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Thursday, November 27, 2008
My parents have, I think 4 TV's in this little house and they are all locked onto Fox News. I don't normally watch TV and I definitely don't like watching the news. Of course, after seeing how well received Durango's TV blogs are, I've about decided I'm in the wrong line of randomness.
So, anyway, when I woke up this morning, the media was all over this thing that happened in India where these cowardly boys came on shore and took over several hotels to kill innocent people.
This kind of stuff irritates me so much I lose any sense of rational thought that I pretend to have. The only reason I can think of that they do things like this is for media attention and we are proud to provide it. And lots of it! It doesn't accomplish anything else.
I think, they should quit calling these guys Jihadists or Terrorists or whatever the name of the day is. I try to run a rated PG blog, but in my opinion they should start calling them CDAMFWHSTMTFD. It's kind of hard to pronounce. It stands for Cowardly Dumb-Ass Mother F'ers Who Have Spent Too Much Time F'ing Donkeys.
I mean these guys go into these hotels and try to take out all British and Americans? Do they have something against speaking English? I assume they had to speak English to get their point across because you don't meet too many American's that can speak CDAMFWHSTMTFDish.
I'd almost be willing to watch the news if I could find a channel that would never use the term Terrorists. Even if they could just swap it out with "Stupid asses" or "Monkey boys". Let's see how that works. From here:
Mumbai, Nov 27: Even as the Army and NSG commandos gained an upper hand at the Taj, fresh firing broke out between the security forces and monkey boys at Nariman house and two blasts were heard from inside.
One injured monkey boy is still holding out at the Taj, with almost all guests having been rescued.
The remaining monkey boy is reported to be injured and is trading fire with the security forces trying to bring him down.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Today, I was listening to the radio as I often do on my way to work when they asked that extra special trivia question that you hear once or twice a year. "Who was the first President to be born in the USA?"
The answer of course is Martin Van Buren. He was born December 5, 1782 in Kinderhook New York. Interestingly, the President after him was not born in the USA.
This of course, got the DJ's talking ignorantly about the constitution and about how it says in there that all Presidents must be born in the USA so how was it possible that up until Van Buren, they weren't and the one after Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, also was not. So, they ignorantly conjectured that these guys had been born in Europe somewhere and had come to the USA prior to the creation of the USA.
All the Presidents of the USA were born in the USA or in a territory that would eventually become part of the USA. William Henry Harrison was born February 9, 1773 in Charles City County, Colony of Virginia. George Washington was born February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, Colony of Virginia, British America.
Anyway, I don't know why this is interesting to me. I think I would have been a lot better at history if they would have personolized it rather than made it all about dates and number. I like people. I like knowing when they were born and where they lived. I've been reading lots of historical fiction lately. It gives history a personality. I did a blog a while back about birthdays and Presidents.
I also got hit a few times with a civics quiz I was asked to take. I finally broke down and took it. Is civics based on history or math or common sense? Some of the questions were obviously historical. Others seem rather mathematical or logical. The historical ones I surprisingly got mostly right. The mathematical and logical ones I missed. I assume the correct answers were based on history rather than logic. I scored a 77 . I'm not telling anyone else. I'd be the lowest scoring Libertarian. Very embarassing.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday morning I was sick. I didn't drink that much, but I somehow convinced myself that I over-indulged. By 9:00 AM, I had decided that my Monday night beer had just coincidentally coincided with the onset of a 24 hour virus. By 3 PM I was sure of it.
Tuesday night, I woke up twice during the middle of the night for a bathroom break. I never do this. The second time I woke up, I was alarmed. Perhaps I had poisoned myself on Monday night and it was a slow acting poison that would eventually kill me.
Wednesday at 6 AM, my back hurt so bad I could no longer sleep. There was nothing I could do to ease the pain. I sat in a hot tub. I stretched. I massaged. You name it, I tried it. I even took some Ibuprofen.
