News in the obit column: Getting Older

 When I was writing news copy for our high school radio program (Choctaw Chatter…Choctawhatchee HS, Fort Walton Beach, Florida), I don’t recall checking the obits as part of my beat. Funny, that. Obituaries weren’t at the top of my task list with the Parker Pioneer (Parker, Arizona), either. My omissions were ones of youth and ignorance. It hadn’t yet dawned on me that people died regardless of their age and their passing was–not just to them, either–a significant event.

Now that my hair is gray, my teeth are wrinkled and mini-me sleeps soundly through even the most enticing situations, I skim the obits whenever and wherever I find them. One never knows when I might discover my own name lurking there. I’ll sigh. “So the son of a bitch finally died,” I might murmur.

My army fright instructor (yeah, that one…) told me one day I might look out through the windscreen and see something strange in the sky. “What the hell is that?” I would murmur to myself. “Why, it’s a number,” I’d continue. “It’s…it’s…MY NUMBER!”

Did I see a number outside when I peered out my office window five years ago? (Not yet, stand down…you got an hour yet to go…) No, not that I know of. I just kinda…well…shit…I don’t know what I did. My mind transformed into a tabula rasa at least for the span of a few days.

Today, so far, I can remember most of my accomplishments. I walked up the hill, down the hill, around the streets in the ‘hood. Three miles worth. I freshened up a couple of my knives on the Spyderco (R) Sharpmaker then I ran them across a leather strop. I walked back up the hill so I could sit around and swap lies with my neighbor. (Not the thug next door who was out back smoking marijuana while he sold crack to his latest customers; I was talking to the former Marine who shares a few of my values…what few values either of us still have…)

I did mundane things. I fixed Seidenbacher (R) muesli with fresh fruit. I ate a slice of yesterday’s rye and whole wheat sourdough. Tonight Significant Other and I will watch a film. 

And likely tomorrow I’ll remember what I did without going back and reading this drivel. I’ll let you guys know.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Five Years Ago: This is What Happened. To Me. Maybe…

8:55 PM–08 December 2018

Yeah. Maybe, if I believe what other people tell me, five years ago–Sunday, December 8, 2013, Significant Other ‘n I went to a local event. Dined out. Returned home. Went to bed. Well, at least that’s what she (and not to put the onus on her, other people I know corroborate her version of the 8th of December, 2013.

I don’t know. Maybe they’re all fibbing. I don’t remember the day.

Nor do I remember the day before or, an even bigger deletion from the files of my mind, the day afterward, Monday, 9 December 2013. For that matter, I might say I checked out pretty much entirely partway through Saturday, December 7–guess I was celebrating the anniversary of Pearl Harbor ‘n got my brain bombed–and then I didn’t return for business until around December 14.

Early in the morning on December 14, that’s like 3:30 or 4:00 AM, I logged back in. My world had altered significantly during this brief interregnum.

First odor of business, I needed to use the bathroom. That was inconvenient ’cause I was hooked up like a fuckin’ Nintendo game and didn’t know where I was. Now, even though I’d accumulated almost three decades of keeping a plug in the jug and the stash in the trash back in ’13, I rather vividly remembered what it was like to awaken and not know where I was.

Not a problem, dudes and dudettes. All I needed was a bit of privacy and even that was relatively optional.

Wait! Hooked up? Yeah, with cables attached to my chest and arms, a drip tube stuck in my vein, and a machine making those strange electronic chirps next to my bed. OK, I was a bit on the fuzzy thinking side but if I didn’t know better, I would have guessed I was in a hospital. That was especially likely since I didn’t smell sulfur or brimstone and the room wasn’t particularly warm.

None of this mattered to me at the moment since I really, really, had to poop really in a hurry.

