Loving My Heart-It Will Be Much Better When the Gubmint Monitors Prescriptions

It's been six weeks since my quadruple coronary bypass. Time to return to the Cardiologist; time for my first post-op EKG.

Why is my EKG still bad and what is a negative T-wave? Why can't TWO doctors decide on my prescription drugs? Why aren't my surgical wounds handily healed and ready for moving on?

A pic of my new Delaware driver’s license to go with my new heart.

Pic of the Day
Dog and little boy say their prayers

Loving My Heart Header

The First Post-Op EKG and Other Post Quadruple Coronary Bypass Concerns

It was a hallmark day. I'd made the appointment with the Cardiologist just a few days after my quadruple bypass operation. The appointment was a full six weeks away at that time and as I noted the date, I considered it as a time in the distant future. Surely come the time for the scheduled visit I'd be well beyond the surgery. I did understand the necessity of keeping up a regular visit to the various medical specialists. Indeed I'd made an appointment a full year in the future at my two week follow-up with the cardiac surgeon.

I would be a good patient and go to the cardiologist. After that appointment I was sure I'd not seen him again save perhaps in a year for a routine check up on the heart that it still worked as it should.

The Delaware Motor Vehicle Administration had, around the time of my scheduled Cardio visit, asked that I please come in for a new driver's license, requiring an eye test and an updated photo. I decided to go first to the DMV for my new photo then head down to the Cardiologist.

I had, after a month of walking around with damn near my entire chest exposed for the rubbing fabric that so irritated, considered that since I would be going back to the Cardiologist for the first time since the near-death stress test, and since I would be photographed for a driver's license that I would have to carry around for five years, I decided to look nice.

I was quite surprised at how well my driver's license pic turned out that I tried to take a picture of it. Below, the blurry result.

With my fine MVA pic, it was time to head to the cardio doc.

Pat Fish driver's license

"You see," the Cardiologist told me, pointing to some lines on my EKG. "Here's a negative T-Wave." The Cardio doc circled this "negative T-wave" with a flourish.

Of course I was a bit disappointed. But then I didn't know if EKG's ever come out "right" after cardiac surgery. In fact, the Cardio doc shrugged and said it was probably part of the healing process.

At the end of July I will have another EKG and for now, the doc didn't seem all that worried so I shall bide my time.

Then came time for a discussion of the prescriptions.

prescription drugs

For ladies and gems, prescription medicine is a way of life for post-surgical type folks and I suppose for most older Americans, of which I am now one, the other, or both.

Before this surgery I'm betting I'd had perhaps, I don't know, maybe ten prescriptions in my entire life. This includes such as antibiotics, an allergy medicine I once took and the various birth control pills I took when I was young and trying to control my births.

After I'd come home from the hospital following surgery I had a fistful of prescriptions to fill. I was shocked speechless by the cost of prescription medicine!

And this with a couple of the prescriptions coming in at $4.00 thanks to Wal-Mart, that horrible retailer the liberals love to hate.

Even though I had a prescription card with our health care insurance, the total was over a hundred bucks when all the pills were bottled and presented.

"Did you use my health card?" I asked the Wal-Mart drug clerk. Surely, I mean SURELY, she didn't use my prescription card and that hundred bucks was the cost of my medication BEFORE the card?

"Yes I did," the Wal-Mart drug clerk assured me. "It's the Plavix that's so expensive."

When I got home I made an inventory of every damn pill the medicos wanted me to take, the times, what for, the number of refills and any other notes I wanted to make.

For if we do not take control over our own health needs than who?

I was taking pills to help me release fluid, pills for pain, that expensive Plavix, Lipitor, something else for cholesterol, a couple of pills for diabetes, pills for this and pills for that.

A few of my prescriptions were non-refillable so I figured that after done the pills in the Rx with no refills than I was done with them. The Darvocet, for the pain, was not refillable. Many of the pills, evidently, were meant to aid me in post-operative recovery and this gave me comfort. Fully three of these post-operative prescriptions came in at the infamous Wal-Mart $4.00 and that was just great. The liberals want to kill Wal-Mart; Wal-Mart is the enemy. Of course it's the UNIONS that want to kill Wal-Mart and as of this date, no unionized company has offered a wide assortment of prescriptions for $4.00 per month, I would note.

