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Interests: Family, God, Rivers, Tennis
Expertise: Human frailty, Lungs
Occupation: Resp therapist, English teache
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|One only becomes addicted after one chooses to smoke. Further, as a smoking cessation counselor, I know that tobacco usually has a three part hold on the habituated: social habits, behavioral habits, and the nicotine addiction. The addiction element takes hold to varying degrees in all people. Choice, yes. Addiction, yes. Possible to quit without the crutch of calling it an illness, oh yes. |
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Hello all. I'm doing all my writing on a family web site that the Mayers created last spring. I'm afraid my Xanga site has really taken a back seat. However, I thought it'd be a good idea to tell anyone who might be looking that I've decided to get a masters degree in Health Administration and Informatics at the University of Missouri. I will be going to three days of classes per month and doing a lot of stuff on line. If all goes well, I'll be done in two years and many lost hairs. On the bright side, most of those hairs will be grey. Here's to non traditional!
Collin and I try to make our tennis trips across semi frozen Midwest rivers good for more than just tennis. From late January to early March we often become nature watchers, for this is eagle season in our part of the country. Last weekend we had by far our most eventful river crossing so far. On our way to Fairfield, Iowa, we took a county blacktop that swung down into the DeMoines River valley and over a bridge at a town called Eldon. On our way we noticed three roosting eagles and one soaring overhead. We didn't have time to stop, but on the way back we took the same route and stopped several times on the edge of the river.
Every time we saw an eagle perched in a big Cottonwood tree, we'd get out of the truck and "sneak" clumsily down to the river's edge. On every occasion but one, the birds would take off for the other side of the river long before we got to their resting spot. However, one majestic bird chose to reciprocate our interest with some of her own. Why “her”? You may ask. Well, the male bald eagles are slightly smaller and have jet black body feathers. The females, however, have a slightly gray undertone to their body feathers, and they are generally larger birds.
Anyway, after scaring off two of the more cautious males, we came upon a well hidden female that was perched not far from the crotch of a large Cottonwood. She was clearly eying us as we passed beneath and about seventy feet to the other side of her hiding place. Soon we got to a position that allowed her body to be mostly obscured by one of the main trunk bifurcations, but this didn't discourage her vigilance. As we made our attempt to sneak up on her from this concealed position, she kept an eye on us by leaning first to one side of the trunk and then leaning back to the other side of the trunk. (To envision this properly, you need to keep in mind that as we approched her tree, we were walking toward the river. She, likewise, was facing riverward in her perch.) Since it was clear that we could not get much closer without rousting her from her perch, we simply stopped to see what she would do. About every five or six seconds she would shift to look at us from the other side of the tree trunk. Finally, weary of her peek-a-boo game, she let out from her perch in the middle of this large tree, flew through the branches (which may be why she didn't fly so quickly, as the eagles usually find resting places on a tree's periphery) and across the river to join her less curious companions.
In all, Collin saw eighteen bald eagles, and I saw seventeen--a source of great pride for my hyper competitive boy. So I file yet another tennis and bird story away in the annals of this blog.
I recently read a story about a former NFL football player who grew up in relative poverty in another country. Upon coming to the U.S. for college, he was “discovered.” Basically, he was a big man with athletic skills, and his small college made a football player out of him. All he had to do was run the ball, and he did that right into a remarkable six year pro career that ended early because of a knee injury.
This man was known for his generosity as a player, and he has continued it well past his productive athletic years. When interviewed recently the man said, "What drives me is doing something good…. Doing what we do, seeing the kids happy and running around with other athletes…I believe that when you succeed, there were people along the way who helped you. I know that was the case for me."
Of late I’ve had the opportunity to talk with people who, very big heartedly, want to see more such “goodness” bestowed upon mankind through governmental means. Because they can easily pick out the faults and excesses of our capitalistic culture, they genuinely think that government could do it better. They want to cut out the “selfish individualism” that peppers our society with a blanket of government subsidies that will give people what they “need” to survive.
It sounds good, but it’s been tried before, and I’ll let your imagination take you to the terrible ends of those governmental benefactors—systems that looked so good and selfless when they started, only to decay from the inevitable consequences of man’s sin.
In this society my friends dream of, one could see a thankful man saying “the state was there along the way to help me; I just want to point you to that help too.” I shudder to think of it.
I’ll take the mish mash of corporate greed, with all the giant corporate midgets watching to report the missteps of the others. It makes for an imperfect balance, for sure, but it’s not nearly as scary as a true governmental giant wielding an unchecked power to do good. History has proven that such a giant need only take one step in the wrong direction to wreck havoc way beyond what we see in our current imperfect society.
The numbers are adding up in more than one way. Alyssa has now received acceptance letters to the University of Maryland, the University of Missouri, Seton Hall University, and St. Louis University law schools. She has considerable scholarships available to her, as much as $60,000 for three years to one of the schools. Now she's waiting to see if that most desired of schools comes through, the University of Virginia. If that one comes in, I'd bet that constitutional law wins out over health law.
P.S. Alyssa now has pixie cut hair, and it looks great on her. It's the best hair style I've ever seen for her. I'll put a picture up when I get one.