SIX YEARS…and seven months.

OK, two time spans are being considered. First (and least) it’s been seven months since I posted any falderal. More than half a year since adding blather. I’ve been occupied with other pursuits, endeavors that are even more of a waste than adding to this web blog, but they’ve nonetheless taken my time. I shall attempt–not for your benefit but for mine–to recfify this situation.

Next, and more significant: in just two weeks, I shall celebrate my sixth anniversary of having toppled out of my office chair and onto the floor after having had a myocardial infarction. An MFI, as it’s known in layman’s parlance. Yes, gentle reader, six years have slipped by since I experienced a Myocardial Fucking Infarction. An MFI. I endured three weeks in Tucson’s finest hospitals–Carondolet and UMC–and when my wheelchair rolled out the front door, I sported three new fuel lines to my black and withered heart.

The heart attack and first year of recovery is the topic of a series of posts on this web log. Shall it suffice today to admit I’m still micturating, defecating, consuming calories and expending energy. The operation worked. Well, for me, anyway. Many people who know me believe my survival is just one more proof of a lack of justice in this miserable, disgusting world that supports such monstrosities as Donald Trump and Mitch “the bitch” McConnell.

I suppose in comparison to those two, my survival is a mere speck on the ass of humanity.

Anyway, at least for the next nine days, I shall foist off another meaningless post each new day. Unless, of course, I don’t.

Reaching Out?

Been a while since I posted something. Why? Well, I’ve been…working. That’s difficult to believe, particularly at my somewhat advanced age, but it’s true. I’m officially an employee of a You Ess Falderal Guv’mint agency. Yup. I got an eye dee card and all that stuff. Even better, I get paid. Not a hell of a lot but it’s real money ‘n that shit comes in handy.

The money helps me reach out. Reach Out? You wanna know what the hell I’m reaching out for, like maybe my willie if I’m in the bathroom or maybe for my toes when I bend over–as if I’m proving I’m not as old as I look.

Yeah. I wanna know what I’m reaching out for, too.

I keep seeing the term in email messages from other You Ess worker bees. Today I saw the term “reach out” in a local noospaper (I won’t refer to the source as a newspaper, thus dignifying it with a title I once considered honorable). Yes. Well, in the rag’s columns a reporter referred to contacting an attorney for a comment about said lawyer’s miserable perp client.

“We reached out to lawyer A but he hasn’t reached out to us with an answer…”

Yeah, I know that “reach out” is now one of those catch-phrases that replace a perfectly serviceable term such as contact or ask or called.

Suppose I’m getting grouchy in my dotage. Dotage. I like dotage much better than reach out but we could combine both. Korea’s Little Rocket Man reached out the US’s Orange Haired Monster, implying that the monster’s well-known lack of cogency is an effect of his advanced dotage. Monster, a self-described (no humility here, no, sir) master of quick repartee, reached out to Little Rocket Man by tweeting, “Fuck You, esshole.”

Brilliant. Scintillating. Without doubt the President’s reply will reach out through the years to come with bell-like clarity. Particularly when we realize his bell has a crack as wide as Arizona’s Grand Canyon.

News in the obit column: Getting Older

 When I was writing copy for our high school radio program (Choctaw Chatter…Choctawhatchee HS, Fort Walton Beach, Florida), I don’t recall checking local 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, although I had moved to an editorial position, a job that involved receiving a paycheck.

I attribute these omissions in my journalistic diligence to my 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 youth is gone, 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.

“So the son of a bitch finally died,” I might murmur. Or I may just heave a sigh of relief.

My army fright instructor (yeah, that one…) told me one day I might peer out through the yellowed and scarred plastic windscreen of an O1 and see something unusual in the sky. “What the hell is that?” I would murmur to myself. “Why, it’s a number,” I’d continue, my voice now harsh and scratchy. “It’s…it’s…MY NUMBER!”

Did I see a number outside my office window five years ago? No, not that I know of. I just kinda…well…shit…I don’t know what I did. My mind was transformed into a tabula rasa at least for the span of a few days on each side of that moment when blood stopped pumping in and out of my heart. That’s what hear attacks seem to cause.

Today, December 9, 2018, (yeah, my 5th anniversary of the big one) so far I can remember most of what I’ve done. I prepared a bowl of Seidenbacher (R) Number Two muesli mixed with fresh fruit. I consumed said muesli then I walked up the hill, down the hill, around the streets in the ‘hood. Three miles worth of traipsing. Later I freshened up a couple of my knives on a Spyderco (R) Sharpmaker then I ran them across a leather strop. I walked partway 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’m referring to the former Marine who shares a few of my values…what few values either of us still have…)

I did mundane things. I ate a slice of yesterday’s rye and whole wheat sourdough. Tonight Significant Other and I will watch a streaming video, an old movie that we passed by without comment when first it came out. 

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

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.


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.

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)


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.

BLACK FRIDAY! CYBER MONDAY! bullshit everyday.



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.

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?