The Plavix did, indeed, cost $60.00 for a one month supply.

Wow. I have no idea what the Plavix cost without my prescription plan. $60.00 a month was certainly do-able in terms of my budget but I wanted answers.

So I asked the Cardio doc if I really needed this Plavix.

There then followed a round-robin of phone calls involving the cardiac surgeon, the cardiologist, an assistant of the cardiac surgeon and someone else I’m not sure who she was. For the cardiologist instructed me to call the cardiac surgeon, that he (the cardiologist) thought that Plavix was a drug normally prescribed for only a month after cardiac surgery, an insurance against such as plaque running around loose in the blood stream after the upset of the invasive surgery. Plavix, as I’ve learned, is the latest and greatest in prescription drugs that effectively coats nasty plaque with a coating that makes the plaque particles too slippery to allow them to stick together and form a deadly clot.

One cardio doc told me, through appropriate surrogates, that I should be not be asking HIM. Then one of the cardio guys actually called me and told me to hold on, that an answer was coming.

With my mind reeling, I decided to check out my Plavix prescription bottle and I discovered that there was no refills for the drug unless refilled BEFORE 5/8/08. That date is significant in that this was the day AFTER I was discharged from the hospital AFTER my bypass.

It’s still confusing to me but do I not have the excuse of inexperience here? Because evidently the Plavix prescription was meant to be filled one time (the day of my release from the hospital) although I’m not at all clear on that date matter. I do know that were I take to the Plavix to the druggist for a refill I would not have been able to do so. Thus the answer is right on the pill bottle.

The medicos involved in all this, on the other hand, seemed quite confused although the issue was no big deal, mind you. The prescription was evidently written in a manner to prevent me from an inadvertent refill and both doctors’ offices and their people went to great lengths to help me resolve the matter.

I finally made all parties involved understand that I was the one who was confused but hey, my point being here, I AM THE PATIENT!

Couple of points here: First, patients have to pay attention to their own medical care, including monitoring drugs given for ingestion in their own personal bodies. It would be wrong to willy-nilly assume that pills given out by medical professionals are always right, the amount is correct, the medicine itself always appropriate. And if confused, make them explain it!

Which brings me to my stunning conclusion that thank God Barack Obama will soon be our President. He will put the government in charge of all medical care and we will have to deal with our prescription concerns with some union-controlled government bureaucrat and things will be much better.


Finally, wounds.


I have three major wounds from my surgery although there are nicks and stabs all over my body. At this point however most of the smaller wounds have healed. In all honesty, the three major wounds have healed very well but go with me on this, I still know they’re there and material rubbing against my chest wound still feels like a manhole cover slams down against it with any movement.

I was very surprised, a bit disheartened frankly, that it took so long for these surgical wounds to heal. Six weeks now and still they hurt.

If I had one suggestion to those advising cardiac bypass patients, tell them that those wounds are going to take a while to heal, that the body was greatly assaulted during the bypass surgery, ribs were spread wide, hearts might have been all about the chest, sutures were made around veins and directly into the heart. It’s comparable to being a victim of a crime during which one is stabbed in the chest repeatedly. The criminal just wasn’t as careful about infection and location of the wounds as the surgeon but it’s an assault to the body and the body now has a lot of healing to do, inside and out.

This knowledge won’t make the wounds heal quicker but it might keep a restless patient from undue worry as to why the pain continues on.

NEXT…a new life after cardiac bypass surgery; reviewing the past and revising the anticipated future.



Radio Talk Show Hosts-Limbaugh, Imus, Hannity, Levin and more. We discuss the good, the bad and, literally, the ugly.

Since I've discovered I listen to them all. No longer confined to the local yokels I can now hear Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham (where the hell IS she?), Mark Levin, Tammy Bruce, Curtis Sliwa, Don Imus, and Bruce Cunningham.

