Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sad: The Possible Demise Of The Straight Dope

Y'all have read my notes on SDMB before and you know how much everyone who posts there means to me. My friendship with Timespanner/Ice Wolf (Lisa) from New Zealand began there, as did my friendship with Julia, Janis,foodhoe, Margaret and many more who lurk here! (and if I forgot someone, PLEASE correct me because EVERYONE from there deserves inclusion and my thanks!)

So what's goin' on with SDMB?

Click on the title line and it will take you there.

It ain't makin' no money for its owners (heretofore the people who publish Creative Loafing, i.e. The Chicago Reader newspaper).

Recently, the message board was acquired by the Atalaya corporation and no one knows what they may do with us.

The SDMB offers free membership (you see ads, and it is hoped you click on them for revenue) or subscriptions (no ads).

The "Dope" (in case you're just tuning in) has been around in one form or another since 1973. It has nothing to do with drugs and its slogan is "Fighting Ignorance Since 1973. It's Taking Longer Than We Thought!"

So it's an "information think-tank" with some of the smartest people in the WORLD in its membership (your humble blogger excluded, of course). You can go to The Dope, ask a question and normally within minutes, get an answer. In my case, it has even saved me I don't know how much money, by just asking first.

Sure, you can go to google (SORRY Googs!) and do the same thing, but you'll miss out on the "personal" aspect of the reply.

But that's not all that The Dope is about!

Fist of all, we're international, Baby! People from all over the
world post there, and I know this gets overused, but we really are family!

Secondly, we help each other when times get rough.

Someone falls on hard times, is about to lose their "roof": Dopers To The Rescue!

Someone's loved one dies or one of us die? There's always someone with a kind word and/or deed.

A pet dies, someone needs some TLC? Same thing.

It's not Christmas with me unless I can participate in The Doper Christmas Gift Exchange. (Well that and Elf Bowling!!)

And finally, they're my companions/friends/family, and I depend a lot on them just to have someone to "talk" to at any given time.

"The Dope" is the largest and oldest message board of its kind, having existed in the early days as just a newspaper column written by "Cecil Adams" and then progressing to the internet via AOL, and I would be stranded and yes, devastated, if one day I clicked on its link and got the "This Page Cannot Be Displayed" message.

What can you do to keep it going?

Got a few million you aren't using?

Other than that, not much, I'm afraid.

Just wait it out and hope someone in upper level management looks at the "big picture" and not just the profit margin.

The Straight Dope and its members are a huge part of the "German Boy's" life, and I will sure miss 'em all if it shuts down.

I couldn't find a version by Johnny Cash I liked, so here's Roy once again:

The Animal Rescue Site



Saturday, August 29, 2009

Alzheimer's Memory Walk Coming Up

The Georgia Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association will once again be participating in October.

My counsellor Suzette writes that this is the most important fund-raiser for AD research of the year, so please click the title above, which will take you to The Memory Walk homepage.

The Georgia team has been the front-runner in fund-raising for the past three years and we need everyone's help to put us out front again this year.

Please take a look at the page in title link above to see how you can help.

I will be including reminders in my blogs from here on out as well.



I know this is a "replay", but I think it serves as a good reminder:

The Animal Rescue Site

All RIGHT, Dammit! Y'all Are On My List!

And once you're on it, you'll NEVER get off!

You just move up or down on it.....

Do as I say and click on the title! :(

And thanks to my gaming friend Mister Rik (from SDMB) for reporting this!

I'm so mad at y'all, I could just say somethin'!



Just click to feed then.....

The Animal Rescue Site


That *smirk* means that all of the above was in jest, and I have absolutely too much time on my hands these days!



Friday, August 28, 2009

An Ode To My Leg Starring Robert Klein

It's the weekend and I hope it will be a great one for you. I tried to find something befitting my circumstances at the moment and came up with this little ditty (it's not really about a broken leg, but it's funny as hell anyway!)

And for you "purists":

The Animal Rescue Site

Thanks, see ya next week!


I've Been "Caned" (An Update)

All those re-runs of "House" are coming in handy, because even I though I have both a walker (Oh! The indignity of it!) and crutches, they're not really feasible for getting around in the bedroom and/or going to the bathroom.

