In for a good hand-spanking. Maybe even some yellow snow.

A 14-year-old boy was written a ticket for shining a laser at a helicopter on Sunday evening near a Beaumont, Texas, airport. Yours truly resides in Beaumont.

Beaumont police received a complaint from the chopper pilot who said that a green laser light was aimed at his aircraft. The incident happened around 8 p.m. as the craft approached the Beaumont Municipal Airport. The pilot lit his landing lights to illuminate the area and he reported seeing two individuals on the ground in front of a residence, police said.

The pilot landed at the airport and drove by the residence where he saw the laser light. The home was slightly more than a mile away. Police met with the pilot shortly afterward at a nearby supermarket.

Officers then dropped by to the residence and talked with the boy’s parents. The adults confirmed their son had a green laser pointer and called him outside to speak with the police. The boy confessed to shining the laser at the aircraft.

” … and did not realize how dangerous shining a laser at aircraft could be for pilots,” the police report added.

"I can't see, temporarily," but it's not the dog-doo snow cone that's blinding me. Photo: FBI

“I can’t see, temporarily,” but it’s not the husky wee wee that’s blinding me. Photo: FBI. Reference: “Nanook Rubs It” by Frank Zappa

Well gee whiz! I suppose the teen never watches television or reads internet stories about airline pilots being temporarily blinded by laser light.

The police press release said the laser was confiscated and the teen was written a “citation for pointing a laser at an aircraft.”

I looked up the specific Texas Penal Code that addresses such an offense. I was quite surprised that the offense is only a Class C misdemeanor. That is the same offense level as a parking ticket. The maximum fine for a Class C is $500 with no jail. Who knew?

The offense intensifies to a Class A misdemeanor if ” … the intensity of the light impairs the operator’s ability to control the aircraft … “ The maximum punishment for an ordinary Class A misdemeanor is a $4,000 fine.  A jail term of one year, or both the maximum fine and maximum jail term, may be imposed upon a guilty verdict, according to Chapter 12.21 of the Texas Penal Code.

Federal laws can be more severe with fines and sentences of up to five years in prison if convicted.

It just seems that getting a slap on the wrist for something so potentially harmful is so … nothing. Maybe the citation is all police can do legally or maybe it’s the side of town regulating the charge. I will be interested to hear if someone is brought up on similar charges and what they receive if found guilty. I mean, I don’t wish something like that on anyone. I’m just saying.

Remember kiddos: Don’t point your laser pointer at ANY aircraft. And whatever you do, don’t eat that yellow snow!

YouTube Preview Image



On a dark desert highway, coo …

Crap, crap, crap and more crap!!!

I spent two hours working on a post. I was still not finished. And I lost it. I mean, I can’t find the damn thing!

My laptop has gone through some extensive changes upon its return a few weeks ago from HP. Probably the biggest change is Windows 10. Yes, I took the plunge and installed for free. So far, I like it much better than Win 8.1. That will probably change. But it does seem as if the operating system is more user friendly. One thing I must add about having had this machine repaired. I now no longer am paying for the PC and it is still under warranty. Excellent!

This disappearing act has nothing to do with Windows 10, of that I am pretty sure. I have lost my text several times before on my WordPress content management system used on my blog.

I was even unable to save a draft of what I wrote today. I will give you a hint though, I was writing about the Eagles. It was a mini-review of Don Henley’s new, so-called by some, “country album.” So far, of the three songs I have heard released and on his website, the songs kind sound like early Eagles’ tunes.

As well, I had intended to do a mini-review of the autobiography I read by former Eagles founder and guitarist Don Felder. It is called “Heaven or Hell: My Life In The Eagles (1974-2001.) The book, co-written by Wendy Holden, is kind of a tell-all type read of celebrities for which I have little fondness. But I found this to be a well-written memoir that travels through a lot of turmoil from the time of Felder growing up in Gainesville, Fla., to his rock star years and beyond. Felder had a teen life of playing in bands and also teaching the likes of Tom Petty the art and craft of guitar. The would-be Eagles guitarist also had teen friends the like of Duane Allman and Stephen Stills. All these future stars would bounce musical ideas around each other perhaps setting each other’s place into rock posterity.

I have not heard all of Henley’s new work, as I said, so I will not attempt to do a review. But I did really like the Felder book although one should have an open mind reading such a book.

