Tuesday, December 31, 2013

People Having Illegal Sex With Food... Again??

Sure, this is a scurrilous tactic to draw folks into your blog, but it works, or you might not be reading this! Right??? Okay, now that you're here to read about something all together different than what the writer is writing about, you may as well stay, and see what I consider the "year in review", on New Years Eve, 2013!

It's been an interesting year alright. With the prediction that something would change the whole worldly picture on 12/20/12 (remember that?) behind us, we've moved into what I like to refer to as "The Golden Age of Mass Confusion", both here and abroad. In other words, nobody has any idea what's going on these days. Not really.

In a speech at the UN, General Admiral (Admiral General?)  Aladeen from the movie "The Dictator", asked the American people: "Why are you guys so anti-dictators? Imagine if America was a dictatorship. You could let 1% of the people have all the nation's wealth. You could help your rich friends get richer by cutting their taxes. And bailing them out when they gamble and lose. You could ignore the needs of the poor for health care and education. Your media would appear free, but would secretly be controlled by one person and his family. You could wiretap phones. You could torture foreign prisoners. You could have rigged elections. You could lie about why you go to war. You could fill your prisons with one particular racial group, and no one would complain. You could use the media to scare the people into supporting policies that are against their interests." He also referred to a bungling Anna Farris as "democracy", which has almost become deluded to a point of no return.

Now we have a Tea Party, a Me Party, and a Please Don't Pee on Me Party calling the shots in our country. I don't know, maybe I should just get back to the task at hand here, I'm pretty sure you know what I mean.

The month we're in now has shown me exactly how confused people are. The ACA (Affordable Care Act) enrollment date has been pushed back once again. I fear that soon there will be millions of other Americans, like myself, who will be uninsured when something catastrophic happens in their lives. I hope that if and when that happens, the government will show some compassion and understanding. On a more positive note, the Ducks won their bowl game last night, and the Blazers continue to baffle all the know-it-alls in the NBA world!

November wasn't bad. Gathering with family is always joyous; even when they see it as an obligation. I never do. I think experiencing my sister's death back in '99 taught me a lesson about the fleetingness of life. As the Buddhists say the "impermanence" of life. A brief warning here... Don't be too casual about showing those you love how you feel. 'Cause you just never know!

Ahh... October. I found myself getting fumed up over the treatment of children receiving special education services in public schools. This subject has been near and dear to my heart for several years, and I wrote a pointed piece on here about what I believe is happening throughout the country. I also was exposed to a story on Sports Center about a Hawaiian surfer who saved thousands (that's right, THOUSANDS) of lives as a lifeguard on a beach where many of the largest waves in the world grab and have their way with people crazy enough to believe THEY would be safe swimming there. Yeah... right.

After a conversation with my brother in mid September, I decided I'd have a hand at writing a book about my experiences working with people having developmental disabilities. After getting to my 5th year of service (no one's ever thanked Me for MY service...), I developed some writer's block in November, but I resolve to get back on it and FINISH it in 2014! Once again Sports Center got me with a story of a weight lifter having Down Syndrome that compelled me to write about him. Started out the month teaming up with Suzanne to produce a video about THE REAL state of the union, following the President's own slightly different version. It's right below here if you missed it.

August found Suzanne and I celebrating our 13th year marriage anniversary. I honestly don't know where I'd be without her! She is my rock! I pondered my own existence in another post when I had one of those days where you realize how small and insignificant you are in the scheme of things. Ever have those kinds of days? I also exploded at Monsanto for the serious damage they've caused throughout the world. Those people piss me off!

In July, I wrote about my nephew, Joseph, who has autism, but has managed to do more world traveling than most of the people I know. The way he's done it is by working his ass off, and saving for his trips. Good for him! It was also the month where it was decided that George Zimmerman was innocent of murdering Trayvon Martin. Of course since then, he's been in all kinds of trouble with just about everyone who crosses his path, but at least his innocence was decided by a bunch of white people. Paula Deen was also exposed as a racist in July, though I hear she's doing well these days too. Maybe George and Paula could hook up and start a band...

I spoke up (no kidding...) about my feelings regarding drug testing poor people who receive government assistance back in June. The people who cry out for this seem to be too chicken to require the same thing from politicians who wear ties and suits, and are paid employees of the government. Go figure... I previously had written a "Manifesto" about poverty and wealth which I stand by today, where I explain why I believe as I do.

I wrote about the little problem I had with being involved in fires as a little kid back in May. It just seems like I was in the wrong places, doing the wrong things, at the wrong times. But I can assure you I've since changed my evil ways. I told y'all about a dog who helps kids with autism and returning veterans. Ricochet's his name. Maggie Thatcher died last May, and I shared my thoughts on her. I also wrote about Hill County Farms, and how they not only exploit people with disabilities, but have caused some of these folks to die. And I started the month off talking about how hard it is these days to get REAL news.

April was an interesting month this year. We had the Boston bombing where once again people found a reason to hate other people. I wrote about West Texas, which was destroyed by a tornado that people were unable to hate, so they all but ignored that story. I explained the back problems I was having then as being almost incapacitating. Guess what? I'm having back problems again! Grrr...! I ended the month writing about how Suzanne and I had pulled off a rarity by suing a school district on behalf of our nephew without a lawyer and WINNING! I'd found the story on the internet of all places...