Can't get the cast wet, so I have to do "sponge baths", which really don't make me feel clean at all, and D. has to help me wash my hair, which we do in the sink. Luckily, I have an electric shaver, but everything has become such a "chore" all of a sudden, that once I get done, I'm huffing and puffing like a freight train.

Add to that, the shame of having to sit down to pee, and maybe you (guys, at least) can imagine that it ain't so easy bein' me these days. I take a diuretic along with my BP meds, so that means I have to that a LOT throughout the day!

We have a PC (this one) in our bedroom upstairs, so all I have to do is slide from the bed right onto the office chair and I can sit and check e-mail or write the blog, but only for short periods, so if you see a blog these days, it's likely I didn't write it all in one sitting.

My two "saving graces" are Dondra and Bert (my tomcat).

I know I kid about her spoiling me, but she's really been terrific throughout this whole ordeal, and I don't know what I'd do without her.

In a previous relationship I was once told, "when you need me, I'll be there". Then as time wore on, the "reallies" started being added:

"If you really ever need me, I'll be there!" (add one "really" per month, and you can see where that relationship was headed, right? *LOL*

She was a "piece of work", that one!

Bert the cat: Isn't it wonderful how our pets can "sense" that we're not feeling well, and give us their own kind of TLC? Bert has hardly left my side, and even though he's a very loving cat anyway, he seems much more so when "Dad's" not doin' so hot.

Not being able to play World of Warcraft is about to "kill" me, because it is one of the few activities that give me pleasure these days.

The pain is receding and I can't wait to get into a walking splint next week.

So that catches you up, except for the fact that I make quite a comical sight scooting up and down the stairs on my butt. I go downstairs and use the walker to get to the recliner, where I watch television and/or read.

Sorry if this seems a bit "disjointed", so to speak (HA!), but I am having to write it in instalments, and I have to wait till D turns away from this very bright screen so as to not disturb her sleep.

The Animal Rescue Site

Bert says mrrrrowrrr! Which means "thanks" in kitty-speak.

Couldn't find The Tams version, but this one's just as good:



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Update On My Leg

Okay. It's broken at the ankle, but it's a "clean" break and will require no surgery/pins.

The way it happened was this:

I was helping D with the washing and was carrying a clothes basket down the stairs (bedrooms are upstairs).

This is an older house and each step of the stairs is only about a foot deep.

The basket was fuller with clothes than normal and It was hard for me to gauge where to put my feet, so about half way down, down I went.

Didn't know it at the time but yeah, I broke the ankle and hit my head on the wall.

The reason we didn't know it at the time, is because the new B/P meds I am on are making my hands and legs swell, so, because I could walk up the stairs last night we just thought "twisted ankle".


So I'm in a temporary cast till next week and when the swelling recedes, they'll put me on one oc those "walking" casts and I shold be able to get around a bit better.

My computer time is going to be minimal because I have to keep my left leg elevated for now, and I'm being petted rotten by my wife, and I'm "eatin' it up!" *LOL*

So consider me as being officially on the (physical) disabled list. (We already knew about the mental list, right?)

Please continue to click to feed the critters, and if you want to write me, I can get D to read me your notes.

The Animal Rescue Site

Before I close I want to tell y'all a true story about a dream I had earlier in the week.

Do you do this?

Go to sleep with the TV on, dream and become a part of what's going on?

Well, what was going on this time was one of those erectile dysfunction commercials, and whatever it was, musta not been working, because D said I woke her up yelling, "I want my 4 hours, dammit! I want my 4 hours!"

We both shared a laugh over it, because thankfully, what with everthying else that's wrong with me, that isn't one of them!

So don't worry, okay? I'm still all in one piece (well, okay - two pieces) and my quirky sense of humor's still intact as well!



Minor Accident

I may be MIA for a few days. Took a tumble down the stairs carrying a basket of clothes and may have broken my left leg at the ankle.

On the way to ER.

Please keep clicking to feed, okay?



Monday, August 24, 2009

Ready For A Little More D&G?

Anyone who knows me can vouch for the fact that I'll sometimes point out the obvious, but I also think I see things from a different perspective than others.

Does that make me a "conspiracy theorist"?

Oh, I don't know, but it sure puts me in the realm.

