Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Great Commentary On Word Play

One of the things I have found most irritating about the new Administration are the word games.
Dropping some words - "terrorism", "intelligence", "analysis", "mission" and "attacks".

So "terrorism" is now "man-caused disasters"? WTF?

That's why I was so amused by this from "War On Terror News"
While we try to stay out of the emotional side of the argument to a great extent, we're not exactly politically correct either. Even OurName has been banned by the new administration. And the only suggestion we received on a new one was "Crusade 2.0" which would have spawned a whole new article, but the IT monsters ate it after a great deal of work.

Personally, I'm hoping he names it Operations Globally Relatively to Assigned Service Missions, so I can become the ORGASM News. Otherwise, I'm sticking to this one.

I Might Have To Give Up Sailors

...and start dating doctors. I know that sounds drastic, but figuring out all these tests is kicking my ass.
Look at this stupid graph. How am I supposed to figure this shit out if the difference between labs is so drastic?
Tuesday the 24th I go to NEMC & the IgA is 4190, a big jump. Wednesday the 25th I go to the local lab affiliated with Jordan & the IgA is 3776.
So to try to compare apples to apples -
22 JAN @ NEMC 3340
24 MARCH @ NEMC 4190


25 FEB @ Jordan 3464
25 MARCH @ Jordan 3776

Of course, in the end, this discussion is academic. I am not going back on chemo until they get desperate enough (or smart enough) to get my Dad to make me.

And the glucose result didn't make sense either.

On the days leading up to the 24th I ate well and on the actual date I hadn't eaten anything.
NEMC Glucose result = 117. Which, depending on your reference range, is high or the high end of normal.

The evening of the 24th we go out to celebrate my three month repreive on chemo. Carbs, sugar, alcohol....the works!

Jordan glucose result the next morning? 100. I don't get it.

But both test results and labs agree that my red blood count finally crept into the low end of normal.

Happy Birthday Bigg Bill!

Happy Birthday Bigg Bill!!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

The SecDef Needs To Get More Sleep

What the efff?????????????

Of course we are prepared to do anything we need to do.

What are you doing throwing Tim under the bus?

Why didn't Gates go back and correct the question?

Are we prepared? YES Are we going to do this right now? No

Red Herring

OK, I wasn't (and wouldn't want to be) in Katherine Ann Powers mind. I don't know that her motive when participating in Patrolman Walter Schroeder's murder was to assist William Ayers.

I do know that Patrolman Schroeder is dead. His children orphans.

I do know that the FBI (on their own website) labels Katherine Ann Powers as a member of the Weather Underground.

I do know that William Ayers is the admitted leader of the Weather Underground.

I do know that Ayers admits that he wishes he had done more.

I do know that Ayers said "Guilty as Hell, free as a bird. America is a great country" at the end of Fugitive Days.

Should Ayers have a forum to spew from?


Ayers is a terrorist.

Remember Walter Schroeder

Family and friends of Patrolman Walter Schroeder will be meeting up at Boston College on Commonwealth Avenue tonight. All are welcome. Ayers may not be speaking on the grounds, but many still think Patrolman Schroeder's life should be honored.

If you can make it and support the memory of a hero tonight at 5 pm that would be great. I will try to make it, but I don't think I can be there by 5.

As more details become available, I will link to them, but I would guess the most up-to-date info will be on Michael Graham's blog.

Patrolman Walter Schroeder is a hero who rushed to answer an alarm at a bank robbery. He gave his life trying to save others.

Patrolman Walter A. Schroeder
Boston Police Department Massachusetts
End of Watch: Thursday, September 24, 1970

Biographical InfoAge: 42
Tour of Duty: 19 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Thursday, September 24, 1970
Weapon Used: Rifle; M-1
Suspect Info: Sentenced to life
Patrolman Schroeder was shot and killed while responding to a silent alarm at a bank at 9:20 am. The bank was being robbed by a gang of anti-Vietnam War activists. As he exited his cruiser and walked towards the bank a gang member who was across the street opened fire on him with a rifle, striking him in the back several times. Patrolman Schroeder was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.The trigger man was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, but has been denied parole each time. The other gang members were all sentenced to prison but are now mostly freed.Patrolman Schroeder's brother, Detective John Schroeder, was shot and killed while working for the same agency on November 30, 1973.Patrolman Schroeder had been with the agency for 19 years and was survived by his wife and nine children.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

And the Whining Begins!

University cancels Ayers speaking engagement due to safety concerns
Published in the Thursday, March 26, 2009 Edition of
Matthew DeLuca
News Editor

Bill Ayers, known for his involvement in the Weather Underground as well as for his work as an education theorist was to speak at Boston College Monday before the event was canceled by the University on Friday. The event had been organized by Americans for Informed Democracy (AID).
University Spokesman Jack Dunn said that Karl Bell, assistant dean in the Office for Student Development, met with the event organizers during the day on Friday to inform them that protests of the event had been organized by, among others, Boston Police and family members of Boston Police Sergeant Walter Shroeder, who was allegedly killed by members of the Weather Underground in September of 1970. The Boston Globe reported that Shroeder was shot by William Gilday in the course of a bank robbery in Brighton. Ayers was never convicted of implication in the crime.
1st Bravo Zulu to the BPD for getting out in front of this - Never Forget
2nd "convicted of implication in the crime"? What?
The event's organizer's were "disappointed " by the event's last-minute cancellation. "BC is setting a dangerous precedent by canceling this event. In the past, administrators have cancelled events that they see as being at odds with Jesuit, Catholic ideals. Now, a new precedent has been set which permits the cancellation of any event that is at odds with the ideals of BC's wealthy and largely conservative donors," said Melissa Roberts, vice president of the BC College Democrats and A&S '09. "A university should be a place where students can hear all ideas, not just popular or profitable ones."
Seriously? You think it was about money? Seriously?

This is something I always find comical. Person "A" expresses their opinion. Person "B" expresses an opposing viewpoint. This is the give and take of a free society, right? Until Person "A" starts crying about Person "B" suppressing their "freedom of speech"!!! What?

Grow up.

To those at BC who issued this invitation for Ayers to speak - if you thought it was right for him to speak, you would have publicized it. Your website calls attention to all your other proposed speakers, but no mention about Ayers. Why? Because you know it was wrong. You were hiding it. You cries that your freedoms are being suppressed are pathetic.
Commenters - If you wish to comment, remain civil and you will be published. This blog has comment moderation and I use it. My place, my rules.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Missed Earth Hour!

But not "Human Achievement Hour"!

I read about it in a post over at the Castle.

Leave it to BCR to come up with the best comment on a scientific/technological issue.

By bad cat robot on March 28, 2009 11:54 AM
I'm going to light up the house like it's Christmas, and celebrate Human Achievement Hour. I will work on my computer, that has more calculational ability than the entire Apollo program, listen to music on CDs, possibly watch a movie on a DVD, make a call on my cell phone, watch my motion-sensor outdoor lights switch on to point out a trespasser, and not die of appendicitis, food poisoning, or cholera. And if any sanctimonious twit complains about my ecological crime, I will fire up my DEATH RAY which has a carbon footprint roughly the size of Manhattan.
Then someone seriously thought My Darling Chief sounded lonely! LOL Are you kidding?

