HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - city of big bottoms and small minds.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

PACKERS VERSUS VIKINGS - GONNA BE A DOGFIGHT?

Yesterday my manager, Liz Fischer and I met to cut another comedy CD. Liz is a really avid Green Bay Packer fan and probably one of the most knowledgeable that I know. Her opinion closely ( I think) jibes with THIS blog by a sports writer on the coming season:

Are the Green Bay Packers Now the Favorite in the NFC North?
By Chad Lundberg (Packers Featured Columnist) on August 30, 2010

With all the offseason troubles the Vikings have had (especially Sidney Rice's injury), do you think the Packers are the favorite to win the North?

I haven't taken a side in the Vikings-Packers debate. I've always stuck to my guns that the two teams are equally impressive, and that they will be fighting for the division all along the season.

An interesting debacle has recently shown up. The Vikings No. 1 receiver, Sidney Rice, revealed that he had hip surgery that will keep him out of the first 8 weeks of the regular season.

Sidney Rice exploded last season with over 1,312 yards with a 15.8 yard average and 8 touchdowns. He was Brett Favre's favorite target.

Most believe Brett won't have the kind of season he had last year. Even if he were to somehow keep up his monumental performance, if you take 1,300 away from 4,200, that's only 2,900 yards.

The loss of Chester Taylor isn't bad only for the running game, but the passing game as well. He had 44 receptions for almost 400 yards and a touchdown.

So you're taking essentially 1,700 yards away from a quarterback who is pushing 41 and a bad ankle.

On top of that, Artis Hicks, their right guard from last season, is no longer on the roster and was lost in free agency. All they have is a fifth round pick to fill the void.

With 34 sacks, and with over 27% of all their run attempts last season going for a loss or no gain, the last thing the Vikings needed was losing some experienced depth at the offensive line.

I'm not saying that Favre will only get 2,500 yards next season. I'm sure you're smart enough to figure that out. Sidney Rice only be out for 8 games, after all.

It just goes to show how limited the Vikings are now when it comes to their offense.

Their only hope is that Percy Harvin can fight through the migraines, that Javon Walker can play like he did in 2004, and that their tight ends can show up in the passing game.

Sidney Rice will be back, no question. But losing Favre's favorite target for eight games could easily land them somewhere around 4-4, and it gives Green Bay an excellent chance to take the North.

I think that we can all agree that the Vikings have been deeply hurt by free agency and that this will mark the first time in Brad Childress's career with the Vikings that he has failed to make this team better than the year before.



Here's how I feel:

The Packers are really in bad shape in the defensive secondary. Al Harris is out. Bigby was never that impressive. #31 is working with a lot of young, untested kids. And he's another year older and no doubt a step slower.

Will we beat the Vikings? Not if their rookie guard steps up and fills the spot vacated by the loss of Artis Hicks. The whole Viking season revolves around their quarterback.

They had better block really well because I don't think Brett can take many more games like the playoff game with the Saints last year.

There I said it.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

HELP, I'VE FALLEN AND I CAN'T GET UP!

This coming friday will be the three week anniversary of the removal of my gall bladder (the real term ends in "ectomy").

I am becoming aware of the onset of old person's "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up"syndrome.

Last winter it was the slip on the icy steps routine that laid me up with a broken ankle for months.

Yesterday morning I was leaving my office for the car, lost my balance leaving the last step and wind milled about six feet before crashing to the ground on my right hip and the right side of my stomach, not only knocking the wind oout of myself, but sending a real thriller of pain through all the incisions in my lower abdomen.

I, in addition to being hurt, was dumbfounded to find myself on the ground. I don't slip and fall. Well, I never used to slip and fall. WTF??

So of course, I tried to get up too quickly and lost my balance and went down again. There are two inherent problems: 1. I have four incisions that are still trying to re-fuze, and I am on a blood thinner, the kind of rat poison know as Cumodin, and one of the warnings on the bottle is not to cut yourself or to fall down - falling down can cause one to bleed to death internally.

I finally got myself up, brushed myself off, and took inventory. I found that outside of some new pain to the half healed incisions, that I now found it difficult to breathe deeply without pain. The general feeling was one of having sprained my chest.

But I soldiered on for the rest of the active day, taking Walter down to visit Doug in Osseo, returning home and firing off two large pizzas for the angels of mercy at Luther Hospital who h ad been such great help to Doug. By the time we got back home from retrieving pans and got ready for bed, I was having difficulty moving about at all. But I chalked it off to "end od day" "things will be better in the morning" and got into bed way in advance of Kim.

I had struggled mightily to find a reclining position that didn't hurt. Then Kim came to bed,and woke me up in search of the TV remote control.

Not being able to find it without getting out of bed caused me to realize that NOW I was in real trouble physically. We turned out the lights and I tried to once again find the position. Instead, there was no position that now did not produce whelps of pain and finally fed up with it, Kim threw her robe on and told me we were going to the hospital.

The emergency staff wanted blood for tests, and my arteries were still in hiding from the surgery and hospital stay of weeks ago, so I have punctures in both forearms today.

After being there for over an hour they determined that nothing was broken, that I was not bleeding interiorly, and that my pain was all from the fall which had "disturbed" my healing incisions.

Armed with pain pills we returned home.

