Monday, January 31, 2005

Dentists, Doctors, Lawyers and Weathermen.

Sharon was writing about her recent bout with a dentist. To paraphrase Bill Cosby, I have also discovered through the miracle of Dentistry, that if I become a double amputee there is a good chance I can walk with the cheeks of my fanny. I know this because of my unwavering ability to scoot down the dental chair with unbelievable accuracy.

My wife has left her job as a registered nurse to become the almighty stay at home mom. A HUGE undertaking. Read more here. Personally, I am scared to death, but she thinks we can make it just fine on one income. If you say so darling one.... but I am still waiting for my blood pressure to go back to normal... It isn't that I don't have faith in her or her accounting abilities, but I remember praying to make the salary I am now starving on. We'll have to see... but I am sure it will be fine. (Right after our first discussion, she swore that, in my big office leather chair, I had left a pucker mark. I don't doubt it.) We'll figure it out.

I hate doctors. Just because. Perhaps I don't have the faith in them I once had, or perhaps my faith was shaken when I lost my father to heart issues in 1990. Maybe I just never forgave them for being mortal. Maybe I just never forgave Dad for being mortal... and subsequently was pissed off at everyone else left behind. I suspect the last is the most likely. I miss my father every day. We used to talk a fair amount. Now I talk. He listens. It isn't the same.

My daughter is ADHD. We now suspect our son is as well. Figures. I have this thing against medicating my children because they fit some mold, but my daughter (who had disappeared and left behind this doppelganger that was just one step away from Linda Blair in the Exorcist) is back and fairly delightful to be around. In other words, she is reacting for the most part like... well like an 11 year old kid. How about that.

Weathermen lie. It is a way of life. They have to - well unless they live in San Diego. There all they have to say is ...... nice. Or fairly nice. Or at worst, rainy but nice tomorrow. Up here in the Pacific Northwest, they should just say (at least in the winter) cold, clammy, fairly wet. Up here you don't tan. You rust. If you see the sun up here, you pop your head out of the window, see the sun, and then wonder what god you have offended. Then you try to find a chicken you can kill and swing around your head to ward off evil spirits. And yes, it really does get that bad up here.

I was talking with a friend today about cardinals. Not the baseball team, the bird. I miss them. Up here, all I ever see are those nasty tempered western blue jays. To me, there is nothing more beautiful or majestic than seeing a daddy and mommy cardinal, against a background of new snow, plucking away at some sunflower seeds or suet. There is nothing to me that confirms the existance of a God more than the beauty of Nature. Well, with the exception of the sight of your new daughter or son.

Ok... thank you for listening to my mouth run. Or my heart. Something like that.

I hate being sick.

I must apologize for being away, but I got sick. I guess there is this cold like thing going around up here in Oregon, but I'd never heard of it. Needless to say, I managed to catch it.

And BOY did I catch it. All my life I have been susceptable to ear infections. Well, this time I got the full meal deal. Both ears, bronchitis, fever, chills, sinus infection and a partridge in a pear tree.

I was fine on Friday morning. By Friday afternoon I was a bit sneezy, but otherwise ok. BUT - by Saturday morning, I was toasted. And this morning, I was still running a decent fever with some bad nasal congestion.

I know that you don't really want to hear all this, and I do understand. I just wanted you to know where I was :) So now I am taking 2 antibiotics, cough syrup with codeine, and Sudafed. I hate taking pills too.

Anyone want to help me with my 6 page paper due tomorrow? Well, a guy can hope, can't he?

Until our next.....

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Oh Lord. Here we go again.

Above, you will find a new goodie that I have found in my travels. But, as a father, it depresses me no end to see it actually running - or needed for that matter.

Above find an Amber Alert ticker. It is a Nationwide ticker, so don't be suprised if you see alerts for places other than Oregon.

There is one tonight. I hope it's gone by morning. It could happen. Prayer works........

Until our next..........

Time to tilt at a windmill or two.

(Don Quixote music in background).. well actually it happens to be Alan Parsons Project. I have an eclectic taste in music, from Frank Sinatra to Sarah Vaughn to the Allman brothers to the Foo Fighters. Go figure. (Donning helmet for shelling to follow, I'm sure.)

Ok, the truth in blogging spot commencing - I am Republican. If you disagree, great. Comment to my little blogspot and I'll respond. I might even email you and we could set up some kind of discourse, even if it is only an exercise in debate for debates sake. But try not to flame. Not only is it just plain old tacky, but it lends accuracy to the statement that ours is a country not of people, or even opinions, but sound bites. --- End of disclaimer.

