Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Personality Disorder Leads Coming Into the Home Stretch...

followed closely by High Anxiety, Johnny Law, Case Worker and Breathalizer Guy, with Self Esteem and Confidence bringing up the rear.

Hi All!

"You may be a bit antisocial."

"Antisocial? That may be a bit of an understatement.

You think rules are meant to be broken - and with gusto!
Having no fear, you don't even think about consequences.
But people love you anyway... you've got a boatload of charm."

I saved that passage awhile back and now I've forgotten who to attribute to. It is one of the things I've read lately that fit me to a tee.

And this, from Steven King's book, "A Memoir of the Craft." I must paraphrase as I can't find the exact passage now. It goes something like this:

I am equal parts cautious conservatism and reckless abandon, braided like strands of different colored hair.

As my annus horribilus draws to a close and the legal restrictions peel away, I find myself feeling my old conservative/reckless self. Resentments and anger are worming their way back into my fragile, freshly remodeled psyche. It is a dangerous time.

My life's work has been about being a good person and a model citizen with an irresistible urge to "beat the system" at every opportunity. It worked very very well for a long long time. Got me through school with top scores and honors, made a fast start of a profitable business, found better parking spaces and shorter lines.

The Big Dodge, which ultimately became my nearly total undoing was my ability to be a high-functioning heavy drinker. Being self-employed and quite successful at first, gave me all the freedom and flexibility to "enjoy myself" and the liquid courage to take chances.

I won't rehash all the various traumas I've lived through since I got stopped 4 blocks from home last May. I've been leaking them out in dribs and drabs which can be read in the archives going back to May 20, 2004.

As relative "freedom" is only days away, my old approach/avoidance malady is starting to kick in.

I will white-knuckle through it, but what happens next will be a stern test of how my hard work learning hard lessons will pay off. Frankly, I'm a bit chary. I think that is a good thing right now, but I can't live my new life based on fear.

Keep me in your thoughts. Blogging is a therapeutic lifeline for me--a way to get things out and a way to save my thoughts for future reference. Thanks for reading.


PS. The tongue tissue was benign, but I have a hell of a nasty ulcer which only time can heal. I just have to live with the inconvenience and perhaps turn it to an advantage by learning to avoid salty foods!

Friday, April 22, 2005

The Story of Tyrell

One of the more gregarious of my halfway housemates was a streetwise, brash and very funny young man, Tyrell.

Soon after my arrival at the house, we struck up a friendship and he gave me a street name, 'cos everybody gots to have a street name. Mine was "P Diddy" or "Puffy." It caught on, and soon everyone was calling me that. I wonder what my callers and visitors must have thought when they asked for me and got a, "you mean Puffy? I'll get him. HEY, P DIDDY!!"

One night I asked Tyrell how he came up with my moniker. The REAL Puffy Combs is black, I'm white. He's rich, I'm broke. He's svelte, I'm, well, "puffy." He's into hip hop, I'm into Brit Pop. He has a stable of foxy little ho's, my first and only wife is the mother of my children. Oh -- and I can't have people killed...

I guess I answered my own question. Tyrell replied, "That's 'cos you be de ANTI P Diddy, Puff!"

Tyrell and I would take evening strolls to get a couple of Dews and some Fiery Hot Deep Fried Pork Rinds at the local convenience store off Selby and Western. It seems out of place in that upscale, gentrified area. It's a little Arab-owned shop, with barely passable aisles stocked from floor to ceiling with what seemed as much variety as a supermarket.

Those hot pork rinds are addictive, but I have no doubt that they are absolutely the epitome of everything that's bad for one's system. Salt, grease, sugar, fat...makes Fritos seem like health food. They seem to have an initial fishy taste that is soon overwhelmed by searing heat. Best eaten one and a time and slowly, with alot of cold Dew at hand!

Tyrell could not pass a soul on our walks without at least a "wassup?" One night we were approaching WA Frost as a couple of well-dressed, attractive professional-looking women were leaving. Tyrell yelled out to the effect of "Hey, where're you foxys goin' so early? Wanna Party?" I believe it was a bit more slangy and street-jivey than that, but I was laughing too hard to hear it properly. They anxiously turned away and almost got hit in their hurry to scurry across Selby. We proceeded to the store. I turned back and saw them re-cross the street to get into their BMW which was parked right back in front of Frosts' entrance. Hee Hee!!!

