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The Present Compatriots The Past A Winter Tale Older Older
The Winter Patriot
To Comfort the Disturbed and Disturb the Comfortable
pdx42
If you read it only once a year, you're doing better than most Americans.
http://constitution.org/us_doi.htm


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pdx42
Simple fact: Barack Obama was born in the US state of Hawaii from a mother of US citizenship. Period. Finito. The END.

I, on the other hand, born of a US military family of many generations, was born at Tachikawa Air Base near Tokyo, Japan. My ancestors founded this nation, but am I eligible to run for President? No one has ever asked. Similarly, Senator John McCain was also born overseas into a military family -- NOT BORN ON US SOIL. Did anyone ever question John McCain's Constitutional right to be president? No, even though "natural born citizen", as required in the US Constitution, has varied interpretations.

Obama was born on US soil of a US mother. John McCain and I (and my younger daughter) were born on foreign soil of US parents. People question Barack Obama's birth, citizenship, and legal ability to be president. But they did not question John McCain's, and I don't think they would question mine. Why?

To me, the obvious answer is that Barack Obama is black and I am white. My name is from Western Europe, so obviously I'm more American than some dark-skinned guy whose name sounds like it comes from (and in fact does come from) the Islamic world of Northeast Africa. Obviously, with a name like "Sean Lewis" or "John McCain", we are more American than someone with a name like "Barack Obama"! Right? Right?

No.

This is America. We are a nation of immigrants. Barack Obama is the son of an immigrant -- a natural born son of the United States of America -- a nation of immigrants. No one is more American than a first-generation immigrant. That's the way we roll. If you don't like it, tough. This is what the US is all about. My family has been here for ten generations, but we hold nothing next to the family that is "fresh off the boat", for they are the true Americans, just like my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents were. They know more about the dream, the promise, the hard work, the prejudice than I ever will. And it is their strength, perseverance, and vision that will see us through to better times.


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pdx42
How many mailing list subscribers does it take to change a light bulb? 1,331. One to change the light bulb and to post to the mailing list that the light bulb has been changed; fourteen to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently; seven to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs; 27 to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs; 53 to flame the spell checkers; 41 to correct spelling in the spelling/grammar flames; 156 to write to the list administrator complaining about the light bulb discussion and its inappropriateness to this mailing list; 109 to post that this list is not about light bulbs and to please take this email exchange to another list; 203 to demand that crossposting to other lists about changing light bulbs be stopped; 111 to defend the posting to this list, saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts are relevant to this mailing list; 3 to post about links they found from the URLs that are relevant to this list which makes light bulbs relevant to this list; 306 to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique, and what brands are faulty; 27 to post URLs where one can see examples of different light bulbs; 14 to post that the URLs were posted incorrectly, and to post corrected URLs; 33 to concatenate all posts to date, then quote them including all headers and footers, and then add “Me Too.”; 12 to post to the list that they are unsubscribing because they cannot handle the light bulb controversy; 19 to quote the “Me Too”s to say, “Me Three.”; 4 to suggest that posters request the light bulb FAQ; 48 to propose new change.lite.bulb newsgroup; 47 to say there is already an alt.light.bulb newsgroup; and 143 to ask if anyone ever did change the lightbulb.

Taken from http://www.livingwithmagick.com/humor/lightbulbs.php


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pdx42
Patricia Ann Cotton (Lewis) (Gil) June 6, 1940 in Yuba City, CA - March 20, 2011 in San Bernardino

On Friday the 11th my brother and sister both called me in the morning to tell me to get down to Southern California immediately if I wanted to see Mom while she was still alive, so I did. I was down there for four days, Friday through Monday, returning home on Tuesday. It was good to see her, and she was so very happy to see all three of her children standing by her side as she faced death. Smiling, with tears in her eyes, Mom said, "This is a good way to die." At her request, I arranged for a priest to visit her in hospice regularly until her time came, which I think made her just as happy as having all her kids there.

