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Saturday, January 26, 2013


trod ding

An image the minds eye sees is a whole, from top to bottom, one flowing piece of a person, the outward view of the you. It covers everything as a perfect form. The mind's eye see the self in Toto, all of you, a view of the outside of you from the inside. Like an out of body experience, the mind's eye over there, looking at you here. magic.

When the ankles are broken, a new image is formed alongside the original, you the first  and you the second. This new image is as majestic as the original. Though the flow is broken from the ankles to the feet there are seams at both ankles, like healed scars, a small protrusion that shows a break in the flow the two images of you side by side.

They both look like the cement statues found in gardens, the white stones with the smoothness from dancing with the weather.

But, walking now is a studder, each step a hesitation of thought. The mind, unconnected from the feet, must grope for a new path to transmit the impulses to move. The feet look the same, the legs look the same, the bones seamed at the ankles, less sleek, less reliable, less rapid.

The minds eye effortlessly flows along the body, connections intact, save for the ankles. Confusion, it is not the road map originally built. The model resembles the original, they look the same, except for the seams at the ankles, visible to only the minds eye.

Walking, a normal flow of information from the brain to feet, those transmissions of electrical impulses all executed without the conscious mind's thought or interference. Lift, ambulate, halt, destination achieved while the conscious mind is drifts elsewhere.

 Statues, the two, standing side by side, the minds eye transmitting first to the original work of art and the legs do not move, the minds eye then retransmits the messages to the new original and there is motion. The design of the original is there, never to be deleted, the minds eye always tending there first. The delay may be dangerous at some time, all one can do is practice, practice, practice. The mind always taking the original route followed by the new original route, new pathways to walking.

When knees lose their cartilage walking becomes a grinding action, bone upon bone ringing a shuddering of scrape, scratch and abrasion, up through the ears, causing vibrations everywhere. Grind scrape, scratch, ache. grrrrr.

But when ankles are broken the minds eye rebuilds the model of the self alongside the original, first working schematic. It, the minds eye, always reroutes through the first model before it reaches the new model of wires, nerves and muscles, it always returns to the first one before it can reboot the body through the second one. You with broken ankles are not slower than before, the road is just longer.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

yep and yup

When someone says yes, it is an affirmative action, it reinforces the positive and gives credence to the conversation.

On the other hand, yep is an absolute affirmative motion. There seems to be no ambiguity to the condition. Did you do as I asked? yep. No one can debate the condition. Consider: Did you do as I asked? yes. Is the yes in fact confirmation of the action or simply acknowledgment of hearing the question? There is no doubt with the yep or as some people say, yup.

Nope confirms the same action  in the negative sense and also is an absolute term. But nope shall not be discussed at this time.

Yes is a civilized gentle sway to the affirmative, it neither needs prodding nor weight from adjectives or conjunctions, ah, yes! on some occasions confirms complete satisfaction with the positive position that the yes is moving to, but that is a subjective personal preference which can be altered as with the weather.

Yup and yep stops the action without extension without frills, it defines the action and completes the conversation. There is no need for embellishment.

Yup finishes the thought, it leaves no room for barter, there is no further emphasis or intrusion, it is as they say, a done deal, finis, absolute.

The strength of the yep and its companion yup is the dropping p sound, it does not trail off into the wilderness like the s in yesssss, which flows off into the clouds and lingers floating above as an afterthought. But the yup drops the voice, the breath and the muscle action into an end. There is no debate, it is a direct response to the question posited and closes the doors behind it.

Yup and yep historically have been classified as slang, and at some time should if it has not already occurred, be classified as a real word that has no comparison of strength or power save for the offensive NO! Yep and yup have greater power again because of the action of the vowel o in noooo that trails off into oblivion.

So, when you want to be understood beyond the shadow of a doubt, yep and yup are there to serve and make the meal complete. bon apetit

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

about Lance Armstrong?

   In the beginning it was monumental, an American competing in the Tour de France. The novelty, watching the cyclists climb and descend the slopes, the thrill of one of us attempting to achieve a dream. It was wonderful. We watched and rooted for the American playing by the rules and besting the rest. We had our hero, winning the most grueling of tests. And his team of cyclists and support staff, helping him achieve. The most wonderful example of teamsmenship, a group of individuals working together for one of their BEST to be the best of the best.

  All the tv's in America were turned on to the test, everyone sitting on edge rooting, concentrating, hoping, wishing, wanting and celebrating the winning. It was a boost in the arm of America, we had a hero, a role model.

  Then, year after year, as Mr Armstrong continued to excel doubt arose. Could sustained perfection be achieved with only human effort. And still we cheered. He said it was all him, just him, and nothing else but him.

  All those titles, all those medals, all those times we saw him standing in front of the cameras with the yellow jersey, and we were proud. One of us had the strength to compete, for days, and make us all satisfied with his efforts. A modern day champion.

  He cheated us of the nation honor we so desperately needed, he deceived us with his denials and affirmations of honesty, he manipulated our trust, nay, he manipulated our nationalism, much like the leaders of the nation. He sold us a bill of goods and we had no reason to doubt. Authorities attested his right, and his urine too.