Now that's said... I was reading a dear lady's blog today. Someone whom, although I don't know real well, I have come to appreciate her charming wit, her bright personality, and blatant honesty. One of her children has autism coupled with hearing loss. Mother Mary and Joseph too, that in and of itself is enough in my book to be submitted for sainthood.

But on top of this, she has been given an IEP. (I'm guessing here but I bet that stands for Individual Education Plan). By clicking on the link I provided, you will find out that I looked it up like a good boy. That way I don't get confused as a blathering idiot - rather than the motley fool I really am :)

I noticed that there was a bunch of useful stuff there, and hope that some may be of interest to the aforementioned lady. This is a plan, created I assume by the education system in cahoots with the child's doctors and parents , to try and meet the requirements to facilitate daily living and, hopefully and prayerfully, eventual integration into society and a productive life.

But, alas, it appears that the school system in question is doing as little as possible. Communication between the lady and the teacher of her child is becoming non-existent save for some daily notes. (Read all about it HERE).

What gets me is that she has been told that it will be her responsibility to be an advocate for the child. DUH! It was always (and still is) my belief that the role of PARENT inherently gave you the rights AND RESPONSIBILITIES of advocate. Sometimes, the ability of bureaucracy to state the obvious staggers the imagination.

I was an educator once. A full-fleged member of both the Oregon Education Association and the American Education Association. I taught inmates at one of our local state prisons. Because of that, I was also a member of the Oregon Criminal Justice Association among other such associations.

The list of things challenging the education system as a whole are mind-boggling. Lack of discipline. Lack of parental support. Lack of funding. Lack of interest by the public as a whole. There was a time when the education system was one of the sacred cows that could not be touched, and yet here we are, muddling forth as we always have. Do not for a minute assume that I am against teachers, individually or as a whole. They do a job that, quite frankly, makes my prior paltry dalliance in the education field look pale by comparison. They do it with no money, little help, less support.

Now that that little tidbit is out of the way, however, I need to continue with a thought. The average private school in the Portland Metropolitan area runs just about $4000 for the average student. As of the 2001-2002 school year, the Portland school system spends about $8300 per pupil. Why? No one yet has successfully explained that one to me. There is no difference with the statutory testing requirements, so quite frankly, I am baffled.

Now lets mix in the special needs children like the young man above. I can guarantee that no person, democratic or republican would willingly stand in the way of his getting a fair shake in life. If the private schools can manage just fine on what they get, then why can't the public ones do it? And then, with the surplus left behind, we can tailor special needs systems to augment the difference of specialties that children in these circumstances need.

So there. With that, I now mount my steed, with Sancho Panza right behind, getting ready to tilt at the windmill of the public school system. And to be honest, right now I can't think of anyone more hard-headed to do it, so it might as well be me. Well, maybe tomorrow. Dulcinea is getting pissed I am still typing :)

Until our next.......

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

What a week.

Here it is, Wednesday evening, and I am beat. End of the week beat. I need a vacation beat. Honey, I suddenly feel sick beat. Scoot over cat and gimme my damn couch beat.

I wish I could redo my week. I'd start over, with a significant lack of interest. That way I can get away with lethargic performance, and now that Wednesday is here, I could be a bit more chipper.

My best friend is down in Vegas trying hard to get employed there. I have mixed feelings about this - very similar to watching your mother-in-law go over a cliff in your brand new Jaguar. I mean, the Jaguar is insured, but still.

I pray that he gets it... mostly because I know how badly he wants it... and I wouldn't mind having a place to stay for Comdex and CES... especially one that my wife approves of. It IS Vegas, after all :)

On the other hand, he and his family are more a part of my and my family's life than my own brothers. Not that that is saying much. I wish him luck. I pray for him. And I am trying very hard not to secretly jinx it :)

Good luck, Bubba.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

A couple of things I just found out ... dammit

I found a couple of statistics. I hope they're wrong.

I am nerdier than 96% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

I am going to die at 68. When are you? Click here to find out!

I really hope they're wrong... but just in case, I just upped my life insurance. Online of course.

Until our next....

I wonder...

I sit here, dumbfounded. I learned earlier that Johnny Carson has passed on. My life is now just a touch duller, the colors a bit more dreary.

He was the epitome of class. You could list the number of curse words in his repitoire over the last 50 years on the fingers of your hands. His jokes weren't always funny, but they were never crass.

Rolling down memory lane, I think back to when I was 3 and 4 years old. (I know, a bloody long time ago, but believe it or not, it's one of my earliest memories.) I would never go to sleep. I have been a nightowl all of my life. Our dining room was directly next to the den where the tv was. I used to sneak out of my bedroom and sit underneath the dining room table, and wrapped there with my arms and legs about the big leg of the table, I would be regailed by Johnny Carson doing the tonight show.

