Tomain's Blog

Mongo passes

October 11, 2012
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Alex Karras was one of my favorite football players of all time. He had a great sense of humor but was not a carouser like I heard him described as today, he in actual fact did not drink. He had very bad eyesight but played poorly the one and only time he wore corrective lens in a game. The eyesight didn’t stop him from being a perrenial all pro defensive lineman but it did once cause him to tackle teamate Wayne Walker after Walker intercepted a pass ūüôā I saw his last game in person with a group of family and friends. It was at Michigan Stadium where the Lions played preseason games in those days. Karras had 3 or 4 sacks and the next day the Lions cut him. (He was not popular with the pro football powers that be at the time). Karras had a very eventful life which he lived to the fullest and I would advise any quarterbacks (or horse’s for that matter) that reside in Heaven to give him a wide berth:)

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Buddy

February 13, 2010
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Mom was always a fiercely independent woman and reaching into her mid eighties had not changed that one iota. Multiple bouts of cancer and the usual array of health problems associated with someone her age were no match for her indomitable spirit. She lived by herself in Florida for roughly half the year and here in Michigan the other half. For nearly two decades after my father passed Mom had gone about the business of living and she did it well.

 My mother had a long career working for the federal government. She had worked with men and had competed with men as a personnel officer for the V. A. Much of her career took place at a time when it was uncommon for women to have such responsibilities. She sometimes ran into a certain kind of resistance, something that a man in her same position would not have faced. But this too she handled with equal parts of skill, charm, and veracity. Along the way she impressed some talented men who sometimes had to stand in her corner.

 With the passage of time certain activities at first become more difficult and then eventually become impossible. Golf, once a passion, became a memory. Shopping and trips from the house were getting to be more of an obstacle. But mom always insisted on doing absolutely the very most she could. If an activity was no longer possible she would turn her attention elsewhere or maybe replace it with something else.

¬†There came the time when it simply was not safe for her to drive back and forth to Florida. But to convince Mom of that was something we all dreaded. My old boss came up with the answer and it was brilliant. We told her that a man who did odd jobs for my boss, wanted to visit up north but couldn’t afford the trip. It was the only way Mom would have consented to having Rick drive her back and forth. I later replaced Rick in that capacity and did so until she could no longer make the trip. Sometimes my girlfriend accompanied us and sometimes it was just Mom and myself. She looked forward to those trips and so did I.

Finally there came into Mom’s life a villain. Where all her other trials had failed, macular degeneration succeeded. It cut off her ability to watch the Atlanta Braves play and her beloved Chipper Jones. Her t.v. had become a radio in a shrinking world. Depression gained a foothold and life became dark indeed. And that was how it stood until Buddy entered the scene.

My niece had made it her mission for a while to place a rescue cat with every member of our family. She almost accomplished it too. Mom however had not had a pet for many decades, and besides that we had always had dogs. A cat just was not her cup of tea and she made that very clear. But when my girlfriend had Mom over for a weekend we couldn’t help but notice something. Our little cat, pudge, and my mother had really hit it off. A few days later my niece got a call from Mom, and Buddy, the latest rescue cat, had found a new home.

Over the next year or so Buddy became my hero. Even while he chased his little mouse toys, so too he chased the depression right out of my mother’s life. When I called Mom I would ask her how buddy was doing. Her reply was always the same.”Oh he’s doin, doin any way he can.” He would get her up early, the same time every morning. She would feed him and in return he would let her nap a little. He had given her purpose and companionship just when she needed it most.

¬†In what would turn out to be¬†the last year of my mother’s life our family was put¬†in a tough spot. Despite her failing health Mom still wanted to go to Florida. We all thought that this could be a disaster. However she was mentally competant, to put it mildly, and we just didn’t want to treat her as if she were a child. So with much tribulation we gathered together and loaded the car for the trip south. Finally it was the cat’s turn. But Buddy had a surprise for us, he wasn’t going. Even though he had made the trip before uneventfully, this time was different. This time unless you had a big game dart gun Buddy was staying right here. After a while and a mixture of both laughter and frustration Mom spoke. “Well I guess Buddy has decided that we’re staying.” And that was that. Mom died that very spring, but not before a winter celebration of her 90th Birthday. We gathered together with family and friends,old and new, and the one who had made the whole party possible, her beloved Buddy.


