Monday, July 29, 2013

#ROW80 SUNDAY CHECK IN – WHAT DAY IS IT? A LITTLE VIOLA ACTION, HOW NOT TO DO THE DISHES, AND QUICK HEALTH UP-DATE, AND SOME KAFKAESQUE MASQUED BALLE FROM THE HEALTH CARE-INDUSTRIAL-MILITARY COMPLEX.



This title is more along the lines of the sort of titles I created when I posted about all of my real homeless adventures. As this is a mixed bag of my confuse-a-what™ style, which I must admit are some of my favorite things to write about. A mixed bag of random whatever. Since I spend most of my life being amused to random whatever and the attendant stupidities I, and my fellow humans commit with abandon, all to avoid the existential dread of shuffling off this mortal coil, since I don't think a cure for death is right around the corner, which would really put a strain on the “sandwich generation.”


I have noticed lately that there are several different interpretations of where we all are on the whole time line thing. I'm not talking about the differences between the Russian Orthodox Calendar, which is 12 days ahead, or 25 days behind the Western calendar. I'm talking about what moment in time we are all currently existing in. We don't seem to be able to agree on the most basic of measurements, such as, minutes, hours, and the ever important, day. Forget the Hebrew calender. There is a misapprehension there, that he who has the most years, wins, or something. Last time I looked, they were up in the 5000 + and counting.




Maybe in the Tip.it universe; I'm pretty sure Saturday was July 27th, 2013. Glad to see I'm not alone.

JC is most definitely south'rn and when he starts out “the other day, that guy, you remember, honey?...” we could be talking about 3 months ago, some teenager cashier-girl at the Checkers, and, I don't remember anything that happened this morning, so I have my own peculiar concepts of time and people, and just specificities, in general. I spend the better part of every day talking to people, who may be engaged in the most heated of discussions, but not a damned one of them is specific about time. They're a little more correct regarding participants and as to actual events? If I didn't see it, it didn't happen. I just nod and go along. Again, I feel like James Thurber, when I start hearing about Carl, from JC's buddy, Jack, who was locked in the cellar, when his maw went to feed the pigs and she dropped his cell phone, which was hooved to death and Carl nearly starved. I am not sure if Carl is someone's cousin, friend, or someone who was a friend of a cousin, or just a gruesome article on page 4 of the weekly Plant City paper; a rag that still exists. But, I digress.


The kind of time I'm talking about are the clocks or calenders in my own head, and in the heads of my friends, too. This is probably some kind of new disorder and I am sure that clinical trials are being conducted and there will be a pill for it. It will be added to the DSM V, along with “alphabet song” disorder. They have pills for laughing at morbid and mordantly funny stuff and crying at nothing; I thought that was just bad taste, and Drama Queen behavior. My shrink and I howled over that, because ain't nobody gonna take away my fun!



Karma's a bitch; it bit me in the ankle, 'cause I recycled material for a Wednesday check in.

Anyway, the time thing. Being as how I'm lazy and am not anywhere near Facebook, I'll just say this. I thought I was doing my Wednesday Check in, but it was Thursday, but it wasn't . It actually was Friday. Hell's Bells. At least, a fellow ROWer, Lynnette Conroy comforted me and said she had a similar problem. Maybe part of the confusion lies with this new drug I'm on. It tends to slow my thought process a bit, but it sure has slowed down the tremors, so I'm cool with it for now. However, it makes me no less out of it, than before. JC wanted a Dr. Pepper and I was on my way to the kitchen for something, and said I would bring him one.


I walked into the bathroom, shut the door and just stood there for about 3 minutes, wondering why on earth, I was there. I walked back out, went to the living room and sat down to eat. JC said, “What happened to my Dr. Pepper?” Oh. Yeah. Off I go and retrieve it for him. Whatever I wanted or thought I needed must not have been that urgent, because I don't remember coming back with anything else. When you start living your life by “reverse-engineering,” or using some kind of forensics voodoo, it may be times for a keeper. I've spent hours upon hours looking for shit I've misplaced, mostly by “re-enacting the crime scene,” so to speak. I always try to put it back where I know I'll find it, since I can't see it for the most part. As Dr. Phil would say, “How's that workin' for ya.” (I loathe Dr. Phil.)


So, meds are working, even if I'm just as air-headed as ever. I have been able to play my viola, when I'm “on,” and at times, it sounds like the old me. Endurance has to be built, but everything is there just been waiting. Wolf is very happy. This friend of JC's is just perfect. He's never had a private lesson, but know lots about stringed instruments and is a sponge. He damn near made me cry; he said it was an “honor to meet me and agree to help him.” Mind-blowing, but so nice to hear that.




This sounds like a report card. With all the viola-playing and fiddling with computers (I had another sick one to fix for someone) I left Thursday's dinner dishes in the sink, until this evening. I made black beans and rice. JC and I ate all of it (them?) so I left the dishes to soak in the pan, with the lid on. For about 2 1/2 days. We eat simply and fairly healthy and I don't cook that often. So I go to do the dishes and take the lid off this pan, that two bowls, 2 spoons and remnants, mind you, not a half a-serving, just remnants. Or, maybe revenants; undead-dead, because Holy of Holys, Mary, Mother of God, and Christ on a bicycle! When I took the lid off of that pan full of 2 1/2 day-old bean water, it had fermented into something so toxic, I am surprised the sink didn't melt.

Seriously, I half expected the HazMat people to show up, along with SWAT teams and the CDC. Whatever that shit was it would have made splendid tear gas for Riot Control. As a bio-chemical weapon I'm sure it's weapons-grade, because, even after I rinsed the bowls, lid and pot and then washed same, I could still SMELL IT. My ET (essential tremor) leaves me with a very poor sense of smell. But I did find out that my tear ducts and salivary ducts work just swell. So, the lesson here is, “rinse all of your pots, pans, bowls, but DO NOT leave the lid on the pot.”




That was some seriously bad ju-ju there; if I'd dropped the pan, it probably would have exploded.