It didn't happen every night, but often. Then, as I grew older and joined the service, after work I'd go back to the barracks, (I worked swings), and turn on Johnny to keep me company until Mid-rats would open and I could get some dinner.

Then he retired.... and to be honest, late night tv has held nothing for me since.

I will miss the times with Joan Embry and the menagerie that would do anything from poop on the floor to climb on top of his head - and never once did he complain... not really. I will miss Karnak the Magician, and the envelopes to the head. I will miss his Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan impressions. I will miss the banter between he and Ed and Doc Severinson.

It is the end of an era. One that, frankly, brings tears to my eyes. Our children will never know late night tv under the table. The set will be dark, cold, silent. Good bye, and thank you for the laughter of my youth, (which has had one more nail put in its coffin)... thank you for your grace, charm and wit... thank you for being you Johnny.

But there is one more thing of note to be said here.... at least in MY opinion.

I could have sworn that, in the dark cool night up here in Oregon, I heard Ronald Reagan one last time.... he said:

"Hey God!!!!!!! Heeeeeeeeeeeeereeees Johnnnnnnyyyy!"

Welcome Home, Mr. Carson. God Bless.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Pinapple Express Rolls Along

For those who don't live in the Pacific Northwest, this may seem a bit arcane. However, we are in the midst of a "heat wave". Loads of rain coming from the tropics is dumping on our wet, newly thawed ground.

Put that together with rising freezing level and snow melt and you get.....

You guessed it. Floods. Swell. The good news is that I no longer live on a flood plain. The bad news? My office is on one. But, it has a long way to go to get to it... I feel fairly safe.

It is the middle of winter, and at 10:45pm the temperature here was a balmy 64 degrees and about 95% humidity. I need a shower. It's up to 77 in the house, so I am about to turn on the air conditioning :) Well, it's a thought anyway!

Busy week ahead, and long day - so ...

Until our next........

Friday, January 14, 2005

Oh the pain, the pain .....

Sorry to steal such an obvious line from Dr. Smith and Lost in Space, but Holy Jesus.

I just did ten situps. To be honest, I was damn lucky I didn't soil myself in the process. It seems like just yesterday I was happily plinking along.... in the service, I would do 100 without thinking of it. I guess the good ol' days are gone.

I felt a bit like "Incontinent Man" from an episode of "Who's line is it anyway?" You know, the farsical, made up superheros... Mine was probably done by Colin Mockery. Even though I have a startling resemblance to Drew Carey.

Here is hoping for more situps in the future.... and maybe a dwindling waistline.

God Willing.....

Until our next....

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Do you remember???

Taken from an email from my mom:

Black and White

(Under age 40? You won't understand.)

You could hardly see for all the snow,
Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.
Pull a chair up to the TV set,
"Good Night, David. Good Night, Chet."

Depending on the channel you tuned,
You got Rob and Laura - or Ward and June.
It felt so good. It felt so right.
Life looked better in black and white.

I Love Lucy, The Real McCoys,
Dennis the Menace, the Cleaver boys,
Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train,
Superman, Jimmy and Lois Lane.

Father Knows Best, Patty Duke,
Rin Tin Tin and Lassie too,
Donna Reed on Thursday night! --
Life looked better in black and white.

I wanna go back to black and white.
Everything always turned out right.
Simple people, simple lives...
Good guys always won the fights.

Now nothing is the way it seems,
In living color on the TV screen.
Too many murders, too many fights,
I wanna go back to black and white.

In God they trusted, alone in bed, they slept,
A promise made was a promise kept.
They never cussed or broke their vows.
They'd never make the network now.

But if I could, I'd rather be
In a TV town in '53.
It felt so good. It felt so right.
Life looked better in black and white.

I'd trade all the channels on the satellite,
If I could just turn back the clock tonight
To when everybody knew wrong from right.
Life was better in black and white!
This was found on the blogger world - I got it from a lady who's blog is here.

We were born in the 40's,50's,60's,70's.
We survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing and didn't get tested for diabetes.

After that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, butt pads etc.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Play stations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no internet or internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live in us forever.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Cheerleaders and little league had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't, had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all!

If YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!
You had the good luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers, and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I hate doctors.

I hate doctors.

After finally successfully quitting smoking after 34 years (I started YOUNG), I promptly began to fall apart, piece by piece. Sigh.

So after some concerns on very perceived weight gain (I figured if it was bad enough for me to notice, I should check on it) and some various aches and pains, I finally went to see my doctor.


