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Life

It’s a cereal; it’s a board game.  A defunct television series.

It also is what it is.

My favorite line from the James Bond books, is ‘M’ (the head of MI-6, Admiral Sir Miles Meservy) telling Bond when he complains about receiving an assignment change, “Things change, 007.”

M

‘M’

And that might be one definition of Life.  Things changing.

Of course, the best part are the good changes – grand nieces ascending from 6th Grade, and another graduating High School.  Others having birthdays.  A dear friend’s birthdays and their elder daughter getting her doctorate!

The bad?

That dear friend (Bob Hall) being unable to be present for his daughter’s doctoral degree.

Daily dealing with issues regarding aging, illness and finances – both my roommate and I.

Friends, relatives and acquaintances becoming severely ill.  Some almost certainly in their way out, others hanging-in-there, but…?

And some already gone.  More than I ever expected.

Even some leaving voluntarily, but still present.  Apparently, friends no longer.  :-(

“Things change, Guffaw.”

I haven’t needed a fictional intelligence department head to tell me.

I already know.

Things are as they are.

This just in. Ray Carter passed this morning.
Puts my whining in perspective.

It’s Official…

I’ve been ‘disabled’ since I was age 12.  Legg Calve’ Perthes disease destroyed the cartilage and bone in my right hip, and was starting to attack my other hip and both knees.  After much failed experimentation, ‘they’ were able to stop the advancement.  ‘They’ decided the best course of action was to cast me, fusing my right leg at the hip.  In 1966.

So my right leg is substantially shorter than my left, and fused at the hip.

I’ve lived my life this way.  I’m used to it.

And, anyway, a hip replacement is elective and expensive.

In spite of this (in my youth), I ran, played, jogged, walked, took Kenpo karate, lifted weights…all manner of things!

Sadly, this disability kept me from joining the military or becoming a cop.  Childhood dreams dashed.

But, in spite of my limitations, I never felt, well, disabled.

Yes, sometimes ‘it’ got in the way (like needing leg room to drive – straight leg, and all), but it never kept me from most things.  I usually avoided wearing ‘Ed Sullivan-the really big shoe’* when I was younger, because I thought it made me look crippled.  Which I was.

And I rarely felt sorry for myself.  Well, sometimes.

But Life brought the addition of a serious car accident, diabetes and lymphoma, all potentially more lethal.

And Diffuse Type B Cell Lymphoma is listed as the ‘official’ reason for my Social Security Disability Income.

As of age 58.

And I am still here, now approaching age 64.  Wearing ‘Ed’ more often.

My roommate J. has been having her own health issues for many years.  They needn’t be enumerated here. Surgery pending on some.  Suffice it to say we don’t get to gun shows much, anymore.  Too much walking.

😦

But she never asked for one of those disabled mirror hangers!  I obtained one a while back, and we kept in in her car, as she does most of the driving, her car being in better shape then mine.

She finally remembered to ask her primary care doc for the form to get one!  And got hers!

This meant I got to have and use mine for the first time the other day!

20160521_085240

It’s official – I’m a gimp!

*Ed Sullivan was an entertainment reporter who hosted a TV variety show, from 1948-1971.  He would announce he had a really big show, but pronounced it as shoe – hence the pun.

 

Please Keep A Good Thought For Walter

Walter and I have been friends for over 40 years.  Walter

Not particularly close friends, or always in touch.  But you can see from my previous blog post (the link above) that he is a good man and friend.

I received word from a mutual friend yesterday that he’s been going through some difficult times.  To say the least.  His beloved girlfriend Bettina of (10+?) years, who has had many health problems, passed away recently.

And Walter attempted to end his life.  He is now in a rehab facility, due to the health problems linked to the medication used.

He is expected to be released Monday.

Walter’s apartment is infested with bedbugs – and they have sprayed so much insecticide that he cannot stay there for fear of illness.

Now he has no place to go.

His brother and sister are trying to help, but have their own limitations.

