Tuesday’s Rambling Thoughts – September 16, 2008

I went to my dermatologist about a patch of skin near my left temple yesterday. It would keep peeling, turn bright red and then start peeling again. The doctor said it was pre-cancerous. So, he sprayed it with this nitrogen…something, that burned like crazy. That wasn’t enough for him. He found several more spots that he deemed “pre-cancerous” on my arms. There were six spots he sprayed with this stuff. Talk about burning…it was like someone rubbing hot coal against you.

The continuing downward slide of financial institutions in this country is troubling. Lehman Brothers, the nation’s fourth largest investment bank, filed for bankruptcy Monday. It is the biggest bankruptcy ever at $618 Billion dollars. Lehman was unable to find a buyer or to get the U.S. Government to intervene. Merrill Lynch, also in financial difficulties, found a buyer in the Bank of America. Combine all this with the subprime mortgage meltdown, the bailout of Fannie Mae and Wall Street’s downward slide, and it appears there are dangerous times a head for the economy. I’m not saying we are headed for a depression. I think there are economic triggers in place to prevent the economic disaster of the 1930s my grandfather always talked about. But, we are headed toward more unemployment, higher gas prices, food and other necessities of life. The next president is going to have a full plate to deal with as soon as he takes office. I’m not laying all the blame at the feet of George W. Bush. But, all this occurred on his watch. He has to assume responsibility of some, if not most of the troubles now facing this country.

The people in Houston and Galveston are in dire need of food, drinking water and, in some cases, a place to live. I think the devastation that Hurricane Ike inflicted on this area is not being reported nearly enough in the press. There are people again begging for federal aid. Again, FEMA is slow to react to a disaster. I think
waiting on the government to do anything is a waste of time. The best thing to do is help the Red Cross and other relief agencies to provide needed aid to this area. If you would like to contribute to the Red Cross online, click HERE. Any contribution to these people is tax deductible.

Finally, while going through my bedroom closet, I found something I thought I had lost many years ago. It was an old, faded, worn out baseball glove my late grandmother bought for me when I was 12 years old with S&H Green Stamps. For those too young to know what that is, it was a form of points given to customers at retail stores based on dollar amount spent. Think of it as a retro form of awards program that the American Express Blue Card has in place. It was mostly gas stations that I remember giving away green stamps back in the day. There were even S&H Green Stamp stores where the only method of payment was with green stamps. It was there my grandmother bought that baseball glove. I loved that baseball glove. I would even sleep with it at night. It was like seeing an old friend you had not seen in many years. It’s too small for my hand now, of course. But, I will keep it in a place I know I won’t lose sight of it again. Thanks Grandma…you really made your12 year old grandson mighty proud many years ago.


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