Friday, April 18, 2014

Unpublished log April 18, 2014

I had a busy day today, somewhat complicated by the poorer internet reception down here in the basement, but I got it done. An extensive debriefing with Cyril lead to a greater understanding, some of which I shared with Kris as we, at her suggestion, went to the Triangle for food. We had a reasonably pleasant talk over dinner, which she insisted on paying for despite my insistence that it was my turn (I don't think that it was my turn but that's the game we've always played.)
After two glasses of wine and some protein, Kris decided to go looking for sweetened condensed milk so she could make macaroons. Unfortunately they didn't have it at Bartell's; she seemed annoyed when I asked a clerk to confirm this. Her inappropriate annoyance popped up here and there as we walked home. We entered the front door - I unlocked it for her and held it for her as always - and she suggested that I'd want some peace and quiet.
I realize now that this was her way of dismissing me. Foolishly, I interpreted it literally; I didn't especially need peace and quiet one way or another, and she had been acting friendly enough that maybe she wanted some company. I asked if *she* wanted peace and quiet; this was stupid of me; I was supposed to interpret her cryptic sayings as expressions of her will that she is not required to come right out and speak. Somehow we got on the subject of what she wanted, and what she wanted was to know something about if I found her bathroom superior to mine. That struck me as a truly odd remark, but it was also her laying claim on the top of the house in a way that bugged me; I have agreed to sleep downstairs to keep the peace, but I do not surrender equal possession of any part of my house. I foolishly asked her what she meant. She said the toilet seat was up. I said that I was sorry that while I had emptied the wastebasket (which was filled with her used menstrual pads - Kris has never felt any obligation to dispose of them on her own - such tasks are a man's job in her world) that I has pissed in the toilet and flushed.
She said that we needed to lead separate lives. I said that I never but never used the upstairs bathroom while she was in the house, and that I didn't think it was unreasonable to use it when I was cleaning it. She said that I had asked what was on her mind, and that's what was; at this point I should have just gone downstairs and let it blow over, especially since she was showing her usual signs of intoxication: angry brows, trying to stare me down with a fixed jaw. At some point she said that I should pay half of the mortgage, and I replied that was fine, as soon as she returned my down payment. She asked how much that was - which is something that we discussed extensively when we bought the house and on several occasions more recently; it is a worrisome thought that she can't remember the number $30,000. I don't know what it means, but it is worrisome. She said she could borrow that from her mother, and then where would I be?
Threatening court action really bothers me. I don't want to fight but once it goes to court, it's going to get really bad. I don't see how the court could award her the house against me, since our relative incomes are not really relevant, but I am really sure that the entire process would be very very very very very very unpleasant.
And expensive.
So I have to avoid any form of conflict.
Kris is not able to perform the slightest conciliatory gesture. Once she is fixed on the idea that I have done something wrong, there is not only no way that she will ever change her mind, there is also no way that she will offer even the slightest pro forma apology for hurting my feelings.
This is at best very bad manners. People have disagreements all the time, and make apologies. That's just part of life.
But it's not part of Kris' life. She expects me to live in the crappy part of the house while she has the three nicest bedrooms to herself. She expect me to drive her to the Y tomorrow and to Pilates on Sunday. She expects this and that and the other thing, but most of all, she expects me to accept her drunken will without the slightest need for the tiniest bit of manners on her part.
I have to remember that this is what it is like to live with an alcoholic.
I need to renew my effort to connect with Al-Anon and get help in keeping this relationship smooth.
Well, Kris just came down to try some sort of conciliartory gesture - not to apologize, of course, or indeed to refer to her previous conduct at all. She instead said a funny thing about the nose hair trimmer and we had a good laugh.
I suppose this is her way of trying to make things work out. I have to interpret this as the closest she can do to an apology.
It is in my interests to accept it.
I would prefer something more to the point, but that's like asking her to speak Russian - she can't so it's crazy for me to expect it.
Without judgment or expectation.
I don't know what is in her past or in her head to cause her to act this way, and it does not really matter I suppose. Her actions resulted in feelings in me, but the actions themselves are not to be judged.
I must not expect her to act in any way other than as she has.
Now ... I have more important things to work on. The DAV meeting tomorrow should be good!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cleven Bundy Is Just A Troll

