Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Of Horses, Spines and Triple Crowns

This morning, as happens most mornings, I received a call from my daughter who's studying at UConn. Today was a little more special because I'm going in to have 16 nerves in my neck and lower back burned off.  If I'm going to have any chance at mobility, this has to happen.
This was presaged by the day 10 years ago in which our thoroughbred-warmblood horse kicked me square in the middle of my back. It wasn't the Kick that was the problem, but the fact the doctor at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute discovered the arthritis in my hips. All of a sudden my dreams of riding in retirement were shattered and I quickly realized why riding had become more and more painful. The horse, named Ashkenzi, was sold.
Up until December my daughter had been working at a stable and doing a practicum in psychology so she could qualify to do equine therapy with autistic children. We then discovered she had Spondylolisthesis. This happens sometimes in childhood when the disc at L5-S1 slips off the spine. It isn't discovered until the 20s when the pain begins. It was a blow.
Right after she called me, I emailed her a New York Times article on California Chrome, the horse who has a potential to be the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in the 70s. My father, who died when I was seven, had been a ringmaster at horse shows. His death and the move off the farm didn't end my love of horses. The vagaries of life haven't affected my daughter's love and ability to connect with our equine friends. She knows you just move into loving them a different way.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

American Deaths and the Enablers

This is an earlier blog that became more relevant this week as an unusual number of Americans were killed by psychos.

There is enough blame for both the right and the left in the Santa Barbara killings. The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association have both created conditions in our society which make murder a much more distinct possibility.
I know you'll expect what I have to say about the National Rifle Association so first let's talk about the ACLU. After they made it very difficult for classroom teachers to administer their classes by obtaining due process for students, they then decided to make it very difficult to put psychopaths in mental hospitals. Those of us that are old enough remember Geraldo Rivera and all the other specious reporters who helped the ACLU close mental hospitals. Even if you're a parent scared about what your son or daughter might do to other people your chances of putting them in a restricted atmosphere are very slim.
Of course the National Rifle Association is the mirror image of the ACLU.  They think everybody should have a gun, especially those that can quickly be converted to automatic weapons. Doesn't it just bring you back to the to the American Revolution and patriots fighting for their country, with Uzis?
Both of these groups produced the Santa Barbara killings. Since both your groups hate each other you can now spend more time trying to move the country in your opposite directions. I grew up in an  America that had some common sense. It seems like a long time ago.