Tom Garrett

Tom Garrett 1 hour, 4 minutes ago on 171 The Question Is.... Adjustable speed signs.

Scottsdale is installing computer controlled digital speed-limit signs that will be able to change speed limits. City Transportation Director Paul Basha says the signs will be programed to read "either 35 mph or 25 mph during high traffic times." (See note.}

(Note: That statement is ambiguous, of course; It could mean two very different things. It could mean that the signs would read 35 mph at normal times and 25 mph during "high traffic times." Or it could mean that signs with speed limits of 45, 55, or 65 miles per hour could be changed to 35 mph or 25 mph at "high traffic times." An article in the East Valley Trib contained the ambiguous comment, and I have yet to find out exactly what it means. Maybe one of you has heard the new signs mentioned on the news and has a better idea. If so, please enlighten us. Thanks!"}

Right now, the plan is to reduce speeds from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and during special events. The reason for the late night reduction is obvious, I suppose: Another attempt to control drunk drivers.

Some people down in Scottsdale have doubts. They worry that while only four signs are planned at the time, and while those four signs will only change speeds as already stated, the program could easily grow into a new system of speed traps.

The Question Is....

How do feel about speed limit signs that can be set to change according computerized rules of some kind?

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Tom Garrett 1 hour, 5 minutes ago on 174 The Question Is... Home care.

Pat, I know about Rony. You made the right choice. And a good one!

Bernice,

"Nursing home vs. home care -- I believe it is a personal choice and it depends on circumstances."

Amen! One thing that affects that choice very much is the simple fact that it is dar easier for a man to take care of a woman at home, that for a woman to take care of a man. Why? Just think of the difference in physical strength. It takes a lot of strength to lift and carry a person who is completely helpless. Not only that, but there's a question of how much energy you have left after you've moved someone six or eight times a day. Don't forget, everything that is usually done ina house still has to be done — on top of all that detailed care.

"He was finally released on Christmas Eve. What a wonderful present."

Wow! How great that must have been!

"I guess we will just cross that bridge when we come to it."

That's all that any of us can do, isn't it?

"The hospice care was in the individual's home."

There are more resources, more places you can go to for help, than most people realize. It is always wise to look into the situation very carefully. Also, the amount of money that it costs for out-of-home-care is less than it costs to get the necessary help at home because there is also free care that you can get.

It just pays to get advice, especially from someone who has been there and done that.

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Tom Garrett 1 hour, 16 minutes ago on 173 Merry Christmas!

Pam, I knew about Boxing Day. Learned about it in India. But the odd thing is that I was told the wrong information. They told me that it referred to the fact that the Christmas dinner was boxed up and carried where and there on the 26th. Makes me wonder how many traditions get all twisted around in colonies and whatnot.

After I first learned about Boxing Day, I often spoke of it in India, Pakistan, and England, but I always assumed — and I suppose everyone else did — that I knew the meaning of it. I wonder what my friends and relatives would have thought if they had known I had gotten it so wrong.

I have no idea who explained it to me over in India.

"Must have meant a lot to those in need and a good idea too!"

Knowing how poor people really were back in the 1700's and 1800's I really know how much they needed it. I'm always reading books set in those days, and usually written in those days too. It's an eye-opener.

I just got done reading a short story by Charles Dickens called The Boots at the Holly-Tree Inn. If you ever get a chance to do it, read it. It is one of the most heart-warming stories I have ever read.

The "Boots," by the way, does not refer to boots, as in high shoes. It's the name given to a bootblack.

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Tom Garrett 1 hour, 30 minutes ago on 162 The Question Is.... Business signs.

"The sign swingers are on the main highway. Not on Longhorn. The marijuana shop is across the street from the truck gas stop."

I'll have to be looking for them the next time I drive by there. It's odd that I haven't seen them, but I imagine it's because every time I drive south of the 260/87 intersection I am in the fast lane, and am paying attention to the road because people are not happy in that area because many of them who are driving south have just come through the 260/87 intersection and are in a rush to get somewhere. I am often going to Wendy on Tuesday, which is my shopping day, to get something for Lolly instead of the same old home cooked stuff. Making a turn there is a bit "dicey," as the British put it.

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Tom Garrett 1 hour, 34 minutes ago on 161 The Question Is... Ice on the road?

