Fandango’s Friday Flashback. I follow suit, a chance just to reblog an old post, just to make readers aware of what didn’t go on in my head, in years gone by! I had to scrape around this week to find a post, but just about foud one from the same week, at least.

Today, I reblog a something-and-nothing post. It is only short, but it does, at least, highlight a success story. In this post, I moan about not being able to get any meds online. Okay, I am an easy-going guy 🙄, I try not to moan, but basically, a moan!

I start off by talking about online doctors appointments. You know, you log on to a web site, put in your card details, and get video-linked through to a doctor who’ll talk to you for a few minutes. I mean, it has been years since I stripped off for my webcam, and that story is probably best saved for a slow day 😀. Web doctors must’ve gained sufficient popularity to have come onto the radar of national radio, but have become no more common than they were two years ago. But I was more concerned just about getting hold of the meds that I take every day, week in, week out, without having to walk all the way to the doctor’s surgery to pick up my chit.

I should probably explain that my doctor’s surgery is about half a mile away, and only a few months before this post, I was struggling to walk ten or twenty yards! So, not having to walk there to collect my chit was a big deal.

There was a scheme a few years ago – and it was only a few years ago, I was happily buying from Amazon in the nineties, but our NHS is something else! – to get every surgery in the UK online, but our surgery was one of the last to jump on board. In fact, it did not get on board until way after the original cut-off date, which the government allowed to slip. So, until a short while ago, placing any order across the internet was impossible.

Eventually, though, they did get on board, and I started using one of these internet-based services (Superdrug, if you’re in the UK). I could make a request via their site, from the comfort of my sofa, and from that point, I would be hands-off. They would, in turn, make a request to the doctor, and ultimately post my meds out to me. But it wasn’t smooth. My insulin needs to be refrigerated, so they wouldn’t send that through the post. Fair enough, I’d sooner they didn’t send it, than it arrived warm. So, I had to get my insulin separately, from a bricks-and-mortar pharmacy. But more worrying, this process, which should take a few days, took up to three weeks! I remember clearly this surreal conversation with their support team:

Me: What is the lead time supposed to be?
Support 7-10 days.
Me: I have been waiting for more than 20 days.
Support: The lead time is 7-10 days.

With that kind of stoneewalling, it was never a match made in heaven.

Fortunately, I kicked these guys into touch when when my wife started working at the local surgery, she got to meet the resident pharmacist, who had much more of an idea what options were available to me. So I changed, and have been extremely happy since. The local surgery bought into a portal. It is rubbish, but it does at least allow me to order my meds. Once my request gets approved, it is sent to a pharmacy in the next village, who will issue the meds, and will also deliver locally. A guy comes over in a car, and knocks on my door. Insulin goes straight into the refrigerator. Not a problem since then, and just a few days turnaround, to boot!

Mister Bump

Ha, ha, they are talking on the radio about one of these apps, where you have a video link to a doctor, and the doctor diagnoses your ailment.

It all sounds great, but I’d settle not for a diagnosis, but simply to be able to order my repeat prescriptions. I haven’t actually seen my doctor since I had my stroke, and furthermore, because I test my own sugars and blood pressure, I don’t really feel I need to see them. But fvery time I need some more meds – a couple of times per month – I am forced to take two trips to the doctor’s surgery. I’d be happy to use some secure login to a web site so as to avoid these trips. There is the notion of electronic prescriptions within the NHS, where I can order my repeat meds online and pick them up straight from the…

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Things that go Bump…

I see on the news, and read on here regularly, about people’s elected representatives coming out with a line of utter nonsense. For example, a recurring theme on WP is the very serious subject of gun control. And yet, these people, wherever they may be, are elected. So, I’m left wondering, are people just dumb?

Funnily enough, as it is Wednesday, Fandango has just published this week’s provocative question. There are a few frills this week, but he is basically asking the question: do you believe in ghosts? And he notes that according to a YouGov poll, 45% of Americans believe in ghosts. 45% also believe in demons, while 46% believe in other supernatural beings.

Funny, that first paragraph came to me in a blinding flash, and I cannot now think of the link between it, and Fandango’s question 🙄.

But I shall pay the guy the courtesy of answering his question. If you hadn’t already guessed, no, I don’t believe in ghosts. I’m afraid I couldn’t even tell you the difference between a ghost and a demon. As for other supernatural beings, I’m gonna have to dig out my copy of Ghostbusters, to even be able to name what they are.

What I do think, however, is that there are things out there that we don’t understand. In fact, there is a kind of pathway along our understanding of things, and we’re barely a step along it.

Plenty of examples. Think back to medieval times. We might gasp in awe at that spooky green flame, but today,as every schoolchild knows (should know 🙂) that there’s just some copper in there. Or (and I remember the line from Highlander, so it must be true) whether stars were just pin-pricks in the curtain of night.

Indeed, cosmology is a good example. Compare what we once thought with what we now think, as we chip away at the big problems bit-by-bit. Or, that only a hundred years ago, we learned to fly aeroplanes. Now we have space rockets. Heavier than air, be damned!

So, we can celebrate our achievements. But, at the same time, there’s plenty of things we don’t know. Medicine is an easy example. I don’t want to get too heavy, but when I started asking questions after the stroke, it was not long at all before I started getting the we don’t know answers. How can they not know? When so many people have experienced a stroke? It’s not as if it is rare. But look inside the brain, we don’t have a clue.

I’m not going to write a long post here. People believe in ghosts, in demons, in gods, for that matter, because they don’t understand things. I don’t mind if they don’t understand – I probably don’t, either – it is just their conclusions which make me wonder, are people just dumb?

PS – You have no idea how long it took to find an image which did not look like a klansman!

FOWC with Fandango

I just read a post and it led me to this article, which I’m reposting.

I’ve never looked at Christine’s work before, but this is a very heartfelt post written in response to yet another school shooting in the USA. I’m kinda done with heartfelt – people keep expressing heartfelt condolences, but there aren’t even attempts by senior politicians to improve the situation, and the shootings just continue to happen on a regular basis. I’d like to hone in, though, on just one sentence in Christine’s post. Can we find a way to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people?

I’d like to take a step back and ask, How do we know who are the right people, and who are the wrong people?

Sure, we can get an idea. Probably. We can do background checks. But the trouble is, these are checks on a person’s past, not their future. Put simply, I don’t think we can know right and wrong people. Not 100%. Who knows? I could be a wrong person, it’s just that nothing ever happened yet to tip me over the edge. So, I’d argue that you can’t tell the difference between right people and wrong people.

And this is where I differ from many of my American friends – you need to remove the guns from all people, period.

Okay, doing that will not be easy. If you ask me, it has to start with steps to reform your politics – probably legal steps, not just political willpower, but nothing at all to do with guns. But if your end-game is to get rid of guns altogether, you need to think back four or five moves.

One problem I never managed to think through was how you get existing guns away from people. I’m not convinced a buyback would work. People who own guns often have them for ideological reasons – because they have the god-given right to own a gun – so I’m not sure a few dollars would make any difference. On that one, I’m afraid, the USA is on its own, but should probably prepare for more bloodshed.

Stine Writing



Can you believe that there was another shooting? Can you believe there have been 44 school shootings just this year? Can you even try to find a reason as to why this continues to happen? Can you imagine what these people are going through? Can you feel the pain they feel? Can you feel how scared they are? Can you think of a way to stop this? Can you make any sense of this? Can you find a way to keep others safe? Can our kids go to school and be safe? Can we go to work and be safe? Can we find a way to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people? Can we work together to find a solution? Can we try to help the people who are so sick? Can we just stop this violence? Can I do something? Can you do…

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