Saturday, September 26, 2009
I fall into this latter category. I'm not a fan of President Obama by any stretch, but I did want him to take this opportunity to present a fresh, bold face to the world in a room with other leaders from all over the world. I wanted him to champion America, and America's greatness. I wanted him to be cocky about America as he is when he speaks about his own greatness. I wanted him, simply, to do his job and sell America to the world as a great place to be in, live in, and invest in.
He, in a private-sector environment, would be considered the 'CEO of America'! Judging from the following excerpts pulled from Wednesday's speech, I guess the question is:
Would you buy stock in this company (America) given the following sales presentation by CEO Obama?
You can access the full speech text by clicking HERE
"I have been in office for just nine months -- though some days it seems a lot longer. I am well aware of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world. These expectations are not about me. Rather, they are rooted, I believe, in a discontent with a status quo that has allowed us to be increasingly defined by our differences, and outpaced by our problems."
Translation: I'm the new guy and I'm tired. I know you didn't like the previous CEO, but that's not my fault. We have problems, but that's not my fault either. You should have no expectations of me... I just got here.
"To confront climate change, we have invested $80 billion in clean energy. We have substantially increased our fuel-efficiency standards. We have provided new incentives for conservation, launched an energy partnership across the Americas, and moved from a bystander to a leader in international climate negotiations."
Translation: We have spent money, lots of shareholder money, to save thousands of polar bears currently drowning in Alaska. We are also committed to building really small cars which we hope people will want to buy. If they do not want to buy these smaller, less attractive vehicles, we will give them your money to subsidize their purchases from car companies which we now own. And we want YOU to do the same!
"To overcome an economic crisis that touches every corner of the world, we worked with the G20 nations to forge a coordinated international response of over $2 trillion in stimulus to bring the global economy back from the brink."
Translation: We have spent money, lots of money to invest in other companies (countries) which were financially unstable and may have quite possibly gone bankrupt if we didn't give them... your money.
"This is what we have already done. But this is just a beginning. Some of our actions have yielded progress. Some have laid the groundwork for progress in the future. But make no mistake: This cannot solely be America's endeavor. Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world's problems alone. We have sought -- in word and deed -- a new era of engagement with the world. And now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."
Translation: We need your money because we're expanding our enterprise world-wide! You too can be part of our new world order!
"And sadly, but not surprisingly, this body has often become a forum for sowing discord instead of forging common ground; a venue for playing politics and exploiting grievances rather than solving problems. After all, it is easy to walk up to this podium and point figures -- point fingers and stoke divisions. Nothing is easier than blaming others for our troubles, and absolving ourselves of responsibility for our choices and our actions. Anybody can do that. Responsibility and leadership in the 21st century demand more. "
Translation: Did I mention that I was the NEW guy and NONE of this is my fault?
"We will pursue a new agreement with Russia to substantially reduce our strategic warheads and launchers. We will move forward with ratification of the Test Ban Treaty, and work with others to bring the treaty into force so that nuclear testing is permanently prohibited. We will complete a Nuclear Posture Review that opens the door to deeper cuts and reduces the role of nuclear weapons. And we will call upon countries to begin negotiations in January on a treaty to end the production of fissile material for weapons."
Translation: No longer will we compete with other companies' (countries') products or services, we want to peacefully co-exist with them. We want to make sure that we have no competitive advantage over them whatsoever! Enforcing copyright, patent, and trademark protections are counter-productive to the homoginization of our multiple companies into one, world-wide conglomerate! (Did I say New World Order earlier? Oh yes, I see that I did)
(a.k.a.: "When nukes are outlawed, only outlaws will have nukes")
"The danger posed by climate change cannot be denied. Our responsibility to meet it must not be deferred. If we continue down our current course, every member of this Assembly will see irreversible changes within their borders. Our efforts to end conflicts will be eclipsed by wars over refugees and resources. Development will be devastated by drought and famine. Land that human beings have lived on for millennia will disappear."
Translation: You're all going to die... Come with me if you want to live! (Think Terminator II here)
"We will move forward with investments to transform our energy economy, while providing incentives to make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. We will press ahead with deep cuts in emissions to reach the goals that we set for 2020, and eventually 2050. We will continue to promote renewable energy and efficiency, and share new technologies with countries around the world. And we will seize every opportunity for progress to address this threat in a cooperative effort with the entire world. "
Translation: We will spend our shareholder's money to develop, and give away technology which you people are either not smart enough, or not politically-correct enough, to build yourselves. We will build a new world order and, no, that's not quite right... Come with me if you want to live!
"And those wealthy nations that did so much damage to the environment in the 20th century must accept our obligation to lead. But responsibility does not end there. While we must acknowledge the need for differentiated responses, any effort to curb carbon emissions must include the fast-growing carbon emitters who can do more to reduce their air pollution without inhibiting growth. And any effort that fails to help the poorest nations both adapt to the problems that climate change have already wrought and help them travel a path of clean development simply will not work."
Translation: You people who chose to live in homes, in cities, in suburbs, who chose to work to get your slice of the American dream, buy cars, and burden society with your selfishness -- you will pay for your lack of vision. You shareholders of America must reach out to the poorest nations on Earth. You must reach out not to give them a hand-up; you must pay for these poorest companies on Earth to plant trees in deserts, clean streets of animal waste, make sure they never have the choices we have foolishly made ourselves. We must prepare to welcome them into the new global government! They won't have cars, but at least they won't be stepping in goat pooh as they walk to work in one of our company-owned work centers. We will provide all of their needs and in return, they will provide for us...
WARNING: As always, please don't drive while reading this entry. President Obama's words have been know to cause bouts of euphoria, frustration, lightheadedness, or sometimes even rage (depending on which lower case letter follows your name (i.e.: '-D', '-R', or 'I')).
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Before you jump on the band-wagon and point your bony finger at me, let me ask you this: Are YOU a racist too?
I guess your answer would have to depend upon your definition of the word 'Racist'. According to the Urban Online Dictionary, a RACIST:
"If you're a white man, this is what you are. It doesn't even matter if your wife is black and you have an adopted child from India, or how many black friends you have, somehow you're going to end up being a racist according to how the media portrays the white man as "racist whities".
All of this is funny because the white man is the one that is stereotyped as being racist, which is hypocrisy at its best. It's racist to assume that white men are racists.
If you don't get offended by racial insults, then you're apparently racist too, but an actual racist would get offended by it..."
You can read more by clicking here -- Urban Dictionary
So, using the definition above, I must be defined as a 'racist' because I happen to be (through no fault of my own) a 'White Guy'. Okay, I said that out loud too, at least I'm consistent...
This week I was informed by James Earl Carter that I oppose President Obama's policies because (through no fault of his own) President Obama was born 'non-White' (might that make him 'non-Black' as well? I don't know. "It's above my pay grade...").
Being a purist, you can't actually say that President Obama is 'Black' because, in reality, his Father was Black and his Mother was White. Therefore, using Ex-President Jimmy Carter's logic, if President Obama WERE 100% Black (from a statistical perspective) I would oppose him TWICE as much as I currently do. Personally I can't even conceive of this, but I'll just let it hang there...
So what did President Carter say during his second bout of verbal diarrhea on Wednesday?
"When a radical fringe element of demonstrators and others begin to attack the president of the United States as an animal or as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler or when they wave signs in the air that said we should have buried Obama with Kennedy, those kinds of things are beyond the bounds," the Democrat who served from 1977-1981 told students at Emory University.
"I think people who are guilty of that kind of personal attack against Obama have been influenced to a major degree by a belief that he should not be president because he happens to be African American."
