All posts by tim 4til7 wood

The 43 episodes are outside. Again. And they still want names – II

Now I have another problem. The problem isn’t the 43 episodes of House Stories that are again sitting waiting outside my door. The problem is that I have to be Adam-the-name-giver for all 43 episodes of House Stories. I know this. They know this. And I can tell by their looks that I better have an answer, a name, for each and every one of them when I open the door.

Ah, but that’s the catch. For House Stories, names just haven’t come. I thought of just numbering. I thought of using long titles and longer summaries to introduce both. I thought of this and I thought of that. And none of them fit. I began to wonder if, to name them, I had to understand them, know who they are.  Which is a bit of a problem to figure out with this bunch. Who is a story after all? Do I fight a story to know it? Do I have to wrestle all night with one like it was an angel? Or pretend I’m Serif and kung fu dance my Neo stories across the tables until we reach a draw?


Researchers say kids already hear in the womb. They hear voices, they hear music, they hear us talking, they hear the news, they hear the television, and they hear us talk about all of that. By the time someone can read my words, they already know the monsters under the bed are real. Monsters are the dark, twisted, evil creatures in the stories we tell about other places. We tell lots of those stories, all the time. We’ve talked our world full of monsters.

Some stories are easy to tell into this world: Horror, gadgets to escape the horror by watching it more, how to overcome this horror, that Horror is trending now, expect this new horror soon, How to live in the aftermath of that other horror.

Ah, but I still want to play. How do I tell that kind of story into this world that I’m telling my stories into?

I learned to tell stories that could still play by telling them. Now, everyone around me lives with me and my stir fry of bilingual puns, dutch butcherings for fun and little profit, taking conversations on surrealistic tangents, sometimes complete with accents and sound effects, because and for laughter, and tossing out random non-sense to no one in particular as I walk by people.

After a while I realized that I’m in the same non-sense-filled surrealistic funland that Tex Avery, Lewis Carrol, J. M. Barrie and Douglas Adams played in.

A friend, V. P. Crowe once told me, I don’t know if what you do is poetry but I like it. I think part of what she’s seeing is because writing is getting at truth through another means and you can’t get there by lieing about what’s around –even when you’re playing– even when that world is both darker and more in need of escape than any of them could have possibly imagined.

to be continued…

The 43 episodes are outside. Again. And they still want names – I

House Stories started when I saw something. What everyone else saw meandered off one way. Ah, but what I saw was something else again. A magical next happening imagined itself in my mind. And it was more interesting, strange and fun than what everyone else saw; interesting enough I told people. Again and again, I kept seeing wonderful magical things happen. House Stories was showing itself to me. And I was telling the story of another neighborhood that lived just out of sight, just a squint away.

After a while, we moved. It seemed like I left both neighborhoods and I couldn’t find my way back. Progress on House Stories, the book, slowed to a crawl. Even when I drove through the old neighborhood, I didn’t see people I knew or sense the other neighborhood. I wasn’t connected anymore.

And we moved several more times. For 41 days, we stayed in tents on a friend’s property. Not too long after dinner, the sun set. it was far enough from the city it got dark: no street lights, no hall lights, no table lamps. The sky screamed with stars but, when we looked down, it was literally lights out. Doing anything meant a lantern or flashlight. It was a bit like sneaking a flashlight into bed as a kid without the being sneaky part. Without sneaky as fun, unless the proverbial book is really really good, after a while, it’s time to do something different. And there’s nothing to do except prowl around, be bored or chill. I choose prowl then chill. Prowl became wander and I quickly added think; then wonder, question, imagine, reconnect.

I realized I’d been thinking House was somewhere else. But, she wasn’t: Nothing is any place other than where it is. Same with House and the rest of the neighborhood. They were never any place but where they were: right here. I had to learn the trick: remembering to squint. Then? I went to visit House. Then Squirrel came by.

Now I have another problem. I have to be Adam-the-name-giver. Just outside are the 43 episodes of House Stories. Those 43 episodes are again sitting and waiting outside my door. I can tell by their looks that I better have an answer for each and every one of them when I open the door. Ah, but that’s the catch. To name them, I have to understand them, know who they are.  Which is a bit of a problem to figure out with this bunch. Who is a story after all?

Tomorrow: Part II

The $40,000 Savings Account

Today, my daughter, my parents and I drove to the hospital in Boulder to see the latest member of our clan. My brother and his wife just had their first child and it was time to go a visiting. On the way back, my Mom talked about Presidential Candidate Carson’s idea for health care savings accounts. What was interesting was why the idea appealed to her. When she was growing up, most people didn’t have health insurance. You just paid out of pocket. If you can pay for health care out of pocket, then a savings account is a great way to be prepared.

My Dad remembers leaving school and walking to his grandfather’s house where he read to my Dad. His grandfather could do this because he was a Veterinarian. Veterinarians, and Doctors, often worked for themselves out of their homes. Doctors could even make housecalls because they knew everything they needed to know and could carry most of their equipment in a bag.

But, medicine no longer looks like that. One generalist with a handful of tools has exploded into miles of specialities and catalogs upon catalogs of medicines and equipment. That explosion has increased life spans but part of the price is equipment and medicine that costs more than most people could ever pay for out of pocket and sometimes more than the specialist’s price new sports car.

Doctors don’t make house calls any more because that entire model of medicine is dead. We replaced it with a model that provides the capital to purchase the equipment, hire the list of specialists and build the buildings to house it all. We replaced craftsman with businesses: we corporatized medicine.

Recently, cash-only medical practices have launched. If everyone in the U.S. switched to cash-only practices and paid for health care out of pocket, they would each pay an average of $10,000 per year. Ye average sized family would spend $40,000 every year on medical care. A lot of Americans would need raises; big big raises.

One way to answer “Why don’t doctors make house calls any more?” is to say “Because you probably can’t afford the three that do.”