Dixie, a dog's life | Dogs

Dixie, a dog’s life

It was over 15 years ago and our family was not looking for a dog.
We had just put down our first family dog, Buttons, on my daughter’s fifth birthday.  We managed to change plans for her birthday and she went to sleep over at a friend’s house that night, but she knew enough to say goodbye to her.  She was the neighborhood dog and everyone knew her name and petted her and we were grieving the loss of a family member.
So it was a few weeks after that when we were out and about in the Southern suburbs.  We stopped at a Petco when we saw a sign that there were rescue dogs up for adoption.  My wife did not want another dog so soon after putting down our first dog, but I and our kids out-voted her and we went to look at what they had.  We are Lab people.  We like the breed and we like big dogs.  The purebred lab puppies they had were all spoken for, and in fact every dog there was spoken for except for one.  Erica.
Erica was a skinny little mix breed, part black Lab, part mutt.  She looked like a black lab but had four white paws and the tip of her tail was white.  She weighed about 35 pounds and we were told she would get to be about 40.  Her age was unknown but they guessed she was between one and two years.  The “person” who owned her beat her.  She was abused so bad that when they spayed her they discovered that all of her internal organs were bruised.  She was skittish of people.  She really did not like men.  When we walked with her she pulled hard and wanted to run.  As I said, we were not really looking for a dog.
So we took her home.  We renamed her Dixie because no dog should have to go through life with a name that could be associated with beatings.  For the first two weeks we owned her every time I walked into the same room she was in, she ran away and into another room.  She bonded with my wife and she liked the kids but there was no doubt she was my wife’s dog.
We were told Dixie was potty trained but when we got her she peed and pooped all over our house.  As my wife was picking it up she saw there were worms in her poop and we later learned that worms make you feel like you have to go to the bathroom all the time.  Once we got her the right pills that cleared up and she never had an accident in the house again.  She was a smart dog.
She also grew.  She grew big and strong getting fed regular meals and getting the worms out of her system.  She made it up to 74 pounds and for the past couple of years she maintained a sleek 59 pounds.  She looked the size and shape of a Lab.  She also liked to run and she was fast.  When she escaped from us the neighbors would call with sightings because she would not go up to any other human except those in our family.  One night she ran away and we could not find her.  The next morning our neighbor three doors down called to say she was laying by their patio door on that freezing winter morning.
Our neighbor across the street loves animals and she would always try to get Dixie to come to her by bribing her with a hot dog.  She never took the bait.  Two years ago when they adopted their first dog Moose, then a light switch went off in Dixie’s mind and she decided that our neighbor was alright.  From that point on she went up to her all the time for treats and love and belly rubs.  Our neighbor called her Princess.
A year later our neighbors adopted another puppy and named him Caribou.  Caribou loved Dixie.  He loved her.  He always licked and kissed her and greeted her with excited yelps and barks and was basically a pain in the butt to her.  But Dixie seemed to enjoy the attention and would sit there and take it and they soon had a May-December romance brewing.  Dixie loved Bart, though.  Bart was her first dog friend and a big beast of a lab weighing in at 95 pounds.  Dixie could spot Bart from blocks away and when she got older, if she saw Bart walking home with her master, she would follow them down the street until we called her back.
Two years ago another dog was given to us to rescue and she accepted Shadow into our home.  She was the queen, though, and she knew it.  She was the first to get treats, she always got an extra treat from Julie our neighbor, and her face and muzzle had turned all gray.  She was at a point in her life when she would go up to strangers at the dog park and ask to be petted or she would go to them if they called her.  She had finally after a decade or more, come out of her shell and was not afraid.
Three days ago we were all at the dog park again and she did her usual routine.  She went exploring in the woods, sniffed every bush in the park, greeted all the dogs that came into the park, especially the Labs, and she was happy to be outside and in her element.  She was in great shape for an old gal and we went to the park almost every day.  When it was time to go she did her usual routine and pretended like she could not hear very well and she would walk in the opposite direction.  Hey Dixie, if we say it is time to go home and you turn and walk the other way, we know you can hear us.
Yesterday I sensed that it may be her last day.  Her legs all of a sudden started to go out on her.  I walked with her down the stairs and for the first time she fell a stair before I caught her.  I carried her down the stairs and to her food and she did not want to eat and could not get up or stand.  My wife was at work.  She seemed comfortable and I was hoping she would take a nap and not wake up.  Alas.
I went over to the neighbors and watched the Green Bay game.  I came home and she was on the floor, this time a few feet from the soft carpet I had put her on that day.  She moved to our wood floor because she had an accident in the house and I could tell she felt bad about it.  After picking up the poop I told her it was OK and I laid next to her and cried like a baby.  I told her I loved her, she was a great dog, etc.  I then got up and called the vet whose voicemail referred me to a 24 hour emergency vet.  I called my neighbors and then my wife came home with dinner.  She too laid next to her baby and cried and petted her and told her she was a great girl.
I called my kids to tell them the news.  If she had only made it to the end of this week they could have seen her one more time.  I wish that it would have been so, but it was not.  I called them and they said goodbye to her over the phone as I held the phone to her ear.  They said later that I freaked them out because they had never heard me cry.  I cried like a baby that night.
The neighbors got home from wherever they were at and they came over to say goodbye too.  Caribou, for the first time ever, did not walk up to her and smother her with love.  I think he sensed she was sick.  There was crying and petting and of course Julie brought over treats, this time every single one was for Dixie.  She decided she could and would eat treats.  We took pictures and cried and said goodbyes, and then they left to make the long drive to the vet and to put her down.
I picked my baby up and brought her to the car.  I told my wife to drive through McDonald’s and bought her one of her favorite treats, a plain hamburger.  She knew where we were at because her tail was beating a happy tune.  She ate that hamburger like a pro.  We then went to the vet and for the first time ever, she did not shake like Barney Fife when she was brought into the vet.  She knew we would not hurt her and she knew it was going to be OK.
She was wheeled in on a gurney with held her head high panting and smiling and looking like the queen she was.  She was taken to the back room and they put a line in her vein and then she was wheeled to a room where my wife and I sat.  She still looked regal.  We smothered her with love and affection and told her what a difference she made in our lives.  The vet came in, explained it to us even though we had been here before, and she then administered the cocktail.  Dixie just laid her head down like she was going to take a nap.  There was no deep sigh, no bowel evacuations or any other thing we were told might happen.  She just went to sleep and died peacefully and not in pain.
I am going to miss her in ways I can’t put into words.  As I type this I am crying.  There is a hole in our house, a hole in our hearts and only time will make it better.  When we get her ashes we are going to spread them in the wetlands in our backyard where Buttons went to rest.  The neighbors will be there along with their dogs and I am going to buy them a big pint of soft-serve yogurt for them to celebrate a life well lived.
She had the worst start any animal could have in life but then she had a hell of a run.  She was with us for 15 years, a long time for an old Lab, and it still feels like she was taken too soon.  I hope we did right by her and I will miss her for the rest of my life.
RIP Dixie.  ?-2000 or 2001 to 12-13-2015.  I love you very much.
P.S.  Two months have passed since we put Dixie down.  We did indeed get her ashes back and we did indeed invite the neighbor and their dogs over for a celebration of her life.  We all had vanilla frozen yogurt and before we spread her ashes we all said some words for our girl.
The first few weeks after she was gone were tough.  I would look at the couch, her spot, and she was not there.  I bought my wife a big painting/picture of her and the other dogs I had made at Costco.  When we passed that picture we would feel sad.  The other dog was confused when she got to eat out of the Queen’s bowls, but she figured that out after a couple of days.
As time passes the memories are all happy.  She was a great dog, she had a great life, and I hope like hell there is a dog heaven so she would be there running and playing and enjoying her spiritual journey.  This was written for Dixie.  It would be hard to find a better dog.

