Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Because sometimes change is a good thing:
BIG LINK

I went and started a new page.
Just because.
Besides, been thinkin about it for a while anyway.

Soon, this old page will disappear.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

That Which Doesn't Kill Me...

Seems kinda strange that I go into surgery and then it takes weeks/months to start feeling 'right' again, and I know I haven't been much of myself of late.
I've seen others have all kinds of nasties removed, and short of chemo, within a few weeks are no worse for wear.
I brought this up with the doc. He explained a few things as to just why this wasn't a 'normal' thing I went through. Oh,well....

Finally, I'm starting to feel as if I might be turning a corner soon, but so much is still broken I wonder if I'll ever get back to normal.
Let me list a few:

The lower right quadrant of my face is still numb. Doc says it will stay that way for a while. (Ever tried to shave a thick beard when you have no feeling beneath it? Needless to say,I no longer bother.)

My tongue is off center. Seriously. Thick on one side. Only about half the dexterity it used to have. Much of my oral musculature has been damaged and remains paralyzed, but my speaking becomes a bit more clearer by the day. It's a slow go, but still a go. I'll take it.

As my mouth regains some of it's dexterity, I don't drool as much.

The feeding tube has been removed from my nose, and replaced with a different one in my abdomen instead. This means I can leave the house with out being stared at. It also eases overall physical mobility. The downside: having to be anesthetized for this procedure last week means the breathing tube tweaked out my throat again, setting my voice back about two weeks. (Damn!)

The voice has gone from soft and raspy, to medium and raspy, but with better enunciation. Still can't be heard from across the room. I can be heard across the dinner table if everybody else shuts up first, but I tend to avoid dinner tables for obvious reasons.

One eye droops a little.

Like I explained before, my throat is paralyzed. This means that life for me consists of hocking and spitting, about every few minutes or so. Also, chronic halitosis. After brushing and mouthwash, I'm good for about one hour, before I need to hit the mouthwash bottle again. Gross,huh?

Dry spots that occur in my throat cannot be remedied by simply swallowing, and generally result in a violent,uncontrollable coughing fit (that sometimes will empty the contents of my gut, as well.) For this reason, I avoid getting behind the wheel of the car. (My car still has 1/2 tank full of $4 gas.)

On the plus side:

The gnarly, layers-deep abrasion/sore below my left shoulder (a result of surgery) has finally gone bye-bye, and no longer hurts.

I am free of any and all nicotine cravings. I think I was just generally too fucked up to recognize any withdrawal symptoms for it to be much of a struggle,anyway.

That tumor will never threaten me again.

I was 5'9" and weighed 170 when I left high school back in 1982. The morning of surgery I was at 208. I'm down to 182 now.

No more dizzy spells while climbing the stairs.

Doctor says it looks like,just maybe, if things continue to go well ('well' for whom,I wonder), I may get my swallowing back in 3-6 months.
3-6 months!!! Not sure if I categorize this as good news or bad news.

Global Warming Update


This is the view from my front porch two days ago. According to reports, we were hit by a "50 yr Arctic Front", not to mention 24hrs of uninterrupted rain fall.

Remember: I'm not up north, nor in higher elevations. Just fifty miles from my former home in Anaheim, in the county of Riverside. (KD: Take note. Not in Anaheim. I bought a house,remember?).

Kinda cool since we never see stuff like this around here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tully here,

As you have no doubt noticed, Tully is no replacement for Gino. As I suspect Gino is now competent to carry out his blogging duties in full, I will now hang up my saddle and ride off into the sunset (without a saddle?). It's been interesting. I now return to the hoi polloi as a mere commenter- See you in the threads!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Inconsiderate Bastard!

What did the Iraqi journalist wear home after he threw his shoes at the president? I'm sure he didn't get his shoes back. Did the Secret Service give him a new pair of shoes? Did they lend him a pair of shoes? Did he even have another pair of shoes at home, or is he now utterly shoeless. Perhaps amid all the publicity, he still goes barefoot around Sadr City, like Socrates walked barefoot in Athens, being known as the gadfly of Iraq. How does his wife feel about the whole thing- she probably picked out those shoes for him, "Honey, this is a big day for you, being an unknown journalist, to see the imperialist pig George Bush at a press conference- why don't you wear your best shoes today? I'm sure the press corp will be impressed!"

She's probably regretting it now...Living on a journalist's salary, having to find a Payless in Sadr City all because her hubby had big ideas about standing up to the Man. "I'll bet he didn't even consider what I go through every day to keep things running smoothly in this house when he was out making a name for himself. Well, Mr. Big Name Journalist had better be bringing more hummus home soon, what with my mother no longer seeing fit to enter our house because her Imam thinks it's shameful for a Muslim to treat a guest with disrespect. Well, one thing's for sure, when everyone's forgotten about how great his resistance to occupation was, I'll still have a little resistance left over when he gets any ideas about occupation in the sack- so let's see him throw his shoes at that problem!"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Are questions annoying?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tully here,

I often hear about "faith voters" and policies favoring "faith," people making decisions by "faith" rather than reason, or without having to have certainty. But then they say they have faith in God, by which they often mean that they have more certainty in God than in anything else. Others say that they don't need certainty because they have faith instead.

So is faith a sort of certainty, or is it the opposite of certainty?
Or is it a synthesis of the two, or neither of the two?
Or are all of these the case?

Is it a vague beginning, or a lucid end? Is it the journey from one to the other, or the cessation of a journey?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Free Blago


My,my,my...ain't the blogosphere a buzz with Rod Blagojevich. Much a do 'bout nothing really.

Senate seats have been bought and sold in this nation for as long as I can remember, and probably longer than that. And what senator, past or present, hasn't benefited financially, or hoped to, from their position?

The way I see it, any senator, past or present, who utters one ill word toward the Illinois Governor should be taken out and shot as the hypocrite motherfucker they are.

Illegal Loggers Caught In Poland

Green campaigners called in police after discovering an illegal logging site in a nature reserve-

...and rounded up a gang of beavers. Environmentalists found 20 neatly stacked tree trunks and others marked for felling with notches at the beauty-spot at Subkowy in northern Poland. But police followed a trail left where one tree had been dragged away - and found a beaver dam right in the middle of the river. A police spokesman said: "The campaigners are feeling pretty stupid. There's nothing more natural than a beaver."



True.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Tully here,

I recall during the last campaign that there were eyebrows raised over Obama having met with Bill Ayers. As a matter of fact, my own dad tried to use it as a reason for me to side with McCain rather than siding with no one.

Is our country a better place when we question the views of our politicians on the basis of whom they communicate with?

Should a president talk to a terrorist? Not necessarily negotiate, but rather listen to what the terrorist has to say? Is this possible, or is the very act of talking to a terrorist an encouragement for Joe the Landscaper to blow up a building (with fertilizer) to get a chance to talk to the president? Or is the problem that the large, centralized nature of our nation and government will not allow a peaceful means of individuals to communicate with their President? Is it good for a citizen not to be able to communicate with his ruler? We usually approach this matter by upholding that government must remain large and people must learn to deal with it- but should we rather mold the government according to the needs of its citizens?

The World Has Gotten Just A Little Bit Better


After shutting down the ovens a couple of months ago Mother's Cookies will soon return.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Now This Is Fearless

Seems more than a few of you doing it, so I may as well make my own football prediction as well.

First off, I'm giving the Bears a victory over the Jaguars. Not an easy one,mind you. Just a victory. This is just my wishful thinking at work. That, and we need the W to help put the Vikings back in their rightful place. Only two teams are allowed to win this division, and the Vikings aren't one of them.

Second, and I know I'm going out on a limb here: Lions over the Vikings in a squeaker. The Lions have shown that they can play, compete and put points on the board despite their 0-12 record. That, and since only one team has ever pulled off a perfectly not-perfect season, the odds are that the Lions will win one this year. This will be the one because it could also be the most damaging to the loser. Fate sometimes works that way.

Go ahead and laugh.
Anybody can predict the easy ones. And if I'm wrong, I will just admit the being the sports moron I've always claimed myself to be.
But if I'm right, I'm a frickin genius and my predictor status will skyrocket, which is more than what will happen if the rest of you are right instead,ain't it?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas Traditions

I wrote about this guy two years ago, and demonstrating how the more things change, the more they stay the same, he's back and better than ever.