Please keep Walter in your thoughts, and if you pray, pray.

He IS a good man!

THIS JUST IN – I spoke with Walter last night.  He seems to be doing okay, considering.  He sounded medicated and very tired, and is using a walker.  I told him I would check back often.

‘Tis The Season To Guffaw!

I’ve been posting much about the constant encroachment of BIGGOV, and it’s depressing me…

Fortunately, it’s time for Seasonal Humor!  :-)

christmas2christmas3christmas1

claus blinker

True Detective

(No, not the pulp magazine Robert D******* purloined from the convenience store when we had a sleep-over in my Dad’s camper, when we were in junior high!  :-P)

We just finished watching Season Two of True Detective on HBO.  Each season had it’s own story, characters, actors and themes.  Season One was in Louisiana.  This one was central and northern California.  Both were in part produced by the lead actors from season one – Woody Harrelson and  Matthew McConaughey.  Rest assured, this is no longer the Woody from the TV comedy Cheers.  They are both consummate actors.

The theme carried over to Season Two is there is something larger, deeper, more sinister going on than first appears to the on scene investigators.  It takes the season to unravel the mysteries.  Both seasons consist of eight episodes each.

Season One took place over a number of years, following the rise and fall of career detectives in pursuit of a serial killer.  Season Two was revealed in a much shorter time frame, involving murder, political power and blackmail.  Both seasons were populated with extremely flawed, alcoholic, addicted and trapped detectives and career criminals, in extreme emotional pain.

Not exactly an evening of light television.

For the record, I liked both presentations.  The critics were especially hard on Season Two, as over-complicated and not living up to Season One’s standards.  It is still undecided if there will be a Season Three developed.

I’m certain both seasons are available on You Tube, Netflix, and the like.

The opening to Season Two, below…

GERDS Of A Feather

I’ve been prowling this Internet thing since the early 90’s.  (Remember dial-up? *shudders*)

It still amazes me how it can connect people from all walks of life, from all over the world.

I remember surfing bulletin boards on the IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and found some guys in Finland.  They found out I was American, and told me to go away!

I posted a few days ago about yet another medical adventure.  This time with my upper GI tract.  Seems I have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) – aka acid reflux damage to my esophagus.

I chalked it up to getting older and poor diet.  Whined about it and forgot.  (I’ve a tendency to post stuff, then forget about what I posted – as if I needed to get it out of my head.  Must be a writer(?)

The other day, I get a gift and nice note from a regular reader (who knew I had those?) whose reason was we both suffer from the same affliction!

Other people have sent me – and even brought me – gifts of money, ammo, and even single malt Scotch!

Sometimes, I feel unloved and forgotten…

FRIENDS, and the Internet are wonderful things!

THANK YOU!

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.

…and then, they died of an overdose…

My good friend Old NFO discussed this most recent of ‘infamous’ drug deaths.  I was reminded of the PBS Series on JAZZ.  They’d mention some historic jazz figure, and then, more often than not came this line:

…and then, they died of an overdose…

So sad.

Is it the artistic personality, fame, fortune or humanity which binds all these folks together?  Are we all, at our core, addicts of some sort?  (Wikipedia – List of Drug/Alcohol related deaths)

I come rife with an addictive personality.  I have excess weight, due to compulsive overeating.  I’m neurotic, but not particularly artistic.  My real mother died when I was in grade school as a direct result of her cigarette addiction.  She had emphysema. ( I remember her turning off the oxygen tank and lighting up!)  My father was an alcoholic, ate too much and smoked cigars.  I come by my addictions honestly.  Even though I’m getting ‘help’ for my addictions, in all seriousness, I don’t expect to see 85, like my maternal grandfather did.  My fraternal grandfather made it to 68.  My own father to 61.

I’m 61.

Today is my daughter’s birthday.  She would have been 31.  Auto accident, age 12.

