Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Alex in Wonderland

It had to happen, didn't it?

So far, I've been one of the lucky few (?) many (?) who have had nothing but marvelous service from our health care system.

Then, about 5 weeks ago, I developed a strange new ache in my right collarbone. Went to the doctor. He sent me for an x-ray. Inconclusive. Get an ultrasound.

Now the fun begins.

Guess how long I have to wait for an ultrasound? Three weeks. That's 3 weeks of pain and discomfort, expecially at night when I should be sleeping.

Now, look. I haven't lost my sight or the use of my legs and I'm not in unbearable pain and misery. Nevertheless...

I phone a dozen places. No way. This place doesn't do ultrasound. That place only does one shoulder a day. "What if you did 2?" I dare to ask. "Would our noses fall off? Would Lonsdale slip into the sea? Would American Idol show up on CPAC?"

This wait, I learn, is the norm.

Today, I finally realize my dream. Ultrasound Morning. One shop, 900,000 people pushing, shoving, sweating, breathing. Mostly women terrfied of breast cancer and lining up for their mammographies. Lovely.

The technician, a middle-aged, non-nonsense gal from eastern Europe, barks out her various orders to me. Please and Thank You are conspicuously absent. What should I care? Just get the procedure done. Right?

The examination room - the one with the $1.25 ultrasound machine that's been in use since the French revolution - is a closet. A cold, ugly closet. What Gulag are we in?

O.K. I haven't been left to croak on a gurney in emergency. Not yet. But still...nevertheless...

Yikes. Is this the best we can do?

Blue, Blue, True Blue

What is it about wearing a blue uniform that releases the Inner Caveman in some men?

The RCMP is being torn asunder by divisions in its ranks, including regular accusations of sexual harassment from female officers. The Richmond Fire Department has yet to explain what has being going on in their work environments in recent years that caused several female firefighters to resign and go public. Now a gay councillor in Pemberton is saying that homophobia is rampant at the local fire hall.

Now, we don't rightly know the veracity or extent of any of these alarm bells.

But there certainly appears to be a peculiar and sophomoric pattern at play here.

What is it exactly? Boys will be boys? Men in uniform just get flat silly?

And does being a homophobic, anti-woman dork mean you can't do a good job?

Whatever it is...Grow Up.

And So It Goes

Paul Wolfowitz is one of the original architects of "The Project for the New American Century." This is the utterly deranged and misguided vision that has been the blueprint for the Bush administration, worldwide.

Mr. W's current problem speaks volumes about where we all are today.

Mr. W. is, among other things, including former deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank. His girlfriend has risen quickly from being a lowly paid nebbish to being a very highly paid nebbish in the State Department.

He and she are under investigation.

Sarah Vaughan_My funny Valentine1983ITALY