Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wyoming, The Equality State- Ha! Ha!

In the last post I talked about how visually beautiful Wyoming is, and I'm not going to change that opinion. But there is a dark side to Wyoming, one that Wyomingites want to keep behind closed doors, and one that they chose to ignore, all the while it is slapping them upside the head. The Equality State? I think not!

Wyoming is a backwards looking, socially conservative and misogynistic state. Sure, we were the first state, in 1890, to give women the right to vote. We were the first state to have a women governor, a women justice of the peace, and the first all-woman jury. But these times are a changing, or something like that. The majority of Wyomingites (Human Critters) are regressing, going back into the Dark Ages, including the state's Congressional Delegation, Senators Barrasso(R) and Enzi(R) and the newly elected Representative Cynthia Lummis(R).

What comes to mind is the decision in the "Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company" case and the court's ruling. Because of that ruling, Congress set out to rectify and overrule this decision with the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act". Although this was attempted in the 110th Congress, and was passed in the House, it did not make it through the Senate. Go figure, as obstructionists were at work again.




So, in the 111th Congress, the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009" was attempted again. It passed in both the House (250-177) and the Senate (61-36), and will become law once President Obama signs it. This is an important victory for not only woman's rights, but human rights. The Misogynistic Supreme's, 5 of them in this case, and we'll now forever call them "The M-5s" for short, and to act cool for the younger generations, because that is how Gen-Xer's or are they Gen-Zer's now, would refer to them, like J-Lo, L-Rod, blah, blah, blah.

The M-5s are "J-Boy" Roberts, "Fish-Scale" Scalia, "Ron-Rea" Kennedy, "Ta-Ta" Thomas, and "Sam-E" Alito. These fine young men decided that Lilly didn't deserve a legal and judicial remedy in her case, or equal pay for equal work. Separate and unequal! Shame on them, for they lacked any and all common sense whatsoever in deciding this case. A summary of the case can be found here: Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

Which brings me back to Wyoming, a state where pay disparity between genders in not rare, but more like the norm. Sure there are a lot of theories, studies and rationalizing for why this is, but the bottom line is that in Wyoming, where the Republicans are the King, and entrenched to a point that I think it is in the non- Indian natives DNA. Look, we are the state of Dick Cheney where he revered as a deity, and worshiped like he is the second coming. The state of Wyoming is ranked last in the nation on gender pay equity, yes, I said LAST, with women earning about 67 cents to every 1 dollar earned by men. There are numerous socio-economic issues that need to be addressed to help turn this around, and the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009" would have an immediate impact.

So, Moe, Larry and Curly, or in politiko speak, Enzi, Barrasso, and Lummis decided they would vote against the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009". Why you ask? Because the Wyoming Republicans march in lockstep with the Misogynist Republican Leadership in Congress most, if not, all of the time. And because the majority that voted for these "3 Stooges" are so ignorant, un and under-educated, and believe all the propaganda and lies spewed forth by these clowns. I really think that these "Three Stooges" could actually convince these unintelligent republican voters to do anything, (i.e. kamikaze pilots, suicide bombers, etc.) that they will follow them off the cliff, just like lemmings. How sad, how sad!

So, wage disparity is alive and well in Wyoming, and barefoot and pregnant is the rule and not the exception. It is ashame this happens in such a visually beautiful state. But we can change this, and hopefully soon.

From Nancy Freudenthal, in a letter to the Casper Star-Tribune-

Specifically, we can:

• Raise public awareness: The wage gap is real. It is hurting our families and our economy. We cannot allow the issue to be shelved as ust another report. Equal opportunity and equal pay will happen only when our leaders say it should.

• Become informed and end discrimination: A certain amount of the gap is due to illegal discrimination. Workers employers must become better educated about their rights and responsibilities. Employers might consider a self-audit to make sure pay differences are not caused by discrimination.

Wyoming must enforce its laws to stop discrimination.

• Promote equal economic opportunity: As long as women remain in in education, nursing, service, support and sales jobs, while men choose higher-paying mining, transportation and construction jobs, the wage gap will be a problem. Women should be persuaded to choose higher-paying occupations, and employers should allow them equal opportunity to enter these nontraditional jobs. Schools and parents can begin to break occupation stereotypes. Mentoring programs can help women understand what it takes to succeed and how to gain recognition for their work. We can join other states in documenting a "self-sufficient" wage and then use this as a basis to improve wages. Finally, Wyoming must continue its long-term efforts to diversify the economy is there are better career choices for women.

• Provide more opportunities for full time work: Wyoming women work more part-time jobs than pn do. In many cases this occurs because childcare is unavailable or extremely ex-pensive for multiple children. Part time work pays less and has fewer benefits. An examination of childcare options could improve this situation.

• Change practices: Government, with its thousands of employees, can lead by examining and changing wage practices for appropriate jobs.

• Become involved: We should support community and nonprofit efforts to end wage disparity. I am supporting the Wyoming Women's Foundation, as an important endowed fund dedicated to help women in the Equality State achieve economic self-sufficiency.

There is a chance to change our society's sexist ways, the time is now, if not yesterday. And it is going to take a long time to change the mindset of all the sexist men in charge of this country. And sure we are going to step on the toes of Big Business (Probably why the Repubs were against it.) but screw them and their $50 million Dassault 7-X business jet.

Oooh, And we can't forget McCain's brilliant remark, another ignorant little man:

From ThinkProgress- On 4-23-08: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) skipped the vote on the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which “restores the longstanding interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act,” overturned last year by a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling. In New Orleans today, McCain explained his opposition to the bill by claiming it “opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems.” Later in Kentucky, he added that instead of legislation allowing women to fight for equal pay, they simply need “education and training“:

“They need the education and training, particularly since more and more women are heads of their households, as much or more than anybody else,” McCain said. “And it’s hard for them to leave their families when they don’t have somebody to take care of them.

“It’s a vicious cycle that’s affecting women, particularly in a part of the country like this, where mining is the mainstay; traditionally, women have not gone into that line of work, to say the least,” he said.

The issue is not “education and training.” When denied equal pay by her supervisor, Lilly Ledbetter was doing the exact same job as her male counterparts and received numerous performance-based awards. McCain has a long record of failure on women’s issues, earning him a 0 percent rating from NARAL ProChoice America six years in a row, from 2001-2007.

In case you haven't read it yet, you can find the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009" here:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.181:

One final comment and it's about the Stimulus Bill. All the States and Congessional districts who Senators and Representatives voted against/or will vote against it, they should be kept out of the plan. No $$$ to them for infrastructure, jobs, tax credits and tax breaks! Nothing, Nada! I know it will not happen, but just fantasizing. I want everyone to succeed, and for everyone to have a job who wants one. Let's end poverty, NOW! Let's save our Country, on so many levels, NOW! Let's save our one and only Planet Earth, NOW! Amen!

Oral Argument in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Case before the Supreme Court: Click Here

And don't forget to read the Stimulus Bill if you truly want to argue/discuss it. Just a thought?

Wyoming posts nation's lowest unemployment rate!

The AP just released this story about Wyoming and our unemployment rate by By MATT JOYCE. Having lived here, in Wyoming that is, not in this blog in cyberspace, for most of the past 17 years (Except for about 11 months in 2002-03 when I lived in Florida.) I have found Wyoming a great place to live, and raise a family. We lack the congestion of big cities and big states. Our pay scale may not be as high as other parts of the country, but our cost of living is also lower. We have a very business friendly state government. And the beauty of the state is incredible. We have The United States of America's First National Park- Yellowstone, and the first National Monument- Devil's Tower, and an assortment of National Forests, and Wilderness Areas.

Granted, we are also the least populated state. From where I live in Sheridan, in north-central Wyoming, going to the mall is an all day trip, whether it is to the East Ridge Mall in Casper (144 miles) or the mall in Billings (125 miles) or in Rapid City (200+ miles). Although you can find just about everything you need in town. And Sheridan, WY has been voted the Best Western City in the U.S. Hey, what more can you ask for.

Well, here is what AP said today:

Wyoming posted the country's lowest unemployment rate in December 2008 at 3.4 percent - less than half the nationwide average of 7.2 percent, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics released Tuesday.

Wyoming was followed closely by North Dakota at 3.5 percent and South Dakota at 3.9 percent. December jobless rates were highest in Michigan at 10.6 percent and Rhode Island at 10 percent.

Wyoming's December unemployment rate was up slightly from 3.2 percent in November and from 3.1 percent in December 2007.

Senior economist Wenlin Liu of the state Economic Analysis Division said Wyoming had job growth of 2.2 percent from December 2007 to December 2008. That was driven by job growth of 7 percent in the mining sector and 3 percent in the government sector.

The state's budget surplus of recent years helped create more jobs at government institutions such as public schools and the University of Wyoming, Liu said.

But Liu pointed out that falling oil and natural gas prices could eventually affect employment numbers in the mining sector. Whereas coal producers are working on long-term contracts, oil and gas producers could feel the pinch of weakening prices.

"Normally in the winter time, gas prices are relatively higher, but now it keeps dropping because of weak demand," he said. "Probably many of these coal-bed methane producers will have to reduce their activities if the price of natural gas continues to drop."

Granted, we are not perfect, but this is a beautiful place to live. I could have left out the bad parts of the above story, but unlike those who like to cherry pick stories to suit their agenda (Politicians) I thought it best to share the entire piece, the good, the bad, and the really ugly! This is my contribution for the day! So far?