There were a lot of things I was going to accomplish today. Ain't gonna happen.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Angels of Mercy


Sometimes I will open my show talking about having spent time in a nursing home to re-hab my right leg after a terrible crushing motorcycle accident that kept me laid up at the nursing home for nearly three weeks." I have seen the future", I say, "and it's not pretty."

Luckily, I developed a nasty infection in the lower part of the injured leg and had to be transferred to Luther Hospital. It felt like I was moving into the Ritz Hotel!

Please do not misunderstand. The staff at the nursing home were all wonderful women who gave of themselves fully for the duration of their shifts. But they were really understaffed and overworked. And still managed to carry themselves with dignity and a smile. The problem is that the patient/nurse ratio is sadly skewed an the employees are working their buns off! - clearly a case of under paid' over worked.

This time around with Doug, I have been to see him every day for three weeks. We knew that Doug was "pining away" after Walter, his daschund, as he had never, ever been away from his best friend for such a length of time.

For the past three weeks I have been first to Sacred Heart Hospital to visit a dear friend who was then transferred to Luther Hospital for intensive heart surgery, The doctor did three bypasses and installed a brand new valve. Within 12 hours my friend had a heart-stopping attack and the doctors, in addition to performing CPR, then had to intstall both a pace maker and a defibrillator.

The other night Kim and I were visiting with Doug and discussing if there was any way we could smuggle Walter in for s short visit before bed time.

Then our "Angel of Mercy" sauntered into the room to check on Doug and overheard our doggie conversation. This sweet and understanding lady said that if we were to bring Walter up the following night in his traveling case there was no reason that Doug could not spend some time with Walter. She assured us that she would inform all nurses on duty to "look the other way.

I wish you all could have been with us when we unzipped Walter's carrying case and carefully sat him on his dad's lap. Walter was so glad to see Doug that he licked his face for a good five minutes, all the while his little tail lashing back and forth.

As we were preparing to leave I pulled the truly angelic RN Shannon Ceratto aside and begged her to please let me "pay it forward" by bringing in a couple of my home made large pizzas for an evening snack on tuesday night,

So the date has been set.

Last night Kim and I took Walter in for his second visit with his "daddy". Talk aboutd therapy!!!

Thank you Luther Hospital and especially thank you to Registered Nurse Shannon Ceratto for making it all happen. What a very special evening!


This May Angelo poem i dedicated to the caring staff of Luther:

Touched By An Angel

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.


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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

THE MINDSET OF THE CLASS OF 2014

Beloit, Wis. – Born when Ross Perot was warning about a giant sucking sound and Bill Clinton was apologizing for pain in his marriage, members of this fall’s entering college class of 2014 have emerged as a post-email generation for whom the digital world is routine and technology is just too slow.

Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. The creation of Beloit’s Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief, it was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation. The Mindset List website at www.beloit.edu/mindset, the Mediasite webcast and its Facebook page receive more than 400,000 hits annually.

The class of 2014 has never found Korean-made cars unusual on the Interstate and five hundred cable channels, of which they will watch a handful, have always been the norm. Since "digital" has always been in the cultural DNA, they've never written in cursive and with cell phones to tell them the time, there is no need for a wrist watch. Dirty Harry (who’s that?) is to them a great Hollywood director. The America they have inherited is one of soaring American trade and budget deficits; Russia has presumably never aimed nukes at the United States and China has always posed an economic threat.

Nonetheless, they plan to enjoy college. The males among them are likely to be a minority. They will be armed with iPhones and BlackBerries, on which making a phone call will be only one of many, many functions they will perform. They will now be awash with a computerized technology that will not distinguish information and knowledge. So it will be up to their professors to help them. A generation accustomed to instant access will need to acquire the patience of scholarship. They will discover how to research information in books and journals and not just on-line. Their professors, who might be tempted to think that they are hip enough and therefore ready and relevant to teach the new generation, might remember that Kurt Cobain is now on the classic oldies station. The college class of 2014 reminds us, once again, that a generation comes and goes in the blink of our eyes, which are, like the rest of us, getting older and older.

The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2014

Most students entering college for the first time this fall—the Class of 2014—were born in 1992.
For these students, Benny Hill, Sam Kinison, Sam Walton, Bert Parks and Tony Perkins have always been dead.

1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.

2. Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.

3. “Go West, Young College Grad” has always implied “and don’t stop until you get to Asia…and learn Chinese along the way.”

4. Al Gore has always been animated.

5. Los Angelinos have always been trying to get along.

6. Buffy has always been meeting her obligations to hunt down Lothos and the other blood-suckers at Hemery High.

7. “Caramel macchiato” and “venti half-caf vanilla latte” have always been street corner lingo.

8. With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.

9. Had it remained operational, the villainous computer HAL could be their college classmate this fall, but they have a better chance of running into Miley Cyrus’s folks on Parents’ Weekend.

10. A quarter of the class has at least one immigrant parent, and the immigration debate is not a big priority…unless it involves “real” aliens from another planet.

11. John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.

12. Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.

