Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Profound Disappointment

Kim Davis, the face of religious hate and disrcrimination

This morning I saw a news item on my iPhone that that Kim Davis, the four times married Kentucky clerk who disobeys the law because she believes in the "santictity of marriage and refuses to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, had a meeting with her.

Of course I did not believe it.  I checked Snopes.  Nothing.  Oh well, it will eventually show up as a fraud.  Well, guess what?  Apparently it is true.  

Regular followers of this blog know that I posted several favorable posts about the Pope's visit to United State last week.  Well folks, all that goodwill is gone.  GONE.  

To meet with such a hateful person like Kim Davis who disobeys the law and seeks to deprive me of my Constitutional right of marriage because of HER religious beliefs.  Believe what you want to Kim Davis but when YOUR beliefs affect my life, then that is wrong.

What a profound disappointment I have in this Pope, who was supposed to be the new, more inclusive Pope.  

Apparently he met with Kim Davis and told her to "remain strong."  Indeed, and I will remain strong Kim Davis and Pope Francis and will continue to demand to be treated as an equal citizen of this country.  You and your hypocritical cohorts will no longer put your yoke of your discrimination, hate on my neck. 

Pope Francis, just one more fraud. 

More Thoughts on My Prostate Cancer

Folks, I cannot tell you how relieved I am that my prostate cancer is in remission.  I am SO RELIEVED.  

As one commenter said "On to your next adventure."  And you can believe folks, I am planning many more adventures in my life.

My doctor told me yesterday that if I had prostate cancer in my 40's or 50's, that is usually a death sentence.  The cancer is much more aggressive.  

My prostate cancer was detected three years ago.  I took almost a year before I decided to have a biopsy.  I feared the side effects.  

The biopsy was awful.  Painful, humiliating and . . . . did I say PAINFUL.  Oh yes, I heard of others who said "Oh it was no big thing."  Well folks, try having a staple gun up your anus taken TWELVE samples of flesh from your walnut sized prostate.  And no, I didn't have any sedative.  Apparently I should have but . . . . apparently my urologist doesn't believe in painkillers.  

So I was set up like a woman having a baby (legs spread, naked, door open with his assistant walking in and out questioning him about other patients.  

Not to dwell on the biopsy but I felt that the "procedure" was worse than water boarding.  If our previous government, which practiced torture, wanted to get the terrorists to talk, take prostate biopsies from them.  After the procedure, the blood running out my behind on the table looked like a murder scene.  

Not to dwell on any more gory and uncomfortable details, the biopsy revealed that I did have prostate cancer (six of twelve sample were cancerous).  After much deliberation and consultation with others who had prostate cancer, I decided to have seed implants.  I did not want my prostate removed because I did not want to give up my sex life (no details, you can figure it out but suffice it to say, once the prostate is removed your erection/sexual gratification days are over.  

Well meaning commenters on my blog advised me to have my prostate removed because then I would "pee like a teenager."  Well, THAT was attractive because over the years I have had problems peeing.  Well guess what, I now pee like a teenager and without having my prostate removed.  My doctor explained that when the prostate is cancerous the prostate is inflamed thus restricting the flow of urine through the urethra.  

And then there is the incontinence problem.  I met a man who had his prostate removed.  He was wearing Depends and he will wear them the rest of his life.  I could tell he was wearing Depends. But he said "I don't have prostate cancer."  

I had seed implants.  I don't have incontinence.  However, my doctors told me that urinary incontinence is common with seed implants too.  I guess I was lucky because my oncologist specializes in preventing urinary incontinence. 

Well, I'm going on too long rehashing old history but let me sum up this way.  I got a reprieve yesterday from a death sentence.  The reason I say "reprieve" is because I had decided not to seek further treatment if my prostate cancer resumed.  And it wasn't just about sexual pleasure.  It was about quality of life.  

I know people who have sought further treatment (there choice and I do not pass judgement) and have side effects that I did not want to spend the rest of my life living with.  Hormone treatments that basically turn you into a woman (breast enlargement, hot flashes).  No thank you folks, I have lived a long and good life and I was not planning on going out that way.  

So yesterday I got a reprieve.  Sure, I'll probably die WITH prostate cancer, not FROM prostate cancer.  As my doctor told me yesterday, most men do die WITH prostate cancer. Oh sure, I'll die of something.  Maybe I'll die in my sleep.  Maybe I'll die of some other horrible, lingering, humiliating disease (not if I can help it) or maybe I'll die in an accident.  My accident this year, which I could have easily died (falling in that 5 degree cold alley late at night and not being able to get up) made me realize how fragile and fleeting life can be.  But I didn't and I'm still here.

