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Just When I Thought It Was Safe, Part Cinco

(If you abhor whining, read no further)

vulturesIt’s my fault, actually.  I had the audacity to turn 62.  And, with that milestone came the vultures.

First, my former employer TMCCC contacted me regarding applying for early retirement.  I’m currently medically retired due to my contracting lymphoma in 2008.  I left active employment in 2009, after six months of chemo.

Obviously, the sooner they can nudge me out, the less pension they will have to pay.  And current calculations are not very promising, regardless of my retiring now or @ 65.

So, it wasn’t a complete surprise when my private medical insurance carrier (thank GOD I paid the premiums when I was working!) contacted me to update their information.

This means contacting my physician with regard to my current condition and ability to work. 

In spite of the fact I was awarded SSDI and private disability due to having cancer, I have many other conditions which make returning to the workforce problematic.  Even though I AM currently in remission! (knock-on-wood!)

Working while diabetic is no biggee,  working with the neuropathy (chronic nerve pain) that comes with it – not so much.  And the arthritis.  There was a time I could stand and sit for long hours.  No longer.  Now, sitting more than an hour or two is painful.  Forget standing and walking much.

Oh, I can (and do) take various prescription pain medications.  Which make me dopey and put me to sleep.  And still only lessen the pain.  They do not take it away.

And my fear is the private insurance company will say, well, you have been in remission over 5 years…SAYONARA!

And the private addition to my SSDI payment isn’t much, but it is 21% of my disability pay.   And the total is still poverty level.

I rent a room in a friend’s home, and drive a clunky 2000 Oldsmobile.  I lost my home of 18 years, 2 1/2 years ago.  I’m not milking the system here.

And now I get to jump through more hoops in hope of keeping that 21%.

Sigh.

SO…What Did The New Year Bring?

Let me preface this post with I don’t rarely get sick.

Seriously.

I had a minor bout of flu last Summer, for about three days.  I’ve not had a cold in YEARS!

I’d like to say it’s because of my healthy lifestyle, but, that would be a falsehood.  Because of my various ongoing ‘issues’, I get little exercise, and I eat the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).  Pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, spaghetti (now called pasta), some beer, Mexican food.  If I eat veggies, it’s usually a salad, with Italian dressing, croutons and Parmesan cheese.

When I DO become ill, I usually don’t do it half way.  Diabetes, lymphoma, skin cancer.  And the whole fallout from that near-fatal auto accident some years back.

So, no one was more surprised than I when around Christmas, I began to wheeze upon exhaling.  Just a tiny bit, at the very end.  At first, I thought it was some fool revving his bike at 0600, while I was blogging(!) :-)

The Winter air quality in the Valley sucks - inversion, ya know!

Then, New Years Eve, I became congested, phlegmy.  No sore throat pain, just throat-clearing nonsense.  I thought it was a true cold, but, it just appears to be allergies, and reaction to the cold weather (28° F, in Phoenix this morning, cold and rainy New Years Eve Day!)

And this morning started with a minor sore throat and cough!

Guess it’s to the drug store pharmacy for Guffaw!

weezy

Having Gratitude Isn’t Always Easy

I’m in whine mode.

(I know I said at the outset that I wouldn’t use this weblog for therapy, but, hell, it’s my blog, so here goes…)

Holidays suck.

Why?  Not only do I not have any funds to get neat presents for friends and family, but, I’ve no one with whom to share the non-materialistic parts of the holidays.  One terrific couple I know gifted me with a cool assortment of cheeses and beers (including Lindeman’s raspberry ale!), and all I could give them in response was a small bag of garlic goldfish.

Hardly an even trade.

I love my sister and her kids, and her kid’s kids dearly, but going to a family celebration alone with certain people in absentia is always painful.

Now it’s the downhill slide from the New Year, to Molly’s birthday, to the anniversary of the accident, in March.

We’re told the best way to get out of this kind of funk is to create a gratitude list.  So here goes…

I’ve a roof over my head, and a working car.  Thanks to my friends!  I’m on Medicare.  I’ve disability benefits, which, while in no way am I rich, I can buy food, gas, and pay rent.  I’ve a select group of friends, both locally and on the Internet, who help out whenever they can.  Many of these friends have gone above and beyond – for years – when I am unable to give back in kind.

This must mean something.

I’m disabling comments for this post.  Because, in lieu of giving me an Internet “there-there”, or a virtual hug (or a kick in the pants), please stop for a moment and create your own gratitude list.

It helps.

“What’s YOUR Sign? I’m NOT A Taurus!”

The Taurus Curve

taurus_curve_22Both Jennifer and Caleb trounce this newcomer .380 as poorly-thought-out and inherently unsafe.  She is striker-fired, and designed (recommended by the factory!) to be carried in the pocket sans holster!

