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Musings and Meanderings

Monday, May 29, 2006

Brother Update

He is now well out of the coma, off nearly all tubes and wires, soon to be out of ICU and expressed to his father and mother tonight that he just wants to be "well and happy." That is all we wish, too. He is still quite compromised with his lung situation -- lingering pulmonary edema, a pulmonary embolism (small, thank goodness) and related phlebitis in his left arm which are being treated with blood thinners (the arm looks better already), and of course getting slowly back into food (a high protein diet but very slowly, mostly liquid, as 14 days with tubes in his throat was quite damaging to his swallowing ability). Tonight he so much wanted a particular kind of ice cream bar he loves, but the doctor said not yet.

The good news is he is awake, and determined to get well, remembers nothing of what happened.

His company, has been more than supportive -- visits and assurances of complete medical coverage beyond insurance if necessary. Andrew's daughter (7 1/2) wrote him a letter which we took over tonight and that pleased him; I recorded his children's voices (his sons are 6 and almost 4) night before last and that was a thrill for him; and his wife is keeping things together in his absence from home.

His father has been and will continue to be very helpful in carrying out of the best medical alternatives for him moving forward. Fortunately, Andrew is now able to participate in those decisions.
posted by Mike 9:20 PM

Sunday, May 28, 2006

You are the fourth Doctor! You're certainly the most popular. You've got quite the bohemian sense of style, and you never met a scarf that was too long. You have no qualms about playing a bit of a buffoon, but your carefree nature turns into steely resolve in the face of danger.
Take this


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code
posted by Mike 11:09 AM

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Brother Update - Good news

Andrew has opened his eyes and recognized them. He even smiled. They have removed the respirator from his throat and he has an oxygen mask but he was able to ask "What Happened?" He does not seem to remember and we can only hope that in His mercy, God has erased the unpleasant memories from his mind.
The doctors caution that he has a long way to go, but are optimistic. He has a bad sinus infection which they cannot treat yet because of the blood thinners he is taking for his phlebitis. His arm is still swollen and he is still jaundiced but "Hope" is hanging over everything right now.
posted by Mike 12:57 PM

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Friday Five!

Honey, I’m Home!

1. How many places have you lived in your life?

MANY - Los Angeles, Mountain View, San Jose, Claremont CA, San Francisco, Greenwich CT, Wappingers Falls NY, New Market NH, Plaistow NH, Cohoes NY, Schenectady NY, Troy NY.

2. Which was your favorite and why and what street was it on?

Where I live now and of course 6007 Countess Dr in SJ.

3. If you could live anywhere for the rest of your life, where would it be?

How bout Paris? Realisticly where I am now, though more in the country would be great.

4. What would your ideal home have in it?

My stuff. Great sound system. Large Library. Hobby room. A gym would be nice.

5. Can you describe your current crib?

Well its wooden with a tiny mattress and bars to keep me from crawling out..
OH you mean my HOME. More proof of the decline of Western Civilization.. my CRIB indeed.

Anyway it is a very old home, parts are 175+ hrs old. No 90 Degree angles in the place. Hardwood floors. Dirt basement. Very cosy and full of great personality. Was someone else's fixer upper problem.
posted by Mike 3:27 PM

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Brother Update

My brother is being brought out of the coma gradually. They began yesterday evening. His lung infection is gone as is his fever; he has some remaining edema in one lung and also some small pulmonary embolisms in both lungs which are not good but not considered dangerous -- and, as of yesterday evening, he has presented with a major phlebitis in his left arm. It is terribly swollen. They are treating the embolism with blood thinners which should also work for the phlebitis.
posted by Mike 6:39 PM

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Fear Factor

I wondered for.. oh say about a milisecond.. why the Republican'ts would come to the defence of Democrat Wm Jeffersons' in regards to the FBI raid on his office. (The congressman who keeps his pocket change on ice).

The same Jefferson of whom the Democratic leadership has called to step down from his committees. The same Jefferson about whom the Democratic leadership asked for a full investigation.

(Amazingly different tune than the Republican'ts sang when Queen of DeNile Tom DeLay was under investigation).

An amazing display of bipartisanship not shown since the Twin Tower aftermath.

In fact I've not seen this upset even through no WMD's, Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, NSA spying, nor a host of other nasty things that have happened in the last few years.

And the reason why?

They figure they are next.....

cut to midnight scenes of scurrying aides and Congress people cleaning out their Washington Offices and makeing sure their freezers only have frozen FOOD in them.
posted by Mike 6:28 PM

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

No Global Warming? Oh Thank God!

In his May 23 column, Wall Street Journal columnist Pete Du Pont claimed that carbon dioxide is "not a pollutant" and repeatedly cited a misleading, industry-funded study on climate change to prove that the "truth about 'global warming' is much less dire than Al Gore wants you to think." But Du Pont's numerous assertions -- on the danger posed by carbon dioxide, the temperature record in Greenland, the effect of the sun on global warming, and the threat of rising sea levels -- all misrepresent the underlying scientific research.

