Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Closing Out The Year

I did something today that is a first in my life.

I bought a house.

I owned the farmhouse that burned down (I and my sister - it was in a trust), but I never paid anything for it, since it was inherited. So this was kinda different.

Road Pig wanted to sell the house I'm living in, and he wanted to give me the first shot at it. If I had said no, he wanted to sell to someone who would keep it as a rental. Of course I'd have no idea what those terms might be with a new owner. We both assumed it would be far cheaper for me to just purchase the place. It really doesn't cost much in utilities, so that shouldn't be a problem.

First thing I did was try to replace a door knob on the storage closet in the master bathroom. The hole was slightly smaller than the new knob, and I got PO'd and whacked it to get it to fit. That was the cue for it to puke it's guts out the end.

So much for home improvement.....

And Happy New Year, everyone!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Finally, The Truth!


All these years of being conditioned not to stare, even though it's obvious that someone is looking for attention.

I feel so much better now.

H/T Firehand

Friday, December 27, 2013



I've seen several stories about this situation on different news programs for the past couple days, and one thing they all seem to share is the lack of someone, anyone, saying: "You know, if I'd have ordered this stuff a week earlier, none of this would have happened."

Yes, I realize that UPS and FedEx said they'd get the package there by a certain date.

Has anyone consulted the terms and conditions posted on both company's sites? They aren't responsible for overwhelming demand and bad weather tying up their air shipments.

Frankly, I have little sympathy for these people. They ordered stuff at the last possible second during the busiest time of the year during winter with all it's problems with disabling storms and expect the best possible outcome? What happens if they send the wrong size/color/whatever?  Talk about your sense of entitlement - it's on display here big time.

So, cry me a river. Maybe next time you'll allow enough time to account for unexpected delays.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Ho Ho Ho!

Merry Christmas from Sis and I!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


I stand in awe at how well Ramirez makes a point.

Monday, December 23, 2013

I Yam From Where I Yam

The NYT has a quiz up called How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk. I'd say they had me down pretty well, since I do live just west of Wichita. It's a fun test - after each answer there is a map showing areas where your answer is used the most - it's a color "heat" map just like the one above.

So how close is the test for you?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

'Nother Update

Towards the end of last week, I started noticing how dizzy I was getting when I stood up. I've had that before, but it would last a short time, and I could go on. This time not so much. It got bad enough that I decided not to go to Wichita on Thursday to see the retina specialist, then on Friday I quit taking my morning meds. I had an appointment to see my family doctor on Friday, so off I went.

Turns out I was anemic again - and she put me in the hospital again. I thought I'd be in overnight, but they kept having to give me more blood because my red blood cell count wasn't rising. They were also pretty concerned where it was all going.

They decided it was mostly too much of a blood thinner (Xarelto) and discontinued that. Blood levels in my discharges from the rear end dropped. They stuck four units of blood in me as well, but it only has brought me up to nine point something and should be closer to twelve, but since the outflow has diminished they aren't so worried. I've been scoped from both ends - last time I was here - but they are too short to see it all. So, I'll be swallowing a camera that's gonna take that trip. Probably after Christmas.

Hopefully I can get out today.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It's Time

To pile on Family Circus. Some bloggers are bronies and carry on about the My Little Pony universe. With me, you get roundhead disdain.

To steal a line from Peanuts - Good Grief! I'd say Dolly was potty trained way, way too early as picky as she is now. God help the rest of us as she grows up.

It's probably just as well that I'm not a parent. Were she my kid, I'd be telling her:
I told you to go outside with that. If you've dented up the ceiling in your bedroom, you will be paying for the repairs out of your allowance. Which means you probably won't be getting an allowance until you leave the house. Now get outside with that before I warm up your butt.

I'd probably get arrested for spanking a kid in this brave new world.

Update Time

Ho ho ho! Santa is full of air, at any rate

I was feeling full of pi$$ and vinegar Sunday so I decided to put out my astounding collection of Christmas decorations freshly purchased from Wally World. I was just in my t-shirt and underwear, and just slapped on a pair of gym shorts. As the day progressed, that was really not appropriate attire. Brrr.

This picture lies
You'd think I put lights up the whole length of my gutters on the side of the house, but you'd be wrong. I just put up about thirty feet on the part of the house that is most visible from the street. I might have felt good, but not "hang lights on the whole house" good.

While I was out near the street tying ol' Santa down, one of my friends came riding by on his bike - and he stopped in for a visit. I'm mostly a hermit, but on the other hand, it was great to see him and shoot the breeze.

Monday was a pretty decent day too. It was a tad warmer than Sunday, so I buttoned up a heavy windbreaker and jumped on my bike for about an hour or so. I didn't ride around town - I headed out towards Dodge and came back on a back road. By the time I got home, the wind had finally driven into my clothing. Sixty degrees is just beyond the abilities of my clothing to keep me warm. I ordered a leather biker jacket later on - we'll see if the thing fits.

Yesterday was a big trip to Wally World. After sitting in a bed for some time and more or less being house ridden for a while has really put me behind as far as any kind of stamina. I was really kinda pooped from the past couple days, and today I'm really suffering.

Part of the trouble is my leg muscles have had to change how they are used. I've pretty well lost the feeling in my toes. It feels like I'm walking on the balls of my feet, and my toes are not touching the ground. That ain't what's happening - they're on the ground as normal - I just can't feel it. So, that means I'm no longer balancing on my toes - I'm balancing on the balls of my feet. So, since that requires rather a tad more torque outta my leg muscles in my shin just below the knee - by nighttime they are screaming. It will just take time to get used to it. I've had diabetic neuropathy long enough to be extremely familiar with all this - I hate climbing on ladders because I have no real sense of where my feet are on the rungs. I can do it, but I have to be very careful and look down once in a while to check and see if what I'm feeling is actually correct.

Tomorrow I've gotta go to Wichita. My opthamologist found that I've got some damage in the right retina - diabetic retinopathy is the cause. Last time I saw him, he noted it, but it wasn't affecting my vision. Now it is. Apparently I've ruptured a small blood vessel, and the specialist in Wichita will probably zap it with a laser. So, no big deal, just another doctor and a bill. I'd certainly like to get that fixed.

At some point in January, I'll be going to an orientation class at Via St. Christie in Wichita for bariatric surgery. I just can't help but feel that is my best choice. I can't exercise because I'm too heavy, I have no willpower to lose weight, a lot of my health problems would be considerably relieved if I lost weight, exercising would be far easier, and on and on and on. All my doctors agree.

So that is what I'm a gonna do!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Bob pursuing his favorite pastime

It's been a while since I posted a cat update, and since I'd been hospitalized for a while, one might wonder how the feline contingent of the New Poor Farm might be getting along.

I'm happy to report that both cats are going strong. It's good to remember that Bob is really not my cat - he's buddy Road Pig's, and as such, does not depend upon me for his sustenance. Bob does fare better when I'm around, because he is such a wimp around the community feed bowl next door and gets shoved aside by the wild bunch Road Pig feeds.

