Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Medical update,compassion,a request and a Fanboy rant

Its 5:57 pm

   Happy Caturday!

Glad to be here....and glad to be working once again.  Feels a little strange to be getting up at 6:30 am but very,very happy to do so. It feels good knowing that I am back and contributing to my family,nothing feels much worse knowing that your very ill wife is working her ass off while you're spinning your wheels in the mud.
  Going through now,15 hours of mind boggling computer training....we were lumped into one room and sat before the computer and left to fend for ourselves.
   But we're doing it,I'm with two other new hires,one lady who won't be there a week because she got picked up by Ford and a kid who got cut by  good ol Kroger's. Nice folks actually.
 But of course the big news was we were in Ann Arbor last Friday for Lori's 2nd PET scan. We made a little snack before we left because Lori wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything but a little water 4 hours before the test. We climbed into the Rodger Young and headed to the hospital.
  Got there in good shape and went to the waiting room. It was jammed packed with folks so but we got seats and waited. I brought along the iPod so Lori could listen to some tunes but when we (for the rare time) shut down the computer all the way down,it stopped the Pod from it was dead. A very nice young lady lent us her charger and I managed to get the pod charged half-way but Lori had already been called back. The nurse said she would make sure the Pod got to Lori...only to find out the one room Lori was in had no iPod deck! It was just sorta of a wacky day. Lori did very well and our spirits are very hopeful come 9 April. I won't be able to go to the follow up appointment because of work and I can't lie and say I'm okay with that. While my heart is screaming Remission!,my head is saying "slow your role and be ready for the next step".
  But whatever it is,we'll be ready for it.....but of course it would be nice to see a few comments and chirps of encouragement,those are awfully good to read! One cool thing....while we were all waiting in the room for our loved ones,they had a repeat of a "Ellen" show with Sofia Vergara on. I had my back turned away from the TV reading "Chicken Soup for the Veteran's Soul" but the show must have been very funny as the waiting room kept laughing,it was a awesome thing to hear in such a life changing room.
One of the main highlights of our week is "Family Meeting" day which generally falls on a Friday. We started doing this in the middle of the recession and have kept doing it for about 2 years now. We each get something to drink,I go upstairs and get our banking business in order while Lori grabs a menu pad and the grocery pad. We both sit in the living room and Lori will say "Family Meeting" which will bring Derek down.
Ginger is always already there but Derek will come down and jump on a  sideboard and watch the meeting.
I will do the banking news first,what we have,what bills are due and how we will budget to handle those items. We write them down on a pad and express any thoughts on what needs to done now (cleaning the gutter) and what can be put off a bit.
   Next we plan out our week for activities. This week will see Lori go to a baby shower,have lunch with our friend Cheryl and will find me mowing the grass and visiting Michigan Works.
  Next is the weekly menu...and this has proven such a money saver for us...we plan out the dinner menu in advance and make sure we shop our pantry for the items. Of course we might need some extras like bread and milk during the week but the menu stops us from eating out or eating junk a lot more. And it has me cooking a lot more in the kitchen,hard to believe I'm sure but I haven't burned down the house yet!
  The meeting lasts about 30-40 minutes but its a priceless and important tool in our household and helps us keep rooted in good habits.
   Was on my way to work on Friday when I came upon a kitty that had been killed in the road. I didn't have time to stop and remove it from the road but I knew I would be stopping afterwards to take care of it.
It rained non-stop on Friday,we had big thunderstorms roll through our area....I felt bad for Derek as he was most likely hiding under the ottoman (thunder is his kryptonite) and I felt bad for the poor cat on the busy road. At the end of the day,I grabbed 3 bags and headed to where I knew the cat was going to be and most likely just a ugly mess as well.
  Can't tell you how happy I was to turn the corner and no kitty. Some road angel has come and picked up the poor cat before thoughtless people would have continued to run over it. Just sad that someone had thought so little of either letting their pet outside or not spaying/neutering their cat to allow ferals to be allowed be born and run wild.  But just happy that someone had compassion to take it off the road.

Am wondering if this is tacky.....and if it is,call me out on it......does anyone have the Hunger Games trilogy they don't want anymore and would send my way? If so,just leave a comment and we'll get in touch.

 I also saw "Green Lantern" on HBO last,boy did Time Warner/DC Comics fuck that up or what? I thought Ryan Reynolds was great but that ending with Parallax,how staggeringly bad was that mess?
And they spent 200 millions bucks on it? I have seen better money spent on a SyFy creature movie!
How can DC screw up so bad....they make a good Smallville series,then that terrible Wonder Woman pilot,create a kick ass Batman trilogy and Superman Returns....then shoot themselves in the ass with Green Lantern and re-booting Superman when Brandon Routh was a great Superman who just needed a better script!
  What do my fellow fanboys say? I mean,am I wrong here? I mean I know Hunger Games is big now but wait til DC and the rest of America sees "The Avengers" that will be epic in every sense of the word.
Marvel is doing it why can't DC?

Okay,that is all I got for now.....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Its 1:58 pm

   Had a big entry all prepped up and ready to post when the fire and desire went away.
Can you believe no one won that huge 363 million dollar jackpot? I was pretty amazed to say the least and now the pot is up to 476 million. My neighbor asked me what I would do if I won....I told her I'd buy a full tank of gas
  So I got a job....after over 2 years,was able to land a job. I start on Friday and will work over the weekend. Feel like I won the lottery already in a sense. Now that I'm working,I can go back to the jobs that I applied for that wouldn't consider me because I wasn't working....we're celebrating by cooking pork chops and rice tonight along with a veggie. Simple dinner but grateful to have the means to have one.
  We started our real deep spring cleaning in earnest this week,washed blinds,curtins,cabinets. Ordered a new fan cover for the microwave and after I finish posting this,I am out for the first lawn mowing of the season....provided the high winds calm down. Had to chase down by ours and our neighbor's trash buckets that were scampering down the street.
  I feel sluggish this week.....tired of all the garbage I have been seeing on the TV,that is why I put my first post in mothballs. Just too much sadness and hatred to wallow I'm going to break away from the soapbox for a while and try and have some fun here.
  Got our big PET scan test tomorrow and then we wait til 9 April to see Dr. Johnston for the results. Really hope and pray Lori will be in remission after this....thank you for all of your support!
Going to leave you with a episode of the funny ass "Pittsburgh Dad"....

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

For Amy Neilson

Amy Rauch Neilson

You are in our prayers and thoughts as you are undergoing brain and spine radiation at this very moment.

If you reading this,please pray for this brave lady!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saturday/Sunday (includes a medical update)

Its 12:50 pm Saturday

   After a totally delightful stretch of summer like days,spring has decided to return to Michigan today. Its gray and overcast and despite my best attempts to jump start this entry,I'm finding myself sort of fighting to put words down.
   This is another big week for us as its time to see if the 28 days of radiation has done its job and kick the cancer off Lori's colon and lymph nodes. Once more the days have slowed to a crawl,each minute leading to Thursday feels like a hour,my sleep patterns are really getting screwed with,my C-PAP machine isn't working worth a tinker's damn.
  Our spirits are good however,we spent Thursday doing some early deep spring cleaning in the house,washing blinds and curtains. We swapped out some winter dishes for more festive ones. Went to ACO to get a screen repaired but I'll have to wait til Saturday for that as they haven't opened that department yet.
We're going to tackle 3 main projects this summer,painting a upstairs bathroom,our bedroom and finally getting a french drain put in. We have the bathroom budget already so that will come first. We are trying to find the right color to go with the hallway and bedroom.
  Projects like this really raise our morale and spirits...take our mind's off the fight. Of course it is always with you but as me (because I can't speak for Lori),I feel I can keep it at bay and not let it overwhelm me. But the big days such as seeing Dr. Johnston or tests like a PET scan always make up the nervous ante.

