Sunday, November 26, 2006


On December 13th, 1967 I was "separated" from the US Army. A couple of days later I left Ft. Hood, Texas, where I spent all but 2 months of my service time, and headed home to Indy. I entered the military as a more or less political and religious agnostic. I had no strong political views and really had given no serious thought to matters of religious faith.

Owing to a couple of my compatriots at Ft. Hood, both my religious and political sensibilities began to emerge. One of my friends introduced me to existentialism through some books he lent me including one with the daunting title "Kierkegaard, Heideger, Buber and Barth." I remember attempting to slog through that little tome to no particular avail. But, at least, it did open my eyes and mind to the fact that there were actually people who seriously believed that god didn't exist.

Another of my friends introduced me to what we lovingly referred to as giggle weed, maryjane, pot, or just grass. I came to relate to the phrase "Far Out Man!" Mind expansion was in gear. (I haven't imbibed any mind altering substances in around 30 years or so, but it was fun at the time. - If either of my sons happen to read this - I'm lying. I never did any such thing. I was straight as the white line down the center of the road. I'm just trying to make my loyal readership think that I am, or was, at any rate, hip.)

To a man the circle I ran with, all draftees, hated the army. We were young, flip and irreverent. But all of the military rigmarole just seemed pointless. I recall while in basic going through bayonet and hand-to-hand combat training. It was so ludicrous. Often we would wind up laughing standing opposite each other with our helmets askew brandishing our M14 rifles, bayonets fixed, but still in their scabbards. We looked goofy and felt ridiculous. A couple of guys who had been to Vietnam told us that, what the Army taught us in basic, was just enough to get ourselves in serious trouble, probably killed.

At the time, anyway, most NCOs and a number of the officers just did not strike us as being particularly bright. Many of the NCOs were essentially uneducated excepting for their military indoctrination, and they resented us young upstarts who thought we were smarter than they were.

We couldn't get out fast enough. One of the mantras that guys would regularly blurt out was "short!" meaning they were "short timers" having too few days left in service to worry or care about whatever was going on at the time. Often, even guys who weren't "short," would yell it out anyhow in a pathetic bit of wishful thinking. Finally, in mid-December of 1967, I was free. I was also pretty much a political liberal and well on my way to being a religious non-believer.

I spent the first day of 1968 in Pasadena, CA. watching the Indiana University football team lose to one O.J. Simpson (little did we know) and the USC Trojans. If memory serves, the score was 14-3. A few days later, my older brother, who was still in the service boarded a plane and wound up in Bien Hoa, Vietnam, where he stayed for 8 months or so. Happily, he saw no action and returned unscathed - physically at any rate.

In the interim, all hell had broken loose here at home.

As my brother arrived "in country" the Tet Offensive was in full roar.

April 4th, 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.

June 6th, 1968 Bobby Kennedy dies from an assassin's bullets.

In August, 1968 the Democratic National Convention in Chicago went crazy and violent.

In November, 1968 "Tricky" Dick Nixon was elected president in a narrow victory over old line Democrat, Hubert H. Humphrey.

I'm told other "stuff" happened in 1968 as well, but the above is quite enough, thank you very much!

You will note that not a single one of the above events was "good" by any measure I'd acknowledge. No doubt there are some people out there who would find reason to celebrate any or all of them. I don't believe any of them would find this post quite their cup of tea.

A few weeks ago, my wife and I went to see Emilio Estevez's "Bobby." It's a good film. There are a number of really fine performances. Laurence Fishburne and, especially Sharon Stone are fairly amazing.

But the weight of the film, what really moved me, did not come until the end - the actual shooting. Note that most of the scenes having Bobby Kennedy in them are actual vintage footage.

At the moment the shooting took place in the film, I pretty much lost it. It all came screaming back to me.

I had been supporting Eugene McCarthy in the early months of the year. But, when Kennedy declared his candidacy, I looked up. I didn't immediately trash McCarthy, but it soon became apparent that Bobby had much the same message, and was much more likely to carry the day in November. His name recognition alone was probably worth several million votes.

The morning of April 4 Kennedy arrived in Indy as part of a midwestern campaign swing. I was out and about on the east side of town when I heard sirens approaching from behind. I looked around to see a motorcade approaching and Kennedy sitting up in the back of an open convertable. I pulled over, stepped out of my car and positioned myself to better see him as his car went by. As it happened, the motorcade came to a stop with his car maybe 50 feet up the street from me. People seemed to come out of nowhere rushing forward to shake his hand and speak to him. He obliged for several minutes, smiling, shaking or just touching hands and talking to many of the folks, while some fellow held fast to Kennedy's waist to keep him from falling or being pulled out of the car. I chose not to move, but rather just take it all in. It is a memory that has stayed with me since.

