Wednesday, February 29, 2012

29 FEB 12

"Morning comes early. . ."
Was awake at 2, this AM.
Remained up and around until after 4...
that's when I flopped down in my recliner
and dozed off.

Every action has a consequence...
ended up, asleep, on the sofa 'til after 11.
Woke to TV noises from the kitchen and a falling
snow outside.

It's now nearly 1 in the afternoon and my body/mind
connection is not yet fully engaged.
Methinks that more caffeine is called for.
                       ____________________

**Former lead singer for The Monkees, Davy Jones, has died.
More so than Whitney Houston's death...
this one affects me for a hundred different reasons.
Davy Jones and I... we were contemporaries.
My life, in the mid '60s, had The Monkees as part of the soundtrack.
I came of age listening to, and playing, their songs.

He was 66.
He died of a heart attack... yeah, we're contemporaries.

R.I.P., Davy. You'll be missed.

             I'm A Believer - The Monkees
                         ____________________

Evening,
and darkness falls.
The snow has turned to rain
and everything seems dismal outside.
Am still doing some chores... laundry mostly.
Am going to wait 'til tomorrow to pick up the mail.
Don't want to venture walking on the driveway.
It's down hill to the road.
I've fallen too many times when there's snow or ice.
Haven't broken anything... yet.
Want to keep it that way.
                       
                       ( ... last train to Clarksville. ) 

-Fini

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

28 FEB 12

It's late now. . .
dark,
my day ends.
Meds have been taken.
A snack of strawberry yogurt...
next, the news... then bed.

Not a very glamorous life
but it'll do.

G'Night.

-Fini

Monday, February 27, 2012

27 FEB 12

A NASCAR Monday. . .
The Daytona 500 is being run right now.
It's being shown on FOX Channel 5.
Never have been a NASCAR fan.
Though, I do admire the drivers.
This is one competition where people can, oh so easily, die.
The cars approach 200 mph.
But, I find it boring.
If I want to watch cars blowing past me at high speed,
I can go stand in a Turnpike Rest Area and stare at
the passing parade on the roadway.
Bottom line... I don't care who wins the 500.
I don't care that the race is being run.
I only noticed it being run tonight because the scheduled
programming was preempted.
I hope this does not become the norm.

                                  ( Zoom Zoom )

-Fini

PS:
And, I know that NASCAR fans will "boo" me for this attitude.
(Don't watch hockey, arena football, basketball... nor ANY college sports either.)
(The only sports that I care anything about are pro baseball and pro football... especially at play-off time... and The Iditarod.)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

26 FEB 12

I was wrong. . .
the temperature didn't go up, it took a dive into the freezing range...
then, there was the wind... gusts that brought down some branches
and caused some worry.
(When one lives amid woodlands with sixty-foot trees all around, one worries.)

Today, all is calm... chilly... but calm.
                              ____________________

Cold tonight.
Was just outside and found that everything that was wet this afternoon is solid ice tonight.

It's Oscar Nite...
or, more properly, "Academy Awards" are to be presented tonight.

(Sigh)
                          _________________________

Just read a short blurb on Alzheimer's disease.
Japanese research has shown that there are
three major factors contributing to the development
of the condition.
They are:
  • A concussive accident (Being knocked unconscious)
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Diabetes (specifically Type-2)
I'm positive for all three.
  • Was knocked out cold, by a falling drawer unit, ca. 1963
  • Had an M. I. in 1993
  • Diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes in 2001

Naturally, I'm just "thrilled" to learn the results of this study.

                                 ( Who's that, knocking at my door? )

-Fini

Friday, February 24, 2012

24 FEB 12

Lady Luck. . .
done ran out on me last night.
Snow. . . this morning. . . and it's not even April!

                                           My back deck, this A.M. 

It's nearly 2 in the afternoon and the fellow who plows my drive has not been here.
I'm assuming that he was caught by surprise, as was I, and didn't have his plow attached to his truck.

He never showed today... well, it's warm out, the snow is melting... I think it's
gonna rain tomorrow. Maybe he was just trying to save me some money.