They like to hide out in the bushes and around the corner when I step out and feed Bob, and then when the coast is clear, sneak in and eat what I designated for him. My thinking is that they will deserve to be fed when they allow me to pet them like Bob does. Since this has not happened, often I have to stand guard so Bob gets what I give him.

You can imagine I get tired of this.

It occurred to me that one of the low velocity plastic pellet pistols might be pretty effective, so I purchased a 1911 styled pellet pusher (even branded by Colt) at Wally World. Often, I'll step out to chase one of the meaner denizens away, and they'll stop a few yards out and let me know in uncertain terms how unhappy they are with me. Before, I'd have to yell or act like I was gonna charge 'em. This got old.

Plugging 'em with the toy 1911 has proven quite effective. The effects seem to last a little while before they forget and get popped again. After I've hit 'em once, even if I miss afterwards, they get the idea and completely vacate the yard.

And since I have Kitsey, I quit feeding Bob cat treats. He gets the same food Kitsey does. It's a lot cheaper and far more nutritious, and sometimes if Kitsey got ahold of a package and destroyed it - the contents didn't agree with her. She's puke all over the house, numerous times. So, it's bye bye cat treats.

Speaking of Kitsey.....

Kitsey catching some much needed sleep on my legs in the recliner
Since I've gotten home, I've noticed my relationship with Kitsey has been altered considerably. Road Pig kept her fed, but he only fed her dry cat food. He didn't bother with the real canned tuna she gets from me every day - she is doled out a third of a can per day. Plus, I wasn't there on call to pet her when she darned well got around to it.

So, instead of jumping in my lap once or twice per day, she's advanced to working on being there a significant portion of the day. And she might stay for ten or fifteen minutes and leave before I was gone. Now she parks herself on my legs and sleeps there.

I'd say she noticed I was gone.

It's nice to be appreciated by one's cat. I felt like she barely tolerated me, which was really the case. Now? Much better. She still gets peeved at me - particularly when my bladder is heavily under the influence of the diuretics. She gets irritated when I wake her so I can vacate the chair and drain the main vein. I interrupted her nap. I should not be moving. I am not gonna wear a catheter to keep my cat happy with me - she'll just have to suffer, for she suffers horribly when she has to move unwillingly.

You might ask how Bob and Kitsey get along. I might even answer.

For his part, Bob is oblivious to Kitsey. He'll come marching in the front door, hanging around and kvetching about how the feeding process needs to be more on demand for him. Kitsey is just another thing in the house to him.

Kitsey, on the other hand, is deeply offended by Bob and his compadres. She starts hissing and growling immediately if not before, and when I step back in, she'll stand in my way. This does not fly with me - I need that floor space to walk, and she really hisses and bats at my legs when I try to toe her outta the way. It's a good thing (this time at least) that she is declawed on her front paws, or my shins would be shredded.

She also gets paranoid. Kitsey would put her nose in the crack of the door and just sit for a long time, keeping vigil. What is so funny about that is that it's really pretty rare that Bob or one of the feral cats might be out there. Generally, nothing is happening - no cats. Then, I'll look out when she's off asleep somewhere, and it's feral cat playground out there.

There is absolutely no connection between her suspicions and reality. Yes, the cats are out there, but she does not possess the skills to detect them reliably. Plus, I get tired of having to deal with her thinking she owns that piece of floor when I need to walk there. My solution?

She is not allowed to stand in the front door landing area at all anymore. That was a privilege, not a right. I pay the rent around here; that's my right. She's just an invited guest.

And with the training aids around here, remarkably she has learned the boundaries. Occasionally she forgets, but generally all I have to do is chide her.

So, human/feline relations seem to be fairly well ordered these days, which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Laugh I Thought I'd Die

Surely we've all heard about the fake sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial service, attended by heads of state from all over the world with this nimrod right beside them as they gave their speeches. Now we find this out:
A man being criticized by sign language experts for providing fake interpretations while standing close to President Obama and other heads of state at Nelson Mandela’s memorial says he becomes violent “a lot” and was hallucinating during the event.
Just the kinda guy you'd want standing next to Dear Leader. Just because, here is a clip showing the faker next to the President - so we know it really happened.


Now, I realize that the slip up in security is the fault of South Africa's security agency. Fine. However, as far as protecting Dear Leader, our Secret Service - the supposedly finest crack protectors on the planet - failed. How?

They trusted someone else to take care of their own security responsibilities.

Did they check each and every person who was going to be on the stage with Teh Won? Did they ask for complete background info on all these people? Did they verify this information?

Seems obvious they did not.

There are so many ways that the fake interpreter could have killed the President or any other leader that it's ridiculous. Where would we be if he had? What would our Secret Service have to say for itself then?

The point I'm working up to here is to just remember this little incident the next time someone tells you that you should not protect yourself because you should leave that to the police.

Are the cops as "high quality" as the Secret Service? Are they right beside us at all times?

Of course not.

Are we allowed to vet our protectors? Make sure they can shoot straight, can handle a weapon without negligent discharges? Guarantee that they won't show up in the middle of the night dressed in black, carrying military weapons and kill our pets even though they're at the wrong house? Tear the place down and never acknowledge that repairs will be needed?

Of course not.

How about maybe just show up on time when we need 'em?

Nope, can't even do that. What's more, if they don't make it, they aren't responsible. You paid for the service, but if it sucks, you have no recourse. Can't sue. No refund.

We've just seen the A team of personal security blow chunks internationally by trusting someone to take care of their responsibilities.

Why should I allow my right to personal defense to be abrogated in favor of an ineffectual law enforcement system?

So, when someone suggests that is just what we should do, I'm gonna be saying politely "You may piss off, madam/sir. It's my right, my responsibility, and no one is going to do the job effectively besides me."

I may not even be that polite.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Teri Garr, 69.

The pic on the left is when she was in an episode of the original Star Trek television series. She costarred with Robert Lansing in the episode Assignment:  Earth, which was supposed to produce a spin off series employing both her and Lansing. Unfortunately it did not sell. She also proved her comic chops in the Mel Brooks black and white comedy Young Frankenstein, where she was quite enticing to a teenager - hawt comes to mind!


Truly impressive pair of assets!

In 2002, she revealed that she was suffering from multiple sclerosis and has become a major advocate for related causes.

I'd have to say that what cemented my thinking she was pretty special was her noted appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman. Her banter with Letterman was something to see - truly a lot of fun.

At any rate, I wish her nothing but the best. Happy Birthday, ma'am.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Which Holiday Character Are You?

I was kinda thinking I might be The Grinch, when thinking of the answers I was giving. But I think this is fairly accurate - I can get pretty frustrated and frazzled, just like George.

Try the test your own self!

Monday, December 09, 2013



When was the last time a friggin' tag irritated your skin?

Yeah, Hanes is hardly the only men's clothing manufacturer to stop using tags and go to printing right on the article of apparel. But just what do you suppose is cheaper, printing the info on the material, or purchasing additional material, cutting it to size, then print the necessary info and sew it into place? You betcher ass it's cheaper the "new" way.

