Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We have been on vacation for the past couple of weeks and the blog has been neglected. The trip has provided me with a wealth of material for future bogs and some relief from the distressing political situation and further deterioration of world affairs. I am certain that there will be another drug crazed movie star story which will be worthy of comment and interruption of my travelogue. Anyway, the next few blogs are about the trip.
Last week we spent the entire week in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This was our fifth year to attend the Susuki String camp with our seven grandchildren. The experience is fantastic. If every child in the world could have the experience of playing the violin, viola or cello, I am confident there would be no more wars. It’s much more fun than shooting a gun. The children would also rise to another level of intelligence and cultural enhancement so that none would enter politics as a career. It would be the end of all wars and we could listen to music rather than political rhetoric and gun fire.
From Santa Fe we went to Durango, Colorado and Mesa Verde National Park. The people in Durango are much like those in Santa Fe. They are earth people but all wear hiking boots, have a back pack and carry a bottle of water. They cook and sleep outdoors. When you go to Mesa Verde you marvel at the Pueblo Indians. How did they get there and why did they leave? These are great mysteries. I don’t know how they got there but they are still present in the streets of Durango wearing hiking boots and backpacks. The rest of the people there are tourist who can be identified by the cameras and cell phones they carry.
Glad to be back on the porch in Salado where I can ponder these great mysteries. One thing nice about Mesa Verde and the remoteness of some of the land around the area, you really don’t much care about what is happening in the rest of the world. The land which comprises the Indian Reservations really looks like the moon. Our government was really generous to give them such worthless real estate. This was done by some of our past leaders who didn’t have an appreciation for the violin. The Indians may have out smarted us when you see all the Casinos. It sure beats hunting buffalo.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

We made it to Santa Fe again for our annual Susuki Camp with the grandkids. This is our fifth summer. It’s always a fun time for all, although the camp is pretty intense for the kids. Santa Fe in a most unusual city. The food is terrific and the surroundings are fabulous. It’s a very historic place. The Spanish were here before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. The Indians were here long before the Spanish. The Indians owned everything before the white man came in and took everything away from them. The Spanish taught the Indians the art of scalping, the atrocity that most people blame the Indians with creating.
Santa Fe still has a large number of Indians. Most of them are fat and old and are sitting around the Plaza selling their jewelry. The younger ones are drunk on the reservation or running casinos. My grandchildren were disappointed when they went to downtown Santa Fe to see the Indians. They were expecting to see a painted warrior with a feather headdress streaming to the ground. Instead, they saw the toothless, old, fat ones.
Santa Fe is now mainly inhabited by the earth people. These are pseudo-intellectual, arty folks with leathery skin from the prolonged sun exposure who live off vegetable, nuts and bottled water. They all have backpacks and rarely bath. If they have a car it is a hybrid vehicle with bumper stickers about saving the earth or political stickers supporting Kerry or Gore. If they have a religion it is usually Unitarian. They mainly worship the earth and nature and respect all Gods. They don’t stake a claim for any one God but are open minded and love them all.
I’m okay with these folks for a few days but I soon get to feeling out of place and long for the solitude of my back porch in Salado. Hopefully, my health will remain good and I can build up the courage for a return trip next year. In the meantime, I’m ready for a chicken fried steak and seeing the puffy, pallid people in church or the mall at home.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Medical history has been my hobby for many years. I have given a lecture on The Great Discoveries in Medicine to many groups. I have many references and most agree that among the top discoveries are: circulation of blood, the microscope, the germ theory of disease, vaccination, ether (anesthesia), X-Ray, penicillin (antibiotics), and DNA. These discoveries set the stage for modern medicine and the marvels we experience today.
A few days ago, USA Today published what are now considered the 25 top medical events of the past 25 years. Some of the top events are; the obesity epidemic, the move to stop smoking and women stopping their dependence on hormones because of the threat of cancer. The development of several drugs received top honors. Each of the drugs mentioned represented a separate event. These drugs included; Vigra, Prozac, Ritalin, Botox, Sunscreens, and the Statins. Boy, does that tell you something about our society and what is important today. Fortunately, they did mention the recognition of AIDS and the Human Genome Project.