Of course, later in the day, Dr. King was murdered. Kennedy was appearing at a rally in a predominantly Afro-American neighborhood in Indy when news of the assassination reached him. He made the announcement to the crowd gathered to see him. It was a terrible moment. Kennedy handled it with calm and eloquence. Rioting broke loose in cities all across the country that night. Indy experienced very little violence. I would not presume to credit Kennedy with all of the calm which prevailed here, but his demeanor and his words most certainly had an effect.

I was hooked.

I know that little of the above would necessarily lend itself to making a great, or even good, president. Kennedy had earned a reputation as being ruthless during his tenure as attorney general. He was a rich and privileged lawyer from Massachusetts. However, time spent traveling the country before and after his decision to throw his hat in the ring, gave him a new perspective. He visited the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn which was, at that time perhaps the worst urban ghetto in the country. The devastation he found there stunned him. He traveled through other impoverished areas of the country - coal towns, mill towns, other urban ghettos. All of it affected him, opened his eyes. At the same time he became well aware of how badly things were going in Vietnam. He saw that the war was escalating out of control, and he knew it was imperative that we get out of it as quickly as possible.

His ascendancy in the polls culminating with his primary win in California made for some true excitement in presidential politics. To have it end, so suddenly, so terribly was devastating. Who was this guy with the same first and last name who ended it all? Sirhan Sirhan. A Palestinian. What? Where? An omen of things to come? Well, I don't believe in omens, but at the time, all most of us could do was wonder what in the world was happening with this guy that would motivate him to kill Robert F. Kennedy? What was the connection? Now, I guess, we know, but it still makes no sense.

The initial crack in so called "American innocence" was John Kennedy's assassination. The escalation of the war in Vietnam and the images of our soldiers returning in body bags was the second. In 1968 we took so many hits that by the time Nixon took his oath of office in January of 1969, I don't think we understood how much we had lost. This was a wholly different country in a wholly different world.

By 1975 we had witnessed a ridiculous scandal born of arrogance and paranoia, which brought down both a sitting president and vice-president, and our military ultimately humiliated in their frenzied departure from Saigon. It was our first experience as a nation with failure. We were not invulnerable. We were no longer the undaunted savior of the world. There were people, whole countries even, who didn't like us. How could this be?

I am not a pollyanna regarding Kennedy. I don't imagine that Bobby would have made everything all better. He and the country would doubtless have faced many difficult travails and suffered many failures. But it is possible to believe that we may well have extricated ourselves from the horrific mishmash of Vietnam sooner, with significantly fewer lives lost on both sides. There would have been no Watergate burglery and the consequent mess that caused.

Perhaps Kennedy's strengths - his eloquence, his intelligence, his political savvy, and yes, perhaps even his ruthlessness, might have changed the course of America domestically, and in the international arena as well. Different hands, different minds, different agendas. Where we are today might be a great deal better. However, it seems to be getting a great deal worse.

Yes, I rue the loss of Bobby Kennedy.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

One Year of "Rupture"

This is a truly great day. It was exactly one year ago that the first post appeared here at "Rupture." Our initial offering was, as with all posts since, thoughtful, well considered and deep. It sent out a still reverberating message that we are here to be heard, or read, or whatever; that our message, our mission, our holy purpose is to insure that all you good people receive the "word." The "word" is fluffy.

No, not really. Actually, I don't think there is a word. But, hey, we have been here for a year. I am sure that the hundreds of you, who spend hours combing through our archives, reading and re-reading the many earth shaking and insightful essays we have proffered in the effort to aid all intelligent and curious folks in wending their way through the quagmiric miazma of convoluted musings found elsewhere, are humbly grateful for our contributions. (What???) Well, you know what I mean, right?

In celebration, we now offer all of you a special look at the people who have made all this possible. Make all contributions payable to me. I could really use the money.

(Owing to technical difficulties - namely my stupidity as regards the logistics of blogging, posting pics, etc. the photos and their respective captions will follow, one glorious post at a time.)

