Friday, November 28, 2008

Life Update - Judy's ashes

Aunt Judy is going to be taken care of by her family, Thank God. I called the County Adminstrator who is in charge of indigent care in the county. Apparently, they tried to get in touch with my brother Paul, but since he moved to Kansas City they didn't know his number. Apparently they don't have a phone book, but its all water under the bridge. Anyway, since all expences had been taken care of by the state we apparently could claim her ashes at no cost to us. We sent my brother Peter to get her ashes from the cemetary and now she is with family.

We will call the family together and have some ceremony to show our feelings. Dealing with someone with mental health issues is a chore and Judy was one in particular. In the end no one could afford the time and effort to work out her problems. The state took her over and that's what happened. When we were young and Judy was more lucid we could have a lot of fun and we did. She helped us and filled the gaps when Mom wasn't there. She loved us and took care of us. In the end though, the world does not look kindly upon those less fortunate. Alone, she finally was in the care of strangers when she passed. David knew there was something wrong. He wanted to visit last weekend but it was something we could always do later and put off. Taking it for granted has become a problem with me. I have to stop taking things for granted.

When you have a troubled spirit, and Judy was a troubled person it can wear you down and in the end we were all worn down. I know that lately I have become worn down. I feel like a car with all four tire flat but I still have a long road to go. I'm running on the rims now and I don't know how long I can keep going on those.

Plus I have my other friend who may or may not be with us still. I am getting bombarded by this on all sides.and I am getting overwhelmed. The only thing keeping me going is the fact that if I don't I die. I die of starvation or lack of care or being bereft of life.

I guess I am just takling out of my hat here. Its just the overwhelming feeling of just wnting to turn on the TV and give up and just exist. I need a life and can't figure out the way of getting out of the mess I am in.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Aunt passed away.

I just found out today that my Aunt Judy passed away sometime in the past few days. She suffered from schizophrenia and was in a nursing home, a ward of the state. What really frosted me is that the state or anyone else never called us to let us know that she had passed. We had planned to visit last weekend but for reasons beyond our control we couldn't. I don't know if I am going to go to her funeral. We are trying to find out whats going on with the plans for her. Since no one told us, we have had to make numerous calls to find out anything. We finally found someone that told us something, but we didn't find out any times or anything. I suppose we will find out something tomorrow. If I am not her in the next few days, I will probably be out with my Mom. Anyway, I just don't know what else to say.

Aunt Judy was the one who helped raise us. She gave me the love of God that I have. I wouldn't have that without her. Judy was a lot of things to us. She was the one who was there when Mom wasn't and God blessed us with her. I just wish that circumstances allowed us to be closer to her. There are so many things we do and regret. There are also so many things we do not do and regret. I wish we had been able to see her more. Sometimes we take a lot of things for granted. This was one of those things and I want to hate myself for that.

I hope that Judy is finally at peace with God and in that peaceful place she always needed.

Monday, November 24, 2008

They aren't replaceable

This was always one of my favorite movies. Silent Running has just as much to say today as it did when it was made in 1972. The scene above says it all.

Friday, November 21, 2008


“In the beginning God Created BROCOLLI”

In The Beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth. And the Earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Devil said, "It doesn't get any better than this."

And so God created Man in His own image; male and female He created them.

And God looked upon Man and Woman and saw that they were lean and fit.

And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach and green and yellow vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

And so God created the healthful yogurt, that Woman might keep her figure. But the Devil brought forth chocolate. And Woman gained five pounds.

And so the Devil created McDonald's. And McDonald's brought forth the 79-cent double cheeseburger. And the Devil said to Man, "You want fries with that?" And Man said, "Super size them." And Man gained five pounds.

And God said, "Try my crispy fresh salad." And the Devil brought forth Ben and Jerry's. And Woman gained 10 pounds.

And God said, "Why doth thou eatest thus? I have sent thee heart-healthy vegetables and olive oil with which to cook them."

But the Devil brought forth chicken fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained 10 pounds and his bad cholesterol went through the roof.

And so God brought forth running shoes. And Man resolved to lose those extra pounds.

And the Devil brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels between ESPN and ESPN2. And Man gained another 20 pounds.

And so God brought forth the potato, A vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition.

And the Devil peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fat fried them. And the Devil created sour cream dip.

And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in
cholesterol. And the Devil saw and said, "It is good."

And Man went into cardiac arrest. And God sighed and created Quadruple bypass surgery.

And the Devil canceled Man's health insurance.

So God showed Woman how to peel the skin off chicken and cook the nourishing whole grain brown rice.

