Friday, February 15, 2008
Sorry, Blood Recipients. Sorry, Tattoo Parlour.
The American Red Cross has mistakenly put me on their deferral list.
My wife and I traveled to a small village called Mal Pais in Costa Rica to perform a wedding last August. Prior to going, we had to get all of the shots, etcetera, and I checked with the travel doctor who gave us the shots, and with the red cross prior to going, to verify that this village was not in a zone that would disqualify me from donating blood. Both sources confirmed. At the red cross, the nurse and I looked at a map of costa rica, very carefully, and saw that the Puntarenas province was marked on the CDC map as being safe from malaria risk, and therefore I could give blood.
After coming back, I donated blood some time around October, and the questionnaire asked if I'd been out of the country, so I answered truthfully. The nurse went into a total tizzy and had two other people in the office checking, and they all saw the exact same map we had viewed in the ARC office prior to me going on the trip, and saw that the area was malaria-free.
On my donation just last week, I again answered truthfully, against my better judgment. The nurse didn't pull up the map, but was worried about me having been in Costa Rica. I just received a call and talked to a woman who told me that according to the information I had given (being in Mal Pais, at the tip of the Puntarenas province), I would be ineligible for a year, since it is on the Nicoya Peninsula. The more northern portion of the Nicoya Peninsula does have a malaria risk. The portion I was in (the southern-most tip) does not have a malaria risk according to the US CDC, or at least did not at the time that I went to. I don't know what the URL for the map we saw in the office was, but I was able to find this table online, with no mention of Puntarenas province having a malaria risk.
To further document, I put together the attached diagram.
Ordinarily I wouldn't be concerned, but now I have consternation. See, I had wanted to give two more pints to get to my goal of 5 gallons, and then get some tattoos. Looks like those tattoos might be coming a bit early if I have to wait another 6 months. Then again, if I get the tattoos I'll need to wait another year after that. It feels wrong to me to get tattoos before I give the 5 gallons. It feels wrong to me to not be giving blood for the next six months because of somebody's clerical error (if that is indeed what the situation actually is). And it feels wrong to me to not be getting tattoos OR giving blood because of somebody's clerical error. I was totally planning that the time spent not giving blood would be because of getting tattoos, not because of this. I guess it just irks me. I'd like to get a little bit of verification from the red cross as to whether this is just a case of somebody doing some ham-fisted checking. Their restrictions on who can give blood are already pretty tough, especially with respect to travel. You'd think they'd want my blood.
If they don't clear this up, I suppose I could just take a little time off. After all, I'm sure I've given more than 5 gallons if you add in the donations I gave back when I was in high school and college, before I got my card to keep track. But then, the recipients will have a little less.
lyrics: "Can you scare me up a little bit of love?" Little Ghost, by the White Stripes.
colors: red and white.
mood: miffed + ennui.
chant/prayer/mantra: insisting on giving.
agape to all,
Sunday, February 10, 2008
noticed while walking my dog
Blog on mag n her nose in th mastif-g.shep's b-hole. Yankd her away. Stil not fully pomo. Same w/ xtians n homos.
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So, today, I was walking Maggie and we came upon a woman with a ~125 pound mastiff/german shepherd dog. They did the usual sniffing around, and then she decided to go in for the glory. I watched in horror as I had a full view of this other dog's large butthole, and my dog's nose going straight for it, not to simply sniff it from a millimeter or two away -- but she actually had her nose right up against it for an instant and would've stayed longer had I not yanked her away.
My reaction was entirely reflexive, a directive from some logic burned deep into my primal mind (where the deep frames of reference lie, and where 'intuition' comes from) that says noses do not touch buttholes. Buttholes are often dirty, especially big nasty mastiff/german shepherd buttholes. But not to Maggie. That was EXACTLY what she wanted to do and I wouldn't, couldn't, let her do it. I had her on a leash, and I pulled her away from her bliss. It was not very post-modern of me. If I really don't want that, she really doesn't want that. And if I can control/influence/coerce, I will.
There are big differences here, however. First, I am close to my dog. I care about my dog. If this were a couple of dogs that I didn't know, I would chuckle, and in my mind, give them kudos for following their nature. But my dog sleeps in our bed. She licks my face -- which she won't be doing that for a while now, until her nose gets clean. Actually I see her licking her nose right now after eating a pizza crust.
Anyway, she's our dog and I care about her well-being, and she enjoys sleeping with us. If she wants to do that, then I'm drawing the line as to where she can put her nose. Being in community as we are, and knowing a bit more about the dangers of the world (traffic, vicious dogs, chasing cats and falling into a hole, etc), I keep her on a leash. In effect, the leash helps with community. I'd rather not have her on a leash. To me, organized religion is like a leash, binding us together -- to some set of principles, a person, a code, or a creed.
If you're part of a community, interacting with other people, there are certain things you can't do, or you will impinge on others' freedom or well-being. If there were a person with tuberculosis and you were to visit them and get the disease, then go back to the community, that would be a Bad Thing. If, however, it were a person with a non-communicable disease such as cancer, visiting them and then going back to the community wouldn't be a problem.
I'll get to the point in a minute.
Imagine there are people who have different sexual practices in your community (whether seen in the context of your family, your town, your country, or your world). And of course, pretty much everybody does have different variations in sexual practices and technique, right? So what if people of the same gender want to touch one another in ways that you don't? How is that different than a man and woman who touch each other in ways that you don't?