At 7 AM, I called the local hospital to see if they could send someone by to pick me up as I needed to go to the hospital, but I was unable to drive. They told me to call 911. "It's not an emergency", I complained. "I just need to go to the hospital, but I can't drive."
"Sorry," she said, "We don't have a pick-up service."
At 7:15 AM, I called 911. The 911 operator was very kind. I asked him if they could keep it discreet because I didn't want all of my neighbors asking me questions.
By 7:20, there was a firetruck and an ambulance in front of my house with sirens blaring and full light show in progress. I must admit it was fast. I don't know why they felt they needed to come with everything they had.
I convinced the ambulance folks that I wasn't dying. I just needed to go to the hospital and I couldn't drive. So, they hooked me up with an IV and asked me which hospital I wanted to go to. I had 2 choices. I chose the Baylor Hospital in Grapevine. It was a very good choice.
By 7:45 I was in the emergency room at the Baylor Hospital. Everyone there was very friendly. They even called me back today (Thursday) to see if I was doing okay.
I'm on Vicodin which is probably why I'm rambling. I have a 4mm kidney stone which doesn't sound like much, but I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. The feeling a 4mm stone makes while it meanders through your urinary tract is not at all pleasant.
Monday, November 17, 2008
In a country as rich as ours, no one should have to suffer. A person who has a heart attack shouldn't have the stress of paying for it after it's over (depending on the circumstances). A person who does crack until their heart explodes probably shouldn't be getting handouts, but how do you prove that. We're innocent until proven guilty.
If your plan is that everyone should have health care and you implement that plan with Medicare (insurance), then you are already in the wrong playing field.
The first thing you do is eliminate malpractice insurance. This is the insurance all doctors get to cover their asses in case they get sued. If a doctor is sued for malpractice then the fine should be appropriate. After that, it should be tried as a criminal case. If the doctor is proven to be practicing medicine and is incompetent, then they should be made to quit practicing medicine and perhaps serve some hard time. They shouldn't have insurance so that they can keep blundering along. As a patient, I could choose to go to a doctor's office where they had a million dollar pay out policy. "If we mess up your diagnosis we'll give you $500!". "If we cut off the wrong appendage, we'll give you $1,000,000!". Why would you go anywhere else?
If you are diagnosed with an illness that is terminal. And by terminal, I mean, it'll kill you if it's not treated. Then, your treatment should be free. Perhaps, your treatment can come out of your own social security. You've been paying for your "retirement benefits" since you started digging ditches at the age of 16. Now, you've been told, you probably won't live past the age of 70 and you'll have to take shots of insulin every day. Well, let them dip into their social security benefits to cover the necessary drugs to let them live. They won't get to retire anyway.
Our current health insurance system is like paying an extra $600 per month for your car so you can get the oil and brakes changed for free. If you have a cold and you think your doctor can help you recover quicker, is it too much to expect to pay $100 at the office? It probably wouldn't be that much after you do away with malpractice insurance, health insurance and medicare. The doctor's offices have to cover their costs as well.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Benjamin Franklin once said, “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security”.
But, Gar says, “How much privacy would you give up for more freedom?” .
Currently, certain drugs, commonly known as, “fun drugs” are illegal.
Would it be worth it, to you, to be able to smoke pot freely if the government implanted a tracking device in the fatty tissue of your buttocks?
What if the government agreed to get out of the marriage business in exchange for you accepting this tracking device?
What if the government agreed to cut your taxes by 50% in exchange for this tracking device?
What if the government agreed that it could cut its expenditures by 75% in exchange for every American having this device?
I don’t give a rat’s ass about privacy. The government can watch me spank my monkey all day long for all I care. Who needs privacy?
However, personal freedom is very important to me. It irritates me that I only live once and there are certain things that the government tells me I can’t do.
