Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Terroist Fungi

I thought this was good reading and Charley gave me permission to Post it.

I was in line for airport security a couple of weeks ago. I looked down at my feet and
realized that, like half of those with me, I had on sandals and no socks. The sandals
would soon be coming off, and my bare feet would be walking across the same floor as
thousands of other bare feet that day. I started wondering how many of my predecessors
had athlete's foot or other communicable problems.

Suddenly, I had an epiphany: what if it was all part of an Osama bin Laden plot! What if we
were simply being distracted by yesterday's danger of hijacked airlines, while submitting
to today's danger of millions of new cases of athlete's foot? Imagine the consequences.
An American nation weakened, hobbling around on itchy, burning feet while mad
fundamentalists took over the world. Like a magician's unsuspecting rubes, we had been
looking in the wrong place while the evil mastermind had concocted a new danger to
strike us unawares.

As the days have passed, I have come to understand what a diabolical plan Al Qaeda has
set into motion. I mean, here we are, fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, spending a couple
of trillion dollars to fight a war we cannot win, sending hundreds of thousands of soldiers
and Marines to guard impossibly vulnerable pipelines and close permanently porous
borders. The scale of economic and human waste is staggering, of course, but I have
come to understand that the war itself is not even the point. What we are dealing with
here is a subtle plan to destroy our civilization while we don't even notice. It is much like
the magician's slight of hand, directing our attention elsewhere while he produces the
rabbit from the hat or the coin from behind our ear.
While we have been distracted by the war, Osama and his cohorts have been up to no
good. Consider the following:

When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda shipped all of America's manufacturing jobs to other
countries, leaving our nation like helpless pigs waiting for other nations to fill the trough.

When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda took all the resources out of our schools, leaving an
entire generation of children unprepared to make intelligent decisions, prey to
superstition and fundamentalism.

When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda gradually deprived our citizens of healthcare, leaving
us sick and weakened, ripe for an attack.

When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda made us buy enormous quantities of fashionable
trinkets (manufactured in other countries), putting us into impossible debt (often to
countries like China, which are loaning us the money).

When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda took the money from our infrastructure, so that soon
our bridges will collapse under our heavy S.U.V.s and our roads will fill with potholes. Al
Qaeda has been particularly successful in depriving us of the investments needed to
develop clean and sustainable energy self-reliance, so that we daily become more
dependent on the petroleum of other countries.
When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda tricked us into giving up our liberties and into relying
on methods like torture, which have in turn taught the countries of the world to fear and
hate us.

When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda made our government corrupt and our citizens
mistrustful of that government.

When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda made us rely on mercenary armies, which have no
loyalty to our once-great nation.

In short, while we have been paying attention to the war, Al Qaeda has undermined every
single structure that once made our nation strong. We are now the biggest debtor country
of the world, living for the moment with no thought to the future, undereducated and
under-informed, susceptible to disease and panic, mistrusting ourselves and our elected
officials…a fruit ripe for the picking.
It is a sad state of affairs indeed, to finally understand that our civilization has been
dismantled behind our backs, even as we thought we were fighting terrorism. I think I
hear some cruel laughter from a cave in western Pakistan.

(This essay is cross-posted at http://www.mnblue.com/node/576
Charley Underwood

Good Old Days!

Last Saturday Hubba and I drove down to Sheldon Iowa to visit my favorite Auntie Lo,
my dads oldest sister.
Lo turned 95 in June,she is still as sharp as ever though her body isn't.
She was always there for our family, and she was the first one at the Hospital
when we knew dad was dying.
They were very close and in many ways she is still my connection to him.
It is so hard to let go, but I know that day is coming.
I could tell when our visit was ending, she kept dozing off.
Heading back we had made arrangements to spend the night in our hometown, so it was only a 2 1/2 hour drive.
We had also contacted some good friends and told them to meet us at the Legion club.

What an Interesting night it turned out to be

While we sat visiting in the Legion, I noticed some familiar, though old looking, people walking through to the back room.
It wasn't long before one of them yelled my name, and I found out it was a social gathering for my younger sisters class reunion.
She is 1 1/2 years younger then me, but sorry, those guys looked old!!

For the rest of the night I was getting the "Where is Cleo?"questions
I didn't know till the next day that she was out of town at her daughters.

I don't know how many of you go to your class reunions, but I speak from experience.
Go!! So it isn't such a shock when you see the fat bellied athletes or the quite large cheer leaders.

I was very surprised at a past all-school reunion when one of my male friends told me he had a crush on me all through High School.

I am still ticked at him for not saying something back then when I needed it.

But Hey better late then never!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I hate Change!!

It is so frustrating when you get use to a product and then it is discontinued without letting consumers know.

I have gone through this many times with makeup, and even food products.

