Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Traditions And Superstitions (Working On My Mojo)

They say that there’s a connection between what we do on January 1 that sets a pattern for the remainder of the New Year.
It’s believed that if one fails to plaster a big ‘ol wet one on a significant other at the stroke of midnight we are destined for a year of coldness.  I have to work on New Year’s Eve so unless giving my little furkid, Sophie the dog, a peck on her head when I get home counts, I’m doomed.
Speaking of work, according to tradition it is good luck to be at work on the first day of the New Year.  At least I’ve got that covered.
One superstition I’ve heard of is that you shouldn’t allow the New Year to arrive with the cupboards bare.  Check.  I went to the grocery store today and bought my absolute most favorite ice cream; four pints of Talenti® gelato.  The freezer now has one pint each of Tahitian Vanilla Bean, Belgian Milk Chocolate, Caramel Cookie Crunch and Black Cherry Amareno.  I bought other stuff too, but none as important as the gelato.  Supposedly topping off ones groceries guarantees prosperity.
I’m screwed if this next superstition has any merit.  It is said that the household should not be in debt as the New Year arrives.  Hospital bills for all the tests that were run in November are pouring in.  Scratch that off the list of stuff to do to bring good luck for 2014.
Nothing is to be taken out of the house on the first not even garbage.  Check.  The garbage man comes on Tuesdays so that’s all good.
Now this “first footer” thing is tricky.  The first person to enter your home after the stroke of midnight supposedly will influence the year you’re about to have.  The recommendation ideally is for the “first footer” is to be tall, dark and handsome.  Damn.  That ain’t hapnin’.
I have an out apparently.  “One who lives alone might place a lucky item or two in a basket that has a string tied to it, then set the basket just outside the front door before midnight.  After midnight, the lone celebrant (that’s me) hauls in the catch, being careful to bring the item across the door jamb by pulling the string rather than by reaching out to retrieve it and thus breaking the plane of the threshold.”
As long as this occurs at midnight when the neighbors presumably will be in bed and will not witness this stupid maneuver I guess I can give this one a try.  Hey, it’s for good luck.
Being from the South, it is traditional to dine on collard greens, black-eyed peas, ham hocks and cornbread.  The notion is the collard greens represent folding money.  The black-eyed peas represent loose change.  The ham hocks are a pork product—this is important—one should not eat chicken or turkey on New Year’s Day because poultry scratches backwards, a cow stands still, but a pig roots forward.  Eating poultry fates the diner to scratch in the dirt all year for their dinner.
You’re not supposed to do laundry or even do dishes.  Do not pay loans or lend money.  Avoid breaking things.  Avoid crying on the first day.  Hey, if tall, dark and handsome is not my “first footer” I can’t guarantee the not being a crybaby thing.
One must make as much noise as possible at midnight.  This would be more likely if my “first-footer” would do me a favor and show up.  Cue the Marvin Gaye music.
I’m soaking the black-eyed peas as I write this.  I’ve already cleaned and chopped up the collard greens.  I’m steaming them now as well.  After that, I’ll drain them, rinse them and place them in a crock pot to slow cook all day tomorrow while I’m at work.  Then, I’m going to bake an iron skillet of buttermilk cornbread.
If you don’t hail from the South this cuisine may seem strange to you but it’s rooted deeply in folklore dating back to The War Against Northern Aggressions, Mr. Lincoln’s War, The War Between The States or the less inflammatory The Great Unpleasantness.
The “bluebellies” pillaged the land leaving behind only corn, black-eyed peas and greens as animal fodder.  These were the humble foods that enabled Southerners to survive.
So, as we flip open a brand new calendar with twelve pristine months, we get a chance to shrug off a year’s worth of worries and mistakes and get a fresh chance to start over.
What could be better?  Hellooooooo tall, dark and handsome.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The 2013 PUK Awards Round Two UPDATE 2X

Round One is in the books and Round Two of the 2013 PUK Awards is now open for your voting pleasure at iOwnTheWorld.

The nominees for Round Two are yours truly (Political Clown Parade), iOwnTheWorld, Maksim, World News Bureau, The Peoples Cube, I’m 41 and Capitalist Preservation (last year’s grand winner).

I could pretend to be humble…I could, but I won’t.  I’d love it if you could hop on over to iOwnTheWorld and vote like crazy for yours truly.  I’m No. 3.  Vote for No.3 on your program; No.1 in your heart.  (If I'm not No.1 in your heart, don't tell me.  It would crush me.)

