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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Oh Man! Would you look at those!

You know the excitement - the latest edition is here. You have it in your hands. Anticipation builds. The cover hints at the thrills to be had within. Do you savor? Do you devour? Right to the center for me. Oh, my.... I am visually driven. Hey, guys are biologically wired that way. It's OK to look, right? a 3/8" Air Ratchet Wrench for $9.99 how about a 3" High Speed Air Cutter? Tools; what separates us from the lower animals. We can buy and store in our garages, attics, tool sheds, and workshops devices that do things we never need to do. Take that you lesser primates. (of course that brings to mind the musings I had on the Million Monkeys - http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2008/11/infinite-monkeyschimps-aka-million.html If we took a million monkeys and let them loose in a Harbor Freight Tool store....) I am not sure all men are like myself, but I know a lot are. I love tools. I can go into a cheap tools store and covet anything and everything they sell. A "Magnetic Trailer Alignment Kit"? - $8.99... whoa. The fact that I don't own a trailer is irrelevant. Such a deal. How about a 13 Piece Precision Knife Set... 13 - not some inferior 12 piece set - 13! And all for $1.99!! That's less than 20 CENTS a piece!! 7 piece tweezer set, 1200 piece cable tie assortment, V-Shape Hang-All (drool), and an Electric Chain Saw Sharpener (not sure if it only sharpens electric chain saws or it is electric, but HEY it's ONLY $28.99!!). I would truly buy one (or two) of most everything in a cheap tool store. Even though I own tools now I do not use, my desire for these things is almost overwhelming. Drill bit sets, mechanic's stethoscope, level WITH magnetic strip, TARPs of all sizes!! Whoa, now. Gotta slow down, get a grip. I only have one garage.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

WARNING

I have been telling you: http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/03/27/sheppard_global_warming_un/ Read it - then help work to stop it. This "movement" will destroy western civilization as we know it (if the Washington politicos don't do it first!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Then we wept

(warning - may be a sad one - I was told I had to do that by my daughters) I am not really sure what this post is to accomplish. It is a bit of a catharsis for me. I hope it will be informational for some, possibly even inspirational for others that may be going through a similar event in their life (although I profoundly hope there would be no others going through what we are - I know there are) Sunday as we were getting ready to leave Florida for home, my wife started weeping rather uncontrollably. Being the tough macho guy that I am, I kept a stiff upper lip - for about 30 seconds. I HATE seeing my wife cry (or any other loved one), especially a sad, wailing, cry. I asked her what was wrong, but it was one of the teary events where you cannot even talk. She was brushing her teeth at the time, and between the toothpaste, toothbrush, and weeping - communication was not possible. So, I just was just there. Then I teared up myself. Watching her, a grown woman, RN, mother of six, and grandmother of two (with another on the way) not being able to really brush her teeth (we have an electric brush for home, but travel with a normal one) struck me as one of the saddest things I have ever seen. Her coordination to really do the "brushing" motion is just not there any more. So, we wept together. She for, at the time, an unknown reason; me, for what she was going through and what we have to face going forward. As we got in the car later, she broke down again saying goodbye to her mother. I had a hard time with this one as well as I knew she was unfathomably sad. Goodbyes are always hard. As we got on the road, we composed ourselves a bit. Then we talked. Now, I don't know how many of you have or have had a loved one on death row. (actually not a great comparison as there is always a chance of the governor calling - pretty sure this is above the governor's pay grade) Talk about an elephant in the room! We have talked in small circles around it, but never really in depth or details. This was pretty much the same except she started it with a tearful look and a question that ripped at my heart. She asked me through sobs "Will this be the last time I see my mother's house? Will I die before we get back?" By now, she was crying uncontrollably and I was having trouble seeing the road. I had no witty response. I had no great comeback. I just told her - "We will make a point to.". I don't remember exactly what was said next, or how we got there; but I told her I was very, very sorry she was sick. I told her I would give almost anything if she was not. We were now weeping again (being a tough, macho type - maybe I was just tearing up a bit - weeping sounds a bit wimpy). She told me she was sorry I had to deal with her. I told her I was where I should be. If I did not want to be where I was, I would leave. I reminded her I was in for the duration. We rode in silence for a while. I am not sure about her, but I still found my eyes getting wet from time to time. There was once about two hours later where she had dozed off. I looked over at this woman that I married over 35 years ago. She was shaking with her Parkinson's tremors with her hands curled on her lap. She looked so helpless....and sick, I guess. I remembered how just three years ago we were saying goodbye as she headed for work. Her loss of her physical self has been amazingly rapid. I found myself reaching for a napkin to dry my eyes. Luckily, she has not lost any of her mental self. She is still crazy, funny, and enjoys a laugh. We just have to work harder to find things to laugh about. We made it through the rest of the ride with the elephant safely in the back seat. No more discussions, no more tears. We even laughed a bit from time to time.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Simple Pleasures

