Thursday, May 22, 2008

Deadly disease kills 7 this year…

Apparently, 7 people in the entire state of Illinois have died of West Nile Virus in 2007…


Seven people within the state of Illinois have died because of a simple thing but difficult to prevent thing like a mosquito bite. This is tragic.


Cancer – 204.1 deaths per 100,000 people died in 2004 Link
Anorexia Nervosa – In the United States of America, between 758,000 and 1.5 MILLION people will die from subsequent health problems caused by this disease (malnutrition, starvation, etc).
(Given that there are 298,444,215 people in the U.S.A, and that 151,783,235 are women Link). This estimate does not include the 5% of anorexia nervosa suffers that are male. Link
Heart Attacks - approx 460,000 people die every year. Link
Lung Disease – 360,000+ people die every year Link
Smoking – 298,000+ people die from smoking Link
Automobile accidents –42,815 people died in 2002 Link
Alzheimer’s –22.4 deaths per 100,000 people Link
AIDS – 16,000 people died of AIDS in 2005. Link
Falling down – 11,600 people over the age of 65 died from this alone!
Old Age – You are not legally allowed to die of Old Age or Natural Causes anymore Link

I mean no disrespect to anyone who has died of a mosquito bite. It is tragically ironic to die from one of the ‘cons’ of leading a healthy and active life in the great outdoors.

But why is the news dialing up the national fear level about mosquito’s? West Nile Virus doesn’t even rate the top 20 things that I can die of by waking up and going to work every day. I used to smoke, I am overweight, I drive a car, I used stairs, mass transportation and have been known to walk around outside during a thunderstorm. Yet of all these things, the most newsworthy story has to do with a mosquito-born virus that I would have greater odds in winning a state lottery than contracting.

THIS is why I stopped watching the news. How do the networks who put out this drivel expect to gain the public trust? Better yet, why in the world does the public actually trust these driveling idiots?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sometimes, it good to get away

Where are we going?


Ah, Italy, to Rome to take in the granduer of the Collaseum and Vatican, to Venice to see how many tourists float by in a Gondola (The locals never use them), to Florence to learn about the creativity of our human race and see some of the best art in the world, to Milan to witness the perfection of the last supper and finally, Lake Como. Lake Como is to see just what all the fuss is about. Is it perfection in vacation destinations or merely really, really nice.

All shall be unveiled. All, will be about 10 days when we get back.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas 2007

As the year wraps up and Christmas approaches, My Girl and I have made a solemn vow: “Let’s shake things up and try to get our Christmas cards to our family and friends BEFORE Christmas this year.” It may not seem like much, but we like to keep trying to improve things. As you’re reading this, there’s absolutely NO NEED to consult a calendar, ‘try’ is a key word in front of ‘improve’.

My Girl got a dream job working for a high end tour operator company, in downtown Chicago. As all of you know, she’s always loved traveling as well as anything/everything European and this fits in very well with her job because, she’s in charge of all custom and standard tours to…Europe! wooHOO! She talks to a customer and sends them on their dream vacations all over Europe. There are some definite side benefits to this job of hers, but more on that in a minute.

Things WE did this year:
-Watched TV, watched each other, watched the scenery travel by the car window.
-Played “Remove Your Finger From My Ear…now.” (My Girl doesn’t like this game so much, but I still get a kick out of it)
-Played the Lottery on the chance to retire early
-Organized (to a highly unusual degree) the garage so that two, count’em TWO whole cars can now fit into it…and neighbors say “Wow. THIS is highly organized garage…”
-Had friends over for dinner, been to friends for dinner.
-We decided that THIS was finally the year we landscaped our very…uh…’open’ yard.
-Learned that commuting to Chicago on the train as a couple is more fun than commuting alone.
-Cleaned the house at LEAST twice…I’m still tired from all that activity. (According to My Girl, SHE cleaned all the time, I cleaned it only twice…then she said something about my butt, the couch, gravitational pull, etc, etc. (Honey! Shush! The games on!)…)

Things WE did NOT do this year:
Retire early
Landscape our yard
Organize any other part of the house in which anyone but me may use.
Travel the world!
Figure out how to productively and effectively plan a weekend so that I might avoid turning a couch and TV into a career choice.