Rush is, of course, the greatest, but he has one big glaring issue as I see it and at times, it gets old.

Some of them have horrific lisps, some live decadent lifestyles, some have good reason to dislike McCain and one appears to have defected to Fox News.

With pics and opinions.

Pic of the Day
Montage of unusual roads

Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity

Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity

We shall begin with the best, past, present and likely the future, forever and ever.

For there will never be a better talk show host than Rush Limbaugh, not ever, never, ever.

Even though I love the man and even though I almost cry should he not be on the air from time to time, Rush Limbaugh does have what I consider one flaw. While it annoys the hell out of me, I'd still agree with Rush's assessment that he is right 98.5% of the time. The other 1.5% is the Limbaugh irritant that must be considered should Rush divert to subject matters on which he is hardly an expert.

So I listen to them all and I ponder, for this missive, just why is Rush Limbaugh the best? What does Rush do different than his many emulators that keeps him, year after year, on the air and with an audience base that pales the rest?

First, Rush can speak his point and he does it well. Several of the radio talk show hosts covered in this post have to resort to callers for much of the show because they do not have the verbal fluidity, or the knowledge frankly, to engage in a mesmerizing 15 minute monologue on the subject at hand.

Rush has to struggle to get callers in once in a while and frankly I'd listen to Rush even if he had no callers at all. I tune in to listen to Rush, not those with the audacity to think they can top the guy.

Limbaugh also is the best of all the talk radio hosts in terms of listening closely to the callers. I can tell by the thought-filled silence by Rush that he is listening closely to the caller. Rush will give the caller time to state his or her piece, he asks thoughtful questions that are proof he listened closely and he will often, will verbal flair, effectively re-phrase the caller's thoughts and points way better than the less experienced callers and he does it with superb class.

Rush is the only radio talk show host that has a web cam that I know of. Thus one can click into the Rush web site and for a small annual fee actually watch Rush as he runs his radio show. I would never do this as to listen to Rush is quite enough for me but this fact sure shows his honesty. He's there, he smiles and waves at the web audience, we can see the papers whose rattle we could once only hear and somewhere in the background we might spot Snerdly and Rush's other employees once just a name said on the air.

For all of his perfection, Rush has serious issues with females. In fact I once received a genuine email response from Rush in response to an email I sent him over some matter or another he'd been discussing on air involving women.

Rush Limbaugh is one very smart man and he knows and studies his stuff. He is NOT an expert on the opposite sex, in his case, women. Rush has a spotty marital record, I don't know why and not sure I care. I'm already married and while I'd leave my husband in a second should Rush command me, that's not going to happen. So I'd rather not hear Rush launch into any monologue involving women because what is his claim to expertise? THREE failed marriages?

One example of Rush's verbal gaffe concerning women involved the infamous Valerie Plame. Plame is the wife of the worthless Joe Wilson, a former diplomat who, along with help from a left wing press and a runaway prosecutor, managed to get an innocent man convicted for a crime he did not commit. Everybody and their mother living in DC knew that Valerie Plame worked at the CIA. She was NOT a spy and Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney's chief of staff, had nothing to do with revealing her identity to the press. Scott Armitage at State revealed Plame's status but because ole Joe and Val wanted to write a book millions were spent on a stupid investigation that could have provided many Katrina victims new homes.

On air one day, Rush was reviewing Plame's live testimony in front of congress to better promote her and Joe's lying book. I swear I could hear certain parts of Rush's body hardening and it wasn't his arteries.

"Valerie Plame is a BABE," Rush said, his voice dropping an octave and filling with an audibly discernible lust.

Valerie Plame is an evil little tart that happens to be a good looking blonde. Her nastiness and lies should, as my female self sees it, be a real turn off over the blonde and the babe.

Sure, I know that's all men need because unlike Rush I DO understand my opposite sex. There's just a hopeful part of me that thinks Rush might be smarter than most men but with the women Rush is guided by pretty much the same part as most men. It doesn't make him bad, or any other men whose blood drained from one head to the other with nature's call either. It's nature, it's normal. Doesn't mean we should pay much attention when our male counterparts are in another land beyond the place of common sense. Women know this stuff.