I swung my legs over the side of a lumpy, crummy mattress and tried to stand. I think I did manage to get on my feet, cables hanging awkwardly from my abused bod like Dr. Frank N. Stein’s homebuilt creation. I stood, kinda wobbly, looking for a restroom or something that would serve the cause but quicker than D. J. Trump could tell a lie, I was surrounded by a herd of nurses, all of which were telling me I had to get back in bed. I explained as best as I could that I needed to poop but they weren’t interested in my desires. I had to get back in bed.

That didn’t work well. I pooped. Right there. On the floor. 

If you’re interested in this part of my story, you might want to read the collection of posts concerning my own, personal (very personal), myocardial infarction and my first year of recovery after getting new fuel lines

This missive, however, is a different story. It’s more falderal. It’s my fifth anniversary gift to myself. Point. There is no justice in the world. Don’t believe me? Watch–or even better, read–the news. If there were justice, our 45th US President would still be a bankrupt tv comedian and someone, anyone else, would have his job. Faux News would be a sick cartoon, not a sick cartoon masquerading as a news network. England would be a stalwart part of the European Union. The Crimea would still be part of the Ukraine, China would be content selling cheap trinkets instead of dominating the known world and…me?

If there were justice in the rapidly overheating, storm ridden world we’re doing our best to destroy, I would be pushing up stout stalks of cannibus sativa, the green vines growing wildly from my ashes which Significant Other would have tossed out the back window into our weed patch. 

No matter. For this half-decade anniversary, I’m going to record a few of the things I’m doing for a day or two. Unlike five years ago, I want a journal. Hope I don’t do a rerun of my last heart attack forgetfulness but here we go. This time I can read about what I did in my own words.

I’ll add to this stuff throughout the day. Pre-workout, post-workout; pre-motorcycle ride, post-motorcycle ride…I might even post a couple of motorcycle ride pix…and so on.

Maybe…

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Howard Beale Commemorative

Remember the film Network? Faye Dunaway, Robert Duval…and Peter Finch, who received his Academy Award posthumously…for portraying the news anchor Howard Beale. Well, people, it’s time to throw open your windows and scream (at the top of your lungs) I’m mad as hell and I’m fucking not gonna put up with Donald Trump’s shit anymore.

But, as we know, that isn’t going to happen. Is it? Yeah, I thought not.

Instead of raging, foaming at the mouth crowds leaning out the windows of homes, apartments and towering tenements across the nation, we’re mousey dipshits who tap timorously at the door of the McMansion across the way. The big, solid steel door swings open and a towering manqué athlete glares down at us, his immense belly shaking like a giant blob of Jello before he growls What the fuck do you want, weasel? At this point in the scenario we shiver and whisper through trembling lips, “Please, sir, you’ve raped my wife and my daughter, you’ve shotgunned my poor cat, you’ve poisoned the wild birds I enjoyed feeding…and I’m moderately disturbed at what you’ve done to all that I care about in this world.”

Reddened eyes blazing, the monster snarls What the fuck do you think you’re gonna about it before I shit on your forehead…bigly…

“Well, sir, my young sister is visiting and I wondered if you might like to meet her? She’s still a virgin.”

That’s where we are, isn’t it? “Red line to cross” my ass. It’s a brown line between his butt cheeks and we’re inundated in what crosses that line at frequent intervals.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Odd, Odder and Oddest, Philosophy, Politics

Do not go gentle into that good night…

Dylan Thomas told us, “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” As old age slips his hoary fingers through my graying hair and holds my hand in his, I sometimes think of Thomas’ words.

However, many years before Thomas’ time on earth, another character expressed somewhat the same concept to death’s approach. As Gilgamesh’s BFF Enkidu is facing his imminent demise, he curses the gods with this pithy series of suggestions:

“May wild dogs camp in your bedroom,” Enkidu rants. “May owls nest in your attic, may drunkards vomit all over you, may a tavern wall be your place of business, may you be dressed in torn robes and filthy underwear, may angry wives sue you, may thorns and briars make your feet bloody, may young men jeer and the rabble mock you as you walk the streets…”

For those unfamiliar with Enkidu and Gilgamish, they’re characters in an epic narrative written sometime about 2200-2500 BCE, or slightly more than four millennium in the past. That’s about a thousand years before the Trojans and the Greeks hacked and whacked each other in Homer’s Illiad.

