Sunday, August 31, 2008

Niceness Has Left The Building

"Life is pretty amazing. I'm glad God invented it."

I stumbled onto Ben's blog about two years ago. One thing obvious from day one: Ben was a nice guy. A very nice guy. A nice guy with an attitude if niceness.
It's not often you find this level of goodwill from one as opinionated as he is.

He wrote on a wide range of topics: life, faith, society, politics, lame poetry, blogging, recovery from alcohol and his subsequent entrance into a more monastic life of seminary and self-improvement.
Along the way, he acquired a bride-to-be, and shared that with us also.

In what is a sad day for the blogger world, Ben has decided to retire his keyboard.
There are millions of blogs, but few are the bright lights that stand out.
Ben was one those.
Never an unkind word for those he disagreed with.
Always open to what you had to say before he politely countered it.
Always open to a exchanging a few ribs pokes and lighthearted banter. It was never personal with Ben.
And he was always entertaining.

As I've told him personally: "You can judge a man by the company he keeps."
This matters even more so on the blogs, where company is often fleeting, there are no forced associations, and 'Birds of a feather' has become a self-enforced rule of individual practice. Consequently, a trip through his contacts will tell you all about who he is.
Ben kept good company because he is good company.

He once stated that he'd started blogging as a way to meet people and maybe make a few friends. I'd say it worked, as I've seen first hand how he respected and liked he is.

Farewell,Ben.
It's been a pleasure, one that I hope continues with your visits here.
May the Good Lord continue to bless you.

GOP MILF: An Update

Apparently, the hate-wing bloggers of the left may have uncovered some damaging personal family secrets of Sarah Palin and her family.
Linked here.

If this turns out to be true, and I'm pretty sure we'll be finding out before the end of next week's news cycle, the 'brilliant choice and timing' of the McCain campaign will turn out to the self-inflicted wound that shoots him down.

Politically speaking, can anybody be this stupid?
Of course they can!

Developing...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Just A Dumb Idea

I read where they are trying to evacuate New Orleans in anticipation of this hurricane.
I have a better idea.
New Orleans is predominately Black and Democrat.
Maybe Obama should just give a speech in Shreveport, instead?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Belle Of The Ball

Sarah Palin is a great pick for GOP.
For starters, her 'coming out' timing took the sensation out of the Obamagasm that had the media writhing in ecstasy.
Obamanation may still be moaning, but today it's for a different reason.

She is a true conservative by today's standards. A red meat,gun toting, Jesus loving, baby making, smart talking, good looking babe that will excite the base.

She's a strong willed,professional, advancement-minded woman who does not turn off the blue collar male vote, like Hillary would. And not just because she's eye pleasing. There's more to it than that. It goes to personality and presentation. Hillary, and most liberal feminist powerseekers, remind men of the of the naggy scold they divorced. Sarah Palin is more likely to remind men of the dreamgirl they wanted to marry in the first place.

In a democracy,politics is more about presentation and personality than qualifications and expertise. Obama's rise is proof of this, if you need a reminder.
Personal charisma plays a greater role in the the decision making of those who are more likely to swing left than right. Sarah Palin is likely to have some small swing effect on those who get bored with Obama's celebrity, and are looking for a new one.
Check the next cover of People. She should be there.

A drawback is lack of resume. This shouldn't be a campaign issue because her resume is still thicker than Obama's.

Like McCain, she has a son who is a combat soldier. This gives credibility when debating the war that neither Biden nor Obama can claim.

She has a record as an actual reformer that compliments McCain's record as a maverick at war with 'Bridges to Nowhere', which has actually gone nowhere thanks to Sarah Palin.
This is in stark contrast to Obama's call for 'change and renewal', which he has no record of, and in which his running mate is a poster boy for the satus quo.

Sarah Palin is from outside of Washington. When given a choice, voters routinely lean in this direction.

In a political climate sensitive to energy, she is the governor from a major energy producing state. I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that she knows more about energy production, and delivering it to consumers, than all three other standard bearers combined. I'd love to see her debate this one.

Sarah Palin has pumped up the GOP base that was likely to stay home. And the right wing bloggers and talkers have exploded in cheer, where yesterday it was all they could do to stifle a yawn.

If McCain keeps her in the forefront, Obama will be discarded as an empty-suited has been by his party who knew it all along, but won't yet admit it. Nobody on the left ever gets a second chance (exception Dewey).

GOP Gets MILF*


She hunts,fishes,loves babies (and bears them), knows sports, is smart, educated, witty, wears skirts and looks good,too.