Its now 10:22 am Sunday

   Yeah,I didn't post yesterday,got sort of blockish and couldn't I'll just pick up where I left off  yesterday and carry on.
  Didn't too much yesterday which is why today will be so busy,already got laundry going and I prepped the dining/living room to get vacuumed. Ginger has picked the dining area as her "place" to shed and the floor is covered with orange fur. She lies under the table and licks/pulls tufts of fur off and this is after we brush her. Her fur is much thicker then Derek's by far...he rarely sheds but will leave fur upstairs when he and I play "flop". endless source for entertainment.
   Walked up to the Meijer store by our house,our bank is within the store so we can pay our bills and grocery shop as well. Paid a house payment and then picked up a loaf of bread and some lunch meat.
 I was going to get a lottery ticket or two but the line was long. Guess trying to win a 360 million jackpot will do that to people.
  The lottery is a trip to me....I enjoy playing once in a while,I wait til the jackpot gets over 100 million and then buy a couple of quick picks. Now what is really funny is I never get any numbers...EVER. As far as the Mega Millions/Powerball lottos go,I have won exactly THREE DOLLARS total. That is all....I keep telling Lori that she needs to play for us as she is the lucky one in our household.I don't why I can't win at least 5 bucks,maybe its my breath,I don't know.
  My wife asked me what would I want to do if we won....and I'm not kidding,I haven't a clue other then helping my family. All I know is if we did win,my first call would be to Suze Orman for help!!
  As I am blogging this....I am just now hearing some incredibly sad news....once again,our favorite local news station,Fox 2,has suffered a terrible loss. Cameraman Rodney Ferguson has passed away. This is the 3rd sudden loss for this station in a matter of months....the station news manager,the husband of a news anchor and now Rodney. I had just befriended him on FB,I always thought of Rodney as Amy Lange's wingman when she was out covering the news. Covering the news in Detroit can get sketchy at times,we have seen journalists roughed up at times but you never got that feeling that would happen when Rodney was there,I don't think he would have ever allowed that to happen to his reporter.
  Now he is gone and once again,the crew at Fox 2 will have to say goodbye to someone they loved and cherished much too soon. I know some of the station's journalists actually honor me by reading this blog and so I'm going to take this moment to say how sorry we are at Rodney's passing and know he'll be deeply missed.

    But also want to celebrate some good news as well....our friends Brad and Michelle Myers have finally reclaimed their home back 100%. No more FEMA trailer as they have completed all the major repairs and are all back in the home they had before the Mouse River tried to wash them away. So happy for the 4 members who can cook,clean and climb into the dryer. And with such a mild winter,this will give the state time enough to continue to strengthen the defenses so that if the water rises again,they'll be to warn people faster and slow the river down from cresting and flooding again.
I wonder whatever happened to Ryan Downe.

  So war criminal and draft dodger Dick "I would have shot Trayvon Martin and got away with it" Cheney had a heart transplant. Which is shocking in of the fact I always thought he was born without one. I mean,I know he was born without a spine but without a heart?
  I wonder who he had murdered to get that heart and we only had to wait for less then 2 years when the majority of people have waited longer.
  You know,there are a few people you just wish God would have taken out of the gene pool,Hitler,Stalin,Mao,George W. Bush,Cheney...its hard to fathom why some people who deserve death live while the ones who make the difference are taken much too soon. Its one of those things you tuck into your back pocket and hope one day you can actually ask God these questions.

 My 10 favorite female vocalists

1. Barbara Manning
2. Penelope Houston
3. Mary Fahl
4. Monique Powell
5. Sarah Brightman
6. Kate Emerson
7. Gretchen Peters
8. Martina McBride
10. Jennifer Charles

Of course this list changes but at this moment in time,these are the ones who I'm listening to the most. Maybe I can get some of you to share a Top 10 list as well...
  I'm still awaiting for my first two interview subjects to return their questions....writer Joan Lemon and social activist John Cromer were the first two I asked for a interview and I just caught them at very busy times but they have said they will get them back to me....

Okay,that is all I got for now....I'll be back Tuesday.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Looking at San Jose State's 2012 football Schedule

Its 4: 20 pm

    I'm dedicating this blog to my friend John in Florida,Kevin Kelley who created and runs FBS Schedules,Jon Boy,a Badger who lives in Tulsa and my good buddy Art Testani,who bleeds Blue and Gold with me every year.And my boy Deangelo Peete who I hope will coach SJS one day in the future! I know you can reach your goals,Deangelo!

Now of course I have a lot of serious topics to write about,Trayvon Martin and the useless stupid media circus it has become,the kick ass Let It Rip show last night with former police chief Warren Evans keeping it real and honest on how badly Detroit is handling its crime wave. The arrest of the soldier who broke under stress and killed 17 citizens in Afghanistan,I could go on and on....but I don't know if everyone wants to come here every day and read the doom and gloom of the world so today,we're talking about the best college football team in 2012....the San Jose State Spartans.

   I know,I can hear you guys saying "uh,its baseball season". But to us real football fans,its spring training camp this month. The time where coaches get to look at their teams after graduation and see how the new recruits look so they can get a idea of how the depth chart will look come fall.
 Now some players are going to get a redshirt right away. Redshirting means a player agrees to sit out a year instead of playing but still gets 4 years to play. Teams do this to stockpile talent,to allow players to mature into bodies,to get a idea of how to handle a full class load,the depth chart is too deep or in some cases,to heal from a injury,that is called a "medical redshirt".
   .But as the teams are fitting in new players,new offenses,new coaches and in some cases,new leagues.
The Western Athletic Conference or WAC as its known now is no different. The league has lost a lot of good teams that has really weakened it for now as Boise State,Hawaii,Nevada and San Jose State's biggest rival,Fresno State,all have moved on. The WAC got two new schools,Texas State and Texas-San Antonio to come in and take some of the pressure of teams trying to keep the WAC alive as a football conference.
  The 2012 schedule for the San Jose State Spartans is as follows along with my comments on how we should match up...

1 Sept 12    at Stanford   last meeting was a 57-3 loss.

This is our 2nd biggest rival and while on paper,it always seems a mismatch But Stanford is going to down this year after losing so many key players and there is no simply replacing a QB like Andrew Luck. If the Spartans can develop a running game,this will be much closer then last year.

8 Sept 12  UC Davis    last meeting was a 14-13 loss

Rumor has it we were supposed to play Georgia but the Bulldogs got cold feet and ducked out. After Wisconsin and Miami of Florida also backed away when asked for a game,SJS went out and scheduled UC Davis who pulled off a major upset the last time these schools met. This time,the game won't be close as SJS will put 40+ plus points on the Aggies.

15 Sept 12    Colorado State   last meeting was a 38-31 win for SJS

This was a rough and tough game as the Spartans went into Fort Collins and got a last second win over the Rams. Colorado State will be looking for revenge,they won't get it today.

22 Sept 12    @San Diego State     last meeting was a 34-10 win for SJS

   Former PCAA foes clash again as the Spartans take Big East bound Aztecs in San Diego. SDSU should be a major power as they have a great fanbase,quality players and a fertile recruiting ground but have never achieved to that level. Coming off a fine season,will the Aztecs be overlooking the Spartans?

29 Sept 12   @Navy         last meeting a 27-24 win for SJS

   San Jose State sank Navy last year in the first of a 4 game series. SJS's defense stopped the vaunted Navy rushing attack and took care of business. Now the Spartans travel to Maryland to show Navy why Wisconsin,Georgia and Miami all didn't want any part of the Spartans. This will be a real toss up.

6 Oct 12  An open date....a chance to heal up,make adjustments before league starts.

13 Oct 12     Utah State    last meeting was a 34-33 loss.

   This could be the championship for the WAC title right out of the gate. Utah State is only getting better and deeper as they had Auburn on the ropes last year before fading and losing a heartbreaker,42-38. While the Aggies have lost some key players and must replace Robert Turbin,they now have much better depth and the run game won't suffer that much of a drop off. The Spartans must control the clock in order to have a chance to win.

20 Oct 12  @Texas-San Antonio     first meeting

Back to back games against the newest WAC members....these are must win games for the Spartans not only for pride's sake but also to get off to a possible 3-0 start in the WAC. Spartans will not be overlooking this young Roadrunner squad and will be ready to battle.

27 Oct 12   Texas State           first meeting

See comments above

3 November 12     @Idaho      last meeting was a 32-29 loss

   This by far was the worst game San Jose State played last year and yes,that includes that 57-3 loss to Stanford. The Spartans led the Vandals 20-0 in the first quarter and still lost to the WAC's worst team...AT HOME! The team could have folded their tents after this game and the Louisiana Tech game but Coach Mike McIntyre refused to let SJS quit and the Spartans upset Fresno State and Navy to close the season.
  This is also a trap game,SJS must take Idaho seriously and not let a early lead slip away again.

10 Nov 12   @New Mexico State    last meeting was a 34-24 win

   NMSU has long been one of the worst D1 schools playing football. Known for being everyone's homecoming cupcake,the Aggies shocked the college football world by going to Big 10 country and stopping Minnesota last year. While injuries and lack of depth hurt them late (including losing 63-16 to a run up the score Georgia team),defensive minded coach Dwayne Walker has the Aggies going into the right direction. With perhaps the two biggest games upcoming for SJS,the could be a landmine game if the Spartans aren't careful.

17 Nov 12    BYU            last meeting was a 29-16 loss.

  I watched this game on ESPN2 last year and the Spartans had their chances in beating the Cougars. Not willing to gamble playing a gimpy Brandon Rutley in a non league game hurt the Spartans as they couldn't get a strong enough run game going to slow BYU down. But getting BYU,a major power who isn't afraid to come to SJS,home in front of 30,000 fans might help swing the big Mo over to San Jose. Hopefully,ESPN will show this game once again...

