Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Calling It Early

It's now official: Brett Favre will not be back to play football. I think what ever hope the Vikings had of capturing the division again are considerably faded now.

I'm predicting The Packers will struggle this year as they did last year. Opening day will be crucial for them, as it will be for The Bears, in predicting how the rest of their season plays out.

The Lions will win a game, but won't be much better than last year. They've put a lot of hope in Matt Stafford, but it will take more than that to rebuild a team.

The Bears now have Jay Cutler, a real proven Quarterback. Though I haven't drunk the Cutler kool-aid yet, I remain hopeful that there is somebody who can receive for him.
Hester has good hands, but still, I'm wary.

Taking a big chance, but I'll call the division this way:

I reserve the right to make make changes to this posting as the season progresses.

You Want Fish N Chips With That?

Monday, July 27, 2009

How Was My Weekend?

I decided to buckle down this last week before I return to the mill. I've been spending most of my recovery painting the house, one room at a time, utilizing a very relaxed work ethic I've come close to perfecting. I think I now know what retirement is like, and I like it very much.

Yeah, I've been off for eleven months already. Time just kinda drags when you spend so much of it drooling on your pillow and beating off infections, but the last four have really zoomed right by.

My latest project: The Upstairs Bath.
When we bought the house, everything inside was solid eggshell white.
This room was no different. Devoid of color and style.

After a solid coat of primer, I chose Behr "Ultra Pure White" for the top half. Very hard to work with, requiring about five coats to get the solid, pure white effect.

For the bottom, I used "Code Red", which utilized the same base.
Also, a bitch and half to work with. This one took about four coats to achieve the deep, solid color I was looking for.

Added a chair rail to bring it up to the 'next level'.

Advice: go ahead and invest the money for a power miter saw. Since it was a small job, I just picked up a miter box, and cut by hand. If I knew then what I know now...
But hey, I never done this before. I'm still learning.

Overall, I'm a little proud of it. And most importantly, The Wife is happy,too.
Now, I just gotta do something about that linoleum floor. And I'll probably "Pure Ultra White" that door, too.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'd rather be in Oklahoma.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stupid Black Man

As a much younger man, harassment from cops was a way of life. For years, rarely a week went by, sometimes hardly a night would pass, when I wasn't questioned, searched, frisked, or rough handed by some dude carrying a badge (and a gun, a stick, pepper spray, cuffs, and a real heavy flashlight that hurt when it struck).

Of course, usually I wasn't doing anything deserving of such affection. Well, not at that moment anyway. But it was suspicion enough just to be young and nearby (or just the slowest runner).
And statistics will bear out: drunken white boys out at 3am are not likely going to choir practice.

Like I said, it was just an accepted part of life, whether I liked it or not.
Not all encounters went smoothly. And I wasn't always respectful. I know, some may find that hard to believe.
And while sometimes, it was just a cop being an asshole, other times, I was just being an asshole toward the cop. And it wasn't unusual for an otherwise smooth encounter to go wrong based upon the latter.

Eventually, I learned a few tricks to life: Don't draw attention to yourself. Don't be where they are. If they show up anyway, leave before they know you're there.
And when ordered to put your hands up, it's less painful to just fucking do it.

You see, not all cops are assholes. And not all dudes out late are causing trouble. A pattern develops that if you are wise, you'll notice a thing or two: the sweeter one behaves toward the cop, the lot gentler he is toward you.
If you are belligerent, you will be treated, rightly so, as a belligerent. Duh.
It's really not that hard to figure out.(Unless, apparently, you are a black Harvard professor)

And if you are in a situation where there is no reason to find yourself in trouble, just co-operate. State your case and answer the cop's questions.
The cop has a hard job as it is. Making it difficult by punishing him for whatever 'cop profiling' is going through your educated-beyond-your-ability-to-reason mind will make your day just that much rougher. This is in addition to already proving yourself the fool.

And trust me on this: a cop would rather not arrest anybody. It increases his work load, reports have to be filed, and adds to his frustration (which may come out on the next 'innocent' suspect.)