Voting will last until 6 PM ET Sunday, December 29th.

I want to thank my good friend, Diogenes’ Middle Finger for the blog post informing her readers about this contest for conservative agitprop creators.

Remember, vote for me, No. 3.

UPDATE 12-30-2013 8:34 AM:  The results are in.  Your votes helped catapult my entry into the semi-final round.  The Cage Matches will begin today and the head-to-head final is coming this Friday, January 3, 2014.

These are the Top 8 that will be going head-to-head in the Cage Matches:  B. Keyser, The Looking Spoon (with 2 entries), Diogenes, iOwnTheWorld, Maksim, The Peoples Cube and yours truly, Political Clown Parade.

I hope I can count on you to vote for me because I’m cuter than a fluffy puppy and I don’t sit around in a red plaid onesie sipping hot chocolate spouting socialist horse manure talking points.

As soon as BigFurHat posts the first Cage Match, I’ll put up the link so you can start voting.

UPDATE 12-30-2013 8:31 PM:  It took a while, but BigFurHat finally posted the first Cage Match I mentioned in the previous update.

The Looking Spoon and Peoples Cube are duking it out.  The match is open until 6 PM New Years Eve.  Hop on over here to give your thumbs up for your fave.

Falcons Will Run “Afowl” Of The Panthers

The 4-11 Atlanta Falcons go up against the 11-4 Carolina Panthers today at 1:00 PM in the Georgia Dome.  Atlanta has nothing to gain in today’s game.  Their season is shot.  They’ll be playing for pride’s sake.

The Panthers meanwhile, will try to grab the NFC South crown and a shot at the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.  A Panthers victory will garner a first-round bye giving receiver Steve Smith time to heal his sprained PCL after last Sunday’s game.

If the Falcons win—perish the thought—the Saints can claim the NFC South crown by beating Tampa Bay.

Blogger buddies Proof, Odie and Stogie are rooting for San Francisco to defeat the Cardinals in their afternoon game.  A win combined with St. Louis whipping the Seahawks would secure a third straight NFC West title for the Niners.

Since the oddsmakers are taking the Panthers over the Falcons and honestly, who wouldn’t, it’s unlikely that Carolina will lose to the Falcons so the Niners can forget about home field advantage for the playoffs.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Trophy Generation

There are currently 35, yes, 35 bowl games being played post-season which began on December 21st and culminates in the BCS National Championship game on January 6, 2014 featuring Florida State versus Auburn.

There must be at least 27 bowls games in which both teams are embarrassed to be seen there.  Nothing says honor like playing in a bowl game sponsored by mini corndogs and beer battered onion rings.  I refer, of course, to the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl.

Two minutes after the game is over you can’t remember which team won.  You might as well name these contests between mediocre athletes/teams “The We Scraped Together (Pick A Number) Wins By Scheduling Cupcakes In Our Non-Conference Schedule Bowl.”  It’s got a nice ring to it and it rolls trippingly off the tongue to boot.

If you, like I, think that 35 bowl games is just a tad too many you would be wrong.  The BCS commissioners and ESPN/Disney (show me the money) decided to add three more bowl games in 2014:   The Camellia Bowl, The Miami Bowl and The Boca Raton Bowl.

Oh joy, the mediocrity is just too underwhelming.  I like football as much as the next person but, crikey, this is overkill.  I know the students, the players and their parents care about these lackluster contests, but the rest of us just care about the Top Ten teams.

Why can’t we just make it about recognizing the true champions instead of giving everybody who ever played on a field anywhere in America a cupcake trophy just for participating?


The 2013 PUK Awards Round One

BigFurHat and the crew of IOwnTheWorld are busily putting together the nominees for the highly vaunted PUK Awards.  Round One has been posted.

B. Keyser, All The Right Snark, Earl of Taint, The Looking Spoon, iOwnTheWorld, Diogenes’ Middle Finger, Terrell Aftermath and ZappaTrust are all contenders in this first round.

BigFurHat informs voters that the top 4 make it through.  Please go over to iOwnTheWorld and cast your votes for your faves.  They’re all great, but if I can nudge you gently here, I’d like you to give your thumbs up to three of my very talented friends:  Diogenes, Earl of Taint and The Looking Spoon.

Voting is open for this round through tomorrow, Saturday, December 28th at 8:00 PM.

