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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Puyallup, Washington
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 35,532

About Me

I truly believe that we will all live in peace and brotherhood someday. And so that I don't lose my faith in humanity, I will live my life as if that day had already happened.

Journal Archives

Saturday, December 6th. The Weekend Edition of William Shakespeare's Thought For The Day.

"You are a shallow, cowardly hind, and you lie."

Henry IV, Part I, Act II, Scene 3, Line 15

Last day at the homeless clinic.

This clinic has been a part of my life in one way or another for almost ten years. I worked here as a Medical Assistant until 2008, when I left to attend Physician Assistant School. Right after graduation in 2010, I found myself back here doing the work I love, providing health care for the homeless population.

What with one thing and another, the municipal organization that contracted for medical care has decided not to renew our contract. So today is my last day.

It's not all bad, though. They were planning to dilute the mission here, admitting patients from subsidized housing, and so on. And that's fine. They need health care, too. but my heart is really with the people who are grinding it out, day by day, on the streets.

I'll still be with the same community health organization that hired me in 2010. But now, I'll be working at our mainstream clinic full-time. And thanks to the ACA, a lot of my homeless patients will be able to follow me over there, since they have insurance now, and won't need grant-covered health care. Thank you, President Obama!

So, it's not all bad. And I'll have a shorter commute from now on. But I will miss this place.

Saturday, November 22nd. The Weekend Edition of William Shakespeare's Thought For The Day.

"The thunder-like percussion of thy sounds
Thou mad'st thy enemies shake..."

Coriolanus, Act I, Scene 4, Lines 59-60.

Having dinner and drinks with Will Shakespeare.

Ask us anything.

Saturday, November 8th. The Weekend Edition of William Shakespeare's Thought For The Day.

"This is not generous, not gentle, not humble."

Love's Labour's Lost, Act V, Scene 2, Line 621.

I've got to let a patient know she's got breast cancer.

Only my second diagnosis of breast cancer in four years.

Today sucks...

Happy Hour with Will Shakespeare. Ask us anything.

Getting some dinner...

Anyone doing the elecoral math for 2016?

How many seats Dems have to defend as opposed to how many repukes have to defend?

Saturday, November 1st. The Weekend Edition of William Shakespeare's Thought For The Day.

"You base foot-ball player!"

King Lear, Act I, Scene 4, Line 91.

Anyone seen 'Fury' yet?

I saw it Friday night. It was a lot more harrowing and bloody than I thought it was going to be. I don't know why I expected that. Nearly every war film in the post-"Saving Private Ryan" era seems to go as far as they can in the direction of nearly unwatchable violence in the name of being 'authentic'. Sometimes, it helps the filmmaker to tell the story better. Oftentimes, though, it seems gratuitous.

'Fury' had a mixture of both, I think.

It seemed to be a pretty good primer for tank warfare. Although my Gulf War tank unit never got into actual combat, a lot of the nuts-and-bolts details of life on a tank and with tankers were fairly accurate. One thing that definitely rang true was the bickering and animosity that can exist between crewmen on the same tank. The rigors of combat aren't solely to blame for this. We have been trained by Band Of Brothers, and other intense filmed stories about soldiers about the bond that grows between fighting men. Talking-head interviews with veterans almost always include a recitation of the love that they grew to feel for their comrades, and that it often surpassed familial levels. And while that is undoubtedly true, the petty squabbling and enmity that often occur between combat soldiers is often omitted. I was on a four-man M1A1 Abrams tank crew. And none of us liked each other very much. On-duty communication was mostly limited to purely business tanker lingo. And off-duty, each of us went somewhere and did our own thing without the others. My tank commander respected my abilities, but he didn't like me personally; those feelings were reciprocated.

I actually got along with our gunner. We would exchange jokes every now and then. But we had nothing in common, and he could be unpredictable. One minute, laughing and joking, the next, irritable and nasty.

And our driver - the less said about him, the better. He was poorly trained, indifferently motivated, and had no interpersonal skills of any kind.

Brad Pitt did fairly well in his role, I think. I don't know if moral ambiguity is easy or difficult to portray on film. But Pitt is good at it. He's had a lot of experience.

Shia LaBeouf was a pleasant surprise. I guess someone finally convinced him to stop being a douche and just act. And he acted well.

The redneck psychopath was a scary addition to the crew as loader. I knew a lot of guys like him when I was in the Army. Hyper-aggressive Southern boys whose only means of expression, as 'Superman's' Jor-El might have put it, was wanton violence and destruction. Guys with no conscience, no restraint, no decency, and a monstrous chip on their shoulders.

It was great to finally get to see the scene with the Tiger tank, portrayed by the last German Tiger tank in working condition anywhere in the world, and the only one ever to appear in a Hollywood film about the war. Authenticity is always appreciated.

SPOILER - One quibble I have about the film is how the crew just seemed to give up when their track was damaged. Now understand, throwing a track in the mud is a tanker's worst nightmare. But if you've got Nazis headed your way and you've got the 30-60 minutes the crew seemed to have before they showed up, you hop off the tank, grab the end-connectors, spare track blocks and the tools, and try to lever the thing back together.

All in all, a pretty good film experience.

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