My doctor told me yesterday "You have another thirty to forty good years Ron!"  Indeed.  Can you see me as a centenarian?  Hey, I may still retain some of my fabulous youthful good looks (I like to think so anyway) but by the time I reach 100 years, I don't think so.  But I would like to try. 

The only problem with being that old is the problem I'm running into now.  So many of my friends have died.  Thank goodness I have this blog and have made new friends.  

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Prostate Cancer Health Update

For the past several months I've had a black cloud hovering over my head.  That black cloud was the reoccurrence of my prostate cancer.

In 2013 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  After much deliberation and checking with others that I knew had and have prostate cancer, the treatment I decided to take was seed implants.  

I was told by my urologist that my PSA score would drop down to zero.  A year earlier my PSA score was 8.4.  The range should be from 1-4.  

After my seed implants my PSA score did drop to 1.1 but then six months later it went up to 1.2.  Not much but still, it went up which concerned me.  

Of course I had all kinds of dreaded scenarios in my mind.  

"What if my prostate cancer returned?"  

"What treatment should I get, if any?"

I decided that if my prostate cancer returned I would not seek treatment at my age.  The side effects are just too horrific.  Of course dying of prostate cancer is "horrific" too but hey, we're all going to die.  At least I would know what I'm dying of and could have some control, albeit with an End Game Finish.

Well folks, I have to tell you that I approached my visit to my VA doctor this morning with more than a little trepidation.  Today I would be getting the results of my labs (blood test) that I took last week. 

Ironically, I slept well last night even though I haven't been sleeping well for the past week since I took my labs.  

When I arrived at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Georgetown, I was a pretty morose veteran.  

Of course when I checked in they didn't have my records . . . . again (like last week when I went in for my labs.  Oh, the VA).   

The woman who works there told me not to worry and they would see me.

I took a seat.  About fifteen minutes later I was called in.  Another woman took my blood pressure (64, normal) and weighed me (174 lbs - my cargo pants with iPhone in pocket must weight a ton).  

Then I was told to "have a seat" to wait for my doctor.  I was seated in front of the VA employees who were taking blood from other veterans. I didn't take a picture of that activity.  

I took out my iPhone to play some online Scrabble.  "Network error".  Couldn't play.

I brought up my photos to delete some to make more room on my iPhone for whoever will inherit my iPhone.  

After about five minutes my doctor opens his door and invites me in.  He is in good cheer.  That's a good sign.  

He motions me to sit.  We start chatting (as we usually do) about the state of medical care in the VA and general.  I have a good rapport with my doctor.  That's why I continue to see him instead of a private doctor.  He has time to talk to me and (I think) likes me.  I'm more than a cog in the wheel of making money for the medical profession.  

After about ten minutes of chatting I ask him about my PSA score, of which I am very concerned. 

Here was his answer:

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Following the Pope Cape Flap Coverage

The Pope arrived in Philadelphia yesterday.  For many years I lived in Philly.  I was working in center city Philadelphia when Pope John Paul visited in 1979. Hundreds of thousands turned out to see Pope John Paul on that spring day in 1979.  I  don't remember security holding me back from going out at lunch.  My only delay was the shoulder to shoulder people.

Today, I understand that Philadelphia is in lockdown.  Everyone who enters Philly is searched, more thorough than airport security.  Wow. Am I ever glad I don't live in Philly now.  The world has changed folks.  On days like this I am glad I live in LSD, also known as Lower Slower Delaware (Sussex County).  Oh we have our crowds.  Check us out at the height of the summertime season when a tsunami of tourists descend on our welcoming shores.  Thankfully the tourists have left and the parking meters are turned off.  We have our sunny, sandy, windy shores back.

Yesterday, while watching Pope Francis deliver an address to a somewhat sparse crowd at Independence crowd, I amused when his cape blew up over his head.  For an instant I thought the Pope was celebrating Halloween early as a ghost.  I'm sorry, I couldn't help but laugh out loud. And oh, who was THAT who was helping him to keep his cape under control on that windy day?  Ah ha!  That was his ever present interpreter.  I want to know more about HIM.  He could follow me around anytime. 

So you see folks, I'm not all that serious about the Pope.  I think he's delivering a good message of kindness and inclusiveness but I can also see the humor.  And there were times when the Pope saw the humor too but maybe not with his cape covering his face.  

A little early for Halloween ghosts

I don't know, was God sending a message? Mother Teresa?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pope Francis Visit - Part Deux

Yesterday my longtime good and every vigilant friend Lar informed me via Facebook that the Pope Francis quote I posted yesterday was an Internet hoax.  Oh well, I fell for a hoax again.  Surely not the first time nor the last time I will be suckered in an Internet hoax posting for something that I believe in.  My first response to my friend Lar was "So what?"  It's the way I feel.  And friends, that is the way I feel. 