It's just a warning that when Rush starts to talk about women, turn the dial down. It's not the head on his shoulders from which he speaks.

And now we have Rush's latest assault on women. For it would seem that it is the girlfriends and wives of what Rush calls "Rockefeller" Republicans who are causing the GOP party of conservative hope to go wildly astray. Goodness knows we wouldn't blame the ones ELECTED to represent us. Oh no. Blame their women! For they are but helpless men according to Rush.

Of course Rush would blame the women. We sure can't expect the men, all cruelly attached to the testicles that make them lose their mind, to actually figure out right and wrong. It's their women who cause them to scorn religious zealots and favor abortion.

Rush has what I think a sort of cruel line on his web site that the Equal Rights Ammendment was designed so that ugly women have a voice.

Rush needs to take a very long look in the mirror.

Not that I have any special affection for that group Rush refers to as "nags". In fact I totally agree with Rush that the women who consider it their job to speak for me are not who I'd choose as my voice and don't have my best interest at heart. The way the National Organization of Women defended Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky matter made me ill, the hypocrites.

And I don't mean to infer that Rush is less than, well average looking comes to mind. But he's not the handsomest stud in the stable and he gets no younger. To go casting aspersions on female looks shows a lack of class or perhaps, just throwing it out there, the anger of one who has, as of yet, managed to settle in to a permanent happy relationship.

For sure there are thousands, maybe millions of women who'd take Rush in a heartbeat, including me. But most of them are looking at Rush's wallet and not his fine form and figure and this is a truth that should be included on Rush's web site alongside that bit about being ugly.

In that email I wrote to Rush:
Someone please tell Rush that he best serves this hungry public out here by staying away from the subject of women. I am a female, yes, and a devoted Rush listener. But when that man gets started talking about females he is positively insulting. Today, Wednesday 9/26/07, he really went over the top. So pretty women do not need to be smart? So smart women are, thusly, UGLY? If I didn't already love Rush he'd be on my long list of men whose IQ is measured by the size of their gonads. Whoever's in charge of Rush's content, please keep off the subject of women. On this matter the public would be better served without his input. I am, Pat Fish Georgetown, Delaware

Yes, above is what I wrote.

Rush's answer:

Sorry you are offended. I just like stereotypical humor is all. And this is ME replying.

All the best,


But like I said in the email, I love the guy. I hope that Rush finds a woman who will love him exclusively for his humor and talent. I don't know what happened to Rush's other marriages but I know that Rush was nothing but a gentleman about it, never lambasting his wife in public, never ranting or railing about the evil done him.

At times, alas, Rush's hurt is handled by a certain off-handed meanness to ALL women.

Still and so, there is none better than Rush. Rush has, at times, mentioned my posts on the air although he's never mentioned my name. I know his employees search the net for mentions of his name. I hope, should this article get a search hit that Rush Limbaugh takes my compliments for the positive mentions and know that he will always be my hero.

I'd tell him, however, that Valerie Plame is no babe. Unless you like evil, vapid women.

Say it ain't so, Rush!

Rush Limbaugh is on daily on from noon to 3:00 pm EST.

Now about Sean Hannity.

He's cute, personable, likeable and conservative. I can't stand to listen to his show more than an hour at a time.

Sean is a lucky fellow who happened to start a radio show right when the medium was taking off. He got himself established and accepted as part of the right wing talk show pack. If Sean Hannity were to launch a radio talk show today, now that the competition is tough and young upstarts across the fruited plains dream of being the next Limbaugh, Sean would not have a chance.

First, Sean cannot do decent monologues, no he cannot.

Perhaps Rush has spoiled me. To add further insult to Hannity's reputation, he does a lousy job with callers. And oftentimes, let me add, Sean's entire show is filled with nothing but callers.