Don't pass up this chance.Get yours right here.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Tully here

One of the differences you should know about me compared with other bloggers, is that I prefer to post questions infrequently than to post answers frequently. Call it laziness or intellectual honesty, as you wish.

As a result, the main of activity while I am blogging is not in posting, but in the comment threads, so I must encourage you to keep that activity coming. If you can't answer the questions, perhaps you can make the questions more precise, and thus help me with my task. Or, add an anecdote or quip even remotely relevant to the post, so that it's at least more entertaining. Basically- I'm not picky when it comes to discourse.

Thanks

Monday, December 01, 2008

Reason Reasoning Itself

by tully

It seems that most guys I meet get at least some of their personal philosophy from the Godfather. I'm sure that Gino, guinea that he is, is no exception. Now, the Godfather is a movie that, philosophically, holds reason to be the best way to handle business, and business to be the best approach to life that we can take. Such quotes as Michael saying of Sonny Corleone, "But his temper--too much--clouded his reason," gives the trilogy's protagonist the banner of reason to wave. Hyman Roth, giving him advice in Part II, reminds Michael of the importance of business even when it contradicts humanity, "this is the business we've chosen - I didn't ask who gave the order - because it had nothing to do with business!" The most popular line of the whole trilogy, "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse," speaks in terms of rational, business-like efficiency.

But what is the outcome of Michael's commitment to reason? With it, he thrives in his business, but, confessing to a Cardinal, finds himself in moral shambles. His primary objective by Part III is to use reason and business to keep the ruination wreaked by reason in check- to get out despite the fact that they keep pulling him back in. Rather than controlling his life with reason, reason is now in full control of his life. Concerned with his heirs, he finds that the son of his radically rational approach, Anthony, has become a singer, who is totally indifferent to the family business. His daughter is in love with his nephew, and they deny the rational option in his ultimatum, thus both of them are more romantic than rational. Said nephew, Vincent Mancini, resembles Sonny in that his temper clouds his reason. Thus, Michael, the pinnacle of rationality, has given birth to the irrational: the gentle irrationality of an artist, the passionate irrationality of his daughter, and the harsh irrationality of a mafioso, the latter of which becomes dominant. His attempts to legitimize his business fail, his daughter is killed, and Vincent Mancini takes over the family business upon Michael's death. In short, rationality has brought about irrational ruin and destruction, despite the attempts of reason to keep itself in check.

Why is this?

Was his reason just too weak to begin with?

Or was reason too effective in solidifying his circumstances such that reason could not negate its own work?

Or, is reason by its nature incapable of moderating itself, but is rather bound to moderate circumstances alone? Can reason transcend the subject-object framework of domination which is its own doing?

Or is there some other reason for Michael's failure? These are not rhetorical questions! I want answers!

Society is in the same predicament as Michael. The obsession with rational order and domination of circumstances has given us the Holocaust, the Atom Bomb and countless other irrational instances of war and destruction, all of which are implemented rationally. It seems the only hope is for reason itself to reverse its own excess. We must learn from Michael Corleone's mistakes, or we are doomed, in our own way, to repeat them!

With A Little Help From My Friends

This recovery thing is going slowly, and I still can't seem to muster up the strength or ambition to get to doing any posting on a regular basis.
I'm not saying I've run out of things to say. I haven't.
My mind is finally working again. I actually have a few thoughts now as opposed to a string of unrelated reactions. I guess that's a good thing,eh?

Anyway, back to...
I've invited a long time blogger buddy to join me here to help keep the place interesting. And, pity the fool, he accepted. Most of you already know Tully well enough from his own now-deleted blog. The rest will remember him as a regular commenter on this page. As it is, he needs no introduction, but I'll try anyway:

Formerly known as 'Little Cicero', Tully is a student at one of those Jesuit schools out there in the lakes region. It also means that whatever the hell it is he's learning, it is not Catholicism.
He's not very long in the tooth, but sometimes he can fool you into thinking he's at least into his fourth decade.
He's a full Sicilian, the son of immgrants. That just goes to show you that despite what many may think, I am not a racist, and will welcome (almost) anybody into my home if they can behave half-way decently.
He's also compassionate. He demonstrates this by rooting for the Cleveland Indians.

Give him a welcome. But you don't have to be too nice.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Why would a 6'5" NFL player need to bring a pistol to a nightclub? Is he afraid of getting raped in the men's room, or something?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Wienerschnitzel, a regional hot dog chain,has introduced a new 12" wiener.

For those not familiar, Wienerschnitzel wieners are a low quality fare made of processed chicken or turkey. The chain seems to thrive here in California due to lack of competition. That, and because everything in California is watered down and cheapened to begin with. It's the culture here.

So, this is news now. A full 12" of mediocrity to please the California palate.

I'll take a pass, and just get a beef dog at the local Costco. A little more hassle, but worth it.

Totally unrelated news:
Another California entrepreneur goes to jail for attempting to dick the system.
(you gotta read this one) hehehe.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My wife is an angel, and I am not an easy patient.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I do not support a religion-centered state, although I do endorse a state that mirrors and pays minimal homage to the common cultural and spiritual heritages that bind a population into a people. If Christmas can be a federal holiday on the basis of tradition, then marriages can be regulated according to gender for the same reason.
It is not too much to ask of an Asian,African,Arab or other kind of immigrant to follow our rather secularized marital laws while maintaining their own religious traditions privately.
We have limits here based upon age, blood relation and polygamy that others can equally claim violate their most basic rights. A restriction of the gender make-up of a marriage is no different.

Civil marriage is a compact between the couple that wishes to be joined as one, and the society that is willing to recognise this union and grant it's minimal approval and whatever benefits may be forthcoming.
In a democratic society, it is imperative that the society decides these things.
It is for this reason that I support the voters of California,Arizona and where ever else they recently voted against approving same sex marriage.
If the voting had gone the other way, I would still support the outcome as the desire and will of a democratic populace.

(That said, I think the time is overdue for American society to re-examine some of the traditions regarding civil marriage and just do what we've nearly already done: eliminate it. Marriage laws were originally based upon presumptions and assumptions as to the bearing and raising of children within a lifelong bond.
Those days are over. The divorce rate is through the roof, and with 'No Fault' divorce laws the 'sanctity of marriage' is merely a phrase in search of a meaning.)

Either for or against, this is not a role for judges to interject themselves into once again.

Free people have the right to enter into any covenants they so desire, with whomever they desire.
But nobody in a free society has the right to demand benefits and blessings from those who do not wish to bestow them.

It is for this reasoning that I think the arguments and court challenges and the claims of civil rights bullshit on the part of gay marriage proponents are wrong. If you want to be married, make a vow, and consider yourself so. And leave the unwilling out of it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Few Observations

----Twenty years ago, if you told anybody it would ever come to this, they would think you were crazy. No way. Too far. Not gonna happen.
Talking bout the Same Sex Marriage idea.
Yeah, the homos really have come a long way,haven't they?
Used to be all they wanted was their private life to be private. (Of course, protesting this aspect was a little strange when taking into the account the various numerous 'pride' events.)

----Currently, only three states, now two, have ever allowed same-sex marriage, all by judicial fiat, and none have ever been approved by a vote of the people. The concept of marriage as a civil right, on the same level as freedom of speech,religion,etc is an absurdity.

----Marriage is not a right. It bestows few rights, and piles on the restrictions and responsibilities.
As a social benefit, it's highly over-rated.

----Currently, California is getting the rainbow of wrath from gay agitators across the nation. It's really kinda silly, seeing a bunch of gays in New York screaming hate slogans at their local Mormon in an attempt to change any body's mind in California.
Maybe, just maybe, if they tried to change New York law they might be better off. Change begins at home, anybody?

----I think it's ironic for the 'not very Gays' to protest the "H8" of California voters while sending anthrax threats to Mormon Churches. (Tell ya what, maybe another invasion and desecration of a Catholic Cathedral might help sway a few more?)

