Friday, January 30, 2009

I Just Had To Share This

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A Food and Drug Administration panel has recommended a ban on the painkiller Darvon.  The drug sold as Darvocet and its generics is THE painkiller that nearly all of the doctors that have treated me for my spinal injuries have prescribed.  I would only use it for brief periods as I hated the side effects.  Thank God for all of the alternatives that I have used...... There are better ways to control pain....and they are really cheap in Mexico....

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The Voice of the Republican Party

H/T to Firedoglake

Quick Hit

Representative Candice Miller (MI-10), a Republican woman, also voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.  I guess she must believe that women do not deserve the same pay as men for the same work.  WTF?

Candy also voted against Postponing the DTV Transition Date.  How many Michiganders will be without TV next month?  I'd bet there will be plenty that don't appreciate her stubborn Republican obstructionist views.


Check out her pitiful voting record as kept by the Washington Post here.

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Photo of the Day

Build Up.

This is a photograph of the home and business of my landlord. "Chavo" has built an "addition" to his multi-level home. The new rooms are for his daughter. In the foreground you can see the remainder of an overhanging roof. A new floor was built over that roof and the rooms above were made with brick and steel.

This is typical of home "additions". In little over two months we witnessed the building of the new floor (vaulted ceilings below) and the build upwards. It is now in the finishing stages.

Health Check

I've been reading some very raw personal stories of folks living with Bipolar Disorder in one of the blogs that I check out each day.  I admire the courage that those folks have demonstrated in putting it all out there for anyone to read.  I'm not sure that I can do the same.

Yes, I have written about my bipolar coaster ride.  Yes, I've exposed a great deal of personal information and some of the crap that has affected my life.  Unfortunately, I have yet to summon the courage that it would take to write about the most horrendous facets of my personal struggle.

It is much easier to escape from life than to face it.  Somehow, I need to lift myself up, ignore my own kicking and screaming, and get on with healing and living.  I find it ever so hard to believe that I never had the courage to tell a counselor or p-doc about some very important incidents that happened in the past.  And, yes, along with the brain imbalance that is Bipolar Disorder, those critical events are part and parcel of the whole phreaking shebang.  In fact, I'm certain that even now I might also have a case of post-traumatic stress disorder.  Facing what happened to me as a child and what happened to me as a young teen is nearly impossible....

When I was just 14 years old, I was raped.  I was lured from my home, taken on a deserted country road, and raped.  You know, when I finally had the courage to tell the last p-doc (and the one that diagnosed my Bipolar II), he was the one to clearly and bluntly say the word -- rape.  Gods, the shame.  (I know -- it was not my fault)

And, in the last days before my "run for the border" I also told him about the other traumatic event that happened when I was a very little boy........

I can't do it today.  I can't write about it here and, perhaps, I never will.....


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Republican Zero

U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) is a Republican Zero. She joined the other Republican members of the United States House of Representatives in voting against the Economic Stimulus Bill. Once again, Candy puts the interests of her Republican Party before those of the residents of the 10th Congressional District. Her lock-step voting record displays how she is equally culpable for the economic meltdown in the United States. She rarely opposed her party and the former President Shrub thus contributing to the failure of the Republican Party over the last 8 years.

And, now look at the mess we're in......

It is well known in Michigan that when the economy of the United States has a sniffle, Michigan gets a cold. Now that the U.S. is in deep shit, Michigan is buried deep in the shit pile.

The Detroit Free Press is reporting today that the Stimulus Bill will be a boost to the poor and needy of Michigan.

Tucked in the $819-billion stimulus bill approved this week by the U.S.
House is a complex subtitle that rewrites the nation's duty to poor and
unemployed people, offering access -- for a time -- to guaranteed government-paid health care.

It's a promise that could mean a lot in Michigan, with the nation's highest unemployment rate -- 10.6% in December.

The stimulus sets aside $83 billion to cover states' Medicaid costs; Michigan would get about $2.2 billion.

The state has tens of thousands of people who have already or could soon lose their jobs and may qualify under the bill to receive Medicaid at no charge to them or the state.

Others could keep their current employer-sponsored health care with the federal government picking up two-thirds of the tab.

"It sounds fantastic," said Mark Giannotta, a 57-year-old writer-editor in
Harrison Township who was laid off two weeks ago by a marketing and
communications firm that has seen much of its auto-related business dry
up. "It would be a godsend."

Yep, Candy, you are such a miserable failure. You have yet to align yourself with the people you are supposed to represent. The GOP and, perhaps, your future political career seem to be more important to you. Shameful.

