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Picking up Precious

Today was special. After a perpetual 30 days waiting, today was all about picking up Precious. She did a “fly-up,” as she called it–her mother escorted her from Omaha to Milwaukee, where we arrived in a timely fashion to pick up the package.

The special thing about kids is that you can make all their dreams come true, if only for a little while. Eventually, it will be up to them to make their own dreams come true, which I am afraid is becoming increasingly more difficult when Evie will start her life about 250,000 in debt, as every other American child because of the idiots making the decisions, but, I digress.

Babysitting Precious


Here’s Precious in the pool. It is clear that I am life guarding–see my foot in the sling? How could I lifeguard in my handicapped condition you may wonder. Well, I have become fairly facile with my crutches and, due to a superior upper body strength, I could easily balance on my one good leg with my bad leg extended horizontal to the ground, using my left hand to stabilize myself on Terra firma (kind of like a modified half-moon [yoga position]) and scoop little precious up with my rather heavily muscled right arm. See, no worries.

Passion flower


Next to me, as I watching Precious, I happened to notice this beautiful flower, and I thought how appropriate to be surrounded by such things of beauty.

Well, gotta run. Precious  wants to watch a movie, and I’m the only one who knows how to turn it on.

POD #16

I’ve been relatively immersed in the three volume set by Stieg Larsson. After the first one, which had a respectably tight ending, I expected the second to be the same, which would have allowed me to take a break and focus on some other things of a productive nature. As it turned out, the second volume was a cliff-hanger, something akin to a “Dexter” episode; so now, I’ll have to churn through that as well.

The gardens are going gang busters. Sue and I planted Castor beans (me) and elephant ears (sue) all over, mostly in pots, and it’s beginning to look rather rain-foresty around here.

Castor beanTrellis


Above are a couple of the Castor beans, which are 2-3 ft. tall already. You can’t see it well, because of the shadows, but I put a potted Passion flower vine at the bottom of the trellis, and it is already up to the main deck (about 12ft).

Ferns in Little Italy


 We call this, Little Italy. Sue made the zebra-print umbrella, and a few years ago I laid the flag-stone patio, with my bare hands–one of the stones (about 200lbs.) is shaped like the state of WI. After putting the deck in I crashed, I think from lactic acidosis, because, foolishly, I’d been training for the triathlon and had lifted weights or gone swimming and bike-riding the same day; and then I moved all of my “free” stones that I picked up from the scrap heap of a great place on Stone Rd. in Brussels. As it turned out, a trip to the ER for a bag of fluids and home 02 for a few days turned out to be much more expensive than if I’d had to whole thing professionally done. But, I am sure that this comes as no surprise to those who know me.

Well, time for my floor exercises. I’ll try another video post in a day or so.

Long live freedom.
Down with tyranny and oppressive governments.
It is written: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
So, let it be.
You’ll need to pry it from, as CH would say,
from our cold, dead hands.
The pen is mightier than the sword; but, if the pen fails…
there is always the sword.

POD #12

Sue  just parked me on the deck again and said, “see you tonight.” I didn’t think to ask her what was for lunch as the sharp edge of my hunger had just been filed down by three whole wheat waffles with strawberries and sugar-free syrup, sitting in my stomach like a load of bricks.

About a quarter of a way through breakfast, Sue and realized that we weren’t alone. Over the top of my waffle mountain, I saw this–

Top of a deck post

Notice anything?

Well, there are certain carbon-based forms that Sue likes, including me I like to think, and these cute little things here–

Cute little hummingbird

And then, there are carbon-based life forms she doesn’t like, one specific example being a certain, high-level politician, who shall go unmentioned, snakes, skunks, rats and other rodents, most insects, and for some reason not clear to me, our little visitor this morning, who worked so hard to get to this one beautiful little bit of paradise.

You will see him, I’m taking the liberty of gender, not knowing otherwise, in this close up…

harmless, little visitor

…our harmless little visitor, who happened to be a tree frog, and who violates some aesthetic code that my wife holds dear.

Anyway, I think he is still there. It is difficult for me to say, as I am back on my back, where I am most comfortable.

I noticed a couple of days ago that there was a  big hub-bub in the news about Bill Gates and Warren Buffet giving away half of there fortunes to charity. And I thought, well, that’s nice; and then there was some talk about how maybe other’s should do the same, and I couldn’t help thinking…why now?

I thought…what others…just billionaires…or did that mean millionaires too…or perhaps everyone who made more than the “magic number” that used to be 500k, but then revised down to 250, then 200, and Lord knows where that will end up at. And then I thought…okay…Bill Gates is going to give away 3 billion dollars, and keep only 3 billion for himself. I wondered if he was going to give away half of his castle too, and only live in the other half…isn’t that kind kind of like that parable in the bible about the widow and her two cents.

And, again, why now? Why didn’t they have this epiphany when they had a few million dollars…or even a billion or two? And if others are supposed to do this, what if they want to wait until they have 10 billion dollars too, before they give away half of it? The fact is that Mr. Buffet and Mr. Gates pay much less in taxes than us ‘common folks’ who work for a living, and do not live off of investments and fortunes, which are taxed at much lower rates. Of course, I don’t begrudge them that. I don’t think that ‘those’ kind of taxes should be raised-it would only further harm and kill off productivity and incentive more so than it has already been harmed, squashed flat, like a squirrel at the side of road, by the modern day taxation policy. The point as to “why now” is that they are at a position where it doesn’t really matter how much they give away, because pretty much any fraction of what remains would be more than I or 99.99% of the population will ever have.

I think that what he and is wife are doing, with their philanthropy and the wiping out of malaria in third world countries is wonderful, and to be applauded. But, I had the impression that there was this undertone in the media presentation of the suggestion or pressure that it might be a good idea to encourage, foster, force, legislate that others do the same, in the name of “common good.”

Then my old friend from Omaha, Warren “The Oracle” Buffet” quips up that he’d give away 97.9%, or some similar amount, of his fortune. Obviously, he’d done some figuring, and last I checked, 2.1% of a several billion dollars is still a lot of money, especially if you’re 102 years old, or however he is, have a mortgage that’s all paid off, and live like a monk anyway.

Still, it is an admirable thing Mr. Buffet is doing, as do many other people the world over. In every community you will find parks, pools, paths, benches, YMCA’s, Children’s Homes, Hospitals, Women’s Relief Centers, Community Clinics, etc. that would not have been possible without help from people like Mr. Gates, Mr. Buffet, and all the other evil, rich people and big, bad corporations. ‘A rising tide lifts all boats’ as they say. See this article from Fortune.

The reason Gates and Buffet have been so wildly successful is because of captilalism and free markets, which work, as history tells us over and over and over again. The problem with “from each according to their ability to each according to their need” is that eventually, there will too many with need, and not enough with ability.

So, all you Harvard-trained, ruling-class, elitist politicians; and all you yellow-journalistic, media dog-blank(s) who know so much better than all us unenlightened, ‘common folk’ out here in Jesus land–leave us alone and get the hell out of our lives, or we’ll all be forced, on principle alone, to join our good friend, John Galt

Ouch, the sun’s burning my knees. Sue did a rather poor job of positioning the umbrella. I’d better give her a holler.