October 31,2014

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of October 31, 2014.  Quiet evening at Ft Timmeran.  Susan is at work  …  she works at the CVS in Harrisonville until 8:00 p.m. today. Tonight, little ghosts and goblins will be roaming the street:  it is Halloween!  “Evolving from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, modern Halloween has become less about literal ghosts and ghouls and more about costumes and candy. The Celts used the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, and also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead.”  The merchants in downtown Holden stay open a little later for the “Trick or Treaters”.  That is “small town” living   …  with parents walking with their children, house to house.  I did not realize other parts of the world celebrated “Halloween”.   (ABC NEWS)  — Scary Halloween Monsters Threatened With Arrest on Beijing Subway. Dressing up as a monster or a zombie for Halloween might get you arrested tonight in Beijing because authorities fear the costumes could cause “panic.”  Expats in Beijing had organized Halloween parties on the subway in the past two years. Each year, the weekend before Halloween, “ghouls” and other Halloweeners would hop on subway Line 2 carrying bottles of beer and mixed drinks. When subway security personnel tried to stop the crowds, they were often swallowed up in the throngs of revelers – which included many people dressed up as subway security guards.” I wonder how you say “Trick of Treat in Chinese? “Tlick o Tleat?”

And as predicted: (CNSNEWS.COM)  —  Over 214,000 Doctors Opt Out of Obamacare Exchanges. “Over 214,000 doctors won’t participate in the new plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA,) analysis of a new survey by Medical Group Management Association shows. That number of 214,524, estimated by American Action Forum, is through May 2014, but appears to be growing due to plans that force doctors to take on burdensome costs. It’s also about a quarter of the total number of 893,851 active professional physicians reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation. In January, an estimated 70% of California’s physicians were not participating in Covered California plans.”   …  and in other bad news: “A fast-growing, short-term alternative to ObamaCare that allows customers to get cheap, one-year policies could put the government-subsidized plan into a death spiral. The plans, the only ones allowed for sale outside of ObamaCare exchanges, generally cost less than half of what similar ObamaCare policies cost, and are increasing in popularity as uninsured Americans grapple with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The catch — that the policies only last for a year — is not much of a deterrent, given that customers can sign up for ObamaCare during open-enrollment periods if their short-term coverage is not renewed. “Applications rose 30 percent compared to last year,” eHealthInsurance.com Enrollment Specialist Carrie McLean told FoxNews.com.”  Yup   … you can keep your current coverage, doctors   …  and  …  lower premiums, (in fact, the first year “Obamacare premiums soared as much as 78% to help cover ‘essential health benefits’”)

Interesting. My Democrat friends honestly believe the Democrat Party,  is the party that can best identify with “working” people.  (The Economist)  —  Money and Power. “In some countries, the best way to get rich is to go into politics. In America it is the other way round: the best way to break into politics is to be rich. Every year Roll Call, a sister paper of The Economist, compiles a list of the richest members of Congress. What is striking is how few of them have grown rich because they are politicians (though many will cash in on their connections after they retire)). If this were true, share with me why, of the 10 richest members of Congress, the top two are Republicans   …  and the next 8 are Democrats?  Of the top 25, 13 are Democrat and 12 are Republican.  Doesn’t this prove there is no difference between Red Pigs and Blue Pigs?  Isn’t a Pig a Pig? (NOTE:  the “Pig” reference is to George OrwellsAnimal Farm”.  You may wish to re-read it!)

Other medical news? Who knew that Koala Bears have STD’s? (BBC NEWS)  —  Koala chlamydia vaccine trial raises hope. “Australian scientists say they have successfully tested a vaccine aimed at protecting wild koalas from Chlamydia.  The disease has ravaged the native marsupial, which is under increasing threat.  Microbiologists in Queensland now hope to protect some of the remaining population after successfully trialing a vaccine developed over five years.  Koala numbers have plummeted in recent years and there are believed to be as few as 43,000 left in the wild.  In some areas, numbers have dropped by as much as 80% in the past 10 years. The strain of Chlamydia that affects koalas can lead to blindness, infertility and death among the animals.”  How did Koala Bears get infected to start of with?  No doubt a lonely Aborigine wanting a little pouch action and a cold winter night had something to do with it!  Australian scientists had to develop a vaccine  … after they discovered  …  Koala Bears refuse to wear condoms. I also didn’t know Koala Bears never come down with chest colds   …   because their diet consists primarily of eucalyptus leaves.

