In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Meanwhile, Down at the County Clerk's Office

"Can I help you?"

"Yes. We're here for a marriage license."

"Have you been together for long?"

" I guess you can say that."

"You're a fine looking couple."

"Now hold on a minute. We're not gay."

"I don't understand."

"I owe him thousands, and the only way I can pay him back is to marry him, give him half my 401K
and hope he still doesn't want to break my leg with a baseball bat."

"That's more than unusual, and it might not be legal."

"Not so. The Supreme Court ruled I can marry him, and he can have all the benefits of our marriage, if we divorce."

"That's not the way it works. The law only requires you to give half of your 401K for the period of time you were married."

"Maybe so, unless I agree to a settlement that gives him half."

"Still, there might be some problems."

"I doubt it. If I pay the attorney, and the paperwork is filed correctly, I can remove a huge burden hanging over my head, when we divorce."

"You may be right. Fill out the forms, and you'll have a fee to pay for the marriage."

"Sound good. I can get this done, and be down at Bill's for happy hour."


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Living in the Oligarchy


: a country, business, etc., that is controlled by a small group of people

: the people that control a country, business, etc.

: government or control by a small group of people

I can't think of a better description of the United States at this time. The President ignores the laws, Congress ignores the will of the people, and the Supreme Court rubber stamps whatever fits the agenda of tyranny. We were once a Constitutional Republic.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Meanwhile, At the Supreme Court

No matter your opinion on the two decisions that affected the entire nation, both created a divide, which isn't split down the middle. Ultimately, the resentment, removal of liberty, deception, attempts to force beliefs, and the attack on the Constitution will end in a swing of the pendulum in the other direction.

At this point, minority opinion is shaping laws. The majority opinion of the rest is now reinforced with resentment and bitter anger. They will not acquiesce, and those cheering will find their exposure will not be such a good thing in the future.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Me and Columbo

The following is fiction.

My wife loved her flower garden. That, the birds, and my nemeses: the squirrels. While the birds fascinated me, the squirrels dug in her planters, chewed on things that didn't require their chewing, and I was repairing a bird feeder at least once each year.

We'd sit on the covered patio, when the weather permitted, or in the den, when the weather didn't, and watch, while we drank coffee. The seed feeders were in view, so as the birds accumulated, we could watch as they initially came alone, or later, when they'd feed the hungry fledglings; insisting on being fed, with open mouths and complaining squawks.

After her passing, I tried to keep her flowers, but they reminded me too much of her and the scars that tugged and ached. I realized the sorrow was constant, when I worked the bed, so I tilled it and placed sod.

I left the bird feeders. The birds were like pets; and I relished their antics as they came for their seed. I'd anticipate the migrations, when a grosbeak would pass through to stop for a meal, or I'd glimpse a few indigo buntings on their way to their winter habitat.

I didn't like the squirrels, so I'd sit on the back patio, with a slingshot and scare them away. I'd thought of a pellet rifle, but didn't want to kill anything I didn't plan on eating. The slingshot worked, as long as I was on the porch. When I glimpsed through the window, they'd forage with impunity.

One small squirrel attracted my attention one summer. Young, and without predators, he'd only move away, or hide behind a tree, when I'd send a shot his way. Determined to change his ways, I bought marbles for projectiles. I figured I could change his attitude; especially if I managed to hit my intended target.

One morning, as it remained, after the other squirrels scampered away, I loaded my slingshot, carefully aimed, and sent a marble its way. It immediately fell over and was still.

I had one of those moments, when you say to yourself: "Now, what do I do?" Rising, I went to examine the squirrel. If it wasn't dead, I'd finish it off.

It was laying on its side; blood seeping from around its eye and slowly breathing. I raised my foot to stomp its head, when something told me to stop. Instead of ending its life, I squatted, nudged it with a stick laying by, and examined the squirrel that raised my ire.

After watching for a few minutes, I went to retrieve a box, placed an old towel for a bed, and placed the squirrel in the box. Returning to the patio, I left it on a corner, so it could escape, when it came around.

At dusk, I peeked into the box. The squirrel was still unconscious. No knowing what to do, I soaked some bread in milk, placed a jar lid full of water, and left it for the night in the box, which I moved to an inner corner of the porch. It looked like rain, and I didn't want the squirrel to get wet from the cold autumn rain.

When morning arrived, I made my coffee, looked at the box, and decided I'd probably have to bury the squirrel. Finishing my first cup, I eased onto the patio and glimpsed into the box.

The squirrel was awake; sitting quietly, and looked up as a I peered over the edge. I expected it to panic, but it only gazed at me.