Since I lost the previous text I have written, I will, as promised welcome you to the “Hotel California.” I hope the video doesn’t have to check out and leave eventually for copyright reasons.

YouTube Preview Image

I’m tired, but here is the Labor Day story

It’s late afternoon and I feel as if I had worked today. I am talking about really working. I did put in two hours, but the Sec said we could take two hours off early for the upcoming Labor Day holiday. How generous.

I spent those two hours of work this morning trying to get my new “smart card” to work in my computer. The damn thing doesn’t appear very smart if you ask me.

There are a couple of things I’d like to say, but I feel like I am falling to sleep. So I wish everyone a happy Labor Day weekend to all, everywhere. Even if you don’t celebrate it — you need to celebrate. Labor Day good. Celebrate good. Cheerios good!

From the good ol’ Department of Labor, here is something that tells you all about Labor Day in America.



Trump, Jeb, CNN women and Clark Kent gets accosted by writer with Bob Dylan references.

Ahh. Here I am with the television on and it seems Donald Trump is speaking. What is good about this scene? The volume is off.

Oh. Now there is a commercial. A firefighter is nonplussed because years of varied mouth abuse has left him with ugly teeth. Maybe it was all that firehouse food. Firefighter Bad Teeth goes to a dental implant place and afterwards he feels much better. I don’t know why.

The fireman guy looks 50-something. He should be ready for retirement. He can go on painting houses on his days off. Nothing wrong with that. My brother John was a painter. I worked with him some so I guess that makes me a painter. He paid pretty decently for a brother. Maybe I was only a painter’s helper. That’s better than being hamburger helper.

I actually painted a couple of houses by myself. I really hated doing that. Back to Bad Teeth. What does the fireman think a good smile will do? Will he use his dazzling smile as a beacon to find lost children in the city sewer system? Perhaps he will smile as a painter. His painting client will say: “That’s it. That’s the color I want. It’s off white.” The firefighter/painter says: “Damned dentists!”

Whoa. Back to CNN. Joe Biden is talking to a nursing student. Huh? Some reporter, who reminds me of Clark Kent, is speaking about something or the other. Now, back to the CNN desk. Here is a blonde. Wait, there’s a blonde. Everywhere there’s a blonde blonde.

Jeb Bush is on TV. Where have you been, Jeb? Jeb is also pictured with his Tweet, or is it tweet. Tweet, tweet. What do you want, little bird?. And heeerrree is Trump. Then it is back to Jeb’s tweet. Back to Trump. He’s looking grump(y). Grumpy Trump(y). Trump wants to make America better. Better than what?

Wow! Now there is one blonde, one white and one black. Hold on! That’s one white, one black, and one blonde. Is it the Mod Squad? No it’s only Gloria Borger. Isn’t she a brunette? “G.L.O.R.I.A. Gloria!” Sing it Van. Back to politics. “Trump Should Speak English,” that is what it says below Gloria. It’s “Developing Now.”

Isn’t the problem Trump is speaking way too much English?

Now another brunette speaks. Where did she come from? And what is that she is sitting on? Why it’s a book. Actually, it’s a book of poems and she handed it to me. It was written by an Italian poet from the 13th century. And this is where we are. Sitting here, with the TV on and the sound turned off — all tangled up in blue.

“Does anyone have a harmonica?”

The VA is raining down health care.

How many among us have heard the expression: “When it rains, it pours?” Everyone, even those in Botswana I would think, has heard it. One might be excused for asking: “When it rains, what pours?” Or perhaps others might wonder “When what rains, what pours?”

I could guess with a fair amount of certainty that the adage didn’t originate with Morton Salt’s PR team around the time World War I began to break out. I must confess the Morton Salt girl always flashed some pretty legs. Of course, one must think that one who goes ga ga over inanimate girls’ legs must be a true perv.

Regardless of where, why and when the “When it rains, it pours,” expression originated most would agree the adage generally strays from the subject of water.

Many use the expression that whenever something bad happens, it may often lead to bad occurrences times two or three or 44. The saying could mean those who experience drought will find a drought-ender that wipes out entire valleys with flash flooding. And there are times when something good happens, one may receive too much of a good thing.

Now, I didn’t have to spend 180 words for an introduction. But I did. And I hope it might help illustrate how something good may lead to something too good.

She got legs. She knows how to use them. She walks on them.