----It was the vote of Blacks, who oppose same-sex marriage at a rate of 70%, that was most responsible for the passage of Proposition 8. That being, I don't think it's just by accident Gays have targeted white churches in wealthy neighborhoods for protest. Everybody knows: cause a disruption outside an A.M.E. Church and you'll likely get gunned down.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Recovery Observation

I've never before realized just how bad cigarette smoke smelled until now.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Just Don't Boink Em In The Poop Chute

A high-level aide to California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer has been charged in federal court with receiving and distributing child pornography.

Sen. Boxer has zero tolerance for crimes against children, and the employee was immediately terminated," Boxer spokeshole Natalie Ravitz said in a statement Thursday.

I am certainly glad Senator Boxer has zero tolerance for some crimes against some children.

Now, if I may kindly draw her attention to this:link

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dinner!


As mentioned in an earlier post, as a result of the surgery I have lost the ability to swallow. At least for the time being.
This is what three squares consist of: about seven cans a day, delivered through a tube in my nostril, down my esophagus, and finally into my stomach.


Don't let the 'Nestle' label and brown packaging offer a false sense of palatability.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First business first: I want to thank Mark for his stellar contributions to this space and keeping you all updated as to my condition.
And, of course, the humor at my expense was a mini laugh riot (though I didn't get to seeing it right away).

And of course, the concerns and well-wishes of all of you have meant a lot to me. What's this, like twice this year already?
Next year, I'm taking a break. It's somebody else's turn to need my well wishes.

It reminds me of what it is I do this for: the sense of community. And you all do much to add to that.

Getting back to 'Me', I think is going to take a while. Even the simplest phrases are escaping me at the moment and I don't get it.
Really strange stop to think about it, it's the simple things I used to do without thinking that I now have to think about when I do them. (Twice I found myself with slippers on the wrong feet. What the...???. Yeah, stuff like that)

I'll be back. I seriously need to spell check this before I take another nap.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

This is gonna take longer than I thought.
Couple more weeks, I dunno.
Still weak.
Half time I can barely think.
Cant sleep.
A mess.

You may still see me lurking round, but dont expect much in the way of animation.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

It Only Hurts When I Don't Think About It

Still groggies, but will be up to again maybe in a couple more days or so.

This sucks- I have met my match.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

No News


Gino continues to recover but I haven't heard anything new. Will post more as soon as I know more. Meanwhile, enjoy the Smurfs.


Rumor has it something newsworthy happened yesterday, but it's kinda fuzzy right now....

Monday, November 03, 2008

Gino Update #2

Hello everyone,

Heard from Gino and his wife just now. Recovery continues but it’s been slow going.

The two biggest challenges for Gino at this point are (1) getting his speech back; and (2) a short-term neurological problem where he was having some difficulty lifting his left arm. He is feeling better today but is still in the ICU for now and probably will be for another day or so.

The neurological issue is getting better each day. As for the speech, the challenge is that the tumor was located next to his vocal cords, which meant that the surgery weakened the ability of the vocal cords to perform properly. The doctors will give Gino another procedure tomorrow which should help improve matters. I did speak with Gino and was able to make out some of what he said, but he was pretty gravelly-sounding.

The other issue he is having is that he’s not able to swallow properly yet. This too should improve, but it means that for the time being he has a feeding tube. Time should heal this issue as well.

Gino’s wife reports that he’s getting a little frustrated – as I suspect we all know, he’s not always the most patient guy around. We don’t have a guess on when he’ll be out of the hospital, but it likely won’t be until the end of the week at the earliest.

Long and the short of it – he’s getting better, but continued prayers are still very much in order, and greatly appreciated.

Best,
Mark

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Give the People What They Want Part Two - Eskimo PrOn Edition


The content requests have been coming in and it's my goal to honor them.


The first request I received was for "gay eskimo porn." That's harder to find than you'd imagine -- effective porn usually requires people using a bearskin rug, not wearing one. But I did find this -- lotsa kinky subtext here involving two men and a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit. And it takes place pretty far north.


Gino is also an avid hunter. We wanted to share some footage of Gino in action.


We've also had some requests for scenes from Gino's home life. I was able to find this early home movie showing what might be considered a well, youthful indiscretion.


As you may know, Gino is especially fond of kitties. He told me at some length about why cats are so much better than dogs. And I suspect that this video might explain why he feels that way.


Gino also informs us that we didn't feature his true favorite song last time. So please enjoy! Gino also wore this outfit in honor of this stellar performance for long stretches of the 1970s, although I think it begs the question -- do men who dress like this ever really have any success with the ladies? I'm hoping that maybe this guy or this guy might be able to answer that question.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Give the People What They Want


Gino continues to recover -- no news to report. So, as faithful reader Tully points out, it's probably a good time to start abusing the privilege just a little.


In what was truly a generous move, Gino not only gave me access to his blog, but also to his record collection. Now, for your listening pleasure, enjoy some of Gino's very favorite jams:


Billy, Don't Be a Hero. Gino actually wears the outfits that Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods are wearing in the video while he's hunting -- just enough blaze orange to satisfy the authorities, plus the giant lapels that a Chicago native really appreciates.


Afternoon Delight. Gino has always been a supporter of cloying vocal harmonies. And nooners.


Run, Joey Run. Gino wore the same haircut that David Geddes sports in the video well into the 1990s.


My Girl Bill. Gino learned a lot about gender roles from this Jim Stafford classic. Plus more giant lapels!


Do Ya Think I'm Sexy. Actually, no. But thanks for asking! Gino used to sing this to girls in high school. Oddly, it wasn't an especially successful approach.


You Make Me Feel Mighty Real. Gino's long been a supporter of gay disco star Sylvester. Gino also was a fan dancer for a short time in 1982 and learned many of his moves from what Sylvester cuts loose here.


Sometimes When We Touch. Gino appreciated this 70s slow dance fave because it was cool to listen to a singer who was significantly stranger looking than he was. Dan Hill has gone on to a successful career as a commercial spokesman for GEICO, by the way.


These Boots Are Made for Walking. A bit of a palate cleanser, and as faithful readers of Mr. Dilettante know, go-go dancing is the bomb. And this is suprisingly racy for 1966.


If you have other ideas for abusing Gino in his absence, don't hesitate to post them in the comments section!

Friday, October 31, 2008

This Will Make Gino Feel Better


Rest up, good sir. More soon!

Gino Report #1

Hello everyone,

I have news on Gino. The surgery was successful but turned out to be a lot longer than initially anticipated – it went for 15 hours and ended around 10:30 PDT last night. Gino is recovering – he’s in the ICU right now, which isn’t surprising after a long surgery. He was intubated for most of the time but they have now removed the tube. It’s not easy to breathe after you’ve been intubated, but that’s typical and the reason why he is in the ICU.

Gino’s wife reports that they got most of the tumor out; there is a little bit left, but they will be able to treat that with radiation. His vocal cords and tongue are a little stressed right now and he may have trouble speaking for a while, but the medical staff is confident that he’ll be fine fairly soon.

The initial thought was that Gino would be in the hospital for 4-5 days; we’re not sure if that timetable still holds, but we’ll keep you posted.

Gino’s wife has promised additional updates as they are available and I expect that Gino will be calling once he gets his voice back.

Stay tuned to this feature for further updates.

Mark

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No Word Yet

It's past 11 o'clock here in the Midwest. I still have not heard anything from Gino or his wife. I don't suspect it's anything we need to be concerned about, though. Surgery of this sort is tough on everyone and most likely the family is tired and just hasn't gotten around to making phone calls yet.

I will update everyone as soon as news is available. And it will be good news.

Best regards,
Mark

Welcome to Gino's East


Good evening. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Mark Heuring. I am proprietor of the Mr. Dilettante blog and I will be serving as Gino's guest host while he makes his tour of the Southern California medical establishment.


In one of those odd twists that are part of the blogosphere, I am reporting from the Twin Cities. Gino has developed quite a following in Minnesota, which probably amazes him as much as it amazes us. Some of you may not be familiar with Minnesota. I've always been fond of the description offered by Joel and Ethan Coen, our gift to Hollywood. They refer to Minnesota as "Siberia with family restaurants." By the way, we don't all sound like the characters in the movie Fargo. Some of our accents are far worse.


