Well, as I posted before, I am really looking forward to Brendan and I going on our annual hunting trip. It is the goal I have set for myself for when my cancer treatments are over (and hopefully successful). As usual, I set our trip to start a day or two before opening day for deer. Also as usual, I have been planning to go up to scout out the new area in which we will hunt. So far there have been a couple of bugs that have gummed up the works just a bit but the basic plan is still on for the hunt.
Since my first round of chemo knocked me on my ass for the last 9 days, I did not get a chance to drive upstate last weekend, or this one, to reconnoiter the hunting grounds. I have one more weekend before they give me another dose of that evil yet often life saving concoction and am hopeful I will be able to make the drive and get the lay of the land. As Brendan told me though, I do a good couple to a few scouting trips every year and we hardly ever even see a deer let alone bag one; so maybe we ought to just go, get out of the car, walk into the woods and shoot the first thing we see (yes he does mean the first deer we see). He may have something there but I still want to go take a look before we hunt there if for no other reason than it would do me a lot of good to get out and about for a day in the woods. If I am really lucky, he will come with me next Friday night or Saturday morning.
The other thing that has unexpectedly come into play is the timing of my chemo. All the docs were saying that I would be out of it for maybe a week or two after the treatments were over, well except for the head man who told me it would be an additional 4 weeks. I am thinking he may be the one who was right. With my last chemo session coming close to the tail end of treatment, my recuperation from it may take me longer than I expected. If that is the case, our trip may have to be delayed a week, which is not that big a deal except we will miss opening day. I think I should have ample time to recover from it but then again by the time of the last treatment I will also have received radiation therapy 5 days per week for 6 weeks, with one more week to go. whatever, I should have about 2 full weeks of recovery from all my treatments, and 3 weeks from my last chemo, before our hunt as it is currently scheduled. I am hopeful I will have the strength and determination to get it done. As I said though, if not, I can wait another week and go hunting the weekend after Thanksgiving. I guess time will tell. Shit, if he has to carry me into the woods and prop me up under a tree then so be it!
Now for the good news. We both got Deer Management Permits, also known as Doe Permits. They increase the odds of us putting meat on the table. We have one or two for the area where I hope to hunt, and another one for an area in upstate NY that is much closer to our home. If worst comes to worst, we will hunt there; it is good to have a back-up plan.
Hmm, I just had the thought that we have not been to the range in a long time. It would behoove us to go and get in a bit of practice and to make sure that the scope on the Marlin 336 is still spot on. With the way my neck feels from the radiation, it might be best for Brendan to do that himself although maybe I can go along for the ride. No great hurry on that one, it is not like it requires rocket science or anything to adjust the scope if it has been knocked out of alignment.
Other than those considerations, I guess I should stock up on the gear or supplies we may need for the trip. I am going to be very short on cash relly soon, heck I already am short. I just paid half of Brendan's college tuition by credit card and have not paid even half of that off and the other half of his tuition is coming due on October 1. Add to that the steadily building copay expenses for my cancer treatments and I can just about assure one bottle of doe piss may have to last the whole season! I may also have to wear the same leaky cold boots I have worn for the past several years. I had been ever so sure I was going to buy myself a nice new pair this year but think it may have to wait until after I pay the doctors off. Perhaps, I could sell a gun from my small collection, to help out with the hunting expenses but then I would probably hate myself for having done so - that is usually the way I feel after I part with one of my firearms. Oh well, old boots it likely will be for me, that surely is nothing out of the ordinary.
The things I took for granted are piled up quite high, They reach far enough up to block out the beauty of the sky. They surround me on every side so close yet now so far, I must give a sigh. I saw each of them just about every day Without realizing that in them treasures lie. I daily passed them with nary a glance, I had more important things to try. Yet now, I cannot enjoy even the least of them without illness, pain, and all my effort to try. I embrace them, from this moment, as dearer to me So much more precious to me until the day I die. And should I be well again I make this sacred vow To pay more attention to them, than I do to I.
You know, there are a lot of things I used to take for granted. Being able to swallow without pain, being able to walk up the stairs without feeling as if I had just run 10 miles (uphill), being able to go to work every day, being able to drive, having relatively normal blood pressure thanks to my meds instead of way to low BP thanks to other meds, that my heart was in relatively good condition, that I would probably live until I was in my late 70s at the least, my relative health, that I would wake up tomorrow, that I would soon retire fat and happy, that food smelled and tasted good, that my wife loves and cares for me, that my wife is a good woman, breathing without an effort, feeling relatively well even when I thought I felt miserable, feeling alive and well, not being depressed, that I would be around to shoot up all the ammo I have stashed away, that my son and I would go hunting together this fall, that my daughter would marry her sweetheart and I would be there to see it, that I would visit my mom at least once a week, friends and friendships, AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON AND ON. It was just way to easy to take all that stuff for granted but I don't anymore not now with the cancer and other developments with my health. Apparently the chemo, after only one 2 day treatment, may already have severely damaged my heart - as per my cardiologist. Heck, I even took the chemo for granted but now certainly cannot do that, not if it is going to cause heart damage but the jury is still out until further testing.
My health issues are not really my concerns in this post although my health issues brought that concern to light. Taking things for granted, a common human flaw or condition, that is my concern as it relates to me having done it. For now at least, I have stopped doing it as best I can. Sure, I guess I still expect the lights to go on when I flip the switch but now I am thankful that they do go on. A day or two ago, I actually caught myself thinking how wonderful it was that the lights went on when I flipped the switch, I thought to myself: "That is a good thing". I mean that most honestly - I had that thought over such a simple thing I used to take for granted. I have had a lot of thoughts like that lately, about things as wonderful as my wife being there for me to something as silly as the toilet flushing.
