Sunday, July 26, 2009

Going to school

So, since nobody seems willing to hire me with my old skills, I have decided to go to school and get a certificate for Health Unit Coordinator. This is actually a step down, or used to be, from PFS Rep, but I think it would be a better fit for me. Trying to even apply for such a position at a hospital seems to be impossible at this point, as the first question is whether you have an HUC certificate. OK, so fine, I'll get a certificate.
Gateway is the only only local school that offers one, and I can't get in to the program until Spring cause the Fall classes are already full, but I am going to take the Health Core Curriculum at Estrella Mtn this semester and then do the HUC classes at Gateway in the spring. Good plan, and the health core applies to other specialties if I should happen to change my mind.
I won't, though. I used to periodically try to get an HUC position even back when I was at RMC, many long years ago, but things just never came together right.
My friend Jaime is taking the health core curriculum online this semester, for a billing and coding certificate, but I think I will do the in-person classes. I might have better networking later on if I have a personal relationship with local staff, and I think I will enjoy it too.

Friday, July 17, 2009

NO job

I was never notified, but the website says I am no longer being considered for the jobs in Mesa, so I guess thats what they meant by notify. Hmmmf!
Another friend, that works at DelWebb is showing my resume to her boss and other managers, so perhaps something will come of that. ANd my friend at Banner Estrella will be showing it to her manager on Monday. Hope springs eternal.
And I did the dirty dyeing deed this AM. I was aiming for a light golden brown but it has turned out to be a light auburn over my gray. It suits me; several of my aunts and my mother had this color naturally as young women, but it just seems like a bigger change than light brown would have been. DH likes it, maybe more than I do. I'll have to see if it lasts at all. I bought a gentler formula but if it goes away too quickly I will have to get something harsher.
Or maybe I will get another job right away and I won't have to do it again at all. I wish.
But it could be habit-forming to look younger, so I just hope it looks decent for a while.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Didn't get the job

When I was interviewed, 3 times, for PFS Rep jobs last Wednesday, the HR people promised to notify one way or the other within a week. Its been a week, and of course they didn't bother to notify. All the website says is that I have submitted an application for the jobs. I have somehow known from the beginning that they weren't going to hire me. I thought the interviews went well, but I'm sure at least half of the 1000 people there thought the same thing.
And I do think that my age is definitely counting against me. I Do have gray hair; I have had it for over 10 years and I think it looks good on me. But I am thinking seriously about dyeing it and having professional makeup before my next interview. Its not too much to ask to get a real job, I guess. It will just be a hassle to grow out again. Keeping it very short will help.
Now to save up enough money to have an actual salon do the job. I am scared to go to the beauty college because I need advice on color, etc., even though it is ever so much more affordable.
I am so disappointed. I was very good at a corporate PFS Rep job and would have been again, with a short learning cycle.
A friend at Banner Estrella is going to show my resume to her boss and her boss's boss for a pool position. I already talked to my store manager at PetSmart and he says they will work with me on what hours I need to work so that I can keep the job there while working the pool job. I need to keep the limited health insurance at PetSmart until I get a full-time job elsewhere, with benefits. I AM good at the PetSmart job, so its not like I would be using them. More like us using each other, since I will earn more than twice as much per hour at any hospital job. Heck, one shift a week would practically double my income.

from The Daily Green

Arguing that the chemical commonly used to give antibacterial soap its bite "poses imminent threats to human health and the environment," two groups are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to have triclosan banned.

The Daily Green has consistently recommended against using antibacterial soap (yes, even for parents with young children), primarily because it doesn't achieve its stated purpose (sanitizing your hands) any better than a thorough washing with regular-old soap and hot water ... but it does create conditions that allow for the evolution of antibiotic-resistance among bacteria. More recently, evidence has emerged that tricolsan may be an endocrine-disrupting chemical, messing with our hormones. It's found in our blood, and because we dump so much down the drain with each washing, it even contaminates dolphins, according to one recent study.