My daddy had a saying that most certainly applies here:
Don't piss on me and tell me it's raining

Sunday, December 08, 2013

You Wanna Know


Why I like racing? Just watch this video of Formula One greats and their quotes, and realize that many of the men pictured here were killed on track, doing what they loved. Some, like Nikki Lauda, are horribly disfigured. Some managed to live long enough to retire.

What common bond do they all share and what is it I admire about them enough that I want to watch?


Coupled with brilliant skills, managing to do miracles with machines.

Competition. So much passion about winning that coming in second is a defeat. Winning is the only thing.

If you ever get the chance, watch the movie Rush. It was released earlier this summer, directed by Ron Howard, and it was about the rivalry between Nikki Lauda and James Hunt in the 1976 Formula One title competition. Lauda was horribly burned at the Nurburgring in Germany, only to push himself to come back and compete far too early. Probably one of the very best racing movies ever made. Also, a documentary about safety and the lack therof in Formula One from the first to the present was released  called 1. I watched it on demand with DirecTV and understand it's on iTunes as well - but it's very good. There are interviews with the stars and period footage all blended together so you get to see a lot of vintage racing shots, and old interviews with drivers who were killed. At one point, about a driver per week lost their life - that included the junior Formulas as well, but back in the day, it was a damn dangerous sport. Still is, just not as much.

Nikki (after being burned) and James Hunt share a moment. Regardless of the impression from the film "Rush," they were good friends.

I'm certainly more of a NASCAR fan than a Formula One fan, but it's all racing in the end.

H/T Jalopnik

Saturday, December 07, 2013

I'm Free

Y'all probably have guessed by now that I'm out of the horse pistol. They actually let me go late Wednesday night - about 10:30 or so. I had Cuzzin Tom take me to Wally World for a few supplies - I stayed in the pickup. However, we ended up going back to the hospital for him to get his pickup, and  I drove home. Since it was so late, I was unable to fill any prescriptions, so I had plans to do that Thursday. Until I more or less slept until noon or one, and went back to sleep and didn't wake up until 5pm. I had a couple doctor appointments on Friday, so I went to those and made it to WalMart.

Looking back on what I've posted, I did say I fell, but I didn't say why. For some odd reason, I could stay on my feet fully clothed, but at home in underwear and a t-shirt my legs would shut down. I've got a pinched nerve. I could feel it coming on, and generally sat down for a couple minutes and things went back to working for another ten or fifteen minutes. I could feel my thighs going dead and thought I could make it to my chair. Nope. I dropped like a rock.

After living in the crappy bed and furniture at the hospital, I find that I'm more or less numb in my lower back. The bed had my ass asleep most of the time, and moving around didn't help. I can't tell if things have shifted enough to help, but it does seem to be that I can get around half nekked now. Just too numb to be sure. Since I have diabetic neuropathy, none of this is any surprise. Just something else to live with.

Officially, I was admitted due to congestive heart failure. In practice, that means I've filled up with fluid so much that when I ate something, it cut into space for the lungs to expand when I breath. My heart would also be surrounded by way too much fluid. Nothing actually failed, but things were certainly labored. By definition, I have COPD.

I also have borked kidneys. All the drugs are taking their toll on my major organs, and the kidneys are on the front lines, as it were. Diuretics force the kidneys to work harder, and eventually the drugs lose their effectiveness. The main test for kidney function is to check the creatinine levels. Creatinine is a waste product from the cells burning energy from food. If that is high, then the kidneys aren't functioning properly. So, my doctors had to try several different strategies with different drugs to still take water out of the blood, and retain effectiveness. Another thing that was borked was my red blood cell count - I was pretty anemic. They gave me two units of whole blood cells to help fix that. Apparently healthy kidneys signal blood marrow to produce red blood cells, and if the kidneys are out of whack, this does not happen. So anemia is another indicator that things ain't right with the kidneys. Now, however, my creatinine levels are normal, and I'm slowly losing water weight. I've also got an appointment with a nephrologist. I also have an appointment with the podiatrist that drained my infection in my foot as well. Since I've lost a lot of feeling in my feet, having someone look 'em over isn't a bad idea.

When I went to see my doctor, I told her I was sick of living like this and wanted to change things. One of the things I was aiming for was for some sort of bariatric surgery, probably of the lap band variety. All my doctors seem to be on board with this thinking, and she's working on getting me in to Via Christie's program in Wichita. Honestly, it's either do that or die within a few years. I may kick the bucket at any time anyways with the borked ticker I have, but if I don't do something, I'm stressing too many crucial systems by continuing to live the way I do. And if I do lose the weight, I'm removing most of the stresses.

I've managed to give up just about every vice I've ever had except for eating. Quit smoking cigarettes? You just don't smoke 'em anymore. Lose weight? You still have to eat something to survive. Very different. I guess that's my excuse for not having any willpower.

Which, for me, is the crux of the dilemma. Honestly, I have only myself to blame - I've blown right past common sense when it comes to taking proper care of myself. I don't exercise and eat way too much. I could rail on my parents for not blessing me with the genes necessary to pull that crap off, but I knew my decisions were bad when I made 'em. You will NEVER hear me cry out "Why ME, God?!?!?" I know the answer to that question already. It's my fault.

I can fix it, though, if I work at it. Do I wanna live or die? Pretty simple.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Mass Wins


Those old steamers had gobs of torque at idle, much less pouring on the coals. Pretty cool - gotta commend 'em for thinking to try this to see what really would happen!

H/T A Train Wreck in Maxwell

Sunday, December 01, 2013

The Yellow River

By IP Freely
And that's what it's all about.

Officially, I'm in the hospital for congestive heart failure. The ol' ticker is still working as well as it can, but the cardiac sac is full of fluid, as well as just about everything else. I was so overloaded with fluid that when I ate something, it would cut into my lung capacity, making me short of breath. Life was pretty miserable.

The added weight is also contributing to pinching nerves from the spine, which led to my fall.

So, the strategy is to give me lots of diuretics, monitor certain levels to keep from sustaining kidney damage, cut way back on fluid intake (I can assure you I'm dehydrated), and work on dieting as well.

I can tell when magnesium and potassium levels are low, because my left hand gets some severe cramps. The other day it lasted for three hours. Three hours of watching my hand make unusual shapes and gestures because my other hand was too tired to fight it trying to pull the muscles back out. Hurt like hell.

Another problem is that the kidneys aren't responding as well as expected. They're pulling out water, just not in the quantities needed. Which is why I'm still here - I've got to be shed of a lot more before I'm gonna be released. Perhaps by next Friday.

Plus, my new laptop has a charging problem. Cuzzin  Tom got an iPad from Wally World for me. I can tell you I am no Apple fanboy - this thing won't do tons of stuff that a Windows unit does. Like spacing images in a particular file. Can Apple let me drop an image in any any other place than the main picture file? That would be No, and damn you for asking. Shaddup and worship The Jobs, and be grateful you were allowed to buy this wonderful bit of tech.

