Monday, January 26, 2015

Round 1

First round of firing into my eye and they think they might be through. And you were so scared. 


While I await a laser in my eye, I just lost a game of Words With Friends. Yep, it's that kind of day. 

Live Blogging

I'm off to get my eye pierced right now

Drops in. Just waiting to get the laser blaster warmed up. 

I saw my ledger balance just before the drops went in. Apparently I have a pretty large co-pay which makes me even more complicit in this procedure. Just get in the car, right eye, don't ask any questions. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Gotta Go, A Big Bang Re-run Is Starting

It's possible I'm enjoying retirement. Enjoyment isn't something I've practiced a lot, so I'm not sure, but I see that I haven't written anything here, for a few days, and I really don't have anything much to say now (as if that's ever mattered). I think the genesis of most posts was something I heard on a podcast at work that most likely irritated me, or the work itself irritated me. I'm just saying that irritation was the mother of invention when to came to my inventive little missives here; such as they were/are. I know most of them aren't all that, sort of the literary equivalent of a swing and a missive. 
I know they say not to post online when you're going to be out of town, so I'm not saying exactly why Karen and I applied on Friday for TSA Pre✓ which allows travelers to avoid screening at airports. They told us that it could take up to three weeks for a decision, but that we could check our status online. Apparently we are so white bread that they gave us our authorization in just a few hours  over a holiday weekend. The only part of the interview that was a little troubling was when the man taking our information asked me my hair color. I said, "Brown," and he looked up and said, "Uh huh, I'm just going to check 'gray or graying'"

Next Monday, I go to have my other eye pierced. Until then, if this post has been too anodyne, here's a link to an infuriating article about why the best army in the world has been fighting continuously for almost 15 years and hasn't won a war since 1991.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

You Know What They Say About A Man With Thick Irises

Nothing. They don't say anything, and if they do, it's "Ouch."
Yesterday I went to have a hole drilled in my eye to relieve the pressure of narrow angle glaucoma. They said it would take maybe five not exactly painless shots with a laser to create a hole in my iris to allow fluid to drain from my eye. After the first five blasts, though, the doctor told me that my iris was so thick that it was going to take another round of five to get through, but that so much pigment had been stirred up that I would have to sit in the waiting room (or wait in the sitting room) for it to settle down.  While I sat waiting, I did my PT exercises. As I told the technician, "Don't flatter yourselves, it's not just my eyes that are failing."
In the end, it took a total of three sessions to get through. The doctor fired so many times at my eye that I thought she might be trying to win a stuffed animal. Next week I'm having the other eye done. I'm looking forward to being done with this, but hopefully, after having this done, I'll be able to keep looking at things.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Pho-n For (Almost) Everyone

I've been retired about three days now. I used to walk at least seven and a half miles every day I worked. It helped me stay in shape. Since then I have been involved in three marathons including NCIS and Blue Bloods.
Today we went to PHOnatic for lunch. You probably know that pho is a Vietnamese soup and it is pronounced fƏ, as in fun, not fō, as in foe. I ended up eating my enormous bowl, and most of Karen's. I was so  pho-ll. I ate hers because she remembered after we got there that she didn't like pho. While we were eating, she had time to remember all the things she didn't like about us, too. It was quite a list! And she was pho-rious.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Letter Carriers Are Interchangeable, But I Like To Think I Put The Fun In Fungible

I'm retiring in a little over a week (a little over because I just got mandated to work New Year's Eve which is my scheduled day off next week). That means I'm leaving "I can't do these chores because I worked all day" years old for "I didn't retire to do chores all day."

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Can You Tell Which One Is Not Like The Others?

My last day fast approaches. I was thinking last day of work, but I suppose the sentence is terrifyingly true as written. I am still working, and here are some more entries in the occasional series, A Day in the Life.
Click to Enlarge
When I took the first of these pictures, it did seem as if it could be my last day since the moose stopped eating, and then started walking directly at me. "Ah, the hunter has become the hunted," I thought coolly as I scurried away.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Leader of the Pack (Because I'm Late For Work And I Don't Have Time To Think Of A Better Title) Next Month: Better Titles

Leah read the draft of our Christmas letter last night. She said it was depressing. I said, "Duh, I'm going to finish it with Merry Christmas!"
The letter is mostly for people that don't follow this blog since everything in it has already been online. The depressing part of the letter is that unlike this blog, which is opt-in, the letter is opt-out and even that isn't true, since there is no mechanism to opt out of it.
If you want to see what you're possibly missing, click on the link here.
If you do, you should know that I am aware that "hopefully" has a controversy attached to it when it is used as a disjunct as I do in the letter However, no other word seems to work better, and hey, I'm a rebel. A rebel with a cause; hopefully.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