Lsst night I was privileged to see an interview with the President of The People's Republic of China, Hu Jintao, and listened carefully to what he had to say regarding the USA.

Here's the transcript, if you'd care to read it:

There may also be a video link, but only highlights.

He wasn't all that critical of America, but you could read his "concern" that if we bite the big one, it's going to affect the entire planet.

So that made me think (Thank GOD, I can still think clearly enough to form coherent sentences!):

Our infrastructure (all parts of it) is quickly going to hell in a handbasket.

I heard on the news that the national debt had been understimated: 9 trillion, instead of 7 (and some say it's as high as 10T). But what's a few more trills, right?

And just what nation owns most of that?

If you guessed China, you win the kewpie doll!

Communist *cough* China.

776.4 BILLION!

Japan runs second at 711.8 B's.

(These figures are from June 2009, by the way. They may have changed a tad since then!

"And that brings us back to....... DOUGH!" (NOT the "deer" kind!)

In my humble opinion, our government is trying to blow rainbows up our asses, as our beloved nation implodes.

It cannot pay its peoples' Social *cough* Security as it ought to, its banks are continuing to fail, it's printing worthless paper backed up by nothing, and now it's trying to fix health care?

With what?

The damn thing's over a thousand pages long, and no one even knows what it says!

Wer'e chasing our own damn tail (or we're like the picture of that snake eating itself!)

Our kids are fighting a losing war in Afghanistan and we're re-deploying them and harming their physical and mental health in the process, and for what?

This war is the 21st Century's "Viet Nam", dammit! We can't win it, so let's not repeat that mistake.

Oh really? They're thinking of sending even more over there?

Why am I not surprised?

And while our leaders are bickering back and forth across the aisle with all their attention focused on fighting with each other, who do you think's just "chompin' at the bit" waiting on us to lose our "attention span"?

Can you say "Al-Queda"?

I knew you could.

Okay, I admit I'm a political "junkie" these days.

Didn't used to be, though.

Used to just love takin' care of sick folks and makin' them better, but as the old saying goes "I'm a victim of coicumstance!", and I've been thrust into the arena of fighting for my financial, mental and physical life, so I'm watchin' 'em like a hawk these days.

Can't forget about our four-legged friends though:

The Animal Rescue Site

They don't understand that we're pulling their world out from under them.

Thanks, as always, for reading!


Friday, August 21, 2009

You, Me, Health-Care, The Economy and The World

With this blog, I didn't set out to be a "Mr. Doom & Gloom", but sometimes one must face facts:

1. I now see 4 doctors on a regular basis (5 if you count the Orthopaedist my PCP wants me to see).

2. Each one of these requires a $40.00 co-pay.

3. My meds (refillable monthly) run about $200.00 (not counting the OTC stuff I take to keep from having to take the prescription ones, to keep the cost down)

4. SOME of those meds have severe adverse effects. My new BP medication makes my hands and feet swell to the size of balloons, for example, so guess what? Yup. more expense as we try yet another medicine.

As I write this, I can just imagine some of your comments, such as: "You think you have it rough, Bill? I pay way more than that!", but that isn't the point.

The point is that the sheer expense of doctor's visits and prescriptions is going to cause a lot of us to have to "go without".

I cite as an example, myself: I took myself off the Exelon patch because its cost is $60.00 a month! On my pension and what D makes, it just isn't affordable, so it falls by the wayside, and suddenly I'm in a crapshoot for my life.

Okay, multiply my case with millions of others, and what do you get?

A sky-rocketing mortality rate, just because we cannot afford to take care of ourselves medically.

And no, I'm not taking sides on Obama's health-care reform bill. I'm just stating facts as they apply to me (and perhaps - you).

So what's the answer?


Ready for more?

Recently, the state of California, because it could not pay its bills, issued IOU's to use as "money" on the hope that that "money" would soon magically appear.

Other cities have shut down their governmental ops periodically because they cannot meet their payrolls.

If they can't meet their payrolls, people don't work, and they go without.

"So what else, Bill?"

Here's what else: If cities/states can't pay without having to issue IOU's on worthless paper, what's going to be the next to go?

Computer services (IS, as it's known) will suffer and if the information services?(ISP) provider isn't paid, THEY can't pay THEIR people, and then what?