At least with a food product you have someone in the store that can answer your questions

Today my Stylist told me she could no longer find my hair color.
Roux # 63
What does it mean?
Much experimenting or go grey,and that will never happen.
I started greying in my late 20's and began coloring then.
Once I let it grow out only to see my mother staring back at me in the mirror.

I decided to call Revlon and check for myself.
I immediately got through only to be told I had to call Colomer, she gave me the
1 800 number and I called.

For the next 45 minutes I was told by several different canned voices

"Someone will be with you momentarily."

"Please stay on the line, your call is important to us."

Then back to their god awful elevator music.
The least they could do was give me a little Bach or Mendelssohn.
I finally gave up on it and tried thier website.
That was even more frustrating, it was impossible to figure out.
I shot off an e-mail to their webmaster asking for the combination to get into the site.
I haven't got a reply yet.

For some reason I am beginning to think that Revlon does not want anyone to
ask questions.

So if you have any Revlon Stock, I suggest you watch it very carefully
something may be brewing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

They are all our Kids

On a recent post Homecoming, I talked about an e-mail that my friends granddaughter sent to family from Iraq.
She was with one of the Minnesota guard units that recently came home..
She can now get back to her life with her husband and with her education.
Like her Great Grandmother and her Grandmother she is planning on a nursing career.
This is just a small inkling of what our young kids and the Iraqi's are going through thanks to Bush and Company
Thank God many of them have come home safe.
The Minnesota Guard Units have the "distinction" of serving the longest in Iraq.
I just pray none of them ever have to go back.
I want to thank her for allowing me to post this.

May 31, 2007

Dear and wonderful family and friends,

Hi! It’s the last day of May and also time for one of my last mass email updates. I hope you are all soaking in some beautiful rays where you are. I know I am! The temperatures have been between 115-125 degrees for the last week here. Steamy! We might be crazy, but my friends and I make it a point to walk to lunch every day, which is just over a mile each way. That way we know we are really experiencing the heat of Iraq. Strange, I know.

How are you all doing? I am getting extremely excited to see you all again. Word from higher is that we will be home in Minnesota by the third week in July. I can’t wait! I have plans to spend time with many of you and I hope to see you all again soon.

I had an excellent time working in the hospital at Balad. I worked in the ICU and stayed very busy. The hospital has three ICU units and I had the chance to work in all three. ICU 1 is strictly for U.S. soldiers and contractors. I found this ICU to be the most heart-wrenching place to work, for obvious reasons. One of the young soldiers who I helped had both of his legs amputated. He woke up over 30 times during my shift, each time realizing as if for the first time that he no longer had legs. His crying led to many tears on the part of many the ICU staff. This was such an emotional experience for all of us working there.

ICU 2 is where Iraqi pediatric patients recover. I really enjoyed working in this unit because many of the children made such great progress while I worked there. Their stories are very sad, and we had the opportunity to talk to their parents too. I can’t imagine what it must be like to one moment be playing in your backyard and to suddenly wake up in the hospital with a huge piece of shrapnel in your head. I am attaching a few pictures of the children and families I worked with while I was in Balad. I found the Iraqi parents and family members to be friendly and very concerned for their children.

ICU3 houses the adult Iraqi patients, whether they are Iraqi Army, civilians or even detainees. For the most part, we knew very little about these adult patients, mainly because there were very few visiting family members and our patients were so critically injured that communication often wasn’t possible. Although detainees were given the same standard of medical care, many of us had mixed emotions in having to help someone who had just tried to injure our soldiers.

Hmm, this is sounding like a very depressing email, isn’t it?! Yes, working in the hospital has been both very challenging and rewarding. My overwhelming feeling is that it’s sad to see all of the effects this war is having on both Americans and Iraqis. At the same time, the optimist in me tries to see the positive interactions I’ve had with Iraqis and the medical experience I am gaining while working here.

Enough said. I just hope that you are all there treasuring every moment you have to see your loved ones and to enjoy your lives. I can’t wait to be on that side of the ocean with you again.

Love you all,

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Summer TV

I am beginning to think the biggest mistake
we ever made was getting Cable.
In days gone by, summer TV was so boring or repetitive.
I would read everything in sight.
Right now I have 3 books to read for my book club,
and what did I do this afternoon?
Sat in the family room,catching up on HBO series Big Love
and John from Cincinnati.
I enjoy Big Love, but for the life of me don't know why I am watching John.
It is the weirdest thing I have seen in years.
I sometimes think they make it up as they go along.
Right now I think the only reason I am staying with it,
is to find out who and what John is.
I should have turned it off after episode 2.
I did that with Lost after the first season and also 24.
If anyone reading this can give me a hint, at what my attraction to John is.
I would love to know.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Hope everyone has been having a good week, I know we have kept busy.
I was waiting for permission to post an e-mail one of my closest friends had received from her G daughter who just arrived home from Iraq after spending almost 2 years of her life there as a medic.
It was a moving letter and if I don't get her permission I won't print it in full.