We're Off To See The Vizier, The Wonderful Vizier Of Oz

I'm not sure if I'm talking about hypocrisy here, and of course only the overconfident would say anything is ironic. But, isn't it at least odd that  some people that think it's fine to show graphic pictures of aborted babies at state fairs or PTA meetings  because stopping the horror is more important than cosseting the squeamish, but some of these same people are upset that the Senate's Torture Report was released, as if admitting torture is worse than torturing.
One argument against releasing the report is that if people knew what we'd done, it might incite violence against Americans. But you know who already knows about the torture? The terrorists that were tortured.  Also, the innocent people that were tortured and then released might have mentioned it to their friends and families as an explanation for why they were off to join the jihad.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Bard Of Dagobah

According to the eloquence book, odd word order is another bit of craft. So, brilliant Yoda is.
In trying my hand at it, I realized that tat for tit maybe a great way to pay for body art, but it's no way to run a government. Sparingly, think I, we should use this, because after a while, don't you just want to say, "Jeez, Yoda, you're 800 years old and one with the Force, when will you learn to form a simple sentence?"
Man proposes, God disposes, but it was Leah and I who went to the dump on Saturday afternoon. I had a long weekend and big plans for reorganizing the chaos in our office and bedrooms, or at least swapping the chaos from one room to another. But, a few weeks ago, I'd noticed a bag of bird seed in the garage had been gnawed through, which, along with seeing a mouse, made me think we had a mouse in the garage. I cleaned up the bird seed, and figured the mouse would find another place to live.
The mouse, as if. On Saturday, as I got ready to roll up my sleeves and start in on reversing entropy in the house, Leah screamed so loud in the garage, that I could hear it in the kitchen since she had called my iPhone first. There was a veritable mouse civilization living in our garage. A well fed, bourgouise, prosperous, tending towards obese, mouse city of city mice. Even the garage, which is detached, was like, "Dude, you've got to do something."
The mice were eating so much more than bird seed. They had chewed open a bag of organic mulchy stuff, and some caffeinated  sport beans left over from bike rides, and who knows what else. They'd spread it carefully all over every concealed corner. but they were not very careful about keeping their food corner separate from their restroom corner if you catch my drift.  Anyway, long story slightly shorter; we cleaned the garage, using copious amounts of Lysol and set some traps. Now we wait.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Hungry Are Not The Enemy, Hunger Is

or so the activists say on TV. But for me now, hunger isn't the enemy, it's barely even a memory. One of my readers told me not to say that the turkey was stuffed, and now I am. But, ha, ha, we had corned beef. We did that once many years ago. My sister came up from Seattle, and when she went back to work, she told them about the corned beef. Her co-worker said, "You Jews can't do anything right."
I have been off my diet for a few days. Saturday was my anniversary, well, Karen's too, and we went to a movie. Oddly, on a day that celebrates two becoming one, I got my own popcorn, because, as I explained to Karen, I don't like to share.
Today is Thanksgiving, and of course, we all have a lot to be grateful for. Fox News must be pleased that the day after a Republican report completely disproved all of the deranged accusations they'd been making about Benghazi, thirty thousand of Lois Lerner's emails were discovered. "Will there be any smoking guns?", the interviewer asked about the unread emails. "I'm sure there will be," the guest  who hadn't read them, said. Of course, when it comes to smoking guns, Fox has been positively ecstatic about Ferguson.
In other, better, news, The Earth Girls were featured in the Alaska Dispatch Holiday Gift Guide:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

If Only The House Republicans Had Some Way They Could Reform Our Immigration System

In church last week, the pastor read the story of the battle of Jericho. I know you shouldn't pick and choose among truths, but, probably because of my own personal history and pathology, I don't like stories about walls tumbling down.
At work, the word has gotten out that I'm planning to retire, possibly because every morning I tell them, "Ha, ha, just five more weeks till I leave you losers behind forever." I've never been more popular, although it's the kind of popularity that a dead raccoon by the side of the road has among crow connoisseurs. Like they say in church, "Where the body is, there the vultures will gather."
All the carriers are coming by to look at my route with a view to bidding on it. The underlying, unflattering subtext is, "If that old man can handle it, how hard can it be?" 
Political watch: It's been 517 days since the Senate passed bipartisan immigration reform and John Boehner said that the House would take up a bill of its own. They haven't, but now they're so insulted by the President's actions that they can't be expected to pass a bill about anything, not even a bill to implement their own ideas to reform immigration. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Scary Messages Are Coming From Inside The House

