Growing Old is a Good Thing

I recently had a birthday. Turning 41 isn’t normally seen as a big landmark year. They don’t sell black birthday cake candles that have “41” stamped on them, and since I avoided any over-the-hill party last year I think I’m safe from that. This birthday did make me think, though, about how our culture handles aging. At 41, fewer people are asking me how old I am. The number of brave souls who ask for that information is still higher than those who ask my weight (maybe that will be a future topic if I get wise enough), but it is dropping precipitously. Our American culture is very future-oriented. We spend a lot of focus on educating our children, our babies even, to prepare them…

Of Mammograms and Medieval Dungeons

Today is my least favorite Dr visit of the year. No, it’s not my annual gynecology appointment. Worse. Yeah, it’s time for my mammogram. I had a scare about 6 years ago, and now I “get” to have one each year even though I’m not old enough to need them by the normal protocol. So here’s my question : if we can put men on the moon, and a rover on Mars, why can’t we come up with a better mammogram machine? Maybe one that doesn’t belong in a medieval dungeon would be nice. Really, thumbscrews have nothing on this baby. We put our most sensitive parts in a machine to be flattened as much as possible, then the tech…