Monday, September 30, 2013

One Of The Problems Of Growing Old Is...

That a lot of your friends........ don't.*

He came into our lives at the start of our high school adventure. Fairly tall, very fair haired and skinned, reasonably athletic, highly intelligent and quiet. His mother, newly a single mom, and sister had moved into our town. She was a Woods - an extremely large and close family based out of Kalvesta - the small farming community just to the north of our farm. So, I was on very close terms with a lot of his cousins. He came highly recommended.

As a new kid, he was shy at first, but as we all discovered, he did like to have fun and to participate in his area of interests. Band, basketball and track figured into his extracurricular school activities. Family was always important - even at such a young age, he was the man of the house for his mother and sister. His family background included the Nazarene Church, and he was also very active in their youth groups.

We became fast friends, he and I, plus he had many others as well. Jeff never did belong to just one clique, identifying that narrowly was not his style. He was a geek, a jock, a popular guy, and a Christian without letting any of those descriptors overwhelm his personality. Laid back, he never seemed to get too excited about issues that had the rest of us chasing our tails. "Don't sweat the small stuff." While he was blessed with common sense, he was just as likely to end up in some sort of shady hijinks as the rest of us. Nothing serious, because he didn't want to shame his Mother. He was really stung if he crossed that threshold, and avoided that at all costs. After all, she expected better of him.

He also started going out with Margaret. She was a member of a large Catholic family - many aunts, uncles and cousins. Her immediate family only included her parents and sisters. By definition, I became friends with "Maggie," though I've always called her Margaret. She was a very good match - equally laid back and dedicated to her family and friends, she ended up grounding Jeff for many years. She always felt she wasn't as intelligent as her husband to be, but he blew that off. That was the sort of thinking that upset Jeff - because destroying one's self wasn't something one did. Her unerring abilities to keep goals, morals, common sense, family ties, and intelligence (she IS smart) and yet to enjoy life as well fit Jeff quite well.

With this relationship in mind, Jeff decided to start college at St. Mary of the Plains in Dodge City. He would start college there while Margaret was a senior back at the high school, then she'd go to Dodge City Community College. They would then transfer to Kansas State. Jeff was studying to be a mechanical engineer. I was in pre-med, and had a scholarship there, so we decided to be roommates in the men's dorm.

High School Graduation 1977 - check out all that hair!
Jeff proved to be a major influence in my life from that time onward. Music? I'd been listening to the Carpenters, for Gawd's sake. He had a collection that included Steppenwolf, Steve Miller Band, The Doors, Credence Clearwater Revival, The Edward Winter Group, KISS and most importantly the Doobie Brothers.** Jeff was also a serious geek, and we shared our collections of scifi and fantasy. Neither of us had read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, so a week of frenzied reading put that under our belts. Asimov, Bradbury and so many others populated our bookshelf in that little room.

And we had fun. There were two bars within shouting distance that had "drown nights." Wednesday night - The Armor Room, two dollar cover. Friday - The Opera House, three dollar cover with a live band. One economically fueled night after one of those particular bars closed, we found ourselves bored and not ready to go "home." As gearheads, we were always interested in looking at the offerings that the local car dealers had on their lots. Hey, after midnight, we could look without having some pesky salesman bother us. We weren't going to be buying, we were just looking.

We ended up at the local Ford dealer. Skaggs Motors. Owned by Milton J. Skaggs, but J. Milton Skaggs the son was pretty much running things by then. This was important later.

One of our fellow Cavalier classmates worked there part time as a detailer and all around lot boy. His room sported one of their promo tags that went on every front car bumper. As we were concluding perusing the Skaggs collection, it occurred to us that we could quite easily blow his little wall art clean away by helping ourselves to several of the selection before us.

Quarters in hand, we loosened the tag screws and between us collected six tags. That would be enough, we thought. As we were walking back to Jeff's car***, we both noticed one of Dodge City's finest walking in the car lot about a hundred yards off talking into his portable radio. This was not a good sign.

Jeff headed east to a N/S street and hung a left. We could see several police cars to our right coming off Wyatt Earp Boulevard and they fell in behind us. We met another police car. As we went further north to the next cross street, we could see the intersection ahead had cars waiting for us to pass. I had my window open, ready to dump the tags. Jeff was watching his mirrors. There were and still are cross drains on that street, and Jeff hit one a tad faster than he should have. His fan shroud loosened and the fan started rubbing, which only added to the ambience of the moment. Get ready - now! No! Not now, just a minute! Okay, Now! NO! NO!

It was too late. The night exploded into red lights. We pulled over, and when instructed, did as we were told. I handed over our illicit gains from our crime spree to the first officer, and even dug into my pocket for some screws. Of course they searched the car. Did we steal the quilt in the back seat? How about the timing chain in the trunk? The lack of logic involved in those accusations really got under Jeff's skin. Yeah, right, homemade quilts are standard with new cars these days, and yeah, we really had the time to disassemble the front end of a car, remove the fan, water pump and front cover to steal a used timing chain.

