The real national emergency

–ectomy: n. indicating surgical excision of a part appendectomy; from New Latin ectomiafrom Greek ek– out + –tomy —from Dictionary.com.

Last night a friend mentioned on Facebook how such folly is the declaration of a national emergency by Prez 45 the building of a southern U.S. border wall.

I added in my five pennies that the only national emergency we have these days is in the White House.

“We the People are in dire need of a Trumpectomy.” And with that, right here, right now, I break my own rules in this site to not mention the president’s name. Oh well.

Should you have read from the beginning to just now that I am speaking of the excision of our president.

Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard, you are needed in the Oval Office.

So we harken back to that trio of wacky dudes, The Three Stooges. There are some folks so pretentious enough to see the Stooges as the lowest possible common denominator in comedy or otherwise.

I suppose many who are so opposed to the Stooges abhor the faux violence. I wonder whether those anti-Stooges are likewise put off by mime violence? When I say “mime violence” I mean some cutesy skit where a mime fakes the beating of some invisible villain. It doesn’t matter, I suppose.

But the President. Sigh. Sigh. Get me Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard. Stat!!!

Thoughts on a newsy day

Today has been chocked full o’ news. I say that more as an observer of journalism rather than plying that craft, at least for now. I haven’t written for a newspaper or other media outlet in almost 10 years. These days I still work for Uncle Sugar and plan to retire either this fall or the next.

I have been working on a book, a biography of a former director of a government agency. It is, as I still reckon, an approved bio. I would like to wrap it up this year, find an agent and a book contract. Or, preferably, go straight to a publisher.

This blog has kind of fallen from the wayside. I really need to write more, not just to reinstall some discipline, but as well, to make the $8 I spend a month for a web host count.

Back to the day’s news. I woke up to see President 45’s old buddy Roger Stone being released on bond for a host of charges. This afternoon, I watched our Orange President agree to a bipartisan agreement from Congress that will reopen the government for more than 800,000 employees who have been either locked out of their job or forced to work for no pay, for now, two paychecks. The agreement will last three weeks during which time the president may cause another lockout or furlough, or do something so stupid as declare a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border.

A rescue team from the Mexican Navy flies on an Australian Navy cargo plane on the way to Indonesia after devastating tsunamis that struck in 2005.
 U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Bernardo Fuller

Emergency? What emergency? Well, the Prez had to have a little face-saving since his caving like the Mammoth, and put in his place by a woman, no less. Nancy Pelosi is that woman.

I don’t know why El presidente has invested so much in a wall, gate, barrier. First, it’s a f***ing stupid idea. Prez had his rallying dolts eating up his campaign promise to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. A wall from sea to shining sea. Or at least from the Gulf of California to the Gulf of Mexico. Although lately, he said it wouldn’t be built where there were natural barriers, like the hundreds of feet of canyon wall in Big Bend National Park.

I am sure the Border Patrol would like a wall built and more agents hired. Their union went big for this dipshit president. I guess our brothers and sisters in the union can agree to disagree. But these guys need to wake up and smell the café.

Speaking of café, I suppose I should take my five-minute Spanish lesson with Duolingo. I wonder how many five-minute Spanish lessons I should have until I am fluent in español?


More old person fun: Colonoscopy

Here I am, drinking my third cup of, coffee today. That is something I rarely do. The reason for consumption of another cup is my hope that it might assist me, to put it delicately, take a dump. I drank a 5-ounce cup of Prepopkit around three hours ago. Coffee stimulates the colon, or so I read.

This disappointment is not because I like defecating. I am supposed to have a colonoscopy as well as some kind of upper gastrointestinal tests early in the morning.

The test is nothing I look forward to although the procedure itself isn’t usually as bad, at least the colonoscopy. It isn’ one of those — you turned 50 so you need a colonoscopy.  In my case, I am 62. My last test was at 49 years of age. I’ve not had one since.

That previous procedure wasn’t fun. Not only was the preparation, with the twisted name GoLightly, god-awful but the test wasn’t so hot either.

I was living in Waco at the time and was a VA patient so I had to drive to Temple, where the Olin Teague VA Medical Center and part of the Texas A & M medical school awaited me.

It takes guts to have a colonoscopy. National Institute of Health image.

My tests are due to possible internal blood loss. I have known I had anemia for several years.  My neurologist prescribed B-12 shots once a month that I must give myself. My primary care doctor, where I now live, in Southeast Texas, ordered the tests due to lab work showing low values relating to my blood. The doctor wanted to determine whether I had some blood loss in my digestive system.

