Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It is the Birthday of . . .

It's the birthday of author Ian Fleming, born in London in 1908. His family enjoyed wealth and social standing; his father, Valentine, was a Member of Parliament, and when he died in World War I, Winston Churchill wrote his obituary. All doors were open to young Ian, and he worked as a foreign journalist, a banker, a stockbroker, a high-ranking officer and assistant to the director of British naval intelligence, and foreign manager of London's Sunday Times before he took up the career, and the character, that would make him famous. Casino Royale (1953) was the first of his many "James Bond" novels, which featured the playboy spy — code name "007" — and a host of fast cars, nifty gadgets, and hot women.

Fleming also wrote a children's book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1964). In it, his character Commander Pott gave some advice that Bond might have heartily endorsed: "Never say 'no' to adventures. Always say 'yes,' otherwise you'll lead a very dull life."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Awarded the Rambo Seal of Approval !!!

RAMBO anticipating some tasty treats !!! He is an excellent watch dog.

A little Bit of this , A little Byte of that . . .

Things have been really busy since around mid April. Much too busy for me to provide any regular updates.
In my last posting, I mentioned that I was taking care of Rambo, a dog owned by an acquaintance who is currently at the Stanford Medical University Center for his second heart surgery. The surgery was scheduled for yesterday. I do hope that things went well for him, although after the surgery - - - I would expect them to have placed him in the ICU ward, so I expect no updates for a few days. I did send him a text message to let him know that I hope things went well, and to contact me at his convenience.

I have been experiencing difficulty with my Right ear and Eustachian tube for the last few days. It is a chronic problem that dates back to 1991. Coupled with my tinnitus, it makes for some really interesting times upon occasion. Today it got so bad that I experienced vertigo, nausea, and became quite vomitus. Thank goodness for my big Ironwood USS England hiking staff! Had I not had that to assist me with my balance, I would not have even been able to leave the house.

As it was, today was a day that I needed to do some grocery shopping at Sam's Club. Fortunately for me, my friend Masa provided invaluable assistance. He drove me to  Sam's, pushed a cart for me while I gimped around the store picking out necessary food items, helped me at the checkout counter, loaded the car, then drove me home. I really hated to have to add to his already long days, but I am very grateful for his assistance.

I was supposed to have an appointment with the Veterans Administration for 21 May. That appointment was canceled by the Veterans Administration, and rescheduled for 3 June. This past Monday, I received both the confirmation card from the VA for the appointment on 3 June - - - as well as the letter from the VA canceling that same appointment. I called them that afternoon. Now the appointment that I was supposed to have on 3 June has been rescheduled for 10 June. This actually is becoming more and more common behavior from the Veterans Administration. If they are going to continue to keep canceling appointments, then what is the sense of even making them? Cancelled appointments are of zero benefit to the veterans who need them. Appointment tag is not a valid form of therapy.

It is quite understandable given the performance of the Veterans Administration, why so many veterans seek other methods of recovery and/or pain relief up to and including suicide. The latest study that I saw showed that the suicide rate among veterans was nearly triple what it is among non-veterans.

Between my bouts of depression, my nightmares, my sleep loss, and other things that prove intrusive - - - I have managed to get approximately 96% of my package to the President of the United States, and one dozen other specifically targeted officials completed. I had hoped to already have the text of that letter into the hands of my proofreaders by now. Unfortunately, there will be another slight delay. Let me just say up front so there can be no mistake that I really appreciate the assistance of those who have agreed to proofread these letters, and have seen 90% of the documents that will be accompanying these letters when they go to Washington. While it is not my desire to take the United States Navy and/or the Veterans Administration to task in the public media - - - this will basically be my final action in trying to get an ongoing nightmare that my government caused through sheer incompetence resolved.

 Should this action fail to achieve the desired results, I make zero promises as to what I will or will not do next. Will address that when the moment is upon me. What this country has become through lack of intelligent, responsible, accountable adult leadership sickens me.

Enough for now. I hope that this finds everyone I know in good health and high spirits!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Meet R - A - M - B - O

This little cute fella is named Rambo. He is a teacup Cha-HooYah-HooYah that belongs to an acquaintance of mine who is currently in the Stanford University medical Center awaiting his second heart surgery.

I hope that the surgery and recovery goes well for him, but in the event that the worst happens - - - I will consider it my sacred duty to ensure that little Rambo has the best life possible for his remaining years.

I tried earlier today to make a video of him, but just like my previous house guest - - - Tober's - - - this little guy seems somewhat video camera shy! So, wanting my acquaintance to see this prior to his surgery - - - I finally gave up on the video, and just decided to post this picture.

Rambo and Gordita - - - Close Quarter Maneuvering


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Not an auspicious beginning to my day . . .

This arrived in my inbox this morning. Not a hoax. Local news channels running the story now in order to get the word out as quickly as possible. Hopefully, most people will not be drastically affected. I am sure though that there are some that will have not followed the basic tenets of proper security. These individuals will find themselves with a nightmarish task confronting them, rather than a minor bump in the road.

Shared as a Public Service.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Just a wee larf . . .

A very popular man dies in Aberdeen and his old widow wishes to tell all his friends at once, so she goes to the Aberdeen Evening Express and says, 'I'd like tae place an obituary fur ma late husband.'

