Archive for March 30, 2013

Earth-Friendly Tip: No Royal Flush for Rx

Don’t flush those left-over prescription medicines!  They pollute our water.  Instead, donate them to San Jose Flying Doctors (279-8445).  Or go to or to recycle them.  Some pharmacies will take them, too, if you ask. Otherwise, learn how to safely dispose of them yourself.

Leaf 6

[For more easy, money-saving, Eco-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to view/7000, choose a format, and download to your computer or e-book device. Or download a free copy from your favorite e-tailer.]



Pit Bulls

My grand-dogs are pit bulls.  That’s probably what has led me to question inborn evil in the breed.  They get all the bad press.  Admittedly, many truly are vicious and unpredictable, thanks to humans who’ve trained previous generations to fight.  Yet, humans used to consider the pit a dog people admired, and they were often thought of as the perfect companion for children.

I found an interesting article  “10 Things You Never Knew About Pit Bulls.”  It tells some history of the breed (including serving in the military), interesting facts (like how likely it is you’ll be killed by one), and what happens to those who end up in shelters.  Go to and read for yourself.



[One of my grand-dogs cuddling my grand-dog-to-be.]








“Just” a Gunshot

“We thought it was just a gunshot or something.”  That’s a quote from Gilberth Cab, a man who was displaced by the Bayview District (San Francisco) apartment fire last night.  Has hearing  gunfire become so commonplace in our homes that we refer to an unknown loud noise as “JUST a gunshot”?



I Can’t “Weight” to Fly

Weigh in at the airport.  That’s what a professor in Norway is proposing.  If you’re over a certain weight, you pay more for your seat.  I assume the rule would be applied evenly to people who are over the limit for all reasons. I’m for that!  Make those obese people pay more, even if they do have a medical condition.  That pregnant woman–it’s her choice to be carrying that extra weight.  Those sports stars, too, who bulk up to fight better, throw balls farther, and squash their opponents more effectively during a game or match.  Those people, too, who claim to weigh just the right amount because they’re 7 feet tall –they block the movie screen from the seat behind them, anyway, and should pay for that, too.  And don’t forget the people wearing heavy casts or leg braces–if they were close to the weight limit without them they should have dieted before flying.  All these people deserve to pay more!  (Of course, I can’t fly anymore, but that’s beside the point.)  Right on, Professor Whoever!




Why that Rx Costs So Much

A new drug enters the market with a 20-year monopoly before a generic version of it can be sold.  This is the time period in which the pharmaceutical company recoups the amount it spent in developing the drug.  In other words, unlike your small business, they get to  charge a high price for that little pill until they break even.  If that’s the case, why don’t they drop the price after 20 years?  The answer is simple: more profits.

Yes, a generic company can make a cheaper version and challenge the 20-year window through the FDA.  It’s really a patent challenge, claiming that there’s a flaw in the patent or it isn’t valid for some other reason.  Of course, the big-pharma company counter-sues  leading to lengthy and expensive litigation.  If they think they might lose or don’t want to take the chance, they just settle it all with an agreement that the generic company will drop the suit and hold off introducing their more affordable pill, and, in exchange, big-pharma will pay them a tidy sum.  Everybody wins, right?

Wait a minute.  What about us consumers who depend on the medicine, especially people who, because of the expense, must often choose between life-saving medications and food or rent?  And doesn’t that also add to the high costs of our medical system?  Mmmmmmmmm.

Earth-Friendly Tip: Earth Hour

It’s happening now, wherever 8:30 PM local time arrives.  People are turning off their lights for an hour in solidarity for working toward a sustainable future.  This year’s participants are expected to include 152 countries on all continents and landmarks in 7000 cities.

Turning off the lights is only a symbol, of course, but this annual event (7 years old) really is having an effect.  Last year, 35,000 American Girl Scouts were inspired to go into their community and install 132,141 energy-efficient light bulbs.  The former president of Botswana has organized to plant 100,000 trees in devastated areas.  In Russia, 100,000 people are expected to sign petitions to change current laws related to forests, including industrial logging.   Most of all, people are acknowledging the fact that all of us together need to work on saving our not-inexhaustible resources and keeping our Earth healthy for future generations.





Misguided Pope

There’s something wrong with the new Pope.  On Holy Thursday he intends to leave the beautiful church provided for him and go to a youth prison for the traditional Mass and foot-washing.  He actually thinks that prisoners are people! And doesn’t he realize that kids are of no value until they’re adults?  I don’t know about Pope Francis’ misguided actions.  After all, he’s the shepherd of his people, who may very well take his example to heart and think that all human life is to be respected.  Then where will we be?!

Thoughtful Thursday: Finding Peace

“Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not, himself, find peace.”   —  Albert Schweitzer, physician/Nobel Laureate.


I’m in Love with a Priest!

Pope Francis’ installation homily emphasized protecting the environment and caring for one another, especially the weakest and poorest of the world.  That’s my kind of Pope.  And priest.  I hope he and the Curia (they often have a warring relationship similar to that of the President and Congress) can work together toward those ends.

Meanwhile, I’m basking in the warmth of a new romance–with a man who seems to care about all of Creation (human and otherwise) and a priest who reads the New Testament the way I do.

Remember for next St. Patrick’s Day

People are careful not to use the “N” word for African Americans or the “W” word for Italians or the “S” word for people of Hispanic and Italian backgrounds or the “W-back” term for people of Mexican heritage.  So why do they feel it’s natural and funny to refer to an Irish person with the “P” word?  “Paddy” (also “Patty”) is just as much a racial slur.  It’s a British term used historically to put the Irish in their place.  Thus the “Paddy Wagon,” as though most criminals the British police picked up were Irish.  The word comes from “St. Patrick” or the common Irish name “Padraig” (also spelled “Patty”) but is far more than a simple name on the tongues of a prejudiced person.

The term is often used in fun or as a term of endearment.  And the Irish will often call each other that–just like Blacks call each other “N” among themselves.  But to use it indiscriminately, especially among people you don’t know, is insensitive at best and, at worst, inflammatory.

Next year, remember to wish everyone a Happy ST. PATRICK’SD Day.