Friday, November 14, 2008
The excursions start at about $50 and go up from there. They have horse back riding, Segway riding, playing with dolphins, submarines, etc. I didn't purchase any excursions so I can't give you more details. I know some of them were rather extravagant and sounded interesting albeit a bit overpriced. I think it was cheaper if you didn't prepay at the ship and paid the hosts directly. I know the Submarine excursion was $91 per person at the shop and $99 per person on board the ship.
Anyway, enough about excursions. We just decided to go navigate the well oiled tourist trap that was Cozumel. I don't think I ever saw Cozumel. By the time I walked a mile towards the city I had been accosted so many times by cab drivers, people trying to sell me scooters, people trying to rent me cars, people trying to sell me shirts, people trying to sell me hats, and people trying to sell me hotel tours that I had had enough. In hindsight, I probably should have rented a cab into downtown Cozumel. However, other people on board with us said that downtown was more of a tourist trap than the area where we were at. It almost embarrasses you to be from the USA.
We went back to the beach and found a bar serving Mexican food and snacked and drank and watched other people from the boat do line dancing. I'm all about watching people. I love talking to new people. When I am lucky enough to find an inteligent person, it's doubly good. At the bar I found that one of the waiters (I should mention that anyone that can speak two or more languages gets kudos in my book) was into different beers. I got him to recommend me some Mexican beers. He brought me some that were rather tasty. Some I had had before. Dos Equis Amber, Negra Modelo are beers I have had many times. He brought me one called Victoria which was quite good but that I had never had.
You have to be back on the ship or it leaves without you. They give a few calls on the intercom to see if anyone knows where you are, but I think you only get 15 minutes or so. I'm not sure. I bet there is a booming comuter airline business that can shoot you over to Progresso so you can meet your ship the next day. The ship leaves Cozumel at 6 or so and the next morning you are at Progresso.
I liked Progresso a lot better which is proof positive that you should never ask people you work with about ports of fun. Everyone here at work said that Cozumel was a lot better and they wished (for the most part) that they had stayed on board during the Progresso phase.The reason I liked Progresso is because it was less of a tourist trap. It still was, but it wasn't as "Americanized". People were more genuine. They still tried to sell you everything they had, but you could tell they were people and not tourist traps. I had fun talking to some of them. A lady kept trying to braid and bead my wife's hair which my wife adamantly refused, but I turned the tables and asked the lady why she was only asking the women. At the end, I paid her $6 to braid and bead my hair. Only one strand. She said she would do all of my hair for $20 but I wasn't feeling that adventurous.
In Progresso, the bars had an "all you can drink" special for $35. I assume this was all you can drink before the ship leaves. I didn't participate in that although it was tempting. I got one of the waiters at the beach bar in Progresso to share with me some very good tequila. That was before I got the hair beaded.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Today, I got my semi-regular newsletter from Boneypony.
It seems they are joining many other musicians on a cruise from 2/28 to 3/7. If there is any way I can get on this ship I will. I don't know all of the musicians, but I know enough of them.
I've got some John Hiatt stuff and he'll be there. I've got lots and lots of Shawn Mullin's stuff and he'll be there. I have all of Bonepony's stuff and they'll be there. I've got some Patty Griffin stuff and she'll be there. It would be like the best concert in the world on a cruise ship.
Of course, somehow I am finding out about it late. They started doing a layaway type thing back before August and final payments are due in December. Prices start at around $800 per person. I wonder if my wife would let me go by myself.
The cruise is put on by something called Cayamo. I haven't read yet whether it's an annual thing or what. Maybe I could start saving up and go on the 2010 cruise. I wonder if they'd have the same artists. If you decide to go and have lots of money to invite a partying friend, send me a note!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
I know, I know. I said no more politics. But, a friend of mine from Germany sent me this email today and for some reason I liked what he had to say. So, I'm going to have to just paste his email here (corrected for grammatical errors). His English is better than my German, but I correct a little anyway. Also add some links for references to previous articles. And some self-gratifying comments of course.