Jump on over there and let these hard-working choppers feel the love.

UPDATE 12-28-2013 8:58 PM:  Congratulations to B. Keyser, The Looking Spoon and Diogenes.  They are the first semi-finalists in the 2013 PUK Awards.  The second round of ten will be posted sometime tonight just after Midnight ET.

New Year's Resolutions

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Madam Jesse

The Rev. Jesse Jackson unleashed a storm of protest in 1984 when he referred to Jews as “Hymies” and to New York City as “Hymietown.”

In 2001, the “moral and spiritual” adviser to Billy Jeff Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal, was forced to admit that he had maintained a prolonged extramarital affair that resulted in a “love child”

In 2007, Jackson publicly rebuked then-candidate Barack Obama for not taking a stronger position in response to the Jena 6 case. Many felt he went too far when he suggested Obama was “acting like he’s white.”

An open mic was not Jackson’s friend during the 2008 presidential campaign when he was caught muttering that he’d like to “cut his [Obama’s] nuts off” for “talking down to black people.” Despite numerous attempts to walk back his statement, Jackson was left off the DNC convention roster for the first time in decades.

A discrimination complaint was filed with Chicago’s Commission on Human Rights against Jackson and Rainbow PUSH in early 2010 by Tommy R. Bennett, 55, an openly gay Chicago man—a claim which Jackson and Rainbow/PUSH has vehemently denied.
“In the complaint, Bennett describes what he calls ‘demeaning and demoralizing tasks’ that he was asked to perform as part of his duties for PUSH—everything from escorting women to and from Jackson’s hotel room and cleaning up after sexual intercourse, to fetching erectile dysfunction pills for Jackson and, in one instance, being asked to apply ointment to a rash on Jackson’s inner thigh. He was asked to do these things, he says, because of his gender and his sexual orientation.”
In an announcement sent out Tuesday, December 24th, the Reverend compared Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson’s recent comments about African-Americans, gay people and women to comments made by the driver of Rosa Parks’ bus.
"At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law,” he said in the release. “Robertson's statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was ‘white privilege.’”  
Jackson’s human rights group, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, has demanded meetings with A&E and with Cracker Barrel regarding the two companies’ treatment of Robertson, who stars in the show as the head of a Louisiana family that makes duck calls. 
Jackson’s group, along with LGBT group GLAAD and the National Organization for Women urged A&E to keep Robertson on an indefinite hiatus from the show, which the network started following Robertson’s comments criticizing homosexuality in an interview with GQ magazine. 
Cracker Barrel removed Duck Dynasty items from its shelves and then put them back Sunday after customers protested, according to a Cracker Barrel news release
“We respect all individuals’ right to express their beliefs,” the Tennessee-based company’s release states. “We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different.” 
Jackson Sr. and the leaders of the other groups are demanding a sit-down meeting with Cracker Barrel and A&E in the next couple of days. 
“It is unacceptable that a personality who has been given such a large platform would benefit from racist and anti-gay comments,” the group leaders state in the release.
Clearly, Jackson sees an opportunity to extort money under the table from scared organizations.  It’s the hackneyed, yet successful formula for making money and generating political attention that this race pimp and über hypocrite employs.  He spews bigotry for profit.

Jackson is well past his USE BY DATE.  He should get off the stage before the lights dim.

In our highly polarized society, where more and more of our speech is controlled and sanitized, the ersatz outrage of the Reverend Jackson is just a touch ironic.  It’s a little like a cathouse madam extolling the virtues of abstinence.

Happiness Is A Warm Puppy

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa Comes On Christmas Eve Seeking Those Who Yet Believe

From one of my most favorite paintings by D. Morgan is a Christmas sentiment I love dearly:
"Dear Santa...Are you still the same dear man I knew so long ago? Does Mrs. Claus still mend your suit and pack your bag to go? I knew the bells on reindeer hoof and felt the snow crunch on my roof. I ran to peek in at the tree (that breathless little child was me.) How marvelously jolly round, you stilled my heart without a sound. How quiet you were beside the tree, you drank the cocoa there from me. Now with values rearranged, please don't tell me you have changed. Does Mrs. Claus still mend your suit and pack your bag to go? Are you still the same dear man I knew so long ago?"
The world will never be as perfect for us grown-ups as it is in the eyes of children on Christmas morning.