Though antibacterial products have saturated the market, there are alternatives to antibacterial soap. Triclosan isn't found only in soaps; it's also used in toothpastes, deodorants, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, facial tissues, antiseptics, fabrics, toys and medical devices.

The petition (pdf) filed by Beyond Pesticides and Food and Water Watch (with support from dozens of other groups, including the Sierra Club, the American Bird Conservancy and the Breast Cancer Fund), argues that tricolsan should not be approved for use in consumer products.

"Numerous scientific studies and reports clearly indicate that in addition to its human health and environmental dangers, triclosan is not effective for many of its intended benefits and may actually be doing consumers more harm than good," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. "Even worse, is that current regulations on triclosan haven't been updated since 1994 and much of the science used by the FDA to regulate the pesticide dates back to the late 1970s and early 1980s. The agency's inconsideration of new scientific research on triclosan represents an egregious failure to properly protect the public against this dangerous pesticide."

The petitioners make six basic claims:

  1. Triclosan doesn't work in consumer products
  2. Tricolsan's widespread use increases the chances of harmful bacteria becoming resistant to the drug
  3. Triclosan builds up in the body
  4. Tricolsan may disrupt human hormones
  5. Triclosan can react with other chemicals to form dioxin and chloroform, which are known to be toxic
  6. Triclosan contaminates water, affecting marine wildlife and ecosystems

It's useful to remember that triclosan, like other pesticides, is a poison. It's poisonous to bacteria. We may be far removed from bacteria, way up in the evolutionary branches of life, but the common chemistry of living things means that chemicals that affect one form of life often affect others too.

Why is Triclosan used so widely? People buy it. And marketers sell it. The market's worth is estimated at $1 billion, so someone is pocketing some serious cash.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

from Enviroblog

Chloramine + Lead Pipes + Fluoride = Contaminated tap water

By Lisa Frack

July 13, 2009

By Olga Naidenko, EWG Senior Scientist

The lead pollution crisis of the Washington, D.C. water supply - and the culprit that caused it, the water disinfection chemical chloramine - is a powerful example of how things can go terribly wrong when water quality problems are considered and tackled in isolation.


Earlier this year, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) scientists reported the shockingly high lead levels in the blood of young Washington, D.C. children tested between 2001 and 2004, when the District of Columbia's drinking water was being contaminated with lead from aging pipes.

Unfortunately, this situation is not unique: similar results have been reported in Greenville, North Carolina, according to studies by the Duke University researchers.

Chloramines and lead pipes: Not so good together
American water utilities are increasingly switching to chloramines, a mixture of chlorine and ammonia, for final disinfection of drinking water. Chloramine was supposed to be a "safer" water disinfectant than chlorine because it reduces formation of toxic chlorination byproducts. A 2005 survey by the American Water Works Association found that approximately a third of all utilities now use chloramines.

Water disinfection byproducts are associated with increased risk of cancer and possibly adverse effects on the development of the fetus, so minimizing their levels in drinking water is a good thing. Yet, chloramines drastically increase the leaching of lead from pipes. And here is a real challenge: there are tens of thousands of lead service lines in the water system administered by the DC Water and Sewer Authority. Add to these lines the lead based solder used to join copper pipe, brass and chrome plated faucets, and water fixtures, and the opportunities for lead to leach into the drinking water multiply.

What's key, of course, is that chloramine is not unacceptable in and of itself - after all, water disinfection is a public health necessity. But we need to thoroughly consider the full impact of any chemical added to drinking water given the current water distribution infrastructure in place, not in some theoretical vacuum.

And now add some fluoride to the mix
In addition to disinfection chemicals, other additives are commonly mixed with the finished drinking water before it leaves the water treatment plant. Of them, fluoride is possibly the most known. Two thirds of the U.S. municipal water supply is artificially fluoridated in an effort to prevent tooth decay. But fluoridation additives in tap water are not the same form of fluoride as found in toothpaste. Typically, water is fluoridated with fluorosilicic acid (FSA) or its salt, sodium fluosilicate, collectively referred to as fluorosilicates.