You're getting the picture, right? (Or you already had it, and I'm late on the "bandwagon", and I'm just stating the obvious - I tend to do that from time to time!)

So what's it gonna be, kids?

Soylent Green or The Waltons?

I vote for the latter. It won't hurt us to go "primitive" again.

Might even do us some good.

Finally, D's and my thoughts and prayers go to our dear friend Becks on this sad occasion of her neighbor's funeral. Please join us.

Thanks and have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


The Animal Rescue Site

edited: to correct spelling and terminology.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Some TIMES You Just Gotta Say, "To Hell With It!"

"It's been a good (and interesting) life, and who am I to claim to be the 'center' of it?"

Of course I'm not!

I once thought I was, but then I got "patients", and got to know them, and their families, and yes, loved them, too!

Then it all just slipped away.

So fast.

What a voice, huh?

And while we're at it, why not a tune from some of my favorite pickers and smilers?

I know y'all will know my Darlin' Emmylou and my favorite picker Chet, but who else do you see?

Sorry. Can't embed.

Remember the critters, please, and "Bert" (my long-haired domestic) says..... MROWWWWW?

The Animal Rescue Site

Thank you!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009


There I was, a couple of nights ago, about to chow down on some great-smellin' vittles, when my sister-in-law (another one) goes: "Bill, ask the blessin', please?"


I mean, Jesus Christ (sorry!)! My jaw woulda dropped on the floor if I hadn't supported it, and the first words (normally) out of my mouth would have been, "You have got to be shittin' me!"

I mean, look at this from my viewpoint, okay?

Pretend you've got the Pope, Billy Graham, Dr. Martin Luther King, Oral Roberts (and his bro' "Anal"), even this guy:

And at the end of that line-up, ya got your ol' pal Bill standing there, picking his nose.

Now, who are ya gonna pick to ask the blessing?

See what I mean?

So I said some stuff, beginning with the words, "It's been a while, ain't it?", and I guess it was okay with everybody, but I mean, damn, (sorry) I'm the least likely person one would ever want to ask the blessin'!

I'm about as lost a boy as "Pardner" in this film:

Hope you weren't offended, but I warned y'all! Thanks very much for the 300 plus clicks yesterday, and it's okay with me if you wanna just pass by MY comments and just click to feed the critters! (or better yet, bookmark the site!)

The Animal Rescue Site



Sunday, August 16, 2009

If You Are Only Reading The Blog......

......and not the comments, you're missing a great deal of (heh-heh) social intercourse, because my friends and followers of the blog are asking some very good questions there, and I'm answering them there and not in the main body of the blog.

So.... I don't know, have you got the blog set up so that you can read the latest comments as well? Or would you prefer I not reply in the comments, and create a blog entry with the questions included?

Up to y'all, dear readers!

Sometimes I will get an e-mail of a new comment and sometimes I don't. Guess that's just a google "thang".

Hope y'all had a great weekend and will have a great week coming up.

The Animal Rescue Site

I found this video to remind us that there are many animals (not just doggies) who need adopting from local shelters nationwide. Adoption fees are very reasonable and your new pet will aprreciate a home that isn't behind a cage, so remember to click to feed, and to spay, neuter and adopt!



Edited to add: the creator of the video wasn't sure if it was Patti Page or Doris Day who sang this tune (hence the title), but I'm thinking it was Doris. She is a great lover of animals! Also, the person making the video made a mistake in one of the pictures. Can you spot it? ;)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Afternoon With A Fawn

I'm not in any of the pictures you are about to see, but I wanted to share them with you because of what (and who) we believe they represent.

Last Tuesday afternoon, Wayne's daughters, Gwen, Susan and Lisa, along with Dondra and two friends, Amanda and Wendy went to Wayne and Bett's ("Bett" was Betty's nickname) home just to be together and get some solace and give Wayne some comfort.

While they were standing outside, a little baby deer came out of the woods, approached them all with no fear, allowed itself to be hugged, stroked, kissed and fed.

Here are some of those pictures taken with Amanda's cell phone (some are a little out of focus but I think that given the circumstances that can be overlooked):

Dondra and Gwen




Lisa and Wendy



Now, one could argue that most wildlife are becoming bolder and unafraid of humans, because we're running them out of their habitats, but our family chooses to think otherwise:

We believe that baby deer was Betty's spirit come to give us a sign from her that said "I'm okay, I'm at peace and I'm happy, and I'll always be in your hearts!"

