Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Getting back on my feet...or trying to...
A case where a mundane activity becomes a high spot...

As any of you who've read this blog over the past couple of weeks has become aware of (mainly because I can be mind-numbingly repetitious), I have been under the weather. Really, I think the person who gave me this cold/deadly affliction/epidemic should be quarantined for the rest of his/her natural days. And quarantined after death, too. Because, the cold I have/had was nasty enough to make the DEAD wretch. I am not kidding, this is among the sickest I've ever been. But you already know that, don't ya? And yer probably thinking, "well, if he WAS sick, what is he now? I can't tell any difference..."

While slodging my way out to the kitchen the other day...('slodging' is a silogism on my part, a cross between 'sloth' and 'trudging'), and going thru the various labors to make coffee and pop a couple pieces of bread into the toaster (nutritional breakfast, huh?), I noticed that I was out of EVERYTHING. No food! The last time I ran out of food, I was basically too sick to even stand for more than a couple of minutes. Too dizzy to drive. All of a sudden, everything was so far away and so unreachable. That was when I had a cab driver deliver a batch of groceries. Cab drivers are heroes, by the way. Unsung heroes. And that batch of groceries lasted me a couple of weeks. Makes me think, if I didn't have to eat, I'd sure save a lot of money...

Well, I've been impatiently awaiting the day I could go back out into society. Hmmm...that sounds like a prisoner's state of mind; well, I was a prisoner...of my own body. Last week, I got into my car, just to see how I'd feel behind the wheel. I backed up about 4 or 5 feet (don't worry, I have a long driveway), and that little bit of 'motion' made me dizzy and I pulled forward a little ways, and got out of the car. Nope, not ready to drive yet. Well, this week, I've been feeling better, still a little dizzy, but the weather has been so nice, and I was out of groceries, and sorry, but I didn't want to pay the cabbie another delivery fee, so I got in the car again. I backed it up a little ways, and I still felt a bit dizzy behind the wheel. But this time, I thot, "well, I'll just drive around the block and see how I feel"...

It was almost like learning to drive all over again. I backed up slowly, onto the small county road my driveway empties onto, and began forward momentum around the block. And I found that as long as I gazed straight ahead, I was okay. If I moved my head from side to side, I would get a little dizzy. But I could still use my mirrors, and I could see off to the side a bit, even when facing straight ahead. So I got onto the main road, which can get pretty busy sometimes, but I accelerated up to 35, then to 40 miles an hour, and hey, things were going pretty well. I'd initially thought of stopping at the small market about half a mile from where I live, but I decided to pass that up, and drive the 2 and a half miles into town, and actually go to a SUPERMARKET.

When I got to the store, I had a plan. I was still a little unsure on my feet, but I reasoned that if I could hang on to a grocery cart, I wouldn't lose my balance. And that's what I did. Wow! Me! Grocery shopping! I felt like I'd been just let out on parole. And I'll tell ya, it sure seems like grocery prices have been going up...the only frivolous items I bought were a couple packs of "Red Vines", a cherry licorice that is just so doggone good. Mostly, I bought cans of soup, a few cans of sliced peaches (mmmmm), a couple jugs of milk, a loaf of bread, you know, the usual stuff. And I'd spent almost $100!!!!! Back when I worked at a grocery store when I was in high school, $100 dollars would fill up several grocery carts and take the better part a half-hour to put away.

When I got home, my $100 dollars worth of groceries DID take me half-an-hour to put away, but then again, I'm still kinda wobbly. Like that newborn calf who's kinda shaky until he gets used to walking. So I got the groceries unloaded. The sun was still out, so I decided to go to a little county park near here, where the parking area overlooks the ocean. So I did. I stayed in today, but tomorrow, well, I have to go pick up some prescriptions. Society Beware! I will unleash myself upon you again in just a little while. Don't say I didn't warn ya! I remember, as a kid, when one of my friends told me that it would be easy for me to get a job standing in front of a grocery store making people sick. Lately, just lately, I would have been supremely qualified for such an occupation. I guess the big lesson in all of this, is that the bad times, no matter how bad they are, pass, and life goes on.

Let me dedicate the following line to everyone who's suffering from a cold right now. This is a little bit of wisdom I picked up a long time ago: "When you're sitting with your honey, and your nose is very runny, she might just think it's funny, but IT'S NOT!" (say it fast a couple of times; you'll get it)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I think I've been watching too much TV!
So much so, that I think I'm beginning to hallucinate...but you be the judge:

My life seems to be defined by television commercials. Or, at least, when the commercials come on. For when they do, that's my license to get up and get something to eat, or take care of, well, other functions. I'm not alone; it's well documented that during commercial breaks, use of the plumbing rises for that little bit of time. And, if you watch the cable networks, there's even MORE that means I could leave the house when the first commercial comes on, drive into town, get groceries and come back before the last commercial in the break airs. Well, it feels like that, anyway. If the cable channels' commercial breaks get much longer, they're going to have to change things 'round. I can just hear it now..."These commercials are brought to you by the following TV program..."

But I'm beginning to see things...things which aren't even in the commercials. Maybe it's divine inspiration, or perhaps it's media burnout, or maybe even, I'm having a major mental meltdown. Which is always possible. Case in point...I saw another one of those "Boniva" commercials which features Sally Field, the petite actress who seems to be prematurely aging...maybe it's the effects of her osteoporosis at work, but on those commercials, watch her closely; she seems a little "shaky" somehow, like there's an exceptionally bad case of nerves going on. But she makes it thru the Boniva commercials. She only has to take one of those pills a month. Geeze, I hope she can handle that. Anyway, while watching that commercial, all of a sudden, I saw something else in my mind...a sort of "separated at birth" thing...because seeing Sally Field reminded me of someone else. Am I way off-base here? You decide...

I am not kidding, when I saw Sally Field, all of a sudden, in my distorted brain, up popped Katie Couric. One thing for sure, what with all the negative press Ms. Couric has received ever since she assumed the helm of CBS news, I am positive Ms. Field wouldn't trade places with Ms. Couric for all the Boniva in the world. Although, if Katie has osteoporosis, and her news gig doesn't work out, Sally may have some serious competition...and if Sally loses her gig, she could always go over and apply at CBS news, since Ms. Field and Ms. Couric are basically interchangeable. If Sally can read a commercial script, she oughta be able to read a news script. Unless, of course, she should contract osteoporosis of the jawbone...

