Friday, January 30, 2009


Today at work, the underwriting department had a meeting with management to discuss the current state of events. The company grew in 2008 in terms of business. With the unstable economy, companies are looking to cut costs and save money, so our business should continue to expand. The good news is there aren't any plans to reduce staffing at this time. It was nice to hear in these times of uncertainty.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


This morning, Barb at work came in and told the story of how the South Milwaukee High School was in lock down because of an incident between students. She had been dropping off her daughter when the police and ambulances started to arrive on the scene. She went to the office to find out what was happening and was told very little. After she arrived, her daughter called on the cell phone and informed her about the incident. One student stabbed another student. At the office, we talked how things have changed, as much as they stayed the same. When I was in High School, there was violence, and police came, but at no time was the school shut down, the situation was basically handled and the day went on as usual. Now, schools lock down, counselors are called in for the students, and it is headline news. It is unsettling that these things occur.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

At Random

I eat chocolate daily, I still love to dance, I draw on occasion, I write,
I experienced heartache and am glad I opened myself up to someone despite the outcome, I have quite a mix of gray hair in my goatee, I want to paint my bathroom silver, I want someday to own a pet greyhound, I prefer wearing flip flops over shoes, I have something relating to Disney in every room, I like each year better than the last, I drink too much coffee, I believe in Karma, I still believe in Santa Claus, I want a new vehicle, I begin and end each day with daily gratitudes, I love disco music, I drink 72 ounces of water daily, I still crave peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I watch reality TV shows more than scripted shows, I believe love will conquer all, I still haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up. I love beaches and oceans. I don’t wear a watch. I want to get red furniture, I buy most of my clothing on the Internet.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Reading Between The Lines

I am at a loss how people read into intentions, actions, and conversations. How talking about a situation can cause anger, resentment, frustrations, and bad feelings. The chain reaction of events is dumbfounding and how do you overcome when the people involved stop listening and start to believe the worst in you. Being underhanded never leads to any good, yet it seems honesty can be just as devastating. I am accountable for my actions and words and deeds, right or wrong. I don't let someone else do the work for me.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


The plan was to hibernate this weekend because the temperature was dropping again. So far I have gone to Lotus for dinner on Friday night, Mayfair Mall and the Cheesecake Factory today. I expected the have trouble starting the Jeep, but she ran beautifully in the cold. I've been putting off doing my laundry, so my Sunday morning will be filled with washing and drying. Then I might head out into the cold!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I filed my 2008 Federal and State taxes today. I am expecting a refund from both. I used Turbo Tax Online. It took about 30 minutes to complete and processing should take a couple of days. This is the earliest I have filed in recent years.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History In The Making

I watched the inauguration online today. I was impressed by the number of people who turned out to be part of the event. I couldn't help but feel a bit patriotic, proud to be an American while I witnessed the pomp and circumstance. When the President was sworn in, then gave his speech, I was mesmerized. What a powerful moment in time and history. The text of the speech follows:

"I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sanh.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers ... our found fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it)."

America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cold & Snow

Made it through another cold snap. The Jeep started, ran in the sub-zero temps. Now it's snowing again. Winter. Each year, I wonder what I'm still doing here. Last night, I got together with Pat, Toni, Chris, Tim, Julia, and Mike over at Mom and Dad's for pizza. Spent the evening chatting and laughing with each other, it was a really nice gathering, hanging out with family. This morning I got up early, headed down to the casino for a trip give-away. As luck would have it, I didn't cash out of the machine when I was up money, didn't win the trip, or run into the friends I was supposed to meet down there. Tim and Julia picked me up later and we went shopping, almost got a new cell phone (still undecided which one to get), picked up some books, then had a good dinner of lobster and shrimp. I'm going to start reading one tonight, but have been lounging and watching TV. It's been a pretty good winter weekend.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

On The Way Up

It's all good. Better than that actually. Great news from the Oncologist today. No evidence of lymphoma within my system, all blood levels normal, including the platelets! I feel incredible. In remission two years and counting. No tests or blood work for another four months. I'm settling into myself, know what I'm capable of, know what I'm about, what I want, and making the necessary efforts to get there. I have inner peace, inner strength.