Unfortunately President Carter got it wrong. I SAW the sign he referenced in his speech to Emory University. I was watching CNN as I wolfed down a couple of burgers at Mickey D's. The sign, as displayed by the CNN reporter, actually read:
"Bury ObamaCare with Kennedy"
Okay, the sign WAS mean-spirited, but it was certainly NOT a call to bury, maim, wound, in-capacitate, or otherwise 'do away with' the President of the United States. How could President Carter get it so wrong? Was it by accident? Or, was the misstatement of the sign by design?
A few months ago, I would have said it was a verbal slip-up, but there seems to be a constant pattern of behavior exhibitted from our Democratic leadership in Washington, DC.
Never wanting to be up-staged by a former President, Nancy Pelosi was quick to pull the spotlight back to herself to add a few personal thoughts (and shed a few tears) regarding America in 2009:
"I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw this myself in the late '70s in San Francisco," Pelosi told reporters, her voice catching in her throat at her weekly press briefing.
Pelosi, though she didn't elaborate on the reference, was alluding to the 1978 murders of Mayor George Moscone and city Supervisor Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist immortalized in a recent movie starring Sean Penn.
Former San Francisco Supervisor Dan White was convicted in the case. He committed suicide in 1985. Pelosi was chairwoman of the Democratic Party for northern California and friendly with Milk and Moscone.
Pelosi said Thursday that while she values free speech, a careful line must be tread between the First Amendment Right and regard for public safety.
If my only sources for news were CNN, MSNBC, NBC, or The Huffington Post, I'd be hunkered down in my house with the blinds drawn.
Think about this: A former President of the United States AND the current Speaker of the House telling Americans that the people who oppose President Obama's plans for health care, deficit spending, and the expansion of government into privately-owned businesses are 'dangerous'. If I read 'just a bit' into Nancy Pelosi's quote above regarding the First Amendment, perhaps we may just have to modify it a bit. You know, for the good of 'Public Safety'...
It's funny (in a tragic and sad way), but I don't remember reading about any TEA Party participants during the march on Washington biting anyone's finger off...
I don't remember reading about anyone getting into a scuffle with law enforcement or being 'beligerent' during the march...
The current administration has a unique perspective on crisis management (we 'Racists' are apparently, the crisis):
They look at 'We the People' as an obstacle in their plan(s) to 're-build' America.
Good. Count me in.
So far they 'get it'. In 2010 they'll get it much more clearly.
In case you're wondering, I opposed President Bush on many of his economic decisions also.
Bottom line is, I guess: I'm still a Racist, because at last glance, I remain a 'White Guy'.
If this should change I'll let you know.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Today is the National Holiday President Grover Cleveland set aside to celebrate Unionized American Workers, Labor Unions, and Political (Union) Cronies!
But let me ask you this: Do you know WHY you're home from work today? Do you know the reason for Labor Day, and why it's celebrated in September?
Did you ever think about those questions? Hmm, did ya, did ya???
(If, however, you are at work today, or this evening, please accept my sincere apologies. My wife is a Nurse, and since she has a 'real job' (defined here as 'Saving Lives, Administering care to the sick, to the well, to the dying, Counseling Families, and giving sponge baths to 'large, and sometimes stinky people') she often works Labor Day, Fourth of July, Christmas, Ground Hog Day, Thanksgiving, Arbor Day and other major national holidays.)
As for the rest of us? Oh yes, Labor Day is a day of 'leisure'. It is a day in which Americans celebrate "stickin' it to the man" one last time by NOT showing up for work during the waning moments of summer.
So let's take a moment to do an EXCLUSIVE Moos Room Investigation of:
"THE ORIGIN OF LABOR DAY"!
(Feel free to add your own 'Echo' as you read the prior CAPs section (above) in your mind)
And what better place to start than the Department of Labor?! After all, it's a Department with 'Labor' in its title, right?
Okay, we're going in...
Q.: Who was the 'Founder of Labor Day'?
A.: Great question, please ask another!
SERIOUSLY! FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WEBSITE: "More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.
Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."
But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic."
Moos Translation: Unions adopted the Labor Day 'concept' to prove that they were united, they could get together to drink beer, to eat chicken, and to get disorderly WHENEVER they wanted to and there was 'nothing' that their employer could do about it.
In 1883, a union member was quoted as saying, "BRRRRAAAAPPPP... Oh yeah, AND we're gonna work on getting FREE health care so we don't have to pay for nothin', even if it takes more than 100 years! Nana nana boo boo!" (Sorry, I made that part up - but you know one of them was thinking it...)
Q.: Can you tell me about the First Labor Day?
A.: I could, but then I'd have to kill you.
OKAY, YOU ASKED: "The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.
Moos Translation: "Hey, how come THOSE guys got off for the day and WE didn't? We're in a UNION too, darn it, and we want a day off! We WANT a day off, we WANT a day OOOOFFFFFFFFF!
Oh, and one more thing, we want FREE health care for us, I mean, errr, for all Americans! Yeah, for ALL American Union members! Nana nana boo boo!" (Hmm, I see a 'Nana nana boo boo' pattern beginning to emerge here...)
Q.: When did 'Labor Day' become a national holiday?
A.: On June 28th, 1894
WHAT, NO WISECRACK? Come on people, it's a 'date'! 'Dates' are not funny things.
Unless, of course, it's about night I first met my wife in a bar, but that is Waaaayyy out of line for a post on Labor Day. Plus, as everyone KNOWS, it's been a LABOR OF LOVE ever since. "Nana nana..." Oh, you get the idea.
Q.: Hey, how come so many other countries celebrate their 'International Worker's Day' in May (a.k.a.: May Day), and we're stuck with the first Monday of September?
A.: President Grover Cleveland didn't want blood in the streets of major U.S. cities while he was in office...
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? According to Wikipedia: "In countries other than the United States and Canada, resident working classes sought to make May Day an official holiday and their efforts largely succeeded. For this reason, in most of the world today, May Day is marked by massive street rallies led by workers, their trade unions, anarchists and various communist and socialist parties."
Now THAT does sound like a party!!!
CONTINUING FROM WIKIPEDIA: "The first Labor Day celebration was held on September 5, 1882, and was organized by the Knights of Labor. The Knights began holding it every year and called for it to be a national holiday, but this was opposed by other labor unions who wanted it held on May Day (as it is everywhere else in the world).
After the Haymarket Square riot in May, 1886, President Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the riots.
Thus he moved in 1887 to support the Labor Day that the Knights supported."
Moos Translation: To quote Jim Morrison and the Doors, President Cleveland was trying to avoid the following (which he feared would arise if US Labor Unions celebrated the May 1st date):
"Blood in the streets in the town of New Haven
Blood stains the roofs and the palm trees of Venice
Blood in my love in the terrible summer
Bloody red sun of fantastic L.A.
Blood screams the pain as they chop off her fingers
Blood will be born in the birth of a nation
Blood is the rose of mysterious union
There's blood in the streets, it's up to my ankles
Blood in the streets, it's up to my knee
Blood in the streets in the town of Chicago
Blood on the rise, it's following me"
As an aside, this year's Official DOL Labor Day 2009 Poster (PDF) file can be found by clicking HERE. I mention it because I'm sure you'll want to print out a copy and stick it up on your wall today! (Got darts?)
If you have a good day today, hug a Teamster!
If you have a bad day today, keep it to yourself!
If you are a Union Member, THANKS for the day off Comrade Worker!
If you are a Non-Unionized Employee, thanks for doing your job every day and not whining about it!