  Then over the years, allegations arose, and he still denied and we still accepted, and we still trusted. We didn't think anyone could be that stupid, selfish, self serving, deceitful, demented into thinking winning the prize by cheating was the same thing as really winning the prize. He stole the accolades, he stole our hearts and he conned us all the years he was competing and all the years he continued to deny allegations.

  And now we should forgive him, in his hour of contrition, finally he was really caught and he is emotional about being found out. He could not possibly be emotional about all the years we bowed to him, the star. Disgust is more appropriate. Cheating us is one thing, maybe we could forgive that, his having been ill and battling cancer, is that true??? But living the lie all these years, garnering our respect for the illusion of excellence, never.

  We forgive his stupidity, we forgive his selfishness, we forgive his cheating, but we can not forgive his lying, deceit and years of living the lie at the top.

  Few Americans have grand lives, some have good lives and only one Lance Armstrong got it all served to him on a silver platter, or was it gold. The average American has to work every day to provide for family. It is difficult every day to work for a mere pittance and then see someone blatantly garner attention, riches, fame and success by stealing. The average American seldom steals and can probably tell all the times a pencil was taken. And here is our star, our champion, cheating us again, of all the days we had self respect for our own endeavours, for our own struggle our own diligence in being an upright citizen of the nation and the world. And now with his contrition he is again trying to win our hearts.

  Oprah, the Mother Terese of the air waves may rally into his corner but the rest of us are rooting for the underdogs who get knocked out in the first round, the true heroes, the fighters who did not step on their opponents to reach the top. 

  Mr Armstrong broke our hearts, and now he is reminding us that our hearts are broken. A wound that will never heal, like Mr Nixon, he took what was not his for the taking, and never will be. We Americans have a code of honor and respect, we have a rule of law, and we choose to follow it. Anarchy will not rule. He made his own rules, they made their own rules and never shared it with us, and then lied about it too, and THAT will not do. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Joe's House

The only old victorian left on the block, sandwiched between row houses that have no front yards, only cement. It is not the grand victorians one sees in the motion pictures, but a smaller version. It is called a two story, even though there is a full basement below ground. The classic form with the peaked gables.

You step up to the front door which is covered by a canopy held up by posts. A small antehall holds a larger than life size David, done in classical style, it is a portrait of Joe in marble, covered in a toga sheet because the neighbors took offense at being greeted by a nude of Joe on their street.

Past the second door is the staircase to the second floor, the sleeping quarters I guess. I have never been up there. But looking at the main floor I expect it is a utilitarian abode.

To the left of the staircase is also a narrow passage. There is a doorway close to the front entrance, a double door entryway. It is wide open to the living room. There is no couch, no furniture. Plywood panels stand in the center of the room stretching the length of the room. Each of the panels are filled with red clay, along the floor is a hose. Behind the living room of course is the dining room, with a dining set to seat about six. By the window is an avocado plant that has climbed the wall and half of the ceiling. Joe looks fondly at the plant, his child, raised from a pit. Books everywhere, piled like the mad scientists lab.

The entrance to the basement is under the stairs leading to the second floor. That staircase is narrower than the other. It is a little peoples staircase. In the basement along the walls below the living room are red drippings, from when Joe sprays the clay so it will not dry out until he wants it to. It is an interesting sight. Some may say it is disrespecting the house, others may say it is honoring the house. Joe got a commission to do some clay reliefs for La Guardia College in New York and he is using his home as his studio, It is a wonderful artists haven,

The front room in the basement has small wooden workstations with small benches, enough for six students who are guests by invitation only. There is more than six inches of marble and alabaster powder covering the floor.

There are weekly two hour sessions with a ten minute water or soda and cookies break supplied by Joe, for this he charges two dollars which he uses to pay for the refreshments.

Joe sits on a taller bench, the kind used for models. He doesn't do any sculpting, he watches what the others are doing and chats. They are there for his inspiration. His hawks eye observing the style an content of the pieces being produced. Each week each student must bring their tools and pieces back and forth to Joe's house. So the pieces are not large, probably less than twelve pounds each.

It is  like waltzing into a wonderland, a tiny cubbyhole with seven creative minds crammed into a tiny space, almost elbow to elbow, The creative energies so strong, so powerful the room is transformed to Rodan's studio or Michaelangelo's. The intense focus by each student as each tap of the hammers on the chisels decidedly in place, a chip of stone flies through the air and an article begins to take form, a leg, an arm, a nose. It is the longest fastest two hours, whe Joe announces nine o'clock, the session over. Everyone closes up the bags that carry their tools. Each piece is wrapped in thick cloth, mostly old towels. Everyone whiter than when they walked in, slowly climb the stairs. They say goodnight to Joe, And they say goodnight to David too.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Un United Health Care

Dear Americans,

If you have ever been sick or know someone with a chronic illness, you are aware of the important role the local pharmacy plays in alleviating some of the stress. You know the relief of seeing someone and knowing who you are speaking with. The local pharmacists, often a member of the community, someone you see walking down the street and you both wave hello. They are the people who take the stressful edge off being ill, having to take medication and being afraid. Without these people, the strangeness we feel would be worse. We appreciate how they help make us feel safe.