Our Beloved Founder

Johnson Von Claxton Johnson

We just lovingly called him Mr. Johnson Von Claxton Johnson or "Old Fartface?" if he wasn't in earshot. At any rate he was ever and always "Mr. Fun." Our company photog got this candid shot with Johnson Von Claxton Johnson in his favorite (and, as we later discovered, disgustingly filthy) hat just before the endearing and usually everpresent brownish stream of tobacco juice trickled out of the corner of his mouth down his chin and onto his shirt and vest. Ya gotta love this guy!

The Brain Trust

These are the guys that "get things done."
When they go on a "fishing expedition," they don't mess around. They go and get themselves a "mess 'o' fish."

This was taken at our first annual "Rapture Nutballs, Inc." corporate picnic. Before all these grand fellows got "carted off," we took pains to note each of their names for your edification. As if we could ever forget.

Left to right front to back:

Liggett Pylesworthy, CFO - Known worldwide as "the man with CFO after his name."

Sedgwick Samuel Sopstitch, CEO - Yes, he da man! The "Sedge Man" came to "Rupture" when little more than a boy working his way up the ladder, kicking ass and taking names as he bulled his way to the top. Now, he has taken over Johnson Von Claxton Johnson's penthouse corner office, and is said to have several more and generally much larger hats than Johnson Von Claxton Johnson ever dreamed of having. Does that Sedgwick know how to wear a topper, or what?

Luftin Toone, Legal Counsel - Small in stature but at 47 years young his "baby face" has disarmed many a courtroom foe. He goes for the jugular, often leaving the chambers dripping with lesser litigent's blood - sometimes literally. Needless to say, he's a staff favorite - "Mr. Fun's Little Son" we call him, although Johnson Von Claxton Johnson refers to Luftin as "that shifty, back stabbing little prick." Ha, ha. Oh, that Johnson Von Claxton Johnson. What'd I tell you? "Mr. Fun." "The Girls," whom you will meet below, complain that Luftin must be a foreigner because he has "Roman" hands and "Russian" fingers. (Or was it Russian hands and Rom... -oh, I don't know, it doesn't matter.) You know how hysterical the fairer sex can get. We don't pay it any mind. It's all in good fun, anyhow.

"Sailor" Tom. - (I suppose he has a last name, but I couldn't think of anything sufficiently droll.) You can just tell by Tom's hat that he's - well, he's our boaty guy. Need a boat? He's the guy.

Cardamom Twilly, Chauffeur and Obtainer of the Donuts - "Card" has a rather stern countenance and some say he lacks a sense of humor. He has a knack for sucking the air out of a room, and he knows how to "take you for a ride," if you know what I mean. And "Card" does whatever it takes to bring back "the bomb" when it comes to donuts and kick-ass crullers.

Mucuski Slobberman - (No title to speak of.) Well, "The Muc Man" just does whatever he has to in order to keep old Soppy smiling. He doesn't mix much.

Andy Joy, I.T. - Such a happy name. He spreads it everywhere. Actually, he's the only one here who knows how to make all the computery gobbledegook do anything but blink twelve o'clock. At 9, he's the youngest on staff, but he's a savvy little shit. We just keep him stuffed with Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs.

So, Liggett, Sedgwick, Luftin, "Sailor" Tom, "Card", "The Muc Man," and little Andy all say Hey! And, needless to say, they wish you a joyfully godless holiday.

The Girls

These are just "The Girls." They keep this place a tickin'. They are truly our heart and soul. Here they are posing and frolicking on the beach at the company picnic. Someone was overheard to say that they are "some comely wenches," but we don't encourage that kind of talk here at Rupture. Actually, I believe most of these lovely ladies are temps, and I can't say that I know any of them by name - well, I think one of them might be named Frieda or Thelma, or was it Contessa? I'm not sure. But they're all great gals.

Our House Mother

This is our much loved "House Mother" Millicent Wantanabe-Svensen. She oversees "The Girls" making sure that they don't distract all the hard working "staff" staff members from their appointed tasks.

Unfortunately, we discoverd that Millicent had actually died about an hour before we took this photo.

We'll miss you, Millicent.

The Guys

Last, but certainly not least are the guys down in the mail room. "The Girls" call them "The Package Boys." I asked if that's because "The Guys" are so good at delivering packages? "The Girls" just giggled. Oh, well. As you can see, these fun loving guys can hardly restrain themselves from running and jumping into the water for some wholesome fun and frolicking with "The Girls." The fellow in the suit at the far right is Monroe Slurby. He's a bit shy. Just after this pic was shot, the rest of "The Boys" inserted Monroe head first into the basketball goal seen in the photo just above Monroe's head. Ha, ha! Corporate fun at its best, and just bursting at the seams.