If you work in a mixed work environment (in a Management AND Craft (a.k.a.: Union shop)) like I used too, well, you have my sympathies! Don't get a grievance filed on you! Smile ,and just say 'thanks' to the Shop Steward!
If you are Jim Morrison, I'm sorry that you're not with us any more, although those lyrics dude, what was up with those lyrics?
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Let me state for the record that I, Mike Kane, being of relatively sound mind, agree with Hillary Clinton regarding free speech in America. (To read more click here...)
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The second provided a DETAILED ANALYSIS (with actual facts, which I looked up! And, yes, I admit, a few I MADE up) of the plan and was entitled, simply enough, 'Clunk.'. (YET EVEN MORE APPLAUSE)
After the last post I left it alone because when it comes to giving people FREE stuff (and Congress is involved in this a LOT); well, once those wheels start turning it's hard to stop them. This being said, the bill passed the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Obama.
The interesting about the bill was HOW it was actually passed... For the purposes of accuracy I now quote the nice folks at The Washington Post:
"Congressional leaders attached the legislation to a $106 billion spending bill to fund troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The spending bill passed by a 91 to 5 vote but not before some Republican lawmakers unsuccessfully sought to strip the measure from the bill."
"Let's not add a billion dollars of unnecessary debt," said Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) during the Senate floor debate.
Dealers, unions, trade groups and automakers have been lobbying for months for the legislation in hopes that it would stop the streak of dismal U.S. auto sales. "The simple fact is that we need to get Americans into car showrooms, and this is the bill that will do it," Rep. Candice S. Miller (R-Mich.), a co-sponsor of the legislation, said in a statement.
So the CARS Act was passed by burying it in a spending bill which provided funds to American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan... How many members of Congress would stand up and say "I will NOT fund our troops overseas and in harms way, BUT we'll give 'em a discount to upgrade their Hummers!"? Expected life expectancy of the politician making this statement is roughly the same as that of the ever-popular Mayfly.
Details of the CARS act were released on Friday of last week. Car dealers' showrooms were busy with shoppers hoping to turn in their OLD vehicle and getting their personalized TARP bailout in the amount of 3,500 or 4,500 dollars towards the purchase of a new vehicle. Unfortunately for the dealers, the Government didn't release program specifics until 7am Friday morning and NONE of them had time to read it in time to answer car shoppers' questions on Friday.
Jumping ahead a couple of days, I have heard that several local car dealerships have anywhere from 12 - 20 new deals pending (each) since announcement of the program last Friday. Gee, that's GREAT! Right?
Yeah, you'd think...
But here's the rub: Apparently whoever set up the government CARS online submission service didn't PLAN for the volume of request which are coming in. The result is that local car dealers who are entering the multiple screens of required vehicle information, insurance information, license information to verify that the vehicle qualifies for the 'Rebate' then the system BURPS and the data is gone.
The dealer begins entering the data again, and again, and again, and again...You get the picture, right?
So here's a car dealer who Congress has put on the hook for at LEAST $3,500 not knowing if he'll ever get this vehicle input online to get HIS check from the government. This, of course, to reimburse him for the commitment that he's made to the car shopper (at the request of the FEDS). If he (or she) has delivered the vehicle and doesn't get the electronic submission in prior to the $1 Billion in Rebates being used up...
Well, suffice it to say that his (or her) auto shopper got one HECK of a deal because that dealer won't be receiving a penny of assistance from Uncle Sam. AND he no longer has a re-sellable vehicle because the trade has been scrapped (again, at the request of Uncle Sam).
Thanks Mr. Dealer, you ROCK!
For those of you who think it's SUPER GROOVY COOL that the government wants to get involved in your health care, allow me to submit to you the following:
1. The guidelines for the CARS program are 136 pages long (each 'competing' health care bill is over 1,000 pages in length (no one in Congress has admitted to reading all of them as yet))
2. The government didn't adequately prepare for a $1 Billion program (I'm sure they'll do a much better job for a $1 Trillion program -- sure, what's a couple more ZEROs?)
3. The CARS program (with 136 pages in guidelines) has created the need for THREE more government divisions under the NHTSA. (Again, these THREE divisions are to manage a Congress-sponsored 136-page set of regulations).
Excerpting from the documentation provided on the CARS site: "In order to implement this new program, NHTSA has had to quickly create a new organization. NHTSA has established the Office of the Car Allowance Rebate System within the Office of Enforcement. The new office will consist of three divisions.
The Transaction Oversight Division will work closely with the contractor NHTSA has retained to review incoming requests for payment from dealers to ensure that those requests are reviewed correctly and in a timely way.
The Data Analysis and Reporting Division will review data generated in connection with the program to help ensure the system’s efficiency and detect problems with the process or indications of potential compliance issues. That division will also produce reports on all aspects of the system.
The Compliance Division will work to detect and deter possible noncompliance related to the program and coordinate closely with NHTSA’s Office of Chief Counsel when possible violations are found. That division will also coordinate closely with the DOT’s Office of Inspector General on issues related to possible fraud in connection with the program."
4. So what does the government request that the dealer do with the vehicle he/she has collected from the consumer for $3,500? "Key to the program's long-term success will be the death mandated for the clunker: After its oil is drained and replaced with sodium silicate, the engine is run until it seizes. The vehicle must be crushed or shredded."
Okay, for purposes of conversation let's assume that your car dealer isn't trying to wrangle a $3,500 check from the government to cover the $3,500 he (or she) loaned the program. Sure, the car dealer's on his (her) own -- let them haggle with the government... You got your new Mercury Milan!
But let's assume instead that you're waiting to get an organ transplant...
Do you really want the doctor doing the haggling to get you your 'part'? Or you? And now go back and re-read 'Number 4' above. What if they were talking about Y-O-U instead of your car? Personally, I don't feel too good about being 'crushed or shredded'.
Oh wait, here's an idea, how about we let the government do what they're best at -- spending our money and creating 'guidelines' for OTHER new programs (besides health care)? Maybe doctors and hospitals might possibly have a better handle on which health care options patients might actually need?
Naaaaaaaah! I trust Congress. Don't you?
07/29/09 Update: For feedback on just how well things are going with this spiffy new government-sponsored program, please feel free to visit Edmunds.com! See how your fellow-citizens are faring! Meet interesting new people! Run screaming into the street!
My oh my...
Thursday, June 25, 2009
"Hey kiddo, glad to see you're back home. Did you have a good time at Billy's house?" you ask.
"Yeah, but I'm not feeling so great" he responds as he slowly walks by.
"Okay, well, you'd better wash up because I'm making Mac and Cheese tonight!" your expectation is that this, if nothing else, will make Tommy a bit more animated...
Then you hear the words which send a shockwave of fear through your very soul, "Nah, I'm not really hungry, I think I'll just go ahead and go to sleep after I take a shower.
"You stare at the child realizing that he has either been:
a.) Taken over by lactose-intolerant space aliens,
b.) Eaten an entire frozen pizza at Billy's and is afraid to tell you about it, or
c.) Your child, your pride and joy, the heir to the throne, is getting 'sick'.
"Hey Dude, come on in here for a minute, I want to take a look at you" you request in a serious, yet friendly voice.
"Dad, I'm really tired, I just want to go to bed" he says this sheepishly but moves towards you nonetheless.
You look at little Tommy and realize that he does look tired and his cheeks are a bit 'flushed'. "Tommy, I think you might be coming down with something, what do you say we check it out?"
"Oh, come on Dad, I'm just tired, that's all. Can't I just get cleaned up and go to bed?" he asks pleadingly.
