Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Presents!

What a perfect way to kick off the War Of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration Year! Some beautiful pictures of USS Constitution from John Bohn of John Bohn Photography.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Contrary Views

I've been a registered Republican since I turned eighteen and became a voter. While many Democrats don't want to believe it; Republicans run the gamut from moderate to hardcore. And where you fall depends on the viewers perspective. Most people who know me here in Massachusetts find me to be fairly's a blue state. But "flyover country" people find me fairly liberal. And then there is my Dad ("Diane, Miranda isn't necessary if you are innocent, it only helps the guilty.") who found me to be nearly left wing on civil rights.

So I am conservative on military/foreign policy/economic issues and very open on social issues. I only ask that you close the door. If you want to do your own thing, just don't push it in my face.

But I am up for any discussion and I'll consider other views. I am doctrinaire on few things. I think that's why so many #Occupy people would talk to me on Twitter.

I feel this lets me see past a first impression. Others might say it just makes me wishy-washy.

Now most of my conservative friends get very upset about "Citizens Energy" taking oil from Citgo/Venezuala/Chavez. But I think they are missing the big picture. Citizens Energy, for those of you who may not know is a non-profit that supplies home heating oil to those who can't afford it. They've been doing this for 30 years or so. They started of buying oil at the source, selling some to cover the cost of donating the rest. This idea particularly appealed to me. Instead of just asking for money, they were using their smarts to make money and doing good with it. They also accept donations.

In recent years, with oil prices going up and more and more people needing help, they asked oil companies to make direct donations. Citgo said yes. And just like any other charity, Citgo's generosity was acknowledged in their ads.

Did I mention that the president of this organization is Joe Kennedy? He started this before he ran for and served in Congress. Now Joe Kennedy is far to my left. And in my opinion he was not an effective Congressman. But you can't take the success of Citizens Energy away from him.

Some people think that because Hugo Chavez is not a friend of the United States that Citizens Energy should not accept the donation.

Really? I think that's ridiculous. First off, it's not Joe Kennedy's place to refuse it, it's for the families/people in need. So you want Joe Kennedy to make political statements by punishing people who are up against it? My opinion is that anyone who objects isn't thinking this through to it's logical conclusion.

You don't like Hugo. I get that. I don't either. Hugo uses oil money to repress his people and consort with other countries that are not our friends. I know Hugo makes this donation just to zing us. So what?

Are we that childish that people should be cold because you don't like Hugo's foreign policy? How short sighted! Should people be cold because Joe Kennedy is liberal or from a liberal family or he was born wealthy?

People who carp about it are only adding fuel to Hugo's fire. He's laughing every time someone beefs. Because then he gets to say Kennedy asked for help and only he helped. That's a fact.

It's not Joe Kennedy's place to turn away donors when there are little kids sleeping under ten blankets because Dad got laid off.

It's a worthy cause and if you want to donate, follow this link.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Were There Bumps In The Road?


But it all worked out and it was fabulous!

I can only hope that each of you had a Christmas as happy and funny and satisfying as mine.

There was a plan.....isn't there always? My sons, Tom & Frank were supposed to come on the commuter rail. I went online and printed out the Christmas Day schedule, highlighted the times that their trains backs and forth would leave. I knew the train times too and I was going to pick them up at South Station (across for the #Occupy-Less Dewey Square). Foolproof, right?

Then I went out yesterday and got everything for chutney, assembled everything in a bag. that way I could wake up; make chutney; leave it to cool; pick up the boys; pick up
Jen at Grace's (I had her car from the party last night); deliver some of the chutney in their orange shell portions to Walter & Tom around the corner; and be in my seat at 1300 hours.

I got up at 9 and kinda lazed around for a few minutes. My parents called upstairs, knowing that I wanted to be up at 9. My father called my name and I answered. My mother called up "It's ten past!". I called back "Oh no!" and we all laughed. I showered, dressed, made my bed and took my stuff downstairs.

I sat down with parents to give them their gifts and told them this was the first Christmas since 1962 that I had them to myself on Christmas morning. I went out to the kitchen to start chutney at 10 am on the dot. My schedule was rolling right along. No last minute rushing. No stress. I called Walter & Tom and asked them to look out the dining room window. It looks right into our kitchen window. I held up the cranberries and the orange You see chutney is a tradition and I was too blah to get up and do it on Thanksgiving. I told them I'd be over at noon.

I cut the first orange in half and the phone rang. It was my son Tom telling me that the train was leaving at 10:40, not 11:21. I was confused and protested. Then Tom explained (while I pulled it up on the laptop) that I was looking at "Christmas Day Observed" meaning the holiday that the T gives it's workers because Christmas fell on a Sunday. Today was just the plain Sunday schedule.