Minnesota has a history of gift giving to California, particularly to the Los Angeles area. Besides the Coens, we gave you Judy Garland, Diablo Cody and Richard Widmark. We also gave you the Lakers some years ago. If the current scuttlebutt proves out, we may be giving you the Vikings as well. The current ownership wants a new stadium, which probably won't be forthcoming. Once that refusal is final, it's possible that the Vikings will abandon the antiquated Metrodome (completed 1982) to take up residence someplace in Southern California, perhaps at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (completed 1932). Meanwhile, California has given us Gino. I think I speak for everyone in saying it's a fair trade.


I haven't heard from Gino or his wife yet, but as soon as we get word, I'll pass it along. Meanwhile, feel free to drop me a line if you have something you'd like to talk about.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Time Has Come

Surgery is scheduled for first thing tomorrow morning.
Gotta be there at 6:30. Surgery at 8:15. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.

A little nervous and apprehensive about it all, I admit fully and freely.
It's time for me to place all my worries aside, and put my trust in the crack staff I'm paying for.
I've got the heads of three departments on my team, at the best teaching hospital in the area.

Most of all, I place confidence in an army of prayer warriors spanning from coast to coast,three nations, two continents, several denominations, and three distinct faiths.
Bases covered? I hope they will be after tonight's Mass.

In my absence, Mr. Dilettante will have the keys to the kingdom. Most of you already know Mark pretty well through his blog, and his comments here. He's a skilled writer and a fine man in his own right who went through a much bigger tumor scare than mine, and not all that long ago.

I will be in touch with Mark, updating him as to my condition. Through him, I will be able to speak to you all as I am able.

(Not so positive if leaving a Cheesehead in charge of Bear Country is a wise thing to do, but I'm sure any damage will be fixable. At least I hope.)

Have fun,Mark. Beer and brats are in the fridge.

The Bradley Effect,Again?


Very little has been said about Bradley Effect, and what role it may play in this election.
Sparing the details, the Bradley Effect is the difference between what a black man polls on/before election day versus a white opponent, and the actual vote count on election day, named after Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley's run for the governorship of California.
Mayor Bradley, though ahead in the polling throughout the campaign, lost narrowly on election day.

Some observers state that the Bradley Effect is no longer 'in effect'. This has proven to basically be the case. But, what they leave out is that since 1992, there haven't been any racially groundbreaking election contests.

In elections known for a Bradley Effect, there was much,much media swooning over the very real possibility of a truly electable Black candidate breaking a political color barrier.

I remember quite well the hype and infatuation of California's election of 1982, and took part in it. Reporting on nearly ever move and utterance of the Mayor, the media pushed his candidacy like no other before it.
I also remember vivid news stories about Doug Wilder's race in Virginia. (Wilder won, Bradley lost*). Both featured highly capable and proven leaders with appeal that crossed racial lines.


Obama, regardless of what the pundits say, may very well be facing his own Bradley Effect. The media hype is unfathomable. The populace may just be responding to the hype when they tell pollsters what they want to hear.
Obama is the cool thing. Who'd want to be on the outside of it?

The privacy of the voting booth is another matter. It's kind of difficult for me to believe, that after three years of this never ending soon enough campaign, that there is really an 'undecided' segment to be polled.
I'm guessing the 'undecided' count is actually a McCain count that dare not speak it's name in public.

I'm going out on a limb here, but if I'm right, you'll know where you heard it first.

I'm guessing Obama's vote numbers won't equal his polling numbers. I'm gonna give it a 4 point spread. Meaning Obama will actually receive four fewer percentage points of the total vote tally than the final polling suggests. This may not really effect the final electoral math. But then again, you never know.
In some 'too close to call' states, it will matter.

But in a year with so much media hype, and polling hype, if Obama loses a squeaker after already being the all but declared next president, it's gonna be ugly out there.
Best just stay home and watch the riots on television.

And I sincerely hope it does not come to that.


*Bradley returned for a re-match four years later. Once again, the polls showed him leading for months. The media , hyping up the rematch, drooled openly at the possibility for four years previous. By election day it was close. He lost again by a wider margin than the first time.
It was really ridiculous, if you stop to think about it. The then-sitting Governor was not unpopular. There was no logical explanation for the Mayor to be leading in the polls as he did, for as long as he did. And it was the Age of Reagan in Reagan Country. No Democrat of any moderation was going to unseat a GOP incumbant who was not screwing the pooch.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Crickets

Now, you all know that I know that most of my readers will be voting for John McCain.
Surprising, ain't it, that not one of ya came to his defense after the last post?

Support for McCain is obviously not as strong as opposition to Obama.
Looks like the GOP is done for in this go 'round.

That's my take.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Some Guys Have All The Luck

And some are as lucky as it gets.
I'm speaking, of course, of John McCain.
It still appears to be seen if he can pull it off, but for a guy who's political career was left for dead just one year ago, who won his party's nomination on a fluke, and who had no realistic chance of winning this, his last fight, to be this close to pulling it out of his hat, has got to be the greatest political self-resurrection since Nixon.

It can really happen. Obama, showered with never-before-seen quantities of both money and fawning media, is having big issues closing the deal. As the newly ordained patriarch of the new religion, he is still leaving behind way too many in the category of undecided agnostics.
By rights, he should be polling in the 60's by now, not floating around somewhere in the high 40's.

That said, you GOP readers are not going to be happy with a McCain presidency. I'm willing to predict, that should it come to that, you will see an ideological repeat of the 1990's and the Clinton years.

You gotta remember who we are talking about here. John McCain is a politician without an ideological compass. He has no true values. Knows no sacred ground upon which to fight, or fight for.
His one over reaching passion is political expediency. His is the career built upon the bloodied carcasses of GOP bodies thrown under the bus of the so-called Straight Talk Express. This is a man who screws over the members of his own party while living on the other side of the aisle, suckling off the teet of an anti-GOP media establishment.
Be careful what you wish for: A McCain presidency will see more of the same.

And now let me share this little snippet (h/t to RW) of the real John McCain:Link

For those of you who didn't click the link, that was John McCain doing what John McCain does: disrespecting his own.
You'd think a man who built his career as a POW, five years in the Hanoi Hilton, who can't stop waving the flag and 'fighting for veterans' and all that, has done everything he can to stonewall any investigations into his fellow POWs who remain unaccounted for.
The one man in the Senate who should have the moral authority to call for as full an accounting as possible has done the opposite.Where I come from, we call that a Buddy Fucker.

Here. Don't believe me? Catch a load of this testimony form the folks who know better.


He's hiding something. What is it? Why would he do this?


To my conservative readership: John McCain is not your friend. And you don't want him for one. You see, we already have plenty of evidence as to how McCain treats his friends and his band of brothers.
You will be next.
Count on it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Product Endorsment For The Good Of All

I've been doin' this huntin/tree climbin thing for about 15 yrs, now.
From the beginning, I was cautioned by others to wear a safety strap, just in case I fell out of a tree.
It's a real threat.
No matter how careful you may think you are, 'shit happens', as the saying goes. Many a hunter, myself included, has experienced the quiet bliss of sitting motionless for hours, huddled up and shivering from the cold and wind, rifle cradled gently in his arms... and dozing off.
It happens.
(And it's the sign of good time. Don't question it.)

I'd always worn a simple strap buckled around my waist, attached to a short leader,and itself attached to another strap firmly fastened around the tree itself. It was simple, and most of the hunters I knew were using the same type of safety mechanism.

Last year, seeing the need for something a bit more substantial, I purchased a torso harness that was basically a tangle of nylon straps designed to wrap around the waist,shoulders, chest and hips, offering support at all points should I find myself up a tree without a platform.

It took several minutes, and a third or fourth hand, to put the damn thing on. That is, if you got it right the first time. Usually, you didn't. It was a tangled mess of a system.
I'm sure I can say that I wasn't the only hunter who only wore it once, before throwing that piece of shit against the wall in disgust and opting to do without.

This year, I discovered the aptly named Hunter Safety System. Check it out.

Worn like a vest, it's lightweight, and comfortable enough to wear all day. It takes about five seconds to put the thing on, even in the dark, and doesn't entangle the wearer in a tomb of nylon straps. It's fully adjustable,and super easy to use.
Truly state of the art, this will set the standard for the next 75yrs.