After spending that little bit of time with us, the ladies led the deer back to the edge of the woods where its mother was waiting.

That was the "something wonderful" to which I alluded in a previous blog. I just couldn't write it till now because we've all been so busy, that I couldn't get the pictures loaded until today.

Thanks Amanda.

A word about Amanda - who is Lisa's friend: She is an actor/singer in theatre and opera and Lisa is a lighting director working with many popular stage shows, the latest of which will be the upcoming production of HAIR in Atlanta.

Amanda has been a Godsend to us all, being with us, feeding us and just providing us with all the comfort she could. She sang two tunes at Betty's funeral: "The Wind Beneath My Wings" and "The Lord's Prayer". What a wonderful voice!

Our friend Brenda Cato (who has a majestic voice as well) sang "Amazing Grace" and "I'll Fly Away", two of Bett's favorites. I know it's a cliche, but there wasn't a dry eye in the house!

Another "coincidence" (if you want to call it that), is my inclusion at the end of a recent blog of The Beatles' song "Let It Be".

That same song was played during visitation while we all watched video images of Betty throughout her lifetime.

Thanks for all your comfort and support through this time in our lives!

The Animal Rescue Site

I thought this work by Claude DeBussy is especially fitting to close this blog today. May it bring you some comfort and peace as well!



And from "Becks":

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lightening The Load: Part Deux

Something I meant to address in the first post with that name, but didn't - is I have finally come to the realization that all those material things I have gathered and collected in my life-time have suddenly become very unimportant.

Y'all, I have given away my entire Stephen King hardback collection - right up until the very last book I bought called Dumas Key.

I also will give away (or donate) other hard-backs/paperbacks/softbacks, and you wanna know why?

I will never ever read them again, and why shouldn't someone else have them?

Yes, I know I could have sold them, but my God, who wants to go through all that trouble?

I also took all my Batman comics to the dump (some of them dating to the late 60's), because who gives a flyin frigg? There's no market for them anyway and the guy at the dump is a Batman fan, so maybe I made him happy!

My cd collection will most likely be the be the next to go, and then the DVD's, because, honestly, I haven't listened to or watched either one in the last half-year or so.

I used to love Christmas, and have a lot of Thomas Kincaid stuff for the tree (which is gone now too), but no more. Off to the dump they go.

I haven't ridden my beloved TREK 1000 for a couple of months now, so why shouldn't she go to some young kid who needs a good bike?

My guitars and drums will be the last, but I'm shedding the load, because right now, just living one more day means more to me than anything I own.

I think my train is on its way, so the lighter the load, the easier the road.

And the more of the material crap I can shed, the more I'll be able to pay attention to those I love, while I still can.

Funny, isn't it, how it can all slip through your hands so quickly?

The Animal Rescue Site

Please, always click to feed?



Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Betty passed away Monday afternoon.

Her heart stopped and the nurses and docs did CPR and got her back, but after that, she no longer "assisted" the ventilator, and she just wasn't "there" anymore, so decisions had to be made.

Because I am an "in-law", I decided that this was a time for me to "step back", as it were, and let the family handle things from here on out, so I am sitting here by myself "talking" to you.

Wayne (Betty's husband) is going to need someone to be his best buddy, and even though I have been away from the family for 24 years, I will step into that role if he'll have me, and do that.

It's gonna mean I will have to learn how to fish and pilot a motor boat, but I will do that for him (and for myself!) and be there for him.

One more final word: This is a REALITY blog, remember?

That means I am giving you a "glimpse" into my life just as it is at any given moment in time.

In the next few months, days, whatever..... I'll be taking the "net" out from under my "high-wire", and offer some "doors" to you that you may not want to open.

Nothing illegal, I promise, okay?

Just some things that happened of which I'm not too proud.

Right now it's all about Betty, and her sweet way.

In memory of Betty and their cat "Sassy" don't forget to click, please?

The Animal Rescue Site



Deborah And Sandy Filling In

And don't give me any shit over it, either, okay?

God, I'm wore out!

Sorry! Edited to add I was just kidding about the "giving shit" part. I'm just very tired right now.

