A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Sunday Sometime, Vol. 3, #25: The Always Something There to Remind Me" Issue


As I cope day-to-day with my new solitary existence I look around and see reminders of Anne Marie everywhere.    An example,  I look up from my computer onto the back yard and I can see the park bench Sydney (our first cat) and I gave her one Mother's Day about 20 years ago.   I recall that she was thrilled with the gift which she hinted strongly that she wanted.  I recall her using it once,  but I hope I am wrong and she did sit on it more often than I was around to bear witness.

A little closer to the house is a hexagonal picnic table and benches set.   We used them often over the years and I have many nice memories of those picnics.  Now that she is gone, I fear I will not use the table and benches ever again.  The regret that we didn't use the set more often sets in soon afterward.  

Inside the house the things we bought for each other and used are everywhere.  The shared vinyl record collection (more mine than hers truth be told); our collections of books and DVDS; the shared collection of souvenir shot glasses....and all else that made our relationship feel so right for so long.  

At the moment these possessions are also meaningless.  I doubt that this is a case where I should sing two verses of "There's Always Something There to Remind Me"  and call a professional in the morning.   

The thought hits me:  this is all part of letting go.  I will surely sell the various collections at some point, but for now the process of sale and satisfaction that all possessions are finding new homes hasn't registered yet.    I am learning that all of this takes time and it takes time to learn that it takes time.   

Does that make sense?

Then there is the case of the flickering light bulb.  This is a lamp which I have had and used since I was an adolescent at my parent's house.  It hung on the wall of our den where I usually sat to watch television.  I acquired it once the old homestead was sold.  It is now on the wall near my home computer where I work, correspond and incidentally, write my blog posts.

The lamp has one of those new-fangled twisty bulbs which may nearing the end of its life.  This may explain why recently it will suddenly start flickering when I have it on to see what I am writing more clearly.   

The bulb did not ever do this...until Anne Marie passed away.

Okay, forget "There's  Always Something There to Remind Me."  Time to queue "The Twilight Zone Theme".

(Thank you for reading.   Submitted for your approval....)

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sunday Whatever Post, Vol. 3, #24: Cat Out of the Carrier

So this week will be a short sequel to last week's entry when we had placed Oreo in a carrier for transport to the local veterinarian hospital.   As readers may recall, the wait time for medical care given to us last weekend seemed to defy the tolerance of the most patient human being on the planet,  let alone a cat in a carrier.  Wait 10 hours in a cramped plastic jail?  I don't think so,  and Oreo readily agreed.

I decided to wait for the previously scheduled house call from our regular vet.  Alas,  she called Wednesday morning to rescheduled the Wednesday afternoon appointment.  I reviewed Oreo's latest symptoms at that point -  still no bowel movement, urination okay,  decreasing interest in food. The vet urged me to get her to the hospital.  My panic attack kicked into hyperventilation drive at this suggestion,  but I was soon on the phone hoping for some sort of encouraging news that they could see her that day.

As luck would have it I was being given the same long wait time of 6-7 hours I received the previous weekend.  I then pressed the prompt reserved for emergencies.  There a live person (!) answered and listened to my tale of kitty woe.   I was told that I could bring her in and the vet could triage her within a few hours.  I agreed to get her there soon, even though I had not even gotten her back into her carrier at that point.  I anticipated a struggle getting cat info carrier.

A quick call to my supervisor advising that I would be punching out for the day,  dressed quickly,  coaxed Oreo up from her basement room, and wrapped her in a towel so I could drop her into the upended carrier.  Naturally she howled the entire time,  but I reassured her that this kitty abduction was for her own good.

Oreo arrived at the hospital by 11:00 that morning, and as luck would further have it (this time better luck) a vet saw her within an hour.  They would do blood work and x-rays to see what her blockage problem was and advised that they would keep her overnight.  I agreed to this,  paid a large deposit for her care,  and returned home.

I got a call that night with an encouraging prognosis.  Oreo was indeed impacted and they would do at least one enema to unblock her.  They found that her colon was dilated, a condition which could make prevent future bowel movements.   We're keeping an eye on this mega colon issue.  They would give her an IV for hydration purposes,  but so far she was not showing any interest in eating.  The vet assured me that her lack of appetite could be just stress from being in a strange place where four-footed beings much larger than herself were apt to be barking their heads off all through the night.

A call the next day gave me some encouraging news, but only to a point.   Oreo's bowel movements had gone from super hard and unyielding to excrementally runny (gross pun intended).  Also there was no change in her appetite:  the howling of the other inmates at the hospital were making her into a nervous wreck.  They would keep her one more night,  but they expected that she would improve.

