Thursday, December 28, 2006

An uncivil civil war

From today's New York Times: "The car parked outside was almost certainly a tool of the Sunni insurgency. It was pocked with bullet holes and bore fake license plates. The trunk had cases of unused sniper bullets and a notice to a Shiite family telling them to abandon their home. “Otherwise, your rotten heads will be cut off,” the note read.

The soldiers who came upon the car in a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad were part of a joint American and Iraqi patrol, and the Americans were ready to take action. The Iraqi commander, however, taking orders by cellphone from the office of a top Sunni politician, said to back off: the car’s owner was known and protected at a high level.

For Maj. William Voorhies, the American commander of the military training unit at the scene, the moment encapsulated his increasingly frustrating task — trying to build up Iraqi security forces who themselves are being used as proxies in a spreading sectarian war. This time, it was a Sunni politician — Vice Prime Minister Salam al-Zubaie — but the more powerful Shiites interfered even more often.

“I have come to the conclusion that this is no longer America’s war in Iraq, but the Iraqi civil war where America is fighting,” Major Voorhies said."

I'd promote Major Voorhies to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or maybe Secretary of Defense. For telling it like it is, for dealing in the world of reality he'll probably be sent to the front. But wait, he's already at the front. Maybe they'll send him to the front of the front. (paraphrasing M*A*S*H) Maybe they'll send out one of the infamous Republican chickenhawks to call him a "Liberal" or a voter for Kerry or Gore. The sad truth is our troops are in the crossfire of a civil war. An uncivil civil war to be honest. Sending more troops into Baghdad won't prevent what is happening in Iraq. We are all watching a country tear itself apart from the inside out and with a committment that only religious fundamentalism can create. And while Maj. Voorhies has to worry about whether the Iraqi security forces he works with are really militias, President Bush worries about how it will look to the enemy if we get out of the way of the civil war that's anything but civil. How do you think it looks to the enemy if we don't get out of the way? Like target practice.

Sometimes you have to let people look into the abyss before they help themselves. The faster we start to leave Iraq the more they'll look into the abyss. Right now 140,000 American troops are standing at the bottom of that abyss. That's a bad place to stand without a way out and with more troops on the way it's going to get really crowded down there.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's still a nightmare

Former President Gerald Ford died yesterday at the age of 93. After taking over as president in 1974 he told the nation that "our long national nightmare" was over. He was wrong. Our long national nightmare is not over. The nightmare is the Bush family. The nightmare is that there are more Bush sons and cousins and brothers and the like that are intent on public service. Hey, do us a favor - please no more public service. Rest on a beach on one of your private islands. Sit around your ranch and BBQ a steak or two. Watch a baseball game or two or heck just buy the team. Anything except public service. Do you really believe we would think less of you? I know I wouldn't.

The most dangerous mindset is one that says, "The government, the nation, the world can't survive without me." The Bushies have that mindset. They also have the thought that they can't help their family and friends as much as they can if they weren't in government controlling who gets what. That's really the definition of politics - who gets what. And who has gotten what doesn't include you. Taxes and working yourself into an early grave are for little people. It's the little people who blog and read them.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan offered the vice-presidency to Gerald Ford. He turned it down. Had he taken it, George H.W. Bush doesn't become VP or president and I guarantee that George W. Bush only sees the Oval Office on White House tours. Thinking about alternative history is only useful if you're writing science fiction or a blog where you are trying to dream that the long national nightmare was really over.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Back to Reality

Back from "vacation" and back to reality. I say "vacation" instead of vacation because when your three-year-old and your five-month-old get colds the minute you land you would rather be in hell. Florida is pretty close though even without sick kids. Case in point, the county I was in had just voted to NOT fluoridate their water because of health concerns and they trumpeted that as a victory. To be fair I was shocked to read only Illinois and California mandate it throughout their states and only 65% of the other water drinking areas in America require it. Eighty-five percent of America believes in Angels but only 65% believe in fluoridation. I wonder what percentage think we're all nuts.

