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December 30, 2011


In spite of Republican assaults on my state's revenue base, I still have health insurance. Sadly, what I have been able to keep comes at a cost to others. All over the state decisions are being made about who to screw since the pie isn't big enough.

Let's see …

Starting from Dec. 2010, that's when I discovered my mom had lymphoma (my dad having just fought throat cancer a few months prior), so I spent the first several months of the year attending chemo with her.

In April, I had to have a hernia surgically repaired.

Also in April, my 15 year old nephew decided to run afoul of the law by foolishly selling one of his pain pills that he had been given following surgery. For this idiotic $2 transaction he was expelled from school for a year and still hasn't finished up his legal obligations, awaiting final sentencing in January.

In May, the gutters on the back of my house all blew off in a windstorm.

In July, two days before my 20th wedding anniversary, we had to euthanize two cats.

In August, someone broke into our home while we were asleep and stole three laptops (one of them my wife's work computer) and a hard drive full of hundreds of irreplaceable photos.

In October, my 11- year-old Mazda broke down and the repair cost exceeded the value of the car, so we've been back to a single car family.

Ov the last two months I've been seeing doctors regarding numbness in my left arm, having gotten an MRI most recently and needing to schedule an EMG and nerve conduction study.

That's just a small taste of what an unmitigated pile of crap this year has been. I won't even get into my grandmother's increasingly bad dementia, my wife taking what she thought was a dream job and has been a nightmare, panic attacks, or any of the rest of it.

I almost sort of hope the Mayans were right.

Damn, Phil. Sorry...

All of that really sucks, Phil. I'm sorry.

It's been a pretty good year personally. Possible impacting my view: it's been a year that was not only good for my business, but which got better steadily as the year went on. Which means that I'm looking for a significantly better year in 2012.

As for the world, thre's the usual mixed review. Europe, especially economically, still can't decide whether to pay a small painful price to get themselves straightened out, or object on principal to doing what needs to be done and trash their (and the world's) economy big time. On the other hand, the Arab world is looking vastly better than anyone would have predicted a year ago. Still far from good (pretty much averywhere outside Tunisia), but far far better than it was. Still, a good 2012 looks entirely possible.

Call me an irrepressible optimist (which those who know me definitely wouldn't), but baring a nut-case getting the Republican nomination and then winning in November (which seems pretty unlikely, even if my preferred candidate isn't going to make it -- at least, not without a brokered convention), and it looks like a better year next year.

Phil, I'll be thinking of you as I throw out 2011.

Just out of curiosity - is there anything that the Mayan calendar is known to have been right about?

Phil, I hope 2012 is a different year for you altogether.

Well, IIRC, the Mayan calendar is just a day-count. It's a bit odd, because (at least the written form) is depicted as a cycle of dieties, each of which carries one of a cycle of carved number blocks. At least, that's what it looks like. Like other crazy mystics, they got a bit exercised about when the digits roll over.

You might as well worry about when the Julian Day Number hits 2,500,000. Or when Unix clocks roll over. Okay, that last one is a sort of a real issue.

I plan to worry about it when VMS clocks are about to roll over "trouble-free time computations up to 31-JUL-31086 02:48:05.47. At this instant, all clocks and time-keeping operations in OpenVMS will suddenly fail, since the counter will overflow and start from zero again."

The tragedy that is our exclusive, greed-driven civilization is that most of us are happy merely to have survived.

In 2012. Most human beings barely survive.

Think about that and tell me how great things are.


Think about how great things WILL BE once we rid ourselves of this dark cabal.

It can happen.
It will happen.
Because the world MUST work for 100%

New Years' Day had me in the eye doctor checking for detached retina. So far it looks good.

Most human beings barely survive.

No human beings survive, but they tend to live">http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore%3Fds%3Dd5bncppjof8f9_%26met_y%3Dsp_dyn_le00_in%26tdim%3Dtrue%26dl%3Den%26hl%3Den%26q%3Dworld%2Blife%2Bexpectancy%2Bchart&rct=j&sa=X&ei=R8cBT9mzK864tweT8YyJCg&ved=0CCMQ4wEwAA&q=world+life+expectancy+chart&usg=AFQjCNFT17QrZ6wWfnYkYieixYRwrI1P7w">live longer than they did a half century ago. If you're making a quality-of-life claim, you'd have to show me.

Slarti--I hope your retina stays attached. Mine didn't and I had the surgery about five years ago, I think.

There are lots of worse surgeries, but it isn't fun, so I hope you dodge it.

Slarti, I have had two retinal tears now (one in each eye). Fortunately for me both were treatable via photocoagulation (ZOT!) and neither has led to any loss of vision. Scary at first, but OK now.

Best wishes to you.

this year will be a year of housebuilding.

On that note, does anyone have any ideas how we might have an economy that isn't necessarily growing in real terms but somehow manages to be healthy - meaning primarily that people in the lower percentiles of wealth and income are able to meet basic needs (at least!) and don't have to live in desperation?

Or is our culture too perverse for that to happen? (Oh, and Happy New Year!)

2012 is off to a running start - Friday, my 22-year-old nephew was on his way back to work from lunch, felt funny, and pulled his car over. His next memory is waking up in the ER, as he apparently had a seizure and was found unconscious and unresponsive in his car by another motorist. MRI and CAT scan revealed a golf-ball sized tumor on the top left part of his brain. It doesn't appear to be cancerous, but it has to come out, so they're doing surgery Wednesday.

Keep in mind, his younger brother had surgery back in May to remove a Chiari malformation from his brain. So that's two brothers with brain surgery nine months apart. My sister is beside herself, to say the least. And if I was my niece, I'd be arranging for a full-body scan and DNA screening posthaste.

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