Monday, December 29, 2003
Friday, December 26, 2003
Woke up this morning with a start!
Overslept, I had.
Panicing I am, yup, yup.
To town, lickety split.
Dropped off the anchor,
to toil amid the bone fields.
While I a langorous breakfast took,
surveying news with coffee and cream.
Thence to the druggist with script in hand,
seeking this and that for ills and chills
and rushing pell-mell to the grocery,
to see what's doing there,
paying fat cat canadian power brokers
for the energy that brings this
stinking poem home to you.
2. What was your biggest disappointment?
The day the ATM ate my card...
3. What do you hope the new year brings?
Fewer bills, more checks.
4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?
Nope... from past experience I know it is futile.
5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?
A quiet evening at home with my wife..... if she has to work the next day. Else she'll be off to an orgy and I'll be entertaining my mistress at a fancy hotel in Montreal... NOT!
The bells, the bells... that is, the Salvation Army solicitors have packed up their buckets and bells for another year. All stores were closed here save convenience stores under 1500 s.f. (part of Maine's "Blue Laws") so traffic into town on Christmas Day was nil. Not so in the evening - seemed like everyone just HAD to go to the movies, or Grandma's, or out to eat. For a major State and National holiday, as well as a seemingly major event in the lives of those who participate in the dominant religion hereabouts, there sure was a bargeload of traffic for a non-work day.
On the road this morning I came swooping along in the snow flurries and flew over a hill and into a valley and Whoopsadaisy!!!! there was no traction left as I slid across the culvert and up the other side. As fast as you can say "Bob's your Uncle," little one, I was back onto wet pavement and fishtailing along as the traction had returned with a vengance. Once we'd managed to remove the seat covers from our bottoms and slowed for the stop sign onto the main road, it was "No hassles, mon," all the way into Bangor. This little bit of snow flurry has covered all of the ugliness exposed by the inch of rain and snow-eating fog of gargantuan proportions which consumed us on Christmas Day. The cellar has about 4 inches of water (nature abhors a vacuum, don'tcha know, and what else is a cellar but a stormwater collection basin to Mother Nature?) so the feral kitties (aka "The Dirty Dozen") are all huddled on the porch for warmth in a vain attempt at staying dry. Willow-the-Wonder-Dog daintily minces through the mud in the dooryard to the old snowbanks left by plowing to make her deposit on the "Universal Excrement Exchange Formerly Known As A Lawn."
That's life down here on the funny farm. Hope Santa fulfilled your wishes whilst he emptied your pocketbook. And may all your spirits be on ice!
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
If you are feeling extra specially charitable, the Derosset Family lost their home and pets to fire last weekend. Visit the web site and make a donation, eh?
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Friday, December 12, 2003
1. Do you enjoy the cold weather and snow for the holidays? While it often seems like it wouldn't be Christmas without snow and frost bitten nose, toes and fingers, the fact is, I could really do without the winter weather.
2. What is your ideal holiday celebration? How, where, with whom would you celebrate to make things perfect? My ideal holiday celebration would involve swim suits, scuba tanks, Jamaican Rum and hot women. I'll settle for ersatz eggnog at home with my wife as we toast our toes on the kerosene stove.
3. Do you do have any holiday traditions? Nope, other than only 1 in 5 years sees us with the desire to put up a tree. All of our children and grandchildren live so far away that we rarely bother decorating.
4. Do you do anything to help the needy? What do you mean? I AM needy.
5. What one gift would you like for yourself? World Peace. No, really. Just once in my lifetime I'd like to go to sleep without war or the specter of impending nuclear doom hovering over our heads.
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oy, Oy, Oy! Christmas in Oz is often a joy. Take the the Aussie version of "Jingle Bells" fer instance:
Dashing through the bush,
in a rusty Holden Ute,
Kicking up the dust,
esky in the boot,
Kelpie by my side,
singing Christmas songs,
It's Summer time and I am in
my singlet, shorts and thongs
Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia
on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.
Mayhap you wonder what brought this on? It was -5º F. this morning when I got up. Wife complained the seat was solid when she went out to start the car as both of us (me and the car) are slow starters in the morning. Driving her to work I remarked on our "SpongeBob square tires" as we thumped up the hill leaving out of the driveway on tires with Aramid belts which have taken the profile of the ground they rested upon overnight in the cold. On mornings like this, I check out the weather reports of warmer climes, like Western Australia to ease the ache in my bones.
Thanks and a tip of le chapeau to "Lockergnome Windows Fanatics" newsletter which referenced the "Christmas in Australia" site this morning.
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
"Joe, don't worry about it. You aren't the first doctor to sleep with one of their patients and you won't be the last. And you're single.Let it go. "
But invariably the other voice would bring him back to reality:
"Joe, you're a Vet."