If its people who I don't know and I hear about whatever they're doing, I'm going to react however I am going to react, depending on the deed they do. I may feel revulsion, I may chuckle, or perhaps envy or inspiration. But unless there is something about what they're doing that causes real danger or cost to the community (e.g. - spreading communicable diseases), I have no right trying to control their behavior. Especially if they're not in my religious community, and don't share my values.
The post-modern aspect is that people who are not me like some things that I don't like. And they are welcome to pursue those things with absolute freedom as long as it doesn't impinge on my freedom. If it does impinge on some of my freedom, we need to negotiate a middle ground.
Take marriage, for example. Say two people of the same gender want to be free to get married and have a monogamous relationship, with all the social and fiscal benefits that entails. That impinges on straight peoples' freedom to have exclusive rights to marriage and monogamy, and all of the benefits. It also impinges on the beliefs of people who believe that marriage is a gift from God to heterosexuals, by extending or redefining it.
To see it from the other perspective, say a group of people wants to be free to create legislation that disallows marriage and monogamy for those who find their life partner to be the same gender. This impinges on the freedom of homosexual couples to have a covenant before God, friends, and family, and formally establish that they choose to be monogamous. Legislation of that nature impinges on the freedom of homosexual couples to share in the benefits afforded to those who are married. Legislation of that nature impinges on my freedom to have gay and lesbian friends who are married into monogamous relationships.
As a divine representative, I certainly don't sign on with legislation like this, and I look on what is happening here, and wonder if this isn't just the same old excuse by some people thinking how they're different from another group of people, and wanting to find a way to exercise their freedom of oppression against those they think to be "other". So what happens here? In a 'freedom versus freedom' model of this, the oppressors are transgressing/trespassing against those who they claim are transgressing/trespassing* against them. Its simply a case of might makes right, which is very uncivilized. That's why Zoroaster came. That's why Moses came. That's why Jesus came. That's why Mohammad came. That's why there have been a mountain of prophets, to try to get humanity to be civil to one another and to appreciate Life in all its glory.
*here I'm thinking in terms of "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" from the Lord's Prayer....
I have homework to do tonight. I've got to stop sending little "reminder" text msg notes to my blog for later follow-up.
Lyrics: "I dreamed I would fall like a wounded cannonball." - Brandi Carlile
agape to all,
Friday, February 8, 2008
A British man is being imprisoned for 4 years because they found 0.01 grams (about the size of a sugar grain) of cannabis on the bottom of his shoe. They also have jailed people for having leftover poppy seeds from muffins, and for carrying melatonin, a sleeping pill.
Best to avoid UAE for a while. Fortunately, you can see pictures of their special building online, and probably could even see it from outside the country, since its viewable from 60 miles away.
chant/prayer/mantra: For the sake of the planet, may justice align with compassion and reason.
agape to all,
Thursday, February 7, 2008
chant/prayer/mantra: For the Earth, our home, may we live always in such as way as to bless it.
agape to all,
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Desalinization, Media-Links Update
Also, during a read of the first chapter, I'm noting that if it takes ~7000kWh/AF (acre-feet*) of energy to desalinate sea water, that means if 7,500 AF/yr is about 7.16 million gallons/day, another approximation yields 1AF/yr ~~ 1000 gallons/day. This means that to make 1000 gallons per day would take 7000kWh. To make 1 gallon per day would take 7kWh, or the equivalent of 70 100 watt lightbulbs going for an hour. That's not as good as I'd hoped. I'm wondering if my figures are correct. This blurb from the article pretty much affirms my estimates:
For example, an estimated 50 million kWh/yr would be required for full-time operation of the City of Santa Barbara's desalination plant to produce 7,500 AF/yr of water. In contrast, the energy needed to pump 7,500 AF/yr of water from the Colorado River Aqueduct or the State Water Project to the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California is 15 to 26 million kWh/yr. These energy requirements may be compared to the energy use of a small- to medium-sized industrial facility (such as a large refinery, small steel mill, or large computer center) which uses 75,000 to 100,000 kWh/yr.In any case, since lots of the places where desalinization could happen are on the ocean coastlines, and many have volcanos and hotsprings, the power for these operations could come from harnessing the tides, and from geothermal....
*Also after more research on acronymfinder and comparing measures, 1 acre-foot is approximately 325,000 gallons of water, and that's why one acre-foot/year is close to 1000 gallons/day.
Also, I updated my mediareformlinks blog the other day with some good info. Check it if you want to have some good talking points on why media reform is important, or if you want to find out which major corporations own which of the mass media vehicles.
agape to all,
Burj Dubai - The New Tallest Building
The estimated cost of the building is supposedly less than $2 billion USD. Consider me amazed.
Kinda like the tower of babel maybe. Lots of concrete. Lots of hubris. When people are still starving around the world, why the taller and taller buildings, and the bigger and bigger boats?
Its interesting that such a large building would be getting built in the Persian Gulf.
Also of interest is that for far more than that price, the United States purchases airplanes for their military. In fact, the price of one single Stealth Bomber B-2 Spirit apparently runs at the same price as the world's largest building to be. That's a question of priorities, I suppose.
lyrics: Something by Dim Stars. Oops, now "Train kept a rolling all night long" by Dread Zeppelin.
mood: shocked and awed.
chant/prayer/mantra: Bring it on home.
agape to all,