24 Nov 12      Louisiana Tech         last meeting was a 38-28 loss

Closing out the 2012 season against the defending WAC Champions Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech. Needless to say,this game might so much riding on it....the Spartans will need a win here to help get a bowl bid and a possible invite to the Mountain West-CUSA mega conference that is being worked on. Anything less then a bowl bid in a watered down WAC will be a disaster. For Louisiana Tech,a invite to the vastly improving Sun Belt Conference could also be up in the air so both teams will have a lot riding on this final game.

So that is my early take on the San Jose State schedule. Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it!

if you need to know your school's schedule...just go here and tell 'em I sent you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

21st Century Battlefield Detroit- Good vs. Evil.

Its 9:03 am
  Sorry for such a shorty punchy entry yesterday,just couldn't find my writing mojo....but lets see if we can't change that a little bit today.
 As soon as I finish this post,going to take the trash out and then walk over to the U of Michigan medical center and make a appointment for Lori to get her chemo port flushed. A port has to be flushed once every 4-6 weeks to prevent any issues in case it needs to used,one doesn't want to have a blocked port,its a pain in a ass to clean,or so we have been told.
  Lori has to have her port for a year to the day that Dr. Johnston says she is in remission. So,despite her surgery being almost a year ago already (I know,amazing,right?) we still have to live with it and that means putting on lidocaine once every 4-6 weeks and getting flushed.
  So I decided to put Derek's bed under the window where he has taken up residence for next 6 weeks...figured he would enjoy the bed and the softness of his blankets. I took a peek this morning and the goofy cat was curled up besides the bed sleeping away. Needless to say,the bed was moved back to its normal spot and he went back to sleep where the bed had been. Gotta love my cat!
   Had a couple of interesting stories come through the city this week. Seems like a local attorney,David Dunn,who defends a lot of dangerous thugs,is now himself in jail facing the same murder charge his client is after being arrested for trying to get a witness to commit perjury. Dunn is also facing eight other counts,including the murder charge he was defending 22 year old Andre Collins from. The witness was supposedly wearing a wire and not only did they catch Dunn trying to cajole this witness but he was also was heard bragging that he had done this on other cases as well.
"Mr. Dunn's alleged behavior is a poison arrow in the heart of the criminal justice system," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. "The evidence will show that he's done this more than once.

Pretty damn sad if you ask many murderers,rapists,thugs has Dunn broken the law for in order to get them off and collect his now blood money? Now the DA's office will have to back and re-investigate every case Dunn has defended to see just how bad this miscarriage of justice runs.  The one good thing is that is that more likely that Collins will never see the free world again. And hopefully,if Dunn is also convicted,this will discourage any other lawyers from doing such a terrible crime.
    Another example of just how bad of a Police Chief Ralph Godbee is for the city of Detroit. I mean,can this guy do more then bumble and stumble his way in to work everyday?  We had a tourist in from New York in for a convention who vanished and after 4 days,his family got worried when they hadn't heard from him.
Mike Treder was here for a engineering and science expo but has simply vanished after checking in his hotel. He told his family and girlfriend that he was a guest speaker at the expo but it turns out that wasn't the case.
So the family reached out to police and they responded...led by Chief Godbee himself and at least 3-5 other officers. Now I can hear you saying "Why are you spracking on Godbee like this? It isn't every day that a major city police chief will take such a active role in finding a missing tourist!"
  And you would be right,normally this WOULD be a feel good story and I am very much hoping that Treder is found safe and sound,this is a weird case,that is for skippy.
   But this why I'm once again ripping on the chief and also the Mayor's office.
Detroit has 700,000 citizens living in it and at least 4,000 are convicted sex offenders who have had to register as sexual offenders. This means they have to let the police/probation office know where they,the offenders,are as far as living and working. If they plan on moving,they have to tell the cops,if they get a job,same deal. Now with 4,000  registered offenders,you would think the cops would have a dedicated force to keep a wary eye on these folks,right? I mean,if the police chief and 3-5 cops are looking for a missing tourist,we probably have at least 30-50 cops of sex offender duty...
   Well we don't. We have ONE cop to keep track of those 4,000 offenders...oh wait,I forgot to tell you the best parts,at least 650 offenders are now unaccounted for,they for all purposes,have flown the coop,they're in the wind. They have neglected to tell the cops where they are,where they are working,if they are drug-free,if they haven't raped a 12 year old lately.
   But in defense of Godbee,the department has had budget cuts to be sure...which forced the reduction of the sexual offender task force. So just how many cops USED to be on this section being it was reduced to one cop? Try TWO cops. Two cops to track 4,000 dangerous felons in a city of 700,000.
 But we can get our chief and 3-5 cops to track down a missing tourist,once it made the local news.
Now are you sure you want to visit Detroit if you're a woman? Sort of makes you think twice about that doesn't it??
  And this is Bing's folly as the hell could you let your fucking ego get in the way of a damn good cop like Warren Evans doing his job??? The city has gone to shit and it really did start with Warren being asked to resign. This city has a special talent for turning on the people who really want to help Detroit recover....Warren Evans,Gary Brown,Robert Bobb,Dennis Archer,Roy Roberts...all being attacked just because they want to be honest and not sugar coat that the people here have to be accountable for their actions.
  But going to end this on a positive note....
Last January a man lost his life when he fell while working on the Ambassador Bridge. Kent Morton was painting when something went terribly wrong and he fell into the Detroit River. He survived the fall but with all the heavy gear he had on plus the injuries he sustained,he drowned before any help could reach this day,his body has not been recovered.
Kent left a little girl and his fiance,who was expecting their first child together. By all accounts,Kent was a good man,a loving father and a kick ass brother.
  Kent and his fiance,Kristi Waltsgott,had bought a home and were just starting to renovate it when Kent was killed. Kent had painted his daughter's room and Kristi was getting the kitchen ready on the day he passed away. For two months now nothing as happened as Kristi being pregnant was and is finding it harder to get along. And I'm sure money is also tight for the little family. The Western Wayne Plumber and Mechanical Association reached and as contributed time,labor and manpower in help Kent and Kristi realize their dream home. But they still needed some help and so they reached out to Fox 2 for that help.
The media covered this story very compassionately when Kent was killed and that is one thing I love about the people who report on our area,they don't simply file a story and move on. Over and over they revisit it and bring us updates.
  Our best journalist,Amy Lange,covered this story and after meeting with Kristi,the work crew and seeing the house...she called a local store,ABC Warehouse (I blogged about these guys before),who jumped at the chance to help. They are supplying brand new kitchen appliances to Kristi,top of the line gear to help this woman get ready for her upcoming son,Kent's legacy,who she is expecting to come in August.
 What a beautiful thing that these men,ABC Warehouse and Amy did for this family. We are blessed to such angels in our community,we really are!

Well,that is it for now. My postman is downstairs and he has some new news on how Rick Santorum is really Ron Paul's love child.

be safe!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Its 2:37 pm

    Doing chores today....2nd interview went very well and after over 2 hellish years,it looks like I have a JOB.
I guess I'm sort of a loss for words other then seeing how many things that need to be fixed in my house...
Got a message today from one of heroes,Chief Warren Evans,he asked me to call him because he wants to talk with me...needless to say,I'm extremely flattered and dare say a little nervous.
 Which is strange considering how many famous artists,actors,local politicians and a standing member of a President's Cabinet....I don't get rattled easy by "famous" people but those I respect beyond measure...yeah,I get nervous! Only happened to 3 times in my music career...meeting John Doe,Barbara Manning and Penelope Houston.  Its looking like Chief Evans is considering a run for Mayor of Detroit and I'm not the only one who believes in their heart....Warren Evans may be the LAST and best hope to save this city.
   We need people like Warren,Gary Brown,JJ Johnson,Nolan Finley,Tracey Henry-Martin and Steve Hood who LOVE this city and its people and willing to fight for it. There is nothing more depressing or sad then to go downtown and see what this city used to be like.
  As for Trayvon Martin......who gives a fuck he got shot dead? We don't.....oh,we'll pay him lip service,the blacks folks will play the broken down race card cause his killer was a white man,there will be some marches with some "Stop the Violence" style of banners waving and in about 2-3 weeks,it will fade away in search of a new we did for Gabby Giffords,for Randy Vetters,for Delric Miller,for the 49 people shot and killed in Chicago last weekend.
Below is a link to a interview that Fox 2 journalist Charlie LeDuff conducted with Warren Evans. Listen to hard numbers of how bad the city has gotten since Bing-a-ling asked Chief Evans to resign in the wake of the Ayiana Jones case.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Reading and War

Its 2:50 pm

    Back in the saddle again...

