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Changes in my life - my legs and feet hurt

Some of my friends know this already, but here's some updates.

I've discovered that nobody wants to hire a 60 year old programmer (and I am out of touch with some newer web technologies), so for the past four months I've been a cashier for Walmart. I'm finding I enjoy the job more than I expected, particularly bantering with the customers. My favorite new bit - when someone talks about how little they got away with spending, I declare that Walmart has instituted a (x) dollar minimum - would you like to buy a candy bar to bring you into compliance? Most get the joke and laugh, a few looks shocked and I have to quickly say I'm joking. There's the occassional customer from hell (not just nasty - but if you plan to buy $30 worth of goods with quarters, your cashier will not be happy), but those are rare, most are nice.

My legs and feet, though, are not fond of this new system and want me to find a desk job, any desk job. Usually I've got a pad that helps the feet, but after three hours of standing, it's really hard to reach down and pick up something.

I'm living in a room in a duplex in Cathedral City with T.C., currently my only furry companion. T.C. was a stray at the mobile home park I used to live at (don't laugh, mobile homes are actually very nice these days). He got upset when the landlord moved in with his three cats, so he's happy to be the only cat of the household. We do have a disagreement on whether he's an indoor cat or an outdoor cat.

Not exactly what I expected at 60, but it's not a bad life.

Posted on October 9, 2019, 10:23 am

Donald Brown

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A deal to be made, @realDonaldTrump

OK, here's a deal that could happen.

First, government would have to be reopened while details worked out. When that happens, one bill that does the following:

$5B for fencing on public lands that are not ecologically sensitive.

$20B for non-barrier border security, with at least $10B to be spent on staffing for border patrol and immigration courts

Dream Act passed. Ideally with path to citizenship, but one gets what one can get.


Posted on January 13, 2019, 10:44 am

Donald Brown

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Mr. Trump, Put up or shut up

It's common during political campaigns, and Trump did a lot of it. "I will solve this problem and it will be GREAT!" It's not totally useless, it at least is recognizing where there is a problem in need of a solution. Some general details would help, but no concept survives completely intact as it becomes law. So, during a campaign, you can forgive some vagueness on details.

But the campain is over, Mr. Trump. It was over more than two years ago. You can't just promise a "great solution" without saying what that solution will be. So Trump's morning tweet about "We need the Supreme Court to kill the ACA so we can replace it with something better" is particularly enraging to those like me who depend on the ACA's protections for those with pre-existing condition. You've HAD two years to come up with something better, and everything you proposed would make things WORSE. Fewer people getting coverage. Much weaker protections.

It's the same thing with immigration. "We need to kill the diversity lottery and family reunification visas in order to replace it with a merit based system" - WHAT is the merit based system? Is it really about merit, or is it "people who look like me have merit".

You are the President, Mr. Trump. Time for details.

Posted on December 17, 2018, 7:40 am

Donald Brown

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A pro-life bill

I am pro life. Here is what I think needs to be law.

Support for mothers and children

  • Full prenatal care provided for mothers who cannot afford it.
  • 6 months paid maternal leave with guaranteed access to job afterwards
  • Child care for those who need help.
  • Fully fund five star public education for every child
  • If needed, full funding of nutrious food for kids growing up and health care.

Other forms of supporting life

  • Mandatory blood donation unless doctor certification that they cannot donate.
  • Mandatory bone marrow donation if needed.
  • Mandatory organ donation upon death.
  • Universal registry and mandatory live kidney donation when needed.

Everyone will support that right? Because they believe in supporting life. They aren't really punishing women for getting pregnant, are they?

Posted on January 27, 2018, 6:55 pm

Donald Brown

I'm working on my health and it's going great

4 years ago I got off the diet merry-go-round and I've never been healthier or happier. There were a few who assumed that meant I was going to go crazy eating and gain hundreds of pounds, but nope - that's part of the merry-go-round ride. Here's what I'm doing.

Step one. Love your body. I've got a MAGNIFICENT body. It's a gift. With it, I can walk, run, dance (not well but who cares). I can lift things, move things. When I'm upset, I can breath deeply and it helps calm me down. I love this body. And it deserves taking care of.

Step two. My body deserves to be feed good stuff. It needs vegetables, it needs good lean meat, it needs grains, it needs to be fed properly so it can do all those wonderful things. So, eating better is a goal in itself. I've developed a fondness for carrots and bananas (separately, one attempt combining the two did NOT go well). No taste for brocolli, but that's fine, so many wonderful things to eat that I love.

Step three. My body deserves to be active, because that makes it stronger. So far, I've been going for long walks. Would love to scrape together the money for an adult trike (balance isn't that great for a bike). I do this because my body gets stronger and because I enjoy it.

"But wait", some say, "What about your weight goals? What weight do you want to get down to?"

There are none. I treat my body well, the weight will take care of itself. According to the doctors I've lost a little weight, but that's irrelevant. It's not to change the shape or size of my body. It's to make my life and my body even better than it is now.

No, it's not easy and there are slips. I've got 40+ years of programming. My body is my enemy. There's a skinny person inside that fat shell struggling to get out. The size of your body means you have FAILED, and you must punish it into something else. Count calories to make sure your body is getting less than it needs to maintain itself. And every bite you eat, you need EXERCISE as punishment for eating it.

But I recognize the programming, and I understand the slips, and I get back on the dance as soon as I can.

Will this turn me into a skinny person? No, but 40+ years of yo-yo dieting didn't do that either. This is to become the best me I can be.

If only we taught kids this. Love your body. Good food is a reward to your great body. Being active is fun and make you stronger. Instead it's clothing size and weight, they get very messed up relationships with their body, and mentally and physically they suffer.

Posted on January 25, 2018, 11:21 pm

Donald Brown

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