3/30/2012

The Sea Is So Wide...






...and my boat is so small. That solemn, silent prayer was spoken by one 15 year old kid about 45 years ago. He was on a small wooden, leaky 12 ft boat that was used mostly for oystering. That 15 year old kid did something he was warned to never do; he went oystering in the bay all by himself. His father told him not to go alone. But, he did just that. He was having a great time of it. Bringing up dozens of oysters that cold March day in 1967, the young man lost track of time and space. The old leaky wooden boat was creaking under the weight of oysters. But, what was worse, the tide was going out on him. So was the boat loaded with oysters. The young teen noticed what was happening and quickly jumped on board of the old wooden boat. But, as he got the oars into the water, he realized he was caught in an undertow that was quickly taking him out of the bay and into the Gulf of Mexico. Try as he might, he could not oar himself back to shore. So, he then started up the cranky outboard motor. Of course, it would not start. The sun was quickly going down and it was getting colder. Before he knew it, he was losing sight of shore.

The 15 year old became despondent and decided to start tossing the oysters back in the water to save the boat from sinking. But, the boat started to take on water anyway. He had no life preserver which was against Coast Guard rules. As it became dark, he noticed that his efforts to save the boat were going to be in vain as the water continued to seep in faster than he could bail out with the old plastic bucket he had on the boat. Things were looking bleak for the lad. He looked around and could see nothing but the darkening night and sky. At the end of his rope, the young man said that silent prayer his grandfather had taught him. Dear Lord, be good to me. The sea is so wide, and my boat is so small. Like anyone facing death, he cried. He hoped his death would be quick and merciful. Just as all hope was lost, a beacon of light was focused on him quite suddenly and without warning. "You need help, boy?" It was as if the hand of God had reached out into the darkness to rescue him. It was a small shrimp boat returning to shore when he noticed an object in the darkness.

That young 15 year old boy was me. And it happened 45 years ago today.

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3/26/2012

Horse's Head Found in Pickup Truck





In what is a gruesome scene right out of the movie, "Godfather," a Niagara Falls, Ontario man was arrested for decapitating a horse and then placing the horse's head in the bed of his pickup truck. Authorities think it was a misguided prank gone wrong. A true motive is still being investigated in this crime. The Humane Society of Niagara Falls is also assisting police. Daniel Mowatt has been charged with killing cattle, willful and unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal. He is being held in police custody pending a bail hearing (this was on March 23...he could be out on bail by now). He should stay in jail for a while.

There is absolutely no way this Daniel Mowatt can justify this. If this is indeed a prank, then he should spend some time in prison thinking about this so-called prank. If he is callous enough to decapitate a horse, what else has he done in his life that no one knows about? He is killing animals now. The natural progression would lead one to believe that humans would be next. I hope he gets punished to the fullest extent of the law in Canada.



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3/23/2012

Jury Duty Excuse




 
There are stupid people in this world.  And then there are people like Susan Cole.  Susan Cole was called for jury duty last June in Denver, Colorado.  Like most people, Susan Cole did not want to do jury duty.  So, she established an elaborate hoax to get out of jury duty.  She came to court with an extreme makeup malfunction, hair in curlers, slurred speech to give the impression she was mentally ill, and claiming she had post-traumatic stress disorder.  The judge quickly dismissed her from the case.  Now, if Susan Cole had been able to keep her mouth shut, that would have been the end of it.  But, no, she couldn't do that.  In fact, Susan Cole got on a radio talk show and bragged how she got out jury duty.  That was bad enough.  But, even worse for Susan, the presiding judge who dismissed her from jury duty was listening in that day.  She was arrested and charged with perjury and attempting to influence a public servant, both Class 4 felonies. The link I provided (above) goes into detail how they tracked down Susan Cole.