Anyway, this was my response to all -

By Maggie on March 28, 2009 11:22 PM
Where do I start!!!! BCR - I love Human Achievement Hour and their video rocked!Bill, "Enemy at the Gates of 1283 E. McGovern Dr." was also a big hit. I had planned to light my house up like Christmas for Earth Hour/Human Achievement Hour, but was late getting home from a family gathering. So does it count that I was driving - well speeding really, over the Mystic River bridge, blasting ColdPlay, window down, heated seat switched on?Of course my house was actually lit up like Christmas because Frankie had friends over for some basketball game. Every light, the TV, the computer, the fridge running full steam chilling & dispensing Bud, the microwave & oven serving up appropriate snacks.Sam - it's a rough crowd baby - better put on your pads. My Darling Chief is never lonely! He has more women in more ports than any ten Sailors....and I would know, I have an advanced degree in the study of the mating habits of the American Sailor.

What A Great Time!

After Tim's Mass (where I was lucky not to be sitting with my sisters - too dangerous), most of us went out to eat. Tim's daughter and stepson and their spouses graciously invited us to join them at a local restaurant. My mother; her brother Jim and his wife Connie and their eldest daughter Martine; my sisters; my Uncle John's daughter Maryellen and son Michael at a table for 14. I can't remember a time where I got to sit across from Maryellen and talk, she was older than me, so we didn't see much of each other growing up. She grew up across the street on the first floor of a triple decker her parents owned with our Uncle Joe on the second floor. I spent many pleasant evenings on their front stoop where Joe and john told me about the family, Charlestown, WWII - my history. Maryellen brought some documents that were eagerly passed around - marriage certificates, death certificates, citizenship papers, most belonging to my gradfather's mother. Maryellen isn't online, but she is going to get stuff scanned and emailed to us. We love this stuff. I've just emailed some of the stuff I have to Tim's daughter.

It's late and I have to go to bed, but again, a really great family day. Even if it started off a little crazy (Jen & I were running late - but made it in plenty of time), and the Mass was the source of some giggling - which is why it was good I was sitting with my Uncle Kevin and not my sisters.

Jen, Grace and I lost some points today. It's always a double loss when it happens in or because of Mass. We have to admit, we are kind of snobby about Mass and how things are done anytime we are not at St. Francis. But we were nearly hysterical in the car. The Host was in some kind of beaten silver bowl, like a cereal bowl. Grace and Martine and I were talking about it and Jen seemed perplexed. She went to Communion - how did she miss it, Grace demanded to know. LOL! Jen is the queen of blocking! If there is something Jen doesn't want to see....she just doesn't. Then we asked if she saw that the Wine was in a tumbler instead of a chalice.....lol, noooooooo. After Communion, the Eucharistic ministers walked over to the priest? deacon? to put the cereal bowls back in the Tabernacle and it took a long time. I leaned over to my Uncle Kevin and said "Do you think he forgot the combination?". I know I lost points there. then afterwards Grace tells me she thought it looked like a microwave....Jen and I laughed so hard I almost drove off the road! Jen says that if they really replay you life story like a movie like "Defending Your Life" we are screwed. We can never defend that! There were other comments that I am too ashamed to type here. Needless to say, I have no hope of getting through the Pearly Gates....I have no chance unless there is a back door that Sister Terence or Mama Kelley can open for me.

After dinner we went out to Terry's car. She had a few of her Dad's paintings that she was giving to anyone who wanted them. Jen picked a really lovely picture that I will post a pic of soon.

Needless to say, today was another example of why, when you add my life all together - the stupid cancer, the reaction to the stupid chemo, the financial difficulties it's all caused......I am still one of the luckiest people I know.

The Last Of My Grandfather's Brothers

Today I will gather with the rest of my mother's family and say goodbye to my Uncle Tim. He passed nearly two months ago. I am not entirely sure why there was this delay, but no matter.

Timothy D. Kelley, 89, of Nashua, died February 2, 2009 at the Courville of Nashua following a brief illness.

He was born in Charlestown, MA on January 29, 1920, son of the late Michael & Mary (Doherty) Kelley. He grew up in Charlestown, graduated from Charlestown High School and lived there until he was in his 30’s, enjoying many good times with his seven brothers and a sister. Tim was married on April 5, 1957 to Madeline B. Baker and the couple moved to Somerville, MA where they lived for many years, until moving to Hudson NH in 1993. Mr. Kelley was predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Madeline B. Kelley, who died on April 20, 2007. In addition to his beloved wife, Madeline, he was predeceased by his seven brothers and his sister.

As a young adult, Tim worked as a draftsman before joining the military. He was a WWII veteran of the United States Air Force and served as a Staff Sergeant in the Air Corp. At one point in WWII, six of the eight Kelley brothers, including Tim, were all actively serving in the military. After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, Tim joined the Boston Police Force and rose to the rank of Sergeant. He enjoyed police work, was a good cop and had many friends both on and off the police force. Tim retired from the police force in 1981 after serving 27 years for the City of Boston. He was also a longtime member of the Boston Police Union and the VFW.

While living in Charlestown, MA he was a communicant of St. Francis de Sales. After moving to Hudson he was a communicant of St. John’s the Evangelist, attending services for many years. In his retirement, Tim loved walking for exercise especially with his little dog “Lady”, crossword puzzles, singing and Bing Crosby records. He was also a talented artist in his later years and enjoyed working in oil, acrylic, charcoal and pastel media, producing many beautiful pieces of artwork.

Mr. Kelley’s family includes his children, Theresa A. Kelley and her husband L. Mark Pilant of Litchfield, Stanley R. Murphy and his wife Vicki Maxant of Harvard, MA and Richard T. Murphy of Southbridge, MA; two grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

SERVICES: A Memorial Mass will be held at Saint John the Evangelist Church, 23 Library Street, Hudson, NH 03051 on Saturday March 28, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. Private Interment prayers and burial were held at Woodlawn Cemetery on February 14, 2009.

The DAVIS FUNERAL HOME in Nashua is in charge of arrangements. An online guestbook is available at www.davisfuneralhomenh.com.

Friday, March 27, 2009

William Ayers To Speak At Boston College

***UPDATE****The protests from normal people have caused Boston college to withdraw the Ayers invitation. Thank you Michael Graham!!!****
Ayers will be speaking at the Lyons Dining Hall, Monday March 30th at 6 pm.

This event is getting almost NO publicity. Boston College is ashamed and rightly so. The mainstream media is silent on this issue. If it weren't for Michael Graham on the radio and in his blog, no one would be aware of this. Well, outside of those students who invited him to speak.

The greatest irony? The Ayers is speaking on “The State of Democracy in America: Education Reform and Civic Engagement”. Civic engagement? From a man who advocated bombing federal buildings? From a man who would have bombed a dance at Fort Dix if he had had the chance?

Good. God.

If I can I will try to get up there and protest. I have missed a lot of work lately and with more doctor's appopintments coming up, I don't have a lot of leeway. But I want to try.

Go read Graham's two posts - here and here.

This lecture is co-sponsored with the Lynch School of Education Dean for Undergraduates, the AHANA Leadership Council, The Americans for Informed Democracy, and the College Democrats.