Before we lurch off to the land of Kafka, I am about halfway through a DOD wipe of another mysterious laptop. I, with my usual derring-don't, of course, snooped all over the thing, before I wiped the drive. Someone's been bad, in a white-collar kind of way, shall we say. Since there are so many different ways to get around Windows laughably stupid “security” devices, it's easy to see what wasn't meant to be seen. Damn, I would so love to do this for reals, as in, a forensics computer analyst. These DOD wipes take hours to do; in essence, the tools erase all data from the hard drive 7 times. There is a complicated matrix used for each wipe. Back in the day, when you “deleted” a file or folder, you could run a global search from a C: prompt, using “?” in place of the first character of the file name. This way you could easily restore Uncle Vinny's recipe for gunpowder, or whatever. The principle is the same, but with additional algorithms to account for any possible loose end.


Once this is done, I'll (we; me and my silent partner) will load Windows 7 (meh) so the customer has a good and safe operating system. I always learn things from stuff like this. So, if I ever earn any illicit money, or want to hatch up a scheme to steal the internet, I know what NOT to do.


This is an actual error. Windows is quite possibly the stupidest operating system, EVER. JAVA and Chrome suck, giant dog balls, too.


As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.” (“Metamorphosis”) Gah! Franz Kafka is undoubtedly one of the most influential writers of the 20th century when it comes to existentialism. His writings dealt with and helped to shape the archetypes of alienation, parent-child conflict, characters on terrifying quests and labyrinthine bureaucracies. He was an influence for later writers, like Herbert Marcuse, who wrote “The One Dimensional Man,” although Marcuse was arguing more from the politics of such existence and a socialist one, at that, as he criticized both capitalists and communists. Marcuse championed the outsiders, the minorities of his time and his criticisms with bureaucracies are due to the oppositional nature of personal freedoms such bureaucracies inevitable bring. Enough with the socio-political-lit thing. I've been going through my own state of bug-ology recently. Or we could call it “hot potato,” where I'm the potato. It goes like this:


I am also  watching "Breaking Bad" on NetFlix. The 3rd season episode, "Kafkaesque" is one of the finest things I've ever seen, bar none.

I have a prescription that is ongoing prior to my receiving my Medicare, and my shrink, understanding that I suffer from depression, has always signed off on my paper work, so “LILLY CARES” (that's news to me) can continue supplying me with Cymbalta at 257.00 a pop every month. All of my other meds have been generic and I was with a plan through my grocery store's pharmacy that allowed me to pay 4 to 9 dollars for them.



So, with my active prescription in hand, I tried to get my Cymbalta refilled, 2 weeks ago. The pharmacy couldn't fill it, because it hadn't been added to my drug “formulary,” even though they have the prescription, the need the Dr. Auth#.  They faxed my Shrink's office, who in turn, faxed Lilly. I have about 7 pills left and yes, I DO need them. Sad to say, I have been clinically depressed since the age of 15 or 16. More existential dread. Maybe I was channeling the future me having to deal with the following bullshit.


I am so glad and thankful that I am not suicidal. That has never been an issue with me. It was with my mother. I figure I'm just either too damn dumb or stubborn, or gee, maybe I still have something to contribute, or people to pester; pick 'em.

I kept calling, and going back up to the Pharmacy, and calling the shrink's office. He practices in 2 different locations, so it's hard to get to the receptionist. She passes the buck, saying she faxed Lilly. I call the pharmacy and they got nuthin'. I'm running out of pills.

A week ago last Friday, I had to go to the pharmacy to get some of my other meds refilled (I know, such an exciting life!) and they haven't heard from anyone; no shrink's office, no Lilly. Bupkus. I talked to Dr. Jones, our pharmacist and started crying. Great! The one thing I hate, hate, hate, in the whole world! Crying! Fuck! Crying is for weenuses! I get what I came for and stepped away from the counter.



This might make me cry, but I don't know. I was so blissed-out over a tiger roaring 2 feet from me, I didn't see his buddy on the roof, until he jumped down a nano-second later. I'd probably stand there grinning like a loon, whilst being chomped to death.

I call my shrink's office; it's about 4:25. I talk to the receptionist. She's sounding rather hostile and says, “Look, we faxed the stuff to Lilly, to the Pharmacy, blah blah blah.... okay?” I held still for a minute, and then I said, “No, it's not okay.” I was being honest. I wasn't abusive, I was just being honest. I could have said, “No, it's not all right! I've been fucking depressed since I was 16 years old. My life is in the shitter and I have more ability, talent and drive in EVERYTHING, than you will EVER have in ANYTHING, and I FUCKED it all up!” But, I didn't. She says to me, “Well, maybe I can help, hold please...” and puts me back on hold, where I sit until the phones close at 5 pm, and I am mercifully killed off, telephony-wise.



Now, of course, thank God I'm on medication for my tremors because I was shaking so badly from all of that stupid bullshit. I probably needed a time-out and she deals with a lot of people who are waaaay worse off than I. I make it through the weekend, and on Monday, I get an authorization from my insurance company to be treated by my shrink? WTF? Who contacted them? I didn't. I was told that Big Pharma (i.e. Lilly) was on the hot plate for this, by everyone who wasn't Ely Lilly. I didn't ask for this. 

So, I call my supplemental insurance company and talk to someone named Sonia, who sounds like she should be a Hostess at a Supper Club in Vegas. Easy meat. When I question her regarding the authorization for the Cymbalta, she launches into what has to be one of the most hilarious I-haven't-a-fucking-clue-what-my-job-is-here explanations of all time. I ask why was I sent this letter, as I didn't request it, and I was looking for authorization for the drug Cymbalta, and that I needed no authorization to be seen as an outpatient. That had been handled 18 months ago. “Well," she oozed back at me, "we like to send those letters out from time to time, seeing as how your doctor is dealing in narcotics.”


Maybe I'm not depressed; maybe I just need to stop and look and listen to all the horrendous, stupendously bad bullshit flying around the universe. Because it just makes me cackle like a hyena.

