Initial Thoughts on This Election Cycle

I recently found this show, and I really enjoy it. You take it for what it is, of course, and the bias of it matters. But it tends to reveal a lot of interesting viewpoints. I think it's pretty important, especially as the various issues of today become more and more relevant in our unfolding lives, both young and old.

I want to say first that I'm not very politically-minded, never have been, but I have been trying to become more aware and involved. The whole business of it has always turned me off, but I need to push that aside at least enough to care enough to have some awareness.

That being said, the whole Trump thing has become really unsettling. I'm going to share a few thoughts, and may or may not have an informed-enough mentality to have a respectable opinion on others. But I do hope that I do. I've not been saying much lately, to avoid turning people off, but I think I do still need to every now and then. I hope that anyone who actually reads this will have that in mind. Peace and goodwill is what I wish for more than anything.

Anyway, the Trump thing. I get that “telling it like it is” is a good thing, for sure, generally. I do truly believe that. But it matters what “like it is” is, when the things you believe include, among many troubling things, banning and/or literally walling-off enormous groups of people. I mean, the same people that insist that our constitution and the foundational values of this country support and protect freedom of gun ownership should -also- respect that the same foundational values support the freedom of immigration and what a better life could bring for anybody who seeks it in America. There's a lot more to that, of course, but that's an argument I hear a lot. On the guns, I mean. Not as much on immigration and the like.

I get that there are concerns over immigration, especially today. But, I don't know, geez, ANY time I've taken the time to listen to anything this man has said during this candidacy, he turns me off like crazy. Brashness, brutality, and outright actual public demeaning of other people is a very troubling idea for someone who is trying to become our president. I feel like we need to get away from that. Like, the world NEEDS less of that. We need peace and goodwill, patience and, especially, care for the less fortunate among us. Not just in America, and we need LOTS of it, but worldwide.

I worry that some of his success is simply because he's running Republican, and people who identify as Republican are going to support him--and I've personally heard this from people--that even though he's not their “first choice” if he is nominated they'll vote for him. That -terrifies- me, that a vote is earned potentially regardless of individual stances because of party identification above all else.
I don't even know where I stand myself. I've never really thought of anything like that. I get that party lines exist and that it helps to identify some similar issues and standings, among surely other valuable political factors, and maybe most “Republicans” get along best with other “Republicans”, or “Democrats” with “Democrats” because they tend to agree on issues, but, geez, shouldn't what matters be the combination of the actual individual opinions that any person is pushing, and who matches the best combination of your own? I mean, seriously. Really think about it, if you don't already believe this. I hope more people think that way than it seems like to me. I'm not trying to offend anybody, or any ideal (unless that -is- actually the case).

But, I don't know! Maybe people supporting Trump and (seeming to) simply because of the Republican party just -actually- side with that combination of politics. That could be. And that's worthy of respect, for sure, and there might be details of his campaign that I just don't know, again, I'm not myself very political-minded, but I am trying to be more so.

When I've taken political “quizzes” (and I know not to take them particularly seriously) I tend to get a Democratic-ish result. I don't really know what that means. I have to push myself to really care. I care more about who the quiz tells me my own opinions side with now and throughout history. That's what feels to me like should be what's important. I hope it is! But I'm genuinely worried, more and more.

I just hope, as things play out, that the actual realities of what people are supporting and pushing become the issue, and NOT what the party identity is. I couldn't care less, but the Democratic ideals seem to resonate better with me, personally. But if Bernie or Hillary, in this case, were themselves turning me off, I wouldn't just shrug and vote Democratic anyway.

Again, I'm not very political-minded. I don't know much of what else it means for the President to be of one party or the other. I'm sure it trickles down with many other factors into the larger government as a whole, and who has or hasn't advantages in various ways. And that matters, I'm sure. I just hope it's not actually that much of an issue, and that the collection of beliefs for the country (and the rest of the world) -IS- vastly more so.

Anyway, just sharing some thoughts and concerns. It's been a very interesting campaign season, for sure. And I'm sure it will only get more intense! I am just advocating for some peace and goodwill, and for the person who resides over us to value those as well. Where it matters, for sure--warfare and “harshness” matter for sure, and are sometimes regrettably necessary. So that's important too, someone who can handle that. But that person will have advisers, right? Entire groups of people to help inform and advise?

These are pretty basic, initial feelings. All in all I just feel like we can do better, and that the world NEEDS better in troubling times, and our country's influence is very important.

Peace, my friends ¦]

Posted by Eli Stanley | at 6:49 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, March 24, 2016 -- Blizzard Workload

So I've decided to give this journalistic approach to chronicling life's events another go. I used to do this almost religiously, years ago, and I have -so- much appreciation that I did so. I can as near as possible travel back in time when I read those, especially the run on Xanga during my early/late high school years and slightly beyond, and relive the moments so much more clearly than I could if I had left them to fallible memory alone. It is a truly beautiful thing, the thoughts and feelings in the moment solidified into written exploration such as this. I'm not proud of myself for having drifted away from it for so long, but here I am eager to scratch a new narrative beginning into the concrete walls I have built around myself among the unfortunate circumstances that have played out since this was last a solid effort.