I don't believe that one has to go to church every Sunday to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Actually, I don't even believe in the Afterlife but I can't help but hedge my bets.  Just in case there is something after we pass on, I don't believe that those who don't accept Jesus Christ as their savior will not enter Heaven.  Just doesn't make sense to me.  You mean all those in this world, which is the majority of people, will not enter Heaven?


Of course I am well aware of the impregnable self certainty of many Bible reading, church going Christians that they and only they will go to Heaven.  I do not condemn then for their beliefs, unlike what many of them do for those who do not believe their way. If they find comfort in their faith, then I am happy for them.  But please do not condemn me because I don't subscribe to YOUR beliefs.  My response has always been to those who try to proselytize me because they want to "save" my soul is "Worry about yourself, I'll take care of my own life. Don't make your life's work trying to change me to your beliefs."

I remember a conversation I had with another longtime friend of mine when we was trying to "save my soul."  He actually told me that Ted Bundy, the serial killer, would enter Heaven before me because, Mr. Bundy, a few minutes before he was executed for his horrendous crimes, had accepted Jesus Christ as his savior.  I pointed out to him, "Don't you think that the manipulative Mr. Bundy only did his conversion at the last minute to save his life?"  My friend, who I have always considered very intelligent and had common sense, said "No, as long as he (Ted Bundy) accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior he will go to Heaven before you."  I asked him "Do you mean that the little old lady who lives at the end of the block, and has been good her whole life but did not Believe, would not go to Heaven?"  He said "Yes."  

Well, if he was trying to convert me, or "save" me,  this line of reasoning was unsuccessful.  

These days I try to avoid religious and political discussions because I find that if someone disagrees with you, I can never change their mind.  NEVER.  And of course they will never change my mind.  So it is a waste of my time and their time to even engage in such a conversation.  

I saw this live on TV this morning.  Pope Francis was leaving the Philadelphia airport but stopped and got out of his car to give his blessing to this young man.

But getting back to the original point I want to make, I believe that if one lives a good life or as good a life as possible because all of us have faults, that their will be no punishment at the end of our life just because we didn't accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. There are too many good people in the world who aren't Christians.  All of those are damned?  

I am a spiritualist.  I believe that, if there is a God, then He (She?) is in each of us.  This life we live now is IT.  We only get one time around and we should make the best of it.  Of course we have many failings as human beings do, but we can always strive to do better.

All this week I've been following the coverage of Pope Francis' visit the U.S. While all the pageantry of the Catholic Church still make me uncomfortable, I understand the goodness of this man in reaching out to the children, poor, homeless, physically disabled and disaffected. That can't be wrong. And his visit makes me feel good.  

Now I await someone (Lar?) to tell me these photos were Photoshopped.  

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pope Francis

I've been absent from these parts the past few days.  In addition to my regular activity, I've been following the almost continuous coverage of Pope Francis's visit to America.

At first, I was annoyed by what promised to be wall to wall Pope coverage.  But you know folks, the more I watched, the more I became at peace.  This man, Pope Francis, is sending a different message than previous Popes or religious leaders.  His message over and over is one of inclusion.  Dignity and respect for even those of us who are on the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder.

I'm getting a big kick out of watching how the Powers That Be try to keep taking the Pope away from contact with the Great Unwashed Masses, and keep him isolated for their exclusive use.  

Yesterday, after his address to the joint session of Congress, did he have lunch with the Powers That Be?  All the IMPORTANT people.  Or rather, self-important people?  No, he had lunch at a D.C. homeless shelter. Brave Pope Francis.

Over and over again Pope Francis exudes inclusiveness.  To me, even though I'm not religious, the true tenants of the Christian faith.  How novel in a religious leader, not to condemn but to practice inclusiveness.  He even said yesterday while addressing the mass of people outside House Speaker John Boehner's balcony office at the Capitol building (and I paraphrase here):

"Those who believe, pray for me and those who do not believe wish me well."

Finally, something I can say when so many other are offering prayers for whatever malady has befallen them or their families.  I've never felt comfortable saying "I'll pray for you" because I don't believe in prayer but I do believe in wishing people well.  

Thank you Pope Francis, for being a true emissary of Christianity.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Face of Greed

Folks, this is the face of pure greed. A person who has no moral character. 

I place this person in with terrorists.  Pure evil.  I need to say nothing else. What really sends a chill down my spine is that this person doesn't even see how evil he is.

Martin Shkreli, CEO Turing Pharmaceuticals bought this company and decided immediately to raise the price of the company's 62-year old medication used by Aids patients by over 5,000%. 

The drug, Daraprim, increased from $13.50 to $750.00.  

The pill costs about $1 to produce, but Mr. Shkreli, a former hedge fund manager (now there's a recommendation) said that does not include other costs like marketing and distribution.  