WTF and hold the phone! Really? Seriously?! No shit. Can I get some crystal meth? How about some of that there black tar? Hey, doc, hook me up with some of that ice, I keep hearing about! I almost had a fucking cow on the phone right there. I didn't know whether this was the best kept secret since my PD or not-PD, or just some horribly awry plot line, alá "Breaking Bad." You are damned if you do, double-triple-quadruple any way you look at it. Hilarious. My money is on keep my mouth shut and blog.

Geeze, maybe Gregor Samsa had a good day, after all. Just kidding. I found a coupon for a month's free supply of Cymbalta on Lilly's website and was able to take it and get it filled, since I have a good prescription. I see the head doctor before I runs out, so it's cool and now I can get it fixed with my "authorization letter that lets the doctor give me narcotics." They better be some damn fine narcotics!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

#ROW80 3RD QTR 2013, SUNDAY CHECK-IN – POST 6 – LAST REALLY JUST FOR FUN POST, BEFORE I ATTEMPT TO GET SERIOUS

I'm afraid that this title really sucks. But it underscores a lot of truth. My last several posts were downers and I took certain people to task, who although deserving, really gave me no lasting satisfaction in terms of having entertained my readers or lurkers or trolls. You get the point. I feel vindicated, but it's time to let all of that go. Ex #3 will most certainly pay karmic-wise and he's taken entirely too much space in my head and I have better things to do.

This is really going to be one of the last “Much Ado About Stupidities” posts, as much as I love writing them, (see E.T. Phone Home) as I am going to attempt to start polishing the material for my much hoped-for e-book, as I finally have most of the source material in place. Just waiting and hoping for it, doesn't get it done. I have a few episodes to add and I am going to tell of some of my other homeless shelter stories, and a few other things, but mostly, I want to run the contents of my homeless days by, and get helpful comments (hint, hint) for those willing and able to help. Nothing special and not time-consuming.

Dealing with the diagnosis of Essential Tremor, or E.T. which is so appropriate on so many levels is not the snap I thought it would be. As little as the dosages of Primodone, ¼ of a tablet at bedtime now, actually ½, starting tonight, all sorts of other nonsense is going on. Firstly, meltdowns. Luckily, brief and mild, but ick. Depression and blah blah blah (I'm watching “Rescue Me”) and that's Denis Leary's catch-phrase. The muzzy-headedness is driving me nuts. If I don't pounce on a thought immediately, it either rots, or wanders off and I sit there, zombie-like. I was warned about this. Still, it sucketh. But not nearly as bad as I fear the PD drugs would be. Always physically strong, now, I'm re-learning everything, non-tremor.

But, while I was waiting around for the State of Florida, or the U.S. Government, or Jack and The Beanstalk to get insurance, so I could finally get a diagnosis, I played around on the internet. This is not a good thing. I did hold off on learning how to hack systems; if I ever need an extra payday, I supposed I could do it. So, I started messing around with these little flash games, like Tankionline. What a hoot.

I know I've mentioned that my father was my primary care-giver, pretty much until I started kindergarten. I've also mentioned that I was a crappy girl-child. I mean craptacular. Tom boy all the way; we were co-conspirators with my Mad Scientist uncle and his 2 boys and I know there are many escapades my mother never heard about. We blew shit up, we played Panzerkampwagen tank-battles and chicken, with desert dune buggies in the deserts surrounding Las Vegas and mixed chemicals that shouldn't be mixed together, just to see what would happen. Anyway, back in the good old day, of Atari video games, or even before, my dad used to hang out at this bar that had pool tables, and darts. All the usual bar crap.

What made this particular bar special was that it had a very early prototype of a 2-person game, called imaginatively, “Tanks.” It looked like a pen-and-ink maze, with pen-and-ink tanks. I can't remember how you moved them, but I seem to remember that we had steering wheels; the firing mechanism was where the horn would be on a car steering wheel. He and I would play this idiot game for hours. I was 14 years old. This place was called the “Club Almaden,” and I don't think I was supposed to even be in the place, but there I was; he and I holed up by the shelves where the bottles were kept; he drinking vodka martinis, me drinking coca-cola and the 2 of us laughing like hyenas over this dumb game. We could not get enough of it.


This is the stage of the "Opry House." Actually, it's my mom, about 3 sheets to the wind. Behind me, is Robert Lee Haycock, wearing a bowler hat. This was one of our cobbled-together "skits" that we spent minutes perfecting. The "skits" were done between acts of the "mellerdrammers" as the "actors" (usually drunks from the audience) changed. When all of this mayhem was over, Ma would go next door, to hunt us up. I wasn't in the plays. So, I got to skip off and play. Poor Robert, as I recall had to sit through all of the scene-chewing until the bitter end, because I couldn't play the piano and he could play the piano to underscore the dramatic and romantic moments and the "Opry House" was all about realism. As if. 

Next door, was the vaudeville theater, where my mom did her actress schtick. After her shows, she would have to come and hunt us up. She would be tearing around still wearing her stage make-up and looking like she had been embalmed. 
My dad would say, “Just a second, Sheila, I got Mary on the ropes here!” He didn't have shit. He couldn't see up close and his little tank would be up in a corner spinning around. I'd let him win. Then, we'd go again. By the time we were through, my mother would have had 14 glasses of wine and I'd have to drive home. Good times, good times.

If Daddy were around now, he'd totally be into Tankionline. You get a tank, run through a tutorial of 5 minutes, and then go to the tank barn and join the chaos. It's crazy! Crazy and ridiculous. There are several reasons for this: 1) The sound effects are the bomb. You hear tank engine sounds and all of the sounds of the shells exploding. 2) In-game, you start out with 7 other rookies, who are just as horrible as you are at steering and blowing up your enemy. Supplies are dropped periodically, for health and also for ammunition, so there's a mad rush to get to the goodies before your enemies do, because we all suck so bad, we've done nothing but run off of the cliff, blown up trees, blown up houses and other buildings, or just revolve our turrets in circles. This is truly a game of stupidity for me.