Odds and Ends

I am calling this post: Odds and Ends

There is no overlying theme today.  There is no specific rant or rave or anything I am praising or disparaging.  It is going to be like a Larry King article, odds and ends, and I hope it is infinitely more interesting.

My son is home from college and brought along a friend from Cyprus.  I thought Cyprus was a part of Greece but it is its own free standing island nation.  It is located closer to Turkey and Syria than to Greece.  It is near Israel and Lebanon but hopefully the ocean is a big enough space for them to keep out of the crap going on in the Middle East.  They speak Greek, our guest looks Greek, and he is going to be going to a Thanksgiving celebration with 30 of our family members.

We are not hosting Thanksgiving but we will be hosting Christmas.  I told my wife that I would paint our dining room.  I have hated the color for five or six years and I want to paint it before we put in new flooring.  That way I can mess up the place and not have to worry too much about splashing.  My wife and I picked out a color but she wants me to do a pattern on it.  I don’t think it will be too hard but she likes to see me work harder than I have to.  Just kidding, her judgement is solid and I know it will look fantastic once I am done with it.  You know the best part?  I get to take down some old wallpaper edging!  I love doing that job.

We got a new TV and broached the world of UHDTV.  It is supposed to be twice as sharp as regular high definition TV but there is really no programming to go with it so who knows?  I bought a Samsung even though I hate that they use the TV to spy on us.  There is no opting out of the user agreement because you have to be in so that you may work the TV.  We got it for out bedroom because the old TV was small and it was not fun to watch TV up there.  Now we have a TV on steroids and the picture is incredible and the TV is a piece of artwork.  I am excited about it.

Other odds and ends

Winter is coming in Minnesota.  I have winterized the lawn mower and readied the snow blower and I am simply waiting for a big storm to come and hit us.  Iowa was pounded last week but we missed it.  In fact it is going to be 40 degrees today which really feels like a fall day.  I like when the weather is warmer, and no, I do not believe in global warming.