This story reminds me of an incident when I had to appear for jury duty back in August of 1984, before the internet took off with guns blazing.  The jury pool was called to order by the bailiff and as soon as the judge was seated, he asked for all excuses to be brought forth now.  Of course, it was like a tidal wave heading toward the judge.  People had various excuses from a bad back to poor English comprehension.  You name it, it was brought forth.  But, one young guy, I guess in his mid-20s, gave the excuse he could not read or write.  A woman sitting next to me whispered, "No way the judge lets him out on that.  My 87-year old grandmother couldn't read or write and she still had to do jury duty."  We both chucked on that little fact.  The judge looked very sternly at the young man.  "So, are you saying you cannot read and write?"  the judge asked.  The judge repeated this question three times.  He ended the third and final time with "Are you sure?"   None of us could understand where the judge was going with this.  After the young man repeated firmly he could not read or write, the judge said he would let him off jury duty.  We were shocked!!!  But, the judge was not finished.  "By the way, young man, did you catch the score of the Atlanta Braves game last night?  The obviously pleased young man said, "Sure judge!  It should be right here in the Sports Section."  The young man pulled out a rolled up newspaper he thought was hidden under his jacket.  When he did that, everyone in the jury pool room busted out laughing!!!  The judge did not think it was funny, however.  He ordered the bailiff to detain the young man and have him arrested for perjury (lying to a district judge is considered perjury).  The judge then asked if there were any more excuse makers who couldn't read or write.  Everyone up there, in front of the judge, suddenly decided they wanted to go on jury duty.


It just goes to show you need to do your civic duty.  If you are really unable to fulfill your civic obligations, that is one thing.  But, making an invalid excuse that could land you in hot water is an entirely different matter.  Think about this post next time you get that dreaded summons in the mail. 




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3/19/2012

Treadmill Workouts





I've stated on this blog before that I lost a lot of weight after my divorce in 2005.  Yeah, the stress of divorce had something to do with my weight loss.  But, the main reason for my weight loss was to show my ex what she had lost (and to prove something to myself as well).  I went from 242lbs to 191lbs in about 10 months.  It took a combination of diet and treadmill workouts to accomplish this amazing feat. I had lost 50lbs! That is about the average weight of a seven year-old boy!  I was proud of myself.  But, I soon started back into my old habits of eating snacks, not exercising on the treadmill as I should have.  I weighed myself on Valentine's Day.  I now weighed 246lbs!!!!  Disgusted with myself, I decided I needed a new plan.  At age 60, my dieting and exercise plan at age 53 was not working.  So, I looked on the internet for what the average speed one should be at on the treadmill.  I was stunned by what I saw.

I was stunned because I read that a good average speed for a warm up on the treadmill was 3MPH!!!  I was cruising along at 2.7MPH for at least three years, thinking I was doing ok.  Well, I kept telling myself that 2.7MPH was enough.  Funny thing though, my body wasn't listening.  I continued to gain weight despite exercising twice a day and at least 30 minutes each session. I continued to watch what I ate.  But, I could not lose weight.  So, I read some more about the treadmill workout speed.  Some people were going at a brisk 5MPH.  Others were at the optimum level of 10MPH.  I did not think I could go over 3MPH or, at least, not for very long.  I was wrong, wrong, wrong.  I will always have back trouble (that was my reason for being stuck at 2.7MPH).  But, I decided to go for broke (no pun intended there about my back).  My morning workout is for 40 minutes.  For the first 10 minutes, I am at 2.8MPH.  I have experienced no problems.  After 10 minutes, I go up one-tenth MPH every five minutes until I get to 3.4MPH at the 35 minute mark.  By that time, I am winded, sweating and tired.  At the 38 minute mark, I speed it up to 4MPH which is a slow jog on my treadmill.   The first time I did it, I thought I was going to fall off the treadmill.  But, I have now kept up this routine for 2 1/2 weeks now.  I am happy to say I have lost 8lbs and I feel I have more stamina.