Saturday, January 24, 2009

And we found a strange thing in your brain, and...

[Continued from a post on Wednesday, January 21, 2009- After seeing my psychiatrist today...(It's actually yesterday now)]

There I sat for what seemed like days, and waited, and waited and waited...

I was in daydream la la land, and I heard a voice call my name. Was it that beautiful young woman, with long and shiny brown hair, seated in a lounge chair to my left, a scant 15 feet away, at the resort on the beach in St. Martin? No it wasn't, for as the fog began to clear, I was awakened from my deep cerebral daydream, and there she stood, in her mauve scrubs, the radiology tech, repeating my name again. Granted there were only 2 of us in the waiting room, and the other person was a female, so I think she deduced that I was the patient waiting for the MRI. She led me through another pair of doors, and we made a hard right. She took me to a changing room, where I was to take off all my jewelry, watches, belts, shoes, and anything that might have metal in it. I was lucky because I was wearing sweatpants, t-shirt, socks and sneakers. I least I wouldn't have to change into one of those lovely white hospital gowns, that are tied off in the back, with my ass hanging out the back. I was having flashbacks of an earlier time many years ago when I was in that precarious situation. It's a long story.

When I was done, I was to continue walking down the same hall, and enter through these really large and heavy doors, with all these hospital like warning signs all over them. What had I gotten myself into, I thought. I forgot the tech's name, but she was very nice, and professional. She asked if I ever had an MRI before, and I said no. She explained what was going to take place, and about how long it would last. Good thing I went to the bathroom before I got there, because it was going to take awhile, unlike an x-ray. I laid down on this skinny examination table that was attached to the MRI machine. The machine's name was Siemens, or something like that. So, I laid down, with my head closest to the Machine, and she gave me headphones to wear, and asked what kind of music I liked. I thought that was very caring, not realizing how damn loud these MRI machines are. Then she put this plastic, or plastic coated cage over my face, and it sort of reminded me of when I played football and wearing a football helmet. Lastly she gave me a hand-held buzzer squeezy bulb thing, in case I had any problems while I was in the machine. She told me that about halfway through this MRI procedure that she will slide me out and give me an intravenous shot of this gadolinium, which is a contrast substance that shows some changes before and after you get it injected into your system.

So there I laid, ready for this machine to work it's magic. At that time, I thought nothing about having anything wrong with my brain, just my neck and back. The MRI machine started it's "Symphony in D Minor". I think it is an experience everyone should have at least once in their life time. Not really, as it means you might have something wrong with you, and that's not a good thing. The headphones were a godsend, because it is incredibly noisy in there, and if you are claustrophobic, use some type of medication, because it feels like you are being placed in a noisy, and bright coffin. About half way through this event, the tech stopped the machine, and slid me out to give me the IV. It seemed like I was in there for a very long time. They were doing both my c-spine and brain, both before and after the gadolinium, or maybe just my brain with the contrast. I forgot, but I know it was something like that. Back I went into the machine, and the "Symphony in D Minor" started again, with Part II. One important aspect that I had left out earlier, that being you can't move, at all, because if you do, you screw the whole thing up (At least that is what they told me.) and you have to do the whole damn thing all over again. Oh, that would be fun. Not really, it would suck!

Finally, after what seemed like a couple of hours, the ordeal was over. I asked the tech why they gave me the IV, and her explanation was that it's like my brain cells are having a party, and it livens them up, and cells being like little magnets lining up, and on and on, to produce a contrast in certain areas, or something like that. To quote Rich in Casablanca: "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." Yes, me and the infamous MRI machine were going to meet again, and again over the next 5+ years. My MRI examinations have numbered in the dozens, and still counting. I have had MRI's done of my brain, c-spine and lower back area (L-5 and S-1). We are starting to get on a first name basis lately, but the positive thing about all these tests is that I am still alive, and I'm lucid and cognizant, both a plus. I know more today then I did almost 5 1/2 years ago about MRI machines, and MRI images. I've seen pictures of my brain, which I thought was pretty cool, and was even able to pick out that strange thing in my brain. I know, it sounds a little warped to say it was cool, but it was. How many people get to see picture of their brains? Not that many. This first MRI took place on October 14th, 2003, the day before the day that changed my life forever.

Well, I finally got out of Sheridan Memorial Hospital, and I was running behind schedule, like I had one to begin with. By schedule, I mean my "New Beginnings Program" at the VA, whose class time had already started by the time I got back. I hated being late. As I walked into the small conference room where our classes were being held, Dr. Ashear asked me if everything went OK, and I said yeah, and sat down in my seat. I had done my homework from the previous day, and that was what we were going over when I finally arrived. So, no harm, no foul! The rest of the day was uneventful. I had no idea how long it would take for Dr. Trahan to get the results, so that we could plan our next course of action.

October 15th started like any ordinary day for me. The unit I was in was called SNU, or Special Needs Unit. It was the politically correct version of psychiatric care unit. It was a none locked down unit, except after 10pm and before 6am everyday. So, my normal routine was as follows. I would get up around 5;15am, and go down to the med room to get my morning meds, then fix myself a cup of coffee, and time for the three "S's", s%$t, shower and a shave, although the shavers were locked up in the nurses station, and they only let you use battery power units. Over time, if you weren't a suicide risk you could use an actual razor blade, like those disposable Bic types, but you had to did it in the bathroom that was adjacent to the nurses station. I know, they really made it tough on us, but the reality was that there were some seriously mentally ill patients on this unit. They did have another psychiatric unit, over in Building 8, and that was a totally locked down unit. I spent my first 10 days there as they evaluated me, and thought it was safe enough to send me to SNU. Oh, where was I, oh yeah, I took my shower, got dressed, and fixed up another cup of coffee in the patients kitchen. I had this big 64oz. mug, the standard hospital issued drink device, with all the ounces and milliliters marked on the side, just in case they needed to monitor a patient's fluid intake. I usually drank black coffee with some Sweet and Low. By now it was almost 6am, and they would be unlocking the doors to the outside.

It was 6am, and they unlocked the doors, so off I went, to the elevator that was about 12 feet from the now unlocked door. I had put on a jacket, or more like a Arctic parka, as it was the middle of October, and it had been pretty brisk outside over the last few weeks. My folks had sent me my clothes up from Florida over the previous 3 months, so I now had a stockpile of clothing for all seasons. I originally came back to Wyoming in July of 03 with just 2 suitcases, one large, and one medium. Now I had boxes of stuff, and the staff use to kid me, and say, Hey Bill, do you need a separate room for all your stuff? Not really, as I could store some of my stuff down in a place where patient could store some of their property. I got off the elevator at the ground floor, walked out of the little elevator alcove, and hung a left. I passed the intersection of another hallway, to my left, that led to the main hospital, and the other dozen or so building connected by an enclosed network of hallways and tunnels, to link the entire hospital, because we were in Wyoming. And it would be really tough rolling a gurney through 6 foot snowdrifts in the winter, with the wind blowing at 40-50mph. Nope, can't be done. To my right was the hospitals canteen, and cafeteria. It wasn't the same cafeteria us patients ate at, at least the ones who were ambulatory. It was mainly for the hospital staff, which numbered over 300. A few more feet, and I stepped to the outside world. The exit/entrance to the ground floor of building 86 faces in a southeasterly direction, so you can catch the morning sun. It usually wasn't up yet when I got out there, but that was OK. To the left when you walked out the door, about 25 feet away stood our veterans butt hut. As you weren't allowed to smoke in the hospital, and a lot of veterans smoked, they had a few of these throughout the campus. They were pretty simple, with all 4 sides encased in large, seam to seam vinyl, or Plexiglas windows, a sliding door for handicap accessibility, benches around the inside perimeter, and a couple of picnic tables. They also had heat, and an exhaust fan located at the peak of the roof to suck the smoke out. I know, it's a hospital, and you shouldn't be smoking, but these guys and gals had more important things to deal with and worry about here, and stopping smoking would have been an added stressor. They also had a couple of benches and tables outside the butt hut, which were nice during the day when it wasn't to damn cold or snowing.

The Sheridan VAMC is a 203-bed medical center, with 54 buildings on a 296-acre campus. Their primary catchment area extends to veterans from Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah, and portions of Idaho and it serves as the psychiatry tertiary referral site for VISN 19. The bed complement includes 50 psychiatric, 23 medical, 50 extended care, 40 mental health residential beds, and a 40 Domiciliary Residential Treatment Program for Homeless Veterans.

I sat outside in my parka, and wearing a pair of glittens (A combination glove/mitten hand wear.) I drank my coffee and smoked a few cigarettes. Occasionally one of the guys would join me, usually because they wanted to bum a cigarette, but that was OK. Most of us were classified as indigent, but I had the luxury of my family supporting me while I was there by sending me money and cigarettes, along with tons of clothing. I stayed outside until about 6:45am, and then headed in to drop my coffee mug off at my room. I then headed to the chow hall, which I could have went to in 2 different ways. First, I could use the outside route, and walk past the butt hut and head in that general direction, northeast, which would lead me to building 6 where the patients chow hall was, or take the inside route, and head down that long hallway I talked about earlier, and when I got to the end, hang a right, and the chow hall would be about 50 feet ahead on my left. Every patient saw a dietitian once they arrived, and numerous times while they were there. I had initially asked to be put on a 1750 calorie diet because I knew from previous VA hospitalizations that I gained a lot of weight while I was an inpatient. Mainly because I wasn't moving around a lot, like when I was in a manic state, and/or working. So, that was my cross to bear.