Actually, that wasn't my biggest shock of the night. Not nearly as shocking as watching Katie Couric pretend to be a serious newsperson, anyway. For, I saw another TV commercial; you know, one of those which are supposed to appeal to a certain age demographic of which I am a member by using music that I (and the rest of my demographic) grew up listening to. This commercial is supposed to make me drool and salivate enough to make me crawl on my hands and knees to my nearest Chevy dealership and buy 3 or 4 huge, gas-guzzling big pseudo-van-type vehicles. And the background music in the commercial? It began with, "If You Want It, HERE IT IS, Come and get it...", you know, the old song by Badfinger. And since the latest Chevy sale is for a LIMITED TIME ONLY, you'd better...(back to the song here) "make your mind up FAAAAST." Oh, crafty, aren't they, those ad-people?

Oh, by the if Paul McCartney needs any more money...guess who makes megabucks each time the Chevy commercial airs...he wrote "Come and Get It"...and I'll bet he's never even BEEN in a Chevy.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Are We supposed to swallow this...
...hook, line and sinker like they obviously want us to?

Sometimes I find it hard to swallow the logic proffered in some TV commercials...for instance: A TV ad from a "security system service" airs with annoying regularity, and I'm having a hard time with the commercial, a burglar breaks into a house...BEEP-BEEP-BEEP goes the alarm, the burglar scampers off. A man from a security system firm immediately calls the house, and the woman answers, and he asks, "are you all right?"; she says, "no, someone tried to break in", and the security system man says, "I'm calling the police right now". And she says, "thank you so much". Then the commercial concludes by saying "blah-blah" security saved this woman, and they can save you, too! And all is well once again in the neighborhood, or is it?

Because, if the burglar wanted to swipe something, he could've as he scampered out the door. Or he could've assaulted the woman with a couple of jabs, etc...and still scampered off...indeed, people can be killed in an instant. So did the security system REALLY save her? My take on this, is that, even with immediate response from the security system, they still had to ask the woman if she was okay, and they then had to call the police, and the police had to GET THERE, and all of this takes time. So, maybe, instead of spending mega-bucks on a security system, just set up some kind of super-amplified SOMETHING in your house to scare off the burglar, because that is basically ALL the security system did!

Don't ask me why I did this, because I'm not really sure why: Part of my Beatles collecting involves gathering together Beatles songs, as done by other artists. You know, stuff like the album, "Chet Atkins Picks On The Beatles". Or, how about "Beatle Country" by the Dillards, a late-60's folk-type group. Today, the mail brought me the immortally BAD version of "Hey Jude" by BING CROSBY...(!!!) And, I've yet to get it in the mail, but I've ordered a copy of, (and yer not gonna believe this), "Happy Banjos Play the Beatles". That oughta be a classic! Maybe I should next look for Beatles songs played by BAGPIPES? Someone tell me, please, why I do these things! But, that's not the weirdest "Beatles-by-Others" in my collection. Oh, no. I have a single that features the "Mission: Impossible" theme song, to which a vocal chorus sings "Norwegian Wood"! "I...once had a girl...or should I say...she once had me....da-da, DA DA, da-da, da-da......"

Maybe these are the good old days, who knows? I've been on the mend from a really serious flu attack, and I am getting better; making progress. I haven't gone much of anywhere for a while; I've basically been hibernating, not wishing to inflict society with what I came down with. And, in that time, I've ordered groceries by phone, I've had taxi's pick up groceries or pizzas, I've paid all of my bills over the phone, and I've done all of this with my debit card. I'm learning, that if you've got a piece o'plastic, you don't have to go anywhere or do anything, and that's quite amazing. A person could be totally anti-social, totally agoraphobic, and in short, be a complete hermit, and if they had a charge/debit card, they could exist just fine! Now, maybe everyone else already knows all of this, but I'm finding it out for the first time...and I find it quite amazing.

So, even though I am highly critical of much of today's way of life, I must admit there are good things, too. I remember the old know, when, if I wanted money, I had to go to the bank, wait my turn, talk to a teller, and actually fill out a check or some sort of draft statement. Now, all I do is slide a card, or read numbers over the phone, and voila, instant results. Oh, and now, I am thinking about paying all my bills over the computer. What will they think of next? But another part of my brain remembers the old song, "In the year won't need your teeth, won't need your eyes...your legs got nothin' to do...some machine's doin' that for you....." (a real toe-tapper, that song!)

Maybe I haven't seen a lot, but maybe I have: Writing the above paragraphs, about how things have changed, regarding the use of debit cards, got me to thinking about other innovations that have come along in my lifetime. I've seen various TV-news reports where a reporter interviews someone who's just turned 100, and asks them about all of the changes they've seen in their lives, and those folks have definitely seen a lot of stuff. But, I'm closing in on my mid-50's, and I'm beginning to think I've seen a lot of stuff, too. I remember buying brand new record albums for $3.98. I remember when the first 8-track and cassette players came along. I remember theaters that showed one movie for 2 or 3 days, and then they'd show another one. When I was a kid, zip-codes hadn't been invented yet. When I went to college, a computer took up several hundred square feet. I remember filling up the gas tank for five bucks, and getting change back. I remember using a TYPEWRITER. Nowadays, you can't find "typing paper"; instead, you have to buy copy paper and use that.

I was in 4th grade when President Kennedy was assassinated. And, I saw Lee Harvey Oswald get shot on live TV. I was alive before the advent of cable TV, Rock and Roll music on FM radio, even before The Beatles got popular. I remember that my Mom had an old RCA record player that only played 45's, and you had to plug it in to the back of a radio to hear the record being played. In the '60s, Dad and I used to fill up the trunk with presto-logs; you know, the ones that are basically compacted sawdust; you could give the clerk ONE DOLLAR and get 25 presto-logs. Now, a similar log-type-product costs the better part of ten bucks for a sealed package of half a dozen. A nice apartment, back in the '70s, cost me the princely sum of $135 a month. And so forth, and so on, and on and on...and, to paraphrase Bob Dylan..."The times, they STILL are a-changin'....." And, lately, I've been getting stuff over Ebay...such as the same model of little 6 transistor radio I had when I was a kid. Stuff like that really takes me back. Way back.

Whenever I write a post like this, part of me thinks I am sluffing off; after all, I did no heavy-duty research; indeed, I really had no plan for this post; I just began typing. But then again, this post is indicative of how my mind works, and perhaps my conversion of brain-stuff into a semi-intelligible presentation such as is here, may just be the hardest work of all.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Re-shuffling the Beatles...
A project I undertook, but I'm not sure if it worked...