Fine, I hurried up making chutney, calling Frank trying to wake him so he could make the 10:40. I put the chutney in a box and outside the backdoor. There was no room in the fridge and it was colder outside anyway.

Then it was off to grab Tom, Frank and Jen. Everyone was loaded up and it was back to Charlestown. We were lucky and there was a parking spot right out front, in front of my Dad's car.

Frank and I walked around the corner to deliver the chutney and enjoyed a visit with Walter and Tom. But Frank was quick to remind me as the time got close, that we had to get back. you don't mess with Papa's schedule. Walter & Tom teased him, but he held firm.

So there was everyone, everyone but Grace and her family who do Christmas with her in-laws.

Tons of delicious food and fun conversation. Family and presents and laughs. My Frankie & Jennifer one upping each other, telling crazy brother's kids laughing so hard they couldn't talk.

My Tommy gave me my favorite candy, Hersheyettes! But since he left first, it was the least he could do. Other plans? Really...that's ridiculous. LOL

My brother and he family packed up an hour later. Jen and Frankie left minutes before Grace and her crew showed up. More presents, more desserts, more stories, more laughing.

After Grace left I cleaned the kitchen and dining room. We had been cleaning off and on all day, so there wasn't a lot. But I swept and vacuumed and cleaned all the counters and the stove. I washed all the tablecloths and napkins and put the kitchen back together.

Once I was completely tuckered out, I came into the living room and fired up the laptop. I flipped through the channels and that's where I found my last Christmas present.

"Rio Bravo" is on AMC "Christmas With the Duke"

A wonderful, happy, satisfying day. I hope you are all as happy as I am.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sixteen Hours Later

I'm awake.

Still no cell phone.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I Am About To Slip Into A Coma

I have just had a super stressful 46 hours.

Add to that the fact that I have only slept 8 hours since Wednesday morning at 7 am.

Normally I sleep 12 to 15 hours a night.

But the matter was successfully resolved. I am going to bed now and sleeping until noon tomorrow.

Oh and I left my cell phone in Plymouth.

Good night.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What I Should Be Doing....

Instead of eating this Hershey chocolate nugget

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Missing Tampa's Pane Rustica

Doesn't this blueberry tart look luscious? Trust me, it is. In my many trips to Tampa, this is a place that I ALWAYS made sure to drop in on.

Pane Rustica, 3225 South MacDill Avenue Tampa, FL 33629 (813) 902-8828

There is something for everyone there. Pizza, sandwiches, pastry, gelato. I'm not the only one who thinks so.

But I am missing them even more today because I am in the middle of an energy lull and I have to bring a treat to a party. How much easier would it be to jus pick up a couple of these babies. I would be the toast of the party and I could nap.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Why Am I so Drawn To These Zombie Movies?

It's not just zombie movies actually, it's any post-apocalyptic movie/story.

Right now I am watching the Chiller Original Movie.... (da-da-ta-da-da!). "Remains" It's low rent. A poor man's "Walking Dead". But hey! Walking Dead is gone until February 12th.


Don't judge me.

December 16, 1773

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Arguing With The Childish

Update - Her last last reply before this post was to tell me to stop tweeting her or she'll block me. Since then, she's sent two more tweets. She's mad she didn't get a link in this blog. Seriously? LOL!

♪♫I'm not touching you.....♪♫

So, I am amusing myself with Twitter and listening to Howie Carr when I get a tweet from a pro-Elizabeth Warren (Democratic candidate for Massachusetts US Senator). In responding, I find to my delight that @ElizabethNewsRTs is a bot that simply favorites anything someone writes about Elizabeth Warren.

I decide to have a little fun with it and tweet some pro-Scott Brown messages.

A person I don't know or follow pops up in my feed. She tweets @ me
"FYI will be a competent addition to Senate. What experience did Brown have besides driving a pick~up truck? "

Ok, I'll play. I talk to people with opposing viewpoints all the time. I've said time & again, if I couldn't talk to Democrats and liberals, I would pretty lonely here in Massachusetts.

So, there is some back and forth where she is sarcastic about the truck and tweets 3 times that Scott Brown hasn't driven the truck since the election. Yeah, whatever, who cares.

Then she tells me i need to be more educated about Senator John Kerry. Really? LOL! What don't I know about him? That he's a military fraud? Check. That he's a gigolo? Check. That he is useless in the Senate and has done nothing meaningful? CHECK. That as much as I loathed Ted Kennedy, I will admit he was tops at furnishing constituent services and Kerry is worthless in this area? Check.

Rodiogal also claimed that I insulted Elizabeth Warren by calling her a "carpetbagger". Umm, look it up, I think Warren's pic is right there next to the definition.

So I answer every tweet. And when she finally realizes that she can't bullshit or cow me, she throws out this one -

":D Twenty tweets to me? You know, obsessive compulsive disorders can be treated with medication now."

