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

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, May 26, 2018

And Now Your Weather Forecast for the Memorial Day Holiday*

Tonight, May 26, 2018

Cloudy, showers likely after midnight.  Low 65 degrees F.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Muggy, with chance of showers throughout the day.  High 80 degrees F.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Blinding light followed immediately by very intense heat coming from the very far east.  All solid objects will either burn, metal will melt into molten liquid, and all cell base life forms will instantly turn to dust.  Smoke from millions of fires will reduce visibility to less than 500 feet.  Breathing for any life forms not vaporized by the initial nuclear detonation will be impossible.  Chance of survival is expected to be less than 1%, as huge chunks of the planet burst and are hurled into deep space.  High 1,000,000,009 degrees F.

Oh my God!   We did it!  We finally did it!  Goddamn us all to Hell!  Oh, the humanity!   “Don’t know where, don’t know when, but we’ll meet again…..”


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Sunshine in the morning, chance of showers in the evening.  High 77 degrees F.

And oh yes, have a nice week!

*Given the current status of relations between the United States and North Korea.

(Thank you for reading.  “…some sunny day!!!!!!!!!”)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

No Sentimentality on the Time Train

On Friday, I had to use one of my PTO (Paid Time Off) days for a surgical procedure.  The days of using such time for recreation or just down time — what many would consider a vacation — are far away in the rear-view mirror.  Now I need to save my time for medical and/or surgery appointments.

This realization alone is depressing, as is the other realization that we Americans may be witnessing the last days of American democracy.  The passing of the unique American brand of life, liberty and justice for all is blog fodder for another time…

My appointment today was glaucoma surgery* very early in the morning, then a follow up with the surgeon at his office in the early afternoon.  The location of the surgery is only 20 miles away, but the most efficient way to get there is a toll road, the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  My follow up appointment was at the surgeon’s office down the street from the surgery center, but six hours later.  There was not enough time to return home, only to turn around and come back in time for the afternoon festivities.  That would not have been an efficient use of my resources (time + distance + money = ?).

Thus, I had a five-hour layover in some not-too-distant-town where I had no knowledge of where to go to hang out waiting for the office follow up.  In the old days there were such places called libraries where you could sit quietly and read a few periodicals.  I had no idea where the local periodical emporium was located in this burg. 
A bar would have been my second choice, but many do not open earlier than 11:00. I needed someplace to be at say, 8:00 AM. Also, I think I needed to be in some form of sobriety for my appointment.  

The next logical choice would be a diner where I could get hot tea and a nice breakfast, but that is only good for an hour if you’re by yourself and no one is there to help you pass the time.

I thought about all this as I waited for the surgeon to appear.  Normally I would be upset and growing more upset by the minute if the surgeon was running late, but this day was not normal.  Today I had (cliché #1 incoming) more time on my hands then I could shake a stick at.   I would not have minded if the good physician was held up in traffic, as every minute waiting on him would be one less minute I would need to (cliché #2 incoming) kill later on.

Alas, fate was against me today: the physician arrived on time and completed my procedure so efficiently that I was done by 7:15 AM!   Just my luck…

Until his arrival, I had an opportunity to contemplate the concept of time itself.  I watched the clock waiting for the doctor. 

Today’s gazing activity was the first time in my 58 years that I made a point of observing at what point the minute hand moved to its next increment relative to where the second hand was on the dial.   The more I thought about this relationship the more I began to despise the lowly second, the lowest animal visible on most clock faces.

Think about this, if you dare.   The second passes by with such velocity to get out of the way of the second coming after it that it has no time (I meant to say “chance”.  Sorry.) to acknowledge what it meant to our existence.  Imagine, it doesn’t look over its shoulder and bid us goodbye as the second-hand sweeps past them and renders their significance to our lives as moot.  The seconds are not at all sentimental about their chance encounter with us.  Seconds come, go, and move on.   Incoming cliché #3: seconds (time) waits for no one.

I began to assign rankings to each time increment.  The second would be the private to the minute’s rank as sergeant, which in turn would allow the hour to be ranked as the major of the clock and…and…and clearly, I spent too much of my own on the time train.   

