me thinks he doth protest too much

Maybe someone could ask him to retire? Please!!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



I was going to write about something else, but this came up this week.

I’ve been paying for my own insurance since October of 2008. One of the perks of unemployment. COBRA was $500 a month. Not seeing any job with benefits in the near future I switched hoping to save some money and make my cushion last a bit longer.

I got some misleading information with that insurance and six months in found out that it was “short term”. Literally. Because I had recently all of a sudden after 48 years had high cholesterol. My doctor would say, “will do you blood work next time you and three other of my patients have the lowest cholesterol of all my patients.”

So when I went for my check up last year and they said that my blood sugar was a bit high I should see the nutritionist. So I did and changed my eating habits.

When I went back 3 months later my cholesterol had SHOT through the roof. WTF?! Oh, and my blood pressure was a bit high. Also previously perfect. What the hell did this nutritionist do to me.

I find out that my short term coverage with Assurant is “short” and useless because of the cholesterol and blood pressure, so I go online and apply to Providence Health Plan. I’ve had Providence before and for me it was good. It was $190, but better than $500.

I carefully looked at and check all the boxes, within the last five years has anyone had any medical advice for …

Now I had just recently heard on the news that someone had been denied insurance because she neglected to put it on her health statement. And I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of. And having Providence previously, they will have all my records anyway. Right?

Well I missed #32, a. Mental/emotional condition/depression, b. Therapy/counseling within last 5 years (if “Yes” record date of last session: Hmm, I even remember looking up when my last session was in April?

Now I’m not mental, I am emotional and I am blue most of the time. I think it’s my nature. And yes I have gone to therapy off and on for years. Good grief? What is wrong with that? Sometime you just need that objective outsider to help you keep things in perspective.

So why would I hide this? I have no reason to. But being the sly criminal that I must be (maybe should have had a different therapist) I lied on an application and now have no health care coverage.

The other part of this that is confusing to me is that I have been told in the past and believed that if you had continuous coverage you would be covered. No.

So I’m 49 years old and have had insurance of some sort for all of that. So I or someone have paid in a lot of money that like most insurance is never used just paid into the profit pool.

I have 30 days to appeal. Somehow I don’t think, it was an honest unintentional omission, will be acceptable.

May play it safe and just stay in until I re-establish coverage.

Happy New Year!

don't speak...don't speak! rant


I listen to PDXSucks. People who actually love Portland. “We think Portland, Oregon is just about the finest city on the face of the earth. We’re just more than a little frustrated in the path that Portland seems to be taking to become a “big city” and we can’t keep quiet about it anymore.”

I frequently listen later, cause I’m not up at 8. One of my most favorite benefits of unemployment. But I do miss being able to interact in the little chat box with the show by not listening at 8. Today, 12/22, they talked about the death of Brittany Murphy. And I 100% absolutely agree with their conversation. The instant someone famous dies, it starts. Speculation.

Someone died. Someone that because of their profession many people are aware of. This person as they pointed out is some one’s daughter, cousin, niece, granddaughter and friend. And now her family and friends will forever have the week of Christmas when they lost a love one.

Speculation is mean, cruel and an opportunity for focus puller’s to grab some attention. I’ll call it the “Gloria Allred Syndrome”(GAS, how appropriate). People so desperate for attention that they will speculate on something that they can know nothing about in order to get on the news, get a book or the ultimate a show about nonsense on a plethora of cable channels.

How about this, she died. We won’t know the cause of death for 4-6 weeks. At that point if the family is inclined to release the results we will know. And this was her career…list some of her 40 plus movies, “Clueless”, Girl, Interrupted, Sidewalks of New York”, “8 Mile”, “Just Married”, “Sin City”. Or even some of the televisions shows she was in or added voice to, “King of the Hill”.

Brittany Murphy actress and singer born November 10, 1977 died on December 20, 2009. Then list several of her movies and if I were writing this (and I am) discovered in the movie “Little Black Book”, that she can sing. I found her voice quite nice. Then again got to hear her in Happy Feet. And due to a battle over the song rights and now her death, we won’t see her in a biopic about Janis Joplin.