This video explains what Ayers wanted to happen at Fort Dix in 1970. Thank God he didn't succeed, but he did try.

South Park Explains How Bailouts Work

This vid was in my email from Boquisucio and it only makes sense that they would have the inside scoop over there at South Park.....after all the new Secretary of the Treasury is from the cast of the show......Timmah!!!!

USS Whidbey Island Change of Command

CDR Junge's remark from this morning's Change of Command ceremony in the Metro Machine Shipyard. I was invited but couldn't make it. I am as disappointed about not making it as I am happy for CDR Junge and his family on this day.

Commodore, thank you for your kind words. I’ve spent months thinking about writing, and giving, this speech. But, unlike the one I wrote and gave almost two years ago – which I wrote with relish and excitement – this one I postponed and postponed, only writing the first words three weeks ago. As a result, I fully expect this to be as disjointed, fragmented, and confused as my thoughts and emotions are today.

I remember standing on the flight deck 20 months ago with Captain Pete Fanta and my predecessor, Erik Ross, and making jokes about how when taking command this ceremony is just like getting married. As a groom all you do is show up, say the right words at the right time, do what you are told.

Well…relinquishing command, in turn, is akin to being the father of the bride and giving someone you love away to a complete and utter stranger, but having all the trust and confidence that he will do everything to take care of your girl.

Like all analogies, that one falls apart if you dig to far…but I can unreservedly say that I have loved this job…for all it’s faults, problems, challenges, and infuriating times I loved it. From my first day underway with a conning officer who was, I later learned, conning the ship for the very first time…to my last night sleeping on the barge instead of in my all too familiar cabin.

Despite, or perhaps because of, what Paulette and I came to call “The Drama” I have grown, and learned, and had some amazing epiphanies, and also made some incredible mistakes. I thanked the crew yesterday for their support in a challenging tour…but want to mention a few things along the way about the crew whose command I relinquish today.

In the 602 days since I took command, this ship was out of homeport for over 320 of them with 90% of those days underway, at sea.

The most underway ship in the Atlantic Fleet for most of that tour.

With a crew who had already deployed for six of the twelve months before I took command.
The days of “where are the carriers” has definitely been replaced with “where are the amphibs” and this amphib was there, and there, and there over and over again.

One spectacular underway replenishment of a merchant vessel.

Two beer days.

Three times reporting that we were out of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Four amazing summer port calls that many other ships and crews only dream of.

10 rounds in defense of the ship.

Operations with any special operations unit you can name. This crew did superb things, in difficult conditions and they deserve my thanks, my gratitude, and the gratitude of a Nation who will never fully understand what they did and how they fit into our continued freedom. And that’s OK…because if we are doing our jobs right, then no one ever remembers us.

This crew is an amazing collection of people and a study in contradictions. For all of our successes and challenges, the one thing I will always remember is that everyone who walked onboard this ship and spent more than 30 seconds with a member of this crew came away knowing that these Sailors are proud of what they do, proud of the United States Navy, and proud of USS Whidbey Island.

There are a few people I want to thank from outside the lifelines. First of all, Captain Pete Fanta, who was my first commodore and could not be here today. He let me command from the very first day. There are still squadron commodores out there who reach inside the lifelines and make decisions for those commanding officers. Captain Fanta was not one of them and he let me do my thing – even letting me make mistakes and sometimes taking the heat for me so that I could learn what to do, what not to do, and be a better Captain.

Commodore Lineberry – though only working for you for a short time thank you as well for letting us do our thing our way as we moved from the operational phase into what you see around us. You have a great staff that have been nothing but professional and helpful and I wish you the best as you deploy South on one of the most important missions our Navy does today.

Commodore Craig Kleint and Captain Michael Hill and the rest of the LSD LPD Class Squadron staff. They have done amazing work documenting the well intentioned mistakes Navy has made towards LSDs and helping provide solutions to correct those errors. It’s an almost thankless job – but valuable and slowly being recognized for how important it is.

I’d like to thank CDR George Bain, who also could not be here. In a dark time last November he lent his wit, his experience, and his support when I and the crew really needed it. His death in January was a tremendous blow to all of us and he leaves behind a world that was the better for us having known him.

Metro Machine – John Stremm, Rod Douglas, Bob Wallace and an amazing team working behind, above and around us on this massive ship who let us take a short pause for this ceremony.

Command Master Chief Kevin Morgan and his wife Anne – bedrock support and sage advice.

Master Chief – Even though BMC has done a great job and we transferred you to ACU2 for all the right reasons, I have missed talking to you every day since you left.

Chaplain Charles Luff. He carried peppermint lifesavers with him everywhere he went and was an inspiration to everyone on our deployment.

Our Scan Eagle detachment – four slimy contractors and four IA’d Sailors who helped us make history.

LCDR Dave Zielinski and LCDR Tony Duttera – the face of Amphibious Squadron TWO. Both class acts and officers I hope to serve with again.

When a blogger who has never served a day at sea questioned my ability to command a number acquaintances, but mostly strangers, rapidly defended me. Boston Maggie, Neptunus Lex, Galhran, Commander Salamander, Eagle1, Sailor Bob, Georgia Girl, MustangLT and a whole host of others – thank you all and I am grateful that a messy drama like that brought so many new and valuable friends into my life.

Christina Wray and Penney Soboski – two amazing women who balanced busy homelives with demanding jobs as Whidbey Island’s ombudsmen. Thank you for everything you did behind the scenes to take care of the families we left ashore when we were at sea. Without you, your dedication, and your care this job would have been far more challenging.

BMC Garrett – thanks for stepping in as Command Master Chief and I hope to see your name on the Senior Chief list.

XO, thanks for getting the difference between “at, near, and about”. I wish you, Julie, and your ever growing family the best as you finish this tour and move on to your future.

Mom – thanks for spending time with the girls while I was gone. It will take some getting used to with you visiting a little bit less now with me home and Saylor in Annapolis.

Finally, Paulette, Ella and Eva. I have missed you these past two years more than you will ever know. And I know you missed having me at home. As we discussed over and over again, we made the decision to geo-bach this tour for all the right reasons. It still sucked. While I am saddened to be leaving command, that sadness is eclipsed – completely and wholly - by the joy I have that I will once again be home with you three (and Lenny, Jane, and Goldie) each and every night – not just a few weekends each month.

Kirk – congratulations on coming to command. You are the absolutely right person for this job and I could not think of a better person to be turning command over to. I envy you being able to take Whidbey Island, put her together and take her back to sea again.

Eighteen years ago this month I reported to my first ship. Sixteen years ago this month I qualified surface warfare officer. Fifteen years ago – almost to the day – I left that first ship. At least one shipmate from that time is here today, as are a number of others who helped me along the way. It has been a winding, challenging, interesting road to get here and I am curious to see what comes next.

In closing…I want to leave you with the New Years greeting one of my favorite authors used this past year:
May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

I will now read my orders:
“From: Chief of Naval Personnel Millington, Tennessee;
To: Commanding Officer, USS WHIDBEY ISLAND
Subject: Bupers Order 0124-1025-0127
When directed by reporting senior, detach from duty as Commanding Officer USS WHIDBEY ISLAND, and report to for duty to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.”