I am almost embarrassed to mention these latest developments in my lecture and will probably just stay with the past. Although the past may not be as colorful and in tune with today’s world, it is more respectable. Sort of like the situation with the churches of today vs. Old Time Religion and the schools of today vs. those of the 50s.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I have been disappointed many times in my life by people who are supposed to be setting an example for us. It’s made me have a very calloused attitude toward others, especially those in high places and those whose inflated worth is displayed on pedestals as a model for all to emulate. Like Mark Twain said, “few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”
Politicians have always led the pack with the example not to follow. Mark Twain also said, “there is no distinctly Native American criminal class…save Congress.” The latest is David Vitter, Republican from Louisiana. He was caught in an adulterous affair with a lady of the night. He is a lector in his local Catholic Church and has been associated with the Family Research Council. Ladies of the night, white house interns, movie stars and others in the trade have all helped bring down some of our most esteemed public figures and literally exposed them in more ways than one.
One of the most disturbing scandals of late is the situation with Catholic Priest and the sexual abuse of children. The Los Angeles diocese just paid a record 660 million to abuse victims. The Catholic Church has now paid over 2 billion dollars to victims throughout the US. I suspect these victims are only the tip of the iceberg of those who suffered similar abuse. It’s not just the Catholic Church. It seems like men of the cloth have been discovered to be within the ranks of the politicians.
Whose example are we to follow, certainly not that of mortal men? That example will lead to disappointment. I am not an overzealous church going person because that too will lead to disappointments. The greatest example to follow is found in the life of the one depicted in the Gospels. It’s a most unfortunate and cruel paradox, that those who hypocritically allege to be his most loyal followers and spokesman, proclaim the life of the one in the Scriptures.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The world awaits the last of the Harry Potter books, due out on July 21st. Kids are already in line at bookstores. My grandkids are all fans and have even got me addicted. I won’t be in line but will get the book as soon as the crowds thin. I have to read it immediately to stay up with the grandkids and know what they are talking about.
Adults think I am crazy for reading such trash and some at church even think it is sacrilegious. That’s okay by me, they should see some of the other stuff I read. I have a house filled with books. Reading is a passion with me. I love everything from nonficton to all types of fiction including historical novels, mystery, science fiction, fantasy and everything in between. I love many of the greats like Hemingway and Steinbeck as well as some of the not so famous and weird like Robert E. Howard. Just about every genre fills my library, from philosophy to humor. Of course, the complete works of the master adorns my shelves. That being none other than Mark Twain. His works are close to the shelves filled with religious literature.
I should throw away some of my books but it would be like murdering an old friend. I go back to them after many years of collecting dust and rekindle fond memories and great information. I am currently reading Magnificent Destiny, which I read in 1962 during the Cuba Missile Crisis. I was sick in bed waiting to be blown up by the Russians, so I escaped through a great story about two incredible Americans, Sam Houston and Andrew Jackson. We would not have the great country of the US today if it were not for those two men.
All those books in my library are sitting there with the covers restraining unbelievable stories and information. With the opening of a cover, wondrous tales of truth and fiction are unleashed. A book to me is like light to a blind person.
I really don’t need to go anywhere in my retirement. Much of the knowledge of the Universe to date is contained in my bookshelves and in cyberspace through the computer. Even the after life is revealed in my several versions of the Bible.
I am infected with a disease known as Bibliomania. This is a chronic illness that has to do with an abnormal infatuation with books and possession of books. So, welcome Harry Potter. You will have much company in my home which is as exciting as Hogwarts.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

There is no safe haven. I mentioned a few days ago that the Chinese are trying to poison us with food, toothpaste and even lead based paints on children’s toys. The Chinese government in an attempt to demonstrate to us they are trying to clean up their act executed Zheng Xiaoyu, former Director of their State Food and Drug Administration. It’s a trick, they execute dozens of people like that every day. There is no retirement plan for the Chinese, they just execute their government employees when they reach retirement age. Saves on paying pensions and other benefits. Xiaoyu certainly deserved to be executed. He had approved many fake medicines and falsified documents. One antibiotic he approved is known to have produced at least 10 deaths.
We are not a lot better in this country. California is trying to polish off the rest of the nation with their E .Coli laced vegetables. They irrigate out there with fecal contaminated water. In this weeks news a farmer in Mexico was shown holding a giant mushroom he had grown. The mushroom (pictured above), weighs 41lbs. If that is one of the poisoned varieties he can terminate a whole town with that one plant.
As I mentioned a few days ago, even the hospitals aren’t safe. They have been trying to kill us with their food for years and now it has become evident that medical errors are even doing a better job at thinning the population.