In a similar vein, nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh noted that the "Antarctica ice sheeting is actually increasing" as evidence that global warming theory is "unsupportable by facts." But, in fact, only the interior Antarctic ice sheet is growing, which is considered proof of climate change.

What are these people smoking? Crack?

Du Pont's column relied heavily on the conclusions of a 2006 report, "Climate Science: Climate Change and Its Impacts," by David R. Legates, associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Climatic Research at the University of Delaware. The report was published by Du Pont's employer, the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative think tank that has received substantial funding from energy interests such as ExxonMobil Corp.

Before repeating several of the report's findings, Du Pont noted its conclusion -- that "the science does not support claims of drastic increases in global temperatures over the 21st century, nor does it support claims of human influence on weather events and other secondary effects of climate change" -- which he described as "the reality about global warming and its impact on the world."
posted by Mike 8:23 PM

Monday, May 22, 2006

More Sunday Lies
from Media Matters

On Meet the Press, Tim Russert interviewed two Republican members of Congress -- Rep. Charlie Norwood and Sen. Lindsey Graham -- but no Democrats, allowing Norwood to level unchallenged attacks on Democrats.

During the interview, Russert allowed Norwood to repeat the misleading Republican charge that "Democrats refused" to let House Judiciary Committee chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-WI) remove a controversial felony provision from Sensenbrenner's own immigration bill. Because Russert did not respond to the statement and because no Democrat appeared on the broadcast, Norwood's statement went unchallenged and unexplained.
posted by Mike 8:16 PM

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Brother Update
from my stepmom

It has been 9 days now that Andrew is in this coma. He has had several set-backs over the last two days and the doctors say he is still critical and the situation is degrading. His respirator has been turned completely back up again. His lungs are not responding to the medication and they are trying something else to try and clear the infection and pneumonia. They have still not been able to determine exactly what put him in this condition. We all know that he has been in quite a depressive state for some time now and seems to have totally lost his will to live.

posted by Mike 2:32 PM
Update from the 'burgh

Brother Andrew

Last Friday my brother Andrew had was appears to be a nervous breakdown. This is on top of some very sensitive issues he is having already which I will not to into in detail. His wife checked him into a hospital outside Paris (where they live). He had apparently taken an overdose of anti-depressants, to what ends I don't know. It caused a problem in his brain, and last Saturday am they found him unconscious in his hospital room after an epileptic seizure. He was put into ICU as he had vommited and breathed in some of the fluids. When he was brought around the first time he became "agitated" as they say in medical speak, and was put into an induced coma. He has been in this state since Sunday. My mom and dad have gone over there to be with him. Whatever your particular faith, whether you pray or give good vibes to the Universe keep my brother in your thoughts. He has a wife and three children.


Not to add to the pressure on my mom or anything, but this week my Grandmother went back to the hospital at her request. Now she is 97, but in remarkably good health for her age. Just the last month or so it seem that she is giving up so to speak. However it was her request to go to the hospital and she seems to be more cognizant about the world since she left. Keep her in your thoughts for my mom, who is dealing with a mother and son who are sick.

Great end of the week teaching

I got a call Wed very early am from my "handler" begging me to take a "difficult" class at a different school in the district than I usually go to. Seemed the retired teacher that was scheduled for that class had been up all night with a panic attack. Well I did my magic and we had a great three days. Only one "instance" of problems, later in Wednesday. Thursday we worked all day on their inventors reports so that they could be ready for Open House that night. I am nice by saying this teacher is disorganized and messy. So I started cleaning the room up during their Gym period. When they came back they all pitched in to help. Great bunch of kids when given direction. It is experiences like this that remind me why I decided to go into teaching.
posted by Mike 11:11 AM

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Friday Five!

The friday five is two years old! Thanks to everyone for helping to keep it going.

This week's questions were suggested by veracious_g.

1. What type of mood are you generally in on a rainy day?

Introspective. Listen to Jazz and read the paper mood. Lay in bed with my wife and play mood. However usually it's turn on the windshield wipers and to to work....

2. What are your favorite things to do when the weather is gloomy?

See above

3. Have you ever been kissed in the rain?

Yes, my College Sweetheart and I.

4. After the rain stops, do you continue what you were doing, or do you run outside to do something else?

Depends on the mood and what I was doing. lol.

5. What is your favorite drink/food to have when it's raining outside?

Hot tea.
posted by Mike 11:35 PM

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about
Memories of my Brother as he lays in a coma.

01. Biking to Palo Alto, and having a passing driver saying he was whiped out on the road, looking back and seeing his front wheel had fallen off. He ended up with stiches and I ended up with a guilty conscience because I didn't put his wheel on tightly enough.