Things MY GIRL did this year:
-Found a job that allows her to fulfill her travel addiction while sparing our spare change
-…and drink wine purchased by the CEO on Friday’s after he announces “Hey! It’s 4 o’clock! Who’s thirsty?”
-…and take trips to really cool foreign lands…like Paris in August…which the company pays for
-…and stay at 5 star hotels…which the company pays for
-…and eat at REALLY cool restaurants…which the company pays for
-…all while I’M AT HOME thinking ‘Well, the Sears Tower is bigger than the Eiffel Tower anyway,…who wants to see that?!’

Things WE’RE going to do next year
-DECIDE to landscape our yard…aaagain.
-Continue early retirement plan
-Organize a room of the house that OTHER people use.
-We’re gonna GO TO ITALY!
-…My Girls Boss David is SO way cool enough to suggest that she take ME on a Familiarization Trip to Italy! AND (against all expectation) SHE DOES!…yeah, that’s right! Because SHE WANTS TO!
-…My Girl needed someone to carry luggage (I’m so OK with that I may even clean the house again)
-…My Girls Boss David is my new bestest friend in the whole world (and he likes GOLF TOO! I’m gettin’ all misty. David, can I call you Dave? Oh…OK. That’s fine, Sir. Yessir. Nope, I won’t,…ever again, Sir, no Sir…Yessir…but, Sir…but, but, I LOVE ya! Sir.)

I hope that this year found you success in areas you didn’t expect, happiness in unexpected ways, and love all around. My Girl and I wish you a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and hugs when you least expect them.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

So, I wonder who still stops by?

After careful consideration (i.e. I finally remembered my freakin password) I've decided to check in again.

Is there actually ANYONE I know who still stops by and reads this...stuff?

Friday, August 11, 2006


My Twister came by for the weekend. She had a chance to get away from it all and visit for a couple of days, so she hopped on a train and came on by. We laughed, we hugged, we talked deep. There were no tears, there was no sadness, there may have been a little angst, but hey, what really good conversation doesn’t have a little angst? The kind when you really bare your soul and see what’s lurking down there, waiting to be shared? It was a great, communicative weekend. We had a blast.

We also watched Bridget Jones II as it’s a favorite of My Girl’s and Twissy hadn’t seen it yet. I’m a sucker for a romantic comedy (the ‘comedy’ MUST be present otherwise it’s way too much of a chick flick and I lose interest). We were joined by My Girl’s friend, Twiggs, who had decided to share her magnificent purchase of Effen Vodka. Thanks Twiggs! It was awesome. (If you like smooth vodka, try Effen! Yes, that’s the real name.)

All was going well, I was insulting Colin Firth, who currently rules supreme in My Girl’s Do List* and the girls were all insulting me. It’s a fair trade and much enjoyed by all the participants.

The thing with Colin Firth is, well,..he’s good. He’s really good, but don’t tell My Girl I said that. What chance do I have against him? Let’s see…I’m overweight, losing my hair, for every dollar he’s got, I have 1/1000th of a penny, and…um…oh yes, I look/act/behave absolutely nothing like Mr. Darcy with his smoldering eyes and reticent stare. My eyes are apparently not so smolder-y as just bloodshot and maybe a little watery. My stare on the other hand, makes My Girl itch.† My glasses probably don’t help either. So, because I’ve got WAY more than three strikes against me, I do what any red-blooded American male does.

I tell her he’s gay** at every opportunity.

I figure it’s the only shot I’ve got at keeping My Girl as MY girl. Because if she ever DOES meet him, I will be yesterday’s news and promptly tossed into the white-trash can. She’ll be phoning in the Do List report somewhere between England and the Greek Islands from his private jet on her way to a thrilling new lifestyle. By my labeling him as gay, see, she’ll think about it at the opportune moment and voila! Suddenly Mr. Balding, Overweight, Middle Aged Guy with No Cool Vacation Plans and no real bank account doesn’t look so bad! It’s GENIUS!
Alright, fine. It’s stupid, but cut me some slack here. He’s Colin Freaking Firth for crying out loud.

All the previous was mentioned so that I could tell you this one thing: We’re watching the movie and an early scene show’s Colin running romantically in slow motion across a field of wheat towards Bridget. The camera time the guy gets for this one scene could easily have been replaced with a reading of War and Peace. By Mel Tillis (he stutters).