Plus, it was written and released by Russia, so most of the instructions and tank names and doo-dads are in Cyrillic, my favorite alphabet. “тротскытоварицч-цццп” is the name of my current tank; TrotskyTovarich-CCCP (USSR) so, typical old-school Soviet-era stuff. Everyone else has tank names like that as well. The Kirov Ballet is there, along with the Moscow Apparitchik and the OGPU, which used to be the old internal intelligence agency in the USSR. Probably, my good friends from SAT@home are running around, but they're in level 500. I'm like level 3, in baby tank school. So, here's what all of this mayhem looks like:


It loses something as a "screenie" or screenshot. I tried to find some YouTube videos, but they're so serious. I'll just have to record some of my own epic fails and post. :)

Being “retired,” has it's benefits. It also has drawbacks. To clarify, I'm too young to be on retirement, but I am disabled. To the point it seems, I would be hard-pressed to work at much of anything, although I have mad skills in a few areas. I could volunteer, and may give that a whirl, as long as I don't have to work with people. Yeah, kinda sucks, don't it? But, there you are. I used to supervise and hire people. Today, I wouldn't hire me, because the company doing the actual hiring wouldn't be able to afford the lawsuits when I lose it and bite someone. There's a good chance of that actually occurring. I spent my life trying to make OTHER people happy, in the expectation, that I would be treated fairly, and even though I was doing something against my nature (i.e. being outgoing) so now, the hell with it. I tell people if you don't like it, go to Hell.


I don't understand why this concept is so hard for people to accept or understand. After I wrote about the honking guy, I tripped over some idiot's foot and fell getting off the bus. The bus driver said something. I guess I'm gonna have to get a big German Shepherd. 

Today as I was walking in the grocery store parking lot , I heard a motor of a car behind me, so I was moving to get out of this bozo's way, when he honked; it startled me and I almost fell, which is one of my worst fears. He could clearly see that I had a cane. As he parked, I yelled, “Honking isn't going to make me see better. I can HEAR your motor, asshole!” This guy and I have had run-ins before. He looks like a goddamned Frankenstein Monster; actually, more like Herman Munster, but not even close in the nice ballpark. Last time, he ran over me with his cart in the produce aisle and I told him that my cane was really good at beating the shit out of people like him. Go move to Papua, New Guinea, or something. So, yeah, I am not going to win Miss Congeniality anytime soon, but I've paid my dues. I love my friends, my family and will go out of my way to help people, but if you do rude or stupid shit, that might also hurt me? You're going to get a yammering evisceration from me. I learned well, because my mother wrote the book.

But, I digress. As you can see, I learned no manners in the homeless shelter. I can vaguely recall having them at one time and they're reserved for the rest of the folks who deserve them. But, here's  a diversion, that I had a tremendous amount of fun playing. It's called "Crazy Coaster."

Back in the day, in Tampa, when Phil Hendrie was on the radio, I almost laughed myself into a hernia when he described how he and his son were playing “Sim Roller Coaster.” Apparently, what they did, was they built half a ‘coaster and watched everyone crash and burn and scream and fry. I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever heard. This is the kind of silly-awful, I can completely relate to and my folks would too. Little wonder I’m the way I am, so with no more ado, here’s my version of Chrome’s “Crazy Coaster.”



Okay, looks like a normal game.


This would only be fun if they forgot to buckle their belts and fell out at the top of the loop; no joy here.


This is looking a bit better; the goal is to make a 'coaster that lets the riders live. I'm trying to avoid this at all costs.


I think the riders are suspecting that something is awry, but it's too late. It's always too late...


"May your death be a glorious one!" I forget what cheesy Star Trek movie that's from. Actually, I think it's that guy who takes 875 coins of your ill-gotten gain in Runescape, as payment to enter his stupid dungeon. Which reminds me, I have 53 Steel Dragons to kill. Better hop to it.

So, from multi-tasker, to multi-slacker. Anyway, I am going to start working on my e-book. I have never done anything of this magnitude before. I've written tons and tons of blog posts and polished some of them. I've never taken a creative writing course, or any kind of writing class beyond English 102, and I won awards for my rhetorical writing. So, I'm sure I'll have tons of questions, #ROWers. This is a wonderful group. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, July 15, 2013

#ROW80 - 3RD QTR 2013 – POST 5 – WHY KNOWING SHIT MATTERS, HUBBY 3 IS MAKING ME THE HONESTY POLICE? OR MY NEW MEDS ARE MAKING ME A TAD STRANGE...

NOTE: I WAS GOING TO POST THIS EARLIER, BUT WAS WAITING ON A REPLY FROM HUFFPO. STILL WAITING, SO ON WITH THE SHOW!


I know, nice and vague, just the way I detest things, but there's a reason for this and it has to do with a couple of ideas that have been rolling around the old noggin, that were put there by some magic fairies, one of whom is Andi-Roo and the other, is Jason Linkins, he of the hilarious, but dead-on descriptions and I've-boiled-down-this-Sunday-show-so-you-don't-have-to-watch-the-horror or “EAT THE PRESS” as it's known over on HuffPo. It is no secret the I <3 Jason.

He sends out weekly updates of the crap he's been reporting on all week, but this merited particular attention “Let's Put a Park on the Moon ForSome Reason!” Oh dear god. Of course, I sped right over to HuffPo to play along. First off Newt Gingrich has some kind of moon fixation that he should probably see a shrink about, along with several other weird fixations, but hey, that's Newt! Secondly, the bill from 2 congresspersons, Dems Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tx.) would created a National Park around all of the junk left around on said Moon by missions Apollo 11 through 17.


Honey, you need to stand closer to that rover thingy. Damn! Honey, did you pack the sunscreen?


Daddy, can I have the keys to the lunar module tonight?