Meanwhile the Red Bull's a National guard unit from Minnesota arrived home this past week.
They were the longest serving guard unit that had been in Iraq.
Among the groups coming home were many children of friends of ours.
There are a lot of stories to be told from that group.
For now they just want to reunite with their families.

So we will give them time to breathe the fresh air in Minnesota.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Relay for Life

When I was 14 years old while washing my face I discovered a small little bebe size lump in my jaw,I showed it to my friends but then totally ignored it.
It continued to grow and one day at the supper table my Dad kept staring at me (which alone could be frightening) and finally he said "come here", and rolled the lump around in my jaw, by then it was the size of a marble.
"How long has that been there"?
Thinking I had done something wrong..AGAIN..
I said "I don no, maybe a couple weeks".
The next thing I knew, I was in a car riding to the Doctors office in the middle of a snow storm.
Old Doc Olmanson laid me on the table and gave me shot of Novocain and then proceeded to make a small slit and flipped out the lump into his hand.
I remember him saying to my Dad, "I'll send it in for a biopsy, but I wouldn't worry about it It was encapsulated".
My parents told me later that it was a Sarcoma, (malignant tumor) but hey I was 14 that didn't mean a thing to me.
Though I seemed to get new respect from Sister Mary Ricarda when I told her about it at school.
I never thought about it again.
It was many years later that my brother( who is 10 years older then me) told me how worried he, and my parents were
at that time.
I then did some research on Sarcoma's and realized how lucky I was that my dad was so observant.

Tonight was the Relay for Life Cancer walk in my community.

I went over again, this time only as a visitor and not a member of a team.
I don't know if it is because it's Friday the 13th, but I was just a little uncomfortable tonight.
I ran into some friends and left my check.
Maybe next year I'll join a team again.
I still have problem thinking of myself as a survivor, when I have had so many friend that have had to go through chemo and radiation and several who have died from cancer.

If there is a Relay in your town, give a check to someone.
Every day new research comes up with new treatments or cures.
When my Dad died at the age of 56 from Hodgkin's disease, there was no cure and only experimental treatments.

Today Hodgkin's caught early is curable.

Who knows maybe next year it will be breast cancer or ovarian cancer that they find a cure for.

We can only hope

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Big Brother

Big Brother is back, and I am watching it again.

But there is something creepy about this years cast of players.
It is Dick the tattooed father brought in to the house to surprise his
daughter who hasn't spoken to him in three years.
Does anyone blame her?
Yikes he makes my skin crawl, and I wonder what the producers were thinking bringing him into the house.

Then there is gay Joe who shouted from the house tops that his former partner, who is also a surprise guest, Dustin, gave him gonorrhea.

Tonight's show is the first eviction.

Personally I wish Big Dick and Wee Joe were the ones going out..

Why am I watching this instead of reading a good book?

I am beginning to wonder my self..

Thursday, July 05, 2007

After the 4th

The 4th is over and I am relaxing a little bit.

I get a wee bit nervous during this particular holiday.
Too many G kids out there celebrating and it tends to make me nervous.
I was born a worrier.

We had a nice peaceful celebration.
We went down to our home town where they have the old fashioned 4th of July in the park.
It includes a street dance on the 3rd behind the Redman's Club
We spent a little time down there visiting with friends and kids of our friends.

We met some old friends for lunch earlier, one of them loves to talk politics and so of course the conversation turned toward the criminals in the White House.
They chose not to come down town later..we'll see them again soon.

Years ago when the kids were younger and my Mom was alive meeting in the park was a family tradition. Things changed when she died and the kids got older.
One niece and husband did show up for awhile, and a couple of my husbands nephews were there.
We stayed till after lunch and the St.Peter Drum Corp(the oldest drum corp in the USA) performed and then headed home.

My hubba use to be a member of the corp( until 2 babies came along and made it difficult) along with my brother and many friends.
His Dad marched with the original corp and a few years back our oldest son
took time off from the corp he was with Minnesota Brass, to march one year with
the Govies so there would be a 3rd generation.

It doesn't look like any of the G kids got the marching gene, so there won't be a 4th generation.
Next year is an All School reunion over the 4th and I am looking forward to that.

When we got home there was a message that my car was ready to be picked up.

We did that today.

I hope I get over my apprehension about driving it, soon.

Hubba has had the whole week off, he is not use to being away from the office.
It reinforces the fact that he most likely will only retire when he is forced too.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Scooter get's to skate !

Is anyone surprised that Bush computed Scooter Libby's prison sentence?

What do you think this means?

Personally, I think it means Scooter knew too much and
this was the only way to keep him quiet.
He could have put both Bush and Cheney behind bars, and only God knows who else.

I would love to know what is going on in Martha Stewart's mind right now.

She served her sentence without a whimper.

Can this sleazy administration get any worse?

Hold on to your hats every one, It's going to be a bumpy ride.