About this time next month, I will make my first update on my progress.  My ultimate goal is that magic 10MPH mark.  At my age, I don't know if I can do it.  If I do get there, I probably won't be able to keep going for very long at that speed. In any case, unless something unforeseen comes along, I am going to stick to this treadmill workout.  My weight goal?  That would be 185lbs. That would mean a loss of about 60lbs.  That is the weight of your average 9 year-old boy.  I always said I was a kid at heart.  Now, I can prove it.




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3/16/2012

Free Pizza With A Vasectomy!






Sometimes I try to bring the unusual, the peculiar and the macabre here on David's Musings. I like to possibly bring forth a smile or even a tear or two from you. I might get both a smile and a tear with this latest story.  Of course, this story should only be interesting to men. Urologists in Sandwich, Massachusetts are offering men a free large pizza with one topping (how kind of them) with a vasectomy, to kick off March Madness in Sandwich. Now, before you ask, why would they do such a thing, consider that March is the busiest time of the year for vasectomies in the Cape Cod area (of which Sandwich is the oldest town).  They offered no explanation as to why March is such a busy month.  I am not willing to wager a guess either. But, I gather that March Madness is even more widely followed in the northeast than possibly any other part of the country.  So, in order to make an even bigger profit, the urologists plan to make a promotion of a free large pizza to coincide with basketball's biggest month.  Plus, while you recover, you can watch March Madness on their TVs!  How can you turn down such an offer?  Well, I think I can. It will have to be a lot better promotion than a large pizza with only one topping to get me to go under the "clip, clip" of a urologist.  I have heard it is a painful procedure. 

Now, if they were to sweeten the deal with two toppings on the pizza...well, no, they couldn't offer enough toppings for me to undergo that procedure.  Pass.


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3/12/2012

Former IED Dog May Be Put Down By Marine Corp





Former Marine Corporal Megan Leavy served two tours of duty in Iraq with a German Shepard named Sergeant Rex.  They both searched for IEDs which was the major contributor of deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq and in Afghanistan.  Both Meagan and Sergeant Rex were severely wounded when an IED went off near them.  Megan is recuperating from her injuries as is Sergeant Rex.  But, time is running out on the noble German Shepard who served his country with distinction.  Sergeant Rex is ten years old, injured and can no longer serve.  The Marine Corp, as is tradition, wants to put down this dog whose usefulness to the Marine Corp is at an end.  Megan wants to adopt the dog.  But, like anything else to do with the federal government, red tape is getting in the way.  The fear is that Sergeant Rex may be put to sleep before Megan can adopt him.  That is a real fear now for a dog that took on the dangerous task of seeking IEDs in war-torn Iraq. 

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York (of whom I have criticized in the past) is working to expedite the paperwork to save Sergeant Rex before he is put down.  Time is running out for this dog.  I know how slow the military can be.  Saving a dog's life is not a top priority for the Marine Corp.  But, this dog took an IED that could have killed other soldiers.  It seems only fair that the dog should be allowed to live with the Marine who cared for him and served with him in Iraq for two tours.  Hopefully, I can report an update on Sergeant Rex getting the necessary paperwork done so he can live out the rest of his life with Megan. 




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3/09/2012

Dead 84-year old Woman Not Allowed To Vote





Maureen McCloskey looks remarkably well for a woman that has been told she died.  She looks even better for an 84-year old woman who appears to be alive and kicking.  What happened is that Maureen McCloskey went to vote this past Tuesday in Fall River, MA.  The voter warden stated she could not vote because "she died."  Apparently, Mrs. McCloskey wasn't informed by the voter registration people in Fall River that she had passed on from this life.  Strangely, Mrs McCloskey had been placed on the "deceased list."  Well, Maureen McCloskey made it abundantly clear she was alive and fully intended to vote. In fact, this spry little lady has made it a point for years to do her constitutional duty of voting. Anyway, once everyone was convinced Maureen McCloskey was indeed "alive," she was allowed to vote.  Apparently Mrs. McCloskey took it with great humor.  She made it known she fully intends to keep voting for many years to come!