Looking outside at a wonderful spring day,soon I'll be outside walking to the post office to drop a package off for Lori.
  Had a nice relaxing day on Sunday. Went shopping for some corned beef and the fixings so we could have the traditional Irish corned beef and cabbage. We put the corned beef in the crockpot and then went out for some fun activities. Nothing to heavy,just a cup of coffee and a visit to the Barnes and Noble store in Northville. But I must have picked a bad day because all the magazines I like to read were not to be had on Sunday. The bookstore was packed however and I was thinking how exciting it was watching teens picking up copies of The Hunger Games,Game of Thrones and other novels.
   While I have never read the Twilight series because I'm not a huge vampire fan,I have to say that as readers of old fashioned books,I do applaud Ms. Rowling,Meyer and Collins as well as Martin and Patterson for encouraging YOUNG PEOPLE to actually sit and read a book! Far too many young folks are playing video games and one has to wonder,do the players ever consider where the designers/makers of these games GET their ideas?? Hard to create a exciting world of fantasy when one has no imagination,isn't it?
  Also haven't read The Hunger Games as of yet but I have a feeling I'll find the books during this summer's yard sale season. Besides,with over 75 books on my waiting to be read pile in my den,its not like I'm hurting for things to read.
  I see that George Clooney got arrested for protesting the violence in Sudan. Hmmm,yeah,THAT is a new burning issue....not. But because George is there,all of a sudden we're supposed to care? Never mind that the Sudan region has been a testing ground for Russian and Chinese weapon systems for YEARS. What? You didn't know this? You didn't know that Africa is the perfect test ground for new bioweapons,armor and tactics? The many small countries are perfect for unloading 2nd hand helicopters,fighters and armor that many nations no have need for due to new models or budget cuts.
  While the US uses the same tactics in South America,Russia,China and Europe use the whole of Africa for their own unloading area. Take a peek at any African country and take a peek at with their armies are armed with....fighter jets like the MiG-25,the Mi-17 helicopter gunships,Lockheed C-130 transport planes as well as heavy MBT like the T-72.
  Isn't it sort of funny how we are asked to help the poor people of Dafur while the international community has chipped in enough "aid" so that Sudan can spend up to 4 billion dollars on new equipment and bases?
And now South Sudan is now starting to follow the same path? This is nothing new kids and George Clooney isn't drawing attention to a problem that we are willing to solve. Its hard to stand up at the UN and accuse Russia and China for supplying arms when in fact we have done the same in Central and South America. Or maybe you didn't know that "evil" Hugo Chavez has about 14-15 F-16s in the Venezuela Air Force or that the Iran Air Force flies the F-14 Tomcat,the F-4 Phantom and the F-5 Tiger II.
  Dealing death and destruction to the 3rd world countries is the way of life for the G-20,it fosters unstable governments,brain drains and allows big companies to come in and rape the countries for resources. Its an active suppression and slavery of these folks and religion once again is a main tool to rule with absolute power and corruption. And people like Kony,which caused such a "outrage" are often encouraged,supported and aided by modern governments to help eyes off the real crime,the stealing of those same said resources.
   Until we quit selling these countries weapons and quit putting puppet rulers in place,the cycle of violence and utter lack of respect for life will continue.
   Making these events a flavor of a tweet does nothing but make lessens the real damage being done over there. People jump online,"retweet" or "like" without doing any real reading about how much money is being spent on arms,munitions and why there is always a "rebellion" happening. Instead,we need to start asking potential candidates for higher office,"What are you going to do about selling arms to countries like Sudan,Honduras or Columbia"?
  After several decades,it has become crystal clear that we have become what we are always claiming N. Korea,Iran and Iraq are....we are encouraging and fostering terrorism. Take a hard look at Libya,Peru,Columbia,Mexico....thousands upon thousands dead,dying,poverty stricken. How are we so different from those we say are the "axis of evil"?

Okay,that is all I got for now.......


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day

Its 12:19 pm

    Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone.....

Been an pretty eventful week here in SE Michigan.....had 3 tornadoes touch down here in our area,2 relatively close to Dexter,a F-2 twister rolled in and destroyed 13 houses and damaged 100 more. In Ida,which is about 35 miles away,a few houses were also damaged when a smaller twister touched down and a F-2 hit in a town quite away from our area,not really sure how much damage was done.
  The weather went from a muggy,warm day to a major threat in just an hour. I was watching it unfold on Fox 2 and you could see how the storms popped up and were slowly heading to us. Wasn't too worried because we always get passed over for some reason...but still was pretty happy when Lori got home and that the storm cell continued south of us. One thing about having such severe weather like this,it makes our CERT class all that more important. Which was great because the night we had the weather was the same night of our class,when I got there at 6:20 pm,only 3 other people were there for a 6:30 start...we wondered if a class was even going to happen....but 20 minutes later we had 30 students and our instructor in place and the topic couldn't been more fitting,how to deal with disaster psychology.
  Our instructor asked us if we had seen any major disasters up close or had to deal with victims. A nurse spoke up and talked about a plane crash she had to respond to. It was actually a little spooky hearing about what she saw and dealt with. But this why we are being trained for,to help and deal with what happened in Dexter and Ida.
  The local media covered this event like a blanket and the incredible reaction of the local community to help those effected by this storm was and in amazing. Tons of supplies were rushed in to help the victims and the first responders who were on scene going through the houses looking for potential victims. No one was killed and only 2 folks were slightly hurt,the early warnings that the Weather Service provided enabled people to get to safety.
   My mom and pops were watching the Weather Channel and saw the storm hit Ann Arbor and started calling the house. I got home from class and touched bases with them and told them we were fine.

  Basketball fever has really hit our area,4 area men's teams have made the various tournaments and the buzz is pretty loud for Michigan State, U of Detroit and the school in Ann Arbor. Oakland U also made a 2nd tier tourney,that was good to see considering that they play a very rugged schedule and despite having only a 17-15 record,deserved a trip to the play-offs.
  This is the first year I filled out a bracket on Yahoo and I did so-so ,I went 21-11 in the first round and 3 of my 3 of my 4 Final Four picks made it as well....I picked Long Beach State but they were upset. I picked Syracuse to beat Kentucky in the finals...and even though I picked Michigan to beat Ohio U,I was pretty damn happy the Bobcats dumped the Wolverines in the first round. Just can't Michigan....I guess I see them like I do Stanford (but at least the Cardinal TRAVEL!!),the big school with all the clout against the smaller fish like Eastern,Western,Central,Oakland and Detroit.  Detroit also lost to Kansas,65-50,but at least they showed up and gave the Jayhawks a tussle...a true sign of a good underdog.

  My two interviews were like night and day.....the first one lasted 4 minutes and was given by a manager who seemed to have no love or passion for her job or her business. She told me the position,hours and pay...she didn't ask me a SINGLE question. I ended up asking her 4 or 5,I haven't seen such apathy in my entire working career...the 2nd one was so much better,I interviewed for 40 minutes and felt very comfortable with both the job and the manager who conducted the interview. Won't know for about 10 days which way it will go but have my fingers crossed.

  Soap operas. How many of us have watched a soap opera in our lifetime? I grew up watching a couple of soaps with my momma,she liked to watch "Ryan's Hope" and "Days of Our Lives" every day. We used to do chores around these two shows or she would prepare dinner. And after I quit watching them after I discovered Doc Savage,The Inner Sanctum and Batman,I still would peek in once in a while. While Ryan's was long gone,other soaps popped up...I was so surprised to see Randy Mantooth on "Days" that I watched his storyline. Now who is Randy Mantooth? Why he played paramedic/firefighter on my favorite show growing up,"Emergency!". After the show ended,most of the cast just vanished from the airwaves,either they retired (Bobby Troup/Julie London),went into government (Ron Pinkard),or who knows where.
 Randy was the first cast member who popped back up when he did a soap called "Loving" on ABC. That show evolved into "The City" before fading away. But because of his good work,he went on to other soaps and is a fan favorite.
   What I liked about soaps was you could watch for a week,go away for a year,come back and see the same storyline going on...maybe with a fresh face but the story was still in progress. You see the soap zines at the check out counter blaring about which actor got "fired" when in fact,rarely do soap actors get fired,the story gets wrapped up,pilot season was happening,or sometimes they get play or film role. And the fans...other then country music fans,can't think of a more loyal bunch then soap fans. When ever a network or fan club hosted a event,you could count on thousands showing up in respectful support. Its a interesting world to be sure of.
   But just as television did with radio,reality TV programming is doing to the world of the soap opera,its slowing forcing them off the air. While soap operas were able to make the switch from radio to TV,the switch from TV to who knows is now looming large. Only 4 shows remain on the air now and where as you could catch up with your old soaps on the SoapNet on cable TV,soon too that will be ending as Disney,which owns it,is converting it to a children's channel.
 Why the decline and why so sudden? Budgets,tired plot lines,new crappy yet flashy shows like the "Real Housewives" and all the cheap ho filled crap on E! and Vh-1 splintered what was already a slowly shrinking viewing pool. Soon the soaps were being looked at as dinosaurs and very costly. And when the OJ Simpson murder case came on and interrupted the shows for weeks on end,it was the slow death knell for the genre.
  But is the soap completely dead? I stumbled across a group of dedicated fans who are trying to save their shows. They continue to support the shows that are on and the stars that no longer working. If I was a soap star,I would be so grateful knowing that faceless folks are out there championing my name and keeping it in the public's (and casting directors) eye. Where as if you were written off a soap,you could wait a few months and then be recast on a different show,not so easy these days,not when there are the 4 shows left and one of those may be on shaky ground.
   But to those who are reading this entry....and who want to help save the genre,be it a new cable channel,YouTube channel,fan events, can go here and catch the latest news and even download a coupon to send to your cable provider showing that you would support a channel.
  I think Encore would be a perfect example of what could happen. They have a Western only channel that only shows western movies and old cowboy shows like Gunsmoke,Rawhide and Have Gun,Will Travel.
I feel their pain...I loved old radio dramas,even today,you can still dig up an old broadcast of Jack Benny,George and Gracie or my favorite,the CBS Mystery Theater and be transported to a much more simpler time.
  And to Michael Easton....I still miss Gabriel Ashlocke!!