13. Parents and teachers feared that Beavis and Butt-head might be the voice of a lost generation.

14. Doctor Kevorkian has never been licensed to practice medicine.

15. Colorful lapel ribbons have always been worn to indicate support for a cause.

16. Korean cars have always been a staple on American highways.

17. Trading Chocolate the Moose for Patti the Platypus helped build their Beanie Baby collection.

18. Fergie is a pop singer, not a princess.

19. They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.

20. DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed.

21. Woody Allen, whose heart has wanted what it wanted, has always been with Soon-Yi Previn.

22. Cross-burning has always been deemed protected speech.

23. Leasing has always allowed the folks to upgrade their tastes in cars.

24. “Cop Killer” by rapper Ice-T has never been available on a recording.

25. Leno and Letterman have always been trading insults on opposing networks.

26. Unless they found one in their grandparents’ closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides.

27. Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.

28. They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.

29. Reggie Jackson has always been enshrined in Cooperstown.

30. “Viewer Discretion” has always been an available warning on TV shows.

31. The first computer they probably touched was an Apple II; it is now in a museum.

32. Czechoslovakia has never existed.

33. Second-hand smoke has always been an official carcinogen.

34. “Assisted Living” has always been replacing nursing homes, while Hospice has always been an alternative to hospitals.

35. Once they got through security, going to the airport has always resembled going to the mall.

36. Adhesive strips have always been available in varying skin tones.

37. Whatever their parents may have thought about the year they were born, Queen Elizabeth declared it an “Annus Horribilis.”

38. Bud Selig has always been the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

39. Pizza jockeys from Domino’s have never killed themselves to get your pizza there in under 30 minutes.

40. There have always been HIV positive athletes in the Olympics.

41. American companies have always done business in Vietnam.

42. Potato has always ended in an “e” in New Jersey per vice presidential edict.

43. Russians and Americans have always been living together in space.

44. The dominance of television news by the three networks passed while they were still in their cribs.

45. They have always had a chance to do community service with local and federal programs to earn money for college.

46. Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.

47. Children have always been trying to divorce their parents.

48. Someone has always gotten married in space.

49. While they were babbling in strollers, there was already a female Poet Laureate of the United States.

50. Toothpaste tubes have always stood up on their caps.

51. Food has always been irradiated.

52. There have always been women priests in the Anglican Church.

53. J.R. Ewing has always been dead and gone. Hasn’t he?

54. The historic bridge at Mostar in Bosnia has always been a copy.

55. Rock bands have always played at presidential inaugural parties.

56. They may have assumed that parents’ complaints about Black Monday had to do with punk rockers from L.A., not Wall Street.

57. A purple dinosaur has always supplanted Barney Google and Barney Fife.

58. Beethoven has always been a dog.

59. By the time their folks might have noticed Coca Cola’s new Tab Clear, it was gone.

60. Walmart has never sold handguns over the counter in the lower 48.

61. Presidential appointees have always been required to be more precise about paying their nannies’ withholding tax, or else.

62. Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine.

63. Their parents’ favorite TV sitcoms have always been showing up as movies.

64. The U.S, Canada, and Mexico have always agreed to trade freely.

65. They first met Michelangelo when he was just a computer virus.

66. Galileo is forgiven and welcome back into the Roman Catholic Church.

67. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always sat on the Supreme Court.

68. They have never worried about a Russian missile strike on the U.S.

69. The Post Office has always been going broke.

70. The artist formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg has always been rapping.

71. The nation has never approved of the job Congress is doing.

72. One way or another, “It’s the economy, stupid” and always has been.

73. Silicone-gel breast implants have always been regulated.

74. They’ve always been able to blast off with the Sci-Fi Channel.

75. Honda has always been a major competitor on Memorial Day at Indianapolis.

Monday, August 16, 2010

WHAT DID YOU DROP IN THE TOILET TODAY?

One of the true joys of being a guy in his late sixties is the sudden realization that the plumbing is rather rapidly going to heck. And the muscles that I used to be able to hold back the torrential flood waters with have atrophied and I am officially a dribbler.

Add to this the doctor's prescription for a diuretic to reduce the swelling in my ankles, brought on by water retention.

Once I have committed the morning to constant running for the nearest bath room, it becomes an on going challenge to complete daily chores. I have gotten so that I won't get in the car until mid afternoon.

The reason? I put it to you earlier - failing muscles, incessant need to urinate - a bad combination.

The whole "accident waiting to happen" happened yesterday. I stopped to fuel up and I no sooner got the pump started than I had that intense urge - it felt like the Hoover Dam just blew!

I head for the station as fast as I can on crippled legs.

I scream "Where's the bath room?! She points.

I get to the door and there are two college kids - they are standing visiting, just far away from the bath room enough to make me wonder if they are in line. thankfully the dude ahead of us is done - I hear the flush. the door pops open and I make my move - right into two massive bodies one of which is bellering" "we were here first."

"Make ite quick - I'm in a lotta trouble here!" I yell back.

By now I am doing my Michael jackson moves to the crotch in hopes.

Finally they exit and I am on that stool! I am getting near the end of my business when some guy starts railing on the men's room door.

I half get up, flushing the handle, pants around my thighs, still over the toilet - the guy raps the door again -- I yell" Yeh! Just a minute!' and watch as my cased digital camera's weight frees the belt from the loop, the belt takes aim at the bowl and down the slide goes the camera and case - PLoop!

And all the while the bastard outside is beating on the door. That guy does not know how lucky he was I didn't have my gun.

