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fear

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Dear Friends, Part Two

Well, I made it through the ‘procedure’ okay.

Thanks for all your emails and support!  (Especially J. who stayed with me and drove me to-and-fro!)

The good news is I survived, and live to fight on another day.  The bad news is I have Barrett’s esophagus.  (I’m betting Barrett didn’t even know it was missing!) *rimshot*

This means chronic acid reflux has eaten away at the lower third of my esophagus.  I was largely unaware this was occurring as I’ve been taking medication for it for many years.  I guess it would be much worse had I not.

There is a chance of the presence of pre-cancerous cells.  Biopsies were performed – we are awaiting the results.

I am to continue taking my prescribed medication.  And take some other measures to lessen further damage.  And, barring any complications, return in a year to do it again!

OH BOY!

I’ve a series of lovely parting-gift photos.  Below is one of them.

20150419_071641This is what I get for eating and drinking foods I like and having the nerve to recline afterward!  Let this be a lesson to me.

Sadly, probably not…

 

Once More, Unto The Breach, Dear Friends…

(I’m hardly Henry the Fifth!)

But, people oft quote (or misquote) this Shakespeare line, when embarking on some ‘adventure’.

This morning, I’m going to an outpatient clinic for an EGD.  In lay terms, they are scoping my upper GI tract to see what’s what.

Some years back, after the accident, this was done.  Erosion of the lower esophagus was found (acid reflux), and were some pre-cancerous cells.  I’ve been on meds ever since, but my latest doc noticed I’d not been examined regarding progress/regression of these diseases.  The last time someone looked, things had improved, but she’s thorough.

Apparently, no re-check for cancer cells was done.

Sigh.

SO, they will put me out with propophol (the Michael Jackson sleep aid) and see what is to be seen.  And possibly take some tissue samples while they’re there.

Ain’t modern medicine wonderful?

Fortunately, this is scheduled in the morning, my being diabetic and all.  (No food or drink for hours before!)

Being a veteran of both skin and blood cancer, this does concern me.

Wish me luck!  Tell mother I died game – or whatever people say now…

SERIOUSLY? Part III

My friend Borepatch alerted us to the following:

Spy On Me Barbie®

What could possibly go wrong?

A new “smart” Barbie doll’s eavesdropping and data-gathering functions have privacy advocates crying foul.

Toymaker Mattel bills Hello Barbie as the world’s first “interactive doll” due to its ability to record children’s playtime conversations and even respond once the encrypted audio is transmitted to a cloud server, much in the way that Apple’s Siri voice assistant works.

No word on whether Mattel plans to share suspected Double Plus Ungood Thoughtcrime with Big Brother.

No doubt the software has had extensive security review to make sure it’s not hackable. (snark font!)

SERIOUSLY?
We already have ‘them’ prying into our computer use, email, what we purchase, our jobs, what we watch, how we look when we watch(!), our spending, our gun purchases, and now a toy (that could be a tool) to spy on our children?
I wonder if the little brothers of girls receiving such a gift will nip this in the bud by deftly removing Barbie’s head, as he did with all the others?
Or is the microphone in her torso?
And is GI JOE next?

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.

I Fear For The Republic

Via III Percent Patriots

nypd
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton announced Thursday that 350 heavily armed NYPD officers, called the “Strategic Response Group,” will soon be patrolling protests and the city at large.
He said the new strain of hyper-armed police will be

“…equipped and trained in ways that our normal patrol officers are not. They’ll be equipped with all the extra heavy protective gear, with the long rifles and machine guns — unfortunately sometimes necessary in these instances.”

Bratton announced  their purpose is specifically

“…designed for dealing with events like our recent protests, or incidents like Mumbai or what just happened in Paris.”

Bratton announced  their purpose is specifically

“…designed for dealing with events like our recent protests, or incidents like Mumbai or what just happened in Paris.”

And so it begins…
Domestic, civilian police forces patrolling-at-large (not on-call, like SWAT) in a major American city.  Not that it matters, but one where the citizens are largely unarmed.
I can see other cities following suit.
Can you say POLICE STATE?  Sure you can.
I fear for The Republic!  (What is left of her.)
h/t Free North Carolina

“Duck…And Cover!”

…or just duck…

An Oklahoma company has designed a bullet-resistant blanket that’s designed to protect children and teachers in the event of a school shooting.

An Oklahoma company has designed a bullet-resistant blanket that's designed to protect children and teachers in the event of a school shooting.

The Bodyguard Blanket, made by ProTecht, is a bulletproof 5/16-inch pad that the company says is made from the same materials used by the U.S. military.

Steve Walker, a podiatrist who conceptualized the blanket, toldThe Oklahoman that the idea came to him after two tragedies: the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and the tornadoes in Oklahoma. He said the idea was to “stop that blunt-force trauma when that rubble is falling down on a child.”

The company estimates that the blanket can provide protection against 90% of all weapons that have been used in school shootings in the U.S.

The company estimates that the blanket can provide protection against 90% of all weapons that have been used in school shootings in the U.S.

The blanket has straps that can be fastened around users like a backpack. The lightweight pad is made of a high-density plastic used for ballistic armor. The material can also protect users from nails, shards of metal, and other sharp objects.

After testing the blanket at a shooting range, the makers said it provided protection against bullets from a 12-gauge buckshot, a .22-caliber, and a 9 mm, among others.

The $1,000 blankets are a cheaper alternative to tornado shelters, but its makers say they are better for school shootings. (says the manufacturer.)