The man at the desk says, 'OK, how much money dae ye have?'

The old woman replies, '£5' to which the man says, 'Ye won't get many words for that but write something and we'll see if it's ok.'

So the old woman writes something and hands it over the counter.

The man reads 'Peter Reid, fae Kincorth, deid.' He feels sad at the abruptness of the statement and encourages the old woman to write a few more things, saying, 'I think we cud allow 3 or 4 more words fer ye money.'

The old woman ponders and then adds a few more words and hand the paper over the counter again.  The man then reads - 'Peter Reid, fae Kincorth, deid. Ford Escort for sale.'

Work or Play ???

At a command picnic, a bunch of officers were standing around talking. A Lieutenant said, “I think that making love is 80% fun and 20% work.”

A Commander responded by saying, “No, I think that making love is more work than that. I would say that it is 60% fun and 40% work.”

Then a Captain said, “No, making love is definitely way more work than that. I would say that it’s more like 20% fun and 80% work.”

They continued to discuss the matter for several minutes until a Chief Petty Officer walked by. The officers called the Chief over to ask his opinion.

The Captain said, “Chief, we’re having a discussion, and we’d like your input. The Lieutenant says that making love is 80% fun and 20% work. The CDR thinks that making love is 60% fun and 40% work. I say that making love is 20% fun and 80% work. What’s your opinion?”

The Chief scratched his chin and said, “Sir, I think you’re all wrong. Making love must be 100% fun, because if there was any work involved, you’d have an Enlisted man doing it for you!”

This is INSANE - - - And it needs to be fixed.

Did you know that, in dozens of states, it’s legal to fire an employee just because he or she is gay or lesbian?

That’s insane. We’ve made too much progress toward equality for LGBT Americans to let such outright discrimination go unchecked at the workplace.
Discrimination has no place in our laws -- and no place at work. Period.

Let’s strike another blow for freedom and equality by protecting LGBT Americans in the workplace.

It’s already illegal for employers to discriminate against employees for reasons involving race, gender, national origin, or disability. Why should it be legal for sexual orientation (or gender identity, or gender expression) to be the reason someone gets fired?

And, by the way, why is this still an issue in the year 2013, especially when this country is making so much progress on marriage equality?

It shouldn’t be. We can put an end to legal discrimination against LGBT employees. Democrats and Republicans agree that this kind of discrimination is wrong, and that it shouldn’t be legal. If you agree, too, I could use your help.

Anytime is a good time to make our country more fair and equal. But when it comes to workplace discrimination against LGBT Americans, the time to make it illegal was a long time ago.
Senator Al Franken is gathering signatories on a petition in order to do just that. Would you take a minute to add your name?
To sign Senator Franken's petition, click here.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

VA Silent on Exec Bonuses for Manipulated Data | Military.com

More shenanigans at the Veterans Administration. Why does this not surprise me? A hand salute to Mr. Nicholas Tolentino for having the moral courage to speak out in order to get attention brought to ongoing mismanagement issues that continue at the VA. We need more people like him in the system! People who are not afraid to do the right thing, simply because it is the right thing to do . . .

I would just bet that the money spent on "Exec Bonuses" could have been better spent on - - - hiring more Mental Health professionals to cope with the increased caseload of younger veterans returning from OIF/OEF.

That, of course would make too much sense. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lord Nelson

Standing on the deck of HMS Victory, Lord Nelson glanced up at a lookout high in the rigging and called, “Keep a keen eye out for Spanish sail, my lad. For today, I feel like a fight.” Soon, the lookout cried, “Sail ho, off the starboard bow!”

Nelson pointed his spyglass in the direction indicated, and – sure enough – there were two Spanish frigates off the starboard bow. Realizing that his ship was in for a tough fight, Lord Nelson turned to a young officer. “Ensign, fetch my red coat!”

A few minutes later, the Ensign returned with the coat. As he held it out for his Admiral to wear, he said, “Begging your pardon, My Lord, but why do you need your red coat?”

Nelson smiled grimly. “There’ll be much blood spilled today, Son. And some of it might well be mine. If it should happen that I am wounded, my red coat will hide the blood. Then, our own men will take heart from seeing their commander apparently untouched, and our enemies will fear my invincibility.”

The Ensign nodded, seeing at once the wisdom of the Admiral’s reasoning. The battle was long and difficult, but Nelson eventually won the day.

A few days later, a lookout shouted down, “Sail ho, off the port beam!”

Nelson pointed his spyglass in the direction indicated, and found himself staring at the entire Spanish Armada. Hundreds of ships bearing down on his lone ship like angels of death.

Anticipating his Admiral’s next order, the young Ensign said, “Shall I fetch your red coat, Sir?”

Nelson nodded. “Do that, Son. And while you’re at it, fetch me my brown trousers!”

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Merrily we roll along . . .

Broke my "First One-Hundred" this evening. Feels good to be back to doing this activity on a regular basis.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A little Bit of this, A little Byte of that . . .

This past Tuesday morning, found me in a meeting at 06:30 down in Chinatown. The meeting was very productive. Now, one of the attendees is on their way to Seoul Korea. It was good to be able to meet with them, and they should be returning to Honolulu in three or four months. Prior to this meeting, we had not seen each other physically in about 10 years.