Nice, imagine a conservative taking a shot with a mental health slur? Yeah, I know.

So I point out that I was merely answering her. That she started with me, I didn't seek her out. Then she threatens to block me...........LOL! Block away! No one's going to miss you.

I So Wanted To Go To This!

Today I am missing


Presented by Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission

I went to the last one and enjoyed myself so much. They sent a Twitpic of the group at Francis Scott Key's monument.

I'm going to mope all day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Embarking On a Life Of Crime

Today I was listening to a local newscast when the subject turned to....what else?....#OccupyBoston

Occupy Boston: 'This is a movement of the mind'

"Protesters are hoping the conservancy will allow them to put a Gandhi statue and a plaque commemorating their time at Dewey Square."

Well, I better start saving my pennies now. I am going to rip it down and get arrested. I'll do it every day if I have to....or as often as I am out on parole.

Be sure to throw a few bucks in my canteen, so I have chocolate, thanks.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

One Part Of the Plan Worked

I did sleep crazy late. I missed the Tea Party Reenactment because I was still asleep when it started. My parents were ready to come up and check on me when I finally surfaced after sleeping 15 hours.

Instead I caught a Pearl Harabor themed MIDRATs and now I am listening to Pundit Review Radio break down last night's Iowa Republican Debate.

Boston Tea Party Reenactment

Tomorrow night.....actually later 4 pm the Old South Meeting House and the Boston Tea Party ship & Museum are celebrating the 236th Anniversary of the boston Tea Party.

You should go!

I am so grateful for a late afternoon/evening event. I am going to sleep crazy late!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Last Batch Of Cookies Out Of The Oven

Tomorrow is the Kelley Family Christmas party. I've made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and a batch of milk chocolate/coconut/walnut cookies.

I spent the day fighting insurance issues and meeting my new pain clinic doctor.

Every day this week has been "on the run" so to speak. I can't wait for Sunday. I'm not doing anything.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Pearl Harbor Remembered - 70th Anniversary

Bill Durette of the Charlestown Historical Society Veteran's Project forwarded this info

"In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, the Japanese suddenly and without warning launched a surprise air attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. After just two hours of bombing, more than 2,400 Americans were dead, 21 ships* had either been sunk or damaged, and more than 188 U.S. aircraft destroyed. The attack at Pearl Harbor so outraged Americans that the U.S. abandoned its policy of isolationism and declared war on Japan the following day officially bringing the United States into World War II.

This one event would go on and affect every family in Charlestown. By wars end practically every family had their sons serving and in many cases fathers, sons and sisters would serve during the war. For this we must remember their sacrifice and appreciate how they fought to bring peace to the World and preserve our way of life.



Source - Charlestown Veterans History Project

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Had Fun & Stayed Out of Jail

Today the City of Boston held their annual Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration. It's always the first Sunday in December. This year mark's the 70th anniversary. More reason than ever to turn out. I was just a few minutes late running through Faneuil Hall, slipping off my shoes so I didn't make noise sneaking in the back. The Faneuil Hall Armory is an old building with creaky wooden floors. They were just singing the National Anthem and I was in my seat in time to join in. Once everyone was seated I whipped out the laptop, camera and cell phone (muted) so I could Tweet & Facebook the event live.
This is a shot of invited guests on the podium. There were representatives of the American Legion, AMVETS, Boston & Massachusetts Veterans' Services and others who work to make sure our veterans are remembered and taken care of in various ways. CDR Bonner, 72nd in Command and CDR Gillen, 59th in Command were on hand to represent USS Constitution. This is CDR Bonner, US Navy addressing the audience.

The special guest speaker was Donald Tabbut, past Commander of Pearl Harbor Survivors. Read more about Radioman 1st class Tabbut here.
Then it was back to the Charlestown Navy Yard for USS Constitution's Annual Tree Lighting. The flip the switch just after evening colors.
This is the view from the ship when I turned away from the tree. Pretty awesome, huh?

I got to see CDR Bonner again, CMC Rhodes (she is friends with Santa); CDR Gillen; CDR Cooper, his wife Maryellen and their too cute for words daughter in her little pink mittens. Tom Rudden was there in his 1812 Marine Guard uniform for the festivities. I got to meet his wife Teri as well.

Which brings us to loot! The best adventures come with souvenirs. This is a coin from this to commemorate this year's US Marine Corps birthday. Thanks Tom!

I'm home, I'm exhausted. But I got everything done and in an unusual move, I stayed out of trouble. I'm told that there were #OccupyBoston protesters when people who were on time (yeah, I know that's not me) were entering the Faneuil Hall Armory and that's why there were extra cops.

Now had I been on time......there would have been some trouble. I am deeply troubled by the huge lack of respect the Occupy people are continually rubbing in our faces. They claim to want to open a dialogue for all Americans but they just keep irritating people.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

So I Rescheduled Spa Sunday.... Saturday.

