My son is learning to write/read/spell…

May25

Calico asked his teachers how to spell “peak human strength” yesterday. This kid cracks me up :). Especially since his teachers are all Portuguese and it took them a second to understand…

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Hospital Day…

May24

I spent 10 am to 5 pm on Thursday at a local Portuguese Hospital. It was weirdly a good experience and further cemented my opinion of how bad the American health care system is.

I’ve been having a weird fluttering feeling a few inches below my waistband for about 5 days. It isn’t painful, more like a muscle twitch/spasm. I am pretty sure it started on Saturday with a little flutter for 5 seconds but I can’t really remember. I did a new workout on Monday and that could have pulled something, along with another new workout on Tuesday… but who knows. Anyway, it started lasting longer and I was worried it was Crohn’s disease-related. I haven’t gotten an inflammation test since I was in the USA in late 2019 (with covid I decided I should just avoid the doctor for a while).

My anxiety was so high at that point I needed to go and try to get some answers and make sure it wasn’t serious. So I went to the emergency room as the first appointment I could get with a local gastroenterologist was July 1st (beats back home where the doctor is booked for a full 6 months and I have to ask him to squeeze me in somewhere…). And, Lindsey came with me to help, her Portuguese is much better than the two words I know.

I think we waited 5 minutes to see a doctor in the emergency room, he admitted me to get some tests to see what was going on. I think we waited another 20 minutes and saw the 2nd doctor. We talked to him for a while and he ordered some tests to look at inflammation and some other metrics. It was really nice as he actually talked to me and it was the 2nd longest I’ve ever gotten to talk to a doctor (the other being in Croatia). He wasn’t in a rush to get me out like every American doctor I’ve been to. Then I waited and got two vials of blood pulled, some urine, and then I waited for test results. It took a few hours and everything looked good, but he ordered a 2nd batch of tests as he had an idea it might be a microscopic kidney stone maybe. So I then got an x-ray and ultrasound. All done very promptly and efficiently… it was kinda amazing. Then I stayed there to wait for all the results (I read some really good books which was nice). Everything looks good and they made me a follow-up appointment for mid-June.

The cost? 40 Euros… and health insurance for my entire family in Portugal is around 175 euros a month. My guess is in the United States I would be looking at a bill between $900 to $2,500 dollars to me, plus paying $1,400 a month for shitty insurance that covers nothing before a $6,000 dollar individual detectable.

Friday I had more fluttering, but after Saturday it went away. My guess is a weird muscle pull given how many lunges and side lunges I did but who knows.

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Rough week :)

May16

Calico brought home the “preschool plague” and it has been a rough week. Luckily it was not covid. I got a nice bike ride in last week on Saturday, and then sick again on Sunday and just wiped out for the last 7 days (just a nasty head cold). Today is the first day I feel better but still low energy. I managed to work all week, and I am looking forward to getting out of this plague :).

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Watch as the Republican Party destroys the USA or themselves… or both.

May9

If you think January 6th was scary just wait… the Republican party is fully swallowing the lie that the election was stolen and that there was election fraud despite every piece of evidence (aka reality – which they are not familiar with given the last twenty years of delusion). Trump is massing control of the party and forcing everyone to back this HUGE lie. Normal American Republicans believe this lie and this is not going to end well. And, Republicans are using this lie to justify laws designed to reduce voting and American’s participation in Democracy. These are the same laws they have been trying for years but amped up considerably. You have Republicans like John Kavanagh saying things like “Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes as well.” What does quality mean? It means Republican voters and winning at any cost… it makes you ask, does the Republican party want to live in a Democracy?

Best case?

It destroys the Republican party. My irrational hope is that there are enough rational people in the Republican party that they lose 3% to 4% of voters who are turned off by this insanity. I think that is pretty unlikely given the echo chamber of Fox News, the cowardice of their “leadership”, and experience. The other hope is that 5% to 10% of their voter base gives up because they think the entire thing is rigged by the communist lizard people who are stealing children. The flip side of this is it requires the Democratic party to finally recognize the Republican party is not a governing partner (and hasn’t been trying to govern in 20 years. Then they have to get rid of the filibuster and make real changes (as currently, Biden has done NOTHING except optics).

Worst case?

The Republicans win the midterm election based on restrictive voting laws upheld by the SC and their normal propaganda… and stop the government from doing anything (not much past the current situation where they refuse to govern). Then in the next presidential election, a Republican wins and moves to disband large aspects of our Democracy. And as a country we slide into a fascist dictatorship… something like McCarthyism with a constant Communist/Socialist boogyman as everything is rewritten around the insane conspiracy theories that define the Republican party.

Regardless, large swaths of Republicans have been radicalized and violence is going to follow regardless of the path…

And, if you think the Republican party believes in maintaining Democracy as a core attribute of this country you need to wake up. The number of editorials and “think” pieces from Republicans challenging the idea that Democracy is tied to freedom is increasing… you are starting to see the idea emerge that freedom isn’t tied to Democracy and that what needs to be protected are the rights of the “few” against socialism. If you think it can’t happen in the USA you were not awake during the Cold War. The Republican party is heading toward a path of trying to overthrow the United States government, January 6th was the idiot’s version of that, and now we wait to see if the Democrats will do anything about this looming threat.

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This is bwb’s personal blog so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary or silly they might be. Plus family and friends can track what I am up too, and where I am in the world.

I am pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the ocean, although mostly at sunset as I’m a ginger. I love to travel, eat exotic food, read, and use my imagination. I love creating and developing ideas into businesses, understanding how all businesses work, and building cool stuff. I am a globalist and see the entire world as my responsibility and playground. And, I am married to an amazing woman who makes life even more fun :)! And, we are now the proud parents of Calico Jack :).


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