Tyrell wound up getting kicked out after going postal when reprimanded for taking a couple of slices of ham and some cheese from the Kitchen Staff Only fridge for his Sunday morning omelet. I tried to bring him down to earth, but he was a different person, although I didn't feel threatened. As he left later that morning he told me I was alright for a white guy, but I shouldn't dream of trying to visit him on his South Minneapolis turf. "You safe around here, PD, but on the street they'd chew up yo fat white ass up and spit you out and ain't no way I'd give out that I know you. Take care."


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Fear and Moaning in Falcon Heights - The Final Cut

Hi All!

I'm due to reach 49 on May 9. As events unfold, I'll probably get beaned by a meteorite or a falling bank safe before then. I've survived too many health problems to die of any old mundane, pedestrian, garden-variety malady.

Maybe God has kept me alive just short of getting my driver's license back, now that I've already paid for it and finally “took a good picture.” Nice smile, nice hair, nice shirt. For six-hundred, ninety-five and 50/100 bucks, I made sure I looked pretty.

Allow me to recap. I have/had end stage liver disease, two near-fatal blood infections, 4 near-fatal bleeds, a couple of inches of Boston Scientific stent (BS is a good stock to invest in, btw). I had a cancer scare in my late teens when a lymph node in my neck grew to golf ball size (well, ping-pong ball size almost) and had to be removed, a messed-up root canal and probably some other stuff I don't remember.

I've twice received the Holy Sacrament of Extreme Unction. "Anointing of the Sick" is one of those wimpy Vatican II euphemisms that I never bought into. I have faith that my twice-confirmed reservation is inked-in on the schedule at St. Peter's desk and I’ll have a complete set of sacraments on my resume', save Holy Orders which is optional for Holy Matrimony.

Suffer me to proceed to the present. My tongue has been bothering me increasingly for a few months. It developed a little crater on the right-rear underside which became so irksome that I started having a hard time talking and eating (many would say that those are GOOD problems for me to have).

I'm supposed to be avoiding sodium. This has not been a particular problem of late. Dearly have I paid for daring the sneak of a Wavy Lay's chip or a jalapeno-imbued Tostito past that little sentinel on duty at my heretofore taken-for-granted taste organ.

My family G.P. could detect no infection (how could he as I have been mainlining powerful antibiotic straight into my heart for weeks?). He referred me to a renowned otolaryngologist who took one look at my complaint and asked if I am/was a heavy tobacco user (never) and/or a heavy drinker (bingo!).

Doc Okner determined that a needle biopsy was in order. He administered a particularly slow and painful novocaine injection. Based on the sight and dull sensation of the fatter, longer, blunter needle that went in next -- a LONG way in -- in addition to a rather disturbing sucking sound as the sample flesh core was extracted, I became appreciative of the relative comfort of the searing procaine hydrochloride "prick". A bit of cauterization and I was good to go.

The esteemed specialist lied that it "might be a bit sore" for a few days as he shooed me out the door before the anesthetic started ebbing, which occurred during the elevator ride to the lobby of Central Medical. With each passing second I felt hopefully certain that the pain could get no worse, but it eventually took the better part of an hour to stabilize at a plateau of unbearable agony.

It can best be described as the instant stab of pain from a generous tongue chomp, stuck in an endless loop.

Incidentally, I recently learned that I will need oral surgery to attempt to save the tooth with the root canal, so that has been tormenting the OTHER side of my mouth.

By the time number one son Alex picked me up in front of Central Medical, I was swept up in a "perfect storm" of hurt.


It is at times like this that I am sorely inclined to draw what is unarguably the most versatile and attention-grabbing arrow in the quiver of the English language in order to make a bullseye point.

When "the troubles" came last year I was admonished by well-meaning family members to bowdlerize future posts, as they felt that my past jottings smelt of late-night inebriation.

Sometimes it WAS the booze talking, but I have in any case been fascinated by the word since I first read an ancient finger etching preserved in the sidewalk upon which I trod to and fro St. Mark's grade school. I read it right-side and upside down countless times before curiosity got the best of me.

One day I cornered dad in his closet has he was changing after a hard day at the office. I shall never forget his mortified reaction when I innocently inquired as to what "f--k" meant. I got away with it that first time due to the blissfully ignorant innocence of youth and I still needed to go to Confession to be on the safe side, but the very next informed utterance guaranteed me a tight spot in the hottest SRO corner of Hell, confession be damned.