Sure, you greedy monster.  Didn't you make enough money with your hedge funds? 

Oh, and another thing, he's an Albanian? Welcome to America you f -cking greed monster.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Bill Gets His Flu Shot

Bill and "friend" at the Georgetown VA Outpatient Clinic

Last Friday Bill and I made our annual trek to the Georgetown VA (Veterans' Administration) Outpatient Clinic in Georgetown to get our flu shot.

Vets waiting for flu shots at the Georgetown VA Outpatient Clinic

We got there early so as to be one of the first to get our flu shots.  I have to admit I question the efficacy of getting flu shots because it seems every year I get a bad cold. I don't know whether it's the flu or just a cold, I just know that I seem to get sick anyway.  But then I wonder what would happen if I didn't get a flu shot.  

Bill gets ready for his flu shot

Last year, while Pat and I were frolicking around in Los Angeles in January, Bill said he was bedridden with one of the worst cases of the flu he's ever had. 

And last year I heard that the flu shots were only 22% effective anyway.  But still . . . . we were down there this past Friday queuing up for our flu shot.

While we were waiting, Bill struck up a friendship with a toothless, emaciated, hoarse voiced Navy veteran.  Bill loves getting out and mingling among his vet friends.  He always enjoys his rides on the American Legion Post 28 van to the Wilmington VA.  And when he gets back home he loves to tell me about the new friends he's made.

But this last Friday maybe he went too far.  After joking around with his new friend, Bill went in for his flu shot.  His new friend was with him.  Bill joked that he "could faint" if he got his shot.  His new friend grabbed him around his waist to hold him up to steady him for that flu shot needle puncturing his arm.  I had rolled my sleeve up to get my shot.

Bill and his new friend were yuking it up.  I got my shot and "OW!"  It hurt.  Bill's didn't.  

As they were leaving I said "Let me get a picture of the two of you!"  And that's when Bill's New Friend puckered up to kiss him! Thus, the Slice of Life Spontaneous Moment picture at the top of this blog.

Then we said our "goodbyes" and I shook the vet's hand.  Getting in the car I told Bill my arm felt like someone punched me.  Bill said "Mine doesn't hurt at all."  I joked with him that I was going to post his "Kissy Picture" on my Facebook account (which I did, of course - a few "Likes" but a loud silence from ALL of my very conservative relatives who are still freaked out about me being openly gay and oh my, what a GAY picture I've posted to Facebook). 

All weekend my arm was sore.  Bill became concerned that during all the commotion that they didn't give him his flu shot. Actually, they did (I saw it).  But he was convinced they didn't.  So that's where he is this morning, back down at the Georgetown VA Outpatient Clinic.  I just hope he behaves himself this time.  

That's my Bill, just a Big Kid.

Bill and one of his many admirers - his neighbor Barbara

Sunday, September 20, 2015

No Regrets

My ship is coming in - soon

As I approach my 74th birthday in a few months, I look back on my life and ask myself "Do I have any regrets?"

Of course I do.  Many small ones, too numerous to mention and not significantly life changing.

My biggest regret was financial that took place nine years ago.  I've already written about it in previous blog posts so I won't go into the painful detail in this post.  Basically I could have sold our house in Pennsylvania five days after I had it on the market for $640,000 but I laughed at the offer because I had it on the market for $700,000.  I sold our house eleven months later for $500,000.  We almost went down the tubes on that one folks.  That was the closest call I've ever had in my life of total financial ruin.  This on top of losing almost a quarter of a million dollars (yep, $250,000) in the Great Financial Market Meltdown of 2000.  Still here folks, a survivor.

I've had a long life.  I've been at many crossroads where I had to make a choice of what direction to take my life.  Most of the time I took the right choice, several times I took the wrong road but by luck and survival skills (I have great survivor skills), I managed to right the course of the Tipton Life Tall Ship.

Me, Philadelphia (and 145 lbs) - 1969

Over my bed, I have a magnificent picture of a tall ship that Bill gave to me on our first anniversary. I've always viewed that image of that tall ship as my life.  Beautiful, graceful and (sometimes) subject to stormy seas.  But in the end still sailing in magnificent waters.  One day my ship will come to shore.  That day will be here sooner than later, that is for sure.  And that is why these days I sometimes reflect on any regrets that I have in my life.

Looking back perhaps the one thing I would do was to pay more attention in English class.  I love writing and the English language.  But the school I attended spent way too much time on Shakespeare, split infinitives (never did get that), and reading assignments like "Mill on the Floss" (was there ever a more boring book)?  In spite of my poor education I managed to overcome my lack of expertise in the English language and write.  I started with pen pals, journals, and now blogging. 

