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Just imagine that every month you are in so much pain that you can hardly get out of your bed unless you take the medicine that you doctor has prescribed for you. When you go to the pharmacy to get your refill, not only does the pharmacist refuse to fill it for you, he takes your prescription so you cannot have it filled at another pharmacy. He claims that he is morally obligated because he does not personally believe dispensing this particular drug. You are now left without an alternative.

Once a doctor has written a prescription for a patient, a pharmacist should not have the right to refuse that patient medication whether it be the “morning-after” pill or birth control. If a pharmacist does not personally believe in dispensing a medication they should hand the prescription off to a pharmacist that does or call in the prescription to the closest pharmacy. Under no circumstances should the pharmacist take a patient’s prescription, give them a moral lecture or impede the patient’s ability to get the prescription given to them by their doctor.

A recent problem in the American Pharmaceutical world is that more and more pharmacists are refusing to dispense drugs they claim perform early abortions including the “morning-after” pill and birth control pills. The pharmacist may refuse to dispense drugs on moral grounds saying that they will not contribute to abortion when the pharmacist in actuality has no idea why the drugs are being dispensed in the first place. Birth control pills are not always dispensed for the prevention of conception with other uses ranging from treatment of endometriosis and painful periods to treatment of acne. A pharmacist, not having gone to medical school, does not have the authority to state whether or not a person should be able to take a certain medication. A women’s decision whether or not to get pregnant is very personal with factors ranging in such as still being school, insufficient income to care for a child, timing--not ready to have a child or even physical endangerment to herself. A pharmacists does not have the power or the right to make that decision for anyone other than themselves or their spouse.

Most American pharmacists have no problem dispensing birth control. Their problem lies with the so called “morning-after” pill that can help prevent a pregnancy up to seventy-two hours after intercourse. It is standard procedure in America for a doctor to prescribe the “morning-after” pill for any rape victim. A pharmacist, just by looking at a patient, cannot tell whether their prescription is for carelessness or for reasons beyond their control. A woman who is raped should not have to suffer the consequences of someone else’s actions and therefore should be administered the morning after pill is she so chooses to take it. Since a pharmacist does not have the right to violate privacy he cannot refuse the prescription to either type of woman.

Pharmacists, if unwilling to fill a patient’s prescription, should find some other way for that patient to obtain their prescription because it is not their right to make it impossible for someone to receive the medication prescribed by their doctors. A pharmacist does not know the reasons for the prescribing of a drug and should not second guess the person that knows a patients medical history and needs. What the pharmacists fail to realize is that it is the high percentage of birth control prescriptions that keep the abortion rates the lowest they have been, You can not have it both ways, low abortions rates and low birth control consumption rates.

Nothing brings me more joy right now than to see my son Ryan laugh or giggle.

As any parent will tell you, a baby at first shows no outward signs of happiness or levity. Smiling starts to come at about three months or so (of course this varies) and you probably won't see the first little laughs or giggles till about a month later (again, your mileage may vary). The point is, at first, with your baby, the smiles and laughs are extremely rare and become more and more common as they develop. Why the positive emotions come later but they can immediately express sadness, anger, and frustration boggles my mind. But the fact is they do come later and you have to wait for them and when they do come cherish them. This is why it brings me so much joy to see my son smile and laugh. It's hard to describe why exactly. Maybe positive emotions are reflective and that's simply what it is; maybe they're just as contagious as yawns. Or perhaps it's just because I want what every good parent wants: to see their child happy, for them to be OK. Or maybe I just love to see it because my son is such a good-looking boy. I am biased of course, but I have been told by many others how cute my son is, what a cute baby he is. Wanna see for yourself? http://www.ryanandrewpratte.com.

But whatever the reason it causes me so much joy, if ever there is a day where my son laughs or something, it is without question the highlight of the day.

I have figured out various ways to bring it out of him. Let me pass on a bit of sage wisdom or knowledge to those of you who are new parents, will soon be parents, or who are thinking about spawning. The old standby, peek-a-boo almost always works unless your baby is hungry or has a diaper weighted down with ten pounds of shit. It not only gets them to laugh, but it's a good learning experience because it helps them realize that just because they cannot see something doesn't mean it is not there and it introduces them to abstract thought. Actually, quite frankly, a lot of adults would do well to relearn that lesson. But anyway, another thing that works is tickling, but we all know that. But don't overdo it because as we all know we may be laughing when somebody is tickling us but it doesn't mean we're enjoying it. I like to give my son raspberries on his tummy and he seems to like it most of the time. Making funny faces and noises, if you're good at it (which I am) also works.