I still hadn’t learned its meaning at the time, only that once warned it would be mortally sinful and unforgivable should ever I pollute the air or deface a written leaf with it again. Cyberspace wasn't around yet, but I'm betting that word processing would also apply. I believe that Vatican II downsized that sin from Mortal to Venal, and I got to make a blanket confession from a presumed deathbed, so maybe I still have a shot at the Pearly Gates.

I have been reading Steven King's book about writing. He has no compunction whatever about liberally sprinkling The Word and other lesser vulgarities in the seasoning of his work. I guess it's okay if it helps make one a gajillionaire author. You'd think that getting rearranged by a stray minivan would have been a wake up call for him! At least Steve might be able to afford an air-conditioned suite at Satan's Spa. As far as Hell is concerned, you probably CAN take it with you. He had best bring cash, as I doubt that they’ll accept credit cards, what with the vendor fees and all.

Maybe he should convert to Islam, blow himself up and get the virgins (Swell -- now I've got Allah pissed at me too).

Suffice it to say that at this hour my mouth sikmek'n smarts. I'm still waiting for the nurbat'n Vicodin to kick in, but what I really need is a baszik'n belt. When I think of all the cheap off-sale painkiller I wasted in ruining my rzinal'n liver, it makes me "sick" to have to abstain when I could really take advantage of the fouzhaii'n mental and physical medicinal benefits which God intended when he inspired the ancients to distill the orginal batch of hooch.

Where would we be today had not a besotted cavemen got the goofy notion to rub a couple of dry sticks together. Atiduaa'n A, I don't know how he managed to remember how he did it when he came to. Maybe it was his blistered palms or the still-smoking denuded flora and roasted fauna he awoke to find himself surrounded by.

Further tempting me to chance sin is the fact that this is about the 5th and a 7/8 rewrite of this literary gem, thanks to my demonically possessed PC and the failure of the online editor to save complete drafts and to perform its highly touted new "recover post" feature. Alas and alack, what shiny pearls did I cast back to an ocean of bottomless depths?

My short-term electro-bio-chemical memory cell repository is generally no match for the AC/DC saving of my ones and zeroes by my faithful technological servants (could Ben Franklin not have been ale-soaked when he got the idea to fly a kite in a storm?). When the latter go, I am truly, um, dare I say...ska-rewd?


I'll learn my latest health prognosis soon. It just CAN'T be tongue cancer. Too predictable. Too obviously scripted. Too poetically just.

Upon hearing my news, mom informed me that grampa died of tongue cancer, not lung cancer as I was always given to believe. He got mustard gassed on a European jaunt to engage in the War to End All Wars and I can't remember ever having seen him without a chain-smoked self-rolled unfiltered coffin nail dangling from his lips, so I'm not too concerned about heredity in this case. Besides, Charlie lived to 70, which sounds pretty sweet to me and I am living proof of the advance of medical science since 1962.

I surely have a surprise ending in store. Almost wrote it a few weeks ago when I mis-timed a frantic jaywalk across University Avenue to catch an approaching 16A and nearly kissed the tail end of a passing flatbed. At least I caught the bus but since then I have chosen to live long enough to cross at the light and wait for the next one.

Yep, it surely will be my noggin breaking the fall of a meteorite...or at least a piece of a Northworst Airliner. That's my story and I'm sticking to it as I gaze up at the heavens and wonder how I'll ever get there.


Footnote: Greek, Hungarian, Turkamen, Turkish, Dutch, Polish and Breton dictionaries were consulted in the research for this post. An error code from the utterly useless diagnostic message that was displayed during one of the computer crashes was also employed. Still and all, it just don't feel the same as a strategically placed good, old-fashioned effenheimer.

Footprint: gets real futzy when it gets all trafficky. Management had better convince ownership to plow some profits into more gear. I can remember when eBay used to get like that, but they caught up with their growth long ago. I started composing this at 5pm. It is now hard by 11, oops, One-oh-seven the next day. What went into this was one-tenth inspiration and nine-tenths trying to get a final version posted.

F-F-F-F---Fa fa fa fa fa, fa fa fa....