Me, on left arms folded with my two younger brothers, my Aunt Mabel and our Mom - 1951

Another regret I have is that I never learned to play the piano.  Oh I know I would been good.  Oh I learned to play a musical instrument, the Sousaphone which some people misidentify as a tuba (which it is definitely not).  I envied my classmates that complained about taking piano lessons.  Oh how I wish my parents would have provided piano lessons for me.  However, it was not to be.  My father was more concerned with having his three sons weed his fields of corn.

Me "playing" drums in high school - sure - just posing for a high school  year book picture

Other than those regrets, I don't have too many others that I can even remember.  I don't even regret the failed love affairs I was in because I learned from them and God knows I loved which is always worth it.  I would rather have had a life of loving and lost than not having love at all.  Isn't there a quote somewhere to that effect?

Here are some things I DON'T regret.  I don't regret having met Bill when I was 22 years old and spending the next fifty-one years with him.  Has it always been a bowl of cherries with Bill?  Of course not but through it all, we always knew we had each other's enduring love. We're still here and my only wish now is that whichever one of us goes first, the other will be right there bedside to hold his hand.  

My brother Isaac, me and Bill - 2013

Me and Bill - Philadelphia 1979 (those plaid pants are LONG gone)

I don't regret coming out at 21 years old.  One of the best decisions I ever made in my life.  I knew at that time I wasn't going live my life as a lie, hiding from people my true self, permitting people to control my life.  In the ensuing years I've seen so many of my fellow gay peers having lived those lives, sometimes with disastrous results.  Oh no, not for me.  Of course I lost half my friends (so called) when I came out, have lost two good jobs because I was openly gay and even to this day am estranged from my family because I dared to get married and have it publicized.  But do I have regrets?  No way.  Anyone who has a problem with me being gay, it's THEIR problem be they Mike Huckabee or my brother's pastor.  THEIR PROBLEM.  

One day I will be in the horizon - that I know

I joined the Army when I was 18 years old.  Another great decision.  Never regretted it.  

That's me on the left (unrecognizable) - 1960

The jobs I've had, all great even the ones where I lost them because I was gay.  They were good while they lasted. 

From the time I was twelve years old I had a goal in mind.  To have my own home and to live in that home with a person whom I loved and who loved me.  I achieved that goal. 

So as I wait for the curtain to come up on the final act of my life, I reflect, do I have any regrets?  No, not really (except for that house sale, that still nags at me). 
Me in picture booth (1956) - I still LOVE to have my picture taken even though I'm falling apart these days
But I have lived and I have loved and been loved.  What more could I ever ask from life? 

No friends, I have no regrets.

Unrepressed Rants on a Sunday Morn

Me and Pat (with out now lost out of fashion greasy hats) on Hollywood Boulevard with the Chateau Marmont in the background, last January and our unfashionable regular legged jeans - we were so gauche. But we will be back, albeit with new hats but the same unfashionable (and comfortable) jeans.

This morning I was trying to think "What do I write about in my blog today?"

Several subject matter has been trolling through my brain the past few weeks.  One thing that's been really bugging me is the ever increasing ads in the magazines I subscribe too.  I've already let my subscriptions to National Enquirer and Globe run out.  For as much as I pay (over $100 a year for each one) for those tabloid rags, I'm hardly getting my money's worth because there is little if any real gossip (I am a gossip monger).  Mostly their subject matter is Obama is gay, Obama is a womanizer (how can he be both?),

Obama isn't an American (heard that before), Obama is a secret Muslim (heard that one too before) - but you get the gist of it.  Also the other subject matter is that Camilla hates Queen Elizabeth

and is plotting against her to gain the crown for herself or variants thereof of that same subject matter.  

Especially the National Enquirer, where the ads kept creeping in through the back pages.  And Mike Walker, their gossip columnist?  He's more concerned with making up words like "spy witness" that one almost needs a translator to read his non-gossip crap.  No more, I let both subscriptions run out.

Then there is Vanity Fair.  I used to like that magazine because of its well written and researched articles. Even though I had to plow through slick pages and pages of perfume ads (usually while I'm eating, smelling magazine page perfume isn't a good mix), I tolerated that idiocy. But lately, the ads have increased and the quality of their articles have decreased.  Ever read an article, about people you don't know, and the article makes no sense.  Vanity Fair must been hiring recent college graduates who, of course, don't know how to write since many of them partied and cheated their way through college and are now among the cool set with their skinny legged jeans

Yeah, right. This looks "good." The Fashionistas has dictated this IS THE FASHION. 

(and, BTW, what's THAT all about?  Looks like crap on guys who have a horrible shape.  Doesn't even look good on guys with a good shape).  

This past week I received my Vanity Fair and guess who was on the cover?  Mark Zuckerberg. 

Major Gag.

Here we go, the deification of Mark Zuckerberg.