CDR Weatherly, I am ready to be relieved.
BZ Commander!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Guess What this Is

It's a house made out of shipping containers.
Yahoo ran a story about people who have converted shipping containers into living spaces.
Cove Park Artists' Retreat
Set on 50 acres of gorgeous Scottish countryside, Cove Park is an artist's retreat designed to stimulate and reinvigorate. Urban Space Management first brought in three repurposed shipping containers in 2001, and the center became so popular that more units have been added.
Doesn't look like your average shipping box, does it?

'Above & Beyond Citizen Honors' Announces and Honors 2009 Recipients

'Above & Beyond Citizen Honors' Announces and Honors 2009 Recipients WASHINGTON, March 25, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ ----

The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation today announced and nationally honored the Above & Beyond Citizen Honors recipients for 2009. After a nationwide search and selection process, three Americans have been selected for their selflessness and indomitable courage.

The three unsung heroes are:

Rick Rescorla of New Jersey, posthumously, for going above and beyond on September 11, 2001 by courageously rescuing his fellow citizens by ordering the evacuation of all 2,700 Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. employees from the building and leading them to safety, and following, by re-entering the building to search for survivors.

David Bryan of Kansas City, Missouri, for going above and beyond by valiantly rescuing a motorist from a burning automobile on Eastbound I-70, one mile from the city of Higginsville, Missouri.

Jeremy Hernandez of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a part-time youth worker, for going above and beyond by saving the lives of 50 children as the school bus they were on was about to plunge into the Mississippi River following the I-35W Bridge Collapse.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Somebody Had To Do It......

"....and it just happened to be me."

"This Medal Is Not Mine.......

.....it belongs to all those kids who never grew up to be grandfathers. I just hold it in trust."
2nd Lt. George H. O'Brien, Jr. USMC

National Medal of Honor Day

March 25th is "National Medal of Honor Day". The date was chosen because the first Congressional Medals of Honor were awarded on March 25, 1863.

The Pentagon Channel will have several shows on today focusing on MOH recipients.
1000 - The Conscientious Objector: The story of World War II veteran and Medal of Honor recipient CPL Desmond Doss. (2 hrs)
Encore presentation at 1600hrs.
1200 - Eagle Feather: The story of Medal of Honor recipient MSG Woodrow Keebler. (30 min)
Encore presentation at 2200hrs.
1330 - Dunham: A Life of Honor: A look at the life and sacrifice of Medal of Honor recipient Cpl Jason L. Dunham, produced by Marine TV. (30 min)
Encore presentation at 1830hrs.
1400 - Medal of Honor Ceremony: Commander in Chief Barack Obama makes remarks as 35 living Medal of Honor recipients lay wreath at Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. (Live)
Encore presentation at 0000hrs.
2000 - Recon Revisited: To Give All That I Am: An in-depth look at the life of Medal of recipient SFC Paul R. Smith through the eyes of his friends, family, and comrades. (VoD, 30 min)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SOUTHCOM Baseball Team Aims to Win Friends In Latin America

SOUTHCOM Baseball Team Aims to Win Friends In Latin America
Posted On: Mar 24 2009 4:03PM
By Mass Communication Specialist First Class Gino Flores
U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs

MIAMI – A baseball team representing U.S. Southern Command will begin a 25-day friendship tour to five Latin American nations Friday, where it will take part in exhibition games with military and civilian teams, and conduct free clinics for aspiring players of various age groups.

The team, comprised of command players, is scheduled to visit communities in Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Chile and the Dominican Republic during the tour.

In addition to exhibition games and baseball clinics, the team will also conduct visits to various schools, hospitals, orphanages and little leagues.

The tour, dubbed Baseball Partnership Tour 2009, was planned in coordination with the Department of State, host governments and Major League Baseball, and affords participating players an opportunity to take part in camaraderie-building athletic activities as goodwill representatives of their nation and the sport.

Now in its second year, the tour represents the command’s ongoing commitment to strengthening friendships with partner nations in the hemisphere through activities that range from combined military training and exercises to personal interaction outside of traditional military settings.

“There is no better way to forge individual bonds with our friends in the region than through personal contact," said Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears, Military Deputy Commander of U.S. Southern Command. "The nations our team will be visiting share our passion for baseball -- a sport that now enjoys a growing global following. It is this shared passion for baseball that will bring players and fans together during this tour. Their personal contact will cultivate many new friendships and further strengthen the existing partnerships between our countries.”

Back From The Battleground Victorious

So today was the checkup with the myeloma specialist at NEMC.

I was completely overwrought.

I forgot my list, my graphs, my anecdotal evidence.

I didn't have beakfast or vitamins or tea or water.

I was late and had a headache.

But I was still ready to do battle. I was going to put my foot down and demand another delay of treatment. I was going to win. I have things to do!

Before I could even start making my case, he said "I'm fine with delaying as long as you are being closely monitored by the local oncologist vis-a-vis kidney function."

I had won before I had even unsheathed my weapon.

The next three months are mine.

I will be going to the Milblog.....as a matter of fact.....I'm speaking.

A Funny From My Darling Chief

The things that show up in my email!
Income taxes are normally due on April 15th unless that date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, in which case they are due on Monday the 16th or 17th.

However, I have been told that rule has recently been changed for 2008, as well as the next four years. The new rule states tax payments are no longer due until you are nominated to a cabinet position.

Consult the U.S. Department of the Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20220 (phone 202-622-2000) for confirmation.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Here I Am, Hat In Hand

Troy at Bouhammer is trying to set up a showing of "At War" at the Milblog Conference.

You can go here and read Troy's review of the movie.

You can go here and read NYS Guard PAO Lt. Col. Paul Fanning's review.

Then please go to the side widget "Support the Showing of AT WAR at the 2009 Milblog Conference" (top right of the Bouhammer's page) and click on the "Donate" widget. Toss in a few bucks. Remember to throw in a little extra so Troy can make sure I get popcorn.

Sources: Obama to Name Mabus for SecNav; Work for UnderSec

From DOD Buzz

Sources: Obama to Name Mabus for SecNav; Work for UnderSec
By Christian Lowe Monday, March 16th, 2009 3:31 pm
Posted in Naval, Policy, Rumors

President Obama is expected to nominate Amb. Ray Mabus to be the next secretary of the Navy, sources tell DoD Buzz.
On Friday, former Navy Secretary Donald Winter resigned as planned, telling Sailors and Marines he was “blessed for having had the opportunity to serve as your secretary” and adding that “no period in my professional life can compare to the experiences that I have had in this position,” according to a Navy release.
According to well-placed sources not affiliated with the Obama administration, Mabus — a former Democrat governor of Mississippi and the ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1994-1996 — has passed vetting from Pentagon chief Robert Gates’ office and the administration has informed leaders on Capitol Hill of the nomination.
Winter agreed to extend his term to help the Obama administration’s transition until March 13. Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and the Environment B.J. Penn will serve until Mabus — or an alternative — is confirmed by the Senate
I don't know how I feel about Mabus, but I know I'm happy about Bob Work.
At least I know who to address the envelope to when I beef about this crap with Murtha.
Have you signed the petition yet? It's up to 24,559.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I Laughed, But I Thought....