Tobers is really starting to become quite affectionate. He often comes over when I return home now, and lays down to let me scratch his belly and ears. He really is a cute little guy. Although he is still somewhat adverse to being filmed, he is definitely becoming more affectionate. And surely he has a lot of energy for an old fellow. I do believe that I will miss him once Dexter and Barbara return from the mainland. Perhaps I will ransom him back to them!

Today, I am hoping to spend some time with my friend Masa for coffee, and possibly a small meal.

I am keeping up with my exercise, and will be posting a walking report early next week. I will try to update my weight loss such gadget and post a walking report on the same day. Unfortunately, my sleep is still a bit of a mess - - - and will probably remain so for the foreseeable future. I do have trazodone and prazosin to help knock me out when necessary. Situationally, things are a bit hectic around the old homestead at this time. Therefore, in order to be able to concentrate and get anything done within a reasonable amount of time, I must stay up in the middle of the night to dictate this into my computer.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Quotable Quotes . . .

"The problem with Western women is they pretend they’re an expert on topics that they’re unqualified to talk about. Think for a minute about what the average American woman has expert status on. If she graduated from a regular university and works in the Human Resources department, for example, her expertise would be shuffling papers, conducting job interviews, talking on the telephone for long periods of time, flaking, text messaging, Kim Kardashian, and prime-time television. She is probably familiar with dieting, fashion, and whatever subject she majored in college, and then she’s unqualified on everything else. Therefore if she’s trying to assert herself on those other topics, you can safely ignore every word that comes out of her mouth.

A woman thinks after reading a couple articles on Huffington Post she’s qualified to jam public policy down your throat, or that she can competently discuss statecraft. She’ll go to Thailand or Argentina for a week, glance at the abject poverty, hear about a new microlending organization, and then all of a sudden think she’s an expert on geopolitical concerns. She’ll watch some news report on the environment and buy “green” products, urging you to do the same because she thinks she’s saving the world. She’ll read health articles in the New York Times and start making comments as if she’s a trained nutritionist. She’ll go on about the importance of feminism even though you may actually know more about the history of the movement than she does. The epitome of this overreach is your 35-year-old lonely spinster giving relationship advice when we all know the only relationships she’s qualified to discuss are those with felines.

Even a girl’s opinions on friendship, a basic element of humanity, are completely useless. Just about all female friendships are poisoned with jealousy, envy, drama, frequent abandonment, and a neverending series of petty fights and backstabbing that leave the average man scratching his head about where all that anger and disloyalty is coming from. Personal attacks that would stun grown men are weekly occurrences in female friendships.

If you peel back the layers of a modern woman, you’ll find that her life’s total education has little real-world application. It’s filled with liberal idealism and pop culture nonsense that has no positive bearing to you or any other man. Never ask a woman for advice on anything besides maybe fashion, and never let a woman influence you with her flawed and shockingly incomplete body of knowledge. Seek out a woman for her beauty, femininity, sexuality, and pleasing, low-maintenance personality, but not for her intelligence. The more of it she thinks she has, the more pompous bullshit you’ll have to put up with."

- - - Roosh - - -

Monday, April 15, 2013

A little Bit of this, A little Byte of that . . .

Another 7 miles down today. My plan, is to walk three days - - - and then rest one. I will be doing this for about the next month or so, then move into walking every day. This week, I will get Wednesday and Sunday off. Those days, I can pretty much mess around and do whatever I want except to go out and make a pig of myself at the local restaurants. I still must adhere to my dietary standards.

I have recently met someone, who a little farther down the road - - - may help me to get some pleasant therapy, to go along with the therapy that I am receiving from the Veterans Administration. We shall see how it works out.

 I plan on taking quite a few mental health breaks from all of the technology that seems to be overcrowding our lives as time goes on. If you text me and you do not get a response, there is a chance that my phone is off. You should attach no meaning to that, other than that my phone is off. If the message is important, I will respond as soon as I can.

Tobers is alive, well, and generally has way too much energy for an older dog. Right now, he and I are not really seeing eye to eye. For the past three days, every time I have tried to video him running in circles at breakneck speed - - - or just generally being in the little cute clown that he is, he sees me with the camera and just sits down like a lump. As soon as I put the camera away, he starts acting the clown again. 

Timing with this pup is a serious issue. I do not quite have the knack of it yet. He appears in good health, and high spirits! He also has one mean growl, when in the bathtub. Seems that he has some issues with water . . .

The house is a lot less empty with him here. I may just miss the little feller once he's gone . . .

Merrily we roll along . . .

Did a wee bit of walking this past weekend. Restarting my failed and derailed diet this morning. While progress has been made in beginning to increase my metabolism - - - I have severely failed to exercise the discipline taught to me while in the military with regards to eating out. Hard and Fast Rule Time!!!

"I will only eat at home so that I may ALWAYS be able to chart my progress. The ONLY exceptions will be to allow myself a Subway Tuna sandwich once weekly until I have successfully lost ten kilograms. All other eating places are removed from my vocabulary. Home. Subway (Once a week). That is all."

After I successfully lose ten kilograms, I may allow myself one unrestricted meal at a place and time of my choosing. Or I may not. That will be decided on the day that my weight reaches 79.2 kilograms.

