Thursday, August 28, 2008

Odd Haiku

This Stinks

Fie! Here is death’s stink.

Nay. ‘Tis the odor of piss.

Change its damn diaper.

Peace, Doc

Copyright © 2008, Thomas A. Blood, Ph.D.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

IP Haiku

Every computer on the Internet is assigned its own, unique identification number. These numbers are referred to as your Internet Protocol (IP) address. They are important because they allow computers to locate and recognize each other. IP addresses are made up of four number sets, between zero and 255, and are separated by periods.

Six dot one dot one

One dot zero zero five,

Hi, y’all FBI!

The inspiration for this haiku was a similar poem written for a contest sponsored by Think Geek.

Peace, Doc

Copyright © 2008, Thomas A. Blood, Ph.D.

“The Linux philosophy is 'Laugh in the face of danger'. Oops. Wrong One. 'Do it yourself'. Yes, that's it.” – Linus Torvalds

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Stolen Years

I don’t believe that I’ve had an original thought in the past several days. Therefore I have decided to expand on ideas borrow some thoughts steal content from elsewhere. I have no idea from where I copied the 25 Things You Should Have Learned by Middle Age, so if I have used anyone’s original material, please let me know and I will credit you as the source. The Aging ABCs came from the EONS newsletter and were submitted there by “Steve.”

25 Things You Should Have Learned by Middle Age

1. If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out.

2. Don't worry about what people think; they don't do it very often.

3. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

4. It ain't the jeans that make your butt look fat.

5. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

6. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

7. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

8. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

9. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.

10. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

11. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of pay checks.

12. A conscience is what hurts when all of your other parts feel so good.

13. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.

14. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.

15. No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes.

16. A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.

17. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

18. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.

19. Junk is something you've kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.

20. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

21. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

22. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

23. Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.

24. Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world.

25. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

The Aging ABC’s

A is for Apple, and B is for Boat,

That used to be right, but now it won't float!

Age before Beauty is what we once said,

But let's be a bit more realistic instead.

Now - -

A is for arthritis;

B is the bad back,

C is the chest pains, perhaps car-d-iac?

D is for dental decay and decline,

E is for eyesight, can't read that top line!

F is for fissures and fluid retention,

G is for gas which I'd rather not mention.

H is high blood pressure -- I'd rather it low;

I for incisions with scars you can show,

J is for joints, out of socket, won't mend,

K is for knees that crack when they bend.

L for libido, what happened to sex?

M is for memory, I forget what comes next!

N is neuralgia, in nerves way down low;

O is for osteo, the bones that don't grow!

P for prescriptions, I have quite a few, just give me a pill and

I'll be good as new!

Q is for queasy, is it fatal or flu?

R is for reflux, one meal turns to two.

S is for sleepless nights, counting my fears,

T is for Tinnitus; there's bells in my ears!

U is for urinary; big troubles with flow;

V is for vertigo, that's "dizzy," you know.

W is for worry, NOW what's going 'round?

X is for X-ray, and what might be found.

Y is another year I'm left here behind,

Z is for zest I still have -- in my mind.

I've survived all the symptoms, my body's deployed,

And I'm keeping six doctors fully employed

Respect thy elders, even when they drool on you.

From Steve in the EONS Squeaking By Retirement Group

Peace, Doc

“Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth …” – Ecclesiastes 11:9

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Health Data: Not For Sale

Right now, as Congress considers health IT legislation that would convert our health records from paper to electronic data, patient information is at risk of becoming a commodity that businesses can sell or trade.

While having a nationally connected electronic network for storing and sharing Americans medical information promises to reduce medical error and improve patient care both in emergencies and chronic situations, medical privacy should not become a casualty of the race to set up databases of electronic health records.

We need real patient control of data and damages for misuse or theft. Patients must be able to review files, correct bad data, and block access without consent to personal information. The legislation before the subcommittee does not have these protections.

If Congress fails to require strong privacy and security standards now, during the early stages of development of these online patient records systems, Americans’ medical secrets will be extremely vulnerable to snooping - or being lost or stolen.

Tell Congress: Patients deserve control of their personal health records!

The brief article above is directly from the ACLU’s website. While individuals’ opinions of the organization itself differ widely, it is quite aptly named. It does indeed work toward the preservation and adherence to laws as written, and if there is an inequity in the law, they work toward the fair application of that law to all persons subject to it.

I couldn’t begin to do justice to this topic in a short blog post, but I can tell you that it should scare the bejesus out of you. Think for a moment in terms of the transponders or chips that have been used first to set off alarms if one tried to leave a store without paying for the merchandise, next came barcodes and chips that held information about that product that enabled tracking, dates and places of sale, could correlate that with the credit card that purchased it and know that it was you who bought it. Does your pet have an implanted chip to identify it in case it is stolen or lost? Well, don’t worry, you may have one soon also, only it will have a programmable memory and you will carry your Personal Health Record, implanted under your skin, with you at all times. That could be useful if you ended up in the ER after a car crash and the staff needed information rapidly. Then your treatment, medications, procedures, diagnoses, and any other information would be added to your own little database. This request for information, especially the proposed subject population and agency requesting to carrying it out, should be of concern to all who read between the lines. Physicians’ groups are having qualms about the security of electronic records. This single article is only representative of general concerns.

The issues about the security of the EHR have not come about since last Thursday. It has been a topic of concern for a number of years within the health provider community. It has become a topic of more urgent concern recently since two information giants, Google and Microsoft, have entered the arena, proposing to become the nation’s health information repositories. Have a look at a few other searches here, and here, and especially here.

I will be the first to admit being very suspicious of the EHR. Possibly I border on being paranoid about it, but I don’t think so. Whenever I become confused or uncertain about what is happening in an undertaking of this size and importance, I have to remember to, “Follow the money.” Who stands to profit? Not really the patient or even the doctor who are just as well off with paper records. Who, then? Hospitals, HMO’s, insurance companies (health or disability,) the information transmitters (telecoms which have given the government information illegally and were granted retroactive immunity for their crimes,) the companies of whatever size that are paid to store or backup this health information? Did you notice that little or no profit goes to the individuals involved most directly, and the most to corporations who care little about what happens to a single patient or doc? Who might want this information illegally? Prospective employers not wanting to hire someone with a family history of a particular disease? Life insurance companies that might want a little edge over their actuarial tables? Government or police agencies that might just need a couple hundred thousand DNA codes?

It’s obvious where my feelings lie at this juncture. Given the burgeoning of identity theft over the last few years, is it so unreasonable to believe that the same might well happen with health records? Given the government’s nearly unfettered access to citizen’s private information without their knowledge or consent, can we say that won’t happen in our future? I’m afraid not.

Peace, Doc

Copyright © 2008, Thomas A. Blood, Ph.D.

“He who allows oppression shares the crime.” - Desiderius Erasmus quotes (Dutch Priest, Humanist and Editor of the New Testament, 1469-1536)

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