Sunday, June 20, 2010


Biking at 8:15, not quite as humid, but still got an earache and sore throat after 1/2 hour, so pollen must be bad. Finally went north, Van Meter to Redd to Old Frankfort to Browns Mill to Leestown to Weizenberger Mill (pic) to Payne's Depot to Pisgah and back in Military Pike. 29 miles, 2h20m, 1 stop. After cooldown and shower, in to Louisville for jambalaya at Joe's OK Bayou and then swimming with Uncle Bruce.

On Payne's Depot, saw some young turkey buzzards. Young because:

  1. They let me get within 10 ft of them, and then they hopped off of the fence instead of flying away. Closest I've ever gotten to a turkey buzzard.
  2. They were .60-.75 of the size of an adult turkey buzzard.
  3. They still had pinfeathers on their heads, they weren't completely bald.
They're not as ugly as adult buzzards, but, they're getting there.

So on to the movie review. We saw "Winter's Bone" at the Kentucky Friday night. This was apparently the indie darling of Sundance, and, given that it's about crank cookers in the Ozarks of southern Missouri, one wonders why.

So the plot is, the unstoppable 17 YO heroine, who is taking care of her two younger siblings and her mostly catatonic mother, must find her crank-cooking father because he has used the family homestead as bond and if he misses his court date, they will lose it all -- and he appears to have gone missing.

So what is it about this movie? The acting is great -- the actress playing the 17 YO heroine is from Louisville, and she is unstoppable. And apparently, you don't have to have been in Eastern KY or the rural poverty center of your choice for it to have affected you, so here's my theory.

*** Spoiler Alert ***
This story is completely mythic. It could have been a Greek myth, a Norse myth, or a Grimm Brothers fairy tale. The young girl searches for her missing father to save her family. And the clannish, tribal nature of life out in in the Ozark hollers is completely wired into our lizard brains.

When the heroine gets beat up to discourage her from trying to talk to the pater familias of the head clan, the women do the damage. No man touches her, because that would require the men of her clan to seek retribution.

And when she finally gets to see the grandpa of the rival clan, he comes out, 70 YO, 6 ft tall, still barrel-chested, wearing a giant cowboy hat and a vest completely covered with badges, emblems and tokens!!! He is the tribal headman/shaman, completely channeling Odin the All-Father or Jehovah the Murderer of Children. I've got to see that scene again.

The poster for the movie in the lobby showed people in a boat. So it's getting towards the end of the movie, I'm wondering, where's the boat? But, of course, they save the crossing of the River Styx for the last.

This is The Old Ways. This is the clans of Scotland 500 years ago, or Scandinavia 1000 years ago, or the savannahs of Africa 100,000 years ago.

I really wonder if the writer and director realized they were tapping into such primal stuff, or if they were just telling the story as it came. I think the latter, but to me, they subconsciously must have opened a huge vein directly into the deep archetypes of our species. C.G. Jung would be proud! So, Joe Bob sez, check it out! I will second the 5 star rating it got in the Herald-Leader.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Random Paul: I R A Medical Certifying Board!

Per today's Herald-Leader, Random Paul doesn't like that The American Board of Ophthalmology is grandfathering in older diplomates (who were given undated certificates) such that they don't have to recertify (but he does).

I was Director of Information Systems at the American Board of Family Practice (now the American Board of Family Medicine) from 1980 to 1986. I acted as a computer consultant to the American Board of Radiology from 1984 to 1999. So I know something about this stuff.

The American Board of Family Medicine is one of newest -- I think that only the American Board of Emergency Medicine is newer. ABFM was founded here in Lexington in 1969. It was the first board to the require recertification. Diplomates -- those completing the certification procedure, which includes a multi-year residency program and written examination -- were given a dated certificate by ABFM, with an expiration date 7 years after the exam. The diplomates normally recertified on a 6 year cycle.

The older boards (some of whom also did oral examinations) have gradually added recertification, and pretty much all grandfathered in their diplomates who had originally been given an undated certificate. They really didn't have much choice in the matter, there were legal issues -- like if the state gave you a 4 year driver's license and then came back after 2 years and said "Sorry, you need to renew now."

The 20 something specialty boards are all members of the American Board of Medical Specialities (ABMS). They vigorously police their residency programs and their certification procedures, because they need to prove that they are a value-add -- which, from working with them, I believe they are.

So, Random Paul thinks it is SO unfair that he has to recertify, and older diplomates don't, that he founds his own medical certification board??? He's president, his wife's vice-president, his father-in-law's secretary??? As opposed to the medical boards I have worked with, there the board members and officers are all nationally recognized experts in the specialty.

And probably, this is some kind of "matter of principle" ??? In The Highest Libertarian Tradition???

The man is a nut-job. If he wants to form "The American Board of Nut-Jobs" and certify himself, I am totally behind that.

This is teabagger thinking at its finest: "I don't like it, I'm mad as hell, I don't care about reason, logic, or any kind of common sense. I'm going to take my ball and go home" -- good riddance.

Flame off ...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

Finally biked after a 2 month hiatus. 28 miles to Pauls Mill Rd prolly a little much. (Tiger)Lilies blooming everywhere, and, on US 33 just north of Troy, a Baltimore Oriole burst out of the foliage and paced me for a few seconds. Black and bright orange, amazing! I have only seem one of those once before, on Leestown Rd about 7-8 years ago, I think.

Orange tiger lilies and the oriole, I almost titled this "Orange" and dedicated it to my son.

I started at 8:45, it was already way humid. I did the 28 miles in ~2h20m, with a longish stop on Pauls Mill Rd. That is such a pretty road, and, when you first turn onto it off of US 33, it has a stretch where it looks flat, but you pick up speed coasting, so it's obviously downhill?!?!?

I made probably 15-20 shifting errors, but none of them were horrible. I guess that's to be expected after the long layoff.

I still haven't biked north and west -- when I was biking in April Keeneland was running so was biking south only. But can't bike south next week -- "Brains for Jebus - The Musical", aka the Icthyus Christian Music Festival, will be down that way next weekend. So next weekend I'll head north out Van Meter.