....please don't let this be true.
A video from CTGolfer

Friday, March 20, 2009

Well? I'm Waiting!!!!

Don't you have something to say to me?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

BlackFive Is Hammering Us Over This

...and rightly so!


Jack "Lummox" Murtha Receives Distinguished Service Award from the Navy?!

I am ill.

There's an online petition to tell the SecNav (although we don't have one yet) how disappointed you are. I'm there.

So Now - Flag Shuffle

Who replaces ADM Willard as Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet?

SB hemmed and hawed.

The super-secret SWO place says VCNO ADM Patrick Walsh, who I think has a New England connection....born locally? Not sure. Anyway, not a shoe. He's been in the news lately over GITMO.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Congratulations ADM Stavridis & ADM Willard

I guess I am over my little snit that the SecDef didn't consult me.

But no one has definatively explained where my friend ADM Keating is going. All signs point to retirement, and if he's happy, I'm happy....

My back channel emails (Princess Crabby has the best Navy Coterie ever) have pretty much assured me that this is a good move by Gates.....and we all know he needs one after that crap about Dover.

USS Springfield SSN-761 Hosts Families of IA Sailors

The USS Springfield is getting ready to leave Naval Station Rota and head home.

BZ to the officers and crew of SSN761 for reaching out these families.

I Could Just Weep

So I keep thinking "Maybe it's not all bad." or "What if Stella is right and somehow Obama's crazy schemes work?"

There must be some ray of hope. Right? After all, he ran on the promise of hope and change.

I shove aside my misgivings when he appoints criminals and Clintonistas.

But this?

This is too much.

Former US President Jimmy Carter departs following a visit to the West Wing of the White House in Washington March 18, 2009.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES POLITICS)


See his finger on his nose? Isn't that how conmen signal each other when they are working a scam?

ADM Stavridis To Become SACEUR

*****UPDATE*****ADM Willard goes to PACOM******
Am I happy about this?

Is he?

Spencer Ackerman says it's happened.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Navy Changes Speicher Status To 'Missing In Action'

Navy Changes Speicher Status To 'Missing In Action'
Story Number: NNS090310-05
Release Date: 3/10/2009 1:49:00 PM

From the Department of the Navy

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter determined March 10 that the status of Capt. Michael Scott Speicher is changed from "missing/captured" to "missing-in-action" (MIA).

This determination was made after a review of available information, including the report and recommendation of a Status Review Board and comments provided by the Speicher family, as well as a Defense Intelligence Agency assessment.

"The Navy appreciates the challenges Captain Speicher's family has faced these past 18 years," Winter said. "Captain Speicher is an American hero, and bringing him home to his family and his country will remain a top priority for the Navy and our nation."

Speicher was the first casualty of Operation Desert Storm. His F/A-18 Hornet was downed by hostile action Jan. 17, 1991 during the first manned air strike of the war. He was placed in an MIA status the next day.

His status was changed to "killed in action/body not recovered" (KIA/BNR) May 22, 1991, following a Secretary of the Navy Status Review Board that found "no credible evidence" to suggest he had survived the shoot down.

In December 1995, working through the International Committee of the Red Cross, investigators from the Navy and Army's Central Identification Laboratory entered Iraq and conducted a thorough excavation of the crash site. In September 1996, based on a comprehensive review of evidence accumulated since the initial KIA/BNR determination, the Secretary of the Navy reaffirmed the presumptive finding of death.

In January 2001, following the emergence of new evidence and further assessment by the intelligence community, the Secretary of the Navy concluded that Speicher's status should be "missing in action." A working group was established in July 2002, and in October of that year, the Secretary of the Navy changed the status from "MIA" to "missing/captured."

This status was continued following another review in September 2005.

In October 2008, the intelligence community concluded that Speicher is deceased, though his remains are unlocated. Based on that assessment, the Secretary of the Navy convened a Status Review Board to consider whether Speicher's status should remain missing/captured or should be changed.

Although the Status Review Board rejected the DIA assessment, the Secretary of the Navy concluded that there was no credible evidence that Speicher is "captured." However, in the abundance of caution, Secretary Winter determined that Speicher's status should be changed to MIA.

For more information, read the statement from Secretary Winter on the Web atwww.navy.mil/navydata/people/secnav/Winter/Message/Speicher%20Statement.pdf.

A Relaxing Evening At The Office

LOL, yup....that's right. I am just wrapping up, but it's been very relaxing.

First I let Howie Carr get me spooled up talking about all the corruption around me. Corruption on a local level with Gov. Patrick - "No new hires", my eye! Corruption nationwide with Chris Dodd talking smack about AIG bonuses when he was the bastid that pushed for the language that protected those very bonuses.

Then when Howie is finished aggravating me I switch to WGBH and listen to "The World". Tonight there was an interesting report on the incident in the South China sea involving USNS Impeccable. I'm not worried, ADM Keating has the watch.

When "The World" finishes educating me....I rarely get the geo-quiz......I relax with "Eric in the Evening". Eric opens every evening with Tommy Flanagan's "Peace".

So, now I am peaceful.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, SouthieBoy!

This MP3 I found at this website is the best version of an old Southie favorite for my Favorite Naval Consort.

"Southie Is My Hometown"

Why? Because toward the end you can hear some Townie trying to sing over them, lol!

'La 'le Phadraig Shona Dhuit'

I know you get as excited as these guys.
I can almost hear it now - "PĂ­onta Guiness, le do thoil"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Someone Wanted To Remind Me...

....that I am a Navy girl.
There's been a lot of moping around here lately.

Someone thinks that I need to shake some of it off.

So we'll get back to some of my interests.....there's history.......there's politics.......there's nonsense.....

Oh and Sailors. Yes, Sailors doing good things. Especially the Sailors on the small boats. Aren't they the pushiest, most forward leaning ones? I love it.

So here we are -

"Expeditionary training and security forces are globally engaged in building partnerships through operations that promote security cooperation. It's through this collaborative interaction and shared training with other maritime nations that we will continue to foster the foundations for long-term stability."
Rear Adm. Carol M. Pottenger, Commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command

Navy Expeditionary Combat Command forces support maritime security and joint operations by supporting Combatant Commanders’ Theater Security Cooperation efforts through the delivery of timely, focused and tailored training and security to designated partner nations. Expeditionary forces provide a continuum of global engagement through interaction with partner nations to collaboratively improve the partner nations’ ability to exercise maritime sovereignty.

Supporting Maritime Security and Forward Presence
• Maritime expeditionary security forces enable maritime security by providing High Value Asset escort and embarked security through chokepoints and high threat regions, including canals, straits, and harbor approaches, and provides Sea Port of Debarkation security at various ports in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.
• Force protection in the green water environment supports maritime security. This crucial mission is supported through global deployment of units that provide a wide range of capabilities, including use of lethal and non-lethal weapons, landward and seaward security, and intelligence and communications.
Globally Engaged Through Expeditionary Training
Expeditionary training covers a wide array of missions, directly contributing to maritime security. Expeditionary forces deliver training on topics such as leadership, weapons handling and waterborne security to partner nations.
• Mobile Training Teams are task-organized and deploy to facilitate Naval Component Command engagement with partner nations.
• In support of the concept that collaborative engagements promote cooperation and deter aggression, Expeditionary forces have trained other navies how to conduct small boat maintenance, boat handling, and anti-terrorism and force protection while on deployments to Senegal, Brazil, Madagascar and Ghana. • In Africa Partnership Station, training in military working dog techniques and oil platform security training has been provided to local military forces in Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Cameroon.
• Expeditionary training is a key part of Southern Partnership Station. In February, U.S. Navy Sailors delivered sentry training to Panamanian students.
Partner nations have also received small boat navigation, train-the-trainer, boarding operations, basic engine maintenance and Search and Rescue planning in Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Barbados, Nicaragua and Colombia.
• Expeditionary training has been instrumental in the training and development of the Iraqi Marine forces.