I am writing this on the morning of a departure. My wife and I are heading back home after the better part of a week in Florida. I had a business reason for coming, and with family here - she joined me. It is wonderful to see a daughter that we do not see nearly enough and to visit with a Mother/Mother-in-law as well. Yesterday between the day to day activities that must be done, I spent a large amount of time sitting in a lounge chair in a marvelous screened-in "porch" area of my Mother-in-Law's house. It was in the mid-70s to upper 70's while I was sitting, but with a fantastic cooling breeze most of the time, and a ceiling fan to fill in the lulls. The sky was a tropical blue with cottony clouds that cruised by with the lazy drift of a tube on a river. I was able to start and finish a novel yesterday by killing off the majority of it sitting in this splendor. I just wrote a comment on my sister's blog. This post is somewhat in response to myself for that comment. I, like all adults (and some kids) find myself feeling sorry for myself or other adults close to me because life is not fair. I am, or try very, very hard to be, a positive person. It annoys me when I see others that are whining about the things in life that don't matter a whit in the scheme of things. I am annoyed beyond belief when I am one of those "others". I have heard; as you have, I am sure, the statement - no one speaks with their dying breath -"I wish I had spent more time at work." I have never heard of a eulogy or seen a tombstone that contained comments about how the deceased did not wear the latest styles, or drive a fabulous car or other comments about their grasp of fashion (or lack thereof) or commenting on their material "goodies". Modern western society, and Americans specifically, are all about gathering "things". We bemoan our less than new-smelling cars. We venerate those not wearing the latest fashions. We cry "unfair" if we cannot send our kids to the most elite of schools. We covet our neighbors flat screen TV. We cry "foul" if we don't get to eat when and where we want. We lament that our house, boat, RV, bike, shoes, dog is not as nice as the neighbors. Sitting in the warmth of the sun, feeling the breeze (natural or fan-made) over your skin, reading a book, with family nearby.... Not too shabby. Kids can take a box the stove came in and have a pleasurable time for as long as the box lasts. As we age, if we can step away from the petty, unimportant parts of life, we can enjoy a sunset or a hug and live the moment. However, for most of the time we are all too wrapped up in the "don'ts" to enjoy the "dos". I think I will go see if the sky is still blue today - maybe in an old appliance box.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

To pee or not to pee (with apologies to the Bard)

I know a lot of people are crying the blues today over the economy (and justifiably so in a lot of cases). However, you have all heard the statement made - "at least you've got your health", probably a million times. If you "have your health" and have remained relatively healthy, you probably ignore the statement or mumble a "yeah" and move on. The process of waste elimination is a pretty basic need. If you remember basic biology - taking in food and elimination of waste were signs of biological life. If you are a human, the waste elimination process has taken leaps of societal and hygienic improvements from Og and his lot heading for the other side of the bush. We now have restrooms, both public and private for the process. (where is this going?, you are probably asking by now). As most of you know that would be reading this, my wife is in a wheelchair. She is in it because she cannot walk any longer. She can stand for short periods, but does not have the balance to walk or maneuver well. Most if not all bathroom functions require mobility. To get down to basics, my wife requires assistance for her bathroom functions. (she would probably not approve of this post - but hey, it is what it is) That is the point of this post. Try taking a wheelchair bound person of the opposite gender to a bathroom when travelling. As I said above - "bathrooming" is a pretty basic need. My wife will signal a need for a stop and then we spend exit after exit, or rest stop after rest stop trying to find a family restroom (single party, oversized, unisex, handicapped equipped restroom becoming available slowly around the world) or a single setup with a lockable door that we can both fit into. We start looking and usually take hours finding a suitable place. It is extraordinarily frustrating to me and her - as well as being a physical challenge for her. I have the utmost respect for those that are installing the family restrooms. They are heaven sent. I just wish every rest stop would have one. So, next time you are travelling and have the need to use the facilities; when you are able to stop, walk in, do your business, and leave in one stop - be grateful your 401K is all that has taken a hit. Hey, at least you've got your health, and an empty bladder.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Headlines

I knew my fan would be looking for another post. Since I am not "riled up" about anything and do not feel especially creative, here are some real headlines from the news: Alligator Accused of Starting Fire at Abandoned Pennsylvania School another reason never to let your pets play with matches! Outrage in France After Boy Locked in Bedroom for Seven Years six years, ehhh - seven, sacre bleu! (unfortunately, this was a case of severe child abuse. NOT funny - I was commenting on the weird wording of the headline) Illegal Immigration Foe Fears Dead Goat Bearing Gang Sign Is Death Threat I was not even aware goats ran in gangs! I guess the guy ran with a baaaaad crowd. I wonder if the alligator was involved? Parrot Tattles on Cheating Lover Bird love gone bad? Chiropractor Treats Patients Using Time Travel Was he using time travel to treat them or was he helping them recover from time travel? (I really wanted to know this, but could not find the actual article) Naked, Crack-smoking Man Attacked by 11 Foot Alligator Maybe this lead to the gator arson?!? Dog Drives Car Into House I think he thought goat gangs were meeting there. Florida woman calls 911 over McNuggets (so many comments here) Are McNuggets joining the goats with gangs now? or Were they really THAT bad? Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says This is why we let the experts handle the crash sites. Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case too easy - think of your own, I'll wait...... There are a million more, but here are two of my favorites to finish up - Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarians Take Over No comments needed. And lastly - Is There a Ring of Debris Around Uranus? Enjoy your news. Later

Monday, March 2, 2009

Extra, Extra, Read all about it!

I just took a chance on getting profoundly embarrassed. I added a widget that shows where my traffic comes from. I say embarrassed, because if in a week or so all I have are dots on my home town (and my sister's - I know she checks regularly) - I will be a bit ashamed. One always imagines changing the world with the multitudes of readers hanging on every word. Just waiting for you (me, in this case) to spread the wisdom and guidance that a well written word can bring. So, here we go. (hey, if you know people from other parts of the country, or world, get them to sign on)