Immigration news: (BBC NEWS)  — Frogs’ chorus leads to discovery of new species in US. “Scientists have confirmed that a frog found living in New York City wetlands is a new species.  Jeremy Feinberg, of Rutgers University in New Jersey, who led the study, first reported the discovery when he heard their “very odd” chorusing call.  Teaming up with genetics experts to confirm the finding, Mr Feinberg has now published the discovery in the journal Plos One.”   The frogs were discovered because they were croaking in Spanish.  Turns out, the frogs are undocumented Puerto Ricans.  They were croaking “Everything’s Nice in America”.  Listen to the lyrics in this song from “West Side Story”.  It would be condemned as being racist.

Just plain interesting! (CNN) —  Why this crab’s blood could save your life. “During World War Two, soldiers learned to fear treatment as much as enemy bullets. Unsanitary conditions and equipment in field hospitals made open wounds a breeding ground for bacteria that killed thousands, particularly the fast-acting and barely detectable gram-negative strains that caused toxic shock syndrome, meningitis, and typhoid. Today, vast improvements in medical hygiene have greatly reduced the odds of patients being poisoned on the treatment table. And our safety is protected by an unlikely source — the bright blue blood of the horseshoe crab …  When faced with toxins produced by bacteria, amebocyte cells in the blood — colored blue by their copper-based molecules — identify and congeal around the invading matter, trapping the threat inside a gel-like seal that prevents it from spreading. Nature’s method is now utilized on a grand scale. Over 600,000 crabs are captured each year during the spring mating season, to “donate” around 30% of their blood in a handful of specialist facilities in the United States and Asia. The blood is worth $60,000 a gallon in a global industry valued at $50 million a year.”  The crabs are bled, and then released. How in the world did some pilgrim discover Horseshoe Crab Blood jelled when it comes in contact with gram negative bacteria??

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, waiting for Susan to come home. The dogs are all waiting by the door. WE are expecting our first hard freeze this evening.  Before long, the pellet stove will be heating up the back end of Ft Timmerman.  On the evening news, (CNN), Virgin Galactic’s tourism spaceplane crashed killing one of it’s 2 pilots. With the elections set for next Tuesday, the “talking heads” on CNN are opining Republicans stand a good shot at winning back the Senate.  Frankly   …  I don’t see how either side winning will impact Susan and I’s life.  Shades of 1964:  “U.S. readying plan to send advisers to Iraqis fighting ISIS in Anbar.”  Share with me how that is not “boots on the groud?”   Time to post these Ramblings.  “Sunday Lunch and a Movie?”  Home made beef stew.  The movie?  “Zombeavers [2014]”, (and no, it is not a movie about female zombies).  Later when I hit the sack and say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with, I will say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform.  Care to join me?  Be and sleep well  …  the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize.  That is not my intent.  As always     ….

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …  and the Editorial Staff)

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October 24, 2014

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of October 24,2014.  My cell phone, an HTC “My Touch” was getting a little long in the tooth, so on Monday I started looking around for a replacement. I decided on a Samsung Galaxy Note 4.  My first cell phone was a Motorola DynaTAC. “It offered 30 minutes of talk time and 8 hours of standby, and a LED display for dialing or recall of one of 30 phone numbers. It was priced at $3,995 in 1983.”  It looked like and was close to the size of a  World War II “walkie-talkie”.  Interesting, what the prices were in 1983.  A gallon of gas was $1.25   …  while a gallon of milk was $1.79   … it was the 3rd year of President Reagan’s Presidency  …  and my first year practicing law.   Of course I could not afford one until 1990.  My second cell phone was a “Motorola Bag Phone”.  Then a “My Touch 3G” and then the “My Touch 4G”.  The Note 4 came in today. “It features a large 5.7″ QHD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560. It’s powered by a 2.7GHz quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage. The Galaxy Note 4 camera has a 16MP sensor with optical image stabilization and 4K video recording.”  I will spend this weekend “rooting” it. And watching YouTube videos of some 14 year old showing me how to use it!!  [UPDATE:  the Galaxy Note 4 from T-Mobile, unlike the Note 4 from AT&T and Verizon comes “rooted”].