Well said, Enkidu. (From Stephen Mitchell’s translation, A New English Version: Gilgamesh)

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under History, Philosophy

Temporarily Down for Maintenance…

Four years ago I was Temporarily Down for Maintenance, sprawled on the wooden floor of my computer room, gasping for breath, hoping for a quick reboot to recover from what ailed me. Well, that’s what my significant other tells me. I don’t know; my memory of that particular day–the entire day and a few other days on each side of it–vanished somewhere. My personal disc drive was jiggled at the wrong time. That particular sector was corrupted, the data is unable to be recovered. No matter, I suspect she (my S.O.) is telling me the truth about what happened to me. I’ve examined my medical records, paperwork that says I went Code Blue shortly after the Paramedics arrived at our house.

My recollection, all of it, is blank from a day or so before I hit the floor up the the point when I came to in a hospital bed in Tucson. That’s when my memory recorder kicked back into gear.The precise moment was early in the morning. I was hooked up to a bunch of wires and tubes; machines with blinking lights were glowing balefully all around me. I struggled to get out of bed, managed to get on my feet on the floor…I wrote about that experience on a separate page of this web log that covers heart attack, operation and my first year after having CABG X3…

Anyway I jot down a few words on my anniversary date each year, kinda keeping up with what happened the past twelve months.

I’m fine, still walking five to seven miles most days, lifting weights, saying the wrong thing at the most inopportune moment, getting older but not wiser. That’s me.

Hmmmm. However…

My country is in much worse condition than I am.

This nation is in dire need of some sort of recovery procedure; maybe that applies to the entire world. After all, England shot itself in the pocketbook by voting to leave the European Union. North Korea is a major threat to the planet. Vladimar Putin dreams of world domination. So does Silvio Burlusconi (if he’s still alive). Here in the US of A, a madman has been elected Preszidunt. He’s brought an entire gaggle of maniacs into government along with elevating others who were lingering under rocks awaiting their opportunity to wreak havoc. Meanwhile, fires are raging along the west coast, burning California to the ground. Floods washed away major parts of the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas. Temperatures as rising (when the mercury isn’t perversely dropping out the bottom of the gauge).

Storms are increasing in violence at what seems to be an exponential rate.

These conditions, difficult as they are, might be patched up much as I was though I was prostrate at the door of whatever comes next. (No, gentle reader, I didn’t hear angels singing, see bright lights or smell brimstone…)

Unfortunately, we in the US (along with many other equally misfortunate lands) have a government that denies the existence of a problem. Imagine if my housemate, my significant other, would have prodded me with her foot and said, “Lazy bastard, get up. I’ll check on you later, see if you’ve come to your senses.” Or maybe the paramedics might have just shrugged. “He’s fine,” one of them might have said. “Just resting,” grunted the other before they left.

That’s what we’re doing in this country.

We’re Temporarily Down for Maintenance. Hopefully it’s just a passing phase, like computers and code blue heart attack victims go through.

Check back later.

If there is a later, later.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Heart and Other Vital Body Parts, Philosophy, Politics

BLACK FRIDAY! CYBER MONDAY! bullshit everyday.

BLACK FRIDAY! LOWEST PRICES IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSESE! NEVER LOWER!

uh…yeah…

Couple of months ago I purchased a six-quart Insta-Pot for my significant other. (Had to cut her into pieces ‘fore she’d fit into the thing. OK, the pot was a gift for my S.O.) I paid $80 for the sucker from an on-line marketer. Wow. If only I had waited. We’d have missed a few nice meals S.O. had prepared using the device but I could have saved, saved…saved? Well, it’s on sale just for BLACK FRIDAY for $80.

Gawd Damn.

I know I’m not the only person who is sick of this endless marketing. EVERY FUCKING DAY SALE! LOWEST PRICES IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE! NEVER LOWER!