"No Tommy. We need to get you cleaned up and then we need to take your temperature to see if you have a fever. You look a little 'pink' to me, and I need to see if your temp is actually up or if you were just playing too hard at Billy's house.
"The creases in your son's face are erased as you detect the first sign of hope that maybe, just maybe, this won't be so bad at all.
"Okay Dad, but, but, butt, can we call SpongeBob Squarepants, MD?"
"Sure pal, let's dive into the old medicine cabinet and pull Dr. Squarepants out... I'll get the KY!" You say this as the concerns of the prior five minutes waft away like a half-remembered dream.
"Dad?" Tommy asks.
"Yes son" you reply.
"Can we have music tonight?" he asks.
"Dude, you can have all the music you want -- although it may be a bit muffled for a minute..."
"Thanks Dad, you're the best!"
(Dad thinkingto himself: "No Tommy. SpongeBob Squarepants is the best! But YOU'RE second-best!)
And now, the Rest of the Story...
The folks at Becton and Dickenson Medical (trusted since 1897!) have created the ultimate in children's temperature taking equipment (CTTE): The SpongeBob Squarepants Digital Thermometer!
Yes, it's true, now Patrick's (the cross-dressing StarFish) BFF can be you and your child's MFF (Medical Friend Forever) too! Don't believe me? Well then, check it out!
Click here (it's worth it!): JEEPERS SPONGEBOB THERMOMETER REVIEW!
Not wanting anyone to be senselessly injured in not knowing the correct procedures for using this, or I'm assuming, ANY digital thermometer, please accept the following instructions, courtesy of the BD website:
TAKE TEMPERATURE BY ORAL, UNDERARM (AXILLARY) OR RECTAL METHOD
Oral Method:Place thermometer probe under tongue. Probe tip should rest in "correct area" as shown in diagram. Hold the thermometer in the same spot under your tongue with your mouth closed.
Underarm (Axillary) Method:
(Alternative method for babies or very young children. Although simpler, the axillary method is less accurate and takes longer.)
Make sure the underarm is dry and there is no material between the chest and arm. Point the thermometer upward and place the tip well into the patient's underarm. Fold patient's arm over chest to hold the thermometer in place and keep air away from the underarm.
Many people find hugging the child while taking the temperature helps assure it is taken correctly and also comforts the child. When using this method, hold the thermometer securely in place for 4 minutes (ignore beeps).
(Recommended for babies or very young children who breathe through their mouth)
Lubricate the tip of the thermometer with a water soluble jelly such as K-Y® Jelly. Do not use petroleum jelly. The patient should lie on his/her side, knees slightly bent. If the patient is a baby, place the infant on its stomach with legs hanging down, either across your knees or at the edge of a bed or changing table. This positions the baby's rectum properly for safe and easy insertion of the thermometer.
With one hand, gently slide the tip of the thermometer no more than 1/2 inch into the rectum. If you detect resistance of any kind, STOP. Hold thermometer in place during temperature measurement. Once used rectally, the thermometer should not be used orally, for sanitary reasons.
Please take a moment to allow that last line to sink in...
Your Moos of the Day blog -- Always looking out for you. (Sorry O'Reilly)
Thanks to my son, Jon (not Tommy), who found the above video link and thought it would be funny to include here.
I am so proud of him...
Monday, June 15, 2009
There are no bodies popping out of the ground in the back yard (we bury 'em deep here in Vestal). But, as I type this, I see the AARP card application on the dining room table 'winking' at me through its little plastic casket of an envelope.
Being up for a mystery on a Monday morning, I decided to open said casket and determine what 'horrors' awaited me. I opened the casket and the bones fell out. The folks at AARP were nice enough to include a Temporary Membership Card (I guess they figure that 'time's a wastin' and I need all the benefits I can get, as SOON as I can get them, now that I've turned the BIG 5-0.) Or maybe, they're getting it to me early so I'll remember getting it -- while I still 'get it'.
Whatever the reason, the American Association of RETIRED People believes that I should be a member of their fine organization.But I'm left here wondering... Why?
a.) I AM an American citizen (now that that pesky Homeland Security 'Audit' is completed)
b.) I AM associated with other people by virtue of my employment.
c.) I AM a 'people' (I need to rather loosely define the word 'people' since other than sharing DNA with some other folks on the planet, I don't really know anyone else quite like me -- this, for all of your sakes, is a good thing)
d.) But (and this butt is HUGE), I am NOT retired.
So, how can I belong to an organization for which I don't even meet the components of the NAME of the organization?
This, I believe, requires more in-depth research...WHY should I become a member (according to the cover letter (which also doubles curiously as an Invoice))?
AARP MEMBER BENEFITS:
1.) AARP is fighting for MY American Dream! (Whoa, what a lofty goal!)
2.) AARP offers information and resources (A 'magazine')
3.) AARP discounts on travel and other services (But I don't GO anywhere...)
4.) AARP access to health-related benefits (Benefits I can BUY as a member)
5.) AARP access to financial programs (Benefits I can BUY as a member (i.e.: Motorcycle insurance -- yeah, like I'll need THAT...))
6.) AARP community programs and services (Safe driving course and 'volunteer opportunities'! But, I 'volunteer' now... Would I have to get this approved by the AARP in the future?)
So for $16 per year ($43 for three years OR $$63 for five years) I too can be a card-carrying AARP member!
But here's the thing (there's always a 'thing' isn't there?): AARP is MOSTLY a lobbying organization. (Although their lobbying efforts are sometimes deferred while they sell eye, life, health, dental, motorcycle, and other 'group insurance policies' to their members.)
And according to the folks at Wikipedia: "Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus founded AARP in 1958. AARP evolved from the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA), which Andrus had established in 1947 to promote her philosophy of productive aging, and in response to the need of retired teachers for health insurance. After ten years, Andrus opened the organization to all Americans over 50, creating AARP.
Today, NRTA is a division within AARP. According to Andy Rooney, AARP was established by insurance salesman Leonard Davis in 1958, after he met Ethel Percy Andrus. Ms. Andrus was at the time helping teachers get health insurance through the National Retired Teachers Association. According to Rooney, Davis saw the opportunity to sell medical insurance to the elderly rather than just retired teachers and for that purpose put in $50,000 establishing AARP.
According to Rooney, Davis established the Colonial Penn Insurance Co. in order to control AARP, selling millions of dollars in insurance to its members through advertisings in AARP's magazine Modern Maturity and for several years Colonial Penn Insurance Co. became one of the most profitable in the U. S.
In 1978, after a 60 Minutes report exposé, AARP got rid of Colonial Penn Insurance Co. and signed up with Prudential Insurance Co."
Super -- a teachers union and insurance company joined together to create AARP? Two of my favorite things - joined genetically by a single philosophical premise: To take money from old people (like me)...
That's just wrong.
Borrowing a few words from GROUCHO MARX:
"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member..." and,
"Getting older is no problem. You just have to live long enough. "
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Q.: Mike, why would the government want to give me money to buy a new car?
A.: To encourage you to buy a GM or Chrysler vehicle to protect the $50Billion they've already pumped into those two companies to keep them from failing.
Q.: Why were GM and Chrysler and GM failing?
A.: Because GM and Chrysler have made inferior products (when compared to the Japanese, Korean, and a certain American Auto Maker smart enough NOT to take bail-out money) and have on average an embedded cost of $1,700 per vehicle manufactured to pay for UAW (United Auto Workers) healthcare and benefit costs. ($1,700 PER vehicle of 'overhead' prior to ever paying for a single 'bolt' -- Sing with me now: "Look for the Union Label...")