If a liberal should be on the line, Sean likes to show the world what a big mean man he is. What he does, that he evidently THINKS is effective and causing us fools out here in la-la land to admire him for such verbal acumen, he will repeat his same point over and over, not allowing the caller to respond with anything BUT a short direct answer to the question Sean is asking.

For example, a caller phones in with a point that the Supreme Court got it wrong with the DC gun law. The caller is wrong, of course, as I and most conservatives would see it. But here's a self-professed liberal phoning into the Sean Hannity show to discuss an opposing point of view.

Silly me, I really want to hear what this liberal has to say. Because if there's some special reason we should willy-nilly ignore the constitution as we've all lived by peaceably for over 200 years, I want to hear it.

Sean, however, will get all stern and a bit nasty and will respond something like "Tell me Sir, do you think Americans have a right to protect themselves?"

Which is a fine question, don't misunderstand. But it IS a question designed to take all the fire out of the debate. For everyone should, and will, defend themselves whenever possible but Sean, he wants to show us what a big verbal he-man he is. The liberal does not, of course, want to answer Sean's question so tersely because to do so is to lose the argument. The caller did not phone in just to lose the argument based on one rather curt and out-of-context question. So the caller furiously tries to avoid answering Sean's question so obviously requiring a one-word answer.

Me, the listener, is desperately trying to hear what the caller has to say, but Sean keeps on with his genius short question..."Sir, do Americans have the right to protect themselves, yes or no" Sean will say over and over until finally I have to flip the station such is my exasperation with Mr. Hannity.

Sean does the same thing on his show Hannity and Colmes, btw, and I'm often flipping the TV channel elsewhere because it's such a childish way to conduct an honest debate.

Hannity does have great guests on his radio show, something you'll seldom find on Rush Limbaugh. Sean does a pretty good job of interviewing his guests as well.

I find myself tuning in to hear maybe Sean's first monologue as well as a recitation of the guests on a show. If I am interested in the guest to be featured I might stay around. Other than that, his radio show begins at 3:00 pm and I'm seldom tuned in beyond 4:00 pm.

Sean Hannity is on from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm EST on

Curtis Sliwa and Tammy Bruce

Curtis Sliwa and Tammy Bruce

I first heard Tammy Bruce on my local yokel talk radio station. Tammy is allegedly a lesbian but I don't recall where I heard this. But it's not something she keeps a secret and go with me here, it's quite an attention-getter, a conservative lesbian, imagine this.

Tammy's sexual orientation has little to do with anything, however, because by me she's a very attractive woman with a great voice. And if any radio talk show host comes close to Rush Limbaugh in terms of doing a bang-up monologue it would be Tammy Bruce.

Tammy doesn't have many callers either, a sign of a radio talk show host who can hold listeners with more than phone-in nuts and loud on-air arguments.

Which is not to say I have any problem with radio talk show callers. Given a choice I'd much rather listen to a fine host than an inexperienced dolt who just happened to get through on the phone lines. My rule of thumb, wrong or right and yon reader's mileage may vary, is that the more callers a radio talk show takes the less verbal acumen he or she possesses.

Bruce had served as replacement host for Laura Ingraham from time to time. Beyond that, I have only been able to hear Tammy on Saturday nights from 8:00 pm until 11:00 pm. Tammy is also often a pundit featured on Fox news.

Curtis Sliwa is the new guy on the scene. Since I had a habit of listening to WABC on the 'puter, and since one night the computer remained on all night, I was surprised, pleasantly, when early one morn Curtis Sliwa announced that his morning show was upon and that come 10 am he would have another show, this one almost two hours long.

I understand that Sliwa might not be a household name. Although he well could be. For it was Curtis who started the homegrown vigilante group known as the Guardian Angels. Careful to always remain on the right side of the law, the Guardian Angels would patrol bad neighborhoods in the New York area, riding subway trains and in general keeping an obvious and known presence in danger areas that effectively kept criminal attacks down.