I think I'm in love.









*Mother Into Living Fully
It just makes me wretch when I hear 'public service' in reference to a long career in politics.

Who the hell they trying fool?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Strapped To A Table


Yesterday was Angiogram Day.
Among the reasons my doctor ordered this study was to determine the extent of the tumor as well as measure the sufficiency of blood flow to my brain.

What they did was shove a catheter/probe of some sort, with a balloon attached, into a femoral artery (the groin area) and followed the artery all the way up into my head.
Kinda weird when you actually stop to think about it.
(you gonna put what, where? through there? and you've actually done this before?)

"Hey, ah... Can I have a lead apron,too? I'm feeling kinda exposed here."

Once things got under way, the balloon was inflated, restricting blood flow, while time ticked away waiting for something bad to happen.
I passed this test rather easily. As a result, the surgeon has a few more options at his disposal when cutting time gets here.

Was wide awake, and still didn't feel a thing. Not sure what they juiced me with, but it was good,happy stuff. Spent the time in a near dream state, but still wide awake as to what was going on around me, responding to commands and questions from the team (who took good damn care of me).

After about 2 1/2 hours of this, I was wheeled away for an angiostudy. Basically, a fancy medical sounding term for another type in a long succession of photography sessions I've been going through. They wanted more shots of my head,neck and brain.

Like I said previously, this is a major teaching hospital, with a large campus. Lots of out buildings and departments not always connected physically. To get to the next procedure, my lovely nurses would be taking me on mini road trip, so to speak.
As we got under way, I asked if I was going public.
"Yes" they giggled.
Cool.
I pulled the blankets over my head and left one arm dangling lifelessly from the roll-a-bed.
"You're gonna freak everybody out!"
Just roll it, and take me past the cafeteria.Go slow.

They got a kick out of that.
"Gino, that lady over there is staring. Oh my God. You are freaking them out."
Shhh. Act serious.
"Pull your head out"
Shhhhhh.
(giggles)

After about another hour of photography, it was time to head back to my recovery room.
I called a halt under a shade tree in the courtyard, and then tried to beg a smoke from a passerby.
"That's it. You're going in before you get us in trouble."
How 'bout opening the valve on that happy juice,then?

I'm still sore down there, and was told to stay mostly reclined for 48 hrs, and avoid any strain to the affected area.
Sounds like a good excuse to do nothing at all, guilt free. I'll take it.

I've got another one of these angiograms coming up, just before surgery. Supposedly, to shut off the artery(ies) so as to facilitate. (It's less messy,er... bloody, that way).
Well, that was a new experience.
One ill-placed mouse click brought the world to an end, and right abruptly,too.

Many thanks to the kindly and patient Filipinas at the Dell help center, and we got it done fairly quick considering I spent most of yesterday at the hospital, and the remainder of it recuperating.

More on that...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sometime last night my pc got infected by some pretty evil demons.

Seeking help.

Be back, but don't know when.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Now That The Game Is Underway...

How long before we see Obama or Biden trekking through Iowa farm fields holding a $2000 shotgun and dressed in brand new outfits from L.L. Bean?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Making The Call

McCain will top Obama, garnering at least 320 electoral votes.

Go ahead, make a prediction.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Caucasus Update: Cowboy Upped

Bush told Russia to get out of Georgia.

Russia giggled.

And then threatened Poland (their other national past time).

Hell Ride

Hell Ride is a blood and sex soaked tale of revenge,retribution and mayhem involving two rival biker gangs, starring a few notables: Dennis Hopper, Michael Madsen and Larry Bishop, who also wrote,directed and co-produced.

I'm still not sure if it was intended to a be a more light hearted take on the 60's motorcycle flicks fused with elements of the Clint Eastwood spaghetti western, or a more serious effort at a real biker movie, but whatever it was supposed to be, it works for what it is. In some respects, it's a near spoof.
In keeping with things 'Tarantino' (and this is), the violence is never ending and personal. And I like that.

The plot offers a few twists and surprises that are easy to keep up with, the action keeps moving, and the characters, though not always nice, are likable.

Warning: if graphic views of the naked female form are offensive to you, stay away from this movie. The flesh parade of hookers and nymphos is as never ending as it is eye catching. I didn't mind, but it is rare (as in: never before) that I leave a theater wondering if 'nipples exposed' outnumbered 'bullets fired' in an action movie, but in this case, it would be a legitimate piece of trivia.

