Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Quick entry...

Its 8:57 am

   Just enough time to toss out a quick entry before I head to a Job Fair. 50 companies are looking to generate goodwill and add to their hiring pools by hosting a event in Livonia. Normally I don't go to these events as they are pretty much cattle calls and no one gets hired that day. But I'm going to take a chance and pass out my resume in hopes of getting a call. I'm also doing it to get a chance to actually mingle with some LIVE people. Seems like the only folks I have been talking to as late are doctors and nurses and I like to get away from that for a while...
    Tomorrow has Lori and I finally heading to the DIA to see the Rembrandt showing...yes,this time we really are going,we even bought our tickets! I'll post about that visit on Thursday.
Thank you so much for your support.

Its 4:24 pm

Job Fair was a total washout......unless you wanted to sell insurance for commission only....

Monday, January 30, 2012

3 Days

Its 1:22 pm

   Happy Monday to everyone.

Friday marked the end of our 28 days of radiation treatments. And to celebrate this great event,President Obama decided to pay Ann Arbor a visit. Now normally a president visit can be a real nightmare,what with roads and buildings blocked off from the public while Secret Service cordons off the area.
  Knowing this and also knowing that it was our last day,I called him up at the White House and asked him if he could arrive in Ann Arbor Thursday instead of Friday. He instantly agreed and sure enough,Air Force One landed in the metro area Thursday evening and the motorcade took the President into town.
 So waking and getting to the U of Michigan was easy as pie. And 45 minutes later Lori was done. They even gave her a little certificate to show she had finished the cycle.
 But our day wasn't over yet,we had to kill some time because we still had to see Dr. Johnston and do some lab work as well.
  We started heading to Briarwood Mall to get some breakfast but we saw a Denny's instead. We had a BOGO coupon so it made sense to eat there. Now I have only eaten at Denny's 3 times since I have moved to Michigan. Used to like it quite a bit in California but wow,has it changed and not for the good. I mean,have you seen how expensive that place has become??? Whatever happened to the 2.99 Grand Slam? Denny's used to THE place for a great breakfast but the one we went to in Ann Arbor was nearly empty other then us and a woman who had spent 4 hours drinking coffee.  We finished up breakfast and headed to the huge Barnes and Noble bookstore we had passed before seeing Denny's.
  This was our first visit to a big bookstore since Border's had closed it doors last year. Not that I need any books,I still have tons to catch up on. And despite the self-imposed Dollar Tree ban,I managed to find two more books to add to my backlog. But I am making progress,I have read 7 books so far this year and now am tackling "The Book on Bush" which should be mandatory reading by every American.
 I settled for catching up on the latest Fangoria which had Nicholas Cage on the cover. Editor and fellow Jet Jaguar fan Chris Alexander has really worked wonders with the magazine since taking over as editor. Its fresh,exciting and has some great interviews with both today's newest horror stars and director while remembering the past greats as well. The interview with the lovely Barbara Crampton from perhaps one of the 5 best horror films ever,"Re-Animator",was a great read and very insightful.
  I showed Lori a couple of pictures from a upcoming SyFy Saturday Night movie called "Two-Headed Shark Attack" which brought laughter as we love watching these cheap ass movies shot on whatever change the director has in his pants pockets.
 So we had to leave and head back to the Cancer Center for labs and the doctor visit. We did labs and then moved upstairs to semi-crowded waiting room. We were about 25 minutes early but we heard Lori's name being called. She went in and I waited until the exam was over and then I would get called back for the consult. Except for two things.....one,Dr. Johnston wasn't there,a sudden call had taken out of the office and even if she had been there,since it was Lori's last day of treatment,she was still far too sore to be examined properly. So they have pushed back her follow-up appointment until the middle of February. That is alright with us...the lab results were very encouraging as her CA-125 results are 9.7 ( 0-3 is a safe range).
  That said,we headed on home where we rested and did some light housework.
Saturday was a beautiful cold day. Lori said she felt so much better then usual,that will happen when you are finished with radiation! Had a light home cooked breakfast and then went grocery shopping. The store we shop at was pretty busy as they had a massive sale going on. Between our list and the crowded store,we shopped for 2 hours before finally checking out.
  After a quick pit-stop,we headed back out to Northville. We are on the hunt to replace a comfy chair that has seen better days. We are shopping the consignment stores and Northville has a very good store we like to shop at. The staff isn't the most friendly but the merchindise is good and the prices fair. The little shop was busy and for a split second we thought we might have found a replacement chair for 65.00 but upon a closer look,it just didn't seem to fit out needs. But we did find a new Cat's Meow Village piece that we snapped up before heading out.
  Lori still felt good so we decided to head to Novi and look at the chairs at Art Van,Michigan best furniture store. It has been a long time since we have been to Novi and we always use Novi Road.. Its a nice 5 lane road until you cross 10 Mile and Novi when it goes back to a 2 lane road for 2 miles before expanding again. Why is this worth mentioning? Because Novi is the home of the biggest shopping center in Wayne County,12 Oaks Mall. And traffic is a bear,no matter what time of the year it is. The 2 lane road creates a real bottle neck and a lot of headaches.
  But a funny thing happened as we headed to Novi,the road had been fixed! Its now a full 5 lane road with a overpass over the train tracks. The traffic was free and easy as we cruised through downtown and to the Art Van store.
   The Fountain Walk side of 12 Oaks Mall was again busy,it seemed like Christmas with the way everyone was out and shopping.
  We spent 35 minutes looking at the many different chairs at Art Van. While we couldn't get the chair we really wanted,we have decided that we continue to look but try and save for the chair that best fits our living room. We have learned that patience is the best way to go when buying things like furniture and other household items. Just have to play it smart and save for what you want.
  By now Lori was getting tired (this happens when you undergo both chemo and radiation is a short cycle) and we pointed the Rodger Young towards home.
  We had a nice dinner and turned in early.
Sunday saw us attend Mass and stay close to home as Lori slept while I clipped coupons and cleaned the basement. Went for a nice brisk walk and then our neighbor came by and asked how we were doing. We chatted for a while and then had dinner. Our cable box had went on the fritz Saturday night so we fired up the Blu-Ray player and watched the first season of Mary Tyler Moore on DVD. I had never really watched this show so it was pretty new to me and I thought it was pretty cute. Got to love whole season DVDs sets!
And so that was our last 3 days......don't know who will read this but if you did and made it this far,"thank you!"