Footfungus: Comcast went down....yet AGAIN! I have no idea if my next-to final product ever got published, but I make it my goal to grasp the opportunity presented by inopportune events, so I am now re-re-re-editing this with the a version I wisely presciently saved to Wordpad. There's more than one way to skin a cat (there I go about cats again) so hopefully this will eventually get blogged as soon as the computer gods cut me some well-deserved slack.

Let Me Draw You a Picture

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Open Season on Benedict XVI

Hi All!

I am prepared for an onslaught of Catholic Church bashing. The boys came home from their Catholic high school already circulating the rumor that Father Ratzinger was a Nazi. Google "Ratzinger Nazi" and you will amazed at what comes up. The site crashed, but there are plenty of hate sites to visit. (I had inserted a link to a site called "The Nazi Pope" on my other PC and I think it downloaded a nasty worm which got right by my so-called "firewall." I was able to save my work and am now on my daughter's PC.

I'm sure more than a few have already used Photoshop to put a white rat's face on the news photos of the new pontiff.

Personally, I think he is a perfect transitional pope, and I'm sure he was hand-picked by JPII. This will keep some continuity in matters of doctrine and pave the way for a third-world pope next time around.

Sometimes I feel like the personification of the last "fair" targets of societal approbation and disdain. I'm a conservative middle class, middle aged obese alcoholic American Catholic! Fire Away! It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

Ah well, time to get to the other PC and see what the heck happened. I have a weird icon in my tray which identifies itself as "keyboard filter" but won't allow for exiting and it blocks the task manager so I can't stop it without turning off the machine and rebooting in safe mode.

Can't blame the hate site yet, but it sure is a coincidence and I'm glad my initial post with the link didn't get published.


That Must Have Been God!

Hi All!

Not only did my video card burp over my overnight abuse, but some mofo hacked into my comments.

I like comments, and I wish I'd get more, but this one is spooky.

Title quotes one of my favorite Rock gods, Ian Hunter who, during a live performance with Mott the Hoople in the early seventies made that quick comeback after a startingly loud and albeit momentary 1000 watt amplifier belch.


Editor's note: Scroll down to the next one. It's almost passable. Read this one if you are have some extra time on your hands. Not as bad as "Here Kitty..." but 3:45 PM posts tend to scoop the bottom of the well, creatively speaking.

Hi All!

Why am I up past my bedtime? Because my pricey purveyor of broadcast, telephony and broadband was DOWN for a few hours today, for the 4th time in 5 days and I was catching up on all sorts of stuff before I settled down to writing. (If you can't get enough of me here, go to eBay and search on the seller, "merkurpro").

I guess it is instructive and illuminating to come to the realization that losing one's internet connection is missed as sorely as an electrical outage.

NSP doesn't give compensation for downtime, so I suppose Comcast won't either.

The thing about an internet outage is that, at least initially, you assume it's on your end and if you fancy yourself computer-literate, you are way too smug and over-educated to call India for service until you have gone thru extensive, system-debilitating machinations which will likey leave you needing to re-install Windows (you DID save the original, din't you?) on a newly re-formatted drive and have a fresh start sans gigbytes of "priceless" data which you will eventually miss less than you think.

Too smart to use backup software? Not me! Got myself Norton Ghost 9.0, made a backup before major surgery on my drive, screwed it up and got a fatal error when trying to restore (a problem that haunts this version of Ghost, I have learned too late).

I've conjured a practical, if not especially ingenious "work around". Save all those shiny mini-frisbees that the dialup people keep sending (although not as much as they used to). By the way, you can make great bird-scaring garden mobiles out of them.

Make sure your old-fashioned 56K (28K if lucky) modem is installed hard by an old fashioned phone jack. When your broadband deserts you, hook up the modem, start your free trial and remember what a pain dial-up speed was. Oh, and remember to cancel the service before the billing kicks in. Once they've got your attention with a charge, they are pretty greedy about holding on to at least a month's worth.

As you gaze out the window waiting for screen-uploads, try to fathom how so many clueless souls are draining their savings with an AOL or MSN account - especially those with automatic credit card charging who have never even USED them.