We lost Betty Monday afternoon.

Be back soon as I can.



Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Lightening The Load"

First off, everything's fine.

With me.

Betty's going to be in long-term Re-hab and has had a tracheostomy done since she'll also be on the ventilator during that time, and, at another hospital. This means setting up a schedule for at least one person to stay the night with her at the new place and it looks like that person will be me. D will be there in the daytime as much she can and still work.

Statistics show that most mistakes with patients occur at night, so with what knowledge I have I can at least make sure she gets the proper care, although we're assured that Select is on of the better LTACs.

So if you don't see me on the blog for a while, this will be why. I can check e-mails and even answer them, but as for writing any blog entries, I just don't know.

Please remember to click and feed:

The Animal Rescue Site

And enjoy one of my favorite Johnny Cash tunes!



Let's Talk About.....Pseudodementia!

Click on the title and read, okay?

At first, it might seem very "clinical" to you, but just keep scrolling down till you get to the symptoms/characteristics, and read them one by one.

I am in every one of those, and I am being told by neurologist, that I don't "fit" the "Alzheimer's Pattern", but that my depression is so severe, it's affecting my memory.

My doctor tells me that's "good news" because it's treatable.

With what?

I'm already "topped out" with Welbutrin and Lamiktal, so what's next, Electroshock Therapy?

Nothing is working, and I am still doing stupid stuff. For example, I was told very plainly by D not to put her cotton tops in the dryer, but to hang them on clothes hangers, and what did I do?

Threw everything into the goddam dryer, and now her tops will only fit her Barbie dolls.

So I have this "pseudodementia", and now they want me to do the testing all over again: The MRI, the EEG and the neuro-psycho shit.

What the hell for?

I'm over it.

I am SO fuckin' over it.

Just cut my sorry ass loose.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Had a reallll bad episode of memory-loss today, y'all, and this one's never happened in quite this way before:

We get ready to see Betty in the hospital, and we both pack in preparation of spending the night if we're needed, I took my morning dose of "memory-dope" and we leave the house.

We get there shortly before 11 am, and I'm thinking: "Okay, lunch, then the noon dose of meds and supplemen........Oh, SHIT! I forgot my meds!!!!!

I whisper to D that I forgot them, and she rolls her eyes, but says "Okay, we'll go home and get them (a 55 mile drive)."

Luckily, another family member is spending the night, so we didn't have to go back, and just came on home.

When we got here, I immediately went to my bedside. No meds (I keep them in daily plastic pill containers, and there are three: morning, noon and night).

I say "Oh shit" again, this time with a lot of trepidation in my voice, and I go to my carry-on bag, and guess what I found in it?

Yep. All three cases, packed snug as a bug.

I "Hulked out" (What I call flying into a rage), and started this damn crying again, because what use am I going to be to my own sister-in-law, if I can't even remember to take my own medicines??????

What's unusual about this episode, is that it is two-fold:

1. I was 100% sure I forgot the meds, and would have bet my wife $100.00 dollars that I did, and......

2. I didn't remember to think that, "Well, maybe I forgot them", and checked the bag before we left the hospital to see that I didn't really forget them.

NO! I knew for a damn FACT they were at home, and I was wrong.

This is so upsetting to me because I look and talk like a normal person, but this shit isn't normal, and it's happening more and more often in the course of a day!

About Betty: Her primary doctor (whom we all love, BTW) says we should hold off on the neuro-surgery, because we don't know how much it would help her, and also, we don't know how much harm it would do.

She's still on the vent, and the vitals look good, she's responding some, and we're now talking about LTAC (Long Term Acute Care) for her, which is an optimistic thing.

When that happens, the family's going to have to set up a more rigid schedule, because she'll still be in Atlanta, and we'll have to travel back and forth.

No problem for the "German Boy", if I could just remember whether to shit or wind my watch!

Speaking of forgetfulness, My SIL loves "The Man In Black" as much as I do:

PS: Thanks, Becks, for the great idea of playing Hank Williams music at her bedside! We'll do that just as soon as she's off the vent again, because right now, there's no room for a cd player. We are keeping the TV on and she can hear it from the speaker on her bed.

The fur-babies need our clicks!

The Animal Rescue Site

Thank you!