Posts Tagged With: Gun Control

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 7 Pepe 0008 (August 21, 2019)

“Time narrows as it passes.”
Saying on a Tarot card my brother Jim gave to Peter Grenell many years ago.
To my friend Eric, the old sailor, deep-sea diver, and pirate — Keep on Truckin.
To my beloved sister, Maryann, best wishes for a successful “Startup Mendocino” on August 25 in Ukiah.

 

 

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

 

 

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THE ENCHANTED FOREST:
Today I went swimming for the first time since last October. I walked to the Nepenthe pool here in the Enchanted Forest and sat on one of the reclining beach chairs in the shade of some redwood trees until I felt ready to swim. It was not much of a swim. I couldn’t complete even one lap, but I paddled around a bit and did some walking back and forth across the shallower end of the pool. It’s a start.

That evening after we went to bed, I remembered that I had not driven the car from the overnight no-parking tow-away zone in front of our house to where I normally park it during the night. I jumped out of bed, threw on Bill’s red velvet robe and ran out the door to attend to the problem. Now Bill was a big man, much bigger than I am, five or six inches taller and about 100 pounds heavier so his red velvet robe hung down to the tips of my crocs and draped loosely around my body. It appeared more like a paint tarp thrown loosely over an armchair than a robe. I looked like a disheveled dissolute medieval Cardinal newly returned from the grave running around at night searching for heretics to burn at the stake. I got into the car and drove it to the proper parking area and then walked back home through the paths and streets of the Enchanted Forest like a crimson specter carrying a Shillelagh. I suspect I will be brought before the HOC to explain why I had chosen to haunt the neighborhood.

As Frank tells us, “Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few.” The last precious few days have not only dwindled down to smokey memory but most of those memories have disappeared.

I swam again a few days later — more vigorously this time. That evening, we watched Anatomy of a Murder with Jimmy Stewart, Lee Remmick, George C. Scott, and Ben Gazzara. The Gazzara family (Ben’s relatives) owned the shop, a grocery store, in Canicatti, Sicily next door to my family’s “Tabacci.” How is that for a remote and inconsequential factoid? (Another inconsequential factoid is that the presence of Zs in the last name of southern Italians signifies that they are descended from the Arab and Moorish settlers during their more than 300 years (Ninth to the Eleventh Centuries) occupation of the Island and the southern mainland. OK one more: Jews were the only ones to migrate to Sicily instead of invading it. In 1492, the same year that Columbus arrived in the Americas beginning the conquest, genocide (ethnic cleansing), and repopulation of those two continents, the Spanish Kingdom of Aragon, recent conquerors of Sicily and sponsors of Columbus’ expedition, expelled those Jews, many of whom resettled in those parts Germany beyond the reach of the Christian crusaders and thus became a major component of the stateless Jewish nation of the Ashkenazim.)

This morning, I took a shower. I know that’s nothing momentous, but while my PICC line was in, I could neither shower nor swim. I thought to myself as I stood there for a long, long time with the water crashing down on me, how wonderful it was to shower again after eight months of sponge baths. That, in turn, reminded me of when I was a kid, in the second grade. We lived in a storefront with a soaped-up window. We had only a toilet and cold water, so every evening my mom would heat up water in a kettle on the stove and pour it into a galvanized tub in which she bathed my brother and I. Yes, it has been a long time from May to September.

Later, Naida and I discussed something amusing and interesting that I wanted to write about here but I forgot what it was. Only the sense that it was amusing and interesting remains. That’s good enough for me.

On Thursday night, we went to the B-street Theater housing Sacramento’s premier live theater group. We saw The Last Match, a one-act play about a tennis match at the US Open between the aging US champion on the verge of retirement and the young upstart Russian challenger, and their wives. It was a well-staged fascinating comedy-drama. The only problem with the show was that even with my hearing-aid turned up, I could only make out about a quarter of the words spoken by the actors. I blamed it on the failure of modern acting schools to focus on projection and diction and not on any deficiency in me or my auditory equipment.

The next day I planned to spend the morning swimming. Instead, I occupied the entire day extending well into the evening watching old Red Skelton movies. I know, I should be shot and put out of my misery. Who watches Red Skelton movies today? Whoever watched Red Skelton movies? I didn’t when I was a kid —not even Saturday mornings at the Tuckahoe Itch where for 25 cents we watched a double feature, a bunch of cartoons and Movietone News of the Week. OK, I admit, I enjoyed watching them this week, especially “The Whisperer” series — truly an adventure in silliness.)

hayden… teenage forgetting — grandparents v parents — Bella bru — sunglasses — lake — zumba pool — condo — rose garden — bookstore — Hamilton quote — epstein

I wrote the above as a mnemonic device so I could come back after a few days and hopefully recall what happened. It is now a few days later. Let us see how well it worked.

Hayden — I recall leaving home at 8AM and driving into the Golden Hills to pick up HRM and Jake in order to drive to a large skatepark camp near Tahoe. I stopped in the Bela Bru parking lot and called H because I suspected he would have changed his mind and forgotten to call and tell me.

Teenage forgetting — He answered the phone and said they changed their mind and had forgotten to call and tell me.

Grandparents v parents — I have no idea why I added this except perhaps grandparents and the very old (alter cocker?) tend to be more forgiving of the foibles of the young than parents because, I guess, but for a vague sense of one more disappointment among many, they have little enough to do anyway so there was usually nothing else they had to give up.

Bella Bru — so, having little else to do, I entered Bella Bru ordered my favorite breakfast of Cafe Latte and a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel with Cream cheese.

Sunglasses — for the rest of the day, I believed I had lost my favorite sunglasses. I tore the car apart and searched the house for them. That evening, as I sat in the recliner, I looked down and found the glasses had been hanging from one of my shirt buttons all day.

Lake — After breakfast, I went for a walk around the lakes at Town Center.

Zumba pool — I walked past the morning Zumba dancing class exercising in the health club pool.

Condo — and past the construction of the new and controversial 200 unit condominium project. It was not the best planned and designed concept. I would have preferred a walking street through the site with additional commercial on the ground floor. In any event, I support adding residential units to large shopping centers like Town Center so it had my silent approval for however much it is worth.

Rose Garden — After my walk around the lakes, I sat there and enjoyed myself contemplating something I no longer remember.

Book store — After meditating or whatever in the rose garden I walked to the bookstore, A Clean Well Lighted Place For Books. I seem to recall there were a few books that interested me. I no longer remember the titles of any of them.

Hamilton quote — I have no idea what this relates to or to what quote I was referring to unless it was this one I had read a few days ago:

Pasted Graphic
Epstein — Given the current news surrounding everything about this man, this could refer to almost anything.
A strange and mysterious thing came flying over the back fence today — a small box. In that box nestled a coffee cup filled with candy. It is sitting on a cabinet next to where I am typing this. I wonder about it. Perhaps it is a magic cup. Maybe if I rub it three times, a coffee genie will pop out and offer me three wishes. This requires some deep thought.