We were not arrested, but told to go back to our dorm. The officer in charge told us it would be a very good idea if we presented ourselves to one of the Skaggs family to beg them not to press charges. Of course we did - bright, early, tired and a tad hungover, we were there. We got there before J. Milt did, and he had meetings. He ushered us into his office, and started talking. If we wanted promo tags, all we had to do was ask. Next time we closed out a bar, go home to stay out of trouble. Probably a good thing we didn't have to talk to his father, he'd have thrown the book at us. He really didn't appreciate being awakened at two or three am for crap like that. We were appropriately sorry, and went back to the dorm and slept the rest of the day.

We had made a mistake, paid for our mistake, and it was time to move on. Jeff lived that principle. As I mentioned, the illogic of some of what happened offended him - this would remain a hallmark of his to his last day. A natural conservative, wastes of time and money, hypocrisy and social injustices upset his sense of right and wrong, and figured greatly in his thinking the rest of his life.

Jeff and three other classmates from St. Marys took off for Kansas State to live off campus, and Margaret continued her studies there as well. Not long after they graduated, I was called upon to be their best man.

Jeff's Dad Don, Margaret, Jeff, Mom Vivian, and little sis Shelly
Jeff was now employed as an engineer for Exxon and this began his career with the oil industry - Oklahoma and Texas figured into most of the addresses his burgeoning family would call home.

Their home was truly open to all and sundry - various friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, fellow church members and sometimes a little of each stripe would be there at any given time. In all the years of visiting their home, I'm not sure if I was ever the lone guest. Someone was always there. Margaret told me that they thought that was what a home was for. Hard to argue, that.

Their open and fair attitude to all was really brought home to me in their first home in Oklahoma City. It was a brand spankin' new condo in a development that a ton of fellow newly hired Exxon engineers seemed to end up. I got there, and one of Jeff's coworker and neighbor was there, with his wife and parents. They also happened to be African American, and they were obviously comfortable in the Bridgwater household. Racism was simply not part of Jeff and Margaret's makeup. This was not a case of overcompensating or putting on a show - that was simply the correct course. Nothing more, nothing less. Considering our shared background in an essentially color free community, that was a revelation.

Lindsey, Mackenzie, Paul, Jeff, Margaret 2001
Time marched on, as it always does, and the two newlyweds had children. Twin girls and a son. School and church activities filled their time, which always included me when I happened to be in the 'hood.

I found that a couple of happy little girls, screaming with delight when tickled and teased, was something to be highly enjoyed. Just never did it often enough.

I'm not sure if I was completely responsible, but on one visit, I took the 'rents and Paul to the local shooting range in OKC. It was Paul's birthday, and I let him air out some of my pistols. In the past few years, both of them have started picking up a collection that has to be exercised at that same range, and they were amassing the components necessary to reload ammunition. Margaret - not interested - but if that is what the men in her life want, so be it.

And as I discovered, one tends to become more politically active when one delves into the gun culture. If you want to preserve it, you have to. So, in the ever present Facebook political battles, I could count on Jeff to wade in with some valid point I had missed. He had my back, and I his.

Jeff, Margaret, Margaret's sister Paula and her hubby Steve, Paul and the twins at a KSU football game
The family is also die hard Kansas State University fans. Season football tickets, so they drove to Manhattan on weekends. EMAW****, babyee!

Just by living life the way he and Margaret did drew a lot of respect over the years. Countless coworkers, friends, children's friends, church members - all have come to rely on my friend for advice and leadership. Like I said before, Don't sweat the small stuff was one of his favorite sayings. He would explain that whatever it was that was bothering you and upsetting your apple cart was really not that important, and that if you did what you were supposed to do, control what you could and things still went haywire, well, it was NOT your fault. Maybe if one was a tad more forgiving, or forgetful, or whatever - one might find one's self finding life a bit easier. God does not give you more than you can handle - but you have to step up to the task. Responsibility for one's actions was important. While having money is good, friends and family are more important.

He had the innate ability to come at a problem with a different slant. Usually his solutions were brute simple, yet no one had considered them up to that point. Relax, don't get too excited, do the right thing, get over it and move on, you know the correct path if you just listen, don't waste your time letting that eat at you - well, I think we all know people who can do this and make it look easy. Jeff had that and his assurances and demeanor were of a healing nature.

His mother died last summer, and Sis and I went to the funeral. I was soooo pleased that I did that, because it meant the world to him that I made the trip to honor his mother. Of course it was the right thing to do - I had to do it, but that really didn't enter into his calculations. He let me know numerous times how much it meant to him that I, his friend, was there for him.