Onto other things: (I haven't daylogged in a while so I have some catching up to do)

On the day the new pope was elected my son stood on his own for the first time. My wife saw it one time then I witnessed it once. It was only about three seconds or so before he fell on his butt, but he did let go of the couch and stand there for a significant period of time. Two Sundays ago, on April 17th, Ryan was very talkative. He said "dada" clearly for the first time. He was saying it all day, in fact. Whether or not he realized what he was saying is open to debate. He was rattling it off in the middle of other babbling nonsense, so who knows? He also has been saying "mama" but not so clearly. It sounds more like "meh-meh" most of the time. And I don't have a specific date that he started doing that, but I will say that I had not noticed it until the past three or four days.

I cannot wait until my son starts walking and talking, until I can play catch with him, have conversations with him. Then it will truly be like another person is in the house, in the family. I'm not saying babies aren't people, but let's face it, until they really start showing their personalities and expressing themselves in other ways besides crying or laughing and showing that they are aware of themselves as separate from you, as individuals, and you can tell that they do, it's hard to regard them as anything but this wonderful, precious thing that you have to feed and change and amuse.

But in some ways I can wait. I know he's only nearly nine months old now, but already it seems like so much time has passed, like the day he was born is really far into the past. Gone are the days where you could swaddle him up and just rock him in your arms. Where he'd just lie there and look up at you, wondering just who in the hell you are. Where the hell they are. Now just changing his diaper is an enormous undertaking. He may be a nudist at heart because as soon as the dirty diaper comes up he's off to the races. Getting the new diaper on is a tricky task indeed. So, the point is, at the same time that I cannot wait for him to grow up I already miss the days where he was a little newborn.

They grow up so fast. Oh, don't roll your eyes, I know! But it's true, I tell ya! It really is.

And now for something completely different.

Both I and the Mrs. are updating our resumes. We're both sick of our current jobs, our bosses (me especially) and both of us can potentially make a lot more money than we currently do for what we do. My wife, a microbiologist, needs to get out of academics and into the industry. I need to get out of this crusty old warehouse and work for a real web design firm. And we will be doing it soon. I can't wait to be wealthy.

Well, at least better off than we are now.

I have a good idea, I think, for my whole resume thing. Since I am a designer I'm designing it. Not only that, I'm doing this whole campaign for myself like one would normally do for a company. My resume, online portfolio, and a special Flash portfolio that I'm going to burn on a CD and bring with me to interviews, all are going to tie in together, have the same graphic scheme and colors, fonts, etc. I've sent off Word resumes before and have not gotten any responses to speak of. Having that boring Word resume might have been where I was going wrong.

By the way, we do not object to moving to another state if we must, if we find sweet jobs in other areas. If any of you noders out there who wouldn't mind a noder neighbor, if you hear of any great jobs for web designers or biologists who are great lab techs and have a Master's Degree, /msg me, please.

I went out looking for a job today. I live in Michigan, last time I checked we were getting right up there in the unemployment rate. I went to twelve gas stations, six different factories, and a plethora of shopping centers and convenience stores, and let me tell you, there is no one who is really doing any hiring right now. Most of the factory personnel that I talked with said something like this: "We currently do not have any positions open Mr. Wagner, but we will keep your application in our database." None of the gas stations were even thinking about employing more workers. I live on the outskirts of Detroit, and there are plenty of places that I should be able to get a job at. But I'm just not finding them.

I peruse through the classifieds in the local newspapers only to find that most of the help wanted ads require a job line fee. I'm guessing that the job line fee would be what you pay for someone else to find you a job. Screw that. I don't need to pay someone to find me a job. I will find one just fine on my own, one of these days. Most all of the job openings I checked out were already filled. I don't really want a career in fast food, but if all else fails I suppose I may just have to start flipping burgers. Gotta pay for college some way.

The BioIT Coalition hosted its 4th annual spring event at the George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia today. Our own AudieMcCall saw his play/reading of The Sequence produced by local actors. The reading was at 7:00 p.m. at the Center for Performing Arts, a small theater with a seating capacity of about 150. It's an intimate theater with room for minimal sets - perfect for Audie's minimalist reading of the race to sequence the human genome in the 1990s.

In attendance were momomom, doyle, maylith, yrs truly, and of course E2's own AudieMcCall.