On Monday, I drove again into the Golden Hills. It was HRM’s first day of high school. I stopped again at Bella Bru, this time for lunch. As I was ordering, to my surprise N, Hayden’s mom, called to me. She was there with Jake’s mom. I joined them and we spent most of the lunch discussing the problems of teenagers. I then picked up H and Jake at the skatepark. They were very excited and happy about their first day of high school. I dropped them off at D’s house and returned to the EF.

A few more days have passed by. I assume I must have done something of at least moderate interest. Yesterday, I felt sick and spent most of the day in bed. Today, I felt better. That interests me even if it does no one else.

Well, today is Wednesday. Last night Naida could not find her wallet. We tried to remember when she used her credit card last. One of the places we considered she may have left it was at the Theater. In our attempts to recall the day we attended the play, I was convinced it was Saturday. She was not sure and thought we went there on Friday. Today at the theater we discovered it was Thursday (as I had written above but had not checked). My memory failures are going beyond simply humorous stories about the foibles of aging.

How about that, It is Friday evening already. It is Irene Dunne day on TCM.

We attended the Saturday Morning Coffee. I am beginning to enjoy talking to the people there rather than just sitting in the corner observing them and writing about it here. Perhaps I am growing up. Winnie, who is on immunotherapy, seems to be doing well. She was distraught when she first was diagnosed with brain cancer. Now that it seems to have been halted, at least for a while, she tries hard to enjoy every day as much as possible. Good for her. I also had a lengthy conversation with another woman, She worked in the legislative bill room while the Coastal Act was going through the process. Later, while working for a workman’s comp. company, she retained one of the attorneys from my firm for some legal work. This is another example of the “small world” aspect of coincidence. She also told me that one of Senator Henry Mello’s sons often attends the coffee but was not there today.

After that, I left again for the Golden Hills and picked up HRM, Jake, and Kaleb and drove to Placerville where we had lunch before I dropped them off at “Joe’s Skate Park.” While they were skating the cement hills of the park, I nosed around through some of Placerville’s shops. Later on the way back to EDH, the chattered on about their excitement over starting high school. I tried to leave them with Pookie’s Ten Cent Words of Wisdom for Adolescents by explaining that their high school years would be among the most memorable of their lives, but they should understand that because this is the time in one’s life most open to deep feelings and emotions inevitably they would find some things as bad as they had ever experienced before but they needed to know and remember that they will pass. Pretty mundane if you ask me.

The next day, was Ice Cream by the Pool Day where many of those who attend the Saturday Morning Coffee sat around the pool, ate ice cream and talked. Naida and I had an enjoyable conversation with Winnie about life and loves past. On the way back to the house we ran into the new neighbor who had worked for Lehman Brothers and now sells memberships in some sort of a travel club. He told us the man who had moved into the other side of us (The one who tried to chat up Naida) used to be an immigration lawyer in the Bronx. Small world indeed.

On Monday, I picked up HRM and Jake after school and took them to lunch. Alas, they wanted to go to Chick’a’fil which I am trying to boycott because of their support of Trump and their stance on LGBT. I decided to remain silent about political issues and went with them.

This morning, Naida and I woke-up and began chatting to each other about our dreams. We had both dreamt about summing up our lives, our successes, and failures. She on the difficulties, successes, and failures of being a woman trying to make her way in the world and me about the places I have been and the things that I have seen and the places and things I would never see and experience.

So, now it is time to travel again to the Big Endive by the Bay for my immunotherapy infusion.

Take care of yourselves.

 

 

 

 

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

 

 

 

In an effort to keep my mind from obsessing on the state of the world which I am convinced is rapidly approaching the end of times and away from trashy novels and old movies, I sometimes like to dwell for a bit on why things are like they are. No, not why did Trump get elected or why is the environment in a terminal tailspin, but the bigger picture like, is there a general rule explaining the why? Sort of like a thought experiment. Not because I expect to come up with any general principles of use to anyone, but only to amuse myself and then forget.

Let’s take agar in a Petri Dish. Place something in it like cells, bacteria or whatever and if properly prepared and some outside source of energy, such as light, is added, they grow and grow until either an external event occurs to halt the growth or they consume the agar and die. Life on earth is a bit like life in a Petri Dish, just add some light and the life grows until it consumes all that it feeds on and dies. But life on earth has lasted for billions of years and hasn’t consumed the resources that sustained it. Well, perhaps once or twice it consumed one or more of the resources necessary for its survival and it died in one or more of the five or six mass extinctions earth experienced. So what?

In Harvard, a young physicist/mathematician postulated that life is a mathematical formula and can (will) occur always and everywhere. It is probably true for the organic compounds necessary for life as we conceive it, but others who have studied this seem to believe that to go from organic compounds to bacteria or to eukaryotes requires a very unique environment such as certain deep ocean thermal vents with a complex composition. This is all well and good, but we need some generalization as to “what is life” to help make things clearer.

Schrodinger back in 1944 postulated that life is something small in size and permanent in time (crystals he believed at the time). Watson and Crick proved this up except instead of a crystal they discovered it was a complex molecule (DNA). In order to maintain that life does not violate the second law of thermodynamics, Schrodinger seems to argue that the biosphere is not an isolated system because the cost of this order is the release of heat into the environment and the capture of free energy mostly from the sun.

This I found interesting and helpful. When coupled with the fact that many believe the biosphere extends as a band from somewhere below the surface of the lithosphere (ground) up until it dissipates somewhere near the stratosphere, it helps me to explore a possible concept on which I believed I could replace my uninformed uncertainty with dogmatic bias.
(to be continued if I feel up to it)

 

 

 

 

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

 

The following continues the reproduction of the entries in my diary from 1963 that I had begun in the previous T&T post. It also includes my current comments and clarifications on the entries.
January 9, 1963

Today started well. I saw some of the prettiest women on the subway this morning. Fatigue, however, from lack of sleep dulled my whole afternoon. I even cut class so that I could come home early and rest.

I am falling behind in my studies. I do not think I will finish Introduction to Law by exam time.

(All this worry about the exams turned out to be just my usual flight into hysteria. In fact, when the exam results came out, I placed second in the class. This convinced me law school was a snap, so I began cutting class and ignoring my studies. I even arrived drunk to my spring partnership exam. As a result after the spring exams, I almost flunked out. From then on I tried to get back on top but, at best, my marks were undistinguished. I went on to be a very mediocre attorney, but a better than average advocate.)

 

January 10, 1963

I received a letter from Tad. He really is in the Army. All along, I thought he was pulling one of his frauds again. His vocabulary has gone Army.

He wrote about meeting Suzi, Kevin’s old girlfriend, in Washington on New Year’s. She told him that I was “harmless.” Maybe I am. Nevertheless, no man should take such a blow to his devoutly cultivated reputation lying down. I need to get of a few defamations about her and her girlfriends. I need to write back to Tad soon.

On a brighter note, I got nine more girls to sign up for the trip to Bermuda.

My studies are still going poorly and I am concerned.

My parents had another argument tonight. They tried to use me as a mediator. I refused hoping to avoid trouble. No such luck, I ended up in trouble anyway for refusing.

(Tad was one of those Georgetown boys (like Justice Kavanaugh), a trouble maker and carouser with a strange, to me at least, sense of morality (more a doctrinaire commitment to ritual than a sophisticated understanding of ethics). He was also a close friend. He was one of a group of students I hung with including Pat Buchanan and the entire Buchanan clan as well as David Hearne, one of the Irish ambassador’s sons who a decade later made headlines by running over an elderly pedestrian with his car and claiming diplomatic immunity to avoid liability. The oldest of the ambassador’s sons, Maury, was a compulsive gambler. Bob, my roommate at the time (and later manager of Prince, The Lovin Spoonful, and Earth, Wind, and Fire among others) and I used to make some extra change indulging Maury’s passion by fleecing him at a crooked card game in our rooms. He knew it was crooked but didn’t seem to mind. Later, Maury died by shooting himself while practicing quickdraws with a loaded pistol from a shoulder holster.

We all spent a lot of time together drinking, fighting, general carousing, and very little studying and going to class. We ran Pat for his first office, president of the off-campus student government. We cheated and he won (that’s a long story). I had always believed Pat, who I considered both violent and nuts, would end up in the electric chair. Imagine my surprise when a decade or so later, I was sitting in the American Embassy in Rome on election night and hearing that he was Nixon’s speechwriter (another Zelig moment). Anyway, back to Tad, I persuaded a young woman (an heiress from New Jersey) to give Tad another chance after she told him she never wanted to see him again because he had done something unconscionable which he often was wont to do. They eventually married. She regretted it bitterly until about 20 years later when she got it together enough to throw him out. Sometime later, I ran into her mom (a woman who had born 12 children and always claimed that bearing 12 kids had made her certifiably insane) somewhere in New Jersey. She blamed me for ruining her daughter’s life.

Place it all somewhere in Italy in the Fifteenth Century, add a few poisoning and a sword fight or two, and it would all be quite Shakespearean, don’t you think?)

 

January 11, 1963.

I met with the study group immediately after class today.

I wrote a return letter to Tad containing a defense to Suzi’s slander, and a few other absurdities.

The study session pissed me off today. I thought I knew enough but I often was bewildered, muddled, and wrong. I hope this does not happen during the exams.

I must get in touch with Pat and push him to promote the trip to Puerto Rico at Hunter College.

Dammit, I must make an extra effort at my studies.

Today, I learned that “Twentieth Century” is doing a program on “Winnie” Churchill (My sort of friend from College) as a “typical” Rhodes Scholar. He is anything but typical — ego-centric yes. Nevertheless, I am glad to learn that at least one of my classmates is making it.

(Winnie had been my classmate and not so friendly competitor at Fordham. I have written about him before (https://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/category/winnie-and-i/). He was a scion of the American side of the famous English family.

While I was attending law school, I also had a business chartering airplanes and flying college students to Bermuda and Puerto Rico for Spring Break. A few years before I had broken the IATA rule that no airplane could be chartered except by an organization whose members traveling on the proposed flight had been members for over six months prior to the retention of the charter. I broke it by simply attesting that the members had been such for six months. I then walked out of the airline office and backdated their membership cards when I sold them their tickets. This loophole in the rule eventually permitted the establishment of charter airline services with often disastrous results. In 1963, I had chartered four airplanes, two for Bermuda and two for Puerto Rico. The travel agency I was working with took the profit on the lodging and me on whatever I could make on the sale of tickets on the planes.)

 

January 12, 1963.

I met with the study group again today. It was a bore. I wonder if any of the others in the group will make it. T. Russo, A. Shifler, O. Shimshidian, G. Cantarella, N. Guarneri, J. Little, and M. Ryan. It will be interesting to watch them develop.

I got into a fight today with one of the Burns Guards.

(Tony flunked out of law school. Al graduated. I do not know what happened to him. Ora became a highly respected admiralty attorney in NY. Gino graduated. I do not know what happened to him either. Nunzio who looked a lot like Arnold Stang, graduated and became a small-town lawyer and lived in Bronxville, I think. John graduated, practiced law in JAG, and spent a lot of time acting in summer stock. Mike, I have no idea what happened to him.

I do not recall the fight with the Burns Guard or whether it was a fistfight or just an argument. Could have been either.)
January 13, 1963.

I was not going to write anything here today for lack of anything interesting to write about, but, this evening, I just finished an argument with both my mother and my father.

It all began with an argument with my mother that started when she asked me to continue teaching her how to drive. I tried to explain to her that because we are family when one of us takes up the role of teacher to another, tensions resulting in arguments often result as they had in my previous attempts to teach her how to drive. My efforts to explain this failure. I tripped over my words and became more and more frustrated.

Mom responded by claiming “no one in this family was willing to sacrifice for her.” With that dad jumped in stating that he had paid fifty dollars for her driving lessons.

I then came in on mom’s side and, of course, dad and I then became combatants. He suggested that I leave. I responded, “perhaps we both should.” I obviously botched the whole argument so I stormed off to my room. Mom and dad then went at it again at the top of their lungs. Dad threatened to leave home.

(As you can guess by now my parents argued a lot. Years later after they retired, and I brought them to California from the East Coast to live in my house. My father achieved a bit of local renown for, after some of their more passionate arguments, running out onto San Francisco’s Douglass Street, the street in front of the house, and with arms raised to the heavens screaming, “Why me God? Why Me?”)

 

January 14, 1963

Today I listened to the President’s State of the Union Address. I don’t think there has been someone who could speak lime him since Churchill. At a time as dangerous and confused by crises, he speaks with the power and conviction of the greatest orators of the past.

I wonder if the last phrase of the speech could be stricken by the Supreme Court. He said, “… with the help of almighty God we shall prevail.”

I think he is the right man at the right time. He seems to have begun to turn back the advance of communist totalitarianism and may be leading the US to victory in the Cold War.(As Churchill and Roosevelt, Lincoln, Wilson, and Washington led us in prior wars against totalitarianism.)

