Saturday, May 05, 2012

Almost Spring

Almost seven weeks after the Vernal Equinox Olympia is beginning to look more like spring, if not feel like it.  My expectations of spring are based on three decades of Virginia springs warped by about a quarter century of Arizona springs.  Those experiences are very different but the one thing they have in common is spring warmth.    Not so in Olympia where early May temperatures still range from the high 30's to mid-50's.  That plus cloudy, rainy days.   Not the spring of books, movies and song, to say the least.

Still, it is spring and Nature will not be denied her coming out.  The land has been blooming for weeks and now the big oak trees are beginning to show a mantle of green.  In a few more weeks the wonderful open sky of winter will be filled with leafy foliage.  And no matter how long it takes, Olympia will dry out and sparkle in the summer sun for a few months.  

It's just a matter of time and perspective.


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

We're No. 45!

Another good reason to live in Washington State:

Washington ranks  45th among the states in church attendance according to a recently released study.  We've slipped up from 49th 10 years ago but still better than most other states.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Supporting the Troops. Yeah. Right.

Here's what that tired phrase looks like after a decade of war.
Nicholas Tolentino, a former mental health administrative officer at the VA Medical Center in Manchester, N.H., told the committee that managers at the facility pressed the staff to develop ways to see as many veterans as possible while providing the most minimal mental-health services possible. “The plan that was ultimately developed gamed the system so that the facility met performance requirements but utterly failed our veterans,” said Tolentino, a former Navy corpsman who went to work at the Manchester facility in 2009. One manager directed the staff to focus only on the immediate reason for an appointment and not to ask the veteran about any other problems because “we don’t want to know or we’ll have to treat it,” according to Tolentino.


[Performance] data was often based on available appointments, rather than the patient’s clinical needs, according to the inspector general’s office. If the patient was given an appointment two months later because of a lack of openings, the veteran would still be recorded as having been seen within two weeks of the desired date.