I booked my flight to Orlando for the last week in February, going to Disney! Joining Pat and Toni in the happiest place on earth to celebrate life.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


An older post that reverberates:

While everything is going well, I find myself questioning so many things in my life. I feel adrift and get lost within my thoughts lately. I almost feel desperate to hold on to things to stabilize myself. I'm not depressed, or irrational, just want the best in everything, and trying to figure it all out, find where I belong. So many things I was content with no longer appease me, other things I believed I wanted I no longer think about. I just have to figure what it is I want. Besides leaving behind this feeling of unease.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Winter is definitely making it's presence known. A snow storm is currently underway, to be followed by a cold snap of arctic air, sub-zero temperatures. One would think there would be no such thing as overheated during a cold spell. On the way to work this morning, the engine temperature started fluctuating, dropping to 0 then shooting up to 260+, The engine light came on, it was overheating. I still had heat in the Jeep, yet there was no regulating. I suspected the thermostat blew. During lunch I picked up the parts and antifreeze, filled the reservoir tank, started the engine, and it overheated again. After work, I stopped over by Mom and Dad to replace the thermostat. On the way there, the engine temperature remained at a constant 210. No overheating. Dad and I checked everything over, added more antifreeze to the radiator and the reservoir tank, ran the engine, and everything seems fine, in working order. We decided to hold off on replacing the thermostat and will watch how the Jeep runs the next couple of days.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Nature Of Things

Paraphrasing from various resources to convey myself at this moment.

"Look to the nature of things, there you shall find the answers."

"If we want to listen to someone, we hear what we need to hear in order to inch closer. there is nothing wrong with hearing, catching every word, liking it to a little bit of truth."

I'm in a nebulant mood today

Friday, January 09, 2009

Long Drives & Short Appointments

The snow made it an interestingly long drive to the oncologist this morning. I left about 7:00am and arrived at 8:20am. It normally would take at most 30 minutes. The oncologist only ordered a CT scan, no Pet scan. That meant 45 minute wait while the contrast material I had to drink circulated and 15 minutes having the scan done. Having a Pet scan would have added an additional 30 minutes in the machine. So the appointment took shorter than the drive there. Julia met me at the office, then we went out for breakfast and had a nice chat. I enjoyed spending the morning with her. The drive back home took about an hour. I have been lounging, napping, reading, watching TV and snacking since. All and all, a pretty good day, if I say so myself.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Going Fast

Time is flying by. We're all ready a week into the new year. Sure hope winter goes by just as fast. Of course it's going to snow tomorrow, I get to drive to the Oncologist for the Pet and CT scans. I will be heading out early, driving slowly, in 4WD. I have to fast for 12 hours prior, so I will be nice and hungry by the time I get out. I liked not having doctor appointments the last couple of months. That time went fast too.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Paying For It

I stopped at the grocery store earlier today to pick up snacks and frozen dinners to keep at work, along with some other things. In front of me at the check out there was an elderly gentleman buying some bottled juices. The total came up to $2.10 and he only had $2.05 in change. The cashier was going to void out the transaction. I told her I would pay the additional .05 for the guy. He turned to me, shook my hand, and thanked me for my kindness. After the cashier finished with my purchases, she thanked me too. One simple act goes a long way.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hard To Keep Track

The last two weeks have been disorienting, disorganized. Work a couple of days, have a couple off, work one day, have a few off, work several days, have a day off, work a day and have two off. It can really mess with your schedule, your routine. Even worse, I am now expecting to have a day or two thrown in periodically, but that isn't the case and I will be working a full week starting tomorrow. No, I won't. I have the follow up scans scheduled on Friday. So much for getting back to the day in day out. Might as well enjoy the day for what it is. I'm off today, right?

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Celebrated the new year with a five course dinner at Dream Dance in Potawatomi casino. It consisted of sparkling wine, black bean puree with Roma tomato and fennel, cheddar garlic focaccia biscuits, Oysters Rockefeller, Coquille St. Jacques, Beef Wellington, and Baked Alaska. It was delicious, quite a dining experience. Gambled through the night and rang in 2009 while the slot machines rang.

2009 Horoscope: A strong planetary emphasis on your partnership houses this year puts relationships front and center. Relationships of all kinds are likely to change and evolve in unexpected directions, and you attract new people into your life who inspire growth, healing and transformation. Strengthen your inner security through daily practices that feel nurturing and grounding -- then you can more easily open up to the magic and miracles that others have to offer.