Needless to say, when the laptop is repaired and back in my hot little hands, this puppy is going bye bye. Should I get the bug for a different tablet, it's gonna be Winders or Android. End of story.

The schedule after I get out is also grim to include a visit with a lap band practitioner in Wichita. I simply must lose weight, end of story.

Gawd knows what this little staycation is gonna cost. I'd think they could break up the monopoly of scrambled egg for breakfast. Sheesh. I had some hot sauce in my overnight bag for just this sort of thing, but it ran dry the other day. It's pepper and Mrs. Dash for seasoning, and that's it.

I keep telling myself that things could be worse, which is true. Onward I go.

Monday, November 25, 2013

It's a Pissah

Well, probably gonna be here a while yet - my doctor says somewhere towards the end of next week that she'll probably send me home.

So, this is the story.

I definitely broke my middle toe, and I just had another CT scan to determine if I'd broken something in the arch of my foot. I just cannot put any weight on it without it screaming at me not do do that. The local podiatrist suspected there would be some fluid buildup with an infection, so he numbed 'er up and did some poking and he was right. Had quite a bit of fluid. I've also got an infection on my shins that is often part of problem edema. They've got an IV port on me and shove two different antibiotics through.

My right foot just appears to be sore with a gash on the big toe. It's healing up nicely. I'm also on massive amounts of diuretics, which have been introduced intravenously. The same diuretics in pill form have let me down, but if ya shoot 'em up, they work great.

Which brings me to the worst part - the damn catheter. I hate 'em. Feel like ya gotta "go" when what you really wanna do is pee the damn thing out. I'm on number two bag - one developed a leak. Guess it had been leaving a hard life.

So, I can't walk, can't pee normally, and am pretty well bedridden.

Someone tried to call the room phone earlier today. Pshaw. After I've dropped the bed, squeezed the boys sliding across the blanket, and obtaining an Act of Congress to move, the phone would have quit ringing.

Long story short - I ain't gonna answer that thing. I've got a cell phone within reach, and if you can't call on that, I don't have the ability to answer a landline.

Thirty years ago, I'd think part of my treatment would have been pretty damn cool, but not so much now. I speak of Percocet. Jeebus Kee Riste is that shit powerful. It's about all I can do to stay awake, much less pay much attention to anything else. I sure as hell don't hurt - which is a good thing. These damn beds are so not supportive - I've got dangly bits and limbs going to sleep all the time.

They wanted me to use a sort of air pressured circulatory "socks" and I did try 'em. Sticky, clammy and then I really am rooted to bed, because those damn things have to be disconnected to get out. Sometimes, I just like to sit on the edge of the bed, and that about requires help. I hate having to use that call button as well - I know they're pretty busy and my wanting a diet pop is pretty low on their totem poles.

But I can't get out on my feet just yet.

And I've been taking off a ton of water - for some reason my weight isn't dropping as fast, but they can only push my kidneys so far. Earlier, I had some pretty severe cramps in my left arm - the first time lasted about fifteen minutes, but the second time was close to three hours. I just had to give up trying to straighten that hand out. All I could do was watch it writhe and twist into new and artistic shapes. But, my potassium and magnesium dosages have increased considerably, which seems to have done the trick.

I'm sure that after I'm dismissed, I'll be headed to an appointment with a weight loss clinic in Wichita. My concerns about being unable to go there two and three times a week appear to be unfounded - apparently they all use Skype for their conferences.

We shall see, eh?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Kinda Crispy Lookin'

For the past several months I've been gaining weight. As in fifty or more pounds. Honestly, it has been more than I can bear - I just cannot carry around anymore. I can't walk across the room without getting winded. Any time I eat anything, it cuts into my breathing. There just ain't room.

Of course, it's water weight.

I've even been cutting way way back on portions - like I should have been for years. And now my insulin resistance has changed markedly - it takes a lot less to do the same thing. Which has gotten me in trouble a couple times - hypoglycemia is not my friend. I've considered lap band surgery in the past, but the biggest problem is that there are no "providers" in this area. Wichita, Topeka, Denver, OKC  and KC no problem. Here not so much.

Plus all this weight gain has caused me another problem - been having trouble with a pinched nerve killing feeling in my legs when I'm at home wearing underwear and a tshirt. Relaxing uniform of the day for this fat boy. Fully clothed for whatever reason does not bother me, other than not having the wind necessary to do a damn thing.

So, when the front of my thighs started going numb, I'd park my butt on a chair for a few minutes and go on about my bidness. Sunday night I gambled on making it to the ol' easy chair in front of the tv rather than having a pit stop at the kitchen table. It didn't work. My legs buckled and my butt landed on my heels. I hypercompressed the ol' toes, the foot against the ankle, and just plain exceeded the design specs of said feet.

It really didn't hurt very bad, and I was able to regain my feet in short order. I iced the left foot quite a bit, but was really quite shocked to see what you see a  couple days later. The other foot - the toes were bent back, but not badly.

So, just try to walk around without using your toes. I had an appointment for Monday, but could not see walking that far into my doctor's office. Rescheduled, by golly. Had to postpone some other appointments as well - one with my chiropractor, who had been trying to ease the nerve pinching. It's about been all I can do just to walk from one side of the house to the other, so I guess it's been just as well that my diuretics have been failing. Lots less traveling, as it were.

I went into the office with a mission - I'm tired of living like this, I have tried dieting, and even now it's not working for me. I've gotta do something, or my time is extremely limited here. I wanted a recommendation from her for a weight loss surgeon, procedure or whatever, as well as figuring out what's going on with the water retention. Not all that swelling is from bruising - my ankles and calves weren't affected by this fall. That's just water, period. You aren't seeing how my skin is erupting in blisters that are oozing fluid.

Got the advice and more. She admitted me into the hospital, where they've been x-raying and so forth, blood testing for a jillion different things, got me hooked to a Foley catheter and giving me diuretics intravenously. Congestive heart failure is the main diagnosis. Anemic, slightly higher than normal liver creatine levels, antibiotics for the infection in my foot, you name it.

Things are already progressing for the better, and there are gonna be some changes made as well. If I've got to drive to Wichita for weight counseling all the time, so be it. Otherwise, I might as well kiss my arse goodbye.

Not ready to do that yet.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

This Is New

Found this in the spam trap first thing this morning:
After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Is there an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Appreciate it! Feel free to surf to my web page on (redacted).
Mmmmkay, let's look at this right here. Y'all commented anonymously, so no email address was required nor given. So, you ain't been getting any damn emails. Kinda tough to do that. Plus, if you did comment logged in, the "notify me" controls are all on your end, oh spammer genius.

Since this was caught by Blogger's spam filters, you need not worry, your post has not seen the light of day until now. I will not be promoting your web page. In fact, I feel free NOT to surf to your web page, which was your point all along.

Gonna have to do better than that, genius.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Google Finally Updated

The aerial views in this vicinity. I can assure you that the bales you see are new crop - there was nothing there after the fire. And you can see the only thing left standing (besides the windmill, which you really can't see from the vertical perspective) is the grain bin. All the buildings and most of the trees - rubbed out.