Yes she was a public figure. Yes she chose a career that put her in the spotlight. But she was a person and had a life and a family. Doesn’t that somehow allow her some level of privacy when it comes to the most intimate part of her life? Like her death? It’s times like this that I become embarrassed for some.

Yes, I’m interested in people and what they do, but not to this degree. This is just cruel.

creative don't speak...don't speak!

Last time I was unemployed I went to Truthout everyday. That was 2003.

Blog ideas were running through my head this morning and I was headed in a particular direction. Is Twitter a tool for shameless creepy self-promotion? For a few, I say yes. I signed into Twitter, March 30, 2008. At the time I will admit, that I didn’t exactly get it or know what it was, or if I would even use it. Therefore the Twitter handle @jgx. Turns out with the 140-character limit the short handle is perfect.

I don’t follow a lot of people. And I don’t have a lot of follower’s. Which is fine with me. For me it’s not a popularity contest. I don’t need to be popular. In September of 2008 when I really started using Twitter, the race was on. People where nuts!! Falling all over each other to get followers AT all costs. And they took it personally if you didn’t follow them. In some cases (one in particular for me) take great offense to unfollow. I got a curt little note sent to me in facebook after the unfollow. Well I had unfollowed them so how else where they to verbally beat me up one last time?

My opinion, for some Twitter is all about self-promotion. In some cases annoyingly so. For some it has become a tool to help those in need. For some, it is the selfless desire to do something for the greater good. I’m talking about Thirty Hour Day. (previous post)

So I was thinking about what makes people do things like this? What was it that just a few weeks three people decided to have a 30 hour live podcast to raise money for local charity. No really! Just a few weeks ago!

This goodness should be collected and put in a shot and a required immunization.

And a friend from high school on facebook post’s a link to a great article on TruthOut, Bringing the World Out of Denial: The Power of Passion, The Fallacy of Fear. It says what I wanted to say.

The entire article is linked to the title, but I pulled a few paragraphs here.

“In my opinion, there is only one force that can erase this self-protecting, laissez faire attitude towards critical global challenges, or any critical change for that matter: the energy of unbridled passion. This creative force is so powerful that it evaporates fear from the deepest level of the human spirit and can literally change the world.”

“Every one of us is born with this need. This can result in human efficiencies beyond 90 percent. Have you ever engaged in an activity so inspiring that you lost track of time and your desire for food, water or sleep?”

“How do we instill such passion? I think there are three components that must be present. First, and foremost, the challenge must appeal to a person’s need to help the “greater good.”

“People must perceive and believe deep down that they are part of a team that will change the world for the better. That is the magic.”

Creative and innovative people no longer work well under autocratic command and control. That world is gone forever. At this critical juncture, we desperately need a few courageous leaders stimulating people around the planet with the passion necessary to create a safer, more rewarding future for all.”



She lived on the third floor of a small complex. Acoustically it was at the right height so that everything that happened on the sidewalk sounded like it happened right outside her window.

The northwest part of Portland is dense and people live on top of each other. There is no parking so if you own a car you circle and circle to find a place close to your house but usually end up blocks away. One car had a bumper sticker. It said, “Visualize Parking”. She didn’t have a car so it didn’t matter. The neighborhood had all she needed, a car wasn’t necessary.

She wasn’t sure if it was people who didn’t have cars or people who just bought too many groceries. But you would see shopping carts randomly parked around the neighborhood. Sometimes they would be there for days. There were two groceries with in five blocks she just made several trips a week and rarely shopped using a cart. She never bought more than she could carry, what could fit in a basket. A redish orange truck would drive the neighborhood each day, collect the shopping carts and take them back to the store where they belonged.

Then one day she started really thinking about those carts. She thought if she had a camera she would make a video about these abandon carts. Think about it. You are a brand new cart, you just came off of the assembly line were loaded on a truck to be taken to your grocery store.