Q.: So, are GM and Chrysler financially stable now?
A.: No. However, analysts are expecting you (oh, sorry, I meant the 'Federal Government') to pump in an additional, meager, $50 BILLION into both companies by the end of calendar 2009.
Q.: Umm, that doesn't sound good at all, does it?
A.: No. And don't ask any more annoying questions which you already know the answers to.
Q.: Will I be able to get money if I buy a new car, truck, or van?
A.: Yes, provided it gets better gas mileage than the vehicle you are driving today. (Your old 'clunker')
Q.: How much money will I get, and how much better mileage would I need to get in a new vehicle to qualify for the TARP Lotto?
A.: Under the guidelines of the current bill approved yesterday, you would receive $3,500 for purchasing a car which, on average, gets 4 or more miles per gallon than the vehicle you're trading in. If the vehicle gets 10 or more miles per gallon, you will receive a $4,500 hand-out (I, of course, mean 'incentive') from Uncle Sam.
Q.: Why is Congress doing this?
A.: There is a three-part answer to this very pesky question:
1. Because it's not their money
2. To stimulate new vehicle sales for GM and Chrysler
3. To SAVE the planet (and life as we know it)
Q.: But would I get a hand-out (incentive) if I purchased a non-GM or non-Chrysler vehicle?
A.: Umm, yes
Q.: Have GM and Chrysler designed new vehicles, re-negotiated labor contracts, and in general, lowered their associated manufacturing costs to be more competitive with Japanese manufacturers, or even (gasp!) Ford Motor Company? I guess what I'm wondering is... has anything changed with these two companies since they took their FIRST $50Billion from us? And are there any provisions on the next $50Billion they're expecting to receive?
A.: Again, please stop asking questions which you already know the answers to...
Q.: O-k-a-y. So how does this bill result in the sale of more cars for GM and Chrysler?
A.: It doesn't, but it will SAVE the planet!
Q.: Because, all things being equal, I'm buying a Japanese, Ford, or other 'off-shore' branded vehicle with higher gas mileage and lower initial cost. This wouldn't help GM or Chrysler, would it?
A.: No, but remember the planet! It will be saved!
Q.: Yeah, right.
A.: (Ding-ding-ding) I'm sorry, but you must state your inquiry in the 'Form of a question', please.
Q.: Assuming that these incentives are made available to me, can I get financing for a new vehicle?
A.: Is your credit excellent?
Q.: I've got a credit score of around 620. Is that considered 'excellent'?
A.: Ah, no.
Q.: Well, how can I pay for the car if I don't get financing?
A.: You will need to call the White House and apply for a federally-insured: "I need a new car but can't buy one because my credit isn't great and the economy is in the dumper and no one in DC seems to care and all they do is spend more money they don't have AND I can't improve my credit score by getting a better job because the economy is still in recession 'cause the Stimulus Bill didn't fix anything" loan.
Q.: Can you repeat that for me? My pen just ran out of ink.
A.: No. Just call the White House and tell them you want money.
Q.: Is it really that easy?
A.: Yeah. It's easy when it's not YOUR money you're giving away in the first place.
Q.: What will this CARS Act (Clunker Bill) cost this year?
A.: In U.S. dollars? Or, in Canadian dollars?
Q.: Do I look like I'm from Canada?
A.: Well, you don't look like an American. You don't appear to be 'needy' enough...
Q.: Come on, what's the number?!?
A.: This year the House is projecting the Clunker Bill payouts to run about $4Billion.
Q.: So will the White House spend $4Billion less on the payouts to GM and Chrysler this year? Since it's being spent on their behalf anyway?
A.: Ha, ha, ha, you are one funny guy! No, they'll spend that money too. Doing the Math in my head, that'll be approximately $72Billion in US dollars.
Q.: But didn't you say it was $50Billion PLUS $4Billion, wouldn't that be $54Billion?
A.: We're talking about the government here. You forgot the seed capital for the new "Gas From Cows" Bill. And before you ask, it's really long tube to collect 'Gas from Cows' to power electrical generators and...
Q.: Save the planet?
Q.: Does the Federal Government have it? You know, the money?
A.: The presses are rolling as I type this.
A.: No, that's incorrect, correct question was 'Sigh?'
For an overview of this Boondoggle in the making, here's the article I found on MSN.com this morning... Clunk
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I had never heard about this woman before, but she makes Wolverine from the X-Men Comics look downright 'kittenish'.
During a recent trip to the Artic, Michaelle Jean gutted a seal (presumably it was 'dead' at the time of the 'gutting' - at least I'm hoping it was), she sliced meat from the carcass, then she removed, and ate the seal's heart - raw.
After munching on the seal's heart, the Governor General of Canada told the Inuit people she was meeting with that the heart was "absolutely delicious" and that it "tasted like sushi".
(Personally, I was expecting that she would say it tasted like "chicken", but I guess this designation is reserved for roasted rattlesnake "bites" and frog "bits" (I DO miss Kermit - I can't believe that he's gone...)).
Although, now that I think about it, I have never EATEN sushi...
So what else might I be able to compare it to for lack of a 'sushi' comparison?
"Thanks for the seal heart, it tasted just like _________!"
(Choose 'taste option' from one of the following to fill in the blank above:)
b.) seal heart
c.) a really large fuzzy moth
d.) gym socks
e.) the inside of my dog's ear
Please don't ask me how I know what the above things taste like. Some secrets need to remain unspoken... Forever.
So, anyway, here's this nice lady from Canada ripping the heart out of a seal and it's all being covered by the Media for global reporting.
This is THAT seal:
No, I'm kidding. This is NOT (as far as I know) the actual seal which had its heart eaten out of its chest by Canada's Governor General. I know this because, media reporters covering the event were quoted as saying, "The actual seal whose heart was eaten by Michaelle was MUCH cuter than your run-of-the-mill baby seal whose had its heart eaten out of its chest. It was extraordinarily cute, in a heartless kind of way..."
Soooo, if you're ever out somewhere surrounded by a group of angry Canadian politicians, grab the closest baby seal you can find, throw it up into the air over their heads and shout "Eat its heart out you baby-seal-heart-eating-monsters!" Next, run away quickly and HOPE that they didn't take some kind of baby-seal-heart-speed-eating course over the Internet weeks earlier. If you cannot find a baby seal to secure your escape, look for an otter.
I'm thinking that an otter-heart might taste a lot like sushi also. Or, maybe it tastes more like 'prairie dog'? If I were Canadian, I'd probably know the answer to that last question.
Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately) for me, I have never eaten the heart of a seal, prairie dog, peek-a-poo, or porcupine. I just wish I could say the same about 'blue whale' heart. Now THAT tasted like sushi (which makes no sense at all because the blue whale is a mammal, right?) and I must admit, the heart was very filling. Yumm-O!
I don't know much about politics, but what I do know is that it is better to keep your mouth shut when surrounded by Canadian-Political-Seal-Heart-Eating-Types.
And if you ever see THESE TWO North American politicians together -- keep an armful of baby otters handy, just in case you have even the REMOTEST resemblance to a baby seal...
President Barack Obama Governor General Michaelle Jean
Regarding the 'eating the seal heart' story referenced above, it's true. You can access it by clicking the following link:
"Take another piece of my heart now baby..."
I'll bet you didn't catch this story on CNN last night, did you? And why not? Because at CNN they're... "Chicken!" (But they taste like 'Rattlesnake')
Anyway, I 'Otter' be going to work now. Before I'm late.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Didn't the folks at MSNBC do everything they could to get Senator Obama elected as President? Apparently the Honeymoon is over and MSNBC and President Obama are moving to separate bedrooms. I don't dare speculate on where CNN will be spending the night.