My wife has to go in for a colonoscopy tomorrow.  I am lucky in that I have already had that procedure.  It is painless except for the prep work.  By the time you are done cleansing your intestines, your butt is rubbed raw from even the smoothest of toilet papers.  The only advice I gave her was use a gentle touch when wiping.  Other than that she is on her own.

My daughter is supposed to show up Wednesday.  The poor cats.  They are going to get smothered with love.  She loves anything with a fury face.  She has been missing them so bad that she has a cat friend on campus who she goes and visits three times a week.  That cat does not like to be held so she still is missing the hugs and kisses you can give them.  For the next three days they will be smothered with hugs and loves and kisses.  I tried to warn them but they looked at me with indifference.

We are dog sitting tomorrow.  We already have two dogs but this one is a puppy and had high energy.  His name is Nikkon and he is as smart as can be.  He is also hyper and he bugs the hell out of the cats.  Maybe after Nikkon the cats will not mind my daughter attacking them.  There is usually an hour or so of getting to know the level of the pack and then the dogs get along swimmingly.

That is all.  A nice short odds and ends column.

A Great Cup of Coffee

In Search of a Great Cup of Coffee

I started drinking coffee very late in life at the age of 50.  By this time I had given up sodas and I don’t do drugs or smoke so I needed a vice and decided on coffee.  I started with baby steps and my daughter told me that McDonald’s had nice cup of coffee for a fair price and I should start there.  So every day for a month or so I went through the drive through and built up a tolerance to coffee.  Of course I needed Splenda and creamer to make it palatable to my delicate taste buds.

I am not the type of guy to spend $3.00 on a cup of coffee.  I do not like lattes or specialty drinks that are the price of a good used car.  My daughter loves this stuff but I do not need the calories or the hit to the wallet.  Coffee should not break your bank account.  However, in the interest of science I have found that Starbucks and Caribou have tasty coffee for a couple bucks a cup and that Caribou will refill the thing for free if you sit in the coffee shop to drink it.  I like both of these coffees but I also have no issue with McDonald’s coffee either.  I will drink anything by these three entities.

Cheap Coffee

This leads me to my quest in search of a goof cup of coffee.  My wife has always been a coffee drinker and we have had a Cuisinart coffee maker for decades.  The model we have grinds the beans for you just before you brew it which results in a fresh cup of coffee.  I have become great at making coffee and can disassemble all the pieces, wash them, and make another pot quicker than my wife can.  I buy the Costco brand roasted coffee that is roasted by Starbucks.  $10 for two pounds is cheap and it is great tasting.

I then did more reading and discovered that a clean machine helps with the taste of coffee.  Over time the oils of the beans build up in the machine and that results in a more bitter taste.  The trick, I learned, is to clean the machine with vinegar every month or so.  I also found a product on line which works well, Dezcal.  This product helps remove all the mineral build up.  I like it but may have found a better product, Brew Rite.  The reviews are phenomenal.

Anyway, yesterday was spent cleaning my coffee pot.  I ran through one package of Dezcal and followed that by running through three pots of vinegar.  I buy it at Costco and do not dilute it so it smells like vinegar after I use it.  I then run through three pots of clean water until the vinegar smell is gone and the water going through ends up clear.  I could never get the inside of my aluminum pot cleaned, however.  I tried baking soda and vinegar and nothing.  I tried this several times.  Nothing.  Then I read an article by Mary Hunt and got the greatest piece of advice on cleaning a coffee pot.

Salt and ice.  Yes, salt and Ice.  I poured a generous amount of course kosher salt in the pot.  Enough to cover the bottom.  I then added ice to about 1/3 full in the pot.  You put on the top and then shake the hell out of the pot.  Empty the pot and rinse it and repeat.  I did this five times.  The black sludge that came out of my pot looked nasty.  I have heard that Brew Rite cleans the pot witch it why I put it in this article.

Results of my coffee oddesy

After doing all of the above I had a coffee pot that was 90% clean.  I had a muscle spasm in my arm from shaking the pot so long because each round of cleaning took about three minutes of shaking.  My pot sparkled and there was no dirty coffee water coming out the last time I ran the water through the machine.  I then replaced the filter (I would take the filter out or replace it after cleaning if your machine has a charcoal water filter for the water tank).  I prepped the machine for the next morning’s coffee and went to bed.

Results?  This morning I woke up and had the best and smoothest cup of coffee I have ever made at home.  Cleaning all the components of your machine (I could never get the pot clean in the past) results in a coffee that is so smooth and rich that it could come from any coffee house.  It was fantastic.  My wife even threw a compliment my way and that was completely worth it.

Do yourself a favor.  Clean you coffee machine and save hundreds of dollars a year on expensive coffee house coffee.