I know that Christmas is the time we celebrate the gift of the Christchild.  His birth is more than a symbol of a holiday.  He is our joy and our salvation. 

I wish you all the joy and happiness this season can bring.  Let us remember in our thoughts and prayers all the military service men and women deployed on foreign soil that are protecting our freedom and cannot be with their loved ones this Christmas and keep in our hearts all the families that are no longer whole because they have lost a loved one.

I will be packing up the PT Cruiser and loading up my furkid, Sophie The Dog, for a visit with my long-time friend at the beach over the Christmas holiday and will not be posting anything for a few days.

I wish you and yours a Christmas abundant in God’s blessings, full of simple joys and warm in the presence of love.


It Vouldn’t Hoit

Photo courtesy:  The Roche Group/Tamiflu
You see the guy in the bed?  He’s got the chills and the floor is littered with used Kleenex.  There’s nothing little about being sick.

Welcome to my world.  I feel like death warmed over.  I got sick some time during the night on Thursday.  I woke up with the crud, a low-grade fever and achy all over.  I called out sick.

I wallowed in the bed until I couldn’t wallow anymore and moved to the den and wallowed on the sofa.  I didn’t have an appetite so I ate very little on Friday.  When I woke up Saturday morning I had a full-blown case of the ickies.

This is the weekend before Christmas.  It was Saturday and my only option for seeing a doctor was to visit the Urgent Care Center.

I spent roughly three hours waiting to be seen.  Meanwhile, an endless parade of the great unwashed streamed through the waiting room.  After they registered at the desk, they took a seat near me hacking and wheezing and spewing cooties everywhere.

One guy, that I am not ashamed to describe as a pig, never once covered his mouth when he hocked up a loogie or sneezed.  In my disgust, I walked up to the registration window and plucked a mask out of the box and put it on.  I stared at the guy for a long time hoping he would sense my outrage.  I’m not sure, but I think I muttered under my breath the words, “What a pig!”

After an eternity, the door opened and a nurse called my name.  We went into one of the examination rooms and I whined about how gawd-awful I felt.  She took my vitals and my temp and walked out saying the doctor would be in soon to see me.

Shortly I heard a gentle rapping on the door and the doctor came in.  She asked me what I was there for.  I chose to visit the Urgent Care Center at the hospital where my lung specialist and cardiologist are located.  My decision was based on the fact that they would have access to my health records.  Surely, I thought, seeing my health records would make this part of the process easier.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I answered her question.  She decided to have a nurse take a swab of my nose to determine whether I had the flu stating that even though I had my flu shot in September that another strain may have jumped on me.

The nurse who came in was very nice at first glance.  She reached into one of the drawers and took out one of those swabs with the long stick, unwrapped it and walked over to my left side.  She implored me to be very still.  The nurse who looked gentle when I first laid eyes on her turned out to be a variation of Nurse Ratched or Frau Blücher because she jammed that Q-Tip with the long stick up my nose all the way up to my brains.   She left the room saying it would be about 10 minutes before the results would be known.

The doctor came back into the room and announced that the results were negative.  She did not prescribe any medication.  She handed me a record of the office visit upon which she wrote:
“You have a URI, likely viral.  Continue your chronic medications as prescribed.  Your flu test was negative; I commend you for having your annual flu shot.  You may return to work if no fever.  Push fluids, frequent hand washing or hand sanitizer.  Mucinex may help your symptoms.  Follow up at ER or here if not improving, worsening or otherwise concerned.”
I shuffled out of the room, down the hall, out the door, into the parking lot and then hopped in my car.  I decided to stop by the grocery store and buy a boatload of Progresso Reduced Sodium Chicken Noodle Soup.

Everybody knows chicken soup is Jewish penicillin; a magical elixir.  I thought, “It vouldn’t hoit.”

There's no such thing as too much chicken soup, unless you're a chicken.   Maybe I’ll even start speaking in Yiddish just for shits and giggles.

Have a great weekend.  Buy stock in Kleenex cuz I’m going through ‘em like water.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Underwear Prancers For Obamacare

So, you’re LGBT and the tweet from OFA just didn’t cut the mustard for you.  Fear not for the brainiacs in the West Wing huddled up and decided to create an ad that would appeal to actual poofters.