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thoughts on "Red Tails"

 Its 12:30 pm

  Finally went and saw the George Lucas movie about the Tuskegee Airmen called "Red Tails". I had read all the pretty negative reviews from critics but was encouraged by all the positive feedback from the paying public. And it did a very respectable 20 million opening weekend which is very strong considering January is perhaps the weakest month to see a movie. Studios often drop filler or movies they have no faith in into January. So to see "Red Tails" overcome that was very encouraging.
  There was maybe 30 people in the theater for the 3:35 pm showing,mostly all older folks,they all seemed pretty excited to see the film.
   The movie opens up with the 332nd Fighter Group in Italy in 1944 supporting the US 5th Army under Gen. Mark Clark. Guess that set the table up right there as it completely bypassed what the Airmen had to overcome back in the States. The fact that Eleanor Roosevelt flew with an trainee was of great importance to actually getting the program momentum to keep going was overlooked was disappointing.
  But moving on...the film opens with the four main stars flying in P- 40 Warhawks patrolling over supposedly mopped areas. The planes are beat up with gauges all fouled up and a pilot couldn't be 100% sure that his plane was safe.
   Watching the interaction between the squadron leader Easy and his best friend and fellow pilot,Lightning was a little hard to believe. The men had worked so hard to get into combat,its hard to believe any Airmen would buck orders,all eyes were trained on how well they did their missions.
   *I'm not going to post spoilers here so if my review seems a bit cryptic,you're going to have to see the movie!
 Lightening is portrayed as the hotshot pilot and he is indeed a gifted but his stubborness would have stuck up like a nail and I'm just not sure how long he would have been tolerated. While he is taken to task by Easy,Easy has own demon that he has to deal with.
  Terrance Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr do the best with what they have script- wise. The rest of the cast are okay but there isn't any emotional attachment for these characters,you don't feel you really KNOW them enough to have understood their struggles and while Lucas has said he wanted to make a old fashioned entertainment movie and not a historical statement,he really needed to rethink that stance. There are many war movies that are just action upon action but movies like "Sands Of Iwo Jima","Go For Broke","Steel Helmet" among others show you can combine action with a strong emotional base,that a viewer comes to really care for the Airmen on the screen. This movie fails in that role.
  A couple of other scenes stand out for me....after Howard's character manages to snag a front line mission for his Wing,the Airmen fly in support of a landing. As they tackle a German fighter group and beat them off the troops on the ground,Lightening wants to trail a wounded German plane back to its base and attack it.
  Easy isn't crazy about the idea but agrees and the four main Airmen break off mission to do so...I found this appalling since in the very scene of the film,its shows a bomber stream's escort doing the same damn thing and  costing the American several planes being shot down because the escorts were chasing kills instead of protecting the bombers. By showing the Airmen the same thing,it again weakens them in the eye of the beholder. The Red Tails were a very tight fighter group and in reading and watching interviews with them,I found the aerodrome scene not doing them justice.
   While Lucas didn't use the names of the real pilots for his film,he did manage a homage to perhaps the two most famous Tuskegee Airmen,Wendell Pruitt and the only Airmen to make Ace,Lew Archer. Those two were nicknamed  the Gruesome Twosome and Lucas found a way to fit that into the movie....
The very last scene also smacked of almost straight propaganda...a pure Hollywood cheesy ending when in fact that after the war,the Airmen were not celebrated as true heroes but once again faced bigotry and ignorance. I think this is why Steven Speilberg is a far better director,he respects the truth about what war is...be it "Schindler's List","Saving Private Ryan" and now "War Horse". War is not pretty and when you cover a real event as in the case of "Red Tails",do it right and keep it real.


And welcome aboard Wendy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Almost home....

Its 1:04 pm
   Another grey overcast day....the recycle truck just came by and picked up our bin. Just saw our neighbor's cat,Crash,make his daily run across our front lawn. Derek Jeter is once again sleeping in his bed.
I'm getting a little concerned about him again...he had another incident in the kitchen that I had to clean up. I checked his box and it was pretty clean. I don't know why this is happening but am closely monitering him. The last thing I need is a sick kitty along with a sick wife.
  Two more radiation treatments to go.....and just in time. We have seen a spike in very ill patients in the radiation center as of late. Lori sees the patients and I see their families in the waiting room. We are there so early that often times I am by myself. The front desk clerk says "hello" but that is it. But recently the room has had more morning people. Two of them are brain cancer patients and their treatments only last 3-4 minutes. One gentleman who is only in his early 50s is one of the patients. He has 2 operations already plus several rounds of chemo/radiation. His mind is slowly going away and he is now more like a Alzheimer's patient. His wife has to stay with him at all times since he will wander away if not supervised.
  His wife told Lori that she came down to find that he had put their car keys in the microwave because he thought that help de-ice the locks. All it did was stink up the house and melt the garage door opener. Its an very sad story and we really hope for the best for this couple.
  The caregivers/parents/spouses don't really talk to each other in the main waiting room,each is left to our own thoughts. I generally check to see if any one had read my blog (where IS everyone??) and has decided to add/follow me here. After that I crack open my book and read. I'm still slogging my way through "Detective" which is a okay read. The treatment lasts between 40-50 minutes plus a weekly 15 minute session with Dr. Eisberg.
  Once a week after we are done,we have breakfast out,there are two places we go to,the M&M Cafe or the Red Olive,both run a very good breakfast special.
  The Red Olive is closet to our house...so we ate there today.
 Now last week we had dinner there and it was a hot mess,crappy food and even worse service. A night time manager who was heard cursing in the kitchen and berating her staff on the dining floor. Then they wouldn't honor our coupon...but a call to the owner found the situation very quickly and professionally handled. We got a nice gift card and the restaurant manger,a lovely young lady named Kelly,personally said sorry for our experience and said she was using this incident as training for her staff.
  So we got to the Red Olive this morning and Kelly was working. I introduced Lori to her and she once again tried to apologize for what happened. It really wasn't her fault at all and we were glad to get breakfast.
Now Lori is finding anything she can eat and keep down and one of those things is the homemade chicken soup that the Red Olive makes. We asked if it was possible to get a bowl early since it still breakfast and not only did she do so but she also gave her a bowl for her dinner on the house. What a very kind gesture and we were very touched. Such small kind gestures sure can make one's day and so "thank you Kelly and Red Olive"!
 Did anyone watch the State of the Union speech last night? What did you think? Maybe my old pal Monte will drop by and give his opinion on the speech...I love to hear it!
 I'm keeping this a bit short.....but hope to hear from someone,anyone!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Aaron,Gabby and in support of Jewel Shepard

Its 11 am

   Another grey day here in SE Michigan. The snow is almost all gone from last week's storm. It went from being zero to 52 degrees yesterday but dropped to freezing again last night. I was expecting a somewhat warmer 1.2 mile walk when I went out in the early evening but I pretty much froze my ass off! Next time,wearing gloves.

