I am still here

Just to let my followers know I am still here. Tomorrow is my second in-patient surgery in the last 30 days. Embolization of the Liver. They are trying to choke to death 5 active cancer tumors that took up residence on my liver. Very painful procedure, and a terrible, long post op recovery period. I will still be in recovery from last months procedure when they perform this months procedure. Total recovery period will be well into the summer months.

For those of you who follow cupcake, she will keep you updated. She too has had a great deal of stress over this, and has been a tremendous help in spite of her own concerns and duties. When I am able, I will post my own updates, but they may be far and few between.

Declaration Of Independence

I know most people have never bothered to read Our Constitution top to bottom, or the Declaration of Independence, or The Federalist Papers, or even the Bill of Rights. They pay more attention to the back of a cereal box than they do to these documents. So here is an exert from THE DOI-

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 

Many legal scholars interpret the 2nd Amendment to accomplish just this. By arming “the people”, it keeps rogue governments in check. Some disagree, but in the end, it is the RIGHT of people to push aside governments that have become powers AGAINST the people, rather than powers OF the people.

Yesterday was not an act of terrorism, it was an act of citizens who no longer believe that the Government represents the people, and they were exercising their rights, no different than those rights used to found our country.

They did not burn down Walgreens, torch pawn shops, terrorize civilian neighborhoods. They went to the source of their frustration and demanded to be heard. Why is it when BLM does those things mentioned, it is a call for justice, but when citizens march on what they see as an oppressive government, is it terrorism?

Anybody?

Thanks, sincerely

Most of my readers know that I spent a lifetime in the Army (US), and it identifies who I am. I wear hats and little items that express my time in the service, kind of like my Superbowl ring. Anyway, one of my readers recently noted this background by saying “thank you for your service”. I appreciate the acknowledgment (thanks Writer!).

I hear that lot. It surprises me how many people acknowledge the commitment. Mostly, and I am sure my brothers in arms are equally impressed by this recognition…BUT………

We can tell when it is genuine and when it is perfunctory -not an accusation writer – just a meme 🙂

When a person walks 50 feet from their car to mine in the parking lot, and says thanks, that is sincere. When a homeless person (that I did not give any loose change) walks over, points to the hat and says thanks, that is sincere. When a cashier looks up and says thanks…not so much sincere as an automatic reaction. Do not misunderstand me, on behalf of all those that serve, we appreciate the gesture none the less, but the ones that are unexpected REALLY hit the pride button.

Anyway..to anyone that has ever said “thanks for your service” to a veteran or active duty member, thank you. It was a pleasure doing our duty. And to any of my readers that served – thanks for your service, sincerely.

Ruining the Experience

Just wondering if anybody feels the same way as me with this topic…

I love computers, what they can do for social life, education, bridging cultural gaps and International boundaries…BUT…

We cannot keep up with the software requirements, updates, downloads, either because they get expensive or they come too often. So we have taken the approach that “if it is still working, fuck it, we are all good with it”. Hell, we still use Microsoft 2007 because, well, it works for us. Why pay for 365 if my software still does the trick?

But lately it is a forced change. For instance, I know that Flash is going away. Sure, I get that, and heavens knows every time we try to open something that requires Flash to work, it tells us to update.

EXCEPT….we have been taught to never download something from an untrusted site or link, and, at least for me, I do not trust ANY link….none. Hackers have gotten good at cloning legitimate sights, and dumping malware, Trojans, viruses and worms right after you click “update” or “install”. So when I get a link to update my Java, I ignore it until shit does not work. Then I will go the Java secure site directly and try to download it from there.

Kids think that is old school. Why use a 14 year old software thingy when the cloud allows you an alternative? Well, guess what, little kiddies? I have never been hacked, compromised, virus slammed, Trojan-ed, Wormed…none of that shit. So, I will continue to protect and defend the only way I know how. The ONLY thing I update annually is our antivirus, and to do that, I actually BUY the CD and install it myself. I do not even trust to download that program.

If all that fails, I will go back to 1964, use etch-n-sketch, write letters, and get a decent set of Britannica from the local thrift store.

A time to Reflect?

Ok, we say goodbye to 2020. So what. Big deal. I have said goodbye to lots of years, and after awhile they all string together. But here is thought, and do not read anything into this because Cupcake and I are comfortable as we approach our golden years, but like most folks, when we were younger money was tight. I mean tight like a size 2 corset on Rosie O’Donnell tight.

Whomever said “money cannot buy happiness” was looking at it from the wrong point of view. Stop looking at it from a “have money” angle, and look at it from the vantage point “we do not have money”, and the entire paradigm shifts. It is more about what NOT having money can bring. Mostly misery, interspersed with a few arguments, cold showers (or none at all), and Ramen noodles three times a day. You can try to be happy and tell yourself that as long as you have your health, then all is good.