Now, I don't know if I can maintain not taking things for granted but will try if for no other reason than to let those who care about and for me know that I do not take them for granted but that I appreciate everything, every big or little thing, they have done for me. Along those lines I have my family, loved ones, close friends to thank but I also have others like you. You folks out there who have sent me well wishes and spirit lifting messages of hope yet, you do not even know me. To all of you, thank you ever so much, with all my heart.
...then why is it we (as in U.S. Corporations) keep on sending jobs to Mexico?
I was out shopping for American made dungarees (jeans to most folks born after the mid-sixties) couple of weeks ago, while I could still get out on my own with regularity. I went to a large retail store, heck let me say it, I went to SEARS. There they had a decent selection of dungarees for sale. Some were store brand, or so I guess and others were manufactured by once great American companies such as Levi Strauss, Lee and Wrangler. I had made up my mind, before going out, that I was going to buy American as in MADE IN THE USA or in other words by nation of origin and not generically meaning made in North, Central or South America. I am sick of seeing our stores filed with merchandise from shitholes like Mexico, China, Pakistan, Vietnam, Honduras and so on and I am even more sickened by seeing myself wearing things made in those countries when we need manufacturing jobs right here.
One of the things that has always flummoxed me about companies who outsource jobs like that then have to import items into our country for sale is how they can afford to do so. Heck, they have to open offices in foreign lands, maintain those offices and staff, arrange with foreign manufacturers to actually fabricate the goods or have to open their own factories their to do so, then they have to pay taxes in those countries, export fees, shipping fees, importation fees and Customs duties to get things into the USA (of course we almost have eliminated Customs Duties which once were the mainstay of the US economy) and have to get them to the retailers here and somehow - SOMEHOW THAT ALL WINDS UP BEING LESS EXPENSIVE FOR THEM THAN IT WOULD BE FOR THEM TO ACTUALLY MAKE THE GOODS HERE WHERE THEY ACTUALLY PLAN TO SELL THEM! I blame it on lots of things such as available slave labor in foreign countries, labor unions in the USA greedily stripping away every penny they could at every opportunity they had, politicians who were on the take, free trade agreements, illegal aliens flooding our nation, the welfare state mentality, politicians who were assholes and failed to realize how Customs Laws the way they used to be protected the revenue of the USA, and on an on. I do not blame greed of the corporations, they were always greedy, yet even with their greed the United States of America used to be among the top manufacturing nations of the world (if not number 1) but that was all before free trade, NAFTA, most favored nation status effecting trade, Custom Duties being all but done away with and unions getting as much money paid to a longshoreman, a sanitation man, a first grade teacher as is paid to a police officer or a registered nurse or even some doctors.
Somehow though I have digressed from my major point. Regardless of all of the above reasons as to why things are not made in the USA anymore, I want to know something and the question is related to the above so I have not digressed too far. What I want to know is this:
Politicians, such as President Obama, and Republican Party hopefuls such as Perry, continually spout off just how precious to our economy are the illegal aliens who entered (or remained within) our country by committing a crime. They tell us of all the good they do and of how they deserve things like the American Dream Act or whatever it is called so that they will get resident tuition in college and free health care and this benefit and that benefit that were once only for citizens or legal resident aliens. They tell us how much they contribute to the tax revenues (what bullshit Mr. Perry - shame on you) and of other supposed good things they do and they tell us that they take jobs that Americans will not take. Again, that is pure bullshit. Here is how I know it is bullshit, if they were so good for the economy, then why is it that American manufacturers are not hiring them by droves but instead are still outsourcing jobs to places like Mexico? Yep, when I checked those dungarees I mentioned above, every darned pair I looked at, of 3 major brands, were all manufactured in Mexico or some other godforsaken shithole of a country. Now mind you, at least one said the fabric was made in America and then the pants were assembled in Mexico but as far as I am concerned that is the same as being MADE IN MEXICO and not made In The USA!
So why is it that those jobs keep getting outsourced to those shitholes when we need jobs right here and when we have what probably amounts to tens of millions of illegal Mexicans here who are supposed to be the godsend for our nation?
I will absolutely not vote for any politician who tells me how good a fucking wetback is for the United States of America. I would rather not vote, and allow Obama to win reelection, than to vote in the likes of a pro-Mexican, anti-American, criminal supporting, wetback loving Governor of Texas but of course, I will vote, just not for Perry (and just so there is no doubt - most assuredly not for Obama either).
I don't know who wrote the following piece, I got it in an email. Maybe you have seen it too, maybe not. I can vouch for what is said as being the truth because I remember every old fashioned thing mentioned below from when I was a kid. If we went back to doing things like we did way back then we would not need to have a care in the world about going green - now would we!
In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day." The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment." He was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day. Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day. We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day. Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day. Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then. We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the green thing back then. Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint. But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?
As for me, I would gladly go back to doing a lot of things in those old fashioned ways; not everything maybe but certainly a good number of them.
