Tuesday, May 30, 2006

First things first: this morning is a big day in the life of Jeff Bearden. Jeff is my dear friend back in Arkansas who has been battling cancer. He had been valiant in undergoing aggressive chemo and radiation treatments. The good news is all preliminary reports are optimistic: the tumor has seemingly shrunk and the cancer cells are seemingly confined to the area behind his knee.

Today, doctors at UAMS in Little Rock will remove the tumor at 11:00 a.m. They will be analyzing on the spot and determining how much tissue surrounding the tumor area to remove.

Jeff and I talked last night. His spirits are great and his faith is strong. I am praying today that this will be the last major hurdle in Jeff's battle and that the Great Physician already has a great victory in mind. A victory that will only add more fuel to the fire of Jeff and Michelle's faith.

Join me today in lifting up prayers for Jeff, Michelle, Dane, and Jacob.


Because Major League Baseball is a 162-game long season, the standings from day-to-day are often irrelevant.

But on three days a year, three mile-markers if you will, the standings hold an extra measure of importance. Three days in which the scribes and pundits place added value to a team's placement in the standings.

Yesterday, Memorial Day, was one of those days (the others being the All-Star break and Labor Day). Memorial Day marks the "unofficial" start of summer and a good gauge of where a team is 1/3 of the way through the season.

Following last night's games, the standing showed the Rangers in first place in the AL West, 4 games up on Oakland, 5 up on the Angels and 6 up on the Mariners. The Rangers are the only team in the AL West playing above .500 baseball.

Last night, behind John Rheinecker's sterling 8.1 inning, shutout performance, the Rangers won 2-0. Mark Teixeira, who seems to be breaking out of an early season power slump, hit a 2-run homer to account for all the Rangers runs.


We had a great Memorial Day holiday. Thanks to the generosity of Kyle, Marti and Kyliegh Ann Futrell sharing their swimming pool with us, Mandy, the girls and I had a ball playing and swimming!


Yesterday in the Austin American-Statesman, a really neat story appeared in the Metro section under the headline: "Uninsured find relief at low-cost pharmacy." The story told about pharmacist Chris Johnson who founded MedSavers Pharmacy. Johnson's aim is to deliver only generic medicines at low-cost enabling people to acquire the needed medicines for their ailments at a cost savings.

"I saw too many instances where people had to make hard decisions between keeping on the electricity and buying groceries and keeping their hearts in the right rhythm," Johnson said. "There had to be a better way."

And so Johnson walked away from a more lucrative job, earning much more money, to open the pharmacy. He doesn't do insurance billing, allowing him to keep costs low and sells only generic drugs, allowing customers affordability in a day of rising medical costs.

"These drugs are bankrupting people," said Johnson, who previously worked as a pharmacist at a Texas cancer center where some 30-day prescriptions cost more than $3,000. "Hopefully, pharmacies like this can take away a pebble at a time."