Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Chokin' the Strings by Big Country Bluegrass

Lynwood Lunsford -  banjo; Jeff Michael -  fiddle; Tommy Sells -  mandolin; Theresa Sells -  guitar; Johnny Williams -  guitar; Tony King -  bass. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

LOVE ...... div

This one is personal and pretty difficult to compose right now  - - I guess if you stagger through it, you'll understand.
                                        (She ain't too shabby for someone on Social Security, eh??)
                                                        [and yes, the blonde hair is real]

I've known the woman that is my wife, my companion, my partner and my lover for almost sixty years. We've been married over thirty (as she says, I finally came to my senses). She's the one that started calling me "the Bear" and it's stuck.
She's put up with crap for half of my career as an Air Force officer - -  the separations, the frustrations, the long hours and the politics. She could cook a gourmet meal for two or feed a crowd of fifty (and love doing it). She was there after my retirement; encouraging me when the "Bush the First" economy was cratering and I couldn't find a job. When I was finally recruited for a job in the DC area she saluted and marched into the uncertainty with me; and when the job was canceled, she promptly went out and got one herself. 
When I was diagnosed with cancer, she never wavered in her positive support and in looking after my every need even on the two occasions when she was afraid I wasn't coming home again.

Wednesday morning, after taking a shower, she collapsed on our bed complaining of a monster headache. Within five minutes she was incoherent. The paramedics arrived three minutes later and she was taken to our local hospital and then transported, in a coma, to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and their Neurological Critical Care Unit.
During the ensuing forty-eight hours (less actually) she's undergone three surgical procedures, an angiogram and two CAT scans. My state of shock is nothing compared to what she's been through so far; and I can't possibly compare my five surgeries to her present condition. At least when I came out of anesthesia, I knew she was there - so far, I don't know if she knows.

Apparently, she was a victim of a brain AVM (arteriovenous malformation) a very rare, congenital condition that usually cannot be diagnosed ahead of time. The rupture caused massive bleeding within and around her brain. A drain was placed for removing the fluid and, later that evening, a portion of her skull (in back) was removed to allow the brain to swell and relieve the pressure. A CAT scan has also revealed four separate aneurysms in the arteries leading to the malformation. These have now been "blocked" (with, probably, some resultant "stroke" ramifications). The hardest part of all this is the "not knowing." Hell, even the Docs don't know (and that isn't their fault). They tell me that, so far, the results are positive, everything has done what it was intended to do and the next five days or so should give us a better idea of what's to follow. 

This morning, she squeezed the nurse's hand and gave a "thumbs up" when asked (well, shouted at anyway - she's still unconscious and on a ventilator). I hold her hand and talk to her and hope she can hear me and know I'm there and that I Love her so very much. She did (I think) give me a little squeeze tonite. 

Years ago (about the same time I became the Bear) I nick-named her "the Goose Girl" because of her fondness for the down comforter on the bed. I've asked the nurses to call her by that name since it's a name she reflexively associates with love and companionship. Anything I can do to bring her back from whatever  place she is I'll do ......... I simply don't know where she is right now. I also often don't even know what questions to ask ..... consider the old analogy "like a hog lookin' at a pocket-watch." 

There are some things I can be thankful for: I was home and not out Driving4$$. That I had the sense not to panic and call for help. That response was quick. That Johns Hopkins is probably the finest hospital in the country. That we have insurance ( I guess that's what "delayed gratification" is all about).

Anyone who has been through anything like this will associate with what I've said. If you haven't, I hope you never do. Love the people close to you. Don't leave on an unkind word and hold dear your every moment together. The Goose Girl and I were talking intelligently and coherently fifteen minutes before the paramedics were called, it doesn't take long ..... or much ........ or whatever .......... 

I guess it's now my turn to give back whatever it takes and only hope that she comes back to me. But, I'm ready. And then again, that's what love's all about, eh ?

Thanks   - - Bear

P.S.  The SaturdayBluegrass is scheduled already.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Geography Div (Gerrymander subsection)

What if the state boundaries were re-drawn to reflect even population distribution ???
                                        ( I'll bet the Republicans could still figure out a way to cheat.)

.......... and here's the flag you'd salute:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass .... Div

First time I ever heard this song was by the Kingston Trio. I think they were the ones that made me want to learn the guitar and get started down this road. An old Ralph Stanley clawhammer banjo piece,  Little Maggie, Here by the Darrell Webb Band:

Darrell Webb  - Mandolin, Jake Joines - Dobro, Jeremy Arrowood - Electric Bass, Jared Hensley - Guitar and David Carroll - Banjo

Friday, August 23, 2013

Because we can Div (eavesdropping subsection)

Well, if ya ain't gonna use whatcha got to keep tabs on your love interest, what good is it ??
Jeebus H. Christ with earphones ...........
Why in hell don't they have any good stuff on the bankers ???