As far as the material content of the message is concerned, it appears to be only a general summary of the Domestic and International situation. The only new point relates to the Tax-Cuts that appear, after listening to the commentators, to not be the ones that had been expected, but Tax-cuts that were more acceptable to the public.

 

(The President referred to of course is JFK. A few years before, I worked parking cars at his marriage to Jackie. RFK left the ceremonies to personally thank each one of us for helping out. I always looked at RFK as someone special after that.)
(More in a few weeks)

 

 

 

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

 

 

 

A. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

 

In the dark alleyways of history, a woman alone is always prey.

Dress a woman in man’s clothing and she can safely negotiate those dank streets. A man in a dress will be shocked at his own vulnerability.

A woman’s option is to either submit or band together with other women to rule over men. This means, for their own protection, women must control at least one of a society’s social mores, economic power or political leadership.

 

B. Today’s Poem:
Given the events of the recent weeks in the United States, the massacres of innocents by White Nationalists, the abandonment of the fight against climate change, shredding of protections against nuclear holocaust and the looting of the national treasury, this poem by William Butler Yeats captures the dread we in America feel at this time as well as it did one hundred years ago. Then the slouching beast crept towards Berlin. Today its claws grip the heart of our nation while the worst in our citizens march into our cities and towns, our schools and shops our churches, synagogues, and mosques full of passionate intensity and carrying assault weapons.

The Second Coming
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born
.
William Butler Yeats is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. He belonged to the Protestant, Anglo-Irish minority that had controlled the economic, political, social, and cultural life of Ireland since at least the end of the 17th century. Most members of this minority considered themselves English people who happened to have been born in Ireland, but Yeats was staunch in affirming his Irish nationality. Although he lived in London for 14 years of his childhood (and kept a permanent home there during the first half of his adult life), Yeats maintained his cultural roots, featuring Irish legends and heroes in many of his poems and plays. He was equally firm in adhering to his self-image as an artist. This conviction led many to accuse him of elitism, but it also unquestionably contributed to his greatness. As fellow poet W.H. Auden noted in a 1948 Kenyon Review essay entitled “Yeats as an Example,” Yeats accepted the modern necessity of having to make a lonely and deliberate “choice of the principles and presuppositions in terms of which [made] sense of his experience.” Auden assigned Yeats the high praise of having written “some of the most beautiful poetry” of modern times.
(www.poetryfoundation.org/)

 

C. Apologies, Regrets, and Humiliations:
1. Naida says she never told the tale of the giraffes and the acacia trees that appeared in the preview T&T post. She said it was me who told the story after reading one of my books about trees that talk to one another. Although, I apologize if in fact, it was me that made up the story. Nevertheless, I refuse to change it as written.

2. Terry, I think, also wrote that I had made a mistake about something, but I no longer remember what. So, I apologize both for the mistake and my failure to remember what it was about.

3. Over the last month or so, I have not responded to a number of e-mails from readers of T&T. I am not sure why I failed to do so. To those whose emails I have not responded I apologize and promise I will try to do better in the future.

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

 

 

“It was the best of crimes, it was the worst of crimes; it was born of love, it was spawned by greed; it was completely unplanned, it was coldly premeditated; it was an open-and-shut case, it was a locked-room mystery; it was the act of a guileless girl, it was the work of a scheming scoundrel; it was the end of an era, it was the start of an era; a man with the face of a laughing boy reigned in Washington, a man with the features of a lugubrious hound ruled in Westminster; an ex-Marine got a job at a Dallas book repository, an ex-Minister of War lost a job in politics; a group known as the Beatles made their first million, a group known as the Great Train Robbers made their first two million; it was the time when those who had fought to save the world began to surrender it to those they had fought to save it for; Dixon of Dock Green was giving way to Z-Cars, Bond to Smiley, the Monsignors to the Maharishis, Matt Dillon to Bob Dylan, l.s.d. to LSD, as the sunset glow of the old Golden Age imploded into the psychedelic dawn of the new Age of Glitz. It was the Year of Our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-three, and it is altogether fitting that this crime of which we speak should have been committed in one of Yorkshire’s great country houses, Mickledore Hall, and that its dénouement should have taken place in that most traditional of settings, the Old Library …”
Hill, Reginald. Recalled to Life . MysteriousPress.com/Open Road.

 

 

 

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Screenshot_20190810-123722_Gallery
The Old Sailor, Deep-sea Diver, World Traveler, Pirate, Treasure Hunter, and Raconteur Getting Acupuncture.

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This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 8 Mopey 0002 (January 25, 2013)

 

 

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

 

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

 

Fear and loathing in ICU: Part II.

 

After a night of drifting between fitful sleep and stark terror, as the grey dawn light filtered into the room, I dimly overheard a conversation between two nurses as they busied themselves with things on or attached to my body or in my room.

 

 

“He lives in Thailand,” said the clearly recent arrival from the Philippines.“Is that in Southeast Asia?” “I don’t know” responded the other. Now obviously, although both nurses were exceptionally competent at their jobs, they were woefully ignorant of geography. So, that got me thinking about useless knowledge and that, in turn, led me to Sherlock Holmes. In one of the stories, Watson informed Holmes that the earth revolves around the sun. Holmes acknowledged that he did not know that and now that he does he will immediately dismiss it from his memory since there is no occasion that he could see that that information could help him to solve crimes.

 

I suddenly realized that through most of my life I minimized and devalued information usable in my daily activities, while reveling in useless factual tidbits. I decided, I did not care.

 

While I was contemplating this, a strange-looking gentleman entered the room. He was quite skinny, a bit hunched and wearing an exceptionally ill fitting greenish suit. He had a long relatively unkempt beard that extended halfway down his chest below which was pinned a badge that said “chaplain.”

 

If I had seen a roman collar, I would have expected a bunch of olive oil to be smeared over my body accompanied by some mumbling as he administered extreme unction. Or if he were wearing saffron robe, I would have expected some chanting to go with the mumbling and maybe the burning of a little incense. Both I could probably tolerate. After all, a little ritual to send you on your way couldn’t hurt. But this strange-looking individual with sad feverish eyes, I suspected was aiming at nothing less than a death-bed conversion. I immediately became wary and annoyed.

 

He said, unnecessarily, “I am the chaplain.” Added, “sometimes patients would like to ask me some questions.” I did not respond. He nodded briefly, continued, saying that in that case, he had a form that he identified with one of those poly syllabic words that end in y, like infinity or serendipity that when used by religious people could mean everything or nothing at all. He said, “usually one pays a lawyer to draft one up but that I could have this for free.” I took the form. Said, “I will read it later.”

 

“OK,” he said and stared at me with those wet sympathetic eyes. Eventually asked me, “is there anything I can do to help you.” I think I shook my head. He sat there a few more moments, said “OK,” again, wished me good luck and left. I looked at the form. It was a reasonably well done authorization for whomever I choose to turn off whatever machines were keeping me alive at the time.

