Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Have Not Forgotten

Work is going OK and moving is doing quite well as well. It is amazing how much stuff accumulates when you have lived in the same place since November of 88 and you don't own a pick-up to move it with. The bulk of moving is done and I just have just a few small things plus all my big things to move for which a pickup will be available to me. I plan to move the last of my things next week and then do a final clean-up of the old place. And I have internet access again - - - obviously.

I have found several things I had forgotten about including some paintings I have done and forgotten (so-so at best), my first novel, Green Paradise, which I wrote twenty years ago and is an embarrassing mess, and certainly not publishable. I may rewrite it as the core idea is good, but my writing was sloppy and silly. It's about life in America after sixty years of rule by radical environmentalists/leftists.

Dad is still hanging in there and seems to be in good spirits, though life is certainly hard when you are tough and independent at heart and have to live as an invalid. Mom was also in the hospital for a few days with an infection that is now treated. While Mom was in the hospital Dad was kept at a Hospice center for 5 days so that he could get the care he needed (and my brother who lives just a few blocks from them could get some sleep.)

As if that wasn't bad enough -- Penny, their Lhasa Apso has kidney stones (she is supposed to weigh about 12 pounds and is over 20 pounds, so the poor thing has to go on a diet as well,) She's like a daughter to them and keeps a close eye on Dad at all times. One thing after another.

Update: The date on the picture is wrong. Penny is only 3 years old. I have also had internet access for a few days now, but no time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Still Moving

Amazing how much time it takes to pack, move and unpack, even if you're only doing it a few boxes at a time.

Sorry to be absent but time is taken up right now.

Real world calls.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A Bit and A Bit

Getting more stuff to my house. I, a cousin, and an old family friend will be taking care of some big things tomorrow. The old friend helped Dad with his household projects for years so he knows the place better than I do. Dad is hanging tough but we aren't kidding ourselves about it.

Friday evening we had a late truckdriver come in so I had to handle it. He was from Canada and he needed to get some paperwork faxed to his crossing point so he could get through quicker. As I was escorting him through the office area he said "This place is a maze." I replied "Not really. It's all L shaped and you ought to see all our hospitals." He then said, "Not anymore. Our hospital just closed." and inquired why and he said "Not enough doctors and nurses to staff them anymore." I snorted and said "And the experts here want to copy your system." He said "I hope Americans aren't that stupid. I need stomach surgery badly. I can barely eat and I'm on a waiting list for treatment." I suppose there are Canadians who love their system but I just met one who is suffering because of it. How many more are there?

I didn't watch but a few minutes of the Superbowl but I love this commercial.

I read some of the angry reactions to this posting and they just don't realize. Any cause can become oppressive when people lose perspective and respect for others. All too many can see only a threat from the other side. I can't ever be oppressive because I'm a progressive. That is why I am suspicious of people like Rand who are as far off the mark as Marx was, just in the opposite direction.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Please Pardon Me

It will probably be Tuesday PM before I post again or visit your blogs. Nothing is wrong but time between now and then is all taken up.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Is This Racist?

Saginaw Michigan is a moderately large city, but hardly a huge one, in the heart of Michigan. It has a little over 50,000 people last count and its population is declining as it is in an economic toilet. It also has a severe crime problem and has received an "honorable" mention as one of America's most dangerous cities. You watch the news on TV that covers the Saginaw area and you hear "a murder occured", "a body was found" etc with a regularity that is frightening for a city of less than a 100,000.

I on occasion pass through Saginaw on my way home but stick to the state highways and away from the hoods.

I have heard people refer to it as Sagi-nasty because of its run down appearance and its dangerous neighbor hoods.

Recently Delta College's student newspaper carried the following cartoon.

The comments were telling and there were well thought out ones from both sides of the debate, and a couple of real loony ones from both sides as well.

(purely an aside, I wonder what certain close kin of mine who live in Bay City think of the second panel.)

The whole thing turned into a controversy about racism.

Truth is that I think the majority of people who live in Saginaw, regardless of their skin color, are decent people who just want to live and let live. These good-hearted people are trapped in a culture that they want no part of. It is simple reality that in many neighborhoods the thugs rule the streets. I would prefer to see children, of any skin color, playing in their yards, parks and schools rather than hiding from gunfire. Gun control laws will not help one bit because criminals by definition tend to disobey the law.

People complain about the improportionate number of blacks in prison but I see an improportionate number of black Americans who are the victims of these criminals. I don't hear as many complaints about that statistic. I do hear some but not as much.

Rather than complain about the cartoon, which simply expresses what a couple of artists see, they should address the reality that causes that perception. That reality is that Saginaw is a dangerous, crime-ridden city. Change the reality and the image will slowly change with it. You may say the people need jobs and God knows they do, but there will be no jobs until investors feel that it is safe to invest in Saginaw. The crime must be seriously reduced before there will be a serious increase in the number of jobs.

There are many good things in Saginaw including hard-working Bible based pastors working to reach as many young people as possible, and indeed some of the most dedicated preachers I have ever met are in that community. I think these individuals are Saginaw's brightest hope.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Current Events

Of course Dad is still in his condition. He is happy to be home but knows that it is only a matter of time for him. This is from a regular update that my brother sends to friends and family regularly.

Dad says "I am going away soon and want to be home to go" so we brought him home and have hospice coming in to help care for him. He has reached a point where medicine can maintain his health for a while but not improve it, nor do they feel he could survive another surgery. It is sad because his mind is so sharp, and he just can't get his thoughts out. We watch game shows, if they give a wrong answer he will say "NO".
Hard as it is, it is easier knowing that Mom and Dad have made this decision together. Dad has accepted the fact that his time with us is limited, he is not scared of what is to come and is okay with it. The commitment between my parents comes thru though, he is worried about Mom.
Right now Dad is very alert and seems happy, he is carrying conversations with everyone, best he can, anyways. He is also spending long hours in his recliner.

We're losing him. What more can I say?

And today I got into my house for the first time. It's not a major fixer-upper but a lot needs to be done. It will be mostly cleaning. Actually the people who tried to buy it left it in better shape than my nephew who was squatting there left it in for them. The sinks, bathroom utilities need to be thoroughly cleaned but other than that it isn't horrible. I do need to do a few minor repairs and re-install the garage door that they removed for some inexplicable reason. I was stunned when I saw the refrigerator because it was almost spotless. The stove has to be cleaned but I have seen much worse.

And a great variation on the "HOPE" poster for the old Obama campaign.

I love it. Thank You Dr. Douglas