gasland

Stay well.

And now for a commercial break from CF – my boycott of Minute Maid

I watched American Idol tonight with my wife and daughter.  It wasn’t the bad performances that upset me – it was a Minute Maid® commercial.

In the commercial, healthy Gen-Y’ers are having a great time boating in the middle of the ocean.  A shark bumps their boat and a plastic cooler of Minute Maid falls over the side. The shark swims off with it, drinks the Minute Maid lemonade and starts jumping out of the water and dancing on its tail.

Here’s a link to the commercial on

My favorite shot: a bunch of destroyed plastic Minute Maid bottles floating in the ocean.

Does anyone at Minute Maid or its global parent company Coca-Cola® know about the large growing wasteland of plastic debris north of Hawaii or the new one now forming in the Atlantic?

Plastic in our oceans is one of the greatest threats to our health we face. Plastic is poison to sea life and makes its way into us through the consumption of seafood. I bet a portion of it comes from Coca-Cola products.  The problem is that much of the plastic is small pieces floating just beneath the surface, which makes clean up difficult, if not impossible.

Here’s a link to a video that tells the story of the problem north of Hawaii. It has adult language and is long, but shows the plastic problem up close.

So, tonight my boycott of Minute Maid and Coca Cola begins. They need to pull the ad immediately.

I leave you with the last line of the commercial spoken by one of the kids on the boat looking at the floating plastic bottles:  “Who’s gonna get the empties?” Exactly, my friend. Exactly.

Scariest web site ever? Read at your own risk

I believe that the world is about to reach peak oil capacity.

I don’t believe we’re about to run out; there will always be oil in the ground, but our quantity of it is finite.  Rather the world’s maximum daily production capacity is about to be reached – the hose can only pump so much and we can’t get a bigger hose.  Unfortunately, demand from countries like China and India will continue to create supply/demand issues.

Here is the link to a web site that, quite frankly, scared the heck out me.  It walks on the extreme side at times, but if you buy its basic premise and science, you’ll start to notice more mainstream news articles about major oil fields in decline, such as Mexico’s, and countries needing to drill deeper ocean wells to locate new oil.

Here’s the site.  Read at your own risk.