Your wheels are straight, your cage is shiny there isn’t a nick or scratch anywhere. You are nestled inside another and one is nestled resting gently inside you. You get to the store you are unloaded from the truck and carefully lined up just inside the door. The lights go out and it’s dark. All of the carts are there, waiting in anticipation of the next morning when the doors are unlocked and customers start coming in.

But the unthinkable happens. The new cart gets his chance. He feels the warm hands on the handle. His wheels are smooth and silent. And as she pushes him he understands what his purpose is as the light shines on his shiny new frame. Isle after isle more and more gets put into the cart. He can feel the cold go to warm as they leave the produce section. Then colder as they enter the frozen isle, that actually feels good. He breezes through the isles and proudly carries fresh vegetables, fresh loaves of bread, toothpaste, soaps, it all fits perfectly.

At check out he wonders if the shopper even noticed that he was new or if the checker knows? They have to, he is so shiny. The shopper unloads the cart, pushes it forward and the cart waits to be reloaded. The checker is very neat, so the bags are fit in perfectly and sit snuggly next to each other. Now his first trip outside to the parking lot! Will they leave him in the cart bin outside or bring him back inside? Oh it’s a nice day he hopes that they leave him outside, the sun feels good. What kind of car does she have? What color? Where is it?

Then it happens. She doesn’t go to the parking lot. Ok, she is parked on the street. Is it this car? This car? This one? She keeps walking. Where is she going? She is getting further and further away from the store. Then she turned the corner! He couldn’t see the store any more. Where is she taking him? He started to panic. How would he do his job and be there for the next person if he is so far away?

He heard some rumbling the night before among some of the other carts but he didn’t pay any attention. He figured it was an old cart. How crazy to think that someone would take a cart to there house so far away from the store. Then he remembered someone saying something about a redish orange truck. He had to keep an eye open for that truck. Where was it? Oh no! Another corner and further away from the store, he had to be brave. Things looked nice so it must be a nice place. Where was he going?

Several blocks have gone by. It’s getting dark. There are a few people on the street, but it’s pretty quiet actually. Then she slows down. There is a street lamp and the light is shining down on him. He feels it bouncing off his shiny new frame. One by one she takes the bags out of the cart and into the building. There is one last bag in the cart. This should be it. She will take the bag come back and push him back home so that he can continue to serve the customers. She takes the last bag and walks inside. He waits. And waits.

He doesn’t really have a concept of time. He is a shopping cart after all. But he is thinking that she is taking longer than needed. Even allowing for time to put frozen things in a freezer and other goods in the fridge, she should be out again. And it’s getting darker and darker. How could this have happened to him? His first run and now he is stranded and has no idea how to get back?

Wait! The redish orange truck he heard them talking about last night! It had to come soon. Was he going to be visible to the driver? How did he make sure that he was picked up in that truck and taken back to the store? He looked all around as best he could. But there was no traffic. Now it was really late and very dark. She had forgotten him.

It would be a very long night. There was some foot traffic, but no trucks. Two boys walked by and threw their empty coffee cups in the cart. He wasn’t a trash can, but now he had trash. He hoped that was all that he had to take on until that redish orange truck found him. He didn’t mind just staying in one place. That was part of his job. He was too far away and felt useless.

Now if she just had a camera she could take it to Freddies and attach it to a cart, fill it up, push it home and leave it out front of her apartment. She wondered if her neighbor downstairs would let her put a camera in their window to shoot over the night for time lapse? But like many other things it was just a thought. She would tell the story a few times to friends but never produced the video. It seems a bit traumatic maybe. But really it is comical. It’s A shopping cart after all!

The redish orange truck did make its way to that street and picked up the cart and took him back to the store. The cart was a little wiser and a bit more prepared for the next time someone took him home instead of leaving him. But he hoped not!


12.18 & 19 don’t miss it!

Watch Portland local’s, Cami Kaos and Rick Turoczy enter the charity marathon world with Thirty Hour Day, raising money for local fav’s;

Free Geek
Oregon Food Bank
Toys For Tots
Hands On Disaster Response
Mercy Corps
Portland Red Cross
Special Olymics Oregon

30 Hour Day

creative don't speak...don't speak!