Day Three:  a call from the hospital around noon gave me the good news that her appetite had improved and I arranged to pick her up that evening.   Oreo came home with two medications -  one liquid administered into the mouth via syringe and the other a pill which I could put in with her food.   I have given her the liquid drug a few times,  I haven't got quite got the hang of getting her mouth open.   I will keep trying.  I also need to arrange another house call from the regular vet to do a follow up appointment.

So, Oreo is better and as ornery as ever,  but we still have a ways to go.

(Thank you for reading and thank you all for your well wishes.)

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Sunday Morning Post, Vol.3, #23 – Cat In the Carrier


This week I am trying to get one of my cats to the vets for an issue.   Oreo has not had a bowel movement in what I estimate to be a week.  She still has her appetite and a feisty attitude, but just can’t push anything out her anus.  Otherwise, she is not in any obvious distress over the situation.

She has had this issue in the past and her visiting veterinarian has had us give her laxatives. The powder laxative sprinkled on her wet food twice a day has been working up until now.   I have an appointment for the vet to make a house call,  but the soonest she can come is this coming Wednesday.

My brother and his son visited this weekend and they were able to get a very much protesting Oreo into her carrier this morning.  My plan today is to take her to a local vet hospital that is open 24/7.  I called them a few hours ago and the customer aide told me that the wait time is currently 10 hours!   Ten hours,  and Sunday is usually their slow day,  or so I was told yesterday.

I will call them again in a few minutes for an update.  In the meantime Oreo is keeping quiet in her cat carrier.   If the wait time has not decreased yet I will have to let her out and let her go back to her room in the baseent.  If it comes to that I could try again tomorrow.  I mean, Monday should also be a slow day when theoretically everyone with sick pets today will be back at work, or otherwise occupied with their livelihood.   Am I right? 

In other notes I am still receiving wonderful notes from friends, and I want to acknowledge them before too much longer.

Deedles,  thank you for the e-card.  Your words of encouragement are very much appreciated.

Travel,  thank you for the “old-fashioned” letter I received in the mail.  I will write back soon.

(Thank you for reading.  And that’s all I wrote!)

Saturday, July 03, 2021

 Saturday Night Post, Vol. 3, #22 - Please Pardon My Absence

It's been a long six weeks or so.  Aside from dealing with my bereavement I also had to contend with a urinary condition.  I spent the better part of last week at the local hospital until they could control the bleeding.

In any event I am home on a Saturday night with three cats and a goal to start blogging again.  This will be my first time to write, edit and publish without Warrior Queen serving as Senior Editor.   I am keeping it short and simple for my first solo endeavor.

Tonight I am thinking about reading passages from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy while nursing a gin and blue curacao. 

I have no doubts that Mrs. Eddy would not approve.  I am very sure the Mistress will venture some thoughts on mixing liquor with dogmatic ideology.  Warrior Queen would certainly put her nose up at the thought that I am drinking "her" gin without saying, "May I?"


(Thank you for reading and cheers!) 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

 Saturday Morning Post:  To My Dearest Friend

It seemed like it took me an entire lifetime to find you.  Now you have left me after 30 years of love, of friendship, of everything that makes life here so beautiful and wonderful.

Our human eyes and mind tell me that I will not see you again in this lifetime.  As you were wont to say "F DAT."  I hasten to add that I am still seeing you in everything I am doing and everywhere I am going.

Your blogging buddies are gathering today in shock, sadness,  and the fondness of memories of having known you.  True, many never got the chance to meet you face-to-face.  Still they were able to feel and share the warmness in your heart and the fiestiness in your spirit. 

Today I hope those friends which I will list in no particular order, Spo, Fearsome Beard, Breenlantern, Bob and so many others will take comfort in this Richard Bach quote:

"Don't be dismayed at good-byes.  A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.

And meeting again after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends."

Anne Marie,  until the day we meet again..,.

Love Always,  Todd

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Sunday Morning Post (V.3, #21) - Selective Censorship

My morning routine includes a 25-minute ride on my stationary bicycle.  The time goes by quickly provided I find something interesting to watch on the television. Five to six days out of the week I can switch back and forth between the morning news broadcasts and whatever Turner Classic Movies is showing at the time.  This weekend I wandered one or two channels above on my dial to look in on American Movie Classics.  Both TCM and AMC started out as a no-commercial interruption movie channel in the 90s, but AMC gave up that pretext years ago.   They are now no better than the hundred or so other cable movie channels in America.

