Friday, April 18, 2014

Gold Coins For Everyone's Skulls

A couple of weeks ago a report was made about a California couple who found a bounty of $10 million dollars in gold coins minted in the 1800s buried on their property. Most of their value was as collectibles since the gold alone was maybe worth $28,000.

We love inanimate, shiny things. They have value, not because they increase our wealth as people or they have any utility, but because as a rare object, we desire them to possess and own.

So you know, I would have loved to have found them. I would have gladly benefitted from the bounty. Yet, the interesting question is, whether if at the moment they were found, was there a 10 million dollar increase in the worlds wealth? Did they create value?

Today, as I do many times a year, I drove past the dry river bed of Little Cottonwood creek. The creek, just like Big Cottonwood creek, is dead. Does anyone morn their loss? Free flowing, living streams amidst our cities are getting to be a rare thing.

In a few more weeks the Jordan and Salt Lake City Canal and the East Jordan Canal will course through the valley with muddy water through dead unnatural canal beds carrying the garbage that collected there during the winter months. They once drew water from the Provo and Jordan water systems for farm land in the Salt Lake Valley. This was in a time when our Wasatch mountain creeks flowed with living waters all year long.

In as many more weeks I will drive again to watch the ever dwindling numbers of Sage Grouse at their Spring Leks where they all join together to hitch up. It’s an amazing and enthralling sight.

Tomorrow, all around the world people will kill to mine diamonds, pump for oil and dig for gold. In other places people will kill to slay rhinos and shoot elephants for their horns and tusks. They will do so for the love we have for inanimate objects that we can possess as individuals. As the death toll rises, the value of these objects, rendered inanimate, will increase in value. But, does this increase our wealth?

Even though as individuals we cannot own them, keep them in a locked box at the bank, does a lek of sage grouse add wealth to our world equal to or greater than a horde of gold coins?

If tomorrow we woke up and found our streams alive and flowing year round; if tomorrow we woke up and lived in a world where no creature was endangered with extinction because of human encroachment–if tomorrow we woke up and no one killed for gold, diamonds and oil–would the world be a richer place?

While it is a tomorrow that may not be as immediately gratifying nor as capable of rendering financial security to a few, it is a tomorrow that is immensely more enriched than a tomorrow filled with golden coins that cannot be eaten, that cannot quench one’s thirst, and cannot create life. Yet it is a tomorrow that our posterity would derive greater wealth from than all the gold coins we are minting to give them for their legacy. Then, when they die of starvation in a used-up, polluted, useless world, at least the hollow orbits of their eyes can be filled with shiny gold coins.

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0227-gold-coins-20140227,0,843659.story#axzz2uaoVvAV7

Loren M. Lambert © March 6, 2014

Destroying the Opposition--Medical Malpractice

Set aside the merits (I don't want to discuss those) and consider something you may not have thought of before about the realities of medical malpractice claims. Also know that I, unlike many of my colleagues, think that we could have some broad based legal reform that could bring some consistency, predictability and still require responsibility and accountability into our system.

Jumping in. I completed a medical malpractice pre-litigation panel last week. The case concerns an understaffed rest home, a fall and subsequent death. It’s really more of a personal injury case than a medical malpractice issue. After the hearing, the opposing party invited us out to chat in the hall. Though, I knew it was not to give us a nice hug and hand shake, I thought that this would be a professional short discussion about the merits of the case and maybe a discussion on a resolution. Instead, the opposing party indicated the many ways he was going to destroy us.

Therein lies one of the problems. In most med mal cases, and I would say regardless of the merits or fault, the medical care providers pursue a scorched earth policy. Is it effective? Yeah, arguably at times. But in my humble opinion, usually not. Pursuing such tactics just increases the expenses on both sides, enriches the attorneys, and causes unnecessary entrenchment. I’ll let you know how this one goes–if I am around to tell the tale.

Loren M. Lambert © November 19, 2013

1.3 Billion Beats Later

When I was in fifth grade I got really, really, really depressed when Mrs. Adams, my teacher, told us our hearts beat about 70 to 75 beats per minute, 100,000 times in one day and about 35 million times in a year and about 2.5 billion times in a life. I could come to grips with the 75 beats a minute, I mean, I had made it that far, could count my pulse and my heart felt pretty good, but the 2.5 billion times was beyond what I could wrap my mind around. I couldn't fathom it.