By the way, Monroe only missed a couple of weeks from work while his broken collar bones healed. He was a bit miffed, but, hey, fun is fun.

Our Production Line & Something New

At left all the guys and gals in our production center took a break from getting "the word" out to all of you pausing to gather for this photo just to say "Hi" and "Happy Holidays" to all of you, and, of course to show off what is our "state of the art" wireless, paperless facility. Again, you can just tell that these people are having pure, unmitigated fun. Life is good.

At the top of the page is an artist rendering of our newly remodeled offices made on the new Mega Pro XLT Knobless Etch-a-Sketch4. The Noodle twins Wendy and Heather are shown at their HAL9000 consoles pumping out information for you to read, consider and digest.

Kenny Barnstable is depicted at his fully digital and wireless HP970 Univirtual Titanium Fused Roll Top Work Station & Digital Toaster Oven. Mickey "Chip" Lupone, Kenny's "significant other" is shown going over plans for their "Feather Boa Blast" which took place a couple of weeks ago - and a great success it was, I might add.

I should note here that we were, unfortunately, forced to terminate the Noodle twins upon revelation of their participation in a "Stenos Gone Wild" video. There are limits. We will miss their flying fingers and incredibly straight backs.

And so it goes. . .

Well, that's it. That's all. I hope this has been helpful to all of you loyal readers to truly understand just what it is we do here. We, uh, well -- we do stuff. You know. Good stuff. Stuff that makes a big difference, don't you think?

Keep a comin' and a readin' and a commentin' Remember, none of this would be possible without you. Well, I suppose it would be, but not as much fun, though.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Family Death

I am republishing this post which I originally posted in early October adding these photos which inspired some of what I wrote below.

My wife's Uncle John passed away last Sunday at age 82. He had been plagued by a variety of ailments for several weeks, and ultimately just couldn't fight it any longer.

I was asked to say something at the service. My wife's family is catholic and the service was a mass at a local catholic church. I knew I couldn't in good conscience do a reading from the bible or make any religious references. John and his twin brother Mike had been record setting distance runners in high school back in the early 1940s. John also served in the Coast Guard during WWII and was a city planning engineer for Indianapolis for several years.

I wrote the following:


Twins. The two rose up slight and swift.
Running the cinder track and the countryside
Faster than any who came before.
There were eleven all told – ten boys, one girl -
The lone flower among the tough but protective thorns.
They made their way through depression and war.
Giving and drawing strength to and from
One another, engendering the best and truest
Meaning of family.

John sailed the Pacific in war.
Sitting astride the great tortoise
His cap jaunty on his head.
King of the world.

Back at home he found his beautiful Rose
His Red Rose blooming
Above others on the vine.
From their bond came three.
Ann, Beth and John

At work John helped the traffic to flow.
An engineer in mind and heart
He knew how things should work,
And how they should be built,
And why they failed.

At rest, in his blue captain’s hat
Guiding his small boats
Loving his wife, his children,
His grandson - yet another John.

John clung to his life, enduring endless pokes
And prods, and tubes and beeping machines.
But in the end, brought asunder by the ravages
Which render us all frail and tired.

Twin Michael left us first.
Then Anthony, Salvatore, August.
Leo, Paul and Joseph

Remaining with us are Josephine, Thomas and Frank
Treasure them.

John's twin brother Mike was the first of the 11 to succumb back in the mid 1990s. He was afflicted with ALS - Lou Gehrig's Disease, and mercifully went relatively quickly. Even so, it was a horrific thing to watch him be reduced to total incapacity. To date, an additional six of the brothers have died including my father in-law, Gus.

As I've stated in prior posts, I come from a very small family. My wife is the oldest of 8 children. She has aunts and uncles and cousins and nieces and nephews by the bucket full. Early in our relationship I suffered from culture shock. I have now been associated with her family for around 35 years. Over those years I have come to know of, respect and appreciate the good aspects of a large family. If there is a downside, it is watching them pass one by one.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Some Good News

This should serve as good news to many. Pakistan enacted new laws which enable women to bring rape charges against any attacker thourgh the normal criminal justice system. Until this law came to be, any woman bringing such charges was required to have at least 4 male witnesses to the rape to support her claim. Further, under the prior system if such charges were made without the 4 witnesses, the woman was subject to charges of adultery. Man, god truly is great. Four witnesses? "Hey, guys, come on over, I'm gonna rape your neighbor's daughter. Ya wanna watch? You wouldn't tell on me, would you?"