Now, UnitedHealthcare is penalizing us for wanting to do business with oual pharmacies. They want us insured, to use a mailorder pharmacy or a large chain pharmacy like Walgrens. If we choose to have our prescriptions filled by our local pharmacy, which UnitedHealthcare has reclassified as nonpreferred pharmacy, we are charged more for our copay portion of the prescription.

I have been insured by AARP Medicare Rx Plans through UnitedHealthcare since 2006. Boring Rexall Drug and Cole Camp Pharmacy have been preferred pharmacies until 2013. They have now been moved to the nonpreferred pharmacy statis at UnitedHealthcare. I am also a senior with more than one chronic medical condition which causes me to need the services of the local pharmacy almost as often as the grocer.

That I have been told where to have my prescriptions filled or should I say, where It will cost me more to have my prescriotions filled if I choose not to use UnitedHealthcares preferred pharmacies causes extra tension and stress. If I see my physician and a prescription is written I must then drive more than forty miles one way to have the script filled or wait an additonal day or two to have it delivered.

Had I been able to see and read the notice of policy changes UnitedHealthcare sent last year, I would have changed my provider, cataracts and cataract surgery made that not possible. But that is not the point, there are millions of seniors doing business with UnitedHealthcare because they were referred by AARP, a group they trust. Now, AARP says they do not help UnitedHealthcare set policy but do strive to find value for their members.

I have heard that AARP owns the mailorder pharmacy that  UnitedHealthcare uses, but my email to AARP requesting verification has as yet been unanswered.

If UnitedHealthcare continues with this policy of listing my local pharmacies as nonpreferred pharmacies it will probably put the local pharmacy out of business. The chronically ill are among the poorest of seniors, an already financially strapped group, and we will be forced to  wait to have prescriptions filled by people we do not know and we will have to wait for the mail to be delivered to get the medication we need.

PLEASE, can you get involved in helping undo this error in judgement by UnitedHealthcare, the do not hear or do not care what we are saying.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy New Year.
It has been said that, how you spend your new years day is a module of how your whole year will be.

That being said, one third of the day is spent sleeping,  8 hours
one hour for lunch
one hour for dinner
fifteen minutes for breakfast
one hour preparation(probably longer for both)            3.15 hours
grooming                                                                  1      hour

The Rose Bowl Parade and
various football games                                                3 hours

Games on line                                                            2 hours
new years phone calls                                                 1 hour

Broken hot water heater                                              2 hours
Misc/blog                                                                   3.34 hours

The day began peacefully. A blanket of snow quieted the winter chill. Eighteen degrees and no one wanted to go out. The day just a little gray, the sun hiding enough to keep the chill in the air. The cats slept the day, except for food breaks now and then. It was a wonderful beginning to a new year. There was a tranquility to be jealous of, if you were the jealous type. It began as one of those Sundays with the newspaper. Even though it was a Tuesday, if felt like one of those special Sundays, one of those days you had to yourself.

Then there was a crash into the window. Looking out one saw the bird, dead below the window with the feather marks. A not to common occurence, the one that makes the birds more personal, closer to home, not perched in the tree, on a wire or in flight feeding. It was probably planning to perch on the houseplant sitting by the window waiting to catch some winter rays of seldom sun. If the plant was not there....

A shower before dinner made us aware, with a cold feeling, there was no hot water. Learning from a friend what steps to identify the heating element on the water heater took us to the basement, flashlight, screwdrivers, pen and paper.
Switch off the circuit breaker, unscrew the housing cover on the water heater, find the heating element and identify the serial number and relevant identifiers.

Go back up stairs for the magnifying glass, two different ones, to be able to see what was close to the wall. Sitting on the cement floor, magnifier, flashlight and head almost into the wall. Too bad we dont know what we are doing. We got some numbers and went on line to see if we could find heating elements in the hardware store.

The heater was installed in 1972 when the house was built, it is going to be interesting to see what happens tomorrow. We are mechanically challenged.

Next, a phone call from a family member sharing sad news of a young man dying suddenly. He resided in California and his mother is on the east coast. Friends were trying to get a seven pm flight for her to California.

They also say, things happen in three's, in our house it is sixes. We ended 2012 with the icemaker needing service and the convection oven fan not working. We called for service. The motor for the fan must be ordered and will cost fifty dollars. The icemaker was supposedly fixed but does not work, so that repair person will return and that bill will be exciting. We never asked about charges, we just used the company referred by Frigidaire.

Playing Pinochle on*this is not an advertising plug. Two of the games had thirteen points to make the meld. [Not a relevant piece of information, just an oddity for 2o13.

It is nighttime, dinner is over, football still on tv, the cats are playing and the home has returned to a peaceful abode. Cold showers wake one up enough to appreciate the warmth. Towels warmed and hair dryers on high. We are glad we do not have to do this outside.

So to summarize, inconvenience, unforseen expense,shared sadness will be expected for the coming year. 365 days, a third of it sleeping. May the sleep be the restfull, rejuvinating medicine to heal the sores scratched during the other thirds. And may your year, be peaceful, kind and gentle.