Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

VA Silent on Exec Bonuses for Manipulated Data |

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.