In one of my Beatles' books, I read a quote from John Lennon, who, after the Beatles broke up, said that if people need the Beatles so much, all they would have to do is buy each Beatle's solo albums, and arrange the songs on tape so that there's one by John, then Paul, then George, then Ringo, and so forth, and so on. And that stuck in my mind, and so I tried it. Hey, I'm still a little under the weather, and rather than sit around and be miserable, I might as well do something, right? So I did this. I made an ersatz "Sgt. Pepper" album using Beatles solo material. Without going into too much excruciating detail (and I could, believe me), I'll just approximate things by saying that I arranged my project as close to the "Sgt. Pepper" album as I could. And, I had so much fun with this first project, I thot, "why stop now?"

So, for the second project, I decided to try and duplicate the Beatles' "White Album", once again using songs from the Beatles' solo albums, and again duplicating the appearances of each vocalist. That was a big project, since there are over 30 songs on the 2-record "White Album", and in order to choose solo songs for this second project, as well as the first project described above, I had to sort thru 30 or 40 Beatles' solo albums, in order to find songs that would fit, as closely as possible, not only in terms of who the lead singer was, but also in the 'flavor' of each song...if it was time for a John song, for example, and the John song on the Beatles' album was a ballad, well, then I'd have to find a similar-sounding John solo ballad. Like I said, the detail could really be excruciating, so that's as detailed as I'll get here.

As I listened back to the solo versions of "Sgt. Pepper" and the "White Album" I'd created, I could sense one glaring fact: There is no way there is ever going to be another Beatles, because I couldn't even make a good-sounding Beatles' album with people who had BEEN the Beatles. There was something pretty magic about them, when all four were together in the same studio, and, sadly, that magic is missing from a lot of their solo albums. Especially glaring is the startling lack of inspiration on John Lennon's "Mind Games" and "Walls and Bridges" albums; it's almost as if Lennon had no sense of direction on those records. Paul's records are always musically good, although sometimes his ideas fall flat. George's albums suffered the same fate as John's; some of his albums, such as "Dark Horse", "Extra Texture" and "Gone Troppo" are fairly mediocre, and Ringo's albums began sounding like uninspired product after a while, too.

However, there's quite a lot of music the Beatles did "after the Beatles" that is quite good, and if you're interested in checking some of this stuff out, I've listed what I think is their best solo stuff. After all, chances are, that unlike me, you're not a rabid collector, therefore you don't have to have everything. So here's what I think are the best "solo Beatle" albums...

JOHN: "Plastic Ono Band" (although it's so harsh I recommend it with reservations), "Imagine" (a wonderful record thru and thru), "The John Lennon collection" (contains his last recordings, which were great, plus, that album totally bypasses Yoko), and quite possibly, if you can find it, "Rock and Roll", on which John sings some '50s oldies pretty doggone good.

PAUL: "McCartney" (his homemade first album), "Ram" (an outrageously funny record, plus it has some great songs), "Band On The Run" (as close to perfect as a 'solo Beatles' album ever got), "London Town" (which is very, very musical, and an underrated album), "Tug Of War" (which featured some really great music and cryptic lyrics) and "Flaming Pie" (which is just totally good thru and thru).

GEORGE: I can't live without "All Things Must Pass"...a classic in every sense. Also, "Living in the Material World" (nice variety of material), "33 1/3" (his first album for a new record company, on which he sounds great), "Cloud 9" (his ultra-tuneful late '80s comeback album), and "Brainwashed" (a sad and wistful record which contained songs he'd written while he was ill with terminal cancer).

RINGO: The "Ringo" album (from 1973, which features "Photograph" and "You're Sixteen"; a record full of great pop moments), and to a lesser degree, the "Goodnight Vienna" album, which also had some good tunes, such as "Only You" and "No No Song". Ringo's music tends to veer towards the mundane, but those two albums are really great. For later Ringo music, "Time Takes Time", a later-'80s album, is pretty good.

And, if you want the hits, just the hits (well, that's a good place to start, also), all four "solo Beatles" have greatest-hits packages out there...PAUL: "Wings' Greatest", "All The Best", or the ultra-exhaustive "Wingspan". JOHN: "The John Lennon Collection" or "Lennon Legend"; GEORGE: "Best of Dark Horse 1976-1989"...and "All Things Must Pass" is so great, it's almost a "greatest hits" package by itself. RINGO: "Blast From Your Past"; also, Rhino records has put out a 2nd volume of Ringo's best stuff, which is aptly titled, "Starr-Struck".

Finally, even though the Beatles' music sounds as good today as it did some 40 years ago, time is flying by faster and faster, and while the Beatles aren't "ancient history" yet, it's a fact the group broke up in 1970, some 37 years ago now. Back in the '60s, an artist tried to imagine what the Beatles would look at age 64 (in honor of Paul's Sgt. Pepper song), and here's what he came up with...ladies and gentlemen, may I present the time-enhanced Beatles:

(Left to right) John, Ringo, Paul and George, as it was imagined they'd appear today from the perspective of 'a long time ago'. Actually, Ringo and Paul are looking pretty doggone good these days. Unfortunately, the other two are no longer with us..their spirits are now voyaging"across the universe", out on that great 'astral plane' somewhere...

I think it's safe to say there'll never be another Beatles. It's amazing, how good they were. Even the 'former' Beatles couldn't approach the Beatles after they broke up. I feel fortunate to have experienced their music as it first came out. And it still sounds great today.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Well, look at the bright side...this time around, he didn't KILL anyone...

Some people crave their allotted 15 minutes of fame SO MUCH, that they just can't seem to stop reaching for that "brass ring" once the main purpose of their lives has pretty much run its course. A lot of people are content to live lives of constructive predictability, never really becoming known for anything great; others perform one really noteworthy feat in their lives and then, secure within themselves, don't feel the pathological need to constantly (and sometimes irritatingly) re-appear time after time, letting society know what they did oh, so long ago. Still other people can't seem to get enough. Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger, for example. At least McCartney is still musically valid, though; always creating new songs and trying for new sounds, while poor ol' Mick, after all these years, is still lookin' for some "Satisfaction". He can't get no!

This brings me to the strange, twisted case of O.J. Simpson. We all know he's a double-murderer, so I won't debate that here. Let's just say his knife spilled enough of everyone's blood at the crime scene to fill a medium-sized reservoir. He DID IT! GUILTY AS SIN! Well, miracles were worked, people were influenced, the race card was played, O.J. was exonerated, and he ran to Florida where the Goldman Family (whose son O.J. KILLED) can't seize O.J.'s numerous vanity possessions. And that's how things have stood for years. O.J. still needs to be O.J., however. He still makes a living signing autographs, he still chips golf balls in much the same way he said he did the night NICOLE SIMPSON and RONALD GOLDMAN were MURDERED, and he's even gone so far as to try and hawk a book titled, "IF I Did It"...his account of what he would have done and how he would have done it, had he indeed MURDERED TWO PEOPLE IN COLD BLOOD on a June night in 1994. Which he DID.

