Thursday, January 29, 2015

43 every day

OK guys, pop quiz. Hands up, how many here reading this do NOT know someone who died of cancer or has survived it so far? I didn't think so. I don't claim to any special knowledge here, but here's my list, just off the top of my head:

  • Father, died.
  • Mother in law, died.
  • Brother in law, died.
  • Wife, still here, precancerous cells and other stuff removed.
  • Cousin, breast cancer survivor
  • Close friend, thyroid cancer survivor.
  • Several other buddies surviving various forms of cancer, so far.
  • There are almost certainly more that I don't know of, and I was reminded later of the following
  • Grandfather, died.
  • Sister-in-law, breast cancer survivor
I attended a rally downtown on Wednesday to protest the Calgary Cancer Centre being delayed yet again. For the 3rd time. That's where I learned that 43 people get told they have cancer every day. That's just under 16,000 people a year that get told "You have cancer."

It used to be that was a death sentence. People talked about it in whispers, as if they were afraid to draw the attention of it. It was barely acceptable to say you had lung cancer, and mentioning other areas, that simply wasn't done in public.

Now we talk about it, and we have an enormous variety of treatments. But it requires people with specialized knowledge, and specialized equipment, and room for it to all work on patients. The people involved are moving heaven and earth to make it happen for the people that need it because they know, none better, that the ultimate clock is ticking. And the building that it's mostly happening now is old, outdated, and crowded. It was that way a decade ago.

It sounds expensive when you say the number, $1.3 billion to build. Now think about the lives cut short by delayed cancer treatments. Think about inefficiencies forced upon the people working there. Think about how now is a great time to build infrastructure because of reduced input costs. Money is cheap now. This should be a no brainer to build, especially since it was already promised. What better way could there be to spend a little over $400 per Albertan?

This is when the Ralphbucks debacle really pisses me off. They handed that out to everybody, whether they needed it or not. I certainly didn't need it. I'd happy ante it back up again.

Oh yes, we have to watch them, though. The PC's want to spend it on perks, and salaries, and bonuses for themselves and civil servant buddies at the top of the pyramid, who are not covered by the sunshine laws mandating their compensation be revealed.

Yet the Alberta PC's are dicking us around, putting it on hold again. This is a demonstration of why it's a stupid idea to spend resource revenue like drunken sailors. It's not like these crashes in the price of oil happen outside the span of a human life so you can reasonably expect that it won't happen again. No, they happen much more frequently. I myself have seen several.

The Alberta economy is cyclical, and the Alberta PC government doesn't get it. They are surprised every time when the price drops. And we keep voting them in. There are days I think Albertans are stupid, or they're putting drugs in the water.

One of the signs at the rally said "Build the cancer center. Delay the election." All I can say to that is right on. I'd like to see all the Wildrose sheep that crossed the floor after being bribed with a mess of pottage (Smith's cabinet seat is coming), get voted out. I hope that the PC's get voted out for accepting them, and for a great many other demonstrations of incompetence. We are seeing all sorts of deck clearing in preparation for an election to be called any week now, in direct contravention of a law passed by this very party, by many of the people still working there now. The election mandated by law is supposed to be a year from now.

Vote against if there is an election. Whoever is in office, vote against them. All of them. If nobody votes PC, it doesn't matter that the other parties might split the vote. It would be better if the Liberals did the right thing and folded their tent. They attract a few votes, but they will never ever get elected here. Let's see the other parties fight it out, the  NDP, Alberta Party, and even the Wildrose if it can resurrect itself from the deathblow it got. It can't be worse than what we have now.

In other news, that thunk I got out of my hip on Sunday has done wonders for my hip and back. I'm walking normally again. Yoga on Wednesday was not just pain free, but quite lovely. I could almost touch my toes again. I haven't run again, no sense pushing my luck. Maybe this weekend again.

And the swim. Oh yes the swim! Maybe the swim club had the water all warmed up and primed. Maybe it's the short hair. But I started moderately strong, and tried to stay strong. For most of the swim I had nailed the pace where my lungs were working, breathing deeply and evenly. My stroke felt great. Flip turns were good. Amazing how that happens when your core muscles aren't cranky. Towards the end I was working it a bit harder, and beginning to feel it a bit, but I could have carried on. The reward was 2K in 37:30. That's 30 seconds faster than just last week.

At first I didn't quite believe the numbers, but I did the math several different ways and it all worked out. This swimming consistently thing really works. I highly recommend it.

Still working on the human brain throughput blog. My own throughput has been a bit limited lately. The paw of Curtis continues to improve.

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