Rising in Beauty

Rising in Beauty
Sky over North Park

Just Learning

Just Learning
Kitchen Studio

Friday, August 29, 2008


Last night at the Denver stadium, Barak Obama convinced me that he can be a gifted and inspiring leader. He's grown into the stature that has been hoped for him.

Can he do what he says he will if he is President? Who knows? No past president has achieved much more than progress on goals for US society and economy. No one person can or administration can. All too many have brought regression instead.

The video about his life showed that he really does know our people and has been at work in grassroots, bottom-up democracy for many years.

Go get that Goliath, David.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"How To" Article Can Help Prevent Alcohol Problems

This morning I was awakened by a phone call of congratulations on my letter to the editor, which I had not realized was published yesterday in the San Diego Union Tribune. The caller was an enthusiastic parent and activist who supports a ban on booze on Ocean Beach. Several beach communities in the area have already taken this step, which makes it much more pleasant and safe to enjoy the beautiful beaches nearby.

I had responded to yesterday's Union Tribune Health feature called "Sober Assessment," which gave succinct practical information on how much alcohol various drinks contain. It gave good guidelines on how to tell if one is too much affected by alcohol to drive with good judgment, and reported on heading off alcohol problems before they become severe.

Color photos of various drinks showed how much volume it takes to get one ounce or "one shot," a basic measure of alcohol. An ounce of whiskey, 6 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer contain the same amount of alcohol. Many people who drink a six-pack of beer in a couple of hours are amazed that they have had the equivalent of six shots of hard liquor.

Another part of the article asked doctors to query their patients routinely about how many days recently they have had at least one drink. That simple question can lead to taking alcohol use seriously as part of health care. Many medications become harmful or deadly when they combine with alcohol.

It made me very uneasy to read that drinks served in bars are usually stronger than people realize. An ounce and a half of, say, gin, in a fruity mixed drink, or a beer glass that holds 16 ounces or more, starts impairing a person faster than the person expects. Relaxing and socializing shouldn't make a person sick.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Olympics Awe

Teenage girls hurl themselves through punishing gymnastics routines, to win by a few tenths of a point. They're all so good, and they represent only a tiny percentage of thousands of young girls all over the world who train, and dream, for years. Like the girls who train in ballet, some will make a life career, most will not. Maybe everything later will seem second best; or, maybe, they will transfer the courage, discipline, and drive to new goals.

What a feast of excellence we are witnessing through the televised Olympics. Swimmers, divers, discus throwers, the Jamaican sweep in Track and Field, team sports, solo sports - it's overwhelming how much achievement we are witnessing, and how much it takes to organize and support sports. It's encouraging.

I certainly would rather experience nationalism and conflict through sports than through war.