Breakfast was at 7:00am, and I was usually one of the first dozen or so to arrive. Most times we had to wait for the chow hall folks to open the door, but it usually wasn't a long wait. Breakfast went well, as did the rest of the day. I was anxious to see what these MRI pictures told us, and what the heck was wrong with me. I kind of knew there was something wrong with my neck, and for me that was a given, but this one of the brain, well I had no idea what was going on there. But I waited, and waited, and waited...

It was a little after 5pm, and my classes and sessions were done for the day. My plans were to go to dinner, and then head back to the unit and do some painting. My favorite was to paint these little plaster or gypsum statue figures, mostly of animals, and I would spend hours doing that. It kept my mind and hands busy, and I took great pride in the ones I finished. I still have some to this day, and I also gave a lot of them away to fellow veterans, and staff. The lady at occupational therapy had all kinds of crafts and artwork for the veterans to do. She was kind of nice to me, because she saw I actually did them. When I was done painting these statues, I would go down to occupational therapy and clearcoat them. That was my plans for the evening, something nice and simple, because the last 25 years of my life were far from that. Deep inside my brain laid the history of one wild and wacky life, but that would soon be put on it's end in a little over an hour later.

I walked through the chow line, grabbed my diet card, snagged some silverware and napkins, a milk, some fruit, and on to the main course. I forgot what we had that night, but most of the food was OK, and they had a different menu everyday. I walked out of the room that housed the chow line, and made a sharp right to grab a glass of ice-tea. It was self-serve, which made it nice, as you could have as much as you wanted. I scanned the chow hall to see where I wanted to sit, and saw a couple of my friends on the far side, so there I went. The chow hall had these big round tables that seated 5-6 people. I took my seat, greeted my friends, while a couple more veterans sat down to join me and the others for dinner. One can make a lot of friends while in the hospital, as we all had a common bond, we were all veterans. Sure we still kidded each other about what branch of the service we were in, but that went without saying. But there was this camaraderie that is hard to describe unless one has actually gone through it, and served in the military. I know there have been countless studies done about this, but the bottom line was that we all, at one time or another, took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, and our country against all enemies, with everything we had, up to and including our lives. Not too many jobs have that as a requirement. So, there we sat, chowing down on some fine VA Hospital grub, talking about only God knows what, and continuing our bonds as veterans.

I was just about done, and nobody really rushed to get done, because, once the kitchen decided that everyone had gone through once, they opened up the line for seconds. Most times I passed, and today was one of those days. I was seated with my back to the chow hall, and me facing the people across from me and the wall, and windows to the outside world. Most times I sat with my back to the wall, but not tonight, for whatever reason I do not remember. All of a sudden, to my left, I catch someone approaching. I look up and to my left, and it is Dr. Seymour Thickman, a spry 80+ year old primary care physician. He had been my primary care doctor from when I first arrived in Sheridan back in March of 1992. He was originally from New York, and he would always ask me when I was going to open a New York style deli in Sheridan, and I would respond with, well, show me the money. It was our own little back and forth that went on for years. It looked like he was coming over to me, and I just figured he saw me and wanted to say hi. Boy, was I wrong. When he got to me, on my left side, I looked up at him and said hi, and he responded, "Billy, we just got your MRI results back, and this is what I want you to do. I have sent over a Philadelphia Collar, so when you get back to SNU, and I want you to put it on immediately, and don't take it off. I have tried calling the Denver VA to speak the chief resident in neurosurgery to get you set up to go down there as soon as possible. I'm the duty officer tonight, and I should hear something back from him soon. And, they found some strange things in your brain." And then he left. I was speak less for a short while, and one of my friends asked, "What's wrong with you?" I said, "I have no fucking clue, you heard him, so you know as much as I do." I really couldn't finish what little food I had left. So, this is great, I have to wear this Philadelphia Collar, whatever the hell that is, and there is strange things in my brain. No need for me to eat dessert, as I have more important things to do. So, off I went, back to SNU, chain-smoking, and having racing thoughts going through my mind at light speed all the way to the unit, and all night long. So much for my bi-polar medication helping with my racing thoughts.

So on October 15, 2003, one door opened as another door closed, and so began the next chapter in my life...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Is Kit Bond smarter then a 5th Grader, a Turnip or even my Cat?


No, No and a BIG NO! I saw Kit "Chuckles the Idiot Clown" Bond on the TV machine with Chris Matthews last night, and I truly could not believe his answers to the questions Chris was asking him.

From the January 22 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:



MATTHEWS: But we begin with Senator Bond. Senator Kit Bond joins us from Capitol Hill. Senator Bond, what is your thinking when you heard that Barack Obama's going to close Gitmo?

BOND: Well, I think it's irresponsible to say you're going to close Gitmo without having a plan. What are you going to do with the hardened terrorists that are there? I can't think of any town or city in Missouri who wants to have hardened criminals, illegal combatants like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed or Abu Zubaydah coming into their community.

Now, if you don't bring them back to the United States, if you release them, we know already, that's more than 60 of the people who have been released have been killing our troops, our Americans and civilians on the battlefield. If you really want to bring them back to the United States, people in Missouri and Kansas believe Gitmo is just fine. Folks in San Francisco want it closed. I'd suggest you put them in Alcatraz.

MATTHEWS: Well, why wouldn't you imprison somebody after holding a trial or execute them? Why don't we do it by law? What's the problem with doing it the usual way?



Kit was first asked what he thought about President Obama's plan to close Gitmo. Kit thought it was irresponsible to close it without a plan, and what are we going to do with all the "Hardened Terrorists" we has housed there. Yeah, like these folks have been lounging around at the "Gitmo Bar and Grill", watching sporting events, and drinking those cute little drinks with the umbrellas in, talking about world politics, and how well they've been treated the last 7 years! Yeah right. If these folks didn't have an agenda when they first went in, now they had one, and are even more pissed off. But a lot of them weren't even originally apprehended by American Forces. They were there because folks back in Afghanistan, fellow villages, or tribal members were pissed because Khalid stole one of his goats, so he turned him in as an Al Qaeda member, and to collect the bounty. Some are probably very messed up, from a mental health standpoint, from the years of torture. You, Mr. Kit helped harden them by your detention and torture programs, you ignorant asshole!

Then Kit goes on to say the folks in Missouri don't want these criminals in their neighborhoods, like they'll be out and wandering around the neighborhood selling pencils to survive. This man's whole argument is based on fearmongering, ignorance, and faulty logic. He also has a slim grasp of the legal system when talking about lawful orders given to folks, like, "Torture Kalid Sheikh Mohammad, because Mr. Yoo or Woo or whatever wrote a memo and said it was OK." I can't grasp the fact that these folks forgot about the US Constitution, the Geneva Convention and UCMJ. It is just beyond comprehension. It baffles me that these dirtbags continue to rationalize and justify their immoral, and illegal behavior. I just don't get it?

Of course Senator Kit had to throw out that ring-winged talking point, which are usually myths, or some made up shit to suit their twisted and warped agenda. And the sad thing is, that there is a whole class of brain dead troglodytes throughout the country that buy into these lies, and see them as facts, and in Wyoming, they are in the majority. Look at the 3 members of Congress they just elected. We have Cynthis Lummis, our new House of Representative member, who has already voted against equal pay for women by voting against the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009"
and Sen. Enzi and Sen. Barrasso have already showed which way they are leaning by voting against Cloture motion so debate on the same "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009" in the senate could get started. What the heck is wrong with these Wyoming dipshits? As Obama told these same republicans (Not necessarily Enzi and Barrasso.) today at a meeting to discuss his stimulus package, and the repubs wanted all these tax-breaks for you know who (Not the middle class) and also wanted to slash spending on infrastructure projects, not pork, to stimulate the economy, and the middle class. Well Barack told them, "I WON!" Short and sweet and true. Now back to Kit's Mythology...

Kit started talking about the 60+ Gitmo Hardened Terrorists who made their way back onto the battlefield, killing our Americans, both military and civilians. The problem with this myth is that there are no facts to back it up. None, nada, not a single thing to verify his claim. He is just making up shit again. part of the ongoing fearmongering campaign, that has failed to work for the last election, but these assholes forgot to throw out the playbook. My cat is even smarter then that, because if he does something, like sleep on me when I'm in bed, and I throw him off, he takes that out of his playbook.
My Cat is smarter then Kit! Wow!

The New York Times reported on January 23 2009, that "although the Pentagon has said that dozens of released Guantánamo detainees have 'returned to the fight,' its claim is difficult to document, and has been met with skepticism."

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell during a January 13, 2009 press conference, asserted: "The new numbers are, we believe, 18 confirmed and 43 suspected of returning to the fight. So 61 in all former Guantanamo detainees are confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight."

And in a Press release on January 15th, 2009, from Seton Hall University Law:

The Seton Hall Center for Policy and Research has issued a report which rebuts and debunks the most recent claim by the Department of Defense (DOD) that “61, in all, former Guantánamo detainees are confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight.”

Professor Denbeaux of the Center for Policy & Research has said that the Center has determined that “DOD has issued 'recidivism' numbers 43 times, and each time they have been wrong—this last time the most egregiously so.”