Huntin season is here, and I'm hoping many hunters who are online looking things up will search their way to this post.
This is important.

If you searched your way here, I'm talkin to you,Bubba.
So,listen up.
Even if you are still using the simple single waist-strap tackle, and are stupidly satisfied with it, you need to get your brain outta your ass.
This thing doesn't cost that much. About $75. You can order it online direct, or through ebay, Bass-Pro,Cabela's et al. I got mine at Wal*Mart. And I know you know about Wal*Mart.

I also know that you've known somebody, or of somebody, who got seriously fucked up, paralyzed, or dead falling out of a tree.

It can happen to you.
Hardware fails.
Tree Stands 'let go'.
Hunters over reach for the shot.
Or, you yourself, have dazed/dozed off.

Don't let your next trip to the woods be your last.
Get this system.
It's only $75. Small price to pay for what it can do for you.
I love it, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

All You People Are Fucking Nuts

I don't get all this violence going on regarding the election.
I'm reading about folks getting beat up for having the wrong bumper sticker, homes fired on for having a sign in front, all the hate from the comics and celebs, the hateful emails...

Folks need to just get a grip.
This election will not change the course of history.
The blue-collar dudes will still be blue-collar.
The wealthy will still be wealthy.
And the Wall Street cronies of both political parties will still be living lives very different from the rest of nation.
Too many are taking this way too personally.

Everybody, and that means you,too.Just relax.
See a movie.
Call your Mom.
Play with your kids.
Go fishing.
Make love to your wife.
A million other things could be done that are a lot more important to your life than joining one of the two sides who will be angry, and may be rioting, on November 5th.

On another note:
I just love the weather in Dixie this time of year. Right now, there ain't no place else I'd rather be.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's All Over Now

Colin Powell has endorsed Obama.

Friday, October 17, 2008

On My Way

Gonna make this quick.
Had the final of my final pre-op visits today. Dr. SpecialistExtreme went over the nuts and bolts of the procedure in fairly good detail. It appears there isn't much in the way of access that won't leave a nice nifty, and long, scar.
("Grampa,where did you get that scar on your face?")
He said that basically he will have to open about a quarter of my face, slice through the jaw, lift up, blah,blah,blah.
The process is expected to take anywhere from 4-12 hours, depending on what they find when they get in there.
I'll be asleep,anyway.

There are risks. Most notably, blood clots that may form and lead to a stroke, or *worse*. I let you fill in that blank as I don't want to think about it. Can't afford to.
But he did say that it was imperative that I quite smoking NOW prior to surgery. Something about clogged lungs,etc... that would complicate surgery. No smokes for two weeks prior. Need time for the lungs to clear.
OK. So I'm about two days behind on that. But the last butt was snuffed an hour ago, and I have no more.
I was expecting the week long hospital stay to be the start of my cold turkey attempt. So much for that plan,huh?

Something about signing that last consent form today made the whole thing really sink in psychologically. Before then, it was all just a swollen jaw (that I was only aware when I looked in the mirror), a series of pictures and scans, and some groovy fun time away from the mill drinking all the beer I wanted.

Now, it's real.

I've never had surgery before, and somehow I think this would be easier if I had a few training surgeries. You know, some easy every day stuff: tonsils, appendix, vasectomy, torn ligament, or something else less threatening.

Not this doozy type of thing that nobody has ever seen before in a place that they really would rather not go. (yeah, I finally got the truth. They've never seen this before. I'm gonna be a research/study case for future generations).
Hell, I'll volunteer for a castration if they will take it in trade.

Oh, well.
Life goes on.

Enough of that....

Catching a flight in a few hours to the great state of Georgia for some deer huntin and Dad time. He needs to see me, and I need to get away for a bit to forget about all of the above, and hopefully kill something big.

Don't mean to sound all Freddie Krugerish, but something about disemboweling a fresh carcass awakens the senses. I know I'm on top when somebody else's blood is on my hands.
I like the scent of fresh meat in my nostrils.
The understanding of where it came from, and realizing that it could be, and someday will be, me laying there,instead.
Someday it will be, because we all take our turn, in one way or the other, at the bottom of the food chain, where we no longer decide where or how we lay.

"From Ashes to ashes..." as they say, but some of us will provide a great pot roast, some burgers, steaks and sausages along the way.

Internet time will be sparse for the next week, but I'll be around sporadically.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe

He's the latest talk,now.

Some uppity commoner has the nerve to approach The Anointed One and question his policies.

Now, Joe the Plumber is being slimed: Did you know he's not licensed? Therefore, he's not really a plumber? And his name is really 'Sam'? He's a fake. A hypocrite. A moron. He's unsophisticated.
(And we'll soon know if he's ever had a DUI or bounced a check,as well)

How dare that blue-collar, unwashed piece of common American shit even deign to discuss policy matters with the The One. To dare approach Him. To even (gasp) look Him in the eye.

Doesn't he know The One is better than he? His role out there on that street among his fellow unwashed masses was to pay homage to The One. To beg salvation and deliverance from capitalistic greed. Beg for a handout. Kiss his ring.
Not challenge Him.

I call bullshit.

It's surreal and hypocritical, if you ask me, to talk about the common man, champion the blue collar dude, expect his vote, walk the streets among the public because it looks cool for the cameras...

And then, when one of them becomes inconvenient, write him off as a bozo, a redneck, a moron,etc.
And then send your monkeys out there to dig through his personal business to impugn his credibility, all because you opened yourself up to a challenge, and the blue collar dude made you look like the two-bit, socialistic, grievance monger you really are.
You argued with the 'retard', and the retard won.

From my chair, the sweaty guy in the t-shirt and jeans casts a bigger shadow than the coiffed asshole in the pressed shirt and tie.

We all don't really know that much about 'Joe'. And Joe admittedly doesn't know much more than claims. And he's stated he has no interest in political office. He just wants to be a plumber, to make a living, and achieve his slice of the pie the old fashioned way.

But I'm willing to bet he's never spent 20yrs worshipping before an angry vestment-clad nigger screaming 'God Damn America' while donating $20,000 to his 'Hate Whitey' ministry.

And he knows a shit clog when he sees it. Like when he confronted a self-righteous uppity piece of shit clogging the street in his neighborhood.

Joe is an American, with a whole lot more in common, socially/politically/culturally with any of you reading this than either of the two elitists kissing our collective ass, rolling up their sleeves and mispronouncing 'economy' to pass off as one of us.

And when the elites attack and slime Joe, they show their true disdain for the rest of us.

Joe may not be ready to run for the White House.
And he's probabbly too honest to take the job.
But I'm willing to bet he has a bit more real world common sense, and a whole lot more integrity, than the next person who lives there.


Update:
Now The One feels it personally necessary to dis plumbers in general

I sure hope he can't find one when one of his daughters flushes a tampon.

Another Dumb Idea

Registered sex offenders in Maryland will have to post this 'scarlet letter' on their home this Halloween.

It's all kinda stupid if you ask me.
Don't pictures of pumpkins and other types of Halloween bling serve as a natural attractant for kids?

I remember growing up that if a house had no lights on, or pumpkins out, that meant 'No candy here. Go away!'

What are the odds that kids will see the pumpkin and approach the door?
Do kids even bother to read while in a candy induced state of mind?
What about the stupid Mexican kids who don't know English?

Story Here

In all reality, child molesters aren't likely to strike on Halloween, tricking one kid to 'come inside' while his/her Friends and parents wait on the stoop.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Peace And Love..."




"...now go fuck off."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tagged.

I cannot resist any request or demand Jade makes of me. She's just one of those friends you don't say "No" to. And "Maybe" invariably always means "Yes". It's just that way.
As it goes, Jade has tagged me with a "Seven Interesting Things About Me" meme.
Here they are:

1.I just recently learned how to use the 'paint' program. Noted those circles in my MRI pics? Yep! I did that. Seriously. I did. I really did. As recently as last week, I could not have made such a claim. Well, I guess I could have. No,I know I could have. I can claim anything I want. It just wouldn't have been true, is all.

2.I've bragged, for the past few years at least, that I was going to the last man standing. Absolutely, I was never,ever going to sink so low as to jump on the cell-phone-fetish bandwagon. I've gone 44 years without feeling the need to communicate everywhere I was, at all times of the day, no matter what else I was doing. The next 44 years were not going to be any different. Life, and technology, on my own terms,at my own pace meant bliss. ("where's Gino?" "Dunno,cant reach him." hehehe.)