So I Need To Learn....

....to take my own advice and not get too excited about things.

Yesterday I wasn't numb when I woke up.

This morning I was..........oh well.

Did I tell you about Friday night, when I was giving Jen the run-down on the nutritionist? I was explaining all the stuff he said about approaching my health holistically, etc.

This leads to a discussion of all the doctors I see and all the different bits of info I am gathering from them and from the Internet.

She shakes her head - "You're a hypochondriac whore."

We killed ourselves laughing.

Sherri Explains The Stimulus Package

The Domestik Diva's morning offering in my email this morning

Explaining Obama's Government Stimulus Plan

Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House.One is from Chicago , another is from Tennessee , and the third is from Minnesota .

All three go with a White House official to examine the fence.

The Minnesota contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. "Well," he says, "I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my union crew and $100 profit for me."

The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100 profit for me."

The Chicago contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers, "$2,700."

The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?"

The Chicago contractor whispers back, "$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence."Done! replies the government official.

And that, my friends, is how the new stimulus plan will work.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday At The Office

OK, first off - We're not going to get too excited. It's important to note that it's only Day 2 of magnesium.

No numbness.

That's right, I woke up this morning and while I could feel a very faint tingling, my arms/hands, legs/feet were not numb. Also, no leg cramps.

The magnesium has been low all along. Could it be that chemo aggravated a latent situation? The range of normal is 1.5 to 2.3, as listed in the Myeloma Manager. But there are other reference ranges to be found. Tufts/NEMC reference range is 1.3 to 2.1. The website ChemoCare give a range of 1.5 to 2.5.

Looked at together my 1.6/1.7 looks fine.

So I could be looking at this too hard. Today may have just been a good day. Maybe it's not the magnesium level so much as the fact that I slept a lot and it wasn't drugged. And it was deep. But, the benefits of taking the magnesium are supposed to be better sleep and no leg cramps.....and that's what I got.

I've spent the entire day reading about labs and anemia and electrolytes and reference ranges and symptoms.

Overall, it seems that I am on the right track and one of the most important things I can do is be sure to drink 2 to 3 liters of water per day. It comes up in a lot of the recommendations having to do with kidney functions.

The other thing is to eat more protein. That comes up with the CBC results - low RBC, low HCT, low HGB. Although my O2 SATs are always good. I know because I can test it right here at my desk, lol!

So altogether, it seems I need to be on Atkins, even when I am not. I am on now, but when I fall off of Atkins, I still have eat lots of protein, dark green veggies and drink lots of water. That's the best I can offer, because you know I am going to fall off. For pity's sake....my birthday is in a few days. So there will be cake....but dinner will be meat and veggies.

U.S. Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Richard McRill

From Navy CyberSpace Blog via Twitter.

Remembering U.S. Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Richard McRill

Saturday, March 14, 2009


So what was the over and under for Stations last night? I got there on time and made it to the 8th station before I started crying. After some momentary hysteria, I realized that if I count the ceiling tiles, I can pull myself back a little.

The plan was to go back on Atkins today....and I did, but that always makes me think that I need to have a last, great *bad* meal the night before. There were limited choices on a Friday in Lent. I was passing the Gas Tanks when I called Lobster Hut at 8:02 pm. "When do you close?", "8:30."..."Ok, can I place an order to be picked up?"...."No, you have to come in." Ok, even I don't drive that fast. Sadly, I ended up with a fish sandwich from Burger King. Jennifer said it was sad, but in that "you-are-pitiful-but-I-have-no-sympathy" voice. But seriously, shouldn't there be special consideration given to let people coming from Stations order on the phone?

I didn't take the Ambien. I took the magnesium. It's a powder, you dissolve it in boiling water and drink it..........blech! I had trouble falling asleep and woke up with a headache. But even someone as impatient as me knows we have to give it a few days.

I made it into work, but I am not working. I am surfing and blogging. I needed to show and answer the phones, so Nic could leave. My plan is to screw at 1700 on the dot.

I am not a Jefferson fan. I am an Adams girl. But this is on the money.

"Government can do something for the people only in proportion as it can do something to the people."

Greta at Kiss My Gumbo & WIST radio interviewed Brothers At War director Jake Rademacher. I have a Fandango alert telling me when it's coming to Boston. Go listen to the interview, you'll want to see it too.

My newest cousin - Griffin.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Meanie Beanie Gracie

My sister Grace called.

"Who is going with you on the 24th?"

The 24th is an appointment for another EMG at NEMC Neurology at 8 am and my quarterly check-in with Dr. Miller at 10:20.

"Well whoever it is, I figure I'll go by myself and have one of you join me around 11. Everything before that is just hanging around. I won't need anyone with me for blood work and stuff. I don't need anyone there for the EMG."

"I want to go for the EMG!"

"Why? It hurts. It would upset me to watch someone hurt you."

Evil giggle "I want to see it."

Nice. Her birthday present just got smaller.

Naval War College - Humph!

Ok, so do you know about Twitter?

So I follow some friends, some fellow bloggers, some Sailors.

And some things - as opposed to people.

I follow the USS Constitution.

I follow Boston By Foot.

I also follow the Naval War College. They drive me crazy! Constantly suggesting books and articles to read. Always telling me about lectures that sound really interesting......that I can't go to.

They torture me.

So today, they decided to follow me. Apparently to watch my sanity circle the drain.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Air Force Rubs My Nose In It

So....you know I favor Sailors, right? I mean, criminey, you don't need top-notch reading comprehension skills to get that.

But in the interest of staying balanced, I salt the mix with some representation from the other services.

But the Air Force definitely tries my patience.

He read the post below and sent me this -

A nice Irish girl that does the Stations does not talk about decadence in public. The nuns would have a heart attack. And what's all this stuff about exfoliating? And Dead Sea Salt? When did salt become good for the skin? If you want to exfoliate, weed a garden. Putting all that goop all over you just makes you slippery and smell unnatural. You want to smell like a mango? All that is just a total waste of time and could be done with just soap and water.

Then he casually mentions that when stationed in Japan he was getting massages twice a week they were so cheap.


My Birthday Is In Nine Days

I have bills.

I have things that need fixing around the house.

Some years I am very practical.

One year I had my parents renew all my Bostonian Society, Old South Meetinghouse, etc. memberships.

This year I want......decadence.

