Singing like a caged bird

Wednesday, December 31, 2003


I got the word from the cardiologists, the chest crackers will have my thorax to carve on. Will be meeting with the ace of the capital district to see if he wants to do an excellent job. Funny, my cardiologist who I have great faith in tells me that the chest crackers don't always do what the cardio guys tell them to. He says the reason is that they couldn't be bothered in doing the hard procedures sometimes. He is having me consult with the ace chest cracker on Friday. Cardio guy claims he will not bullshit me as much as he will bullshit the cardio. Also, the ace is less of a bullshitter than others around here. If I do not have confidence in the ace, then I will wing out to the Cleveland clinic to let them have a go at my thorax. They are the aces of the aces in the use of arterial graphs which is the big thing for me....according to my cardio. Nerves have not set in yet.


Dean supporters did it...set the
for contributions in a single quarter for democrats. I did my part...sent in a contribution thru Halley of comment fame.


The new year is dawning all over the world today. According to my friend Chris , "Tomorrow a new year according to some. In a few weeks, another new one for the Chinese and a few weeks after that, Tsagaan Sar, a new Mongol year.

Monday, December 22, 2003


Yesterday, I was out doing a little snowshoeing.  Just a little as my stamina is still not back to normal and did not want to get too deep into the woods alone.

The snow was beautiful despite the small amount of rain we had on the top of the last big snow storm.  I was up in one of my favorite haunts within the blue line of the Adirondack Park, not far from Lake Desolation.  The sky was a great shade of blue, not bright blue but one that looked like it had been bleached out by a full cycle of sun.  A very faded pair of jeans blue.  There were a few  clouds running in long streaks and way up high.  But mostly the blue dominated.  And some strange wispy clouds....not really herringbone stripes but maybe like a ghostly herringbone pattern, something that Jacob Marley might be wearing.  On the snow I saw lots of snowshoe hare tracks and the prints of a stalking coyote.  There was an express highway of tracks used by a large herd of deer.  But did not see any creatures except the birds...the chickadees are so inquisitive.  Hated to leave the peace and solitude of the snow covered forest, but the day was wearing rather short as it is the solstice.

After warming a bit in the car, I slowly drove toward town still enjoying the trees in their winter white.  At a favorite outlook I stopped to watch the sun slowly drop into the glorious colors of if sunset  The strange clouds turned on there brightest colors, as if to say "it's a Druid holiday....let's get a jump on celebrating".  The pinks and purples where almost unnatural looking in their iridescence.  I lingered to catch the last rays of light.


Trouble in Santa Land.....Elves laid off.. I don't what is the worst aspect of this story.....the elves unemployed just before Christmas, the supersonic jetport near the arctic circle or the hordes of tourists overrunning the last great wilderness of Europe.

To the tunes of Bob Marley.....Get Up, Meet Up.....Stand Up for your rights!!!! Who thinks Dean should adopt this for theme song?

Thanks to Cookie Monster for this link to another unintended consequence of the new world order and globalization, hey maybe we can outsource Dubya..


Today is the birthday of Disraeli who tried to contain Russia and the birthday of Stalin, the evil incarnate who tried to contain the whole world not just Russia. What does that congruence say about the validity of astrology?

Feeling soul-less, kind of empty inside? Find out
which inanimate object are you?
My results.......glue;

Or better yet...contemplate these words to find a true meaning for this time of year. The symbols are as true today as they were last year and perhaps for eons.

Friday, December 19, 2003


I have been putting out food (sunflower seeds and thistle seeds and suet) for the wild birds.  I have attracted juncos, blue jays, titmice, nuthatches (my favorite), chickadees, sparrows, ravens, downy woodpeckers, purple finches, goldfinches, and bright red cardinals, a cooper hawk who scares the hell out of the little birds, and a whole herd of greedy, gray squirrels.  Have also seen tracks of many rabbits in the snow.....and also those of a fox.
I just took out of storage, some small, carved angels.  They are carved from soap.  They were carved many years ago when  was a child.  One is still very beautiful that was carved by my mother, the others which were carved by me and my sister are not as good...but they have special meaning to me......remind me of a childhood Christmas. We carved angels from soap because even us kids could do it and also we did not have a lot of money then. I have always loved Christmas gifts that were hand made.  I think it is more special than something bought in a store.  And of course the giving is more fun than the receiving.  I still have a beautiful sewing box that my parents made in the 1940's.  My father did the woodworking and my mother did the painted decorations.  All my cousins have similar sewing boxes as my parents gave them as gifts to each of my aunts.  Each one is decorated in a little different style.

Also, I have spent a lot of time moving snow, thank goodness for the invention of the snowblower....we have had a second big snowstorm drop another foot on us. Everything is white. The mountains just to the north...Adirondack Mtns... received multiple feet of snow in the last storm and another couple of feet in this most recent storm. It has been one of the snowiest Decembers that I can remember. The skiers are very happy.

The first 5 years of my existence was spent in Lawrence, Massachusetts and its close environs.  It was originally built as an ideal textile mill town in the mid 19th century.  It was quickly populated by Irish mill hands, as well as Latvians, Lithuanians, Syrians, Italians, French-Canadians, many more get the idea.  This once proud city included in its citizens both Robert Frost and Leonard Bernstein. The ideal city soon wore off its new veneer.  Labor strife, the infamous Bread and Roses Strike of 1912 and the mind dulling crush of the Great Depression did a great deal of damage to the city's psyche and citizens.  After WWII the remaining textile mills closed and the jobs went to the American South with its anti-labor environment. Then they went to Mexico under NAFTA and now have gone to
because of the weakness of organized labor in those new locales.  It is a race to the bottom for workers wages and conditions and environment concerns. Think about it the next time you purchase at the Gap or Wal-Mart's or American Eagle or now even L.L. Bean. The downward spiral of lost jobs did not stop Lawrence from being an immigrant destination.  My cousins (who left the city but not too far away) all joke that there is a sign at the immigration office which reads:  "This Way to Lawrence".  The places where they come from are now the Dominican Republic and similar places in Central America.  The state has increased oversight for the failed school system, among the worst in the state.  And the superintendent gets Romney's backing despite his shortcomings. That is particularly sad as several generations of my family were teachers and took pride in the education of the immigrant families as a way to the American dream.  I was very sad last year when I visited the family plot in the cemetery and then drove around the old family neighborhood.   The structures were still there, though they looked more drab and weary...or was it the difference between a child's' eye and grown-up-adult-little-kid?


I am in cardiac limbo at the moment. I have had another follow-up angiogram to check on the roto-rooter job done recently on my genetically inferior cardio-vascular system. The results weren't what I had hoped for. So still waiting to discuss the next steps with my cardiologist guru (whom I am very glad I have and is very open with me and does not patronize me). Afraid it looks like the modern version of being drawn and quartered. Well that is a bit of hyperbole......but I know having your sternum cracked in two will not feel real comfy. Wonder if the surgeons make a wish when they do it!!!! Now I know how the turkey must feel when we play games with their wish bone. Question I have I rush and get this over with....have Christmas and News Years bookending my next hospital stay? Or do I wait and contemplate the approaching butchery? Not what I had in mind when I thought of happy holidays, maybe if I put in for a new cardio system, Santa will bring on Christmas Eve! Hey , I will even leave out some good aussie brew....Coopers Sparkling Ale... as a bribe. And some of my famous secret recipe chocolate chip cookies. Anybody got ideas on what are St. Nick's weak spots for graft. Oh, now I am thinking of being a cabbage medico speak for replumbing the old ticker.

Ok, who knows the punch line for "Why isn't Santa married?"