Monday, December 08, 2003
Sunday, December 07, 2003
we all got together at the usual place,
like we usually do.
we tried something different.....
Peanut Butter Bagels and goldfish stew!
From a folk song I heard in 1968 - unsure of the author.
SWMBO* and I spent Saturday night at the local Emergency Room. This is not how I recommend spending that oh so precious night of the weekend. This was the culmination of hours of nagging by the aforementioned significant other as well as my brother and various stepchildren and inlaws/outlaws and the doctor covering for my physician.
By now you may have a suspicion I didn't want to go. You'd be right on the money, Sherlock.
Actually, the problem started on Friday evening. It had been a long day and I was tired by early evening. Upon sitting down to supper I discovered I was having some difficulty with swallowing. My lips didn't want to cooperate on the right side of my face. I figured it was just muscle strain as it felt sort of like I couldn't open my mouth all the way -- like when your jaw is having a cramp, y'know? So, being a guy, I just ignored it and proceeded to stuff my face as best I could, trying hard to minimize the slurping from uncooperative lips.
So I ignored the problem and come Saturday morning I can't get my eye to work as it should on the right side. But there's a blizzard coming and the snowplow has to be fired up and readied to do battle with that nasty white stuff. No mean feat as it hasn't moved from where it was parked after losing its last battle with the tag team of Jack Frost and Mother Nature. Gas needs to be got. Wipers must be found. Battery needs charging. Then comes climbing up into the cavernous engine compartment (it's a 1978 3/4 ton 4X4, 350 c.i. with a 4 barrel Holley) and priming the carburetor as there's a hole in the suction line from the tank to the fuel pump that will necessitate complete removal of the tank to repair - one of those "roundtuit" jobs for another day.
Keep in mind it's 11 degrees and the breeze is blowing. So the fact my eye is drying out doesn't bother me - it's windy, after all. And the stiff neck and pain behind the ear - that's OK, too - must have strained it. Except it turns out that wifey has noted the bloodshot eye and the slack jaw and has been on the phone all morning rousing the (ire of) troops. Coffee break time brings an irate stepdaughter who accuses me of not thinking of her wellbeing - seems that if I croak then she'd have to take care of her mother and she wouldn't want THAT in a million years.
Huh? Where in hell did that come from?
Well, trust me to procrastinate some more until the other half is near frantic enough to pull out all the stops. First, she has my brother threaten me. Then the doctor. So finally, I relent. With 2 inches of snow on the ground and more promised, off to the ER we go, slipping and sliding along merrily. More waiting in the waiting room. At Reception. In the cubicle.
Nurse Jim interrogates me and then opines, "Looks like Bell's Palsey to me." I've been at this job for over a week and that's what I think the Doc will say. Get undressed put this "johnnie" on and wait for him on the bed."
More waiting, this time with my back exposed to the wall. In bounces Tigger, er, Dahwayne, the P.A. "Nurse Jim tells me you are competing for Bell's palsy Poster Boy."
Oh joy. A jokester. "Grrr -- hold still so I can beat you," thinks I. But no, Dahwayne stands there with his full arm and shoulder Eagle tattoo flexing, up and down, as he literally squirms in his scrubs, picture of 30 y.o. health and vitality, intoning how he has been on the job for more than a week (ER catchphrase of the day?) and that there was nothing to be done except keep the eye moist when sleeping with saline eyedrops and a patch taped over the eye. "Things'll resolve themselves in a couple three months or more and that recurrences, er, recur."
Nurse Jim returns, shows me "how to patch up" and tells me to get dressed and "get outta here." No one has examined me. Why the phreak did I have to get undressed in the first place? Oh well. On with the clothes and out the door. White knuckle it home on greasy roads in low visibility. But wife is relieved. I suppose that's worth the aggravation and expense. It's only Bell's palsy, not a stroke or TIA.
Frank Ruiz, 57 of Tampa, Florida and AOL Hometown's Journal On Whining Well was found dead in his apartment on Saturday. He is survived by his two children and a plethora of friends and acquaintances.
Frank was a writer by profession, obsession and trade. He came up in the ranks of the newspaper business. Like all writers, he was working on a novel. Frank was a complicated man and didn't always know right from wrong. People he loved, people who loved him along the way often were badly hurt by his emotional carelessness. Frank was an alcoholic. He came to an understanding of his disease only recently and in some ways he was still in denial.
Above all else, Frank was a mensch -- a human's human. He will be missed.
They say the winds will begin in earnest any second now. It seems the solid 25 mph, gusting to 35 mph was merely a prelude to what daylight will bring in just an hour or two - steady winds in the 40-plus range with higher gusts. Oh joy. Most things are cancelled. Town plow has blocked the end of the driveway, burying the nose of the car so only the flourescent green alien atop the antenna is visible.
Remind me why I still live in Maine.....