   Nothing too much exciting to report on the homefront. We are down to the last 3 days of radiation and are so excited for that. We'll be meeting Dr. Johnston on Friday after radiation and labs. Lori has a recurring urinary tract infection that needs to be looked at a little closer but Dr. J will handle that on Friday as well as getting her chemo port cleaned.
   We haven't talked about it but we both know that we are going to have to go through another round of chemo because of the tumor on her colon. The chemo treatment for colon cancer is different then uterine cancer with different drugs being used. We don't know what those drugs are as of yet but I'm we will know sooner then later.
   I went to a job fair yeterday for Aldi's. It was being held in a local hotel and I went after we got back from Ann Arbor. While I didn't expect a cattle call type of job fair,I still was taken by how many people were there at 11:30 am. I saw at least 6 people as I entered,another 20 people in the room filling out applications and another 15 come in after me. I was only there for 10 minutes as all they wanted was a application. They said they would be calling folks by Thursday afternoon for interviews. I am little hopeful,I have a strong supermarket background but I have been out so long that they may not want to look at me. I saw a lot of older people at the fair and not very many young folks.  Its still pretty brutal out there to be sure....
 Caught the new blog by my buddy Scorpion. His blog,As My Stomach Turns,is real hoot and what I love about it is how its interactive. His readers send in jokes,stories and tidbits that he combines with his own life story. Its like reading a old fashioned variety show where everyone is trying to get in on the act.
His blog is listed on the right hand side under Blog I Follow.  Drop by and take a peek.
   I saw that Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords has resigned her seat after being shot in the head last year. She has made a good recovery but when you suffer brain damage like she has,being able to serve was going to be incredibly tough so she did the right thing and stepped down.
  Of course our taxpayer dollars will continue to pay for Gabby for the rest of her life and would have regardless if she was a congresswoman or not. How many others like Gabby who have no insurance but will need lifetime care from gun crimes are out there? Tens of thousands and the countless billions wasted in taking care of them will continue to go on and on.
   Nothing will change and soon Gabby will slide out of the headlines and become a footnote of history much like James Brady did. Her pain and suffering will have been in vain because we as a nation lack the moral courage to repeal the 2nd Admendment or allow gun makers to be held accountable.
  And while I don't begrudge Gabby for her continued taxpayer supported care for a PREVENTABLE condition,I am also struck on how unfair it is....
  Compared to legendary fanboy/scream queen actress Jewel Shepard who is fighting breast cancer.
Being a actor in Hollywood is a strange beast. Folks look at actors as rich if they se them on the silver screen or TV. But like a documentary pointed out,the major studios make maybe 200 films a year and while TV may have more shows,they also pay much less as well....and when you have 140,000 actors scrambling for roles. For every George Clooney,you have 10,000 actors fighting for a line or a scene. And being a working actor is no cakewalk,you have classes,auditions and sometimes make-up and wardrobe. Its an expensive profession. Add SAG fees plus paying commission to a agent,manager,public relation person. And that is coming from a semi-working actor. And Hollywood being Hollywood,the older a woman get,the less roles are there for them. Most actors can't afford health insurance and due to the uneven work pattern can't qualify for Social Security.
   So combine this together and you have a lot of talented people who are just as poor as you and I in a lot of cases. You hear a lot of stories of actors losing homes,savings and struggling very hard to stay afloat. And getting a real job has its drawbacks,be it the risk of ridicule,the idea that they are slumming when a real could a job,etc,etc.
  So when a actress like Jewel does get sick,she is also at the mercy of a terrible healthcare system. I have followed her via her writings of how hard it is for her to get any help at all. She doesn't qualify for SSI and when she wrote how she approached different cancer charities for help,they told her to contact the government.
   And there lies yet another mindfuck....just exactly where DOES the money the Karmanos and Komen charities beg for all the time go? I was of the mindset that some of the millions raised went to help women who really are sick. But just watching this,has led me to try and see what will happen if I call for help. I wonder what they'll say. And how about you,dear reader? Just where does that money GO that they ask for?
Reading what happened to Jewel reminds me of the abuses that 60 Minutes uncovered about the United Way. The only people that were being truly helped were the people running the charity. The one I will give money too anymore is the Salvation Army. We donate old clothes,household items and books to Purple Heart but as far making a donation,nope. Not unless they want to share IN DETAIL where the money is going.
  I very much wanted to walk the 3 Day Walk in my area....I know that you are asked to raise money for the walk and I have no problem with that but asking me to PAY 90.00 just to register and then raise 2,300.00 by the start of the walk is a insult. This is a VOLUNTEER event,what a volunteer raises should never have an set amount. Unless of course the Komen charity is paying for the cops,the use of the public roads,the workers on the route,the food and water the walkers are using....but we know that is not the case,these services are donated as a tax write to the different companies who help out. Maybe it would be a little different of a walker or a person donating their money said "I want MY money on the front lines of the fight,to help a woman who is struggling to be able to afford healthcare and the medicines they so badly need but are having a hard time affording them". All these big glitzy events for Karmanos and Komen.....who really is benefiting from them?
  But speaking of funding....when we first moved to our new house,we need some furniture. Lori spotted a old comfy chair on eBay near by and we bought it for 65.00. But that was over 4 1/2 years ago and now the chair is ready to give up the ghost. So now we have started a Replace the Chair Project outta of the 2011 Christmas Fund Project. I wonder if I could do a 3 Day Sit to help reach our goal of 150.00.....

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Joe Paterno

Its 12:33 pm
    Nothing new really to post about...but since I'm trying to post something everyday,I have say something,right?
After all,I have 3 followers I don't want to disappoint...
   The big news is that Penn State football coach Joe Paterno passed away from lung cancer at the age of 85. Joe,whose teams won 409 games, was superb coach. Penn State ran a clean and classy program under JoePa and had one of the highest graduation rates during his term. The Nittany Lions sent many great players to the pros,in fact the school became known as "Linebacker U."due to wealth of talent it sent to the NFL.
  Joe loved to coach and it seemed just as the school was trying to force him to retire,he would come up with a highly ranked end of the season team that would come out of nowhere to win 10 or 11 games and finish in the top 25.
   But Joe wasn't perfect,he could very mean and petty at the worst times. He was the one who ended a very good rivalry with the U of Pittsburgh by declaring he didn't the game as much as Pitt did. Many fans were outraged by the arrogance of Paterno and weren't afraid of calling him out.
 And of course the terrible legacy he leaves behind in turning the other way when a former coach was caught red handed sexually assaulting a 10 year old at the school. The scandal and Paterno's poor handling of it finally was enough for the school to fire him in disgrace. It will be a very long time if ever for the name Paterno to linked solely to the 409 wins and not harboring a child rapist.
  Its really too bad that this incident won't spark total reforms on the NCAA level...to really hold big name coaches like Paterno,Bobby Knight or Mike Leach accountable for such gross misconduct. Abusing players,allowing hazing,binge drinking and sexual assaults is tolerated as far as the coach is concerned. The coach really needs to do so much in recruiting then timing speed,jumping and size. Coaches need to examine both they are bringing into the program both as a player AND his coaching staff.
  They are the ones who need to be held accountable,if a player has a any sort of a arrest record for violence or an potential assist coach has had a shady past,then why risk bringing such headaches into your program?
The pressure to "win at all costs" is what is destroying American sports just as surely as Jerry Sandusky destroyed Joe Paterno's legacy. This case should be a wake up call as to rediscover what being a coach is all about....to teach sportsmanship,character and class both on the field and off. I wonder if the NCAA is really listening and watching.....time will tell.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Its 10:26 am

   Still enjoying my Gretchen Peters binge....one of my very favorite singer-songwriters of all time. And pretty happy to see her new album "Hello Cruel World" will be released a week from Tuesday.
The video for the first single "The Matador" is now out and I'll be posting it at the end of this entry.
  Looking outside at our first real snow of the season....and knowing that I'll be heading out to shovel the sidewalk and driveway. Like mowing our grass,I don't mind shoveling at all...I rather do it by hand then a snow blower,there is something relaxing about doing this task. And like the Pay It Forward commercial that shows a lady helping a neighbor rake up his leaves,shoveling snow does that same thing. During heavy snows,our neighbor breaks out a heavy duty blower and does our sidewalk. We thank him by baking fresh cookies and a bag of coffee. I,in turn,shovel our friend Marlene's house and get rewarded by getting to see Crash,her very nature orange kitty. Its a good trade-off if you ask me.
    My baseball buddy and fellow writer Brad dropped a little PR note in the Inner Circle Group I have on FB. I started that group as a way to let people how my wife is doing while she is fighting a stage 3 uterine cancer. I soon realized that maybe people didn't want to read just about that so I expanded it and encouraged folks to post on other topics,be it a political comment,a fellow blogger,a band with a new gig/CD to drop...anything. Well my buddy comes by and drops a plug for his first professional blog entry on a sports site  and I thought I would share that here as well. Some of you (boy,its hard to get folks to follow you here so far) may have seen this link in the other site but to the outsiders,this is my friend Brad's take on why All-Star Prince Fielder has yet to find a new team