02. Him visiting me in College. We had a wonderful time. Very much a bonding experience. Then the same as I visited him in college.

03. A lunch with Poe Fratt, my mom and my brother. It was first time that I felt I had the edge intellectually. My brother is very very smart.

04. His long long hair in High School. I thought it was just grand, a real statement.

05. His wedding. The Bride and Maids in these great Chinese dresses. Meeting her friends and his. Speaking French to his parents in law, actually having a deep philosophical conversation. (Couldn't do that now lol).

06. He had dimples instead of knees when he was a toddler. VERY cute.

07. Years of him being my "older" little brother. Lots of great career advice.

08. The anger and disappointment I felt when he announced he was moving to France. I had this fantasy of us growing old near each other on the East Coast.

09. Wrecking his toy drummer on Christmas day in Denver with my cousin Steve. Very bad. Lots of guilt. I was a bad boy.

10. Eating his amazing cooking. In brooklyn and in France. Yumm.

11. Great phone conversations (before he got sick) about everything and anything under the sun, politics, culture, etc.

12. Seeing him with his three kids, two kids or one kid. He is an amazing Dad.

13. Watching him graduate Summa Cum Laude from NYU School of Business (Stern). An amazing accomplishment.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Diary of a Music Whore

Daddy's Roses

Alone on a Limb

(leave your link in the menu comments section, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. ItÂ?s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

posted by Mike 11:41 PM

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The sad passing of common sense
from my friend Dzdolfan

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has
been with us for many years.

No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long
ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as
knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the
worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more
than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children,
are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but
overbearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for
kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash
after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only
worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the
job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental
consent to administer Panadol, sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student
but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted
to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became
contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better
treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a
burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to
realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in
her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; by
his wife, Discretion; by his daughter, Responsibility; and by his son,

He is survived by three stepbrothers:
I Know My Rights;
Someone Else is to Blame; and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
posted by Mike 3:06 PM

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Friday Five!

If you knew you were going to die on at specific day at a specific time, what's the last...

1. song you would listen to?

Long and Winding Road

2. book you would read?

Lord of the Rings

3. person you would talk to?

My wife and/or son

4. food you would eat?

Pasta, who cares about carbs if you are already dead

5. goal you would accomplish?

How bout, not die?
ok well to stay in the spirit of this...
Make sure my family was well cared for.
posted by Mike 8:47 PM

Thursday, May 11, 2006

This is my bumpersticker...
...on my car...
...right now.

Talk about being ahead of curve:

NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

"It's the largest database ever assembled in the world," said one person, who, like the others who agreed to talk about the NSA's activities, declined to be identified by name or affiliation. The agency's goal is "to create a database of every call ever made" within the nation's borders, this person added.

This country is becoming a Republican't wet dream.
posted by Mike 6:34 PM

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

This is still bugging the heck out of me
so I turned to media matters for the facts

I briefly stated my surprise in the sheer gall of Little Tommy De Lay, the new Queen of DeNile, on George Stephanopolis' ABC Sunday Morning this weekend.

Read this:

From the May 7 broadcast of ABC's This Week:

STEPHANOPOULOS: The president is talking now about tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, investigating price gouging by oil companies, maybe raising fuel efficiency standards. Do you think that's the right approach?

DELAY: I mean, I think he's talking about more than just that. I don't think either of those will have an impact on lowering demand or, or increasing supply. We are -- we are paying the price of Democrat policies. The Democrats have stopped us from developing American oil and American gas in this country. They've stopped us from drilling in Alaska, off the offshore of Florida and California, the huge reserves of oil shell and natural gas in the West. They stopped it. If President Clinton had signed drilling in ANWR back in the '90s, we would be enjoying a million barrels a day more today, and that would have an impact on gas prices.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Relatively small, but you are -- clearly are paying a price also with your base right now. And I want to show you --

DELAY: It's not relatively small. A million barrels a day is pretty significant. It's exactly what we're losing in the Middle East.


Contrary to DeLay's claim, the 2006 Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) report released in February by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) concluded that, if ANWR had been opened for development in 2005, daily production would have peaked at 780,000 barrels per day in 2024, falling to 650,000 barrels per day by 2030. In addition, a Department of Energy study conducted by EIA found that oil production in ANWR would have a relatively insignificant impact upon crude oil prices.

The report concluded that drilling in ANWR would reduce oil prices by 30 to 50 cents per barrel by 2025, "relative to a projected 2025 world oil price of $27 per barrel" The report also noted that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) "could countermand any potential price impact of ANWR coastal plain production by reducing its exports by an equal amount."

Further, contrary to DeLay's claim that Democrats were responsible for blocking drilling off the coast of Florida, The Washington Post reported on May 30, 2002, that it was the Bush administration that blocked drilling there.