Final analysis: It was fun ride that didn't last as long as it could have because, to it's credit, the mindless drama bullshit that often passes as narrative was kept to a minimum, revealing only what was needed to keep the story moving along. Not boring.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Teasing The Bear

So the Russians have invaded their undersized neighbor of Georgia, and it appears they will soon be occupying the place for a while.

Some in the media seem upset, and even shocked, shocked, at the display of aggression and brutality.
Get real,folks.
Russians are assholes.
And damn brutal ones,too.

A little background: the Caucasus region is a hotbed of ethnic rivalries. Nuff said about that.

What happened this time: Georgia got stupid and took steps that they should have known by now would indeed piss off Russia, triggering Russians to do the one thing Russians are genetically programmed to do well.

Most successful societies learn by intuition certain survival techniques.
But, the one thing Caucasus region peoples have yet to learn, by intuition or otherwise, is how to just get along and coexist.

Were it not for Russia's propensity to be an asshole of a neighbor, this may have all disappeared by now, with only one or two Caucasus ethnics left to squabble after having killed off the other hundred or so ethnics.
But no.
Russia steps in, dominating everybody, bringing somewhat of a peace to the region.

This gives the various groups time to rebuild their populations in anticipation of another round of bloodshed.

How will this end?
The same way it started.
And then again, some more.
The future follows the past. The past tells the future.

If history is any guide, living in the Caucasus means never having to say you had enough,already.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some Happy Happens


So, it looks like I am now a step-grandpa, or something like that. This also means I'll have to start getting used to the smell of baby vomit all over again.

No,No,No... Not Me! No Effing Way

Here's the deal:
This fellow who calls himself RW has ventured '1 Step Beyond' and created his own 'on-line personality test'.

Not one to avoid stepping in a steaming pile when I least expect it, and sometimes even when I do, I took the giant leap and landed full footed.

Now, I got shit on my boots. That is, if I had boots. Well, I do have boots, just not on me right now. OK, so I got digger on my slippers. That better?

Go ahead, click on that RW link thingy above, and take his test. See what you come up with.
Warning you: this guy's witty.
Now go have it.

This is what I got (and it's so wrong.)


Ringmaster Ned
Ringmaster Ned
Take Your Secret Self
1 Step Beyond today!

Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test
Generator
.

Going 1 step beyond I would be standing in the middle of a lot of people
who are interesting and just sort of pointing shit out for you. Lookit that.
Lookit this. I have other things going on right now but if I can just get by
announcing stuff that would be OK with me. I could DJ on the radio so long as I
don't have to go beyond traffic weather and music. Or I could be the person at
the info booth at the mall over Christmas. Whatever. I act like I'm keeping my
life private but really there's just nothing going on. Ooooo lookit the
clowns!


The real me, the secret me, the me I really am if I could me:
I'd be living in a subterranean lodge, alone, surrounded by hills and forests, cut off from family and needy friends, shooting at trespassers and posting the pictures on-line.
Remember? I'm the whack-job who likes to take lonely roadtrips, communicating with only a few randomly select strangers just keep my language skills up.

I only live where I do now because it's easier to find women.
And beer.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The First Spectator



So President Bush visits China and becomes the first of his kind to attend the Orympics on foreign soil.

When else could he have pictures like this taken, and not have some explaining to do?



Have fun, Mr. President.




This one is just begging for a "Caption This":

You think she'd strike this same pose if the President's first name was 'Bill'?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Messiah Who Is Keeping His Promises


"Hope and Change" is Obama's mantra, but it's looking a lot lately like the only changes he's bringing are in his positions, his downward spiraling poll numbers, and the grand illusion that he could ever be wise enough to be an effective President.

And he's not hiring good help,either. Surely, I would assume, somebody in his apostolate would clue him in that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is intended for military use, and not for public consumption.

Thus, he brings great Hope to the McCain campaign.


(With no dog in this fight, I'm just watching the show.)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I Never Made Any Claims, Did I?

I am 29% Idiot.
Ain't Too Bright
I ain't too bright. But all those other idiots annoy the hell out of me. I may not be the brightest bulb in the bunch, but at least I know my limits.



(via Mark)

Screwin 'Em,Still

Last week Congress passed, and the President signed some reform bailout package to deal with the current mortgage meltdown.

It purpose, so it's supporters claim, was to help stupid borrowers stay in the homes that they cannot afford. I smell the bullshit on this one.

Some history: back in the 90's, after the fall of The Wall, and the emergence of the imaginery 'peace dividend' and the subsequent cutbacks in military spending, California was thrown into an economic spiral downward. Jobs were scarce. Houses where being foreclosed on at a rate never before seen in this state. I took my chances at that time, and got my young family into a decent home at a giveaway price. (about 30% off the original list price).

