Saturday, 27 August 2016

The rest of yesterday's tale (a black woman electrician etc)

The keyboard on my computer went a bit wonky yesterday, so I was unable to tell the whole tale.

Here it is

FIRST re  the image of a black woman as an electrician.

I did a Google Images search for "Electrician", and every darn picture was of a male.

So I had to do a second search for "Woman Electrician" and that's where the image popped up.

Isn't it true that when we think of "Electrician"  we inevitable "see" the image of a white male in blue jeans?

The image I posted was intended to make us reflect on our (unconscious) prejudices.


The Master Electrician and his apprentice refused to go home at my suggestion, when, at 7:30 ish the light was poor and the weather was atrocious.   The Electrician (Jacob) said  "I never go home until the customer's power is restored." 

I sloughed off to bed and began to sleep.   I was awakened by a tap on my bedroom door.  Jacob said  "you have full power, and we are leaving".

I asked "what is the time?".

Jacob  replied "11:30 p.m."

Oh my goodness.  The two men worked until that late hour to ensure that my home had electrical power  (and air-conditioning). That's amazing.  They had begun their work at about Noon.

Sarasota and Manatee County residents are probably familiar with the bright red vans of a Manatee County Electrical firm called "Mr. Spa..y"

This was the Company which served me so well yesterday.

And here, for your joy and delight is a pic of my new breaker box.  *Now you can sleep well!!

The "guys" will be back next week to label each breaker switch.


Friday, 26 August 2016

Hot and a bit bothered

I noticed yesterday that my shower water ..was tepid, even though I had turned on the water heater.

I turned it on again today, but still could not draw warm or hot water

Of course the breaker had flipped, but I could not reset it.   A call to a local business "Mr Sparky" led to a staff member being in my home within the hour.

The truth is that the entire breaker box is "shot" -  indeed some of the plastic components showed signs of melting.  Could have led to a fire eh?  It's a vintage box

So the entire box is being replaced, together with an outside box/   While they are at it the electricians are also installing three "wired"  smoke detectors  (about time you might say).

It's been a bit steamy in my home.  The work is being impeded by a huge thunderstorm, so there is now natural light  (one of them is wearing my "headlight" which I had bought for power off emergencies).

Just yesterday I had opened and tested my "emergency box"  which includes candles, flashlights, a lantern and a Coleman camping stove. So I have been able to cook!

'tis an inconvenience, but a minor one.  (I have reminded myself that I could be living in Aleppo or some other city which is being bombed to rubble

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Nursing homes, Rehabilitation centres, and "Upscale" retirement "communities".

"Gates of Heaven Nursing Home"

Not really. "Gates of Heaven"   This is "Oaken Holt" a mansion in Farmoor, Oxfordshiire, UK.  I worked there when it was a training centre for the old U,K. "Westminster Bank"

In my retirement ministry I spend a fair bit of time in Nursing Homes, Rehabilitation Centres, and "upscale" Retirement Communities.

 Retirement Communities

The greater Sarasota area has more than a handful of these.  They are elegant, exquisite and very expensive. They cater to our very wealthy retirees  - at a high price.  They are extremely well staffed. 

As befits their "station in life", the staff members from the lowliest dish-washers to the highest administrators are  (as T.S.Elliot wrote in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

Deferential, glad to be of use,        \
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;


Then there are  Nursing homes, and  Rehabilitation centres

They are springing up like mushrooms in greater Sarasota. The demand is great,

I have been in three such institutions in the past two days.

Here are some general observations.

1.  They are all chronically understaffed. Most have only one Registered Nurse or so, next to no Licenced Practical Nurses, and a host of Certified Nursing Associates (the unsung and underpaid heroes and heroines of  American health care).

There is a chronic shortage of R.N.'s, and  L.P.N.'s in American Geriatric Care facilities.

The C.N.A.'s are underpaid and under appreciated.

2. Most Nursing homes and rehab. facilities are dreadfulu sterile and extrenely institutional.

Wouldn't  it be wonderful if on each wing of these places there was a family room, with slightly faded and comfy chairs, worn carpets, a bit of untidiness, and family photo's  in old fashioned frames on the walls, 

3, It would be terrfic if all staff members received  voice training.

(a)  to use quiet voices at all times.  Yesterday I heard a staff member address a resident in a "stadium voice".  It was "the voice heard around the world"

(b) to announce their names and their roles in a quiet and gentle voice when they enter patients' rooms. I was on the 'phone today with a friend who is in a rehab. unit. As we chatted a man entered her room.  I was pleased to hear her say "who  are you, and why are you here?"  (He was a staff member who was bringing a new "remote" for her T/V..  He should have announced this as he entered her room).

(c)  to stop using those sing-songy high pitched "baby voices" which I associate with under-trained and inferior pre-kindergarten teachers.

Young children in kindergartens,  and older adults in care facilities  should be addressed in  normal adult voices.

4.  Older folks are often in nursing homes and rehab. facilities for physical health reasons. It should not therefore be presumed that they are senile.


5. If you have a friend or family member in a nursing home or /rehab. unit, do be sure to appoint  a patient advocate:  a person who can keep tabs on, and coordinate appropriate services.

6. Nothing I have said is intended  to disparage or undermine the dedicated staffs in such facilities.  BUT I HAVE MY DOUBTS about the money-grabbing corporations which own and operate them.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Lunch today ( a plate of healthy foods)

Vegetables:  Kimchi AND Sauerkraut.

Meat:  Nitrite and Nitrate free Chicken Hot Dogs,

Oh what a good boy am I!

Ooops, I forgot my side dish!  Not so healthy after all.

Not to worry.  I have learned to type, even as my tongue is in my cheek.

 Tee hee!  Silly me.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Watch cat

Adelaide keeps watch over an upside down Palmetto Bug which sneaked into our home.