Okay,that is all I got for today.....I'm loading some Paladins on the iPod and walking to get some printer ink!

Comments and new readers are most welcome.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Short and sweet

Its 11:50 am

    Just a quick entry....had a pretty nasty night here in our neck of the woods as several tornadoes touched down within 20-40 miles of our town. A town outside Ann Arbor,Dexter,was hit pretty hard with 13 homes destroyed and many,many more damaged. By God's good grace,no one was killed and there were only 2 slightly injured as I'm writing this.
   All this was happening as I was attending my CERT class last night...where we learned how to help people affected by big disasters. I'll blog more about this tomorrow morning...where as I had written I had a job interview today,turns out now that I have at 2 pm and the other at 4 pm. So say a small prayer for me today....
  Its almost time for the 2nd half of the 1st round of the NCAA Hoops tournament....I did pretty well yesterday with a 12-4 mark. Really bummed that Harvard and Long Beach State didn't win but if Ohio can beat Michigan,I would be pretty happy with that.
  Good news....just read a update on Amy Rauch Neilson's blog: Looks like Amy will be able to come home this week after her radiation treatment. This is great news and I still believe a miracle can be there for Amy and her family.
   Okay,I think this is short and sweet....just don't have time for a longer entry. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Want to get rich in Detroit? Get shot.

Its 12:29 pm

    Wow....what a beautiful day once in SE Michigan. Just a picture perfect day to do whatever you feel free to do. The temperature is supposed to hit 71 degrees both today and tomorrow and after I finish this entry,I'm outta here for a walk.
   Note to Rush Limbaugh: A slut and/or a whore isn't someone like Sandra Fluke. It belongs to any man or woman who appears on a show like the The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. Just wanted to clear that up.

  Just wanted to touch on a couple of topics I blogged about before....

First,the man who thought it okay to write a sexually graphic paper about his college professor and was suspended by the school for it,had his appeal denied by the school's president. Joe Corlett 56,now plans on suing the school saying HIS rights were abused. One would hope theschool and the teacher does the same thing to Mr. Corelett for sexual harassment. The pendulum swings both ways,Corelett has a right to speak but so does the teacher,she voiced her concerns about feeling comfortable teaching without some 56 year old married man undressing her and or making  crude remarks in the classroom among his classmates.
Never once has this man admitted that maybe he went far and say that he is sorry,that he crossed a boundary that should have never been even in his thoughts. Maybe if he done that instead of bitching and moaning about  "wronged" he was, this could have been settled like adults. But since Corelett doesn't seem to be mature enough to recognize what he did was tasteless and tacky,off to court they'll be going....

   The second this I'm going to talk about is the gas station shooting we had here in the Detroit area last weekend. I blogged how dangerous it is to simply get a tankful of gas in the D. You can shot,carjacked,beaten all while just trying to get some gas. Its one of the things Lori and I do before we head to the Eastern Market or DIA...we fill our gas tank BEFORE we head to Detroit.
Regular readers know about the World War 2 vet who was carjacked and had his leg broke while attempting to get gas and had to literally crawl on his hands to get help while other customers just walked past him.
  I commented how one city council member,Kwame Kenyatta went on talk show host Steve Hood's program "Detroit Wants 2 Know" and argued for armed guards at these same gas stations. The owners,primarily Arab-Americans,said they needed more police to help them and why should they have to pay for private security when their business and personal taxes should enable them to get police services just as any other citizen or business.
   Kenyatta said that if they didn't get guards and make the stations safe,then maybe people should avoid going to these stations. It was a very thin veiled threat and if I'm a station owner,I'm going to be very upset at a public servant that is discouraging the public from coming to my business. It was wrong and Kenyatta had no business saying that. If he is that concerned with the crime at the gas stations,he should talk to Chief Ralph Godbee about what can be done to patrol the 5-10 worst hit stations a little more.
  After all,a attendent was shot and killed just a few weeks ago in cold blood..we didn't see the gas station owner go on the news or Detroit Wants 2 Know and tell people to stop coming to Detroit did we?
 This past weekend,saw a 24 year old man come into a BP station with a bunch of his friends. He wanted to a single condom that was listed for 1.50. The man,Michael Haynes,started a fight in the store and started knocking over displays. The clerk came out brandishing a gun and shot Haynes in the shoulder. His friends scooped him up and ran to the nearest ER which was Sinai-Grace Hospital. And that is where the shit gets really crazy...
  Sadly,very sadly...I can tell you when a loved one gets shot,its a terrible thing. You react three ways,you panic and lose control or you try and see how bad it is and attempt first aid and call 9-1-1 or you just go into shock because you know the person is gone. My family reacted to the last one when Peter was murdered.
My mom told me when she saw all the cop cars and fire trucks,that something terrible had happened. No one in my family raised their voices or went loopy.
  But not everyone is that way....Hayne's friends (who most likely had been partying) panicked and instead of one person going into the ER,all barged into the ER area screaming and scared for their friend. They were loud and overpowering in their desire to help Haynes. I'm sure profanity was being hurled about as well...and the security team was backed into a corner. Instead of helping their friend,they may aided in his death because of their actions. The guards felt threatened enough to have allegedly had to pepper spray ad handcuff these guys until they could get a straight story. By the time that Haynes was seen,it was too late and he was dead.
  Now the family is calling for a boycott of the gas station and wants to profit off the dead man by suing the hospital. The local media showed a crowd of black Detroiters fighting,pushing and waving signs asking to end the killing of young black other races because God knows,genocide doesn't happen in the D.
When you see and hear this kind of reaction from a man who brought his own death upon himself and a councilman who said that every gas station should have a armed guard,its hard to have any compassion.
Now the clerk has been charged with 1st degree murder which is also wrong....2nd degree murder,yes...DA Kym Worthy should charge the clerk with 2nd degree murder because while the man was surrounded by a group of men,all he had to do was call 9-1-1 and stay behind the bulletproof counter. He wasn't in mortal danger and while seeing his store being trashed was nasty,his life wasn't in danger.
  But to not acknowledge what her son did was wrong,Haynes mother crying for "justice for my baby" rings hollow. Haynes was not a 12 year old girl shot dead because of a cell phone dispute,he wasn't a 8 month baby shot dead by 2 men shooting AK-47s into a house. He was a 24 year old man who argued over 50 fucking cents and acted out in violence.
  And to sue the hospital? Profit off your dead son? Don't be shocked,it happens all the time here..little 7 year old Aiyana Jones was still on the medical examiner's table when attorney Geoffrey Fieger was announcing he was filing suit against the Detroit Police Department after little Aiyana was killed in a police raid. Aiyana's father had supposedly supplied a gun and a ride to Chauncey Owens when then killed 17 old Jerean  Blake.
The police raided the house looking for Owens whom the Jones family was hiding upstairs when Aiyana was killed. But that still hasn't stopped the Jones family from trying to cash in on her death.
  The wall of silence around the black of black crime is astounding....even as I type this I am reading about a 12 year old boy that was shot in his arm after two cars of young black men crashed into other and both parties came out shooting....and of course,no one knows nothing.
  Not unless there is money to be made by it of course.....
I commented to Steve Hood about my feelings on Kwame Kenyatta and his wanting armed guards at the gas stations and how wrong it was. I asked if he was planning to follow up on this in light of this shooting. He couldn't give me details but said to watch this weekend. Steve,if you read this.....I can't wait. We need a lot more folks like Steve around,that is for sure.
To follow Detroit Wants 2 Know just click on the link.

Off the soap box......