Now Sliwa has moved on to bigger and better things. And if one can get around that thick NY accent of his, he does a great job. Well hell, forget the accent, Curtis speaks with slang and malapropos and Sliwa often has longed moved on to his next thought while the listener sits, translates and contemplates the thoughts expressed by Curtis two sentences earlier.

The bigger problem I have with Sliwa is a problem I have with in particular. For often, I do mean OFTEN, tends to boom, go completely silent, nada, nothing going on the air.

I understand that such as satellites and hard drives stop from time to time. On WABC it happens all the time. AND it happens most frequently on the Curtis Sliwa show.

Just as soon as radio silence fills the air around me I, boom, turn off the radio station. For if a radio station can't keep the air filled with sound than they are worthless. is, I know, a radio station broadcasting over the Internet but hey, I once had a telephone that worked over the Internet and not one single time in a year did that phone not work save when the entire cable service went down. So why can't WABC keep their station on the air over the Internet? Why does it almost always go down during the Curtis Sliwa show, either early 5:00 am in the morn or during his 10 am show?

At any rate, I think Curtis has something going on for him. The few times I am able to listen to his show without the drop dead silence I have enjoyed him, I've enjoyed his tongue-in-cheek commentary, I've enjoyed his quick wit.

Curtis can be heard on at 5:00 am in the morning until 6:00 am, IF the air isn't filled with silence, and again from 10:00 am until 11:45 am.

Mark Levin and Don Imus

Mark Levin and Don Imus

Don Imus...what's the deal here?

The guy has a lisp that makes my ears hurt.

A fellow with an outrageous lisp gets a job in talk radio. This is like a blind man getting a job leading tours through pretty public gardens or a fellow in a wheel chair demonstrating happening foot trails through a national park. Go figure.

But the childish Imus lisp is not my bigger complaint about this guy. For Don Imus is one of the few liberals ever successful on talk radio and make no mistake, Don Imus is very successful and has a large following.

Imus did get into that flap over the "nappy-headed ho's" comment, and in a movement led by the very honest Al Sharpton of Tawana Brawley fame, was taken off the air until tempers calmed. Imus' name comes up again for yet another controversial comment he made about a famous sports figure and his race.

I mention Don Imus in this esteemed list for his success in a medium usually cruel to liberals, especially liberals with lisps...try saying that fast three times.

I don't like the man, never listen to him and will always think a radio talk show host with such an obvious lisp to be the height of incongruity.

Don Imus can be heard on from 6:00 am until 10 am or thereabouts.

As for the so-called "Great One", Mark Levin, I find I must be in a "mood" to listen to Levin's show.

For Mark Levin can grate on one's nerves, especially if he's in a particularly irritable mood.

Mark is a former attorney and his listeners are better for his law experience. In fact Mark wrote a fabulous book, a couple of good books actually, but his "Men in Black" will go down in the eons as the best Supreme court reference of our era. I didn't read it but I've read plenty of reviews and have heard Mark's commentary as he made the book promotion rounds. Maybe now that I can get it at the library I'll pick it up.

Mark wrote another book about the loss of a beloved pet, named Sprite of all things, and according to those who've read it the book was soft and comforting.

Which is a surprise in that two adjectives that would hardly describe Mark's on-air persona would be "soft" and "comforting".

Mark loves to yell at his callers, particularly those self-confessed liberals who call Mark just to be screamed at on the air as I figure.

"Thank me very much" Mark might say. "Get outta my country," Mark will yell at a phone caller who perhaps said something Mark deemed unpatriotic. "Get off the air you dimwit," Mark will shout at yet another obtuse caller who uttered more liberal silliness.

Mark tends to take a lot of callers, especially at the end of his show. Nothing wrong with this except such a program lineup tends to put a whole bunch of yelling in one large block of the program. A couple of sound bytes of Mark insulting liberal callers is cute but there is such a thing as overload.

As for monologues, Mark would get a solid B from me. At times Mark will have me cheering and yelling in the aisles should a Levin program come on with Mark dwelling on a subject dear to me. Mark is at best when discussing John McCain because, heh, Mark has serious issues with this alleged Republican.

