Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

I wrote a short poem for the Daily Husband today, you can read it here. It pretty much says it all for us this year. Vicki and I feel very blessed to be able to celebrate the season in good health and spirits. It was much different this time last year.

We even celebrated our 25th Anniversary in Vegas this last week as well. While there we saw a performance of the "Lion King" at Mandalay Bay, gambled and rambled the strip till 4:30 AM one morning, enjoyed a very late room service breakfast the next day while overlooking the strip from the 31st floor of our hotel and just generally had a great time. We also took the opportunity to go downtown on the double-decker bus and see Fremont Street and the whole scene down there.

Now back home in Sun Lakes we're looking forward to an evening service tonight and Christmas day at our oldest daughter's house in Mesa.

My wish is that all our friends and relatives find the same peace and happiness this year that Vicki and I have.

Vicki and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Day 2011

I have a lot of things to be thankful for this year.

First and foremost is Vicki's being Cancer Free. This time last year we were deep into her Radiation and Chemo treatments. I had researched everything I could about her cancer and I was deeply worried about the outcome of the treatments. The process was grueling, but we were fortunate to have the best of the best on her treatment team.

So... I am thankful that there are still people willing to make the sacrifices necessary to work in our health care system. Most have terrible schedules, end up working weekends, nights, Holidays, you name it. I am very thankful that an extraordinary group of these folks worked so diligently to fight the cancer in Vicki's head.

I am very thankful to have a partner who is able to meet the challenge of cancer and maintain her sense of humor, her great attitude and her love for me. I am likewise thankful to learn that we have the kind of marriage that can not only survive a fight with cancer but get better.

I am also thankful to have a wonderful support group of friends and family that prayed for us, helped us, and was always there for us when we needed them.

I am thankful that in spite of the recession, the awful job market and our government's indifference; that we have jobs, a roof over our heads and some hope for future prosperity.

I'm thankful that this Thanksgiving my wife and I were able to spend time with our family and friends to celebrate this day.

And last but certainly not least, I'm thankful to still be here on this magnificent planet and to look at each new day as the blessing it truly is.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Out of Iraq

After 10 years, over 800 billion dollars and just under 5,000 fatalities our president announced that we will be withdrawing all troops from Iraq by January of 2012. It's about time. Since we never should have been there in the first place, one wonders what took us so long. But bad things happen when you displace a government and attempt nation building. You'd think we would have learned our lesson in Viet Nam, an action in which in I was involved. But it has not happened. Our country has been blithely engaged in two wars for the last decade with little or no protest from the populace.

The old saying about "those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it" applies to our foreign policy for at least the last 40 years. Now, with the factually challenged warrior wannabes in charge of the congress and perhaps the senate as well (in spite of a supposed Democratic majority) we continue on the path of waste and destruction with little or no thought to the outcome or consequences.

From my perspective our leaders have lost the ability to think big enough to help the majority of the people. Most seem tied to some cause or worse, to some corporation whose only goal is profit. Witness the exodus of middle class jobs in the last 30 years. Where did these geniuses think our citizens would work when they sent hundreds of thousands of jobs to China, Indonesia, Pakistan and Whereeverthefuckistan? They didn't care then and they don't care today.

This country has been divided into two distinct classes; the investment class that owns 40% of everything and 50% of all stocks and bonds. These folks constitute just %1 of our population. The other 99% of us make up the other class. Most of us depend on employers, the government and the cycles of the economy for our well being. Since 1980 and the conservative revolution headed by Ronald Reagan our government has made it easier and more profitable for corporations and the wealthy while making it much harder for the other 99%.

This has been accomplished by applying the science of Madison Avenue (marketing) to political dialogue, with devastating effect. "Framing" has become the modus operandi of the pundit and media class. No longer are issues reported on and discussed without some variety of "framing" involved. The majority of the electorate remains ignorant of what is being done to them and this allows them to continually vote against their own self interest. Amazing!

