Neil Scheurich announced that he would be off-grid for about ten days--a comment that left me wondering about the first known use of the expression off-the-grid. My initial thought was that off-the-grid might have originated in a popular movie. Wikipedia was no help, although I did learn that Daryl Hannah is off-the-grid. I doubt she is totally off-the-grid, if the grid refers to the technology that interconnects all of us.
Even narrowly defined as only the local utility grid, Hannah still relies on the grid whenever she makes a movie. And the theaters that show her films are definitely on-the-grid. You could say that Daryl Hannah depends on the grid to make an income sufficient to afford the expensive technology required to take her home in Colorado off-the-grid. Is hers a lifestyle of complex simplicity or would it be unsustainable sustainability?
I'm not ridiculing; I'm just thinking aloud.
Some people would say that a heart in the right place is less important than a head in the right place. I'm not one of those people. I don't know where Daryl Hannah's heart is, but I'm willing to give a person the benefit of the doubt when they put themselves to considerable personal trouble (without troubling others) to make what they hope will be a better world, even when I suspect they are mistaken.
Speaking of interconnectedness and Daryl Hannah, in an earlier incarnation I dated two different women from her Frances Parker days. Both made out with a guy who made out with Daryl Hannah (we didn't say hooked up). Hmm... I guess I have two-degrees of Daryl Hannah--and three degrees of JFK, Jr. Creepy that I mention all that, but I did say that these would be loose associations.
Speaking of wagons and off-grid, the Amish are probably more off-grid than Daryl Hannah. Strict adherents don't use local utilities, they don't drive cars--not even-electric cars--they make their own clothes, furniture and even build homes without using power tools. Of course, the Amish aren't 100% unplugged, even if their reliance is indirect. They sell products to outsiders and shipment relies on the grid. To the extent that they trade with outsiders, they rely on the grid for efficiencies that better the Amish standard of living. They also use health care, though most are self-payers preferring to trust in the providence of God rather than the utilization reviewers at Aetna.
Did you know that the Amish life expectancy in 2003 was 72 years for both men and women? That's about the same as the general population, except women in the general population tend to outlive men. The most surprising fact about Amish longevity is that the Amish have had a 72-year-life expectancy for 300 years.
Cleveland Clinic offers some interesting information and advice to health care providers who treat Amish patients:
- Organ transplants are permitted, except for the heart. The Amish believe the heart is the soul of the body. (Exception: Pediatric patients who have not been baptized can receive a heart transplant.)
In some Amish districts, all forms of insurance are discouraged, including medical insurance. The Amish believe insurance is a "worldly product," and purchasing it shows a lack of faith in God.
- Most Amish need to have church permission to go to a hospital because the church pays for such care.
- Amish discourage the use of Life Flight helicopters.
- The Amish do not like to be seen by a health care provider who is in the "learning" process. The Amish believe if they are going to pay out-of-pocket for their health care, they want to be seen by an experienced practicing physician. (ed: doesn't everyone).
- Amish patients prefer to be on a first-name basis. They also prefer doctors who will sit with them and discuss their health care questions one-on-one. (ed: doesn't everyone?)
- Speak to them at an eighth-grade level. The Amish learn well with demonstrations, picture stories and role modeling. Take time to educate them.
- Speak to both the husband and wife if a response or health care decision is needed. If the church is paying for the care, you will also need to speak with the church’s clerical representative.
- The elderly believe in rationing care near the end of life because they do not want to waste the family’s, church’s, and community’s money.
- If the Amish patient refuses treatment but you feel treatment is needed, speak to the patient about his or her potential disability. The Amish fear disability more than the threat of death.
- When prescribing medicines, keep in mind that they might not have a means of keeping them consistently cold.
Where was I? Oh yeah... off-the-grid. I also checked in at Language Log, but only found some speculation on the etymology/first use of the slang word skeevy. It appears that skeevy might have roots in the Italian schifare or schifoso--disgusting or loathsome.
Well, I see that our time is up for today.