I think the adjective I’m searching for is insipid.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

FlannelCare Is Pure Propaganda Genius-ry Said No One Ever

Wearing what appears to be winter whimsy snuggle fleece pajamas, a poofter spokesmodel is holding a cup, not a more manly mug, of hot chocolate in the newest Obamacare ad campaign imploring Americans to get talking about health insurance and signing up by the December 23rd deadline for coverage beginning January 1, 2014.

Truly the nightmare before Christmas, this “Flannelcare” ad is nothing short of astonishingly disturbing.

How insulting to the 5 million Americans whose insurance plans were canceled to have Organizing For America come up with a low-testosterone, low-information metrosexual, Rachel Maddow look-alike pitching a Chernobyl-grade disaster known as Obamacare.

The OFA tweet asked, “How do you plan to spend the cold days of December?”

It’s time to bring back dignity to America.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

He’s Got You By The Balls

On December 12th, the White House tweeted a laughable photo of The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer telling America to #GetCovered.  The West Wing is desperate and it shows because they possess an utter incapacity for embarrassment.

Jim Geraghty posits this at National Review:

Caroline Baum, a columnist for Bloomberg, offers suggestions to the Obama administration that are extremely creative, extremely desperate, or a sign Obamacare’s fans are having a collective nervous breakdown:
“First, announce and advertise that everyone between the ages of 18 and 34 who enrolls on the health-care exchanges by the end of the year is automatically entered in a lottery. Winners will receive everything from a free iPhone or iPad to a full-year of health-care underwritten by Uncle Sam. Refer a friend and get a discount. Buy one (year), get one free. In states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use—Colorado and Washington—by all means, throw in a bag of cannabis.” 
“It isn’t fair, you say? Who said life is fair? Obamacare is based on the idea of young, healthy people, who don’t use a lot of health-care services, subsidizing the sick and elderly. Their generation is on the hook for the debt incurred to provide for the baby boomers in retirement. So forget fair.”
Holy shit woman!

You didn’t think I’d let this tweet go without chopping it did you?  Nah.  You didn’t.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Using The Smoke Detector As A Oven Timer

I kid.

Everyone knows that Christmas is a time to bake up some tasty goodies for friends, neighbors and family and defy our diets.

Every year I bake up a boatload of my world-famous banana nut bread.  My job restricts monetary gifts to $10 per person.  Nowadays ten bucks won’t get you much.  So, I give my direct reports a loaf of my bread.

It’s made with lots of love and it’s mighty yummy.

I purchase the Christmas baking tins that come with lids and festoon them with mini bows and a Wilton® icing decoration.  Sometimes, I’ll use mini Christmas tree ornaments or mini Christmas cookie cutters.  I also include a red plastic knife in case the recipient wants to dig in right away.

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsps baking soda
1 cup butter
2 cups of white sugar
4 large bananas
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups of chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Lightly spray three 8 X 3 ¾ inch loaf pans.  Mix the flour, salt and baking soda.  Nuke the butter in the microwave.  Add the butter and sugar in with the other ingredients.  Stir in the bananas, eggs and walnuts until well blended.  I use a potato masher to blend the ingredients.  Divide the batter between the three pans and bake for 60 to 70 minutes in a preheated oven.  The loaves are done when a knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

If you have trouble finding the loaf pans with the lids I’ve described you can cover the bread with aluminum foil to keep the moisture in.

These puppies are moist, moist, moist and the ton of bananas makes them super d-duper delicious.  They’re so good they’ll make ya wanna slap your momma.

The Fraudulence Paradox

Saturday Night Live first aired nearly 40 years ago.  I was a 20-something way back then and the show was hilarious.

With talent like Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Bill Murray and Dan Ackroyd, The Not Ready For Prime Time Players parodied politics and culture with their edgy skits.

In part because I matured over the years, and because the show became politically charged, SNL was no longer funny and I stopped watching it.  I still don’t.  I don’t have that kind of time to waste.

Many have credited the show with having an effect on the 2008 election, known as the "SNL Effect".

After years of being silent about The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer, SNL has finally begun mocking he who must not be mocked.

Last Saturday, SNL skewered TWMDCO’s shameful behavior during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela and also took aim at a fake sign language interpreter.  The Mandela memorial was the biggest state funeral since Winston Churchill’s 32 years earlier.

When I saw the Saturday Night Live skit with Kenan Thompson portraying the fake interpreter flailing behind Jay Pharoah who was playing the part of POTUS, I busted a gut.