Strutting and threatening, playing the Angry Negro when it's not warranted just makes it more difficult to take you seriously, on top of showing yourself to be the Ass you really are. Not to mention adding to the reputation that black men have earned of being combative, unruly and criminal. (Police profiling is based upon statistics, you stupid dipshit.)

I've had my experiences. Some out there might not think I'm very smart, and a Harvard professor would likely agree.
But there is something called wisdom, which I take it is not a prerequisite to qualify as a professor at Harvard.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rediscovering An Old Friend

An addicting former hang out, and I'm having a relapse.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What Is Wrong With Sarah

--Sarah, from all that I can gather, hails from the more recent generation of what passes for conservatism now days. It's actually more in line with the sixties democratic party, and is not all that conservative.
And I'm not so sure she's ever contemplated the differences, or has had any reason to.
Think about it: when a Carter appointee, and speech writer for Walter Mondale, has become one of the leading voices of 'conservatism' without having changed his thinking, what does that tell you?
It tells me that, given the option, she would be pursuing the same big government idealism that has already failed the GOP, and shows no signs of relenting.

--Succeeding in Alaska doesn't necessarily prime one for success at the national policy level. By default, Alaska is culturally, geographically and economically isolated from the remainder of the nation.
Resulting in a political culture that by nature has a tendency to not be in tune with what the rest of us are up to, or faced with.
And is why nobody knew her, or about her, prior to McCain dragging her out of the darkness of the midnight sun.

--In order to govern effectively, a President with a solid ideological core doesn't need to know that much. But he would need to know, and have relationships with, the operators, insiders, and skullduggers who know how to make shit happen at the federal level.
And I've seen no evidence that she has these connections.
Despite that she does have the reasonable intelligence to succeed in life, and the skills to run a state such as her own, going national is a another game entirely, played with a wider array of rules on a more treacherous battlefield.

She's gotten a taste of that treachery in just the past eleven months, and found herself wholly unprepared, if not radically blindsided.
These attacks on her, and her family, could have been stopped in the first week if she was feared. But without an army of thugs and plumbers(no, not the 'Joe' kind), there was nothing preventing anybody from crossing that line, or being punished for doing so.

--Relative to the previous point, she's politically naive. There's a damn good reason seasoned politicians do not use Yahoo Mail

--She's not cut from the same cloth as those who usually tend to seek national office. She just may have entered politics with altruistic motives. A worthy attribute, to be sure, but one that is incompatible and counterproductive in the real world of the national stage, where the stakes are higher, the morality greyer, and there are built in contingency plans for every situation.
Evidence: her pregnant teen daughter, and the white trash loser she was dating. Nothing wrong here, from a real world, morality sense. But, when was the last time a prominent political family had one? Do you think they are all virginal before marriage? or, maybe it's just that the sheen on the family crest takes precedence over allowing embarrassing situations to come to light?

Personally, I think anybody who presents Sarah Palin as a viable alternative for a presidential candidate are deluding themselves. At this point, she's too bush league to succeed, and even if she was to actually become president, we would see a political disaster that would make Jimmy Carter look like Ronald Reagan.

As for those who just like her on a personal level and the positive things she represents, continuing to encourage her beyond her abilities will only do her further harm.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What I Like About Sarah Palin

Lifetime member of the NRA: this means she should would be less likely to take offense to what is in my armory. No guarantees,though. Bush 41 was a lifetime member, as well.

She's opposes killing unborn children, without exception. Her track record proves it.

She supports 'energy independence' and opposes 'Cap And Trade Tax'.

She looks good in a skirt, or without one.

I like her independent spirit.

I like that the uppity snobs feel threatened by her.

She's lived her life more in touch with the real world, instead of growing up with prep schools and the country club scene. Much like Reagan, who never forgot where he came from.

She hunts and fishes for real life reasons, and not just because that's what millionaire Texans do for fun on private game ranches with over-priced Benellis.

She doesn't need to put on the fake, condescending 'common man' dialect when speaking to ordinary folks.