Well, now I have a confession to make. When my sis died, my dad handed me her cell (on his family plan) so he can feel the comfort of hearing my voice any time he needed to. The past several months have been spent beating back Dad's attempt to more readily socialize me. I've hesitantly used the phone to call him, and for him to call me, and left it at that.
Two weeks ago I was playing around, and figured out how to send text and picture messages. It all started by me pixing evidence of my beer consumption to my buddy.(I'm off work on disability. He's jealous.) Buddy responded with a rude gesture, and we are now in a sophomoric competition to see who can top who in rudeness. This is getting crazily strange. I gotta walk the dog in a bit, and I'm bringing the phone with me.

I'm finding the cell phone can be kinda fun in a dark and twisted sort of way.

3. I still do will not have a tattoo.

4. Nor an ipod.

5. I haven't carried a wallet in 23 years. It's unlikely that I ever will, and I can't for the life of me understand why every other dude thinks he needs one. Am I the only one to discover that I.D., money card, and cash all fit nicely in the front pocket of my jeans without that bulge sticking out of my ass?

6. Just because I currently share my life with a dog, courtesy of The Blonde, doesn't mean I like it. I DO NOT LIKE DOGS. I don't want one in my house. And I can't wait for this one to die. Preferably soon.

7. I'm still having way too much fun with the cell phone camera. Somebody needs to stop me.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Big Ugly On The Horizon

One can learn a little bit about current events and politics while spending a Sunday watching football, even when you were hoping to escape it all for the day.
Case in point: the presidential election.
For the first time since I don't know how long, somebody else actually had more commercial face time than Peyton Manning.
This somebody was, surprisingly, Barack Obama.
Obama was every where.

Now, this may come as no surprise in an election year for you folks out there in battleground states. But this is California that I'm blogging from. This state has already been called for Obama, back in December it was. Yeah, December 2001.
I remember.

You see, we aren't used to presidential campaigns round these parts. Those things only happen in places that we only read about in monster buck magazines.

So, what's going on?
I Think I know.
Obama has no shortage of money to spend. He can afford to waste some where he doesn't need to win. California's electoral votes are already in his bag. Nothing will change that.
This may seem like a case of 'spending money because you can', but it seems like a smart tactic from this angle.
The last couple of elections were decided by a matter of one state, and very little popular vote difference. (Bush actually received fewer popular votes in 2000 than the (sore)loser Al Gore.)
Similarly, Clinton never did break the 50% threshold,either.
A matter of just a few percentage points in heavily populated California will add hundreds of thousands of votes to Obama's bottom line, and if he wins the election, he's gonna still need the extra cred a higher vote count will bring if he hopes to be accepted as the legitimate winner by a large portion of his detractor base.

Fact is, Obama may be leading in the polls, but he's having big trouble closing the deal, and has yet to poll above 50%. Whoever wins is gonna have a hard enough time gaining acceptance as it is.
You can square this acceptance issue with Obama's history of extremist voting patterns and unsavory alliances.
If you thought the last four elections produced ugly reactions, you ain't seen nothin like the next one.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Home Stretch

Yesterday was my final follow up with one of three surgeons. A few questions, some explanations, and a consent form.
A decent fellow with an accent and a funny name, he does exude this strong air of confidence and professionalism. I feel that I'm in good hands with him, not that I have much choice in the matter unless I wanted to do the job myself.
And he only stands 'bout 5'2", but since I'll be laying down for the procedure I'm hoping that may not be an issue.
On the way out, I stopped by Imaging and requested a copy of my MRI images. Kinda cool to look at. I've been doing so for hours,already.

This morning I had to report for a swallow study. Basic procedure: shove a thin tube with a camera attached down my nostril and into my throat; force feed me; and then record the videos.
After a few spoons of applesauce,apple juice, diced peaches, and graham cracker, we were done. I did get to watch everything on the monitor. Ever actually seen yourself eat? Kind weird.
The purpose of all this was to establish a baseline for comparison's sake should I suffer nerve damage to my throat muscles during the procedure. One more thing to worry about that I flat out refuse to worry about.
I meet with the neurosurgeon Monday to go over this last, and finally final, diagnostic test.

Now for some show and tell:
This is an MRI view of the right side of my face.

The circled area should be, I think, the main body of the tumor.
(That is, if I know what I'm looking at.)

It's about the size and shape of an egg. Unfortunately, that's not the part that seems to be the concern.

The big deal is the less defined, irregularly shape region just to the north, at about 1-2 o'clock.

They still haven't managed to get a clear enough picture of just what is what in this region. It's also the most critical, what with the location of various nerves and what have you.

And they still are not sure just exactly how far up into the skull it goes. Sure, they got a general idea, but nothing precise. And they won't til they get there.
Or so I'm told.


To the right: an underside view, looking up past my chin into my skull right about even with the lower jaw line. Again, with the tumor circled.

Noticeable, in the outline contours of my face, is the swollen appearance that first got my attention. (It was smaller when I started this process.)

As the mass grows, it constricts other things in the region.

Not bothering me now, but if left unchecked it could cause loss of sensation, difficulty swallowing, tingles or numbness in my right extremities... and some other stuff. Already, there is a noticeable protrusion in my throat when I look into my mouth.











This is my brain on Happy Gas.
Nothing much is happening here.









O.K., show's over.

Two more follow-ups next week, then I'm off to deer season.
It was a bit of a finagle, but I was successful in postponing the endgame til October 30th.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

National Hypocrisy

Link
Link
Link

It's been going on for a very long time. Most infamously was the not-so-secret voter fraud that delivered Illinois, and the Presidency, to John Kennedy in 1960.

Democracy depends on two things: the integrity of the vote, and the willingness of the populace to accept it's outcome. Without both, democracy is but a talking point for civics class.

It is up to the elected and appointed officials to guarantee and honest, integral vote. But most importantly, it is up to electorate to defend their own elections by holding officials accountable.
Al Gore almost got away with the stealing of Florida in 2000. In a surprising move to me, the Republican voting public rose up in anger, near riot in a few instances, over what was going on. As a result, Al Gore was foiled, but not until after a long court battle.

Republican voters, generally, tend to be naive 'play by the rules' people not as prone to such shenanigans, but I suspect the memory of 2000 is still strong.
Strong enough, maybe, that the current attempts of the Obama left to steal the vote in important swing states will not be met quietly on election day.

One can only hope.
But don't hope too much.
Republicans are notorious for selling out their voters in appeasement to some interest group on the left in the hope of luring a few of them their way next time.
And Republican leadership is notorious for letting elections be stolen.

But this year is different. The fraud is all out the open this year. It's not just the Chicago of lore. It's every where. And has been. But now is different because everybody knows it.

Whoever wins will still lose as these accusations become further documented.

Tell me again how we are supposed to bring democracy to the world when we can't even keep it for ourselves.

Tell me how President ObaMcain is going to lecture Syria, The Palestinians, Korea, or Russia about the legitimacy of free and fair elections.

Can we even call it democracy while keeping a straight face? Are we gonna keep fooling ourselves about it?

Fabulous!

Betcha they'll put on one hell of a spring musical.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fidgeting with the template.
Easier to read now?
Feedback, folks.
Appreciated.

Because Honesty Can Sometimes Suck...

...that which I spent three days writing pontificating about will not be published. As it went,fact checking had left me with a bunch of 'facts' that cannot be proven (nor disproven).

So, yeah. My I-don't-know-how-many carefully chosen words have just been eaten by the delete button.

I just can't (adequately enough) defend it, and when I can, I try to avoid talking points or parroting.
There's enough of that shit floating around as it is.

As my readership is quite tiny, I may have gotten away with it, but what would have been gained?

We all need to just face it: what is said on blogs,in bars, or anywhere else in regards to politics is really just wasted air.
No matter who wins, the future course of civilization, or our own small portion of it, is bigger than any one man,any one party, or any one ideology, to effectively overcome the myriad various forces that will shape it.