Of all the silliness surrounding Cleven Bundy's refusal to pay grazing fees, the most absurd is his claim that the federal government can't own land in Nevada. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago gave the land to the federal government; Congress formed some of it into the state of Nevada while retaining ownership of much of the land. To make this extremely clear, the constitution of Nevada explicitly explicitly states:
"...the people inhabiting said territory do agree and declare, that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States...
The Constitution of the United States confers full power on the Federal Government to maintain and Perpetuate its existence, and whensoever any portion of the States, or people thereof attempt to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist the Execution of its laws, the Federal Government may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed force in compelling obedience to its Authority."
Even if there were some truth to the insane proposition that Congress can spend money, but can't buy land from other country with it, or accept land in a treaty, the simple fact is that Nevada agreed the federal land in that state is federal land.
In threatening to use violence to implement his political vision, Bundy is advocating terrorism, but even that status is probably too grandiose for him; by angrily shouting stupid things to get a reaction, he's basically just a troll.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Therapy Pool Story - In Which I Interview Cyril Miller

At The New Pool:
(Back): Laura Mathers,
Diane Tice, Ron Bryant;
(Front): Cyril Miller.
An Interview with Cyril Miller:
The therapy pool at Puget Sound VA Healthcare System is now open and it's beautiful. Actually, it’s two pools: one at 92 degrees for people like me and one at 85 degrees for MS and PTSD patients. They can do kayaking in there. We have a lift to accommodate spinal cord injury patients and bariatric patients. We have roll-in showers to accommodate handicapped patients. In the same building there’s an Advanced Physical Therapy Room. To put this in the tool box of the VA was mind boggling, but it took lot of work by a lot of people - both veterans and friends of veterans – a lot of people.
About 7 years ago, after I had my kidney transplant, they told me “aquatic therapy” would be one of the best ways to do rehab. My renal specialist, Dr. Rodrigues, put the request in but it was kicked back because the pool was not available. So I went to the director, Stan Johnson, and I asked how come.
He said, "Mr. Miller, the pool's seven years beyond its pull date. It's been leaking profusely. It's like a canal down in in the basement any time they fill it, so we had to pull the plug."
I said, "Well, what about aquatic therapy?”
He said. "Well, now we have no aquatic therapy program. Mr. Miller, I have $19 million with which to run this hospital. That's it. I do not have money to repair the pool."
So I said, "So what about aquatic therapy?"
He said, "We will just have to do without."
I said, "We got all these people coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, limb loss, bariatric patients, PTSD patients, MS patients, who are in need of this particular therapy, and tell me you don't have the money?"
He said, "I don't have the money"
I said, "Well, suppose we go out and raise the money. Would you accept it?"
He said, "I certainly would."
There Is No Pool
Like An Old Pool
The board of directors of Veterans and Friends of Puget Sound talked it over:
Tom O'Keefe, the founder of Tully's Coffee, Diane Tice, Co-founder of the Pacific Institute, Meredith Tall, the CEO of the Victoria Clipper, my sister the Reverend Zelda Kennedy, Senior Associate Pastor of All Saints in Pasadena, Evan Hundley, Head of School at Explorer West, Debbe Harata, the voice actress, and others.
They agreed this was an important project, but we needed to do our research. Director Johnson set up a meeting with VA Facilities Management, who gave us the price of $950,000 to repair the pool as is. He helped us get the Corps of Engineers report on the building and future plans, plus all kinds of meetings with the people who would be using it - spinal cord injury, occupational therapy, physical therapy, recreational therapy. We asked for information and they gave it to us; because we were private citizens, we were free to say what they could not, "Tell us what is needed; we're getting the money."
Seattle is the flagship hospital for VISN 20, which serves Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, parts of Wyoming and part of northern California. I went to the League of Women Voters Guide and counted 45 federal elected officials in the area that this hospital services.  We wrote to them all (see letter next page).
Skip Dreps, former director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America association here at the hospital, was an ally. He got us on the docket for the Seattle City Council and the King County Council. We went before both Councils and asked them to help us by writing to our elected officials that they were behind this program.
The State of Washington Department of Veterans Affairs got involved, and also Governor Christine Gregoire. The PI and the Seattle Times ran stories; Comcast did an interview; all kinds of business and community leaders joined in and started talking to their senators and representatives.
There isn’t room to list everyone who got involved, but Jim McDermott, Representative for the Seattle area, was the first to come on board. He's a Navy veteran, a military psychiatrist, and he's always supported veterans. Senator Murray became the Chair of the Senate Veterans Committee, so I had quite a few sessions with her chief of staff, Joshua Jacobs. With Norm Dicks on the House Appropriations Committee, they got 12 million dollars for the pool, a Polytrauma Clinic and an exercise room in the same building.
After that, it took five years to build the pool. In the meantime we needed a program for veterans who couldn't wait 5 years to come and dip their toes in the water. After some pushing, a program got going down at Evergreen Pool twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, serving 16 and 18 veterans at a time, and the VA provided therapists. When the county announced it was closing Evergreen, I went before the Seattle City Council and Richard McIver got me an opportunity to talk to the Parks Department. They moved us to Westside.
I have to tell you from day 1 those guys at Westside met us with open arms. They made accommodations for us. If you want to see how efficient operations run, you have to see the two ladies who are running that program. They made room for us for 3 years, and I was really sad to leave them. 
Do you see how it got done? Congress got us the money for the pool and the rest, but first we, the people, had to go and tell them to do it. We had to get a lot of people, find out the facts, talk over what we wanted, and ask and ask and ask again until we won.
We won because every 2 years, 4 years or 6 years, the politicians re-apply for their jobs. That's called an election. Veterans and our friends have to get together; there are millions of us and if we want improvements then it's up to us. We don’t have to accept anything less that the best for our veterans, because public officials work for us. However, we cannot get them to act by standing on our own. You have to work together. You got to have a team.
How To Take Action Yourself
If you liked the story about getting politicians to get us the pool, why not try it yourself when you see that our veterans need something? The procedure is simple, although it takes time and effort.