Now the burden of proof will be as with any other criminal charge, and it can include DNA and other forensic evidence which was not admissable before. It also removes the death penalty for extra-marital sex. Such acts are now subject to the equivalent of a $5000. fine. Not great, but it beats beheading, don't you think?

It is likely that the road to enforcing this law will be bumpy at best. It does give some semblance of hope to women in Pakistan, and perhaps in time, in other predominantly muslim nations. The law had the active backing of President Musharraf pitting himself against the traditional islamists who, as one would expect, opposed its approval. There are pros and cons regarding Musharraf, but this does represent a step in the proper direction. You gotta take what you can get, for now, anyhow.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Eatin' Meat

The following appears as a probably much too wordy comment on "Agnostic Mom." I figured since I spent a good deal of time on it (well, I did!,) I might as well load it up (some would say that it is, indeed, a load,) and schlep it over here, for what it's worth.

I suppose, as we evolve, our taste for meat, and our need for other animal-derived products will wain. My older son once proclaimed that he was seriously considering become a vegetarian, but it occurred to him that he didn’t really like vegetables, but DID like meat. Now there’s a quandry.

There certainly exists solid evidence that properly balanced vegetarian or vegan diets can provide all our nutritional needs. I won’t argue that. However, I am 60 years old, and have eaten meat for virtually my entire life. Generally, I don’t eat as much of it now as I used to, but it is very unlikely that I will ever swear off of it entirely. Certainly, not because someone casts accusations at me for being an animal killer. I believe the history of man eating meat goes back a ways. There is precedent.

Still, I understand that the ethics regarding our use (or exploitation, if it suits you) of animals for food, clothing, pets, laboratory testing, etc., is a hot button issue. Only time, science, and proper education will ultimately resolve it.

I do believe that extreme animal rights activists are no less nutballs than religious extremists and anti-abortionists, among others. That any of them have resorted to violence, including murder, and/or the destruction of property makes them terrorists by any definition. They are “true believers” who take the position that their particular cause is, above all others “holy,” and any tactics they use in the advancement of it are justified.

I find that to be a load of guano.

As it stands today, the five or so billion people on earth could not survive without the use of animal products. Animal activists who condescend to meat eaters are self-righteous prigs. If they believe it, by all means, they should live it. But, just as with religion, they should not presume to demand that all others must follow suit, or be subject to their violent judgement. (It is my belief that many of the people who involve themselves in such crusades would just find another, if their current passion could no longer be pursued. If memory serves, that is a central part of the discussion of Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer.” Such people tend to jump from one cause to another. It helps them to sustain their sense of moral superiority and self-righteous indignation toward society.) To actually harm or kill other human beings for such a cause is counter productive and, frankly, evil.

I will defend to the death my right to gnarl on pigs feet, Spam, and ooh, pass me those Vienna Sausages.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Bit of Bad News

Ed Bradley has died. Leukemia. 65 years old.

He represented the first of the "young blood" on 60 Minutes. I was beginning to believe that none of those people would ever die. But I least suspected that the first to go would be Bradley. I know that Harry Reasoner was actually the "first" to go in 1991, and Eric Sevareid, who was the first one to offer end of show commentary followed in 1992. It seems to me like they died earlier than that, but the d-o-ds are as reported by Wikipedia. Also, Shana Alexander who took the liberal arguments in the "Point-Counterpoint" segment against James K. Kilpatrick, who took the conservative side, died last year. But when you realize Mike Wallace and Andy Rooney are octogenerians, Dan Rather and Morley Safer are in their mid 70s, you wouldn't have expected Bradley to precede them in death at age 65. He always seemed rather ageless and robust, but Leukemia takes its toll. It's true, I had not seen him on the show in recent weeks, but as they tend to rotate in and out, and I hadn't really watched it every week, it never occured to me that anything was amiss. A story concerning Bradley on the news earlier this evening indicated that he worked up till the end.

He was a good newsperson. He was sharp and insightful. He was a professional in every way. He will be missed.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Things Change

Well, some things have changed since last evening. While the balance in the US Senate is still up for grabs as I write, the House is now firmly in Demo hands.