 

He was followed almost immediately by another bearded gentleman in a white coat. His beard was long but not as long as the chaplain’s and slightly better barbered. When he spoke his accent identified him as a recent arrival from the South Asian Indian sub-continent. He told me that he was my new doctor, replacing the smiling Syrian. I do not know what became of the Syrian and did not care much; probably he went to the same place the happy Indian lady disappeared into. It was difficult for me to tell whether he was smiling also or whether his face had solidified into a grimace caused by some unbelievable shock he experienced in his early life. He spoke as though he was always on the verge of hysteria and told me what I was to expect my life to be like for the next day or two.

 

After he left, I turned to stare out the window where I first noticed that my view was filled by a magnificent huge valley oak tree, three or four huge twisted limbs crossed the window in great black slashes from upper left to lower right. In between the limbs the space was filled by the chaos of tiny branches typical of the species. It made me think of my daughter Jessica’s photographs. Most people, myself included, when taking a photograph tend to concentrate on focal points or design elements in the composition. Not Jessica, hers exhibit a sublime sense of anarchy; the design elements that one looks for always hovering just beyond reach. Then it registered that the diagonal thick branches were the design element that attracted me and I realized that she would probably ignore them and focus instead on the filigree of tiny branches that filled the spaces in between. What did I know?

 

While zoned out on my artistic musings, my first real visitor arrived. It was Joey, or “Papa Joey” as Hayden referred to him. I was very pleased that he took the time to come by and visit me. We mostly discussed his new venture. His environmental safety firm, that has offices in DC, Palo Alto and LA intends to start a franchise programs whereby his firm will provide the technical backup and regional marketing and the franchisee, the local sales and marketing.

 

Later that day a four person ambulance medical team arrived to transport me to another hospital where a titanium umbrella would be inserted into a vein in hopes that it would catch any additional blood clots before they reached my lungs and surely killed me. This was necessary because, as either the smiling Syrian or hysterical Indian repeatedly warned, the next clot would be fatal. The male members of the team were named, appropriately, Jason, Mark and Jeff.

 

Jason was the supervisor. He did not do much other than ask me if I was feeling all-right. Jeff was the driver and Mark the muscle. In the world of hospitals, white anglo-saxon males do the pulling, lifting and driving. They seem excluded from pursuits requiring greater mental capacity. They do appear slowly to be breeching the “glass ceiling” in the phlebotomist and nursing trades, although I suspect these pioneers were mostly gay.

 

They were accompanied by Cindy a middle-aged registered nurse who was there, “just in case something went wrong.

 

It dawned on me that I probably had expended more money in medical care in the past two days than I had during the entire rest of my life combined.

 

They told me to relax, they were going to do all the work. They lifted me from my bed on to the gurney and wheeled me through the hospital halls. I lay back and watched the ceiling rush by like those shots in those television programs focused on the lives, loves and hi-jinks of those mostly post adolescent beautiful people who work in hospital ER facilities. Mark lifted me all by himself into the back of the ambulance. I guess the ride to the other hospital could be added to my bucket list; a ride in the back of an ambulance while still conscious.

 

At the second hospital I was delivered to another UN medical strike team appropriately dressed in blue scrubs. The operating physician was definitely more loquacious than Dr. Greenberg. The Dr, whose name I forget, proceeded to explain, at length and in great detail everything that was going to happen to me in the next thirty minutes. His description in fact was so remarkable, that I overheard a masked member of the UN strike team tell one of the ambulance personnel that he had never heard it done so clearly and at such great length as on that night. The Dr. gravely explained that after about a month, I would have to return to have my throat slit and a catheter inserted into the thus exposed vein that would grasp the umbrella by a hook and pull it out of my body. If I did not do this, I would die. He also explained that some people forgot all about the umbrella for as much as a year before they died. He did not recommend this course of action.

 

The operation was anti-climatic since I saw and felt nothing following the slight pinch in my groin that accompanied administration of the local anesthetic. Then it was back to the ambulance, return to the first hospital and the lifting of my body back into bed. Everyone congratulated everyone else and I thanked my team profusely (I had begun to view them as my team). They left and I settled back into the unique rhythms of life in ICU.

 

I no longer remember precisely what else happened that day (or perhaps even the next) other than that night (or perhaps the next) at about 2 AM one of the nurses gave me a full bath while I laid there on my bed in the semi-darkness. I thought it was pleasantly erotic. It made me happy.

 

The next day all I really recall was my bout of Stockholm Syndrome. You know, the effect experienced by those kidnapped who become so dependent of their captors, they fall in love with them. I fell in love with my nurses and wanted to marry them. I told them so. I never saw them again.

 

The next day was the NFC and AFC football conference championship games. The SF 49ers won. For those who saw the game there were several moments of high emotion for those who become emotional about things like that. At some point near the end of the game, the room suddenly was filled with doctors, nurses and technicians. Apparently all my monitoring equipment had gone haywire. My blood pressure went through the roof and my pulse escalated to about 125 BPM. EKG,s, X-rays, emergency blood tests were called for. A lot of serious faces and head shaking. About an hour after the game all my vital signs returned to normal. I wonder if I should consider skipping the Superbowl? Go Niners.

 

A few days later at about two in the AM a nurse pushing a wheelchair entered the room and announced they needed the bed. I was wheeled off the ICU floor and into another less mechanically appointed room where I was left alone. The next morning a new Arab doctor came in and announced that they needed the bed for this room as well. They would discharge me in an hour. I begged him to let me stay until 5PM when Dick could pick me up without missing a day of work. He agreed with a shrug of his shoulders. I was left alone until about 4PM when a nurse came into my room and said that, to her, it appeared I did not want to leave. After she left I thought about that for a while. Maybe there was something to it. After all, some of my best friends are here.

 

At 5PM I was discharged. Dick and Hayden picked me up. Besides the wheelchair pusher, no one else was there to see me off.

 

We went and had dinner a Panda’s Express. After dinner we went home where I immediately went to sleep and did not wake up until the following morning.

 

JOEY’S NEW MYSTERY NOVEL:

 

ENTER THE DRAGON

 

Chapter 1.

 

Some people call me Dragon, not because of my fiery breath or temperament or even because I might be sitting on a pile of gold, which I definitely am not. I got that name for the perfectly pedestrian reason that my real name is Matt Dragoni. And, as with most nicknames you go with it or try to hide it out of embarrassment. I can live with Dragon. It beats, Matty, Drags or Goni Gonads.