Step One: Do Your Research; Include Everybody
We talked with a lot of people to figure out what was needed; the first idea (just refurbish the pool) was not a good idea. There were a lot of other needs that surfaced once everyone started talking.

Step Two: Write The Ask Letter
Our basic “Ask Letter” included ideas from people throughout our network. The heading was automated so we could generate a lot of letters from our list of public officials.
July 30, 2008
This letter addresses the severe effects of the closure of the therapeutic pool at Seattle’s VA Medical Center, a division of the regional VA Puget Sound Health Care System.  The therapeutic pool, used by thousands of veterans since being installed in 1983 by Chester Pool Systems, was permanently closed in May 2007.  Prior to its final closure, the therapeutic pool was temporarily shutdown several times for periods exceeding six months due to leakage problems and being a decade beyond its replacement timeline.
VA doctors prescribe aquatic therapy, conducted in the therapeutic pool, for patients from VA Medical Units including Spinal Cord Injury, Rehabilitation, and Mental Health Services.  Aquatic therapy is critical for patients experiencing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), neurological disorders, cardiopulmonary/respiratory diseases, strokes, and recovery after loss of limb and joint replacement surgery.  Aquatic therapy rehabilitates a patient’s muscle tone, motor coordination, strength, endurance and movement in upper and lower extremities.
Veterans and Friends of Puget Sound is a nonprofit veteran’s advocacy organization created to educate concerned citizens and government agencies of the urgent need to provide resources for our veterans and their families in appreciation for their continued sacrifices in service to our country.  Our organization became involved with communicating the need to replace the VA’s therapeutic pool upon learning that its replacement is considered a low priority that will not be addressed for a number of years.
Our veterans need help now, not several years from now.  The therapeutic pool is vital to rehabilitating hundreds of veterans in the five states served by the VA Puget Sound Health Care System: Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska.  The therapeutic pool project includes structural seismic retrofitting, a stainless steel base with tile overlay, overhead tracks with lifts, and enlargement of the locker and shower facilities for handicapped accessibility.
You can make a difference by assisting in educating our federal officials about this severe deficiency in essential medical care for our veterans.  We look forward to working with you in solving this critical need.  Thank you very much.
Cyril Miller
Veterans and Friends of Puget Sound