It is impossible to respect this president.  He has become a laughingstock around the globe.  Its high time SNL jumped in.  Mocking The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer is not committing sacrilege.  Of course, this thin-skinned president may imperil their jobs for having done so.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Is The Keeping-Place For Memories

Cockpit photo:  Courtesy American Airlines
I have been a supporter of the Gary Sinise Foundation for years and my blog has proudly carried a link in the sidebar for readers to explore this most admirable charity.

I was unaware, until yesterday, of Mr. Sinise’s (Lt. Dan from the 1994 film Forrest Gump) involvement in the Snowball Express.

I received a phone call around 12:45 PM on Thursday from management that a group of children would be taking off from my airport to join 1800 other children and the spouses of fallen military for the eighth annual Snowball Express in Dallas.

Sponsored by American Airlines, the charter flight is an all-expense-paid vacation which will last four days with the mission of bringing hope and new happy memories to the children of military heroes who have died while on active duty since September 11, 2001.

The Snowball Express gives these children the opportunity to bond with another child who has lost a parent.  It also tries to help those that are left behind by uplifting and honoring their fallen heroes.

Most of the children wore red t-shirts that bore the words “My dad was a hero”.  The mothers wore similar shirts that read, “My husband was a hero.”

Local members of the Patriot Guard stood at the back of the checkpoint to greet the families and personally escort them to the gate which was specially decorated for Christmas.  Aboard the plane, these very special families were treated to refreshments and entertainment.  The send-off included a water cannon salute.

The group formed up outside the checkpoint and had their pictures taken with Santa Claus who was wearing the trademark leather vest of the Patriot Guards festooned with all manner of patches that are commonly seen on these vests.

I met with “Rick” who is a member of the Patriot Guard.  He spoke with such reverence about the Guard’s participation in the Snowball Express.  They stood at attention until the families cleared the checkpoint.  They gave the kids handfuls of candy and little wrapped surprises.

The good thing about the Snowball Express is that it is not a one-time event.  These families, once registered, can participate year after year.  As one mother said, so many people throughout the year will express their compassion for what these families go through.  They say they understand what they are going through but they really don’t.

She said everyone who takes part in the Snowball Express faces the same challenges and hardships.  “It’s the only place on earth where talk of our loved ones and their final resting place involves pride, tears and hysterical laughter all at once. A place where there are no fifth wheels, but only belonging and understanding. A place to remember our heroes and the families they left behind. Nothing can compare to what is being given to us this weekend. I love my Snowball Family!”

This mother gave off the greatest glow of happiness, and for me, Christmas has taken on even greater meaning this year. 

May God bless these wonderful families.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

And The World’s Smallest Violin Began To Play

In recent days, blogger friends Diogenes and Stogie wondered why I hadn’t posted anything since the Monday before Thanksgiving.

That post was time-stamped 9:29 AM.  It was filled with positive thoughts and notions of Thanksgiving and well wishes for my readers.  It was published one hour before my scheduled appointment with my lung specialist.  One hour.

Little did I know that I was about to be brought to my knees.

The Wednesday before, I underwent heart catheterization and reported that the doctor who performed the procedure said he saw no blockages in my heart.  He even gave me a couple of copies of the angiography images.

When my lung specialist entered the room and sat down, I asked him where I stood in terms of my health.  He looked uncomfortably at me and told me that I have diastolic heart failure, something they used to refer to as diabetic “stone” heart.  He explained that diabetes damages the heart to the extent that someone with diabetes is two to six times more likely to have a heart attack at an earlier age than other people.

He went on to explain that the right side of my heart, the atrium, remains rigid after pumping out the blood to the body rather than relaxing.  He prescribed Carvedilol® to be taken twice daily.
Carvedilol® is used to treat heart failure and patients whose hearts cannot pump blood well as a result of a heart attack. It works by relaxing blood vessels and slowing the heart rate to improve blood flow and decrease blood pressure.  He prescribed this medication to improve my chances of survival.

Now I know why the doctor who performed the catheterization gave me copies of the images he did.  They were cherry-picked so I wouldn’t worry before I had a chance to talk with my lung specialist and cardiologist.  I examined them more closely and found that there were actually at least 49 frames.  He gave me frames 32, 34, 44 and 49.

Feeling sorry for oneself is the greatest of all acids to the human soul.  Normally, I don’t succumb to self-pity.  Normally.