We deserve better.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

In the Real World

John Rich's "Shuttin' Detroit Down" --- H/T Detroit Free Press

.....for all the workin' folks.....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Photo of the Day

Today is "market day". The tianguis is set up on the street that runs north and south along the eastern side of Ajijic. This photo was taken at the north entrance to the market.

In addition to our favorite booth which sells used books and clothing and offers kittens and puppies for adoption, Anita's Animal Rescue, there are vendors selling jewelry, clothing, cloth, tourist trinkets, bootleg movies, bootleg music, fruit, veggies, fish, chicken, paintings, rugs, and much much more. Walking down the market street is an adventure.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Photo of the Day

I was able to return to a walking/exercise routine yesterday. Nearly three weeks of "No, you are too weak right now," from Dr. Polo was too much "rest". I feel much better.

The photograph above was taken on the 16 de Septiembre (street) leg of my walking route. I really do like the use of paint, tile, and plants in Ajijic to decorate homes and businesses. I live in a very colorful town.

And, still, every day the beauty of this place leaves me awestruck.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What Are These Guys Smoking?

What Are These Guys Smoking?


The Republican Party seems to be living in another America.  These folks are sadly out of touch with the real world.  Here is the link to the full NRCC page.

H/T Jesus' General

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thank You, Lord!

President Barack Obama

official White House photo

Quick Hit

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We Must

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gene Robinson's Prayer Kicks off Inaugural Events


Oh, Michigan!

The conservative Republicans in Michigan are an embarrassment. Their ideas of family values and strengthening "marriage" suck. Check this out.

Jack Battles, the Genesee County Friend of the Court, said the law is an incentive to maintain the sanctity of marriage.
(h/t Firedoglake)

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UPDATE: from the Detroit News --- this

Rebecca Witt and Gary Johnson of Flint have been together for six years, share a house and are raising three kids together.

But they're not married. And Johnson now faces an awkward choice: Pay $3,800 in medical bills from the birth of his daughter with Witt or get married and owe nothing under Michigan's paternity act.

Witt, 24, said it's not about the $3,800. There's a principle involved. "I don't think anybody has a right to tell anyone who they have to marry or when they have to get married," Witt said.

The Prayer that HBO Censored

A Prayer for the Nation and Our Next President, Barack Obama

By The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

Opening Inaugural Event

Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC January 18, 2009

Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please
join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God’s blessing upon our nation and our
next president.

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

Bless us with tears
– for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day,
where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an
education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger

– at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants,
women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with

discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from
our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we
need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with

patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed”
anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being,
not a messiah.

Bless us with humility

– open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those
of the world.

Bless us with freedom

from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an
understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with

compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us
by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether
across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he
assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom
beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s
reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best
efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL
the people.

Give him a quiet

heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring

words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal
and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind,

reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither
red nor blue states, but the United

Help him remember his

own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination,
that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength

to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he
is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.

And please, God, keep

him safe. We know we ask too much of
our presidents, and we’re asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking
for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he
might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this
impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a
place of integrity, prosperity and peace.


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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Photo of the Day

This is a common sight in Ajijic. I've lost count of the number of times I've had to make a detour because of a horse parked in the middle of the sidewalk. In Ajijic, we travel by bike, horse, golf cart, 4-Wheeler, motorcycle, cars, and trucks. And, yes, by foot. Just watch the rocks!


Durex Get it On!


The Principal's Office -

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thank You, Rep. Candice Miller

With the Flint Journal reporting that 1 in 4 Michigan children live in poverty it is heartening to know that Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI) voted to reauthorize and extend the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

Thank You.

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Survivors Of Gas Station Explosion Mourn Tragic Loss Of Gas

on the lighter side.....


More Bad News from Michigan

Well, I hope all of the haters are happy in Michigan.  Kalamazoo City Commissioners have rescinded an anti-discrimination law that was passed in December.  So, it is once again, just peachy keen to discriminate against gay folk (or suspected gay folk) in housing, public accommodations, and employment in the great city of Kalamazoo.

Knuckle-dragging assholes.

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Boo Hoo Hoo

I thought that the United States had long ago outlawed lead in everything and anything that children may encounter.  I remember the stories about children putting flaking paint chips in their mouths leading to lead poisoning.  Didn't we remove lead from gasoline for health reasons?  And, of course, as we have discovered in recent years, our trading partner, China, has been horrible at regulating the toxins in Chinese products that have poisoned children, parents, and pets.

Now comes new regulations from US, we the people = the government, to remove lead tainted toys.  And, the whining begins.  An article in the Port Huron Times Herald today offers us the opportunity to feel outraged that some businesses might be closed or their practices changed to save the lives and health of children.