So …  I understand our justice system is based on the “Common Law” of Great Britain …  but I thought our judges had evolved out of a Victorian mindset?  I guess not.  (BBC NEWS)  —  Lawyer brings baby to court, gets ‘humiliated’. “When a lawyer asked a Georgia judge to postpone a hearing because she’d just had a baby, he refused. When she brought the baby to court, he berated her for poor parenting  …  Stacy M Ehrisman-Mickle had asked the Atlanta court to delay an immigration hearing while she was on maternity leave. “But that excuse just wasn’t good enough for Judge J Dan Pelletier Sr, who shot down her request (with just a week’s notice, no less),” writes Jezebel’s Kelly Faircloth. “THAT’LL TEACH YOU TO REPRODUCE WHILE TRYING TO DRAW A SALARY.”  According to Ms Ehrisman-Mickle’s complaint, she had no choice but to bring her infant to court, where Mr Pelletier “humiliated” her.”   I wonder what this Judge would have done if Ms. Ehrisman-Mickle whipped out a boob and started breast feeding her baby?  If this is any indication of the caliber of immigration judges serving on the Federal Bench  …  no wonder we have a two year backlog of cases   … and so many illegal’s crossing our borders. I guess, instead of being fired   …  the appropriate Federal response   …  is  …  “sensitivity training”. I would fire the boob.

I was chatting with a young lawyer this past week: 4 years out of Law School   …  and he has a $150K student loan debt.  $1,500.00/mo for the next 20 years.  (BBC NEWS)  — US seniors face student loan debt. “Around the world, student debt is a financial burden for millions – and in the US, a growing number of senior citizens are still repaying the cost of their education into retirement age.  Janet Lee Dupree is 72 years old and has a financial burden that will not leave her in peace: she owes $16,000 in student loans she acquired in 1971 and 1972.  Dupree, who lives in Citra, Florida, admits she forgot for many years that she had borrowed the money – originally $3,000 – in order to complete her undergraduate studies in Spanish.  I am an alcoholic and I have HIV,” she tells the BBC. “That’s under control, but at that time I was sick and I didn’t worry about paying back the debt.”  Dupree defaulted on her loan, and since she turned 65 she has had money withheld from her Social Security benefits.”  A student loan debt is NOT dischargeable in bankruptcy  …  except for extreme need.  Read that to mean, you need the money you have  …  to pay for the electricity for your iron lung.  Having a $1,500.00/mo debt load BEFORE you add on overhead expenses, has to be one humongous disincentive to starting a private practice.  Not sure I would have the conjones to give it a try.

And the medical news: (BBC NEWS)  —  Surgeons transplant heart that had stopped beating. “Surgeons in Australia say they have performed the first heart transplant using a “dead heart”.  Donor hearts from adults usually come from people who are confirmed as brain dead but with a heart still beating.  A team at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney revived and then transplanted hearts that had stopped beating for up to 20 minutes  …  Hearts are the only organ that is not used after the heart has stopped beating – known as donation after circulatory death.  Beating hearts are normally taken from brain-dead people, kept on ice for around four hours and then transplanted to patients  …  The novel technique used in Sydney involved taking a heart that had stopped beating and reviving it in a machine known as a “heart-in-a-box”. The heart is kept warm, the heartbeat is restored and a nourishing fluid helps reduce damage to the heart muscle.”  Amazing times we live in.  In my lifetime, I seen two of the most important medical breakthroughs in human history:   birth control pills   …   and a cure for erectile dysfunction.  Anyone remember Bob Dole’s Viagra Add? Stem cell research is on-going resulting in potential cures for spinal cord paralysis and Type I Diabetes.

Travel news: (BBC NEWS)  —-  What was lurking in Sweden’s waters? “Sweden’s armed forces say they have abandoned their search for what they believed was a submarine, spotted not far from Stockholm more than a week ago.  The hunt was described as Sweden’s biggest mobilization since the Cold War. Speculation had centered on Russia, but the Russians scoffed at the claims. Was there a sub after all?”  Obviously, it was the Lock Ness Monster out shopping for Swedish Meatballs. Rumor has it, she would have settled for eating the “Swedish Chef”. 

