Going Mobile

Well, finally some good news from the blogging realm. I finally figured out how to open the blog dashboard on my Android app. This means I am able to publish from my tablet which I am using to write since my Inspiron’s coffee collision. That takes care of the right now although it is difficult typing on this teensy-tiny keyboard. Since I am sure no one out there cares about my computer woes I will cut this short.

Giving blogging the finger and my sleeping health

Live from tablet world! I don’t yet have a wireless keyboard to, hopefully, make this more blog-like. I have also not figured out how to get my WordPress platform–if that is the correct terminology–working on this particular Android operating system. It is a real pain in the ass to train my opposable thumbs to work on this quote-unquote “virtual keyboard.”

So what does a quote-unquote blogger do? Hellafino. I have to later shower, eat and drive uptown to a private medical facility for a sleep study. It has been about 14 years after I covered my own sleep study at a VA-DOD center out near Fort Hood and discovered that, yeah, I indeed have sleep apnea. My picture was on PI above the fold and everything.

A look at the computer chip in my head CPAP machine by the VA revealed I wasn’t getting as much sleep as was thought during the pregnant pauses in my breathing during night-night. An echocardiogram recently showed I have a slightly enlarged heart. The heart doc at the VA said it can be a byproduct of sleep apnea. So we will look and see eventually. If you see me writing about a stress test some later, you too will know. I kind of wonder about the VA sending me to a local private mini-hospital and that happening PDQ. Is it me or the scandal nationwide that this sudden burst of medicine is about?

My fingers or finger, one, index, right, is about to give out. So it”s off to hopefully a good night’s sleep, with a touch of weird science.


It’s the same ol’ same ol’

Computer problems have raised their ugly head. I will monitor the laptop for a couple of days and see what happens. I have been intending on doing a factory restore. I just hadn’t backed up my files. I just finished that task. Now when I have a little time, then maybe I can wipe the slate clean. If that doesn’t work. Ugh! Buy yet another machine.

More to life …

Not much is left here today to say about the apparent suicide death of comedian and actor Robin Williams at his home overlooking the bay just north of San Francisco. Sources close to Williams said he had struggled with depression lately.

Many of my friends took to Facebook last night to pay tribute to Williams. One of the more poignant was by my friend Grace, who works for the VA seeking ways to fight manic depression. She posted on Facebook a number for the national suicide hotline and the suicide hotline for veterans. Watching the CBS Evening News just now, a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline official said the hotline received the most calls last night than in the previous year.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Department held a press conference today and laid out the preliminary findings into Williams’ death. Nothing was very enlightening or surprising. The late comedian who first appeared in the series “Mork and Mindy” and movies such as “The Dead Poets Society,” “Good Will Hunting,” and “Good Morning Vietnam,” apparently died from asphyxia after using a belt to hang himself. A nearby pocket knife and some superficial cuts on his wrists were also found, said Lt. Keith Boyd of the Marin Co. Sheriff’s Departments Coroners Division, in a prepared statement he read to reporters.

I suppose all that I — who likewise suffers from depression — can add is that people need to get their heads out of the sand and realize that depression is not just “feeling blue like everyone else.” It is a mental disease that is potentially deadly. The good news is there are plenty of medications out there that can help the symptoms and when the disease gets particularly ominous, there are plenty of people to whom one may speak about their situation.

One light shined by this tragic death is that all the money, the beautiful houses by the bay, honors, fame and even love from those around one can alone make someone healthy when depression takes aim.

No demons are left to torment you Robin, Truly, may you rest in peace.

UPDATE: Marin Co. Sheriff Office press release on Robin Williams death

1600 Los Gamos Drive, Suite 205

San Rafael, CA 94903

Marin County Sheriff’s Office

Coroner Division

Investigation into Death of Actor Robin Williams

On August 11, 2014, at approximately 11:55 am, Marin County Communications

received a 9-1-1 telephone call reporting a male adult had been located unconscious

and not breathing inside his residence in unincorporated Tiburon, CA. The Sheriff’s

Office, as well as the Tiburon Fire Department and Southern Marin Fire Protection

District were dispatched to the incident with emergency personnel arriving on scene at

12:00 pm. The male subject, pronounced deceased at 12:02 pm has been identified as

Robin McLaurin Williams, a 63 year old resident of unincorporated Tiburon, CA.

An investigation into the cause, manner, and circumstances of the death is currently

underway by the Investigations and Coroner Divisions of the Sheriff’s Office.

Preliminary information developed during the investigation indicates Mr. Williams was

last seen alive at his residence, where he resides with his wife, at approximately 10:00

pm on August 10, 2014. Mr. Williams was located this morning shortly before the 9-1-1

call was placed to Marin County Communications. At this time, the Sheriff’s Office

Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a

comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made.

A forensic examination is currently scheduled for August 12, 2014 with subsequent

toxicology testing to be conducted.

Breaking News: Robin Williams dies of apparent suicide

The CBS Evening News Scott Pelley reported on air this evening that comedian and actor Robin Williams was found dead today at his home in Marin County, Calif.  The 63-year-old who first came to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s TV comedy “Mork and Mindy,” apparently committed suicide. Entertainment Weekly’s Danielle Nussbaum reported via Twitter that Williams, who also starred in a number of films including “Good Morning Vietnam” and won an Oscar for “Goodwill Hunting,” had experienced periods of deep depression recently.

Although Williams could be an acquired taste in my personal opinion he was nonetheless a comedic genius and a talented actor. It is needless to say he will be missed.

The Admiral and Tennille. If only it were true.

In a call for new nautical leadership, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced he was promoting Daryl Dragon to admiral.