Newt is thinking this is all a swell idea, with all of the moonbeam ideas he has had, like mirrors in space to aid in parking and crime-fighting or something. I guess the mirrors just fry the miscreants like so many bugs under a magnifying glass. Saves money spent on those slowly turning wheels of justice.


Zzzzzzzzt! "Nice going, dude. You just fried Betty Sue, Knuckles McGoon is still on the loose!"

So, to get to the point and so you can see I'm not raving any more than usual, we get the comments section, and Christ on a cracker, everyone is deadly serious about this. If people really stop and think, there is a snowball's chance in hell of anything of this sort passing. The moon belongs to the planet earth. I think Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain may have something to say about this. Eminent Domain, anyone? Just because we got there first, is it ollie-ollie-oxen-free? I think not. Someone was caviling about Space Law, and really? Is there such a thing? I treated it with the irony and sarcasm it deserved and moved on.

What got to me is this: Last week there was another article about Egypt possibly moving onto a position of working towards a democratic state. Let's face it. A state who wishes to transition towards democracy, in this day and age is in for a perilous road indeed. Outside forces will do much to see that either does not happen, or will insert key players into the mix to try and subvert the best of intentions. I am glossing this over in the interests of brevity. As an American, I do NOT think we should be involved in the Middle East; they must find their way. There are many, many brilliant and passionate people there who are devoted to their countries and who are looking for a better way that does not include Al Qaida, the Taliban, or Tribalism.

I truly think that in the main, the entire 5th estate is a giant bag of dicks. So there!
What got me about this, is the article was the last of a series of articles written by David Brooks, of the New York Times, where he in essence, after a series of articles, touting the insurgence in Egypt, explaining that over time, mitigating forces will calm the Muslim Brotherhood, as has been seen elsewhere, he just all of a sudden comes up with this gem: the conclusions that Egyptians “lack the basic mental ingredients for democracy.” This was after a series of articles that explained and defined the approach to a democratic process. As Mr. Linkin of HuffPo pointed out, “a more charitable view defined by Max Read would be (“Shall we note here, the day after Independence Day that it took the United States of America 13 years to after rejecting monarchy to settle on a constitutional form of government.”)


So, the argument becomes that their descendants aren't smart or capable enough for democracy?

A wonderful point, and what a slap in the face to the Egyptians. Let's see; they were responsible for building the pyramids. The library of Alexandria, Astronomy, Mahmeluks of the Ottoman Empire resided there, as well as in Istanbul. Yet, the comments section was horrendous. I have never heard so much bigotry and stupidity and bias in my life. In a very fair, and balanced, but also nuanced way to show how wrong David Brooks is, a fair amount of the people who read Mr. Linkin's articles, who shouldn't; they don't have the brains, or their filters are too widely meshed to follow Mr. Linkin's logic, so they take what he is saying at face value, when what he is doing is the opposite, he is telling us in his patented Jason way, (which I LOVE) that Brooks needs to just stop writing. Mr. Jason does this brilliantly to dunderheads who need a good public shame-ass-kicking.

So, of course, I have to weigh in with my sharp tongue and it is indeed sharp and I can eviscerate, as follows. I ran across this gem of a comment and after I peeled myself off the ceiling, I went to work:


Okay, so you just read the article and the bit about the Founding Fathers and chose to ignore that? Lessee here...


I actually mis-spoke regarding the 13 years to detach from the British monarchy, although technically it is true, as the American Revolution was fought for a few years. I riposted with this:



By now, I am just sick and tired of what has become an argument gone off-the-rails. We are way off point, if we are besmirching my googling skillls and my apparent lack of ESP, since I didn't make the automatic link between "unable to do democracy and garbage city" and come up with Egypt. I don't think that's ESP and it sure as hell ain't mathematics; it smells suspiciously like prejudice and bias to me, and yes, Giglawyer, (I googled him; he's some kind of half-assed musician, as well as a half-assed lawyer) the Ottoman Empire weighs heavily into all of this, you asshole, since the Mamelukes were part of the Empire for quite a while. Go find a copy of "Asia Minor For Dummies." I am sure it's in there. But, I did not say this.

I had crafted a carefully-worded argument about his fallacious assumption and told him his argument was specious. He had no evidence to base the Egyptians' inability to handle democracy, other than their ability to pick up after themselves, which in and of itself, proves nothing. I stated that, being a lawyer, or implying such by his title, he must have at least had one or two courses in rhetoric and logic, as I was required to do so, by the Jesuits, because, Jesuits... Since he cared so little for staying on topic, my last 2 sentences were something like, "Please do not reply; admit you were bested and move on. You are becoming a Royal Pain in my Ass. (In essence, I PWNED him, because he had no closer. But, I, in turn was pwned by the system. My final remark to him was removed. Either because I said "Ass" or he had it removed; which is entirely possible, so I'm re-creating it here.

I really don't give a good goddamned who wins or loses an argument, as long as it is fought intelligently and with the Marquis de Queensberry's rules, even if we're not boxing. With the Trayvon Martin ruling, we have once again seen some horrendous, egregiously bad law in play, from top to bottom. The "Stand Your Ground" law in Florida, signed by Governor Rick Scott, R-FLA, who couldn't understand a law, even if it was just the law of gravity, signed the thing. Its deliberately ambiguous language, the porous construction of the bill itself allows for a multitude of interpretations. It is a bad law, that favors people who are wielding weapons, EXCEPT when we don't want it to, as in the case of a Florida woman who fired a warning shot. An African-American woman, who is serving 20 years. She killed no one. She invoked the "Stand Your Ground" law. Next time, she'll kill. I would have killed, after a 3rd warning, no warning shot, nothing. But, I am white. I am also deemed (I love that word) mentally ill. Actually, I may give no warning. It's all that vague in Florida.

Mentally ill I may be, but I do keep my promises (don't you love the smooth segue?). Back on May 22, 2013, I wrote a post about my 3rd husband and what an unmitigated bastard he turned out to be. I went from being the "best thing that ever happened," said to me, by him when his slut of a daughter became pregnant, her senior year of high school in 1997, to utter garbage in 6 short years. I stayed mum and listened to him during all of that drama. 