   I have a job interview on Friday. I don't want to jinx myself but I'm really praying that I can get this job because I feel like I'm breathing on fumes these days. Just trying to maintain what we have here but each week I see where we need some help in the house,repairs that need to be done but finding the money to get what we need is a real chore. It would be so nice to actually get back to a schedule and feel like a real partner /husband again in bringing home a I'm asking for some prayers here!
   Okay,I gotta brag about this one before I go....I have a dear friend named Kylie who works in the movies.She is working as a set designer for several different small productions. What does a set designer do,you may be asking,well,they are the ones who are responsible who making a warehouse look like a police station,a house appear haunted,to convert a modern home into a 17th century den of fun. They have to design the set,acquire the materials needed and then spend long hours building the director's vision. As many of you who have worked in the movies know,the smaller the budget,the more creative you have to get with that budget. Kylie is a talented set designer...while working on a superhero movie,she mentioned she went to IKEA to get some materials. Think about that for a second.....IKEA,the home goods store! I consider myself doing well if I can get freezer bags and a throw blankie there but to make and create a set off those items?
Just fucking brilliant...I read in Robert Englund's "Hollywood Monster" that Roger Corman had the most creative set design team....that they once used egg cartons as a element when they filmed the B classic movie "Galaxy of Terror". Come to think of it,Englund wrote that the effects/set designers often did much better when a small budget then with a larger one because it forced them to think outside the box....and in this case,into IKEA! How cool is that? Just wanted to brag about you a little bit K,hope you don't mind.
Okay,that is all I got for now....but I'll have something else to say tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday Musings

Its 8:53 am

    Went to bed last night with thunder and rain and woke up this morning to a glorious morning,full of sunshine.
Turned on the iPod and am listening to Live while I'm getting my blogging thoughts together. I think coffee is also in order so before I start writing,I'm going to do just that.
 So now I'm back....
Lori came back early Sunday night and I indeed did cook my wife dinner and did 100% of the meal...prep,cook and washing the dishes. I actually had a lot of fun and was really happy when she said she liked my spaghetti sauce better then her own. I know I hear some of you laughing but Lori doesn't flatter for the sake of flattering. That is what made her comment so special....and you know I'll be heading back into the kitchen on Saturday trying my hand at making a Michael Symon kale salad that we saw on Symon's Suppers on the Cooking Channel.
  Sunday saw the annual selection for the NCAA Men's hoops tourney. Shockingly San Jose State did NOT make it despite a 9-22 record including finishing dead ass last in the WAC. Aye,the Berry curse still resides with our men's program. But the women's team did much better this year finishing 4th this year about being one of the worst teams last year not only in the WAC but the entire nation.
  I signed up on Yahoo and filled out a bracket....and I'm picking Syracuse to upend Kentucky to win the title. But I think SJSU's old foe,Long Beach State will make some noise and surprise quite a few people.
Michigan is well represented with 3 schools making the tourney,U of Michigan (c'mon Ohio,please beat that Wolverine ass!!),U of Detroit and Michigan State (maybe Izzo's best coaching job in a long,long time).
Oakland U also got an invite to one of the minor tourneys as well.
 Caught a snippet on the Foster-Valenti Show on a local sports radio station. Valenti was saying that any blue chipper who plays at a mid-major school coached by his father when he has offers from big name schools shouldn't be allowed. See,in Michigan we have had that happen twice in one year. Two very sought after recruits being chased by the likes of Duke,Arizona,Michigan State decided to sign with the schools where their fathers coach,Trey Zeigler of Central Michigan,whose dad,Ernie is the head coach and Ray McCallum Jr,whose dad Ray,coaches at the U of Detroit.
  Valenti thinks its not right that these young men turn down offers from the big boys to stay home and play with their fathers. Really....I mean how completely wrong can someone who claims to know about sports can be? That is the beauty of being recruited,that a young player can look at the whole picture and see which school will suit them best. CMU and Detroit are both excellent schools to get a education,no matter who is coaching. Now maybe you won't be on ESPN every week and some folks may think the father may play favorites but hey,thats going to happen no matter where you go. How many players get recruited to play at a big boy school only to find themselves being the 11th or 12th player coming off the bench to play the last 45 seconds of a blowout game as a senior? This after being wined and dined as the next big NBA type star?
I think its great that these kids decided to stay home and play for their dads,at least you won't see their names on a police blotter doing stupid shit and getting kicked off the team.
  Now there is a risk that if pops isn't coaching too well (CMU was terrible this year),he could be fired and then the question can be asked,will the player stay or transfer? Again,a moot question because of the vast amount of players who transfer every year looking for the magic button that will get them playing on a higher level. Sometimes a transfer works and sometimes (hello Tate Forcier) it doesn't. But questioning a player who wants to play for their dad? Just stupidity.
  Lori and I went over to the new MJR Theater in Westland yesterday. Seems like one of her co-workers had went and watched "Act of Valor"and said it was a good movie. Now Lori isn't into fanboy or violent movies so I was surprised when she said she wanted to see this with me as I hadn't planned on it myself.
 But since we had a day off together and were planning to make a Randazzo's run....we stopped at Subway,got a sammie and headed on over. The new theater is clean and well laid out. The matinee price was 5.00 so that that nice. There was maybe about 15 folks for the 1:40 pm showing,nice and cozy seats.
  Now "Act of Valor" is different then most war movies because the Navy SEALS in the movie are the real deal. To see how they operate in the field was pretty amazing and the movie had 3 great set pieces where the tactics and firepower that they can bring into a fight were full display. I read a couple of reviews about how "Act of Valor" was a SEALS recruiting tool much like Top Gun was for Navy fighter pilots. Not even close,I daresay you might have better odds being a Harrier or SuperHornet fighter jockey then you do a SEAL. The SEALS are the best of the best. The movie was well done and very exciting. The ending titles were pretty sobering as the producers listed the SEALS lost in action since 9/11. Sadly,there were quite a few names that they listed.
  We headed to over to Randazzo's after the movie and picked up fresh veggies. Lori's car needed gas so we went to a tiny station that was selling gas for 3.79 a gallon while everyone else was selling it at 3.92. Needless to say,the place was packed and we had to be very careful getting in and out .
    Filled up and dropped by Big Lots for a pick peek. We got a laugh seeing Jesse James's book "American Outlaw" already at Big Lots. Big Lots is a step up from Dollar Tree when it comes to books. It answers a basic question,"just where do books go to die"after they sit on a shelf and gather dust at a local Barnes and Noble. They get sold to discounters,who sell them to yet another discounter and then to dollar stores and flea markets. You see a lot of books that were just being talked about here at stores like this....I passed on buying it and left.
  Got a note from a very good writer friend of mine. Seems like she has decided to pick up her "pen" and start blogging again. I for one (and I'm sure Slade Wilson agrees),am glad to see this. I read her first entry and I shake my head at how easy she makes this thing called blogging is. While I can't hype her up (per her request),I did post a link to her blog along with another new blogger pal of mine,a English chap named Dave. He too,is now listed on my Blogs I Follow list.
  Alrightly......I'm out for now.  Below is the trailer for "Act of Valor".

Another day to be blessed (thanks to Shawn for the title)

Its 11:15 am

    Wow,I can't begin to tell you have beautiful the day is outside. It looks more like a summer day then a early spring one and I can almost hear my lawnmower crying out to "Fire me up"!
 As you could see in the last post,I was feeling a bit in a funk...its just been a rough week here on the ranch. But I'm going to shake it off and get a couple of projects done. Going to re-work my job search again,make up a another master list and see if I can shake something loose. While I am still hoping for DHS to call,I haven't been resting on that...but something I'm doing is not working so back to the drawing board for sure,right?
   And I'm cooking dinner tonight,completely solo. No help from Lori other then answering any questions I may have. Now I have cooked before but its been more like a team effort but not tonight....Its going to my show and Derek has already meowed that he'll be my sous chef. I'll take him up on that offer....and well let you know how we do. Today dinner,tomorrow Iron Chef America!
  Now how do you boil water again.......?
A lady in a nearby town made national news this week because of a 30 pound wild turkey that attacks her every time she comes out of her house. Calling the turkey "Godzilla",she says it ambushes her whenever she steps out of her house and since she has to go to the post office 6 days a week to get her mail,that is at least 12 encounters with this goofy bird she has to deal with.
   I have seen wild turkeys by my in-laws house up in northern Michigan but never been close enough to have one charge at me. I have had a chicken charge from behind me when I lived in San Jose and a Canadian goose charge at us when we were visiting Lori cousin's gravesite. I merely laughed at the chicken and charged back at the goose but a wild turkey? I don't know if that would be a good thing,Godzilla actually jumps up and tries to claw at this 69 year old woman and has drawn blood. But I give the brave lady credit,she uses either a broom to a umbrella to ward off Godzilla and tries to out think him. All the gun loving NRA card toting zeroes probably be planning a frontal assault with 20 redneck friends and some AK-47s.
But she isn't calling animal control on Godzilla,she thinks once the weather changes,he will be more into his flock of fellow wild turkeys that live behind her house on state owned land.
 Going to post this now and start a new entry,had a POV about the whole Rush mess but re-reading it,have decided its just not worth talking about. Guy is a asshole but if you don't like what he says,just don't listen to his fat ass.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday Randomness