Oh, in case you're wondering - the camera still works - but I still take pictures that belong in the toilet.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

PACKERS LOSE EXHIBITION OPENER TO CLEVELAND

These photos, of course, have been published in exactly the opposite order that they should have been so associate the writing with the picture at the bottom and work your way up.

I hooked up wth my old fishing pal. Steve "Roy" Rogers at the gas station junction of highways 27/29, Cadott, and we headed out for an evening of exhibition football at Lambeau.
We managed to find a ten dollar parking spot about four blocks from the stadium and I did my best impression of a tortoise. We were in the process of crossing Lombardi Avenue when from behind me I hear a woman say: "Larry Heagle?" Then a male voice yells "Larry Heagle!" and it's my younger brother Anson and his wife Diana!

In typical Heagle communication, neither of us knew that the other was going to the game. 68,900 people headed for the entrances and I find family! freaky, man! What are the odds!!!

My overall impression of the team is that we have a long way to go before we face the Philadelphia Iggles. I had this pre-conceived notion that we would kick Cleveland ass soundly.

Matt Flynn acquitted himself pretty well, I thought.

The game was hot and sweaty but the lovely women of Wisconsin, wearing as little as possible, made the trip worthwhile if we'd missed every snap.

This is the first time i have gone to a pre-season game and the atmosphere is completely different than it is - oh say - mid November.

The Wave -- again and again. large beach balls being bounced from section to section. We had seats in the corner of the end zone - unfortunately every time the Packers got down near our goal line, the quarter would end and they would ship them to Appleton for the next quarter.
Because of my incisions and faulty knee, we left about five minutes before the end of the game only to find out that tha Pack lost by a field goal on the last play.
Lambeau Field is a great place to be. If you haven't had the privilege, but it on your to do list and start saving some beer money.

Steve dropped me off at my car about 1:05 and I tried to stay awake until I got home.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

I'VE GOT VEINS LIKE NIGHT CRAWLERS

Yeterday I had two appointmentS at the Marshfield Center: a follow up with Dr. Ray, my sleep disorder doc, and a blood draw to check my Cumodin levels. Dr. Ray was really swamped with patients and a crowded waiting room so after waiting nearly 35 minutes I asked the receptionist if it would all right if I slipped up stairs to the lab to have a blood draw. She was okay with that so I jumped the elevtor.

When my name was called it was by a technician that I was unfamiliar with as most of the time I work with the early morning crew, so skilled in their craft that they have certificates from Count Dracula above their work areas.

This gentleman looked to be about a junior in high school but he asssured me that he is 28.

Now, before I proceed further with today's tale, in all fairness to the tech, I was only about three days out of surgery for the gall bladder and the Scarred Heart staff had pretty much destroyed the lower arm vein system.

It should also be made clear that when I get poked and prodded with needles 24/7 in the hospital,my veins take to the interior jungles of the body to fightonly to return when the coast is clear.. They tend to disappear like a night crawler when it gets hit with a high beam flash light.

At any rate, baby tech man is having a great deal of difficulty finding a vein. He builds my confidence by suggesting that maybe the other tech should do me. However, he can't find her, and so begins to poke tentatively.

Being raised Catholic I am smiling through the pain, offering it up to the poor souls in purgatory As he begins his fourth attempt, I am aware of the "muzak" that is playing over head, and I start to giggle.

"What's so funny?" asks the tech.

Loud and clear over the speaker system, U2's Bono is singing: "And I still haven't found what I'm looking for"

I said listen to what's playing on the PA system.

He failed to see the humor. He sent in the lady from Tennessee. But she, too could make no contact. Finally I excused myself for my appointment in the basement and promised I would be back.

I lied.

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LARRY MAY BECOME MY NEW FAVORITE!!!!

A new teacher was trying to make use of her psychology courses. She started her class by saying, 'Everyone who thinks they're stupid, stand up!' After a few seconds, Little Larry stood up. The teacher said, 'Do you think you're stupid, Larry?' 'No, ma'am, but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself!'



Larry watched, fascinated, as his mother smoothed cold cream on her face. 'Why do you do that, mommy?' he asked. 'To make myself beautiful,' said his mother, who then began removing the cream with a tissue. 'What's the matter, asked Larry 'Giving up?'



The math teacher saw that Larry wasn't paying attention in class. She called on him and said, 'Larry! What are 2 and 4 and 28 and 44?' Larry quickly replied, 'NBC, FOX, ESPN and the Cartoon Network!'



Larry's kindergarten class was on a field trip to their local police station where they saw pictures tacked to a bulletin board of the 10 most wanted criminals. One of the youngsters pointed to a picture and asked if it really was the photo of a wanted person. 'Yes,' said the policeman. 'The detectives want very badly to capture him. Larry asked,"Why didn't you keep him when you took his picture ? "



Little Larry attended a horse auction with his father. He watched as his father moved from horse to horse, running his hands up and down the horse's legs and rump, and chest. After a few minutes, Larry asked, 'Dad, why are you doing that?' His father replied, 'Because when I'm buying horses, I have to make sure that they are healthy and in good shape before I buy. Larry, looking worried, said, 'Dad, I think the UPS guy wants to buy Mom ....'