Kellie Johnson, who owns Half-Pints resale store in downtown Port
Huron, said she'll stop carrying toys for fear they may contain too
much lead. She also plans to research items to see how much lead they

Before she found out resale stores wouldn't be required
to certify their products as safe through testing, Johnson said she was
ready to join Comtois and simply close. She had started marking
clothing down 50%, she said.

"It's frustrating. I mean, I was
really upset with it," she said. "It's one thing to protect the
children, but you're going to put all those people out of work."

Outraged.  Yes I am.  Stop whining about your businesses.  Your business succcess (read profit$) should not be realized while endangering the health of the innocent.

Now, just shut up.


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Monday, January 12, 2009

Digging a Hole in the Backyard

Do you remember when as kids we thought that Digging a Hole in the Backyard could create a passage to China?  I do.  I don't know if Brits or our Canadian cousins dreamed of digging those holes, but here is a website to help you determine where your hole digging will take you -- on the other side of the world.....

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The Same People

The Republican Party is the same people with the same tired ideas and the same anti-everything fake Christians........

What About Gay Marriage?

Hmmm -- something to think

Friday, January 9, 2009

A cuestas con mis padres, de Vicente Bonet

"Nowhere Without My Parents"



Joe.My.God. posted this humorous caption for the photo above:

Blago Slays Child With Finger Gun, Swears He Thought It Wasn't Loaded


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How Obama Got Elected


Nuevo Año

I don't do New Year's resolutions.  I don't.  I do believe in change and lately I've begun to establish a new daily routine.  Starting with an earlier morning alarm and a resumption of my hill climbing exercise, my hope is to regularly snap pictures, read, and write while taking additional trips outside of the house.

It can be a real bitch living with bipolar disorder and an aggravating aggregate of agoraphobia.  I literally have to bargain with myself to find some new motivation to form new habits.  New rules.  And, maybe, just maybe, I'll have a healthier tomorrow.  Time will tell.  And, time is what I have.....

Unfortunately, I am currently stymied by a relapse of the "infection" that I attribute to that new restaurant's fish, salad bar, or filthy employees' hands.  What a shock I had last night with an episode of gross hematuria.  Ewww.  So, after a rather good week of habit forming, I need to lay low....damn.  More meds -- oh, goodie.

I do want to spend more time writing in this blog.  I'd like to create a few regular "features" that could keep me focused.  Focus.  Now, that's a hard thing when one's mind has a habit of racing hundreds of kilometers an hour in every direction when I am hypomanic and hardly at all when I cycle to depression.  And, as I have written in my blogger profile, this blog is great therapy.  I get to spend some time ranting and raving without bothering anyone with letters.....or whatever else I do to piss folks off.....

So, here we go.  We have a new year, a new American President, and, maybe, renewed HOPE.  Even with all the crap going on in the world, my retirement years look a little bit brighter.

The photo above was taken by taivasalla of the Helsinki New Year's fireworks and captured from Creative Commons.

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I have recently begun to read a popular blog called "Jesus' General" and it just may be a keeper in my daily reading. It is, after all, a finalist in The 2008 Weblogs Awards. And, I've been following a rather interesting set of entries addressed to Pastor Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church.


Here is an excerpt from Friday's letter:

"You have it all....a wife, Zsuzsana, who is training up your children in the ways of Our Lord.

I found an example of the latter at Zsuzsana's blog. It's in a story
about a recent shopping trip she made with your four and five-year-old sons. Heck, I'll let her tell it:
My kids had the following conversation at the store yesterday, very loudly, and within ear shot of several other customers:

John (4 years old): Barack Obama, and the devil, and the government are worser than anything else in the world.

Isaac (5 years old): Mom, John actually told me that he thinks Barack Obama is worse than the faggots.

Ah, precious moments!

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6
I'm very impressed by that exchange. Not only do the children identify whom they hate, but they also attempt to rank the people and groups according to the level of hatred each deserve. That's fairly sophisticated thinking for that age group. At this rate, they'll be ready for a pair of steel-toed witnessing boots by the time they hit seven.

But, I'm also very curious about how you taught them to hate The Gay. After all, as Christians, we define homosexuality as a behavior rather than an intrinsic characteristic--so you couldn't really say something like, "they are men who love men," because loving
is not, in itself, a behavior. So how did you do it? Did you really sit
your 4-year-old and 5-year-old down and explain various homosexual sex acts to them?

Pastor Anderson and his entire crew are deserving of a Knuckle-Dragger Award nomination or something else, yet to be named, to celebrate their success in failing to invite others to Christ. Yep. True American Taliban And Christian Pretenders.

Jesus, save me from your followers!