As just one example of the duplicity of the factually challenged in power is the current buzz word "Job Creators". What a Crock! These very people are the ones responsible for millions of jobs lost, not the ones that remain. After all, someone has to do the work on the ground, don't they? The lucky folks still have jobs, though they pay less and have fewer benefits than just 5 or 10 years ago. I guess the Corporations and Wealthy think it's OK if the people who made this country what it once was, who fought in its wars, and continue to lay down their lives to this day, should struggle to make a living in the richest nation on the planet.

I applaud all those in the "Occupy Wall Street" protest for at least identifying the enemy within. It is too bad they lack a spokesman to articulate the anger and frustration felt by so many and the injustice of supplying the financial sector with over 13 TRILLION dollars in bailout money while continuing to decimate the middle class. The Greed of the ruling class in our nation is so apparent and ever present that one wonders why it took so long for the people to rise up in protest.

Perhaps it will come to something, but I remain cynical that any action will be taken to right the wrongs done to us.

Of course we are now in the election season or "silly season", where we will be bombarded with BS from all parties. Most if not all of this will be a smokescreen to divert our attention from the real and most pressing issues.

For comic relief I recommend any so called Republican debate, but only if you can turn off your critical thinking and need for facts. Just sit back and laugh for a bit. Oh, and wait for the news of our next invasion of a foreign country, its just around the corner. My guess is somewhere in Africa this time.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Made to Order

Seems like there is no party, administration or person you can depend on in our current political environment. Somehow our government, which of course is really just a surrogate for corporations, keeps screwing up. This is another sad example. Of course it's almost funny when explained by Jon Stewart.


OK, that's all I've got to say about that.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Blah, Blah, Blah

The nonsense that passes for political discourse in our country has both disappointed and disgusted me. Also we've just suffered the hottest August in history here in Phoenix.

So.... I offer this bit of creativity. If you miss the rain as badly as I do, just sit back and listen.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Is 8 Enough?

So...... The Iowa Straw Poll for the Republicans has a winner. And the winner is....
Michele Bachmann, really, I'm not kidding. Seriously; the Iowans who participated preferred the queen of Wackyworld to any of the other candidates who were in the running.

Amongst those were a faux news contributor, a governor from the Midwest, a gospel singer and probably a couple of flat earthers, perhaps even a birther or two. All sought to out right wing the other making the whole thing imminently unwatchable and pretty ridiculous.

To make the point here a couple of videos from "The Daily Show" on the subject.

All this fun and then Rick Perry ( another Texas Governor) (cause we all know how good the last one did, right?) announces he's running. To make the whole event totally rad Sarah Palin, serial butcher of history and all things factual rides into town on her bus of BS.

My heart goes out to those in Ames.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

At Least Bill gets It !

I found this clip on Huffpost today and was mildly pleased to see that at least someone else besides me understands what's going on here. As usual Bill Maher picked a very controversial way to make his point, but I agree with that as well.

Perhaps you believe that 3 years and a few months is sufficient punishment for losing your baby. If you do then Bill thinks you're probably a middle class Republican voter as well.

Here's what he has to say.

Nuff said,


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Critical 4th of July

I am almost too damned cynical to be writing this post today. I've come to believe that the capture of our local, state and federal government by the monied interests (read financial oligarchy disguised as the republican party and various tea-party groups) is almost absolute. Yet I still find myself making the attempt to help wake up the American electorate.

So in that vein here's some contributions from others who feel as I do and something that you the reader can do if you wish to help out.

First a little snark to start off the process. This comes compliments of Crooks and Liars. To read the entire article you can go here. To paraphrase, it is a commentary on the corporatization of our country with new words for the pledge of allegiance.

I pledge allegiance

To the Bathtub
Of the United Slates of Norquist.
And to the Republicans,
For which it scams,
One Corporation,
Under Fraud
With Liberty & Tax Cuts for All....
corporate jet-owning billionaires.