So here I am, almost four hours and movement. I am supposed to drink another six ounces of laxative at 8:00 p.m. Maybe that will, as they say here, “get my bowels in an uproar.” I don’t want to have my test canceled. I’d have to go through all this again.

Crap.

Ah, nature

I was thinking the other day about Boykin Springs campground in the Angelina National Forest.  There is nothing I want to expound upon. This scene kind of does it for me for the time being.

A tranquil look at the Boykin Springs Lake in the Angelina Natioinal Forest.

SE Texas visited by Harvey, and Santa in 2017

Back am I at the old keyboard after more than a month. And in looking back over the past year — soon will 2018 come, next week to be  exact — likely the largest story where I live and one that was prominent nationally was Hurricane Harvey.  Harvey made three landfalls, the last being some 40 miles southeast of where I live as Tropical Storm Harvey. The most extensive damage from Harvey was from a continual rain and flooding, also in my area.

Tropical Storm Harvey takes it rain-soaked ass outside of Texas. NASA photo

Some 15 or so miles down the road from where I live is Nederland, Texas, which set a new rainfall record of more than 64 inches of rain over five days. The area closest to where I live in Beaumont had a bit more that 54 inches.  Permit me to add that the average annual rainfall for the Beaumont metropolitan statistical area is more than 50 inches a year.

Harvey plowed into the central Texas Gulf Coast area near Rockport on Aug. 25. Not much in the way of forecasts came forth to indicate the upper Texas Coast would be hardest hit, though not from hurricane winds, from Harvey. It is also not, I should add, correct to imply Southern Texas was not walloped by the hurricane. It was.

When the storm moved out of the Coastal Bend area some weird natural trickery took place that would make Houston and the Beaumont areas familiar to those who keep up with national news. I present the trickery, as described by the Weather Prediction Center of the weather service’s parent agency NOAA, for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

 “Harvey weakened as it moved north-northwest toward central Texas. Regaining tropical storm status on the 26th, Harvey slowed significantly east of San Antonio. Remaining within Texas borders for 60 hours, Harvey wrapped dry air around its southern and southeast portions of its circulation showing up as a dry slot on satellite imagery and forcing convection with heavy rainfall into its northeast quadrant near Houston near a thermal boundary, appearing extratropical. As Harvey moved east offshore Texas, thunderstorm activity began to focus within its northern and northwestern quadrants which prolonged the heavy rainfall across southeast Texas between the Sabine River and Houston.

 “Harvey moved back ashore across southwesternmost Louisiana on the morning of August 29. Harvey weakened to a tropical  depression during the evening of August 30 and continued tracking north-northeast, becoming fully extratropical on September 1. “

As I have noted here before, I have long enjoyed the rain. Coming from Southeast Texas, one doesn’t have much of a choice. I suppose one might consider me a “pluviophile,” that being one who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days. It has since snowed here and a cold rain is falling outside now. I am now reexamining my pluviophilia. As it stands, only rainy days that ARE Mondays bring me down.

A whole lot of folks felt a whole lot of hurt this year. Some continue to feel it. They may be spending their days fixing up their waterlogged homes while sleeping in a camping trailer or even a tent.

One of the several people who stirred my interest in storytelling and journalism is the late Charles Kuralt. The bald and comfortably-appearing newsman traveled from town-to-town in search of “real American people” in his “On The Road” segment of the CBS Evening News. That segment celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Kuralt died 20 years ago. Steve Hartman was given the On The Road segment starting in 2011. I bring up Hartman in this missive because of a recent segment that, as sometimes his spots do, tugged at heart strings. But this time, it was in a post-Harvey environment. It happened in Beaumont.

Secret Santa is generic name for one who provides gifts for those who may be unknown to the recipient and the giver.  Sometimes, those gifts may be larger than others. I remember of hearing of one Secret Santa in particular who comes out of nowhere and usually gives no less than $100 and sometimes more. This guy may have been featured by CBS in past years, I don’t know. I just know that Hartman of CBS gave this year’s report that Santa is alive and well.

I leave you a link for that piece of story-telling where I live. Hartman visited here in Beaumont a week or so ago when the real Santa was here to spread cheer. Among those involved in helping spread the cheer were a number of Beaumont police officers — a department where my late brother Robert spent more than 30 years — with many of those officers who didn’t have to work due to their homes having been flooded but still came out to do their jobs.

By the way, over the past, I do not know how many years, I have been told there is this war on Christmas. Supposedly we are to believe that saying “Merry Christmas” has been banned among the general public. These right-wing fools like 45 (who lives now in the White House) try to sell  such division to a mostly ill-informed base. What an ass. I asked Santa if he would bring me a new president. Perhaps by sometime in 2018. That would really make for a happy new year.