Trading in lies and bullshit is the realm of the office seeker seeking to improve his own status, wealth, or dating prospects. I'll let them have it.
'America First'. 'Hope and Change'. 'New and Improved'. Whathefuckever...

Don't misunderstand me, as I'm not staking claim to being something that I am not.
Admittedly, I'm as guilty as anybody when it comes to shilling for my own set of ideals, or championing my own, usually correct, bias'.
But I can admit to myself: I honestly do not believe that I am big enough to change anybody's mind.
If I had this power, instead of blogging I'd be spending my time in sales or inventing a new religion, while doing for myself some increased monetary good (and/or expanding my own dating prospects).

So why do I bother dipping my foot into the fetid well of politics?
It's because I enjoy the discussion. I have fun debating the ideas. And despite my generally real-life anti-social attitude, I genuinely like folks on an individual level.
And I don't care what their background is,what their beliefs are, what their lifestyle is, or if they wrongly disagree with me.

It doesn't need to be personal.

I'm sayin... no... now I'm screaming, 'Look at that shit!', two stupid fucks from the land of crooked teeth no less, yes two of them, who are so far removed from what is happening that they haven't a godamned clue what hell they are on opposite sides of.

Is it really worth it?
Is it really fucking worth it?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Review: An American Carol


If you are an overly sensitive Obamacult liberal lacking a sense of humor, see An American Carol and get one. Every left-wing interest group gets the skewer, so if you are a neo-con this movie will provide you with affirmation.

Lots of gags. Some better than others.
Personally, as a whole, I didn't think it was all that good. It had some great moments, don't get me wrong. But moments do not make a movie.

It was kinda like they had all these good gags, and struggled for a way to string them together into a coherent whole. I guess I'll just say that it's a good Netflix caliber comedy that can't hold up on the silver screen.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Today's Self-Loathing Bag Of Pus...


...is none other than feminist,lesbian Obama-loving comedienne Sandra Bernhard demonstrating for us, once again, what a compassionate and loving people they are on the left.

In her opening monologue at some garbage theater in D.C., the hit-with-the-ugly-stick performer gushed that if Sarah Palin should come to her hometown in Manhattan she would be fittingly raped by a bunch of Negroes.

Now she's playing the "I didn't say that" game.
Yes, I saw the video. And she did say that.

She's now been (rightfully) dropped as keynote speaker for a women's shelter benefit this month.

She can pass this disgusting bile off as performance art all she wants. Obviously, there's a market for it among the same segment of the population that supports Obama. But her having access to a microphone doesn't make her an artist any more than having a blog makes a me writer.

This is just a symptom, of course, of some larger disease that infects our political and cultural discourse.
It's not enough for the left to disagree and debate their differences.
It has to be taken to another level of over-the-top hatred.
It's all personal for them.

Unless you see the world through their distorted prism, you are not worth the same basic dignities that they demand for themselves.
They trade in hate.

It must be a sad, pathetic existence.
Five surgeons are discussing whose patients make the best surgical candidates.

The first surgeon says, "I like to see accountants on my operating table. When you open them up, everything inside is numbered."

The second responds, "Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything inside them is color coded."

The third surgeon says, "No, I really think librarians are the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order."

The fourth surgeon chimes in . "You know, I like construction workers. Those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end. And if the job takes longer than you said it would, no big deal."

But the fifth surgeon topped them all. "You're all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on . There's no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains and no spine. ! And on top of that, the head and the ass are interchangeable."

The First Lie Of Every Campaign

"This is the most important election of your life..."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A Jury Of His Peers?

In a proper world,that should consist of twelve fathers of teen aged daughters.

An angry Deltona father whacked his teenage daughter's boyfriend with a metal pipe after finding the boy naked in his daughter's room.
When he heard noises coming from his daughter's bedroom Thursday morning and saw a stranger standing naked on the girl's bed, he swung a metal pipe. He then chased the teen out the front door and called police.

The boy was taken to the hospital where doctors closed a head wound with staples.

The father was charged with aggravated battery on a child and bonded out on $10,000.



I would like to see King David or The Nightwriter serve on this jury.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Put Them All Against the Wall

What would really happen if the politicians didn't bail out who ever it is that needs bailing out?

I'm willing to be that the main portion of the economy, the daily life of the regular dude, would be normal in a matter of 2-3 months.

And just who is being rescued? My guess: the political leadership.

They, and their buddies, profited mightily while the doings were being done.

Franklin Raines, among the dirty thirty dozen, just for one example , is a close pal of National Savior,Barrack Obama.

And now the robber baron's want more?

Forget it.














Shoot them all.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Given what's happening with the economy these days, the Treasury Department has issued a new dollar bill.........

Friday, September 26, 2008

Irony


One of the nation's largest consumer banks has been seized by the feds.
I can't help but see a little irony in the collapse of Washington Mutual as a result of it's heavy investment in risky mortgage debt.

WaMu is/was very big in California. They had marketed themselves so as to take maximum profit advantage from the less financially reliable segment of the consumer market.
Among the marketing ploys: free checking. Anybody could qualify for free checking at WaMu, while in most cases another bank would require payroll direct deposit, or some other commitment of customer longevity to receive this benefit.

Although this privilege is a benefit to those who otherwise wouldn't qualify at one of the competitors, WaMu was also keenly aware that this more transient customer base is also more prone to overdrafts. And overdraft charges at WaMu where the highest in the land.
This was a extraordinarily high percentage of their operating profits.
(They were also accused by consumer groups of clearing large checks first so as to increase the chance of several smaller successive checks being returned NSF.)

Another of their marketing ploys was offering several branches. With a branch nearly every two blocks in the city, we jokingly refered to them as "McBank". This was convenient for their debit card holders looking for ATM's.
It was also convenient for foreign ATM customers who would run out of cash and just strike at the first ATM they see, usually a WaMu, at higher than average ATM fees.
And every WaMu had not just one ATM, but 3-4 of them. ATM fees were an extraordinarily high source of revenue, as well.

Also, if you were out of money and didn't know it, WaMu would still give you cash at the ATM, and charge you an overdraft fee.
Of course, this bit of info didn't come up on the screen. You saw it on your receipt after the transaction was completed.

In a wrap: Washington Mutual was a good convenient bank for those who had their act together. But those weren't the people they wanted. I remember a friend who was having money wired from out of state, and WaMu stuck him with a $40 wire fee. He never bounced checks, so I guess they had to bleed him anyway they could.

In short, they did nothing illegal. And it can be argued that they did some good by making low-cost banking available to greater numbers of people, as they were accused by consumer groups of being unethical, preying on the least reliable segment of the population. (They were also the first to accept 'matricular' cards, non gov't recognised identification used by illegal Mexicans in place of other reliable forms of identification.)

Washington Mutual grew big milking the weakest among us. Now, it looks like the weakest have struck back.
Karma.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Post What?

"Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.

Why does it seem that in the era of post-racial politics all the racial politics are coming from camp of the post-racial candidate?

I'm willing to bet anybody representing a Florida ghetto district doesn't give much thought to Whites and Inuits fishing salmon or working an oil pipeline,either.

But getting back to race, and the reports that Obama may lose this election to mystical White racism...

Most Whites, and this means the working class, blue collar Whites Obama needs, don't give a rat's ass about Black people. Not one way or the other. We, and I am among them, are too busy scratching out a living, dealing with our own day to day issues, to give Blacks much thought at all.
I don't mind breaking it to any Black folks out there, but as a group, you just don't register that high on our radar screen. It's not like all of us White guys held a meeting or something and took a vote to ignore you.
It's just that we are much too busy dealing with the state our own individual existences to worry much about the state of your collective one.
About the only time we ever notice your tribal existence is when we turn on our television and see some race hustler blaming us for a bunch of shit we had no part of.
And we are not buying it.

And don't go blaming Jeremiah 'God Damn America' Wright for turning some of us off to the Obama cult.
It was Obama, the post racial one, who sat in that pew, jumping up and down,clapping his hands for twenty years.
It was Obama who wrote the checks for thousands of dollars to that ministry.
It was Obama who declared Wright his spiritual mentor.
Whatever you may want to think Obama believes in his heart, his heart was obviously quite comfortable surrounding himself with that congregation, raising his children in that foul 'blame whitey/hate America' environment.
You see, it's not really about some loudmouth Rev. Shit Head spewing bile while making himself wealthy.
It's about a satin tongued Sen. Shit Head trying to pretend who he is not in order to lead a nation he may very well have disdain for.