I spent the day reading (only for pleasure, thank you Stephen King & Cosmo)........

and watching trashy TV, no news, no C-Span.....

and taking car of my nails.....

and a home facial.....

and my favorite body scrub......

and my Dad made chicken soup.......

and tomorrow there's Navy stuff!!!

At 2 pm, CDR Bonner, USN will be speaking at Boston's Pearl Harbor Commemoration

70TH Annual Pearl Harbor Day Services
Veteran's Services Mayor Thomas M. Menino, in conjunction with the American Legion and AMVETS, will be hosting the 70th Annual Pearl Harbor Day Services in historic Faneuil Hall. This event is open to the public. Refreshments will be served following the program. Cost: Free. Sunday, December 4, 2011, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Faneuil Hall Armory, Faneuil Hall Sq Boston, MA 02109.

At 3:30pm they will begin boarding for USS Constitution's Tree Lighting Ceremony. I will be there and I will get to meet Middleboro Jones!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

For Those Of You Keeping Score At Home

I saw Dr. Miller & Kate today. Eight months post transplant, there is no sign of myeloma. I am considered in complete remission.

There is every indication that I should cruise easily to the eighteen month mark and beyond.

But you know that I only look at the short term. So we are just counting on the 18 months.

I am ten weeks out from the one year anniversary of the transplant. The months between the one year anniversary and the eighteen month mark should be mint! And they coincide with the #WarOf1812 stuff.


Sure, I can't get all my drugs. Sure, I have to fight the insurance company. Sure, the meds mess me up sometimes. Sure, I sleep 12 to 15 hours most days.

But still.......SWEET! LOL!


Let's see.....

I went to see "J.Edgar" tonight. Good movie. Free movie pass. Good batch of popcorn. Good night.

I have the newest Stephen King book, 11/22/1963 and I carry it with me everywhere except the bathroom and the dinner table.

I have to grab up my friend Griffin and head down to the USS Constitution Museum to make an ornament for Sunday. Everyone who stops by the Museum can make one (10am to 5 pm every day until Christmas Eve). They will put it up, or you can show up Sunday put it on the holiday tree aboard the ship yourself.

Sunday, December 4th, I'll be aboard Old Ironsides for the lighting of the tree just after evening colors at 1612 (4:12 pm) and the arrival of ..... wait, I am not supposed to say. Let's just call him a very special guest you don't want to miss.. It's supposed to be sunny and high 40s on Sunday. Come on down.

The Herald ran an article on the two month anniversary of #OccupyBoston and I was totally pissed to see that the #Occupy people are taking credit for Bank of America backing down on that debit card fee. What blowhards. You know I stood at the corner of Pearl and Bunker earlier this evening.....I think it caused the bus to come there.

Yeah, it's the middle of the night.....they are playing with my meds and I am a little off kilter.

One of the problems is a drug I am having a hard time obtaining. See if this makes any sense. This particular drug, which I won't name, is manufactured by Shire, Teva and Barr Pharmaceuticals. But it's on back order everywhere. What my doctor and I are being told by separate pharmacy sources is that the FDA allows for the manufacture of a certain quantity in a calendar year. Supposedly come January we will be awash in this drug. This is the dopiest thing I have ever heard. But CVS has been telling me since October that they can't get it. Last month, the small pharmacy near my oncologist didn't have it & sent me to the hospital's main pharmacy.

Now yesterday, the main hospital pharmacy had no generic and said Blue Cross wouldn't pay for brand name.

Or "bran" as the pharmacy tech with poor diction said. "Blue Cross won't pay for bran." I asked "Bran?" She repeated it. "Bran? Like cereal?" She stared at me. "B as in bravo; R as in romeo; A as in alpha; N as in November?" She nods and says "D.".

Good. Lord.

At that point I had already been in the building for two and half hours. I had already had to explain that Blue Cross would fill another prescription because it was a change in dosage. I had to instruct them on how to call Blue Cross to get the override. As with their billing department, I am stunned at the lack of knowledge and overwhelming inefficiency in the main pharmacy. It's not just me, I hear them talking to other patients. Just making declaritive statements like "It's not covered" with no explaination. I can't imagine if I had just said stuff like that to people in my old job.

I knew that Blue Cross would cover the "bran" if the generic was unavailable, but I had had my fill of them at that point. I left.

This morning I called Blue Cross. Five minutes. Done. Now I just have to go back and make sure they have some "bran" left for me. And that the copay doesn't croak me. The generic version is already my highest copay. I'm sure the "bran" copay is worse. crazy do I sound? You see taking this drug as I have for the last several months and then abruptly stopping is bad. "Prolonged use of "XXX" followed by an abrupt cessation can result in extreme fatigue, insomnia, irritability, and mental depression."

Pissa. I'm a junkie.