I heard an interview with an Idaho Republican Congressman today. Representative Labrador is willing to leave the country without an Attorney General, stop hearings on judicial appointments, even threaten another government shut down in response to the President's action on immigration. Apparently, the one thing House Republicans aren't willing to do, and haven't been willing to do for the last year and a half is take up the bipartisan immigration bill passed by the Senate in 2013.
I can't even...
but only because that's an example of aposiopesis from Chapter Seven in the eloquence book.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I Sing The Body Electric

I went back to the doctor a few days ago to find out what the MRI I'd had revealed.  The doctor asked, "If the pain starts in your neck, why didn't you have a cervical MRI?"  So, on Tuesday I went and had another MRI. It went okay, as far as I know; I fell asleep. Earlier that  day, though, I had an EMG. That's a procedure that involves a needle and electricity and is slightly painful. That part wasn't so bad, but it also involved a cattle prod-like device that caused a sort of twitching. It really felt like hiccups, but grand mal hiccups. Monday I go back to the doctor to find out what that was all about.
As you know, I try to give my customers a boutique experience. I try to anticipate their needs even before they do. So yesterday, I gave one of my customers her mail, and then before she even thought to ask, I also gave her my take on the elections. I told her that going forward, she should read my blog to know how to vote. She was gracious, but she said that she didn't read blogs. Apparently when it comes to gazing at navels, she'd rather gaze at her own. Well, okay Kristin, read it or be in it. She's a professor, a job I could never do. I mean I could talk, I just don't listen to myself that closely, I've usually already heard what I'm saying.  If a student came up after a lecture and said they didn't understand what I was saying about gremlins, I'd be I'm not sure either, was I talking about the car, or the imaginary creature?

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Bullys For Billionaires

I got an e-mail from the President today. He said I shouldn't be cynical because of the election results; that cynicism is easy, but doesn't lead anywhere. It is easy, though, especially when you hear John Boehner talking in that voice that sounds like an orange hot air balloon looks.
A hot air balloon that is gloating, "I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” Of course, that works sometimes. The Wizard had a pretty good run after his balloon took him to Oz, but ultimately, someone always pulls the curtain back, revealing, in this case, a big man with small ideas. 
Of course, there is a case to be made for optimism, too. Only Nixon could go to China. Maybe McConnell can go to the White House and find a way to work together with the President. Probably not, though. He's spent the last six years blocking any progress in the Senate, and even though it's contributed mightily to gridlock and made America despise the very government they elected,  it's made him Majority Leader. Plus, I could be all optimistic, but according to Clive Thompson writing in Wired, cynicism online makes people look smart. I don't want to brag, but knowing that Don Young is our congressman, makes me feel simultaneously depressed and like a genius

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

I'm Not Saying The Republicans Are Like Slaveowners. I'm Saying The Electorate Is Like Antebellum "Poor Whites"

White and off white, rich and poor, ignorant and educated, that patchwork that is America (or the third of it that voted) came together like the generation that made the world safe for democracy and made democracy safe for billionaires. The last time there were this many Republicans in the House of Representatives was during the Great Depression. Coincidence? I doubt it.
There is nothing new. Mark Twain* said (and it really was Mark Twain, not just me saying Mark Twain because he probably said it since he said so many things) that people tend to vote against their own best interests. In Alaska, as around the country, several ballot measures, including an increase to the minimum wage, passed, but candidates that opposed the measures were elected.
When I was young, one of my friends used to drive by a house where a German Shepard would rush out and chase his car. One day, the dog made a super-canine effort and managed to bite the tire of the car as it went by. The wheel kept rolling, of course, and the dog's teeth were pulled out. Now that they've caught the government, let's see what happens.