Oh well

Friday, November 15, 2013

Not Happy. Not Happy At All.

Ted Rall is not very pleased with Teh Won. He's been pissed for quite some time now, and the schadenfreude is pretty thick here, I gotta say.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with Ted here. I think this is a pretty good analogy, and the flippant attitude by Dear Leader in the comic belies the arrogance he displays in public. Not his fault, he didn't know, it's someone else's problem, he inherited the problem - yup, clear signs of a responsible thoughtful leader who is committed to change for the better.


And edited to add:

See, now, ol' Ted and I have it all wrong. Dear Perplexed Leader is watching Republicans tear down his O-Care, and the insurance industry is sucking it down as well. It's clearly not Teh Won's fault, you racist bastage - the whole debacle of the website (which had absolutely zero input from ANY Republican in Congress) is all the fault of the Republicans in Congress. I hope you can follow that, because I sure as hell cannot.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Moral Equivalence

Jimmie Margulies can bit my arse. Better yet, move to Syria.
Because, Gawd knows, trans fats are morally equal to the freaking poisonous gas Syria used on it's own people. Get it? Our society is morally corrupt for allowing the usage of the killer trans fats. Yep, I bet if you sprayed trans fats on the general populace, it would kill 'em dead right there. Just like poison gas.

And so that also means that our society here in the good ol' US of A is not all that, so the so called American Exceptionalism ain't for real. Just ignore all the positive things our society has managed to do for the world over the past couple hundred years - all the life, labor and quality of living inventions and medical cures, procedures, medicines, managing to feed ourselves and the world cheaply - none of that matters.

Because we have allowed trans fats to be used. Just like Syria's poisonous gas.

Got it?

Sweet Karma

Oh, please, God - let this be the truth of the matter!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Armistice Day

Or Veteran's Day, whichever you prefer. Of course, on this day we thank our veterans, alive and deceased, for their service.

But, in a corner of your mind - remember why this day - the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of 1918 - is relevant. Yeah, that was when the Armistice started - and hostilities more or less ceased, but it was painfully important to those who lived in that time.

When you think about it, the War to End All Wars pretty well rubbed out a generation of young men, and making significant inroads into those preceding the young men. All of Europe and major portions of Russia were also involved, with lesser impacts on the societies of the other Allies.

That war was a meat grinder, end of story. Best remember that, too.

K Staters remember, too

Friday, November 08, 2013

Makes Sense To Me


Who knew? Ashton Kutcher, formerly famous party boy, appeared on the Teen Choice Awards and gave a rather inspiring speech about how hard work is preferable to an entitlement mentality for young people.

He then appeared on Ellen to talk about it. Turns out he's an entrepreneur as well as actor these days, and has some very definite thoughts.

He's not quite setting the standards Mike Rowe is, but I'm willing to cut him some slack. Surprised the whee outta me.

A Tad Peeved

Don't you know it.....

Picked up my mail the other day, and lo and behold, I have a bill from a bill collection agency. It's for my emergency hospital stay. All the bill said was that the total was such and such, and I owed so and so. No itemization or squat - no indication of individual items and what the insurance paid, had not paid, or was pending. Just a bill.

From a collection agency.

Made me stew for a while, and I did have plans to call them and ask for an itemized bill, and then this morning, after I fired up my cell phone, I had a voice message.

From the bill collection agency.

Are you f$#@ing kidding me? I just got this bill in the mail about three days ago, no bill before, and already I've got bill collectors after my ass? For what?!?

I have no plans of NOT paying this thing - but I'd like better information. So I called 'em back and told 'em I did NOT get an itemized bill, and before I paid the complete balance, I expected to see one.

I've had this problem before - it's the voice of experience. This time it's the hospital, last time it was a certain medical center in the certain town with Boot Hill and Wyatt Earp Blvd. off to the east. When checking in there, they require you to at least make a payment on any outstanding bills. I was seeing a doctor there fairly regularly. I was paying every time I went in. Each time, they required at least fifty bucks. Finally, one day, I got an itemized bill. They were into me for several hundred dollars - there was no need to keep adding money to my balance. They'd been billing me for the full amounts before the insurance settlements, getting the settlements, and never letting me know I had a balance. So, the next time I went in, I was told I had to make a payment. I asked why? Well - because I owed it. Really? You want fifty bucks when I've got over two hundred on account? You tell me why again.

Oh. Well. We don't look at that.

Well, that little experience let me know that the billing side of their business is set up to draw in as much money as possible, legit, owed or not.

I was highly peeved and let the person know about it. They could have given a rat's ass. They've all justified their despicable behavior so they can sleep at night.

So, this gal today would send my itemized statement right out. I told her I'd put five hundred down (the bill is over $1800) just so they knew I was gonna pay. Of course the next thing was to get me to agree to monthly $500 payments.

Nope, not gonna happen until I get the itemized bill, and make sure the insurance company is through paying.

Honestly, I'm sure that my health insurance had paid off, and this is the final bill. But I don't know that for sure.

Y'see, this whole mess is one reason why I grate my teeth when the subject of uninsured patients come up. Why in the wide wide world of sports do ya think this crap goes on? Why do you suppose that bills are padded, services are overcharged and people who actually pay bills harassed? Why do you suppose that many doctors take cash payments that are severely discounted compared to what insurance companies pay (excuse me - partially pay).

It's to cover the uninsured who do not pay their bills. It's to pay for the illegal aliens who register under a false name and no billing company on earth can track 'em.

This is hardly the most equitable of income redistribution, but it is happening. Most of these for profit health organizations are quite healthy in the ol' balance sheet, and it's not because they're such Good Samaritans when it comes to people who can't afford their bills. They've just gamed the system to have the rest of us cover it.

And now Barry and the Democrats want us to cover even more expenses, and we're gonna have the IRS as the collection agency.

What could possibly go wrong?

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Are You Freaking Kidding Me?

Where? Where IS this "Working Health Care System?" What in the hell is wrong with these people? They have eyes that refuse to see and ears that listen only to what lying politicians tell them. When Matt Davies comes up for air, he'll be cleaning fecal matter from his ears.

Thing is - we HAD a working health care system. Just ask the foreigners who decided their free health care wasn't worth it and came here to pay for theirs. But oh, no, the dickweeds have to destroy it.

We are so screwed.

US Spitfire Reconnaissance

link  big screen link

I'd forgotten that I've seen this before. If you have as well, it's still worth a few minutes of your time.

An unarmed, unescorted reconnaissance plane over WWII Germany? Just for a chance for a high school graduate to fly?

These men had steel nards, and we owe a lot to them.