Environmental news: (BBC NEWS)  — Legal fight begins to save family of beavers in Devon. “Campaigners have begun legal action to prevent the government from capturing a family of wild beavers in Devon. Friends of the Earth said because groups already live in the wild in Scotland, the beavers are protected in England under EU laws. The River Otter beavers are believed to be the only wild ones living in England. The government said they could be carrying disease and wants to test and re-home them in captivity. The three beavers, thought to be two adults and a juvenile, were first reported to be living on the river in the summer of 2013 and no date has been set for trapping them.”  I didn’t know that England had native 4 legged beavers. 

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, the Editorial Staff hunkered down for the evening.  On CNN, a kid whips out a pistol at school, kills his girlfriend wounds 4 others and then kills himself.  An Islamist nut job attacks police officers in New York and is killed.  And in Toronto, another Islamist nut job kills a soldier at Canada’s War memorial and is also killed  …  and in California, one deputy killed and 3 wounded  …  suspects, a man and a women  …  on the loose.

Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet evening at Ft Timmerman. I remain nicotine free, 607 days, 32,820 ciggybutts not smoked and $5,333.99 saved.  Sunday Lunch and a Movie?  Grilled, stuffed Hamburgers, (onion & cheese), French Fries and a Garden Salad.  The movie? Liam Neeson latest movie,  “A Walk Among The Tombstones [2014]”.  Later, when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with, I will say a special prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform.  Care to join me? Be and sleep well,  the best we have are on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize  …  that is not my intent. As always  …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …  and the Editorial Staff)

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October 17, 2014

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of October 17, 2014.   My Dear Friend, Judge Dennis Smith developed an interactive Adobe Acrobat Form 14 program a few years ago, (absolutely the best Form 14 program available  …  by just a simple request to be added to his Email list:  Dennis.Smith@courts.mo.gov)  …  and he migrated the program into an App, for the iPhone and iPad.   I don’t have any Apple products. Don’t trust them   …  because they appeal to folks who want a simple solution  …  and want it spoon fed.  Course, a lot of folks love Apple   …  but then   …  so did Eve  …  who managed to convince Adam to bite into the product, as well.  I suppose the good news?    ….    He didn’t have to wait in line to get his Apple.  Not a bunch of folks hanging around the Best Buy in the Garden of Eden.  The losers?  Snakes in general.  Banned to crawl on their bellies in the dust   …  and sadder yet?  Never allowed to evolve and have thumbs   …  so they could text their buds  …  and share snake selfies.  Doomed to just hiss and slither. Bite an occasional heel. Sad.  From what I have heard   …  they REALLY, REALLY hate Satan for hijacking their brand.  Honestly?  …  I can’t blame them.  As for the Form 14 program?  Just Email Judge Smith and ask for a copy.

Fanning the debate about what constitutes “brain dead”: (BBC NEWS)  —  Vegetative patients show glimmers of consciousness. “Scientists have uncovered hidden signatures in the brains of people in vegetative states that suggest they may have a glimmer of consciousness. Doctors normally consider these patients – who have severe brain injuries – to be unaware of the world around them although they appear awake. Researchers hope their work will help identify those who are actually conscious, but unable to communicate.” One of the reasons we used to draft teenagers  …  isn’t it?  “Unaware of the world around them although they appear awake.”? In Israel, “   …  Since 2005 it’s been illegal … to turn off ventilators when a person is dying or has no hope of recovery. The result is that large numbers of patients spend years on life support, many of them unconscious.”

In the “OMG!!” news!!: (BBC NEWS)  —  Woman finds three-inch leech in nose after South East Asia trip.  “A backpacker found a 3in (7.5cm) leech that had been living up her nose for a month after a trip to South East Asia.  Daniela Liverani, 24, from Edinburgh, had been having nosebleeds for weeks but put them down to a burst blood vessel from a motorbike crash.  Ms Liverani was having a shower last Thursday when she was realized the dark shape wriggling in her nose was actually an animal.  Hospital staff used forceps and tweezers to remove the parasite.”  She must have one big honker, if she couldn’t see a 3 inch leech in it!  Rumor has it, she didn’t discover the leech while in the shower.  In fact   …  she was snorting cocaine and the leech got so stoned   …  it fell out  …  and started a leech “happy dance” at her feet!

