Friday, October 21, 2011

Florida Pill Mills

My wife's rheumatologist is a badly overworked man, apparently it's not a field that attracts enough doctors and there are plenty of patients with auto-immune diseases. As a result making an appointment at Dr Ritter's is a hit and miss affair. We show up for the appointment on time and he struggles to keep ahead of the flood of patients. And fails. Which gives a curious patient a chance to read the notices in the office. It seems the State of Florida has tightened up the rules for the dispensing of pills. Get this, it's so complicated Dr Ritter has given up. If his patients need oxy-thingy pills they have to go to pain centers and stand in line with all the drug addicts begging for these desirable pills. I am told these drugs are not just for Rush Limbaugh anymore, he has competition as half South Florida is trading them and they are amazingly expensive and totally illegal without a complex prescription logged in quadruplicate.


Dr Ritter, who himself suffers from arthritis (physician heal thyself, I crowed at him) says his patients suffer agonies and actually need these damned pills but he can no longer prescribe them. The ironies pile up because our Governor, who in private life led a medical insurance company fined 1.7 billion dollars for Medicare fraud (no, really!), at first wanted to stop investigation of the so called pill mills...and now has signed off on a law that is as usual draconian and misdirected. Pill mills get all the business. Weird but true and if you are in agony tough titties.


I think we've lost the national plot, so the Lord might as well be with us for all the good that's going to do, after all mixing religion and politics was what the Founders intended wasn't it? No longer are laws made by a mixture of debate and common sense and more debate. Now it's blatant, whoever pays the most gets the law they prefer and the Devil take the hindmost. A letter writer in the paper today grouped together the Wall Street Occupiers, the President of Iran, American Nazis, the Democrat Party and the Black Man in the White Man's House, and blamed our economic collapse on the Democrats in Power (whoever they are). That sort of debating style, they are Evil we are God's Chosen, will lead to Civil War. Do we want that? Without oxycodone to keep us stoned civil war could really hurt.


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Miami Signs

Life in the Keys is dependent on The big cities of the mainland one way or another. Many people refuse to drive Up North, preferring the isolation of the Keys peninsula. Fortunately my wife agrees with me that the occasional blast up Highway One is a nice way to remind ourselves why we enjoy living outside the Big City.


Nevertheless, walking my dog while my wife was busy gave me an opportunity to do what I do in Key West; look for silly signs. Even as I pondered the likelihood of Innovative Cancer and it's ramifications I crossed paths with one of my favorites, a misspelled sign. Oh joy!


This sign must have been cleaned up by one crew and was to be filled in by another crew who forgot, apparently, and left us all to guess it's new meaning...


In case the bright yellow high visibility sign and arrow were insufficient there was a notice above explaining their purpose. People really are zombies.


In Miami this next is a rarity and thus worth sign posting. Most people are extremely impatient.


This next sign cracked me up completely. As someone who earns a living answering 9-1-1 calls my feelings about encouraging more people to do that seemed irresponsible, to put it politely. You have no idea how many 9-1-1 calls I answer where the first thing the person on the line says says is "I know this isn't an emergency, but..." Sigh. If you hear the bell...oh all right pull their chestnuts from the fire for them.


People in plastic bonnets aren't weirdos around here practicing for Fantasy Fest. This part of Miami is dedicated to the only trade in the US which continues to enjoy burgeoning profits (banks don't count as they are surviving by the socialist nipple).


How much money can there be in insomnia? There must be a ton considering the size of the palazzo they built to "treat" it.


Doubtless this anxiety inducing vacancy will be filled by people in white coats very soon. If one phone number doesn't work the other one is standing by. Anxiously.


Athena Water wants you to look at their Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Can you imagine how riveting that must be?


If you have nothing better to do with your time he's another one. Do you remember when Freemasonry was a secret society dedicated to who knows what. In the past free and accepted masons fomented rebellion against dictators and were thus excommunicated by the tightest dictator in Europe. They still are too. But the Papacy is notoriously slow to move with the times.


Not the Freemasons. This branch of the secret society of men has a website! No shit, I checked it. It's not that interesting unless you want to look at class pictures of mostly older white men standing around in aprons. I saw no signs of fomenting rebellion or making secret plots or standing around on one leg with a blindfold or anything wild. Very boring in fact.


The City of South Miami has an old fashioned sign presiding over city hall and a very nice thing it is too. A proper public clock which keeps time and chimes exactly on the hour.


Very nice, city of pleasant living indeed. Apart from the traffic and the crowds and the never ending sense of hurrying.



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In The Woods

My wife had business to transact at Coral Shores High School which left her chauffeur with time on his hands.


It was a three minute drive to find a parking spot close by in an intriguing wooded area off the Old Overseas Highway around Mile Marker 79.


The side street was more like a woodland lane than a suburban street with houses down one side only.


The homes themselves were shrouded in greenery too.


I was quote surprised to see them not set on stilts but one isn't particularly close to tidal water here and flood plains vary.


Older homes were built before stilts were required, and my house built in 1987, ancient by some standards conforms to requirements at eight feet above sea level here newer homes have to be fifteen feet or something equally absurd. Fifteen foot of floodwater and there will be nothing left of anything.


We had a very pleasant stroll Cheyenne and I on a cool, slightly breezy morning of the first real cold front of the winter.


High Street struck me as an odd sort of name for this little backwater. In England where I went to school "the High Street" was the equivalent of Main Street in the US. Apropos of nothing in particular.


Whatever else this quiet leafy lane was it was no one's idea of a main drag, thank goodness.


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Back To Normal

I was driving away from home when a friend flagged me down. What happened to Cheyenne? she asked. Rain, I replied. Oh, Linda said, I've been tossing a tennis ball across the living room to keep my dog happy. A week of rain has turned everyone crazy to some degree.


Oh yes, there was the sun rising above the horizon and hardly a cloud in sight. Of my dog all I got to see was her backside as she hurried off to catch up with the gossip left behind in the mangrove roots.


The locals were out as well, taking in the rays.


Actually there were some clouds but not enough to shut off the sun which was the all important thing. I have missed the sun.


There were colors too. The newspaper this morning was full of anonymous comments about the rain, linking the floods to climate change, melting polar ice caps and incompetent city storm drains. It's clear there is a lot of pent up emotion among people trapped unnaturally indoors.


It's as though the six days of tropical storm rains never happened.


Cheyenne saw her chance and took up a position hogging the ray of sunshine falling through the front door.


The rolling rumble of a dog snoring was a hint that she too is relieved everything is back to normal.




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Rainy Escape

Cheyenne and I took the car and drove north for twenty minutes. Others also were taking advantage of the break in the rain.


The scenery looked bleak and wintry...


...to the sides and to the front.


Our destination looked similarly beset by the onset of cold season.


It wasn't really cold but no way was I going into the water.


Cheyenne got bored with me as I fiddled with the camera and struggled to keep the lense free of fog.


It was beautiful but not sunny.


Not at all sunny.


I started to enjoy myself.


Screw the weather. There's still stuff to see.


There has been quite a fair bit of water falling out of the sky.


Bloody hell! They still hadn't frozen their tits off! Who are these people?


See? It really has been raining.


Pond or parking lot?


This time round Cheyenne really was ready for a break.


I didn't give her one though. We drove somewhere else and started again. I wanted some peace and quiet at home in the afternoon.


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