Mark Levin can be heard at nightly from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Laura Ingraham and Bill Cunningham

Laura Ingraham and Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham replaced Matt Drudge on his Sunday night slot from 10:00 pm till 1:00 am. Bill Cunningham is the guy who called Barack Obama as Barack HUSSEIN Obama during a campaign stop for John McCain.

Responding to criticism for DARING to mention Obama's middle name, McCain blasted Bill Cunningham and that incident sent Cunningham on a route to talk radio stardom.

Bill does not take many callers and I rather like this. And the few callers who make it through, the many thousands on hold to hear Cunningham tell it, usually get to state a sentence or two then Bill will take the expressed thoughts and run with it.

Cunningham can launch into a wicked monologue that minces no words. Instead of calling Obama by his REAL middle name (which is Hussein how is this anybody's fault?), Bill now refers to the presumptive Democratic nominee as Barack MILHAUS Obama.


MILHAUS was Richard Nixon's middle name.

I greatly enjoyed Bill's shows during the McCain flap and continue to do so every Sunday night on from 10 pm till 1:00 am.

We left the queen of radio talk show, Laura Ingraham until last mostly because as of this date, 6/29/08, the woman has disappeared from the radio air waves!

I have, of late before this date, seen Laura on various Fox News shows, including Bill O'Reilly and now she evidently has her own Fox show. It's call "Just In" and it comes on at 5:00 pm until 6:00. This slot had been occupied by John Gibson with the fabulous hair. Gibson has health issues as I understand it and until Laura that very important time slot had been held by various and sundry, and I do mean sundry.

I like Laura and I enjoyed her radio show. As I understand it, Laura is going to be back on the radio but as of yet I don't know when. Laura's show airs live from 10:00 am till 1:00 pm but on I always listened to the taped show from 10:00 pm through 1:00 am. I wonder if Laura's new show now takes up that time slot and she might be forced to change the time her show airs live.

Which brings me to a less than honorable mention for that Fox chick who's been replacing Laura during this interlude. I speak of Monica Crowley and folks, not gonna happen.

This is not to say that Monica does a bad job. She just doesn't do a good job and hey, I gave her every chance but within an hour of tuning in I simply must snap it off.

Monica Crowley is entirely too damn nice to host a talk radio show. Period.

She comes across as unbelievably upbeat even when speaking of those issues which cause conservatives great anger. Monica also is sweeter than saccharine with phone in callers, the exact opposite of Laura Ingraham who does have a bit of a temper that at times manifests itself inappropriately.

In fact Laura tends to give her guests on her Fox News show a bit of a growl but I like it. She doesn't let liberal guests go on and on with their vapid commentary and nonsensical talking points. Husband and I both comment on how much we like her confrontational style and we ponder how long before Fox pulls her off.

Laura even gave Rush Limbaugh a verbal beating once when she phoned up Rush to ask his opinion on some issue. If anybody knows anything about Rush Limbaugh surely they know that Rush can talk knowledgably about anything (except male/female relationships-see above), he speaks it well and he's eloquent.

Laura, who can be childish and petulant on occasion, didn't get a word in during Rush's commentary but go to hell, she called the man up for his opinion, did she not? Yet she complained on the air about how Rush grabbed up all the air time and I was embarrassed for Laura. You are not a child, Laura. You call Rush for commentary, be prepared to let the man speak without throwing a childish hissy fit, how about it?

Laura despises Dick Morris and this is evident whether that pundit with zero believability is a guest on her radio show or her Fox show. This is fine with me because by me Dick Morris lost any toe-sucking credibility a long time ago when he was caught with a prostitute...sucking her toes of course.

Plus Dick Morris is NEVER right about anything in his prognostications. Fox should hire ME to predict political eventualities. I'd be much cheaper and probably more accurate.

So I overlook Laura's petulance re Dick Morris the zero pretending to be somebody important. But when Laura went after Rush Limbaugh I took umbrage.