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Chelsea Clinton's wedding was July 31st...


Hillary played the perfect Mom


She asked Chelsea... "have you had sex with Marc?"


Chelsea said.... "Not according to Dad"

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Why Sharks Circle You Before Attacking.
Two great white sharks swimming in the ocean spied survivors of a sunken ship. "Follow me son" the father shark said to the son shark and they swam to the mass of people. "First we swim around them a few times with just the tip of our fins showing." And they did. "Well done, son! Now we swim around them a few times with all of our fins showing." And they did. "Now we eat everybody." And they did.
When they were both gorged, the son asked,"Dad, why didn't we just eat them all at first? Why did we swim around and around them?"
His wise father replied, "Because they taste better without the shit inside!"
Now you know...
Why Sharks Circle You Before Attacking.

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THIS JUST IN: YOURS TRULY HAS SECURED A TICKET FOR SATURDAY NIGHT'S OPENING PRE-SEASON PACKER GAME AGAINST THE BROWNS.



Good. I will get a chance to holler at Holmgren again. I will never forgive him for mis-coaching the Packers in the 1998 Super Bowl.

It will be great to get a look at the team, to take in Lambeau's beauty once more. To watch A-ROD work over the Browns defense. And not be freezing the gonads.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

NOAH IS MY NEIGHBOR AND HE IS BUILDING A PARTY ARK

I left the house, headed down AA to go over and hit Highway 12 West - on my way to check up on my friend Doug Cox, now on his second day out of heart surgery. More about that later.

On the way down the road I passed my neighbor's huge house boat that had been sitting up on blocks in his yard since spring. It had always puzzled me tht he hadn't put her in the Mississippi long ago.
This time the boat really caught my eye as she is getting a face lift. There are several skilled craftsmen working on her, giving her this new facade which can only be described as Margaritaville meets A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. On the one hand we have two shelves with potted palms, hinting of the tropics, the huge symbolic sun, similar to my tatoo, and on the other hand, we have the staid columns and a balcony complete with a row of lamps.
Since I had stopped uninvited, i didn't want to pry but I did speak with the gentleman pictured working on the roof. He told me he has a slip over near Stillwater, Minnesota and that this is his fishing boat.

I don't know about you, but it looks like a party boat to me.

You can see that in size relation to the automobiles and house, this sucker is HUGE! I asked him if he was going to o"follow the sun" but he didn't seem to have that in mind.

It has long been my pipe dream to sell our compound and get a really nice house boat, launch near Wabasha and follow the sun south for the winter and north for the summers.

I have visions of ting up at the local piers of river towns all up and down the Big Muddy and finding cozy little beer joints armed with my guitar and a hat to pass for food and fuel for my "dream boat".

Pretty cool notion!

______________________________________________________________

As I mentioned, I did stop to see Doug this morning, but he was somewhat indisposed. being poked and prodded by a physician while wearing an oxygen mask. From under his mask he muttered that he wouldn't be good company this morning as his nurse was a "terror".

Having gone through the same surgery, I think he is going through the second day "down and got the blues" syndrome that comes with the 48 hours after a major surgery.

I stayed only long enough to leave him a gift and head out.

I was double parked in the hospital parking lot anyway. I will give it a shot again tonight.

Yesterday douglas got off a funny. His nurse said, in passing: "well, that depends -

Doug jumped that in a hurry with: "Don't say 'Depends' to an old person."

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Monday, August 9, 2010

BEND OVER - I HAVE A CORPORATION THAT WANTS TO DRIVE YOU HOME

So Verizon and Google are planning the hostile takeover of the internet. No surprise to me. The corporatocacy hasn't sucked enough of our blood and they finally found a vein that hasn't collapsed - the internet. What the hell took you asses so long? And why not make your move when the country is already down? Kick 'em when they're up! Kick 'em when they're down! Isn't that how the tune goes?

Let's all sing the real Star Spangled Banner:

Corporate greed, corporate greed, corporate greed corporate greed
GREED GREED GREED GREED GREED GREED!

'NUFF SAID.

I am gonna call my damn worthless, toothless congressman and ask him what the hell he's gonna do about one more usurping of one of the few freedoms we have left.

Poop on everything!

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NEW YORK — A JetBlue flight attendant got into an argument with a passenger on a jetliner arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Monday, cursed the passenger, grabbed a beer from the galley and then deployed an emergency exit slide and fled the plane, authorities said.

Flight attendant Steven Slater was arrested at his nearby home in the Belle Harbor section of Queens by Port Authority of New York And New Jersey police on charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing.

Slater, 39, remained in custody Monday night. His attorney's name wasn't immediately available, and there was no home telephone number listed for him.

JetBlue Airways Corp. said in a statement that it was working with the Federal Aviation Administration and Port Authority police to investigate the matter. It said the safety of its customers and crew members was never at risk.

Slater was working on JetBlue Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh when he got into an argument with the passenger, who was pulling down baggage from an overhead bin, the Port Authority said. The luggage apparently struck the attendant in the head, and he asked for an apology, but the passenger refused, the agency said.

As the plane was landing, Slater got on the public-address system and cussed at the passenger, the Port Authority said. He then grabbed at least one beer, activated the slide, slid down and went to his car, it said.

Port Authority police were notified about 25 minutes later.