And now, he's baaaaack! This time around, he's accused of armed robbery in Vegas. He and a few of his "Juice Mafia" (who wear jackboots underneath their suits), evidently invaded a hotel room to steal back some "Juice Memorabilia" which allegedly was stolen from him. O.J., who escaped the ever-reaching hands of Lady Justice once before, has lain it all on the line again, this time for a few inanimate objects. Let's see...stealing football memorabilia from a DOUBLE-MURDERER...wouldn't that be akin to breaking into Charles Manson's prison cell and stealing some of the creepy giant cloth spiders he weaves together from all kinds of prison residue? (I saw that on MSNBC, by the way.) And the only thing worse than that, as far as theft is concerned, is if you're a high-profile person with a dubious past who ARMS yourself to STEAL THE STUFF BACK! O.J.'s flimsy excuse? His reputation was such that cops wouldn't help him re-possess his possessions. I kinda think no matter HOW MUCH the stuff was worth...I'd stay far, far away from ANYTHING possessed by either Manson...or O.J.! Noooo, thanks. My guilt complex is overactive enough without resorting to collecting stuff like that. Ackthptf.

So, I have a theory about O.J. which I shall proceed to advance here. O.J. is mentally ill, in that he is pathological, delusional, obsessive, and he probably runs over small animals in his Ford Bronco, too. O.J. knows fully well how much everyone HATES him, only he doesn't think about that. He just keeps chippin' away at his golf balls. On the driving range, he hopes that no one will see his "bad slice", heh heh. But lately, just lately, that ain't enough for him. He craves the spotlight so desperately that he just felt he had to go and get himself in trouble again. That's gotta be it; why else would he risk his freedom (if you can call it that, since everyone knows he's guilty of the murders) just to get a few DUMB OLD FOOTBALL TRINKETS that no one with any sense of decency is going to give a RIP about? So now, he's in the spotlight again. And you know, maybe he has a hidden desire to go to jail, as if something inside of him really feels he deserves to be there.

If I had committed a double-murder and got off scot-free for it, I couldn't live with myself. I'd be bangin' on the walls of the prison: "I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!! LET ME IN!!! I'M GUILTY AS ALL-GET-OUT!!!" So maybe this is what ol' Orenthal James wants. He can go to jail, be where he should be, AND NEVER HAVE TO ADMIT HE KILLED ANYONE. A sort of incarceration-related-opportunism. How 'bout it, members of the psychiatric community? Am I totally off-base here? (that's always possible) Or, is there something to this? Of course, what'll probably happen here is that he'll go to trial for theft, be acquitted, and then he'll write another book about how he might have committed the robbery, if he had indeed done it. And he'll be back in Sunny Florida chippin' (or slicin') golf balls (and who knows what else) before ya know it.

Once again, "The Juice" gears up for his latest legal battle. He could steal, but he could not rob.

I was at home recovering from the 1995 Portland Marathon, which I'd run two days before. The TV was was the day of O.J.'s verdict...and I saw him acquitted, and I was STUNNED. Let's just say that here in 2007, nothing much surprises me anymore.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Not-So-Fantastic Voyage...
Let's see, is that "feed a cold, starve a fever", or the other way around?

WHEN A PERSON COMES DOWN with a bad case of the flu, it can be so miserable that it is easy to feel as if one is literally trapped inside the body. All of a sudden, walking a few steps can be totally exhausting, putting on clothes can seem like an insurmountable task, and it's all one can do just to get to the next room without collapsing in a heap of quivering, chill-racked flesh. The slightest action causes sweat to form on the brow, and as far as "functions" go, I'll just say that there are times when one should be thankful that there's not a parking meter located next to the commode.

THIS IS ABOUT HOW I have felt for the last couple of weeks. I'm beginning to come out of it now, but wow, it is so amazing how helpless I felt while I was suffering the worst of it. I could barely keep my balance and put one foot in front of the other for several days. Going out to the kitchen and trying to fix myself something for breakfast took all of the planning of a major foreign policy decision. I'd get out to the kitchen, drag out a chair to sit on, reach up into the cupboard for a can of peaches and then I'd collapse back into the chair and sit there for 10 or 15 minutes while I got my bearings before actually OPENING the can. Then I'd go through the same thing making coffee. If you've got the flu, and you can fix yourself a really good cup of coffee, it tastes like the nectar of the gods. And the canned peaches packed in heavy syrup...all of a sudden, they taste sooooo good. MMMMM. Experiencing sickness like this makes me think of senior citizens who succumb to the flu, or pneumonia, or whatever...I know I used to get thru it a lot easier when I was younger; but these last few years, every time I get the flu (once every 2-3 years) it seems to dig in just a little bit deeper.

I WAS LITERALLY CRAWLING back and forth between the bedroom and bathroom. My body went totally bad two weeks ago; I'd had a funny feeling in my sinuses, and when the flu hit me, early on a Saturday morning, I couldn't keep my balance, my eyes seemed to be working independently of each other, and I couldn't even get into bed...I have a carpet on my bedroom floor and I laid on that and went to sleep, curled up in a fetal position. All of a sudden I couldn't think about anything; all I could do was exist in some sort of foggy sub-primal condition where all I could do was breathe. If I tried to think about something, my brain spun 'round and 'round and I'd feel I'd breathe. Breathe. Breathe. And I existed like THAT for two days. At that time, the kitchen seemed as if it was 27 miles away; there was no way I could go all the way out there. And I didn't eat for the better part of three days. I've probably lost some weight. And believe me, I can think of safer (and far more pleasant) methods of weight loss. And right now, I'm thinking about food. Food that I've missed out on while suffering this affliction. I haven't had pizza, or egg rolls, or Sausage McMuffins, or a good big breakfast in half a month now, and I'm afraid my appetite is going to come roaring back....FEED ME!!! NOW!!! ROARRRR!!!