At least it wasn’t drugs or alcohol. 😦

I love and miss you Molly!Molly birthday1

On losing a furry loved one…

Brigid reminds us often of the love, responsibility and loss we acknowledge in our lives.  Recently, her friend Vic @ Monkeywrangler had to put down her beloved dog Charlie.

I was never allowed pets as a child.  For many years, I believed it was because my parents didn’t trust me with that responsibility.  Later I found out my Dad had both a dog and a cat in his teen years.  And they died.  And it was he who couldn’t bear that pain, again.

Once I was out of college and had my own place, I more of less by default acquired a cat, a black longhair with yellow eyes.  Partly feral.  Beelzebub.  The moniker seemed appropriate.  She would sleep on my chest and upon my awakening bat at my eyes with her claws out!  Guess it was time to get up.  The landlord had told me no dogs.  He saw the cat and amended his statement to include cats.  Bastard!  To the so-called Humane Society she went.  I’d no other choice at the time.

It was years later when I met my future wife I learned she had a kind of chi-weenie.  Lady Eowyn.  She was very timid, and didn’t like me, and ran away.  Then we got a Spitz (Nessie) and a knee-height brown shorthair mix (Ilsa).  And a Calico shorthair cat (Gracie).  And some kind of special Siamese with a tabby skeletal structure (Bear).  They all left this World in various ways:  disease, fights, old age.

And this process about killed me.  Each time.  I now know something of what my Dad must have felt.  Our pets were not working animals; they were part of the family.

Now, living with my exgf, and her three Chihuahuas and black long-haired cat, I know this will happen again.  I was here before when another cat passed away.  And the old lady dog is 18 1/2 years old!!  Blind, deaf, no teeth.  But in no pain and a real sweetheart.  And the two other dogs are 14.

I’m constantly reminding you to love the people in your lives.  Love your animals, as well.  Do it now.

Because you never know.

crosby

Crosby – she’s 18 1/2 !

Ground Hog Eve – AKA February 1

One year ago I was anticipating tomorrow being Ground Hog Day – that silly ‘holiday’ alleged to determine if Winter is on her way out, or lasting six more weeks.  Based on the prognostication of a marmot; a woodchuck.

It was a Wednesday – the immediate previous Sunday, Mark Bell and I had attended the Central Arizona Blogshoot in Casa Grande!  My car is kinda old and infirmed (as is her owner) so he offered to drive us.

We arrived late, but Kevin Baker and company showed us a great time!  We met some other gun bloggers and some other shooters – great fun.  Then Mark drove me back to Phoenix, and we had a late lunch at Original Hamburger Works.  I was unable to attend the shoot this year.

Part of the reason for missing it is my ride is gone.  On Wednesday, February 1, 2012, three days after the shoot,  Mark Bell passed away, suddenly.  His wife called me Thursday, Ground Hog Day, to give me the bad news.  It’s a year later and it seems as yesterday.

I tend to get overly emotional, to react rather than act.  I am getting better.  Mark was my teacher.  I never saw him lose his cool or express strong anger or rage.  He was always rational and soft spoken, even in disagreement.  A man of fine character and deportment.

A few years back, I was in the middle of trying to refinance my house (the one I lost last June) and the appraiser asked that I paint the trim.  Now, I’m no painter, and being disabled would make this an arduous task.  Mark volunteered, and I insisted on paying him, because, after all, it WAS work.  He agreed, and said he would take it out of my extra re-fi funds.  He accomplished the task in a couple weekends, and I got the financing.  And I cut him a check.  This was in late November.

Christmas afternoon I was between family Christmas get-togethers, and there was a knock at my front door.  It was Mark, with a present!  He again thanked ME for letting him paint (!) said he used the money for presents for his family.  There was room for an additional present.  Mine.

I was dumbfounded.  It was the complete Capitol Record selections of Frank Sinatra on DVD!  Wonderful!

Of course, every time I listen to Sinatra, I think of Mark.  And other times, too.

I love you and miss you, my friend.

Remember – hug those you love and tell them you love them.  Because you never know.  Groundhog Day Eve will never be the same.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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