 

I am part-time attorney and private detective working out of San Francisco and Bangkok Thailand. When I am not doing that, I mostly spend my time like today, sitting at a sidewalk café in San Francisco’s North Beach or some other place like that, sipping espresso, working on my novel and staring off into the distance. Mostly the latter. As for my novel, I began the current draft, my sixth or so (none either finished or published), about four months ago. I have reached the middle of page seven. I have however accumulated 35 pages of notes, clever sayings and obscure facts, that I am convinced some day I will integrate into the novel and win me a literary prize.

 

I used to be what many people call a success, a euphemism for asshole, but now I am mostly a bum. So it goes. I have a small stipend from what is left of my investments and I work now and then as a private eye and attorney hoping to eke out $1000 or so more per month to keep me in whatever it is at that moment that I crave.

 

Anyway, I was sitting there contemplating the appropriate simile with which to end a series of sentences that began, “[I] stood there is the shadows. It was freezing. My frozen nuts clanged against my thighs like….” I began considering something like, “ice cubes striking a cocktail glass” but was sure something like that had been done before. Suddenly a woman walked up and stood in front of my table.

 

If this were a noir mystery novel she would be a tall willowy blond with legs extending to heaven or some other improbable place like that. Given that when I was in my dream space my ability to switch back into reality is somewhat impaired, the appropriateness of a contest to decide the suitable metaphor or simile for where those legs actually did end up flashed through my mind.

 

Alas, she was not a tall willowy blond no matter how her legs connected to her body. She was short and sort of skinny. Decent breasts pressed against her jeans jacket. “Tits on a stick,” my friend Gary would call them. She also had a shiner around her left eye.

 

She had short spiky black hair. Actually, only some of it was black the rest was red, yellow and green. A spike in her nose holding what looked like a tiny dog biscuit (do they still do that?). The jagged edges of red, blue and green tattoos snaking up her neck above her collar and peeking out below her cuffs. Black leather leggings, metalled joints and motorcycle boots or Doc Martins, I could never tell which is which. Her face was heavily freckled and she had a small pinched nose. She looked a lot like the woman in the first two Indiana Jones films who always got into trouble that Harrison Ford got her out of and then screwed at the end of the picture.

 

I thought her look had gone out of style a few years ago. But, hey, this is San Francisco, weird dress never goes out of style here. Today I saw two men wearing berets and there are whole neighborhoods where people still sit around complimenting each other on their tie-dye T-shirts.

 

She said, “Can I sit down?”

 

“Depends, I am not good-looking enough or rich enough to expect an attractive woman to walk up and sit at my table. What’s up?”

 

“You’re The Dragon right.”

 

“Dragon, is enough. And, yes I am some times called that — among other less savory things, but you still did not answer my question.”

 

“Pino said you were a private detective.”

 

Pino was one of the shills that line Columbus avenue trying to entice passers-by into restaurants to eat generally atrocious, over priced, pretend Italian food.

 

“Pino is a fat asshole, and yes I sometimes do some detective work, but I am not very good at it.”

 

“That’s what Pino said. Can I sit now?” Which she did without waiting for an answer.

 

I looked over at the smiling Pino leaning against the parking meter and mimed a pistol shot at his head.

 

“Would you like a drink?”

 

“If you’re buying.”

 

She ordered a glass of Barbera. I signaled for two.

 

“How much do you charge?”

 

“$100 a day, plus expenses. Seven day minimum. Half up front and the rest when the week is up.” In other words $350. At my level, I figured I would never see the rest of the fee or the expenses.

 

“That sounds reasonable”

 

“Like everyone seems to agree, I am not very good.”

 

She chuckled, said, “What are the expenses.”

 

“You know transportation, telephone calls , cocaine. Things like that. The usual.”

 

Chuckled again. “Ok, except for the cocaine.”

 

“What’s your name,” I ask?

 

“Mavis Corcoran”

 

Thought, “who the fuck names their kid Mavis today.” Said, “Your shitting me, not Dawn or Sandy?”

 

She ignored me said, “I would like you to find my friend. He has been missing for a week.”

 

The drinks arrived. I took a sip of mine. She did not touch hers. Said, “Why would you pay someone like me? Why not go to the police? They have a department just for this.”

 

“Yeah, but they never do anything but wait and tell you to let them know if he ever shows up.”

 

“Did he give you that'” I said pointing at the shiner?

 

“Uh, no I fell at work.”

 

“Do you drive a Harley,” I asked?

 

“Huh?” “In fact I do. How did you know?”

 

“I’m a detective.”

 

“Ha, more likely a lucky guess. What happened if I said no?”

 

“You would be lying, and even if it were true I would have said I knew it all along.”

 

“So what?”

 

“So,” I added, “I know bullshit when I hear it. It is your right not to tell me what you do not want me to know. Your information as well as your money are what you pay me with. You get what you pay for. Why do you want to find this guy?”

 

Don’t you want to know his name?”

 

“We’ll get to that. This is more important now.”

 

So she told me her story about their being lovers for a while. The last few weeks he being nervous but he would not explain why. Something about an import-export deal with Clarence Reilly. Then he disappeared and the usual, “he would have told me if he were going away.”

 

In my past life I had dealings with Reilly. He billed himself as an “investment advisor.” You know he took your money and told you what you wanted to hear. If things worked out, he took some more. If it didn’t he still had your money but did not want to know you anymore. A gangster without guns. Reilly was up there among the hall-of-fame assholes. I hoped I would not have to deal with him. It would take weeks to wash away his stink.

 

“Tell me, do you ride your bike in the Gay Freedom Day Parade?”

 

“What what does that have to do with it,” she said reddening slightly?

 

“Humor me.”

 

“Yes” she said staring defiantly in my eyes.

 

“You drive or ride postern?”

 

“Drive. My girl friend rides behind.”

 

“So you have a boyfriend and a girlfriend?”

 

“This is San Francisco, and what does that have to do with him being missing?”

 

“Nothing I guess, this is San Francisco.”

 

I took her information and entered it into my computer; his name and address, work address, friends (he did not seem to have many), same information about the girl friend and a bunch of other bullshit things to make it seem as though I had a lot of work to do. I also got his name. Mark, Mark Holland.

 

I asked her for photographs of Mark and of her girl-friend. She fished in her back pocket pulled out a wallet and eventually handed my two photos. The first, a little out of focus, showed a young man, a little too much hair on his head and a little too little in what passed for a mustache and a beard. He was young man thin but already showing the signs of the bloating that was to come. He was flexing a poor excuse for a bicep to accentuate for the camera the spiky dark tattoo; something abstract, nordic, who the fuck knows. I hate tattoos. I took him for about 30 years old and a big time stoner.

 

The girl friend was another thing altogether. Lilly Park was her name. She was as they say drop dead gorgeous. She appeared Eurasian. I wondered how many more generations in the city it would take for these racial identification characteristics to disappear. Already, most of the teenagers I see around the city had lost any distinguishing visual racial markers that I had been brought up with that identified whatever it was they were supposed to identify. Another separation from life’s comfortable moorings. Probably a good thing that it also goes wherever it is that ethnic jokes went.

 

The photograph looked like a publicity shot. Taken from slightly above it showed blond smokey eyed beauty revealing plenty of cleavage. Said, “Those must have been some threesomes.”

 

Got the bitch look in return. You know the pupils crash down to pinpoints and the body goes rigid. That’s one of the differenced between men and women. Insult a man and it takes him time to work through his slow-thinking mind whether he was insulted. Then even more time to figure out whether he can take you or not. That usually gives you time to run, make a joke of it or hit him first. With women their reaction is instantaneous. You no longer have options.

 

Rather than risking further damage, I told her that I would take the pictures with me now and when I get home scan them into my computer and return them tomorrow. Actually I do not have a scanner. I said that just to avoid any protest from her in the matter.

 

Finally, I got her cell phone number and email address and asked where she works.

 

“I own Marky’s Tattoo Parlor on Columbus. I worked with Marky for years. He gave the place to me when he retired. Marky was a real artist.”

 

Thought she must have a thing for guys with that name. Said, “Oh, I was unaware that sticking needles in someone was considered an art form now.”

 

“Asshole”

 

I smiled, “so they say,” and collected the $350 fee.

 

I watched her walk off, skinny ass swinging in a tight, almost prissy, determined rhythm.

 

“I like them with a little more meat on their bones,” I thought.

 
PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

 

LIVEBLOGGING WORLD WAR II: JANUARY 22, 1943

 

Eleanor Roosevelt:
WASHINGTON, Thursday—”I am back in Washington and today am flying down to christen the new “Yorktown.” I christened the first one and she acquitted herself well and I am proud that they have asked me to christen the second one. As she goes down the ways, I shall pray that she will see the end of the war and will be used in the future for peaceful patrol work. Whatever happens to her, I feel sure that ship and men will live up to the traditions of the Navy, which are becoming more glorious day by day.”

 

A FLOTUS for the ages.

Of course my right-wing correspondents will eventually email me their opinion [accompanied by appropriate photographs] that Ms. Roosevelt as well as Hillary Clinton, are not “pretty” enough to be taken seriously. This, of course, will be proven, in their minds, by pointing to Franklin and Bill’s extra-curricular activities. Why do you think conservatives so firmly believe a woman’s value and abilities reside in her vagina? Could it be because their brains reside in their tiny penises?

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TODAY’S QUOTE:

 

“a gun kept in the home was 43 times more likely to be involved in the death of a member of the household than to be used in self-defense,”
Art Kellerman, Emergency Room Doctor and researcher.

 

The reason we keep guns in our home, we are often told, is to protect us from being shot by someone we do not want to be shot by. That is unless you are a Second Amendment gun-nut, who believes we keep guns in our homes because it is our constitutional right to shoot ourselves.

I understand that, really I do. But what I do not understand why you would not want the police or emergency services personnel to know you have the gun, given that you will most likely be calling on their services sooner rather than later.

 
TODAY’S CHART:

 

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Categories: January 2013 through March 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 1 Mopey 0002 (January 21, 2013)

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

1. A Hayden Tale:

Since Hayden was four years old, almost every night I have been with him, I have told him an ongoing bed-time story regarding a little boy about his age and his pony Acorn (the name of the pony H rode at Naida and Bill’s ranch). The stories concerned Danny and Acorn’s adventures with their friends: the White Knight and his horse, Blackey-whitey; the Black Knight and his horse, Whitey-blackey; the Knight of the Burning Toilet; the Monster that Lived in the Closet; the Wizard that lived in a Castle on the Mountain; and Prince Sammy who lived in a palace in Rivertown with ten princesses whose names were, Brandy, Cindy, Candy, Fannie, Ginnie, Mandy, Sandi, Tammi, Winnie and Abigail Fort and Go Braugh. (I sometimes would forget the names, but Hayden had them memorized and would correct me if I did.)

Danny lived in a small house with a barn for Acorn located next to THE DEEP, THE DARK, FOREST (said in a deep scary voice), in the center of which lived, Grandpa Pookie.

It seems that on the last night before I left two months ago, I had begun an adventure about Zeekie a small green creäture and Three Giants. I did not finish it that night. Instead I promised him I would do so when I returned. Of course by the time I got back, I had forgotten all about it.

On my first night in EDH he took me into the bedroom and asked me to finish the story. After I admitted that I had forgotten what it was about, he nodded sagely, went to a drawer in his headboard and took out a piece of paper. On it he had written out the entire story I had told so far. The words were all phonetically written but understandable.

This surprised me. When I had left only two months ago, I thought he could not yet write. It amazed that he had taken the time and effort to write it down and had the insight to realize that I would probably have forgotten it all.

That night I told him the rest of the story. It wasn’t bad as those stories go and it even had a moral with a twist at the end. The implications of the twist concerned Hayden a lot.

2. Fear and loathing in ICU – Part I

Ever since I arrived in California I had been feeling quite ill; headaches, fatigue and pains in my left leg. The latter, I assumed, was caused by sitting for 10 hours in a center seat during my flight. About five days after my arrival, I had dropped Hayden off for school, had a coffee and bagel at my usual place and returned to the house feeling exceptionally tired. I went back to bed and did not wake up until almost three PM. It was nearly time to pick up Hayden at school and cart him to his Taekwondo lesson. I got up and blacked out. I fell back onto the bed for a moment. When I regained my senses, I discovered I was too fatigued to move further than to the living room sofa. I called Dick at work and told him about my condition, that I couldn’t get to the school and pick up Hayden and that I thought I needed to go to the hospital.

After picking up Hayden, Dick drove us to the local emergency hospital. I staggered into the emergency room and was immediately placed in a wheel chair. While Dick handled the preliminary admission formalities, I fussed over my feelings of helplessness, guilt over the burden I was placing on Dick, and concern about how it all must affect Hayden.

They wheeled me into a room with three people in it where my EKG was taken. A man in green scrubs sitting at a computer asked me questions about my symptoms. When I finished explaining them, he said it sounded to him like I had a pulmonary embolism.

I was then carted off to one of the emergency treatment rooms and put into a bed while a succession of various information scavengers and blood gatherers trooped through.

While I lay there I could see into the main area beyond intake and observe hospital life. It had always found it remarkable that no matter how white bread a neighborhood the hospital is located it, its staff inevitably appears like a branch of the United Nations. It is difficult for me now to identify an ethnic group that did not have a hand in my treatment somewhere along the line. Of course, the highest level of the medical staff, the doctors, is populated primarily by members of the high performing caucasian groups, Ashkenazi Jews, Middle Eastern refugees and Indians.

