Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ride Along with The Pink Hat.

Its 7:44 pm

dedicated to Gary from my job. Thank you.
     Another ice cold night here in SE Michigan. While the snow has stopped,the slight warm-up we have had this week has left our roads and driveways a nightmare to travel on. I have never seen so many local roads completely torn by our winter. The main surface roads are bad enough but the side roads are just awful and dangerous as well.
  Now I know some of you may be asking "Why don't they just plug up the potholes"? Its a fair question but a very easy answer,its too cold! The patch won't work because its too cold and instead of being poured in and expanding to plug the hole,the asphalt would instead cool off very rapidly and just become a rock in the pothole. In fact depending on how it froze,it itself could become a hazard by sticking up and causing flat tires if cars ran over its surface. So we have to wait until the weather warms up in order for repairs to work. But the flip side (isn't there always a flip side) is while we wait,the roads are being eroded more and more each day.
  The traffic on the main roads is very heavy because no one really wants to drive on a torn up road that has huge craters or are just caked with thick ice. My sub's roads are okay but the ice is pretty thick. And because of the heavy snows nationwide,rock salt is extremely scarce. No one has any and when it does hit the stores,its gone the second its unloaded.
  But Tidy Cat should send me a years worth of cat litter as I have been sharing the fact that cat litter is most effective to help your car get traction if you don't have salt to lay down. I have told hundreds of folks about this and given directions to the three pet stores that within 2 miles of my job.

  We got our weather forecast,no more snow in the new week but the temp will be screaming south again to single digit lows. The weirdest thing is about this is despite this being a record setting winter for Michigan,that a third of the country at one time had snow on the ground.
   It was because of the nasty weather and even nastier roads that I wasn't able to complete my Suspended Day until today.

   Just a brief recap....in my informal support group on Facebook I decided to take the 20th of Feb and use it as a day of doing a random act of kindness for someone. I created a event in the group and 11 others signed up to join me. Based on the reactions,I think its much harder to do when its planned or when the shop you are going to do your act of kindness in doesn't support it. Some folks were ill during the weekend and I don't know what happened to the rest. I had hoped to include a brief story and a picture of everyone's act.
Instead its just me....but that is okay because people do have lives and life gets in the way. I mean it took me until today to finally get my butt in gear.
   I was going to do it on Sunday but my Cheryl said the Salvation Army was closed on Sundays. I worked on cleaning my house before I went to my job,it was getting a little dirty. But today was free and clear...after running some errands I came home and got ready. The iPad was charged up and I had the Pink Hat in the car. I admit,I was nervous...I was going to a store intending to approach someone,explain why and who I was doing it for and get a picture of the Hat in action. When you do this on impulse,you just DO,you have no time to think or plan. You help that person out and move on. Planning this was so much different. As noted above,I didn't even know if the Salvation Army would even allow me to take a picture. I just said a prayer and headed on out.

   I got to the store,took a deep breath and went in. I had no plan other then try not to come across as a weirdo. The store wasn't very busy and I browsed the books and music area. I tried to think of what to do and say as I stood there. I found a CD that was only 2 bucks(!!) and slowly made my way to the check out lane.
  It was then I saw a young mother with her two small children shopping. She had a young son and a daughter who were shopping in the grab bag area. The grab area is for kids and it contains small paper bags full of loose toys that they can't sell because they are too small. She had a basket of children's clothes and was waiting for her kids. I took a deep breath and walked over and introduced myself. I explained what I was doing and why I was doing it. She got tears in her eyes and said she had just gone through a divorce and money was very tight. Her kids came over with a grab bag and then the mother started unloaded her basket. I told cashier,who was ringing up my CD,to please include the young lady's items.
  I then asked the cashier if she wouldn't mind taking a picture of me with the Pink Hat. As she was starting to take the picture,the kids also got into the picture as the mother. That was unexpected and soon we had our picture. The young lady was Katie,her son was A.J. and her daughter was Izzy. They all said thank you again and then it was done. I walked out and got into the Rodger Young and headed home.

I don't know what March will bring as far as a volunteer event but I know The Pink Hat will be "out and about" more as the weather warms up.

