Department Of Memories Apropos Of Nothing,
Which Nevertheless Arise In The Middle Of The Night
Dateline: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, when I worked in an OB/GYN practice near Stanford Hospital.
Moiself had been with the practice about four months, and had begun to be familiar with the regular patients and would often know, without having to look at their chart, what they were in for (when they had an appointment) or what they were calling for.
We had a patient from Persia – i.e. Iran  – who had been trying to get pregnant, without success, for almost a year, and she and her husband had begun the initial rounds of fertility testing. One morning we received a phone call from the husband. The office manager answered the call and handed it off to moiself, since I was the health educator/medical assistant. The man’s English was very heavily-accented; I had to ask him three times to repeat his name. The office manager recognized the name when I spoke it aloud – Mr. Mizrahi, what may I help you with? Excuse me, what was that? She listened to the brief conversation with increasing shock and disbelief and waved her arms to get my attention as I walked toward the massive Wall of Charts ®, searching for the wife’s records. The office manager had surmised what Mr. Mizrahi was calling about; she banged her forehead against her desk when she heard me say, to a man who was asking for the results of his semen analysis,
* * *
Department Of Deja Vu All Over Again
Every morning at breakfast I do a cryptogram puzzle  from my Cryptogram-A-Day Book. This particular book of cryptograms consists of thoughts from philosophers, scientists, and other “great thinkers,” and proverbs and adages and sayings from the fables of Aesop to the koans of Zen Buddhism. Twice within four days, my first thought, upon solving the respective quotes for August 4 and August 8, was, “Gee, I wonder why this one reminds me of #45? 
“The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none.”
“Wise men talk because they have something to say;
fools talk because they have to say something.”
* * *
Department Of Things That Make Me Sad
“New technologies – robots, software, artificial intelligence – have already destroyed more than 4 million US jobs, and in the next 5-10 years, they will eliminate millions more. A third of all American workers are at risk of permanent unemployment. And this time, the jobs will not come back.”
(Andrew Yang, former lawyer and internet/healthcare/education entrepreneur, philanthropist, founder of Venture For America, and Democratic presidential candidate)
Check out, if you haven’t already, the Andrew Yang For President website. Specifically, check out the menu heading for his policies. Yang has the most detailed proposals on the widest variety of issues that I’ve ever seen from any (would-be) public servant, from reducing student loan burden to campaign finance reform to modernizing military spending to “reverse boot camp” for returning GIs to border security and immigration reform…so many, that they are divided into topical groups:
* Economy/Jobs & Labor
* Civil Rights/Criminal Justice
* Family/Social Cohesion
* Foreign Policy
* Miscellaneous/Fun 
Unlike so many other candidates (and this is, I’m sure, directly related to his background in business and education and NOT politics), Yang just doesn’t have call out problems, he offers solutions, which he backs with evidence.
I first heard of Yang in January, when he was interviewed on the Freakonomics podcast “Why Is This Man Running For President?” (#362, 1-9-19). He reminds me of a Paul Revere figure, riding through the streets and calling out to us…essentially alone…because no one else sees that The British Are Coming – in this case, “The British” are, among other issues, the impending crisis re jobs lost to AI/robots and automation. Yang’s clear-headed reasoning and innovative (yet common sense, when you think about it) proposals got me to change my mind on the UBI (Universal Basic Income) concept – a concept that is so misunderstood and therefore unlikely to fly with the Average Joe ®  that Yang himself tacitly acknowledges this by calling his proposal the “Freedom Dividend.”
So, whence the department of things that make me sad? Because I know what’ll likely happen. When people from outside the Republican-Democrat duopoly , people with valuable experience, clear thinking, fresh ideas re complicated dilemmas, and no history of entangled agendas analyze our questions and offer feasible answers, we tend to dismiss them as dreamers and their ideas as impractical. We say we want people who’ll tell us the truth and find bold yet workable solutions, but it seems most of us really can’t handle it.
* * *
Department Of Things That Make Me Sad
In Ways That The Word Sad Just Can’t Cut It
August 3, another day, another mass shooting, another long time/treasured friend suffers the death of a child…
Wait, WTF was that?!?!?!
How shamefully easy it is for moiself to be so matter-of-fact about the former and so distraught by the latter. The mass shooting (excuse me, make that plural) last week barely registered in my mind as I was trying to comprehend the shock and grief of dear, longtime friend SGD, as she and her husband and daughter mourn the unexpected death of their 28 year old son and brother.
Remember, I told son K and daughter Belle, although I’m usually not a stickler about most Life Things ®, please get this Rule Of Life thing correct: you’re supposed to bury us, not the other way around.
* * *
Department of Epicurean Excursion 
Featuring this week’s cookbook, author and recipe:
Forks Over Knives, edited by Gene Stone.
* Avocado Dressing
* Cucumber Tomato Salad
* Red Potatoes and Kale
My ratings, the same for all three:
☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼
Recipe Rating Refresher 
* * *
May we remember to talk only when we have something to say;
May we not ask for the truth unless we are prepared to deal with it;
May we all, once again and forever, remember to love ’em while we got ’em;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 During that time (mid-late 1980s), due to the volatile US-Iran political relations – or just a strong cultural preference – people from Iran would often refer to themselves as Persian, rather than as Iranian.
 A cryptogram in this sense is a word puzzle consisting of a short piece of coded text – substitution cypers, where each letter is replaced by a different letter.
 Aka D—– tRump, our Commander in Disbelief Chief.
 My favorite category, which includes such topics as “The Penny Makes No Cents” (the reasons, from environmental to practical, to get rid of pennies), “Robo-calling Text Lines” (a one step method to report Robo Callers to the FCC), and “Making Taxes Fun”….
 a Joe that is likely to reconsider UBI when he loses his retail/truck driving job to online shopping/self-driving trucks and robots and drones and….
 A recurring feature of this blog, since week 2 of April 2019, wherein moiself decided that moiself would go through my cookbooks alphabetically and, one day a week, cook 9at least) one recipe from one book.
* Two Thumbs up: Liked it
* Two Hamster Thumbs Up : Loved it
* Thumbs Down – Not even Kevin (a character in The Office who would eat anything) would like this.
* Twiddling Thumbs: I was, in due course, bored by this recipe.
* Thumbscrew: It was torture to make this recipe.
* All Thumbs: Good recipe, but I somehow mucked it up .
* Thumby McThumb Face: This recipe was fun to make.
* Thumbing my nose: Yeah, I made this recipe, but I did not respect it.