I will post (at least twice monthly) a progress chart of my weight loss to my blog, in order that others may ridicule me should I fail to adhere to my self-imposed dietary plan. I will also continue to post my walking reports at least twice monthly."

For initial reference, here is my walking report as of Friday, 12 April 2013:

Here is my walking report as of Sunday, 14 April 2013:

A fairly good beginning, I think. Time marches on. So will I. Going to be figuring out some beginning points, goals, and schedule to integrate free-weights into my exercise routine. Former shipmates who have kept active over the years - - - your input would be most welcome. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Merrily we roll along . . .

Good Idea !!!

Democrats Need to draw a line in the Sand

Over the next few weeks, we'll be in the fight of our lives to save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits. 

House Democrats can play a vital role and help take these programs off the chopping block by co-signing a letter written by progressive champions Rep. Alan Grayson and Rep. Mark Takano that draws a line in the sand on benefit cuts. 

I just signed a petition telling House Democrats to co-sign the Grayson-Takano letter to take Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits off the chopping block. 

Social Security benefits are relatively modest, but many seniors rely on the benefits just to pay for their basic expenses.

President Obama’s plan, however, unfairly asks current and future retires relying on Social Security to give up a significant amount of their benefits, which -- let us remember -- they earned through a lifetime of work.

For many seniors, these cuts directly translate into medicine not taken and meals skipped.

And it does this all in the name of deficit reduction despite Social Security having nothing to do with the federal budget deficit.

Our Social Security system is a cornerstone of our society that allows seniors to retire and live in dignity. It’s one of the most effective and most popular social programs in American history. We need Congressional Democrats to stand up to President Obama and take benefit cuts off the table.

I hope you do, too. 

You can find out more information, read the text of the Grayson letter and easily join me in taking action at the link below: 


Quotable Quotes . . .

When I was fourteen, my F - A - T - H - E - R was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.

- - - Mark Twain - - -

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Enlist today

If I could, I’d enlist today and help my country track down those cowards responsible for killing thousands of innocent people in New York City and Washington, DC but, I’m over 50 now and the Armed Forces say I’m too old to track down terrorists. 

You can’t be older than 35 to join the military. They’ve got the whole thing backwards. Instead of sending 18-year-olds off to fight, they ought to take us old guys.

You shouldn’t be able to join until you’re at least 35. For starters:

Researchers say 18-year-olds think about sex every 10 seconds. Old guys only think about sex a couple of times a day, leaving us more that 28,000 additional seconds per day to concentrate on the enemy.

Young guys haven’t lived long enough to be cranky, and a cranky soldier is a dangerous soldier. If we can’t kill the enemy we’ll complain them into submission. “My back hurts!” “I’m hungry!” “Where’s the remote control?”

An 18-year-old hasn’t had a legal beer yet and you shouldn’t go to war until you’re at least old enough to legally drink. An average old guy, on the other hand, has consumed 126,000 gallons of beer by the time he’s 35, and a jaunt through the desert heat with a backpack and M-60 would do wonders for the old beer belly.

An 18-year-old doesn’t like to get up before 10 a.m. Old guys get up early every morning to pee.

If old guys are captured we couldn’t spill the beans because we’d probably forget where we put them. In fact, name, rank, and serial number would be a real brainteaser.

Boot camp would actually be easier for old guys. We’re used to getting screamed and yelled at, and we actually like soft food. We’ve also developed a deep appreciation for guns and rifles. We like them almost better than naps.

They could lighten up on the obstacle course, however. I’ve been in combat and didn’t see a single 20-foot wall with rope hanging over the side, nor did I ever do any pushups after completing basic training. I can hear the Drill Sergeant now, “Drop and give me…er…one.”

And the running part is kind of a waste of energy. I’ve never seen anyone outrun a bullet.

An 18-year-old has the whole world ahead of him. He’s still learning to shave, to actually carry on a conversation, and to wear pants without the top of his butt crack showing and his boxer shorts sticking out. He’s still hasn’t figured out that a pierced tongue catches food particles, and that a 400-watt speaker in the back seat of a Honda Accord can rupture an eardrum. All great reasons to keep our sons at home to learn a little more about life before sending them off to war.

Let us old guys track down those dirty rotten cowards who attack our country, then jet back to the other side of the world to hide. The last thing any enemy would want to see is a couple of million old farts with attitudes.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Various "Snapshots" of my Life

A few photo's of me in previous years. Most of them were taken back when 35 mm film was the "mainstream medium" of choice. Kodachrome was King !!!!!!

1978 - Age 23 - Maplewood, Missouri

1979 -Age 24 - Waimanalo, Hawaii

1979 - Age 24 - Waimanalo, Hawaii

1989 - Age 34 - Richardson Field, Oahu, Hawaii

1997 - Age 42 - Makiki, Hawaii

Merrily we roll along . . .

This week has seen my return to walking for Fun, Fitness, and Stress Reduction. While I do expect the numbers to get "better" - - - I think that I am off to a fairly good start. For my international friends, I have walked 54.91 KM.

予期せぬ贈り物。 。 。 (An Unexpected Gift)



Thursday, April 4, 2013

A very lucky score !!!