Should I have put a question mark after “question” in the title? Or would that have been redundant?


One would think that this would be something I could do. But I find it harder than anything. What is it? Answering that question at the end of an interview, “do you have any questions for us?” That’s me being interviewed for a job. Do “I” have questions?

I had an interview yesterday. It was for a job that could be interesting. It would be a place to pull all of my experience together. I think it would be stable. It is a job that I actually would like to do. And one I can certainly do. There is a bit of a but, it’s with the state and three hours south.

I applied back in October thinking that they would never call me. They called last week for an interview. So off I went yesterday in a rental car. No reason to drag everyone in at this point.

It was a panel interview. Five people, two with the state and three from the community that are involved with the office.

When I interview people I do have a set of questions in mind before we start. But I also want to try to find out how they think and how they have a conversation. So I very often stray from the written questions. And work to have them do all the talking.

Yesterday, like many others they were right on track and did not stray from the questions. They were good questions and they took turns asking them.

The one that always trips me up, “give us an example of a difficult change that you had to implement…?” Life is loaded with drama and difficulty. The last thing I want or need is anything being perceived as difficult. So I don’t create it.

I think I achieve that by not working behind a curtain or veiled in secrecy. Nothing I have done to date has or needs any level of secrecy. It’s what thousands of people do everyday and have done for years. And no one has a unique way or market on the business of recruiting. Guess what everyone, you are all doing exactly the same thing! So there is no reason to not let the people around me know exactly what is going on.

That said, I’d like to think that because of that the space around me is fair and non-threatening. It’s a place that can and would grow leaders. A place that works together not against each other. A place void of difficult scenarios.

So I haven’t had “difficult” changes or situations. I have had challenging situations and changes, but not difficult. Difficult is finding out one of your dear friends has breast cancer. Difficult is finding out one of your dear friends loses her beloved four legged companion of 16 years. Difficult is having dear friends that long for and deserve to be married and recognized for the commitment of 18 years together, but can’t. And fear what that might mean as they grow old together. They have a long way to go, growing old, that’s difficult!

Difficulty in the work place is temporary and unless you have your hand inside someones chest waiting for a heart or another body part, it just doesn’t matter.

Now maybe I’m oblivious, like Portland driver’s, and have no awareness of the wake that I leave behind. But I think I’m pretty in touch and am the first one to know even before the wake begins and stop it.

I don’t know if they will call me back for the second round? I don’t know if I asked them enough questions? But I know what I will do next time. I will ask them the same questions that they asked me. If these will be the people that I will be interacting with on a regular basis, I’ll want to know how they handle difficult change. I’d want to know what their strengths and weaknesses are. To what extent, they think, non-management employee’s should be involved in decisions. What is it they hope the new manager accomplishes in the first six months. And certainly, how do they develop long and short range goals with partners over which they did not have authority.

That’s what I will do next time.


Changing my image


creative rant


Day seven came and went and … no post. Yesterday was a long day! And Portland had a rare record. Coldest day in ten years. It was between 24 and 28 degree’s all day.

Now I do not like the cold. Many of you reading most likely know that. If you are new here, I DON’T LIKE COLD! Portland was a great relief from Kansas City. But 28? Oh, San Diego!

So yesterday was a long day. It started when I left the house at about 6:50am to meet Dr. Tom for coffee to talk at 7:45. Oh, here’s another one. I DON’T LIKE MORNING! But coffee with Dr. Tom even at 7:45am, not such a bad thing. Then I was off to PSU for the Internet Marketing Conference.

My first cold day out in it waiting for a bus. Y-ouch! The wind was biting and fierce. Now that I don’t have a car again I’m back to using public transportation. It’s pretty good here. Except when it’s cold. I’m still glad I sold my car. Yesterday didn’t make me want to have it back. It did make me want to be elsewhere … San Diego!