And the Devil created light beer so Man could poison his body, while feeling righteous because he had to drink twice as much of the now-insipid brew to get the same buzz. And Man gained another 10 pounds.

And Woman ventured forth into the land of Godiva chocolate, and upon returning asked Man, "Do I look fat?" And the Devil said, "Always tell the truth." And Man did.

And Woman went out from the presence of Man and dwelt in the land of the divorce lawyer, east of the marriage counselor.

And the Devil said, "It doesn't get any better than this."

The Senility Prayer

Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Three Wishes Granted

A woman was out golfing one day when she hit her ball into the woods.

She went into the woods to look for it and found a frog in a trap. The frog said to her, "If you release me from this trap, I will grant you 3 wishes."

The woman freed the frog. The frog said, "Thank you, but I failed to mention that there was a condition to your wishes - that whatever you wish for, your husband will get 10 times more, or better!"

The woman said, "That would be okay."

For her first wish, she wanted to be the most beautiful woman in the world.

The frog warned her, "You do realize that this wish will also make your husband the most handsome man in the world, an Adonis, that women will flock to?"

The woman replied, "That will be okay because I will be the most beautiful woman and he will only have eyes for me."

So, KAZAM - she's the most beautiful woman in the world!

For her second wish, she wanted to be the richest woman in the world.

The frog said, "That will make your husband the richest man in the world and he will be ten times richer than you."

The woman said, "That will okay because what's mine is his and what's his is mine."

So, KAZAM she's the richest woman in the world!

The frog then inquired about her third wish, and she answered, "I would like a very mild heart attack."

The Creation as written by Man.

On the seventh day...

In the end, there was earth, and it was of form and beauty. And man dwelt upon the lands of the earth, the meadows and trees, and he said, "Let us build our dwellings in this place of beauty".

And he built cities and covered the earth with concrete and steel and the meadows were gone, and the man said, "It is good".

On the second day, man looked upon the waters of the earth, and man said, "Let us put our wastes in the waters so that the dirt will be washed away." And man did. And the waters became polluted and foul in smell. And man said "It is good."

On the third day, man looked upon the forests of the earth and saw they were beautiful. And man said, "Let us cut the timber for our homes and grind the wood for our use." And the lands became barren and the trees were gone. And man said "It is good".

On the fourth day, man saw that animals were in abundance and ran in the fields and played in the sun. And man said, "Let us chase these animals for our amusement and kill them for our sport." And man did. And there were no more animals on the face of the earth. And man said "It is good."

On the fifth day, Man breathed the air of the earth, and man said, "Let us dispose of our wastes into the air, for the winds shall blow them away". And man did. And the air became heavy with dust and all living things burned and choked."

On the sixth day, man saw himself, and saw the many languages and tongues he feared and hated. And man said, "Let us build great machines and destroy these lest they destroy us." And man built great machines and the earth was fired with the rage of wars. And man said "It is good".

On the seventh day, man rested from his labours and the earth was still, for man no longer dwelt upon the earth. - Anonymous

Note: I read this many years ago as a child. Shamefully its meaning has not changed in all those years and the lessons it tries to teach us are lost.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Barcodes you should know

I don't know how accurate this is, but its a start

Steer Clear of Melamine - Barcodes You Should Know

Even though the FDA is finally addressing the possible introduction of Melamine laced dairy into the US market from China, there is still no legislation forcing manufacturers to clearly disclose where products are made. Thankfully, consumers are no longer “buying blind.” There is one way to determine the originating country of a particular item – the barcode.

The next time you are are wondering where a product is made, check out the first three numbers of the barcode. If the digits are 690-695, then it is made in China. A more complete list is below:

00 – 13 USA & Canada

30 – 37 France

40 – 44 Germany

49 Japan

480 Philippines

50 UK

57 Denmark

64 Finland

76 Switzerland and Liechtenstein

628 Saudi Arabia

629 United Arab Emirates

690 – 695 China

740 – 745 Central America

Stages of Drinking

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This just isn't right


For those that can't read the small print, the balloon says: "Maybe I'm being overly optimistic with the holidays comming up, but I'm sensing the economy is about to turn the corner..."

So is Santa apparently.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A "First Dog?"

Peru offers Obamas hairless dog

Ear, a Peruvian Hairless dog

Could hypoallergenic Ears be seen running across The White House lawns?

Peruvian dog lovers say they have the ideal pet for US President-elect Barack Obama and his family - a bald breed that was once favoured by Inca rulers.

Mr Obama last week promised his two daughters a puppy but Malia, 10, is allergic to most dogs.

Members of the Peruvian Hairless Dog club say the breed, the only one native to South America, would be perfect as the dogs cause no allergies.