So the kiddies are up all night and the water has no fluoride and the mosquitoes are eating away at my arms and legs but it's still better than reality back home. Back home I have to read news headlines and see "U.S. Iraq war toll passes 9/11." On 9/11 2,973 people died and as of Christmas day 2,978 U.S. servicemen and women have lost their lives in Iraq. Next may will mark four years after President Decider decided "mission accomplished." And now it appears that despite the November election "thumping" the president and his Iraq policy got he is not just staying the course but it's, "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" The "surge" is coming. That's the brilliant new strategy the worst and the dimmest have come up with. Perhaps tens of thousands of troops will be sent to Baghdad to fight the insurgents which is just another name for the people of Iraq. And here's the best part. We have to send more troops rather than withdraw troops because to do otherwise would send the wrong message to insurgents and al Qaeda. At least that's the rationale given from people who haven't been rational in years. So we have to send more troops and, here it comes again, we can't just send them in there temporarily because again, any timetable would signal to the enemy how long they had to holdout. to we can't leave and have to send more troops and we can't set a timetable. Okay, I'm with you so far. So what happens if the "surge" fails to to achieve any measurable reduction in violence or attacks or casualities are the like? Well, then surely we would say, "we gave it one last best effort and it didn't work so now we can pullout, right?" Guess again. If that happens, now I'm reading the mind of the Decider, then of course we can't leave because then we would be admitting defeat and we can't do that so we'll have to stay and maybe even increase troop levels. See how the circular reasoning goes from people who have block heads?

So forgive me if I'd rather be in Florida even if it's sleep-deprived and I'm a buffet for mosquitoes while letting my teeth fall out of my head from lack of flouride. It's better than reading about how we have to keep increasing our troop levels and casualities in Iraq just so the Decider doesn't have to decide that he made a mistake. Jesus, it is said, died for the sins of the people. Now people have to die for Bush's sins.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


When you're on vacation you get unplugged from the Matrix. The kiddies want to watch Dora the Explorer and you fetch their breakfast and clothes like you're Jeeves the butler. Then it's off to the beach of golf course or lunch or visiting relatives. When you realize you haven't read a paper or watched CNN in hours you get this weird feeling like the world could be blowing up and you wouldn't know. Then you realize that anything short of the world blowing up doesn't really mean much when you are trying to make that birdie put on the par three 7th. (Missed on the amateur side.) Playing on an empty course with a caddie at a club where Dan Marino won the club championship two years in a row makes you forget about, not care is the better phrase, what's going on in the real world. When you're slowly playing 17 and your caddie says, "Oh look, there's Jesper Parnevik teeing off on 16" well then even if the world is blowing up you don't care in the least.

So it's easy to go through the day without seeing any news, unless you call Miss USA going in to rehab after begging The Donald (on her knees? Won't even go there - oops, I just did) to not take away her tiara. CNN spelling it "tiera" made me realize that if they can't even spell why should I listen to anything they say? So I watched Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" climb through sewers and chip cement from the inside of a cement truck and spraying bug poison all over a church and some in his mouth and eyes and thought, "it's not so bad being unplugged from reality." News and reality are no match for Jesper Parnevik and war against termites. It's easier on the brain and won't raise your blood pressure. Let me know what's going on in the real world. At this point I don't care much.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Behind Enemy Lines

I'm behind enemy lines now. Florida. Although JEB Bush is on his way out as governor it's still Bush-Cheney country. I spent the day driving around in a large SUV blending in quite nicely. If I had a Bush-Cheney bumper sticker on my car you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between me and the locals. Maybe my lack of a Confederate flag where the front license plate should be would give me away. In the local CVS there was more shelf space to adult diapers than baby diapers. Without satellite radio I am subjected to Rush Limbaugh on four separate AM stations. Listening to him for more than five minutes is like staring directly into the sun - it will burn your brain. I caught some listener asking if on 9/11 had the U.S. Capitol been hit would we the country be subjected to "Nancy Pelosi and her ilk" today. "Great question," the drug addict, three-time divorced, viagra-toting vacationer to the Dominican Republic answered. El Drug-bo went on to say that the Democrats want 9/11 to vanish from the nation's memory and work to wipe away 9/11 from politics. Had the U.S. Capitol been hit, says the little fat man, the Democrats couldn't possibly erase 9/11 from the nation's discourse like Pelosi and the others try to do. So yes he muses, if the White House or U.S. Capitol had been hit The Democrats and Pelosi probably wouldn't be in power now. Hmmmmm. Does that mean Rush "to get Oxycontin" Limbaugh is really saying he wishes the White House or U.S. Capitol had been hit in 9/11 so that the Republicans could have used the attacks (even more cravenly than they have) to stay in power? Yes and yes it's all insane but that's what he and his listeners are. Thank god I had to duck into a Super Wal-Mart and turn off the radio.