Another plus is the Missouri stem cell initiative did pass, and a move to ban abortions in South Dakota did not pass.

Sadly, ALL of the states with gay marriage ban initiatives on the ballot passed them - even Wisconsin. Self-righteous, knuckle dragging christians strike again. The world hasn't changed all that much. Christians really hate gays. I do believe they would rather embrace Osama than acknowledge that gays should have any societal rights. The only people christians hate more than gays are atheists. We are the worst.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Downside of the Democratic Wins

Here is a down note concerning the mid-term elections.

Note that 4 states, including Wisconsin (can you believe it) along with South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia have approved a gay marriage ban. As of this writing just before midnight Tuesday, results are still pending on similar measures in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, and South Dakota - all traditionally conservative states.

What a load of crap. Cheese heads in particular should bury their heads in cheddar shame.

It is still a sad truth that this country has a majority of self-righteous, meddlesome, pricks who glory in sticking their noses in other people's private lives. It is nobody's damn business who anyone chooses as a life partner.

Also, the initial result on a stem-cell research initiative in Missouri is going down to defeat. Save the blasocysts! Let the people die!

Another somewhat sobering note is that a number of the Dems voted into the House are, in effect, more or less republicans who wear blue. Many are anti-abortion, anti-gay, pro-gun, even pro-war conservatives. See The upcoming Congressional term will not be a bed roses for liberal Dems. It will hardly be a sea change. Positions, particularly on social issues, will only be moved to the left incrementally.


Monday, November 06, 2006


A number of blogs have responded to the recent GAYff by the venerable Tim Haggard. Pretty much across the board, the response is a combination of glee and indignation. As with some of the other comments I've seen, I am supportive of the gay community. However, the unbelievable hypocracy of people like Haggard is difficult to take. He is such an obnoxious prick.

As Zoe states on her Uncomplicated Salvation site, all kinds of excuses and machinations will be put forward to justify, excuse or flat out deny Haggard's behaviour. While the board of his church has booted him out, they have also publicly forgiven him his transgressions. As the Timster slinks out of town you can bet that in time, a few months, perhaps a year or two, he will be back, all humble, pleading forgiveness and people will buy it. They will fall in behind their fallen hero all misty eyed pouring money hand over fist into his coffers. He'll be back in business, better and richer than ever.

Once again, he will prance about his pulpit denouncing all sinners, all those who commit acts of abomination. His flock will stand mesmerized, their arms held aloft, tears flowing while his lackeys pick their pockets. Haggard, and others of his ilk are dishonest bastards who commit the ultimate betrayal. One wonders just how many of these con artists must be exposed for the frauds they are, before their dupes will catch on? I can never seem to find that tar bucket when I need it.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

I'm Alive, I'm Alive!!!

I made it! I am still drawing breath. Admittedly, it was touch and go there for a while. It only took five or six liters of blood and two or three hits with the paddles (Clear! Blap!,) but I pulled through against all odds. Miracles do happen. Thank gosh!

My wife and I arrived at the Whacknut Surgical Center and Rendering Plant just before noon yesterday. We were guided to a smallish room filled with chairs, most of which were taken, to check in at a small desk. Apparently, the place is undergoing some major remodeling as this room was partitioned with temporary walls. After several papers were presented and duly signed, some of which inform you that there is a reasonable chance that you will not leave the facility vertically, I was handed one of those blinking, vibrating, buzzer thingys they give you at some restaurants. A few minutes later, it blinked, buzzed and vibrated, and I met a nurse who was to accompany me back to a prep room. I tried to pre-order a "bloomin' onion," but she was having none of it. On the way back we stopped at a scale to get my weight. She asked me my height while I was on the scale. I responded that according to my weight I should be about 6'10", but alas, I measure in at only around 5'9".

After we got to the prep room, I changed into two rather immodest hospital gowns and the nurse proceeded to buoy my spirits by informing me how much pain, nausea and vomiting I could expect during the next 24 to 48 hours.

She set me up with an IV needle - I am a true wus when it comes to needles, but I managed to make it through without swooning. They called my wife, Jo back to further explain how awful the next day or so was likely to be. Thus reassured it was time to head for the surgical theatre. That's what they called it. I don't think I was the main feature. I was just one of the selected short subjects. I kissed Jo and bid her a tearful, and for all I knew, a final goodbye.