                                                        ( Ya think? )

-Fini








Monday, February 20, 2012

20 FEB 12

Ping. . . Pong. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ping!
Random thoughts on the eve of my 66th birthday...

It was a beautiful day in New York today...
41 degrees and an absolutely clear sky.
No snow... and none in the forecast.
The temperature is expected to remain
above freezing for the foreseeable future.
I've been lucky. I'm still driving on my
summer tires. Was too lazy to get up early
and get my butt to the dealer to have the snows
mounted. I normally adhere to a set schedule
of swapping tires in November and May.
Like I said... I've been lucky.
(Watch, it'll snow 24 inches on the last day of April.)                    
                 _________________

Food...
My diet is healthier than it used to be.
Before the heart attack, I ate all the,
now recognized, wrong foods... all the time.
(Plus, I smoked cigarettes, 2 packs a day.)

Things I rarely eat today:
  • Pepperoni Pizza
  • Pancakes & sausage
  • Bacon & eggs w/coffee & toast
  • Roast beef & mashed potatoes
  • Donuts... sweets in general
  • Fried chicken w/fries
  • Italian combo sub sandwiches
  • Hot dogs w/chips
What I eat nowadays may not be near as tasty...
but it is better for me.
(Don't smoke anymore either. Gave it up in 2000... after 40+ years.)

My breakfast once consisted of coffee & cigarette...
followed by bacon/egg/cheese on a roll.
(Hold the catsup, please.)
My breakfast, now, is usually oatmeal, tea, juice...
small portions.
Around 10 A.M. I'll have either an apple or
peanut-butter sandwich w/water or juice.
Lunch could be turkey on rye, w/lettuce & mayo.
At 3 P.M. it's time for tea and maybe some cheese.
Dinner might be soup w/crusty bread.
There's applesauce at 9 P.M.
(There's, also, my morning and evening meds...
taken with water or juice.)
I had cancer surgery in 2001.
They removed most of my esophagus and part of my stomach.
What remains is a very small stomach that restricts the amount
I can eat at any one sitting.
So, I tend to graze all day long... eating small amounts.
It works for me.
I haven't lost any weight to speak of.

                        ( That's all folks... no Ping! )

-Fini

PS:
Am also dealing with Type-2 diabetes.
AND. . . this still applies:
http://jmawelsh.blogspot.com/2011/07/21-aug-09.html

                                 ( ... Ping! )

Saturday, February 18, 2012

18 FEB 12

It's "Hike!". . . not "Mush!"
When an American musher wants a dog team to start, or speed up,
the command is "Hike!"
"Gee" means go right.
"Haw" means go left.
"Whoa" is stop.
That's all the control a driver has.
If the lead dogs don't pay attention, all a driver can do is hang on
for what can prove to be an exciting ride.

(The term "Mush" is thought to be an English corruption of the
French word, "Marche" [pronounced, "Marshay"] used by dog-sled drivers in Canada.)

Case in point:
Once, in the middle of a race, where the trail passed through a heavily wooded area, a squirrel crossed in front of my team and one young lead dog immediately gave chase... off into the trees and brush.
The rest of the team joined in, with gusto!
They had a gay old time, while I was kept busy avoiding trees with the sled. My left-lead was named Kally... and she was being tested, on lead, for the first time.
She failed at the task.
I ended up finishing last on this particular day.
I was pissed.
Kally was nonplussed.
She'd had a good time.

                                ( Almost caught that squirrel, she did! )

                    Start of a race... the first heat (a Saturday morning). 
                    Kally is the gray Siberian, pulling left lead here.