Oh, and swallow your pride and call service. If you're lucky, you will get a "reassuring" message that the system is temporarily down and that dedicated technicians are moving heaven and earth to get you back on-line. Otherwise you can wait on hold (great opportunity to use that speakerphone) for Sarita to key in your vital statistics and to apologetically inform you that, yes, there seems to be an "unreported" outage in your neighborhood. Not to fear, as a crack squad of highly-trained technicians are working feverishly to get you back into the Web and hence, relative sanity.

Cripes, it's bad enough what Comcast charges, but be patient. Competition will work it's wonders in due time, if the durned gummamint can stay relatively out of it. Meanwhile, I will keep paying until they pry my cable modem (you own your own vs. renting it, right?) from my cold, dead desktop.

Beware the Trojan Horse of City-provided wireless service. The threat of such may keep the commerical providers on their guard, but ultimately a City "Service" would be as inefficient and subtly costly and make as much sense as any City-owned utility. Ok, I'll give you water and transit, but who built the systems and walked away when they become unprofitable? Easier to let the government pick up the mess and hide the real cost thru taxes.

Aside: If you know the history of Kid Kann(sp) and his young accolite "slick" Carl Pohland and the Twin Cities Rapid Transit system, you can write off the Twins helping out much with a new stadium, which is agreed, particularly of old "Save the Met" activists like me, unless MLB allows for municpal franchise ownership. You think he's gonna assume room temp soon? I thought that in 1981 when I got to know him as the Board Chair of the Minneapolis Chamber and I had to snow him about how great a computer genius I would be for a modest fee. Even the Pope wasn't immortal, but I'm not sure about "smile'n" Carl. In any case, his sons haven't fallen far from the tree, and they hardly need to sell the Twins to pay for funeral expenses.

I think I'm getting tired enough now. Off to bed and the reading of Steven Kings autobiographal book on writing. Think I've learned so far is I need to start punctuating my prose with well-aimed, if jarring profanity. Since 10/03/04 I have strained heroically to keep things "clean" but sometime it gets boring so eff it.


Editor's note: Wog's video card had had quite enough of this ceaseless wakeful revising. From what he could read in the Mega-Supersize screen display, all was lost and it was time to reset and lose your work.

Wog reports that he beat the system for once. Although the screen was unreadable, he managed to remember the keystrokes to save and post, not that it made the piece any more readable.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Raging Bowel

Hi All!

Dad's gonna kill me for this but that's been a frequent idle threat going on 49 years so I'll take me chances. Besides, I've done enough to my health to save him the trouble and jail time.

The spry old man had a butt-check last week. Saturday night, he started defecating crimson at his NW Wisconsin lake estate.

A quick trip to the local hospital was followed by a slow, hairy, pea soup fog navigated ambulance ride to United in St Paul.

Turns out the wound from a polyp snip sprang a nasty leak (don't they cauterize them things?)

The part I'm getting to is his frustrating health-care experience. Lots of conflicting doctors' opinions and CYAs, indifferent and/or English-challenged nursing staff, broken promises, rank tedium.

Tell me about it -- I am a Health Care Frequent Flyer and won't try to even begin to delve into all my tales.

Well, I'll relate dese ones, anaway...

How to Improve Your Nursing Care

Suck up, Suck up and then some. I am naturally charming , but have had to swallow hard and BS the extra mile sometimes.

After you press the call button, start counting to googleplex. You can stop when the nurse arrives, when you sheepishly apologize profusely for being such an intolerable pest, what with all the really sick people that need attention, but could you please change that empty IV bag? Hint: Don't mention that she promised to do it an hour ago.

Related advice on those snazzy electronic IV monitors. They like to beep annoyingly when you so much as flinch. Try to wheel the stand into the bathroom without setting it off -- can't be done, even by a bomb diffusion expert.

I learned to press the RESET button on the contraption unless the bag was empty. Sometimes I had to cycle the power to shut it up. That's all the nurses do, and you don't have to put them out every 10 minutes. Don't let on that you are doing that though, or you are in for a scolding.

If you are hospitalized for several days, the nurses will get to know you and look forward to fetching you frosty fresh pitchers of ice water, easy on the water, and cranberry juice. easy on the ice. without you even needing to ask. They will be eating out of your hand. Flattery gets you everywhere!

If all else fails, take a wing walk, learn where the goodies are and go get them yourself. Hint: The door usually warns, "Staff Only!" Staff don't give a rip and probably are thankful for you saving them the trouble. If they confront you, turn on the charm and volunteer as you were just trying to not to make an insufferable pest of yourself.

