Thursday, July 30, 2009


by Ange's comment below:

"Education is in need of an overhaul. It's scary, the budget cuts, but on the other hand, the human mind will not be held back. Lincoln read by firelight. We have Lincolns among us. Tomorrow's great minds will crave and appreciate the knowledge they've gained BECAUSE it was more difficult to come by."

I recalled a similar thought by another great mind:

"Instead of giving money to found colleges to promote learning, why don't they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as good as the Prohibition one did, why, in five years we would have the smartest race of people on earth." Will Rogers

Thank you both for the smile!

May the weekend be wonderful for each of you!


Monday, July 27, 2009

Sorting out a lifetime!

Since my oldest son moved east last fall, he's bought a house and asked for some of the things he left behind here when he left. Textbooks, notebooks, furniture and the treadmill he left at his in-laws. We've been sorting things for weeks now on Dottie's days off to find them all, as they had taken residence in different closets and corners of the basement.

This weekend in the midst of yet another tote-full of notes and notebooks she called to figure out if he wanted all of them, or only the physics and astronomy texts, she called him. He decided he only wants the college physics and astronomy ones for now because "a lot of the physics I learned in high school was wrong"!

He went to one of the best science and academics schools in the state...

That sentence has given me pause in the two days since it was relayed when my wife hung up from talking to him. Pause because he's had to unlearn things that were wrong; erase the data and replace it; much harder than the initial learning, or it always has been for me. I usually remember, for now, the things that have been that way for me; it's another reason I always go back to "the book" for a torque on things even if I'm sure I remember it. The Navy taught me well there!

I'm also given pause knowing that he and his brother attended that school at a time of economic plenty; new books, smaller classes, new computers...the world was their oyster. Given that the State is slashing money right and left and the easiest target is always education, I fear for the things the kids there now will have to unlearn!

My grandmother, having spent much time on the reservations through her and Grandpa's 40 years "in the ministry" said she always thought the Cherokee had it right when they said that the result of every decision should be pondered not for it's immediate result but how it would affect those 7 generations from now.

Wisdom lost or wasted, I fear!

May the week be kind to each of you!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Annual inspection...

I had hoped to put off my physical until after Dottie's vacation, but my prescription for my blood pressure med was exhausted and I'm not down to a weight where I'm comfortable going without it. My little excursion into the front yard last winter and the resultant back injury not only cost me what progress I'd made since retirement, but the ensuing depression over it all and watching the demise of all I'd poured my heart and soul into for 30 years along with worrying at every step about it's result on me had me seeking sunshine and other things and I haven't made any real progress towards dealing with it since!

That said, all the "numbers" were good except for the one from the weight scale; after they drew my blood last week they faxed in a prescription for my bp med. I got him to write two extra scrips, one for the cream the dermatologist prescribed for my eczema and one for the eye drops the ophthalmologist had prescribed last year as they had both expired and I couldn't afford the office visit to the dermatologist right now and have lost my vision care along with my dental.

The prescriptions that last month would have cost me $11/5/11 now cost $25/10/25; I'm grateful the bp med is a generic or it would have cost me $50.

2 years ago we had gotten 5 office visits a year paid for; when I retired last year they took those away from the retirees but told us that "your max annual out-of-pocket is $328" and that when we met that they would be paid for. My wife heard from the wife of another retiree the other day, one who has been trying to get things that were supposed to be paid taken care of, that they have changed that as well but haven't bothered to mail us the fine print. I guess that $300 bill we got for Dottie's office visit to the surgeon last month may be mine in it's entirety! I can't imagine what I'll owe by the time she's "put back together"!

Yet the Republicant's in D.C. think "stopping Obama" is much more important than stopping my financial bloodloss!

I keep getting letters back from my Senators telling me how much they value my opinion and that they will keep it in mind as they vote, then they proceed to tell me that they have concerns about "this" or "that" and that they are going to go right ahead and vote the way they intended to all along. My choices for representation in the Senate seem to be to move or move...

I know many of you are tired of the vitriol; tired of the words; tired of the pleas. But if you stop listening, stop writing, stop calling then nothing is going to change!

Please, keep an ear to the ground...if you live somewhere where an e-mail or a letter or a 2 minute phone call can change some Senator's mind, please; I'm begging; take the time!

May the week be kind to each of you!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Bandage free, at last!

Though not healed completely, my leg finally is closing and as long as I avoid shoes most of the time I'm getting by. Never thought I'd be working in the garage wearing flip-flops!

