Thursday, December 31, 2009

No resolutions

I started this blog a few years ago with a reference to my intention to lose weight. In the intervening years I've lost maybe a few pounds, but not what I wanted ... or intended.

New Years resolutions are useless for most of us because we imagine doing things directly contrary to our nature, our skill set and our patterning. Doomed.

The past year has been wonderful and, in some ways, amazing for me. Yeah, I know, you'd never know it from this blog, as I just haven't been a real blogger. Oh well.

So in 2010, I have some things I want to accomplish, but they're not resolutions. Yes, I've given myself permission to NOT do stuff, which, in a strange way, opens up the path to actually doing. So here goes, here's the things I envision for 2010. Hold me to them, but don't nag, OK?

  1. Lose about 20 lbs, maybe a bit more. I figure a pound a week (on average) is doable, so that is about .35lb/week over the whole year. I'd love to say "and exercise more and get really fit", but hey, let's just start, OK? Exercising and getting really fit would be, like, gravy. Ooops!
  2. Shoot more 4x5. Large format photography is REAL photography, and demands discipline and commitment in multiple areas. Let's say an average of two 4x5 outings per month, which accommodates for the reality that I probably won't do much in winter and until at least a few of those 20 lbs are shed. Carrying a 4x5, tripod and some film holders ain't easy.
  3. Shoot at least 80% b&w. I "see" in b&w, but often pop colour in the camera ... well, who knows why. But I know, inside, that my strength is in monochrome.
  4. Do structured and accurate tests for film speed and development. I used to do that, but have been lax since I resumed photographing.
  5. Savagely edit my work. My flickr postings have included a lot of stuff that was just ... stuff to post. Bah.

Most importantly, pursue the path of Zen. That will inform all of the above.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Segue into health care discussion

My friend George at Decrepit old Fool published a piece about peace and pacifism yesterday, to which I responded. Our friend, Sue Byler, (at least I'm pretty sure SueB = Sue Byler!) made the connection between the cost of war and violence and the lack of funding for socially desirable policies such as promoting policies that supported having a healthy citizenry. I started writing a reply to that specific comment, but decided not to hijack the thread, so publish it here.

Thanks, Sue, for the segue.

Sue: I agree with your sentiment regarding health care. But truly, health care is never "free", at least in the context of a socio-economic system based on an exchange of currency for goods and services.

I mention this only because (and sorry to hijack this thread...) I think using the word "free" in the context of the health care "debate" (if one can call it a true debate ... yelling/pissing match seems more appropriate...) is counterproductive for those of us who support universal health care.

And really, that is where the discussion should be centred right now. The reality is that a universal health care policy and system will save money and increase both efficiency and standard of living. But the minute we use the word "free", it inflames the right wing and even raises flags for many of those in the political centre.

Canada is often cited as having "free" health care. It isn't free. It is funded through taxes. The differences are:

1. It is universal and federally mandated under the Canada Health Care act.

2. Employment-based contribution or taxation is not required for coverage. In other words, if I lose my job, I am still entitled to health care services.