Its 10:55 am

    Its a beautiful day this morning. Its time to get in a walk,pay some bills,listen to some music and finish reading the Tom Delay book. I also have done something I haven't done in a very long time...I bought some new(ish) music,our local Dollar Tree got in some CDs and I ended up getting 3 of them instead of books. I'm actually sort of proud of myself for not buying anymore books on this visit..
Its 8:11 pm

    Back at the keyboard.....Chely Wright is singing sweetly on the iPod. I love her voice,it has such a soulful feel to it but with a country twang. Chely was a staple on country radio because of her voice and a popular video artist because she is a real beauty. Always thought she should have been a much bigger star,great vocals,looks and a writer? That is a rare combo in country music that you see these days. Ironically I found her album Metropolitan Hotel in the same Dollar Tree store about 3 years ago. Funny how that goes.
  The day wasn't exactly what I call a barn burner,paying bills,sorting and filing coupons,cleaned up the cat boxes,laundry and general house work.
  Was talking to a fellow writer who is a novelist today,she was having problems coming up with a workable plot for a chapter of a book she is writing. I told her I can relate,have always struggled to write smoothly and easily,some days the words flow and I can write a lot of good stuff and then I have days like today where I'm fighting to put words down. It helps I have music playing,it help relaxes me but I think the fact Lori is gone to see her parents and getting some sad news last night has stalled me out a bit.
  Last night I read that Amy Rauch Neilson,whose blog "Its In the Genes" is listed on my Blog I Follow list,is really struggling now with her cancer. She has fought breast cancer for years,it went into remission and then came back. I discovered her because of a local news story that journalist Amy Lange did on her brave fight.
  Because of Amy's blog,I was able to learn what to expect in some respects what Lori and I were facing.
For a long time it seemed like Amy was making great progress until she somehow broke her leg shopping at a Kohl's store during Christmas. Since then it has been 1 step forward and 2 steps back.
 So when her husband posted last night that her cancer has spread to her back and brain,my heart sank. Now she is facing 6 weeks of radiation to try and stave off this latest attack.
  I wrote my journalist friend Amy Lange about how you are filled with both nerves and dread when comes to seeing your oncologist. You can't wait to see him/her to see what needs to be done yet when you do a test or a lab,you are filled with dread at what you may hear. And of course sitting here alone with nothing but my thoughts to keep me company,I can't help but think what will be our next step....will it remission or will it be another round of chemotherapy/surgery/radiation? I pray every day for the strength to keep a smile on my face and a song in my heart....and admiring the hell out of Dan,Amy husband and caretaker. I know I'm Lori's rock and I will never bend or break. I ask all of you who are reading this to please keep the Neilson family in your prayers,they really need us all now.

   Picking up on a thread from my last entry.....seems that a man walked into a BP station in Detroit. He got into a beef about the price of some jimmy hats with the clerk. The man and his friends started causing a bit of a ruckus,tossing displays around and knocking items on the floor. The man said the clerk overcharged him and wanted his money back...the scuffle ended when the clerk grabbed a gun and put a bullet into the man's shoulder. The man's friends rushed his to a local hospital but he bled out before they got there. The clerk was arrested.......all for a box of condoms. And City Councilman Kenyatta wants armed guards at these stations?
Only in Murder City....

  The USS Enterprise (the Big E) is preparing to sail into the sunset. Its the largest active aircraft carrier in the US Navy and has been an important part of the Navy for 50 years. It was only due to serve 25 years but it was overhauled in 1979. Built in 1958,she was launched in 1960 and in 1962,she sailed on her maiden voyage. The USS Enterprise saw action during the Cuban Missile Crisis,the closest the world has come to nuclear war.
The Big E also served in the Vietnam War but not without cost. A missile aboard a F-4 Phantom blew up on 14 Jan 69 which killed 27 crewmen,wounded over 300 more and destroyed 15 planes. This forced the carrier into Pearl Harbor for repairs.
 Whenever there was a cause for a show a force,the USS Enterprise was often the first carrier task force,be it  Vietnam,Korea,India and now Iran. This final deployment will be for 7 months and then she will be decommissioned,defueled and scrapped by 2015. But she served this country with pride and honor.
USS Enterprise 50th Birthday Celebration

To learn more about the USS Enterprise just follow the link....

Well that is all I have for now....comments are always welcome.

Friday, March 9, 2012

21st Century Battlefield - Detroit,Part 2

Its 11:12 pm
   Its a cool night outside and I have just finished finished watching "Let It Rip" on my local Fox news station here in Detroit. Last night the mayor of Detroit,Dave Bing,gave his State of the City address. He spoke for 30 minutes where as most folks in Detroit could have spoken for 60 seconds and called it a State of a Shitty City address.
   Simply put,Bing is a fool. He has done very little to fix the city after the crap that Kwame Kilpatrick and his thuggish posse put it through. He doesn't work with the city council,he has laid waste to the public transportation system and in my opinion is the main reason why Detroit's crime rate is skyrocketing. He speaks well but then again,so did Kwame and look where it has gotten Detroit.
  The blight here is unreal,the poverty is crushing and the crime is unrelenting. Even now we have 3 high profile cases that on the 5 o'clock news..a 14 year old killed his sleeping mother after being told he had to stay inside and away from a unsavory element,two young women were kidnapped by the ex-boyfriend who earlier had taken a shot at his ex-girlfriend and was due to stand trail for that crime. And two 15 year old niggas strapped with AK-47s went on a carjacking and robbing spree that end up with a 6 year old boy shot in the back of his car.
  The sudden spike of violence isn't ATF source has said that these shootings are tied to a series of gang initiations sweeping the metro area. Many gangs make potential members kill and rob as to prove their loyalty to whatever set they will be claiming. Not the first time this has happened,young brothers often go on shooting rampages,be it schools,bus stops,barber shops or on a city street. The sad thing is Bing had a ace up his sleeve and his ego and vanity caused him to force out Warren Evans as chief of the Detroit Police Department.
   Bing did say one term that I have been using for years now...he said the city is under attack by domestic terrorists. Domestic Terrorism....right here in the good ol USA. I find it ironic watching everyone plus their goldfish jumping on Joseph Krony and raising such a outcry about him NOW. Its more of a instant fad then any real desire to see justice done. The man has been carrying on these tactics since 1986 and you're just NOW thinking its "cool" to denounce him? 
Now apply the same mindset to Detroit,its been waging a war since 1968...between the race riots,white flight,corrupt city leadership and unions,massive drug usage and sales,the flood of guns on the streets,the slow decay of what once was a great public school system and of course the violent is Detroit any different from Uganda? What? Because we don't make kids kill their parents and friends?But is that not what is happening here? We are killing these kids by not providing a stable home,a school system that designed to pass not teach. The hundreds of gangs here are no different then Kony is making these young people destroy their own people via the shootings,drug pushing,peer pressure to fail in school. Can you image that? Being bullied as a young black person because you actually have the nerve and courage to want to better yourself!!
Once in a while we'll get a outpouring of community support,like the new fresh push by the Detroit 300 to organize citizen patrols to help out....but trying to sustain that when the media turns off it cameras is its biggest challenge,fighting apathy and your own inept leaders like Mayor Bing. He has made so many mistakes since taking over that its hard to imagine anyone being able to come in after him and having any chance to clean up this mess. Letting Warren Evans go was just the tip of the iceberg....that was Strike One....Strike Two was appointing Ralph Godbee as the new Chief,the Keystone Cops can do a better job the Godbee has done. But combining Godbee along with dismantling the Gang Squad was the deal breaker.
Gone was an 70 member elite crew whose contacts and hard work into developing a network of known gang members was reduced to a mere 12 men reduced to pushing paper and driving a desk.
  Slowly and steady the crime rate and murder rate has gone up,you can't believe the stats that minor crimes have gone down. The only reason crimes like burglary,robberies,simple assaults,purse snatching has gone "down" is the fact that people here simply have quit reporting it. Time and again we hear about a crime that either the cops don't respond to or they will show up sometimes DAYS later to take a report.
  The media and the cops all clamoring that the community needs to help out,to speak up,support the police department. But slow response times and Detroit cops abusing their authority has undermined much of the goodwill that had been hoped for. Harassing people as they drive through a certain neighborhood and trying to issue tickets with hefty fines does little to foster goodwill.