I’d lie awake at night and could feel my heart pumping, wondering if it was tired yet and thought it was pretty unfair it had to work all the time while me and the rest of my body would soon be asleep. I couldn't imagine that it could just go on and on and on without a single potty break, siesta or recess and wondered about how it was going to get through all those 2.5 billion pumps.

Then Mr. Albertson came to mind. He had a heart attack. He was one of the energetic people I knew then. He was my neighbor and they took him away in an ambulance and he was pretty white. I didn't quite understand what a heaart attack was but, it made sense, I would attack too if I had to beat all the time. When Mr. Albertson came home. He started going for walks every night, and he walked real slow, I thought, so his heart wouldn't get mad and attack him again. It made me wonder, when my heart would attack me and why everybody’s heart didn’t attack them.

Don’t know how I slept through it all but, eventually, I got to my teens and twenties, then I was worried my heart wouldn't beat correctly–wouldn't let me win–wouldn't let me down easy. I ran and worked out and swam and kayaked and dated and fell in love and would get dumped and do it all over again. It took me a while to learn that, yeah, I could condition it to a point, but it was just going to do what it wanted and I wasn't going to be able to do anything about it. So the roller coaster went on and on and it’s been a good ride.

Now I lay awake at night and I can still feel my heart beating. Doesn't feel any different than in fifth grade, at least it doesn't in bed, and it’s been through at least 1.2 billion beats and it worries me. What if it never stops? Now, I know there’s people out there that would like that problem and I feel for them, but if mine doesn't feel any different than when Ms. Adams told me it could fill several swimming pools with blood every week, maybe it won’t know when to stop. Maybe when my heads all full of holes so big that a 45 mag bullet slug could pass through it with out hitting a single neuron or maybe when I can’t tell the difference between a month old salmon fillet and a woman's breast, my heart will just keep on pumping until I’m nothing more than the sum of all my sore body parts. Or maybe when I do kill over and I’m all decked out in my coffin, my heart will just start up, like in some Edgar Allen Poe story, and the embalming fluid will squirt out my eyeballs. (That’s why I want to be cremated).

So, anyway, I’m up late at night a lot. My hearts beating. What about yours?

Loren M. Lambert © November 19, 2013

US Marines Relief Efforts

Maybe it's because our media doesn't report on other governments efforts, but It appears that the US Marines are at the forefront of the relief efforts in the Philippines. I know we're still recovering from the recession but it's good that our troops can bring hope, relief and the love of our great nation instead having to sew death and destruction.

Loren M. Lambert © November 14, 2013

ACA Execution

Although it seems headed there, I hate to say, but I hope the execution of the ACA does not continue to match the Bush's administration of the execution of the Iraq war.

Loren M. Lambert © November 14, 2013

I Grow Weeds Now

When I was young I worked on the river, it was every day in the sun, I loved it.
I had a little adolescent acne, not bad, barely noticeable,
thought the sun was good for it,
and it was for the most part, clear skin, little bit of a burn now and then,
got the girl and came home with the end-of-summer tan.

Now a little older, okay, yeah maybe much older.
I dream about the river, the memories take me there.
It's almost every night in the sun. But in the morning,
in the mirror I can see a crop of weeds, there on my skin.

My botanist Doc calls them actinic keratosis.
I get a new crop every year. He gave me herbicide I must apply,
two times a day for several weeks to get down to the roots,
maybe even kill a seed or two sewn down deep by that sun so many years ago.

He thinks it's good for me, and for the most part it is, clear skin after a little burn and some peeling, got the girl and come home with the end-of-working day ham.
But as the sun and river knows, every action has an equal and opposite reaction,
So I’ll just have to wait for the dreams that come from
applying herbicide as a consequence to my time in the sun.

Loren M. Lambert © November 14, 2013

A Good Day To Give Cantankery Its Comeuppance

What a beautiful day, I'm grateful I was able to spend most of it, starting from the wee hours until dusk, responding to a most cantankerous and surly opposing counsel's diatribe on the lack of marble embellishments in my office and my inability to reign in the desperate prevarications that spilled fourth from his client's unbridled and beak-like mouth during a recent deposition.

Thankfully he spewed out sufficient fiber to allow me the privilege of braiding a good and hardy rope thereof to hog tie and metaphorically hang him come judgment day.

Loren M. Lambert © November 8, 2013