Can we say an accident waiting to happen?  Sure we can!

Not to mention (but, going ahead and mentioning it, anyway) WHAT ABOUT WE LEFT-HANDERS?!

I suggest, if their going to do such a thing, it should be at least in a larger caliber (9mm?  .45 ACP?) AND have a graphene frame, so it can curve either direction!!!

For the record, I was never a big fan of Taurus, although they used to have a no-nonsense replacement factory warranty(?)  Might still.  Never owned one.  And, I’m a Sagittarian.  :-)

♫ FEE-LINGS! WHOA -O-O FEELINGS! ♫

I can’t find a single study from Bloomberg’s groups that aren’t loaded with errors. They have an anti-gun agenda and will lie to achieve it.  –  John R. Lott, Jr.
How Bloomberg’s Million-Dollar Desire For Gun Control Is Backfiring
[While I think there is a fair amount of lying going on they don’t think of it as lying. They just don’t understand facts are independent of their feelings. If they feel something then, in their view of reality, it is true. I’ve had people flat out tell me this. I would point out that what someone was saying was in direct contradiction to verifiable facts. And I would get a response of something to the effect, “Well, it’s true to them and that is what matters.”

There is also a very telling anecdote about liberal “research” in this same article:

In 2006 I was at a cocktail party in Arlington, VA, talking to a liberal journalist about his soon-to-be-released book on Iraq when John Lott joined us. John listened for a moment and then said to the author, “I’m curious. You say you just finished a book on the Iraq war. I always find it so hard to finish a book. I get so deep into the research I have a hard time stopping to write. I’m guessing you had a hard time leaving Iraq. There is so much to investigate and understand.”

The author said, “I didn’t go to Iraq.”

John paused with this quizzical look on his face before asking, “Oh, how did you do your research?”

The author said, “I didn’t have to do much. I mean, I already know what I think.”

Feelings versus facts. It’s a type of mental disorder.—Joe]

There’s a thesis in popular conservative/libertarian culture that liberals (or at least the current flavor of liberal, the progressive) act(s) based on feelings more than facts, even if the facts deny their feelings.  “Oh, those cute polar bears are dying in records numbers, due to global warming!” – even though recent data shows their populations have increased and so have the square footage of ice on which they live.  Not to mention they are extremely dangerous to humans, cuteness aside.  “If it just saves ONE life.”  or “It’s for the children.”, facts aside are other feeling-based statements.

I cannot speak for all conservative libertarians, but, I have on occasion questioned my use and ownership of firearms, looking at how doing so affects my community, my family and myself.  And I stuck to my principles.  And didn’t buckle to ‘feelings’ about some whack-job shooting up a school by disarming myself.

I did the same process after the accident that killed my daughter.  However, I ultimately didn’t give up my driver’s license, my vehicle, or insist others do the same “for the children”.

I see that as counterproductive, and unscientific.

h/t The View From North Central Idaho, John Lott

Suicide Is Painless

Some of you may recognize the post title as the theme song to the film and TV show M.A.S.H.  It’s ironic.

It’s obvious from the outpouring of emotion that the recent suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams touched many people.  And caused THEM pain.

As a libertarian, I believe I’ve the right to do with my own body as I wish.  You do, too.  As long as it doesn’t affect other people negatively.

And there’s the rub.

I can eat more than is healthy, eat the ‘wrong’ foods, smoke or drink if I wish, watch ‘questionable’ videos, read unsavory material, and most of this doesn’t directly affect my family, friends, or former coworkers.

But, what if I choose to do something permanent…?

Why is it it appears the more artistic of us are the most tortured?  Or is that a misconception based on the fact famous people get the media attention?

When I heard about Robin Williams, my first thought was he has children.  And based on that fact alone, he should not have taken this path.

And then I thought of Ernest Hemingway, another artistic person with issues who ended his own life.  And Vincent Van Gogh.  And so many others.

If you have such issues, please get help!  Know that there are people out there who care.  And that the World would be lacking without you.

h/t The Actor’s Studio

Please Keep A Good Thought In Your Heart

or say a prayer, if that’s what you do.

Mary C.Dave-the-mechanic’s mother passed away Father’s Day, after a short illness.  She was 88, having had her birthday that Saturday.  Her memorial is today.

Mary was longtime volunteer at Desert Samaritan Hospital, serving for 24 years in many different offices and was Volunteer of the Year for the State of Arizona in 1983. She was an active member of King of Glory Lutheran Church, singing in the choir for 35 years and serving as choir librarian for 20 years.

Mary is survived by her husband of 62 years, Al; her children Mick, Dave, Ruth, Karen; 8 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

To have been the center of such a great family, and been a giver of such service…

She will be missed.