People are really fucking stupid

People are Stupid

I have always held out hope that people would figure shit out, that they would come to their senses about the current class of Democrats and Republican.  I thought they would intuitively understand that voting for these morons is tantamount to killing off the United States of America.  Surely they would not fall for the canard called “social justice.”  Surely they would not want something like socialism or communism, would they?  Don’t people look around, know history and understand that these types of governments never work and never will work?  It is about control.  The political elite in this country have a perverse need to control your every action, deed and breath you take.  It is coming now faster than ever before and I have to come to the conclusion that people in this country are really fucking stupid.  Alas.

It pains me to say this.  I watch the interviews with the people on the street where 8 out of 10 people don’t know that the Fourth of July was a holiday that celebrated independence from the British.  They do not understand the ramifications of the civil war.  They vote for a President only because of the color of his skin.  You would not hire Our Dear Leader to run a lemonade stand and there he is, President of the country.  They fawn over socialism and communism because the political class offer them free homes, free food, free phones etc.  They are slaves, but not with whips and chains.  They do it because they are really fucking stupid and have not read or understood anything outside of high school.  I hate stupid people.

Stupid is as Stupid Does

What the hell does that even mean?  There has been a plan in place for a long time started by Woodrow Wilson, who was one of our Presidents, to make this nation a progressive nation.  That meant he had to make people stupid because smart people would never go along with something that has never worked in the history of the world.  So how does a good progressive go about doing this?  Take over education in this country and dumb down the population.  Look at an 8th grade test from the 1940’s and I bet only 1% of college graduates could pass that test today.

We as a country lack basic thinking skills.  Why?  There are no repercussions for bad decisions.  Didn’t graduate high school?  Doesn’t matter…you still deserve $15 an hour.  Can’t make change in your head for a dollar?  You should be the damn CEO.  We feed on stupidity.  We care about the Kardashians.  We no nothing of our Founding Fathers.  We feel outrage at symbols…flags and statues.  We celebrate thug black kids who get killed because of their abhorrent behavior.  We are stupid.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.


Why I Post Political things on Facebook

Political things on Facebook

A friend recently chastised me for posting political comments on Facebook saying that when I post things that I am not doing anything to change our political system. Unfortunately I did not have a ready comeback to his persistent question of what am I doing. I have thought about it and am posting this to everyone so at least you might understand where I am coming from.

I am a student of history. I read voraciously and understand that history repeats itself over and over and over again because people do not read or understand history, and people have not changed. We are programmed deep in our DNA to act and react and the predators who are our politicians (and many others) have figured out how to manipulate information and feelings in order that the people follow blindly their recipe to fix things.

Throughout history the first thing dictators do is shut down the press, and in this day and age the politicians have largely corrupted the main stream media so that they will never report the truth if it would hurt the Democratic party. Look at the incestuous relationship between the main stream media and the current administration. Hell, look at all the reporters either sleeping with or married to someone who has power over us mere sheeple. Here is one link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/media-administration-deal-with-conflicts/2013/06/12/e6f98314-ca2e-11e2-8da7-d274bc611a47_story.html

Political things on Facebook and conflicts

When you have these types of conflicts how can you expect the main stream media to give you the truth? How can you expect a media who overwhelmingly give money to one political party to be unbiased in their reporting or even care that they do? It is the same now as it has been throughout history and this country is going down a dangerous path. Read how Hitler got into power. He created crisises that only he and he alone could fix if just given enough power. He used an economy that went into the toilet to get elected vowing his version of hope and change. He killed Jews and gays and Gypsies and any other undesirables because good people stood by and did not speak up for fear of being chastised.

Other dictators have done the same thing. They use actors and authors and popular culture to sway people that they alone can fix things. When they take over the country they end up killing these people first, then the college professors, and then anyone who dare speaks out against them or the tyranny. Read and understand history or we are doomed.

So what am I doing? I am posting stories that most people do not see on Facebook hoping that some will read them to see things from other perspectives. The active and loud voices of dissent are the only things that keep people from tyranny. I am posting stories that do not come from the government, frankly because every single thing the government has told me for the last six years or more have been lies. It is sad that I cannot believe one thing the government says. So I am posting in hopes that one story or two or more will be passed on and shared in hopes that others will read something and not get their news from John Stewart.

I also have worked for the Republican Party the last two election cycles and have been a delegate. It is not because I love the Republicans, in fact I loathe the leadership more than I can put into words. I go and become a delegate in hopes of getting Tea Party people nominated and elected because I know that under this current political climate both the Republicans and Democrats are corrupt and rotten to the core.

I am working to get a states convention going so we can change the constitution so that we can get term limits and other amendments added to the constitution. I am giving money to people who want the flat tax and who want to abolish the IRS. I am attending Tea Party meetings. I read. I send out stories on Facebook even though people hate political things because when the greatest country in the world collapses, and we will, people will wonder what they could have did and I want to be one of the minority that is shouting from the roof tops.