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Its a pretty good deal

February 2, 2010
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¬†I was hard at work one day when Tom came walking by. My work station was right next to the bathrooms so in a given day I pretty much saw everybody. Tom had been working¬†for us for a short time and I hadn’t been introduced to him really. There was an unmistaken¬†cockiness to his gait and his appearance and in my younger days I know he would have raised my hackles. In my youth I was even more a fool than I am now so even though he was obviously a bodybuilder it wouldn’t have mattered to me. However I’m not that fool now so I engaged Tom with some small talk. It turned out Tom had just recently¬†returned from Iraq. At that point I held out my hand and told him I wanted to thank him for his service. His facial expression and entire demeanor instantly changed. He thanked me back and told me people like me made it all worthwhile. A few months later Tom was killed¬†in a motorcycle accident. He was no longer working for our company having quit for good cause. The news of his death brought back the memory of that moment we shared by my work station. The entire exchange took at most a couple of minutes and yet it is something I will never forget. Tom was obviously moved and so was I. We did not become friends or socialize together even at work. He quite literally went his way and I went mine. However we were forever bonded, he the soldier and I the grateful citizen.

My father was a veteran of World War II. He served in Europe and came home with a collection of¬†Nazi daggers and some other memorabilia. Upon my mother’s death these things passed into my possession. On occasion I gather them together to examine and admire. It brings back memory of my

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¬†father of course but it does even more than that. I think of the men landing at Normandy, pushing into that nightmarish curtain of lead and screams and smoke. I think of the pilots in The Battle of Midway. Entire squadrons sacrificing themselves so that those who came behind them could land their punches. The Battle of the Bulge, where men in foxholes faced down Nazi tanks and the bitter cold. Where men ignored their war wounds so they could stand side by side with their buddies to face whatever came. I think of Iwo Jima, Tarawa, and Guadalcanal. I think of men charging pill boxes so those behind them could advance. Of medics who gave their lives to save as many of the fallen heroes as they could. I think of these and the countless other moments of courage that I’ll never know about and yet most certainly happened.

The members of our Armed Forces have a responsibility. They have certain duties that vary¬†but ultimately their responsibility can be¬†summed up quite simply. No matter where or when they are posted or whether the year is 1944 or 2010, the responsibility is the same. Their charge is the security and the safety of their country and it’s citizens. If called upon, to sacrifice their lives. Now that is quite a responsibility.

So then what is the responsibility of¬†the citizen in this pact, this partnership. Well there are certain contractual obligations like medical benefits, educational benefits, etc. borne by the government. But what about the individual citizen what is his or her obligation. Well it too can be¬†summed up simply. Our obligation, our responsibility is to be grateful. To say thank you when the opportunity arises. It’s a pretty good deal and the real kicker is that when you say thank you to those who serve or have served, it makes you feel good. Yes its a pretty good deal for us citizens but if you ask a veteran the chances are they will tell you its a pretty good deal for them too.


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The Massachusetts Massacre

January 24, 2010
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Relax republicans, while the dems¬†have lost big here there are no winners other than senator Brown as yet.¬† Confusion reigns amongst¬†democrats as to the meaning of this event.¬† They know voters wanted healthcare reform in the last election¬†but they have rejected it to an exponential degree here.¬† Republicans seem to believe Americans want the status quo.¬†¬† Are you kidding me?¬†¬† Are either of these parties capable of serving the American people?¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Let me put this clearly and simply for the administration¬†and the congress both.¬† The people do not reject healthcare reform, they reject this healthcare monstrosity.¬† As usual the people understand that something of this magnitude¬†cannot and should not be¬†done quickly and all at once.¬†¬†Something smaller yet significant and effective could insure millions who currently¬†or in the near future will be uninsured.¬† The expansion of¬†Medicare to age 55 or a compromise to 62 coupled with real tort reform could pass and make a huge difference.¬† Either or both political¬†parties could ride a wave of success by proposing these measures.¬† There is opportunity here for politicians to make a difference and to reap the rewards for it.¬† Personally I’m not holding my breath though.


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The Reading Room

January 22, 2010
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A while back I came to realize that I wasn’t reading anymore.¬† In this world of hundreds of¬†tv stations Dvds,movie channels, etc., there wasn’t time.¬† Well I didn’t change my routines or make any earth shattering moves, (¬†like I did 30 years ago when I bought an exercise machine.) ¬†No instead I just sighed¬† and made some microwave popcorn.¬† Ahh, but ¬†the seeds of change had been planted¬†in my mind and in some deep sense I knew that, even as I munched away and watched channel 154 (The hyper captains of industry history channel or something like that.)¬† Inevitably those seeds bore fruit when one day I moved the magazine rack I once got for Christmas into the bathroom.¬† At first I stocked it with the usual, Readers Digest, ESPN the magazine, etc.¬† But¬†one way or another, I don’t remember the details, an unread novel made its way in there and well nature just took it’s¬†course.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Now¬†I¬†realize that Tom Clancy and Steven King¬†¬†and¬† all the rest¬†¬†did not have this in mind when they labored tirelessly over their work.¬† But they did have in mind that people would read. And thru this joint effort, writer and reader would bring forth this metamorphosis of entertainment, art,¬† and knowledge. Now have no¬†doubt it is a joint effort, reading and writing.¬† Without the reader a writer is merely a tool of futility and frustration.¬† So the point of it all.¬† Whether the reading room is a den, a bedroom, or the loo, make good use of it.