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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Photo of the Day

These cranes are in a tree that is along the shore of Lake Chapala in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

School Supplies

Each September, I would send home with my students a list of needed school supplies.  In my later years, I began to ask for a donation of facial tissue (Kleenex).  Most parents were happy to help out.  God knows, I spent far too much of my own meager earnings to provide for my students.

The Detroit News is reporting about a Detroit Public School's request for supplies that should be provided by the school district.

This week, administrators at the Academy of the Americas sent a
letter home with students asking parents and others to donate items
"that are of the utmost importance for proper school functioning and
most importantly for student health and safety" -- including light
bulbs, trash bags, paper towel rolls and toilet paper. Students said
the items were expected to be accepted at the front office starting

The district's "budgetary constraints" meant officials
no longer were able to supply the necessities, Principal Naomi Khalil
said in the letter to parents.

"We realize that the economic situation is stressful for our entire
community, but we are asking for your collaboration. ... We thank you
for your cooperation and we hope that as a school community we can pull
together to guarantee the best possible educational environment for our


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Knuckle Dragger Award Nominee

Magistrate Brian Maloney is a Knuckle Dragger Award Nominee.  His disHonor is a magistrate in Sydney, Australia's Downing Center Court.  Magistrate Maloney warned a young speed law violator of Australian "jail's sexual gorillas."  He used this threat of what I consider as "cruel and unusual punishment" in an attempt to curb the young speeder's lawless behavior.

"You'll find big, ugly, hairy strong men (in jail) who've got faces
only a mother could love that will pay a lot of attention to you -- and
your anatomy," said Magistrate Brian Maloney.

Phreaking disgusting.

Tell me, is rape a fitting punishment for street racing?

This sort of malicious crap has got to end.  I wrote a post on this subject some time ago.  Ezra Klein says it better here.


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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Playing With Dolls

...another odd news report from Australia --- "Police seek blow-up doll sex bandit" from Reuters.

Oh, gee.


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Photos of the Day

Say it with paint.

I am continually amazed and delighted to see the various paint jobs that store fronts and homes receive. Ajijic seems to have a few great mural artists that create cartoon characters and breathtaking lake scenes. These photographs taken this morning (on my laps up and down Colon Street) are just a taste of the great art created by some very talented locals.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Our cousins down-under in Australia have their own Lorena Bobbitt.  Except -- the alleged philanderer died.....

Thank God I've never pissed anyone off to that extreme....


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Monday, January 5, 2009

Use Condoms

from the Electric Company..... LMFAO

H/T to House of Vader (adult site NSFW)


A New Year

The photograph above was taken this morning as I sat chatting with Dr. Polo. The Farmacia Jessica is open to the Ajijic town square (Plaza Principal). The doctor and I often sit and chat about the world and our lives in Ajijic. In the 20 months that we have lived in Mexico, we have become good friends.

Nearly ever time that we sit and visit (between seeing clients and selling medicine), Doc Polo remarks about how beautiful is the day. My response is, "Siempre."



Photo of the Day

"You deserve the Good Life"

I do. I am living it in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Doctor Who

Matt Smith is the new Doctor Who.  He will debut in 2010.

I am so glad we have Canadian satellite here in Mexico.  I love BBC Canada.

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

No Free Lunch

I am truly amused by the voluntary ban on "gifts" that are given to doctors by pharmaceutical company representatives.  Big hairy deal, eh?

Maybe it is.  We've all seen the drug company reps walk freely into the back office areas while we mere sickly peons wait and wait and wait.  We've looked at the anatomically correct posters of our necks and assholes from Company A and Company B.  Pens, notepads, and various truck dot the desks next to the cold exam tables where we wait.

Do I care if drug companies want to influence my doctors?  Yes.  If some free lunch, golf outing, or vacation package "helps" me get the best care, so be it.  If he or she is enticed to visit Panama for "training" on the use of a medication that helps me, okey dokey.

I have to admit that for many years I accepted the tiny tokens of pens, note pads, rulers, and mugs from the insurance representatives of MESSA.  As an elected leader in the union, I often received little perks from our union sponsored health care provider.  Was I influenced by such crap?  Nope.  Having the best insurance in Michigan (except for the State Representatives and State Senators) was reason enough to continue supporting them.

What did I do with all that stuff?  I used some and gave away the rest.  Some teacher friends appreciated the junk.

Well, my kitchen clock from Novartis with the Amlipril, Higroton 50, Amlibon Bes, and Lopresor R brands at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock needs a new battery.  Dr. Polo passed this trinket along to me after the Sandoz-Novartis representative left his pharmacy.  And, the free medication samples that the doc gave me are being used well.......

Hey, I think I still have a MESSA pen in the cupboard along with the dozen or so pens with my father's name and address.  Yeah, well, Dad said they were to remind me about where he lived....

Friday, January 2, 2009