Not only has this poisoned the citizens against the cops,it now has led to a class action lawsuit against the city which will cost tens of thousands of dollars to resolve. This has happened under Godbee's watch. In January of 2011,a man invades a police station with a shotgun,the firefight leaves many cops wounded and his attacker dead. The metal detector was broken and the shooter was able to breach security.
 Now you would think that the chief of police would make sure every metal detector at every station after such an attack...and you would be wrong.
  Godbee new idea of policing is to shut the doors on all the police stations at 5 pm and leave only 3 cops on duty to take reports,the rest of the cops are supposed to on the street protecting the casinos and tourists downtown,err,the taxpaying citizens in high crime areas. So if you are a victim of a crime and its after 5 pm,don't drive to a police station in the city because you'll be told to call a number and file a police report via the phone.
When a local journalist went to cover this story about 6 weeks ago,he went to the same station that had suffered the 4 cops being shot...and what did he find? The metal detector was STILL broken over a year later!!
Nice going Ralph,old boy...
  The foolishness doesn't stop at the mayor or the police chief,it rolls downhill to some members of the city council.
Like Kwame're going to love this one.
  Going to fill your car up with gas is a mundane but an important task. You pull in,swipe your debit/credit card,pump a few gallons of gas in and maybe grab a snack or smokes,right?
 Here in Detroit,its you take your life in your hands when you fill up your car. Or in some cases,you may arrive IN your car but you may up WALKING home without it after its been jacked by some blood looking to get some wheels.
  And if you are a gas station owner/worker? You can see exactly why Detroit is such a fucked up minute you may be sweeping the floor,the next you may be saying hello to Tyrone or Leroy as they back a truck up through your window and trying to snatch up your ATM machine. When you hear someone say they need to use a ATM machine,better start looking for the speeding car that will soon come looking for that machine.
  Or sadder yet,you can be a victim of a cold blooded murder like the one two dudes pulled on a clerk about 3 weeks ago. One guy is buzzed into the store,he arranges to "drop" a bottle of juice on the floor. He says "sorry" and maybe he pays for the drink but he leaves. As he does,his partner jams the door leaving it unlocked.
The clerk comes out from his bulletproof station to clean up the mess when the first guy comes back in with a gun and shoots the 59 year old father of 4 kids because he can't open the safe.
  So what does wise city councilman Kenyatta suggest? ARMED GUARDS at the gas stations!! Yeah,that is the answer! Firefight at the BP Station! I mean,I can't think of a better place to have a shootout then at a gas station full of fuel. I mean,the pumps can provide good cover,right? Instead of having a quick police response and trying to develop a good action plan with the gas station owners like maybe providing free hot coffee for on duty cops thus having a much more police presence,Kenyatta wants to make the gas station owners pay to have armed security and says if they don't that maybe people should stay away from their stations because they are too dangerous!
He said that on a local show called "Detroit Wants 2 Know". I shit you not....
  This is what we experience here everyday here in the metro area.....forget Kony,I'm more concerned with the folks who live HERE.
   But I do have some good news (I hope). I blogged recently about the Bloody Mile,which is a stretch of road we used to live by. I blogged about all the animals I used to take off the road and had tried to get signs up before someone was killed. Well 3 people have been killed since we moved away...
I recently have been talking about a local county commissioner named Kevin McNamara who really seems to have his heart in the right place as far trying to make a difference. I wrote to him asking him if he would try and help me make 7 Mile a safer place. Now I have called/written many times and they have fallen on deaf ears but I got a note on my wall from Kevin asking for more details. I did that and now am really hoping that 2 or 3 signs and some crosswalks will be put down so that people will slow down and keep an eye out for both animals and people.
If this gets done,I'll personally buy Kevin a tuna fish Subway sandwich and post pictures here.
    Well,that is all I have for now.....thanks for reading!

Comments and feedback welcomed.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Action and adventure in the ER plus some football and a call for supporting a real fighter.

Its 11:27 pm
    I know...a rather late time to be starting a entry but I do have a reason for it...
Last Thursday afternoon I noticed my back was starting to hurt. I put it down to our bed,we have a IKEA bed and sometimes to slats that support our box spring fall off,causing a uneven platform and it cause my back to get tweaked.
It started hurting quite a bit and I was a little surprised by how much. I was able to still attend my CERT class but I was uncomfortable.
  I mentioned to Lori that I might have to have my back adjusted on Friday but the pain actually calmed down and I was able to stand and sit okay. I used a heating pad and took Motrin to try and make the back happy.
 It seemed to be working until Monday morning when I woke up in major discomfort,the pain was back and has moved to my groin area. And no matter how I sat,laid down and stood,I could not get comfortable and the pain was increasing. We had hoped to wait til Friday until seeing the chiropractor but this morning was even worse so I called the guy who adjusted me before. He couldn't see me til 2:15 pm so I had to hang on til then. I took more Motrin to help with the pain,it did very little and I was feeling worse by the minute,the pain was getting unbearable. 
It wasn't until I felt like I had to throw up that it hit me,I had a kidney stone. Now I have seen a couple of big men reduced to tears because of kidney stones,they are no walk in the park. I could barely move when I called Lori and told her to come get me,I had a kidney stone.
  20 minutes later I was being wheel chaired into the ER at my "favorite"place,Oakwood. I was checked and then the fun started in earnest. They only have one ER doctor on call so I had to wait. That wasn't a problem until the pain level started going up. Anyone who ever had a kidney stone knows what I'm talking about. That was the worst feeling I have ever had in my life,I thought I was going to toss my Oreos (happy 100th birthday by the way) it hurt so bad.
  Had to draw on my 3 guardian angels who gone through so much worse then this and come out with flying colors,soon I was given two very strong drugs and an IV drip. Ended up getting 2 more doses before being wheeled for a CT scan. Then I managed to sleep for 3 hours,the doctor wanted to drugs to have a chance to move the stone out.
   In all we spent 6 hours in the ER before being given the green light to go home. I don't think I passed the stone as of yet but I'm not nearly as much pain either. I had to keep gently pushing Derek off my hip because he is just too heavy for me right now.
 I'm taking it easy today that is for sure.....

 I love college I have stated before,its my favorite sport. While I follow the mighty San Jose State Spartans of the WAC conference (so,okay...going 5-7 and losing by 54 to Stanford doesn't evoke "mighty" but this year will be different!). I enjoy spracking with my buddy John down in Florida who is a Miami Hurricane fan. We also talk about smaller teams as well which you hardly ever see these days as most fans root for the big boy teams like Ohio State,Miami and Oregon. You never run across a New Mexico State or Eastern Michigan fan that actually admit it.
  Being a fan means you like to know who your school is going to be playing in the future. It helps create excitement when you see two teams you follow finally matching it up on the gridiron. A lot of games you see played have been scheduled years in advance but schools don't always release the advanced schedules.
So how do you find out about a favorite team's advanced schedule?
For the average fan they would have search the internet for bits and pieces. But about 12-15 months ago,I stumbled across FBSchedules which lists all 122 FBS teams along with the upcoming NFL schedule. But mostly its aimed towards the college football fan. Created and run by a die hard U of Georgia fan,Kevin Kelley,every day has some new press release on a either a new big game added,the news about the massive league realignments or schedule changes. Each team that sends Kevin a release gets equal coverage,ALL 122 TEAMS get equal billing,just not the BCS leagues. It has taken a while but more and more fans have discovered the site and the comment section is really starting to get lively. FBSchedules also has a FB page as well with almost 4,500 fans.
  So take a minute and cruise over to FBSchedules and see when that big Savannah State-Florida State will happen. And ask Kevin when UGa is going to grow a pair and schedule the game everyone wants to see...San Jose State-Georgia. Its hard to have a rivalry when one team keeps ducking the other.

Lastly but the most important.....please keep our fellow cancer warrior Amy Rauch Neilson in your prayers. Amy,who has fighting stage IV breast cancer,has been really struggling as of late having landed in the hospital 3 times this month along. Her cancer has reached her back and she is now facing a new round of radiation. Now radiation is rough on a fairly new cancer patient but each time you have to go through this really does weaken your body tremendously,this why it is so controlled as far as dosage and length. And Amy,already trying to come back from a broken leg last Christmas,is now facing this new hurdle. And we have to keep her husband and caretaker Don and her little boy up in prayer as well. Amy is a real hero and it is very important to any of us that are or have gone through this fight to help keep going.
Her blog "Its All In the Genes" is listed on my blogs I follow please take a second and pay her a visit and encourage her. Tell her Michael and Lori sent you.....

  Well that is all I have for now. My back is starting to really hurt again so I'm grabbing my cat and laying down for a few.

Thanks for reading.

Kevin- Thanks for creating such a great site and for having fun with our"rivalry"
Scorpion- Google+....going to need a pathfinder for this one!
Amy + Don - Prayers are with you.
U of Michigan Hospital- You need to hire Dr. Weaver from Oakwood
Beth- Thank you for the follow! Very cool indeed.