H/T Michael Z.Williamson on Facebook

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Quit Messin' Around

Jeffy demands precision for planning his itinerary. He doesn't have time to be hangin' around waiting on Mommy and PJ, dammit.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Remember, It's Trick OR Treat


I tell you what, if I had kids and they came home crying about being called fat and getting gypped at this woman's house, I'd be leading the charge for the "trick" side of trick or treat. Eggs, toilet paper, dog doo - the works. If Ms. Goody Two Shoes wants to stand in judgment on children on a childrens' time honored holiday, she should stand ready to deal with the consequences. If she wants to be an abberation on society, then don't be shocked when society takes the appropriate reaction.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sebelius Owns Up


Well, not really. It's SNL. Can ya believe it? SNL dissing something the mighty O is responsible for? Oh, wait, it's really the obstructive Republican's fault, or W.'s, or perhaps Bonzo. Not this Administration.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Horror! The Horror!


I used to like the horror genre. Owned all the Stephen King books, even.

Not so much anymore, but this "movie" definitely appeals to me. Common sense? Hell yeah.

H/T CDR M at Ace of SpadesHQ

Friday, October 25, 2013


Out of all the cartoons I read today, this one is the best. Alice rarely needs her Fist Of Death much these days.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Goin' To The Dogs


A US man who wants to be a dog says he spends his days running around on all fours, eating food out of a bowl, and chasing cars.
Gary Matthews, 47, an unemployed IT technician in Pittsburgh, dons a shaggy dog costume each day to become his alter ego, Boomer.
He also sleeps inside a giant kennel which he keeps inside his more traditional human home, reports the Huffington Post.

He wants to live his life as a dog.

I do have an opinion on this subject, as you may well imagine. However, I recognize that some might find what I have to say objectionable. Thusly this opinion will be published under the fold, so if you think you might be offended, I invite you not to read the extended entry.

Been Gettin' Some Doctorin' Done

such a happy face
My new temporary bridge. Y'all may have noticed my toothless smile if you've into me in the past year. I had a crown that would come off, and rather than go to the dentist, I'd just glue it back on with some carefully selected gooey super glue. But, when it would inevitably come loose, it took some of the supporing incisor with it. It also had a post in there, and when it came loose, the whole thing started going downhill. I couldn't get it to hold for more than a few hours, so I saved it all and went on.

Well, then the house burned down, and I never had the money after that. Now I do. My dentist is using an incisor that already had a crown, and the little one next to the mostly absent tooth. The tooth that had just a tiny bit projecting past the gum line was pulled.

So I'm a tad sore right now, but what's been bothering me more is the dying skin tags I had frozen off  Monday the fourteenth. They've been shriveling up into little black mouse turds and every time I move in a t-shirt, they are irritated. I had more than thirty around my neck, several under both arms and in the pits, several at the back of my neck, and even one on my inner thigh. Most have now come loose, but it looks like I've got a ton of wasp stings. Be glad I didn't want to share a visual earlier.

So, in six weeks he'll make a cast for a permanent bridge when the swelling all goes down. In the mean time, I've got to be pretty careful what I bite on. In other words, corn on the cob is right out, and apples will have to be sliced. Probably hamburgers and about everything else, for that matter.

And I gotta say I really like my dentist. He is basically the same age as me - we played sports against each other in high school, and we share a lot of the same friends. He's been my dentist for years, and we have gotten to know each other fairly well. I feel damned comfortable with him rootin' around in my mouth, not only because of what we have in common, but because he's good.

So, I'm finally getting some of these piddly arsed problems solved.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Oh boy - Nobel Prize for Physics here we come! The sky is the limit with Dolly!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Boo Freaking Hoo

I hate entertainment gossip shows. That said, sometimes I've got one on that is scheduled after the last early evening news show and prime time while cooking supper or whatever. So I still learn all about the latest.


But today, I got a chuckle.

Oprah and the White House are on the outs. Yep, Oprah feels used. She campaigned big time for Teh Won during the primaries to beat Hillary, and she also spent a lot of time on the road for him during the primary as well. It cost her, too.
More than a year and a half had passed since Oprah announced that she was throwing her support behind Barack Obama in his primary race against Hillary Clinton. The endorsement had represented a calculated risk for the queen of daytime television. It was one thing for her to recommend a book or launch the career of Dr. Phil, but it was quite another for her to back a political candidate
.As it turned out, a sizable chunk of her audience took offense and stopped watching her show. No sooner had Oprah hit the campaign trail, appearing beside Obama at one primary rally after another, than her personal favorability ratings began to slide, falling from 74 to 66 percent. Her unfavorable ratings suffered an even worse fate; they jumped from 17 to 26 percent.
Was the sacrifice worth it? As an entertainer and businesswoman, Oprah had suffered a setback. But she felt proud that she had been instrumental in electing the first black president of the United States, and she believed that she had earned a place in the president-elect’s brain trust. Two economists at the University of Maryland, College Park, estimated that Oprah’s endorsement netted Obama 1,015,559 votes and decided the primary election.
During the early weeks of the presidential transition, as Obama stitched together his new White House team, he appeared to embrace Oprah as one of his trusted advisers. When she phoned, he dropped everything and took her call. They huddled over strategy. Of all of Obama’s unofficial White House advisers, Oprah had unparalleled access, input, influence, and power.
However, by the time Oprah and Gayle landed in Washington a month after the election, Oprah’s relationship with the Obamas had come unglued.
OPRAH had tried to ignore the ominous change in tone coming from the Obama transition team. As Barack Obama’s inauguration drew near, Oprah’s calls to Michelle went unreturned
.Instead, Oprah heard from Max Doebler, the newly appointed White House ceremonies coordinator, who told Oprah that she needed to talk to him first about the interview. What’s more, Doebler said, Oprah had to run her interview questions past Jeff Stephens, a deputy speech writer, for prior approval.
“It was a pain as far as Oprah was concerned,” said a high-ranking executive of Harpo Studios, Oprah’s production company. “Oprah isn’t a snob, but she doesn’t like having to put up with mid-level clerks. These guys were $75,000-a-year men. Oprah was like, ‘Hello, what is this s–t!’
“But she did it; she went to Washington with Gayle and met with both Doebler and Stephens to hash out the details. I was surprised that she went there, hat in hand.
”It soon became apparent that something had gone wrong between Oprah and the new administration — or, more precisely, between Oprah and Michelle Obama.
The problem seemed to originate from two of Michelle’s advisers, Valerie Jarrett and DesirĂ©e Rogers, the new White House social secretary. They resented Oprah’s meddling in their bailiwick. Among other things, Oprah had a plan to redecorate the Lincoln bedroom. She also had ideas about how Michelle could put more zing into White House social events.

So, there has been a bit of a rift, but Dear Leader came calling when HE needed something:

Reports have surfaced that things aren’t well between the Obamas and Oprah Winfrey. So much so that when the White House reached out to Oprah for help in marketing Obamacare, she flat out refused and snubbed them by sending a low-level rep.
Apparently, Oprah is reeling from the realization that the Obamas were not interested in what they could do together but only what she could do for them. And that was throwing her name, star power, reputation and media machine behind the 2008 campaign to get elected. But since then, Oprah has gotten little from their quid pro quo deal.

Live and learn, I guess.

As the White House was gearing up to sell ObamaCare to the American people last summer, Valerie Jarrett, the president’s pointwoman on a host of issues, phoned Oprah Winfrey.
She invited the Queen of All Media to join celebrities, including Amy Poehler, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys, to meet with President Obama and discuss how they could generate publicity for his health-care law. 
Oprah refused 
“All of Oprah’s top people thought she would go, because when the president invites you to the White House, most people automatically say yes,” said one of Oprah’s closest advisers. “But Oprah said she didn’t have the time or inclination to go. It wasn’t like she had to think it over. It was an immediate, flat-out, unequivocal no.”
Instead, Oprah sent a low-level rep from one of her talent agencies, which was regarded as a insult. Obama had been counting on Oprah’s immense persuasive powers to help enroll millions in ObamaCare. But as the rollout turned into a disaster, Oprah didn’t lift a finger to help. 
The story of why Oprah has changed her tune and gone AWOL on ObamaCare goes well beyond mere gossip. It speaks volumes about the convergence of celebrity and politics under Obama and about a president who thinks nothing of using and then discarding his most loyal supporters. 
Everyone remembers that Oprah went all out for Obama during the 2008 presidential election. What was not reported was that, in return, Oprah was promised unique access to the White House if Obama won. She’d get regular briefings on initiatives and a heads-up on programs to give her material for her fledgling cable network, OWN.
“Oprah intended to make her unique White House access a part of her new network,” a source close to Oprah told me. “There were big plans, and a team was put together to come up with proposals that would have been mutually beneficial.
“But none of that ever happened. Oprah sent notes and a rep to talk to Valerie Jarrett, but nothing came of it. It slowly dawned on Oprah that the Obamas had absolutely no intention of keeping their word and bringing her into their confidence.” 
Oprah did not campaign for Obama in the 2012 race, and she has been absent from his battles on gun control, immigration reform and the environment. She claims she is too busy to get involved in politics, even though she hosted a fund-raiser for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who won a US Senate seat last week.
Oprah’s friends publicly dismiss the idea that she had a falling out with Obama. They note that she phoned Michelle Obama right after the 2012 election to congratulate her. They say Michelle invited her to have dinner with the first family. But the dinner never took place, and Oprah continues to be frozen out. 
“Oprah was hoping there would be a genuine change in the atmospherics,” one of her friends told me. “But there hasn’t been. Clearly, she is being rebuffed at the level of Michelle and Valerie. And, just as obviously, President Obama hasn’t interfered on Oprah’s behalf. 
During Obama’s first term, I argued in my book “The Amateur” that Michelle was jealous of Oprah, furious that he was seeking her advice.
“For her part, Oprah doesn’t like being with Michelle, because the first lady is constantly one-upping the president and anybody else around her,” said an Oprah adviser.
“Oprah has struck back by banning the Obamas from her O, The Oprah Magazine . . . It probably hurts Oprah more than Obama, who, if he had his head screwed on straight, would have flown to California and begged Oprah to help him save ObamaCare.
“But Obama hasn’t budged, and neither has Oprah. She’s hurt and angry, and I seriously doubt that Oprah will ever make up with the Obamas. She knows how to hold a grudge.”
link to whole story

I've been less than impressed with Oprah ever since she and her show sensationalized the mad cow scare back in the nineties, and some Amarillo cattlemen sued her and eventually lost. Didn't matter - she only presented one side and it was definitely a scare mongering show shooting for high ratings. Truth? Did not matter.

Now perhaps she's learned a lesson. Still a liberal useful idiot. Still jump right into the middle of politics, where as an entertainer, she does not belong (she apparently hasn't learned that particular lesson, even after tanking in the ratings).

But maybe she'll judge character a little more carefully, and just because a high ranking or possibly a high ranking politician is a brother won't be enough.

Or not. She can go ahead and get burned again, for all I really care.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Just For You, Tatyana!

Yep, I do know about truncating posts.

Never Give Up! Never Surrender!*


The fullest expression of a bulldog's tenacity and commitment? Or just another pain in the a$$???

I'm for thinking when the white lion cub finally loses patience, our doughty little warrior is gonna have his feelings hurt......

*bonus points for the source of the quote in the title

H/T CDR M at Ace of Spades HQ 

Hate To Hear About This

Miss Jean Louise - Mr. Arthur Radley. I believe he already knows you.
To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the best American novels ever written, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and it was made into one of the best movies ever. End of story.

The story, written by Harper Lee, is widely regarded as semi-autobiographical - her father defended two black men accused of murder. After they were convicted, hanged and mutilated he never tried another criminal case. The character Dill was based upon Lee's childhood friend Truman Capote. There were other parallels as well.

Lee never wrote another novel again. Ms. Lee valued her privacy, and it has been rare for her name to surface in the news.

(CNN) -- Author Harper Lee has not published a novel in more than a half-century, but her words in federal court seek to protect the 87-year-old's best-known intellectual property, "To Kill a Mockingbird."
The Alabama writer has sued her hometown Monroe County Heritage Museum for trademark infringement, saying it is illegally using her fame for its own gain. 
"The museum seeks to profit from the unauthorized use of the protected names and trademarks of 'Harper Lee' and 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' It is a substantial business that generated over $500,000 in revenue for 2011, the last year for which figures are available," said the lawsuit filed last week. "But its actual work does not touch upon history. Rather, its primary mission is to trade upon the fictional story, settings and characters that Harper Lee created."

The museum fully acknowledges its most famous resident. Its website is www.tokillamockingbird.com and says it "maintains and operates six historic sites in Monroe County, Ala., that collectively interpret the area's rich history," including "the literary legacy of (fellow author) Truman Capote and Harper Lee," who were childhood friends.
A gift shop -- called the Bird's Nest -- sells memorabilia, T-shirts, even cookware about the book, and the museum stages a "To Kill a Mockingbird" play each spring. 
An attorney for the facility strongly denied Lee's allegations.
"Every single statement in the lawsuit is either false, meritless, or both," said Matthew Goforth, a Birmingham-based attorney hired for the museum. "It is sad that Harper Lee's greedy handlers have seen fit to attack the non-profit museum in her hometown that has been honoring her legacy and the town's rich history associated with that legacy for over 20 years. Unfortunately for Harper Lee, those handlers are doing nothing but squandering her money with this lawsuit. The museum is squarely within its rights to carry out its mission as it always has." 
Lee in her lawsuit acknowledged the novel's impact in her community. "The town's desire to capitalize upon the fame of 'To Kill a Mockingbird ' is unmistakable: Monroeville's town logo features an image of a mockingbird and the cupola of the Old County Courthouse, which was the setting for the dramatic trial in 'To Kill a Mockingbird.'"
Her lawyers said they had earlier attempted to stop the museum from any unauthorized commercial use of the novel, and claimed it tried to block her federal registration of the "To Kill a Mockingbird" trademark.
"Historical facts belong to the world, but fiction and trademarks are protected by law," the lawsuit says. 
Nelle Harper Lee -- her full name -- separately settled a lawsuit last month in which she claimed she was "duped" into signing over the copyright to her book six years ago. Her current lawsuit says the novel still sells about a million copies a year.