 What else has been going on? Baseball season started today with squads playing their first games against college teams or within themselves. Maybe the sound of a ball hitting a bat will usher in spring a little more quickly.  I don't know that it will but one can hope.
   Still making my way through Dollar Tree Theater. I finished my latest "instant classic" called "Hyper Sonic".
Wow,where do I even begin with this mess? The script,the cheesy effects so bad even the SyFy Channel would be ashamed to show this on a Saturday night? The gaping plot holes? I posted on my FB about how bad a movie has to be if even Adam Baldwin can't save it. Adam is one of my favorite character actors and he elevates any project he is in with his acting. But even he was in the soup with this bomb. The plot has something do with a world wide air race. Antonio Sabato,Jr.,who once seemed to have a once promising career,plays a jet pilot whose mistake cost several lives in a race years before. Five years later he gets a chance to redeem himself despite the obstacles thrown in way by a shady promoter (Baldwin). The plot is leaky and the CGI looks straight from a Atari 2600 console.

This is the beauty of lucking into a bundle of films like this at the Dollar Tree. I can't imagine how pissed someone would get if they actually bought this mess at the full regular price. But with spending only a buck,its a cheesy enough movie to invite some friends over,pop up some popcorn and start cracking jokes.

 I read that actor Alec Baldwin (yes,he and Adam are related) is going to retire back into private life. Alec,who was accused of making anti-gay comments when he was being assaulted by an over aggressive stalkerazzi which cost him his new show on MSNBC (trust me Alec,you aren't losing anything there other then a paycheck). Continuing a theme from guest blogger Dax Shepard about the incredible loss of privacy and the sense of entitlement we as a society feel about knowing anything and everything about a well known person,I can see why Baldwin is feeling so bitter and defensive. In a column he wrote,he says that he has worked with many wonderful folks in Hollywood who are gay and has had no issues with them. I believe that..its a well known there is a heavy gay population working in Hollywood and if Alec had any real homophobic tendencies,do you think he would have had a long term career in that town? I just feel he was provoked and prodded...and if he did use a slur,it would be no different then anyone using a word or a term in the heat of the moment. Not defending it but put anyone in his shoes and see what happens. I doubt very many of us would stay cool and calm.
  Maybe he just needs to take that step out of the spotlight and into the shadows and raise his new family is peace and quiet.

 As I am close to ending this,I am talking with Don Neilson. Don and I have bonded over the fact we are still madly in love with our wives. Don's wife Amy helped me tremendously when Lori's cancer came despite fighting her own advanced breast cancer. Don posted some lovely pictures of Amy on his FB page and has graciously allowed me to share a picture with you. We both talk about about not wanting to forget our girls.
 Now I am doing my small part because I talk about Amy quite a bit...her courage helped us in the first days of our struggle and I mourn her very much. I will never forget Don reaching out to me last 6 May only two weeks before Lori left. He talked with me for three hours....what makes it so meaningful is the fact Amy died on the 6th May one year before. Its gestures like this,like all the kindness that I still receive today that inspires me to do my random acts of kindness because that is who Lori and I were and am. Amy and Don are the same kind of folks.


With tears in my eyes,I will end this for now.

If you are on Twitter,follow me @Jinzo_2400

Shout outs

Don - thank you for the picture.
Cheryl - Thank you for your friendship.
Amy Lange - Thank you for your compassion. Sometimes I think we don't that enough to each other.
Lex and Kelly - Sending warm healing thoughts your way.
Dom and Jerome - Old team all the way.
My political Inner Circle- Now this is getting to be fun but beware the Troll button!
Katie,AJ and Izzy - Thank you for helping me on my Pink Hat mission. I hope things get better.
Gary G. - Thank you for the idea!
Denise,Ivy and Joan - just because you are all wonderful.
Debbie Rochon - Motor City Nightmares? I think that is doable.


  1. I feel your pain... living here in the northern part of Canada, we are in winter almost 8 months of the year. The ice storms are the worst and yes, kitty litter is an amazing little savior when it comes to adding traction to ice. Road erosion is nothing new to us either... it so comes with the territory of severe cold & warm temperature changes!
    The way we look at winter is, if it wasn't for winter, we would not appreciate summer :)

    1. Dorothy,you are so right! Our whole metro Detroit area is clamoring for summer. It's been almost four straight months of bitter cold ,in fact tonight it's going to -20 tonight once you factor in the wind chill. Thank you very much for your kind words.

  2. Geez I am so behind in reading your stuff, I promise to be more diligent. You hang in there okay? xx

    1. I am doing my best....just a tough load. But thank you for dropping by....