WTF?  Why in the world do I want to read ANYTHING about Mark Zuckerberg?  What's next? A retrospective on Bill Gates? 

And then, to top everything else off, not only is this issue of Vanity Fair stuffed with even more ads, I get a SEPARATE magazine of Ralph Lipshitz Lauren ads.  Big whoop!

Okay folks, this blog is becoming a Sunday Morning Rant Of Things That Are Bothering Me.

One more rant.  Notice how all the TV commercials for movies always feature someone SCREAMING?  And loud banging noises?  There's a movie about Mt. Everest.  BANG! BANG! BANG! and HOLLERING!  Loud hollering.

Then there's a movie about Bobby Fischer, the chess champion of a Previous Life. The despicable Toby Maguire

Okay, we got it. He can holler but can he act?

(and believe me folks, Toby is despicable, read the Vanity Fair article of a few years ago about him and his gambling and how he treats his underlings - like scum) plays Bobby Fischer.  And yes, lots of BANGING and HOLLERING in this trailer too.  

Is that what acting is about these days?  Hollering?

Last night I watched one of the current "in" movies by the Canadian director David Cronenberg called "Maps to the Stars."

 It was supposed to be a satire on Hollywood.    Well, if you want to see Oscar winner Julianne Moore (who I like by the way) sitting on the toilet, shitting and farting 

while talking to her murderous, crazy personal assistant, and, yes, wiping her ass - then this is the movie for you.  Rotten Tomatoes says:

"Narratively unwieldy and totally jumbled, Maps to the Stars still has enough bite to satisfy David Cronenberg fans in need of a cooly acidic fix"

You think?  Well, if you're the type that goes to one of those "cool" Vanity Fair get togethers, then this IS the film for you.  For me, I'm just trying to imagine one of my favorite film actresses like Olivia De Havilland sitting on a toiled, farting while delivering her lines.  

A satirical take on Hollywood?  Well, I guess.  I for one greatly enjoyed the exterior shots of Los Angeles, where I saw many of the same locations that Pat and I trod upon when we visited Los Angeles last January and will return again this January.  I love the palm trees but have absolutely no desire to see a famous Oscar winning actress sitting on a toilet taking a dump.

Ah, now I feel so much better now that I've gotten these rants out in the open.

Have a great day!!!!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Trump's Downfall

Kiss that presidential campaign "goodbye" Donald

Well folks, I've been enjoying the Traveling Donald Trump show as have many others.  But last night, at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, during a town hall meeting Donald Trump showed his true character.  The first questioner "asked" Mr. Trump:

Trump should have immediately corrected the questioner that Barrack Obama IS NOT A MUSLIM (not that there is anything the matter with that, Muslims are also citizens of these United States), but that he also should have corrected the questioner that Barrack Obama IS A CITIZEN of the United States.  Donald Trump should have done what former Republican presidential candidate John McCain did seven years ago when confronted with a similar situation when a woman in his audience called Barrack Obama "an Arab". 

This folks is the difference between character.  While I'm no fan of John McCain (war hawk), with this exchange John McCain showed that he has character.  On the other hand, last night's failure by Donald Trump to immediately correct that audience member on his disrespectful and incorrect question about Barrack Obama, showed that he has ZERO character and is unqualified to be president.  

In past posts I have admitted that I've been enjoying Donald Trump shaking up the Usual Suspects (Washington based news media and political establishment), those days of enjoyment have ended for me.  I have NO respect for Donald Trump land I feel sorry for his supporters who believe this fallacy that Barrack Obama is not a U.S. citizen and is a Muslim (not that there is anything the matter with that).  

I don't know who is going to be the next president of the United States but as of last night I am certain it will not be Donald Trump.  No one who condones such hates and divisiveness in this country can ever be elected president.  

And I'll give you another example, as much as I despised George W. Bush and his presidency, I'll give him this.  Bush never condoned anti-Muslim rhetoric.  

Moving on folks, I'm moving on.  Mark this day, Donald Trump is on his way out as a serious presidential candidate.

Post Script:  Donald Trump's pitiful response to his lack of action correcting the bigot at his town hall meeting:

The answer Donald Trump is when you up on a stage and someone asks you a bigoted question it is your responsibility to correct the bigot. And here I thought Donald Trump was smart.  Apparently he is not.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

How's the Leg?

Me on a ladder, picking bagworms from our pine trees - something (standing on a ladder) that was impossible just a few months ago

How is my leg?  So glad you asked.

I'm walking, that's the most important thing.  


But I do have limitations.  Like right now as I'm sitting at this computer typing this blog post.  My left leg is numbing up.  I cannot sit for more than ten minutes without my leg swelling up.

My leg is the best when it is elevated.  When I get up in the morning after a full night's sleep in my bed, my leg is normal.  There is no swelling, no thickening of my ankle.