EVERY DAY IS S.H.I.T. DAY. (For the illiterati, that’s So Happy It’s Today day.)

What is Cyber Monday and why is it a special sale day? After all, Cyber Monday is just the Monday after Black Friday. Should this be a reason for inundating everyone with an email account with senseless, worthless and insulting sales offers?

I suppose so.

Lies are the new truth. Black is the new white. Fat is the new skinny. Every day is special…in it’s own way. It’s…S.H.I.T. Day.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Odder and Oddest, Philosophy, Uncategorized

TrumP: Grab Her

‘Nuff said.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Actually, you know what I mean…

How many of us remember when actually was a simple adverb inserted occasionally into speech or written communications? Let’s try that again: How many of us actually remember when actually was actually a simple adverb inserted occasionally into speech or written communications?

Yeah, you know what I mean. Actually has become one of those parts of speech that is used to fill empty spaces that would be far better left. Empty. No words employed. At all. You know what I mean?

Leave a Comment

Filed under Odder and Oddest, Uncategorized

Insults, shaming and anonymity…nothing new…

I keep encountering an increasing quantity of stories concerning the omnipresence of insults, shaming (which I sense is another term for being insulted) and the incidence of vile comments on the Internet. Well, it ain’t new, folks; it’s just an adjunct of anonymity.

Anonymity has always lent itself as a protective cover for what are usually cowardly comments. Cowardly? Well, how many of the boys hurling invective would do so by themselves–no crowd of thugs surrounding them for protection–or if their real, personal identity were to be attached to every post, every insult, every profanity that passes their lips?

Still, it ain’t new.

In Greek times political commentary was often written using false names, nom de plumes employed in an attempt to divert the anger of the masses. Two thousand or so years later, the telephone became a wonderful way to hide one’s identiy when making irritating, obscene or threatening statements. An army cliche brought up the colonel who called a unit orderly room on the phone. The call was answered by a male voice saying, “hello…” instead of the obligatory “Bravo Two One (or whatever unit…), Corporal whomever speaking. May I help you, sir?” The colonel vented his spleen before asking who he was talking to. “You don’t know?” the voice asked. “No…” the colonel answered.

“Well, fuck you, asshole…”

Internet forums are filled with such comments. I abstain from Twitter and such but I’m sure it’s much worse than a simple forum. After all, the President lurks there, he and his legions of mindless mouthbreathers, knuckledraggers, boys who enjoy sex with their mothers, people who gobble human feces with a fork and other similar creatures.

But it isn’t new. Not at all.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Odd, Odder and Oddest, Uncategorized

Morons and Drones, Morons and…Stuff

Media seems mystified–at least media writers in Arizona and England–that morons with drones are endangering people by their moronic activities.

First: a moron in Arizona launched a drone (link to article here) so he could record firefighting aircraft involved in the Goodwin fire near Prescott, Arizona. Aircraft were diverted from their duties and forced to land. In an unusual conclusion to this type of incident, the moron who was operating the drone was apprehended and will stand charges. Next case: a moron controlling a drone near London’s Gatwick Airport caused a snarl in commercial flights (link here). No one has been arrested at the time the butthead (a pleasing euphemism for a moron) writing this drivel is so writing.

Morons with drones, morons with guns, morons with control of the US government, morons in control of governments around the world, moron executives at Volkswagen ordering engineers to create test-defying software for VW cars, moron engineers obeying orders (recall the trials after WWII? I wuz ordered to do it…). Oh, yeah. Include morons with computers and internet access.

Folks, the world is full of morons. (Wanna see my Donald Trump bobble-head doll? Wanna see me drive around hard-core right-wing Phoenix with the doll in the back window of my car? Wanna see some moron with a gun shoot the moron with the doll in his rear window?)

Stay tuned for the adventures of moronperson. He or she is everywhere, faster than a speeding bullet, able to create fantastic fuckups at a moment’s notice. Yeah.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Odd, Odder and Oddest