On a personal level we have a small supply of food storage items. We have cash on hand in case of disaster. If ebola hits and explodes like I believe it will, then I hope others are doing this too. I also give money and clothes to charity, I deliver meals on wheels and this year I am going out to ring a bell for the Salvation Army. I am the guy who buys Christmas wreaths from cub scouts and if a neighbor calls and needs a hand I will be there to help out. I am part of an exchange where people donate their talents for the use of other people’s talents.

That is what I do.

Abolish the IRS

It is time to abolish the IRS

It have been thinking about our government a lot lately and I think about all the corruption and graft that is occurring by both parties and I think almost all the corruption would simply disappear if we did one thing: abolish the IRS.  I am not saying that we should get rid of taxes and am not advocating overthrowing the government, but if we got rid of this agency and did something about term limits, I think a majority of the corruption would go away.

The dreaded IRS

The dreaded IRS

Why abolish the IRS?

Think of how politics works in this country.  Congress creates a tax code that is almost 74,000 pages long and no one on earth understands all the complexities contained within this code.  No one.  Not the people who wrote it, not the agency that is charged with enforcing it, not us poor serfs who have to adhere to it year after year.

Buried within this code are thousands upon thousands of loopholes that corporations use, and rich people use, to get out of paying taxes.  They get these loopholes inserted when they give money to members of congress to get these pigs elected.  The more loopholes that these swine invent, the more corruption and the more money they receive.  The process is cyclical and it keeps feeding on itself.  The only way to take this corruption and crony capitalism out of Washington is to cut off the head of the snake, and yes, I know I am mixing my metaphors.  That is why we should abolish the IRS.

If we abolish the IRS what would take its place?

A flat tax, 15% no loopholes and no write-offs.  I would make it so that even the poorest people in this country would have skin in the game and would have to pay something, even if it only $100.  Businesses would pay the same amount as a percentage and this would get our country in line with other countries like Canada, Russia and other modern countries.  These companies would in turn bring back money to the US, build more plants, hire more people and these people would pay more taxes.

Corporations really do not pay taxes anyway.  What they do is they past on the cost of whatever taxes are owed to the cost of their service or product.  The $500 iPhone has taxes that Apple has to pay tot he government.  Their profit is the difference between the cost of labor, materials and overhead, plus taxes and what you pay for the phone.  If we dropped the corporate income tax to 15% then the price of goods and services on almost every product would surely drop.  If we abolish the IRS and replace it with a unit that simply collects the 15%, ensures that all companies do pay their 15% and keep track of these filings over the year we could cut this government down to a manageable size.

After we abolish the IRS we would then replace the complex tax forms with a postcard.  We would get rid of having to buy software or hire someone to do our taxes, we would cut out an ungodly amount of man hours wasted on filling out these tax forms, and the power of the IRS could not be used to go after political foes or anyone else who disagrees with the government.

So how about it?  Let’s streamline this bad boy and simply abolish the IRS.  The money would dry up in Washington and favors could not be curried by bribes and donations.  Life would be very good!

I am giving up Candy Crush

I am giving up Candy Crush

I admit it.  I am addicted to Candy Crush.  My kids told me about this game when we got our first smart phones and it was pretty fun for a long time.  The game is free but you can purchase extra lives, unlimited lives for a set period of time, or many other things I have no idea about, because I am too damn cheap to pay for anything.  You get five lives per cycle and when they are gone you have to wait 2.5 hours to rebuild the five lives.  You can even connect it to Facebook and pester all your friends for more lives.

I am giving up Candy Crush.  I have been on level 425 for about two months (I already admitted I was an addict) because the designers of the game decided that instead of needing skill to get past a level, you tend to need to spend a lot of time on it and then pray for a lot of luck.

I am done with it.

I am uninstalling Candy Crush.

Today I am uninstalling Candy Crush.  I may sync it up to Facebook because when you do this you can always re-install the program and it will sync with Facebook and you will start again at the same level that you last played.  Thus, I will not have to go through 424 stages taking a couple of years and thousands of hours of productivity, to get back to where I started.

As I write this I realize how pathetic this sounds.  I have a problem.  I need an intervention or better yet a twelve-step program to get over the addiction that grips me.  I just decided I am going to uninstall it and go cold turkey.  I need to.  I have to.  If I do not it will be in the background, a seductive temptress luring me to the electronic bliss that I seem to need.  I know my daughter gave up the game for the most part, she did not go cold turkey, but I need to do this.  I need to do this to be more productive and to show Candy Crush that I am the one in charge and it does not own me.

Life after Candy Crush

Is there life after Candy Crush?  I am guessing there is.  I had a life before the game came to me and I will have a life afterwards.  I will not spend thousands of dollars for extra lives so I can get past the sadistic levels the developers created.  I know they did this to extract money from my wallet.