We have an ATT wireless account. We have had it and been loyal customers for years despite several instances where whom I believe are the morons at said company have tried our patience and loyalty to just about the breaking point. Tonight, I went to their website to check my account, you know the site, the one at www.att.com. Well, if you click on that link, now as you read this, maybe you will go right to the ATT site. Me, I was directed, time and time again to a foreign language site for ATT when I tried it - a Spanish language site. Not for nothing, I live in the United States of America, I do not live in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Peru or any number of other Spanish speaking countries - so why in hell did those morons at ATT have their web address direct me to a Spanish speaking site! Then, as if to add insult to injury, I call their 24 hour a day, 7 day a week customer service number and get a recording telling me to press a number for Spanish. Add to that, the so called 24/7 number is only operational during certain business hours (go figure) and I can say Fuck Them and fell good about it. They make me sick as if I am not feeling like shit enough already. If I keep them after this it will only be because I am too friggin fatigued, in my current state, to shop for a more American Pride sort of a company; shame on me if that turns out to be the case. Anyone know of a really decent cell phone company that does not support multi-lingual, multi-nationalist, socialist, anti-constitutional policies as I believe is the case with ATT?
...suck - especially chemo so far since they tell me all the effects to date are due to it.
Fatigue could never describe my condition over the past week and I have to say, anyone who can get right back to work after the first dose of chemo has superpowers. Me, I have discovered just how much of a wimp am I. That is all, this took an effort to write, I am going back to sleep now.
...and will be staying at his aunt's and uncle's time share. He said he wants to play Texas Holdem and I explained they may only have games with a limit and not any 'all in' games. He kind of got it, but I forgot to mention they may have an 'all in' tournament he can enter for not too much. I also asked him about what hand beats what. I think it does not matter what I tell him, he is doomed. As he told me, he is going there to lose money. Well I gave him a crash course but am pretty sure he did not listen all that well, 21 you know! I did give him the best advice I could think of though and made sure he listened: Go with a set limit that you are willing to lose, with your spending money for food, drinks, clubs, gas kept distinct from what you are willing to lose gambling. Then when you gamble, take it slow and easy at first, if you lose a big pot, especially because of a dumb mistake, do not get mad and try to win it right back. Just try to win, not to win back any loses, and if you lose, never - absolutely never - take money out of the other pocket to try to win back all of your lost gambling money and never use the ATM, credit card, or borrow money to try to win back losses. I cringe at the thought of how much he may lose but who knows, maybe he will have a role reversal come back as Elmer J. Fudd - millionaire, owning a mansion and a yacht - I just hope he pays his taxes on the winnings does not wind up in Alcatraz.
Tales From The Clothesline is the latest addition to the blogroll over to the right of my blog page. It is currently linked under TAKE A SHOT WITH THESE SHOOTIST BLOGGERS, Not At Them. Looks to be a good read; enjoy.
...in quite the while from me! I guess I have been to friggin busy with the medical stuff than to have time enough to go out and shoot. All the doctors visits have had my head spinning. I do need to do something gunnish to blog about; maybe get away to the range, or take a trip upstate to check out this year's hunting grounds (going to a new place so a trip really is in order especially before treatment incapacitates me), or film a video of me taking apart a gun and putting it back together sort of a how to video for YouTube and my blog. My priorities just have not been the same lately. I'll have to correct that by the end of this coming weekend; this is supposed to be a firearms related and friendly site, isn't it!
Today, a friend of mine, Jen from Double Nickel Farm, left a comment on one of my posts. The comment had nothing to do with the post, so I did not publish it under that post, not right away anyway. The comment was, in essence, Jen letting me know that a friend of her's in the far off land of Australia had me and my family in her prayers. Since receiving the comment, Jen has also sent me an email with an attached photograph. It was a photo that accompanied the email she had received from her friend in Australia. As you can see here , it is a picture of three candles. One of them was lit for me and my family.
I have just got to say, I am touched by that kindness from over half a world away, kindness that came unexpectedly, without any expectation of it being returned, and on the wings of an angel. Maybe I should say, it came by way of the wings of an eagle. The more I think about the candles being lit, the emails being exchanged, the thoughts of kindness and prayers offered from all the way round the world, and me being a total stranger to the person who sent those thoughts - well the more it made me think about my post The Wings of an Eagle - 09/11/2001. It made me think of that man fighting his own battle on 09/11/2001and about the thoughts and prayers I and others, who did not know him, have offered up for him and his family since. It made me think of all the others who suffered senselessly on 09/11/2001 and how we prayed for them. And then there was that comment bringing it all home to me, making me think about my own upcoming battle and making me think of everyone who has been kind enough to think kind thoughts for me and my family.
So, me posting the pic of those candles here not only is my way of saying thank you to Marie, in Australia, who has me in her prayers and who lit a candle for me, but is my way of saying thanks to folks like her and like Jen, to all of you who have wished me and my family well as I face my own battle. I feel humbled when I think that all of you could even think of me when the world has been faced by such trials as those of the folks who suffered because of 9/11.
So I promise, I am going to rage, rage against the dying of the light. Nope, I am not saying I think I am dying. Don't get that wrong, I have a really great chance of getting well again according to the docs. I am saying that the candle and its light, give me hope, maybe more hope than I deserve, maybe more hope than that poor man had on 09/11/2001 (but yet he hoped - of that I am sure) and maybe even more hope than those that saw him fall had for him. What I am trying to say is that I have hope not only because of what the doctors tell me, not only because of the love and support I get from my family, not only because I get well wishes and prayers from friends and strangers alike, but because I just had hope delivered to me On The Wings Of An Eagle. How can I not be awestruck by the wonder of that. How can I not be inspired by that particular coincidence to be hopeful.
I am saying thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you, you have given me my wings to soar above it.