Here comes a second unpleasant "surprise" for those in lead-piped locations: fluorosilicates have a unique affinity for lead. In fact, lead fluorosilicate is one of the most water-soluble forms of lead. In fact, fluorosilicic acid has been used as a solvent for lead and other heavy metals in metallurgy. In industrial applications, chemical engineers rely on this acid to remove surface lead from leaded-brass machine parts.

Research shows what happens when we mix it all up

What happens when fluorosilicates in water pass through lead-containing pipes and metal fixtures? Not surprisingly, the fluorosilicates extract high levels of soluble lead from leaded-brass metal parts (researchers from the Environmental Quality Institute of the University of North Carolina-Asheville performed this actual experiment).

In research published in the scientific journal Neurotoxicology, researchers found that the mixture of the two chemicals: disinfectant (whether chlorine or chloramine) with fluorosilicic acid has a drastically increased potency, leaching amazingly high quantities of lead.

Where does this lead go? Into our drinking water and right on into our bodies, where they wreak havoc by poisoning poison our heart, kidneys and blood, causing irreversible neurological damage and impairing reproductive function.

North Carolina researchers concluded that the supposedly innocuous - and purportedly beneficial - quantities of fluoride added to drinking water may, in fact, precipitate a cascade of serious health problems, especially when chloramines and lead pipes are added into the mix.

Do we even need fluoride in tap water?
The mixture of chloramine and fluorosilicates in drinking water causes extensive leaching of lead. We cannot dispense with water disinfection - everybody acknowledges this. Thus, chlorine and chloramine are probably here to stay for some time. On the other hand, fluoride, or, specifically, water fluoridation with fluorosilicates, is quite dispensable.

But wait - isn't fluoride the miracle chemical that improves dental health?

Well, yes and no. Much of what is publicized today in caries prevention programs worldwide is derived from the theories generated in the 1950s and '60s, when water fluoridation was actively promoted. As we now know, the main benefits of fluoride for dental health are derived from surface application on the teeth, not from ingestion.

In fact, ingestion of fluoride causes dental fluorosis, a range of adverse health effects that includes mottling, pitting, and weakening of the teeth. These risks are especially significant for infants and young children. In the U.S. and worldwide, about 30 percent of children who drink fluoridated water experience dental fluorosis. In 2006, the American Dental Association (ADA) issued an "Interim Guidance on Fluoride Intake for Infants and Young Children." ADA recommended that in areas where fluoride is added to tap water, parents should consider using fluoride-free bottled water to reconstitute concentrated or powdered infant formula to avoid excess fluoride.

According to the latest research, the anti-caries activity of fluoride is due to topical effects, which supports the value of fluoride-containing toothpaste to dental health. There is clear evidence that fluoride dental products significantly reduce the incidence of cavities. In contrast, a substantial and growing body of peer-reviewed science suggests that ingesting fluoride in tap water does not provide any additional dental benefits other than those offered by fluoride toothpaste and may present serious health risks.

To learn more about fluoride health effects, read the recent report by EWG.

The message: Don't assess chemicals in isolation

The lesson here is straightforward: it is completely unscientific to simply toss any chemical into the drinking water on the premises that this chemical might provide some benefits. The real question is: what would be the effect of this chemical given what else is going on with the water system? In case of fluoridation and chloramines, what emerges comes at the end of the pipe (your faucets!) is a potentially highly hazardous mixture of fluorosilicates, lead, and residual levels of disinfectants.