Denbeaux stated: “Once again, they’ve failed to identify names, numbers, dates, times, places, or acts upon which their report relies. Every time they have been required to identify the parties, the DOD has been forced to retract their false IDs and their numbers. They have included people who have never even set foot in Guantánamo—much less were they released from there. They have counted people as 'returning to the fight' for their having written an Op-ed piece in the New York Times and for their having appeared in a documentary exhibited at the Cannes Film Festival. The DOD has revised and retracted their internally conflicting definitions, criteria, and their numbers so often that they have ceased to have any meaning—except as an effort to sway public opinion by painting a false portrait of the supposed dangers of these men.

"Forty-three times they have given numbers—which conflict with each other—all of which are seriously undercut by the DOD statement that 'they do not track' former detainees. Rather than making up numbers “willy-nilly” about post release conduct, America might be better served if our government actually kept track of them.”
________________________________________________

So, again, with less then 4 days into the Obama Administration, the right-winged nut jobs are out and about, spreading their vitriol, fearmongering and lies to deceive the American People!!! I know they will succeed with some, because they are not smarter then a 5th grader, a turnip or my cat either.

This country is in trouble if we let these morally corrupt degenerates gain any glimmer of power, as they will destroy our country, our freedoms, our children, our rights, our lives, and our planet. God, please help us from your severely mentally ill and deranged children, and place them in a facility (And I'm not talking about Congress as that facility.) where they can do no harm to us, this country, the world, and themselves. Thank you God!

PS- This is an important read about torture , Army Field Manual, and Obama over at firedoglake by bmaz.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I tell ya, this has been the...

longest period of time that I have actually written in a journal/blog/diary or whatever you would like to call it on a regular basis. It isn't always daily, but I've been somewhat consistent. I tend to be lazy at times, and I'll say I'll do this or that, and I procrastinate doing what it was I was going to do. So, maintaining this writing thing is important to me. A lot of it doesn't make sense, but that really doesn't matter because it is sort of a analogy for my life, a lot of it doesn't make sense. I bet when you read the title you thought I was going to say something about the Inauguration Day events, or Obama or how this was the greatest day of my life or nation or God only knows what. Nope, didn't want to mess with that, at least not yet. I kind of go where ever my brain takes me, even if it's a train-wreck.

Today was an important day for it was the first day of President Obama's term as President of the United States of America. I watched throughout the day, as I had CNN and MSNBC on, switching between to 2, until I got tired of Keith Olbermann harping on Ted Kennedy and him being taken away during the luncheon. And, like many misinformed in the media, he kept talking about Kennedy's brain cancer. No, I didn't misstate what he said, it was brain cancer. Now, Kennedy had a brain tumor, a glioma, just like I have, just different location and grade, but otherwise it is similar. It is a primary BRAIN TUMOR Keith!!!

Now, for the last 5 1/2 years I have read everything I could get my hands on about brain tumors, looked at scores of images, learned the parts of the brain and what they do, particularly where my tumor is located in the left middle cerebellar peduncle, with extension into the ipsilateral cerebral hemisphere, pons and into the medulla. Also shows expansion of the middle cerebellar peduncle. Extension into the pons fails to show any evidence of crossing the midline. There is an element of involvement of the superior cerebellar peduncle as well, and that is on the left as well. This information was from one of my MRIs, repeated often in every MRI I have gotten in the past 5+years. It is a Low Grade Glioma, which means it is slow growing, and according to Dr. Kerry Brega, my neurosurgeon, it is very slow growing. sort of like I'm an anomaly. The down sides are 2 important things, that being its' location, and the probability that it could decide to start growing any time it wishes. The symptoms are also significant, but not life threatening. We made the decision 5 years ago to constantly monitor it, because attempting to remove it could cause serious problem, effecting my quality of life, or even death. So we went with the monitoring option for the time being. It's sort of like a ticking timebomb in my brain, and who knows what could trigger it to decide it should get busy? I don't and neither do the doctors. But it is in an area that controls basic life functions including blood pressure, heart beat, and breathing. I'm rambling again, oops!

Now back to Mr. Keith Olbermann. and him continuing to call Ted's Brain Tumor brain cancer.

From the ABTA -
-A malignant brain tumor is life-threatening, invasive, and tend to grow at a more rapid pace than a benign tumor. Malignant brain tumors are sometimes called brain cancer even though they do not meet the true definition of "CANCER" (Since primary brain tumors rarely spread outside the brain and spinal cord, they do not exactly fit the general definition of "cancer" -- a tumor that has the ability to spread to other organs of the body. Since primary brain tumors tend to stay in the brain, they do not meet the true definition of cancer.) Thus, within the brain tumor community, you’ll hear the words "benign" or "malignant" or "lesion" or "tumor" but never, or hardly ever hear "cancer", "brain cancer", or "cancerous!" NEVER, unless it is about a metastatic brain tumor.
A brain tumor is a mass of unnecessary, and abnormal, cells growing in the brain. When doctors describe brain tumors, they often use the words "benign" or "malignant." But what do those words really mean? The words “benign” or “malignant” generally refer to how unusual the tumor cells look under a microscope when compared to normal brain cells. Tumors with cells that look similar to normal cells, yet aren’t quite normal, are called “benign” tumors. Tumor cells that are very different in appearance are called “malignant.” And between the “not quite normal” and the “very unusual” are the tumors referred to as low grade or mid-grade.
But it is not always easy to classify a brain tumor as "benign" or "malignant" as many factors other than pathological appearance play a role in their outcome.
A "benign" brain tumor consists of very slow growing cells, usually has distinct borders, and rarely spreads. When viewed microscopically, the cells have an almost normal appearance. Surgery alone might be an effective treatment for this type of tumor. A brain tumor composed of benign cells, but located in a vital area, can be considered to be life-threatening - although the tumor and its cells would not be classified as "malignant."
Benign brain tumors may be considered malignant if they are located in a part of the brain that controls vital life functions, such as heartbeat or breathing.
Some types of malignant brain tumors can spread to other locations in the brain and spine, but they rarely spread to other parts of the body. They lack distinct borders due to their tendency to send "roots" into nearby normal tissue. They can also shed cells that travel to distant parts of the brain and spine by way of the cerebrospinal fluid. Some malignant tumors, however, do remain localized to a region of the brain or spinal cord.
One other type of brain tumor is always considered malignant. Cancer cells that begin growing elsewhere in the body and then travel to the brain form “metastatic” brain tumors. For example, cancers of the lung, breast, colon and skin (melanoma) sometimes spread to the brain. All metastatic brain tumors are malignant since they began as cancer elsewhere in the body. -

- Courtesy of the American Brain Tumor Association - Benign vs. Malignant -

OK, I went off topic, like I had one to begin with. The Inauguration Day stuff was nice, and I kind of welled up with emotional on a couple of occasions, which I do a lot, especially if I'm watching something that is emotional. Makes sense to me. Ever see "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"? It makes me happy to see that a majority of our country's voters got past their prejudice or bias toward black folks, or brown folks, or mixed race folks. Oh they still may be prejudice and bias a little, but were able to vote for Barack Obama. That is great, as we are heading in the right direction. Yay America!!! Yay!!! Check out Project Implicit out of Harvard, as it is quite interesting. I know I nitpicked today, but this has been going on since Ted was diagnosed with his Brain Tumor last May 2008. I wish Sen. Ted Kennedy, President Obama, and Sen. Byrd the best, and hope the two sick Senators get well soon. And Barack, it is time to kick some ass and take some names! Now, and don't forget to prosecute the War Criminals, because I don't want Cheney coming back to Wyoming, ever!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Is there more to Life then just this?

After yesterdays' post I thought long and hard to continue this discussion (Is it a discussion if it is just me, and the committee in my head?) about my quilt analogy. The quilt that represents my life, the good, the bad and the ugly is tattered, and at times it seems even unrepairable. I'm at a crossroads, and I don't know which way to go, I am at a quandary in my life.

I go and visit my shrink on Wednesday, and I'll talk about my epiphany. Actually it didn't happen in one moment, and probably not even an epiphany, but more of a self awareness, although it was a process, and it is ongoing. I am hardest on myself, but I also give myself a lot of free passes, rationalizing and justifying my behavior, actions, thoughts, attitudes and sarcasm.

For years I have always taken the easier, softer way and for many reasons. Mainly though, looking back, it was because I had a lack of self confidence, self esteem, self respect nor a positive sense of self. Why this happened has always been a big question mark, as nothing monumental sticks out in my mind at this time, but I will continue to ponder that question...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sometimes in life...

There comes a time to re-evaluate ones' self, an inventory that goes deep into one's soul and being. I use to think I did that on a regular basis, and to some extent I did, all be it a half-assed effort, but the question now is, was and is it thorough? The simple answer is No! The solution is not that simple, but I will truly give it my best shot. That sounds so cliche', what the hell does "I'll give it my best shot" mean? Life is like a quilt, and not like "Ring Toss" at the carnival. I am a mixture of many pieces, but the problem is this quilt was put together by a drunk, and it is really fucked up, even after washing, cleaning and drying it on the wash line. It's time I really took a serious look at the quilt, and start from square one.