I was going to post a picture here in my blog but decided that it might be better to just go ahead and post a link to it. The reason I am posting a link instead of the actual -photo is not so much due to copyright as it is due to sensitivities. While I am sure many people will be able to view it, I am also sure many people will not want to look at it because it would be too much for them to bear. You see, it is a picture of a man, on 9/11, who either fell or jumped from 1 WTC. I like to think, as hopeless as his situation may have been, that this man, if not actually the man in the story below, thought like him and defied the hopelessness of the situation and tried to fly on the wings of an eagle. Be advised the picture is heart wrenching.
To me, the pic to which I have just supplied the link is as striking, if not much more so, than the picture titled 'The Falling Man'. Much has been made of 'The Falling Man' photo because of the symmetry of the man with the tower in font of which he was falling and because of the almost casual, resigned, appearance of the man at the moment the photo was snapped and because it took awhile to identify that man and because at first, he was misidentified as someone other than who he actually was and that caused one family a lot of grief because they knew there husband/father would never resign himself the way it was amde out the falling man had done so. It is a sad and hopeless, a man seemingly almost resigned to dying and in a peaceful state or so it seems at the exact moment the photo was taken and at the exact same moment we want it to seem that way to us. It makes me choke up and makes me cry when I think of the poor man in it.
I see something else in the pic to which I just supplied the link. It is very different than that of 'The Falling Man' even though I believe both were taken by the same photographer. The symmetry with the building is not there. There is no resignation in the form of the man. Maybe it is just me but I see overwhelming hope. I see a photograph of a man, whom I would like to believe, thought he still had a chance no matter how hopeless the situation. I see a man fighting to live. I see a man who decided to not go gentle into that good night, I see a man rage, rage against the dying of the light. I see helplessness and hopelessness and I see hope and determination shining through no matter the odds and no matter the virtually inevitable outcome, and I see the wings of an eagle.
I see a man, maybe the exact man, who was described to me by a coworker. My coworker saw several people come down but there was one whose actions, as he described, whom I will never forget. I met my coworker late in the day, on 9/11/2001, at our office at JFK Airport. He was covered with gray dusty powder. His eyes were wide open and I do mean wide, it was obvious he was in shock. He looked terrified. I tried to help. We got to talking and he described what he had seen. He had tried to get into 1 WTC (the North Tower), to try to get people out, via the courtyard. He was trying to help and was thrust into a sate of utter helplessness. You see, it was then, he heard a loud thumping noise and he turned in the direction of the sound but could not determine what made the sound though he said it was eerie. He also described the sound in another way - as a loud plop. Then, out of the corner of his eye he saw something, it was a person, falling, passing through his peripheral vision in a flash, from just above his head level, into the ground with that same noise accompanying the meeting of concrete and flesh.
My coworker was aghast with fear and overtaken with helplessness. Yet, as he looked up to see others hanging on the side of the building or out of broken windows, he tried to yell to them not to jump. He knew there was no way they could hear him and then another jumped while he was yelling for them not to do it. According to my coworker, the man did not fall, he jumped - maybe because the flames were licking his skin, maybe because the smoke was suffocating him, maybe out of hope that somehow he would survive the fall. As he neared the ground he was spread eagle, like a skydiver, and he began to do something that could only have been done out of hope despite the hopelessness of it all. That poor man began to flap his arms repeatedly as if they were wings. My coworker's gaze followed him, tried to give him the power of flight, flew with him, soared with him, hoped with him, all the way to the ground. Then as quickly as it had begun, it was over for that man and my coworker was scarred for life.
I do not know if this is actually a picture of that man, the exact same person as seen by my coworker, but it is a picture of a man who almost does appear to by flying, to be soaring through the air, and it is the picture of a man who undoubtedly met his death after either falling or jumping from the North Tower (1 WTC), a man who did not go gentle into that good night, a man who raged, raged against the dying of the light!
(It has been 10 years since I heard my coworker tell his story about that man. I don't even know if he ever told anyone else, such as a counselor as I suggested he should do. I hope he did tell it to others, I hope he has come to peace with himself. I could tell, even on that first day, he blamed himself somehow even though he was no way at fault. As for the story, I hope I got it right, I did the best I can working on memory and took no deliberate license with it. I told it just as I recall him telling it to me. I did that not just for him but for the man whose story he told.) All the best, Glenn B
The news quoted someone as saying who they had been. Funny, I never thought of it until today. Yet, when I heard it mentioned, today on the news, I realized yes, what they just said about the very first American Warriors to lose their lives due to the attacks of 9/11, made a lot of sense. We may never know with absolute certainty whether or not any of the crew or passengers, on the two jets that hit the World Trade Center or the one that hit the Pentagon, fought the hijackers but it is not believed they offered much resistance if any as far as I am aware. Yet, we are certain that at least the some of the passengers and some of the flight attendants, on United Airlines flight 93, in the skies near Shanksville, PA took decisive action to assure that their flight was not used as a manned missile of mass destruction against a target, as of then, unknown on the ground. Once they had realized their flight had been hijacked, many passengers and some flight attendant successfully telephoned relatives and or authorities to inform them of the situation. It was then that these same passengers and flight attendants learned of the other flights, the ones that had already hit their targets at the World Trade center and the Pentagon. After they had that knowledge, it was easy for them to figure what was next. Instead of giving up and caving in they took action. They assaulted the cockpit in which the hijackers had secured themselves and either gained entry and crashed the aircraft or caused the hijackers to crash the plane well short of its apparent intended target in Washington, DC. The hijackers had already dialed in coordinates to bring the plane to that location.