Upon my arrival, I was instructed to mount the surgical table which was minimally adequate for my rotundity. I just hoped I wouldn't toss & turn during the procedure. To forestall that possiblity a strap to secure me to the table was placed around my ample belly. The IV was hooked up, and a number of monitor thingys were attached to my fingers and taped to my chest (ooh, to be hairless,) and another stuck across my forehead. The anesthetist said that I should start feeling drowsy from the IV drip. I said, no I didn't feel a thing. That was my last moment of consciousness. Out like a light.

My next conscious sensation was in the recovery room. I was shaking like a leaf. They put a couple of warm blankets over me to no avail. Then came a shot of Demoral (truly one of man's greatest inventions) and I soon settled down. (Perhaps I was still shaking, but just didn't give a damn, I'm not sure.) In time I was wheeled back to the prep room, and a bit later my wife was summoned back as well. As I became more focussed, I realized that my mouth was so dry I could barely open it (some would consider that a good thing,) and my throat felt like someone had used a dry luffa sponge on it, and left bits of sand and grit there as well. (An air tube had been inserted in my throat at the onset of the surgery to insure my continued breathing, which they say is important, and also to allow for the heavy duty anesthetic gases to be pumped into my system.) I managed to pry my mouth open and squeaked out a request for something to drink - perhaps an aperitif. What I got was 7Up. I was also painfully aware of a truly bitter taste in my mouth, presumably from the aforementioned gases, which, when mingled with the overly sweet 7Up, actually became worse. At least I got some moisture in my mouth offering some relief.

My wife's Aunt Rose, the wife of the recently departed Uncle John, whom I mentioned in an earlier post, came to see me. That was very nice of her. Her son-in-law, Ed also came just after leaving a dentist where he had had four of his front teeth pulled. He was in worse shape than I, as he was still bleeding rather profusely. After a time we urged him to go home and tend to his own situation, which he finally did.

Shortly after, I was moved from the bed to a recliner to get me in a more upright position. I was asked repeatedly if I was nauseous, or if I was likely to be hurling chunks. My repeated response was no. Actually, to this time - around 10:30AM, Saturday, I have yet to experience any such feelings or urges. Whoopy!

After sitting up in the recliner for several minutes, I became aware of a call to nature. I needed to pee. Joan looked around for a call button and pressed one on the side wall. Unfortunately, that was not the normal nurse's call button, but rather the "Code Blue" button. All hell broke loose. Four or five nurses, aides, etc. came rushing down the hall; the "crash cart" was rattling its way close behind. Upon their arrival at my room, they actually seemed a bit disoriented and unsure of what to do. As most of the procedures performed at Whackncut are out-patient, "codes" are probably not common. We eventually explained our situation, and calm returned. But as everyone began to disappear, I reiterated that I still needed to use the John.

One of the aides assisted me in getting up and gave me a pair of crutches for the journey across the hall, which, as it turned out, I didn't need as I felt no pain or weakness in the knee. I just walked normally with the crutches up under my arms but with the ends held out in front of me. The aide found this humorous. She carried my still attached IV bag indicating that there would be a hook on which to hang it in the restroom. As I mentioned, the facility is undergoing significant remodeling. The restroom was newly done. However, instead of a hook, there was only a Post-It-Note stuck to the wall with "Hook" written on it. This, I found humorous. But my aide improvised by slipping the loop atop the IV over a push knob on the soap dispenser which was in place. Although, when I went to wash my hands after I had completed my "bidnes," I discovered there was no soap in it. I asked the aide, who had returned, if there was a Post-It-Note inside the dispenser with "Soap" written on it. Happily, we did find a bottle of soap in the vanity cabinet. The aide had heard I was self-employed and asked if I was a comedian.

In time it was determined that I was ready and able to make the trip home. My wife went for the car, and another aide was summoned to push me to the entry in the obligatory wheel chair. It took some time for my wife to appear. The aide suggested that perhaps my better half had decided to hell with this, and drove off without me. I wasn't the only comedian in the place.

I had been instructed not to eat or drink from midnight the evening prior to the procedure. By the time we got home, we were both famished, me still feeling no queasiness. Jo made me - what else - chicken soup. It was great. As the nite proceeded I managed to devour the entire can of soup, half of a ham sandwich, various and sundry snacky things, a few walnuts, and an entire pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream with Godiva chocolate topping. (I imagine only the soup would have been on any recommened list.)

