Thursday, October 20, 2016

Three and Out

Day after the final debate and I am so glad it's over. Of the three I found it the most difficult to watch all the way through. Actually we didn't watch it all the way through. Erika and I agreed we had had enough near the end, and we went on to watch episodes of Ink Master. As debates and campaigns typically do near the end of their life cycle, it became a repetitious and redundant rehash of the first two debates. Neither candidate swung very hard at the other, or offered any new revelations to subvert the other's character. Still it had it's cringe worthy moments and at times fell into total disorder with the candidates and moderator all trying to be heard at once.
   Trump's opening comments were typical. He had to make a simple question regarding the nomination of supreme court justices into a dig at Justice Ginsberg, by claiming that she was unfair in her criticism of him, but she was made to apologize, and apologize she did. He literally took a simple question and morphed it into a fantasy of his ass being kissed by a judge. He made sure straight out of the gate that we knew what we were in for. Keep the bar really low.
   It didn't take very long to segue from nominating supreme court justices to discussing the second amendment, because as far as Trump is concerned that IS the constitution.  You would think that the second amendment is under constant attack, when in fact it is the most securely defended section of the constitution. If anything the right to bear arms has  been expanded in many states. But hell, must keep the paranoia levels up.
   Then the discussion moves on to abortion which is always a fun topic. Just minutes in and our imaginations are awash with babies just days from birth being literally ripped out of their mother's wombs. You can guess which candidate was painting this rosy scenario. When asked repeatedly if he would like to see Roe v Wade overturned the hapless billionaire could only say that if it happens it will become a states issue. Overturned-yes or no? States. Overturned- yes or no?! States! When Hillary was asked the same question she took a solid stand on her position, and shamelessly vowed to continue funding Planned Parenthood and support Roe v Wade. Nothing wishy washy about that.
   Moving on to the immigration problem, Trump used the opportunity to paint a dark and disturbing picture of a border less America that is over run with illegal criminal thugs. He went on to mention that he has met literally thousands of people who's families have been victimized by out of control illegal immigrants. Of course this could never be substantiated, since no statistic even remotely points to this being mathematically possible.  Then he went so far as to say that ICE endorsed him, when in fact ICE is a federal department and cannot endorse anyone for president. But it is Hillary that lies constantly, remember?  Hillary did put him on the spot when she brought up that he went to Mexico and didn't even mention the wall to the president's face. "He choked" is how she put it. I'd like to add that later that same day when he returned to the states to hold an evening rally he had no problem talking all about the wall and having Mexico pay for it. I think I'm going to choke.
   Unfortunately for the Hillary camp this all led to discussion of her leaked email which stated her wish for an open border, but after reading it myself it seems clear that it was a statement taken out of context with regards to open trade, which is also another weakness of her campaign. Either way, it puts ammo in the Donald's gun, and no one in his camp is going to verify a self serving misquote. As long as he can put the fear of a Meximerica into the minds of his supporters that's all he thinks he needs. Unfortunately for Trump this is where his inner asshole could no longer be restrained, and he began to nonsensically berate Mrs. Clinton and to maliciously insist that Putin has not respect for her or Obama, which may be true, but it was the tone and his demeanor which stood out sorely. From that point forward he became very undisciplined and insulting. Essentially his normal self.
   Later the issue of taxes came up, and this is where my interest began to fade. Two things about this. The tax code is not going to change in any significant way. The candidates have both done little to promote any kind of new tax policy. Fine. Leave it alone if anything. Second, if Donald Trump thinks he is going to manage to get elected without producing a tax return, he is on serious drugs. It may not mean much to him, but to me and many other voters, that's s total deal breaker.
   He falsely stated that Hillary Clinton lost six billion dollars while working for the State Department. Such an erroneous statement might be made by a hillbilly, but a presidential nominee ought to check his facts before spewing such b.s.  The truth is that the mismanagement of paperwork pertaining to projects in the department caused them to go missing. The projects totaled six billion dollars. The red tape was lost, not the actual money. Liar!
   Then there is the declaration that all his female accusers have been debunked. Total horse shit. He says Hillary Clinton created ISIS. Absolute dip shit statement based on....god he's stupid.  He said 100% of the donations to his charity go to other charities and a lot of military. But the only news I've seen is about him buying portraits of himself, and his charity not even being licensed correctly in order to solicit funds.
   There was plenty more to dissect, but why bother? There is so much misinformation coming from all sides, and it can be hard to care some times.  My takeaway from all this is how bizarre things have gotten. A bad dream that is truly real. It has to be mentioned that we have a candidate who can't believe in the American system that he wants to control. He has stated that the election is rigged, a logistical impossibility, and that he is being suppressed, all the while doing everything to be as repulsive and ugly and unpalatable as possible. He is predictable. If he were to win he would accept the results without any doubts. So what we have is a man child who wants it both ways. He claims to win at everything while simultaneously declaring everyone else is a cheat. Super Tuesday can't come fast enough.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ventura Trip

Surfers waiting for something tasty 

I flew into Ventura on Friday afternoon. Was able to get out of work early. I had my first experience with traversing the newly renovated Sacramento Metropolitan airport. It is much larger now than it used to be. In the past when I would fly Southwest I could check in at the front and follow an escalator the security check point and then on to my gate. Now there is a huge front lobby that leads to a wide elevator, all with clear glass doors and shafts, so that you can see the inner mechanisms that lift the cars. Beyond this you reach a depot where a tram whisks  you away on a fast outer track to the wing which stations the gates. A much larger airport now than it was before.