The flight recorder last recorded audio at 10:03:09 and a split second later the data recorder had ceased to function. The last words heard from any of the passengers were: "Roll it" as they assaulted the cockpit. Reading the flight recorder transcript, (or this one from Fox News) and looking at the last conversation of the hijackers, it is readily evident that that the hijackers were panicked, confused as to how to continue and had realized they were about to be defeated before their attack would succeed. To that they gave the standard line used by Islamic terrorists round the world, 'god is the greatest' or some balderdash to that effect, then then either put the plane down killing all aboard including themselves as any coward would do or were overpowered by the passengers who caused the plane to crash. Tell me one thing, here at this point, if Allah is so great, how come unarmed United States Citizens, American citizens, citizens of the so called Great Satan - America, citizens of various faiths and beliefs, were able to foil their evil Islamic plot!
Those brave souls, of United Flight 93, stood United. They who fought those evil cowardly hijackers were the first American Warriors, the first American heroes (for they actually acted heroically) to lose their lives because of 9/11. To them, our nation, the people of Washington, DC, the members of Congress, even then president George W. Bush himself (as it is hypothesized they meant to take out either the Capital Building or the White House) owe them a debt of gratitude beyond compare. Though unarmed, though already overtaken by surprise, though facing certain death, they stood their ground and then went on the offensive and saved other American lives while losing their own. They should stand as an example to the rest of America as to what it means to be a patriotic American and as an example to the rest of the world as to what it means to push us into a corner.
So, the mayor of NYC forbade religious representatives, such as priests, rabbis, pastors, ministers, imams even nuns, from being allowed to say words during New York City's remembrance of 9/11 today. Then, our fearless leader, President Barack Hussein Obama (aka: Barry O, aka: The Chosen One), rises up at the podium and what does he do? He apparently recites religious verses. He did not say one word about 9/11, just seemingly got very Judeo-Christian, all of a sudden. So, while religious leaders were not allowed to speak because it might offend someone, our government was allowed to substitute itself for the religious! By itself, that was okay. One would expect politicians to get religious at such a memorial but the fact that he suddenly got religious was not all he did in what was very probably a well orchestrated perfromance.
Mind you, I think it would have been totally appropriate for someone, including government officials, to have spoken religious words during the remembrance but I also think such should have been allowed for religious leaders, that they too had been allowed to do so and that had such a big stink not been made about assuring no religious could take part in the memorial. So why would President Obama do so? Do you think that he saw it as appropriate to suddenly become religious, when in fact he is not usually particularly so? Do you think that he thought that as president he represents all religious groups in this country and just had to give a religious quote in case no other speakers would do so? Do you believe that he felt it important that a prayer or other religious words be spoken and thus he bravely and selflessly took it upon himself to do it regardless of any criticism that would be sure to follow? Or do you think it was just the president campaigning for the 2012 election? Or maybe it was something else, maybe it was actually God speaking through him! I mean, after all, while he was reading a quote, reportedly Psalm 46 from the biblical Book of Psalms, he quotes a line saying "...I am God...". If I did not witness it myself, watching it and listening to it on live TV, I might have doubted it actually happened, this sudden utterly religious outpouring by President Obama.
I wondered, what had he quoted,. I saw it reported by the media that it was Psalm 46. A little quick research confirmed that the Psalms are not only part of the Judeo-Christian tradition but are accepted by Muslims as noted in the Quran and are represented by Zabur in the Quran. It is amazing that Psalm 46 and Zabur 46 are so similar. In fact, now, I am wondering from which did he quote! So, up above, when I said President Obama seemingly got very Judeo-Christian all of a sudden, I guess I was wrong. He seemingly was making darned sure he was getting all sorts of Judeo-Christian-Islamic all of a sudden while ignoring all other religions of they who perished.
To have included a prayer, a song to God, that is found in both Judeo-Christian tradition but that is also found, almost word for word, in the Quran was, in my estimation, outrageous! Remember, the Quran is the religious book held so sacred by the Islamic extremists who attacked us on 9/11 and who continue to seek our destruction, it is the basis for their seeking to destroy us and they remind us of this fact with an almost daily frequency. I am thunderstruck as to the implications of the president having used that quote. I think that this performance by the president was a disgrace and was a slap in the face of religion and of America and a show of support for Islam even though the attacks took place in the name of Islam and its god. I am sure though, the president's ultra leftist supporters will find it to have been entirely appropriate despite the calls on the left for religion to be completely removed from anything at all to do with government. I see it as little more than him playing politics, bowing to Islam, and him exploiting the moment and the memory of 9/11.
Being it is 9/11, I almost hate myself for having written this today because it may be misconstrued as disrespect for the victims and survivors of 9/11 but as of late I have had a candor that goes way beyond even my usual bold frankness. Let me say this clearly, I mean no disrespect to the victims or survivors of the attacks on those days nor to their loved ones or families. I do believe though that one of the most arrogant displays of disrespect that could have been shown was shown to them and to the United States of America by our president today.
(Edited, at 1247PM on 9/11/2011, from this point on to further explain why this particular religious quote, by President Obama, was so inappropriate.)
That disrespect came through most glaringly when the president quoted this line:
"Come behold the works of the lord
who has made desolations in the earth..."
Whether you read it that way or the way it appears in the Quran as:
"Come, see Allah's works,
What desolations he has made in the earth."
What did Islamists think when he said it! The Islamic Extremists are sure to interpret it as him saying that 9/11 was the work of Allah, the desolation of Allah, heaped upon the enemies of Islam!