In biology news: (BBC NEWS)  — Hermaphrodite snail named after marriage equality. “A new species of hermaphrodite land snail found in Taiwan has been named in support of marriage equality.  Biologists christened the species Aegista diversifamilia, referring to a diversity of family types, because it “represents the diversity of sex orientation in the animal kingdom”. The snail is widespread throughout eastern Taiwan, but was previously mistaken for a closely related species.”  Since they have both male and females plumbing   …  when they get together to reproduce  …  how do they decide who uses which parts?  Perhaps they use both?  Which may explain why “Natural Selection” never favored them developing vocal cords.  Can you imagine how loud a couple of Chinese snails could get while mating?  Easy prey for birds!

And the Ebola pandemic cranks on: (BBC NEWS)  —  Ebola crisis: No impact from pledges of help, MSF says. “International pledges of deployments and aid for Africa’s Ebola-hit regions have not yet had any impact on the epidemic, a major medical charity says. Christopher Stokes of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said the disease was still out of control.  He said it was “ridiculous” that volunteers working for his charity were bearing the brunt of care in the worst-affected countries. The disease has killed about 4,500 people so far, mostly in West Africa.”   The projection now is:  in January there will be 10,000 new infections per week  …  and the kill rate is now up to 70%.  That said  …  there will be more infections in the US, and we are totally unprepared to deal with them, as evidenced by the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital fiasco.

The archeology news: (BBC NEWS)  — Greece archaeologists uncover Amphipolis floor mosaic. “Archaeologists unearthing a huge ancient burial site at Amphipolis in northern Greece have uncovered a large floor mosaic. The mosaic – 3m (10ft) wide and 4.5m (15ft) long – depicts a man with a laurel wreath driving a chariot drawn by horses and led by the god Hermes. The burial site is said to be the largest ever found in Greece. It dates from the late 4th Century BC, spurring speculation that it is linked to Alexander the Great of Macedon.”  It is actually the first Greek Yogurt factory:  the ancestral home of Chobani. “First, to be clear: Both Greek and regular yogurt, in their plain, nonfat or low-fat forms, can be part of a healthful diet. They’re low in calories and packed with calcium and live bacterial cultures. But our Mediterranean friend—which is strained extensively to remove much of the liquid whey, lactose, and sugar, giving it its thick consistency—does have an undeniable edge. In roughly the same amount of calories, it can pack up to double the protein, while cutting sugar content by half.”

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, waiting for Susan to come home. Susan has to work tomorrow and Sunday. On CNN   …  back to back stories about the Ebola outbreak  …    some Iraqi pilots have joined ISIS and are training some ISIS folks to fly the 3 warplanes ISIS has captured  …  apparently, with the help of coalition air strikes, the Kurds defending the Syrian town being invaded by ISIS   …  kicking some jihadist butt.  And   …   President Barack Obama’s credit card was declined at a restaurant in New York City last month, he said.  “It turned out I guess I don’t use it enough,” Mr Obama said. “They thought there was some fraud going on.” Fortunately, he said, First Lady Michelle Obama had a credit card on hand and paid for the meal.”. No comment.

Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet evening at Ft Timmerman. Later when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with  …  I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform.  Care to join me?  Be and sleep well   …  the best we have as a nation are on watch, so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize   …  that is not my intent.  As always …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …  and the Editorial Staff)

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October 10, 2014

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of October 10, 2014.  It is raining and cold outside.  Proof that summer is over and winter is only weeks away.  The pellet stove insert has been cleaned and serviced.  The pellet bin is loaded with pellets, (with a ton stacked in the garage), and is ready to heat the whole back end of Ft Timmerman.  The stove has reduced our gas bill from $350.00/mo to less than $60.00.  We burn 2 tons of pellets during October – March at a cost of $189.00/ton.  Just dump in a 40 pound sack of pellets every other day and vacuum out the ashes every 3rd or 4th day.

On the way back from court yesterday, I noticed that the leaves are starting to turn. I wonder if the leaves have started to turn in the Ozarks?  Perhaps time to take a trip to Ha Ha Tonka State Park and capture some Fall landscapes.  Fall colors in the Ozarks are breath taking.