The moment had arrived to get off this train of thought as the physician came through the door.   And I didn’t even think to wave good bye to any of the seconds!  It served the little buggers right!

*Another potential blog entry.  It’s a short, five-minute procedure where laser lights are flashed through the retina to improve the pressure at the back of your eye.  I must admit to deriving pleasure making others squirm when I describe the procedure as shooting laser needles into the eyeball. **

**Are you squirming yet?

(Thank you for reading.  I value the amount of, ahem, time you spent with me.)

Sunday, May 06, 2018

A Gentle Soul Passes

Last Sunday morning, I awoke at 6:00a – yes, rising at this hour on a Sunday morning IS my idea of sleeping in on a weekend — to find a township police vehicle parked in my driveway.  My mind leapt to the question, “Why? I know I had not done anything illegal the night before."  Warrior Queen had likewise retired early the previous evening.  My mind then wondered if one of our cats had gotten in to their catnip stash, commandeered one of our cars, and caused some sort of mayhem in our nearby burgh.

Although what mayhem could they cause which would upstage the conviction of America’s Dad at the county court house in this same burgh earlier in the week?  None comes to my mind. 

Warrior Queen, who had risen earlier than I due to her ongoing ankle pain issues, did not even notice the police van parked in our driveway.  She theorized that perhaps they had set up a speed trap on our busy street.  It was either this or they were in the process of cleaning up an accident on the street. I opened the front door and was confronted with a strange sight: the police were at our neighbor’s house across the street.  They had opened the garage door and had their attention turned to the ground in front of the garage and the house.

It was then that I feared something had happened to our neighbor D*.  I was relieved when I thought I saw D talking to the police.  I assumed that perhaps someone had broken into his house and everything was under control.  I closed the front door and proceeded with my normal Sunday morning activities.  Then another neighbor who had moved away last year called us with sad news. Something indeed had happened to D.

The house actually belongs to D’s parents.  His father passed away 18 months ago.  The mother was not deemed well enough to live there on her own after the father’s passing. She moved to an assisted living facility in Philadelphia, while D commuted back and forth between his home in New Jersey to mow the lawn and gradually move his parent’s belongings out.  The couple had four sons in all, but D lived the closest to the old family homestead and the job of looking after the place fell on his shoulders.

We had gotten to know D very well since we moved into our house in 2000.  Even though he didn’t live with his parents anymore, he was always willing to pet sit for us and our neighbors whenever one or the other went on vacation.  He was quiet and gentle.  In all these years, I did not recall him raising his voice in anger or saying anything nasty about anyone or anything.

He played guitar at his church and brought it along whenever he and he parents would cross the street for picnics with our neighbors.  Warrior Queen and I shared his love of Jim Croce’s music.

I had always assumed that D was younger than myself, and by younger I thought it was in years.  I recently learned that he and I were the same age.  I was only six months older than D.  I also learned recently that he had graduated from the same high school from which my mom graduated in 1953. I would have attended that high school if my parents had not moved to rural central Pennsylvania in 1970.  D and I could have been class mates had my parents stayed in Philly.

I knew that D had some health issues.  A shoulder injury was still causing him pain years after surgeons performed three procedures.  There were other issues as well, all to be expected for a man our age, but apparently too much for him to handle any longer.

The neighbor who gave us the news explained that he was one of 20 people who received a text from D at 4:15a.  The text was part farewell, part apology.  One of those who received the texts tried to reach D, then alerted police.  And that’s where I came into the story when I saw a police car parked in my driveway.

D was a gentle soul in his lifetime, which is almost an anomaly in today’s society.  His personality seemed to be out of synch with the vitriolic and angry attitudes Americans have towards each other.  Who knows if the angry times didn’t figure in to D’s decision to take his own life.

Regardless, a gentle soul has passed from our sight, and we are all the poorer for the loss.  We can only now console ourselves that D is no longer in pain and at peace.

*Name abbreviated to an initial to protect the innocent.

(Thank you for reading.  Rest in Peace, D.)