The next offering is again from Crooks and Liars and is a fictional speech ( we really wish he had delivered this speech though) that should have been given by the president on the debt ceiling and the current debate, craziness and blackmail by the radical right to further impoverish and harm the majority of our citizens. You can read the whole speech here.
Let me just say that in the speech he lays the facts out and addresses what is really going on now.

Last is a real speech given by Bernie Sanders on the house floor. It is a letter to President Obama. This was brought to my attention on the blog Time Goes By, an elder blogging site dedicated to the issues affecting folks my age.

If after hearing Bernie's speech you would like to sign the letter yourself, you can do that here.

When I signed there was a little over a hundred thousand signatures. By my count there ought to be at least a hundred million people who should be on board with Bernie. We truly face another threat to our independence this Fourth of July. This threat is to our financial freedom. The proposals of the far right will mean a further decrease in the well being, happiness and live styles of countless millions of us, while helping to increase the already tremendous gap in wealth and power between the top 1% and the rest of us.

I wish you a happy fourth and hope you'll join in what may be the most important fight of your generation.



Sunday, June 26, 2011

Congrats New York, But.......

I suppose that congratulations are in order for the gay and lesbian community in New York state this week. They can now be married and have all the advantages and disadvantages associated with the institution. One wonders if they fully thought out the downside of this event. Now they will find their way into divorce courts, child support cases, and the myriad of other legal potentialities in modern marriage. Good luck with that!

Now don't misunderstand me. I really don't care about gay marriage. I am more interested in the distraction it brings that helps keep truly political and economic issues buried in media BS. In my humble opinion it would have made more sense to make civil unions legal nationally, thereby affording them the same legal status as marriage, but without offending those who oppose gay marriage on religious grounds. If you're interested, the statistics tell us that single parent families, especially those of unwed mothers are far more deleterious to our society than homosexuality. Our current group of politicians won't let these facts get in the way of their posturing on family values. Many in our government continue to attempt to legislate morality
often with disastrous results.

Anyway...... There is some irony in New York state showing this level of tolerance and progressiveness considering it is the same state that houses the majority of our financial crooks and swindlers. Too bad the legislature couldn't focus on that. The chief crime fighter in that state was Elliot Spitzer who fought Wall Street while attorney general, but managed to get caught in some adulterous behavior as Governor of the state. You don't here much out of the NY Attorney Generals office on prosecutions these days, do you?

The media outlets continue to focus on moral issues which arouse the fanatics on both the right and the left. While our focus is on these issues, the more critical and important political issues are left to the insiders to handle (or not) as they see fit. Indeed the right has managed to convert purely religious issues into political dialogue, forgetting or ignoring the separation of church and state so crucial to our constitution.

This has gone on for so long now that we take it as the norm. Few people object often or loudly enough to force reporting about the real and important issues that face our country.

What are those issues you ask?

Here are just a few issues on which I think we ought to focus.

  • True progressive reform of our financial system, including the FED
  • A national debate on our continuing global military intervention and the costs to our military, our economy and our national character
  • An accurate assessment of our nations need for infrastructure growth and maintenance
  • Reform of the individual and corporate tax system with emphasis on creating skilled jobs in the US and penalizing those who send work offshore, (also corporations who hide offshore to escape taxes)
  • Creating a realistic national drug policy and ending the so called war on drugs, (it has had a similar effect to prohibition and created drug billionaires worse than Al Capone)
  • Take the money out of our elections and rescind the Supreme Court's decision to give corporations unlimited access to our politicians with no individual responsibility for the corporate officers.
There are no doubt many more issues that could be brought to mind, but if the ones above were seriously addressed we would have a much better country for our middle class.

Fat Chance? Maybe, but I continue to hope.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Outrageous Hypocrisy & Picking the Low Fruit this Memorial Day

I received a couple of Patriotic e-mails from a friend of mine this memorial day weekend and it got me to to thinking about Patriotism, Nationalism and the way they are currently practiced here in the Good Ole USA.

