"Give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum strong enough, and single-handed I can move the world." - Archimedes Martin Jensen makes commentaries on real issues, or at least interesting essays. Banality filter is on.


Tonight I wished my father (see below, above, before and after) his happy 81st birthday. Tonight my daughter, now 10, said something about the mathematics of date sequencing -- that October 10, 2010 would be 10-10-10, then there would be 11-11-11, then 12-12-12, and not again for nearly a hundred years. She said she did not want to live to be old enough to see it. I explained that when I was a kid, 80 meant decrepit, but now Grandpa Al was hale and hearty. Had a few health challenges, of course, but doing fine. When she was a hundred, I said, a hundred might very well be a good age to be.

I was in my endocrinologists' office today. He's in a "heart specialists" practice, but so many heart patients have diabetes that he fits right in. Next to me in the waiting room was a slender teenage girl, and I nearly shed a tear seeing her there with the old and overweight, the walker-bound and wrinkled. I hoped she was waiting for someone -- a grandma given a ride, maybe, or a daddy in the exam room. Presently she pulled a meter from her purse, just like mine at home, and I wanted to move to the chair next to her and say, "How long, honey? How long have you been Type 1?"

I couldn't, because it would have seemed like a come-on, all her tender sadness there in its magazine-cover glory. So I continued my counseling in my head. "I had a great aunt who lived to 90 before the days of insulin," I would say. "This really sucks for you, I know, but it sucked more before, and it will suck less in the days to come."

And, "The government is talking about a healthcare initiative to address chronic diseases. So much has happened in the last 10 years."

And, "Remember that this is your life and your disease -- it is you that must live with it. Forget all the 'shoulds' and 'shalts.' You have to find a way to live, and the others will have to learn they must live with your decisions."

I looked at her and thought of my own beautiful children. And was grateful and ashamed.


Reply from an Octogenarian (Eight Years on the Net)

As you know I live in a gated over-55 retirement RV park resort, yet computers are so widespread here that those who do not make some use of one stand out... and often try to explain their position. Most who do use computers use them fairly simply, for writing, for correspondence and family/friend contacts, and for keeping up to date. Some are whizzes, and they are often asked to help friends and acquaintances. We have a computer club and a geneology group deeply involved in computer archaeology. Several of our fifty clubs have email contact letters. And we are not strange!

I would suggest getting a look at the business and goals of the Datamonitor sponsor of this crap


The Reverend J.
"Let's print the internet so everyone can read it!"

From a health industry newsletter I receive:

New research from Datamonitor finds that while there is an abundance of breast cancer information and support groups on the Internet, the vast majority of breast cancer patients are over 55 and are therefore the least likely to use the Internet or have access to a home PC. As such, most breast cancer patients may find themselves unaware of the support available to them. One solution to this problem would be to focus on promoting offline support resources, such as books, telephone help lines and support groups, since the availability of these services now is not readily explained to patients.

The idea that 55+ patients are not capable of learning to use a computer even to save their own lives, implicit in this conclusion, is perhaps the most insulting thing I've read in a great while.

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