JetBlue would not say how long Slater had been employed by the company.


Do Not Piss The GIRL off!

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Today, with the help of Doctor Thomas Carmody's astute skill as a surgeon at Luther Hospital, Eau Claire, one of my very best friends, Douglas Scott Cox , will live through the night with the expert care of Luther's nursing staff. Hopefully sometime tomorrow he will be fully conscious and able to start taking the first baby steps to full recovery.

Any body who remembers the glory days of Wisconsin State College at Eau Claire's summer drama program, the Patio Playhouse, started by Dr John Manlove and torch-passed to Dr. Wil Denson will remember just how skilled a comic Doug Cox really is.

Doug's favorite comic of all time is a fellow Chicago boy - Jack Benny. Doug, I think, studied Jack Benny's every move and nuance. Doug Cox is hands down the very best "physical" comedian/actor I have had the privilege to share a stage with.
The master of upstaging, the king of mugging, a guy who can make you laugh just by moving across a room.

I visited him several days ago in his hospital room and the hospital room became his stage setting. Within minutes of joining him, I was laughing to tears.

At one point in the many years of summer theatre, we did "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum". Doug played the absolute funniest Hysterium in the world! If you are not familiar with the story line, this from YAHOO (f--- Google):

In ancient Rome, some neighbors live in three adjacent houses. In the center is the house of Senex, who lives there with wife Domina, son Hero, and several slaves, including head slave Hysterium and the musical's main character Pseudolus. A slave belonging to Hero, he wishes to buy, win, or steal his freedom. One of the neighboring houses is owned by Marcus Lycus, who is a buyer and seller of beautiful women; the other belongs to the ancient Erronius, who is abroad searching for his long-lost children (stolen in infancy by pirates).
One day, Senex and Domina go on a trip and leave Pseudolus in charge of Hero. Hero confides in Pseudolus that he is in love with the lovely Philia, one of the courtesans in the House of Lycus. Pseudolus promises to help him win Philia's love in exchange for his freedom. Unfortunately (as the two find out when they pay a visit on Lycus), Philia has been promised to the renowned warrior Captain Miles Gloriosus, who is on his way to claim her. Pseudolus, an excellent liar, uses Philia's cheery disposition to convince Lycus that she has picked up a plague from Crete, which causes its victims to smile endlessly in its terminal stages. By offering to isolate her in Senex's house, he is able to give Philia and Hero some time alone together, and the two fall in love. But Philia insists that, even though she is in love with Hero, she must honor her contract with the Captain, for "that is the way of a courtesan." To appease her, he tells her to wait ("that's what virgins do best, isn't it?") inside, and that he will have the captain knock three times when he arrives. Pseudolus comes up with a plan to slip Philia a sleeping potion that will render her unconscious. He will then tell Lycus that she has died of the Cretan plague, and will offer to remove the body. Hero will come along, and they will stow away on a ship headed for Greece. Satisfied with his plan, Pseudolus steals Hysterium's book of potions and has Hero read him the recipe for the sleeping potion; the only ingredient he lacks is "mare's sweat," and Pseudolus goes off in search of some.
Unexpectedly, Senex returns home early from his trip, and knocks three times on his own door. Philia comes out of the house, and, thinking that Senex is the Captain, offers herself up to him. Surprised but game, Senex instructs Philia to wait in the house for him, and she does. Hysterium arrives to this confusion, and tells Senex that Philia is the new maid that he has hired. Pseudolus returns, having procured the necessary mare's sweat; seeing that Senex has returned unexpectedly and grasping the need to keep him out of the way, Pseudolus discreetly sprinkles some of the horse-sweat onto him, then suggests that the road trip has left Senex in dire need of a bath. Taking the bait, Senex instructs Hysterium to draw him a bath in the long-abandoned house of Erronius. But while this is happening, Erronius returns home, finally having given up the search for his long-lost children. Hysterium, desperate to keep him out of the house where his master is bathing, tells the old man that his house has become haunted—a story seemingly confirmed by the sound of Senex singing in his bath. Erronius immediately determines to have a soothsayer come and banish the spirit from his house, and Pseudolus obligingly poses as one, telling Erronius that in order to banish the spirit, he must travel seven times around the seven hills of Rome (thus keeping the old man occupied and out of the way for quite a while).
When Miles Gloriosus arrives to claim his courtesan-bride, Pseudolus hides Philia on the roof of Senex's house; told that she has "escaped," Lycus is terrified to face the Captain's wrath. Pseudolus offers to impersonate Lycus and talk his way out of the mess but, his ingenuity flagging, he ends up merely telling the Captain that Philia has disappeared, and that he, "Lycus," will set out in search of her. Displeased and suspicious, Miles insists that his soldiers accompany Pseudolus, but the wily slave is able to lose them in Rome's winding streets.
Complicating matters further, Domina returns from her trip early, suspicious that her husband Senex is "up to something low." She disguises herself in virginal white robes and a veil (much like Philia's) in order to try and catch Senex being unfaithful. Pseudolus convinces Hysterium to help him by dressing in drag and pretending to be Philia, "dead" from the plague. Unfortunately, it turns out that Miles Gloriosus has just returned from Crete, where there is of course no actual plague. With the ruse thus revealed, the main characters run for their lives, resulting in a madcap chase across the stage with both Miles and Senex pursuing all three "Philia"s (Domina, Hysterium, and the actual Philia -- all wearing identical white robes and veils). Meanwhile, the courtesans from the house of Marcus Lycus – who had been recruited as mourners at "Philia"'s ersatz funeral – have escaped, and Lycus sends his eunuchs out to bring them all back, adding to the general pandemonium.
Finally, the Captain's troops are able to round everyone up. His plot thoroughly unraveled, Pseudolus appears to be in deep trouble -- but Erronius, midway through his fourth circuit of the Roman hills, shows up fortuitously to discover that Miles Gloriosus and Philia are wearing matching rings which mark them as his long-lost children. Her betrothal to the Captain obviously nullified by the unexpected revelation that he's actually her brother, Philia weds Hero; Pseudolus gets his freedom, Gloriosus receives twin courtesans to replace Philia, Erronius gets his children, and a general happy ending prevails.