It almost seems he was saying: "Here is the place my Muslim brothers and sisters, come see what Allah has accomplished". You certainly cannot justify or even explain him quoting that line, at the 10th anniversary 9/11 memorial, from any Jewish or Christian perspectives, can you? I think not especially in light of the facts that there are no major movements by either Jews or Christians to annihilate Muslims but there certainly has been an ongoing and united major effort by Islamists to destroy and lay waste to the non-Muslims of the world - especially America. If, in so doing, they destroy themselves and die in the battle - well then they think 'so be it'. Remember they believe they go to Paradise for destroying the enemies of Islam all in their god's name. At the very least, I think, President Obama's words at the 9/11 memorial were a disgrace and an insult to all Americans and a boon to those who seek to destroy us in the name of Islam.
...such as Eric at Straight White Guy, and Jennifer at In Jennifer's Head among others. Then when I recently checked my Site Meter stats, I noticed my blogiversary passed me by unnoticed, by even me, on August 20th. I have been blogging for just over 5 years now. Not that such is worth anything, just that it amazed me I have stuck with it for so long and even more amazing to me is that people actually read this stuff. Thank you all.
...that is, if you enjoy an extraordinarily twisted sense of funny bones humor. Johnny Optimism, as I see it, is sort of gallows' humor that plays on the ill, handicapped, medical professionals, children, life, death and so on. Funny as hell (and yes, if I ever find myself there I do hope to see the humor in the situation). I was treated to a link to the Johnny Optimism site thanks to wireutter over at Knukledraggin my life away, in his post: Say Hi To Granny For Me (the title of which, when you think of it or at least when I think of it, is biting wit itself.
Now, many would probably not consider Johnny Optimism to be a blog but more of a sick yet humongously amusingly humorous site but the way I see it it is a bona fide blog with a new idea expressed in each and everyone of those cartoon strips. Great stuff, I am still laughing over these three in particular:
...over the past couple of days. I have been busy with health issues. Went into the hospital, on Wednesday morning, at 630AM, for outpatient surgery - implantation of a stomach PEG (feeding tube) in anticipation of radiation therapy. That turned into a two day cluster fuck and I was admitted to the hospital after the PEG was implanted due to lots of pain. I was told on Thursday morning that I would most likely be discharged by noon. I was again told, at 940PM on Thursday, that I was going to be discharged. I was finally given the discharge paper to sign at 1040PM on Thursday - I ask what friggin hospital kicks you out of bed to go home at 1040 at night when you are still complaining of the reason (lots of pain) they kept you there for in the first place. I got out of the hospital at about 1055 to 1100PM, walked out, they did not wheel me out. Then I waited outside for15 or 20 minutes for my cab to show up; the cab that the hospital supposedly arranged for me, then walked home. It was only a mile and I had paced the halls in the hospital ward at least that much today so I knew I was up to it. The whole stay in the hospital was pretty much similar to my discharge - one minor screw-up or something not going as planned one after another.
I am not going to rant on about it now. I'll just say, I was pretty miffed when I got home and ready to scream at the world about it. Not now though, maybe later, my mind is too mellow now after stopping over at Double Nickel Farm and reading the post Jen wrote about me and our friendship.
...that should take place a couple to a few weeks after my therapy concludes. I may wind up being in a terribly dilapidated state when mid November rolls round but I am determined that I will go hunting with my son in November! So, I just finished making the hotel reservations in, of all places, one with the name of Horseheads, NY. Maybe even better than the name Horseheads is the name of the state forest in which I am planning to set up the hunt - Ketchumville State Forest. You see, a long time ago, when the Comminsky sisters, Stella and Agnes (real life versions of Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies) still lived on the farm, that my uncle had bought from them, they used to ask me if I was going out to catch a deer. It just seems right to be hunting in a state forest called Ketchumville because we sure do intend to ketch one or two of um!
I am going to plan this to the hilt during my therapy. It will be something to which I and my son can look forward. Hopefully I will be in good enough condition to pull it all off and to drag a deer or two out of the woods.
Perhaps it will be just a short lived fad but I have to say for some reason, unbeknownst to me, the incessant use of the word snarky and its derivatives, by some bloggers, simply repels me. For some reason it seems like akin to like the whole like Valley Girl talk type thing of the 70s (or was it the 80s) or maybe of the all to oft repeated use of the phrase 'you know' after everything someone says, you know.
The word was a new one to me when I first saw it, so I looked it up in an online dictionary. When I first saw it, it seemed appropriate in how it was used. Then I saw it again and again and again and again on certain cliquish gun blogs as if was the new buzz word for those among firearms bloggers who wanted to kiss each others' behinds to make each other seem cool through its overuse. Oh pahleeeeze, like don'cha know like what I mean, like can't ya just fergedaboudet, like cuz it's grodee to the max, like wow, like ya know baby gag me with a snarky spoon.
...but not to worry as this blacklist seemingly is a good one called The Gun Blog Black List. Basically, it is a list, or blog roll, of gun bloggers. Not a bad thing from what I can see, since my blog appears linked on that site's blog roll, I guess it will give me a larger audience. That does not do anything for me personally but does get my blog out there for more to see and thus potentially passes on any firearms related info I have posted to more folks.
So, I am adding that one to the blog roll and I am also adding another blog, North, both blogs are run by the same person and both deal with firearms related topics among other things.
Nope, that was not a rhetorical question. I am really wondering why all of the folks, whom I am about to mention, have not blogged in such a long while. Let's see, from the blogrolls on the right side of my blog page, there are several bloggers who have not blogged in a week, others who have not blogged in weeks, and others who have not blogged in a month or months, some coming close to a year.
Now granted, it is the end of the summer. maybe some folks took a late vacation, maybe some are going back to school, maybe some just have the end of summer blues but yet, maybe some have writer's block, or maybe some of the above are just sick of blogging. Most of those reasons to stop blogging probably would be temporary from what I can tell about those bloggers, or so one would hope. Yet, I am also fearful that maybe some have stopped blogging altogether and forever since it has been way too long since we have been graced by their writings by way of their blogs. I am hopeful, in the case of those, of you mentioned above, who have been absent from blogging for many months or more, that you are all in good health and that someday you will return once again to your keyboards and grace us with your written words concerning your: interesting personal stories, wit and humor, knowledge on this subject or that, your political views, your interpretations of world events, your local stories, and on and on. I miss you all and am sure that others do too.
...and I just had the thought that perhaps I will have to blog later this evening - after a nice nap for an hour or two. Then I thought: "If I wait, I will put it off again and I have been putting it off, that is putting off blogging about it, for too long". I found out on August 2nd, which so far has to have been one of, if not the, worst day(s) of my life.
I have been really out of it lately, seems everything makes me tired. Had a doctor, over the course of about the last year, telling me virtually all my problems with feeling tired, having sore throats and such were due to sleep apnea. Well, now I have a CPAP machine and I use it every night and I am still rundown every day. That doc told me she had ruled out everything that could be making me feel fatigued so it had to be due to sleep apnea. She was adamant! She even told me that same thing, one day when I went there to complain about insomnia keeping me awake and thus me feeling run down. She would not hear it, or at least she did not want to hear it, that is just about anything I said that might indicate I had something else causing my problems other than apnea. Same thing when I complained repeatedly about a sore throat and swollen glands. On one office visit, her nurse saw a lesion at least half the size of a dime on my tonsil. The doc told me my tonsils were red from snoring, then took a rapid strep test and a flu test that were negative, then gave me some antibiotics to cure what I do not know because I know that antibiotics do not cure apnea. Of course though, the doc again said that apnea was the cause of my ills, even the sore throat (she said my glands were not swollen although both I and her nurse/assistant thought they were so). She said she had ruled out everything else possible - her diagnosis was fatigue due to apnea and a sore throat due to snoring, or so she told me.
Oh well, I saw her a few to several times, over the course of a year or more, and she basically told me the same thing each time, even when she might also have admitted I may have been ill from something else too, that sleep apnea was making me tired and run down and it was the root cause of my ills. Turns out it was something else, something else really different. She was a real asshole in my opinion. You see, I saw another doctor in her office who found what was likely the problem because she: looked at my chart/file, listened to me about sore throats, swollen glands, feeling run down, and listened to me asking if maybe a cyst I had removed in May 2010 was recurring. She sent me for an MRI of my neck. She paid attention to me and to my symptoms, apparently in opposition to the other doctor. The second doc agreed with me, maybe the cyst came back or a new one had formed. Then the MRI. Then the diagnosis - cyst like formations in the right side of my neck, at least 4 of them. As for the apnea, there is probably no way possible that it caused my medical problem, the one that the second doctor was responsible for discovering. On the other hand, it is possible that my medical condition worsened my apnea.
Then more tests, then a definitive diagnosis. Now I am about to receive treatment for what has ailed me. Hopefully, now that they found out what is wrong with me, they will cure it. It is very likely though that it will be a long while before I am feeling better, or so they tell me. The docs said they are going to make me feel worse first. Yep, they said they will make me feel a lot worse before I feel better again, oh joy! Sometimes the cure seems worse than the disease and they are promising me this cure is going to be terrible but are not promising it will work - just giving me a very good chance.
The plan is that they are 'going to cook my neck', is what one doctor told me and my wife. He said it will be 'like a Thanksgiving Turkey' and 'it is going to be so bad I will want to give up'! Another doc told me "I am going to knock the hell out of you" and said it would be "extremely intensive". At the same time, they are going to fill me up with some cocktails to make me feel even worse, but what is a turkey unless you baste it while you cook it? It's going to be seven weeks of radiation at 5 days per week and three 2 day chemo sessions in that seven week period. Then, as they were kind enough to inform me, I will continue to cook from the radiation for a couple to a few weeks!
They also said to expect physical damage from the treatment - maybe permanent, otherwise to at least expect damage lasting years, possibly to my hearing, my salivary glands, my swallowing ability, my taste buds and so on. One doc told me and Linda that I am 'in for the fight of my life' and 'it will be the most difficult thing I have ever done' but that 'I have to not give up and have to show up every day for treatment no matter how harsh'. I told them to bring it on; right now it seems better than the alternative. Time will tell as to how I feel after a few weeks of it, if I am still that fighter.
My black cloud sucks, it is a nasty thing, but I must say it has impeccable timing when it comes to fucking things up for me. There I was, all ready to retire in December, and now this mountain is in front of me, blocking my path, with a big C emblazoned on its face. Cancer sucks but I plan to give it a sucker punch. They found it in the lymph nodes. The docs think it started in my right tonsil and that I have had it for at least several months maybe more than a year, one even seemd to imply maybe the cyst that was removed from my neck was cancerous but the tests then showed it was benign yet nasty - so maybe I just imagined his implication but I think it was plain. They think it has been there a good long while because it has spread extensively in the lymph nodes in the right side of my neck. I have to wonder - is there is a friggin conspiracy against me ever having it really easy in life? Then again, I guess life would not have been as satisfying and enjoyable had I lived it on easy street, nor the rewards as sweet had they been easily won!