She’s got legs. She knows how to use them. She walks on them. — Aussie Waldo Miller (1954-1998)



During the mid-1990s I began using the Department of Veterans Affairs for health care. Then and on into the 21st century I had insurance and had no copay to see a doctor and only $4 per prescription copay,

When my last cervical spine and fusion surgery took place in 2001 I was very fortunate that many of my pre-op tests and doctors’ visits were handled at no charge by the VA. I only paid some $1,000 out of pocket due to reaching coinsurance levels. The surgery itself had a pretty hefty price for the three hours on the table. A piece of hip was harvested and was used in the fusion that also employed a titanium strip.  I spent about four days total in the hospital due to a bladder infection. I should have been released the day after the surgery.

I now believe the extra hospital stay was caused by some nurses trying to jam a catheter into Russell the Love Muscle one too many times. The guy who became my urologist was called to the hospital. That physician confirmed my suspicions as to what caused the unwanted and unneeded malady. When I confronted the hospital on the procedure, the doctor denied his previous statement. The prick! No pun intended.

But let’s back up just a little. I had a non-VA neurosurgeon do my operation. He was very talented. He stopped my hand from becoming numb and the surgery held off the pain for about five years.

Yesterday, an attractive physical therapist speaking with what sounded like some European accent expressed amazement at the surgeon’s handiwork. An incision of less than an inch in a fold of the front neck was made for the procedure. The physical therapist could not find the 14-year-old incision site. The scar made from a cervical laminectomy in the early 90s is still visible. That scar runs from the bottom of my neck, downward about four inches.

On an odd note, even though I could give my neurosurgeon high marks for his work in my 2001 operation, his office staff were all pretty much bitches. I may have to revise that latter opinion, however. I had read that the doctor who did such great neurosurgery was sued by a staff member due to his alleged sexual overtures. I try to give people a fair shake.

The reason I went to a non-VA neurosurgeon was because I was told it would take six months before I would see a VA neurosurgeon. And as luck would have it, I was called by the VA and was told there was an early opening to see their guy. It was scheduled for Aug. 8, 2001. That was the day I underwent Anterior Cervical Disc with Fusion surgery with a civilian neurosurgeon.

It was only until the last couple of years that I started seeing specialists at the VA without having lengthy waiting periods.

It seems I have some specialist appointment every month or so. This afternoon I was called by the pulmonary department of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston to see if I needed oxygen during the day. This is only after having to change two appointments scheduled within a week of each other with the Sleep Lab. One of those is to fit me with an oxygen appliance for my CPAP machine to help me stave off sleep apnea. I will go to the first appointment but not the second one because I haven’t taken a vacation in two or three years. It has been so long I can’t remember.

The physical therapy I am going through is at a local non-VA center that the VA will pay for. Other than liking this nice lady’s hands on my neck yesterday, not much has helped me now in the two weeks I have spent in physical therapy. I am given 40 visits. I don’t know how that clinic will take to the fact that in late October I am taking a week off. I am going somewhere. Just where yet I don’t know. I do have two places in mind. If one falls through, I will try the other. Both are with old friends, one who lives about 800 miles whom I have seen every now and then in the past 30 years. The other, who lives about 350 miles I haven’t seen in about 35 years. I keep up with him now on Facebook. I call the other friend probably once every month or so.

I am glad the VA is finally making more specialists and specialized care available to vets, even if the provider is outside the VA system. If we could see actual specialist each time, without having to specifically ask for them, the situation would be much better.

So often I will go to a specialty clinic and see a resident, or a specialist in training. I don’t mind it depending on the reason for my visit. But if I want to see a specialist in particular I don’t want to see a newby MD or DO who is working his or her ass off trying to become a specialist. Most residents with whom I tell understand. The others, well, they aren’t in my wheelhouse.

Oh, I’ve already made this meme much longer than I had planned. But last night I started having bright spots in my left eye once I turned off the lights. And I began having floaters in my eye, they remain today. I called the VA Tele-nurse, who is one of the really bright spots (pun intended) in my socialized care. The floaters may be something associated with age and eyes. Or the floaters and the bright spots which I noticed after turning my neck to the left, might be something more. Time, and, oh yes, another medical visit, will tell. Hopefully.

When it rains, it certainly pours. But we’re not talking water.

Physical therapy, damn it!