The Jeffs at Vivian's funeral
This summer, I made it a point to swing through OKC on my road trip to see Sis as well as Jeff and family. He was extremely tickled that I was going to be there, and he needed to get with Margaret to make plans to have a supper for Sis and I. The time was set, and we showed up. It was a typical Bridgwater occasion - there were other friends and relatives there as well. Sister Shelly and her family came over, Margaret had family there, and several other people. Paul ran the grill. The family's preacher dropped by - he had some thoughts about some future plans and some other budget issues he wanted to run by Jeff. He had been on sabbatical and wanted to share some of his adventures as well.

Like I said, people came to Jeff for advice. Even his preacher.

Last Monday I posted this picture on Jeff's Facebook timeline. As long as we get to laugh out loud about it!! was his response. Alas, it will have to wait, because as y'all have figured out, Jeff passed away. He fell asleep in his chair Saturday night, and the family thinks he had a heart problem of some sort at around 10:45pm that night. Attempts at CPR failed.

I was at the auto races in Dodge City with my cousin Tom that night. Shelly tried to call and text me, but it was too noisy to hear my phone. I didn't even look at my phone until the wee hours of Sunday morning, when I read the text. 

Jeff passed away tonight! Margaret called me about 30 minutes ago.

Well, someone's gotten Shelly's phone and is sending out malicious texts. That was my first thought. Then the lack of logic of that thought hit home. Nope, it had to be true, I had lost my friend.

I tell you, the reader, of these things not because of my pain, although that is pretty evident. What I want y'all to know is the huge hole Jeff's passing has left in so many lives in so many places. He left a mark on this old world, and in a very rare and good way. He, like the Disciple Peter, was a rock. Jeff was a rock that many people's foundation was stiffened and fortified. As I can tell you from experience, being around Jeff was good for one's soul.

And there is no doubt in my mind that Jeff has gone to greater Glory. There are many people who are pretty decent, but when they die, one has to wonder if they did make it to Heaven or not. With Jeff, there can be no doubt. There is far too much evidence to the contrary that he is. He was just one of those who everyone knows would make it. Every one loved Jeff, because he loved everyone in the first place.

I have, in my fifty four years, managed to amass quite a collection of friends. Very good friends I have come to count upon, to lean upon, to enjoy life, to share experiences, to counsel in turn and just to live, period. I hesitate to call Jeff my very best friend ever, because it would short change so many other people to consider them beneath him. At any rate, Jeff wouldn't want to be put on a pedestal. Not his style. Were I to say such a thing, he would no doubt admonish me about how that would not be fair to the other people who figure large in my life. I actually have different friends that fill different niches in my life, and consider myself so very, very fortunate to have the riches that I do in that department.


I do have to say that this has ripped a huge gash from my heart and soul, even knowing Jeff is in a better place. It pains me greatly that others are hurting worse than I. I will miss my friend, and it has not and will not be easy.

But, we will all move on. That is what he would want, and he was correct. I will be a pallbearer for him on Thursday October 3, at Lake View Park Church of the Nazarene, and I will be at the viewing at Mercer-Adams Funeral Home from 6 to 8pm. Helping to bury him and be there for his family is the very least I can do, so I will quite willingly be there.

RIP Jeffrey Dean Bridgwater, my old buddy.

*Quote from one of my Facebook pals.
** I have it on good authority that Jesus Is Just Alright will be in the musical selection at the funeral.
***A '68 (or '69, memory not remembering right) Pontiac Grand Prix 400 big block, auto, deep blue white vinyl roof. What a wonderful car it was.
****Every Man A Wildcat

Saturday, September 28, 2013

If This Doesn't

Put a lump in your throat or a tear in your eye, then I got nuttin.'


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Different Time

But the need still exists.

H/T Michael Z. Williamson on Facebook

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Common Sense Has Passed On, Or What Are They Teaching Kids These Days


A Pop Tart eaten into a silhouette of a gun becomes a gun to school administrators, and a child is suspended. A Derby, KS boy was suspended for bringing a Chuck E. Cheese noisemaker to school.

