Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gratitude Day 22

I stayed home from work today in order to go get a tuberculosis test this morning.  My wife also had the same test and also had a physical examination by the doctor.  We had to do these things as part of our paperwork to get ready to adopt.  Apparently, they want to know that we're not going to fall down dead the second after we get children in our home.  I can see their point, but it's a terrible hassle.  Worth it, though, we think.

The mid-day interruption, though, completely killed my productivity for work.  Ah, well.  That's the way it goes sometimes.  It didn't help that my wife wasn't doing very well this morning, so I took the time to take my boys to school.  This killed a good 45 minutes, but on the way, somehow my oldest son and I got talking about anti-trust laws.  It's so weird to have these kinds of conversations with him, as this is quite a grown-up topic.  Even so, he was fascinated as I shared with him the tale of Microsoft and their clobbering of Netscape in the browser wars, and how they were taken to court due to their anti-competitive policy of bundling Internet Explorer with the Windows operating system.  Crazy stuff.

Later, I heard some interesting news from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that is now recommending that all handheld usage for texting and talking be disallowed due to such activity being such a prominent cause of accidents.  They would make it illegal for drivers to use these kinds of devices, including in so-called "hands free" modes.  They make no such statements for passengers.  I can totally see their point, and I know I am not a great example when it comes to using such devices while I'm driving.  It'll be interesting to see how it goes.

So, my Gratitude List is an odd one today, related to these three topics:

1) I'm grateful for doctors, because it is very nice to be able to go to somebody who -- most of the time -- can provide words of wisdom, direction, and help when I'm not feeling so well.
2) I'm grateful for the NTSB.  Really, I am!  I watch The Amazing Race enough to see what the rest of the world is like for drivers, and I'm very, very grateful that we have such a governmental organization whose sole purpose is to seek for better transportation solutions.  They're not a flawless organization, to be sure, but I'm confident we're better off with them than without them.
3) I'm grateful for anti-trust laws.  The fact that we, as Americans, can go into pretty much any kind of store and be confronted with such an amazing assortment of choices at prices as low as they are (yes, they really are low compared to most other places in the world) is testimony to me that having businesses compete is by far more beneficial to the consumer than otherwise.

These things are a little random, but I do appreciate them!

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