Rats, Cocaine and Miles Davis

Like many Americans, I worry about the way my tax dollars are being used or misused by our federal government. The waste and extravagance of GSA employees is one recent example. That is a disgusting display of tax dollar waste. I hope all the employees involved get fired. But, what would you think if I told you your tax dollars are being used to fund "research" on rats drugged out on cocaine to find out what kind of music they like the most? That is what has happened at Albany Medical College. The "research professionals" discovered that sober rats didn't really care for music (imagine that). But, when they have cocaine induced into their bodies, the rats "gyrated" to the sounds of jazz by Miles Davis. The studies, unbelievably, were funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse. This research was listed in the top ten for "Real Ridiculous Research." I would say it is well deserved. But, spokesmen for Albany Medical College disputed that notion. "The ultimate goal of this research is to find medications that can help diminish drug cravings in humans," said the medical college spokesman.

I'm not quite sure how making rats coke addicts will push science ahead in finding a way to diminish drug cravings in humans. I guess I'm just not smart enough to understand that. I have always felt the best way to diminish drug cravings in humans is to deny them the drug. That would begin by controlling our southern border, just as an example. But, I simply don't see how giving cocaine to RATS will enable us to end the drug problem in this country. I'm willing to bet the late great jazz musician Miles Davis would agree.

EDITOR NOTE: I'll be taking a couple of weeks off from David's Musings. Next post will be May 4th.

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The Plunger Bank Robber

I guess it takes all kinds of people to do misdeeds these days. I mean, some people just don't have good sense. Who in their right mind would walk into a bank to rob it in the first place? Not many people, thankfully. But, what kind of person walks into a bank, with intentions to rob, with a toilet plunger as a weapon? Apparently, just one so far. His name is Lawrence Deptola of New York. Mr. Deptola threatened a bank teller with a plunger if she or he didn't give all the money in the drawer to him immediately! Apparently, this teller set off a silent alarm and police came to arrest Mr. Deptola after a brief foot chase. At age 49, he wasn't going to out run many people. Mr. Deptola was charged with attempted third-degree robbery. I'm not sure how many years that will put him behind bars. But, however long it is, I hope he contemplates a new career. The bank robbing career isn't working for him.

This sort of reminds me of another bank robbery in my area about ten years ago. There were two men from Bayou La Batre (Yes, of Forest Gump fame) robbed a local bank right after it opened up one Monday morning. They drove up in a broken down old '89 Oldsmobile Cutless that was belching smoke when they came up to the bank. Both men went into the bank, told a teller they wanted all the money in the drawer. They got the money in one of those bank bags. As soon as they went out of the bank, the dye canister went off inside the bank bag. It was purple. Both bank robbers were now purple. But, their troubles were not over. Both were blinded by the dye and couldn't find the car keys after they dropped them on the pavement. One finally found the keys. But, then wouldn't you know it...the old beat up Oldsmobile would not start. They raised the hood, tinkered around for a few seconds and got it started. As they were backing out, several police cars were waiting on them. Some police tried desperately to maintain a professional decorum by not laughing. But, many of the police failed in their attempt to control their laughter. They were forever dubbed, "The Gang That Couldn't Rob Straight." I imagine they are still in prison cooling their heels.

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Divorce: The Final Goodbye

As I have stated numerous times on this blog, I was divorced back in July of 2005. It was an emotional time for me. I was so devastated, I actually had trouble speaking. That is the truth. I felt completely alone, abandoned by family and friends. None of this was the case. It was just during this time every little thing seemed to be magnified. Any slight or perceived slight was ten times worse to me. I was homeless for a period of time after my divorce. I wasn't homeless in the traditional sense of living in the streets. I stayed with family until I got back on my feet. I was extremely bitter. Practically anything would set me off. Yes, I was deeply resentful of my ex-wife. I had agreed to move to be where her elderly parents lived so she could be with them. After we moved up there (and started having problems) she said it was all my idea to move there. That was the kind of insanity I was up against with my ex. I've never been as angry with one person in my life as I was with my ex-wife.

 After I moved back to my hometown, I managed to pull myself back up and moved on with my life. But, I was still bitter about the sacrifice I had made for my ex-wife. I did not really want to be around my in-laws (although they were very nice people and I never had problems with them). I was mad at the way she treated me. It seems after we moved up there, my ex-wife got this idea she could "change" me into the type of man she wanted. Namely, like her father. You can imagine how I reacted to that. Vicious arguments ensued, and the result was my ex wanting a divorce. As soon as she said that, any love, caring or devotion that I ever had for her, disappeared instantly. That surprised me also. I stayed in touch with her over the past seven years merely out of consideration for her parents. My former mother-in-law passed away in January 2009. Her father is in his 90s and may not have much longer. So, a little over a week ago, I did something I had been planning for upon the announcement that her father had died. I have been dreaming of sending her that one, final email. But, she had to go and do something that forced me to bring what little relationship we had to a complete and grinding halt.

 I won't say what she did. Suffice it to say, it was vintage ex-wife stuff. I sent her an email telling her there was simply no point in our staying in contact any further. To do so would continue the anger and bitterness that resulted in our divorce. I made it a point to let her know why I wanted nothing further to do with her. I doubt she will understand the reason. She thinks she is infallible. She is always the victim (and she plays that card quite well). I didn't want to play her game any more. I don't have to. There was a lot more that I said in that email. A lot of stuff that needed to be said. I feel released for having said it. I know she will cry to her father about what I said. That is my only regret. However, sometimes you just have to do that one single thing that you know you have to do. It's not an easy thing to do. But, saying that final goodbye to my ex-wife is something that needed to be done.