I could tell it's eye was a mess. Now swollen shut, it seeped blood, which stained the fur. Some bread remained on it's mouth, and the lid of water was half empty.

Carefully reaching into the box, I retrieved the jar lid. The squirrel didn't move, so without thinking, I reached over and gently pet it on the shoulder. It moved, which caused me to jerk my hand away, but it didn't panic as I assumed it would.

Felling brave, I reached in again, pet it on the back. It moved, but not away. I spent a few moments gently running my finger on its back. It seemed to comfort it, but not willing to push my luck, I decided to go for some more bread and water.

For the next few days, I tended to my squirrel. I'd give it bread and water, or some pecans I'd bought. It would use the paper towel I'd placed in the corner, so I'd change it twice each day.

The eye remained shut, so I assumed the marble ruined the eye and caused a head injury. The latter became apparent when I turned the box on the side after a week.

The squirrel ventured from the box, but its unsteady gait, wobbling body, and disorientation confirmed the damage was great. It didn't venture far, and after a few minutes away from the box, it would return to its sanctuary.

I decided to call it "Columbo". A cursory glance after I hit it with the marble revealed it was a male, so Columbo was appropriate.

Columbo had no fear of me. I found it surprising, but figured it was a reaction to the only caretaker it had. He'd let me scratch his back, never made any effort to bite, and greedily ate the food I placed, or he ate from my fingers.

Columbo never regained his balance. Efforts to run resulted in a flopping gait, or caused him to fall to his side. He could only creep, or slowly climb. He'd climb into one of the chairs on the patio, and nap during the morning, when the sun would warm the porch from the cold of the night.

Before the first real cold snap of winter, I wondered if Columbo could survive without the protection of a nest, or a family of squirrels to cuddle with. Not knowing what else to do, I pulled his box into the den, left the door cracked, so he could leave if he wanted, and waited for his reaction.

It didn't seem to faze him. He climbed from his box, surveyed his immediate surroundings, and soon returned to his box. I gave him fresh water, a clean paper towel, and some pecans before I retreated to my chair by the television. Warm, and tired, I soon fell asleep to the sound of an old Western.

I awoke to the sound of a gunfight, running horses, and the voices of cowboys in the thick of battle. A movement in my lap startled me. Looking down, I found Columbo curled up, sound asleep, and content. Not wanting to disturb his sleep, I pet his back for a few moments, and soon returned to sleep. When I awoke in the morning, he was by the plate glass door; watching the cold wind stir the leaves in the yard. I retrieved the block of oak I gave him for gnawing, and we settled in for the winter.

I eventually brought Columbo to the vet. Nothing was wrong, but I felt it was the right thing to do.

The vet was a young woman, new to practice, and curious about Columbo. After I told her our story, she gave me a funny look, smiled and continued with her examination. She found nothing wrong, although she explained there wasn't much she knew about squirrels, and those that did, usually worked for a zoo. She gave me some phone numbers before I left, but I never called. She's told me to come back if something was wrong, gave me a hug, and we parted with her saying: "You're a sweet man. Most would have left him to die."

That was over a dozen years ago. He never became aggressive, although he'd fuss if I took his small bowl after he finished the ice cream I'd give him for a treat. He'd fall asleep in the dog bed I bought him, with the bowl close. I'd carefully remove the bowl while he slept, and usually find him curled in my lap in the morning. The recliner had now become my bed. Columbo feared the rest of the house, and would bark if he couldn't find me during the night.

Columbo's appetite fell off over the last few weeks. I took him to the vet, but she couldn't find anything wrong. She suggested more tests at a teaching university, but she said they would probably be traumatic for Columbo, so I decide to bring him home.

Three days ago, all Columbo would eat was a little of the ice cream I placed. He'd never finish, but I was glad he'd eat something. That changed yesterday. He wouldn't eat anything, or venture from his bed. I eventually picked him up and placed him in my lap as I sat in the recliner. He curled up, fell asleep and I soon followed. I woke a few hours later to find he passed. I sat with him for awhile; scratching the spot he liked me to scratch between his shoulder blades. I buried him under the white azalea; the flowers a brilliant white against the blue spring sky.

In the grand scheme of things, an old man, and a squirrel, don't mean very much...except to me. It's the small things that make the big things, and the attempts to rectify the wrongs with the rights should mean something. Whether my effort was right is to be seen. I like to think it was.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Carpal Tunnel Release 2

Again, I'm typing with one hand. I had the release surgery on my left hand this morning. So far, so good, but my entire hand is still without any feeling, due to the medication. I'll know the initial result tonight, when I hope I'm able to complete a night of sleep, without waking numerous times by pain and numbness. I'm looking forward to that; I've had enough.

