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Showing posts from March, 2012

Bullies Suck

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Bullying is a growing problem, both in reality and in perception. The perception part is intentional I might add, partly because of media efforts. I serve on a board with community leaders who identify local issues that need attention and bullying is always on the list. I’m in the media and bullying is a recurring topic on some Sunday morning radio talk shows I produce in the Washington DC area. I occasionally interview experts including a psychologist, who discusses causes and solutions, and representatives of local organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, who help address the problem at the grassroots level.

Bullies are power-seeking cowards and, sadly, the very social media outlets that can help unite people in good ways also provide bullies an increasing number of places to hide.

Youth on youth bullying seems to be the most obvious, but the behavior extends to everything from spousal abusers to road rage participants to mean-spirited bosses and politici…

Blues Sooths

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Blues music relaxes me. Loud blues, soft blues, rockin’ blues, soulful blues, swing blues, I love it all.

Thursday was an extremely stressful day at work and blues pouring out my speakers during my hour-long ride home smoothed out the rough edges. My travel buddies included Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert Collins, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and Susan Tedeschi.

Blues isn’t only about sadness. Although listening to some of the sad blues songs can uplift oneself by reminding us that maybe somebody else has it worse. And some blues songs are about getting drunk, something I’d be doing right now except I’m on meds this week and I don’t want to push my luck. I don’t really like being drunk anyway, but I do like the buzz.

Anyway, here is a blues song I like by one of my favorite blues men. It’s fun and oh so true, isn’t it? Enjoy.

Interesting Observation About Women

I saw this on Facebook today. Thought you’d find it interesting …

'Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart.
She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of s**t.'

Interesting Thought

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I Didn’t Want To Like This Song But I Do

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This is an amazing song. It is about country singer Blake Shelton’s brother who died in a car crash when Blake was 15. It is sung by Blake’s wife, country singer Miranda Lambert. They co-wrote the song.

If you’ve ever lost someone, especially at a young age, you have to hear this. It might make you sad but you might also get some comfort from it.

Up

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This was a few days ago.  I hate to think of what it'll be tomorrow when I fill up again.

Gettin Random Wit It

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Today has been an odd but interesting day. Here are a few random observations:

- The medical situation I’ve been writing about still isn’t diagnosed but I start treatments for some of the symptoms on Monday. I have been in varying amounts of pain for five weeks. Friday was one of the worst days of this ordeal but today was one of the best. I’ve had very little pain and my balance is better than it’s been in weeks. Only two things are different between Friday and today: 1) I slept for 9 ½ hours last night and 2) I did NOT take any Tylenol today.

- I’ve been drinking margaritas off and on for twenty five years but tonight was the first time I made one for myself. Yummy. Then I made a second one.

- I had shrimp gumbo for dinner, along with both margaritas, while watching Italian opera on PBS. And you thought I was predictable.

- I love my Honda car but I really want an SUV again. My car is almost paid for, which means I’m on the verge of having no car payments. But I really want an SUV ag…

Start Spreadin' the News

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New York City is another world. It is merely a geographic coincidence that it is part of New York state and the United States; otherwise it is a unique place with its own separate identity and reputation.

I have been there three times. First was a drive-through on my way home on a road trip to photograph fall color in Maine. Second time was to attend a wedding; I stayed in Queens and drove to the wedding on Long Island. Third NYC venture was a company trip to a two-day conference at a hotel right on Times Square. That was memorable because some of us arrived early enough to walk around and see the sights … or at least what could be seen by walking up Broadway from Times Square to Columbus Circle and back. What did we see? The Ed Sullivan Theatre, where Letterman records every afternoon, the CNN building, the Dakota, where John Lennon lived and died and the Brill Building, famous for its connection with several 1960s recording groups. On that trip I also experienced taxi rides (similar…

Irish Yoga

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I meant to post this last week.  It's still funny.