My thanks to all of you who commented, wrote or at least stopped for a moment in your day to think of Dave and his family. – Guffaw

BIOHAZARDS!

Well, it’s finally happened.

My neighbors to the South (I live in a townhouse – we share a common wall) have moved out.  My roomie says she saw a social worker speaking with them before they left.  They filled the backyard with trash bags – so many they have to leave by the front door instead of the back!

These were the folks who had multiple co-tenants, no motor vehicles and by all appearances liked to bounce bowling balls down the stairs at 0400 – repeatedly – making certain they bounced off the walls in the process, as well.

And they took their many shouting arguments into the back yard, for all to hear.

They were nicknamed by the neighbors ‘the WalMart people’.  (not to cast aspersions on WalMart – we shop there, too!)

Now we know why they went outside…

It’s time for their landlord to commence cleanup.  I suspect they didn’t get their security deposit back…

In addition to the massive amounts of trash outside

Massive amounts of trash inside…walls covered with smeared fecal matter, filthy carpeting…

And, as their hosts left for parts unknown – the cockroaches have breached our common wall in search of a new home!!

The story from their Southern neighbors is they were breeding dogs inside – never saw them outside – heard them though, and this accounted for the insects and foul material therein.

We are contacting their landlord – as has the other neighbor – to see about having our house treated (insect bombed).

The cleanup crew have been working in shifts wearing clean-room type attire, and have told the neighbors ALL THE HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES had to be discarded due to the infestation!

Yummy!

bio

Hopefully, all will be taken care of by their landlord.  Perhaps next time he will be better at assessing the appropriateness of his tenants?!

The Slings, Arrows and Sore Butt and Legs

…of outrageous fortune!

Well, the last two, at least, I’ve been suffering.

IMAG0073My economy desk drafting chair, from which I write/steal this daily drivel, broke a few months ago.  Because of my leg disability, I need to sit taller.  Most available standard desk chairs go as tall as 28 inches; some 30!  and lower down to 16 or 18.  Not exactly what I require.  If I sit on the floor I might not be able to get up.

SO. I’ve been perching on a low bent wood chair of my roommate’s.  Nice furniture, but not designed with a crippled, fat person in mind.  Did I say it is LOW?  And hard, even with a pillow.

I mentioned my predicament to a good friend only over the Internet.  They promptly sent me PayPal funds specifically earmarked for a new chair!  Without my asking.  I’m blessed.

IMAG0074Then came the nightmare that is Amazon Prime and UPS, in concert to make me wait, then miss the delivery.  I commented to another friend, “Technology is great!  But, then we expect it, and when it fails, we whine,”  Well, I do, anyway.

But, no longer, I’ve a new, taller chair (thanks to my benefactor) and can return the old one to my roommate. Relatively undamaged.

All’s right with the World.  At least my butt thinks so.

What’s the number for 9-1-1 ?

911 Dispatcher Tells Woman About To Be Sexually Assaulted There Are No Cops To Help Her Due To Budget Cuts

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. (CBS Seattle) — An Oregon woman was told by a 911 dispatcher that authorities wouldn’t be able be able to help her as her ex-boyfriend broke into her place because of budget cuts.

Oregon Public Radio reports that an unidentified woman called 911 during a weekend in August 2012 while Michael Bellah was breaking into her place. Her call was forwarded to Oregon State Police because of lay-offs at the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office only allows the department to be open Monday through Friday.

“Uh, I don’t have anybody to send out there,” the 911 dispatcher told the woman. “You know, obviously, if he comes inside the residence and assaults you, can you ask him to go away? Do you know if he’s intoxicated or anything?”

The woman told the dispatcher that Bellah previously attacked her and left her hospitalized a few weeks prior to the latest incident. The dispatcher stayed on the phone with the woman for more than 10 minutes before the sexual assault took place.  …

I feel horrible for this woman.  And for any crime, fire or accident victim.  But, I’m reminded of the old Amex commercial with Karl Malden.  “What will you do?  What will you do?”

Karl Malden

Karl Malden

911 service (or it’s equivalent) is well-prevalent in the modern world.  And, it’s nice that our tax dollars have set up a system of brave and competent first responders to react as agents of government to help should that become necessary.

But, the system isn’t foolproof, nor is it a panacea.  Nor does it remove personal responsibility.

Keep a first aid kit and fire extinguisher in your home and car.  Know how to use them!  Obviously, I expect all responsible adults to own firearms, with the same caveat.

“When seconds count, the police are minutes away.”

h/t Maddened Fowl

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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I'm currently on disability, unable to work, and receive marginal benefits. I've been advised by SSDI I may receive some additional income. Based on their statements, I'm adding a bleg to this blog. Effective 03/06/2012. Thank you for your kindness.

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