THIS IS HOW I'VE BEEN FEELING, but I think I'm turning a corner here; there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm now feeling better than I have in a while. I am hopeful. I'll get to do the little things again. You know, like actually go to a store and buy things instead of paying a cab driver to deliver them. Or, perhaps, actually spending an hour outside and taking a walk. I haven't seen the ocean for 2 weeks, and I live maybe a mile and a half from it. I mean, I've been feeling better...playing the occasional game of video pinball on my computer...listening to TONS of records...when the eyes are malfunctioning and dizziness is prevalent, well, the ears still work well; thank God for music, huh? It has really helped get me through the last couple of weeks. This has been a sort of really warped "fantastic voyage" where I have taken a voyage inside my own body; it's shown me that I can have all sorts of lofty goals and philosophies and feelings and emotions, but that when the body takes over, all of a sudden, I'm trapped inside it and there isn't a lot I can do until the sickness runs its course. And that's amazing in a way. How, all of a sudden, I became so small, waaay down, deep inside of me while my body was mustering, somehow, the energy to pull itself back together. Actually, tho, I'm thinking it was a "not-so-Fantastic Voyage".

LIFE WILL GO ON; I'll get better, the sun will continue to shine; there's still a lot of warm days left in the year, and from mid-September thru about the end of October, things are just glorious here on the coast. And I look forward to breathing the ocean breezes again. And, maybe I can just enjoy things again, sorta like these not-so-little guys below...

Let me leave you with a little bit of advice, which I've mentioned before in a fairly recent post: GET A FLU SHOT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE ON THE HIGH SIDE OF 50. JUST DO IT! If I'd spent $20 or whatever on a flu shot, I could've saved myself a whole lotta grief this time around.

Anyway, have a good weekend. And drink your Orange Juice. And eat your Chicken Soup. That, too, can taste like nectar of the gods.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Obtuse Oddball Observations...
I couldn't find one 'main' thing to post about, so I posted about several things...

I hope it's off the air: I haven't seen that ridiculous "Viva Viagra" commercial on TV know, the one where several really macho-looking chopper riders assemble in a weatherbeaten shack to sing about their individual cases of erectile dysfunction. They sing the song, then ride off into the sunset, leaving their musical instruments behind. So, when they were singing the song, were they waiting for the Viagra to kick in? No wonder they rode off so fast. They must have been really 'feeling the urge' if they left their guitars behind! There's a newer, slightly more tactful Viagra ad on the tube lately, although the words "Viva Viagra" do creep in at the very end. But at least I'm not embarrassed to watch it. Musicians singing about Viagra is about as plausible as George W. Bush attending a Mensa meeting.

Unfortunately, this one's on the air: I actually saw it the other night. A commercial for disposable diapers, and, yep, it's the one that uses a Beatles song. The little rugrat is crawling across the floor to the tune of "All You Need Is LUVS." Da-da-da-da-da....I suppose, next up will be an ad for Smucker's Jam using the tune of "Strawberry Fields Forever"? Or, how about a commercial for Coppertone Lotion, featuring "Here Comes The Sun"? I suppose if that happened, I'd survive though. I mean, in years past, I survived "Wisk" bleach commercials that annoyingly warbled, "RING AROUND THE COLLAR!!!" and those obnoxious commercials featuring the little girl who drawled, "IT'S 'SHAKE N' BAKE' AND AH HAYELPED!!!"

Another one of your rights in jeopardy: I just heard a report on Northwest Cable News that originated in Seattle, where they're trying to pass a statewide law prohibiting people from wearing HATS in banks. The line that a spokesman used was, "don't come into a bank trying to conceal your identity"...well, hmmm. Things have evidently gotten so bad out there that Mr. Innocent Blue-collar guy can't wear his hat into a bank anymore, lest he try to rob a bank, with the hat's brim concealing his facial features from the security cameras. Just another case where law-biding citizens become inconvenienced by increasing crime rates all over the world. I wear a hat just about all the time; I guess I must look like a career criminal. It is always sad when, in order to protect society, little everyday things (like wearing hats) get outlawed.

Still not out of the woods yet: I wrote about having the flu recently, and I've shaken most of my symptoms...but I think the ol' flu germs migrated to my digestive tract...I'm still having some dizzy spells and queasiness. "I'm so dizzy, my head is spinnin'", Tommy Roe once sang (in a #1 hit song from 1969)...and I'm just having to take it easy. I haven't driven anywhere in two weeks. I employed a cab driver to go get some groceries for me last week. Ackthptf. At this rate, I'll get well just before it's time to go see the doctor again. And if I don't get ill at the clinic, I'm sure the doctor bill will make me relapse. Actually, I'd like to find whoever gave me this flu in the first place, and COUGH in their FACE. I'll just have to remember to get a flu shot...and hope that the shot doesn't give ME the flu all over again.

They must have been reading my post: I came down hard on the Seattle Mariners in an earlier post, because basically they have been playing like a bumbling team trying their hardest to keep up with the other amateur teams in the Sandlot league. So what's happened since then? Well, they've won their last two games...although, last night, Mariners' starter Jeff Weaver walked in a couple of runs, and the M's were behind 5-0 by the time the SECOND inning was over. They won 8-7. Last time I checked, the job description for "baseball pitcher" specified that you must LIMIT the other team's run-producing ability, not ENHANCE it. I; glad the Mariners won, but too much come-from-behind baseball means a short season. Unless the players manage to find a fall amateur sandlot baseball league somewhere.

The strange recording saga of Kent LaVoie: "Huh?" "Who?" "Never heard of him". Well, you HAVE heard him; he's the guy who sang "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo" and "I Love You to Want Me." Mr. LaVoie is LOBO, and he's one of my favorite artists. He rocks a little, with a country flavor, sings in a hushed voice, and I've always been a big fan. But as with everything, time takes a toll; things change, people change, music changes, and people get left by the wayside. I did not know until a couple of years ago that he made a record in 1976...and he couldn't find anyone to put it out here in the States, and so it went unheard here for YEARS. However, it was picked up in Europe and in the Far East, would you believe. And now it's available on CD for a limited time, and it's nice to hear, because his music always was good; it's just that, I guess, in 1976, all of the record companies wanted disco, and Lobo's not a disco guy. Anyway, pictured below is his long-lost album...

I believe you can order this CD at This is a good CD, though a little too love-song-oriented for me; I think his masterpiece is his 1971 album, "Of A Simple Man". He plays a clean, crisp rhythm guitar, and writes about his travels on the road, and the characters he met along the way, and it's easy and breezy stuff to listen to.

There. You have been informed, entertained, manipulated and cajoled within the confines of this post. Since I didn't have anything special to write about, well, this is "elementary blogging 101"; I think it turned out not too sophmorically...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Sad Anniversary...
Like Pearl Harbor, September 11th is a day that will live in infamy...