In the medicinal okra news: (CNN) —  Drug cops converge on Georgia man’s property after spotting … okra. “The grower was alarmed when the police helicopter swooped low over his property. Soon, Bartow County, Georgia, deputies — “strapped to the gills” and with a drug dog in tow — converged on his doorstep. They had the grower dead to rights. Except the plant that the chopper cops had spotted from the air was … okra.”  Medicinal okra, has been used for years   …  it is after all  …  food for the soul.  Many consider it “Soul Food”.  Frankly  …  I have not found Zig-Zags large enough to roll it.

(BBC NEWS)  — Wal-Mart’s insurance move reveals Obamacare truth. “As the 800-pound gorilla of retailers, Wal-Mart made national headlines when it announced on Tuesday that it was cutting the health benefits for its 30,000 employees who work fewer than 30 hours a week. A company blog post put the move down to rising healthcare costs, but the 30-hour cut-off gives a clue as to the real cause – President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform.”  The net effect?  These folks will have to buy their own health insurance through the exchanges and most will qualify for some amount of government assistance. “The only question now is how many and how fast other companies partake of the new all-you-can-eat entitlement buffet. Get whatever you like, the bill’s on taxpayers.” Can we really afford to keep spending at the rate we are?  When President Bush took office, (January 20, 2001), the National Debt was $5.8 Trillion Dollars.  Two wars and 8 years later, when he left office, the National Debt was $10.9 Trillion Dollars.  When President Obama took office, (January 1, 2009), the National Debt was $10.9 Trillion Dollars.  Today, with one war over, (Iraq, 2003 – 2012), and the other winding down, 5 years later, on October 10, 2014,  the National Debt is $17.8 Trillion Dollars.

In science news:  (BBC NEWS)  — ‘Love hormone’ controls sexual behavior in mice.  “A small group of neurons that respond to the hormone oxytocin are key to controlling sexual behavior in mice, a team has discovered.  The researchers switched off these cells which meant they were no longer receptive to oxytocin. This “love hormone” is already known to be important for many intimate social situations. Without it, female mice were no more attracted to a mate than to a block of Lego, the team report in journal Cell.”   Having represented many male clients over the years, with “Love’s Aftermath” issues, (divorce),  many of my clients swear a wedding band has the same effect on the female of our species.

Already a tragedy, and getting worse.  (BBC NEWS)  — Global Ebola outbreak deaths exceed 4,000 – WHO.  “The number of deaths attributed to the Ebola outbreak has risen above 4,000, the World Health Organization says. The latest figures show there have been 4,024 confirmed or suspected deaths in the worst-affected West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.  Eight deaths are linked to the hemorrhagic fever in Senegal and one in the US.  In total, there have been 8,399 confirmed or suspected cases, mostly in West Africa.”  Experts on CNN opined, given the lack of infrastructure in this part of Africa   …   for every recorded infection and death there are 3 or 4 which are unreported.  Potentially, that is a huge number of persons.

And a different kind of tragedy: (BBC NEWS)  —  A cancer patient’s decision to die. “The 29-year-old was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in January, after suffering from debilitating headaches for more than a year. Following months of treatment, and a progressively worsening prognosis, Ms Maynard decided she had to change course …  She and her husband moved from California to Oregon, one of five US states where physician-assisted suicide is permissible. Once she had established residency and proved that she had less than six months to live, she obtained a prescription for life-ending medication. She says she plans on using it on 1 November, two days after her husband’s birthday.”  Share with me, what would you do if faced with:  “I could develop potentially morphine-resistant pain and suffer personality changes and verbal, cognitive and motor loss of virtually any kind  …  because the rest of my body is young and healthy, I am likely to physically hang on for a long time even though cancer is eating my mind. I probably would have suffered in hospice care for weeks or even months. And my family would have had to watch that.”  Not a choice/decision I would want to make.

Changing times. Gone are the days of the caveman bonking a potential mate on the head and dragging her back to his cave!! (BBC NEWS)  —  Will ‘yes means yes’ laws change the rules of sex? “California Governor Jerry Brown signed the country’s first affirmative consent law last week, which requires that both partners give ongoing consent during sexual activity.  Following suit, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last week ordered all of state-run universities to include an affirmative consent policy in their sexual assault investigation guidelines. The law defines affirmative consent as a conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. Under the law, lack of protest, silence or previous sexual history do not count as consent   …   “Most of us know what this kind of consent looks like in practice, but as a legal standard, it’s hard to imagine how it would be implemented,” writes the Nation’s Michelle Goldberg. “Do moans count as consent? How about a nod, or a smile, or meaningful eye contact?”  I guess to play it safe   …  get written consent and seal the deal with a handshake and a video clip showing consent, using your cell phone.  WAIT!!!  Isn’t that what the celebrities whose nude/compromising pics were posted on the Internet did?