The actual dangerous weapon threatening our defenseless children.
What we are witnessing, thanks in large part to zero tolerance policies that were intended to make schools safer by discouraging the use of actual drugs and weapons by students, is the inhumane treatment of young people and the criminalization of childish behavior.
Ninth grader Andrew Mikel is merely the latest in a long line of victims whose educations have been senselessly derailed by school administrators lacking in both common sense and compassion. A freshman at Spotsylvania High School in Virginia, Andrew was expelled in December 2010 for shooting a handful of small pellets akin to plastic spit wads at fellow students in the school hallway during lunch period. Although the initial punishment was only for 10 days, the school board later extended it to the rest of the school year. School officials also referred the matter to local law enforcement, which initiated juvenile proceedings for criminal assault against young Andrew.
Andrew is not alone. Nine-year-old Patrick Timoney was sent to the principal's office and threatened with suspension after school officials discovered that one of his LEGOs was holding a 2-inch toy gun. That particular LEGO, a policeman, was Patrick's favorite because his father is a retired police officer. David Morales, an 8-year-old Rhode Island student, ran afoul of his school's zero tolerance policies after he wore a hat to school decorated with an American flag and tiny plastic Army figures in honor of American troops. School officials declared the hat out of bounds because the toy soldiers were carrying miniature guns. A 7-year-old New Jersey boy, described by school officials as "a nice kid" and "a good student," was reported to the police and charged with possessing an imitation firearm after he brought a toy Nerf-style gun to school. The gun shoots soft ping pong-type balls.
Things have gotten so bad that it doesn't even take a toy gun to raise the ire of school officials. A high school sophomore was suspended for violating the school's no-cell-phone policy after he took a call from his father, a master sergeant in the U.S. Army who was serving in Iraq at the time. A 12-year-old New York student was hauled out of school in handcuffs for doodling on her desk with an erasable marker. In Houston, an eighth grader was suspended for wearing rosary beads to school in memory of her grandmother (the school has a zero tolerance policy against the rosary, which the school insists can be interpreted as a sign of gang involvement). Six-year-old Cub Scout Zachary Christie wassentenced to 45 days in reform school after bringing a camping utensil to school that can serve as a fork, knife or spoon. And in Oklahoma, school officials suspended a first grader simply for using his hand to simulate a gun.

link to story

Zero tolerance policies are just an excuse for administrators to avoid taking responsibility for making a decision based on common sense. Not even adults in our court systems are treated with this lack of discretion.

And this is a continuing problem that is getting worse instead of better. The kid with the Chuck E. Cheese toy? 2008. The quote above with all the references to similar situations? 2011. And here in 2013 we find that playing with toys legally on one's property and well away from any sort of school property or activity is now illegal.Apparently there is no Bill of Rights when it comes to school administrators making zero tolerance decisions. Which is to say they don't make a decision, they play Cover My Ass by not using their heads, discretion or logic.

It's not just Dear Leader and politicians staining our lives and freedoms, although it is easier to focus on them. We cannot forget the overreaching desk driving drones that were elected by nobody that are slowly taking over our lives.

Monday, September 23, 2013

An Anecdotal Study On The Effects Of Gravity On The Right Foot While Driving And Listening To Certain Rock Songs

Y'all will probably kill me since I'm putting up twenty songs. Probably gonna be the "TL: DR" version of watching videos. Anyhoo, here is a list of songs that make my right foot derned heavy, and I've avoided the obvious ones like I Can't Drive 55 and so on.

But they all have the same effect on me - my right foot gets heavy. Probably a good thing for my license that I generally use cruise control.
















This one by Sammy Hagar is pretty well off the beaten path - it just isn't heard much on terrestrial radio anymore, and I sure haven't heard it on SiriusXM, either. It's every bit as hard drivin' as I Can't Drive 55.





Can you say one hit wonder? I knew you could!


Well, thanks for bearing with me this far. This is by no means a Top Twenty or a definitive list - it's just some of what I happen to have digitally. There are way more I'm forgetting, and if there are any that you feel I egregiously left out, be sure and let me know in the comments!

I Don't Care Who You Are

This video is awesome. Y'all know I like army men. I like ginger cats, with a particular affinity for one who is no longer with us. So, as you too will see, this clip was amusing as all get out.


H/T Ace of Spades

They Told Me

If I voted for Mitt Romney, there would be unchecked partisan politics in Washington.

And they were right.

For someone who is willing to give our security away to foreign countries who wish us ill and the United Nations*, he's damned adamant about my way or the highway when it comes to Capital Hill. For all his claims of bipartisanship, he is the chief stirrer of the big ol' stinkin' feces pot.

It's like he has short man syndrome, always trying to pick a fight with who he perceives as a threat to his self image. He's deathly afraid to look like someone showed him up here in his own backyard, and is willing to sacrifice everything in order to keep up appearances. Part of his mythology involves trying to appear non threatening in foreign affairs. So, when he draws a red line, then he had to back off, and shove responsibility to the side.

Obama can't talk without a teleprompter, he can't lead without checking polls and the wind direction, he has no logical, repeatable foreign policy, he can't speak the truth about domestic affairs - Lordy, Lordy, Lordy.

I find myself sputtering in an inarticulate manner when I think about these things. I only hope we've got a country left if and when Teh Won** deigns it necessary to leave.

*but I repeat myself
**Obama likes to remind us that he, in fact, did win.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Escape Velocity

Just think: a learning opportunity awaits Daddy.

Ziggy really, really needs to lay off the ol' Vitamin A. At least he's got pants on, as opposed to the usual.

Good ol' Charlie Brown. Forever a trusting fool. Lucy? Still a bitch. She can argue synchronicity all she wants, but there are no coincidences.