Ask yourself, and be honest: if John McCain's church was pastored by a member of the Aryan nation who blamed The Darkies for all the ills of society, and "God Damn America, it's in the Bible", would you give him the same free pass?
Do you honestly think McCain would be polling 97% among Whites?

You know, and I know, he would have been drummed out of the race (by Whites) for merely sitting in the same auditorium as David Duke.

If I, and people in my social class, are racist for being just a little turned off by the asshattery and race mongering Obama and Crew are trying to get away with then one of us doesn't know what racism is.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's All Paper And Promises Anyway, Ain't It?

How much does it really matter?
I'm talking about this financial crisis, of course.

I'm not knowledgeable in the slightest about monetary policy, or how money works, the federal reserve, and what not.
What I do know, I learned the hard way:
I work.
I get paid.
I spend.
Spend more than I earn, and I'm headed for trouble that costs even more than I originally overspent with in the first place.
Don't buy shit you can't pay for, don't buy on credit, put away $20 every week and forget about it, keep your job, and the rest just kinda falls into place rather well.

I dumped my credit cards in 1999. Went 'BK', and never borrowed again, with the exception of things it's near impossible to save cash for: cars and houses.
And I did't buy the $35,000 car I qualified for when the $20,000 car will serve the same purpose with a smaller payment and last just as long and perform just as well.
(This logic also lowers insurance costs).
My FICOL score is near 700, but was told it should be much higher if I kept active revolving credit . No way.
689 is plenty to do what ever I want to do when I need to (rarely) do it; like get a competitive rate on cars and homes.
No need for me to give more money to the money lenders.
(You idiots with the 700+ scores can have them bragging rights that you paid handsomely for. It means nothing to me.)

Remember, I'm just a mill worker. No glamour. Just sweat, blisters and a bucket-load of overtime. I have everything I need, most of what I want, and can still spare a buck or two for the derelict in front of 7-11. Or more than a few for the irresponsible family member.

I do know how markets work.
I do know that a bunch of morons bought houses they couldn't afford with money lent to them by other morons.
As a result, the housing market has dropped allowing me into a great bargain I can afford that in an otherwise honest market I could never dream of.

I fail to see the crisis in this.

But if there really is a crisis, I fail to see how putting the same people in charge of fixing it that were supposed to be making sure stuff like this didn't happen in the first place.
It's not that hard. Even football teams fire the coach that blows it.

If there is a fault, it lies in the American voters who keep returning the same re-elected assholes to Washington time and again.
Of course, the re-elected millionaire assholes (with their fingers in the pie) want to bailout the millionaires who helped elect them who also 'lost' all this money.

I get the feeling a lot of little guys are gonna get burned through higher taxation. But not one politician will be giving up his salary or pension.
And everybody who was (ir)responsible for oversight will be re-elected.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Almost...

Well, I got everything moved and in the new house.
Now, I'm in the process of getting some of the rooms painted, more boxes emptied and rediscovering my way around a region very much changed since I made it my home throughout most of the 90's, before settling in Anaheim 10 yrs ago.

I'm here, but rather pre-occupied at the moment.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Head Games

Today, I had my meet and greet with the man who would be sticking his fingers into my head*.
He mentioned the probability that this tumor may be a little more further up my skull than previously thought.
I likely will have one of two options:

#1. Go for the 'Home Run' as he called it. Remove all of the tumor. Good bye, and good riddance. The drawback is that it's riskier. I could very well have some irreversible nerve damage.
I told him that since I have a lot of nerve anyway, I may be able to afford to lose a little, and my social life may improve.
He then explained I could lose some abilities that I currently take for granted. Like swallowing, vision,whistling, control over one side of my facial muscles. Small stuff like that.
Not that these things will necessarily occur. It's just a lot more likely.

#2. Remove most of the tumor, and attack the remaining portion with gamma knife therapy. The tumor would still be alive, but no longer growing. I'd carry it in my head for the rest of my days.
Gamma Knife is some sort of radiation procedure where they are able to concentrate all the radiation into one target location. It looks rather involved (see link), but would be a one shot thing.
The drawback is that I would still carry some part of the tumor and enter into a lifelong relationship with my neurosurgeon that includes yearly testing, more MRI's and other fun stuff.


The photo to the right is of a patient going through the gamma knife process.

Can't help but be reminded of a scene from A Clockwork Orange.
(I might like that.)



I already have enough useless mass in my head, so I really don't want to carry an extra load around.
But, I wouldn't want to lose my ability to cast the wife a flirtatious wink. Or to snarl at strangers.
Not yet sure what option I'll take. I still have more time to decide these things, as Mr. Neurosurgeon has ordered up another round of diagnostic studies. This means more delays.

The downside: it doesn't look like I'll make it to the O.R. in time to recover soon enough to make the hunt this year.
Some possible upside: I may be able to put this thing off long enough to make the season opener. Not my preferred time, but I'll take it.

I'll aim for the latter.




*Couldn't help but notice. This guy has some very large fingers. I hope he's not clumsy with them.

Observation

The wait time to see the doctor is inversely proportional to the quality of the reading material in the lobby.

Just A Tad Busy

The moving process has begun, and part of the drawbacks encountered in buying a repo property are starting to be realized.

Unlike most repos, this house has not been trashed. Except for a torn up patio door screen, nothing is broken or in disrepair. The place is still cherry. Nice. I like that.

Drawbacks: the previous owners, who bought the house brand new on 2006, decided to take everything that they had added with them.
That means there is not a window covering to be found. Or a yard hose. Or the ceiling fans that are now just holes in the ceiling. They even took the Doggy Door (but left the hole).
Of course, I knew all this when I first looked at the house, and inspected it pretty well prior to submitting my bid.

So, now I have the chore of getting window coverings bought and in place. I know how much this can cost from previous purchases of one or two rooms worth of coverings.
What I didn't prepare for: every window in the house is bare naked. I mean every window. Even the small tiny ones that are easy to overlook. Of course, I knew this, but still never thought to add up the potential numbers.
This is going to cost me. Damn, these things are expensive when you have to do them all at once, on a house as large as this one.

--Here's a tip: when shopping for wood blinds, or faux wood, check out ebay. Lots for sale, cut to fit, for 20-30% cheaper than Home Depot/Lowes/Wal*Mart. One such vendor will be getting a lot of business from me in the coming weeks.

The Good: prior to foreclosure, the previous owners tried to rent it out, without success. As a result, the place is clean. Very clean. Even the carpets and the walls.

I will be without internet service for a few days while I get settled in. Also have a couple more medical appointments this week. I'll be meeting with my neurosurgeon in a couple hours, and my SuperSpecialistExtreme ENT later in the week. Surgery is right around the corner.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Righteous Kill

You know what sucks? That I waited for this. The opportunity to see two giants of their craft together, I mean actually together, unlike in Heat, opposite each other in scene after scene.

Righteous Kill is a rather generic cop thriller/serial killer movie that burns up more than it's share of cliches.
Turk (DeNiro) and Rooster (Pacino) are two homicide detectives who've been working together for 30 years. Ready to retire, they've got this one last case involving a serial killer who targets some of the worst criminals who've been let off on technicalities.
At each murder, the killer leaves behind a poem explaining the justification for his actions.
A surprise plot twist at the end isn't really that much of surprise if you seen enough of this type of movie.

Along the way, Turk helps an attractive forensics detective, played by the breastigious Carla Gugino, live out some of her quirky bedroom fantasies. I'm not sure this did much to add to the movie, 'cept maybe provide a little eye-candy for a struggling story.

The movie is mediocre at best considering the promise of the lead actors. Both roles are too easy for them, so you don't get too much in the way of the solid character acting they're both known for. It was worth the price of admission, though it tended to drag along in a few places, easily allowing my mind to wonder. Almost like watching an expanded version of Law & Order, with gunfire.

Also stars Donnie Wahlberg and Curtis Jackson as two rookie cops, Brian Dennehy as the angry lieutenant, and rapper 50-Cent as a drug dealing kingpin.