Jay Allen, who authors one of the finest sites devoted to radio on the net - - - has written what many consider the definitive review on the Grundig G3 Globe Traveler. In a very lucky score, I ordered mine from Amazon for less than $60. It shipped today, and I should have it in my hot little hands mid-next week. This radio normally retails for $149 to $199.

This is a radio I have lusted for (in the E5 version) for about eight years. It should provide many enjoyable hours of DXing.


An exclusive interview with "Tober's" . . .

As related previously - - - I have a house-guest for the remainder of the month. Having learned that he is a hard-working and intelligent little fellow, I thought that my readers might be interested in his views on Politics, Current Events, Love, and Life-In-General. So I asked him to share his uninterrupted thoughts.

Here they are:

Quotable Quotes . . .

“For in and out, above, about, below, Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show, played in a Box whose Candle is the Sun, round which we Phantom Figures come and go.”

  ~ Omar Khayyam ~

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Thoughts and Prayers.

To my friend, Chef Ara who is the author of The Oasis of My Soul. He should be stepping off a plane in Munich right about now. I truly hope that things go well for him.

President Obama to give up a portion of his salary

This article  notes that President Barack Obama will put 5% of his paycheck back into the federal government's coffers in a show of unity with furloughed federal workers, a senior administration official said Wednesday. Obama, whose $400,000 annual salary is set in law and can't officially be changed, will write a check made out to the U.S. treasury every month beginning in April. Since the mandatory across-the-board spending cuts went into effect March 1, his payment for last month will be paid retroactively.

Shows solidarity and leadership. Will the Congress as a whole do the same? Highly doubtful.

While I applaud the president's decision to share in the sacrifice - - - I wish that for this year he would have given up 17% of his salary. That would cover the cost of one Hellfire missile.

Then he could honestly say "The next drone strike is on the House" !!!

Toby is "In Da' House" !!!!!

While some friends visit their family on the mainland, my wife Erika and I are currently dog-sitting for them in our apartment. Toby is an old, fairly blind duffer, who seems to be a little hyper. We are doing our best to make his transition to a new temporary environment as easy as possible. He walks around our apartment slowly, bumping into things as he goes.

He has met quite a few folks in the building, and they all seem to think he is a cute little guy.  I can tell that he has "missing masters" anxiety. And he made a few messes inside the apartment. This is to be expected. Hopefully, within the next few days he will begin to settle down a little bit. 

Here is the little rascal hard at work.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Merrily we roll along . . .

An upgrade to my software on March 29th required a hard reset of my pedometer, and corrupted my database. As I had not been walking much due to recent depression, decided to use this as an opportunity to begin anew . . .

Monday, April 1, 2013

It is the Birthday of . . .

Richard James Kalani Clement-Hill. Born this date in 1992, he was a post Gulf War child. Tragically, his life was cut short at the age of 1 year, 9 months, 2 days as a result of complications from a near fatal drowning incident. He would be 21 years old today.

There are those who say that they have "recovered" completely from the loss of an infant child. My experience has been somewhat different. Happy Birthday, Son. I miss you every day.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The 22nd annual Honolulu AIDS Walk

Sunday, April 14th will be the 22nd annual Honolulu AIDS Walk! The 5K walk will be held at Kapiolani Park, and will be a day of community, fun, and a chance to make a difference in the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS in Hawaii. Since the first walk, over 2 million dollars has been raised through the Honolulu AIDS Walk, valuable funds that provides services to our local community. 

This year, the old Disgruntled Veteran has sponsored a friend who will be participating in this walk. I may just have to show my ugly old face, and cheer them on . . .

Waiting for God . . .

A college Professor, an avowed Atheist, was teaching his class. He shocked several of his students when he flatly stated he was going to prove there is no God. Addressing the ceiling he shouted: “God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I’ll give you 15 minutes!”

The lecture room fell silent. You could have heard a pin drop. Ten minutes went by. Again the Professor taunted God, saying, “Here I am, God! I’m still waiting!”

His count-down got down to the last couple of minutes when a Marine, just released from active duty and newly registered in the class, walked up to the Professor and punched him full-force in the face. The Professor tumbled from his lofty platform, and he was out cold before he hit the floor.

At first the students were shocked, and they babbled in confusion. The young Marine took a seat in the front row and sat silently. The class fell silent… waiting.

Eventually, the Professor came to. When he finally regained the power of speech, he glared at the young Marine in the front row. “What’s the matter with you? Why on earth did you do that?”

The Marine smiled. “God was busy. He sent me.”

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Crap !!! Need a Zero-Dark-Thirty walk.

It is now 03:30 as I begin this entry. Tonight has been another night that I have experienced my night terrors. After awaking at 00:30 on the 26th, I was finally able to get to sleep approximately 21:00 that evening. I reawakened at 01:30 this morning. The grounding technique did not seem to help. Nor did talking to the spirit of my deceased dog. She watches over me from her ash box as I sleep.

So, have gotten a few hours work done on my package.

Hopefully today, Doctor Ikeda at the Veterans Administration will give me some kind of medication that will help me to regulate my sleep a little better.

A lot of dark thoughts on my mind this morning, but they will remain unsaid for now. I need to walk.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rolling along . . .