Next time, take the bus Div

One of the nice things about my little job Driving4$$, is that when you encounter an asshole, you probably won't ever see them again. (added - this isn't to say that every pax is like this, in fact, the vast majority are pretty nice people.)

Yesterday's jerk told me so, even before he even got in the truck. He advised me that he wasn't satisfied with our service and would never be using our company again. (He was mad because when he made his original reservation, it was for the wrong departure airport and upon his return, we were unable to pick him up where he wanted  - - we are not allowed to go to that location on the airport).

Anyway, after loading up and heading out, he asks if I can drop him off at the dealer where his Porsche is being serviced (three blocks from his home - no problem). I safely battle the Beltway and drop him off at his requested destination, whereupon he tells me that he "usually" gives larger tips; but because of his displeasure with "our" performance and the good old "I know that's not your fault" set up, gives me a fin.

I informed him, politely, that he was penalizing me for someone else's performance and mistake;  I wouldn't accept his worthless apology and didn't want his money. I then gave him back the bill and told him he could use it for gas in his expensive car and "next time you travel, drive yourself. I'm overjoyed you won't be using our service."

I don't know of where he could get a "class" lesson for five bucks.  Oh well.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Geography Div

Here's a pretty neat graphic on population growth and the westward expansion.

Historical movement of U.S. population. Note the major westward expansion in the 19th century.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass div

A band from Minnesota (ya, sure, ya betcha !).  Monroe Crossing  doing a medley of McKinley's March and Boston Boy.

Derek Johnson - Guitar, Lisa Fudge - Fiddle, Matt Thompson - Mandolin, Mark Anderson - Bass  and David Robinson - Banjo.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

RIP Div (Political Journalism subsection)

For many years I enjoyed the writing of Jack Germond in so many of the newspapers I read wherever I was living at the time,  I also enjoyed his laid-back, dry, droll commentary when paired against the other up-tight "talking heads" he appeared with on various commentary shows on the teevee.
Was sorry to read that he passed away yesterday at age 85.

Well Jack, I guess now you know "what really happened" ........ thanks for trying to tell us back then.

                                             1992 - Original Filename: germond.jpg. 92 file photo of Jack Germond. - Photo was taken by then staff photographer Harry Naltchayan.           
                                                (Harry Naltchayan / TWP)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Little Mid-Week Interlude That's Not (really) Bluegrass Div

Alison Krauss and Union Station along with Tony Rice doing one of my all-time favorite Gordon Lightfoot songs, Shadows. 

Alison Krauss - Fiddle and vocal, Tony Rice and Ron Block - Guitars, Dan Tyminski - Mandolin,
Barry Bales - Bass and Jerry Douglas - Dobro

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Geography Div (literature subsection)

Just finished reading Jon Sandford's Silken Prey.  I've followed Lucas Davenport since Sandford introduced the series back in 1989 and have enjoyed watching the character develop. I hope there's a sequel to follow up on the events in Silken Prey, it really deserves it.
Anyhow, here's a snarky map of Minneapolis:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Clarence White playing the old fiddle tune Soldier's Joy 

He gets a little help from Byron Berline on fiddle, Alan Munde on banjo Bob Baxter on rhythm guitar and (I think) brother Roland on mandolin.
Please excuse the stuff in the middle of the screen -  just enjoy the music, eh ?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Walkies Div (Friday Flutterby subsection)

After a two-mile stroll without anything interesting, found this in front of a neighbor's house (three doors down the block).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Blind Squirrel Div (firearms subsection)

Guess the old sayin' 'bout occasionally findin' an acorn is really true.
Got back my stolen pistol.
It  was seized during a drug bust in a neighboring county (and I was subpoenaed for the trial). The case was plead out and the evidence released.
Looks like the NCIC data base really works.
Maybe today's my lucky day and I'll win the Powerball.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Geography Div ... (History subsection)

Guess what village was founded today back in 1833 ? Hint the population was 250.
Give up ??? OK ...........
Bet nobody spent hours stuck on the Dan Ryan Expressway then, eh ?

Walkies Div ( Sunday Stroll subsection)

It isn't often that I don't play at Driving4$$ on Sunday. Even less often is having a day off and GREAT weather. Went for a three-mile stroll along the Little Patuxent River and took the camera. Was surprised to see the deer. Apparently, the community open-space management folks have put up stations where the deer are attracted and tick control is applied. Good idea, cuts down on the spread of Lyme Disease. Now if only they'd find a way to keep them off the roads !!!

                 Cool Shade:
A good place to fish:     

                                                                                    Bambirat at a tick-control station

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Great old Bill Monroe / Kenny Baker tune Jerusalem Ridge 
Wonderful fiddle and mandolin work in a minor key.

Savannah Vaughn - Fiddle, Audie Ratliff - Mandolin, Janice McCombs - Bass and
 Roy Vaughn - Guitar

Visual Wisdom Div ...... (Nature subsection)

(h/t   JS)