Take a different tack with Doctors. Grill 'em mercilessly -- they be your ass-savers and you are showing a healthy interest in your health, as if you have to prove it! Make them sniff the odor of your potential future as a malpractice claimant, but do it ever so subtly. Just keep asking dumb questions to keep them in the room and make them earn the $80 they are charging you for the visit. You'll learn alot and if you half-way good at it, you'll rate a red tabbed entry in your records binder warning other practitioners to pay special heed to "this patient".

Don't believe it? Well, among my other indescribable patient indescretions, I will always grab my three-ring off the desk when no one is looking. Trust me. Nice to nurses, Chummy but firm with doctors (chat them up -- they don't bite as a rule).

Stay out of Nursing Homes

During my adventures of late, I spent 5 days in the "Transitional Wing" of "The Lexington", not to be confused with the landmark restaurant.

I had to be there because there was no place else to stash me at the time, what with the commitment and so forth. I filled many journal pages with descriptions of the bizarre, depressing and humorous experiences there, but I can tell you that in future I will do anything to avoid letting any friends or relatives. let alone moi, from getting ash-canned into one of those diabolically horrid places. (Mom, Dad, you can live with us as was done in olden times when families made the sacrifice and took the responsibility to care for their own at home).

I see that day coming again societally, by the way.

My room was adjacent to the floor station. I guess it was a nurses' station but I didn't see too many nurses. Mainly orderlies and nurses' aides.

Treading on sensitive ground here, but I don't let PC get in the way of the facts. A majority of staff consists of African immigrants who walk to work from the nearby St. Anthony High Rise Slum.

I was my usual disarming charmer, but language barriers dulled the inpact, although the exchange of smiles, my youth and my relative sanity were helpful, I at least delude myself to think. At least they checked on me once in awhile without me joining the screaming chorus of plaintive "Helllppp meee"s that haunted the halls.

My particular aggravation occured overnight, as the nurses' station became the equivalent of a daily conclave around a tribal village well. It was a gleeful, happy high-pitched, high-decible cacophony of indecipherable chatter which almost, but unfortunately didn't quite drown out the endless complaint of the shrill BEEP BEEP BEEP of the call notification announcing apparatus.

Fun to listen to for awhile but not conducive to restful sleep, even with the door closed.

Won't leave you hanging without the solution. Requested and got a new room at the far end of the hall!

It's unfair to blame my sleeplessness solely on staff. The inmates, er, "clients" provided much loud audio, much of which were the stuff of Edgar Allen Poe stories. Often profane, seldom humorous and overall very disturbing.

But that's another story. Remind me to tell it sometime.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

Here, Kitty Kitty Kitty!

Editor's Note: This stray tomcat of a post deserves to be "fixed" if not euthanized. Sometimes the writer gets so wrapped up in throwing words at the wall to see what sticks, that the product is an inconsistent half-bake. The author has promised to compose a second draft, but I won't hold my breath. For now, I will leave this piece of steaming odiferous excrement on-line for all to behold. As the author is wont to remind me, "Even the Great make mistakes." Let this be a lesson to Wog, that frequent polluter of bandwidth"!

Hi All!

Our Wisconsin friends have been in the news lately as a DNR advisory group is pushing to legalize the shooting of feral cats. (That means "wild" for those in the General College)

The animal rights sissies are predictably aghast and agape at the very suggestion. Never mind that these fearsome felines and terrible tabbies slaughter millions and millions of sweet little songbirds each and every year.

Governor Doyle has intervened, declaring the effort to make this rational and humane proposal a non-starter. His concern is that his beer-besotted, cheese-headed state is becoming "a laughing stock." !?

Too late, Doyle. Wisconsin's reputation is sealed, cats and birds be damned.

A short paragraph at the end of the article, sort of an "Oh, by the way" made a wheat chex catch in my throat.

Come to find out that Minnesota, the land countless lakes, loons and liberals actually allows this disgusting bloodsport.

Uh Oh....

I just sensed a stirring in the Left Wing of the State Capitol. For a group which fought tooth and nail to save the delectable mourning dove from mass extermination, a choice will have to be made between wild kitties and sweet little birdies.

I'm predicting a mobilization of the Cat Pride movement.