Going to be dog sitting at home from April 1st through May 1st for some friends who are taking a trip to the mainland to visit their grandchildren. It will be nice to have a dog around again, even though temporarily. I am still missing Latte'. Any chance that I get to pet a dog - - - or to interact with one in a friendly manner, I will certainly use to maximum advantage. So, I am really looking forward to Toby coming to visit for a month.

Managed to get one or two good nights sleep over the last week. The rest were filled with the "Joys of combat-related PTSD". I have begun implementing some of the techniques that have been shown to me at the mental health clinic, and I'm finding that they do seem to help somewhat. Not perfect, but they do help reduce the stress.

Down at the storage facility earlier this morning, continuing to clear away the flotsam and jetsam of the wreckage of our lives. Some time within the next few months, Erika plans to start selling off all of the collectibles. She has about a million Barbie dolls. I have quite a few collectibles as well. Looking back now, I cannot possibly fathom the reason that I even wanted that junk. It looked good at the time, but over time - - - it has proven far less than useful. Why do we as humans accumulate so much useless stuff throughout our lives???

I will definitely not let the situation develop again. If I do not use an item at least once weekly, that I have no need to have it among my possessions. Far better that I own my stuff, rather than my stuff own me.

Senator Bernie Sanders - - - Friend of Disabled Veterans

Senate Opposes ‘Chained CPI’ Cuts to Social Security, Veterans’ Benefits

March 22, 2013
WASHINGTON, March 22 – The Senate tonight voted to block cuts in benefits for Social Security and disabled veterans.

The amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) put the Senate on record against changing how cost-of-living increases are calculated in a way that would result in significant cuts.

“The time has come for the Senate to send a very loud and clear message to the American people: We will not balance the budget on the backs of disabled veterans who have lost their arms, their legs and their eyesight defending our country. We will not balance the budget on the backs of the men and women who have already sacrificed for us in Iraq and Afghanistan, nor on the widows who have lost their husbands in Iraq and Afghanistan defending our country,” Sanders said.

The amendment opposed switching from the current method of measuring inflation to a so-called chained consumer price index. President Barack Obama favors a chained CPI as part of what the White House calls a “grand bargain” that Obama hopes to reach with congressional Republicans.

The proposed change would affect more than 3.2 million disabled veterans receiving disability compensation benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans who started receiving VA disability benefits at age 30 would have their benefits reduced by $1,425 at age 45, $2,341 at age 55 and $3,231 at age 65.  Benefits for more than 350,000 surviving spouses and children who have lost a loved one in battle also would be cut. Dependency Indemnity Compensation benefits already average less than $17,000 a year.

More than 55 million retirees, widows, orphans and disabled Americans receiving Social Security also would be affected by the switch to a chained CPI. That figure includes 9 million veterans with an average yearly benefit of about $15,500. A veteran with average earnings retiring at age 65 would get nearly a $600 benefit cut at age 75 and a $1,000 cut at age 85. By age 95, when Social Security benefits are probably needed the most, that veteran would face a cut of $1,400 – a reduction of 9.2 percent.

A chained CPI would cut Social Security benefits for average senior citizens who are 65 by more than $650 a year by the time they are 75 years old, and by more than $1,000 once they reach 85.

Groups supporting Sanders include AARP, the AFL-CIO, National Organization for Women, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS and others.

Sanders is chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the founder of the Defending Social Security Caucus.

It was on this day . . .

It was on this day in 1775 that Patrick Henry gave a famous speech which probably included the line, "Give me liberty or give me death!"

Henry spoke at the Second Virginia Convention, a meeting of American colonial leaders held at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia. There were 120 delegates, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. The 39 year old Henry was representing Hanover County, Virginia. The four-day meeting turned into a fierce debate about whether or not to raise a militia and arm Virginia in the fight against the British.

Henry was an attorney with a knack for turning a phrase and a commitment to American independence. Twelve years earlier, he had stood up in court and called King George a tyrant, and he had been fighting against English laws and rule in the courts ever since.

There was a problem with Henry's speeches. They were wonderful and charismatic and everyone was entranced by them, but afterward, no one could remember what he had said. Thomas Jefferson said of Henry: "His eloquence was peculiar, if indeed it should be called eloquence; for it was impressive and sublime, beyond what can be imagined. Although it was difficult when he had spoken to tell what he had said, yet, while he was speaking, it always seemed directly to the point. When he had spoken in opposition to my opinion, had produced a great effect, and I myself had been highly delighted and moved, I have asked myself when he ceased: 'What the devil has he said?' I could never answer the inquiry."

So although Henry's speech at the Second Virginia Convention is so famous, no one is sure what he said. It wasn't written down until 1816, by Henry's biographer, William Wirt. Wirt talked to people who had been present at the speech and had them reconstruct it from memory.

According to one of Wirt's sources, in what has become the accepted text of Henry's speech, he ended with these famous words: "It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Looking forward to getting into my groove . . .

My session Monday at Tripler went fairly well. Much better than I had expected. Some of the things that we discussed, and that I have some homework on are: sleep hygiene, exercising in the morning versus night, sticking to a calorie controlled diet, and not making too many major lifestyle changes all at once.