*<...the "poor whites" of our South who were always despised, and frequently insulted, by the slave lords around them, and who owed their base condition simply to the presence of slavery in their midst, were yet pusillanimously ready to side with the slave lords in all political moves for the upholding and perpetuating of slavery, and did also finally shoulder their muskets and pour out their lives in an effort to prevent the destruction of that very institution which degraded them.~A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 

Monday, November 03, 2014

Speaking Of Getting Old

To update a recent post, the MRI was for a pain in my neck, shoulder, back and arm. By the time of the MRI, the pain, which really has been intermittent for years, was gone again, but this time it left a numbness and tingling in my wrist and fingers. Wednesday I go to the doctor to find out what it all means.
The only thing that was even slightly abnormal on the MRI was a bulging disk, so I assume that's the problem with the numbness and tingling. I don't really want them operating on my neck, but maybe traction, or PT, or ignoring it will work. 
My leg only hurts now when I walk, and not always then, either. So, basically, I'm getting old. Which as they say, beats the alternative. Until, I guess, it doesn't.
Oh, and speaking of alternatives, even though I think we can all agree after this brutal election campaign that we don't want anybody to win, we definitely want some of these people to lose. So, if you haven't already, get out and vote. It might even make a difference.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Campaigning is Not Governing. It's The Antithesis. So, At Least There's That

I may be dating myself (and it's none of your business who I date) but I seem to remember a time when people ran for elected office, and then the campaign ended; the winners governed and the losers got jobs.

Now, it's endless elections, endless wars, endless buffets and nothing new under the sun. Solomon said there is "a time to be silent and a time to speak," but no one ever seems to just shut up and do something. We used to have movers and shakers, now we have mavens and doyens, pundits and panjandrums, but nothing ever gets done. 
Also, hey you kids get off my lawn.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

But That's Not The Way It Feels

The MRI I had last week has revealed that I'm a big baby. The report was replete with terms like, "normal," "slight" and "Stop wasting our time."
Ha ha, of course it didn't say that last bit, they got paid for their time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's Alive

After a long gestation period, Earth Girls Love_____ has a website. It can be found at
Once there it is possible to purchase Earth Girls Love_____ merchandise. So far, it's just their highly regarded organic lip balm, but very soon other items will be available, so check back often.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Coming Full Circle In A Tube, Which Is A Full Circle

Since that time I was born, I've always thought of myself as claustrophobic. Last week I had an MRI. I was nervous, anticipating being entombed in a metal tube. But I loved it, entombed? More like enwombed. 
I don't know what the MRI revealed even though I looked at the images on my computer. I mean it's obvious I have bones and even a brain, but I don't know why they seem to hate each other. I may have to show them to a doctor despite my sense that that never helps. 
I've been staying home from work this week because I've been running a fever. I'm starting to feel better. But, one way or another, I might end up seeking medical advice. If I do, I hope I can find someone better than the Cuomo/Christie Duck Dynasty Doctor. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Maybe They Should Put A Bag Over Their Heads

The Republicans are more hypocritical than a Pharisee sharing a pulled pork sandwich with a harlot and a moneylender, a harlot, a moneylender and a pig. They are hyperventilating about the two cases of Ebola that have developed in this country and railing about the administration's handling of the epidemic of two cases, complaing because the Ebola Coordinator is a coordinator and not a doctor
In the meantime, they have blocked the appointment of a new surgeon general because he had the audacity to say that the plague of gun deaths (thirty-two per day) is a health issue. As if people dying by the thousands every year, isn't a health issue.

By the way, eloquence is harder than it looks, antithesis will arrive when I think of a suitably epigrammatic one.

Friday, October 17, 2014

We Should Doff Our Don

When our Congressman was young, he might have been effective, but now Young is just a bully and a buffoon, and according to an editorial, possibly insane. 
So, I think that nails polyptoton, next up, antithesis. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

You're A Poet And You Don't Know It something that no one ever said to Shakespeare, because he was a poet, and he did know it.

I preordered a book, The Elements of Eloquence, to try and make this blog more interesting and my arguments more compelling. Now it's arrived.  The author, Mark Forsyth, says that even a genius such as Shakespeare used these techniques to improve his writing. Actually, Mr. Forsyth says that Shakespeare was not a genius, but a craftsman who learned the figures of rhetoric and deployed them skillfully. 
My plan was, and still is, to sneak the different elements into the blog and let the praise pile up. Chapter One introduces the simplest one: alliteration. And it turns out, I have, in a prior post, used that one, to wit, Don Young is a bully and buffoon. 
I'm hoping that now that you've heard me tell it twice, and in an alliterative approach, Alaskans, that 
we can end this poor player's strutting and fretting; that he could be heard no more. I don't know if all lives are tales told by an idiot full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, but that definitely sounds like a Don Young news conference.