Step Three: Make Your Ask List
We put every federal politician in VISN 20, plus the closest county and city officials, on our ask list. Here’s the first page; yours may be different.
Last Name
City of Seattle
P.O. Box 94749
Seattle CC
Council President
P.O. Box 34025
Seattle CC
P.O. Box 34025
Seattle CC
P.O. Box 34025
Seattle CC
P.O. Box 34025
Seattle CC
P.O. Box 34025
Seattle CC
P.O. Box 34025
Seattle CC
P.O. Box 34025
Seattle CC
P.O. Box 34025
Seattle CC
P.O. Box 34025
King Cty
701 Fifth Ave.
King Cty
516 Third Ave.
King Cty
516 Third Ave.
King Cty
516 Third Ave.
King Cty
516 Third Ave.
King Cty
Council Chair
516 Third Ave.
King Cty
516 Third Ave.
King Cty
von Reichbauer
516 Third Ave.
King Cty
516 Third Ave.
King Cty
Council V.Chair
516 Third Ave.
P.O. Box 40002
U.S. Senate
915 Second Ave.
U.S. Senate
915 Second Ave.
U.S. House
18560 First Ave. NE
U.S. House
2930 Wetmore Ave.
U.S. House
750 Anderson St.
U.S. House
2715 St. Andrews
U.S. House
McMorris Rogers
10 North Post
U.S. House
1019 Pacific Ave.
U.S. House
1809 Seventh Ave.
U.S. House
2737 78th Ave. SE
U.S. House
3600 PortofTacoma

Step Three: Send One To The Other. 
Then keep talking. It worked!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April 13, 2014 4freeCLE: Free Continuing Legal Education!

4freeCLE: Free Continuing Legal Education!
April 13, 2014

See Also:
 Rewinn's Guide to Free CLE for Your State 
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In Google Maps?
When prospective clients search for a lawyer with your specialty in a particular city or part of a city, Google shows a pack of local map results. Do you want your office to be in those local map results?

Marta Yolanda on Laptop
Whereever You Go, CLE Is There!

Webcasts & Teleconferences - April

Earn CLE Anywhere!

Webcasts & Teleconferences - May

CLE State-by-State
Each of these programs can earn you credit, at no cost, in the state in which it is listed. Sometimes attorneys attending must apply for credit via reciprocity or other rules; check with the credit-granting authority in your state.


See Also:Rewinn's Guide to Free CLE: Alaska.

See Also: Rewinn's Guide to Free CLE: Arkansas.

Free CLE Arizona
The State Bar of Arizona does not accredit activities for the MCLE requirement.
See also Rewinn's Guide to Free CLE: Arizona.
CaliforniaFree CLE California
See also Rewinn's Guide to Free CLE: California.

Free CLE - ColoradoColorado

Connecticut does not have a mandatory CLE requirement at this time. Connecticut lawyers may enjoy any of the free programs in this newsletter!

See also Rewinn's Guide to Free CLE: Delaware.

District of Columbia

FloridaFree CLE Florida
See also Rewinn's Guide to Free CLE: Florida.

See also Rewinn's Guide to Free CLE: Georgia



IllinoisFree CLE Illinois
See also: Rewinn's Guide to Free CLE: Illinois.






    Michigan, Maryland + Massachusetts
    Michigan, Maryland & Massachusetts do not have a mandatory CLE requirement at this time. The webcasts and other programs listed above may be of interest to lawyers licensed there.




    The State Bar of Montana states that Montana honors the approval given by other CLE jurisdictions. This week, I have not found any programs in Montana. Please see the list of webcasts and teleconferences at the top of this email.

      See also Rewinn's Guide to Free CLE: Nevada
      New Hampshire

        New Jersey

        New Mexico

        Free CLE - New York
        New York

        North Carolina

        North Dakota





        Rhode Island 

        South Carolina

        South Dakota 
        South Dakota does not have a mandatory CLE requirement; the webcasts and other programs listed above may be of interest to lawyers licensed there.

        TexasFree CLE - Texas

        See also Rewinn's Guide to Free CLE: Vermont.
          Virgin Islands

          See also Rewinn's Guide to Free CLE: Virginia

          West Virginia


          See also Rewinn's Guide to Free CLE: Wyoming
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