But, just think, if Maureen McCloskey was in Chicago, she could vote for years and years even after she has died!  Politicians there do not discriminate against the deceased when it comes to voting. 



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3/05/2012

Stomach Virus





A week ago, I went to visit my niece on a lazy afternoon.  Before I went, I noticed my stomach felt bloated and it actually hurt to even touch my stomach.  Thinking it was something I ate, I almost didn't go on the visit.  But, she is pregnant and I wanted to see her.  About an hour after arriving, I started feeling nauseated.  I mean, I just did not feel good at all.  Asking her to forgive me, but I believed it would be best if I went home.  I went to my car and before I opened the door, I threw up on the sidewalk.  I knew I was in trouble now.  I went back to ask for a plastic bag in case I needed to throw up.  Turns out, I made it home ok.  But, my troubles were just starting.

After being home for about 15 minutes, I threw up again...and again...and again. I couldn't stop throwing up (actually threw up eleven times).  I was extremely nauseated.  Also, I was now experiencing diarrhea.  I barely made it to the bathroom for "both ends."  I can't properly express the feeling of sitting on a toilet and having to throw up all at the same time.  You feel like you are going to die.  As the night continued, I kept throwing up.  My diarrhea continued also.  Finally, around midnight, I asked my nephew to take me to the hospital.  I could take it no longer.  I had an IV, took some Zofran (twice) and some other medicine for my diarrhea.  It was a very long six hours.  As it turns out, I had a stomach virus that has been going through the state of Alabama and surrounding states.  It traveled very quickly around the state.  In fact, the entire University of Alabama basketball team got this stomach virus.  They played like it also. 

This was the first stomach virus I have had in many years.  In fact, I don't recall getting one in my adult life.  Maybe I have gotten one.  I just don't remember it. This one left me weak and with little appetite for three days.   But, while I was recuperating, I talked to some old friends.  One told me of a home remedy to stop nausea and vomiting.  He said his grandma said a teaspoon of onion juice and grated ginger mixed together will stop nausea and vomiting.  That mixture sounds almost as bad as the symptoms of the virus.  She also said that a can of warm Pepsi with 5-7 drops of lemon juice will kill the stomach virus.  I have a hard time drinking cold Pepsi, much less warm Pepsi.  But, I suppose I will remember these two home remedies for a stomach virus.  When you get as sick as I was, you will try anything after a while.




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3/02/2012

Davey Jones - RIP





Davey Jones of the hit 60s group "The Monkees" passed away yesterday in Florida.  He was 66 years old.  He had suffered a heart attack in his Indiantown, FL home.  Davey Jones was just one of the four band members who rocked their way to stardom, albeit briefly in the mid to late 60s.  The other band members are Mickey Dolenz,  Mike Nesmith, and Peter Tork.  The band never reached the level of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones or other 60's bands.  They were an NBC invented for TV band that suddenly became popular.  There was probably no one more amazed at their popularity than the band members and NBC itself.  Davey Jones was the lead singer of the band.  They had such hits as "Daytime Believer and I'm a Believer."  I only liked I'm a Believer out of all their songs.  I was never a big fan.  I did like the "Monkees Car."  In fact, I had a model car of that same car used in the TV series.  But, that was the extent of my infatuation with The Monkees.

I'm sad about Davey Jones passing.  He was only six years older than me.  I guess it saddens me that an icon I knew growing up has now died.  So many seem to be dying now.  It seems like just yesterday I would listen to girls in my homeroom, in the 10th grade, talking about what The Monkees did on their show Monday night.  I could not understand their excitement then.  But, I can understand those same girls (who are all probably grandmothers now) who are as saddened by the news of Davey Jones death as I am.  In a week, most will have forgotten Davey Jones death.  It will be a footnote to 2012 as we move on to other things in life.  But, a small part of us 60s kids died Wednesday of this week.  I'm sure I will look for "I'm A Believer" on YouTube and play it in his honor.  God Bless you, Davey Jones.  May your music continue for eternity. 




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