  And of course,tell him who sent you! Its hard to believe that its almost spring training already.
And that brings up something my pops and I were talking about. It used to be there was a thing called a "off season". This happened when the sport that was playing ended and went away for a few months while a new sport rolled in. You sort of pushed it away and then the closer the time came for a new season,you got excited for it. That isn't the case these days...with so much sports TV,ESPN being the worst by far,there is no time to recharge your battery. I mean,baseball might have ended in October,but the coverage never ends. I flicked on the MLB Network and they were showing (and I'm not kidding) the General Managers Winter Meetings! I mean,really? That is crazy...a bunch of GMs get together,shoot the shit and maybe swap a couple of minor league players and that is considered news?
  Same thing goes for college players signing,instead of a local blurb in the papers,ESPN will hold a press conference to show where a 17 year will play college football/basketball. The same idol worship that we have for a talentless hack like a Kim Kardashian or wondering if Jennifer Anniston is pregnant for the 150th time in People Magazine is now overtaking sports. When is enough actually enough? You have heard that many chefs don't eat what they cook as to not destroy the dish they like the best? Apply it to sports as well....let us fans have our off seasons!
  But don't let that stop you from reading Brad's column!

A bright ray of sunshine...I blogged about the City of Detroit and the death of cultural centers in the city. This included the closing of 4 library branches because of a 9.2 million dollar budget shortfall. But a hardy group of dedicated volunteers rallied and fought very hard for their branch and now the Keith Monteith  branch has been saved and will be reopening next month. A small victory but in Detroit,you take what you can when you can. Libraries are no longer just places where you check out books and DVDs. Many of computers and computer classes   where folks can apply for jobs or pick up basic skills to operate a computer. Our library has all sorts of different activities throughout the year,book groups,kids activities,open chess days,gaming days and free passes to different galleries and museums. Seeing a library close is a awful thing...

   Well that is it for now....but before I go.....another round of Gretchen Peters. Enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Red Tails/The Tuskegee Airmen

Its 12:50 pm
     Getting ready for our first real snow storm of the season. Its clouding over and the temps are falling fast.
Last night saw us hit Zero degrees with a wind chill factor of -4 degrees.
  My one big errand was going with a friend to help buy her husband a birthday gift,I suggested a model airplane from World War 2. There are a real lack of true hobby stores anymore and places like Toys R Us no longer carry a large selection of models or paints.
  The one place I found online was no longer in business,I kept looking. I know Hobby Lobby carries a few kits,I was surprised to see a Brewster Buffalo kit there as the Buffalo was perhaps the worst plane any country put in the air during the war. I didn't want to suggest that we give him THAT plane.
  We decided to save Hobby Lobby as a last resort and head to Westland and check out Nankin Hardware.
Turns out that Nankin also has a hobby section with a decent selection of both modern and historical ships and planes. We looked over the models and I kept a eye for the one plane I think would work,the P-51 Mustang which was the best fighter plane of the war. (and according to the show Top Tens,the best fighter ever.)
 Modeling has become a bit pricey,the kit,2 bottles of paint,brushes and a exacto blade cost 44.00. His birthday is Sunday and I'm really hoping he enjoys his plane.
   Above,the video you see that I posted is the Tuskegee Airmen episode from my favorite History Channel show,"Dogfights". The Airmen also flew a early model P-51 while fighting the Germans over Europe. And today is the first day for the film "Red Tails" which George Lucas (Star Wars) spent 23 years and almost 94 million dollars of his own money making because despite the image Hollywood wants to present,it wouldn't dare to finance a movie like this,a movie featuring a all black cast aimed at the mainstream American audience.
  There was a made for cable movie back in 1995 called "The Tuskegee Airmen" which starred Lawrence Fishburne and Cuba Gooding Jr. (who also stars in Red Tails). While that movie was heartfelt,it was low budget and really couldn't provide the real combat scenes that today's technology can showcase.
  If you plan on watching the movie,watch the video first,you'll see a lot of the action in Dogfights in Red Tails as the same group that created/produced Dogfights also worked on the movie for Lucas.
 I'm really hoping that despite not using the names of the real Airmen (and why is that,Mr. Lucas?) that they'll treat this movie and the brave men who fought it with respect and grace.
  The Tuskegee Airmen also have a tiny museum that is now up and running here in the metro Detroit area. Its a place I am hoping to visit come early spring and if possible,I'll revisit this post and show pictures.
  If anyone of you do see this movie,please come back and share your opinion of it.....

Below is a link to a interview on why Lucas believes that Hollywood won't support a movie like this being made.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Niggas in Detroit (thanks to Kanye and Jay Z)

What's Gucci my nigga? 
What's Louie my killa? 
What's drugs my deala? 
What's that jacket, Margiela? 
Doctors say I'm the illest 
Cause I'm suffering from realness 
Got my niggas in Paris 
And they going gorillas, huh! 

- Kanye West and Jay Z

Its 1:09 pm

    Another violent day in the Murder Capital of America. A young woman was killed outside the same nightclub that two cousins were last seen before being found in a car trunk by an abandoned building. The killing pushes the murders so far in 2012 to 19.....a murder a day.
  But once again,there is no out cry,there is only a understaffed police force trying to chase these terrorists down. Another potential problem solver,life saver,difference maker is gone by the way of the gun. But that is what Detroit's legacy is fast becoming....death and destruction. All the media hype about Detroit 2020 or "I'm a Believer" is just that,hype. The moral decay is becoming the rule,not the exception. The city can't govern itself worth a shit and is on pace to not only run outta money by April and be taken over by the state but before this happens,they'll be looking to cut both fire and police services.
  Its already a well known joke how bad our EMS system is....the new fire chief got a rude awakening when he tried to secure credit to buy 23 new ambulances but because the city's credit union is so utterly crappy,he was unable to buy even ONE. So of course the city is rolling in the deep with busted up wagons that even the guys at GAS wouldn't be able to save.
  Which is a damn shame because at the rate of gunfire here in the Murder City,those ambulances are sorely going to be needed.
  Just how bad is it? You know its bad when even the city's funeral homes are starting to get concerned. A industry that makes money with every body that drops is now very concerned and saddened by seeing so many young black kids coming in to get buried. They are seeing up close just like the cops and doctors,at all the potential good that is being lost because everyone can grab a gat and bust caps. 
  Just saw Fox 2 Charlie Langton post a question about if the city of Detroit ran a tourist ad campaign based off the "Pure Michigan" ads and called it "Pure Detroit"? Really???? With the rampant crime in the city,combined with a high unemployment rate and the incredible blight...just exactly what are you going to promote after the 3 casinos,Ford Field and Tiger Stadium? The rows of empty houses? The crime scenes of the 344 murders we had last year? Or perhaps a front row seat for Kwame Kilpatrick's federal corruption trial .
And before you head into the D....you want to consider the following:

Just completely saddened that people will rise up to protect their right to vote but fail to realize that that same passion is needed to help protect the lives of those of the next generation here in the D.
Increase the Peace!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Of Superheroes,weather and The Grim Readers

Its 12:46 pm

  Its cold and rainy here in SE Michigan today...I'm off to pay bills and grab some liquid cement over at ACO Hardware. Pretty exciting day here at the ranch to be sure.
Our trip to Ann Arbor was made in a steady rain and heavy fog. Lot of traffic that we don't normally see on Geddes Road as its very light going in so early. The trip is a nice one actually,its pretty wide open with a scattering of both farms and subdivisions.
  In Michigan,they have started to install round-a-bouts on busy roads instead of stop signs or controlled traffic lights. Its nervous as hell to drive through them because you are truly at the mercy of your neighboring driver. If they aren't careful,you're getting smacked but good. And we get to drive through four of these bad boys. On a clear day its hairy enough but on a day like today....twice as bad.
 But we got there in good shape and so day 20 of radiation went off without a hitch.
We came home and made both breakfast and dinner for later before Lori went to work. I am so proud of her and her fighting spirit,she is really amazingly brave. I have said this many times over but it still stands,I was I could trade places with her,she is needed on this planet far more then I am. And that is the truth...
   Was watching HBO this morning and stumbled across a documentary called "Superheroes" in which real life people are dressing up as heroes to try and make a difference. Some of these folks are just sad,some of them are real ernest and for the most part,all of them are distrusted and mocked by the police. Now some of these guys,I can under the giggles but watching one dressed up guy posting fliers up to warn about a sexual predator,well...I don't know,isn't that a little bit heroic?
  In Detroit we have our own band of heroes called the Detroit 300,citizens who are trying to make a major difference and have been responsible for catching 2 rapists and a man who brutally assaulted a 69 year old woman and robbed her. Due to their efforts along with local journalist Charlie LeDuff,the guy was caught and is going away forever.
  While it is weird to see the Mystery Men style costumes,I think its rather cool that these guys are trying to help out. Most of these guys/gals do know the limit of what they can or can't do as far as touching or fighting any criminals they may see. And a while the vast majority of cops poke fun at these guys,many do take the time to warn them to be careful because while Superman can take a bullet,these folks can't.
  I thought it was a well made film and the film makers never interject or offer any opinions on these heroes. The one thing I was surprised at was just how MANY there are,I thought maybe there were 3-5 people TOPS in the country who would dare to dress up like that but we would be wrong,there are a lot of them out in the night,making patrols.
  Below is the trailer for this movie...

Been on book reading binge as of late...just finished a anthology edited by Denise Little called "Constellation of Cats" which was quite charming and in case,quite scary. I'm still slogging my way through "Detective" which I started last year but never finished it. Its now my doctor's visit book,I read it only when I'm with Lori during treatment or exams. Which is why you'll at "*" after it on my Reading List for 2012.
  I was given an 26 year old paperback of Lee Iacocca,former CEO of both Ford and Chrysler. Being that I'm now in the metro Detroit,its to me that I should read it and see why Chrysler almost went belly-up in the 80s.
 But for readers of the horror genre,I encourage you to check out and join author Joan Lemon's new group on FB called The Grim Readers. You have a scary book to recommend or are looking to jolt awake during American Idol,this is the place to do so....you can find the page here:

Tell her Derek Jeter sent you.....well that is it for now. Feel free to share a comment or thought...

Monday, January 16, 2012


Its 11:23 am

   I think if Martin Luther King was alive today,he would be heartbroken at the results of what and other civil rights leaders fought for. For all the progress that Dr. King gained for his fellow black Americans,so much poison  and lost potential has also entrenched itself in the culture,slavery no longer lies at the hand of the white plantation owner but instead it lies in drug dealers,gangbangers,terrible school systems and a new breed of "leaders" that care more about being on MSNBC or playing with Pokemon cards then continuing Dr King's message.
Its sad but its true....

  Day 19 of radiation is today and I couldn't go because Lori's company is having a regional meeting in Troy. I wish she could have sent another person in her place but since it was a store manager meeting,she had to go. Its going to be a long day and now with her experiencing a lot of the side effects that we warned about,its making it a much rougher patch then we have faced before.
  The good news is we are almost done and also will be able to see Dr. Johnston on the 27th. This mostly will consist of a examination plus scheduling a PET scan in mid to late March as radiation will continue to fight the cancer for up to 2 months after the last treatment.
  Yesterday saw Lori getting a haircut while I hit the gym. We still haven't made it to the DIA yet but we are aiming for this Thursday as the weekend showings for the Rembrandt show were sold out. Its starting to weigh on us to get there as the show is ending on the 12th of February. By the way the tickets are being sold,its been a major hit for the DIA  and that is always welcome news since a lot of area's cultural attractions are taking a beating what with the Children's Science Museum closing along several libraries are also facing closure. Add this to the slow loss of Belle Island and not only are people leaving,so are the places that will attract people to come to metro area.
  But Sunday wasn't a total loss,we got a rare invite to have dinner at our friend Cheryl March's new house. They had moved from a big 2 story home in Plymouth to a smaller ranch house in Belleville. The new house was beaten up on the inside but has a wonderful backyard that came with a small pond and a turtle. We had cat-sitted for them during Labor Day and hadn't seen the house since then.
  Have to say,the house looks amazing...the Marches have really worked very hard at making their place look very stylish and warm. While its a little away from major shopping and entertainment centers,the peacefulness is a fair exchange. They have completely remodeled the kitchen and her piano room is top draw.
  Add that Autumn,their beautiful kitty came out and was very playful was a added treat. We had a nice dinner and Lori made homemade cupcakes for desert that were a big hit.
  Still trying to attract people to the new blog site. I am a little amused that I have had more visitors from Russia ("lo,comrades!) then from my IC group on FB. But I am still feeling my way around here and trying to hit a stride to attract more readers.
  I love reading good blogs,I think if a person takes the time to sit and just write about a normal life...its pretty cool. One of my favorites by far is my buddy Aaron "Scorpion" Child's blog,"As My Stomach Turns". Aaron has come up with a great concept that works because his readers all contribute (sometimes unknowingly) be it a joke,short story or a email. He sprinkles his own happenings between his loyal readers nuggets and it makes for a fun read. Some of his experiences have become legendary such as his famous bat story that we ask him to repeat every October that happened many years ago.
 I was very touched when I found out he was reposting my medical update blog as to raise awareness of what was happening with Lori and I. It felt good knowing that someone cared enough to help spread the word a bit. I have added Aaron's blog to the "Blogs I Follow" list on the right hand side of this blog.
  That is now 3 people who have encouraged me to repost on their page when I have a new blog up. So very grateful to all of you for your kindness.
   Watched a little of the Broncos-Pats game on Saturday,heard people pop off saying Tim Tebow was no match for Tom Brady. Quite honestly,the way the Patriots were playing,not very teams would have beaten them,I think the Pats had a great deal of respect for a team that not gave them a good tussle in the regular season but also stopped the Steelers,the same Steelers that routed the Patriots during the regular season. Yeah,I know the score was 45-10 but just like Detroit Lions,the Bronco's better days are still ahead of them.

