Payday loans

Archive for December, 2013

Playing Ping Pong again

Thursday, December 5th, 2013
Playing with Jennifer at Ping Tom Park

Playing with Jennifer at Ping Tom Park

I was thrilled to see a few people playing Ping Pong in a room at the newly opened Ping Tom Park Fieldhouse last week when I went there swimming. It had been years, if not decades, since I last played ping pong on a regular basis.

A middle-aged man said hi and offered me his position at a table. I couldn’t resist. Without any gear of my own, I borrowed his paddle and started playing. I was amazed how quickly everything came back. Ever a fast and near-the-table player, I found myself slamming hard at a ball that rose high on the table.

“Sorry,” I apologized as my opponent, an elder man, watched the ball hit the table with force and bounce away.

“Wow,” he paused to give me a good-natured smile before going to pick up the ball.

A few people playing on the other tables stopped to watch us.

I slowed down, so we could play a few backhands and forehands drills.

It was the end of the practice time, and a couple of staff members at the Fieldhouse came in to put the tables away.

Probably because it was in the middle of the afternoon, most of the players were older men, very likely retired. They were very friendly and asked me to come back.

I soon found out the Ping-Pong practice time is 1 to 3 p.m. every weekday.

photo 1I’ve been back two times since then and have a good player who introduces himself as “Sam Sosa.” Two other good players are a couple, Tony and Jennifer. They have become my Ping-Pong buddies. We can play some long drills, working out a sweat. I learned that they go to the Chi-Slam Club at Chicago/Ashland to play competitions. I’ve been to the club once before, but it is too far away and too dangerous for me to ride my bike over.

I’m so excited that finally there is a place near the south loop where I can easily get to. Hope more good players will show up here as well. No opening time in the evenings or weekends is certainly a drawback.

It’s a bit challenging to carve out time in the middle of a workday to play Ping Pong.  I’m working to adjust my schedule, trying to make it there once or twice a week. Instead of working out first thing in the morning—my regular routine for years, I’ve started getting down to work first, and reserve a couple of hours in the afternoon to for Ping Pong or swimming a few times a week.

What a joy and luxury!

Jian Ping, author of Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China, which has been developed into an award-winning feature-length documentary movie by Susan Morgan Cooper and is narrated by Jacqueline Bisset. Visit for more information.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Unaffordable Part of the Affordable Care Act

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection an...

It is well known now that the United States spends far more per capita on health care than any other developed nation in the world. However for most of its citizens, it provides lower quality care and higher price medications, than other advanced nations.

4th Pharmaceutical Picture at150Prescription drugs account for over $2.7 billion per annum or nearly 10% of the annual cost of healthcare in this country. Because of the legalized corruption of Congress, and the powerful lobby of the pharmaceutical industry, the American public, either directly or through their insurance coverage, is paying outrageously high prices compared to those paid by citizens of other advanced nations.

We have asthma in our family, and my son has been a user of Advair. This inhalation drug costs 7 times the price of exactly the same drug with the same brand name in France, as reported in a recent article in the New York Times. But this is not unusual. Other prescription drugs often sell for 5 to 10 times the price of the exact same drugs (which incidentally have been developed in the US), in other advanced nations. This applies to drugs for asthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and even antibiotics.

So, for the Affordable Care Act to really work, it is essential that the pharmaceutical industry is somehow reined in by Congress, and not allowed to continue to gouge the American public, whether directly or through their insurance companies.

This is just one of many major issues and problems that need to be addressed by Congress. However the chances are slim that like many other of our problems, they will not be addressed, because politics to our elected representatives is far more important than policy. There have been many “do nothing Congresses ” during our history, but this current Congress is not only doing nothing at a time when we face enormous problems, but is actually doing harm. Whether it is the battle over providing affordable healthcare to a large percentage of our citizens that have no health care or totally inadequate coverage, or other issues ranging from tax reform, to agricultural reform, to education, to the growing poverty in this country, to tax loopholes for the rich and the multinational corporations, to climate change, to replacement of fossil fuels. The amount of problems are extensive and overwhelming. Unless we have a Congress with the power to actually address these issues and pass the necessary bills, the future for this country economically, globally, and democratically, is bleak.


Ellis M. Goodman, author of Bear Any Burden:

Enhanced by Zemanta