The current crop of congressman in the majority party profess extreme patriotism, yet are simultaneously attempting to further impoverish the very people they publicly venerate.

First, here's a not so subtle video concerning Congressman Ryan's budget proposal and the privatizing of Medicare.

While extreme in its content, the video does illustrate the two points made in the title. First, the current attempt to privatize medicare, if successful, will most definitely hurt seniors' life expectancy and ability to get adequate medical care. Secondly, the elderly and poor are the low hanging fruit for Republicans and Democrats alike these days.

The Hypocrisy of course is that the so called patriots will end up hurting millions of us who actually fought and served in the military. I sometimes use my VFW pin as a tie tack or wear in on my lapel when attending formal dress events. On a cruise ship someone asked me about the pin and I replied it was very inexpensive, "All you had to do was sign up for military service and go somewhere where people were trying to kill you."

To all those wanna be warriors in our congress and senate (intentionally lower case) on this memorial day; I invite you to Kiss My Ass. Real patriotism means taking care of those that fought for you, not betraying them to the moneyed interests that get you elected each term.

The last president to serve overseas during wartime was George Bush senior. Before him Reagan sat out conflict in the reserves stateside during WWII, similar to young Georgie Bush who flew in the Texas Air National Guard during Vietnam, never leaving the states. Of course our current president has no military service either and continues two wars in the middle east and occasional forays like Libya.

Too often those that have no idea of what war is really like end up having too large a say in the USA going to war. Just witness our latest conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. These long and fruitless endeavors have helped bankrupt the country both financially and morally.

A chart and study available here show that the two things most likely to sink our economy in the coming years are the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Bush tax cuts. Funny how that study never gets mentioned in congress by either party.

The effects of the recession on our elderly and most vulnerable citizens are manifested in many ways not spoken about in congress or the media.

From a study by AARP and with thanks to Ronni Bennett at "Time Goes By" here are a few of the sad statics for seniors after the recession. Oh, you can see all of them here.

  • 24.7% of those surveyed have already exhausted their savings
  • 12.4% lost their health insurance
  • 49.5% put off medical or dental care due to finances

I hope our future leaders will have less selective memory and more true patriotism than the current gang. Though, I'll admit I am not too hopeful.

Regardless of the cretins now in power, I hope you take a minute this weekend to remember those that fought and died for our country, even if they might roll over in their graves at the current mess we've made of our heritage.

Hope you have a great weekend,


Sunday, May 15, 2011

News and othe stuff

Well, by now we've all had a chance to digest the demise of Bin Laden. It is certainly good news that the mass murderer is gone. One can only wonder why it took the supposedly most powerful nation on earth a full ten years to find and kill him. It would seem that good intelligence work and highly trained special operatives proved much more successful than launching 2 unnecessary foreign wars and wasting countless lives and billions of dollars in fruitless nation building.

While the military industrial complex and the financiers of their efforts have prospered the rest of our country and the world have not fared so well. Millions still remain unemployed, the economy remains fragile with looming commodity price increases. (The speculation on oil and the rising price of gold are sure signs of a lack of faith in the US dollar and its economy)

Meanwhile our republican congress wants to balance the budget on the backs of the poor, elderly and mostly powerless majority of our citizens. How these dimwits can ignore the inequity of tax breaks to wealthy individuals and even wealthier corporations at the same time they strive to literally limit the life span and life style of the middle and lowers classes is beyond belief. Only in this country is greed and avarice considered an asset and not a vice.

Perhaps the money grubbers can be stopped, but it does not look good at this point.

On a more personal note, our family is experiencing some good news for a change. Vicki is going back to work after her last test showed no signs of her cancer. We will be getting an update on her MRI from this last week as well, and hope it will also show no signs of cancer.