Sitting here editing these Ramblings and listening to CNN. The Editorial Staff curled around my feet. ISIS keeps expanding and consolidating the ground it has captured.  The Turks, are sitting by watching the eminent slaughter of Kurds on their boarder.  New violence projected, “4 Days of Resistance“, in Ferguson, Missouri.  I guess there are still stores to loot/trash.  Given Missouri has the “Castle Doctrine“,  I am amazed there aren’t piles of bodies  …  shop owners, snuffing looters.  I wouldn’t blame them:  breaking into Ft Timmerman will give a pilgrim the opportunity to “French Kiss” my 12 gauge.

Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet evening at Ft Timmerman. I remain nicotine free: a recovering nicotine addict taking it one day at a time.  I have a friend was has an alcohol addiction.  While visiting with her, I asked if she was sober.  She replied, “Of course. I only had a couple of drinks with my supper.”  Sunday Lunch and a Movie?  Left over Shrimp Alfredo. The movie? “Earth to Echo [2014]“.  Later when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with, I will say a special prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform.  Care to join me? Be and sleep well knowing the best we have as a nation are on watch, so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize   …  that is not my intent,  As always  …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri …  and the Editorial Staff)

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October 3, 2014

Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of October 3, 2014.  Susan was offered a Pharmacy Tech job at the CVS in Harrisonville. About a 56 mile round trip from Holden.  Her truck, a 2011 Ram 1/2 ton, extended cab 4 x 4 gets 15 – 18 miles per gallon. That is 3.4 gallons, daily, to get to and from work. Put another way,  with gas peddling for $3.00 per gallon, that is $10.50 a day, travel expense, (or $52.50/week, $231.00/month).  We decided to trade in the truck for a more gas friendly vehicle.  Shopping criteria? All wheel or 4 wheel drive because portions of the route between Holden and Harrisonville, are secondary roads and not all that well maintained in winter.  At least 20+ miles per gallon and a 5 star crash safely rating   …   and of course, a vehicle Susan would like. Whatever the vehicle, (and I have no clue why), the vehicle had to be the color “green”.  We found a “pre-owned” and “Subaru Certified”, 2013 Subaru “Outlander”.  GREEN, all wheel drive, 30mpg and a 5 star crash rating with a 100,000 mile bumper to bumper extended warrantee …  and Susan LOVES it.  Instead of a recommended oil change every 3,000 miles   …  Subaru recommends an oil change every 7,500 miles.  Reduced our insurance by $11.00/mo and reduced our car payment by $41.00 per month, a $52.00 reduced equipment cost.  Gas savings? $28.00 instead of $52.50/week, $123.00 instead of $231.00/month.  Next step?  Have the vehicle blessed by Fr. Pete.

And a turtle news update:   (BBC NEWS)  —  Dozens of turtles found in man’s trousers at Canada border. “A Canadian man has been charged with wildlife smuggling after guards at the US border found 51 turtles in his trousers, US authorities have said. US fish and wildlife officers tracked Kai Xu across the border between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, after receiving a tip from a postal worker. He was stopped by Canadian border guards who found the turtles taped to his legs, prosecutors said. Mr Xu, 26, was released on a bond on Thursday but has not entered a plea. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.”  I have heard of “trouser trout”   …  but “trouser turtles”?  You know   …  using an athletic supporter has to be more comfortable than taping turtles to your crotch.  If he gets jail time   …  I suppose he could protect himself in the shower, by taping a snapping turtle to his butt. 