Since I started this blogging thing, and not just here or at Open Salon, or LiveJournal or many others, I have basically covered two topics. The first being my brain tumor, which is a priority in my life at this time, and secondly all the things that others did to offend me. Yes, poor little ole' me got offend by a plethora of things, events, issues, people, businesses and on and on. I talked about being clean and sober for the last 5 1/2 years (Which I have been for the most part.) on one hand, and how something or someone or some whatever offended me. There wasn't much spirituality there, and I was a complete contradiction of the whole spirituality mantra that I was espousing, promoting and falsely claiming to be me. I was a fraud and I am flawed, yet everyone, I think everyone, bought into my scam and facade because I could talk a good talk. I had decades of practice because I am an alcoholic. This quilt that was suppose to be my life was just a big pile of dirty rags.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

I'll miss you till 10 months from now,
It's time to take you down again.
Now I'll go out to feed the cow!
The cat is sad, he thinks' I'm bad.
There he runs off into his den,
I'll see you in 10 months, so I am glad.
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

I know, it doesn't rhyme, but now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their Christmas Tree! And today is the day if I can get away from this damn computer, and stop watching all the coverage of Flight 1549. I guess I was wrong yesterday to say it was a theory about them damn Canadian Geese, but what do I know. There are far more intelligent folks out there then little old Brain-Tumor Billy! I give up, I'm stupid, and I should have known the answer. I can't forgive myself for casting doubt on these geniuses. The same freaking geniuses who never questioned BushCo over the last 7 years, or that we, the invading army, are going to be seen as liberators, or we'll be there just 6 months, or the guy that was fired by BushCo because he doubted the administrations optimistic prediction that the Police Action would only cost us US Citizens a mere 50-60 billion smackeroos, saying instead, it might be in the ballpark of over 100 billion smackeroos for our expeditionary military action. Oh, I mean that Iraq War thing, that we are still involved in, with the many, many thousands killed and maimed. And it will pay for itself with Iraqi OIL Money, because we were the liberators, and the free Iraqis will shower us with oil dollars, and US companies will reap exclusive contracts for extracting this black gold!! Ha! Ha! Ha! I better get to that Christmas Tree, or it's going to kick my fat ass! See ya Later, and signing out at 4:13pm MST. Ciao!

It's now 7:35pm MST and I am finally done. The Christmas tree is resting comfortably in the storage closet, (One of my cat's favorite hideout places because of all the nooks and crannies.) along with all the other Christmas decorations. Oh, such sweet memories, and in only 10 more months, we will do it all over again. So let's hear a big hurrah! HURRAH!!!

In less then 96 hours, the Bush Regime will be history, but the damage they have done to this country, and the world will last for decades. Bastards! I don't know if anyone actually watched Dubya's little Farewell Address last night, but I did, and I just wanted to throw up. All Dubya did was twist and spin everything to suit his supposed legacy, a legacy that we all, all be involuntary, are part of in someway or another. The man is a joke, and a sad excuse for a President. Good riddance to all the dirtbags. I just imagine sometimes what it would be like if McCain had won with Palin, because I think we all would have been screwed, big time. And what is Sarah doing these days, well she is whining about how everyone was so mean to her, and she didn't deserve it. Bullshit, she was just an ignorant, narcissistic, ego-centric troglodyte. Period. I really like this lady! One of the pseudo psychologists in my AA group always says that if you don't like something in a person, it is because you don't like that characteristic in yourself. Oh, and he also says he never gets angry. Ever. That is a fucking lie! Where were we, oh yeah, and how did I get from Christmas trees to Bush to McCain and Palin. It's that lack of concentration thing again.

Now that I'm thinking about it, Canada truly looks like a great place to go, and spend the rest of my life. I do have a lot of relatives up there, from my fathers' side, because that is where those immigrant Ukrainians went, Canada! Oh Canada...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

LaGuardia is in my Blog Again!

This time though it is about US Airways Flight 1549, flying out of LaGuardia, (Which is in Queens, NY.) and heading to Charlotte, N.C. today. The scheduled departure time was 2:45pm EST, but the actual departure time was 3:03pm EST. According to US Airways website under status, it says "Departed", which is true, and there is a Status Exception, and an 800 number to call. And it appears that there are over 150 survivors, with no casualties, and a few injuries, including a passenger with 2 broken legs. It was a miracle of coincidences, and for many survivors probably an extremely spiritual, and maybe even religious experience. I am very happy they all came out OK, as there is too much death, destruction and evil in this world.

I just flew out of LaGuardia just 17 days ago, and to be honest, I do have these fleeting thoughts when I fly, which is more often then the average American or Earthling for that matter, that something like this might happen, and what will I do. These folks were lucky because they were still low enough, and close enough to water, and need I say, a top notch aviator (I'm a little partial toward pilots, even though there is a little envy there sometimes, because growing up I had big dreams of becoming a pilot.) who, through his extraordinary skills, brought his passengers home alive. Great job there Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger, and I salute you. I also salute the aircraft crew, passengers and all the rescue personnel, along with all the water taxis, CircleLine, and everyone else that helped out in this rescue. Great Job across the board. I know I have beaten up on one particular airline recently, so here is a positive. Any landing that you can walk away from is a good landing, so by extension, the NWA Pilots did their job. So, great job NWA Pilots!

One thing that I found interesting, and that was thrown around today is the fact that birds (They threw the words Canadian Geese around a lot too.) caused the catastrophic failure of both engines at the same time. Now, that is just a theory, as the NTSB hasn't done their investigation yet, and it will be months before a final report will be out. But this bird theory was thrown around all day, but what do you expect from the likes of Wolf Blitzer of CNN, or Cory Rose, who is from K2TV. Wolfie kept badgering the passengers, or whoever the particular expert was he had on, and forcing the questions to get an answer that he wanted. What a dip-shit. He isn't a journalist, just a pseudo news entertainer. As for Cory, oh sweet Cory, she just came out and said during the 5pm news that the cause of the crash was the result of birds flying into the engine. Talk about quick results, hey! The NTSB would love her on the payroll, because then they wouldn't have to do an investigation, and could save the taxpayers millions of dollars!

Looking back 3 weeks, while I was at my brothers place on Long Island, Shoreham to be exact, I witnessed many flights of those there Canadian Geese quite often. During the early part of the day they seemed to be heading west, and during the late afternoon, into the evening they were heading east. Shoreham is about 40-50 miles east, as the crow, or should I say Canadian Geese flies from LaGuardia. I don't really understand the migratory patterns of those Canadian Geese, but I do know they can be ornery, loud, they crap all over golf courses, and their turds are quite big, but I have never really measured the exact size. So, maybe it wasn't a bird, but a coordinated effort by a flock of geese, seeing this big metal bird approaching at high speed, they let loose with a carpet bombing of geese turd. The turds then got sucked into both engines, fouling up the ignitors, or whatever causes the burn in the turbines, or making the blades unbalanced, causing them to fail. Hey, it's just a theory, just like other theories floating around out there. Honestly though, the flocks that I saw flying over Shoreham were huge, some numbering in the hundreds. They reminded me, as I stood there and watched them, of those old news reels they showed during WWII (And afterwards in all the documentaries about the war.) of the waves of planes flying over, with hundreds and hundreds of them at a time, all flying in "V" formations. It was just amazing to watch, and I was in awe. I know those blades in the turbines are tested to a very high standard, but if aircraft maintenence was not up to snuff, and the blades were weakened do to structural fatigue, or out-lived their useful life, well, we can see what happens. But both engines going out at the same time is an anomolie, and a red flag for me. More on this tomorrow as I am slowly fading out, as the Seroquel is starting to kick in.....Snore....snore....snorrrrrreeee.....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

As per Ms. Dana Perino's statement...

It is not the "policy" of this administration to torture people. Policy, policy, POLICY!!! It's against the law, both our Constitution and the Geneva Convention. I'm not an angel, and I have made mistakes in my life, for which I am responsible and accountable, and have paid a price for my illegal behavior. But not these folks, and Ms. "Stepford" Perino, and her ignorant and outright stupid comments over the years. Are her morals and ethics so damaged that she doesn't have a fucking clue what she is promoting? And delaying the truth is just another form of denial for these dirt bags.

The sad thing is Dick Cheney is coming back to Wyoming after his tour of duty, and for some that sucks, as I live in a beautiful state, with some really great people. Now, there are those who idolize him like he is some deity, or God, and are totally blind to his alleged war crimes. But I think there is enough evidence available to convict the bastard, and let that smirking S.O.B. rot in prison the rest of his natural born life. I hope the World Court at the Hague indicts him and his friends for their high crimes and misdemeanors. His worshipers here in Wyoming are some of the same koolaid drinking knuckleheads who still believe Obama is a Muslim, or that Saddam had something to do with the WTC. And I bet some of them same middle aged men sat at home and fantasized about screwing Sarah Palin. And all she was for the Republicans was a marketing tool, because sex, and sexuality is used to great effect in marketing, and it sells. Sex sells as they say. Look how well she did with the ignorant and un and under-educated.