Last night, I wrote up a big, long post about her life, and a lot of family history. In the end, I made that post private, for my eyes only. Suffice to say that despite all from my childhood, my mother turned out to be a good person, and I love her. May she rest in peace and have the afterlife her Catholic faith promised to her.

I'm home on bereavement leave for a few days, and trying to assist my siblings with arrangements and stuff long-distance.


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pdx42


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pdx42


Santa Claus has come to LiveJournal!


_dear_santa is a place for the LiveJournal Community to post their letters to Santa. If you need help getting started, just take a look at a few of the others to get the hang of it.

In general, a good letter to Santa always starts out with the usual pleasantries: asking after how he is doing, along with Mrs. Claus, the reindeer, and the elves, then you may plead your case as either naughty or nice (but keep in mind that he already knows). After that, you may give Santa your Christmas wish list, and always remember a friendly closing.

Moderator is Santa's chief Punk-Industrial-Goth Elf, pdx42. He is assisted by pickleboot, aleeka, littlebluedog, morimur, kittekaat, kittybat, and tx_cronopio to read, sort, answer, and forward your letters to Santa Claus.

The PIG Elf has set a few rules to keep play friendly in this forum.
  • Elves are fun, but not trolls. Trolls will be banned.
  • If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. Dissing on someone else's wish list will get you warned. Later, it might get you banned, your posts deleted, and coal in your stocking.
  • This community is for fun, and is open to all LJ users. Please keep in mind that some LJ users are as young as 13; behave accordingly when you post.
  • The PIG Elf cannot guarantee that Santa will be checking his LiveJournal, but promises to keep prodding and reminding him to move up into the 21st Century.


Now get going! Those letters to Santa won't write themselves! And help spread the word:
Santa Claus has come to LiveJournal!



Current Music: Muppets - Little Saint Nick

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pdx42

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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pdx42
An aggressive test is a test which selects the next question based on previous answers. In a well-weighted test, such as the CCNA, this can give the test subject an opportunity to redeem oneself from a previous wrong answer if the subject actually is familiar with the topic. More often though, the aggressive test simply results in more wrong answers.

For myself, I don't much care about the full-body-semi-clothing-x-ray-scan, or even the "intimate" pat-down. I was even thinking about encouraging an erection for it while flying in a couple weeks, just to annoy them. But in the larger issue, I think that almost everything done by the TSA since 2001 has been an aggressive test to see just how much the populace is willing to tolerate. So far, we seem willing to tolerate a lot, and I'm sure there's more stupid shit to come.

It also begs the question of "just how scared is the 'land of the free, home of the brave'?". If willing to meekly put up with all this bullshit because we're afraid of terrorism, which is rarer than a fatal car crash, I think we need a rewrite of our national anthem.

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pdx42

new ink!
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pdx42
Happy Fucking Birthday, Jarhead!


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pdx42
Some candidates for office this year remind me of the Best Man speech I gave at my friend’s wedding reception in June.

“Hello, everyone. Here’s the part where the Best Man is supposed to entertain you by telling embarrassing stories about the groom. Unfortunately, I’m in a bit of a bind on this one because no one could possibly ever embarrass him more effectively than he embarrasses himself on a regular basis.”


The BBC has compiled a short list of some of the oddest events of this mid-term election season.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11632879

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pdx42
Please do your part.
Please.

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pdx42
And maybe have some fun activism as well. http://www.trickorvote.org


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pdx42
Q: Why do mathematicians get confused between Halloween and Christmas?

Because...Collapse )
'Til next year...

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pdx42
"We live now in hard times, not end times."
- Jon Stewart at the Rally to Restore Sanity


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXmbzLI3pnk


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pdx42
I had a neurology appointment on Tuesday, a few hours before I was booked on a train to Seattle for work.

I arrived early, and I was seen a few minutes early, which is awesome. A nurse named Sherry took my vitals. My blood pressure was kind of high, which is very weird. I've always had bp slightly on the low side of normal. The nurse was very concerned about it, the doctor not so much. But they both said that I should have a follow-up appointment on that soon.

Then a doctor named Manod (first name) checked me out, examined my arm, and got my history. The one down thing is that the damage is worse than I thought. I thought the problem was with one nerve in my forearm, the radial nerve, but Dr. Manod determined that the ulnar nerve is also a problem. A less severe problem, but a problem. I just didn't notice it because I was focused on the major issue of not being able to move my hand!

Anyway, since last week, he says that I have greatly increased the range of motion, but the hand is still very weak. He has me protecting it and doing physical therapy.

After neurology, I went directly over to occupational therapy in the rehab clinic to talk to a hand specialist named Betsy. She gave me a cushioned sleeve to wear on my elbow to go with the wrist brace, and after doing her own evaluation of motion and strength, gave me a series of exercises to do three times a day. She said that I can think about leaving the brace behind in a couple of weeks, and that I will probably continue with the exercises for about a month.

I have a follow-up with her on Friday of next week, and with the neurologist in four weeks. While at the hospital, I also signed up to get assigned a primary care physician -- I found out last week that because I haven't seen a PCP in so long, I don't have one. So I'll get a letter soon telling me that I'm set in that department, and I'll make an appointment for a general physical.

Today, I can type a little bit. That is, the typing is slow, and I can only type for short periods, but the improvement is very encouraging. My forearm, wrist, and hand are pretty much constantly aching, but I think that is because I'm doing my exercises, and things are improving.

So, overall, you get a very positive report!

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pdx42
I'm watching 'The Princess Bride' right now, and was tempted to post some choice quotes, but realized that I'd have to post the entire script. What's your favorite quote?


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pdx42
OK, this is a good sign, right? My nerves are still alive and coming online, right? But, DAMN, this hurts!!!


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pdx42
I'm seeing improvement every day. Range of motion is getting better. About every two hours, I remove my brace, stretch and flex my hand a bit. The activity becomes exhausting within just a few minutes. When I move my hand, as I said, the range of motion is good, but it feels like I'm holding a 20-pound dumbbell when I do it. I still can't type with the left hand -- just tried! But from where I was on Tuesday, I'm very pleased with where I am today, and I'm feeling very optimistic for a full recovery.

I have a neurology appointment on Tuesday, and I'll post another update after that.

Thank you to everyone for your concern and support. You're proving again that my friends are the best in the world at being friends!

Peace.

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pdx42
is not so rhythmic.

Waking up yesterday morning, I couldn't move my left hand except to curl my fingers. I couldn't straighten my fingers, nor move my hand at the wrist to go to anything but a limp, relaxed position. No pain, and not exactly numbness -- just a light tingling from my elbow, across the back of my forearm, and into the thumb and forefinger. Fairly quickly, i knew it was not a circulation problem. The affected parts were warm with good color. I was certain that I had pinched a nerve.I have some experience with neural problems due to a parachuting accident in the Army.

My shoulder and elbow were perfectly functional. I was lucid, and there were no other symptoms. I tried stretching and massaging to undo whatever happened in my sleep. After a couple of hours, I decided that this wasnt working, and I needed to get checked out. I called the West Linn VA clinic, and they said to go to ER at the main VA hospital. So I called a cab to pick me up at home and go to the ER. As a precautionary measure, I asked K2 to relocate from her bedroom to the living room while I waited. 45 minutes later, no cab. I called back to see if anyone was on the way. Nope. I cancelled the cab and started walking to the bus stop.

I ate lunch while waiting for the bus at the bottom of the hill.

I arrived at the VA hospital at 1:45. When I got to the intake nurse, I showed my VA medcal card, and gave her all the info. "I can't move my left hand."

They sat my ass down in a wheelchair right away and took me to an exam room for a stroke evaluation. They ask some funny questions during a stroke evaluation.

No stroke, no heart attack. My triage was downgraded, and I went to the waiting room to wait my turn and work my crossword puzzles.