Meanwhile, Osama Bin Laden, the Iranian architect of this tragedy, continues to transmit hate-filled and threatening videotaped messages directed at our country from 'who knows where', 6 years (and counting) since 9/11 occurred.

Meanwhile, our country, instead of actively scouring Iran to string Osama and his ilk up by their thumbs, went next door to fight in Iraq. And we're still at war in the WRONG country, for 'who knows what reason'.

Meanwhile, Prezzident Bush still assures us all that the troop surge is working, that there's a chance of us reducing our occupancy over there ('who knows when') if things improve over there. A news report said that things weren't really safer in Baghdad; that the terror cells over there just move from place to place.

Meanwhile, American lives are still being needlessly sacrificed and megamillions are being spent daily to finance the war ('who knows why'), while Democrats and Republicans alike try to distance themselves from the President before jumping off the sinking ship altogether.

Meanwhile, we remember 9/11; it's part of all of us now, and that memory will never go away. We'll just have to hope that something like this never happens again. Will it? Who can tell?

The Twin Towers, New York, photo taken July 28th, 2001.

You can't escape it, because it runs here we have:
Political-Correctness, applied to BEATLES collecting!

During even the earliest days of their existence, their HAIR wasn't politically correct, but that's not the subject of this post. Nor does it deal with John Lennon's REALLY politically-incorrect 'Beatles more popular than Jesus' remark in 1966...nor does it deal with John and Yoko's NUDE picture on their "Two Virgins" album which came out in early 1969. And that was REALLY politically-incorrect. John and Yoko's were not two of the most appealing human bodies in existence, as the album cover (painfully) proves...

This has more to do with Beatles' collecting...perhaps as a kid, when Beatlemania struck, you went down to the nearest record mart and bought a copy of "I Want To Hold Your Hand", and chances are you paid under a dollar for it. Most copies of it came in a little picture sleeve, and chances are, that picture sleeve, by itself, is worth over $100 in today's collectors market. That doesn't include the worth of the single; that's just the sleeve. Record and sleeve originally came out in 1964, and the picture sleeve that came with most copies of the record is shown below...


Actually, their hair wasn't really all that long waaay back then, but everyone (including my own parents) sure made a big deal of it. Especially my Dad, who sheared off my hair every chance he could get to make sure I didn't turn into one of those "damn Beatles" (a phrase he actually used). Home haircuts like that can be traumatic. Anyway, the photo on this sleeve is innocent enough, right? Nothing wrong with it, right? Well, when it came time for the 20th anniversary re-issue of the single, and sleeve, the record company evidently DID think something was wrong...

This is the 1984 collectors' edition of the "I Want To Hold Your Hand" picture sleeve. Notice anything different? Well, for starters, the cigarette Paul was holding in his right hand has been AIRBRUSHED OUT for this release. Gosh. Also, you can see some small print in the left corner, which says "copyright 1984". And when I first got this item, I couldn't believe the record company went to all that trouble. Further, I can imagine the tobacco lobby was not pleased with this move. And, without a cigarette in his hand, Paul looks like he's ready to karate-chop someone.

In 1994, a 30th anniversary re-issue of this single appeared, and guess what? This time around, the cigarette was back IN the sleeve photo. Does that mean it was more politically-correct to smoke in 1994 than it was ten years previously? And, then in 2004, NO REISSUE of this single appeared at all! So, the cigarette's in. Then it's out. Then it's back in again. And then it never existed to begin with. Makes sense to me! I was hoping there'd be a 40th anniversary re-issue. And then a 50th. And in the year 2107, perhaps a 150th anniversary IPod/Mp3 download, or whatever. And I think I'd better stop now before this ceases to make sense...assuming it did to begin with...

Those old Beatles songs still sound so incredibly fresh and spite of their painfully human shortcomings, which they ALL put on display from time to time, they sure were a great band, with or without picture sleeves accompanying their singles.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Playin' those MIND GAMES...
...while shopping on Ebay late at night...

Hey, it's fun, interesting and absorbing for me. A couple of times a week, I check out the "Beatles Records" pages on Ebay, and that means a long time on computer; most of the time, there are at least 50 pages of stuff, with at least 30 items on each page...which means, a lot of e-browsing. Ebay has made it easier for me to locate Beatles stuff I want; I used to have to go to bigger metro areas to run down the stuff with which to fill the 'holes' in my collection. Now all I have to do is smack my computer keyboard a few times with a sledgehammer, and voila, another order is placed. (See "technical note" below...)

One of the Ebay listings I ran across tonight gave me pause to ponder; no, it's not a record, and no, I'm not gonna buy it, but just the same, it provided a different way to look at the Beatles, upon the occasion of their 20th anniversary of either their first record, made in 1962, or the advent of Beatlemania, which occurred in the United States in early 1964. Anyway, pictured below is the 'anniversary' Beatle-button I ran across...

On this lil' ol' button, you see '70s and '80s images of John, Ringo, Paul and George. The picture of John is from the mid-'70s, similar to the photo used on the picture sleeve of his "Mind Games" single. George's photo (with hand raised) also looks like a '70s photo. He is sporting that same hair style on his '33 1/3' album, which came out in 1976, so named because he was thirty-three-and-a-third years old when it came out. No foolin'. It's surprising how much the Beatles still form a large part of our collective consciousness; the radio still plays their music, and their music still sells, and sells very well. Not bad for a band that's been broken up since 1970.

Sadly, life goes on, in spite of the fact that we've lost two of them. John was gunned down in 1980 and George died of cancer in 2001. A part of many of us died when we lost them. I know I think about the band every day (what with Beatles records laying around all over my place), and I'm sure many others do too. So anyway, the above '20 year' button got me wondering what a similar '40th anniversary' button might look like...

Paul still records and plans to tour as soon as things are settled between him and his gold-digging soon-to-be ex-wife, and Ringo still goes out occasionally with "The All-Starr Band", a group that has a new lineup of, you guessed it, all-star musicians each time a new tour gets underway. And the records keep spinning 'round. So do the CD's. And the music will survive on MP3s, IPods, and whatever soon-to-be-invented other forms of playback come along. The music continues to comfort us in our darkest hour; it speaks words of wisdom, more easily enabling us to...Let It Be.

Technical note: I usually have enough foresight to run a "defrag" before actually breaking out the sledgehammer; as a result, I don't have any broken keyboard pieces lurking around for me to step on and gash myself. So now you know.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Baseball "Mission: Impossible"
...or, 'this team will self-destruct in 2 short weeks'...