Why and Why Not

One of life’s great mysteries is why some people get diseases and others don’t. There is certainly a correlation between a healthy lifestyle and health. Bad health behavior leads to bad health … often … but not always. One of my Dad’s brothers was a life-long smoker and died at age 75 from complications related to that. The grandfather of a hospital employee I talked with today was a lifelong smoker who lived to age 93 and died from natural causes that had nothing to do with smoking. Why and why not?

My Dad was healthy. He didn’t smoke, rarely drank alcohol, ate healthy, balanced meals, and was active till his early 70s. But he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 69 and that medical condition robbed him of mobility, dignity and eventually his life. He lived with it for fifteen years, if you can call that living. Nothing he did in his life led to that outcome. Why did he get that disease?

I live a healthy life. I don’t smoke; I do drink wine, averaging one glass a night … not…

Makes Ya Think

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Politics and Religion. Again.

So a Baptist minister introduces a Catholic presidential candidate with these words: "I don't care what the liberals say, I don't care what the naysayers say, this nation was founded as a Christian nation...There is only one God and his name is Jesus. I'm tired of people telling me that I can't say those words.. Listen to me, If you don't love America, If you don't like the way we do things I have one thing to say - GET OUT. We don't worship Buddha, we don't worship Mohammad, we don't worship Allah, we worship God, we worship God's son Jesus Christ."

So let’s see if I have this right … If you’re not Christian, you’re not American. Oh, and “if you don’t like the way we do things” … who is “we”? This nation was founded by Europeans who massacred the ‘real’ never-heard-of-Christ Native Americans who were already here. It was founded as a place where people could have religious freedom, could worship in any way they wanted to … including …

Happiness

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Basic

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Sometimes a basic idea works well in a song.  Enjoy.

The Procedure

Every baby boomer knows you’re supposed to get “the procedure” when you turn 50. If that’s you, what are you waiting for? It is so easy (I’m lying) and comfortable (OK, that is partly true). I had my first one today. Here are a few random observations:

The colonoscopy and recovery was the best sleep I’ve had in months. The time from when the anesthesiologist said “ok, time for sleep” till the nurse said something like “wake up, Sleeping Beauty” felt like five minutes. I was actually under over an hour.

Preparation the day before is much less comfortable than the procedure. Part of it includes using the entire contents of a specific size container of a product that relieves constipation. I read the label as I mixed it with a sports drink … it was a 14-day supply, which I was to consume over the next six hours.

Basically the prep involves no solid food for at least 24 hours and way more fluid intake than you would normally have in a day. My grocery trip in preparation for the preparatio…

More and Less

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I want more of this ...



and less of this ...


The Universe

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A good friend of mine often refers to the ‘Universe.’ She doesn’t mean the huge emptiness with stars, planets, etc. but rather something more spiritual; perhaps a cosmic thing that connects us all. Something God-ish. It’s hard to verbalize but I usually think I know what she means when she says it. Makes perfect sense in the context of the conversation.

My mind has been flooded lately with thoughts I usually shelve for further consideration at some point in an unspecified future. My recent medical situation combined with my obsessive nature un-shelves those thoughts … the ones about what my future does or doesn’t hold. I am an insufferable optimist but I allow myself to consider and plan for all possibilities. End of life is one of them, as unlikely as that is for me at this point. I’ve always been interested in what happens after life is done so it’s natural for me to think about it when riddled with rapid onset of unexplained medical problems.

Anyway, I was thinking about religion t…

Phototherapy Works

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My emotions have been on a roller coaster ride for the past month.  Felt like crap yesterday.  Decided to summon a proven mood-lifter ... photography.  The twenty minutes I spent walking around my yard with my camera yesterday put me in a much better mood.  Here is one of the pictures I shot.




CLICK HERE to see a few more.

Spring Forward

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It Suits Me

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Clothes makes the man. Ever heard that one?