To protect the health of my family today, I can buy a water filter to remove heavy metals and disinfection byproducts from my drinking water both with a simple pitcher filter. But to protect the health of the entire nation, we really need to consider if our current methods of water treatment can withstand scientific scrutiny, or whether they should be re-assessed so as to provide safe, healthy tap water to all Americans.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

from Blog for Rural America

Priorities, Priorities, Priorities

By Jon Bailey

Some of the policymakers determining health care reform need to get their priorities straight.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has apparently decided his perceived view of the non-competitive nature of college football is the most egregious violation of the nation’s antitrust laws and deserves the immediate attention of both Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice. At a Senate hearing on July 7 convened to investigate college football’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS), an article from Fox Sports had this to say:

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch urged the Justice Department on Tuesday to investigate college football's Bowl Championship Series for what he views as violations of antitrust laws. Hatch made the comment after conducting a standing-room-only hearing in the Senate subcommittee with antitrust oversight, where he serves as the top Republican. "Frankly, there's an arrogance about the BCS that just drives me nuts," he told reporters. "Hopefully this hearing will open the door to have some people reconsider their positions. And if nothing else, the Justice Department ought to be looking at this." He said that it's clear to him that the BCS is in violation of antitrust laws. The Justice Department had no immediate comment Tuesday. Hatch said that the BCS is exploiting a position of power, "and it's just not right."

Hatch is still upset that an undefeated University of Utah team was denied an opportunity to play in the 2009 BCS national championship game because they do not happen to fortunate enough to belong to one of the six BCS football conferences.

A little perspective here - my wife and children will tell you that I’m as big a college football fan as there is, always have been, always will. But really, is college football deserving of this Congressional attention and antitrust prosecution threats when there are so many important issues that affect the nation and its residents?

Like, for example, health care.

According to the report Premiums Soaring in Consolidated Health Insurance Market, 94 percent of statewide health insurance markets are deemed “highly concentrated” under Department of Justice guidelines. The DOJ considers a market highly concentrated if one company holds more than a 42 percent share of the market. Thirty-two states in the nation meet this threshold. The result of a concentrated health insurance market is less affordable insurance, more uninsured and less choice for everyone – precisely the issues that Congress must address in health care reform legislation.

Utah is one of the 32 states with a highly concentrated health insurance market – 68 percent of the market is controlled by the top two insurers (with Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield controlling 47 percent of the market). The result has been that health insurance premiums in Utah rose 87 percent between 2000 and 2007, while individual income increased only 17 percent during the same period.

Since Hatch happens to a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, one of the Congressional committees now working on health care reform legislation, just for fun let’s substitute some of Senator Hatch’s criticism about the BCS with hypothetical criticism for health insurance companies:

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch urged the Justice Department on Tuesday to investigate the nation’s health insurance companies for what he views as violations of antitrust laws. Hatch made the comment after conducting a standing-room-only hearing in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where he serves as a former chairman and a top Republican. "Frankly, there's an arrogance about the health insurance companies that just drives me nuts," he told reporters. "Hopefully this hearing will open the door to have some people reconsider their positions. And if nothing else, the Justice Department ought to be looking at this." He said that it's clear to him that health insurance companies are in violation of antitrust laws. The Justice Department had no immediate comment Tuesday. Hatch said that health insurance companies are exploiting a position of power, "and it’s just not right."

Sound like something that should be said? Yes.

Sound like something that will be said? I'm not holding my breath.

No matter how necessary health care reform is, no matter the situation many American individuals, families, and businesses (especially those in rural America) find themselves due to the lack of affordable, quality health insurance, no matter the importance of creating a high-quality system that takes up 18 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, let’s by all means spend more time on developing a fair and competitive college football system that makes fans, boosters, college administrators and U.S. Senators proud. (insert heavy amounts of sarcasm here)

For a real request for antitrust examination of health insurance companies see this report.

from High Country News Goat Blog

Brewer's budget battle

Ariana Brocious | Jul 10, 2009 04:51 PM

A week into the 2010 fiscal year in Arizona, the state's budget is $2.1 billion in the red, worrying Tucson officials and others about committing money and jobs. In the past six months since Republican Secretary of State Jan Brewer stepped up to fill former Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano’s post, the state has been embroiled in what the LA Times calls the “nastiest fiscal fight in Arizona history.”