When I fell ill, a mere 6 years later, he really treated me horribly and the mental abuse began. I ran away from the marriage, with a physically failing heart in January, 2005, in fear for my life. Not that he would physically abuse me, but that my ailing heart would stop. Not one person in that family cared, asked, or tried to contact me, with the exception of my ex-husband, who wrote a letter in March, I believe of 2005. I was staying with a violinist friend, half-blind, playing when I could. He wrote, asking for money. In that post, found here, http://homelesschroniclesintampa.blogspot.com/2013/05/row80-wednesday-check-in-post-9.html I talked about some of the things done and said at the end of the marriage. 

I understand that it is a two-way concern. I really wanted this marriage to work, but somewhere into the 1st year, I felt a change and I was never able to re-establish closeness. No matter. I have made it clear to him and the family that he was to at least acknowledge the first post, or I would reveal some other details which I am sure he would prefer not be made public. Since my wants and needs were of such little consideration while we were married, let me return the favor. 

Bill Nunnally, I really didn't appreciate the 8-ball jags on weekends at the house on Annie Street in the late '90s. While you and Herb may have enjoyed them, at the time, they terrified me. Y'all were up all night, jabbering and then getting meaner than snakes towards the end. Now, I'd put you both down for the mad dogs you are. John Holley may know about it, but I'd be willing to bet the girls don't. There is a reason I never did coke. It's a goddamned werewolf. And I am an addict. I've known that since I quit drinking the first time. 

I knew it the night at PJ's when, after 14 years of sobriety, you said "Hey, one beer ain't gonna hurt." I knew it would and it did. It's on my head, but you cannot act as if you are the wronged party here. I told you over, and over, and over that I was an alcoholic. When you offered me coke, I thought "What's next, is he going to be selling my ass on Nebraska?"  Drinking was bad enough and hard enough to quit. Anyway, enough dirty laundry. You ready to admit you read this, and maybe did some of this shit, or do you want a few more installments? I'm real good at this.






Tuesday, July 9, 2013

#ROW80 3RDTQR - POST4 – A LIFE OF MYSTERY...

(I don't usually as this, but there is a neat payoff at the end; John Williams' Suite to CE3K. No skipping allowed.) Well, it being Tuesday, which is a really prosaic day, here I am with my usual bag of what ifs, what the hells, confuse-a-whats and general mysteries. I saw my neurologists yesterday, and no, I repeat, NO Parkinson's Disease! Yay! Between my awesome Doctor and I, we think we have what is a diagnosis, but we really aren't even too sure about what, just no PD. How many times has anyone with a neurological whatsis heard this story. Raise hands. 1...2...3...4,5...175...283... You get the drift.



Okay, I said "hands." Not "wings".... or "fangs" And if this is some side-effect of a drug that includes sightings of the dead and cloven hooves, I ain't takin' that either.

I think what I've gotten out of this is that I have something that acts every bit as douchey as Parkinson's Disease, but as I started reading up on my list of medications, I quickly realized that those damned meds PD would kill me a hell of a lot quicker if I don't have PD, so, the beans in my bean say “no” for now “Eeny Meeny, Jelly Beanie, the spirits are about to speak...” says Bullwinkle the Moose. For now, I want them to remain friendly. As the ETs trample through my bedroom twice a week, it's best to remain on their good side. Actually, they stand and stare at me in awe, as I slumber. The little ones get impatient and wake me up. This is a no-shit story and has been going on for months. Now, they're bringing friends, but only when SETI@home isn't running. SAT (practically important!) and Cambridge Cosmology can be running, but not SETI@home. Odd that.

This is the "family." They've been bringing friends. They luminesce and actually give the room a soft glow. They don't huddle up as they used to. One sat in my blogging chair during the last visit. I know I sound like a complete loon. Hey, I'm just the messenger. Or am I? I left out a plate of tangerine pieces in a perfect circle. They went undisturbed for a few nights. One morning, I awoke and the pieces were all disarranged.

Anyway, a little more batshit uncertainty won't make a bit of difference in this house. Reading up on ET vs. PD, we find these differences:


I put red checks beside the symptoms that mimic PD as well as ET, My left side being my stronger side, for some reason has tremors worse on that side, so go figure. I quit drinking, and am on psych meds, so will not be drinking anytime soon. We shall see if the Primidone helps. I have heard that in some cases, levodopa can do more harm to a person who DOES not have PD. I also have almost no symptoms in my legs at all. And I'm as strong as an ox, even with tremors. 

This list shows primary symptoms, and of course, I have had secondary symptoms for years. Working with the brain and the emotional fallout from anything that upsets the brain and physical equilibrium is very much like “Maxwell's Demon.” Impossible to find a tipping point and impossible to find that one blessedly simple thing that will calm, or at least lessen the symptoms.

So, we are trying popanalol, which is a sedative, but we're trying it in an interesting way; ¼ tab a week, at bedtime, then ½ a tab at week, at bedtime, ¾ tab for a week, 1 a week, 1 and ½ for a week, to the full dose of 2 tabs at bedtime. I have been told this will slow me down (ick) and may not work at all, as the Topamax I am currently taking should lessen my tremors if it were truly ET, but it makes them worse, so now we're playing “Wizards 101” here.

However, in all fairness, this is the best combination. All other solutions include beta blockers, which I dare not take, as I have CHF and asthma; this will also slow my heart rate. I quit smoking 3 years ago. My health is generally very good, so I am not concerned. I just get to be a petrie dish for a while. Yay me!