Just Monday I started physical therapy. I didn”t plan it. I suppose one never plans it. The VA is paying for my therapy through its Veterans Choice program which allows veterans, in certain cases, to receive non-Veterans Affairs providers. In most instances the program might allow vets to be seen where VA facilities are too great a distance. In my case, the therapy was set up here because it would cause too much of challenge physically and professionally to attend physical therapy several times a week some 85 miles away in Houston.

I think this is maybe the fifth time I have had physical therapy. I’ve had it mostly for my cervical disc problems. Last year I had therapy for a month after arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus tear in my knee.

I have to say that I have never had successful physical therapy. It may make me feel better as I walk out the door or maybe for an hour or so. In my case over the first two visits so far, I have felt much worse than I originally felt. I am receiving treatment for my neck pain after two neck surgeries over the past 20 years. I also am getting treatment for a back pain that may or may not be caused by an inflammation of a spinal membrane called arachnoiditis. And as I have to repeatedly say, “No, it isn’t something caused by a spider bite.”

A physical therapist who, did something or other to me yesterday, said a muscle in my back is causing my problem. That may be but that is now three diagnoses for my lower back pain and the first by a non-doctor who is forbidden by law to diagnose medical conditions.

I had a visit with my podiatrist today at the Houston VA, some four months after I had hammertoe surgery. All is well there at least. I told Doc that I was a reluctant patient in physical therapy. He told me to give it a shot. That is what I am doing.

But as I told my DPM, I have to weigh the pain I have from physical therapy with the pain I have been having in my neck and back. Right now, the pain increase I have from physical therapy is outweighing the original pain. That cannot go on for too long, no matter how generously I am being treated by the VA.

Oh, if you don’t see my writing here very much in the next few weeks, it will be due to someone deciding to “improve” my health and well-being.

Who needs a headline: the cable news networks

CNN winds up on my s**t list every once in awhile. And lately that “awhile” is every f**king day!

First the cable news has a “presidential candidate” with whom it apparently has easy access. Reporter Athena Jones, just now, alluded to his having staying power. It’s what, 15 months until the election and even a year more or less, until the major party conventions.

Donald Trump, garnering more than 25 percent of GOP voters in one recent poll, seems to pop up for every CNN show with perhaps the exceptions of “Death Row Stories” and that of Tony Bourdain’s show.

I cannot remember CNN falling all over a candidate. I believe the interest in Trump and his willingness to spout all kinds of bulls**t via the electronic media is somewhat of a cable perpetual motion machine. It isn’t just CNN’s fawning. What about Fox? Well, I bet newsmen like Shep Smith has to bow and scrape before Megan Kelly.

Okay, it’s the silly season. The proof is in the pudding and desert won’t be served until Super Tuesday. A convention fight at the Republican National Shindig next year would be too much to hope for.

The problem is The Donald has gone beyond all reason and makes up these wild statements. Take for instant, his “plan” to deport all illegal immigrants and even their kids who were born in the U.S. Likewise, while not mentioning — perhaps even not knowing — the Fourteenth Amendment would require change, Trump said he would end an Amercan birthright for foreign babies born in the USA. Today, it sounds as if he was craw-fishing.

There are thousands, well 14, 16, however many Republican candidates. You may hear a bit about Jeb Bush. He would once and for all establish a Bush presidential dynasty. Or sometimes you hear Huckabee because he’s a preacher politician. It is the same with Democratic candidates. You hear how Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is pulling ahead of Hillary. And you only hear of Hillary when she is paired with emails.

Unlike the case with Fox News, I think the Trump fixation is not geared to elect him to the White House. It’s just laziness, going for the low-hanging fruit. Hell, if The Donald offer me a ride on his whirly bird I would take him up on it. Of course, if I had a chance to ride Marine One or Air Force, no matter who the CINC was I would go for it. Or, if Willie Nelson offered me a ride on his bus I would definitely accept. I best leave it there.

That is just how it goes for people who go all apes**t for a never-ending scandal. We don’t have a king or queen but we have our Fleet Street gossip mongers.

Hyper plus, says new doc

Just a note before the weekend. I have been using my tablet in lieu of the laptop I normally use. It is a pain in the ass to be honest.

I went to the new VA doc today. She graduated from medical school in Central America, according to the Texas Medical Board website. The doc seems like a nice lady. I appreciated her calling me after I left with lab results which had not made it to her when I saw her this morning. I was a bit shocked when she told me my A1C results. I kind of knew it would be high this time. I had eaten terribly over the last three months. I didn’t know it would be as high. I have work to do which is to eat better.