Thank you, Yahoo. How much do I owe you?

So tonight if you are a person who believes in the power of prayer, please say a prayer for Douglas. I have already lost a best friend in Gerald Fitzgerald. Please, God, not another one.

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LARRY'S OUT, DOUG'S IN - THIS IS THE WEEK FOR SURGERIES!

It's monday morning, 8 AM and KIm and I were up very early so as to be able to spend a little time with one of my dearest friends, Doug Cox who was just wheeled into the surgery bay about half an hour ago to undergo some pretty serious surgery. He is having a triple bypass and repairs to a very leaky valve.

I was present when he met his surgeon early last week and I am certain that Doug is in very competent hands with Dr. Carmady. He just has the air of a man who knows his business and will do a hell of a job.

I am very happy to be here with Kim and Bob Carr another of Doug's closest friends. Doug has outlived all his kin here in the Eau Claire area and although he splits time between Wisconsin and San Francisco, we are very content to have him getting the necessary "repair" here, where he knows he has strong ties and loving support.

Having gone through quadruple bypass surgery myself some 10 years ago, I know what Douglas will be up against in recovery from such an invasive process as it takes at least two weeks before you even begin to start to feel semi-human and able to start some sort of physical rehabilitation.

I myself am just out of two overnights in the hospital having finally succumbed to my doctor's insistence that I have my faulty gall bladder removed. Several months ago I had a severe gall bladder attack which outdid the pain I had with my heart attack - in fact I was at first convinced that I was having another "big one" until they did some testing and determined what the problem was.

So I went a number of months with no further trouble - then two weeks ago I had almost a week of discomfort every time I ate so I knew it was inevitable.

The surgery was performed by Dr. OLson of Marshfield Clinic, a very good surgeon who I liked immediately as he is very human in his approach - very down to earth with his explanations Everyone that I talked to that had the surgery laproscopically said that it is a breeze and that I would be sent home the same day or at most after a one night stay. So of course I was in no condition to go home the same day and did not improve that much in the course of the second day.

Forced to remain in the same room, in the same bed with a less than successful IV inserted in my left wrist (after the first IV in my right wrist occluded so badly that it made the top of my right hand puff up like a blow fish) both lower legs being alternately massaged by a blow up wrap, the uncomfortable feeling of the catheter whenever I shifted in the bed, which was always a mess, coupled with the lack of sleeping meds the first night, staring at the clock situated directly in front of my vision, depising everything that I clicked through on television, always either hot and sweaty or shivering cold well the words that spring to mind are THE HEEBIE JEEBIES! I definitely had a case of the heebie jeebies. One would think wiwth all the experience I have had in hospitals the past ten years I would be a real professional patient, but NO! I have gotten worse and worse,

Whenever I am admitted to a hospital, there is an uncontrollable change in my physical makeup. My being senses that there is going to be imminent invasion and the first thing that happens is that my veins hide. They literally take cover! They can't be found no matter how tight the tourniquet or how much slapping the oncologist applies.


after about the fourth stab, I just want to bitch slap the administrator of all those useless pokes and the following wheeling probes trying to locate what can't be found.

Fortunately, sunday morning, my second morning, I suddenly gained back some strength. Not only was the catheter withdrawn (I shudder just thinking about it!) but I was able to expel much of the trapped carbon dioxide that had been bouncing around in my abdominal cavity wince the surgery. (read seven to eight second blasts of putrid gas) This was preceded by a series of sweats and shakes until the event made itself known in the cogent area.

Last night I sort of watched the Hall of Fame Game but the wrong team was winning so I quickly lost interest. During the first night of my incarceration, unable to sleep= and watching the clock take three hours to move ten minutes - my only source of staying sane was thinking about my wonderful wife, how pretty she is, and how giving she is, and how patient she is with me, and to think of all the times our extended family of two cats gave me so much happiness and finding myself really missing their company.

So it was indeed a pleasure to return home yesterday, take a lengthy hot shower, shave two days worth of stubble, and then sit back and indulge myself the rest of the day with easy to digest things like ice cream with blue berries, apple juice, just good cold water, chocolate pudding, and the company of the three best beings in my life.

So, yes, brothers and sisters, it is good to be alive today and my attitude is A-1. Give me headphones, music from Pandora through my laptop, and an opportunity to send my good friend Doug positive thoughts during his procedure and this shall be a good day!