I admit a deeply held suspicion and coolness toward cats. My Nana used to say that cats and crows are reincarnations of really evil people, and I'm inclined to believe it, so I'd personally off a wild cat if given the chance. Unfortunately, dad's lake place is in freak'n Wisconsin.

Minnesota marksmen, you had best bag as many ferals as you can this year, 'cos it's too late to get a bill heard this Spring, but I'm sure one will be in the hopper for next session. Lessee, this would be a project for "Perky" Ellen Anderson Dawkins and Alice "Ma" Hausmann.

There. I've "outed" myself as a cat hater so when I get elected to the Legislature the Cat Activists won't have to litter the media with surreptitious photos of me hanging out at the Kitty Kat Klub.


Meow, hiss, scratch, rip, tear...

Vlad the Impaler? Ghenghis Khan? Stalin? Pol Pot? Jack the Ripper? Jerry Falwell?

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Story of Tony

Hi All!

Story from the half-way house.

We had house meetings a couple of times a week and took the pay phone handset off the hook as that was our inbound call phone and the meetings were not to be interrupted.

The guy nearest the phone would hold the handset against his leg to muffle the beep beep off-hook signal until it went away.

One night, a fairly new guy, I'll call him Tony, became agitated with the muffled beeps. He interrupted the meeting and the following transpired:

Tony: "Hey! Push that lever down and it will go quiet."

Phone Guy: "It will just come back again."

Tony: "S--t, I'll fix it!" Jumps from chair, grabs handset and hangs it up -- upside down. "There!"

The group was silent -- he seemed pretty, um, tense and sometimes it's better not to confront someone in that state, especially given the backgrounds that got some of us there.

Soon, the phone rang. Tony turned to stare at the phone incredulously.

"It didn't do that the other day!"


Saturday, April 09, 2005


His Mother was a Hamster and His Father Smelt of Elderberries


Conceived in the Back Seat of the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile

Pump'n (into) My Heart

Hi All!

Am writing this to kill time between squeezing antibiotic out of a syringe, into a tube that goes into my arm, up and around and down to within inches of my heart. Got the good news last Thursday that the "PICC" line will be pulled out next week.

It's been an aggravation, especially trying to keep the tubing coiled up under a cut off sock. Tends to slide down, especially at night, which tugs the line at the hole where it enters and has caused some messy bleeds.

Not that I haven't had any fun with it. One day, a couple of neighborhood urchins came to the door wanting to visit Stan and Ollie, our little black mongrels. I stood on the front steps making small talk when I noticed that their saucer-shaped eyes were fixated on my arm, from which a tube emerged from a blood-soaked gauze patch, down to the huge syringe I was holding in my hand with my thumb on the plunger.

"Oh, this is medicine. I was sick and this is making me all better."

Stunned silence, from which Oscar sheepishly volunteered, "Does it hurt?"

I can imagine them going home and telling their mommies that Mr. Kuettel had a big needle in his arm.

I'm telling you, this system would be a helluva way to self-administer illicit intravenous narcotic potions. No needles, no tracks, just a little hole.

Whilst on the health topic, I heard from the Fairview University Liver Transplant "Team" that my voluminous records had been received and that the appointment for the initial evaluation will come within a month. I'm still hoping they tell me to go home 'cos I'm wasting their time -- in a good way, meaning all those novenas to St Padre Pio are working and I can keep the liver what I was borned with.

What a May it is shaping up to be! End of commitment, end of house arrest, my 49th birthday, our 24th anniversary and my parents' 50th, and a brand spanking new $690 drivers license, if I can pass the written test. Perhaps I'll choose to have it administered in Swahili to make it challenging. I best not get too cocky. With my luck the multiple choice question about how many drinks it takes to go over .08 won't include the answer, "not as many as you think."

The XR4ti is gone, but it's older brother, the luxurious Scorpio will emerge from storage and get the amount of unnaturally obsessive care and adoration, almost sexual in nature, that might get the neighbors to talking. Well, maybe they'll forget about my terrorizing their little boys by shooting up in their presence.

Sorry if some of this was old news. I seldom look back on my past writing and I'll bet alot of readers don't get into the archives, so it's my blog and I'll do what I want, by Jesus!


Bonus material! I've got to start collecting some of the amusing suggestions that the blogger spell checker tries on some of my made-up and/or unconventional words. I deserve it. But really, managerial for mongrel, mummies for mommies, specialties for sheepishly, nubians for novenas?