My orthopedist told me that my leg would never be the same but "almost" the same.  I guess that was to be expected since I severed my quadricep muscles on my left leg when I slipped and fell on the icy cobblestones that bitter five degree cold night as I left work February 17th of this year.

I never expected my leg to be the same.  Way back in 1962 I fell and dislocated my knee on my other (right) leg while I was in the Army.  I wore a hip to ankle cast for six weeks to give my leg a chance to heal.  That leg was never the same.  "Almost" but not quite.  For instance, I can't run.  Walk fast, yes.  But not run.  This leg injury is more serious. 
When I dislocated my knee I just stretched my ligaments.  This last fall I completely severed the quadricep muscle. I had to have surgery (twenty-five staples) to reattach the quadricep muscle so the bottom half of my left leg would work again.  

Recovery was twelve weeks long, including a month and a half of three times a week physical therapy.  And I am walking now for which I will be forever grateful.  Just as I will be forever grateful that Bill was here to help me through this, one of the most difficult periods of my life.

My real test though was a few weeks ago when I took my annual vacation to visit my friend Pat at his home in Toronto.  On the way we stopped by Niagara Falls for a day's stay.  And we did a LOT of walking.  It was then I found my limitations.  I can't walk like I used too.  

Walking was always the one thing that I had.  My life has been walking.  I didn't grow up with the privilege of having my parents present me with a car on my sixteenth birthday.  No such privilege for me (just as not having a college education supplied for me).  Whoops!  Am I whining again? I guess so but after all these years I still haven't reconciled to those facts and probably never will.  But not having a car, especially during my high school years, meant that I walked a lot and I mean A LOT.  And all those years I lived in center city Philadelphia (eleven), I walked to work every day.  Sun, rain, cold, heat . . . . I walked often passing my co-worker and friend Don McK. standing not eh corner waiting for his bus to take him to the same location, the bank where we both worked next to the Philadelphia City Hall.

So I had to drag myself around walking with Pat as we tried to cover all the tourist enticements in Niagara Falls.  I was so embarrassed that I couldn't keep up, me The Walker.  But Pat said not to worry.

These days, I go out every morning before breakfast and take my walk, probably less than a mile.  I hope to build up my endurance and get back to back to my previous walking abilities.  I don't know if I'll ever get there but what I do know is that I am walking now. And for that I will be forever grateful.

Just don't fall of the ladder Ron!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Last Night In Toronto

One of the things that keeps me going in life is always having something to look forward to.  I've always believed that once you let your life get into a rut, you're on the downward spiral.  All my life I've had something to look forward to.

These days what I look forward to, in addition to my wonderful life here at home with Bill, is my four times a year outings with my Can-Am pal Pat.  A few weeks ago I marked the end of summer by visiting Pat at his home in Toronto Canada.  I started this tradition last year and I plan to continue it until I can no longer mobilize myself.  

In January Pat and I will visit Los Angeles (West Hollywood) for the second time.  In the spring Pat comes down here to Lower Slower (Delaware) for his annual Spring Visit.  Pat also comes down later in the summer to have a taste of Rehoboth in high summer season, date to be determined.

Pat and I love Philadelphia and plan to make a visit there sometime again.  We both also want to visit Chicago but I'm not sure when the best time to visit.  In the sweltering heat of summer or the freezing cold of winter?  Suggestions are welcomed.

I've mentioned to Pat that I would like to visit Quebec and Montreal again but he said visiting them during my annual visit to Toronto would be like us swinging down to Dallas Texas during his annual visits to Lower Slower.  Understood but still, I would like to visit Quebec again just one more time before I check out.

Neither of us have a desire to visit any foreign countries, there are enough places in our respective countries to replay the Ron and Pat Show (don't you just love our videos?) many times.

That said, here are some short snippet videos of my last night in Toronto.  We visited Kensington Market, the "South Street" of Toronto.  Very cool!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A New Day

"How are you doing?"  That's a question I am often asked when I go about my daily routine.

Whether it be at on of my ever increasing doctors' appointments, or encountering a neighbor during my Morning Walk.  "How are you doing today?" I am asked.  My answer is always the same:

"I am doing fine.  Every day I get up, and put one foot ahead of another was I get out of bed, I am thankful I have one more day on this earth" (or some variant of that statement). 

And I am thankful folks.  Even though I do have my down days, like a few days ago when the Black Dog appeared at my doorstep again.  

Not to belabor the subject, but I usually keep the Black Dog (depression) at bay through my daily activities and appreciation of life.  But somedays, like last Sunday, there was a confluence of events that prompted that door to open just a bit and I caught a glimpse of the Black Dog.