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Sell Kidney to Buy iPad

In what has to be one of the saddest stories I have ever personally read, a 17-year old Chinese boy sold one of his kidneys to get an iPad and iPhone. That, in and of itself, is sad enough. But, now the young boy (known only as Wang) is suffering with renal deficiency and, apparently, his other kidney is in danger of shutting down. His health is continuing to fail. The doctor and four others were charged with "intentional injury, and illegal organ trading." The Chinese boy wound up getting less than $3500 for the kidney. The others got over ten times that amount. The young boy lives in the Anhu Province, which is one of the poorer provinces in China. Before people start mocking this young boy, you need to understand the hopelessness he must have faced in his life. All he saw on TV (if his family even has one) and newspapers were pictures of iPads and iPhones. Apple products are extremely popular in China. It is a "must get" for the Chinese. So, this young teenager decided if he was ever going to own an iPad, he would have to sell a body organ in order to get it. Now, that is not a choice of a mature, logical person. You have to remember this is a young teen growing up in abject poverty. I'm sure if he had a chance to do it over again, I doubt he would give up a kidney.

When I was a teenager, about the age of Wang, there was nothing I wanted more than a motorcycle. I mean, absolutely NOTHING. I begged, pleaded and threatened to run away. But, my family was poor. I just did not understand how poor we were at the time. I did not get a motorcycle until years later when I joined the U.S. Navy. Now, one of the reasons I know my mother would never go along with the idea of me owning a motorcycle was my carelessness. I almost killed myself on my Triumph 650 about a year after I bought it in Naples, Italy. I finally got what I wanted. And then some. So, I will not condemn this young teenager. I know what it feels like to be desperate for a status symbol. I know what it feels like to not get what you want also. In the case of the Chinese boy, Wang, his desperation drove him to the madness of giving up a kidney. It may even cost him his life now.
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David's Musings Is Four Years Old

Actually, this blog celebrated its 4th birthday yesterday on April 5th. But, I make it a point to stick to a schedule of just posting on Mondays and Fridays. So, with that thought in mind, this old blog (and it is ancient by blog standards) is the ripe old age of 4 years old. It's amazing really. I had been thinking several years prior to April 2008 of starting a blog. But, I honestly didn't know what I would blog about. But, after some encouragement from certain people, I decided to start this blog up. At first, my blog posts centered strictly on myself. I posted some things that, in retrospect, I wish I had not posted. I have thought about deleting those old posts. But, for now, they will remain for the foreseeable future. Then I started making more political posts on this blog. I enjoy politics. So, last September I decided to start up a political blog (The Right Commentary). Traffic there is slowing picking up. So, basically, what I concentrate on now, with this blog, is just general discussion, current events and the unusual daily stories that I think will be of interest. I actually quit this blog late 2010. I was burned out. So, I put this blog in mothballs for about six months. Eventually, I started missing "my old friend." So, I came back about a year ago. I don't know how much longer I will continue. But, I don't plan on going anywhere for anytime soon.

I think back to the time I started this blog today. Matt from Matt-Speak and his lovely sister were of great assistance when I started up this blog. They are long gone from the blogosphere, I fear. They were both incredibly nice people. They had a brother who suddenly died. Matt said he would be coming back. But, he never did. Sometimes life gets in the way of plans you make. There have been many other people who have contributed here over the years. Most are gone now. Eventually, this old blog will go away also. With the advent of Twitter and Facebook, blogs are a dying breed still trying to hold on in much the same way email is trying to stay relevant. There just aren't that many people who maintain a blog any longer. You get burned out and move on to something else in life. That is perfectly understandable. Hopefully, this blog will celebrate a 5th birthday next year. But, as was the case with Matt, I just don't know if that will happen. In any case, Happy Birthday to David's Musings! promote ebook
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Chocolate As a Diet Food?

When I first read this chocolate as a diet story by the New York Times (since I disbelieve anything they print), I was highly skeptical since it came on on April 1 (April Fools Day). But, I checked around to find that it actually came on March 27th. I found a CBS News story on the same study about chocolate as a diet food. Now, I was convinced it was not simply a April Fools Day joke. I am still mystified by what I have read. Basically, there is a study that has found that people who eat chocolate frequently stay thinner, have less body mass. I just could not believe what I was reading. I have always felt that chocolate equals calories which equals weight gain. I have heard that my entire life. For that reason alone, I have avoided chocolate (even though I love the stuff). The study proclaims it is not quite clear why chocolate has such a beneficial effect since it is loaded with sugar, fat and calories galore. Some theorize that the abundance of antioxidants may cause a metabolic boost for the body. Again, no one is sure why chocolate is considered a "diet food" now based on this study. Studies have found in the past that chocolate does lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and even help with insulin regulation. But, the actual reasons why chocolate helps with weight loss and a lower BMI will remain a mystery for right now. This is going to require more study.

Ok, I admit I will eat more chocolate now. But, I am already exercising at an increased clip per week. I exercise greatly at least twice a day on my treadmill. The study (linked above) stated that exercise is a requirement for this intake of chocolate to have an effect on weight loss. If you don't exercise, at least three times a week, you are going to be greatly disappointed in the results of a chocolate only diet. Right now, I plan on eating chocolate twice a week. One of the links state that dark chocolate is preferable. But, there was no breakdown in the study on the kinds of chocolate people ate. So, I suppose I will intermingle milk chocolate on occasion.  I'll find out how true this study turns out to be. Increasing metabolic rate does sound feasible to me. Remember, no exercise and you will be greatly disappointed if you just eat chocolate only.
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