...although, these last two weeks have seemed really L-O-N-G for the Seattle Mariners, and for their fans (what's left of them); the team has virtually succeeded in achieving some form of instant mediocrity, which might actually not be all that mediocre after all, since you have to do something really special in order to turn a really good season into a tragicomical travesty with a relatively few swings of the bat. Run production is down, the starting pitching all of a sudden can't make it halfway through the game, the 'staff ace' only wins once in a while, and the relievers ain't givin' the team any relief. The new manager is at a loss for any kind of explanation, and all of this is beginning to make former skipper Mike Hargrove look like a sage for the ages, deciding to abandon ship when he did, WHILE THE TEAM WAS STILL WINNING. And now, the M's have lost 13 of the last 14 games. The only time they've won in the last two weeks was when they whipped up on battered old washed-up pitcher Roger Clemens of the Yankees last week. Sad, huh?

Hargrove, the former M's manager, must have foreseen impending doom and disaster as he gazed in his crystal ball, or had mysterious forces guiding his hand on the Ouija board, telling him, "Mike, in order to save face and avoid eternal damnation, you must quit NOW." He had the last laugh, though. You see, he evidently had difficulties with Ichiro. Ichiro was in the final year of his contract, and no one knew if he'd re-sign with the team. Hargrove left. Ichiro re-signed. (no cause-effect relationship there, huh?) And it is obviously Ichiro's Ouija board that's not working, for Ichiro's new deal guarantees him that, as a Mariner, he won't be anywhere NEAR any kind of championship for at least the next several Presidential terms.

Listen, I am no fair-weather fan. I have stuck by the Mariners since 1997, thru thick and thin, listening to virtually every game (in which I have constantly been irritated by sportscaster Rick Rizzs and his breathless mind-numbing deluge of constant ceaseless blather, trivia and factoids which make me wanna dropkick my radio), but I am beginning to think that Seattle, especially in the world of baseball, is where good players and coaches go to die, or to wallow forever in the murky depths of cesspool residue generated by the dregs of America's National Pastime. Anymore, when I tune in a Mariners' game, I'm looking for yet another new way for them to lose yet another game. A missed catch, perhaps. Or a baserunning error. And in that regard, I am NEVER disappointed anymore.

Something about Seattle just keep sports teams, especially BASEBALL teams, from reaching any kind of enduring, or fleeting, success.. It must be in the water, or the coffee, or maybe there are spurious gas emissions from the nearby active Mt. Rainier volcano that get into the air and somehow screw things up in sports teams' brain waves. I don't know what else it could be. And I am just about ready to QUIT being a fan. I don't care if the team actually WINS a championship; what I DO want from the Mariners is some sort of RESPECTABILITY, some VALIDITY, some PURPOSE, and year after year after decade after century after eon after epoch of bumbling and stumbling, I EXPECT BETTER. And it ain't happenin'! It's too late for this season. I wouldn't be surprised if the M's fall all the way back to the .500 mark. At the start of this losing skid, they were only 20-games over! Sheesh!

Finally, come with me as we peer into the saga of yet another young man who collects baseball cards, plays in Little League and dreams of his idols...whoever they are these days, if indeed there are any idols...

Know why this kid has a future in baseball? Because he doesn't plan on ever wearing any MARINER BLUE. Cruel, but it had to be said. Honestly, I've just about had it with the team.

Seahawks fans, shaddup...yeah, I know the 'hawks went to the Stupor Bowl a few years back. That's an accident that won't happen again. UPDATE: In an effort to make me look really, really bad (as if I need help), the Mariners won today. Against Detroit. The M's ace only gave up 5 RUNS in the victory. It's a win, but waaay too little, much too late.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Recreational weekend TV Sedation...
Getting into the music, or trying to, on PBS...

Being sorely in need of some meager reason to exist today, I absent-mindedly turned on the TV this afternoon, and in this case, being absent-minded was a good thing; because I accidentally hit the MUTE button on, which shieled my basic sensibilities from the shrillness (and silliness) of "American Idol Rewind", which, I suppose, is a reunion of sorts, of people who've won the Idol contest in the past. Hmmm. That must make them yesterday's news now. And, I saw young bodies squeezed into tight-fitting jeans, singing songs that were written before most of them were born. Prancing around the stage like they're oh, so hot. And relevant. And original. And blahhhhhh...I got to thinking, "these guys are nothing compared to the singers of yesteryear, harrumph..." and proceeded to bask in the comfortability of yet another mistaken assumption...

For, it was not long afterward that I tuned in PBS...OH BOY, ANOTHER FUNDRAISER, AREN'T THOSE FUN??? Anyway, there was a program which I thought would provide me more ammunition for my argument, "them old singers are better than today's singers" was a reunion performance of a bunch of the old big-band singers. Tony Martin, for instance. He's 94 now, and he came out of retirement to perform. Oh my gosh, now I have an idea of what Paul McCartney might sound like when he's 94, and Paul, well, if you sound like that...well, I'll still buy your records, but if you don't want to make any more of 'em when you're that age, well, I'd understand. But there are a lot of great singers from days past. And ROBERT GOULET is not one of them! After all these years, he still has a voice that can peel paint. To dream the impossible dream, indeed. Ack. He's still a lounge-lizard smarmy singer who doesn't have a rhythmic bone in his body. Geeze. And maybe there's not a lot of difference between Robert Goulet and the stuff that's on American Idol. Wonder how ol' Simon would feel about Robert?

Then out came Kay Starr, bless her, to sing "Rock and Roll Waltz"...well, on PRINCIPLE alone, I hate that song. Rock and Roll Waltz, MY HEINIE!!! And Kay, well, she's kinda going the way of Tony Martin. Jerry Vale, who presented the program segments, didn't even sing; I guess after he heard Tony Martin, he thot, "well, thanks, but no thanks". And, Patti Page still can carry a nice tune, but I'm sorry, I guess I wasn't in the mood for "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window"...I used to like the song as a kid, but it just sounds painfully irrevelant to anything in my life these days. I guess I've gotta grow old my own way; I can't do it their way, huh? Although, one song touched me deeply: Ed Ames' "My Cup Runneth Over". Ahhhhh....what a wonderful song that is, and Ames sounds almost BETTER now than he did then. So, there's hope; maybe Paul McCartney at 94 years of age will sound just fine, as he does today at 65. I sure hope so.