I have always known, as a diabetic, that one of the many complications associated with diabetes is heart attack or stroke.  I’ve always known that, but chose not to contemplate it.  I’ve always managed my diabetes well. 

I don’t recall which product is being advertised in the TV commercial, but in it is a woman who is opening her mail.  She opens an envelope and takes out a piece of paper upon which is written, “Your heart attack arrives in two days.”

By electing not to contemplate the risk of heart attack or stroke, this commercial now took on a life of its own in my mind.  It did a number on me and the world’s smallest violin began playing.

I began paying attention to my shortness of breath, the little pains in my chest, the achy neck and the occasional dizzy spells that lasted scant seconds and began to imagine the worst.  I was becoming a mess.

And then it happened.

This past Saturday, God said, “Look at you.  What are you doing?”

And then this happened.  I was advised that a group of young children with their parents and chaperones would be entering my checkpoint as guests of the Make A Wish Foundation to take a “flight” on Delta Airlines to the North Pole.  Upon their return they would be greeted by Santa Claus at the Delta gate.

Donning the Santa hats that Delta had purchased, we began to screen these remarkable children and the parents who live with the knowledge that their little angels have little time left on this earth.

Their faces were brimming with laughter and anticipation of meeting Santa.

Several flight attendants were dressed as Santa’s elves and one was even dressed as Mrs. Claus.  

I met with the pilot of the “North Pole” flight.  Each child was issued a boarding pass that showed the destination NORTH POLE.  He even had a manifest showing each child’s name.

The “flight” would never really take off, but would have the plane simply taxi down the runway and back again giving the ground crew a chance to change into elf costumes and the gate attendants enough time to decorate the gate to look like the North Pole when the children deplaned.

The airline gave each child a super-cool backpack, blue for the boys and pink for the girls, which looked like a Delta airplane.  The backpack was stuffed to the gills with all sorts of goodies.  They even decorated the wheelchairs with jingle bells and decals and bows and ribbons.

When the festivities were over, all the kids were smiling more broadly than before and the faces of their parents seemed happier.

I have shared this wonderful story with you for two reasons.  There are wonderful people out there who care deeply for others.  The other reason involves a certain someone who was feeling sorry for herself.

It took this stark reminder to move me away from the self-pity that engulfed me.

I cannot admit to you that I do not fear my diagnosis, but I can say that God The Father set me straight that night.

I witnessed courage in the faces of the parents—a courage I cannot fathom—and a courage that no one should be forced to find in their lives.

I saw innocence in the faces of the children who are facing their own mortality.  It was a testament to life and living and all that is good if we just seek it out.

That is why I hadn’t posted anything in a while.  I hope my readers understand my momentary reflection of life.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Melissa Harris-Perry: No Cocoa Puffs. Just Cuckoo. Period.

Mental illness has become increasingly widespread in the U.S., affecting around one in five American adults every year, according to a survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

MSNBC has clearly morphed into a booby hatch for lefty pundits.  Watch as Melissa Harris-Perry goes off the rails and rises from her seat a number of times as she becomes highly agitated in her rant Sunday morning declaring that using the term “Obamacare” is tantamount to invoking the N-word.

This idiot has had repeated on-air meltdowns in the past.  Sunday’s soliloquy provides us with further evidence that she is truly a disturbed individual.  No Cocoa Puffs.  Just cuckoo. Period.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Who Dat Cat?

I flipped the channels and saw that Miami was playing the Steelers, became quickly bored and flipped channels again to see a veritable blizzard in Philly where the Lions are up against the Eagles.  I love to watch football played in the snow.

It’s mildly amusing watching the grounds crew trying to keep the yard lines and hash marks cleared as the snow keeps piling up on the field.

I’ll be tuning into the 49ers and Seahawks game when the Lions and Eagles wrap up their game.  I think that the Seahawks are going to emerge the victor in that contest.

I’m actually waiting for the game on Sunday Night Football between the Panthers and the Saints.  Should be interesting.

Both teams are tied at 9-3 in the NFC South.  Tonight’s game is the first of two meetings between these rivals in the regular season.

The Panthers have won eight straight games.  The oddsmakers have New Orleans at -3.5 and predict they will win 27-23.

They may be right, but then again, the “Inch-by-Inch” speech Al Pacino made in the football flick Any Given Sunday seems appropriate for this confrontation at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium tonight in New Orleans.

A win tonight for the Panthers would be purrrrfect.

Go Panthers!