These are just a few of the reasons for me to stay home in Salado. I can live off my stored fat for years. Just hope they don’t do something to our water supply.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Oh No!!! It’s like a recurring bad dream or a migraine headache. Cindy Sheehan is back. Just a few days ago she said she had retired from demonstrating against the war. She announced that she had gone back to California. I celebrated with a little group of warmongers from the church. They were already celebrating the defeat of the immigration bill and the veto of stem cell legislation. I know poor George Bush must have been happy.
The whole thing was very short lived. Now she is back with more trouble. She is unhappy that the Democrats have not done the job they were elected to do, namely pulling out of Iraq. She now says she is going to run for Congress from the 8th District in California to replace Nancy Pelosi if Nancy doesn’t move to impeach George Bush. Cindy has all these reasons she wants Bush impeached, including the government’s response to Katrina.
Just what we need; another idiot in Congress. She will be at home if elected.
We can all feel comfortable with someone of her keen intellect and vast knowledge of domestic and foreign affairs making decisions that govern our lives. I can see her now, visiting with Putin and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. She will pull all US troops home and disband the army. All of this will be done in memory of her son who died in the service of his country. Thanks Mom!!!
She obviously loves the attention and public recognition. I would suggest the more appropriate place for her might be in a freak show in the circus.
The only thing that bothers me about Cindy is that she keeps coming back to Crawford and that is fairly close to Salado. I just hope she spends most of her time in California and Washington DC which are places accustomed to her kind.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Politically, I want to stay in the middle of the road, but every time my heart makes me lean to the left my brain pulls me back to the right. There are those who are always far to the left or to the right. Many movie stars and pseudo-intellectuals find it fashionable to stay far to the left. It’s what is expected of them. The extremely wealthy and boss hogs, as well as the die-hard Christian fundamentalist are far to the right. I understand the roles these groups must play even though their positions are not always in the best interest of the country. The thing I detest most is hypocrisy.
Most of us are hypocritical in one-way or the other. Some are just master hypocrites like; burglars, serial killers, politicians, preachers and others in the trade. It always makes my blood boil with people who, “do as I say not as I do.” Those are the master hypocrites.
Last week, Bill Clinton pushed me over to the right when he criticized Bush for commuting the 30 month prison sentence of I. Lewis Libby Jr.. I knew Bush would catch some heat for this action, but from Bill Clinton? That was preposterous, coming from a guy who issued 140 pardons and several commutations on his last day in office. Clinton might as well have preached a sermon on adultery and his exemplary moral life.
After Clinton’s remarks, it’s going to take a few more bombings and US military deaths in Iraq to push me back to the middle.
My political position is a lonely one. I have no candidates on either side. Another reason for me to just stay home; read write, and rock on my front porch waiting for it to rain so I can get a drink of water.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Several doctors were involved in the recent unsuccessful car bomb incident in London. It has also been reported that several Muslim doctors in the US are suspected of being terrorist and plan to use explosives to terrorize this country. Like others of this swarthy breed, their only goal in life is to destroy us infidels. Also, they really don’t care about Western Medicine and the Hippocratic Oath means nothing to them. One of the basic tenets of the oath is, “First do no harm.”
The Muslims may not be alone in their goal to destroy as much human life as possible. Surprisingly, doctors and others in the medical profession may be just as bad or worse than the Muslims. Maybe all doctors need to take the Hippocratic oath daily rather than the one time when they finish medical school. The Muslims doctors really don’t need to use explosives for mass destruction, they have a license to kill that can be used more effectively, without the risk of being arrested. The Muslims can just join their medical colleagues in committing the many medical errors that kill thousands of Americans each year.
The National Academy of Science Institute of Medicine estimates that there are between 44,000 and 98,000 deaths from medical errors in America every year. This number blows away other common causes of death. There are 43,000 deaths from auto accidents, 42,000 from breast cancer and 16,000 from AIDS each year. The number of deaths from the Iraq war pales in comparison with the massive number from medical errors. It is estimated that there are 7000 deaths in hospitals from medication errors alone.
So, why do the doctor terrorist even care about the risk associated with making bombs and getting caught, they are already outdoing all other forms of murder.
The whole process of medical errors is like a silent killer. I worked in hospitals for almost 50 years and was unaware of such appalling mayhem and slaughter going on about me.
Who can we trust anymore? We can’t eat the food or even use toothpaste safely. Even my home in Salado is not a safe haven. I’m becoming suspicious of the guy I see in the mirror.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Political columnist and news commentators always seem to take extreme positions either to the right or left. They polarize public opinion rather than helping us make rational decisions about what is best for the country. There is Russ Limbaugh and Ann Coulter to the right and Al Fraken and James Carville to the left. Listening to either side makes you think that the other is completely un-American and trying to sabotage the country.