And they have a four-month-old puppy in mind, currently nicknamed Ears.

The head of Peru's Friends of the Hairless Dog Association, Claudia Galvez, says she believes Ears would be the perfect choice for the Obamas.

On Monday, she sent a letter to the US embassy in Lima to enquire whether the president-elect and his family would be interested in giving a home to Ears at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

"They do not cause any type of allergy and are very friendly and sweet," Ms Galvez was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"We want to give a male puppy to Obama's daughters, so they get to experience all the joys of having a dog but without any allergies."

The Hairless Dog, or Viringo breed, is believed to date back some 3,000 years and the breed is depicted in pre-Hispanic ceramics.

Their lack of hair may not make them the most cuddly pet but their fans say they make up for it by having a higher than average body temperature, says the BBC's Dan Collyns in Lima.

Something to be concerned about....

General Growth Properties plunges on viability concerns

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Shares of General Growth Properties Inc (GGP.N) fell 73 percent on Tuesday after the second-largest U.S. mall owner expressed doubts that it could continue operating due to its looming near-term debt.

The Chicago-based retail property company has $1.13 billion in debt coming due, including $900 million in secured mortgage debt on the two of its Las Vegas shopping centers due on November 28 and $58 million of corporate debt due on December 1. It also faces another $3.07 billion due next year, the company said on Monday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"In the event that we are unable to extend or refinance our debt or obtain additional capital on a timely basis and on acceptable terms, we will be required to take further steps to acquire the funds necessary to satisfy our short term cash needs, including seeking legal protection from our creditors," the real estate investment trust said in the filing.

"Our potential inability to address our 2008 or 2009 debt maturities in a satisfactory fashion raises substantial doubts as to our ability to continue as a going concern."

Shares of General Growth Properties were down $1 at 37 cents in early morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. About a year ago, the stock sold for as high as $51.24.

(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas and Helen Chernikoff, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

Why should someone be concerned about this? GGP owns or operates over 200 mall properties in the United States, making it the largest operators of shopping centers in this country. If they default, this might result in the temporary or permanant closure of those shopping centers at the height of the Christmas shopping season. They may have to file for bankruptsy or petition for a merger with another mall ownership company like Australia's Westfield or Indianapolis based Simon Associates. Simon has made some inroads according to rumor, but there is nothing in the pipline yet.

I am concerned for obvious reasons in that the mall I work at is owned by GGP. I have seen maintenance work deffered, hiring frozen, people being laid off, etc. We are undergoing a major renovation which I think is being funded outside of the company (Nordstroms), but I have to wonder if they would continue the work if the mall is closed. I don't have any illusions about what my future may hold. I got my paycheck a day early so I have to wonder if that has anything to do with what is going on. The end of the month may tell some things about what is going on.

God bless the people working at the other malls around the country. Lets hope this Christmas isn't too bad.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Cow as a political scientist

Political Science for Dummies

DEMOCRAT You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.
You feel guilty for being successful.
You push for higher taxes so the government can provide cows for everyone.

REPUBLICAN You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.

SOCIALIST You have two cows.
The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

COMMUNIST You have two cows.
The government seizes both and provides you with milk.
You wait in line for hours to get it.
It is expensive and sour.

You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

Under the new farm program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pours the milk down the drain.

You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one.
You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead. You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses.
Your stock goes up.

FRENCH CORPORATION You have two cows.
You go on strike because you want three cows.
You go to lunch and drink wine.
Life is good.

You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.
Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

GERMAN CORPORATION You have two cows.
You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour.
Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

ITALIAN CORPORATION You have two cows but you don't know where they are.
You break for lunch.
Life is good.

RUSSIAN CORPORATION You have two cows.
You have some vodka.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You have some more vodka.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

TALIBAN CORPORATION You have all the cows in Afghanistan , which are two.
You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts.
You get a $40 million grant from the US government to find alternatives to milk production but use the money to buy weapons.

IRAQI CORPORATION You have two cows.
They go into hiding.
They send radio tapes of their mooing.

POLISH CORPORATION You have two bulls.
Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

The cow is schizophrenic.
Sometimes the cow thinks he's French, other times he's Flemish.
The Flemish cow won't share with the French cow.
The French cow wants control of the Flemish cow's milk.
The cow asks permission to be cut in half.
The cow dies happy.

FLORIDA CORPORATION You have a black cow and a brown cow.
Everyone votes for the best looking one.
Some of the people who actually like the brown one best accidentally vote for the black one.
Some people vote for both.
Some people vote for neither.
Some people can't figure out how to vote at all.
Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which one you think is the best-looking cow.
CALIFORNIA CORPORATION You have millions of cows.
They make real California cheese.
Only five speak English.
Most are illegal.
Arnold likes the ones with the big udders.