I Am Not Amused

This ad, or a variation has been appearing on my timeline on Facebook. Lessee - they know I'm single. Probably figured out I'm capable of scaring small children with my looks. Perhaps they're just thinking of me? Trying to help me out? Match me genetically so we crank out ugly kids? And the ugly women?

The are DESPERATE. Oh boy, this means I'm practically guaranteed to get laid, doncha know. If we have fun dates. Well hell yeah, happy endings are always fun, I say.

So they think I'm looking for big boobed ugly gals? That's pretty insulting to me and to women in general. Frankly, I'm thinking if this gal looses the glasses, she's pretty nice looking.

I'm for thinking Facebook's algorithm for matching ads to users is flawed in two directions - one, they still have a problem picking out appropriate stuff, and two, I'm not really sure they have very many ads to choose from. Sooner or later, they're gonna have to pass off some of the more questionable stuff to get paid, so here they put this crap on my feed.

Just in case I'm a complete creep.

And don't you for one second think I've clicked on that ad. I'd be afraid the 'puter would pick up something pretty skanky at a site like that, and I don't mean a social disease either.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

There Is No "I" In Team

Been hearing this statement for years. "No "I" in team!"

Yeah, teamwork, baby. Gettin' it done by yourself ain't allowed.

Welp, they can all blow it out their a$$ now, by gawd.

From commenter David Richard at Dustbury via ETat

Friday, September 20, 2013

All In The POV


I have nothing to add to aid the mastery of this clip. Just enjoy.

H/T tb from Facebook

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Quote of the Day

From Jeff Soyer, aka Alphecca:
It’s “Talk Like a Pirate Day” 
I guess that means we all have to go around sounding like IRS agents.
Wish I'd have thought of that......

Economic Sanctions?!?

So what does this mean exactly? Billy and Jeffy now have a trade embargo? Fines for Billy? Dolly will be making sure Billy keeps off the pay pr0n sites on the family PC? PJ gets Billy's supper for the next week?

Billy strikes me as a tad young to be teaching object lessons about failure of diplomacy and punitive actions short of war. I'd just swat his ass and get it over with.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Which Founding Father Are You????

In lieu of actual blogging - another quiz. Which Founding Father are you? I'm good with James Madison!

H/T to thereoughttobeatest on Facebook

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Defunct Car Quiz

Okay gearheads! Beat that!

Actually, most of the cars are icons or fell right into my time frame, so it really wasn't a very difficult quiz.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

After All These Years

We all knew it was coming. Thel finally snapped. "Dolly is sleeping now. Dolly will sleep forever."

Now I dunno about y'all, but this ain't funny. This strip is just plain disgusting.

I Can't Wait

Normally I try to avoid Dear Leader's speeches for health reasons - never sure if the ol' ticker can handle listening to what's being shoveled. However, with this handy chart, I'll be ready......

Rules for Bullshit Bingo: 

1. Before Barrack Obama's next televised speech, print your "Bullshit Bingo Card" 

2. Check off the appropriate block when you hear one of those words/phrases. 

3. When you get five blocks horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, stand up and shout "BULLSHIT!"
Break out the beer! I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Be Strong and Courageous

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6.
I've always liked this Cox and Forkum (remember them?) cartoon because it caught a moment in time when time seemed normal, yet it wasn't.

Today, this year, we have to remember the events from 09/11/2001 and now the Benghazi attack on 09/11/2012. Plus we have news from Benghazi this morning that Libya's Foreign Ministry building has been bombed.

Rest assured, as our current crop of politicos try to shove all this under the rug, our adversaries have not forgotten.

We are going to have to hold our politicians' feet to the fire (a strategy that works, just ask the two state senators from Colorado) lest all our fellow countrymens' deaths be in vain, sacrificed to the gods of political correctness run amok. At this point, it does so really matter. Still not buying the "Religion of Peace" bit, either. So sorry, actions speak louder than words, and good intent hasn't prevented any terrorist attacks.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm Free!


Well, I feel that free in spirit. I can assure you that I'm not doing all that running around for real, just in my mind.

Ok, so for you that don't know, I'll back up and start at the beginning.

Yesterday afternoon, sitting comfortably in my recliner, I had one hell of a chest pain. It felt like someone was in the chest cavity and slugged out right over my heart (between my left nipple and the zipper incision scar) as hard as they could. Sharp pain that got worse when I breathed deep, coughed or whatever. I have had a pain or three there, and in my old chest incision as well. I've always figured some of that was some sort of bone pain from the surgery some time ago, because my cardiologist has told me that happens.

This time my head started spinning some, I was hearing buzzing, balance was a problem and I just felt completely out of sorts. My vision was even blurry. I was getting pretty worked up and worried.

It did occur to me that perhaps on top of this new pain, I might be going through a low sugar episode. It checked out at 87, which isn't real high or low, but I've always been able to tell if I'm crashing. I figured if I checked it again in five or ten, it would be a lot lower. I've usually got something sugary around, so I had a little box of raisins.