Well, clearly I'm not a lawyer. But (always the "but"), the museum's url, exhibits and activities all center around Harper Lee's works. Did they even ask her for permission or include her in their decisions about using her work? My money is on "no."

But, there are lawyers involved, so no telling. I just really hate to hear about this.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Just A Little Info

As most of you regular readers know, I purchased a new Ford F-150 several months ago - three according to the service email I got from Rusty Eck Ford. I had to go to Wichita for an appointment with my endocrinologist and decided to get the thing serviced. Of course the seat had been moved when I got back in, which is to be expected since most people don't have their seats moved clear to the rear of the seat tracks. What I didn't know was that for some reason they had shut my headlights completely off from the "when it gets dark they turn on" setting.

So fast forward to that evening and I'm coming back home from Garden City, where I had to pick up some drugs (prescription, ya putzs) from Wally World. I had run out and needed 'em tout suite. And it's slightly after sunset and getting dark. And the new vehicles have dash lights that are on 24/7, so I thought I had my headlights on. I drove by a Highway Patrol car on the other side with a customer, and as I went by, I saw him pull out with his lights flashing.

Must have been someone towards Garden that was gonna get it.

Well, not so much. I drove a couple more miles before the white Charger appeared in my mirror (ease off the cruise set at 71 in a 65......), but it was too late. On came the disco lights.

He came to my window and informed me that he had come after me because my headlights weren't on and it was well after a half hour after sunset. Which shocked the crap outta me - of course when I saw the setting on my headlight switch had been changed, I changed it and told him what had apparently happened. He said he wasn't going to give me a ticket, but he still needed to see my license, registration, and proof of insurance.

Which are in my center console with the Glock 22 I carry in there, plus there was a Ruger Vacquero on the floorboards in it's factory case. After what I'd read in all the various gun boards and forums about being in this situation, I figured it would be a damn great idea for me to tell him about my weapons.

He was mostly concerned with the Glock - was it loaded? It has a loaded magazine but not one in the chamber. Well, I should go ahead and get it out and look for my paperwork. I pulled it out and set it on my console and finally found my other paperwork. He asked if I had CCW. I do not. He told me that I should consider getting one if I want to continue carrying the Glock in the console, because it was concealed when I did that and open carry laws didn't cover that. I told him I didn't want to argue the point, but my sheriff had told me it was ok. Which really only means he won't arrest me for carrying there, when you get right down to it.

Firearms may be openly carried in cars without any license except where localities have made open carry illegal; however, concealed handgun permits accepted by KS make the holder exempt from all local open carry bans.
According to the Highway Patrol and thus the State of Kansas, since I had it concealed in the console, it was not being openly carried.

He asked to take my gun with him. "For my safety" he said, and he wasn't speaking of me. Which I understood - should further investigation root out something pretty bad about me, when he came back I'd suspect he knew about whatever crime I was wanted for or whatever, and I'd ventilate him. Of course I'm clean as a whistle, but he honestly didn't know that. He sure figured as much, but he wasn't taking chances.

Honestly, I had NO problem with that. I couldn't and wouldn't do their jobs, just because there are people out there that will start shooting when they approach their stopped vehicle.

Also, when I got it back, he told me he'd put it under the seat. That is where he keeps his car gun, and it technically is out in the open, not under a sealed lid. Which is where it resides at this very moment.

And after all that, I told him that I'd driven many a mile over the country and dealt with many differents states' enforcement officers over the years, and it was my opinion that the best of all of them is the Kansas Highway Patrol. I wasn't blowing smoke - I do think that. I've run into quite a variety of personalities and some of them weren't cooperative or pleasant at all, but overall most of them are far superior. Most of my encounters with the others have generally been less than pleasant, and a lot of that had to do with their "bedside manner" and professionalism, which I found lacking in many. So, after all these years, I tend to say what is on my mind to these guys. If they were a pleasure to deal with, I'm all for giving them the props they are due.

Overall, I always say that dealing with various LEOs is like petting rattlers - sooner or later you're gonna get bit. So don't put yourself in the position to have to deal with 'em. But frankly, this time (and there have been plenty of other similarly positive encounters over the years) it was a reasonably productive and enjoyable encounter with a professional.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Seems Logical

Your results:
You are Spock


Jean-Luc Picard


Geordi LaForge


An Expendable Character (Redshirt)








Mr. Scott


Leonard McCoy (Bones)


Will Riker


James T. Kirk (Captain)


Beverly Crusher




Deanna Troi


Mr. Sulu


You are skilled in knowledge and logic.
You believe that the needs of the many
 outweigh the needs of the few.

Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character are you?" quiz...

H/T Cybrludite

Monday, October 14, 2013

The End Times Are Nigh


First off - this is from MSNBC of all places - and it happened there????

And I keep telling liberals who try to pigeonhole my politics to just the Republican Party, or call me a Tea Bagger or whatever that Both Parties Are To Blame, Dammit.

We didn't get here in this mess overnight, and it was not just one side of the aisle or the other, or the party of the President at the time, or any one individual.

I like what this guy had to say, and more importantly how he said it. Great rant.

But if he thinks our Child of Chicago Politics In Charge is gonna Do The Right Thing by exposing the corruption that put all of Congress in power and keeps them there is going to happen, he's got another thinking coming. Because, the same types have put our Affirmative Action President in place, and they've been getting a pretty good return on their investment, plus he's gonna continue to deliver. He's not about to grow a set and discover morality if it means screwing over the people holding the reins. End of story, sorry Fellow Americans (not really), but That Is The Way of Things.

H/T Scott


Ow - my eyes! Make it stop! Disgusting!

This crap is what passes for cute in this strip.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Don't Bother

Billy has already tried this crap of saying he's sick to skip school to sit at home and watch tv all day, and Mommy didn't fall for it.

No, really! That is all this strip is about! Ha ha!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


For her and me. She really never stays very long, but she does like to drop in and say hello fairly often.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

A Dawg's Lament

Dawg isn't happy about being "fixed" and feels a kinship with a lost nut ball. Can ya blame him?

And now for something a leeeeetle bit different:


Odd. I don't remember seeing this on Sesame Street!?!?

And a golden oldie parody of a childhood toy (Slinky) - but I gotta warn you it is totally not safe for work!

Monday, October 07, 2013

The Infinite Monkey Theorem

The Infinite Monkey Theorem is the idea that sooner or later, a bunch of monkeys pounding on typewriters will luck into copying a complete book or play or whatever - say Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm for thinking I could spot the Keane dunderheads two for one with monkeys, and the monkeys would be far more likely to have any sort of literary output than they could manage on their own.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

She Welcomes Our New Leafy Overlords

Dolly welcomes the idea that even the leaves are spies. Clearly she approves of the NSA spying on citizens as well. Now she's trying to indoctrinate Jeffy, the ultimate in useful idiots.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Au Revoir, Ol' Buddy



These were the Doobie Brother's songs chosen for my buddy's funeral.

The church was packed.

My pal cast a wide net in his life, and it showed today.

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