I suspect a true libertarian streak in her, demonstrated by close ties to the Alaskan Independence Party.

She puts the lie to what passes for feminism now days. Obama's election, for all intents and purposes, has cut the fuzzy dice from Jesse Jackson's pimp mobile. Similarly, the charming shrews of N.O.W. would be in hysterics if she ever got elected. I find this aspect to be the most promising, and entertaining, outcome of a Sarah ascendancy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Much anticipated and built up, I walked out twenty minutes into the film, during the dancing penis.

Nothing is funny here, but everything is crude, in a faggola kinda way.

Worst ever.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lesson Learned

"Ultra Pure White" paint is a poor color choice if you actually intended to finish the job in a timely manner.
And be sure to have much more than you need, cause you're gonna need it.

But damn, it looks good.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Take As Good As Any Other

I might as well throw my thoughts into blog vortex along with the rest of you.

What I don't fully understand is the near 80% dedication of emotion toward Sarah Palin. On one side, there are those who just love her to death, and want her to be president or something.
On the other, are those who just love to want her dead.
Not much middle ground between the two.

Thing is, not many know who she really is, policy wise.
Is she more like a John McCain, willing to talk one way while running to the other side, eagerly selling himself to make new friends while stabbing his party in the back? If so, the left should love a Republican like that.

Or, will she be more of a Reagan, drawing the middle toward the right through force of personality and convictional courage? If so, the left should fear her, but at least then they would have a logic behind it.

It's hard to say, as she's shown a measure of both. I discount most of what she's said during the VP run since her job was to sell somebody else's candidacy. And her work in Alaska doesn't prove much.

Personally, I like the babe, and for reasons that have nothing at all to do with what I think she would or wouldn't do policy wise. And to be honest, I have little idea what these things even are.

What I'm witnessing among the right is a type of ideological transference: Where one assumes somebody holds certain views like their own because they are so enamored with the personality that they fill in the blanks with their own laundry list of policy positions. Especially among men, who are congenitally attracted to pretty ovulaters with large tits.

Thing is, this doesn't work. Ask the GOP Right, who thought they were getting someone more akin to Reagan in W, when all evidence pointed to the fact that they were not.
Or the Democrat Left, who thought they were getting Jesus in O, and are waiting for the rivers to flow with wine (just as soon as he finishes saving the planet.)

What I'm seeing from the Left is an unexplainable visceral hatred. There is no reason to hate this woman, and her family, on such a personal level. So much so, that her downs syndrome child is considered fair game. What the fuck is wrong with you people?
Even among the women of the northeast establishment in her own party, she is hated.
And I'm not buying that it's because that she's not educated enough, or she's not of Harvard or Yale, not sophisticated...yadda,yadda,bullshit.

No. None of that is it.
These cotillion bitches hate her for the same reason women have always hated other women: Jealousy.
Women hate competition. And more to the point, they hate the bitch they can't compete with.
She's better than them. She has a solid marriage to a handsome man, a large family, a fulfilling life, and, deep into her forties, she's still the chick all the men in the room would rather be with.

And, they can't be her 'friend', because plainly, she doesn't need them. Her life is different. Foreign to them, actually.
While they're sitting at the opera wearing their fancy dress, Sarah's shooting caribou or harvesting salmon. She's such the barbarian. The cotillion girls could never dream of living that life.
They were taught to go to the right schools, behave a certain way, do the ladylike things, hang with the cool kids and speak the right dialect so they can marry a man of status and have a happy life.

Sarah didn't do things that way. Yet, her life seems happy, fulfilling. It's not supposed to be that way. Sarah was supposed to want to be like them. And she doesn't.
She has no right to be happy, to attract the adoring crowds while wearing a skirt. She's just so common. So not good enough.

But still... who would the men rather be with?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Public Enemies

It was kinda nice to see a movie that wasn't about some cartoon character super hero for a change.

Instead, we have Public Enemies, a mostly historical action drama chronicling the creation of the FBI (and J Edgar Hoover) in the effort to capture John Dillinger and other famed bandits of the day.
Other characters like Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson and Frank Nitti come into play, but mostly as window dressing. This story is about Dillinger, after all.