Now, back to the torture issue. You see, the guy who is suppose to bring these kangaroo court cases forward in this hokey tribunal system said they are not going to bring this one guy's case forward because he was, was, was TORTURED! I tell you these people are extremely fucked up, as there should be consequences for this illegal behavior. The #1 question on change.gov for Obama is about torture and accountability, questions he said he would answer. My guess is that he is waiting till the 21st, so Bush Co. can't start throwing out pre-indictment pardons to protect his deviant and sick co-horts. I mean, I have never seen such spin in my life regarding this issue. US laws say water-boarding is torture, and we have prosecuted folks for it. Now it is in some existential 7th dimension. Mukasey, our AG who followed Alberto de Turdo, he couldn't even answer one simple question, Is water-boarding torture? He went into this big dissertation and double-talk about bullshit, and the little spineless lackeys in the Senate gave him a pass. A pass? I couldn't believe it. I almost shit in my draws when I heard that. I just shake my head sometimes when I hear some of this bizarro news. Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. Obama better do something about this, and not out of revenge, although that might feel good for a little while, but because of the oath he will be taking, that being, To preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the US, the same one Dubya and Dick took, but to them it was just a ceremonial thing, and the Constitution is just a piece of paper. Obviously they were sleeping in Pol Sci - 101 because they didn't learn a damn thing. They are a bunch of narcissistic, self-centered, greedy, ego-maniacal bastards, and as you can tell, I do not like them at all. The bottom line for these folks is money and greed. like they say, just follow the money!



Term limits, sunshine laws, enfranchisement of felons and the education for all voters/Americans are some of my Christmas wishes, along with the standard Peace on Earth, which I do strongly believe in! Amen Brother!

Monday, January 12, 2009

There are so many things...

to write about, and sometimes I don't know where to start. Sometimes I have racing thoughts, although medication does help slow that down, most of the time. I will say to myself, "Self, today I will write about this subject, or that subject," and by the time I get around to it, I forgot what I wanted to write about, and have a head full of topics trying to rule by committee. And there is no clear cut majority. So, I have to make a decision, and then I'll say, "shit, that really wasn't what I wanted to write about, but I'll do it tomorrow." Then tomorrow becomes today, and then yesterday, and my mind is spinning like a ballerina on a case of Red Bull. Oops! Reality is weirder then fiction sometimes.

I changed the title of my blog, as I got tired of reminding myself that I had a brain tumor. Hey, I already knew that. People tend to identify themselves with something, like I'm a teacher, a dentist, an anthropologist, an insurance salesman, or whatever, but it tends to be their job. Ask anyone what or how they are doing, and they'll tell you about their job, school, the weather or something superficial, rather then speaking the truth, like they're a little depressed/happy/excited/lethargic/etc. today because of this, or that. Unless of course they are hypochondriacs, in which case they'll have every fucking symptom in the book, and have WebMD on speed dial, or the only thing they have bookmarked on their PC. My last housemate is like that, as is his sister, and I believe it is a mental health issue for them. Well, my job is being a "brain tumor patient". My life revolves around doctor appointment, labs, MRIs, traveling to Denver to see my neurosurgeons, more medical tests, and on and on. My part time job is my other physical ailments, like degenerative disc disease in my C-Spine, titanium in my neck, with more to follow, and problems with L-5 and S-1. But I know that I am more then that, and I don't have to sound morbid and be the victim all the time. So, that is why I changed the title. Sure, these things are not going away in the near future, but I don't have to use that to identify me. Oh no, I'm not going to go there anymore. I promise, but that doesn't mean I will never discuss it here, instead I will discuss it as I see fit. The funny thing is, that in my real life, not my internet/blogger life, I very rarely talk about this sibject, except with a fellow apartment complex neighbor who also has a brain tumor, and is a veteran. Her tumor has been resectioned, and the VA docs made a few minor errors, like the screws coming out of the plate in her head, but other then that, we can identify on a lot of levels. She is a nice lady, and we talk about our shelf lives, and even have a good laugh about screwing up their mortality statistics. I know, it sounds a little crazy and sick, but it helps keep us sane.

One last thing I forgot to point out during my critique of NWA was my return flight back to Wyoming. One positive about the trip was that it was on time. That was amazing. But on the second leg there were some issues on Flight-NW 3269, that was from Minneapolis/St.Paul-Int'l, MN. to Casper, WY. The departure date/time was December 29, 9:35 pm, and the arrival date/time was December 29, 11:00 pm. So, there are the flights specifics, but that wasn't the issue. Again, and I repeat again, it was customer service. I have a carry-on bag that I bring with me that contains specifically all my medications, (12 different bottles/types divided equally in 2 gallon size ziplock bags. The bottles are all laid on their sides, and side by side, and there is no double stacking.) my camera, which is small, and maybe a few granola bars. It is a small gym bag, and when pressed flat it is about 4 1/2" - 5" in height. I have occasionally thrown my Gonzaga University Pullover in there, which can be rolled up to the size of a softball if necessary. On my flight to NY, I flew the same type of aircraft, a CRJ, which is a 50 seat, twin jet aircraft, with 4 seat rows, 2 on each side, and overhead bins, although they are not quite as big as the bigger aircraft, and I have flown this specific aircraft many times, and my carry-on always fit up there with no problems.

NWA regulations about carry-ons are as follows:

Northwest allows you to carry one piece of baggage on board the aircraft plus a purse or briefcase or laptop computer or small backpack. The carry-on baggage must be of a size and shape to allow for storage in overhead compartments or underneath the seat in front of you.

Dimensions:

  • Cannot exceed 45 linear inches (9 inches by 14 inches by 22 inches)
  • My bag is 30 linear inches ( 13 inches by 9 inches by 8 inches, and the reality was that the height was only 5 inches maximum. It was smaller then a small backpack.)
Northwest Airlink flights operated by Pinnacle and Mesaba on CRJ aircraft allow each passenger to bring two personal items onboard. As always, items must fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you.
Personal Items are defined as:
In addition to your carry-on bag, customers may carry on a purse or briefcase or laptop computer or small backpack. Dimensions of the additional item must not exceed 15"x11"x6". At least one carry-on item should go beneath the seat in front of you.

The above is from NWA's website under carry-ons. Ummm, I see some interesting stuff here.

But Flight 3269 had Nurse Ratchet as its' lone flight attendant. She was in her late 50's, early 60's and had obviously seen a lot of airmiles. After going through the gate, the NWA employee said nothing about my carry-on, as he was also gate checking some of the carry-ons because they were too big for the overhead bins. Not mine though, as he said it was fine. I was about the 10th person to get into the aircraft door, and as I was about to board, Nurse Ratchet said, "You can't bring that duffel bag on board, you have to gate check it," and I said, "First of all, it isn't a duffel bag, it's a small gym bag, and secondly (Here is where I pull out my veteran who is disabled card.) I have all my medications in here as I am a disabled veteran with an inoperable brain tumor, and I may need my medications." and she says, "I don't care, it's a duffel bag to me, now go gate check or you can't board this aircraft." Well, the Gestapo had spoken, snapping her gum the whole time. I went back to the gate, and asked the gatekeeper for a gate check ticket, as Attila said I must gate check it. I really didn't refer to her as Attila, I was just thinking it. So, I got the gate check ticket, and the gatekeeper said, that lady, referring to Nurse Ratchet, is a witch. I would have used a "b" instead of a "w", but he was just being politically correct. I walked back to the aircraft's door, which now had a long line and I waited my turn to board. As I boarded the aircraft, Nurse Ratchet was there with a shit-eating grin on her face, and I said I did as you told me, but if I have some medical issue that requires me to use a medication immediately and can't get to my medications, well, me or my heirs will see you in court. She didn't say a word. As I got to my seat, which is always a window seat, I had to ask the person next to me to move so I could get in. I was in seat 5a, and I watched as the rest of the folks board the aircraft, and it was funny because some people were boarding with carry-ons that were 2 to 3 or even 4x's bigger then mine, but Attila said nothing. She just stood there and continued to chew on her gum, like a cow chewing it's cud. And this lasted the entire flight. Quite unprofessional I would say. She did avoid eye contact with me the entire flight, as I think she realized that I was pissed. But she probably didn't give a shit.

There are a few reasons why I didn't want to give up my bag, with them being, I had my meds in the carry-on, including narcotics, and I don't trust NWA with the security of my property because they are fuckups, my pullover was in the bag, and who knows what the temperture would be when we got to Casper, my apartment and car keys, along with my checkbook were in the bag, and finally, I don't trust NWA at all with anything of mine, including my life. I will never, I repeat never ever fly with them again, because they suck as a company that is suppose to deal in good customer service, and the reality is, they don't give a fuck about the customer.

NorthWest Airlines Sucks! Period! NWA Customer Service Sucks! Some NWA Flight Attendants Suck. Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I can move on at light speed....

In a land far, far away, I sat gazing off into the eastern sky and...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Job Coach on CNN and her infinite...

WISDOM! Not! The young lady, a career coach, with lots of career experience, only kidding, gave advice to someone who e-mailed in a question to Kyra Phillips, the anchor. The question dealt with how convicted felons can get a job, because a lot of employers shy away from these bad, bad people.

Well, speaking from my own experiences, because in my younger years and being bi-polar and an active alcoholic, I did some spontaneous and impulsive things that got me into trouble with the law. But after some rehab, and cleaning myself up, I got some decent jobs, with the employer knowing of my legal situations. Even my last job I had, as a manager of a KFC restaurant, first in Wyoming, (Actually, it was the best franchise of a fast food restaurant I ever worked for, as they actually took care of their employees, not just the management. It was also the most intensive and thorough interview process I ever went through. I was interviewed 3 times, and even took their own psychological test. But the pay off was big, and I was a convicted felon.) then in Sarasota, Florida I was still on probation. And in Florida I even hired an ex-con who spent 15 years in prison, (He was the 1/2 brother of my evening cook, and I had promised Alex when I had a spot for his brother Charles I would sit down and have and interview with him. I hired him, and he was the best employee I ever had. Ever!) and his P.O. would call every few weeks to ask how Charles was doing. I told him the truth, Charles was an excellent employee, and as time went along, I gave him more and more responsibility, and right before I left promoted him to shift manager. I was even training him the way I was trained in Wyoming, which was by a professional management trainer. But I was taking baby steps, because Charles' education level was not that high, but he had common sense, and a great work ethic. After I left to go into the hospital, I heard they rushed Charles into management when he wasn't truly ready, and I heard he didn't do that well. That was so sad to hear.