It turns out that I promply gained 50 lbs in the 6 months since I quit. Oh and they mentioned that my blood pressure (which has always managed to run about 110/75) is now 155/110. Swell.

And did I mention that nicotine masks aches and pains? So now they want to check on arthritis after I lose a herd of weight. And I must exercise every day for at LEAST 40 minutes adding 5 minutes a week until I get to an hour and a half? Oh and then there is the new diet...

Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

By quitting smoking - I now have to also quit sugar, most salt, my love for Indian food (too much rice), most chinese food (too much... well just too much), and when she started to holler about my starbucks ... we had to draw the line somewhere. Decaf bites by the way.

For a great many years I have been yelled at because of my smoking. My lovely wife. My best friend (Michael are you watching???). The rest of my family. It seems that smoking was doing more good than harm in my case.

OK, ok don't go there. I know. But still... Oh, and now I have to drink diet soda. (Not bloody pop, but SODA.) They make me give up barbecue and pork and I am going to start smoking again. They can kiss my butt. It ain't worth it. What's the point of elonging your lifespan if it is mostly unenjoyable.

At least she didn't bitch too much about my wine in the evening before bed. To all out there that know me, I love ya all... but if I had known that quitting smoking would do all THIS - .........

Until our next...

Monday, January 10, 2005

New Counter online

Just a quickie - Feeling depressed. Visited my best friends blog (Michael the archangel .. see it here) and discovered that I don't have the flair for prose he does. I'll get over it. My wife is starting a blog too... it is available here.

Since I wasn't feeling quite inadequate enough yet, I added a counter to see just how many may see my "midnight ramblings." I'm now up to one :)

Until our next...

Oh Lord. Here we go again.

As the political wheels of the United States continue to churn away, I got an email from a friend asking why I felt so strongly about saying Merry Christmas, rather than Happy Holidays.

Umm.... because it's Christmas????

Just how painful does the brick that hits one on the head need to be to get that one through one's skull? If I were Jewish, I would say Happy Hanukkah. If I were a practicing Muslim, it would be Happy Ramadan. Or of African derivation, it would be Good Kwanzaa. (Please excuse my spelling, as it is quite possible I blew it on those :)

I care not in the least if you wish to practice those religions. Any of them. All of them. None of them. My priest was asked about using the sign of the cross. I'm Anglican. He said - "All can, some do, none must." Wise words. I have discovered that the only action commonly tolerated nowadays is intolerance.

It was said to me that I don't want to celebrate Christmas. Ok - so don't. They said, I don't want to see anything to do with Christmas, as I am an athiest. I said - Ok - so gouge out your eyes, and plug your ears. Let's be realistic. You could no more avoid the hoopla that has become Christmas any more than you can avoid death and taxes... unless you move to Pago Pago or something where the Christian religion is outlawed. However, that place is NOT HERE. Well, not yet. They're working on it.

A very close look at the Constitution of the United States says as follows:

The following was taken from

Amendment I - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The person sponsoring the site adds this:

Amendment 1 - Freedom of religion, press

In my opinion, the single most important part of the Constitution. Some of the first colonists of the nation for which the Constitution was written had been seeking to escape religious persecution. The constitutions of several of the states prohibited public support of religion. And above all, the many varying sects of Christianity in America required that to be fair to all, there could be preference to none. It would have been discraceful for anyone to wish to leave the United States because of religious persecution. So they decided it best to keep the government out of religion. Now, this is not to say that the United States was not or is not a religious one. Religion plays a big role in the everyday life of Americans, then and now. But what they were striving for is tolerance... something I fear contemporary Americans are lacking.

Boy, that's a mouthful. Play it again Sam.

In a nutshell, it is my belief that if you don't like my God, go find your own. BUT - by constitutional mandate, you can't infringe on my right to honor, worship, speak to, or speak about my God. Period. It says that "... Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." However, it doesn't say squat about not honoring one. Look at a dollar bill. In God we trust. You don't like it? Move to Canada or Mexico. No In God we Trust there.

I don't have a problem with diversity. I do have a problem with intolerance. The left side of the isle doesn't like it if I get pissed about one of their beliefs. But God help me if I say God - (however if I say Praise Allah, or for that matter Thank Pitchforks and pointed ears... I'd be in the pink.)

Bah. Humbug. Bite me. So there, neener neener. (I can be childish too.) Now I have to take my ball and go home.

Until next time - Your obedient servant :)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Hello - Time to start.... I suppose

Time to start musing I guess. Mostly I started this as a venue to vent my own personal opinions, free of the rife that goes with the political correctness that is so rampant. I won't TRY to offend, but I am not going to go around my fanny to get to my elbow avoiding it either.

More later...