So I am going to do this right after I make this post.  I will not sync Candy Crush with Facebook and I will not get a new game in its place.  I will instead pick up a book, or a newspaper, or maybe take my dog for a walk.  Calm down, she gets a walk a day already.

Life is going to be good after Candy Crush!

Glenn Beck has become unhinged

Glenn Beck has become unhinged, and not in a good way

I have been a fan of Glenn Beck for years and years now.  I started watching him when he was on CNN and continued to listen and sometimes watch him now that he owns his own T.V. empire, The Blaze.  His radio show is sometimes brilliant, his predictions are uncanny, and sometimes the worst drivel on radio (i.e. More on {moron} Trivia…get it?).  I listened, and continue to listen, to Glenn Beck but something he said a couple of weeks ago leaves me thinking he is unhinged.

Last week Glenn Beck went off on the Nevada Rancher and the patriots that showed up to support him.  His name is Bundy and he has refused to pay grazing fees to the U.S. Government because he does not think they have the power or authority to collect this money.  The Bureau of Land Management, which seems to have it’s own standing army, showed up in full military regalia and took Bundy’s cattle and that is when the patriots showed up with their guns.  The standoff took a couple of days but in the end the government backed down, threatening to come back and enforce their arcane laws.  Meanwhile, Dingy Harry Reid has his son all tangled up in the government land grab in Nevada.

Glenn Beck basically told his listeners that he did not want them, did not need them, told them that they did not deserve to listen to him, if they were willing to use violence to enforce the constitution.  His logic seemed to be that there are laws and we should follow them, no matter how punitive and disingenuous the laws may be.  Glenn Beck cited Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Gandhi.  We are supposed to show up with flowers and love while every organization in the government is buying millions of rounds of ammo.  How much do you want to bet that all this ammo is being diverted to Homeland Security?  But I digress.

Glenn Beck tells us off

So Glenn Beck went off on his rampage.  He does not want us or need us or even want to be associated with those who think that the patriots that showed up with guns were right.  The Achilles heel of Glenn Beck is his unquenchable ego.  No one around him has the balls or temerity to tell him to dial it back, that he is not God, he is not the only human being on earth to speak to God, and he does not have all the answers.  Unfortunately, the butt-kissing sycophants that he surrounds himself with (why do I picture all of them telling him how great he is and feeding him grapes?).

A couple weeks before that there was a theory that one of the passengers on the missing Malaysian flight sent out a text on a iPhone that he had hidden in his rectum.  The web site that had this text said the flight was hijacked and taken to an abandoned airfield.  The argument holds some merit because it would explain why the pilots manually turned off the navigation and tracking systems, while a plunge into the ocean does not have the same clean logic.  Glenn Beck went on the radio the next day and ranted and raved how stupid we are for believing any of that (who the hell could fit a phone up their butt anyway?) and made fun of us in the same way he mocks the morons during his football picks segment.

The day before Glenn Beck told us how angels had come and spoke with his dad the day his dad passed away.  So if I have this straight we are supposed to believe that invisible fairies came and talked to his dad and showed Glenn Beck that God is alive and is speaking only to him, while we are not allowed to bring forth evidence on the location of a missing plane?  A plane that has been missing for over a month with no shot of ever finding it?  So his invisibly fairy theory is supposed to hold weight because Glenn knows there is a God and this God only speaks to Glenn, and the rest of us are idiots?

I am done with Glenn BEck

The latest rantings and ravings have me questioning Glenn Beck.  While I admire his uncanny ability to put a lot of little information to come up with the big picture, and I admire his finding out who is behind most of the claptrap put out by the Liberals, I am finding it harder and harder to listen to a guy who thinks he is Jesus Christ himself.  You see, when you listen to Glenn Beck you come away hearing how his way is always the best, how he and he alone hears God, that his dad out of all the dads on earth was the one to see the magic fairies, that his knowledge is beyond us mere mortal men, etc…while Beck goes on and on about that I will walk away from paying for any of the services he provides.  I will take his advice and not pay for The Blaze TV anymore (I used to subscribe and was going to start again because I think an independent voice is needed) and I will not buy any of the products he sponsors.

I will give all this up until I hear Glenn Beck admit he was wrong, which he rarely does, and tell the patriots that now is indeed the time to fight our tyrannical government.  It is time to draw a line in the sand.  It is time to quit taking it and taking it and taking it, and accepting our lot in life.  It is time to elect the Tea Party and dismantle the EPA and the Department of Education.  It is time to abolish the IRS and institute a flat tax.  It is time to cut the size of our government to nothing.  It is time to stop spending money like we can print it and get rid of baseline budgeting.  It is time.