Of course we had to go car shopping for her and we managed to find something she liked that we could afford, so that's great news as well. We'll be picking up her wheels the first part of next week and the following Monday she reports to work at her new job. She'll be traveling the 101 from Chandler to Tempe so we got her a more modern and bigger vehicle than our 08 Honda civic.

Also, we attended a friends graduation a couple of weeks ago at the Cardinals stadium in Glendale. It was our first and perhaps our last visit to the place. We don't go to games and don't have any other friends or relatives going to the University of Phoenix.

Both of us are looking forward to a better 2011 than 2010.

That's all the time I have today, it's time to throw some ribs on the grill.

Keep smiling,


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Why America has become Second Rate

If you don't believe it just look at the statistics. According to which year's data you read we are not even in the top 20 in the world for life expectancy. As of 2011 our average lifespan here in the good ole US of A is 77.9 years. Now I know that doesn't sound too bad if you're 30 or 40 years old or younger, but if you are 62 then your life expectancy horizon seems close at hand.

But I digress. The for profit health care system and the resulting politics are mere symptoms of the disease. I found it clearly diagnosed in an article on Huffpost today that you can read in full here.

To summarize, it gives the unflattering and unfortunately accurate description of how the top 1% of our citizens both here in the US and in other developed countries have gamed their national and international economic and political systems to benefit themselves at the expense of the other 99% of their countrymen. One can only be appalled, amazed and astounded at their greed and avarice that knows no boundaries.

At some point the greedy bastards will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs
. As the middle class of our country recedes into the dim past and we continue on our way to a national Hooverviille (or Potterville if you've watched "A Wonderful Life"), there will be less and less to exploit. Right now the current attack is on social security and medicare. The trillions in dollars that have been payed into the system by hardworking Americans is the latest target of their greed. (Though G. W. Bush tried in vain to privatize social security prior to the 2007 recession and crash.)

Along with unmitigated moneyed influence in every level of our government, there is the huge amount of misinformation and disinformation being broadcast, written, and distributed by every means available. The willing cooperation of the media and the public education system in keeping our citizens financially and politically illiterate for at least the last 3 decades has helped the demise of our middle class become a reality in our lifetimes.

We live in a time of financial vampires, failure and incompetence at the highest levels, and political slight of hand where greed is glorified and those who exercise it with no regard for the consequences rewarded.

While I am not a believer in the vast right wing conspiracy, there is no doubt that the so-called right wing agenda in our country has many, many followers and their tactics and strategy have worked well.

Our congress is currently contemplating cutting programs for the poorest and most vulnerable of our citizens while the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% remain in place. Corporations have acquired personhood through the good offices of the most radical right wing Supreme Court in my lifetime and women are considering incorporating their reproductive organs in an effort to break free of government interference. (This from a state legislature debate, resulting in the banning of the word uterus from use in the house)

State governments with republican governors and republican majorities in their houses are aggressively going after state worker unions, cutting education, health and any other programs deemed too liberal. Few have tried getting their corporate citizens to pony up any more money in taxes. In fact most have offered increased tax benefits and lower taxes in the hope of attracting jobs. At what cost to their citizens I wonder?

I have little hope of seeing the kind of political and economic revolution that will be required to right our sinking ship in my lifetime. I can however, cling to the hope that before we have a modern version of the great depression our children or our grandchildren will wise up and put the genie back in the bottle.

During World War II we thought that the advent of nuclear weapons was the beginning of the end of the world. Instead it has been the financial weapons of mass destruction and the greedy bastards that profited from them that will destroy our way of life, our sense of security and the well being of millions upon millions of our citizens in this country and the rest world as well.

Now you may ask is it as hopeless as I make it sound? It depends. If the majority of us are willing to educate ourselves enough to understand the real enemies of prosperity and take action then perhaps there is some hope.