After that oldies-moldies concert, PBS aired a more current program; Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings, the founding members of the Guess Who (remember them?), doing a bunch of the old hits. Bachman and Cummings had evidently had some big disagreements and split up back in the day. They began with a watered-down version of "American Woman", and I thot, "oh my god, they can't rock anymore"...but things got better; as the show went on, they did more of the rock & roll stuff. But still, think about it...Burton Cummings, lead singer of the Guess Who, singin' the same ol' "you know I'm gonna leave, you know I'm gonna go" at the end of "American Woman", and admittedly, some of his high vocal range is GONE...which also happens with age. Or how about Randy Bachman still doing "Takin' Care of Business" (he started BTO after the Guess Who had initially run its course); I've heard that song oh, so many times, but yet the old chords and the driving rhythms still have that ol' primal appeal. Rock and rolllllll.....................

A part of me thinks these old guys look SILLY playing rock and roll music, but, what else is there to do? Life goes on, after all. Thing is, they were honestly taking pleasure from making music, and maybe that's what it's all about, no matter what type of music, or anything else, is being created. I don't like the fact life slows us down and makes us lose our edge. I absolutely hate that part of it. But I do know this: no matter how old I may become, "Please Please Me" by the Beatles still excites me just as much as it did long ago. "Takin' Care of Business" still makes me wanna rock; Grand Funk Railroad still brings a smile to my face, and rock and roll in general causes my soul to leap forth, even if my body can't do that anymore. I am not a great guitar player by any means, but after 30 years, the instrument has never lost its appeal, and playing is one of the most pleasurable things I can do. And, 94-year old Tony Martin took the same pleasure in the song he sang, even if the voice faltered a it comes full circle. And we just keep on keepin' on...'cause there really ain't nothin' else we can do.


You can see I try to respect all music and all performers...but there ain't no way can these ears ever make it all the way through a Robert Goulet song. Nope, nope, nope. Although, I do have one of his songs in my record collection; his version of "Camelot". Although I wonder why...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I would've preferred an out-0f-body experience...

IN MY LAST POST, I mentioned that I'd come down with some symptoms, most notably a "funny feeling" in my throat, after, ironically, visiting the doctor's office. Hmmm. I thot the objective of modern medicine was supposed to make the patient BETTER. And, yep, that "funny feeling" turned into a full-blown case of the flu. I felt progressively worse as the week progressed, or should I say, "regressed". Well, the way I felt DEFINITELY regressed. And, I was trapped inside my body when the fever broke at about 4am Saturday morning. While people were probably having a good time, dancing, partying, eating at an all-nite restaurant or whatever, I was home, barely surviving, with all kinds of drastic visions imploding inside my fevered skull as I literally thought my brain was going to overheat and the ol' cranial cavity would end up performing relatively the same function as a microwave oven, CHAR-BROILING my gray matter in the process.

IT'S ALL MY FAULT, THOUGH. You see, I should have known better. But in this age of ultra-modern medicine, where it takes AT LEAST 6 MONTHS TO SEE A DOCTOR BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL OVERBOOKED, one tends to forget that, "hey, I'd better be careful when I visit the clinic, because after all, there's other sick people there as well." Only, I wasn't sick. I was just trying to keep an appointment. But someone else in there was sick! Sick as a frickin' (f-word!) DOG...and if I could WRAP MY HANDS AROUND THAT PERSON'S THROAT, WHOEVER IT WAS THAT MADE ME SICK.....wait, wait, wait, WAIT A MINUTE,'s my fault, it really is. After all, it is I who is to blame for NOT GETTING A FLU SHOT. All I know is, although I'm better now than I was, I basically haven't been out of the house in a week. And, I've found out that getting sick is not really the recommended way to achieve sudden weight loss. And I didn't eat anything for THREE DAYS. Good thing I'm fat, huh?

I'VE HEARD IT SAID that each cigarette a person smokes takes 15 minutes offa their life. Other life occurrances, such as death of a loved one, job loss, marital bliss-ripping, etc. etc. are all supposed to be "strikes" against you as you make your way thru life. In short, all the adversity piles up. Did you yell at someone today? Five minutes off your life! Did you become annoyed at some "witless Jehovah" trying to sell you a religious line at your front door, and you were squirming in your efforts to tolerate them and felt tension because of that? Zap! There goes 45 minutes! Did you drink too much at the bar and get hung over? Okay, 20 minutes there; double that if you consumed mixed drinks instead of beer. (I am being capriciously arbitrary here, ain't I?) Did you get caught in a mens' restroom during a sex-sting operation like a certain Senator that's been in the news lately? That's gotta be at least a coupla years offa the ol' life expectancy right there. If not a DECADE.

SO, HOW MUCH SHORTER IS MY LIFE now that I went to the doctor's office and got sick as a result? I bet I lost at least half-a-year offa my life this time around. My body turned into an inescapable mass of feverish flesh, and I was literally CRAWLING between the bedroom and the restroom. I won't go into excruciating detail regarding the hacking, coughing, nausea, vomiting, sweats and overall MISERY one undergoes when they have been basically WIPED OUT by the presence of the FLU. Add to that the fact that I am GETTING OLD, and it takes me longer to work myself out of adverse situations such as going to a MEDICAL CLINIC and GETTING SICK. And I kid you not, this time I was really sick, still kinda 'am', and I suffered this time around. But, again...I guess I need to get RATIONAL ABOUT THIS and get a DAMN FLU SHOT every year. I am actually SERIOUS about what I'm posting here...I have lost a week out of my LIFE that' I'll never have BACK again.

I THINK I NEED TO FIND A DOCTOR who has a PRIVATE office, where there's LESS of a CHANCE of someone who is a WALKING EPIDEMIC infecting me with their biological irregularities! Either that, or I just need to wear a MASK all the time. And I need to carry a can of Lysol with me to spray on everybody. And I need to re-think shaking hands or even letting anyone BREATHE in my general direction. Oh, and I'll have a jug of rubbing alcohol in my pocket so I can sterilize everything I come into contact with in everyday life. Before I sit on anyone else's furniture, I'll ask them to please get out the Pine-Sol and fumigate whatever they want me to sit on. Isn't there some kind of sanitizing spray that you can shoot up your nose so you don't get a cold? I'll use that stuff more than an asthmatic uses an INHALER. Okay, that's it. Now, I'm REALLY paranoid...I'm gonna go to the Army Surplus store and see if they have any GIANT PLASTIC BUBBLES I can crawl in so no one else's sleazoid phlegm-generated illnesses can crawl all over my body and basically gradually kill me off.

Guns-a-blazin' here on this post! Both barrels! You know what? People are FATAL, aren't they? Okay, I'll stop now. I'm probably further shortening my life by even THINKING about this stuff...