I couldn't help but be reminded of Bonnie And Clyde (1968?). Lots of gunfire, car chases,jail breaks, tommy guns... You get the idea. Classic 'cops & robbers' stuff. But Bonnie And Clyde had character development, where you, the viewer was brought into the scene right along with the heroes(villains?).
Not so with Public Enemies. This was more like seeing the whole thing through a window. The personal connection is never made. Maybe this was by design? Hard to say.

The action was fairly good, the dramatic effects not so much, and Johnny Depp as Dillinger, naturally, played his part well. The whole cast did,really. Any lack of depth in the characters came from the screenplay itself, and not from the hired help.

All in all, suspenseful and exciting. Well worth the money.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Nothing To Crow About

By now, you've probably heard this story:
Members and officials of a private swimming pool in a predominantly white Philadelphia suburb reacted to a visiting group of minority children by asking them not to return...the state is investigating. (emphasis mine)

"Empathy" seems to be the constitutional principle of the day. And ya just gotta have empathy for the swim club people. I imagine that now they have to go through the extra expense of draining and disinfecting the pool before they let the white kids back in to pee in it.
Maybe even just fill it in and dig a new one. After all, that spacial void has been desecrated. How can a white kid ever occupy that space again?

Some are calling it a return of Jim Crow. How Jim Crow can 'return' to a place he's never been is beyond me.
Jim Crow lived in the South, not in Philadelphia, and were a series of laws and civil codes restricting mingling of the of races in public places.

I see no reason why the state of Pennsylvania needs to investigate this matter any further than what the article already states: that a private swim club, on private property, may not want to welcome people of a different race.
That's what "private" means.

If it is O.K. to have black-only fraternities, a United Negroe College Fund, or a Congressional Black Caucus, then it should be O.K. for a swim club, or any kind of club, to pick their own members as well.

I'm not calling for a return of segregation, and the doctrine of "Separate but Equal" was flawed from the beginning.
But the right to freely associate should be treated as such. Maybe we can call it the doctrine of "Be And Let Be."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

No Tears For The Clowns

It seems that California has a governor for the first time in years, but the state still teeters on the brink.

Q.If you purchased a bottle of 100% Pomegranate juice, what would you expect to find inside that bottle?
A. If answered in the most common sense manner, you are over qualified for success in California state politics.

Nothing really sums up the hows and whys quite like this article:
Budget Battle Devolves Into Food Fight
Assembly bill 606 creates a commission to serve the marketing interests of the blueberry industry. Another bill defines "honey" to mean the natural food product resulting from the harvest of nectar by honey bees, and a third bill adopts regulations establishing definitions and standards for 100-percent pomegranate juice.

and this:
Governor Schwarzenegger said he plans to invite Assembly Speaker Karen Bass back to the bargaining table, but the Speaker's office said no call had come by Tuesday night.

Bass boycotted the meeting of the "big 5" lawmakers because she says the governor is demanding reforms instead of focusing on the budget deficit.

To clarify: Bass walked out of negotiations because the only solutions she was willing to address were which taxes to raise. The Governor is proposing reforms that alter the structure of government in an attempt to get more from less while also eliminating overlapping agencies.

Meanwhile, the state has ruled that you can use an IOU from the state to pay the state money that you owe it. So, California is now effectively issuing scrip to cover the money it doesn't have. Not too unlike the Federal Reserve is doing.

My suggestion: print more scrip, and balance the budget with it.
Then the sky is the limit. Californians can have it all. Big governemnt. No taxes. Free health care.
Maybe we can even allow everybody to retire early at 90% pay, instead of just the public employees?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study:
The short: a variety of food textures are mixed/coated with barium sulfate, and swallowed while a radiologist records a video x-ray of the mouth and throat.
In my case, it was thin liquids and graham crackers.
Just so you know: barium tastes much like chalk. Yucky

The x-ray reveals the passage of the foods and liquids as they make their journey down to the esophagus. It identifies any bottle necks or aspiration problems.

In this video, I was instructed to alter my head position, tuck chin, hold breath, etc... to provide various angles of observation.

The barium shows up black on the x-ray, and you see where stuff is getting hung up by it's residual appearance after a swallow.
(Apparently, dental crowns are also made of barium.)

Personally, I think its kinda freaky cool to watch, so I now share it with you.

"The future does not belong to those who gather armies on a field of battle or bury missiles in the ground. "

calling on the U.S. and Russia to overcome Cold War mistrust and reduce nuclear arsenals, in his commencement speech before graduates of Moscow's New Economic School

I guess they didn't teach history at Columbia.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Gods Of Medicine

These are the two doctors who dissected me. Like I said, I had the best of the best, and owe them my sincerest gratitude.

When I look over their resumes and see that these two, who are just a few years older than I, have accomplished and contributed so much in their time, I can't help but to ask myself "What the hell have you been doing?"

The mind boggles.

You Ready for This?

I've had conversations with a few other bloggers concerning the wisdom of posting pictures of myself on this page.

It's been my standard policy to avoid doing that for a few reasons, some personal, others not so much.

And since I hesitate to display myself in that manner, I also extend the same policy toward the others, and is why I decided against posting pictures from last May's trip to the Twin Cities, and the festivities therewith. But it was tempting, I tell ya.

Well, I think it's time for a change.
Within the next day or two, I'll be posting not a picture, but a video. Of me.
Full frontal, face to the camera, exposed, nothing to hide, in explicit detail.

First, I have to figure out how to get the damn video from the disc onto the screen.

Stay tuned.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Taking It To The Bank

The Bank of Mexican Food in Temecula is the site of a former bank from the early 20th century. Built in 1913, or there abouts, of solid concrete, 18" thick walls, possessing all the charm of something really,really old by California standards, it is also the site of the first bank robbery in Riverside County.

This place has some more recent history as well, being the site of a fist fight between patrons that resulted in death a couple years ago. I guess that's what happens what beered-up assholes decide the off duty cop is a easy target.

For years I've heard of the great('best in town' say some) Mexican food served here, but since I avoid crowds and rowdy bar patrons, I never bothered to venture in for a bite.
Curiosity won the day today, so I gave this place a fair shot.

Walking through the door, seeing several empty tables, and still having to wait a few minutes to be seated got the whole experience off to a less than favorable start.
Longer still was the wait before somebody saw fit to bring me a menu.

Three times they tried to foist upon me a bowl of chips and salsa (which I have no use for). Hey, how 'bout a menu?
Finally, I got a menu.
A fast look, then I folded up the menu and pushed it aside.
Several more minutes before somebody came around to take my order: three chile rellenos, a la carte.
Still no drink, because nobody yet offered me one. No glass of water,either.Finally, an offer, and then several minutes later, a Diet Coke.

The wait time from order to food arrival wasn't bad. At least they got that part down. But still no flatware. I had to wait for that,too.

Enough flogging of the staff. To their credit, whenever someone did happen across my table, they seemed genuinely happy to see me. Maybe they were just surprised.

Time to trash the food.

Chile relleno generally have an enchilada-type sauce poured over them. Not here.
It looked more like a chunky stew of chopped tomatoes, onions, bell pepper and some ground up black flakes of indiscernible origin. This chunky stew of glop came out of can. It was obvious. And tasted like it.

Beneath the manufactured glop, somewhere, were my chile relleno. I had to dig for them.
The egg batter coating had a fluffy, soufle-like, baked texture. Not the fried texture, with just a whisp of crispy around the edges, that is typical.
The cheese was bland and flat, with a texture of plasticity, as opposed to the slight stringiness one would expect from freshly melted cheese.

I strongly suspect these rellenos were previously frozen, as opposed to freshly made.
And then maybe reheated in a microwave, before somebody opened the can and poured chunky tomato-vegetable stew over them?