More reports from "real America' as they happen.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Timmy Johnson and The Holy Grail

I became a deeply religious man last night. I prayed and prayed for Democratic Senator Tim Johnson to survive his brain hemorrhage and emergency brain surgery. Guess it worked. If Johnson dies or resigns the Senate goes back to Republican control even before the Democrats have a chance to warm the seats. Since Johnson is still kicking, as long as he doesn't kick a bucket, his beating heart will guarantee Democratic control of the U.S. Senate at least for the next two years. Now that's a Holy Grail. There is a God.

Debating political fallout and power-shifts over a guy's surgery table is a bit inelegant but that's the reality. After the charges Republicans spewed (vomited is more like it) at Democrats, like wanting the terrorists to win and wanting America to suffer another 9/11 and hoping for the U.S. to lose in Iraq and gleefully assisting in treason, I have no hesitation saying I know Republicans are praying for Johnson to die as much as Democrats are praying for him to live. There are no atheists in intensive care units. Reminds me of a scene from Monty Python and The Holy Grail. The guy on the shoulder is Johnson, the guy carrying him are the Republicans and the guy who finishes him off is probably Karl Rove.

I'm off to bed and once again I'll be kneeling with my head bowed and hands clasped together seeking out the Almighty and praying as if Tim Johnson's life depended on it and I think it does. I'll be whispering, "please keep Tim Johnson's heart beating" while I have a feeling Karl Rove will be practicing "bring out your dead!" Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More than one way to skin an election

Just when I thought there was hope for America, Democratic Senator Tim Johnson from South Dakota was rushed to the hospital reportedly suffering from a stroke. First it was a mild stroke then a severe stroke. Then it wasn't a stroke or a heart attack but he was in surgery. Then CBS News reported it's "not good." I'm waiting for the "it was a minor circulatory problem of the head" diagnosis ala the movie "Dave." Not to joke here because this is no laughing matter, unless you're a Republican. You see class if Sen. Johnson dies or has to be replaced it will be the REPUBLICAN governor of South Dakota to select his replacement. And since the Senate stands at 51 Democrats and 49 Republicans, a loss of a Democrat and a gain of a Republican would make it 50-50. If you remember your civics then you'd know the Republican Vice-President would break the ties in voting. Short story is if Johnson goes then the Senate goes Repubican.

All that "we took back America" would be gone. What a scam. It may be state law that the governor selects replacements but it's not what's illegal that bothers me it's what's legal. So a guy has a grabber, an "Elizabeth, this is the big one!" or some type of brain malfunction and the entire nation is plunged back into darkness? I watched Republicans on t.v. talking about how they are praying for Tim Johnson and his family. Yes, they're praying for Johnson to die so they can steal back power. That's what they're good at.

I don't know what's going to happen with Sen. Johnson. He may be fine. He may not die or resign or be replaced. But the fact is if not don't worry. Down the road the Republicans will find another way to steal back what they can't win at the ballot box. In the last election I thought we proved they couldn't rig the elections or the judicial anointers. They didn't but they may use another way to get back into power. The game of politics is truly a game. The only losers are the voters.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Knives don't kill people, neocons do

I worked for a guy once who was a bit nuts. I remember one day he asked me what I had done on some bit of work and I told him. "You did what?!" he bellowed apparently upset at my answer. I then told him no I did the opposite just to see how he would react. "You did what?! That's even worse!" was his response proving that no matter what I had said he would have been hysterically angry. I'm reminded of that everytime the Iraq disaster is talked about.

President George Bush has now received the Iraq Study Group report and is on a "listening" tour to listen to things that he should have heard four years ago. No matter. The Decider will decide what to decide and when to decide it. In the meantime I have to listen to every Tom, Dick and Moron on television tell us that even though they got every prediction wrong over the last four years they should still be listened to. Their latest idea? Send more troops. They tell us that leaving would be a disaster. They say it would be seen as "cutting and and running" emboldening our enemies. So adding troops is now the best last ditch effort to turn things around. So staying in Iraq is a bad idea but leaving could be worse. Thank you Mr. President for spending our nation's blood, treasure and prestige to get us to this point. You should wear a t-shirt that says, "I invaded Iraq and all I got was this stupid t-shirt."