The doctor is putting me on a second kind of diabetes meds. I am glad no insulin is in my immediate future. Seem I will have to do the rest.

An hour writing about randomness passes by.

Whatever the phase of the moon may be never really concerns me. Perhaps at a younger age I might have had my suspicions of the chaos that allegedly surrounded the full presentation of that heavely body.

Almost everywhere I have lived were those who believed as I once did that they would be in for the crazy of craziness when that big old moon shined forth. Among the most stident of believers were firefighters, cops and other emergency workers. As a fireman in the 70s and 80s of last century one might have seen an over abundance of calls, including seemingly non-ending burners, or being summoned by the police to remove a naked man from a tree. Just to name a couple of examples.

Some fire or police officers would go so far as to schedule a day of leave if the calendar showed a full moon rising.

More than 30 years later I have accepted chaos as a routine pain in the ass of the universe. S**t happens. As that randomness occurs does it seem we are all fair game for nature piling on upon our misery.

Some of my examples:

My laptop began screwing up late last week. With the help from a HP technician we tried the factory reset but it was to no avail. This has happened to me once before on the same machine. It appears the companywill ship a different laptop or that is what I was led to understand. We shall see. I am fortuante that my warranty was extended during the last round of laptop disruptions.

Yesterday, I took my business vehicle in for body work. The Chevy Cruze had sustained a parking lot dent. One has to look closely to notice it. Stll, it will make the dealership $1,660 and some cents. I am sure glad I don’t have to pay for that.

But wait: Yesterday in traffic my 1998 Tacoma pickup died and would not restart. It has been running poorly for some time. More often than not,  I did not have the money for what I feared a repair job might cost. It turns out that it will cost more than I had imagined. The wrecker ride was $65 and the mechanic quote just a short time ago was a whopping $1,090. Ouch!

What perhaps turns this run of misfortune on its head is, for once, I can afford a hit like that. The money comes from a pool that I hoped will help with retirement but to do anything I need to do, I suppose my “motor-vation” is required.

I took a hit. And I doubt the moon had any part in the bad luck streak. I am not sure I believe in so-called “silver linings” Such inconvenient times though seem to somehow work out. Or else, they don’t.


Concerned vets or Koch Brother chicanery?

The GOP Debate on Fox News is on until I can find something more entertaining.

In the meantime, I came across an interesting fact. It seems a Koch Brothers-funded front group called Concerned Veterans for Americans (CVA) is making various anti-working proposals that will attack veterans health care.

While they wave the flag and make everything a misleading headline, some of the CVA’s proposals are just unsubstantiated bullshit. Take this for example:

 “With 88 percent of veterans saying that it is ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important to increase health care choices for veterans, it’s time for the VA to stop pretending there is no demand for increasing options, even if veterans choose to seek care outside the VA. Veterans deserve the freedom to choose a provider who suits their needs, not one dictated by a government bureaucrat and a set of rigid guidelines,” says one of CVA ‘s propaganda releases.

There are percentages that may or may not be true or may or may not be taken out of context. I’ve not had time to check it. That really belies the remainder of the statement. I also don’t know how many veterans receive outside health care. However, I’ve had a “Veterans Choice” card for quite some time. This card allows me to see private providers who are too far from a local VA facility as well as seeing providers for specialized care that the VA cannot provide. I’ve had a sleep study to determine why my CPAP machine no longer helps control my sleep apnea as it should. This was with a local private provider. The study led to another VA study last month because the findings from the two studies turned out to not give information that a memory card in machine displayed. I came home from the VA hospital yesterday with a new CPAP. I also have an appointment with local physical therapists to see if they can give me PT or whether it will help. This is because driving to Houston, about 150 miles round-trip, three times a week is not an option for me.

Yes, these are just a couple of examples for this year. Before that time I only saw a local hospital ER that I had to fight with because the VA was too slow in paying the bills. These two visits were after a VA nurse on the Houston “Telecare” line told me I needed to go to my closest hospital.

I have been pissed off at the VA a number of times. I raised a little hell during my visit yesterday. But the VA is the only systems that specialize in veterans either by directly treating them or having local providers do so. The VA is much improved than when I started using the system’s health care more than 20 years ago. They’re not perfect. But neither is the private medical system by itself.

To paraphrase the old joke, you know when the Koch Brothers are lying whenever they (or their minions) move their lips (or send out press releases.)