Truth is indeed a rare commodity with these Republican't s from Texas.
posted by Mike 7:06 PM

Monday, May 08, 2006

If you are not completely appalled you have not been paying attention

But when the German newspaper Bild asked him to name his best and worst
moments as president, Bush gave an offbeat answer about the best moment:

Bush admitted it was not easy to pick a best moment because "I've had a lot of great moments," according to a transcript of the Friday interview released Sunday.

"I would say the best moment was when I caught a 7 ½-pound largemouth bass on my lake," Bush said eventually
posted by Mike 5:48 PM

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The new Queen of De Nile




Did you see Tom DeLay on George Stephanopolis' show this am on ABC?

This guy is living in la la land.

My favorite was that it was the Democrat's fault for the high Gas prices. Hey Tommy, it's no party's fault, but it's your party in power since 1992 d00d!

The Republicant's are lucky this guy is leaving. As a proud Lib I wish he would stay. He made Howard Dean look reasonable (Howard followed him on the show) and that is saying a LOT.

I will miss Tommy, his entertainment vaule alone is almost enough to want him around. But in the end I will be glad to watch him go down in flames for his arrogance.
posted by Mike 11:15 AM

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Friday Five!

1) Do you like your birth-name? Why?

I do like my birth name a lot. It is strong, named after a kick arse Arch Angel as well as having my father's name as my middle name. My last name is very unique so I like that too.

2) If you could change your name to anything else, what would it be?

Professionally I might change my last name because of it's uniqueness. I have in places on the net.

3) What names would you consider giving your children?

We considered Jasmine for our child if it had been a girl. "A"'s first name was our first choice. He also has my father's name as his middle name.

4) If you had a band, what would you name it, and why?

Pretence. or maybe LaserHead.

5) Is there a name that you completely hate? Why?

A few kids at school have absolutely ridiculous names. One family named their kids, I fool you not, Sir and Master. I heard another's kids new brother was named Payne because the mom was in labor so long and it was painful. What are these people thinking????
posted by Mike 6:27 PM
The week that was.

No real blogging this week for some reason, not really sure why.

Not going to do a Thursday Thirteen either.

Saturday/Sunday. VERY slow weekend at the Shack. No cell phone sales at all. Can be frustrating.

Monday. Was scheduled to do Kindergarten but got moved to 6th grade in the morning. Had a great day, a great class. A couple of the students said I was the coolest sub they get. ya gotta like that.

Alex had a track meet on Monday but becuase he left his cell phone at home I didn't know where to meet him to watch, and he had to cool his jets back on Campus till I drove out to get him, hopefully an object lesson in remembering the cell phone.

Tuesday. Never got a call from the service, so I had an enforced day off from teaching. I worked on the vinyl project and got a few Yes albums under my belt: Tormato, Going for the One, Relayer and Tales. The process is: record the side onto a CDR-W on my stand alone CD burner connected to my stereo. Three album sides fit on one CDRW. Then I rip the sides on my hard drive, use a program to cut the side into tracks and remove any clicks or silent spots at the beginning and end. Then I encode them into 224 VBR MP3's. I also did some house cleaning, finally finished the last book in the Baroque Cycle Trilogy by Neal Stephenson. And went to the Shack, where it was a very slow night.

Wednesday. Easy day teaching, I had a student teacher, 1st grade. I've subbed for the regular teacher before and the kids know me. I had a kick ass day at the Shack selling two cell phones, one was a Treo 650 which is a truckload of money, and a nice spiff too.

Thursday. Was scheduled to teach special ed inclusion class. I got moved to an older group, kind of a "dumping" ground class I'm sorry to say of special needs (not special ed) and behavior problems. I got very OLD SCHOOL on two of the boys by putting them in a corner facing the corner early in the day, one for making a snide comment about my family and the other for throwing things. This really made a difference and the rest of the day those two along with the other difficult students in the class were really pleasant. I did make a point to pull one of the most difficult aside at the end of the day and compliment him on his behavior.

No Shack Thursday nights so I got some things accomplished. This included refilling the propane so I could do BBQ chicken, and mowing the lawn. Tiring though and I was in bed by 11. My iPod went dead while I was mowing and I was hoping mad, but I left it on instead of plugged in, and it exhausted the battery. It worked fine Friday after I recharged it. My boss at the Shack said it is a common occurance and sure enough there is a reset procedure on the iPod web site. Hopefully it was just a freeze and not a HD issue. Time will tell.

Friday. Cake day. pre-k. I'm very fond of the Teacher Assistant who is in the class and we have a great time talking. Easy day for the kids, and an easy day for me. Sold a Razr almost as soon as I walked in the store, so SPIFF's will be ok for the week.
posted by Mike 6:12 PM

The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind