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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Fringeville #193: 11.11.11

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War One raged from September 26, 1918 to November 11, 1918. It ended after 47 days with an Armistice. The war to end all wars was over on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of that year.

American casualties in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive were 26,277 killed, more than the 2018 population of the Pennsylvania cities of Lebanon (25,806) or Hazleton (24,349).

This remains the deadliest battle in United States history.

Today is a day to honor our veterans, past and present, for their service and sacrifices. Our freedom was ensured, protected and has endured because of them.

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 Be good to each other.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Fringeville #192: The Blue Team Wins One…and a Double Shot

...your Election Analysts hard at work...

The 2018 midterms are in the books. All in all, not the huge victory or disaster (depending on whether you are on the Blue or Red team) that was predicted a while back.  The Federal candidates for NEPA pretty much did as predicted. On the state level for NEPA, not a hell of a lot changed.

One thing that may likely be dead is property tax repeal. And you know what kids, we’re still going to see a sales tax increase because that door has been kicked open.

Way back in 2010 when I ran for State Representative, I remember all the GOP candidates being plopped into an auditorium. Someone asked about repealing property taxes. They were immediately shut down. “There’s all kinds of ways to go at this, but none of them have a chance until Republicans control Harrisburg."

Which Republicans went on to do.

And nothing happened. Looking back, that was a watershed moment for me. That's where the seeds of skepticism were planted within me.

As to my run at state office, I didn’t mind the ass-kicking I got in the race. I still look back at that as the most rewarding thing I ever did in politics. I knocked on a huge number of doors and met some amazing people. My favorite door-knocking memory was at the end of a brutally hot day when I walked up to an elderly gentleman on his porch. The sun was setting, and he asked his wife to bring me lemonade. He gave me one piece of advice I never got to use, but never forgot, either: “If you win, as soon as you know the combination to the safe, get the hell out of there.”

Last note on politics:  America needs gerrymandering reform. Badly. We are tribalized and on the road to Balkanization. We can do better than that.

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I am 100% confident that Penn State will beat Rutgers. That's as far as I'll go on the rest of the season.

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Double Shot!

First a little Beatles for you. I find this version of Revolution a bit curious. They include the ‘shoo-be-do-wah” background chant, and yet never show Billy Preston doing brilliant keyboard work. That would have been a bit of a revolution right there: showing the 5th Beatle.

…and I’ll wrap up with some live Sheryl Crow. I love this song. And despite everything, I still believe…

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...Be good to each other.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Fringeville #191: Do what ya gotta do… that I have your undivided attention...

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I will not dismiss you or berate you because of who you vote for.

Neither will I do so because of who you vote against.

I do not do these things because you showed up. You voted. You made your voice heard.

If you do not vote, I will only be saddened. You have disenfranchised yourself.

I have a very diverse group of friends. Probably half of them don't agree politically with the other half. Yet I seem to get along with everyone, even when we differ on opinion.

I think it is because of the first two lines I wrote.

My only other thoughts today on politics:  I am writing in John Lombardo for State Representative in PA 118. And I wish Sue Henry the best in the 121st. I can't vote for her, but she will make an excellent state representative.

Every other vote is between me, the touchscreen, and God.

Go to that booth today and make a difference.

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...Be good to each other.

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Friday, November 2, 2018

Fringeville #190: Can you hear me now?

I am meandering the health insurance road a lot more these days. It's the fun of becoming an old fart. I should be happy. I'll never be bored.

Let's start here: The rumor that I snore has been confirmed by medical science. My wife knew. The neighbors who had to replace window pane after window pane due to the force of the soundwaves knew. The dog knew. That cat knew. Every doctor, nurse and medical technician I had to deal with during my recent medical adventures strongly suspected it.

But according to the insurance folks, they wouldn’t pay to test me for sleep apnea because I had no history of sleep apnea. Now there’s a Catch 22 for you.

After my dual stents were put in (which took 3 catheterization attempts which the insurance folks had no problems with) one of my doctors resubmitted the order for sleep apnea testing, stating it was ‘critical’ I be evaluated for it.

The bean-counters met him half-way and approved a take-home test.

The test …are you sitting down? …indicates that I should be evaluated for one of those damnable CPAP things. (When I was a kid down south, CPAP meant if I looked out my window, I might see daddy. I might CMOM too).

Of course, there is a catch: They won’t approve the evaluation unless I see a pulmonary doctor first. The earliest appointment: Late November.

If I die in my sleep between now and then, I am requesting all the mourners make snoring sounds in the funeral home so the folks in the afterlife know I’m on the way. And remember, there will be wings at the funeral lunch, so stuff a bib in your pocket or purse and some moist towelettes for those pesky wing-fingers and sauce-lips.

Meanwhile, the cochlear implant processors the insurance company said back in June are okey-dokey are well on the way to failure. The right one, which serves me best, works intermittently. I am able to get 4 hours a day at most out of it. I call it my Congressional processor.

The left processor changes channels and volume if I smile, move my head, or even think impure thoughts about Mary Lou Higginbopp from my high school days.

Any given day, I spend hours revisiting the good ol’ deaf days. I am going to explore sending them out for repair. I have until the end of March, 2019 to do that because after that they are no longer supported. I will try one more time in January to get replacement processors. A stroke of a bean counter’s pen will be all it takes. I am not hopeful.

As I’ve said before, if you don’t think health care is already being rationed, you’re fooling yourself.

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I will shortly make some kind of post regarding the upcoming one millionth consecutive most important election of my lifetime. It won't be much, because as I've said before, I've done enough damage.

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Be good to each other.

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