That usually takes care of things, but not this time. Pain the same, still out of sorts, no improvement. So, I fretted for a while and finally decided to get dressed in case I had to go immediately if not before. I called Road Pig to see if he'd drive me to the hospital in Dodge City. I really wasn't convinced this was worth an ambulance ride. Even with insurance, they're pretty expensive.

But RP was pretty skittish about hauling a potential heart attack to Dodge and having no way to help me if something was seriously wrong and go totally awry. I should go ahead and call the 'bolance.

Of course he was right and that is what I did. My blood sugar was up at 107 on their meter, and as I rode over, my head started clearing. Pain still in my chest.

And just to show you how precise and accurate glucose meters are - the hospital's meter had me at 91 when I rolled in and they checked it. Of course they took an X-ray and some blood plus ran an EKG to compare to one they had on file. No difference in the EKGs, and there was nothing there with either the X-ray or the blood work to indicate a heart attack. So, it was off to a room for overnight observation.

I calmed down considerably, and after all things settled down, and consultation with my cardiologist in Wichita, it was determined that I had not had any sort of heart event. My pain was musculoskeletal, in their opinion. Along with low blood sugar, I'd also probably had a panic attack of sorts.

Originally, I had thought that maybe either I'd popped something and was bleeding internally, filling up my cardiac sac, or maybe it was just too full of fluid. I had taken another diuretic, and it had little effect, so if I had a bunch of extra fluid, the diuretic was failing.

But it was not, there was just nothing there to work on.

When I woke up this morning, I felt a pain under my left scapula, where I hurt when I've got a rib out back there. It was directly below my original point. I've had that sucker out plenty of times, and my chiropractor (The Young Doctor) generally puts it back in. Not an easy task, considering how much like a barrel (plus sized like one) I am. I've got a huge chest.

My main doctor usually doesn't come on until noon a lot of days, so I had to wait today until she got done at the office and came up to the hospital to see me before she'd let me go.

Turns out I've got atrial fibrillation again. I'd had it before, and the ablation/cryo-maze procedure done during the quad bypass was supposed to take care of that. It did for all these years, but now it's back.

The danger is that when the heart beats out of rhythm, the ventricles never really flush clear of blood. Some always remains behind gathering around the valves. This can build up, then a chunk breaks loose, then it's stroke time, baybee.

So the solution is to prescribe Coumadin, which I call rat poison. Sorry, that is what it is - the stuff liquefies the innards of rodents. Too much of it in ol' Jeffro, and his innards become liquefied. If she and my cardiologist decided that was the way to go, I'd still be there so they could find the appropriate dosage and adjust it until they had it right. Then I could come home.

Or we could try a new drug Xarelto. It's gonna be high dollar - don't think there is a generic yet. I will be dropping Clopidogrel, which is the generic for Plavix. I also have to cut back on the daily aspirin - instead of a full one, gotta get a child's version (81gr, I think). She also adjusted some other meds because some levels were a little off whack.

I like her because she is so damned insistent on checking all this stuff and making me do something about it. It gets pretty irritating at times, but she is really on the ball and knows what the hells she's up to. So, I listen, grumble and go on.

Believe me, when she scheduled me for the procedure where no man had gone before (a little over a year ago), I grumbled a lot.

But I really do appreciate her efforts, and I trust her completely.

If you know me personally, you know I rarely encounter a stranger. I enjoyed talking up the nurses and making them laugh, and just cutting up in general. All that aside, I'm damned glad to be home and leave all that to them. I just try to make the experience easier for them and myself while I'm there. I hate to see the demanding prick in action in similar situations, and don't ever wanna be associated with that behavior.

So, the cat is pawing around at my feet wanting some attention. Best get to it.


So Jeff Danziger is a hawk? Who knew?

Sure hard to tell from all the "Bush Lied, People Died" and other anti-war crap he was espousing during W's terms of office. Apparently he's in favor of half-assed leadership when it comes to planning attacks and actually making decisions.

Yep, drawing a line, denying he drew a line, checking the wind vanes of public perception every ten seconds, dithering, giving away any tactical surprise - hey! What could go wrong?!? It's all Congress' fault for the pickle Dear Leader finds himself in! Silly me!