The question of whether to remove the knife from a wounded victim or leave it in is a lot like what's going on in Iraq. Pulling out is bad but leaving it in is only marginally better. I guess the answer to all this is not to stab in the first place. The neocons are great at stabbing, they just don't know what to do after that.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Robert "no-facts" Novak saves the day

With just a few minutes before Monday becomes Tuesday, Robert "no-facts" Novak saves the day for me. Novak is the Simon Bar Sinister look-a-like "glad to do it" outer of CIA undercover operative Valerie Plame. (In fact, Plame was a NOC or non-official cover agent which means she traveled on a citizen's blue U.S. passport and had no diplomatic immunity if caught spying. Novak of course could care less.) Novak is the lifelong curmudgeon who makes me look like the Good Humor Man by comparison. In any event, the Dark Prince has once again written a slimy pack of lies and gets paid handsomely for it.

Under the column title, "Democrats can smell the Pork" Novak describes greedy, big-spending, pork-loving Republicans who can't resist trying to spend your money on pet projects called "earmarks." The column goes into great detail about Republican Sen. Ted Stevens having another hissy fit about two freshmen senators trying to block earmarks and thus stop the pork spending. Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison also has an insatiable taste for all things swine and fights attempts to stop the spending. Why not? There are four ways to spend money Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Freidman said - you can spend your money on yourself; your money on someone else; someone else's money on yourself; or someone else's money on someone else. Gee, guess which one these "fiscally responsible" conservative Republicans like to do? They love to spend someone else's money on someone else. The first "someone else" is of course foreigner's money, like the Chinese. We borrow over a billion dollars a day from overseas to buy things we don't need like bridges to nowhere or toilet museums to bribe voters (the latter "someone else") with these pork projects. So how does this add up to Democrats smelling the pork as Novak claims? If you can figure it out let me know.

Maybe Novak should take a few moments away from cranking out another rag of a column to read a real reporter's story about all this entitled, "Dems to Wipe Out Pet Projects in Bill." It's a simple story based on facts and on the record quotes but those are as alien to Novak as a hairbrush and a kind word. My favorite quote in the story is, "There will be no congressional earmarks." That came from Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., and Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., from a statement Moonday, "announcing their plans, which were quickly endorsed by incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D- Nev." The earmarks the Democrats are talking about getting rid of have exploded under the Republicans who say they are for smaller government and lower spending - they are lying. "There were more earmarks in 2005 than from 1991 to 1999 combined. Although the number of earmarks went down in 2006, their cost increased $6 billion in one year - from $23 billion in 2005 to $29 billion in 2006." Don't take my word for it, that's from the Heritage Foundation a unimpeachable conservative organization. In Novak's world Democrats announcing they intend to end earmarks turns into they can't wait to pass earmarks. Go figure.

So the moral of the story is Novak lies about Democrats and outs CIA operatives and I do not. Read me and not him.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Another Genius

I missed Friday so here is a Sunday nugget to make up for it. Last Monday I wrote that I didn't care who got appointed to head the House Intelligence Committee as long as it wasn't Rep. Alcee Hastings since he was a former federal judge - former because he got impeached by Congress. Rep. Silvestre Reyes was mentioned as a potential chair although he was not the ranking member as far as seniority. I said I didn't care if Silvestre Reyes or Sylvester the cat took over as long as it wasn't Hastings. Be careful what you wish for. I think right now I'd go for Sylvester the cat. A few more interviews like this with Reyes and I might lament my opposition to Hastings. From

"Al Qaeda is what, I asked, Sunni or Shia?

“Al Qaeda, they have both,” Reyes said. “You’re talking about predominately?”

“Sure,” I said, not knowing what else to say.

“Predominantly — probably Shiite,” he ventured.

He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Al Qaeda is profoundly Sunni. If a Shiite showed up at an al Qaeda club house, they’d slice off his head and use it for a soccer ball."

Doesn't know who runs al Qaeda. You say Shiites, I say Sunnis, let's call the whole thing off. Yes, let's call the whole thing off. If I'm going to try can't the head of the House Intelligence Committee try a bit? Just a little? Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you your new Chairman of the Permanent House Select Committe of Intelligence Rep. Silvestre Reyes. Now is he a Democrat or Republican?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A vast wasteland, except for Wife Swap on ABC

I don't watch the ranting talking heads on cable anymore. I haven't for long time and I don't miss them. Ninety-nine percent of the political screaming matches you watch on The O'Reilly Factor or Hannity & Colmes or Tucker or whatever is just a vaudeville act. It's not intellectual debate, it's argument for the sake of argument. Nothing is solved, nothing is learned. Certainly not in the three to six minutes given for the segments. It's just yell out your talking points as fast and as loud as you can. Like I said i don't miss it. It's like missing punches to the head.