Yesterday I put the lattice work over the last window on the garage, the hubcaps back on my truck after re-torquing the lugnuts for the 3rd time, then John came by and changed the oil in both his vehicles as the hazardous waste drop off is this next Saturday and I didn't want 4 gallon jugs of engine oil hanging around for the next month (I already had one from Jordan's Galaxie and will catch Dottie's Malibu one night this week when she comes home to change it before our trip).

One of the benefits I "lost in the shuffle" was the 5 free office visits we had won in the last contract; they actually took those away last year about a month after I retired. With our slowly sinking financial status I've been avoiding the clinic ($55) or the doctors office ($65 and up) except under the direst circumstances. Tomorrow will begin a round of that as I need to refill my blood pressure medicine so have to go in for my "annual". The one "they" don't like to pay for...

Timing being everything, at least the bill won't come in 'til after Dottie's vacation! When I bought the manual for my truck last week the guys at the parts house made sure I left with a job app and though it's further than I'd like to drive, I won't be quite as worried about leaving at closing time as I would be in my own neighborhood.

We're still in the "rain cycle" here and since it's been dry for about 36 hours and the next batch is about 2 hours west of me, I'm heading out to mow...

May the week be kind to each of you!


Monday, July 06, 2009


of hide is coming along nicely, thank you all who were concerned. It was itching so badly yesterday that after Dottie re-wrapped it I took a couple of Benedryl, slept 6 hours, woke up and took 2 more along with a melatonin and slept 'til 9 this morning. Something like 18 of the last 24 hours...I needed to as I was pretty burnt out anyway!

I had some JP-5 burns (jet kerosene) back in my late teens as I was the smallest jet mech in my squadron and when we had a bunch of fuel cells leaking (coffin-sized rubber bladders under the deck of the helos I worked on) I ended up being assigned to change them as I did a couple that didn't leak afterwards (should have known better) and didn't mind the "buzz" that came from breathing the fumes for hours on end. They assigned a metalsmith to pull the deck, an electrician to pull the wiring and me to pull the lines, the pumps and the bladder itself. The Maintenance Chief also offered up a case of beer for each one we changed that didn't leak...the two guys assigned decided that they'd rather work than do their 15 minutes and sit and listen to me rattling around underneath the deck for a couple of hours, so we started pulling them 3 at a time.

The helos had been defueled, but that doesn't get all of it and the "sump" in the bottom of the bladder always had a bit in it. The first time I came out with a silver dollar sized spot on my dungarees the Chief told me to spray "Right Guard" on it as the aluminum chorhydrate would keep if from blistering and therefore peeling.

Had I only thought of that last week before I went to bed!

It was so hot last week (heat index in the 110's) that when I felt my ankle start to burn, I knew I was 2 hours from done for the night and just ignored it. I should have gone and washed my leg off, but in that heat I wasn't thinking clearly...that was the culmination of too many days in a row in that kind of heat and I really wonder if one's brain doesn't start to cook after a while!

Instead my 2 hours turned to 3; I finished and showered, figuring out it was blistered, but the burn stopped. I went to bed while my nephew and wife sat up watching movies, got up and dressed the next morning without thinking about it and two hours later felt the burn even worse as the top of my sock had taken all the hide off the blister, the skin under it now raw and being ground up by the elastic and the sock rubbing away each time I moved.

I still managed to mow and get things ready for the family 4th celebrations; yesterday was the first day I've managed to avoid socks since this began and plan another for today.

I hope all is well with each of you and none of you are ever so foolish as to not go wash something off when you feel it start to sting!

May the week be kind!


Friday, July 03, 2009

DEET and me...

Things continue at their usual pace here, even if I'm only at half warp...

I had mentioned elsewhere I had a bad reaction to some bug spray last Saturday while working on my nephew's car; the fuzzy photo is from 5 days later...

Since then even more hide has come off and the bandages grow bigger. I finally got my wife to relent yesterday and let me use Neosporin on it instead of zinc oxide (her favorite) and am hoping it heals a bit faster now.

The Galaxie went home on Sunday afternoon, running pretty well. Think it needs a set of plugs and I still have an oil leak to hunt down once it's been degreased. Sorry I didn't get any pictures of it; the heat index was over 100 and I was lucky to be thinking at all...

Off now to help John cut up some brush and haul it before the 4th; I just wanted to apologize for my absence and wish each of you who gets to celebrate tomorrow a very Happy 4th of July!