Bullshit.

Okay. Utter bullshit.

Our culture, and be default or society, requires liquidity. Money cannot buy happiness, but damn if it cannot keep the clean water flowing out of the faucet. That makes me happy.

There. I said it. So I hope your New Years brings liquidity, so you can at least rent happiness.

Ummm. Conflict of Interest?

Went to the Post Office Today to mail Christmas envelopes. For the Grandkids. They were gift cards and pre-paid debit cards. Spent 1 hour and 20 minutes in line. Got to the counter, and after figuring out the difference in postage between 1st class and Priority was a small Mortgage payment, I opted for 1st class. Paid for tracking on each. Another mortgage payment, by the way. Then I asked for Insurance to cover lost or stolen package replacement. No can do. Most you can insure them for is…ready for this…$15. Hell, the fee for BUYING the cards would not even be covered. I said that I need more than that. She said that is the max. So basically, there is no repercussions should Joe “slight of hand” McGuffy decides to Christmas shop while on sorting duty. She said you can upgrade to 2 day Priority and get $50 insurance automatically. Say what, yo? I cannot BUY more that $15, but if I UPGRADE to a mail method that only “promises” a 2 day delivery but costs 4 times as much, you will GIVE me insurance? No child, you did not “give” a damn thing. It is built into the cost. I can tell. Besides, $50 still is not enough to cover what Joe will be taking.So, this insurance conflict…..and let me get this straight….I have to pay a fee to ensure they do their job? What is to keep them from just “losing” everything, so you feel obligated to insure the next time? I thought the purpose of me buying postage was to ensure my package is delivered. No? That only ensures they are willing to ACCEPT the package. Beyond that, good luck. If it never arrives? Damn. Sorry. Better luck next time. Thanks for playing. Maybe you should have thought about paying for that $15 insurance.

I am in between

A question that most adults have, at some time in their lives, asked is “what happens after life.?” Religion tends to answer this question . Sort of. See. if you believe in Heaven and Hell, then the question becomes “am I good enough to go North?”

I figure I am somewhere in between. I am good enough to go to heaven, but God will no doubt give me Kitchen duty, where I have to take care of an endless sink full of dirty dishes. For eternity.

Life has prepared me well for this task. All I ask that I get to use Dawn.

I learned today…

I watch American Restoration because I learn stuff. Today I learned that if you need to sandblast paint off of aluminum. you should not use a sand blaster. The sand leaves little pits in the aluminum that cannot be fixed.

You are supposed to replace the sand with pulverized walnut shells. It blasts of the paint and presents a nice smooth finish.

Bet you did not know that. Now you do. You’re welcome.

After Effects, Years Later

Our neighbor across the street is having a once beautiful, full Water Oak removed. It died.

If you all remember, we have had 2 of our 5 removed because they also died. It broke our hearts.

We live in a community (not a subdivision, but a satellite suburb) that is known in the State for the Oaks lining streets and Neighborhoods. Water, Live, Grandfather. All tall and majestic, It gives the entire area a majestic feel.

But they are dying. In rather unusual numbers, and all in a short period. Hundreds of them. Now, in order to have them removed, you need a permit. To get a permit, they have to be certified as dead and unrecoverable by a licensed arborist. So I asked one of the arborist what was attacking the oaks. He said it was “Texas Quick” Disease. I had no idea what that was, so I looked at him like a parent doing his kids common core math problem, so he explained: It is a disease in Texas that gets in the water system, the Oaks drink it, and KABOOM, they die. Okay. Not nice. but we live a long way from Texas.

He said: Katrina. I said: The Hurricane? He said: Yep. The storm was so fierce, that it brought the disease out of Texas waterways, across the Gulf, and pushed it into the Florida Water table. Over the years, it has spread throughout the States water systems. It is harmless to people, animals, and other plants, but it is devastating to Oak trees.

That sucks.

So On nearly a daily basis, you can see a tree cutting service bringing down another 150 year old Oak, and every time they do, it is like cutting out a piece of our communities soul.

One Day of thanks

Today is a unique holiday in the United States. Thanksgiving. A day in which we are to love and hug, and share, and give thanks for all that is good in our lives.

This is not the unique part. Most countries have a similar holiday.

What makes it unique is that it is only ONE day to give thanks, because tomorrow, these same huggers, smilers, and sharers. will have no problem ripping out your nose hairs if you get in their way at the Walmart Black Friday extravaganza. I mean, there are only so many TV’s available at this amazing price, and yesterday is done and gone. Yesterday was my nice day. I saw it on the calendar.