The chances seem slim, yet I remain hopeful that some reform, some protection from the vampires, some political or financial garlic might be produced to save us before the last drops of vitality are drawn from the middle class and we deteriorate from mediocrity to irrelevance. Perhaps we'll figure out a way to make things again in our country. Can you think of the last American made TV, Car, Cell Phone, Shoes or Clothing that went home with you? Maybe we'll figure out that a healthy economy can't survive the financial services industry taking up 25% of the income. Maybe we'll understand that politicians are always playing politics with every issue, that they serve the wealthy and powerful and they cannot be trusted. Maybe we'll turn off Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and all the other opionaters and make our own minds up about policy and practice. Just maybe.

What do you think?


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Who I am

In my youth I considered myself somewhat of a thinker, but in truth I was more action oriented than intellectually inclined. Now in my early dotage it seems possible that I might actually become a thoughtful person.

The picture at right is my evidence of that belief. It was taken after Vicki was diagnosed with cancer but before her treatment began. We spent an afternoon at a park in Scottsdale with our kids and a local photographer. The young lady taking the pictures was both talented and creative. We have many great pictures of our kids and us together. Still, my favorite is the one shown here, because I feel

it shows me for who I am, a husband, father and grandfather. In this picture I see the resemblance to my father and vainly hope I am starting to attain his quiet dignity and calm demeanor. Admittedly I am not so sure about either of those attributes coming my way, but I do remain hopeful.

Most men think of themselves as what they do for work. At least I've managed to understand that my most important roles are those that relate directly to my family and friends. My wife has been the one to continually show this aging only child what family is really about. I hope that this picture shows that as well. I am more than content to be her partner in our lives and play whatever part is needed in support of family.

While all of us who have been severely financially impacted by the recession bemoan our work status and finances, I at least, will not fail to count the blessings of a good marriage, a supportive and loving family, and the feeling of belonging to something bigger than myself.

I hope that shows in the picture also.

It's taken me a long time, but I believe that now I am learning who I am.

Who are you?


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Contemplating 62

Here it comes!

Next month I turn 62 and with that event there are some choices to be made.

Several people my age have advised me to register for social security at the earliest possible moment. I guess they're thinking it's better to get a small monthly amount that's guaranteed than wait and hope it will still be available later. I am of two minds and will need to do much more research before going that route.

While my imminent decrepitude has been on my mind lately, there are a lot of other things I've been considering as well.

Why haven't any of the financial fruadsters who brought down our economy gone to jail?

Why do Republicans hate the middle class?

What was John McCain smoking when he brought Sarah Palin onto our political landscape?

How many wars are enough?

Will we eventually be marketed to death?

Why can't the brains behind our car manufacturers use technology to increase gas mileage instead of filling the car with more expensive and mostly useless tech distractions?

While we're at it, who thinks the new Camaro looks like a Camaro?

What are the millions of people who are currently unemployed doing about it?

What is anybody doing about it?

How much money and how many yachts are enough for Wall Street folks?

Who really runs our country and most of the civilized world?

How many more ignorant gun laws will the Arizona legislature pass, and shouldn't we make these people pass an intelligence test before allowing them to make our laws?

Who really feels the need to carry a gun into a bar, a church or a school and why?

And last but not least, how much whiskey will it take for me to keep my sense of humor while watching our state, our country and our planet deteriorating before my very eyes?

Keep smiling if ya can,


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cancer Free !!!

Vicki met with her chemo doctor on Thursday of this last week and received the results of her PET scan. The results could not have been better. She is cancer free. The rigorous and intensive radiation and chemotherapy treatment regimen, along with the prayers of our support group have done their job.

The chemo doctor congratulated Vicki on going through a rough treatment schedule and told her she should give herself a pat on the back. I join the doctor in these sentiments. Vicki's attitude has been the key to her successful treatment in my opinion. While no cancer patient can completely escape thoughts about the potential consequences of the disease, Vicki kept her eye on positive actions for her treatment and allowed herself to be supported by friends, family and neighbors.