HMMM…let me see…

$1000 per student (PLUS, they have to lug these things around!) versus hiring trained security personnel AND/OR TRAINING TEACHERS AND STAFF AND ARMING THEM!

I’m reminded of growing up during the Cold War, and the ubiquitous instructions for us to ‘duck and cover’ in case of a nuclear bomb attack.

And the lampooning by the 60’s college crowd of that practice, saying we should have put our heads between our legs and kiss our a**es goodbye!

h/t Facebook, Jodie Brown

(after yesterday’s ‘school shooting’ – aka a shooting which just happened to take place in a school – this was making the rounds – in addition to the usual calls for more ‘gun control laws’ – as though the kid yesterday hadn’t already violated numerous laws…THIS DOESN’T SOLVE THE PROBLEM – WHEN THESE CRIMES OCCUR, THE SCHOOLS CALL IN THE ONLY SOLUTION TO RESPOND – PEOPLE WITH GUNS!  TRAIN AND ARM TEACHERS AND STAFF!) – Guffaw

It’s Time For The ‘Name That Commie-Nazi’ Test!

(I saw this (text) on wirecutter‘s blog, and felt it was meant to be shared – Guffaw)

Marx_buzzfeed5Who said it?

1) “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”
A. Karl Marx B. Adolph Hitler C. Joseph Stalin D. Barack Obama E. None of the above

2) “It’s time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few…… And to replace it with shared responsibility, for shared prosperity.”
A. Lenin B. Mussolini C. Idi Amin D. Barack Obama E. None of the above

3) “(We)…..can’t just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people.”
A. Nikita Khruschev B. Josef Goebbels C. Boris Yeltsin D. Barack Obama E. None of the above

4) “We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own … in order to create this common ground.”
A. Mao Tse Tung B. Hugo Chavez C. Kim Jong Il D. Barack Obama E. None of the above

5) “I certainly think the free-market has failed.”
A. Karl Marx B. Lenin C. Molotov D. Barack Obama E. None of the above

6) “I think it’s time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in
(the) entire economy that they are being watched.”
A. Pinochet B. Milosevic C. Saddam Hussein D. Barack Obama E. None of the above

Answers
(1) E. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
6/29/2004
(2) E. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
5/29/2007
(3) E. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
6/4/2007
(4) E. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
6/4/2007
(5) E. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
6/4/2007
(6) E. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
9/2/2005

hillaryWant to know something scary? She may be the next President.
Sent in by RHM, Sr.

Be afraid.  Be VERY afraid! – Guffaw

Government ‘Help’, Yet, Again

Magnifying glass locating spyware in computer code

According to new reports, the NSA may be intercepting electronics, including laptops and computers purchased online, to install spyware and other malware before the devices are delivered.

A new report from Der Spiegel about the National Security Agency’s top team of hackers says that the agency is intercepting electronics purchased online to install malware and spyware on them before final delivery to the consumer.

I almost put my ironic Captain Renault ‘Shocked’ logo here, but, its becoming both sad and redundant.

Who’s watching the watchers, when they are watching us?  And WHY are they watching us?

The saddest part of this post is I’m no longer shocked, or fearful.  I’m just disappointed and angry. – Guffaw

h/t Preserve Freedom

A Bad Part of Town

Convenience_storeSo, I’m working in a convenience store.  Plainclothes security (!)  And it’s in a ‘bad’ part of town, graveyard shift, and it’s well after midnight.  And It’s so bad there, I’m working with a partner.

And two guys come in rapidly, guns in their hands!  I pull my J-Frame Smith and commence to engage.

And the gun just clicks emptily in my hand!

My partner tosses me another snubbie, and I fire twice – hitting the larger of the two robbers in the neck, and he drops.  My action-induced-tunnel vision gives me no other information.  Where are the clerks?  Where is my partner now?  Where is bad-guy two?  Have I been hit?

I kneel by the downed miscreant, applying pressure to the through-and-through I can see, trying to stop bleeding, but not breathing.  And I yell for someone to call 9-1-1.  No answer.  Where IS everybody?

Then I wake up.  This is a DREAM I had last night, to the best of my recollection!

And it got me to thinking – Am I carrying enough gun?  Sufficient reloads?  Does my firearm function flawlessly?  What about first-aid?

Do YOU think about such things?  Or are you just dreaming?

Halloween Night (in a liberal college town)

Yea!  Halloween!

Not so much here.  I observed NO trick-or-treaters in my late afternoon-early evening travels.  None.  And none came to the door.

(Granted, we didn’t have the porch light turned on, and it might have appeared as if we weren’t home!)

A friend in a busy Chicago suburb reported to me she had 5 (five) kids between the government-mandated times of 5 to 7 PM.  Five.  It’s very sad how ‘they’ have ruined Halloween.

SO, my roommate said she was coming home from work, and called and asked I pick up dinner @ a nearby Subway.  It’s a half mile away, so that’s no big deal.  I went in, and one of the people behind the counter was dressed for the holiday (even though there was a sign asking all patrons to remove masks if they had them – irony impaired, no doubt!)

And the Subway guy was dressed as…..Che’ Guevara!  Fatigues, boots, fake beard, beret.

I ordered and received my sandwiches (which were quite yummy, BTW!), but on my way out, I couldn’t help but comment to Che':

“Hey Che’.  You are quite scary for Halloween.  Che’s was a bigot and a murderer.  You might think of him at Hitler on a smaller scale.  Would you have dressed as Hitler?”

Then I left.  Hopefully, he wiki’ed Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara later and rethought his choice of costume.

Che-t-shirt

BTW FTC – I paid for my sandwiches!

"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

Penn Jillette

“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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