Thursday, March 15, 2007


Pop pop gets Grisham?

- George Bluth, played by the marvelous Jeffrey Tambor, while hiding in the model home attic, from Arrested Development

Yes I'm a little freaked out, but I still have 34 days left to prepare and that's what I'm doing. Days, nights, weekends, all the time. I will be taking some study breaks this weekend for St. Paddy's Day because dammit, it's March 17 and you have to enjoy your or someone else's Irish heritage. They've given us so much over the years: U2, Guinness, Potatoes, Corned Beef and Cabbage, and the Gaelic language. So wear your green, raise your pint and toast to the Emerald Isle and all she stands for!

I had Total for breakfast. It tastes sweet. It's probably because I'm trying to completely eliminate all sugar from my diet, except for fruits, vegetable and the sugar that is in some of the processed foods I still eat, but it does. I'm sure the kid who is adding extra sugar to his Frosted Flakes isn't going to believe me, but it is. Or what did Calvin eat? Frosted Sugar Bombs? Ah, of course. Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs!

I have reduced myself to only getting tea at coffeeshops, or espresso if it's after dinner or I'm on the road. It saves money and tea is delicious! There is a new one at Greenville's Barnes and Noble that is called Bangkok. It has ginger, lemongrass and coconut, so J hates it but it's so good. And I'm so proud of myself. I honestly can't remember what brand of coffeeshop is in B&N. I assume it's Starbucks but can't remember. The free-standing Starbucks is down the street though. I would love to be immune to marketing and advertising. That would be a good day, so I wouldn't be tempted to try the new cool chip or colored ketchup. Not that I tried that crazy ass colored ketchup. I would be willing to try it though, but alas, it's off the shelves and gone forever.

Big Pharma, the pharmaceutical industry, currently one of the massive industries running our government. Don't even try and deny it. It's everywhere. TV, magazines, buses, billboards, you're friends are talking about it, your grandparents depend on it. Like most things, it has good points and bad points.
Helps people with serious problems.
Makes vaccines that save lives and prevent expensive and debilitating diseases.
Um, sponsor racing and other spectator sports.
Provide many jobs for chemists, pharmacists and others.

Ridiculous profit margins (this would be in the "good" category depending on who you are and whose stock you own)
Why cure a disease when you can make billions treating it for years?
Won't develop some treatments because it isn't patented and someone else could steal it.
Sure they sell drugs cheaper in other countries, but you rich Americans can afford to pay what we tell you.
Kickbacks and other incentives to doctors so they'll prescribe a certain drug, whether you need it or not!
Buy influence in government instead of letting politicians do the work of the people (obviously not isolated to the pharmaceutical industry)

As an example of the influence of Big Pharma, J was at the doctor the other day. She said that she's been feeling tired and wanted some "speed". She actually used the street name for amphetamines, commonly prescribed as Adderall. And the doctor said, sure, let's get some bloodwork and then see about getting you your "speed". Wow. Maybe I'm too naive or haven't been to the doctor enough, but is it really that easy? Or maybe he's not concerned about the potential abuse of amphetamines. I wonder if J would've said "My elbow hurts. How bout some OCs doc?" if he would've been as forthcoming with his prescription pad. OCs are slang for oxycontin, which is synthetic heroin. Ok, now that I look at it, it isn't exactly heroin, but it is in the opiate family. Heroin: diacetylmorphine, Oxycontin: (5a)-4,5-epoxy-14-hydroxy-3-methoxy-17- methylmorphinan-6-one

The bottom line is, just because your doctor says you should take it, doesn't mean you should just take his word for it. Be a smart consumer, do your research. Odds are the doc is right, but not all the time. That's why they have to pay exorbitant malpractice insurance fees. That and because slick lawyers and slick assholes sue them alot.

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