I will give Teh Won credit for leadership in one area. He is definitely showing leadership on gun control issues. Too bad it's all unconstitutional, but for supposedly being a Constitutional scholar, the document clearly means nothing to him.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Scenes We'd Like To See: Adventures in La La Land

From the linked article
And now it's global COOLING! Record return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 60% in a yearAlmost a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than in 2012
BBC reported in 2007 global warming would leave Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013
Publication of UN climate change report suggesting global warming caused by humans pushed back to later this month
A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 60 per cent. The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013. Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores. 
The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year. More than 20 yachts that had planned to sail it have been left ice-bound and a cruise ship attempting the route was forced to turn back. 
Some eminent scientists now believe the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century – a process that would expose computer forecasts of imminent catastrophic warming as dangerously misleading. 
The disclosure comes 11 months after The Mail on Sunday triggered intense political and scientific debate by revealing that global warming has ‘paused’ since the beginning of 1997 – an event that the computer models used by climate experts failed to predict. 
In March, this newspaper further revealed that temperatures are about to drop below the level that the models forecast with ‘90 per cent certainty’. 
The pause – which has now been accepted as real by every major climate research centre – is important, because the models’ predictions of ever-increasing global temperatures have made many of the world’s economies divert billions of pounds into ‘green’ measures to counter  climate change.
Those predictions now appear gravely flawed.

 Geez, ya think?

The article somewhat gleefully reports that the BBC reported back in 2007 that the Arctic Circle would be ice free by 2013.

Well, since it's the Beeb, and this is the Daily Mail, I'd be pretty gleeful in pointing that out my own self.

But, wait, there's more:

The continuing furore caused by The Mail on Sunday’s revelations – which will now be amplified by the return of the Arctic ice sheet – has forced the UN’s climate change body to hold a crisis meeting. 
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was due in October to start publishing its Fifth Assessment Report – a huge three-volume study issued every six or seven years. It will now hold a pre-summit in Stockholm later this month. 
Leaked documents show that governments which support and finance the IPCC are demanding more than 1,500 changes to the report’s ‘summary for policymakers’. They say its current draft does not properly explain the pause. 
At the heart of the row lie two questions: the extent to which temperatures will rise with carbon dioxide levels, as well as how much of the warming over the past 150 years – so far, just 0.8C – is down to human greenhouse gas emissions and how much is due to natural variability. 
In its draft report, the IPCC says it is ‘95 per cent confident’ that global warming has been caused by humans – up from 90 per cent in 2007.
This claim is already hotly disputed. US climate expert Professor Judith Curry said last night: ‘In fact, the uncertainty is getting bigger. It’s now clear the models are way too sensitive to carbon dioxide. I cannot see any basis for the IPCC increasing its confidence level.’ 
She pointed to long-term cycles  in ocean temperature, which have a huge influence on climate and  suggest the world may be approaching a period similar to that from 1965 to 1975, when there was a clear cooling trend. This led some scientists at the time to forecast an imminent ice age. 
Professor Anastasios Tsonis, of the University of Wisconsin, was one of the first to investigate the ocean cycles. He said: ‘We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped.
‘The IPCC claims its models show a pause of 15 years can be expected. But that means that after only a very few years more, they will have to admit they are wrong.’ 
Others are more cautious. Dr Ed Hawkins, of Reading University, drew the graph published by The Mail on Sunday in March showing how far world temperatures have diverged from computer predictions. He admitted the cycles may have caused some of the recorded warming, but insisted that natural variability alone could not explain all of the temperature rise over the past 150 years. 
Nonetheless, the belief that summer Arctic ice is about to disappear remains an IPCC tenet, frequently flung in the face of critics who point to the pause. 
Yet there is mounting evidence that Arctic ice levels are cyclical. Data uncovered by climate historians show that there was a massive melt in the 1920s and 1930s, followed by intense re-freezes that ended only in 1979 – the year the IPCC says that shrinking began.
Professor Curry said the ice’s behaviour over the next five years would be crucial, both for understanding the climate and for future policy. ‘Arctic sea ice is the indicator to watch,’ she said.
The science isn't settled, the mathematical models are completely flawed, and thus the premise of global warming and in particular man caused global warming have never been proven. When the facts do not support the theory, this means the theory is incorrect. Making public policy that has negative economic impact based on these theories is just plain lunacy. When one considers that our planet has been far warmer than it is now in the past, and also far colder, one could surmise - based on the facts, not pie in the sky suppositions - that the climate on this ol' blue ball is cyclical.

It is my fondest hope to someday see something similar in our news:

Eco-Protesters Arrested
by Carlos Danger, ecological reporter for The Tundra Turd 
After the stunning revelations that ice sheets in the Arctic Circle are in fact growing, the much anticipated report on the effect on local wildlife released last week has created quite a stir in the eco-community, the UN, and worldwide. Chief among the startling news is that the sudden appearance of ice has actually trapped many animals, including seals and polar bears. The seals, trapped under the ice sheets, die from lack of oxygen. The bears find themselves frozen in place, unable to move.
Other animals seem relatively unaffected, but this news has prompted the Earth Wildlife Federation to reverse their stand on global warming, carbon credits, use of petro-energy, and the various strategies to alter man's behavior to stave off planet wide destruction. 
The prevailing theory among the eco-conscious now appears to be a strategy involving increasing pollution to help increase the global temperature. Hundreds of protesters stormed the UN today to show support for the emerging Global Heating Movement. 
Protesters were holding signs with messages such as Your Prius Is Death, Meat is NOT Murder Cattle Farts Wanted, Wind and Solar Power Are Freezing Us To DEATH among other strident calls to burn more oil and coal.
Spokeswoman for the group Olivia Patchouli Bongwater, after emerging from the organization's new Cadillac Escalade, made this statement:
We cannot continue to worry about lowering our earth's temperature while poor baby harp seals suffer. We must commit to a new energy and pollution policy in order to save our animal brethren.
She immediately found a UN policeman and assaulted him with her sign, and was promptly arrested.