So, on the what-passes-for-normal front here on Nebraska, 33602, the new laundromat is open, so we no longer have to pool our resources and cab our laundry with 3 or 4 people to the other laundry. That was getting old and stupid. Besides, now I don't have to see those people who witnessed me getting my head stuck between the dryer door and the wall. I know I looked like el retardo, but hey, I was fittin' in, big time! Now that Ray is on a year's probation and has a restraining order from this part of the 'hood, well, we did our jobs. He won't last a year; he's too hooked on crack and meth to keep himself straight. One surprise piss test and he has to serve his full sentence. He's an habitual criminal anyway; whatever the FBI thought they were going to get from him, they were wrong, he's a horrible CI (Crime Informant) and it didn't take them long to figure that out and put all of his criminal charges back on the table. That's when we went to work and helped Mr. Wallace (no relation) so he could testify in court.


Ray Martineau

In a 'hood known for douchebags, here is the king of them all. He got mad at 6 of us one night because we couldn't cobble up 40 cents between us. Well it was OUR 40 cents to choose to use as we saw fit and I wasn't giving Ray a dime. No one else was, either. 

Ray knows what I did, with the Indigogo project but I let it be known that if I or any of my loved ones or friends, or our pets got hit by lightning, hangnails, or were hit by cars, the cops would be at Ray's door. It's the “Godfather” defense; and works well.

video

The second one is so much better, you see her face and she has such a beautiful face!

video

Unfortunately, you hear more of my caterwauling. 

I have some horrible new cat videos to share, with my horrible singing with my horrible ET voice. It only makes sense that I have ET which I dub thee, Essential Tremor, henceforth. ET, I finally figured out who those critters are that are stampeding through my bedroom at night. They're blood kin, my family. Welcome, from another ET!




Sunday, July 7, 2013

#ROW80 – 3RD QUARTER 2013, SUNDAY CHECK IN – MR. WIZARD'S HELP DESK

Ah, the lovely errors from nowhere. They pop up here and there, and everywhere, much like the Scarlet Pimpernel. They don't make a lick of sense and oftentimes, they either don't refer to whatever it was you were trying to do on your computer, or they aren't in anything that looks remotely like English. Some don't even qualify as a planetary language, I would wager, which is one of the very few vices I am heir to. So, I was tickled beyond the beyond (read: mystified-irked) when I received this charming little pop-up:


Nope, wasn't this one, although I've had it before...


Yes, it did encounter a problem. I killed it and it's minions 2 days before. Word was nowhere in sight and was haunting me from the dead...


Once upon a time, before Bill Gates got his greasy little mitts on it, it was a fairly decent program. Word is what we called "legacy" software. Bill bought a good but under-marketed product, screwed it all up and then foisted it upon the unsuspecting masses. I supported it at IBM and in Gastonia, NC and it was always a big, snarled up mess. 




I saw this exactly once on a system in Gastonia, NC when I worked for the PD and promptly disconnected the system from the Citrix network and locked it in a jail cell. That can't be legal, and I sure as hell didn't want it contaminating co-workers, the K-9s and the stray cats who seemed to show up and never leave..


This sounds almost Kafka-esque, or Nietzsche, if you will. One could also make an argument for Camus and Existentialism, or Ellison, "I Must Scream and Have No Mouth," if  one were so well-read and dramatic. Or, it could be the sense of humor these unhuman brutes have developed; scheming, scheming, as so many Cardinal Wolseys.


This is the actual error, or misunderstanding I am receiving. I've gotten to the point where it happens only after a cold boot. If you google this phrase "Your profile could not be, blah blah blah," You will find tons and loads of pissed off, frantic people, who know very little about the architecture of their systems and Google doesn't really seem concerned by this. I think it highly unfair that these people's concerns are not dealt with seriously or in a timely manner. That is the customer service part of me. The software Engineer part of me is just screaming, "FIX THE GODDAMNED THING!" But it's not that easy. No one uses the same platform and now we have iPhones, IPads, Macs, PCs, and gaming systems. There is no "one size fits all" for anything in software. We have not gotten to that point yet. But, the people's concerns should still be addressed. All the work-arounds in the world are not going to cure the problem.


My usual fabulous picture taking.  My desktop, with "Scotland Rising, and Sir Wiliiam Wallace" in the background." No java. Only a Windows framework, and as soon as I know more about Linux and MVWare Workstation, Windows is out.

There are four rules to trouble-shooting for computers. 1. Have you made any changes (added, changed, or deleted software) 2. Does it happen only in one application or does it happen in all applications? 3. Have you rebooted? 4. Are you able to duplicate the problem?


My IBM T-42 laptop, which I tear up regularly.  It's used for "white-hat" hacking and screwing around on, when I'm on the Quad. I have a Gateway in the other room. 

So, I read up on this "error" (which is just really shitty program-writing) on the “forums” that Google provides as this is a Chrome error. Why it happened, I have no idea, because I'm in Chrome all day, and for some reason, Chrome just basically told me to go to hell. These “forums” have a bunch of people bitching and my particular problem is listed and has been around for years. Way to go, Google! Glad you got right on this bastard and fixed it.


Another fix is to uninstall my AVG. Yeah,  as if.

So, what I derive from their “help” is that I'm supposed to navigate my way to %appdata%User\Local Settings\Application Data\Chrome\User Data\ and somewhere in this is supposed to be either a Default folder or a Profile folder. Great. Hooray. Yippee. So, I start pissing around with this and I found out a lot of interesting stuff, none of which had a damned thing to do with Chrome, but it was time for a house cleaning, so I got rid of a bunch of stuff that I never use and come with a pre-loaded system, like this AMD Quad Core I have (I'm getting another.)

At this point, the thing doesn't even look like or act like Windows Vista anymore, which is fine with me. I finally get to the Chrome folder which is nowhere near Application Data, it's under Program Files on my system. I have to kind of sit and look at this and think it through for a minute. While I'm doing this, I reach behind me, and stick my right hand down on the bed. Immediately, a small furry, rumbly cranium proceeds to wallow all over my hand, as Mama pets herself, sort of. She's my "assistant" and hard to resist.


Of course, what pictures of my cat, Mama be complete without my stupid shadow in the way, or a finger in the lens. I am abysmal and have no talent whatsoever when it comes to taking picture of anything. So, when it comes to taking pictures of a live creature, the suckage factor is increased by 144. At least you can see her!



