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So yesterday my boys and I were slated to go ice skating with my girlfriend and her two daughters. I was really looking forward to it, but since I wasn’t walking terribly well yet, I had to pass and be a spectator. So while the five of them stumbled their way around the ice on skates, I stumbled around the arena on sneakers. I think I fell more than any of them, but it was good exercise for my back.

We returned to her house afterwards for pizza and a movie where I saw a whole new side of her. I simply had to lie down on the floor and straighten my back. Of course the kids were all down there, and the boys were wrestling each other. Upon entering the room, she quickly snapped into “momma bear” mode and positioned herself to protect me from the kids (mostly mine) so no one bumped me. While perhaps a bit overzealous, it was damned sweet, and it felt good to feel like someone cared that much.

I think it all bodes well for the new year. This has been a year of healing: physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. I feel stronger going into the coming year than any in recent memory. I hope the new year finds you happy as well.


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Well, it’s been an exciting holiday season. At least that’s the excuse I’m going with for having not written much here. Hopefully, you’ve been too busy to read it, so we’re even.

And as the year draws to a close, I am dealt the classic good news / bad news scenario. You see I threw my back out this past weekend. The good news is that it’s been a whole year since I did that last, and it’s been close to 10 years since I’ve gone anywhere near that long without an “episode”. The bad news is that dammit I went a whole year!! I thought I was all better!!

So in uncharacteristic fashion, I immediately (well, on Monday) try to get an appointment with the physical therapist who got me on my feet a year ago. Mind you, it’s December 29th, and I need a referral. So I start by calling my insurance company to find out if I have enough PT visits left to be treated on 2003. No problem there, just make sure the referral gets filed. Okay, so I call my doctor and explain to her nurse’s voice mail that I want the referral. So far so good. I get a call back within the hour, she’s willing to send the referral if I just call her back with the therapist’s fax number. Hey, this sounds easy. So I call the therapist’s office, and it starts to get scary. They can see me at 12:30, but before then I need to have the doctor fax them a continuation of my earlier referral. But wait… since I was “discharged” from the earlier treatment, the new referral needs to be a continuation, but with a new diagnosis. And then they also need a 2004 referral because they all expire at year end. For cryin’ out loud. Has it occurred to anyone that medical costs are so high because for every minute of medical treatment you receive there’s about 90 minutes of paperwork to be filed?

But the upshot is that the therapy appears to again be effective. My son couldn’t understand why I had to pay somebody to “beat me up”, but the short term pain is worth it if it gets my butt straightened out. My boss was intrigued that someone had figured out a way to straighten me out, and asked if she could consult with the therapist as well. And I also got a new “bed buddy” out of the deal. Honest, that’s what it’s called. It’s just a strap-on microwavable hot pack – which is not nearly as interesting as the name implied it might be.


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So I’m in Texas this morning. You know, the people that brought you phrases like “all y’all”, and a culture proud of its hard line stance on justice. Motto: Try ’em, Fry ’em, Let God sort ’em out. So I pick up a Dallas paper at the hotel to read on the flight home. The major story on the local section is some poor former school teacher who was a local representative for a Tupperware type company. The only twist is, that the plastic she sells tends to require batteries, a little warm oil and vibrates. You see, she holds “parties” in women’s homes for all their friends to buy “marital aides”. Okay, maybe a little silly. I can almost picture the shy giggly women enjoying a little covert naughty fun, and maybe pleasantly surprising their significant others later that night. It all sounds pretty harmless.

Well apparently the local constabulary sent in undercover officers to raid this den of sin, and the former school teacher was arrested. It seems that while owning or using vibrators is perfectly legal, selling them is not. Well, not quite. You can sell them as long as they are sold as “novelties” or as “educational models”. That’s legal. However, if you actually sell them for the purpose for which they were designed, then that’s a crime. It seems that “selling a device for the express purpose of stimulating the nether regions of the human body” is illegal. And that was the actual quote from the law book.

Now we all know that there are tons of archaic laws on the books, and most often they are just ignored. However, the local DA seems adamant that he will prosecute this woman. In a town where adult book stores openly sell the same products as “novelties”, this woman may wind up with a criminal record for spicing up her friend’s marriages. Truth is really stranger than fiction. Makes me wonder if maybe she flunked the DA’s kid in school or something. I guess it’s also a good thing I didn’t start writing this until I was out of the state. For all I know it’s illegal to be a smart-ass there as well.

And as I’m writing this on the plane, the kid next to me is thumbing through his pocket bible while clutching his tickets. I’m not sure what to make of that. He might just be nervous. Then again, he may be reading over my shoulder and praying I’ll go back to Texas someday so they can ‘fry me proper like’.


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Occasional poster Kim made a really interesting observation which I think is worthy of a post.

Rummy said that Saddam was to be treated as a POW. Okay, but didn’t we make a huge deal about our POW’s being trotted out on camera and shown off to the world like trophies? So why was is okay to show Saddam’s medical exam and post pictures of his disheveled self all over the TV?

Sure, it’s understandable why we did it, but it’s a bit hypocritical, don’t you think?


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Apparently the movement to pass a constitutional amendment to allow foreign born citizens to become President is gaining momentum due to Ahhhnold. Give me a break. While I can rationalize that there are certainly foreign born citizens who ought to have the job, the notion that the prospect of a Schwarzenegger Presidency is giving this life is appalling enough to make me rethink my emigration to Canada. As a country, could we possible appear any more intellectually deficient? Perhaps we should amend the amendment to also allow Muppets to hold office. After all, Elmo is pretty popular.