eXTReMe Tracker WARNING: The opinions expressed and linked to in this blog are not necessarily mine (anymore).

My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Tuesday, October 24

FlyLady Day 1

Judging by the state of the clutter in my home, I'm in dire need of some housecleaning inspiration. A long time ago, I made some amazing progress in this area with the help of FlyLady but I haven't kept up with it in a while, and it shows.

Who is FlyLady? She's the one who set up a website and email list full of reminders and inspirational messages about house cleaning, designed for people, like herself, whom she calls "born disorganized". Not that her techniques couldn't work for the "born organized". But organized people just aren't as likely to need them.

The problem I've had with getting back into her system is that her webpage is, well, cluttered. Maybe cluttered isn't the right word. All the information is useful, but it's a bit overwhelming.

Luckily, she has a nice side link for beginners. It's set up with instructions for each of the first 31 days. Beginners used to get an email with 3 days worth of instructions. It will be interesting to see how the new structure works out.

Today, I'm going to start with number 1: SHINE YOUR SINK.

500 Generic Prescriptions for $5 each

No, I this isn't spam. I'm just amazed by this latest announcement by HEB. HEB is a large chain of discount grocery stores here in Texas and Mexico.

The discount comes with using the Rx card. I haven't seen what the price for the Rx card is yet, if there is a fee. Even if there is some sort of monthly membership, $5/prescription is a good deal for people with multiple prescriptions - possibly even less than a typical copay. They would also be offering huge discounts (up to 50%) on other prescription drugs.

HEB isn't the only one offering low cost health products. Walmart just announced $4 prescriptions last week and I've seen articles about Walmart offering low cost health care.

Monday, October 23

Walking the Circle

It was a cool, crisp morning with a light breeze. There was a forest. A stream flowed nearby. Then I saw caves with fires for light and warmth. It was actually a fountain flowing into a swimming pool, some buildings, and a pavilian with propane lanterns. They were too high and too small to actually be warm. It was a bit disappointing, but still a beautiful day and a beautiful place.

We did some drills - striking, blocking, and even a bit of kicking. Finally, I worked on walking the circle. This is supposed to be the basis of Bagua, so I tried to approach it seriously. Still, how hard could walking in a circle really be? I tried bending my knees more. Then it was a bit more difficult. I held my arms toward the inside of the circle - one hand up and one to defend the elbow area. It was a bit more difficult. Every few rotations, I'd get dizzy and change directions. I wonder if I'll build tolerance to the dizziness. I wonder why it's supposed to be a circle.

Somehow I had envisioned the circle being larger when I first heard of this practice. I imagined monks walking slowly and carefully over painted lines. I don't know why I thought of paint. I also thought of something like those labyrinths that are so popular these days.

After a while of circle walking, my legs were getting tired. A while longer and my arms and shoulder started to ache. They were still sore the next day, and my ankles are still sore two days later. I guess it was more of a workout than it seemed.

Tao Te Ching, 8

The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

When you are content to be simply yourself
and don't compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.

-from Tao Te Ching, A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

I was looking through my New Year's Resolutions. One of them was to be familiar with the Ten Commandments. I started some research into them and discovered some interesting things about them, but they aren't yet familiar.

Towards the end of being familiar, I intend to go through the text line by line.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
I find it interesting that it refers to the (possible) existence of other gods and accepts them. It doesn't say that there are no other gods or that they should not be worshipped - only that this God commands that he/it come first.

Thursday, October 19

S. 3930: Military Commissions Act of 2006

I've been hearing and getting email about this for a while now. I don't know what to think of it yet.

I haven't read the bill.

Reading the bill wouldn't be enough to understand it anyhow. There are plenty of laws that don't get enforced or get enforced in ways that seem contrary to their wording.

Without getting into the bill just yet, I'd like to explore some related issues.

Is torture always wrong?

I can imagine scenarios where I would think it "might" be the least worst option, but it's difficult.

If I knew beyond all doubt that torturing someone would uncover information that could save millions of lives, I might be willing to do it. It would be a terrible situation to be in. I'd try to find some way to avoid it. I might put off doing it for so long that I'm too late to save anyone. I don't know whether I'd actually be able to do such a thing - even for a million people.

Most cases aren't so clear cut. An individual may or may not have such information, and torture may or may not succeed in obtaining it.

I also wonder about what torture does to the torturer. One would have to maintain a degree of indifference about or even enjoy the pain of others. Is this a good thing to encourage in anyone?