Overall: bland. The sauce should compliment the relleno, but in this case it just overpowered it. And not even in a good way. Shock and Aweful, cantina style.

Next time, I'll go to Rosa's Cantina across the street. It's much better. And I can safely say that without ever having been to Rosa's Cantina before.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Cricopharyngeal Paralysis is what my primary diagnosis is, limiting my ability to swallow. Nice to know they actually have a name for it.

Today was another follow up with my surgeon, and this time I had him write it down for me. Trying to remember a term like "Cricopharyngeal Paralysis" is not among my stronger abilities.

Briefly: the cricopharyngeus is a muscle in the lower throat; the doorway between the larynx and the esophagus through which all things must pass if they are to make it into the stomach.

The larygeal paralysis has been mostly dealt with. It's likely about as good as it's going to get without the right vagul nerve (which controls the right side)present and functioning. Therapy, so far, has taken me to the point where the left side has strengthened enough to make swallowing possible.
It will never be as it once was, but I've already accepted that certain things will be altered forever, so any further improvement is just additional blessings to be grateful for. And things could have turned out much worse, so you'll hear no complaining from me.

Also, forever gone, is usage of my right vocal cord. This will remain permanantly paralyzed, and leads to most of my aspiration problems as the passageway into my lungs remains slightly ajar. The doctor has a remaining trick up his sleeve to help solve the aspiration issues and improve the speech abilities, but that's another posting.

There is a solution for the cricopharyngeus that we are currently discussing. We could continue with the therapy, hoping to strengthen the muscle further. Basically, this means strengthening the left side to overcompensate for the non-functioning right side. (All issues are on the right side, due to the missing vagul nerve.)
A dialation procedure. This would consist of shoving progressively larger tubes down my throat, past the cricopharyngeus, in order to stretch the muscle. This would allow me to swallow bites of food larger than a teaspoon, or drink more than a sip of water at time.

I've tend to take the view that the body is designed in a certain way for very specific reasons. The dialation would leave my throat open, causing potential concerns later on. Also, with the muscle weakened/stretched, stomach contents may not be so likely to stay in their proper place while bending over or doing physical activity. I've dealt enough with that for three months after the surgery when I had to make sure not to move around too often.
Back then, it didn't take much for something to pour out, triggering the gag reflex, and emptying everything I had in me. I was throwing up every day,leaving me sick inside and unable to keep anything down for several hours afterward.
(and further explains why I didn't post much for two months).
It was the big contributing factor to the malnutrition that caused my body to whither away, the infections, and a couple bouts of pneumonia.

I told the doctor I was in no hurry to try the dialation. I wanted to give things a chance to function properly before we start making further alterations. He agreed, and wants to see me again in three months.
In the meantime, he's released me to return to work the first week of August. He wants me to stay out as long as possible due the nutritional and hydration requirements of my line of work.
Considering the progress made just in the past month, I think I should be good to go by then. Besides, the disability benefits will run out at that time, and I got bills to pay and a mortgage to make.

Here are a couple of links that can illustrate better, and briefly, that of which I am speaking.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Had lunch with my daughter this afternoon. She took me to a Chinese-style Ramen house in Irvine called Ajisen Ramen.
They are an international chain, with locations throughout China, Taiwan, Japan and the USofA.

Nice, very clean and casual place, staffed with a harem of young asian babes who put the 'oo' in cute.

(clickie biggie)

I ordered the Ajisan Ramen, the house standard bowl, with sliced pork, boiled egg, shredded cabbage and various green floaters.

Decent ramen, with a meaty-flavored pork broth that clings to the palate, served warm, but not the scalding temperature that is usually a hallmark of great ramen.

The soup was, as I said, decent, not that great, and I've had better at some most mom & pop ramen houses nearer to where I grew up. And these guys are rather chintzie with the meat and portion sizes.
Not that the meat mattered much. Unable to choke it down, I passed it over to the daughter, who commented approvingly on it's tenderness and flavor.

If I go back, it'll be to gawk at the wait staff, not for the food.

Around Town

This oughtta convince 'em.

(clickie biggie)