She and I zone for a minute, while I puzzle this through. I have 4 profiles, I can't change them. There are 2 Defaults. Something happened and one is dated earlier today. Bingo. I rename it Default old, and proceed to back out of architecture. It fixed the problem, for about 2 days. It's now back, but it's not a show-stopper. It's giving me what I want though, so the hell with it. I just click through the errors, there are only 2, instead of the 28 I was getting. Seriously though, Google needs to get it's act together. A publishing house that big needs to have rock-solid support and they really don't.

===================================

Oh yeah, goals, I have started putting the memoirs of my life together, starting with from when I was Homeless. I am actually starting from the very moment I realized I had some neurological problem and working backwoad. Typed approximately 1700 words last night. Tomorrow on Monday, I get some sort of diagnosis. I'm going in with no expectations, PD and ET are elusive bitches. So, we'll see!




Friday, July 5, 2013

#ROW80 3RD QUARTER 2013 – POST 3 – THE 12TH MAN ON AN 11-MAN TEAM & HURRY MONDAY

Now that right there is one of the stupider titles I have composed. Stupider still, is the fact that it took 4 tries to type “stupider.” More on that later. In this instance the 12th man is the audience and is more a metaphor than anything else. Because? The 105th man in a 104-man team would have no meaning to anyone. So, What am I talking about, huh? The audience. Our wonderful, wonderful audience, who come out to listen to whatever-the-hell we're doing that night, day or afternoon.


This is about the size of the Opera venue I played in; it seats 5000 and was always sold out.

I suspect orchestral composers started putting G.P.s (not gps, you gamers) but Grande Pauses in music to take a sort of “audience attendance,” if you will. To see who's paying attention, and who's carving “I ♥ Mikey” on the seat in front of them, who's rustling candy paper and who's talking in class. Here's how it happens. The orchestra is thundering along in about the 3000th measure of some reeeaally boring symphony by Anton Bruckner, and then there's this huge, gaping hole, where it all just stops. You're supposed to hear *cricket, cricket* What we are all treated to is “I FRY MINE IN LARD!” From the nosebleed section, or the cheap seats.


This is frowned upon, unless agreed to by the entire audience. There's always some bald guy or old bat in front, who has a crush on the Concertmaster. Don't do this, unless you're prepared to thumbwrestle during intermission. Oh and dressy t-shirts and flip-flops are required. For the orchestra, too.

I'm already wishing I were dead, because the violas thundering part is 58 pages or tremolo, which is a very fast shaking of the bow on the string on one note; it requires small muscle movement and is okay for short periods, but it do cramp the muscles over time. What Beethoven giveth, Bruckner taketh. Bruckner and Mozart are both giant bags of dicks in my book. So, of course, when we sneak back in, in a pianississimo, I'm trying not to laugh and my Russian stand partner is muttering under her breath, “Nyet, you no look at me...*snort*” and we're off to air-viola playing, while we hiss-laugh.


We were kinda like this, only she wasn't a guy and we didn't play backwards. We got along well, which lots of stand partners don't. Actually, I've had very little trouble with stand partners over the course of my career. But Rita was fun. She came from the Kiev Philharmonic and played boatloads of viola; just an awesome player!


You know you're at a really classy concert when you play the “Star-Spangled Banner” and some goon in the cheap seats yells “Play Ball” before the opera begins. I thought Maestro Coppola was going to climb out of the pit and hunt the guy down and bite him. All 4' 2' and 96 years of him. Man! What a little ferocious tiger! I was very, very careful to always stay on his good side. I've seen him eviscerate violinists with 3 words. People never got fired by him. He just slowly tortured you to death.


Here is Maestro, either praising the 1st violins, or chewing them out, it is hard to tell. He always looks like this. His brother Carmine Coppola, who played flute in Detroit, did too.



 

Warning: This is the inaugural rehearsal for I can't remember which Puccini Opera and it's rough, for the 1st 22 or 23 seconds. It gets more polished as we go. Typically, we got the music cold and had 3 rehearsals and 3 performances.

I was playing at one concert on a stage where there are several venues, and across the street, Jeff Beck was playing. Some stoner must have gotten his concerts wrong and been really stoned, because at one point during a Brahms symphony I was playing with the orchestra, and natch, wouldn't ya know, a very, very quiet part, dude pops up and yells "Motherfuckin' Jeff Beck rocks, Man!" and then, pops back down. The surprising part is that no one turned a hair. I'd already started my career as a rock-and-roll violist and had heard it all, as had my colleagues.










Be sure and do this at your next Mozart concert, or Bruckner. The orchestra won't mind. The security can be a bitch, though.

Audiences can surprise you, but that's the great thing about live music. You never know what is going to happen. Either on stage or off. I was playing in a small theater in Columbia, South Carolina once. This is where I got locked in the bus and had to crawl through the driver's window with Wolf and concert black, but the strangeness had just begun. That night, sitting in the pit, which was floor level with the audience, there was a couple in completely stunning Klingon makeup and regalia. I kept sneaking peeks at them. They thoroughly enjoyed NYGASP's “Pirates of Penzance.” They came back stage after the show and thanked us in Klingon. Talk about cosplay; impressive and elegant.


ghaH 'ej Duvan, vo' columbia south carolina

So, I never knew what I was heading into when I went on a tour, but I always looked forward to tours. I miss them, but it would be impossible now. So, I share them with you.

Well, Monday can't get here fast enough. I will get the results of my DaTScan and we'll see. I am trying to not get my hopes up, because I know this is an arduous process and can take as long as 6 years to diagnose, but I get tired so easily and have been sleeping for as many as 11 to 14 hours. I'm back on my bipolar meds and so, of course, my tremors are worse and by the end of the day, I'm in pain, particularly in my back and shoulders. We shall see. And of course, I missed Wednesday's check in. Bills to pay and shopping to do, which is like this Lawrence-of-Arabia type odyssey, hah.