  And lastly....the big news this week is the story of some US Marines pissing on some dead Taliban fighters.
The debate is raging hot for these soldiers to be punished for this,that we as Americans are "better" then this.
Really? We are really going to go after these kids who are seeing frontline combat for multiple rotations and perhaps may have seen some of their fellow Marines get killed and wounded and decided to piss on those who killed them?
  What hell is that all about? We kill these enemy soldiers with advanced weaponry,fast jets and drones packed with Hellfire missiles. How exactly are our troops supposed to act? "Excuse me,I am going to do my best to blow the shit outta you and fellow Taliban pals,don't take personal".
  And the Pentagon and the media want these guys "punished"? When the Bush regime encouraged and executed many missions of torture and secret CIA bases around the world where these acts were carried out and yet we supposed to punish these Marines?
  That makes as much sense as punishing those soldiers in Iraq who were at Abu Ghraib prison who recieved NO formal training on how to treat POWs because the Pentagon hadn't passed any directives on conduct because Bush has suspended the Geneva Convention RoC when it came to Iraq and Afganistan. If you want to punish anyone,then look to punish those who condoned this type of action in the first place...right?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Snowy Saturday/Community

Its 12:50 pm

    Looking outside at our first real snowfall of the season...feeling a little funky today,sluggish. Of course this mean I need some coffee so after I post this,I better get on that.
 I asked on my FB wall how people define "community". You hear the word tossed around all the time,especially in Detroit. After just about every event,especially the bad ones,you'll hear about how "the community needs to come together".  But what exactly does that mean? A community as I understand it to me means sharing a same goal and sharing what resources you have to get and attain such goals. And the folks who work towards the SAME goal are then a community.
  So think about that a minute. Are we really ever a community in the same sense? No,not really,we are far too splintered for a true one community,even in our own cities. Its almost like a modern day Tower of Babel where everyone while trying for a common  goal cannot reach because they can't understand each other.
  Same here...watching the city of Detroit while siting 30 miles from it is like watching the Tower trying to be built. Every time there seems to be progress,the goals of the many communities clash and the Tower falls...every single damn time.
   There is no community in this city,even the most important thing it has,its children,are not enough to bond the communities together to strive for a better place for them. Instead you see them dying,getting pregnant,landing in jail,destroying their neighborhoods with blight and poverty (a community in itself).
The so called civic leaders are corrupt,consumed with naked greed and power and only are interested in keeping THEIR community as tight as possible,only room for a certain few.
 Detroit is a perfect example of what it must have been when the Tower was being built,trying to attain that one goal and then falling apart at the seams with death,destruction,immorality and genocide as its new glue.
And just as in the days gone by,the citizens have scattered...down from a major city of 2 million to a decaying rotting leper colony of over 700,000 and probably just as many non-communities. Small beacons of hope are no counted as groups as much as individual people trying to link up with another soul...to try and once again to build a community. Will it ever happen? Some folks think "yes" and they point to several examples of real growth.
  I have lived here over 12 years watching the same city these folks have and I can tell you,I sadly don't see it.
Every time Detroit gets someone with real ideas or talks real community building,either they are lying or they get lynched by others who ideas they feel are the ones. Instead of comparing the same blueprint for hope,they insist that either THEIR ideas lead the way or once again,the Tower will fall.....and fall....and so on....


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Musings on a hump day.....

Its 5:13 pm

   Its getting dark outside...and a little colder. We had another mild day but getting a heads up we actually might some snow on Friday,anywhere between 1-4 inches. Anything over a inch will mark our seasonal high this winter. But it sure as hell beats 18 feet as Cordova and Nome,Alaska are finding out.
 Can't even imagine the hell those folks must be going through,its so bad that the Russians are helping out by shipping badly needed fuel to the folks in Cordova.
  Big news in the Motor City is both the 10% hike in the murder rate for Detroit,we had 344 people get murdered here. Only Philly beat us out but Detroit is looking to make strong start to the 2012 title by killing 17 more of its citizens.
  Of course this is what happens when you allow all the guns on the streets AND combine that with a weak mayor like we have in Dave Bing-a-ling. He forced the very effective Warren Evans out as police chief and crime has shot up under the leadership of Ralph Godbee.
  And Ralph's answer to this is convert the police stations to "virtual stations" by locking the doors to the public at 4 pm and leaving a 2 man staff behind to take accident reports. This is supposed to put more cops on the streets but defeats the very idea of a police station being a safe haven in case of a emergency. You know,like when your driving and a car full of young thugs bump your car at nighttime. Instead of going to a police station and safely exchanging info,your ass is as good as jacked. Its a very short sighted solution to a very chronic problem in the D.
 Just another reason to stay the hell outta the city if you ask me....and that's a shame,it really is. And with a EMF almost a certainty,Detroit is looking to become even more dangerous when the layoffs start coming in and the police department starts losing even more cops.
 And the effect of this is starting to show in the suburbs as the people leaving Detroit are setting up shop and bringing that crime mentality/culture with them. We have seen a sharp uptake in the criminal activity in my area and sad as it seems,its young black men that are shooting at sports centers,robbing people by gunpoint and shoplifting like there is no tomorrow. The seeds of hate and prejudice are being sown once again by shortsighted people who are "out to get mines"while not thinking about how stealing 400.00 worth of CDs at a Wal-Mart will affect us all. Now I'm not saying its a all black crime wave but the attention is more sharply aimed at them and who needs that on ANY level?
  Another interesting figure was also released,justifiable homicides shot up 80% in Detroit. These are shootings that considered "self defense",many happened when intruders broke inside a home or attempted to rob someone and they got blasted by a citizen carrying a legal gun...almost like the Old West days.
The local media spun it as a lack of enough police to respond to the crime. The cops there are so overwhelmed by the caseloads that it can be DAYS before a cop will come out and take a crime report. This has spurred a sharp rise between criminal and victim. But not everyone who decides to take the law into their own hand has gotten away with it,many have been arrested,tried and convicted of murder.
Its a slippery slope for anyone who decides to pick up a gun as a solution to a problem and for the citizens of Detroit,its seems it the ONLY solution.

  I decided to ask people what the word "Community" means to them. I'm going to push that for 3 days then post the answers I get on here and see if we can get a grip on what is a community.

A little bit bummed that I missed out on Crystal Light's free sample promo. I was pretty gung-ho for free samples on here but when I noticed that I was barely getting any despite being told that I was,I got discouraged. I mean,the company got my info but I got zero in return. But when I saw the ad in the Sunday paper,I was caught in the middle,should I go for it or not chance another disappointment. I waited til today to try and get a sample but I was too late,they had given out all 80,000 samples.
 Such is the life of a couponer like me....some days you are the bear,some days the bear gets you...but it will give me some motivation to go down and revamp our coupon book. That is if I can some Campbell soup coupons first....

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Book List 2012

Just a list of the books I have read or are reading in 2012.

NF is for Non Fiction
* means I'm currently reading it.

Feel free to share your list or recommend a book that you really enjoyed.