I pipe up with “No straight man runs like that.” Much to the amusement of Twissy and Twiggs, My Girl dryly replied; “Have you seen yourself run?”

* Do List – A short list of famous people who if you run across in your life, you’re allowed to “do”. No harm, no foul, story must be shared and everyone is happy at your good fortune.

† - I tried ‘the stare’ once and “success” doesn’t describe her reaction. “Falling down laughing” may but it’s my blog and against all appearances I do have some dignity left.

** Gay – Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

How I Spent the Next 4 Weekends


It sounds like such an easy thing to do. You sit back and relax, you heal. You let the body fix itself because after all, the body knows what it needs to do and it would like you to get out of its way so it can do it. What the heck, maybe if you relax a little bit more you’re body, now free of any pesky outside distractions such as who’s going to mow the lawn or who’s going to pick up my socks, can heal faster. It’s a working theory I have and one I took full adva…… put into action to determine the final truth of it.

After all, if you’re spending energy working around the house, you’re NOT spending energy healing your body, right? The doctor also said that I “…was not to use this hand AT ALL because this could adversely affect the healing process.” THIS, was my point.

I needed to heal. I needed to direct all of my body’s energy at healing my broken bone. Needlessly directing my energy elsewhere would actually delay or even ruin my ability to fully help around the house later. My Girl’s point, for the dissenting side, was that someone else (i.e. me) REALLY needed to pick up my dirty socks, books, and god forbid she find last week’s dinner plate before I do…OK, fine. Maybe she’s on to something with that last one. But still. I’m healing, be nice to me.

One of the things that the doctors and nurses don’t tell you about when you’ve got a broken hand is that there are going to be some rather invasive…adjustments, that you’ll have to make. I suspect instead of telling you, they place bets on when you’re going to ask them about…things. Then they giggle evilly as they bring out charts, graphs and wonderfully descriptive analyses about exactly how many adjustments you’re going to need to make.
I hadn’t put much thought into how a broken hand was going to affect my life other than “Crap, I won’t be able to do ANY golfing for most of the summer.” Sometimes, I have a bad habit of not looking just a bit further or more precisely, more in-depth into the immediate future. I don’t know why, I just don’t. My neighbors on the other hand, hit upon the ultimate indignity within seconds of seeing my broken right hand. Surprisingly enough, they had struck upon the very sentiment I had just expressed.

“You’re right handed aren’t you?” They asked innocently.
“Yep, it’s gonna rot! No golf at all for six weeks, and it’s summer.” They smiled and agreed that yes it would rot because, against all probability it was indeed now summer. Then, completely without any warning at all, they sprang this on me.

“How’re you gonna wipe?”


Aaaaaaaaaaa, shit. Visions of switching hands fleet momentarily through my mind. This is really going to suck donkey wangers.

This is not something I wish to think about. It’s not something I ever thought about before. You wipe till you’re clean than maybe a couple more just for good measure. No muss, no fuss. You flush, put everything back where it belongs, wash your hands and move on with your life. NEXT!

But see, that was with my right hand. My right hand is the hand that’s use to doing the dirty work and all the detailed work. Now, I’ve got to use my left hand. The hand that saw “Fine motor skills” on my body’s list of things to learn and decided that anything involving motors was way too complicated for it and instead rode it’s Harley to the pool hall for a couple of racks and a few beers.

This was going to be tricky. Worse, it was going to be potentially messy. Even more worse, I was going to have to think about what I was doing. This is not an area of my body I’ve given much thought to aside from the occasional “Whoa, what the hell did I eat yesterday?” kind of thinking. It was going to be tricky and very unfortunately, probably time consuming.

I can pretty much sum up the initial event with this: It wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. It took longer. Everything now took longer. Showering, dressing, eating, they all took longer. Try making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with one hand and two arms. You can do it, it just takes longer and initially it may be a little messier, but you can still do it. Then as a little time goes by you get better at it. The key to the whole thing is this: You already know exactly what must be done and the steps that it’s going to take to get it done. Now, you’ve just got to do it. I did it. I can say without fear of reprisal that I did not however, particularly enjoy it.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

How I spent the weekend

Marriage is love.