My high school class was having an informal reunion which I choose not to attend because I am not welcomed by the wife of the host (my former classmate) because I am gay.  She has a right to her views (which I respect) but I also have a right to live my life openly as a gay man without apology of seeking forgiveness from her God because of my "sinful" ("love the sinner, hate the sin!") ways.  I love attending my class reunions but just couldn't bring myself to attend this one after her unfriendly and unwelcoming actions of the past year which she made to adamantly clear.

Fall is also the time that I have held my family reunions (in early October).  This was the year I would hold it.  Not anymore, again because of the boycotting of most of my family from my last family reunion because I took Bill.  Those who didn't attend the reunion because I brought my spouse are hypocrites. They consider themselves religious but they are so judgmental.  They bring their families but I dare to bring mine and, by their absence, they show me disrespect as a human being and a family member. And I include my own immediate family in that group.  

And, perhaps the trigger to my Visit to the Deep Valley of Depression was the recent death of a fellow blogger and Good Guy, Jay of Virginia.

"Jay" of Virginia at the 2014 Bloggerpalooza

Jay always left positive comments on my blog.  He always seemed happy and full of life.  Then one day, because of our sensation seeking, witch hunting news media culture, he was publicly shamed and humiliated by an accusation of which I do not know the details.  Guilty or innocent, why the necessity to notify the news media to cover the raid on his home even before charges or a trial?  That's the society we live in today folks, in someways not that much different than the old Salem Witch Hunting Days. 

So I posted a self-serving, Poor Me Pity Part blog posting.  Immediately after I posted it I wanted to delete it.  But I didn't.  That's the way I felt that day.  Sometimes we have to go to the depths to arise up again.  I'm coming out of it now folks.

What always brings me back is the absurdity of life.  Last night I saw a Donald Trump rally in Dallas Texas.  Trump says some crazy things (you think?) but man oh man, I do love the way he's shaking up The Establishment.  The Ruling Class which consists of The Media, The Usual Suspects (politicians and their owners who subsidize their campaigns.)  For instance when I see the baby-faced Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin (who is owned outright by the monstrous Koch Brothers

who would never run on their own because both of them look like the Frankenstein's monster), dropping in the polls, I am encouraged that maybe there is some justice in the world.  The Ruling Class has so long practiced putting a pretty face out there to be elected so they can further rape and pillage the American middle class for their own greed and aggrandizement. 

"You think I'm a joke? Just watch what happens."

When Donald Trump calls Jeb Bush "low energy", I love it!

When Donald Trump calls Secretary of State John Kerry a "schmuck" for participating in a bicycle race (and breaking his leg) while negotiating the Iran nuclear treaty, I love it!  

The Schmuck  John Kerry  bike racing - man, you're 73 years old!

When the Talking Heads, the political pundits, preface all their statements when talking about Donald Trump "Of course he will NEVER be elected president", they're expressing their wishful thinking.

They don't get it.  I do and many people like me do, Donald Trump is saying what I and many others like me in the Great Unwashed are thinking. And he's getting away with it which totally befuddles The Establishment.  John McCain not a war hero?  

John McCain, an Angry Old Man

Well, actually is he?  He hotdogged an air mission which he was told not to go on and got captured.  War hero or an airman who disobeyed order (which he could because both his father and grandfather were admirals in the Navy)?  While we should all respect the service of anyone who serves, and especially those who were taken prisoners of war; war hero?  My uncle John Tipton, who was a prisoner of war in Germany (he parachuted into Belgium and was captured) escaped twice and was recaptured twice.  His mother died two months before he was released at the end of the way, think he had died.  Did my uncle John consider himself a war hero?  No, he served his country.  He never once considered himself a "war hero."

Does Carly Fiorina have a face you want to look at for the next four or eight years?  Funny thing, I thought the same thing myself.  Of course it was impolite to say such a thing but hey, I didn't want to look at George W. Bush's face for eight years but I did.  For that matter I didn't want to look at Al Gore's face either.  Political correctness has gone amuck in this country. But I do have to say, Carly's folks came out with the best political ad yet of this political season in response to The Donald's impolite remarks about her appearance. 

Carly Fiorina - Republican Presidential candidate

As  you can see by my wild tangents I'm out of my Black Dog mood (thank goodness).  When I get those moods, they (thankfully) don't last too long. And I am so looking forward to the GOP debate tomorrow night. I think Ms. Fliorina will hold her own, unlike most of the other GOP Clown Car like  JEB! Bush, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and Humpty Dumpty Himself, the Bully of Jersey Chris Christie (and I used to like him too). 

So, as you can see I'm out of my Deep Funk.  

I leave this post with a positive memory of our blogger friend, Jay of Virginia.

Jay (Murphy) of Virginia - at peace now

Caregiver Update

  Bill with his hospice nurse last week Regular followers of this blog have no doubt noticed that I haven't been posting on a regular ba...