Friday, January 27, 2023

Hapless Anniversary

I sure wish I could plug something funny or colorful in here, but I'm afraid it's just not happening today. Saturday is my wedding anniversary and I think I could cope with that okay. But it's also a new anniversary that is a lot harder for me to deal with.

When Kathy and I were in the hospital last year at this time, there was a big whiteboard in her hospital room that listed the many different kinds of chemotherapy she was getting, and a series of boxes to show how many doses she'd received and how many were left to go.

Eventually, it came down to one last dose of one last drug - but the nurse forgot to check the box. Kathy instructed me to pick up the marker and fill in that last "X," which I did.

"That was my anniversary present to you," said Kathy - for indeed, it was our anniversary. "I did this round of chemo for you, and that's the last of it."

We had agreed that this would be the case. She'd had more chemo than she ever wanted and she'd done it for me. So the only thing left was to wait to see the results. Two weeks of waiting followed by a painful bone marrow test.

That test showed that Kathy was almost, almost in remission. No cancer cells could be detected by the human eye...but more sensitive computer sensors found a tiny amount of cancer still lingering. Which started another two week wait as prelude to another test. Would the chemo still in her body kill off those last cancer cells?

We waited- me with hope, Kathy without. And again she had the bone marrow test and we awaited results. Results that were eventually given to us by a soulless automaton of a doctor's assistant: the cancer had again exploded out of control. And that was that. There was nothing more to do.

The next day we were in "hospice" at another facility. Actually, just a standard room in the Alzheimer's wing of a nursing home, staffed by people who couldn't speak English. Kathy received no medicine or treatment of any kind. And together we waited.

Roughly two nightmarish weeks later she was gone.

And so this anniversary - the first anniversary of Kathy's exquisite and painful final gift - is going to be a rough one for me.

And I'm embarrassed to be inflicting this on you good folks, but you are my friends and I could use a virtual hug or two.

I love you and miss you, Kathy.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Stalling Tactics

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Apparently, yet more classified documents entrusted to Joe Biden have turned up in a fifth unsecured location, leading Department of Justice officials to broaden their document search to include "everywhere that a**hole has ever been."

Of course, the real story here isn't that Joe Biden sucks at taking care of critical intelligence documents. Rather, the story is why the DOJ and Biden's own lawyers are pro-actively combing every piece of paper in his possession in the first place? 

There are some (and by "some" I mean me and anyone else who isn't a blithering idiot) who believe this is a desperate attempt to find and destroy evidence of Joe's long history of corrupt deals, bribe-taking, influence peddling, and money laundering  before the Republican congress can finally start pursuing the myriad criminal leads in Hunter Biden's infamous laptop.

Although even as bad as things look at the moment, Biden is not completely without defenders...

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People are understandably excited by new AI technologies like ChatGPT that use super-duper computer intelligence to write about almost anything you ask. And I say "almost" because I thought I would test its sense of humor and my initial attempt didn't go well...

Well, excuse the hell out of MEEeeeee! Allow me to rephrase the question in a way that the computer can understand...

Not exactly comedy gold (my job is safe for now) but at least the technology will work as long as no one ever lets the computer know that Joe Biden = numbskull.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Two Arms! Two Arms!

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To honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in some way that isn't immediately clear, Boston has just unveiled a 10 million dollar sculpture of a bald man giving oral sex between a woman's spread legs as he grasps her thigh and cradles her big, beautiful bronze butt with his free hand.

Granted, that's not supposed to be what the sculpture depicts, but to paraphrase the old saying: "I may not know art, but I know what the hell that looks like."

In reality, the sculpture is intended to look like the arms - and only the arms - of Dr. King and his wife exchanging a quick hug after he won the Nobel peace prize by making the world safe for preposterously overpriced public art. Art which, regardless of race, creed, culture, national origin, gender orientation, or political affiliation, we can all hate equally. 

"But wait," you say - still apparently unclear about the uselessness of talking back to the printed page, "the sculpture probably looks much better from less salacious angles!" But does it...?

Well, no. 

Seeing millions of dollars wasted like this is always frustrating but, in this case, it also saddens and enrages me because Dr. King's dream deserves better.  Not just symbolically but in practice and policy.

Because somewhere along the way, we've fallen from Dr. King's mountaintop. Or rather, we were pushed by the political and cultural provocateurs who continue to benefit from racial inequity and division. So perhaps it is their arms that this abominable sculpture sadly represents.


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He's only human.

Monday, January 9, 2023

No Superlatives For You!

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99% of this post is just me checking in because I haven't posted anything in a week. But as long as I'm here, I might as well mention what I'm pissed off about (as reflected in the cartoon above).

Biden recently presided over a big ceremony in Washington DC in which he gave out medals to the "heroes" who, on January 6th two years ago, saved our democracy by shoving flag-waving AARP members out of public buildings, after which the so-called insurrectionists peacefully went to Cracker Barrel for a nice early dinner.

In keeping with the mythic narrative surrounding the event, officers who were present that day were labeled as "survivors" in much the same way you can call people "survivors" who are disembarking from a jet that didn't crash. 

Of course, not all officers were so lucky, and family members had to claim the medals of the four officers who tragically died fighting the seditionists that day. Well, maybe not that day but within 72 hours or so. And not from injuries sustained that day. One officer died of a stroke. Another of a heart attack. And sadly two died from suicide. But was their despair caused by seeing people in MAGA hats, or did it come from finding themselves on the battlelines against the unarmed, ordinary Americans they had sworn to protect? I don't pretend to know, but I find the lack of curiosity on this point disturbing.

But where was Lt. Michael "Killshot" Byrd during the ceremony? Where was his medal? We're told that the group Byrd was in was the last line of defense and saved dozens if not hundreds of lives that day, not to mention saving Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from giving birth to a buffalo-horned rape baby. Our own military had turned Ashli Babbitt into a Terminator-style killing machine and it was only Lt. Byrd's quick action that prevented her from spouting potentially deadly slogans within earshot of our sacred legislators.

So again - why no medal for Byrd? Why no proclamation from Joe Biden that our nation was saved by the actions of this one man? And a Black man at that! Unless the story being flogged isn't even remotely true (as evidenced by the countless "we didn't find nuffin" committee hearings staged by the Democrats) and Byrd is simply a trigger-happy embarrassment rather than the bravest American hero who ever lived. 

Still, whatever side of the political aisle you're on, I think we can all agree that January 6th, 2021 was a dark day for America. And hopefully, we'll never see such an unarmed attack again.