I don’t know if that’s why I didn’t post yesterday. Lazy mostly. Got home about 8pm, ate and warmed up. Love that radiant water heat that I don’t pay for!

The sun is out today, but it’s not really working? It’s 32 today and I have NO where to go!

If I post twice today does that count?


Okay, so she thought about the care and thought that must have gone behind the reasoning of laminating maps. Sure it keeps them clean and they don’t rip at the folds. But that’s what makes a map cool. The wear and tear of the paper the diminishing lines that mark the streets and towns. The disappearance of places just like in real life. She worked with a woman once whose brother-in-law was a mapmaker. She never asked but wondered if he worked from an airplane? After all how could you really do a good job with out seeing the entire thing? There had to be pictures at least.

Mowana-Winky popped in and out of her life from the day she met her. Mowana was quiet like she was and didn’t need a lot of taking care of. She for a young one was pretty self-sufficient she thought, even for an 8 year old. But a close eye was always on her. There was a lot of land and trees to wonder and get lost in. Even thought she never went far, usually to the lake, someone was always near.

When she was ten she was allowed to use the small boat that was on the lake. But she had to take lessons on how to be safe. She thought that kind of odd since it was just a lake and not the ocean. It didn’t have the big waves like the ocean and you could see the other side of the lake unlike the ocean. At least the pictures she had seen of the ocean, she was never able to see the other side. So she knew that it was big. She thought it would be great to just row out and lay in the bottom of the boat and watch the clouds roll by. And listen to the water slap the bottom and side of the boat.

Lessons were fun and easy. Fun because her father actually was the one who taught her to use the boat and took her out three days in a row. Now as she thinks back it his lessons where easy and not complicated at all. And he spent more time just rowing around the lake than talking about how to be safe. It was then that she knew her father liked the water as much as she did. He started to tell her stories of ocean liner’s and big boats on the ocean. He told her about the ocean liner he went on when he was a little boy. When he was eight his mother’s father passed away and they left New York for England on the Queen Mary.


Their room was one of the bigger ones and had a door that went outside. He told her that he stretched out as far as he could so that he could watch New York get smaller and smaller. He hoped that he was able to see London as they came into port. He told her stories about the people on the boat. The fancy dinner’s the games played during the day and how people walked around and around on the deck.

But mostly while in the little boat they just floated and rowed around the lake. She never asked why her father was home for three days in a row. She just liked being in the boat with him and it didn’t matter. It was cool, peaceful and relaxing.

One day after her lessons when she as allowed to go out on the boat by herself, she was laying in the bottom of the boat looking up at the blue sky. It was the perfect summer day. It was warm but the breeze was just right. What she really wanted to do was be out on the lake at night to watch the stars. She knew she would have to be older to get to do that.

She closed her eyes and thought about the water. Wondered what it would be like to live under water. Not inside of something under water but under water like a fish. She thought that it had to be the most peaceful place on earth. And because the water surrounded you like a blanket it had be feel safe and comforting. But then she thought about the temperature of the water. Did fish get cold? She knew the water had to be cold in the winter because last winter it actually froze over a bit it got so cold.

What would Thursday bring? She still had the image of those laminated maps in her head and wondered if she retraced her steps if maybe she would see him again. Maybe she would ask him where he got the maps. She didn’t want to embarrass him by asking about the lamination; she thought just asking where he got them might reveal how they got that way. But it would be totally out of character to ask or even approach him about it. She would talk to others when they initiated the conversation, but she was never the one to start the conversation, especially with a stranger.

She didn’t think that she was interesting enough to engage other in conversation or banter. So felt that if they were compelled to talk to her or ask her a question she was more than happy to oblige. It made her a bit uncomfortable to put herself out there like that.

She was actually fine with just wondering and making up her own story of why or how the maps came to be. Maybe he was allergic to paper and had to have it covered so that he could hold it. Maybe he was one of those people who ate paper? So lamination kept him from eating it. Maybe he had a crazy aunt who gave him a laminating machine for his birthday and he hated not to use it so he did. Maybe she would get a laminator.