   Of course with my disability this would not be possible. Fortunately the curbside check-in provides assistance for the disabled. I was sitting in a chair in minutes of arriving to the airport, and in no time a young gentleman was running me to my gate and short cutting me through the security line. It is customary to tip these guys five or ten bucks for their efforts and I found it well worth a few bucks to get such royal treatment.

   My stay was short but very enjoyable. Not to mention the bed in my mother's spare room is super comfortable. Hard to want to get out of in the morning. The view of the coast from her back patio is simply divine. We palled around with the dogs, ate excellent fish tacos at the local cantina, saw the movie 'Sully' in a theater of reclining chairs, and watched the S.F. Giants lose twice to the Cubs.
Punk Rock Girl

   For the trip back my parents hooked me up with some vinyl records courtesy of Jackomo Records. I left with copies of Rush's Moving Pictures and Permanent Waves, King Crimson's Lark's Tongues in Aspic, B.O.C.'s Mirrors, Queen's Sheer Heart Attack, and Frank Zappa's Roxy and Elsewhere. My mother also gave us a cool painting she did from a series of punk rock girls.

Below is me with Frieda, the house cutey. 

Frieda and yours truly

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

My Ongoing Bout With Gravity

The weather is changing and the days are getting shorter. An obvious observation I know. There just seems to be no gradualness to the changes in our weather patterns. We never seem to ease from high nineties temperatures into moderate eighties for a week and then seventies. Instead we suffer a late summer heat wave that lasts over a week, only to find ourselves shivering to low sixty degree temperatures in the space of literally just two days. No one knows what to dress for.
   We still don't turn the clocks back for about a month, and that's actually fine with me. I like gaining the extra hour, but the exchange is for very long days of darkness, seemingly night time when the work day has only just finished. Not great for a man who has been making a belated but hearty attempt to soak up more sun. Just have to wait it out, but unlike most seasons I think I will be looking forward to spring more so than usual. My skin was just starting to show real signs of darkening.
   I'm not totally sure about how beneficial all this added sun and vitamin D supplementation has been for me. I feel like I have more energy in the mornings and throughout the work day. What I don't know is if this is a direct result of my new Mega-D approach or just an upswing. An upswing is a period of time, usually short, where my MS symptoms seem minimal and I can say truthfully that I don't feel too shitty. With MS you're never totally out of the woods. There is always some sort of residual shittiness even on my best days. The unfortunate downside to all the sunning is it makes me hot which turns me into a weakling who can't stand up for more than a few moments. It's a serious disease. Sometimes I underestimate it's debilitating power, but when I do it promptly reminds me who's in charge. MS is an angry beast. The best way to tame it is to respect it, and not challenge it. Knowing the ways to limit it while not putting myself into bad situations.
   Such a situation arose last week. I tanned for 30 minutes which is my normal amount. Afterwards I went against my better judgement. I decided to take a midday shower even though my foot was numbing bad and my balance was very off. Once in the shower I got the sensation that my feet were slipping even though I was standing on a shower mat.  There isn't much to hold onto in there and I normally hold the edge of the window to keep steady while I soap up with my other hand. This time I never made it to the soap stage. The lack of sensation in my feet caused me to crouch to the floor of the tub, where I ended up getting stuck for about ten minutes. I was too scrunched to muster the strength to lift my body from the floor. Needless to say, it was a sobering moment. I have a new sense of my MS related limitations, and am now considering getting some more physical aids for around the house, such as a bath chair. I know better than to challenge this disease.

More Vitamin D and Sunshine Says Dr. Feelgood

Well this new tan is coming along nicely. I've been sitting out back in the yard nearly every day for half an hour after getting home from work. It takes a long time to turn a guy as white as myself toward any hint of a tan, but hours of daylight absorption is starting to show. I am doing this purely for the benefits associated with UV rays converted to vitamin D. As I've said before, MS is linked to vitamin D deficiencies, and I have difficulty getting my range into the normal or preferred percentage levels. I would be interested in taking a blood test in the near future to see what impact if any this sunning is doing for me, along with the gobs of vitamin D pills I take daily. I know one thing, my levels have never been alarmingly high, so I'm going for excess. 
   I just wish I could afford all the other vitamins I also need. I don't want to overlook the importance of B12, CoQ10, omega-3 fish oils, vitamins C and E. Not to mention zinc, and L-Citrulline, and the list goes on. All of it costing a pretty penny. Still the importance of it all makes me want to cut out other expenses to make room for these supplements. Unlike probably most people, I am very sensitive to the direct benefits I get from these, most often in the form of energy and mental well being, though libido and balance are also affected. Perhaps because having MS is like feeling shitty permanently, anything that alleviates that even just a little bit is noticeable, and desirable. On the logical and rational side, supplements are cheaper and more accessible than prescription drugs.