Take me away from Glenn Beck

I am done with Glenn Beck

My Root Canal

My Root Canal

My tooth had been bothering me for months.  There was the dull ache that was almost always present and then there was the hypersensitivity to hot and cold.  The body adapts, though, without you putting in very much thought into the entire process.  You tend to chew food on one side of your mouth.  When you drink you find yourself pushing the liquid away from the tooth.  The dull ache becomes just more noise in the background of your life.  I went in to the dentist for my regular six month check-up and mentioned the tooth.  My dentist took an x-ray below the gum line and he showed me there was an infection below the gum line and that I might need a root canal in the near future.  Damn, a root canal.

Now a root canal conjures up images of sadistic dentists going in elbows deep with their implements of destruction.  The patient, in this case me, being held down by nurse Crachet and the pain shooting through my mouth and body.  That was my image of what a root canal looked and felt like.  I had never had one before.  I had never even come close.  I brush.  I floss.  I practice great dental hygiene so it shouldn’t have happened to me.  Yet it did.

A month or two passed since I was at the dentist and I went out to dinner with my family.  I drank something cold and even that cold, on the other side of my mouth, sent waves of pain shooting through my mouth.  I tried to eat and drink that night and had a hard time because the pain ended up being so bad.  What could a boy do?  I needed a root canal and needed it soon.

My Root Canal Oddesy

The next morning I called my dentist.  Of course he was on vacation that week and I ended up getting a call back from the receptionist about an hour after I left my message.  My friends had given me a name of an Endodontist ( a dentist specializing in root canals) where the experience would be relatively painless.  Since they do so many root canals they do them efficiently, quickly, and are able to tamp down the pain.  I gave this name to the receptionist and she said that this was the person they recommended anyway, and then she told me she would call me back yet again after talking to my dentist.  The long and short of it is that she was able to make an appointment for me for the next morning for a consultation with the Endodontist.

I got up early and left for the new dentist I was about to see.  This office was closer to my home so I was happy about the low travel time.  I filled out some paperwork and then they took me to the back room which looked like every other dentist office I had ever been in.  The assistant took and x-ray, which appeared immediately on a computer screen, and there the infection was brilliantly glowing beneath my gum line.

The doctor came in and looked at the x-ray and then he put a cold stick on part of my tooth.  After they peeled me off the ceiling they told me I did indeed need a root canal and the doctor started to put a Novocain stick in my mouth.  I told them I thought that this was just a consultation and he said they could do the root canal immediately if I had the time.  Indeed I did!

The Root Canal and the Aftermath

So they proceeded to numb up my mouth before they took out the needle and shot me full of the goodness that is Novocain.  The prep work took about ten minutes and after half of my face was sufficiently numb, the big needle came out and he started filling my jaw line with the pain-numbing formula.  It took about seven or eight shots I would guess?  He then said they would wait another five minutes before they started and I wandered off down the hall to use the bathroom.

The root canal was fantastic.  I experience absolutely no pain.  He kept injecting more Novocain into my mouth as he drilled and as he worked all the debris kicked up by the drill was caught by a dental dam.  I had never used one before but that was really a neat invention.  The root canal felt like an extended cavity being filled, which in reality it was.  The root is killed and the cavity made by the Endodontist was filled like any other cavity.  He then packed the rest of the hole with cotton and put a temporary filling over the hole he had just drilled through my crown.  My beautiful $650 crown.

They left me $345 lighter in my pocket, thank God we have dental insurance because they covered about $1,300.00 of the procedure, and I had lost about an hour of my time.  A root canal is not cheap.  They told me to I should follow up with my dentist to get the temporary filling removed and replaced by a permanent one.

The tooth was tender from the procedure for a little over a week.  It would hurt if I would bit down on it and I could tell there was a bit of swelling around the beastly tooth.  The sheet sent home with me told me I could expect pain for up to a couple of weeks following a root canal, so the feeling was not unexpected.  I could, however, now drink hot and cold liquids!  Progress!

Did you know when you have a root canal that you do not need Novocain to get the new filling put in?  Since the root was killed and the nerves removed, there is no pain associated with that tooth.  I went in this morning and had the absolute best experience I have ever had getting a filling.  The entire thing took about ten minutes and the filling matched the crown perfectly.  The dentist could not tell where the crown ended and the filling began.  I could then eat and drink on it immediately.  Fillings and cavities have come so far in my short time here on earth.  It amazes me how nice fillings look these days.

Anyway…that is my story of my root canal.  There was no pain involved at all except the pain that my tooth had from needing a root canal.  The procedure was quick, I was in and out in about an hour, and the tooth was back to normal in a little over a week.  I have a filling that matches my crown and I have no more pain eating or drinking.  I would get one again in a second if I had known it would take the ache and pain away from my tooth.