To make it clear, I am one of these 78%, but i didn't hate Bush or the Republicans. I think, bringing back a hope to the American people, is worth more than every other political success like a friendly Iraq (which will not happen within the next 50 years). All power is from the people and not from the government or military or money (money is just an advantage for 1% of the people). The strength is a united folk and having trust in this. That's the message from Obama, I think. That's the reason I would have voted for him. Hope makes people think about new goals and not hide behind expired success-stories. Which is my own, my European, view of USA.
Hope is a necessary step, but Obama needs to remember the Americans that hope for a "change" doesn't reach any goals . The tools to reach his goals will hurt (the remaining 99% of the people with less money) and will take time. I hope for you guys you will give him the time.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
This worked out fine for a long time. When I was 31 I went to a psychiatrist and she demanded that during my work week I ask stupid questions. Even if I knew the answer, I was supposed to ask the question. I think she was trying to prove to me that people aren't as judgmental as I thought they were. I don't know exactly, but it worked.
However, I turned it into a game. I'd try to get strange answers. Sometimes, you ask some completely stupid sounding, off the wall questions and you get funny answers. I encourage you all to try it sometime.
Today, I was having lunch at my favorite Vietnamese food restaurant in this area and they were preparing for Christmas. They already had their Christmas tree out and lit and everything. Behind the counter there was a green looking Buddha toting a bag on a stick sort of thing slung over his shoulder.
So, I went up to the girl behind the counter and said, "So, what is he supposed to be? Like a Buddha Clause or something?"
She said, "No, that's just Buddha."
I said, "But he's got the gift bag. Is he bringing gifts? Does Buddha do the whole gift thing?"
She said, "Buddha brings everything."
This is my life lesson for all of you today. Even when things seem to be at their worst remember that "Buddha brings everything". It's great!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
My wife and I stayed until about 9:30. There were several Libertarian candidates that had over 5% of the vote. I saw some that had as much as 18%. That doesn't sound like much, and I can in no way profess to know much about politics in Texas, but I think that keeps up on the ballot in 2010.
I should make a side note here that I plan to make this my last political post.
Then, as I was leaving, I saw why the Libertarian party (in its current incarnation) will never be electable. There was one of the candidates standing at the bar, talking very loudly to the bartender about politics. He was charged up and she was egging him on. He was so passionate about it that it reminded me why I laugh at religious zealots as I slam the door. As far as I know she was bored and started talking to this handsome guy at the bar and now she thinks that Libertarians are akin to those religions that go door to door trying to push their idea of heaven down your throat. Or maybe an Amway salesman that won't leave you alone. I tried briefly to set things right, but he wouldn't let me talk. He was so loud and overpowering that it was ridiculous. I didn't even like him and he was spouting stuff that I mostly agreed with. Maybe he drank too much. I don't know, but that kind of crap doesn't work. And, as I gave up and walked away, I realized that this is the way Libertarians are perceived. I started going back through various discussions with my friends and I realize that they all told me the same thing. Libertarians are too extreme. They are anarchists. They are insane. This guy at the bar was propagating this image very well.
After his speech, the phone rang. My grandparents-in-law in Germany were listening too. It's kind of interesting because they don't speak English so they were getting the translated monotone version of the speech, but my grandmother was in tears. I think Germany loves Barack more than we (Americans) do. Someone was telling me that 78% of Germans would have voted for Barack. I know when I was was there back in 2003 every German I met couldn't wait to explain to me how much they hated Bush.
In closing, I hope and pray that Barack will be a good President. If he accomplishes half of the things that he sets out to do, I will call it a success (well, depending on which half). But, people have such high hopes for him and the higher they are, the harder they fall. He seems like a smart man. I've never gotten to personally meet any President. I hate that I have to rely on the media to acquaint me with them. I'd like to be able to meet the President for dinner and drinks and get to know who they really are. I'd rather have drinks with Clinton than Bush though. Although I suspect George would come off more personable than he is portrayed by the media.