-Fini

PS:
This photo was taken in 1988. That's 24 years ago.
It's difficult to accept that all the dogs shown are now gone, deceased.
They were once my teammates and friends.
More mushing photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150299720808521.341848.542333520&type=3

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

15 FEB 12

Drama on a very small stage...
In front off my house stands a large cherry tree.
There is a cavity in the trunk, about 6 feet up from the ground.
For the past twenty years, I've watched female squirrels
clean and re-stuff this cavity with leaves so it could be
used as a den for giving birth.
Predators are sparse here... except for the raptors.
We have a healthy population of Cooper and Red Tail hawks.
Watched a Red Tail ambush a young squirrel near the den the other day.
They played "Ring Around The Tree Trunk" for about 30 minutes.
The hawk finally gave up on the game.
The squirrel had the advantage here, scrabbling to keep the fat
bole of the tree between itself and the hunter.
Made for a good show.
However, the hawk now knows where the den is.
I've noticed it, watching, perched in the top of a nearby tree.

From a different season...
Was returning home, climbing the steps to my front porch
when I heard a loud, angry buzzing. At the other end of the porch,
up in the eves, was a large spider's web. That's where the
buzzing was coming from. The web was vibrating and shaking.
In the center was a mass, a shape, writhing to and fro. I immediately
thought that the spider had snagged a large beetle... but on closer
inspection, what was in the web was a white-faced hornet. It and the
spider were engaged in a titanic fight to the death. The struggle lasted
all of one minute, until the hornet extricated itself from the web and
flew away. I thought it to be a stroke of good luck for the insect until
I realized that the spider was nowhere to be seen. The hornet had
captured it, taken it away... an act which begged the question of just
who had been hunting who in this desperate encounter.

                                      ( ...the bell tolls for thee, Arachnid )

-Fini
                      __________________________

ADDENDUM:

 POEM

December Crows

The black birds dance
On a crusted icy snow
The black birds dance

Scratching patterns 'round the base
Of a leafless winter tree
The black birds dance

Performance Art at seven a.m.
On a stage dressed spare and dimly bleak
At the murky start of day
The black birds dance

In and out they bob and weave
And flap and caw and squabble
And feed amid bits of looted trash
In the cold of dark December
The black birds dance
                                   -- Joseph Welsh (1997)

Monday, February 13, 2012

13 FEB 12

Rap on The Grammy Awards...
I watched, intermittently...
I enjoyed two performances...
Taylor Swift and Adele.
Rianna's and Katy Perry's acts were too overblown to be comprehensible.
(Reminded me of the old saw, "If you can't dazzle 'em with your brilliance,
blast 'em with bullshit.") Cold Play was just plain boring.
The Foo Fighters came across as hyper-energetic noise generators...
with a rhythmic base line.
(Just what is "Foo" anyway... and why are they fighting it?)
I didn't see the entire show, so my critique is, perhaps, unfair.
But I think I caught enough of the show to remain disappointed.

The Red Carpet photos show an amazing variety of fashions being worn.
Makes me wonder... why is it that so many pop music stars tend to dress
like circus freaks for most formal public occasions? 
("Attention getting" would be my first thought.)
                    __________________________

Fortunate son...
On "Antiques Road Show" tonight, a woman in Pittsburgh, PA  brought
in a Chinese carved rhino-horn cup that her husband had purchased in NJ,
at a flea market. He paid one dollar for it. It was estimated to be worth $300,000.
Fortune smiles on some.

The Saturday Power Ball jackpot was worth 334 million dollars...
there was ONE winning ticket, sold in Rhode Island.
Again, fortune.

-Fini
 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

11 FEB 12

Saturday morning...
Thirty-four degrees outside, with light snow falling...
as of now, there's a dusting on the grass.
Paved surfaces are merely wet.

Had my usual breakfast...
cup of tea, bowl of oatmeal, glass of juice.
(And the first half of my daily meds)

The temperature's rising...
it's now thirty-eight...
and I'm watching the snow just melting away.

Curious... the news from Europe is of ice-bound rivers,
meters of snow, whole villages cut off from the rest of
the world. I feel for those I once knew there.