It has been a surprisingly vicious conflict, given that the state legislature is predominately Republican. After years of going head-to-head with Napolitano, lawmakers were anticipating an easier relationship with Brewer, who took over after Napolitano was called to head Obama's Department of Homeland Security. Yet Brewer hasn’t toed the party line —instead, she’s supported tax increases and defended spending on health care and public safety. And she has refused to budge, resulting in months of battling over education allocations, spending cuts to rein in the rampant state deficit and Brewer’s big issue: increasing the state sales tax (to be voted on in a November election) which would raise around $1 billion to offset cuts to social programs.

Recent highlights include Brewer suing the Legislature for allegedly violating the state constitution, Senate President Bob Burns walking out on a meeting and later harshly criticizing the governor, and Brewer vetoing every budget proposal that cut money for state services.

Last Wednesday lawmakers ended the fourth-longest legislative session in modern times by approving a budget in the early hours of the 2010 fiscal year that included $600 million in cuts but not Brewer’s proposed sales-tax hike.

Brewer line-vetoed major parts of the budget, particularly education spending which she viewed as insufficient, and called the legislature back for a special session this week. On Monday state lawmakers finally approved the education funding, restoring $220 million in cuts.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Interview today

I just can't write it all down right now; I'm afraid I will jinx myself.  Give it a couple of days to see if I hear from them and then I will tell the whole story.  Sorry, but its just too important to put down right now.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Blue horses: riding on moonlight

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

4 Simple Tips for Decluttering Your Home -

4 Simple Tips for Decluttering Your Home -

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Maybe its an omen

Yesterday a friend I haven't seen since I left West Valley ER 9 years ago came into my place of work and we were able to visit for just a little bit. I did tell her about my impending interview, and since she is now working at Banner Estrella, she gave me her stats and said to please use her as a character and work reference. She also reports to a manager that used to be at Maryvale, and we both reported to her when we were at West Valley. The particular manager didn't like me much personally but surely couldn't fault my work, so I don't know whether to use her as a reference too, or not.
I will email Erin and have her scope out Joan before my interview and see whether to use her or not. It is true, writing stuff down does help you figure out what to do as you go along.
I do hope it works out, as I trained Erin originally to work in ER Registration and she has a high opinion of my intelligence and character. And she IS a Banner employee again, after 7 years at John C Lincoln.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Pepperoni Batter Bread

Yum, and no kneading.
Pepperoni Batter Bread
Recipe # 778

Yield: 1 loaf
Bake Time: 35 to 40 Min
Proof Time: 45 to 60 Min


1 envelope Fleischmann’s® Active Dry Yeast

1-1/4 cups warm water (100° to 110°F)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Leaf Oregano

1 tablespoon butter OR margarine, melted

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup finely chopped pepperoni

1/2 cup shredded provolone cheese


Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Add sugar, salt, oregano, butter and 2 cups flour.  Beat 2 minutes on medium speed. 

Stir in remaining 3/4 cup flour, pepperoni and cheese to make a stiff batter.  Spoon into greased 1-1/2 to 2-quart round casserole.  Cover and let rise 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled. 

Bake at 375°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until done.  Remove from casserole and cool on wire rack. 

Recipe Note:  Cut into cubes and serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

Let's get Secretary Sebelius to get rid of rBGH!

Dear Friend,

We recently had a great victory when Kathleen Sebelius, then Governor of Kansas, vetoed a bill that would have restricted rBGH-free labeling on dairy products.  She's since become the Secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, which gives us a great opportunity for her to take even bigger action on protecting consumers from rBGH. 

Can you thank Sebelius for her leadership on this issue and ask her to re-examine the approval of rBGH? Article from

 luvkuku thought you would enjoy this article: Insured but Unprotected, and Driven Bankrupt by Health Crises.  This is what they said about it: I have a limited benefit policy from Aetna too.