1. A Cold Heart - Jonathan Kellerman -  413 pages.
2..Detective - Kathy Burke (NF)   - 334 pages
3. Schuyler's Monster - Robert Rummel- Hudson (NF) - 276 pages
4. Wicked Prey - John Sandford  - 435 pages
5. Constellation of Cats -edited by Denise Little - 307 pages
6. Iacocca - Lee Iacocca and William Novak (NF) - 358 pages
7. Memories of World War II  - edited by Kelly Smith and others (NF) - 175 pages
8. * The Book on Bush - Eric Alterman and Mark Green  (NF) - 419 Pages
9.  Glove Stories - Dave Kindred (NF) - 276 pages
10. Plum Lucky - Janet Evanovich  - 230 pages
11. *Deadspeak - Brian Lumley  - 487 pages
12. Dangerous Waters (NF) - John S. Burnett - 296 pages

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tim Tebow and other thoughts

Its 10:08 am

   Had wanted to blog yesterday but just couldn't get into the right mind frame. The spirit was willing but the fingers were locked up tight.
But I'm back today ready to put down some words....and hope you like ready them...

Lori is doing okay...the fatigue that Dr. Eisberg warned us about during radiation is now affecting her. Last night she fell asleep 10 minutes into watching the 7 pm news. I let her sleep until around 9:30 and then helped her to bed. She was out the second her head hit the pillow. We still have 15 treatments to go but we are in good spirits.
 I'm liking Blogspot more and more. There are a lot of interesting blogs to check out during my breaks of resume sending. Some are current and updated regularly and some are dated,just cut off suddenly. You read the last journal and wonder what happened to the blogger...bored,lifestyle change,married or did they pass away. Which is different then my first blog on Modblog which just went bye-bye when the site owner just went "poof".
  Every time you move a blog,you know you are going to have to convince your readership base to move with you.That isn't a easy chore unless you have a massive base that hangs on your every word. But writing about a spouse who has cancer isn't really a Entertainment Tonight or 60 Minutes type of story. I write that even I know I myself am following two blogs with that one common theme. One woman who,like Lori,is fighting a hard fight against it and another woman who is steeling herself knowing that her husband is mere weeks from dying from it. It takes a lot of courage to write about this kind of issue,I have read countless stories of people fighting illnesses or death but never really got it until my brother was murdered. Its gives you a whole perspective when you go from being a reader into the writer.
 But I am grateful that some of you have clicked on the link and followed me here. In fact,a big "thank you"to my friend Michelle who became my first "offical" follower here on Blogspot. Its cool to see and I hope more of you will also take the chance to keep supporting us.
  One bit of exciting news....one of my favorite people has found her way back into FB. The mighty Tracey Henry,one of the sharpest legal minds outside Perry Mason,had signed off from FB for a much needed break. It was a real loss because her page ALWAYS had something going on it....questions and topics that really encouraged the exchanging of ideas and opinions. And Tracey has her finger on the inner workings of the city of Detroit,she knows just about where all the secrets lie (well,except for Jimmy Hoffa and she probably DOES know).
  But she is back and the over 5,000 friends and fans who followed her are so happy that she is. Of course this doesn't mean she and I will agree over gun crimes/control but I am glad she is back to talk about it with us among other topics....
  Speaking of other topics....as many of you know,I'm a big Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Been so for over 30 years and have been a fan though thick and thin. But some of my friends have noticed I rarely speak about the Steelers these days. Haven't ever since hearing about Ben Roethlisberger and his two questionable sexual assault cases. Now I admit,based on what I have witnessed during my time in the music business,I can assure you that each time a celebrity is accused of sexual misconduct,I am cynical. Far too many times I have seen beautiful girls approach the artist in a aggressive sexual way....and disregard the fact the artist is in a relationship or not. It happens. You can boo me all you want but those who worked in the industry know what I'm saying is the case.
 A famous celebrity pretty much has his/her choice of people they can chill with. We have ramped up the fan worship in this country to a whole new level and a celebrity can't take a bite without it being written and picked over. That said,its really easy to dismiss the claims that people put forth about a celebrity getting too frisky,why take when you don't have to,right?
 So when Big Ben was accused of that a couple of years ago,we Steeler fans shook our heads and said "someone wants a big payday" and still thought the world of Ben.
  But when a woman who was drunk was taken into a bathroom and two of Ben's friends stood outside the door while he and the young lady were inside and she said she was assaulted,it was very alarming because it was just about how the first attack went down. This wasn't a one night stand where the woman was angry because she thought there might a future,this happened in a club with two men who blocked off the bathroom.
 This established a pattern of action on Ben's part. You can see his accuser's video statement here:

 After reading this,as a Steeler's fan and a man in general,I was pretty disgusted. But when the Rooney's,who own the team,traded away WR Santonio Holmes after a bar encounter but kept Ben....my ardor for the team faded and I lost any interest in the team. In fact,I didn't watch a any game last year including the Super Bowl.
It really soured me....
  But Tim Tebow....now thats a different story. Being a huge college football fan,I followed Tebow's career at U of Florida. I knew he was a very good college quarterback but also had read the scouts who really didn't think he would be a good NFL pro. But one thing about Tebow that always stood out was his character,he really was a good man off the field. He always has embraced his faith and never shied away from it. When the Broncos drafted him in the first round,he never let the harsh spotlight dampen his spirit,his coaches and peers all alluded to his character and sportsmanship.
   While Tebow played sparingly in his rookie season in 2010,he got his chance to play this year after the Broncos started 1-4. All he did was lead the Broncos to a AFC West title and a game against the Steelers.
He was made fun of for "Tebowing" which isn't new but because its Tim Tebow doing,it has become news.
Basically,when he makes a touchdown,he kneels and says a prayer thanking God. Instead of acting like a asshole like so many other athletes do when scoring,he just kneels. Of couse,other players have done the same thing but never has the focus been on one player.
 Its a sign of his thanking God for doing his JOB. Now I'm not going to debate that,I have my own POV about that but what I will say is I was pretty disgusted with Bill Maher making fun of him after the Broncos lost a game to the Buffalo Bills.
  I like to know why its so funny to attack a young man who has lived a good live,got a education,signed a pro contract and isn't afraid to share his faith?  I think Tebow is exactly the kind of role model I want my nephew Brayden to look up too...a man who gives BACK to his community,who won't make headlines for raping a woman in a bathroom...

Looking at tomorrow's game....I have two thoughts,I wish the Steelers had Tim as our quarterback and I hope the Broncos whip the Steelers as well.
  Well that thats all I have....feedback is always welcome.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Another day