The “Captain’s” longtime spouse and singing partner Toni Tennile filed for divorce in January. Court documents in the case had allegedly referenced health issues or health insurance issues, according to TMZ. Tennille said on her blog that Dragon suffers from neurological conditions not unlike Parkinson’s disease, which caused his hands to shake so badly he could no longer play piano.

 “Not really ‘full blown PD, or Parkinson’s Disease, but enough of a handicap to stifle (stop) his (keyboard) playing, as well as his typing skills, etc.,” said an update in Toni’s blog.

Oh well. Best of Luck, Admiral Dragon (just joking, he really wasn’t named an admiral, but maybe that would put him in better spirits, or perhaps he could be made captain of a real ship like the USS George H.W. Bush, which is now launching warplanes for sorties in Iraq.) I have shaking hands that I don’t know from what source for sure. I hope it doesn’t affect my typing skills.

As for Toni, keep those big pearly whites polished. It makes listening to “Muskrat Love” all that more appealing. Well, not really. But whatever.


Smoking up history 40 years ago today

It was 40 years ago today that my fellow Navy boot camp “shipmates” were summoned into the “Smoke and Coke” lounge. I realize that since this was 40 years ago it must seem ancient to some. Just that the lounge included “Smoke” makes it equally dated since smoking itself was banned in boot camp quite awhile ago.

I can’t remember what our company commander — these days called a “recruit division commander” — said or if he said anything. He just turned on the TV and, about the time I had lit up a Kool or whatever I was smoking back then, on the tube came our commander-in-chief.  The president of the United States back then was Richard Milhous Nixon, a.k.a. “Tricky Dick.” After a wordy introduction he came to the meat of the matter:


 ” … I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interest of America first. America needs a full-time President and a full-time Congress, particularly at this time with problems we face at home and abroad.

 “To continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication would almost totally absorb the time and attention of both the President and the Congress in a period when our entire focus should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at home.

 “Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Ford will be sworn in as President at that hour in this office.”

The thunderous applause and cheers from my boot company of about 80 guys quite frankly amazed me. My fellow boots came from Bed-Stuy, Boston, from the Caserios of San Juan, the Fifth Ward of Houston, from the never-ending cornfields of Iowa, from Philly, the Rocky Mountain high of Denver and, of course, from the pineywoods of East Texas. Not to mention from everywhere in between.

Boot camp was the place I was introduced to the true “melting pot” of the U.S. of A. But for some reason, I figured the kids from the ghettos were out hustling or shooting up smack all day, or the farm boy riding their tractors or the rest of us out smoking weed being oblivious to what ailed America. But these guys knew as much, some probably more about our nation’s leadership and what an awful five-something years it had been with Tricky Dick presiding. One only has to remember that Nixon was elected amid the height of the Vietnam War and many of us in boot camp didn’t have any idea as they entered high school or the work force or college whether we would have to some day join the fun fighting the Viet Cong or the NVA.

The postwar 1970s were a pretty cool time to be a young person with an open mind. Being a military guy didn’t make you hero as some are anointed these days. Still, it was a time to release ourselves from the dreaded conditioned called “uptight.” One didn’t have to head for the ivory towers to enjoy those days either. And one didn’t have to be around the news all day to know what was happening at the top of our political food chain.

We came, we saw, we got rid of Tricky Dick. And we cheered and thrust our fists in the air. Ding dong the Tricky Dick is gone. Long live President Ford.

HS Football: Not just your lions, tigers and bears (oh my!)

Football season is only weeks away. In the homelands, the families are snatching up their season tickets and dusting off their stadium seats. In the smaller towns and around colleges may one find those watching their home team’s “two-a-days” in the blazing sun.

I have friends from high school to whom their school football team is a religion. While these friends might be found occasionally in the pews at the local church, one can bet they will be found religiously on the home stadium bleachers or those seats in the stadium of the opposing team.

My team name carries a lot of weight in the Texas high school football world even though its mascot is one of the common ones — the Eagles. That is because our name is synonymous with winning. Over the years our school has played some wild teams even though the team name might prove rather run-of-the-mill: the Wildcats, Bobcats, Lions, Tigers and Bears, oh my! Then there are Bulldogs, Cougars, Pirates, Mustangs, Lumberjacks, Panthers, Hornets, Bumblebees, and yes the sometimes offensive Indians. Why even one area school is generically referred to as “the Tribe” and the stadium is known as the “Reservation.”

But offensive or imagined, like the Bearkats or an occasional Unicorn, Texas has some imaginative team names that do battle under Friday night lights: One of my favorite, the Winters Blizzard. A team my high school played against and whose drill team once included TV star, hostess and LGBT activist, Ellen Degeneres, is the Atlanta Rabbits.

Others for chuckles include: the Farmersville Farmers, Hutto Hippos, New Braunfels (the aforementioned) Unicorns, San Antonio Lanier Voks (for vocational school), Hamlin Pied Pipers, Mesquite Skeeters, and Itasca Wampus Cats.

Of course, Texas does not have a lock on the strange mascots. Some of the others in the US of A have my vote: Hickman (Mo.) Kewpies, Tillamook (Ore.) Cheesemakers, and perhaps the best in the country, the Hoopestown (Ill.) Cornjerkers.

Enjoy the football season and your home team. Watch the Eagles fly away, the Cheesemakers make cheese of their opponents and  the Cornjerkers … well, I suppose they’ll be jerking something, maybe corn for half-time.


New technologies: they can help, or not

Here is an interesting article I came across today. For those who use all the relatively new methods to communicate one must as well take caution. I just pass this along without comment.

Opinion: New technologies are making it harder to communicate.