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

SPENDING TIME WITH DOUG AT HOSPITAL BEFORE I GO IN MYSELF

Tuesday morning - started off with strong coffee and bagel/cream cheese at Panera Bread then proceeded to Scarred Heart Hospital to be with my good pal Doug Cox who had a cardiac "episode" this past saturday and has been hospitalized since.

Doug is in need of repair to a very faulty heart valve and a triple bypass. Right now the doctors are trying to decide if they should operate by this friday or wait until next monday. There is some risk involved if they wait until monday because he has only one artery that is operating and they are weaning him off his blood thinners already.

Douglas is being a good patient so far, but is missing his good dog, Walter.

Kim came and picked me up at the hospital to share lunch with her at a nearby restaurant. We had no sooner left Sacred Heart than my cell rang and it was my surgeon's nurse, sounding the alarm that after reading the results of my latest blood test, my potassium levels are too high - so I have two days to get them down by thursday 10 am when I go in for another blood test. If the levels are still too high, my gall bladder surgery will have to be put off until I can get the levels where the surgeon wants them.

So after I finish this tome, I will have to google lowering potassium and see what I need to avoid.

This morning while here in Doug's room, I was watching music videos on my computer and Doug motioned for me to remove my headphones, pointing to the TV screen above my head. Seems he had ESPN on and the latest from ESPN is that Brett Favre has been calling, texting his fellow Viking team mates and telling them that he is retiring because the surgically repaired ankle "isn't where he would like it to be". Supposedly he is to release the news in a press release this afternoon.

If I were you I wouldn't hold my breath. It's just Brett wanting the attention and spotlight focused on himself. Just watch. Come opening day of the season that ankle will make a miraculous recovery and the old boy will be back at it again.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RENEE! AND THANKS FOR LETTING ME SHARE

Last night I was blessed with the opportunity to do my comedy as a surprise guest at the lovely Ms. Renee Owens' 40th birthday, hired by her husband Jim, whose dad I had been a teacher with for a number of years.

They were a great audience and we all had a great deal of fun together. It took me a while to "come down" after the performance, it was that much fun. So today I want to say thank you to Jim for thinking of me and giving me an opportunity to do my thing.

On the way home I thought to myself how much I needed to have had a good show. In fact I told the audience about mid-show when they were really into it, that I really needed this tonight. When the economy is this way and I work so little any more, doubts in my own abilities as a comedian start to creep in.

Later that same night, after returning home, I caught a special on HBO about comedians and why they do what they do and I found much to agree with in comments of the famous.

We do it for the tremendous amount of satisfaction it gives us. We do it because it is what we do!

I do it because if I don't perform for quite a while, it is like I have lost a part of my soul and being.

And here's the thing. I have worked in front of two thousand people. I have worked in front of 20 - like last night. And last night's show was more valuable to me than a lot of much bigger gigs because there was an intimacy reached between us that is sometimes not there.

I am very proud of my occupation and my skills. There. I said it.

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There is a really cool thing going on just outside my office/desk window this morning. A mother cardinal is teaching her daughter how to use a feeder!

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Top 5 Social Security Myths

Myth #1: Social Security is going broke.

Reality: There is no Social Security crisis. By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.6 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a 'T'). It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it'll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits—and again, that's without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers' retirement decades ago.2 Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.

Myth #2: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.

Reality: This is a red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts. Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than they did 70 years ago.3 What's more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly—since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4 But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut.

Myth #3: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security.

Reality: Social Security doesn't need to be fixed. But if we want to strengthen it, here's a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share. If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come.5 Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income.6 But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.

Myth #4: The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs

Reality: Not even close to true. The Social Security Trust Fund isn't full of IOUs, it's full of U.S. Treasury Bonds. And those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.7 The reason Social Security holds only treasury bonds is the same reason many Americans do: The federal government has never missed a single interest payment on its debts. President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market—which would have been disastrous—but luckily, he failed. So the trillions of dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund, which are separate from the regular budget, are as safe as can be.

Myth #5: Social Security adds to the deficit

Reality: It's not just wrong—it's impossible! By law, Social Security's funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can't add one penny to the deficit.8

Defeating these myths is the first step to stopping Social Security cuts. Can you share this list now?

This is just an attempt by the lying Republicans to get at your money - their greed is incomprehensible. remember when King George want to dispense with Social Security during his "administration"?

1."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89703&id=22140-8091839-0Crbh3x&t=4

2. "The Straight Facts on Social Security," Economic Opportunity Institute, September 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89704&id=22140-8091839-0Crbh3x&t=5

3. "Social Security and the Age of Retirement," Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89705&id=22140-8091839-0Crbh3x&t=6

4. "More on raising the retirement age," Washington Post, July 8, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89706&id=22140-8091839-0Crbh3x&t=7

5. "Social Security is sustainable," Economic and Policy Institute, May 27, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89707&id=22140-8091839-0Crbh3x&t=8

6. "Maximum wage contribution and the amount for a credit in 2010," Social Security Administration, April 23, 2010
http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/240

7. "Trust Fund FAQs," Social Security Administration, February 18, 2010
http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ProgData/fundFAQ.html

8."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89703&id=22140-8091839-0Crbh3x&t=9

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