Its 10:44 am

   Another brisk morning here in SE Michigan. The past two days have been bitterly cold but now we are looking to warm up to 40 degrees today. Was feeling pretty good about that until reading Tiffany Hendra's past about enjoying a 80 degree day in sunny SoCal. You may have the sun missy,but we have the SNOW!
 Well sort of,just a few patches hanging on but most have melted. Which is strange as we sit in the weather channel for the most part. By that I mean if any type of weather blows though the Metro Detroit area,we are bound to get it. But this winter has been different as most of the snow that has fallen has ended in Ann Arbor which is about 20 miles away. Sort of strange driving from a snowless house and by the time we get to the hospital,we are looking at 2-3 inches of snow on the ground. But thats Michigan for you...
  Day 12 of radiation has come and gone...and we are starting to see the side effects now. Eating has become a real challenge for Lori now as just about everything she eats is causing diarrhea which in turn is making her dehydrated. I wish she liked Gatorade but she doesn't,only water and Welch's grape juice seem to make her feel better. I am scouring for Welch's coupons so I can keep a steady supply in the fridge,that and I bought a case of water on sale as well.
  The list of food the doctors recommend is too general in nature to be of help. The list of bad foods also includes good things like fresh veggies,nuts and whole grains. I can say that the biggest hurdle in this cancer journey is overcoming our bad food choices. The crap that we (meaning us two) eat is just not good. We don't eat out a lot so that helps but our snacks are just as bad for the most part. And I really need to dig in my feet and put harder for a better diet. So I am open to anyone who can suggest a good list of foods that are good but we can have fun eating....so that means NO TOFU!
  Yesterday we were supposed to be headed to the DIA to look at the Rembrandt collection of Jesus. Instead we hosted our friend Cheryl for lunch. We had a nice relaxing lunch and a good visit. She had mentioned she had some books for me,I was nervous that it would be a 30-40 book drop-off but I got lucky and it was only 4 books...whew! I have told Lori that I should be banned from Dollar Tree because every time I go,I always end up with 1 or 10 books to add to the huge stacks I have in my den.
  After the visit Lori dozed off for a while,I let her sleep while I deep cleaned the upstairs bathroom. Then she went out for a hour of Lori time which means going to her favorite shops. She is looking for the after Christmas sales when they drop prices on wrap,ribbons and cards way down. In the past couple of years this has been a challenge as a lot of folks are doing the same and by the time the 75% tags are up,most of the goodies are gone as well! It makes the hunt all that more fun as you find yourself in stores you normally don't shop looking for that elusive Santa wrapping paper.
  We were watching TV when while drinking some water,I felt something in my mouth hit my teeth...a little surprised when  I spit out the gold crown I had on one of my teeth. I went to the bathroom and rinsed it off and just shook my head,what ELSE can go wrong? No job,2 busted cars that need 2k worth of repairs,a wife who is very sick and now this,a 800.00 crown that needs to be replaced. I'm strong but holy crow,can we get just a small break here??? I like to wake up with some sort of innerpeace here but those days seem less and less. I'm heading over to our dentist to get a temp crown put on while I try and figure how we're going to replace this.
   I know a lot of people have it worse then this but in my head the gap seems to be closing every day....but we'll soldier on!
  For some good news,just read that my pal in North Dakota,Michelle,is getting ever so much closer to putting her house back in order after being flooded out last year. She and her family of 4 have been working hard to repair the incredible damage that the flood has caused. Another real warrior working very hard on her life.
  And lastly,notice the Blogs that I follow on the right side of the page....if you have a blog and want to swap links,please drop me a comment letting me know and I'll be happy to do so.
Well,thats all I got for now....going to get ready to see my dentist.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Its 8:01 am

   Just wanted to post something on here today....don't think we are going to the DIA today,instead we are having lunch with our friend Cheryl. She says she is dropping off some books for me....my stack of unread books now stands at about 70 already. Started to read "The Cold Heart" by Jonathan Kellerman yesterday...
Well,thats it for now....thanks for reading. Will post a larger entry tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Saturday- Tuesday

Its 2:17 pm

    My end of the year blog....and trying to say something worthwhile.

The big news buzzing around the Detroit area is the closing of some Sears and Kmart stores,so far our area is losing 6 of them but there could more to come as Sears has only announced 79 out of the 120 stores that are getting the hook.
  While it is sad....the fact that these stores are closing shouldn't shock anyone. I mean Kmart stores are some of the most outdated,poorly designed and understaffed stores of any major retailer. The stores are dirty,unpainted,haphazardly laid departments and the lack of staff are among the reasons we quit going years ago. Factor is high prices on items you can get cheaper elsewhere and I'm not surprised by the dropping sales figures.
   And while Sears stores are much,much nicer looking...they always seem to have the same outdated look to them. And while the prices are high,you can find some seriously good deals if you take the time to look. The trouble is thats the ONLY time you want to shop there,otherwise you can find better deals elsewhere.
 But what surprised me was not hearing a word about any local Blockbusters that were closing.
We only found this out when we were shopping for a 32 gallon trash can this past week. We pulled in the Aco's Hardware lot and saw the signs that the Blockbuster was having a "store moving sale". I have gotten a ton of my DVDs at Blockbuster when they have a 4 for 20 sale but I haven't been in there in almost 2 years.
Losing a job will do that to one's fun budget. But despite reading about their woes,I hadn't heard anything about stores closings recently.
  As we walked into the store,we saw right away it wasn't a moving sale but a liquidation sale. The signs were all by the same company that closed our Borders in September. The sale must have just started as there wasn't very many bargains on new items.
  But the used tables weren't bad....they had the usual 4 for 20 tables but after looking and having trouble finding 4 decent movies that we could both watch,we decided to head out. Then Lori saw the 2.00 table and we looked over on that one....and saw a lot better selection then the 4 for 20 one.
  We picked out 10 DVDs,8 that we could watch together and 2 horror films that Derek and I will watch alone. We talked to the store manager who had been with the company 17 years and had no idea where he was going.
  The media would have you believe this recession is over....but seeing these stores among others is going to continue for a while yet. Christmas spending may be up compared to a year ago but what pre-recession? Its hard to know what to believe....that we are all doing much better and that the malls are packed or listening to people from Forgotten Harvest,Gleaners and the Salvation Army who said they saw a rise in help needed once again this year.
  As I mentioned before at my volunteer gig with my city's food bank,the need there is also starting to creep up after 2 years of being flat. This is becoming less of a temporary event and more of a way of life.

Its 1:30 pm Tuesday
  Here in the den once again. Pretty stoked that I got my first comment on the new blog. Still no followers but I think that will change once I tell Scorpion I'm on here. I am really liking Blogspot,its very simple to use and it has that old Modblog feel to it.
  Radiation went well again,being forced to examine Lori's diet as eating any crap has led to bouts of running to the bathroom. My lovely wife is very stubborn,I had suggested to tossing out all the junk in the house but she feels that is too drastic and she can handle the temptations well enough. All I can say is this,Thursday is trash day and my trash can will be getting quite a load of crap we BOTH to get rid of!
 Why suffer when one doesn't have to,right? So I'm going to take the coward's way out and wait til she goes to work before I launch Operation: Clean House (sorry,Matt Iseman) on Thursday.
  We supposed to see Dr. Eisberg again tomorrow,we just saw him Friday and quite honestly,I don't see the point of seeing him at all unless something is going on. A weekly meeting is pretty pointless since he can't tell us anything about radiation affecting her tumors. But we'll go anyways.
  We are supposed to finally head to Detroit tomorrow to the DIA to see the Rembrandt exhibit of Jesus. We want to go last week but we thought it would to crowded with the Christmas throngs so we pushed it back..but now its like 3 degrees outside (with the wind chill factored in) so I don't know if its going to happen. I really hope we go because I think a activity will bolster our morale a lot.
  I'm about finished with Gen. Ricardo Sanchez's "Wiser In Battle" which I started last year,misplaced it and found it again in a cupboard. Its a extraordinary read and one of the best books I have read in regards to military history. Normally when I finish a book,I give it away to either a neighbor or a charity. But my pops has asked to read it so I'm sending that and "Scorpion Down" about a US submarine that was sunk by the Russians  in the 60s to him.
  So I will end this entry right here.

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