The latest example of public discourse descending into the gutter is the New York Post's front page today. Rupert Murdoch, the media/propaganda barron put the faces of James A. Baker III and Lee hamilton, the co-chairs of the Iraq Study Group, on monkeys and screamed the headline, "Surrender Monkeys." It's really impressive in it's childish viciousness and total lack of substance. But what do you expect from Murdoch or the right? They can't defend against the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group so they call the co-chairs surrender monkeys. Listen to Tom Friedman and then decide whether getting out of Iraq is a bad idea. Listen what an intelligent assessment sounds like and compare that against questions from O'Reilly like, "Do you want America to win in Iraq?" (Unfortunately it's not the complete interview - I caught it his morning and it was refreshing.) The death of substantive debate is complete. No longer do we use history or facts or political assessments to frame a debate - it has arrived at the destination where a former Secretary of State, who also served as a White House Chief of Staff is called a "surrender monkey" by a major newspaper whose publisher controls Fox News.

So do yourself a favor. Turn off the television. Pick up a book, magazine or a newspaper. Hey here's a crazy idea - why not actually read the Iraq Study Group report instead of having some right-wing nutjob newspaper like the New York Post distill it down into a two-word slur? Learn something. Learn how you are treated like fools by the smirking cable hosts. Learn how you've been lied to and fed a steady diet of propaganda. If you don't you'll be using examples of Jack Bauer in "24" (a Fox show) to justify torture. Too late, already done. In the meantime I'm going to tune out, turn away and drop out of wasting brain cells on people who have none.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The VP's grandchild has two mommies

Another story from the "truth is stranger than fiction" files - Vice President Dick Cheney's openly gay daughter Mary is pregnant and she and her partner, Heather Poe, are excited. So are the right-wing hate jobs who claim to cherish life unless it springs forth from the loins of lesbians. "Janice Crouse, an official with the conservative advocacy group Concerned Women for America, called Cheney's pregnancy 'wrong.' "They're deliberately bringing a child into the world without a father, leaving a great gaping hole," Crouse said. Father absence is the biggest problem we're facing in this country," she said, and "the root cause of all sorts of negative outcomes — drug use, juvenile delinquency. You name it." Robert Knight, director of the Culture and Media Institute of the Media Research Center says of the pregnancy, "I think it's tragic that a child has been conceived with the express purpose of denying it a father," Knight said. Fatherhood is important and always will be, so if Mary and her partner indicate that that is a trivial matter, they're shortchanging this child from the start. Mary and Heather can believe what they want," Knight said, "but what they're seeking is to force others to bless their nonmarital relationship as marriage" and to "create a culture that is based on sexual anarchy instead of marriage and family values." "Sexual anarchy." Sounds like a new reality show on FOX.

Mary Cheney has said publicly that "Heather and I already are married." She also said, "We have built a home and a life together. I hope I get to spend the rest of my life with her. The way I look at it is, we're just waiting for state and federal law to catch up with us." She's going to have to wait a long time. She may think she's married but her home state of Virginia says she and her partner have no more rights or protections than two roommates. Daddy's boss, President George W. Bush recently said, "I believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman." As Texas governor, Bush opposed gay couples being able to legally adopt. "I believe children ought to be adopted in families with a woman and a man who are married," Bush said. Wonder if he's going to send a baby gift.

I know that the most important thing is that the Mary Cheney's baby is healthy and loved. The President and his moral minority supporters think the most important thing is demonizing people so as to win elections and control the teeming masses of "sexual anarchists." They will eventually end up on the trash heap of history along with their divine inspired hate of unborn children of parents who were created by their Creator as gay or lesbian. In the meantime we all have to suffer their slings and arrows of homophobia. "It's not normal!" said Maj. Frank Burns in a classic episode of M*A*S*H. "What's normal Frank?" he is asked. "Normal is everyone doing the same thing." answers Frank. "What about individuality?" to which Frank replies, "Individuality is fine as long as we all do it together."

I guess hating couples, straight or gay, who want to have children brought into a loving home whether through adoption or pregnancy, is fine as long as we all do it together. Count me out. Count the Christian right in.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Too tired to blog

I'm too tired to blog. The updates are I can walk now and I sold my car. Didn't get much response from the Chicago Tribune but I put up an ad on Craig's List and it was sold in less than seven hours. Craig's list is amazing and the guy who started it, Craig, is some pure genius who won't be corrupted. He was offered $100 million for his site and said no. I guess genius and insanity really do intersect. As of today I haven't even been offered half that much for the rights to my blog. Nothing happened in the world today worth talking about. Hopefully that changes tomorrow otherwise the New York Times will just be a bunch of blank pages.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Can I go now?