You know something? It hasn't occurred to me in a long time, but I am truly glad that I do not have to make that drive to the Valley anymore. I can't even remember how long it has been since I made it.

This is strictly an aside, but I got a really nice surprise last night that has to do with roads. I was reading a book and came to the moment when a stagecoach entered the road to a canyon. Read this:

"Carley, rousing out of her weary preoccupation, opened her eyes to see that the driver had halted at a turn of the road, where apparently it descended a fearful declivity."

"The very forest-fringed earth seemed to have opened into a deep abyss, ribbed by red rock walls and choked by steep mats of green timber. The chasm was a V-shaped split and so deep that looking downward sent at once a chill and a shudder over Carley."

"Carley's heartbeats thumped at her side. The rickety vehicle started down at an angle that forced her to cling to her seat. Clutching her support with bated breath and prickling skin, Carley gazed in fascinated suspense over the rim of the gorge. Sometimes the wheels on that side of the vehicle passed within a few inches of the edge. The brakes squeaked, the wheels slid; and she could hear the scrape of the iron-shod hoofs of the horses as they held back stiff legged, obedient to the wary call of the driver."

You know what the book was? Zane Grey's Call of the Canyon.

And the canyon was Oak Creek Canyon.

That description made me realize how different our roads are today, but what a nice surprise it was to be reading a book set in a place I actually know. First time!

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Tom Garrett 23 hours, 51 minutes ago on 174 The Question Is... Home care.

Please don't take this as a criticism of nursing homes, hospice, or the hospitals. That's not what is is meant to be.

Not just at this time of year, but every day, I know what to be thankful for and Who to thank, which I do every single day, and I don't mean that in a general sense. Every day, without fail, I say the words as I come to bed with Lolly. I talk with her for a while — about the day we just had, or something in the past, or the future, or just things in general, and my thanks goes out at that time.

As you know, we are still together almost 8 years after a hospice doctor came to the house to talk to us, presumably — since that is the law as far as Medicare paying for hospice care — that there were just six months remaining to us.

I refused any help at that time, and will continue to do that — at least I will refuse any help that help includes Lolly being treated anywhere else but right here in this house. That doesn't mean that everyone can, or should, do the same thing, but the years have made me believe, and I think it is time for me to say why I believe it, that some stays in professional away-from-home care are so short compared to home care.

Ever been in a hospital? Do you remember how you felt? I've only been in one, and I know it was a good one, but I know how I felt, and here it is:

Lonely. Alone. Trapped in a place where I did not want to be, a place where I could constantly here unfamiliar voices echoing in the hall. A place where everything was efficient, but by no means warm. Hating the unfamiliar food, food about which I had no choices.

And most important of all, I felt sustained mainly by the knowledge that I would soon be leaving a place that may have been well run and professional, but was by no means a place where I wanted to be.

Why did I feel that?

Contrast the day at home, with people around you all day who keep telling you how much they love you. Think of the voices and the faces of those you love. Think of having all the familiar things around you — your own bed, your own chair, all the things you have accumulated all those years, your own choice of what you are seeing and hearing. The home cooked food. The programs you like. The sense that "This is where I belong, where I have chosen to be. This is home."

Consider the very real possibility of being given something to make you more "manageable", something to "quiet you down," something to make you less than you can be.

And worst of all, consider the knowledge of why you are there. Not to get better, but to die.

The Question Is....

Is it any surprise to you that I believe that the contrast can extend life for years?

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Tom Garrett 1 day ago on 173 Merry Christmas!

Bernice,

Keep in touch. I felt the same way during my 21 years i uniform. Writing home and hearing about what was going on was something that sustained me all those years. It kept me in touch with my roots.

Pat, it sounds like you did something smart. I think that move is a wise one for many people who get into their declining years like us. I'd probably do it myself, but our situation is a very special one.

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Tom Garrett 1 day ago on 161 The Question Is... Ice on the road?

I talked to one of my sons a day or so ago. He told me that he would rather drive in the Valley than on the Beeline on the way up here. He said that people are nuts on the Beeline, tailgating at speeds in excess of the speed limit. He wondered where the law enforcement is.

My question would be, "What the hell is the rush? They aren't on their way to work? There's no pressure to be anywhere at some given time. They're on their way to a relaxing few days offs. So why all the need for speed?"

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