Now, back to this career coach. Her advice for this ex-con who just got out of the big house was to start his own business, that way he would be sure to be hired. I said holy crap, he just got out of jail or prison, and they really don't have jobs there where you can save a lot of money, so how do you start a business without money? She suggested going to the Small Business Administration, or SBA, and some other website to find free consulting help. I'm thinking to myself, I would have given different advice, but what do I know that this 20-something career coach knows from her book learning. I would say, just go out and tell the truth, as there are employers who will hire you. Dress nice for the interview, or even when you pick up and return the application, because first impressions matter. And be your best advocate. Yes, I know a lot of ex-cons do set up businesses once they get out of jail, but many of those are illegal. Recidivism is what then happens. But this young lady, Maggie Mistal was the pro, so she must know the answers, although I do disagree.

Well, Florida won the "BIG" Game last night, and are #1, or so they say. I heard that Utah's Attorney General is suing the BCS Board, or Committee for anti-trust violations because the University of Utah, who went undefeated at 12-0, and played Alabama, who was ranked #1 in the nation for many weeks this season, but lost to Florida in the SEC Championship Game. The thing to remember here is that there is a lot of money involved depending on what Bowl Game a team plays in. And, there seems to be a certain amount of discrimination toward any team not in one of the so-called major, or important conferences. So, if you are not from the SEC, ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, or Pac 10 then your chances are slim to none for getting into the big games, or championship game, even if you went undefeated, and beat some of these major league, or elite football schools. Even the announcers, like Barry Switzer, show their prejudice on TV. He said before the Utah vs Alabama game that no player from Utah would even be considered for a football scholarship at Alabama. And he stood by his comment even after Utah kicked Alabama's' ass, 31-17. It wasn't even close. What an ignorant and prejudice little man.

I hope something comes of this, like maybe a playoff type system like in Div-1, Div-2, and Div-3. But the bottom line is that it is all about the money, and big fucking egos! So, I don't expect any change, and Utah will probably loss in the courts because of, you guessed it, money, political connections and politics as usual, and ego monsters! The NFL Divisional playoffs are this weekend, and we will see how my NY Football GIANTS do against them dirty bird Philadelphia Eagles. I hope they win, and I hope Eli decides not to smoke a joint before the game, but if he has those "deer in the headlights" look, we will know what he did?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I get a kick from champagne...

or is that two large 16oz. black coffees in the morning. My psychiatrist would be pissed if he heard me say that. I like him as my shrink, but he is anti-caffeine. He makes sense with his argument, particularly when I am bi-polar. But, as usual, I don't listen to what he has to say some of the time. I do know that he gets a kick out of me, because every year he goes back to Mass. General for CME courses, and last year I came in with my certificates for .5 credits for CME courses I took online at e-medicine. My courses were all related to brain tumors, go figure, and I asked him how many credits he got for his 2 weeks of courses, and he told me 54 or 56, or something like that. Then I told him that at the rate I am going, it will about 100 years before I have enough credits to become a shrink. He just cracked up. But, seriously, he and his treatment team have helped me more in the last 5 1/2 years, then all the mental health help I received in the previous 23 years. I am sure my attitude helped to, but it was the first time that anyone actually looked at my personal history, rather then just look at the moment to make a diagnosis. And now for the rest of the story...

Just read some interesting stuff about Tom Geoghegan, a labor and civil rights lawyer from Illinois. He is running for Congress in the special election to fill Rahm Emmanuel vacancy in Illinois 5th District. The op-ed was about the 17th Amendment and was in the New York Times on 1-6-09.
Here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/07/opinion/07geoghegan.html

He has written quite a few books, none of which I have read. But my acquaintance David Sirota is a friend of his, and highly recommends him. So, I have started to read whatever I can find online, which is a lot, as he has been doing this labor and civil rights stuff for a few decades. I am impressed. As I watch these talking heads and sockpuppets on the boob tube, they truly crack me up, and are totally clueless about the real world, especially Wolfie Blitzer.

Arlen Specter is raising Cain about Holder, Obama's nominee for AG, and questioning his character. This is amazing coming from a man did little to rid us of Alberto the Turdo Gonzalez. It is amazing the double standard these damn hypocrites have, and if you want to talk about character or morals, where the hell have you been the last 8 years, ARLEN? Politics as usual. I think we should have that revolution Thomas Jefferson talked about having every generation. We need to rid ourselves of these two-faced faux royalty, and send them off to some retirement facility, and let them live on Social Security, and Medicare, and not their damn pensions and benefits. Political whores they are!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It's Laundry Day at Sheridan Square!

Yippee! Living in a facility reserved for the elderly and/or disabled, we have laundry facilities on the first floor, which are scheduled for certain floors on specific days. Today, the 4th floor has the laundry facilities all to ourselves, well at least until 3pm, when it is open to everyone. There are 13 apartments per floor, except for the 1st floor which has 10, I think. Anyhow, after a couple of cups of coffee, a shower, and other bathroom activities, it will be off to the laundry room. Yeah!

Thought I might change the title this time, because things were starting to get a little whiny, but I am just venting, and rambling, and not staying focused, so what else is new. The fact is Northwest Airlines has exhibited extremely poor customer services, across the board. I do realize that in our world today there are many bad things happening, and I am not so naive as to realize that. As an activist for many causes over the years I have worked hard to right these wrongs where ever possible. I personally think that I have not been very successful, and rest assure that I don't expect anything positive from the letter I am sending to the CEO of NWA, Ed Bastian. It isn't as rambling as my posts here, and I tried to do better with my use of the English language, so as to not sound like Sarah Palin. I know that is an area that needs improvement, but so be it. I am what I am.

Just another manic Monday, December 22, 2008, and guess what, no luggage! Did they get lost, did they deliver it to the wrong address, did they bring it to the landfill, or did someone take it from their secure luggage storage area at LaGuardia? There were many unanswered questions, and NWA was it's usual wet brain self! I figured it out, there is a black hole, and worm hole down by the San Juan Trench, at the southeast corner of the Bermuda Triangle, and that is where the luggage ended up. Now I can be at peace with myself, Amen!

Not really, I was just kidding about the Bermuda Triangle thing. Monday started out the same as Sunday ended. The luggage was not delivered as promised. So, again I went online to check out the status, and discovered it didn't even show it was received. Then the phone calls started, with similar outcomes, but I did find out 2 things, the first being that it, my luggage that is, doesn't show up online, or onphone as "received" until the yahoos who are suppose to deliver it actually take the luggage to deliver it. Now, to any normal and sane individual that makes about as much sense as having air-conditioning in a home in Barrows, Alaska. The second thing was that my luggage was checked in at LaGuardia on Monday Morning. That is important, because the fools I spoke to justified why it was not delivered because it was just checked in that morning. Screeech... let's put the brakes on here, they told me Sunday that it was checked in on Sunday. I was in the company of idiots. When I pointed out this minor discrepancy, they were like, "Oh yeah, it was also checked in on Sunday." Da, who does this company hire? When I asked why it was not delivered on Sunday like I was promised, they really couldn't give me a straight answer. They justified it by saying it will be delivered today, but they couldn't tell me when. They also stated that they were busy, being the holiday and all, and they were busy delivering other customers luggage. Hello, what am I, dirt? When I asked to speak to a supervisor, they said 2 things, one, that there were no supervisors, and two, that they are customer service for reservations, so they only get their info from there computer, where ever they were located. I said I called the Luggage Status Information Line, and this is where it sent me. So what gives. The Luggage Status Line is only a computer generated line that gives me the same info found on the website. They have no real humans that work there, and when you do get to the live humans, they can use, "We are reservations customer service, so tough shit on you asshole for flying NWA!" None of them would give their employee ID number, or the phone number to the Luggage Services Office at LaGuardia, although I knew they had a phone.

This went on all day, with me never giving up hope that I would get my luggage that day, believing that they, NWA, would not lie to me a gazillion times in 2 days. Boy, was I wrong. My family was asking me If I wanted to go out and get some clothes at the local Smithhaven Mall, or somewhere like that. I kept saying no, it will be here any minute now.

Earlier in the day I sent an e-mail to NWA regarding the luggage situation, and received an auto-reply message from them. Here is entire e-mail, as I received it, including my message to them.
____________________________________
Auto-Reply from Northwest/KLM Customer Care (KMM19405770V82983L0KM)
Dear William Harasym,

This is an automatically generated message to acknowledge the receipt of your email. Please do not reply to this message.

We appreciate your continued patience while we review your concerns. We will be in contact with you within four business days. If you require immediate assistance, please contact Reservations directly at 1-800-225-2525. (It's funny they should mention this, because immediate assistance was not what I was getting. I was getting immediate jerking around.)