Interesting: (Huffington Post)  —  White Woman Who Sued Sperm Bank Over Black Baby Says It’s Not About Race. “An Ohio woman who sued a sperm bank after it mixed up donors and gave her sperm from an African-American man instead of the white one she and her partner selected said Wednesday that the family is simply trying to get compensation to deal with a situation they weren’t prepared to handle.” So   …  what are the damages?  Does it cost more to raise a bi-racial child?  Ostensibly, they are suing to make sure this could not happen to another couple.  I suppose keeping better records could help   …  but then, so would putting tiny black bands around black sperm cilia   …  so you could tell them from white sperm cilia.

Ever hear of hear of Captain and Tennille?  (NATIONAL POST), OTTAWA — Conservative government refuses to bow to ‘radical’ animal rights activists, orders RCMP to keep fur hats.  “A move by the Mounties to doff their fur hats in favor of more animal-friendly tuques isn’t getting any muskrat love from the federal Conservatives. Leona Aglukkaq, the environment minister, told the House of Commons Tuesday the public safety minister had told the Mounties to reverse the decision.   In August, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police wrote to the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals to say it had tested a tuque that works well in normal winter conditions, and cadets would get the new hats as early as this fall.”  If this isn’t “Muskrat Love”, I don’t know what is!!

Scary stuff. (BBC NEWS)  — Ebola outbreak: Texas checks 100 for exposure. “As many as 100 people in Texas are being checked for exposure to Ebola, health officials have said.  The list includes “potential or possible contacts” with Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national diagnosed in Dallas on Tuesday, and “will drop”.  Four of his relatives have been ordered to stay home while they are watched for signs of the disease, say medics.  Mr Duncan, believed to have caught the disease in Liberia, is in a serious condition in hospital.  He was the first case diagnosed on US soil and on Thursday, Liberian officials said they would prosecute Mr Duncan for lying on an Ebola questionnaire form.”  The result of a “comedy of errors” with Mr Duncan initially sent home from the hospital, complaining of symptoms after mentioning he had just returned from Liberia. If you have symptoms, you are capable of spreading the disease. At the rate Ebola is expanding, the projected million deaths by January   …  may be an underestimate.

The cinema news: (BBC NEWS)  — Sherlock Holmes silent classic uncovered in Paris vault. “A silent Sherlock Holmes film made in 1916 and featuring the only screen performance by William Gillette has been found in the French film archive. The film, thought lost forever, had been wrongly catalogued decades ago by staff at the Cinematique Francaise. US actor Gillette made his name as Holmes mainly on stage, bringing his trademark deerstalker and pipe to life for the first time.  The movie is being restored and will be shown at a French festival next year  …  Gillette, who died in 1937, gave the definitive portrayal of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary sleuth during his lifetime, adopting many of the traits that have been seen since and survive to this day.”  William Gillette, (July 24, 1853 – April 29, 1937), was a fascinating guy!!  Actor, author, playwright and inventor!

Sitting here editing these Ramblings and listening to CNN. ISIS has beheaded another hostage.  Another aid worker.  The coalition of nations involved in airstrikes is growing   …  but ISIS can not be eradicated without boots on the ground.  Airstrikes have been unable to keep ISIS out of the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani.  Everyone is paying lip service, expressing outrage   …  and doing nothing.  Turkish Parliament voted yesterday to assist the coalition   …  we will see whether they do or not.

Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet evening at Ft Timmerman. I am 586 days nicotine free, 31.686 ciggybutts not smoked and $5,149.00 saved.  I wonder how much money I could have saved, how many Corvettes I could buy now, if I had put the money I spent on ciggybutts into a saving account?  I have noticed, they don’t smell good any more   …  they are starting to stink   …  and you can sure smell the smoke on folks that smoke. Susan indicated she will not smoke in her new car   …  no doubt a reaction to the sales manager’s comment yesterday, that we could have gotten more when trading in the RAM   …   if she had not smoked in it so he could advertise it as a smoke free vehicle.  Vice has it’s price.  Sunday Lunch and a Movie?  Leftover’s from the freezer.  Seems when I cook on Sunday, there have been leftover’s that I have frozen   …  and they have piled up.  Lasagna. Chili. Alfredo, (chicken, potato and shrimp). Roladin, etc.  The movie?  “A Walk Among The Tombstones [2014]“.

Later, when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with, I will say a pray for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform. Care to join me?  Be and sleep well.  The best we have as a nation are standing watch so you can.  If my post offends   …  I apologize.  That is not my intent.  As always   …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT(the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …  and the Editorial Staff).

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