There is no dress code where I work. Most days I wear khaki pants and a sport shirt or jeans and a long-sleeve t-shirt. I look like an Eddie Bauer or Dockers ad. But a few times a year I wear a suit. I should do it more, if only for the reaction I get from female co-workers.

I received compliments from at least six different female co-workers and two non-work female colleagues. Wow! Yesterday I wore jeans and a purple long-sleeve t-shirt. No comments. Tuesday’s wardrobe selection was brown pants and a brown and orange shirt. No comments.

I’ve had jobs where I wore a suit or at least a tie nearly every day. I don’t mind that at all, but it really isn’t necessary at this job. I spend most of my day in a dimly-lit office in front of a computer writing scripts and editing audio. Today I had a quarterly meeting with area community leaders and I usually dress up a little for that one. I also recorded interviews with two of the meeting participant…

Med Crap and Other Things

Not much new to report yet, other than I’ve had MRIs, CT scans, blood draws, doctor visits, internet research and they still don’t know what’s wrong. Another doc visit is set for later this week to evaluate more test results. Maybe I’ll know something then.

Eight needle sticks, four different doctors, three different facilities, two blood labs … you knew this was coming … and a partridge in a pear tree.

All this poking, prodding and feeling and no orgasm to show for it. Geez, do I have to everything myself?

The oddest part of this is the sudden onset.

I’ve taken ‘live for today’ to the limit, meaning that I can’t seriously schedule anything more than a few days ahead because I have to be time flexible to get these appointments and tests done quickly.

Other parts of my life are on hold. Again.

Google. Blogger and all related products ... I do NOT ever want to stay signed in!  Ever.  Under no circumstances.  Quit asking.  Quit checking that stupid box for me.  I will never check it myse…

This Is Too Funny

History Is For the Birds

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Earlier today I was watching some History Channel show about artifacts in museums. It was a surprisingly fast-paced and interesting program. One of the stories was about a living communication device that saved two hundred lives.

Communication technology is taken for granted today. Soldiers have two-way devices, computers, satellite access, GPS and more. In World War I, battlefield communication involved wired telegraph, runners and … I’ll get to that in a moment. The subject of this story I watched on TV was about a battalion that got cut off from supplies and reinforcements when surrounded by enemy divisions. They were holding their own with guns when suddenly they encountered cannon fire. They quickly realized the source was their own military … a bad case of friendly fire. Those shooting the cannon didn’t realize they were firing on their own trapped battalion.

Radio communication didn’t work, wires were cut by the enemy and runners could not get out. There was only one method lef…

Don’t Be a Stranger

Medical issues and death are on my mind way too much this week. I’m having more tests done Monday on my own med issue because they still can’t determine the cause. I remain optimistic that they will and that they’ll find a suitable treatment. Meanwhile I have to at least think about what to do if they don’t.

So in the middle of that crap, a former co-worker dies. Sadly I had not been touch with him for more than two years. We had become pretty good work friends and we each learned from each other. He lost his job a few years ago, not for anything specific, mostly because they company wanted to make a change. I’ll spare you my opinion on that. The last time I saw him in person was the next day, when he came to gather personal items from his desk. I had no contact with him for another year or two. Then he called me to ask for some advice about something and to say he was still unemployed and he and his family were totally broke and moving halfway across the country to a rent-free house …

Medical Observations

I have a medical issue that has required several tests during the past week. I’ll skip the details for now; family and friends who need to know already do. But I do have a few observations about doctors, doctor office staffs and medical centers.

- The doctors involved have performed exactly as I want them to. They have good investigative skills and compassion. They have reached out to me when needed and if things haven’t moved along fast enough with other providers, they stepped in and made things happen.

- My main doc is part of a practice affiliated with a well-respected hospital. He is good but the staff is hit or miss. Getting through the automated phone answering system is a total pain in the ass.

- The reality of our diverse society is that there will often be language barriers and, sadly, those are much more apparent when trying to schedule appointments. English is not the first language of the two main doctors involved in my situation so far but that has NOT been a problem wi…