Lululemon Warehouse Sale

The Lululemon Warehouse Sale

I am a recent devotee of yoga and have been trying to downward dog for about six months now.  I am not a petite little bendable flower so the progress has been nothing if not slow.  I started doing yoga to increase my core strength and hopefully eliminate the occasional back pain that would knock me out for a week or two at a time.  I invested in a very expensive and over-sized mat from Manduka because at 6’6″ tall I had trouble staying within my normal mat boundaries and I have been extremely happy with that choice.  Being a new yogi has put me in touch with the yoga underground and I somehow found my way to a Facebook page dedicated to the Lululemon warehouse sale that was happening in Minneapolis at the convention center.  So it was with a little excitement that I woke up Friday morning and headed off towards downtown in search of a mat for my daughter and maybe a shirt for me.

I am cheap.  I admit it, I am cheap.  I went to the Lululemon sale simply because I wanted to save a few bucks on a high quality mat.  Mats that sell for $68.00 on their web site were going to be $27 at the warehouse sale.  When I was researching mats it came down to Lululemon and Manduka and I ended up with Manduka because they had a lifetime replacement guarantee and being my size I wear things out.  I know that Lululemon sells high-quality clothes so I was off in search of a XXL and tall shirt, if such a creature exists in the Lululemon universe.

Remember how I said I was cheap?  I drove to the convention center the week before in search of free parking.  It turns out there is a ton of free parking by the Minneapolis Convention Center, you simply have to park across the freeway from downtown and walk across the two bridges that frame the Convention Center on the East and West.  While there is indeed a ton of parking it turns out that spaces there are a hot commodity because of the apartments that permeate the neighborhood.  It was early when I got there, about 7:15 AM, so that meant that people who lived in that neighborhood took their cars and headed off to work.  I ended up finding a space two blocks from the Convention Center so life was great!

Lululemon Mania

I walked the two blocks and approached the Minneapolis Convention Center from the West Side.  I entered the building from a side door and found out that I was on the wrong side of the convention hall.  The Sports Show was happening that weekend as well and I ended up walking by a ton of boats and RVs that were there gleaming and taunting.  The convention center is big so it was a long walk to the other side and when I got there I was happy to see that the line did not appear to be too long.  Oh, how Lululemon tricked me on that one!  The line inside indeed was not bad, but what I did not see from my angle of attack was that the line ended at the door and continued outside the door.  I got through the doors and saw that the line snaked down the side of the building and that footprint is large, the line being over a block long at that point.  Alas.  I thought getting there an hour early would be good enough but I was mistaken.

The wait was torturous in so many ways for a guy like me.  The weather was great, so I had no complaints there, but about 90% of the people there were women.  They were lithe and athletic-looking women who looked like they could do any yoga pose without breaking a sweat.  I big guy like me stood out.  Which one was not like the others?  That would be me.  I stood about a foot taller than everyone else in line and I was about double their weight.  I would occasionally see another male soul who was there with his significant other, and I was flying solo.  It took forever, or so it seemed, to even make it inside the building, and once we passed through the doors we were confronted with a maze that took another hour to traverse.  I ended up spending about three hours in line and when I was near the front I ended up getting stopped right before I was to enter the main hall and look for my goodies.  Of course I was.

Lululemon Merchandise

When my time had come I had already seen all of the prices and knew what I wanted anyway.  Lululemon had set up everything by size and the women were like bees attacking their size section and pulling clothes off the racks like it was a Filene’s Basement bridal gown sale.  I did not see any clothes for men.  Since I could not see any men’s clothes I decided to look for a mat first.  There were not any normal mats.

I did see a Lululemon towel mat that was an odd combination of towel and yoga mat, but that did not interest me.  I saw a wispy woman carrying a mat so I asked her where she had found it.  She looked like a deer in the headlights and told me she found it on the floor and she ran away.  I circled the accessories twice looking for mats but I was out of luck.  They did have yoga straps and water bottles, but I did not need those items and even when clearanced, I could find both of those items cheaper at any athletic store in my neighborhood.

I then renewed my search for a top for me.  I am tall and do not have the typical yoga physic so I knew I needed a 2X shirt in a tall size if it existed.  I finally found two little racks of men’s shirts and they too were sorted by size.  I looked at the XXL shirts and had a good laugh because from the looks of the size of the shirt it looked as if it was made for an XXL child.  It ran a wee bit small.


I left Lululemon empty in hand and heart.  The line was as long as it was when I got there in the morning and over four hours had passed.  I went home with my dauber down and figured I would just go to Target to find my daughter a mat.  I went online and found two perfectly wonderful XXL tall shirts from Kohl’s so I am happy there too.

I will continue to do yoga and maybe one day too I will be stunning and lithe and look like I wear patchouli oils and sandals and eat tree bark.  I will be ready the next time Lululemon’s warehouse sale comes to town and I will find something to buy, especially if I have to weight four hours in line.  I will still stand a foot taller than most yogis but my heart will be pure and true, even if I am not wearing Lululemon’s fine quality attire.