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Friday, June 22, 2012

We took the girls on a whale watch out of the Provincetown Harbor yesterday.  I would say we saw about 6 individual whales, mostly humpbacks, including this cow-calf pair.  They said this is the 13th calf for this cow, whose name is Ishtar, I think.

I have some pretty good shots of several tails, this is Ishtar's tail.

It was a great day.  The girls had fun. Stephanie helped us spot the whales - "look for the green bubbles, Tia, follow the green!"  Some of the whales came pretty close to the boat, so they all got a good look at them.

If it weren't for the friggin heat, it would have been the perfect day.  Well, that and the knowledge that these whales are still at risk for extinction. And the educational portion of the day, where we got a detailed description of how global warming is preventing the food fish from growing to maturity, which impacts the whales' feeding ground, and will ultimately make it difficult for the whales to have enough food.

Some of these whales are estimated to be between 100 and 200 years old.  I find it thoroughly depressing that such innocent animals, who can easily outlive us on a bad day, could be erased from the face of the planet because of human greed and ignorance.

Now, if you will forgive me, I must go and sweat some more.  Because it's not just hot, it's friggin hot, and on top of that, I'm having a hot flash.  That smoke? that's just my head exploding...

Stay cool!

Friday, June 8, 2012

What is a Long Term Care Ombudsmen?

Recently, I have seen several commercials for personal injury lawyers targeting those of us with family members in nursing homes.  These commercials are misleading, and they imply that if you have any questions or doubts about your loved one's care in a facility, this is an opportunity for you to make money through a personal injury lawsuit.

If you have questions about what is happening inside a long-term care facility, your first call should not be to a personal injury lawyer, it should be to your state's long term care Ombudsmen's office. As defined by the Administration on Aging, "Long-Term Care Ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, assisted living facilities and similar adult care facilities. They work to resolve problems of individual residents and to bring about changes at the local, state and national levels that will improve residents’ care and quality of life."

For more information on the Long-term Care Ombudsmen program, to volunteer as an Ombudsman in your area, or to locate your state Ombudsmen's office, visit these links:

National Long-Term Care Ombudsmen Resource Center -

Administration on Aging -

Only when the Ombudsmen is unable to determine (to your satisfaction) what has happened, or has determined that abuse has taken place, should you consider a lawsuit against the facility. And then you should be mindful that your loved one's experiences in long-term care are not an opportunity for you to win the personal injury lottery.

Nursing homes are insufficiently funded by Medicare and Medicaid as it is; they should not have to wast their limited funding defending against unnecessary lawsuits.