-Fini
                ______________________

It's just been announced that Whitney Houston has died.
Another voice for the ages. . . gone. 
She'll be missed. 
R.I.P.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

08 FEB 12

Early to rise...
I'm not much for early rising these days...
neither is my wife.
Our usual time for getting up is 9:00 AM, or later...
sometimes we even remain abed 'til after 10:00!
Today was different... up at 7:00, for a 10:30 doctor's
appointment. It does take that long for us to get moving.
One benefit... by getting out early, we could stop
at a local bagel shop for breakfast.
A rare treat... bagels with lochs and cream cheese.
Good lochs... paper-thin slices.
Cream cheese w/scallions.
Fresh bagels... plain and seeded.
Yum.
(One of the best reasons for remaining in the Northeast.)

                                      ( to nosh, naturally )

-Fini


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

07 FEB 12

Much, much ado...
Victory parade today for the Superbowl champions, NY Giants.
NY City is giving a ticker-tape parade. The mayor will be presenting the
keys to the city at a City Hall ceremony... the governor of New Jersey is
holding a reception for them in the Meadowlands stadium later today.
(Let us not forget that the NY Giants, and the NY Jets, actually play in New Jersey.)

"... on any given Sunday..." the actuality prevails...
The Patriots record for this season - 14 wins  2 losses.
The Giants record for this season - 10 wins  6 losses.
The (statistically) better team doesn't always get the ring.

Gotta remember, too, that come tomorrow, every team in the league is
back to square one.

-Fini

PS:
A lot of money, time and effort being spent to honor the winners of a game.
The burr under my blanket... Mayor Bloomberg, again, says "No" to a parade
honoring Iraq War vets.
                                 ( "Who's that tramping over my bridge?" )

Monday, February 6, 2012

06 FEB 12

The Truman Doctrine...
Harry Truman is one of my favorite past presidents. To me, he was the living embodiment of the transformational power of the office. While serving as a senator from Missouri, he was once asked his opinion on race... he answered that he had no tolerance for "niggers or Japs." Yet, as president, he signed Executive Order #9981, desegregating the U.S. military.
When asked about this seeming about-face, he answered that "as a senator from Missouri, I was expressing the views of my constituants. As president, I'm the president of everyone." (or words to that effect).


Taken from a facebook posting:
Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation's history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri .. His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.

When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, "You don't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale."

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, "I don't consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise."

As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale (cf. Illinois ).

Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, "My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference."

I say dig him up and clone him!

                                   Remember, too, that Truman had been a soldier in the Great War.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

05 FEB 12

It's Sunday...
Superbowl Sunday.
It's also a Political-Talking-Head-Sunday.
On the one hand, there's a bunch of former football-playing
talking-heads dissecting a game that has yet to be played.
On the other... the politicians and "in-the-know" folks are
up and spewing campaign crap all over the TV world.

Back to the football aspect of today...
Giants vs. Patriots.
I've one son-in-law who's a Patriot fan.
The other is a die-hard Giants fan.
Family games ensue.
Me... I'm for the local team.
It'll boost our local economy a bit.
                        _____________________

Other stuff that happened today...
The under-counter TV set that we bought 5 years ago had died.
Ordered another, with a bigger screen, from Amazon dot com.
Have been ill... my son-in-law volunteered to swap out the TV's.
He came down with the family plus a close friend of the daughter's.
They brought along their new puppy... the puppy puked all over the
friend just as the car pulled into my driveway.
She freaked.  We laughed.
She showered and changed into clean clothes but was, generally, unhappy with us.
We had a pizza party...  the TV's were swapped... everything worked out fine.

(Found out that this friend had been complaining about the dog,
saying how much she hated riding in the back with it.
A lap-full of dog puke, to me, seems karmic justice.)
                            _______________________

GAME OVER -  Giants win, 21-17 !!!

                                   ( Happy days are here again... )

 -Fini

PS: First time I've seen an accidental touchdown.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

01 FEB 12

Twenty days...
In twenty days I turn 66.
That's longer than I thought I'd have...
what with the heart attack and the cancer and all.

I've already outlived both my natural grandfathers...
one died at 60. The other passed at 49...
though both my parents lived to reach 76.

I'd like to reach 76...
At 76, most all the grandkids will have
grown to adulthood and I can go easy.

From now on, each day is a gift.

                      ( LXXVI Infantia )

-Fini