This weekend they showed (between commercials for the latest prescriptions for whatever ails us this week) Blazing Saddles.  As we may remember, this was the Mel Brooks parody of the western genre.  We also remember that this was the Mel Brooks film which used the n-word and other racial epithets ad nauseam in a bid to belittle racism.  The language was no problem when it was first released in 1974.  The handy-dandy ratings system (G, PG, R and X) assigned one of these letters to the film which in turn would allow adults to figure out if they could allow little Johnny and little Susie go to the picture show without a chaperone. If memory serves me correctly, Blazing Saddles was given an R rating (Restricted unless accompanied by an adult.) 

Broadcast on television, the language becomes problematic.  The stations which have aired the film over the years have not, to my knowledge, ever sacrificed community standards when airing the film.  They have simply cut any dialogue, words or even parts of a word, and hope no one notices that the actor’s mouth is moving a certain way, but the sound doesn’t come out.  Awkward yes, but overall, the film remains intact.

I did not catch the entire film this weekend, coming in the middle where the Waco Kid (Gene Wilder) single-handedly shoots guns out of the hands of the bad guys while perched on their horses.  I did see enough to pay attention to the dialogue.  The n-word, of course, was cut whenever it was spoken, but the exclusion and inclusion of other epithets was curious.  Okay, you cut the colloquial “twat” from Hedley Lamarr’s dismissal of Lili Von Shtupp “you Teutonic twat!”  Yet a few moments later, you allow the term “bull dyke” to be heard? Then later there is Dom Deluise’s line “Watch me, faggots!” heard in living color. Pondering this inconsistency makes one realize that the notion of censorship can be arbitrary.*

After all, beauty and its twin ugly is in the eyes of the beholder.

Make no mistake, society now knows, or society should now know, that usage of these terms in everyday life is unacceptable.  Perhaps this realization started with the release of Blazing Saddles and the widespread acceptance of modern political correctness.  We can never say for sure.

Or are these inclusions/exclusions more telling of society now than in 1974?  Are we now to believe that there are varying levels of intolerance that are still acceptable?  Bigotry towards skin color is totally unacceptable, but do we still get a pass on prejudice towards the gay community as one example?  Is the American WASP culture still that clueless?   Are we still that bad?

Wait, I already know the answer.  This past week, Pennsylvania voters actually approved an amendment to the state constitution outlawing prejudice towards minorities.  I thought William Penn would have outlawed that on day one (1682).  At the national level this past week, President Biden signed an anti-Asian hate crime bill into law.

Yes, apparently, we are still that bad.

(Thank you for reading.  Remember, “Never Give a Saga an Even Break!”)

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Sunday Morning Post (V.3, #20) - Happy Trails, GOP

We gather today to give a not-so-fond farewell to the Republican Party.  Many of us have seen their demise coming for several years, but their actions last week were more than just a gentle, not-so-subtle, push towards oblivion.  Oh hell, let’s call it for it was: political suicide.

Last week House Representative Liz Cheney — daughter of ex-Vice President Darth Chaney — was ousted from her third-most-powerful Republican leadership position in Congress.  Her crime?  Using campaign funds for personal use?  No.  Soliciting physical favors from underaged persons?  Oh no.  Swapping quid pro quo favors with a foreign power?  Oh hell no.  Nothing so mundane as these old sins which used to guarantee a politician’s early forced retirement.

No, Cheney’s crime — as possibly the most conservative voice in Congress in recent memory — was to speak out against ex-President #45.  Imagine supporting the monster 93% of the time and finding that is not enough to guarantee a solid place in the political hierarchy.  What nerve!  That’s gratitude for you!

Make no mistake about my sympathies: in normal times I am not a big fan of Liz Cheney’s attitude towards governing.  In the old days, I would have joined the villagers with a torch to burn her at the stake.  After all, I still have my liberal bona fides to think about.  However, these are not normal times. Cheney has recognized that her past actions are for naught if the whole ship of democracy disappears under the waves of lies and confusion.

Cheney and a handful of other similarly disenchanted Republicans are vowing to fight the cult which has become the Republican Party.  I hope that the rebels can gather enough support (i.e., money) to mount some sort of meaningful opposition in the next two election cycles.  I write that, yet know that this is hope against hope.  Most likely it will be more than four years before the movement takes hold at the national level.

For now, I am optimistic that those believers in small government and fiscal conservatism will find their voice in whatever the new group decides to call themselves.  I have never been and won’t be a fan of such ideology, but these folks do deserve a place in a free and fair democracy.

In the meantime, we will look the other way and hope the best for Liz Cheney. I realize that this attitude is no better than the MAGA-hatted evangelicals who look away from #45’s past, but it would not be politics if it were not for strange bedfellows.

We close our service today with a hymn from the old West.

And don’t come back!

(Thank you for reading.  RIP GOP, 1854ish to 2021[?]).