Body Treatments

Body Glow
A custom blended exfoliation of the body followed by hot aroma towels, oils & moisturizers.
1 hour
Rosemary Mint Awakening Body Wrap
Your body is exfoliated, smoothed, softened and wrapped.
1 hour
Aqua Polish
A full body exfoliation and refinement of your skin using the therapeutic benefits of marine elements (such as Dead Sea salts) along with skin conditioning oils.
1 hour
Caribbean Therapy Spa Treatment
Treatment begins with a dry exfoliation followed by a smoothing, detoxifying seaweed masque and wrap, followed by a restorative scalp, face and body massage.
1 1/2 hours

Now Here's A Great Idea

The market is down.

Some of our favorite charities will suffer in this economy.

How to keep them in the limelight and have some fun?

Announcing the NavyCS Industrial Average (NIA)!

A downturn in the economy does not equal a downturn in the need for charities support. Each one of us should have a plan for distributing a portion of our funds to charities. It is with that thought Bonnie and I have decided to create NIA.

The NIA is a group of stocks we purchased, hopefully near the yearly lows, that we will use as a guide to determine how much money we will donate to Project Valour IT this year.
Investing in the
stock market now?! (Read the rest of the story…)

BZ Tom!

Africa Partnership Station

From Chuck at America's North Shore Journal

Africa Partnership Station

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

So Last Week He Made Me Cry....

....this week he makes me smile.

Last week half of the Milblogging world (and I am sure a great many other people) linked to Sippican Cottage for his story about his dad. It was a great memory he had of a day with his Dad and the post announced his father's passing. I read it, I linked it, I emailed it, I cried about it. SB was somewhere he couldn't get online and I read it to him over the phone. I concentrated on the words, not the meaning and almost made it until I got to the last line. I cleared my throat a few times until SB said "Yes, I know what it says Maggie."

Well this week there were two stories with happier tones. Although the last line of one gives me pause. I wonder if it's said with a wisterful smile or a distant look. I know sometimes when I write or tell such tales it's a coin toss.

My father loves sports and this post about the Garden brings many memories flooding back. They are somewhat different than Greg's. I don't remember going to Bruins games, maybe he took my brother Frankie, but not me. I watched with him and had to be right in front on the floor on my stomach because I wouldn't wear my glasses.

I went to lots of Celtics games, but not with my Dad, I went with my siblings. The Garden was close enough to walk. It's funny to think today that we would leave at noon and not return for hours. No one thought anything of sending two girls in their early to mid teens walking a few miles away to an afternoon game. He gets it absolutely right when he says -

"There was weather inside there. Cumulus clouds of smoke would meet the smog from the drunken exhalations and clash with the cold front coming up from Bobby Orr's ice under the rickety parquet wood floor."

Anyway, back to his post "Another Sip From My Father's Beer".

He makes me think of the Red Sox games on the radio while my Dad did things. SB and I have talked about listening to Ken Coleman on hot summer nights in our respective summer places.

As always the posts at Sippican Cottage speak to me as only one native can speak to another.

And I understand when he ends one with this - "I'd kill ten innocent men to go back there for ten minutes."

I know it's not a basketball game he is talking about.

I have tasted that sentiment. I have learned that lesson. My family will be sick of seeing me before I forget what my grandmothers passing made me realize.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I Have No Permanent Nerve Damage

No peripheral neuropathy.

No CIDP - chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy .

No sign of nerve damage.

You see, I had to go see a specialist in Boston because Dr. Bigus Dickus got me all upset back in February. Which was actually funny because I didn't think I could get more upset than I was going in.

Six weeks into chemo (mid November) I started to experience numbness and tingling to go with my fatigue, insomnia and heartburn. Back in January I fainted at work and had to be imprisoned....I mean hospitalized for four days. The numbness and tingling progressed to pain. On January 22nd when Dr. Miller told me that chemo hadn't produced a "durable response", I told them all to screw - in the nicest possible way, of course!

I believed that the numbness, tingling and pain were a result of the dexamethesone. I knew that it would take at least two months to recede. Possibly longer because it wasn't just dex, but combined with Rev. But the symptoms got worse.

All this for cancer that isn't symptomatic??????

Anyway, I saw a local neuro who said my symptoms were the result of three unrelated diagnoses and none were the result of chemo. First he said I had a problem with my legs because of diabetic neuropathy - I told him my blood sugar results were always normal - a more extensive test proved him wrong. Next he said my insomnia was sleep apnea, lol, even though OSA *wakes* people or makes them wake unrested. My problem was the inability to fall asleep. Which Ambien had solved, so no OSA. Then he said that the pain in my hands was carpal tunnel, particularly bad in the right hand even though the pain was worse in the left....

In the middle of the EMG to *prove* to me that the carpal tunnel in my right hand required surgery he saw something he didn't like in my left arm. He abruptly stopped the test, and referred me to a specialist because he said I had CIDP.

This would be very bad because it was related to the multiple myeloma. That would mean I was not asymptomatic. It would mean I would have to go back to chemo and quickly.

I sent a fax to Dr. Miller and said that if Dr. D was wrong about diabetes, wrong about carpal tunnel and wrong about sleep apnea......why did I want to go see his specialist?

Dr. Miller chose Dr. Thaler.

Dr. Thaler asked questions, performed tests, ordered blood work, scheduled a complete EMG, since the other was stopped in the middle.

Then he asked what my concerns were. I told him that I didn't want chemo to put me in a wheelchair to fight an imaginary cancer. He asked if I had discussed with Dr. Miller that I thought my cancer was imaginary (my sister Grace was making faces across the room at me). I said yes we discussed it. He asked "Does Dr. Miller tell you that you are crazy?" I told him no, Dr. Miller was too nice and polite for that.

So, Dr. Thaler told me that I would have to find some other weapon in my fight to stave off chemotherapy. He said the chemo had caused no nerve damage, permanent or otherwise.

It may be something as simple as pernicious anemia.....vitamin B12 deficiency. But we will discover the cause.

He would not be drawn into my theory that my IGA numbers are nothing more than my body's reaction to chemical exposure in my youth.....and would never be anything else.

Grace liked him.

I am still asymptomatic and I am thrilled.

I am that much closer to going to the Milblog.

Oreos and Milk for Breakfast

I'm not stressed about the neurologist visit!

Noooooooooo, not at all! LOL

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Today Was Better!

I did one of the things that always makes me feel better. I went to my parents. We had dinner, Grace & Debbie were over. We went through family albums. They chided me about my drama. Grace laughed about my mother wanting me to stop talking when I was crying. Then when my mother spoke and I thought it was bad news - I told her not to tell me. Way to communicate!

Anyway, we were laughing about a cousin of our grandmother's, Joe. Joe's mother, Maggie and my grandmother's mother, Elizabeth were sisters. My grandmother and he were close when they were young, but later didn't see each other much.

Warning - some people won't think this is funny.

One day there was a knock at the door and my mother opened it (from the time I was eleven, we lived in my grandmother's house). Mama Kelley looked over my mother's shoulder at a young man and said "Joe Conway!". He laughed and said he was Joe's grandson, but his grandfather was in the car and wanted to talk to her. After the way she recognized him, he didn't need to ask if she was his grandfather's cousin.

So Mama put on her coat and walked out to the car. Joe was on his way home from the hospital after having his leg amputated and he had insisted on being driven to Charlestown. I don't know where he lived, but he had moved away quite a while before.