As the man in black (was he dressed in black or inside of a black cloud) sang:
Well, I've had all that I've wanted of a lot of things I've had
and a lot more than I needed of some things that turned out bad.
...the skies are a hazy blue, the sun is doing its best to shine through and doing well enough at it warm the air sufficiently so as to stir the breeze adequately, now and again, so that my ears are amply filled with the amazingly soothing music of our garden's wondrous wind chime. I just finished a late but simple breakfast on the backyard patio consisting of corn rye toast with butter and red raspberry preserves, OJ and a black coffee. Then I collected some greens, tomatoes and flowers from the yard and fed my baby tortoises with it. After that I fed the fish and then remembered I have to gather some worms to feed the turtle, salamanders, newts and frogs. Before hunting down and gathering up the worms, I grabbed the laptop PC, took it outside and sat down to write this for a momentary distraction. It was a pretty blissful Saturday morning.
Yes, I said it was a pretty blissful Saturday morning. That was until, suddenly, I heard a the roar of a power saw somewhere probably about block away. That was interrupted by the incessant calling of my neighbor to his dog in his usually friendly but then irritatingly almost soprano Italian accented voice. I thought to myself: "What could be any more annoying" and at the moment that thought perished under the ongoing assault of the saw and my neighbor still talking to his dog, my ears were assaulted by a jet's engines as a passenger plane roared overhead on its way to JFK Airport.
My moment of blissful repose with the world, on this otherwise fine Saturday morning, was going to hell rapidly as a well aimed bullet down a rifle barrel toward a condemned felon in his last moment of life. Damn even my thoughts had become nasty, it almost seemed as if i had thought it out loud yet, I muttered not a word. If that was not as ample a disturbance as need be, at just about the moment of that thought, my eardrums were pierced by the high pitched buzzing a two wheeled rice burner in the distance - somehow sounding as if it were right next to me.
I lamented to myself and to my gods "What other din could be aroused to disrupt the passage of this most calming and fine exalted morn, what could negate the soothing sounds of the breeze through the leaves or the gentle clanging yet musical notes of the wind chime?" and they answered me. It was a tumultuous sound that burst forward, akin to rolling thunder coming down a steep mountainside to a valley below. Yet, it was from a source so unlikely to produce such a raucous din that I was awestruck by it as it was produced by the repeated flapping of a butterfly's wings. The insignificant bug flitted here there and just about everywhere in my yard in search of some sweet heaven's sent nectar and god damn me if, just as I grew accustomed to the winged imp's cacophonous commotion, I did not start to hear the grass grow too! I just about wanted to scream at the top of my lungs that everyone and everything should shut the fuck up and had an urge to grab my shotgun and go on a rampage of wanton destruction of the earth and all its noisy inhabitants when I had an unexpected surge of placidity burst upon me as I realized:
It's just another day in Paradise.
I know, and I guess you know it too, that the kind day I have described so far, really is just another day in Paradise. So, instead of running off armed and dangerous in a rage of devastation, I decided to sit back and finish my coffee while I wrote this short piece. As I relaxed again, some of the noises subsided to levels that were adequately tolerable if not easy to ignore and others, like the breeze through the leaves and the randomly chaotic notes of the chimes actually became pleasant. Now if only the fool who is relentlessly pounding away on a keyboard, unseen by me but apparently somewhere very close at hand, would take a 5 minute break, we might all be better able to fully enjoy the wonders of this fine Saturday morning in sublime tranquility. Maybe I had best go collect those earthworms to feed to my critters. I think that is what I will do, it should put you all at ease and will suffice to stifle any lingering thoughts I had of destroying, what just moments ago, seemed to be a clamorously annoying world. Of course, it may best serve me and my hope for continued contentment should I also endeavor to do some small amount of yard work and a bit of work around the castle; house before my dear wife returns from her trials and tribulations at the office. Yes, it is Saturday and has been blissful for me but she has been at work since early this morning. Hark, is that whom I hear approaching... Later 4 U, I have to get busy fast.
All the best, GB PS: For those of you who are about to call 911 to report a madman in his garden, talking about going on a shotgun rampage, no that was not serious and yes that was meant to be humorous!
...coming out of there hiding cave in the driftwood and attacking my other fish over and over again this afternoon. I think that pretty much could mean only one of two things - eggs or fry. So, I shined my light into the hole in the driftwood arrangement in which they spend most of their time and saw nothing. I moved the light here and there and then uddenly saw movement. A small school of fry (as in baby fish) came swimming up to the mouth of the cave as if attracted by the light. I don't know how many, but it looks to be a good sized batch of babies. My concern is that other fish in the tank will see the fry as an easy meal and lay them to waste quickly but I also know that Kribensis (actually now called Pelvicachromis pulcher but still commonly called Kribensis as, once upon a time, their scientific name was Pelvicachromis kribensis) are pretty good and protective parents. Thus the reason for them going out to attack my other fish.
My biggest concern though are my Pimelodus pictus catfish devouring the fry. They are big enough, tough enough, agile enough, always hungry enough to get those babies, especially since they come out mostly after dark when mom and pop Kribensis would be off guard or just unable to see. Hopefully they will not devour them all and some of the fry will make it to adulthood.
Maybe you are thinking I could help them some by moving them to another tank but trying to catch them would really disrupt the tank in which they now reside (same for catching either the catfish or the Kribensis' fry) and chances are I would not be able to catch even most of the fry without really screwing up the tank very badly. Hopefully the two adult Kribensis will get the job done day or night. If I can catch the catfish - I will do that; if not - then oh well, tough noogies! Either way, life goes on.