Read more ¬Ľ


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try this link

January 20, 2010
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http://new.music.yahoo.com/mymusic/ratings?type=songs&autoplay=1


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On the lighter side click on this

January 20, 2010
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_WcFJZ-XJo


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Massachusetts to the rescue

January 19, 2010
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Finally some sanity in the healthcare fiasco.¬† The people of Massachusetts have injected a dose of reality into the democratic party.¬† Whether or not the Anti Obamacare¬†candidate is elected¬†the message is loud and clear.¬† Slow down.¬† Healthcare reform is what the american people desired not the total takeover¬†now being crammed¬†¬†down their¬†¬†¬† throats¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† President¬†¬† Obama’s ineptitude a s a legislator and his complete lack of any executive experience now threatens his¬†political party’s grip on power.¬† He actually believed that something as complex and entwined as¬†a government takeover of our healthcare system could be worked out, written, and passed¬†by the congress in a matter of weeks.¬† From his viewpoint, why not.¬† The¬†makers and shakers in congress have always done the hard stuff, like working out all the details, all he had to do is agree or disagree. Although sometimes that was hard too, witness all the present votes on his record.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†All of this is becoming clear to those charged with the continuance of a relevant democratic party.¬† Howard Dean explained on CNBC that had¬† congress passed a simple expansion of Medicare to lower the eligibility age it¬†would have gone through with relative ease.¬† Well Mr. Dean when you are right you’re right.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†So where do we go from here?¬† How about starting over and following Howard Dean’s advice.¬† That would be a realistic step toward insuring a large and growing number of uninsured. Allow the economy to absorb this expansion and recover a little and maybe in the future address another segment of the uninsured.¬† If ¬†Howard Dean and I can agree on something¬† doesn’t widespread support¬† surely¬†have ¬†fail to follow?¬†¬†¬† ūüôā


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Anderson Cooper not taking comments on Healthcare

December 23, 2009
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After fulfilling his obligatory defense of ANYTHING ¬†liberal Mr. Cooper’s “informational blog ” on health care reform stopped taking comments from readers. Oh how cynical¬†can I be. To even suggest that the comments might not be running the right way and thus no need to see them¬†might ¬†brand me¬†¬†as a¬†paranoid kook.¬† Ok it is probably unfair of me but I can’t help but take the opportunity to put the thought in some of your heads.¬† Here’s a few other thoughts.¬†¬† My mother always told me that if someone tries to sell you something and they tell you¬†to act fast, right now, or you’ll miss out, you had better run.¬† A dispirited¬† George¬†W.Bush started this series of ¬†“hurry up”¬†¬† executive actions and legislative¬† “2 minute¬†drills” with the first financial bailouts.¬† And now it continues as if this is the only sensible way to conduct¬†our nation’s ¬† business.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†The¬†hurry up and act technique got us the “stimulus¬†package” that has buried¬†our grandchildren in hopeless debt, and¬†the only stimulus¬†has been to the unemployment rate.¬† It also¬†“saved our financial system”¬† or at least the bonus packages¬†that the best and brightest¬†of our financial giants seem to need in order to continue guiding us thru these troubled waters.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†But now we have reserved the best for last.¬† Now we have to hurry and pass the massive “health reform bill”,¬† otherwise known as¬† the destroy and replace with whatever we can get bill.¬† I wonder how many Americans know that if you currently have a “Cadillac¬†insurance plan”, ( If you are covered at work you most likely do)¬†,¬† a 40 percent¬†¬†¬†tax on that plan is headed your way.¬† Unless you are a member of certain labor unions that is.¬† I’m not sure about Nebraska residents,¬† I only know that they¬†don’t have to pay medicaid¬†taxes like the rest of us chumps.¬†¬† And of course the best news is that although we start paying taxes and fees on this¬†monstrosity right away there are no benefits paid out for several years, joy joy.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Now here is where I make a radical suggestion, slow down.¬†¬† Instead of¬† this insanity why don’t we start fixing¬†what’s wrong with this incredible system we have now. ¬†Lets have a real debate, much like the presidential debates,¬† and have a real solid look at these problems.¬† Come to think of it maybe we could have a real debate about other large problems we face.¬† Immigration,¬† global warming, etc.¬† I can’t be the only person in America who is sick of seeing talking heads screaming at each other.¬† Lets have a structured series of debates conducted by legislators and the president.¬† Crazy¬† huh.


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Political Correctness it is the biggest threat to democracy in the world today. Not Al queda, not the spread of nuclear capability, not a mischievious comet, not even the inability of young people to make change from a dollar.

December 19, 2009
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