Northwest/KLM Airlines
Customer Care

_______________________
Tracking ID: KMM19405770V82983L0KM
Case Number: 6767085
Received: Dec 22, 2008 at: 03:56:22 PM
Subject: LS-Delayed Baggage

NW/KL Luggage Services Form:
Title: Mr
First Name: William
Last Name: Harasym
Reply-To Email Address: ***************@msn.com
Alternate Email Address:
WorldPerks Number: ********5091
Street Address 1: *** Smith St.
Street Address 2: Apt. ***
City: Sheridan
State/Province: WY
Zip/Postal Code: 82801
Country: US
Flight Date: 12/20/2008
Flight Number: NW0186
Origin City: CPR
Destination City: LGA
Ticket Number: *******0510949
Confirmation Number:
File Reference Number: LGANW***994
Date Filed: 12/20/2008
Last Name On File: Harasym
========
Message:
I flew into LGA, via a stop at MSP. I had a 4 hour layover there. After we finally got to LGA, my luggage was not there. A baggage service, they said it was on Flight 184, due in at 11pm or later. So we left, and they said once they got it, they would send it out to where I am staying at my brothers, at ** &%$ Ct., Shoreham, NY 631-***-****. She also said that it would be shipped out @ 10am, or 1pm at the latest on Sunday, 12-21-08. I am a veteran who is disabled with an inoperable brain tumor,and this is an 8 day visit for the holidays which maybe my last. So all day Sunday and today I kept checking the status of my luggage, with status pending. I did speak to some real humans both days, with the one on Sunday saying it was checked in there at LGA, and we should have it by 11pm Sunday. That has come and gone. Today the same BS. It was also checked in @ LGA today. I was on the phone with one human, and she said she just wanted to find out something, and then put me on hold for 25 minutes, and then dropped the call. So I tried again, and this human was kind of short with me, seeming to not really care, and they were passing the buck, as it was someone else's fault. I live on Social Security Disability, below the poverty level, so I can't afford to go out an buy a new wardrobe for my visit. My family chipped in to get me this plane ticket. This is getting really sad. You talk about commitment to your
customers, but I don't see it. And you even have the guts to charge for baggage that you can't even get from point A to Point B. I really do need my luggage now. And I am tired of being jerked around.
Call the above phone # to tell me it is heading my way, my luggage that is.
Best wishes always,
William Harasym
CC: Edward Bastian
========
Submitted: 12/22/2008 15:55:18
Form Navigation:
Field1: Baggage
Field2: Delayed Baggage
_________________________________________

OK, so my way wasn't working too well. Notice the date, 12/22/08, and here is there Real reply after lets say 9 days. Sure, they weren't all business days, but they were 150% over their maximum projection. Oops, another lie! I was already back in Wyoming at this point. Here is the response.
_________________________________________

Re: LS-Delayed Baggage (KMM19428529V31223L0KM) 12-31-08 5:49 a.m.

Dear William Harasym,

Thank you for contacting Northwest Airlines. On behalf of all of us at Northwest, please accept my apology for your missing baggage.

To facilitate our recovery efforts, and in order to properly evaluate your claim, we respectfully request that you complete the attached Baggage Tracing Claim Form. A detailed and accurate description of both your baggage and the contents is essential. The information you provide
will be entered into our world-wide computer for further search. We request your assistance in returning the questionnaire promptly, as this will increase our chances of recovering your property.

This form should be sent to Northwest along with copies of your passenger ticket receipt, baggage claim check, and copies of the original purchase receipts for any items valued over $150.

This information can be sent to us via:

* Email: Scan all documents in PDF format as attachments, or,
* Fax: 612.367.5603, or,
* U.S. Postal Service:

Our mailing address is:

Northwest Airlines, Inc.
Baggage Services, Department C5260
7500 Airline Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55450-1101

Email address available via www/nwa.com/talk

Thank you for bringing this unfortunate situation to our attention.

Sincerely,

Terry S. Walton
Luggage Service Online Support
NWA/KLM Airlines
_____________________________________

And, as Paul Harvey says, "Now, for the rest of the story."

This routine went on till dinner time, around 5:30pm, as my sister-in-law Jackie had fixed up some dinner of chicken cordon bleu, rice pilaf, fresh green beans, and some fresh cut fruit that came as a gift, and was made out to look like a flower bouquet. We discussed our upcoming strategy to deal with NWA, and the assholes that are employed by them. I know that there are some good employees at NWA, but their public image is piss poor. And now that my brother was home from his office, he volunteered to help me and try to get this resolved.

So, with Ken on his Blackberry, and me on the cordless, we just settled down for a long evening of BS (from NWA that is!) and Ken was fired up. So we both started calling, trying to get a few simple, well at least simple to us, questions answered. First, we wanted to know where the luggage was, second, when will it be delivered, third, what is the phone number to the Luggage Services Office at LaGuardia. I was getting no results, just status pending. Ken, who deals with customer service folks on a regular basis, and owns his own company that has a customer services unit, along with a couple of health food stores, also dealing with the public on a regular basis, had his own plans on how to attack this. He kind of fibbed a little, representing himself as me, and playing the sick veteran card, and how my heart medication supply was running low, and the backup being in the luggage and how he needed it ASAP! I never put my medications in my luggage, I always keep it in my carry on. Anyhow, that was his approach. He even had one of them hangup on him, as did I. Roy, a NWA customer service representative, who, when Ken confront him on saying this is the best he can do, said to him, "Well you best is unacceptable!" Roy, @ 6:45pm EST hung up. I truly believe these folks don't record these conversations for training purposes because 99% of them suck. But maybe that is their training, to suck and jerk you around, and to constantly lie to you. We tried to get out of them that if we drove into LaGuardia, can they guarantee my luggage would be their. They couldn't even do that. They couldn't do shit! Ken finally got Wendy on the phone, and told her the story, and even told her Roy, if that is even his real name, hung up on him. It took her a little while, but she was able to get the phone number to NWA Luggage Service Office at LaGuardia. She said she tried quite a few times to get through, but to no avail. There was still no record that NWA received the luggage as per their web status page, and automated phone scam, just that it was checked in at LaGuardia Monday and Sunday morning. We tried the NWA LaGuardia Luggage Office, but it was constantly busy. We needed to do something outside the box.

It was almost 8pm, and Ken asked me if I wanted to take a ride into LaGuardia, and see if my luggage was there. I said sure, what the hell, as NWA is one outfit you couldn't trust. So we headed in, and Jackie would continue to call, and see if the status was still pending.

Traffic was light, relatively speaking, on the L.I.E., and we made it in there in a little over an hour. We went to the same parking lot I was in just 48 hours earlier. We walked into the baggage claim area, and off to the left of that level is the Baggage Services Office, and the so-called secure area for unclaimed luggage, (Meaning it is luggage that they say will be delivered, but they try ones patience, and we end up coming back to pick it up, like us.) and a little guy with a tie and sports jacket that said, "So-and-So Security" was standing guard behind the line of ropes and stanchions. Saturday night while we were there, there was no security that I could see, and scores of people just walking around the area, taking bags, and no one was confronting anyone doing that. Tonight it was different. The S and S security guard in the sports coat asked what we were doing when Ken went behind the ropes, and me on the other side started looking for my luggage. He's like, "Djew can't be in here." and I'm like, Look Bubba, I am looking for my luggage that you folks have not delivered yet. He's say, "I do not work for airline, me just Security." Oh, I was confused thinking Bubba might be able to help. During this time I spotted my luggage, and it was right on the other side of the rope, so I go to take it, and Bubba tells me I can't do that, and I said watch me. So I grabbed it and pulled it over the rope, and Bubba says, "Let me check you luggage ticket," which I let him do. They matched, go figure. It wasn't that busy, so I said to Bubba I wanted to go to the Baggage Services office, about 100 or so feet away, behind the rope line, and file a complaint. So he let me through his secure rope line. There was no line at the counter, as it must have been between arrivals, so I walked straight up to the counter. The lady there, who went by the name of Ruth asked if she could help me. I said sure, I'd like to file a complaint regarding my luggage. Ruth's response, rather rudely, was, "You need to call customer service." I said I have been doing that for the last 48 hours with much success. And then I asked her if she could validate my parking because we had to come and pickup my luggage that NWA has kept saying would be delivered. Ruth said, can't do that, and I asked what can you do? she said nothing, call up customer service, and this was done in a rude and snarky manner, basically saying, without saying it, "Fuck You, we don't care about you, our customer, so get loss." Up till this point I had maintained my composure, and hadn't cussed or even shown any anger. But Ruth became the straw who broke the camels back. I then asked for her name, and employee ID number. She wrote down her name, Ruth, but no employee ID number. I said, "What about you employee ID number." She is like, I can't give you that, and I said, Yes you can. Then she just started walking away from me, and I said, " This is the worse fucking airline I have ever flown." Ruthie turns around and gives me the finger, middle finger that is, and says, "Fuck you, and Merry Fucking Christmas to you too." I was a little shocked, but I did cuss. So I returned a Merry fucking Christmas to you too." and I walked out the office. I met my brother on the other side of the rope line, with Bubba, who just witnessed the last half of my conversation with Ruth following close behind me, making sure his secure luggage area was secure. I wonder who was watching the area when he was in the office? Hmmm? As we walked out of the terminal, I told my brother of my confrontation with Ruthie Baby, and he just laughed.

We headed home, luggage in hand, or in the trunk of Ken's Cadillac CTS. Nice ride, but I am into cheap and simple, because that is all my budget can handle. Now, if after reading this epic you think I have diarrhea of the keyboards, raise you right hand! Just what I thought...

*-I redacted some personal information for security purposes. Thank you.

Gadget

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