Friday, June 12, 2015

What Do You Think They Have on Ryan?

I'm wondering what they have on Paul Ryan to make him refuse to allow the citizens of the U.S. to peruse the bill he wants all Congress to sign, without reading. Something illegal? Immoral? Maybe he was a sleeper, and they finally said the magic word that put him in action.

Whatever it is, he might as well call Jeffords and ask how it is on the dark side. That, and watch his back. I have the feeling his enemies now far outweigh his friends.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Are You Surprised?

News reports are full of articles about hacking of government files, incompetence of government employees, ridiculous wastes of taxpayer money, and the never ending diatribes of the underbelly of society, which we call politicians.

Are you surprised this is all we can expect of any type of government entity? I'm not. There's not a one that can justify half their expenditures, a quarter of their employees, and even those with more sense than a garden vegetable have no avenue for culling the herd of incompetent bureaucrats.

Is their a solution? History shows there is, and it's not pretty.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

An Observation While Driving Home

First, I don't want anyone to become offended by the following post. I didn't intend to insert a disclaimer, but after consideration, while driving home, I decided it's best, since I don't like offending people, unless they deserve such treatment, or need a reality check on their limited ability to logically examine information, remove any preconceived prejudices, and find they find credibility with my ramblings. 

So, here we go:

I was driving by a local EMS service location (that's what used to be an ambulance service, but "ambulance" doesn't have the same thrill of using an acronym.) and noticed five of the employees standing in a circle outside. Since I didn't have much time to determine what they were doing, I could only examine the individuasl and analyze their appearance.

All of the men had the same body shape, which is best described as the same height,  pear shaped, with narrow shoulders, fairly thin arms, and a hefty steel belted truck radial strapped under their shirt. A less discerning observation would yield an opinion of family members standing around a pit; waiting for the links to be done enough to eat on a bun.

My first thought was: "What would happen, if they were to help me in a dire medical emergency, and one had a heart attack, or a slipped disc.... or something?" The thought provoked possible solutions, such as one being strong enough to just throw me over their shoulder, and ignore the one having the heart attack. As my thoughts continued, I wondered about the protocol for such an event.

My mind wondered through possible solutions. Just throwing me over their shoulder was a possibility, since I only weigh about 150 pounds, and even I could manage that. That, and maybe there's a special dolly for handling the other end of the gurney, when one of the emergency technicians has a medical problem that prevents them from taking care of a patient.

My mind wandered further, and I tried to determine it it's possible for an EMT to drive, take care of two patients, and talk on the radio. I couldn't arrive at any logical solution, so I settled on this situation would require a call for backup, and a wait. That, to me, could result in terrible problems. Two people with life threatening injuries shouldn't have to wait beyond the "golden hour"; especially if the help arriving could have a heart attack, or a slipped disc.

I was left with a conundrum, which was disconcerting. What would happen?

I have no solution, except to not allow myself to be in that situation, or to be extremely inebriated if it does. I feel better now, and will enjoy the birds, as they make a strong effort to empty the bird feeder.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Life Skills

I was reading an article (no, I'm too lazy to link the article), which stated 10 life skills the author felt was necessary by the age of thirty. I won't delve into all of them, because some were good, but the one about learning to make at least one signature mixed drink didn't seem to fit something I feel is important.

The article didn't mention anything about learning to shoot, clean, and cook small game, such as rabbits and squirrels. It's probably not necessary in big cities, but if it ever hit the fan, such things might be necessary with flocks of pigeons, squirrels and other critters that wander city streets.

Fishing wasn't included. That, or learning to tie knots or replace a button.

I guess we all have priorities different than others. I'm thinking mine lead more toward survival. Then again, a signature mixed drink sure sounds good at the moment.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Some Leon Russell for Sunday

I'm Not Familiar With Some Things

I had a friend receive an email message that piqued my interest. Apparently, one of their friends had plans that were delayed, so they relayed that fact and added: "I'm bored."

I don't think I've ever been bored, Distracted? Yes, that and irritated, too busy, tired, hungry, curious, wanting to stay busy, and needing a nap. I won't add "horny", because that might offend some readers.

My first reaction was: "How would I answer that email?" My first thought was: "How about I come to your house and light your sofa on fire?" I know that would remove their boredom. In fact, I bet they'd be scrambling like a squirrel with fleaI s on its ass.

I could continue: "Have you cleaned your toilet? What about that dust ball under the kitchen table? How's your spice supply? Is it up to date? Do you need to add something to it? What about your closet? When was the last time you went through your clothes and hauled what you don't wear to the Salvation Army?

So, I don't get bored. If nothing else, I can write, or think about a few impossible things. My mind never stops, and I never have reached the point I can't find anything to occupy my time, which is more precious than all the gold in the world.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

While They Squirm...