The history in-between will be an update of its own; I won't delve into it right away. I just want to chronicle the past couple days.

We had a pretty gnarly blizzard yesterday morning, which apparently set a Cheyenne record for snowfall for the day of March 23rd, 2016. My coworker Kelly had, the night before, agreed to pick me up for work, as my Camaro was unlikely to have much luck if it snowed more than a few inches. As it turned out, we had a full-blown blizzard situation declared, and various places around town, including the Warren AFB itself, had already declared themselves closed. Nevertheless, we endeavored to make it to work, and he eventually called me saying that he was here.

But he wasn't “here” in the expected sense, as some poor woman was stuck in the snow trying to get uphill out of the neighborhood. So I was to trudge through the knee-high snow several buildings down the street to where he was stalled, while he tried to turn his Honda around in the meantime. Once I painstakingly got there, pant legs partially soaked already, it had become obvious that the best route was still forward, unfortunately blocked by this stuck woman who had failed in finding her way uphill the way she was facing. So we got out, collectively pushed her free of her snowy prison, backwards, and wished her a fortunate journey. Returning to Kelly's car, we found that it had in the effort, itself, gotten stuck in the snow. So I returned to the blizzard conditions outside to attempt a rescue effort, helping to move his Honda from one snow-sinkhole to the next, at least three such mighty attempts before I was almost entirely physically exhausted. Thank goodness a neighbor came up to us and offered help, and with this assistance we pushed the Honda over the final snow-obstacle and as he let it roll down the hill, unwilling to stop again, I thanked the neighboring helper and jumped into the passenger seat as it continued to pick up momentum. We made it the rest of the way to the hospital without incident, although our boss expressed his disappointment at him arriving to work before us (he lives a ways out of town where there is even less care given to road conditions).

The rest of that day went rather predictably, although, at lunchtime, being Wednesday, we had begun trading turns bringing in “Crockpot Wednesday” meals where we take turns preparing a dish for us all to enjoy. For whatever reasons, Kelly did not bring his with him in the morning but planned on traveling and swinging by his house to bring it to the shop around noon. Unfortunately, he got stuck in the snow on his way to pick it up and sorrowfully informed us that he would not be back in as he had to get lifted the rest of his way home.

The rest of the day went typically, and another coworker was gracious enough to give me a ride home. Assuming the roads would not be cleared away enough for my Camaro to have a safe ride, she agreed to give me a ride to and from the next day.

The next day, Thursday, she picked me up and we signed in to work. As it happened, it was only her and me present this day, the other three technicians all having requested days off, for Spring break with their kids and Kelly's visiting mother needing a ride to Denver International Airport. So we powered through, having to go throughout the entire hospital updating the configuration settings of all Spacelabs DM3 vital sings towers needing an IP address change to accept this upgrade. We split up, with the help of two Spacelabs reps and one IT tech helping as well, and stepped into every patient room with such a unit to update the IP address. Once the main building was completed, Andrea and I were tasked to visit the two outside buildings which also had DM3s, the “East Campus” and the “Davis Hospice Center”, where we had success (Davis Hospice had three units) and not so much success (only one of three units at the East campus would cooperate).

We stopped at the nearby Bread Basket for lunch, had some light chat, and headed back to the shop. Not long after returning, my boss informed me of a problem he had gotten a call about, where a bipap ventilator (Phillips Respironics V60) had had its patient circuit removed by the patient themselves, presumably to his/her death. The department wanted an extraction of the error logs of the unit involved, although it had happened overnight and the staff had not isolated the unit in question (WTF?!). So all I had to go off of was a starting time for treatment, and the approximate time of the removal of the tubing (roughly 21:05 hours). As of this writing, I have looked at the “significant logs” of five different units and have found none that match the timing windows. It's a wonder to me that the staff would not have isolated this particular unit, having resulted in the death of a patient, but apparently such ideas can extend beyond the thought processes of nurses and technicians in the business of the day. So we'll see what I might be able to uncover tomorrow, if anything. I certainly hope something useful can come of it.

So that's a couple days' worth of events, as my life is unfolding these days. It's been a long time, I know, but I'm eager to begin at least some sort of chronicling again, akin to the days where I began this sort of thing on Xanga back in the day (oh man! The memories!!). I'll delve deeper into the thoughts, for sure. As a sort of hesitant return, this I hope will serve well as inspiration for myself, and, I can only hope, interest in those who have subscribed either on here or follow closely enough on Facebook to care to click into it.

More to come. A new beginning. A release of pent-up thoughts ready for an outpouring -somewhere- and where better? It will be a nice exercise. The writing bug has been itching at me for quite some time and I've been ignoring it. I'd like not to ignore it anymore.

Anyway, more back-history to come, as well as the present newer developments, I will try and keep a more steady mindset devoted to this.

Posted by Eli Stanley | at 6:37 PM | 0 comments