Mama asked how he was and he said mournfully - "I've lost my leg." Mama said "Well you have another." Then they both laughed. He said he was so glad he had come, she was just what he needed. Mama said she was glad he came too.

Ok, now I know this is not funny to most people, but everytime we hear/tell this story we crack up.....including today. Then I noted that three of my mother's relatives had lost a leg to diabetes. We turned the page from Joe & Maggie's picture to one of my mother's grandmother. My mother said "Look, it's another one of my one-legged relatives".

If you complained to Mama about anything, she would laugh or poke fun. I can remember telling her I had a headache and she told me it might be a brain tumor. She never pandered to my overly dramatic nature.

One time my Uncle Jim came in and was very rushed and harried. He was talking a mile a minute, complaining about something while he made a meatloaf sandwich. Just as he went to take a bite he asked if it had onions because she knew onions gave him heartburn. Mama said no. I was startled, there were always onions in the meatloaf - always. After he inhaled the sandwich in three quick bites, he cleaned up his plate, kissed Mama and left. I looked at her and before I could say a word she said "If he gets heartburn, it's because he ate too fast."

A complete lack of sympathy with sarcastic people - it was just what I needed. Plus they told me the right thing about Stations - my mother, Jennifer, Grace....all said "If it upsets you, don't go." Knowing I would say "Well, no, I can't stop going." LOL! Reverse psychology at work.

When I poured my heart out to SB about not being kind or understanding or patient he spoke to me as he would to comfort a child. He said in his best, most comforting voice "But Maggie, honey, you were never patient." Right. How ridiculous for me to think that cancer and adversity would make me a better person, lol.

Friday, March 06, 2009

What If Maggie Lost Her Mind...........

...........would anyone notice?

Kinda like "If a tree fell in the forest.............."

I'm not helping myself sitting in the dark listening to Grieg and Barber.

It's been such a roller coaster. I am getting nauseous.

Last night I knew I had to get to sleep early because I had to be in work unusually early. Special projects. So at 2130 I took two Ambien. I was asleep by 2200. I use the phone as an alarm. This morning when I woke up to shut off the tone.......I saw that I had made a phone call at 2254.........for 63 minutes.


But I did make it to work on time. I had two Medicare webinars on different subjects. I was ready to tear my hair out. It was a frantic, busy, aggravating day.

Someone sent me a wonderful email today and I can't answer her.

At 1600 I realized that I had eaten nothing substantial since breakfast, I dashed out and grabbed something. At least I understood why I was so shaky.

I left earlier for Stations this week.....and got there later. Traffic. Anyway, I arrived at the sixth Station. I managed not to start crying until the 14th. Better than last week.

When I got to the car there was voice mail from my son Tom. "Hey, I just called to say hi and I love you." then the horrid put on southern accent "and Jesus does too!". I stopped crying and laughed. My son is really funny and his imitations are very good.

I drove down to Friendly's to get an ice cream soda and something for my parents. Who is in Friendly's at 2000 on a Friday night? Why, the Lamaze class that just let out. I am not kidding. I waited forever while pregnant women waffled about what ice cream to get. The staff was so frazzled that when they gave me chocolate ice cream for my father instead of chocolate chip, I just took it and ran.

There was a wake at Carr's so I ended up parked illegally and just ran down to my parent's house.

My mother was eating ice cream when I walked in. Of course.

I went upstairs to hand my father a spoon. "What destroyer class started with "S"?"
I pull out the phone and dialed SB. I repeated the question with no preamble. "What?" I repeated it. "Sims". I repeated that to my father. He made the "You've-just-said-something-ridiculous" face and shook his head. "You're wrong." I said into the phone. A very puffed up SB barked "Sez who?!" That was funnier than my son's fake drawl! "My father." A much quieter, "Oh." I hang up, walk down the stairs. At the foot of the stairs my cell rings, I see who is calling and laugh as I answer. "Spruance!" he says triumphantly. I call the answer up to my father. "That's right!" he replies. I tell SB "Good job" and hang up.

My mother tells me to sit down. I know I look wild eyed and my face is tear stained. I tell her I can't, I'm parked illegally. I start to leave and I stop at the front door. I tell her Stations is killing me. I start to choke up. She tries to stop me, but she also asks what I mean. I tell her Stations points out what I am doing wrong and I am ashamed.

Despair is sin you know. I am acutely aware of that.

I tell her it's ok. She tells me that my cousin is pregnant and I smile and say that's good. I leave.

I get a text from Jennifer scolding me from going and upsetting them. Clearly my mother called her as soon as I was out the door.

All my problems started six weeks into chemo.

It's been six weeks since I've stopped chemo.

Why isn't it any better?

I Am So Disappointed!

You didn't vote enough! I told you that you could vote over and over. Why didn't you?????

America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar

USS Constitution didn't win!!!! WTF? Over

'Man at the Wheel' gets state's nod for quarter
In online voting over a three-week period last month, the Man at the Wheel, a tribute to the men who have lost their lives at sea, trounced 100 other nationally recognized historical sites in Massachusetts to gain the distinction. The Gloucester statue collected 109,817 votes, more than four times as many as the Lowell National Historic Park, which took second place with 26,582 votes, according to results provided by Gov. Deval Patrick’s office.Third place was Salem’s House of Seven Gables, with 10,028 votes and fourth place went to the U.S.S. Constitution in Boston, which pulled in 8,890.

Clearly people from Gloucester found a more efficient way to cheat other than voting every 20 seconds as I encouraged you to do.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

March 5, 1770

On March 5, 1770, British soldiers killed 5 men on the streets of Boston in what would become know as the Boston Massacre. In honor of the 239 th anniversary of this revolutionary event,
The Bostonian Society will present the following programs:

Friday March 6, 2009
Historic Voices: Echoing Boston Patriots at Old South Meeting House
6:30pm – 8:00pm
In the years that followed the Boston Massacre, citizens crowded the halls of Old South Meeting House on the anniversary of the infamous event to hear the moving words of Boston’s greatest orators. These speeches were evocative, passionate, and intended to stir the people of Boston into rebellion. Their inspirational messages about freedom and democracy still ring true today. Join us to hear students from Boston Latin School dramatize the eloquent words of orators such as John Hancock, Joseph Warren, and John Rock. Robert Allison, history professor at Suffolk University and author of The Boston Massacre, will narrate the event. Free; at Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington Street , Boston, MA 02108

Saturday March 7, 2009
Little Redcoats: Kids Reenact the Massacre
11:00am – 11:30am and 2:00 pm – 2:30pm
Young visitors will be the stars in a reenactment of the Boston Massacre led by rangers from the Adams National Historical Park. Free; on the mall outside of the Old State House.

Trial of the Century
11:30am – 12:30pm and 2:30 pm – 3:30pm
Watch John Adams defend the British soldiers accused of murdering Bostonians. Self-defense or cold-blooded murder? You decide as audience members are invited to act as jurors for this celebrated case. Program led by rangers from the Adams National Historical Park. Free with museum admission; in the Old State House.

Boston Massacre Reenactment
7:00 pm-7:45 pm
See the event that sparked the Revolution! Local reenactment groups will portray the infamous incident outside the Old State House. Free.