...I just sit and watch.

For years, too much of the media protected the Democratic Party from the scrutiny they have for all other parties. It's probably mostly because the believers in a Progressive  government infiltrated journalism and even graduates with degrees in journalism are poorly trained to be critical thinkers. Even then, those that question the "authorities" on what should be reported are chastised, or become victims of character assassination.

I think the media is reaching the point where introspection is showing their credibility is almost gone. The media has sunk to the same level once only reserved for ambulance chasing attorneys and unethical used car sales people. Their only real purpose for public good is now considered a daily dose of propaganda and even their slanted polls reveal a dissatisfaction by the general public with what is reported.

Hillary Clinton is probably the best example of the failure of the media. She started her career by being embroiled in scandal while helping with the Watergate investigation. What actually happened is still disputed, but it was the start of many scandals. The media, if it was doing its job, would have revealed much more about Hillary and allowed the public to make its own opinion. Hiding key facts allowed her into important positions, and ultimately led to the deaths of U.S. citizens in Benghazi.

The newest information showing what are probably criminal "donations" to the Clinton Foundation may lead to their once "guaranteed" presidential candidate being prosecuted. It's already apparent Hillary is aware of this. Becoming President is her only hope of escaping any criminal activities, yet much of the media is ignoring her avoidance of any interaction with reporters, or the public, which is a bizarre way of running a presidential campaign.. An honest media would know this, hound her, and allow the public to scrutinize her actions over the last few years.

So, now the media has Hillary, and many other, "white elephants" to deal with. If they keep avoiding presenting key facts, they will continue to watch their ratings drop, lose revenue, and find public trust declining further. Exposing those they covered for years will lead to scrutiny they don't want either.  Accurate reporting that shows either incompetence, or culpability, also shows failure, and dishonesty.

I know many in the media are searching for dirt on opponents of their party choices. It's apparent with the report that Marco Rubio had some traffic tickets. Their desperation shows they're squirming and I'm personally enjoying their discomfort. May their discomfort reach the same level as multiple hemorrhoids, a hot summer day, no air conditioning, and an all day car trip across the desert.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

This I Find Irritating

A local construction project, involving Federal funds, a local city, and the Texas Department of Transportation finds the contractor in default. The payroll checks are bouncing, with knowledge by the company of the checks being written on a closed account; suppliers cut the contractor off months ago; the project is way behind schedule; and the stories coming out are of a contractor that not only refused to complete quality work, the principal administrators have a bizarre way of doing business.

I won't write the contractors name, but it's owned by a large Mexican company, and the news stories about the company indicate either terrible management, or criminal activities. Accounts have been seized by the feds in other states, and it's apparent those most affected by the lack of revenue are not the owners. Locals took the hit and so did the larger suppliers left with unpaid invoices.

I'm pissed. Not only for the crappy way of doing business, but for the attitudes of those even down to the superintendent level. It's obvious they don't care to run an ethical business, or follow the law. Hopefully, some jail time is in the future for some, but I don't have much faith in that happening. All they have to do is cross the border, and live on the money they slushed from public funds. They were paid for the work performed, neglected to pay suppliers, and the employees that took them for their word are now three weeks into being screwed out of their wages.

The bonding company will ultimately complete the project, if it's solvent, and not another group of crooks that figured out how to game the system. Time will tell.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Carpal Tunnel Release Update

It's been a little over two weeks since my surgery. The strength in my hand is determined by whether it hurts, or not, but the pain seems to lessen daily; and the hand is far from useless; like it was right after the surgery.

I don't wake at night due to pain in that arm, but I still wake from the pain in my left arm. Surgery for that had is scheduled in two weeks, which should give sufficient time to have almost full use of my right hand.

I still have numbness in the tips of the fingers most affected by the strangulation of the median nerve in my right hand. Whether the numbness leave is determined by the preceding damage. I won't know about that for up to a year. Still, it's a minor trade off for what was becoming a constant interruption of sleep.

As I've learned more about carpal tunnel release surgery, I've developed the attitude it's best to be aggressive with treatment as soon as the symptoms appear. There are many steps of treatment before surgery, but those steps might only prolong the inevitable surgery to stop  the damage, which can be due to genetics. Having thin wrists, and a job that increases the pressure, are things that can be beyond your control. You deal with the problem when it happens.

If I was asked on whether the surgery is a good idea, I'd answer in the affirmative. The only thing I'd caution on would be the surgeon. I asked around, looked up the surgeon, and made my final decision after a visit. As it turns out, my surgeon has been described as "the best" by locals, which is a good thing.