Ann Coulter’s book, If Democrats Had Any Brains They’d be Republicans, is an example, as is most of her work. The title alone polarizes. Michael Moore’s new film, Sicko, does the same thing.
I agree, if Democrats had brains they would be Republicans. I also believe if Republicans had hearts they would be Democrats. If I wrote a political book, I would title it, I Have No Mouth and I Must Speak. It seems no one really speaks for me. The president is off on some insane war and everything Congress does is bad. Congress even has a lower rating in the polls than the president. Soon we are going to get into negative numbers in the polls.
The latest example is the failure to reach a compromise on the immigration bill. I’m getting to the age that I have someone do my yard work. Age has made me too feeble and lazy. I have a great team of Mexican men who have the yard looking great in about 15 minutes plus they plant flowers, weed, work in the beds, fertilize and do all the details that go into making a yard look good. These folks are truly artist with landscaping. I know the leader of the group but I strongly suspect that many of the others, who are referred to as cousins, may in fact be illegal. I don’t know and really don’t care. If these guys are taking jobs away from Americans citizens I am sorry, but I can’t seem to get any of these citizens to do the work I need done around my place. If a citizen did my menial work they would have to belong to a union and demand so many benefits I could only afford to have my yard done once a year at best.
My favorite food is Mexican food and it looks like we may have to close all these great restaurants. Much of the construction work in this country may come to a halt without those who are willing to labor and earn their way by the sweat of their brow. It is much easier just to collect a welfare check as most of the so-called American Citizens do.
Thanks a lot Congress!!! Congress has no brain and no heart. Unlike me, Congress does have a mouth but it is filled with babbling for pork and selfish agendas.
As for me, I’m switching to a concrete yard but I can’t find anyone to pour the concrete.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I haven’t had much time to think about retirement. I believe I will have enough to do. Just reading the stack of books I have piled up is enough to keep me busy the rest of my life. I plan to scan several thousand family photos onto my computer and make albums to show on my new Apple TV. There are also a few places I would like to go but not by plane. Don’t mind flying, it’s just the hassle factor at the airport.
My model for retirement is my Uncle Mit. He was a great role model in many ways, but it’s his retirement years I wish most to emulate. Unfortunately, he passed away several years ago and I had so much more to learn from him.
Uncle Mit spent most of his life on a plot of ground in northwest Montgomery County. He farmed the land for years, then, when he got too old he simple sat on the porch, most of the time, and rocked. One day I drove up and he didn’t move from his rocker. He apologized for not getting up, but said he was just too lazy and was waiting for it to rain so he could get a drink of water. He always had a dip of snuff in his mouth and usually drank from a common dipper out of a bucket of water hanging on the porch. I usually didn’t drink much water when I visited.
When I was 11 years old, my mother died. This was at the very end of World War II. I would go and spend several days at a time with my Uncle Mit and Aunt Oie (pictured above). They had no electricity until I was out of high school. They got their water from a well by a hand drawn bucket or from a cistern that caught rainwater off the roof. We bathed once a week. Bedtime was when the sun went down and we were up well before dawn to fed the stock and milk the cow. After the chores we came in for a hardy breakfast cooked over a wood stove. They had an outdoor privy and we kept a chamber pot under the bed in case there was a need to go during the night.
There was no television and we would sit around the radio for one of the old time shows, which stirred the imagination. The action was more vivid than the gore we see on today’s screen.
The greatest entertainment was to hunt squirrels in the woods. These were country squirrels and were meant to be eaten, either fried or as part of a mouth-watering dumpling dish. The best meal was fried chicken. The chickens were killed and eaten fresh. They were yard-raised chickens that yielded rich, tender meat rather than the bloated, anemic, frozen stuff now purchased in modern supermarkets. The rich, deep yellow-yoked eggs from those chickens also resulted from the yard diet of the hens.
My kids and grandchildren simply don’t believe me when I describe this life-style. It would be miserable going back to it now, especially since I have become spoiled with all the modern conveniences. There are some things I would still love, especially the eating.
I am going to follow Uncle Mit’s example in retirement by just sitting on the porch, rocking and waiting for it to rain so I can get a drink. I’ll watch the squirrels scamper around my tress and on the roof but I wouldn’t dare eat one of those nasty, contaminated pest. Mostly, I’ll just think about the good times I had as a kid with my Uncle Mit and Aunt Oie.