So. I have triumphed against impossible odds. As of yet - and with, I presume, the aid of the prescribed Vicadin tablets - I have felt absolutely no pain in my knee. I am wearing a rather nifty device dubbed a "Cryo-Cuff," which is a Velcro secured wrap into which I repeatedly pour ice water from a thermal cooler via a connecting tube. When it warms up, I just attach the tube and allow gravity to drain it back into the cooler, let it mingle with the ice and water, then lift the cooler above the knee and pour the cooled water back into the wrap - all this to avoid or at least reduce any swelling. So far it seems to be working.

I have cancelled my afternoon rock climbing appointment, but I think I should still be able to go sky diving tomorrow. I don't see any problem with that.

If this has been agonizingly overlong, I apologize. I just had to get this off my chest. It's been such a burden.

Now, it's on to bigger and better things. I think I could do with another pint of that chocolate mint.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Little of This, A Little of That

Well, tomorrow will be my "dancing day." I get my knee "scoped." I know it's no big deal. I think the surgeon (who has the unfortunate name of Dr. Fink,) does these things by the dozens each week. I just hope he doesn't get bored and doze off, or mistakenly suck the left hemisphere of my brain out of my skull. I don't suppose it matters much, though. I was never very good at math anyhow.

A couple of news items caught my eye.

What's up with Ted Haggard? I thought he skipped around the alter a little lite in his Wegans. (Some of you may have to Google that one.)

How about this?

Around 300 letters apparently addressed to god have washed up on the Jersey shore. Who'd have thought god lived anywhere near New Jersey? Maybe in South River? Whadya think? And are we to assume that somebody "went postal" with the godster's mail? What next?

I got a response to an earlier post from "Peter." I don't know if he's a fisherman.

Peter exhorted me to read my bible (I actually do have one - King James version - more poetic than the newer versions, don't you think?,) to repent and stand before god's judgement.

I answered him courteously (no really - you can check it out - see the comments after my post about christians being everywhere.) First, I informed him that I am not concerned with my soul, and then suggested to him that he might, in fact, consider the possibility that god doesn't exist.

I clicked onto his site ( only to discover that his "comment" on my site was actually the main - perhaps the only - post on his site. I proceeded to copy my answering comment to him and pasted it into his comments section. However, when I attempted to publish it, a notice appeared stating that the comment would be scrutinized by the resident blogger before it could be published. Apparently, Peter thought my comments were inappropriate for inclusion in his blog. That, despite the fact of his publishing his extended comments on mine.

Actually, I don't mind, of course. That is what I want. I want comments. I want discussion. I want to argue with somebody. I like it when people agree with me, too, though. That's a good thing.

Peter came back with an additional response (which you can also read in the comment section of the aforementioned post.)

It would seem that he is angry. At me, I guess. He questioned whether I knew if Richard Dawkins is a fraud. He asked whether I had read my bible cover to cover. My answers to both of these questions would be "No." I don't know that Dawkins is a truth teller. I believe him to be. He is educated, intelligent, articulate and earnest. Oh, and he's English. That counts for something, doesn't it?

As to reading the bible cover to cover? No. I try to avoid reading poorly written, contradictory, and inconsistent material. I have read bits and pieces of it. It contains far too much gratuitous sex and violence for my tastes. I have read more of it than say, the koran, or the book of the dead, or the upanishads. I have read Laotzu's The Way of Life from cover to cover a couple of times. (It is mercifully short.) I have read Hesse's Siddhartha. But, the bible? No.

Peter also presented the following as "the atheist test:"

1. How many grains of sand are there on the beaches in Hawaii?
2. How many hairs are on a shetlin (sic) pony?

I give.

Does anyone out there recognize this as something meaningful with regards to its being "the atheist test?"

I recently hit a milestone here at "Rupture..." The site surpassed the 2000 hit plateau. It took nearly a year. (As a kind of measure, my nephew has a popular blog which gets an average of 90 to a 100 hits a day.)

I decided to check out some of the cumulative data on my site meter. Very informative. I have had hits from virtually every continent - excepting Antarctica. High speed internet just hasn't taken off there as yet. As I clicked on each of the recorded visits I came to realize that approximately 95% of all of the "hitters" stayed on board for a total of zero seconds. That's pretty gratifying.

After careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that speed reading has hit new and unimagined heights.

Just to nudge the interest level a bit, I may begin publishing some of my collection of nude photos of Art Linkletter. Stay tuned.