The other noticeable physical feature of the hospital staff was obesity, and they mostly seemed quite happy and content about it. I was not so sure how I felt about that. It is a hospital after all.

The final information scavenger was a woman with serious determined eyes who collected at least some money against the final medical bill just in case I died so they will have recovered something on account. After she left, the ER doctor, Dr Greenberg, came in, asked a bunch of questions, opined that it sounded as though I had a blood clot on my lung, and announced he was going to have a few more tests run before deciding what to do about me. He left.

Doctors, ask questions, give orders and render opinions. Most of the rest of the hospital medical staff actually do things.

So, I was wheeled through a CAT scan, sonograms and a number of other tests after which I was deposited back in the room to await results.

While waiting, Hayden opined that he thought Dick was rich and Pookie was handsome.

Dr, Greenberg returned and without much in the way of preliminaries, in that deep serious voice doctors often use to announce the death of the patient, said that I had suffered a “very very serious’ pulmonary embolism” that had affected most of my lungs and that I was being admitted into the ICU unit immediately. He, once again, left before I had time to either digest the information or ask any questions, like ‘what did you just say?”

While waiting for the transportation to arrive and trying to understand the information I had just received that I interpreted to mean that I was effectively dead and they were now going to try to resuscitate me, two more doctors entered the room. They were surprisingly cheery and introduced themselves as the co-chief doctors of the ICU unit as though welcoming me into a five-star beach resort. One doctor a Syrian gentleman who maintained a slight smile as he explained to me how sudden death was inevitable in my case without immediate treatment. The Indian woman seemed very happy to visit with me and asked me many of the same questions the information scavengers had asked. I never saw her again.

They transported me to ICU and placed into bed by a number of suspiciously cheery hospital personnel who then vigorously and repeatedly punctured me to extract blood and other bodily fluids and inject me with clear liquids from several bags hung above my head. I was also attached to several monitors and the various blinking lights and beeping one associates with intensive care.

At some point the smiling Syrian appeared at the side of my bed and explained again, how dead I was and what they were planning to do to correct that condition. He left and one of the cheery nurses injected me with morphine, explaining unnecessarily that it would make me feel better. They woke me up about every hour or two to have my blood taken or my body injected with something important. I counted over 30 puncture wounds to my body over the first 24 hours.

I did not sleep much or well that night. In the past, whenever I thought about death, my thoughts were often accompanied by fear – no more accurately terror. Strangely tonight, I felt only sadness; sadness about Jason, Jessica and Hayden and my grandchildren, sadness that I might not be there to see how the next chapters of their life stories played out. (to be continued–perhaps)

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Creation myth update #3: Maybe we are not in Mr Rogers’ neighborhood anymore Toto, part III.

Delayed pending reduction of my morphine ration and/or proof that I am still alive.

DAILY FACTOID:

From Harper’s Index:

• Projected annual revenue Mexican drug cartels stand to lose from pot legalization in Colorado and Washington: $1,400,000,000

• Percentage rate at which Arcata, California, plans to tax excessive electricity use in an effort to punish marijuana growers: 45

• Percentage of children living in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture who have thyroid abnormalities: 40

• Number of hours before power was restored to the majority of Long Island residents affected by the storm: 361

• Estimated cost of maintaining Afghanistan’s national security forces in the year after U.S. troops leave: $4,100,000,000

• Annual budget of the Afghan government: $3,300,000,000

• Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

“Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. In studies 1 and 2, upper-class individuals were more likely to break the law while driving, relative to lower-class individuals. In follow-up laboratory studies, upper-class individuals were more likely to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies (study 3), take valued goods from others (study 4), lie in a negotiation (study 5), cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize (study 6), and endorse unethical behavior at work (study 7) than were lower-class individuals. Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals’ unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed.”
Department of Psychology, UCLA, Berkeley, California and Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

I suspect the conclusions in the studies probably will not surprise anyone. Remember these are the same upper-class people who pay other people to tell you that greed is good and that charity and human kindness, if not actually bad, is simply a wrongheaded example of selfishness.

B. Testosterone Chronicles: Gun Control.

I keep hearing from conservatives and gun advocates that race has nothing to do with the gun ownership debate, but that it is about freedom and rights (you know Nazi’s restricted gun ownership and all that.) A few posts ago I argued that race may very well be lurking in the background. Nonsense, say others, it has always been about rights and freedoms.

If so then, how does one explain:

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It should also be noted that the second amendment’s inclusion in the Constitution when it was pointed out that proposed  Article 1 section 8 permitting the federal government to raise and supervise a militia could also be used to subsume state militias that in the south were often called “slave patrols.”

The fear was that without without the second amendment, the slaves could revolt and the southern states would not have the authority and the personnel to put them down. The individual unregulated right to own guns had nothing to do with it and even those most in favor of the second amendment at that time would have considered that concept ludicrous.

Perhaps the best way to get gun control would be for someone to fund a program to provide free assault rifles for black teenagers so that they can protect themselves.

C. Fun in the labyrinth or giggles in the heart of darkness (Chapter five: At the airport with no place to go – Part 5):

Of course I did not know the elevator did not stop on the second floor until it passed that floor and halted on the first. I took the escalator to the second floor in search of the Immigration Office. The second floor was the arrivals level and lacked the bustle of the 4th floor departure level. There were essentially only the money changing kiosks and two large openings in the far wall from which people arriving in BKK were disgorged. I could not see anything that announced it had anything to do with immigration. Eventually I spotted a door before which stood a woman dressed in a uniform different from most of the others, lighter in color and lacking braid or ribbons. I walked up to her and explained my story and showed her the slip of paper. She smiled and said, “I understand. Follow me.”

She led me into a small room where a man in a similar uniform sat next to a table smaller than a card table. He seemed to have little of no english capabilities, nevertheless I explained everything again showed him the slip of paper and my passport. He leafed through my passport and seemed confused and looked to the woman with what I interpreted as a look of bewilderment.

I said, “Immigration Office. Second Floor. The people on the fourth floor told me to go here. Where is it?” The woman seemed to translate it for him. He fumbled some more through my passports. Eventually I tired of this and asked her “Where is the Immigration office on the second floor?”

She said “in there” and pointed to a door at the back of the room.

“Great” I said. “I will go in there.”

After another brief discussion in Thai with the man, she said, “you can’t”

“What do you mean I cannot. The people on the fourth floor sent me here.” I was clearly getting upset my voice was rising.

They spoke again briefly, then the woman said come with me and took me back into the main hall, vaguely pointed toward the opposite wall and said, “Ask at information counter over there.”
TODAY’S QUOTE:

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TODAY’S CHART:

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TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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Categories: January 2013 through March 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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