I will be having an upcoming appointment, in order to obtain some heavy-duty prescription sleep aids. I am also cutting way down on my caffeine intake. I truly do not know how much caffeine I take in on a daily basis, but it is safe to say that I know for sure I am drinking at least fifteen 8 ounce cups of coffee daily. Yesterday, and today - - - I have only allowed myself two 8 ounce cups of coffee in the morning. I am experiencing major cluster headaches, but expect those to pass within a few days. I am taking aspirin for the headaches, and it does seem to help a bit.

My friends who are aware of the changes that I'm going to make in my life, are trying to be helpful to a point. However, knowing far better than them that I am at all on-all off type personality - - - their suggestions of "just take a few weeks to cut it back a cup or so a day", are not going to get the job done. I will basically cut it off immediately, and suffer the consequences. A test of will. One that I shall pass. The headaches caused by caffeine deprivation will lessen over time . . .

Erika and I continue our housecleaning of the wreckage of our lives. Our next project will be to move down to the storage facility, and start clearing away items that we pay to store - - - but have not used nor seen for years. If you don't use it at least once weekly, what the hell is the purpose of having it? With the exception of all of my military documentation, and my photos of Family, Friends, Latte', etc.

Progress on my presidential investigation package continues. I am now at the 92% mark, and hope to be getting it out of here within the next week to 10 days. After that, I should be able to generate a package into the mail to the remaining personnel on my list - - - every 2 to 3 days.

While life is not good yet, it is getting better! This coming Sunday morning, I will be starting a hard and fast caloric monitoring diet in order to loose approximately 40 pounds during the course of the next year. No matter how much well-meaning social pressure (there will be a lot) will be put on me by my friends, I have zero intention of giving into it - - - and that is not up for further discussion, nor negotiation.

My goal for the next year, will be to get back into at least 80% of the physical condition that I was in while on active duty some 20 years ago. That will be the most important change for the better that I can make in my life at the current time.

Be Well. Stay Safe!

Quotable Quotes . . .

"So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home."

- - - Chief Tecumseh - - -

Monday, March 18, 2013

Things progressing better than expected - - - not as well as hoped

Things progressing better than expected - - - not as well as hoped. My T.S.R.P. intake went well with the Veterans Administration. Have my first counseling appointment this morning. Must be at Spark Matsunaga ACC by 07:00, so that will necessitate a 05:30 departure from the house. Unfortunately, the city bus/VA van combination will not have me there in time - - - so I must rely upon a friend for transportation. Going to have to research this a bit better over the coming week to see if I cannot get there on my own that early. Will be field testing my new stainless steel, leak-proof Theramax coffee mug. As I sometimes have problems with dropping glass mugs, due to the "lump-lumps" now growing in my fingers as well as the rest of my body --- I decided to use my Amazon.com gift certificate that I received for Christmas to buy some new coffee cups that will not break. Works well at home. Will see today how it works on the move . . .

Last Wednesday, I had an appointment with the VA optometrist. Dr. Riezman wrote me new prescriptions for both my reading and distance vision. Should have my new glasses by next week. One pair for distance, One pair for reading. My prescription for computer usage has not changed.

Presidential investigation package is 90% complete. Going to be collating it sometime the end of this coming week, or the beginning of next and getting it in the mail. I will be so happy when it is on its way. Then, I should be generating the remaining packages at the rate of one every two to three days - - - just a matter of some minor revisions to the individual recipients. Will be glad when all are finally on the way in the mail. Quite a bit of work to get done over the next 45 days or so . . .

Started using my VidaOne nutrition monitoring software again yesterday morning. Tired of being obese. Goal is to drop 22.5 Kilograms over the next year through rigorous calorie monitoring. Have not been doing near enough walking the last two months. That is going to change as well. Will start with five-thousand steps per day average, working up to twelve-thousand steps daily average over the next year. Here is a baseline summary:

Going to be taking a lot more private time over the next few months. Have things I need to be doing for myself. Not explaining, just going to do. Whatever the personal cost, it will be worth it in the end. For both Mama and I . . .

Hopefully, this computer will hold out until this ongoing project is complete. This HP has really surprised me. Did not expect it to last as long as it has. My first laptop. Next one will hopefully be a MacBook Pro. So damned tired of Microsoft. Not even going to bother learning the "new" Windows 8 at all.

Sleep this past week has included the normal night terrors. Up most (if not all) five out of the last seven nights. Will be asking VA social worker for some sleep inducing aids, and definitely want to get on Chantix ASAP. Not sure why the VA opposed to giving it to me. Will be pressing for definite answers.

Deactivated my Facebook account yesterday. Not going back. Another distraction in my life that I do not need at this time.

Time to get serious again in all aspects of my life. Zero time for joking around.

Be Well. Stay Safe.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Today was a "Hijacked" day - - - So planning to pull an All-Nighter

Did not get near as much accomplished today as I had planned. When I first logged onto the computer this morning, I had forgotten that my backup software would run a weekly verification to check the integrity of all the backups on my external drive. This normally occurs on Sunday, and does not begin until I have been logged on to the computer for 5 minutes. It runs in the background, and does not prevent me from using the computer.