Religion joke, stolen from Cal's page

There was a man once who decided to let God direct his day by pointing to a random Bible verse. He opened his Bible with his eyes closed, and pointed. The verse read, "And Judas went out and hanged himself (Matthew; 27:5).

Shocked, the man flipped more pages, and pointed -- "And whatsover you do, do heartily" (Colossians 3:23).

Distressed, he flipped more pages - "Go thou, and do likewise" (Luke; 10:37).

They found him in his garden shed that afternoon.

Moral: Don't take everything literally.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Back home and Alive

Well I am back in St. Louis and alive and well. My Victor/Victoria is performing as well as could be expected after major surgury. I will post pictures from my trip at the pictures section on my site. Its been an eventful weekend so I'll just let you know all that went on.

I left St. Louis on Tuesday morning later than I wanted to, at about 10 am. Working nights I should have gotten some sleep, but I just wanted to be sure I was at least going after all the times in the past I have bailed on her. Outside of Cuba, MO (yes there is a Cuba, MO and it does have a "Peoples Bank of Cuba" LOL) I had started to nod of and I was hoping to get to Rolla before I pulled over to nap. However, there were diferent plans. I had that nods, and nodded and slipped onto the shoulder and recovered just before I hit a State Trooper. Said State Trooper then pulled me over and suggested I pull over and get some sleep! I pulled over at the next exit and slep for about 6 or 7 hours. I then went back on the road after stopping in Cuba and getting me a Hardee's burger.

I went on down and stopped in Springfield, MO for Gas. It had been the cheapest I would encounter on the way down, at $1.98. Before I got started I knew that Springfield had the least expensive gas in the state. I topped off there and then again in Oklahoma at $2.06. Throughout the Choctaw Nation, gas averaged about 10 cents more than what I had encountered earlier. I didn't get gas till later on the other side of the Texas border at $2.03 a gallon. Driving continued through the night passing into Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday morning, I arrived at Stephanie's apartment with a rather humerous phone call. Its one of those things. You get directions and sure thing you are walking into the door talking on the cell phone listening to someone else talking on the other end of the conversation. :-) Anyway, we got aquainted again and had a little fun watching movies on her DVD player. It got a lot of use this weekend as it always does. She has a lot of DVD's and watches a lot of her favorite TV series on DVD. We watched some Alton Brown and I listened to her complain about a lot of the bizarre changes they have done over at the Food Network.

I got aquainted with her cats again. She has a couple of sweet cats who are her constant companions and really break the loneliness she has. She does nothing really but sit in a room all alone and watch TV all day. Sometimes she has a visit from a nurse. She said that one came by to pull blood for a test on Monday. She was really jaundiced, very yellow in color and looked so pitiful. I dont know what her family and church should be thinking. I feel guilty about this as well. I should be down there but am not. I got my Mom and family here and we have or problems to worry about. Just not as life threatening as Stephanie's are.

Anyway, I ran some erands on Thursday and then got some rest. Friday I ran her computers in and got them set up to work on. The nice guys at Circuit City in North Ft. Worth should be commended on their dilligence and courtesy as well as their quick work on fixing Stephanie's laptop so that she could use it again. What they said was a three day job turned out to be a days job and I picked it up on Saturday Morning. The rest of Friday was spent detail cleaning and vacuuming her apartment, something in her weakened state she had been unable to do in months.

I left to go home on Saturday, but the Alternator on the Victor/Victoria failed outside of Sherman, Texas. No way I was going to make it home. Got a used one installed from a bubba towing service in Sherman. I called into work and let them know, and returned to her apartment. I left from there on Sunday morning and about 1 in the afternoon, I noticed that the tempature gage was high and then I noticed the smell. Oh that sickening sweet smell of coolant and then I nursed it to the next exit which turned out to be Checotah, OK.

Checotah (pronounced like Dakota) is a small town south of McCalister, OK. I was at a wide spot on the road essentially, but pulled it into the Walmart parking lot that was there. They have a fairly large Walmart and I hoped that maybe filling it with coolant would let me nurse it to some place that would have an auto repair place open on Sunday. I put the coolant in the recovery bottle and there just didn't look like a place to put it into the radiator directly. The water didn't take and wasn't flowing into the engine so rather than risk making it worse, I parked it at the O'Riley Auto Parts store and went in to ask them about what a water pump would cost. They pulled one from the store in McCalister and it would be back at the store about 2 in the afternoon on Monday.