In March I celebrated Saint Patrick's Day with recalling my memories of going to Ireland with my mom in my mid twenties. What a trip! First I wrote about death. The death of Hugo Chavez (one of my political heroes), Alvin Lee (one of my rock heroes), and the "R" word (one of the most vulgar words in the English language). May they all RIP. I wrote about a very cool film I saw called "Compliance", which I highly recommend! I spoke about the Nazis who read my blog in secret. I finished off the month reflecting on the Prison Industrial Complex, and its' use to continue making rich people richer, while successfully keeping the poor man down.

I began February by talking about something so private to me that I'd held it in for 40 years. My undying devotion to... BASKETBALL!! Later I told the story of what happens when you ask questions from those considered "beyond reproach". It can blow up in your face, but don't EVER let that stop you from doing what is right. It's a spiritual thing I believe in. On my birthday I wrote about the craziness that goes on in the worlds of entertainment, news, and stuff we're not exposed to unless we seek it ourselves. That was some strange stuff, to realize these worlds are all a part of each other now.

On January 14th my daughter turned 28, the same age I was when she was born! I wondered then, as I do now... where's MY grandkid(s)? I also wrote about the Newtown school massacre after watching a speech about gun control by the President. I know my position on the subject is probably controversial, but as a friend once told me; "The truth will make you sick BEFORE it sets you free". I ended the month with my most popular post of the year (over 500 page views). It came from an article I wrote months earlier which was published by John Hopkins University Press.

And that wraps up my year in review. Hope you enjoyed it! Thank you for reading my blog, and may you have a Happy New Year!! It's almost time to dig into some fondue and shrimp cocktails! See ya next year...

Friday, December 20, 2013


I just had a cathartic moment, and decided to write about it here. It was very powerful, and I want to write down what it was about before I loose touch with its' power. These moments are rare in my life.

I was watching a Beach Boys 50 year anniversary special on TV. I was taken by how old the members of the band had become, and was particularly drawn to Brian Wilson, as I'm familiar with the story about his collapse as well as his rise back up.

They played his song "Heroes and Villains", and I found myself almost entranced by the layers of beautiful harmony he'd created. I've heard it before, but not with the whole band involved. What a truly beautiful song!

Right after, that they played a song I grew up listening to that I always liked a lot. "Wouldn't it Be Nice" is a song I remember listening to as a small kid. Something about that song has always made me feel like it was written about me and my life.

Half way through the song I could feel tears beginning to well up in my eyes. Before I knew it, I was crying like a baby; literally sobbing and groaning. I realized that my whole life has been an adventure. I've lived almost 58 years without really understanding life, and the highs and lows we all deal with. It's all been an adventure of who each of us are as individuals and community. When you "get" that message on a cellular level, it almost feels like enlightenment. That was my catharsis.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

An Open Letter to the Portland Trailblazers

Dear Blazers,

I'm writing this as an apology to your basketball team. I've watched 5 or 6 of your games so far this season (all wins), and feel a need to say I'm sorry. Without a doubt, I have underestimated you.

As I looked at your roster before the season began, I admit I was depressed. I picked you to be no better than the 9th or 10th best team in the Western Conference. If I had bet on you back then, I would have surely predicted that you wouldn't come close to making the playoffs. I figured that winning 35 games would be a stretch. Well here you are... with a record of 16-3! Your best start since 1998/99.

When I noticed you got rid of JJ Hickson (one of the brighter spots on last year's team), and brought in Robin Lopez to play center this year, I thought that was a big mistake. I was wrong. Robin has come a long way since being drafted #18 in 2008. His numbers are not far off from JJ's, and he's a MUCH better shot blocker/ defensive presence.

I remember seeing a replay of Nicolas Batum purposely whacking a Spanish player in the nuts during the Olympics. I figured he was a dirty player trying to get an advantage due to his inability to play well. He already has 2 triple doubles this year, and has proven that he can give fits to all the small forwards in the League, both defensively and offensively.

Wes Mathews... I always liked his game, but thought he was far from being one of the best shooting guards in the league. Wrong again! He's averaging over 16 points a game this year, and is tough as nails defensively. Nightly, he's guarding  all stars successfully. He's only 27 years old!

Everyone knows that Damian Lillard was Rookie Of The Year last season, but many people (including myself) waited to see if he is for real. He IS for real! He's averaging 20+ points and a shade under 6 assists a game so far. He's also playing fewer minutes this year due to the acquisition of Mo Williams. The sky's the limit for this kid!

Lamarcus Aldridge... is probably the best Power Forward in the game right now. He's averaging 23.5 points, and 9.7 rebounds a game, good for 6th and 14th (3 guys in front of him in rebounding have 9.9) respectively. NO BODY wants to have to guard him in the league! He's a monster.

You have the best record in the Western Conference. Better than the Spurs, the Thunder, the Clippers, and the Rockets. Other than the Pacers (who you beat 2 nights ago), you have the best record in the league! No one's taking you lightly any more . And that definitely includes Yours Truly.