We were blessed with a terrific support system. Our two oldest daughters played key roles in Vicki's treatment travel scheduling and moral building. Other family members and friends chipped in as well and there was never a lack of people willing and able to help with transportation to treatments, companionship and just being there for her.

I have never been prouder of my daughters than during this time and my oldest daughter continues to amaze me with her warmth, love and support. It is a very rewarding experience for a parent to realize his daughter has become such a fully formed and vibrant adult friend, companion and partner in this time of life and death decisions.

As I look back on the very first day we learned of Vicki's cancer during her initial operation I recall the family members present that day and know now that I should never have worried about support from these folks.

I cannot thank
enough all those who kept Vicki in their thoughts and prayers these last months.

Never the less, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, from the bottom of our hearts.

God Bless you all,


Friday, February 4, 2011

"Movin on Up"

If you've forgotten, Valentines Day is this month. It is also the month that Vicki and I get our tax records together, pick up a copy of turbo tax and sit at our computer to plug in numbers and figure out if we're getting from or giving to the IRS.

Well the good news is that we're getting a return. The bad news is it won't be very much. You see I made the transition this last year from unemployed to working poor. I didn't know I was the working poor till I did my taxes. That's when I understood what the financial crisis, the recession and the results of these events meant to me.

Even the federal government (not necessarily the most understanding of entities) thinks I'm the working poor. Which is both Tragic and Ironic because at the same time I see the very evidence that I'm poor for the first time in over 20 years, the Veterans Administration is revoking my status and telling me they want to charge me for some prescriptions I got through them when I was unemployed. Go figure, huh?

I suppose it's funny in a kind of fucked up, only in America, middle class desolation kind of way. Anyway if you don't laugh at this crap it will drive you crazy and I can't afford to go in that direction any further if I want to stay employed and semi-viable in today's society.

At my age I concern myself with things like remembering that Joe Walsh was the lead guitarist in the band "The James Gang".
I listened to an album of theirs on the way home from work today. For the life of me I just couldn't remember his name, even as the lovely guitar riffs wafted through my civic. By 6:00 PM I'd given up and fired up the computer to "Google" the band's name. Just at that point the name "Joe Walsh" flashed into my addled brain.

So...... Anywho, While I am thankful to be employed and know we're blessed to have the insurance that comes with it, it would be even better to actually be employed at the level appropriate for someone of my age and experience.

Perhaps next year I will have achieved the next level, which I'm thinking will be just underemployed or something like that. Hard to make the distinction, but I'm sure I'll have it figured out by next January.

I want to finish with a great clip from Bill Maher.

Keep Smilin,


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Not missing 2010

In spite of the recent news from Tucson about an evil little prick with a gun shooting various government officials and innocent bystanders, I welcome 2011 and say a not so fond farewell to 2010.

I hesitated to comment on the Tucson story because it seemed like a natural extension of our state's gun policy. Literally anyone can purchase a weapon in Arizona and this is what comes from that sort of lack of regulation. It is really no different than allowing the blind to drive if you think about it. Many of our citizens are not mentally equipped to own weapons, it's just that simple. I feel bad for the victims, but I'm already sick of hearing about it and especially hearing about the perpetrator and the pundit's opinions.

Here in cancer world, where I live, our lives revolve around Vicki's treatment schedule, her follow-up appointments and related scans and tests. This next week will start her 5th chemo treatment cycle. It has gotten harder on her each time as her immune system fights back against the chemo drugs. With luck she will pass her blood test on Monday and this next treatment cycle, the second to last, can begin. While her spirits remain high, each successive treatment week takes more and more out of her and reduces her strength.

That's why I welcome 2011. This can be the year we say goodbye to her cancer and hello to remission and cure. In 2010 we had her surgery, diagnosis, radiation and chemo. God willing we will have her cure and return to health in 2011.

So in spite of the unhappy local, national and international news, I still look forward to this year and I damned sure won't miss 2010.

Best to all of you out there,