I must add two comments of my own regarding Rachel's report:
1.) President Obama made his speech in front of a 'reproduction' of the Constitution of the United States (the caretakers of the document do not want it to fade any more than it already has over the past 200+ years.)
Rachel need not worry about President Obama making such an offensive speech in front of the US Constitution because, in reality, it wasn't REAL.
2.) This could be Rachel Maddow's last LIVE report on MSNBC.So what did Rachel say when she USED to work at MSNBC?
(If you have difficulty accessing the video (I am) please click this link)
So long Rachel Maddow; we hardly knew ye'.
p.s.: It is Memorial Day Weekend. Please take a moment to remember WHY most of you reading this have Monday 'off from work'. The freedoms we have were NOT given to us without cost. They were earned.
This Memorial Day take a moment to say a silent prayer for those who gave so much so that we can take this Monday 'off', but don't take it for granted. That which can be earned in blood can also be taken away with the stroke of a pen.
No, I'm not talking about a day off with pay...
While President Obama doesn't believe that we are a 'Christian Nation' speaking abroad, I believe that our country was founded on Judeo-Christian values. One of us (either me, or President Obama), I'm sure, is wrong. As for me, I'm pretty sure that I'm right. He will most likely feel the same way (that I am right -- Hee, hee).
For you folks who served, God bless you. And thanks for what you did, and for what you continue to do in inspiring future generations in service to our country.
Have a great weekend folks. Be safe and be nice to each other.
We're all in this together.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Sure, why not?
Q.: Do you own a vehicle?
Q.: Does it, um, run? (Although I don't honestly know if this is a requirement -- it's a government proposal after all and a vehicle which does not run, uses no gas! This, according to the Obama Administration is an EXCELLENT vehicle!)
Q.: Would YOU like to have a new car, truck, or van?
Q.: Can you make your children 'smaller' than they used to be? (Because you'll be 'right-sizing' them to fit into your new Honda Fit.)
Yes Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, the U.S. House of Representatives (Motto: "We represent YOU, so YOU don't have to think for yourself") has a DEAL for you! Your old vehicle may be worth CASH! Yes, you too can get your hands on a little 'TARP CASH' (makes sense, since, ah, it's your money already) but it's cold hard cash, all the same.
(Warning: You'll need to BUY a car, truck, or van to qualify for the big cash payout. You'll need to spend money to get money. Sounds like something my wife came up with...)
Plan on bringing about $25,000 - $35,000 to the dealership with you. Make yourself at home and feel free to take the flat screen LCD TV from the GM or Chrysler Dealership service area waiting area when leaving, since in reality, it belongs to you now. The dealership is okay with this, I just checked. Go ahead, go for it. (Bring screw-drivers)
One last 'GOTCHA': You'll 'probably' need to have a job to qualify for new vehicle financing. (Although, if you buy a house, this 'unfair lending requirement' for funding by Fannie and Freddie has been waived (but I think they may have fixed this -- I'll get back to you)). EMPLOYMENT TIP: I hear that the Federal government is hiring.
Those 'wacky folks' in the U.S. House are looking to pass legislation which will allow YOU to get really STUPID trade-in rebates if you purchase a more fuel-efficient vehicle than the one that you are currently driving.
How stupid (from a strictly monetary perspective)?
Well, let's look, shall we?
Purchase a vehicle with 2+ MPG than today's: $3,500
Purchase a vehicle with 4+ MPG than today's: $4,500
But don't worry, it's the GOVERNMENT'S MONEY, it's not like it's YOURS!
Won't you feel great when you find that your neighbor who's currently in bankruptcy (and living in her house for free) gets 20% to 25% off the price of her new vehicle (because she's living with her boyfriend who HAS a job but wasn't on the mortgage in the first place so he's living for free too), but you can't buy a new car because YOU are stupid enough to actually pay your bills every month?!Yeah, I think that's just swell too! (Why DID I stop drinking?)
Q.: But seriously, who in their right mind would want to support a Bill that gives MORE money (that hasn't been printed or funded yet) away, and WHY?
A.: Apparently the Bill has bi-Partisan (maybe 'bi-Polar'?) sponsors in the House AND President Obama thinks it's just GREAT! This will allow folks to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles, stimulate the economy, AND save us about 42 barrels of fossil fuels per year! (Representing approximately 2 T-Rex, 1 Terradactyl, and 3 Triceratops -- that's REAL savings!)
So if you hear about the 'Cash for Clunkers' program working it's way through Congress? Yeah, this is the one... Here's a tongue-in-cheek article written by a 'car guy' that you can read if you like. (Whoa, really long embedded link, eh?)
Remember: Knowledge is power. I can be used by you, or it can be used against you. (Except in Congress, where common-sense knowledge will be used in SPITE of you.)
And please, take this money from the Government and help us save the dinosaurs, before they're all gone...
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Yeah, it probably is JUST ME, but...
My nineteen year-old son asked me the other day, "Dad, the things going on in Washington, DC and across the country... Have you ever seen anything like this before?"
I briefly considered doing my BEST 'Yoda' impression and saying something like, "Fail Democrats will, when gathered many they are together", but I decided that it was a serious question, and he deserved a serious answer.
I thought for a moment and answered him truthfully, "You know, I remember things being weird during the Carter Admininstration, but the Obama Administration is creating 'The Perfect Storm' of socio-economic weirdness. While I was living through The Jimmy Carter Experience in the 1970's, I was your age, so I wasn't really paying that much attention, you know, working at the Diner, and all... But I do remember a lot of 'hushed conversations' being had between my parents. They were spooked -- a lot."
As I thought about it my mind wandered back to the 'Misery Index' of the Carter Years.
(Flashback in: 3 ,2 , 1...)
The Carter Years ('Clickable' Links for your reading enjoyment)
> Unemployment + Inflation (a.k.a.: The Misery Index)
> Energy Crisis
> Runaway Inflation
> Defense Spending Cuts
> In-Fighting With Congressional Democrats
I could go on... But why??? Living through the Carter Administration and during the Obama Administration forces me to accept the fact that I've lived through this ALL before.
Having lived through the Carter Years and now living in the midst of President Obama's first (and only) term is like being 'Re-Incarnated' without the 'uncomfortable transitional step' of DEATH.
The ONLY thing different between NOW and THEN is that the President in the White House has TWO daughters, as opposed to ONE. (Although I guess I'm discounting the fact that President Obama, I believe is also 'taller' than President Carter.)
By way of illustration, see if you can determine which of the following represents President Carter and which represents President Obama?
(Feel free to hum the theme music from Jeopardy at this point)
Q.: Who gave a nationally-televised address in which he identified what he believed to be a "crisis of confidence" among the American people?
Q.: Who said "Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns."
Q.: Who issued a "hit list" of 19 projects that he claimed were "pork barrel" spending. And said that he would veto any legislation that contained projects on this list?
Q.: Who wanted to encourage energy conservation and the development of national energy resources, including renewables such as wind and solar energy?
Q.: Who signed legislation greatly increasing the payroll tax for Social Security, and appointed record numbers of women, blacks, and Hispanics to government and judiciary jobs?
Q.: Who, during the Presidential campaign, pledged to cut spending and reduce the budget deficit?
Q.: Who told Americans via televised speech that our dependence on foreign oil represents, "a clear and present danger to our nation"?
Okay, so can you link the above items back to President Carter, or, President Obama? If you're curious, shoot me a note and I'll send you the answer back RIGHT TO YOU! (I don't want to ruin it for the rest of the kids by giving the answers out here.)