Paul, who flew in from Seattle to watch the play, fidgeted anxiously in his chair. He's a powerfully built man, good looking, with a distinct scar on his left cheek. He was not at all what I'd expected - he looked very normal, talked normally during the post-play Q & A - not at all affected and artistic. It was great fun to hear him laugh when a line was particularly well-delivered. When he fidgeted, his motions were abrupt and explosive, and shook the entire row of chairs. He'd seated himself at the end of the row as if he planned to make a hasty escape sometime during the play, which he did. It was probably a sound check or sound balance, or just to see the stage from a different perspective; it was something artistic and therefore beyond the ken of this reviewer, but it seemed to be terribly important, because he did pace as a man awaiting word of his just-born child in the delivery room. Seeing his high energy performance caused me to think of how much energy chess masters burned up during seemingly benign matches.

It was not your normal audience. If the biological sciences can be said to have gliterati, then they were all there. The audience was chock full of overachieving PhDs who were chairs of this and Fellows of that and had received various Distinguished Service Awards from notable places. They'd done their time in the laboratories and were now graying nicely. The women were slim and blonde and tony and terribly smart. It was enough to give a man a terrible chubby. The audience was not just well-informed about the factual content behind the play, they were active participants in the drama that was the genome sequencing race. It was a very distinguished audience that sat there that night, and they applauded it vigorously. Dr. Francis Collins, one of the protagonists of Audie's play, sat right in front of the actor who played him. It made for good press. Indeed, the Washington Post's Business section of Thursday, April 28, 2005 made mention of this fact. The same article also praised Paul's play.

After the play we E2ers drew together like the gray blobs of Terminator2. We couldn't help it. It was in our very DNA to do so. A. C. T. G. And so forth. Audie knows all this shit way better than we do.

I'd met momomom from our arduous hike from Hell. She's lost a lot of weight and looks good. She's great fun and a good conversationalist.

Met two new noders: the good hearted Dr. doyle and the irrepressible maylith. Maylith, being a foodie, apologized profusely for not having brought some cookies for us (as if we needed them), but she did bring us each a bar of dark chocolate. It must have been made by the Swiss, because it was relentlessly non-sweet, as if a product manager had been ordered to make a bar of chocolate without any trace of sweetness, and she had thought to herself, "I'll show them." Indeed, she did show us. My bar of chocolate was so dark it caused me to pucker. Maylith was in good spirits in her usual neurotic sort of way, and was very much like her catbox persona.

Doyle, he of Calvados fame, Irish to the bone, a tall slim wire-haired man, a charming combination of intense and casual, intriguing, regaled us with stories of drive by shootings where he practiced medicine in the projects of Newark. The man is a saint, but the drive by shootings have motivated him powerfully to change professions. He will become some lucky high school students' teacher in a season or so, as he leaves his shots and inner-city acumen behind and prepares young minds for the road ahead.

After the play, Paul took questions from the audience. He did you proud, Everything2. After that we toddled down the labyrinthine passageways of the Performing Arts Center to the lobby where we slurped down various fruit tortes and coffees and noshed on whatever goodies we could find. We said hello to the people we had to say hello to, and then sought to retire to a more alcohol-friendly place, so we could sip on something less dreadfully caffeine-laced. Alas, it was too late for Clyde's. However, we did find an all-nite establishment by the name of 29 Diner, about which a node should surely be written. Small linoleum tables with jukeboxes at every table, and waitresses came prestained with those lovely armpit stains we all remembered from roadside diners of our childhoods. (It's really remarkable how all of our childhood memories remembered this particular facet of roadside diners.) We ordered eggs and hashbrowns and other breakfast foods, it being by this time necessary to consider what few short hours and responsibilities lay ahead. Momomom applied her brain to the necessary mechanics of telling us all what we'd owed, and we threw in various denominations of bills and coins, and I think it was adequate to cover the waitress's troubles. No stains were left on my suit or tie, for which I am grateful. These grease joints do tend to leave their mark, but it was not to be so this fine evening.

We had left Audie back at GMU in the crowd of twentysome young lovelies, holding forth about how difficult it was to craft a play. They hung on his every word. He had to fly back the next day.

I had to smile. Another E2 nodermeet, another huge raging success.

Greetings to all my companions on this lovely evening: momomom, doyle, maylith, and of course AudieMcCall. Love to you all.


Doyle provided a correction about one matter: "it was the interminable frustration rather than the bullets that drove me away"
Maylith pointed out that it's not neurosis, it's generalized anxiety disorder. Ah.

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