The doctor was confused. No recent injury or trauma. No falls, no apparent event to cause this. My bloodwork was good. The only thing wrong was that when I told my hand to move, it did not obey. I told him about my neuro history with the broken neck and damage to C5-C6, and he was still confused. He gave me a referral to Neurology, and recommended that I wear a wrist brace until I see a neurologist. The brace helps to keep my hand from flopping around uselessly, and also protects my hand from injury while in this condition.

I was discharged, and went home. K1 met me at the pharmacy where I bought a wrist brace, and she drove me home.

This morning, as I was getting out of the shower, I got a call from Neurology. My appointment is on Tuesday. I went to work today, and was adequately functional, though typing one-handed is pretty slow. My condition improved today. I still cant move my hand, but I can wiggle my fingers a bit. This is an encouraging sign that recovery will go well.

I have seen some improvement today.

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pdx42
My middle name is T. That's it; just T.

And here's the story.
lots of family loreCollapse )
So if you ever wondered what the "T" stood for, now you know.

Current Music: Star Trek Theme

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pdx42
You know those "How well do you know me?" or "How well do I know you?" polls? These are the ones that ask for things like the name of your first pet, your favorite color, stuff like that. Take a close look at the questions used in these things, and then compare them against the "I forgot my password" security questions your bank asks you.

So...uh...what is the city of your birth?


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pdx42
In 1986, when I applied to ROTC, I was asked if I was gay. I truthfully answered "no", because I was bisexual.
In 1988, when I dropped out of ROTC and enlisted into the Regular Army, I was asked again, "Are you gay?". Again, truthfully, I said, "No," an escape clause because I'm bisexual.

It seems like a coward's way out of a symantic dillemma, but that's the truth of it.

While serving, I knew many, many gays and bisexuals in the various units I served in. But the truth of the Army was, no one much cared about serving with gays, they mostly cared about the fact that they had to hide it.

I have served in garrison, in training, and in combat with gays, straights, and bisexuals of both genders. We have lived together, trained together, showered together, and carried each other away from dangerous situations. At the time, no one much cared.

Yes, there was some teasing from the straights to the gays in my service. But in the order of things, I saw more racism, and more sexism in the Army than I ever saw homophobia. Maybe it was just my perspective, but that's what I observed. I understand that anecdotes are not data, but this what I saw in five years of active military service before I was medically retired. NO ONE CARED!

Do your job. Protect my back, and I got yours. That's it.

Then along came Clinton in 1992, promising in his campaign to end the anti-gay policy of the military (which he could have done with a pen-stroke like Truman integrating the services in 1949). True to Clinton form, he ended up compromising with the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, a worthless piece of shit that made things even worse for those who wanted to serve. Suddenly, all it took was for someone to accuse you of being gay, and you were OUT. Before DADT, no one dared talk about another soldier's sexuality, but suddenly, all it took to get back at someone you didn't like was to say, "(S)He's gay!"

To put this in some kind of perspective:
Some of the best soldiers I knew were Asian.
Some of the best soldiers I knew were Black.
Some of the best soldiers I knew were Hispanic.
Some of the best soldiers I knew were White.
Some of the best soldiers I knew were women.
Some of the best soldiers I knew were men.
Some of the best soldiers I knew were immigrants.
Some of the best soldiers I knew were gay.
Some of the best soldiers I knew were bisexual.
Some of the best soldiers I knew were married.
Some of the best soldiers I knew were single.
Some of the best soldiers I knew were homeless before they joined.
Some of the best soldiers I knew were...single, white, straight, men. But they were the minority.

I believe it is about time -- beyond time -- to let Americans be Americans, and let all other differences fall to the side. An American who is gay is as much American as an American who is German. We are Americans. We are supposed to be the nation that embraces "strength through diversity". We would not exist as a country if not for this ideal. Although I, personally, would not want to serve during this time of a completely upside-down national moraility, let those who do want to serve, SERVE.


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pdx42
I really want to go to this. Any other Welsh-Americans or other Celts want to come?


October 7-8, 2010 Click image to go to the website.


http://americymru.ning.com/Wpage/page/show?id=2111712:Page:26602


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pdx42
Ever since I was a small child, I've identified well with Perchik.




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