"Just when I thought that I was out they pull me back in. " Michael Corleone said that in Godfather III and it's how I feel. I first threatened to quit paying attnetion to politics and leave the country if the Republicans kept control of the House of Representatives. They lost the House and incredibly the Senate and the Democrats and America won. Whether I won is another story. It put off my inevitable shunning of all things political for another day. So I waited for another chance to pack it in. The Democrats gave me that chance almost immediately.

Even before she took over in January as Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi presented me with a way out. Rumor had it that she had this cat-fight thing with Rep. Jane Harman who was in line to take over as the chairperson of the House Intelligence Committee and was going to appoint the no. 2 person on the panel, Rep. Alcee Hastings. Hastings was the first black federal judge appointed in Florida and he was also one of the very, very few federal judges ever removed from office through congressional impeachment. It was all about bribes and perjury and although a Miami criminal jury found Hastings not guilty the Congress wasn't so blind. The Washington Post writes, "When the Hastings case reached the House, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), skeptical about the evidence, investigated further. In time, Conyers, an African American, became so certain of Hastings's guilt that he delivered an impassioned speech about race and justice -- and made an opening statement during the Senate proceedings, which ended with Hastings's conviction on 11 counts, including seven counts of making false statements." The voted was 413 to 3 to impeach Hastings. That's the guy who was in line and considered for the head of the Intelligence committee. So I sent a couple of emails out warning some Democratically connected people that if Hastings was appointed to lead the panel I was done. Gone. Never to be heard from again. There may be no real cause and effect like praying for rain and then it happens but it looks like Hastings won't get the job.

Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas might get the job but I wouldn't care if Sylvester the cat got the chairmanship. Rep. Norman Dicks, fondly known as the Congressman from Boeing (formally headquartered in his district, now located in Chicago) is also a name being mentioned. I'm available since it looks like I'm going to be around watching the mental patients run the asylum for a just a bit more. I'm sure more opportunities to get out will come up but I'm also sure they'll pull me right back in.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

My kingdom for a snowblower

I am blogging from the floor of my bedroom. I don't mean I'm sitting on my floor typing away I mean I'm in the least painful position of what seems to be an infinite amount of painful positions.

If you read my post on thursday you know I was preparing for the foot of snow coming to my driveway. I checked out my hand me down snowblower that I got five years ago and saw I needed gas and oil. I went to Ace Hardware to get a gas can and of course they're sold out since everyone else is doing the same thing. I head off to Home Depot and find the last gas can and grab it. I also pick up an 8 ounce can of oil to mix with the gas. One gallon for every eight ounces it says for lawn mowers and snowblowers. I get gas at the station and go home. I proceed to pour the eight ounces into the gas can and then pour the mixture into the snowblower. As I screw the gas cap back on the blower I realized I screwed myself. On the side of the blower it says to mix four ounces of oil to every gallon of gas. Fabulous.

I try to start the snowblower. Nothing. I try again and again and again. Nothing, nothing, nothing. A few more violent yanks on the blower and I'm ready for rotator cuff surgery. I give up. I take out a shovel and start to remove heavy wet snow that is covers the long driveway to a uniform depth of twelve inches. After a bit of shoveling and closing in on a heart attack I try the blower again. Holy moly it starts! It is billowing out oily black smoke since it is drowning in oil but it works. I'm able to get two passes out of it before it stops working again. More yanks and more nothing. I'm on my own.

Somewhere during the shoveling to clear the driveway something in my back goes on strike. By the time I'm finished I smell like gas and oil and my weak back feels like it's been hurt for about a week back. By the time I go to bed I can't really walk and the next morning it's worse. It's 6 a.m. and I'm on the floor next to my bed. Cranky's Wife is calling the doctor and within an hour I'm holding a bottle of Vicodin and muscle relaxants.

It's now 6 p.m. and I feel paralyzed. Let me re-phrase that. It's 6 p.m. and I am paralyzed. Temporarily I hope. I won't go into all the gory details of life on the floor but it's not pretty. But for my devoted fans I had to blog. Even if it's using one finger on a wireless laptop. I missed posting Friday and for me to miss a post you know I have to be in jail, in the hospital or in a jail hospital. Add paralyzed on the floor after shoveling more snow than my back could carry to the list. Pray for me and my back. And for all those people who get addicted to Vicodin - I don't get it. I'm downing them like Chicklets and I can still feel the pain. Go figure. I can't even get addicted right.