Q.: How can we turn it all around?
A.: We can, assuming we don't end up on the wrong side of the bun...
The Moo-vement Begins...
Check this out --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQMbXvn2RNI&feature=player_embedded
p.s.: No, I don't own a gun, and I'm not advocating that YOU buy a gun. All I'm saying is at some point in your life you have the God-given (even though "We're not a Christian nation" (at least, according to President Obama)) right to say, "No".
Being President doesn't automatically make you 'right' -- much the same way that being a cow doesn't automatically make you 'wrong'.
It's not a LEFT vs. RIGHT 'thing', it's a RIGHT vs. WRONG 'thing'.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
This evening's trip to Russell's Steak House worked from a couple of perspectives. First, there were three of us versus the five of us that we normally have, and second, my son received an $84 cash 'rebate' from the Boy Scout Trails End Popcorn Sale held this spring. We had CASH (WooHoo!) AND we were missing two-thirds of our kids (this NEVER happens). I'd feel more guilty about leaving kids at camp and eating about $80 worth of food if I didn't know that beginning this Tuesday I will be spending the remainder of the week at camp in a tent lined with spiders, crickets, and some sort of weird 'hatching' cocoons, surrounded by skunks, porcupines, and one old, and near-sighted bear. (This apparently, is the real cost associated with going out to dinner and eating a pretty good Filet Mignon for one night - spending four nights in a tent inhabited with creatures straight out of a Dean Koontz book.)
The restaurant was pretty good, with the only major downside being that the awning outside made it look eerily like the entrance of the 'Haunted Mansion' at Disney World in Orlando. I found myself looking for tombstones that bore the old carvings of, "Here Lies Fred, A Rock Fell On His Head", "I Told You I Was Sick", and my personal favorite, "He Called Jim a Liar". You know, it just struck me that the world (my world, at least) contains profound coincidences and 'interesting relationships', just out of chance. I named this entry "Dinner With the Stones", talked about tombstones, and I have yet to get to the real point of this post. In fact I'm not writing about 'tombstones', but rather, 'kidney stones'.
There was a table of eight next to our table of three at this dark, reserved, and very respectable restaurant. These nice folks arrived, apparently, just before we did (they had just gotten rolls when we received our menus -- I DO pay attention to my surroundings some of the time, no matter what my wife says). They had ordered, and had begun to discuss the topic of the day, which was the fact that the older couple at the head of the table were celebrating their sixtieth wedding anniversary (Writer's Note: These folks deserve an award. They have been married since Harry Truman was President of the United States -- congratulations, that's phenomenal!)
The table provided seating for six other folks who came out to share the special day with this amazing couple. I'm not sure which of the other people at the table started the following series of comments since my back was to them, but someone seated directly behind me happened to mention that, "Yes, I've had kidney stones many times. And they certainly do hurt when they come out...". For future reference, in case YOU are are wondering, I've had fountain drinks many times. Normally soft drinks do NOT hurt. However, they do hurt a great deal when they come out your NOSE and onto the table and the bread plate directly in front of you at an admittedly, nice, restaurant. Don't even ask about my shirt.
But wait, there's more! Someone else at the table chimed in that they had had their 'spleen' removed seven years earlier, and that was NOT a pleasant experience either. Determined not to repeat my prior 'There she blows!' event, I put my drink down moments earlier and avoided a second nasal soft drink expulsion by mere seconds. In an effort not to be outdone, every person seated at the table behind me had their own medical experiences to discuss with the 'group'.
"I think I had to get a shot for Hepatitis one time." A man said.
"Really, how long ago WAS that? And why would you need it?" A woman asked, obviously curious.
"Oh, that was long before I met you, honey." He responded, and then he fell quiet again. Now that I think about it, I don't believe I heard him again over the next hour that we remained in the restaurant.
This was curious to me, so I just looked up the definition of Hepatitis so we could all get 'uncomfortable' with this man together:
hepatitis /hep·a·ti·tis/ (hep?ah-ti´tis) pl. hepati´tides Inflammation of the liver.
hepatitis A a self-limited viral disease of worldwide distribution, usually transmitted by oral ingestion of infected material but sometimes transmitted parenterally; most cases are clinically inapparent or have mild flu-like symptoms; any jaundice is mild. (How bad could it be, it's 'worldwide'?)
anicteric hepatitis viral hepatitis without jaundice. (Oh, NO jaundice, there's a bonus)
hepatitis B an acute viral disease transmitted primarily parenterally, but also orally, by intimate personal contact, and from mother to neonate. Prodromal symptoms of fever, malaise, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting decline with the onset of clinical jaundice, angioedema, urticarial skin lesions, and arthritis. After 3 to 4 months most patients recover completely, but some may become carriers or remain ill chronically. (Okay, so this 'B' one is NOT so good to have since you can remain 'ill chronically' for the REST OF YOUR LIFE.)
hepatitis C a viral disease caused by the hepatitis C virus, commonly occurring after transfusion or parenteral drug abuse; it frequently progresses to a chronic form that is usually asymptomatic but that may involve cirrhosis. (Nope, not digging this one either...)
Okay, so the man's silence is a mystery no more. Personally, I would've tried to keep this little gem to myself rather than sharing it while waiting for dinner in a dark and very quiet restaurant. Not well played, my friend. Your chances of getting to the 60th anniversary with your spouse just went the way of the 10 cent 'pay phone' call (you can 'sort of' remember it, but you can't imagine it really ever happening again.) Sorry dude, next time tell everyone about how your knee hurts just before it rains, it's probably true and it won't raise any pesky follow-up questions.
Other conversations continued, ones about surgeries, ones about mis-diagnosed ailments, ones about loved ones who have 'gone away' due to bad genes, bad dietary habits, bad habits, and even one to 'good habits' (apparently a cousin became a Nun...). The ebb and flow of the conversation was mesmerizing.
Conversation at our table was lighter than typical. At first I thought this was because there were three of us versus the five we normally hang with. But in reality, I don't think we have 'lived enough' of our lives to have had the experiences that these folks have had. We had nothing to speak about when compared to the constant verbal buzz that drifted the three feet from our neighbors' table over to ours (I'm assuming that the decibel level of medical infirmities conversation was due to the age of the speakers, they were not 'quiet folk'. Although none referenced any hearing ailments in their list of illnesses). We sat, we spoke quietly amongst ourselves, we ate our dinners and then we went home.
I have a deep respect for these folks who after sixty years appeared to be still 'very happy' with each other. I wish them and their friends the best, but I need to remember that as I get further down the road into double digit anniversaries not to bring up any medical war stories during the course of our celebration. There might be some 'wise guy' at the table next to me looking for an idea for his next blog post.
God bless you folks. I hope you laugh a lot, love a lot, but by way of 'Free' advice, don't ever admit to the 'Kidney Stones thing' or 'Hepatitis thing' out loud, in public ever again. Regarding your commitment to each other, I am in awe of you folks. Keep the magic going (you wild and crazy 70+ year old kids!)
I hope illness never finds you, and if it does, please don't talk about it at dinner.
To sum up, I learned that Diet Pepsi can burn effectively enough to render my nasal passages useless today, but in spite of my temporary congestion, my hope for mankind has increased exponentially since dinner last night. Good choices, good friends, and good spouses never go out of style.
I also learned however, that kidney stones are NEVER cool. And they hurt a lot. Life gives you 'ups' and 'downs'. It's how we live with each that determines the measure of our lives.