All around me my new, and unemployed, neighbors were walking away from their homes. Just up an walking off, mostly heading to Arizona or Texas where there was work. For about four years, there was three or four bank-owned properties on every block. It was that bad.

There was no cry-out then to 'save people's homes'. Then again, the home values were not artificially inflated by funny money loans like the problem today. The issue was a plain lack of jobs. If you found work(and you couldn't), you could keep your mortgage. (I soon lost my job as well, but since enough 'went before' me, driving the market down, I was able to hang on with unemployement checks and odd jobs).

The difference today?
There is employment. People can pay a mortgage. Just not the mortgage they agreed to.
If the people are employed, they can also be screwed. By their lenders in cohoots with the government.

The house I'm buying at 45% discount would not likely be available to me today if this Jew and Screw Housing Act was in effect six months ago.
This is a bailout of the lenders. Another gimmick to enslave the gullable further.
It is better to dump the overpriced house, and wait two years (according to FHA rules), and then buy another one saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the now delated price.

I'm not aware of all the particulars that went into this subsidy legislation, but you can bet it's not about saving home owners. It's about screwing them, and rewarding the lenders for bad practices.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

"Smart" Is Stupid

I've seen more than one news article talking up this brand new concept of the Smart Car.

Basically, the Smart Car is a little tiny nuisance of a vehicle being hailed as some sort of triumph of automotive engineering. Starting package is around $11,000 MSRP, but likely much higher considering the ridiculous demand for these pissy little things.

It's powered by a 70 horse-power, three-cylinder engine, gets 33mpg city and 44mpg highway. It boasts a high safety rating for side and front impact collisions (I do not believe this for two seconds). It only sits two, plus maybe four grocery bags.

Back in the late 80's, Suzuki offered the Geo Metro. It had about 70 horse-power, a three cylinder engine, and got 38mpg city, and about 45mpg highway.

I had one, a '91 two-door hatchback, and this is the mileage I did indeed get. I bought it used for about $1,000 with about 100k miles on it. In three years, I put an additional 150,000 miles on top of that. Never had to fix or repair anything. Just tires,brakes and a battery. That was it.

I can tell you, the Metro was a damn good car that gave everything it promised. It didn't promise much,mind you, but it did live up to the deal.

This much ballyhoo'd 'Smart Car' is the stupidest thing to come around, at a fool's price, to boot.
We already had a car that gave just as much in mpg, just as little in performance, and offered a lot more room for shopping,groceries etc...

The only thing 'news' about the Smart Car, is that people seem to be falling for it as the next wave of gas mileage salvation.
Less is not more. Old is not new. Better it's not. I don't care how many articles you want to publish trying to convince me otherwise.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Cont'd

After about three weeks, I called the original specialist to ask about these tests I was supposed to be taking. (Remember? The tests you were gonna set up about this maybe/maybe not cyst/tumor you said I maybe might not have had but maybe did?)

Well, that bitch forgot all about me, and couldn't find the file. And needed to see me again. In about four weeks. All booked up, nothing available.

With that 'tumor' word thrown at me, I didn't think it very wise to waste too much more time waiting for her to clear her schedule.
I went and found another specialist.
After about thirty minutes worth of checking me out, he informed me that I needed to go higher up the specialist food chain.

Well, this didn't sound good, but at least I was getting some movement in the right direction.

Another test, and a referral to the department head at the region's premier teaching school. After looking me over, Dr Specialist Extreme is now on the case, and taking it very seriously.
Bad news: it's a tumor.
Good news,maybe: it doesn't appear to be cancerous.
Another round of tests is scheduled for next week, along with a referral to another extreme specialist, followed up with a neurosurgeon.

I asked Dr Extreme if I was 'in trouble'. He didn't give me a clear answer, other than to say a case like mine is rare, but not uncommon. Not sure what the hell that means.
Next week will be a busy one.
I'm gonna get poked and prodded and photographed several different ways.
Eventually, they'll be taking knives to me, but I'm not sure how soon that will happen.
The next few weeks are a mystery.
Escrow will close before the end of the month.
I may be under the knife and trying to recuperate by then.
I just don't know.

I got a lot to do, and having a lot done to me, at the same time.
And this is what is bothering me.
Not being in control.
Not knowing the timeline.

I really want to be left alone. But the Blonde is smothering me. And people keep calling. Wanting updates, and what not. Demanding them. Mary's is the only voice I need to hear right now. And the only one I even want to hear.
But she won't be calling.