Friday, April 1, 2016

Better but not perfect

Yesterday I was a so much better day than Wednesday. I felt like my brain was working; I was hardly nauseated at all; my breathing was effortless with no coughing or sneezing (although my peak flow did not improve as much as I expected - still won't go above 330); my digestive system was operating as normal; my ribcage pain was greatly reduced; I had stopped shaking and could work on the painting that has been "tormenting" me for the past month. The other interesting thing was that part way through the prednisone burst, when I felt like a sausage, I weighed myself and I was about 4 lbs higher than normal. Then yesterday morning, I had dropped 7 lbs to a weight lower than normal. Today - back at 115 lbs - my regular weight for the last several years. I didn't think short bursts of prednisone affected weight.

I have to admit I was a bit grumpy yesterday - but a good kind of grumpiness that Elspeth says means you are getting better.

Today there is a phone meeting of the NAPA in person meeting committee. I'm sure the other members have ideas but I haven't heard anything so tried to put a few things down in writing as a start - although I am low person on the totem pole. Hope it is productive.

When I checked my my email, I  found another request from the ASC asking me to make a donation as soon as possible so that they could get matching funding from a grant they have received. Apparently they already have the grant - but can't get the funds unless they get matching donations from other donors. I understand the concept but found it is annoying and unprofessional. I already give on an automated  monthly basis though Canada Helps. Why would I want to stop that and start it again to activate the matching grant?  There must be a way they make it work behind the scenes. There was no mention in the request of "thanks for what you are already doing - could you do a bit more?" No mention of what the ASC spends it donations on. Just a cheery note to everyone asking the same thing. Having spent a fair bit of my life as director of the 9th largest public library in Canada, I know how fundraising is supposed to work. I know it costs money to set up a professional  fundraising program and I also know that unprofessional fundraising has negative outcomes. Fundraising is part and parcel of PR and should always be seen as such. It makes the ASC look mickey mouse to be sending out inappropriate messages. I feel sorry for the staff and board because they have great intentions and do good work despite obviously not having resources to compete with the big boys like the Lung Association.

On a more upbeat note and having only a little to do with asthma, I am finishing reading Hamefaub and Hamefaub's "tax is not a four letter word." (2014) It is one of the most informative books I have ever stumbled a cross. I describes how the Canadian tax system works - including the ongoing belief by all parties in recent years that  taxes are bad, the unrestrained market is the only way to guarantee a prosperous economy, and public services are just inefficient pork and gravy. Again, as a former public librarian, I know this is wrong. Throughout the 25 years I worked at VIRL, the library was constantly facing tax cuts despite population and membership growth. We did our best to change the way we did everything to give the maximum value. Everyone worked extremely hard and they also worked smart.

The way I think this book relates to NAPA is that it suggests that things may be changing. Some people are beginning to see themselves as citizens responsible for the whole country and for the future - not just taxpayers trying to hang on to their hard-earned money. There are possible new forms of taxation - including carbon tax and FTT (financial taxation tax) that could be used to change society. The carbon tax could help Canada take the necessary steps to reduce fossil fuel emissions and the tiny amounts charged on trading through the FTT could cool extreme risk-taking of the very wealthy who "game" the market.  Since Stephan Dion is one of the contributors, I think this gives insight into what the Federal Liberals are trying to do with their message of hope and sunny ways. Oh yes - I think this approach of building on hope and citizenship could be applied to the information being prepared for the fair pharmacare. Everything should not be about cutting taxes. Some things should be about making Canada a better place. BTW, would you believe that innocent little Canada actually collects almost the same taxes per capita as rapacious, tax-hating USA? All news to me.

Tomorrow - the final version - with collaged photos of water bottles interspersed with the abstract collage of this Kandinsky inspired 30x40 acrylic. Oh yeh - another crusade! Good grumpiness!

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