In hindsight, the Diet Pepsi out the nose isn't so bad. In fact, I'm smiling as I type this.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
So what have YOU and I missed in the past 48 hours? Oh brother...
May 5, 2009 6:38pm: WASHINGTON (AP)— The Obama administration wants the United States to spend $63 billion over the next six years to fight global diseases and provide more aid for prenatal and postnatal care, children's health and fighting tropical diseases.
"We cannot fix every problem," Obama said in a written statement Tuesday. "But we have a responsibility to protect the health of our people, while saving lives, reducing suffering, and supporting the health and dignity of people everywhere. America can make a significant difference in meeting these challenges and that is why my administration is committed to act."
Obama plans to release his budget proposal in detail on Thursday. Ahead of the formal announcement, the White House has been detailing pieces of it, including $8.6 billion for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. The request is a $460 million increase over this year's budget.
Rock star and anti-poverty activist Bono praised the increase in funding.
"The question is no longer whether we can fight these diseases in the poorest countries, it is how much do we want to do? The president is answering 'a lot,"' the Irish singer said in a statement released from his advocacy group, ONE. "His strategic leadership on these issues is protecting the long-term interests of the people in his own country as well as saving vulnerable lives overseas."
If Obama wins approval of his budget request, the U.S. commitment would constitute more than 70% of global health funding.Last year, Congress passed and Bush signed legislation to triple U.S. spending from $15 billion over the previous five years to $48 billion covering 2009 and the next four years.
For the complete article, please click the link which follows:
Thanks America for providing 70% of the World's Global Health Funding!
May 4th, 2009 6:42pm USA TODAY -- Federal aid is top revenue for statesIn a historic first, Uncle Sam has supplanted sales, property and income taxes as the biggest source of revenue for state and local governments.
The shift shows how deeply the recession is cutting. Federal stimulus money aimed at reviving the economy and a sharp drop in tax collections have altered, at least temporarily, the traditional balance of how states, cities, counties and schools pay for their operations.
The sales tax had been the No. 1 source of state and local revenue since the mid-1970s, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Before that, property taxes were the primary source. That changed in the first three months of 2009.Federal grants — early stimulus money plus conventional federal aid — soared 15% in the first quarter to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $437 billion, eclipsing sales taxes, which fell 2%.
For the complete article, click the link which follows:
Thanks President Obama for Providing More Income to the States Than At Any Other Time In History!
May 5th, 2009 USA TODAY -- Ginsburg: Court needs another woman
WASHINGTON — Three years after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor left the Supreme Court, the impact of having only one woman on the nation's highest bench has become particularly clear to that woman — Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Her status as the court's lone woman was especially poignant during a recent case involving a 13-year-old girl who had been strip-searched by Arizona school officials looking for drugs. During oral arguments, some other justices minimized the girl's lasting humiliation, but Ginsburg stood out in her concern for the teenager.
"They have never been a 13-year-old girl," she told USA TODAY later when asked about her colleagues' comments during the arguments. "It's a very sensitive age for a girl. I didn't think that my colleagues, some of them, quite understood."
As Justice David Souter prepares to retire at the end of the term this summer, the significance of Ginsburg's position as the nine-member court's only woman has become a point of broad discussion. President Obama is under pressure from groups such as the National Women's Law Center to nominate another woman.
In interviews with USA TODAY before Souter's retirement announcement Friday, Ginsburg said the court needs another woman. "Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. I don't say (the split) should be 50-50," Ginsburg said. "It could be 60% men, 40% women, or the other way around. It shouldn't be that women are the exception."
For the complete article, please click the link which follows:
We Need More Women
I thought you may find these recent news events interesting. Well, at least, I did.
I'm not going to comment at length on the above (mostly because I have to go to work), but I'll leave it up to you to form your own opinion of the stories. I'm wondering if you have you heard of any of these stories? What I will leave you with however, is the following questions:
1. Should the United States be paying 70% of the world's Global Health Funding?
2. Should the Federal Government be Funding States to a greater extent than the states are funding themselves? (And, um, if we ARE the 'States' and the States make up the 'United States of America', and the Federal Government represents US... How are we paying ourselves more than we can, you know, afford to pay ourselves out of our normal tax contributions? Where's the money coming from?)
3. Should a Supreme Court Justice be advocating for 'Quotas'? Is that, like, 'Constitutional'?
4. Lastly, if a Supreme Court Justice believes that we should do things just to be 'fair', is she 'fairly' interpreting the Constitution during her regular day job?
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Welcome to Loudoun County, Virginia! Now, leave!
Q.: So why won't the folks in Loudoun County paint a straight line?
A.: Because the Dingo stole their Road Painter (reference above photo).
Yes, the Virginia Department of Transportation has decided that in an effort to S-L-O-W traffic in several congested areas that they would paint 'interesting and baffling' patterns on the roadways to slow down (in reality, to 'dis-orient' drivers and force them to slow down lest they wind up in a fiery crash (in highly-trafficked pedestrian and cyclist sections of the street)).
A big 'High Five' to our friends in Loudoun, Virginia for having the foresight to 'dis-orient' drivers (who, by their own admission) are traveling at high rates of speed where old people, children, joggers, and Nannies are walking little babies in strollers tend to be found!
I, personally, never would have thought of this! But who would?
To quote a spokesperson from the VDOT: "While at first motorists may be a little disoriented, the main point is to get them to pay attention and slow down through that area."
He then added, "We've found that the sound of screaming children and the 'thud' and 'crunch' associated with striking elderly citizens has been statistically proven to slow down traffic by as much as 7 miles per hour!" (No, I made this quote up, but the first quote above is TRUE.)
The Australians (you know, the British Penal Colony folks who we don't talk about so much any more since Paul Hogan got really old and scary-looking) came up with this gem of an idea for traffic control (the first idea of placing live kangaroos and wallabees on leashes in the street didn't work so well, and it was REALLY messy).
The Australians are the same folks who want us to believe that whenever a child disappears in Australia that the, "Dingo ate the baby!" (You can find more detail on this in the embedded link in "A." above. Assuming that you really like to read about such things, have at it... Okay, I know, it only happened ONCE, but it COULD happen again... And I'm NOT going to Australia since I LOVE my family (and don't want them eaten by 'wild mutant dogs'.)
As for me, we'll be vacationing in Mexico this year, I hear the tourist traffic is WAY off and I can really get a deal on airfare and lodging! Hmm, I wonder why that is...
So the folks at the Virginia Department of Transportation (taking their lead from the six people left alive in Australia (all others were eaten by dingoes)) have decided to paint 'crazy lines' on roadways at several locations in the state to SLOW Virginians down.
If they see people actually slowing down as a result of these zigzag lines, I can only assume that you'll see more lines painted in Virginia. If however, they find people speeding up, taking their hands off the wheel and hanging their heads out the windows of their cars shouting, "This is better than acid man!!! Way better than acid! It's just like 'Jumping into Hyperspace in Star Wars!!!" I can only assume that the Virginia Department of Transportation will lobby Washington for more 'shovel-ready project money' so they can afford to physically BEND the streets to match the stripes, increasing the driving RUSH for thrill seeking, high-speed drivers.
THIS is 'governmental logic' at its finest.
Not to be out-done by Virginia, Washington has plans for some road-painting of its own (although the Obama Administration admits that these road paintings might take a 'wee' bit longer):
Hello, welcome to Washington, DC. Please drive safely!
Nobody, but nobody beats Washington, DC at anything. Ever!
For the complete story, click the following link (I know, I know, some of you don't believe anything I say, but I have never lied to you (by accident)) -- Loudoun Gets Funky
Never doubt the Cow Guy.