So, resigned to the fact I would be in the town all night, I decided to check into the local hotel. I walked a mile and crossed under the highway to the hotel. The bridge would make this wonderful sound whenever a vehicle would cross over it. I had to wonder if the bridge would hold. But it held and I arrived at the hotel. It cost me $50 and would get me my first night in a bed in many days as I had to sleep on the floor at Stephanie's since she had no bed. I slept a while and then woke up and went to my car to gather some belongings so I could have a decent shower. After that, I went to the Flying J Truck Stop across the road and got me some dinner. then went back to watch some TV and went to sleep.

I woke up and called one of the repair places that was recommended to me by Dave at O'Riley. I actually got them befor they opened and the nice guy at D & J Auto Repair picked me up at the hotel and took me to the car. We took a look at it for a minute and we started it to look at the engine. At the outset it wasn't the water pump but then we figured we could drive it to the shop. After getting it to the shop we hooked up a presurization pump to see where the leak was. The coolant must have been low because it took at least a couple of gallons before we could get enough coolant to see what was leaking. The pump forced teh water out an literally gushing it onto the ground. Not a good sign. So I went back to the hotel to pick up my stuff, checked out and returned to the shop.

Turned out eventually that it was a manifold resouver which sits atop the engine. The front of it had developed a split which probably started out small. The mechanic told me there was really nothing I could do maintenance wise to detect this. It was something hidden that just showed itself now. The split was so large that no amount of coolant I put in would have allowed me to get anywhere. I kept the part and have it in my trunk.

The nice guys at D & J, in spite of being McCain supporters, made the afternoon go by nice. My real problem was that I didn't have enough money to help me get the repair done. I actually had to borrow part of it from my Mom and then get my sister-in-law to take her to Walmart to send it to me. I got the call I had been waiting for at almost 4:15 and ran over to Walmart to pick it up. Paying for my repairs, I hoped into my now repaired car and finally could get onto the road. I spent the night driving and arived at home around 5 in the morning. Thanking God, I went to sleep.

I am glad that everyone put me in their prayers and I am sure that all you did helped. Things have really turned bad here and this trip took a lot of things out of me. I don't know if financially I will be able to get out of this. God will help, I am sure. I have a lot of stress and I at the point of just wanting to give up. I have muddled through on life, but I can't just seem to find the energy to go on. Helping Stephanie was a nice thing, but it cost me so much.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Down and out in Checotah, OK

Thanks all for the nice comments on my last blog. I was thinking I should give you all an update on what is going on. Stephanie is alive, but not too well. At least I could help her with a few things and that your prayers helped. I cleaned her apartment, as she has not been able to detail it in months. Got her a new vacuum cleaner and did her rugs. I got her computer fixed and now she can get back online and maybe she will see here, I dunno. This is kinda private for me and sort of a sounding board for my ideas and feelings. I hope she is not offended by reading what is here. Anyway, this morning I left her in the best shape she has felt in a few weeks because of just the idea that she has help.

Well, thinking my car was in her best shape in years was not to be founded. Yesterday my alternator failed in Sherman, Texas. Today I am writing this from the video game section of the Flying J Truck stop in Checotah, OK. (I swear to God I am ready to take a shotgun to this video game behind me. The sound is driving me crazy). Anyway, about 5 or 6 miles out of Checotah, I started getting that characteristic smell of boiling coolant and noticed that the temp gage was in the higher end of the register. Pulled over and the stuff is sprayed all over the engine. I was able to nurse it to the Walmart here and bought some coolant. I hoped I could get to Muskogee, OK where was hoping that there was a place open. Alas, the engine started to make a clacking noise and that is not a good sound. I pulled into the O'Riley Automotive Parts Store here and asked about auto service. I got the answer I expected. No shops open today. I figure its the Water pump and the earliest they can get a water pump is tomorrow at two in the afternoon.

Only thing I can do is wait till tomorrow and hope for the best. I also have to hope I have enough money to pay for this. My funds for this trip were limited and now a big chunk that was supposed to go paying my brother back for the loan he gave me to fix my car originally is now going to be eaten up by this. This is so frustrating. I also have to hope that I still have a job as this is the second of three days I have had to call off. Its more likely I will have to call off tomorrow and that is three days pay lost to the winds.

Please, all my friends here, pray for my job and my frind as you all have done. For those of you who don't believe just snd a lot of positive energy my way. Thanks again for all your help and prayers.

About Me

My photo
I am interested in CNG vehicles because they are good for the environment and aren't powered by dead Marines. I still have a little hope for the world. Read the musings and enjoy.