More protests involving other venues and organizations are scheduled this winter.

If only.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

The Horror. The Horror.


Aaaaah, such suffering. Would that I could take his place to ease his pain, if only for a little while.

H/T CDR M at Ace of Spades HQ

Skid Marks in the Tighty Whities

From Fox News:
Um, talk about the worst interview ever... a marketing video aimed at demonstrating the clarity of the new 84-inch LG HD-TV screen is going viral. But only after the company successfully put the fear of God into its unsuspecting applicants.
LG set up the new screen so that it appeared to be a window when job-seekers walked into an office for an interview. But the scene the applicants witnessed taking place outside? Oh, nothing, just the end of the world. 
About two-thirds of the way through the terrifying stunt, the LG execs would come out and reveal the prank.
Yeah, I'm for thinking I'd be headed for the door, too. I doubt I'd be very happy with any "LG executive" who was trying to explain that it was all in fun.

Give one of 'em a black eye, then laugh and laugh. "See how funny it is now, ya putz!" Yeah, that'd be funny too.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Made Me Feel All Warm And Runny

There is justice in this world. Rat gets what is coming to him.

I Have A Dream

I'd settle for impeachment.

Not holding my breath, though.

H/T Nukle Kim



Sheesh. Someone, or several someones, partook of Vitamin A way, way more than was good for them.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


Oh, yeah. And I have a new addition to the blog header.

I've Never Seen Distortion Like This, Captain


What has been seen, cannot be unseen.

H/T George Takei on Facebook


Don't wake her!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Home Front: Cat-Human Relationship On The Upswing

What a difference a little more time makes. And the toy advice from Heather was spot on. I forgot toys and such for Kitsey the last WallyWorld trip - but I always forget crap. I get in off of two or more days on the road and forget what I need or not.

So I rigged up a small whisk to play the role of a mouse tied on a string. Kitsey enjoyed that, but she really enjoyed the toys I bought at the Dollar General here in town. Catnip infused, doncha know.

She's jumping in my lap now, but it's usually when I'm asleep. I sleep mostly in a recliner (I plug up if I lie down), and she'll just all of a sudden be there climbing all over me. Groggy, I try to get her to lie down, but she gets kinda bored and goes to exploring, which does not do my sleep quality any favors.

But it's a major improvement for sure. She's more than happy to let me pick her up and sit down with her in my lap. She'll last alot longer than my diuretically inspired bladder.

I also forgot a water spritzer, but I haven't needed or wanted one so far. I've caught her jumping down from places she shouldn't be in my bedroom all of twice. It's enough for me that I know she knows, and she is well aware that's a no no. Beyond that seems to be asking a lot of a cat.

I haven't let her outside, either. She used to be a part time outside kitteh, but I'm not confident enough for that yet. She has decided that poor ol' Bob is bad news. I still feed him treats, and we still follow the same routine. He likes to step inside while I go inside to get his goodies, then we both go out. Last night Kitsey was waiting. She voiced her disapproval with his appearance in her life rather loudly.

Bob is such a wuss that it scared him - he turned back around and stepped back outside. Didn't go anywhere - he still wanted his goodies, but he was not wild about that reception.

She really likes a couple of yarn wound balls I also bought with those little rattle bells attached. I'll wake up to the sound of one of those being batted across the floor.

I'd sure like her to try to get in my lap when I'm awake more often, so that's something we sorta need to work towards. On the flip side, it sure seems she's laid claim to me and that I'm supposed to be all hers, so that's a great thing.

I'm wearin' her down, by golly.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

20th Anniversary

Friday August 30 was the twentieth anniversary of David Letterman's debut on CBS. Remember those days? When Leno got the Tonight Show on NBC when Johnny Carson retired and Dave seemed to be the natural choice, especially when he was reported to be Carson's personal favorite?

I gotta admit I hate Letterman when he goes off on politics. However, I still get a large charge outta his show when he steers clear of politics. Plus he's a big supporter of our troops - he just had Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha, our nation's latest Medal of Honor winner on. And with certain guests, the show is hilarious. If Bruce Willis is on, it's a must see.
As it turns out, the very first show Dave did for CBS had Bill Murray on, who is another must see guest. So, who would you pick for the twentieth anniversary show?

The show aired Friday, and CBS has the video clips up now. Enjoy.




I literally had tears in my eyes watching this stuff.