Monday, August 30, 2010

Garden of Invasive Species

Apparently, I am very, very good at growing invasive species. Invasive Species gardening is easy - they practically grow themselves! So easy you can do it, too. But if the DCNR gets wind of what's infesting my quarter acre estate they will order a napalm strike on my back yard.  Here are some ecology destroying plants that I either inherited or planted myself because I'm not all that bright :

Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) - Jumped the railroad tracks about 30 years ago. Heaven must stink if it's full of these dirty, smelly useless punkwood bastards. Easy to uproot but they just keep coming back - prime candidate for chemical warfare.

Golden Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) - grabbed a couple of clumps as a screen for the railroad from an old homestead when I moved to town. It spread pretty well just north and south alone the high line bank although  over the last year or so a couple of shoots have escaped down into the yard. So what. What's it gonna do - disturb the dog shit? It would have to get by the chemical barrier my neighbor's massive English walnut puts up to escape west. There's a bridge north, the chemical wasteland of the double track east so all it can do is go  south. At the rate it's spreading it will be 50 years before it crosses the property line and I'll be dead or way beyond caring.  Besides it has to get by some other successful invaders to go any further. Stay tuned...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Who Said What?

Can you separate the psychopath from the sociopath? Which of the below quotes comes from baby killing mass murderer Timothy McVeigh and which is from confused loon Sharron Angle, the Nevada Republican nominee for the US Senate?

 a."The government is afraid of the guns people have because they have to have control of the people at all times. Once you take away the guns, you can do anything to the people. You give them an inch and they take a mile. I believe we are slowly turning into a socialist government. The government is continually growing bigger and more powerful and the people need to prepare to defend themselves against government control."

b."What is a little bit disconcerting and concerning is the inability for sporting goods stores to keep ammunition in stock," she said. "That tells me the nation is arming. What are they arming for if it isn't that they are so distrustful of their government? They're afraid they'll have to fight for their liberty in more Second Amendment kinds of ways? "That's why I look at this as almost an imperative. If we don't win at the ballot box, what will be the next step?"

c."If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies..."

d."Taxes are a joke. Regardless of what a political candidate "promises," they will increase. More taxes are always the answer to government mismanagement. They mess up. We suffer. Taxes are reaching cataclysmic levels, with no slowdown in sight. [...] Is a Civil War Imminent? Do we have to shed blood to reform the current system? I hope it doesn't come to that. But it might."

e."Half of the country is working to produce and pay the taxes and pay the bills, the other half is living off the taxpayers -- they’re living off the other 51 percent."

Tough, isn't it?   McVeigh - a.,d.  Angle b.,c.,e.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Freak Me Out

Time to pack up. It is amazing how time zips by. Household chores today. Every thing is ok here. See you soon.

Love to all - Dad
Don't use my laptop much except while on vacation.  Found it in my email under the header Too Fast. Dad died last November so I'm thinking that time has stopped zipping by for him. But "see you soon"? I don't think I like that at all.

(and yes, my loyal reader - more catharsis. I'm full of catharsis - I'm the most catharsisarean guy you'll ever meet. And don't make me look up any more words)

Friday, August 13, 2010

The World's Worst Catholic™ Explains Why God Allows Requires Pain and Suffering

Our grandaughter was born with a sacrococcogeal teratoma which necessitated a helicopter ride to a surgery center for removal of the tumor and, as there was a germ cell malignancy  found in the liver, she had to undergo chemotherapy for the first 9 months of her life. This left her bald, sick and continually in the hospital to deal with urinary tract infections and pneumonia resulting from her compromised immune system. She has been in remission for 6 years but the surgery has left her incontinent, without muscle mass around her sphincter and nerve damage to her bladder. The tumor displaced her hip so surgery and a spica cast were required to realign her hip. So each day is a continual round of medications to bolster her kidney function and laxitives and immodium to try to time her bowel movements so that she is more or less (mostly less) socially continent. She has also developed mild epileptic seizures that require medication and a regimen of high calorie foods to maintain her weight. But, all in all, she's a happy, well adjusted kid. Things have stabilized to the point where we only have to drive the 150 miles to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia a few times a year. Once a year we have a followup for the cancer survivors program in the oncology wing. It's a tough trip.

"In a recent Angelus message Pope Benedict XVI hit on the very core of the Church's belief that, there is, in fact a great value and worhiness to be found in human agony. To be sure, the Church's understanding of human suffering lies at the very heart of salvation itself."
 Thanks, Pope, I feel much better now. Next time I see a bald, sick unto death, bewildered four year old with a port in his chest in the oncology wing I'll remember that human suffering is all part of God's love for us. Without it we would face eternal suffering. Or when I see a 20 year old athlete with an inoperable brain tumor barely able to move from the combined effects of radiation and chemo I'll tell her, " Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? Yet not one will fall to the ground apart from you Father's will."  A little transcription error here, a stray neutino there, a modest mutation in a regulatory sequence. All part of the Big Guy's master plan. Doomed to a short agonizing life with an incurable birth defect because your parents follow the Church teaching that a merciful abortion is a mortal sin? Well, that's all God's will.
If I weren't such a spiritual fellow, and having seen children in all stages of disease and disability, I would almost think that there really isn't any purpose to this pain and suffering. That a transcription error is just a transcription error, a stray neutrino is just a stray neutrino, the sparrow just gets sick and dies and shit just happens. If I weren't such a spiritual person I would almost think that a person's time would be better spent volunteering at the local hospital than praying  and contributing weekly to Doctors Without Borders or the Ronald McDonald House than dumping those bucks in the collection plate. If I weren't such a spiritual person I'd almost think Benedict and the Church are full of shit and lionizing suffering is a weak argument designed to give meaning to something that has none and to perpetuate a superstition who's only rationale is its own existence. If I weren't such a spiritual person I would almost think that, if there is a God, he's asleep, dead or just doesn't care and all we really have are each other. If I weren't such a spiritual person, that is.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dropping the F Bomb

I suppose it's my own fault because I used it first. But it still makes me wince when I hear my seven year old granddaughter use the F - word. That would be the word "family". For some reason I got it in my head to start a new family tradition - Friday Family Movie Night. So every week I try to track down some god awful fun for the family G rated snoozefest and it's not easy satisfying a group with such diverse interests. My taste runs to sci-fi/zombie, Brennie likes well made films that plumb the depths of the human condition - you know good movies (bleh) and the granddaughter likes to watch the same episode of Big Time Rush over and over and over again. She's picked up on the fact that my heart melts when I think of her being stuck with her grandparents for a family.  So now everything is family - Family Swim Day, Family Go to Burger King Day, Family Buy Me a Toy Day - Please - how about a Family Shoot me in the Head Day? I'm trapped in the Family Circle.