Kettle for Kuettel? At least the pronunciation is right.

Instrument of Torture - CONFESS or I give you more!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Crimea River

Hi All!

I was vaguely aware that our Land of 10,000 Liberals had a law that sets a minimum gasoline price. Hadn't thought much about it until reading today of an upstart station that was selling gas for, heaven forfend, $2.00/gallon. The other dealers in the area were up in arms and after the excrement was drawn into the rotating blades, the chastened dealer raised his price to $2.10/gallon.

Ah, but this was not enough. The poor station owners who are being forced at gunpoint to sell gas for $2.19 to $2.35 (as of yesterday) poured out their pain and agony to the newspaper, complaining that they will be driven out of business. Like fun they will. One little station in a town that has seemingly thousands is not gonna bring the retail gasoline industry to its knees.

Not only is this station a giant burr in the saddle, it's apparently owned by some shady "Religious Group!"

The very horror!

I suspect that the force of anti-free-market law will win and these upstarts will be squashed with dire and expensive repercussions.

Now I guess I might be falling into a trap by wondering how far Sam Walton would have gone had he not built his business by selling for less than his competitors. My Darn Foolish Liberal friends will say, "Aha! That's just the point! If Arkansas had had a similar law for General Stores, good old Ma and Pa on Main Street would still be in business."

Wouldn't that be just peachy. It's not to late for some wingnut in the Senate to introduce a non-starter bill to spread the scope of the law to mass merchandisers. Then Ma and Pa blow the whistle on Holiday who could go after Target who would set their lawyers on Wal*Mart.

Sorry. Adam Smith economists don't call it Market Rationalization for nothing. And it's a good thing, if you axe me! Would that those who are always carping about not legislating morality would see that you can't legislate Econ 101, at least in the long run. It don't work, folks.


Friday, April 01, 2005


Hi All!

A bit of this and that...

Terry Schiavo is dead, John Paul II is dying. Read a good line in Opinion Journal: "The pope now has a feeding tube. Good thing he's not married."


Mitch Berg Sighting. The media and internet raconteur was spotted in the vicinity of Hamline and Minnehaha at about 3:00 pm on Thursday, according to my sharp-eyed son. Asked what the endlessly busy bloggy bustler was up to, Alex reported, "It looked like he was just walking." Just walking? Developing...


I continue to catch some concerned and well-intentioned heat about my newfound predilection for O'Doul's Amber. Have done deep internet mining and have satisfied myself that it is about as dangerous as vodka-free orange juice.

As far as the mental craving/relapse stuff. It is not an issue. If it were to become one, I will deal with it. For now, as Bowie lyricized, "If he says he can do it, then he can DO it, he don't make false claims." Refer to "Watch That Man" on the "Aladdin Sane" elpee.

The clincher for me was a research report on which combed Islamic teaching and concluded thus:
"Hence, there are no grounds to prohibit this drink. And Allah knows best."

Of course, Muslims have used the Teachings to draw some conclusions, such as jihad against infidels like me, that one could take issue with.

But I'll have to go with Allah on this one.


Still sorting things out about losing the collector car thanks to the MADDness which influenced current DWI law and allows such grossly unfair and unevenly enforced seizure and forfeiture of assets without regard to financial consideration.


Heard from a fellow on the 90-day house arrest program. Apparently they are letting him do his time at Hazelden, but somehow he was able to get some booze and now he is waiting to see if they are gonna toss him in the workhouse. I wish him luck. The same threat was made to me this week because I got home a bit late from my scheduled away time on Easter. My poor supervisor got paged at his family holiday gathering and he was much inconvenienced by my tardiness.


One of these days I've got to ruminate about the uniform unpleasantness of every single law enforcement person I've encountered during the past year. I guess they feel that if they show me the least kindness -- even a smile, that I will become so attached to the penal system as to recitivize.


Barnard and the Morning Crew on KQ pulled a decent April Fool this morning. Provided deadpan reportage regarding a "Judge Anderson" who had struck down the new no smoking in bars law. Was so convincing that I had to go to the web to check the local news sources. Wonder how many thousands of listeners and second-hand hearers will be disappointed when they show up at Squirrely's with a pack of Camel Straights tonight?

Now you can pack heat in a bar but you can't bring a pack of heaters.