Unfortunately, during the Daylight Saving Time shift this past weekend - - - my computer did not automatically update my world clock settings. We do not observe DST in Hawaii. Thus, I was forced to make a manual adjustment this morning. I logged on, adjusted my clocks - - - then was required to reboot in order for the changes to take effect.

During this process, I exceeded my 5 minute "grace period" with respect to the backup software timeout period to begin the integrity verification process. As the computer was shutting down to reboot, the integrity verification process began. I was then locked out of my computer for approximately 2 1/2 hours waiting for it to complete.

This delay meant that everything I had planned to accomplish this morning, I did not even get started on until approximately 1100 hrs.  Major "self-inflicted" pain in the ass!

I had planned to go walk with the neighborhood citizens patrol this evening, but as I was running approximately 2 1/2 hours behind my projected schedule - - - I decided during dinner with my friend Masa, that I would just let that slide for this evening.

Had a very nice fish dinner at the Shrimp and Barbecue (the high point of my day) place on Keeaumoku Street. While the hour and a half spent socializing with Masa was nice (and the mental break) and needed, I am still running behind where I want to be. Therefore, I am contemplating pulling an all-nighter on the computer tonight to get caught up.

Tomorrow morning, Erika has an appointment at Kaiser-Moanalua Hospital with the EENT clinic. Time to do the radioactive dye test again, to check for cancer. I hope that all goes well for her. While she is doing the test, I will be down at the storage area continuing to get our belongings squared away, and to make some room in case we have to move.

Was talking on the phone this morning during the zero-dark-thirty hours, with an old Desert Storm shipmate. While I will always miss Latte', and no one can - - - or will ever replace her - - - I am now ready to get a new dog as soon as possible. Latte' was my first. She taught me the joys of having a dog in my life. Now having experienced those joys, I find myself quite unwilling to be without them ever again. I require a new dog, and I will have one as soon as it is practicable.

Hopefully I will get caught up to where I need to be later this evening, and then be able to obtain an hour or two of rest before getting back up to finish what I need to get accomplished today. Tomorrow and Wednesday are going to be long days . . .

Be well. Stay safe.

Quotable Quotes . . .

If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other cause for prejudice by noon.

 -- George Aiken --

Made it back Home out of the T.S.R.P. Orientation

The appointment last Friday at Spark Matsunaga ACC went fairly well. At the conclusion, I did have to talk to more than one person before I was allowed to leave. My feeling is that they were truly concerned, and had I not given them the answers that I did - - - I would've not been allowed to leave to return home.

The gentleman that conducted the orientation, was one of the most straightforward people I have ever met with the Veterans Administration in over 20 years. The information he provided was excellent, current, and to the point. He did not waste my time. I am under no misunderstandings, as to what to expect from my upcoming treatment. This is a major, refreshing change from the dealings that I am used to having with the Veterans Administration.

After I arrived home, I did have to send an e-mail to the gentleman who conducted the orientation - - - with my DD 214 attached. This also, is something new. For years, I have been asking when the VA people will get e-mail accounts (that the veterans may send to) in order that we might save time if they need some documents, rather than have to run all the way up to Tripler Army Medical Center. The answer over previous years has been that they are trying. Trying??? The rest of the world has been using e-mail since the early 1990s.

Glad to see that the VA is finally starting to catch up to the rest of the veterans that they are supposed to be serving. One can only hope that they continue their progress. And maybe increase the speed with which they are doing it. After all - - - they are only about fifteen years behind the power curve . . .

He also informed me that I will be undergoing sessions with my therapist of choice. I do not yet have my treatment schedule. I am sure that I will be hearing from them within a matter of a week or so. I already know, my therapist of choice will probably be most beneficial to me during our sessions. They have already proven themself so, when we had our individual intake session.

I think that there may be a ray of light at the end of the tunnel! One thing is certain. Should I fail to crawl towards that ray of light, this person will not be afraid to kick me in the ass in order to move me forward. Being a Combat Vet, they will know just how to get it done properly. Still fresh enough out of theatre - - - to have not lost their edge. I see that as a very good thing.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Negative on the Sleep Last Night . . .

Not able to sleep more than an hour and a half last night. Experiencing the normal night terrors. Back on the ship in the Persian Gulf . . .

Not bad enough to use the Veterans Crisis Line. Just got to stay awake now as I have breakfast with a friend between 06:30 - 07:15. Then a ride to Spark Matsunaga ACC at T.A.M.C. for my PTSD TSRP orientation at 10:00.

Reorganizing at the storage facility yesterday. Moved around 6 tons of stuff - - - restacking it so one can easily see the labeling on most of the boxes at a glance. Just a little bit remaining in the old shipping container to move into the new facility now. Should be able to knock it out in the early part of next week.

Made excellent progress on my PIP last evening. Since I cannot obtain proper sleep - - - why not put the time to efficient usage?

Got to start preparing to depart at first light . . .

Be Well. Stay Safe.

She'll ALWAYS be her Daddy's little girl !!!

While I am grieving her loss, I realize that while there can be no replacement for her - - - there will be another special friend in my life someday . . .

As I am all too aware of the cruelty that people are capable of, I will, when it is time - - - be seeking someone else's  unwanted dog. I will adopt from a shelter. There are enough homeless dogs who need a loving home - - - that it would be less than humane to do otherwise . . .