As of this writing, Laura Ingraham's show can be heard on from 10:00 pm until 1:00 am. Her show is live in the mornings but I don't know where but it's NOT on

So there you have it. The best of the radio talk show hosts and few not so much. I've listened to plenty of others, particularly replacements for Rush Limbaugh. A few of them are okay and in a future update of conservative radio talk show hosts, we'll re-assess.


Focus on TV Posts of Fame

Those Wacky TV Chefs. Includes Rachel Ray and the sexiest chef of them all.

TV News Pundits including Russert, spitting Matthews and the one I adore.

Guests: Dealing With the IRS and Parents Send Mixed Messages to Children

TWO guest writers today. Michelle writes of IRS forms and IRS bureaucrats. Heather writes of parental issues and our subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle messages we send to our children.

A hilarious pic of the day.

Pic of the Day

Simian Proctologist

Monkey as proctologist

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I love my job! Even during the "bad" times, when those around me ask me with overwhelming concern in their eyes, "How are you doing?", I love my job. There's been some stress, but I think I still don't know enough to be truly as stressed as I ought to be, and there's been some uncomfortable decisions, but as long as those decisions don't get me fired, I'm fine.

I have two people who sort of report to me. I'm not in charge of their human resources items, but I oversee the system and workload that they're responsible for. When workload or system decisions are needed, they come to me. This last month, that's been just about every day.

I'm learning both how to oversee a process and how to be a boss. It's very strange.

My team is still very happy to have me with them, and I'm overjoyed to be part of this team.

I even love my other job, doing the office work for my husband's business. Though there are times when that's stressful, too. For instance, in January I had to create the 1099s.

The year before, we let our payroll company do it. We'd send them the information for each 1099 recipient as we paid them. If we wrote a check to Mr. Jones, we sent in Mr. Jones's information and what we'd paid him to our payroll on the regular payroll day. They kept track and at the end of the year produced the 1099s.


Not only did we pay Mr. Jones, we also paid Mr. Jones's son. Somehow, Mr. Jones got all the 1099 dollars, and none went to his son.

I spent until early March trying to correct this. So this time, I figured I'd do it. Certainly I couldn't do worse.

In January, knowing they had to be out the door by the 31st, I began to hunt for how to do these. I did the research and found what the current reporting rules were. I found all the people we'd need to send one to. I was ready!

1099 form

I tried to find the form I'd need. The IRS site has downloadable forms. What luck! I went out there and downloaded both the 1099-MISC and the 1099-INT, since I had at least one of each. I downloaded the instructions, too, since someone had told me these things had to be typed, and I haven't had a typewriter in years.

I opened and read the instructions, but found nothing about typing the things. Well, maybe that was on the form itself. So I opened the 1099-MISC form.

The very first page says in big red letters that you can't use this form to actually send anything to the IRS. (So why have it available?) So where was I supposed to get the form, then?

There's a number on the IRS site, so I wrote that down. Of course, when I was doing this was too late to call, so I called it from work the next morning.

"Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service," a pleasant female voice said. "For English, press 1."

I pressed 1.

"Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service. For English, press 1."

Hadn't I already pressed 1? I did it again.

"Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service. Our Web site is Goodbye."

And the pleasant female voice hung up on me. I tried it again, sure I'd done something wrong. I got hung up on a second time. I was frustrated and began to panic, but I couldn't do any more about it from work.

That afternoon I called my accountant. "Oh," she said, "I can send you some, no problem."

I sighed with relief and watched my mailbox. Within three days, I received the forms. They didn't look any different. However, I still didn't know if I had to type them (it hadn't occurred to me to ask my accountant).

I looked over the IRS site again. Nothing there was helpful for me. I looked over the actual forms I had, and there was another number. I called but they were closed.

The next morning from work I called the number. I got someone very helpful (and real) who told me where to find the actual filling-it-out instructions and that while they preferred typed, hand-written was okay if it was legible. I thanked her.

The next day, Saturday, I began to fill out the pesky forms. My accountant had also sent me two 1096s, which I hadn't known I'd needed. Everything went well until I started on those. I needed two, one for the MISC and one for the INT. But after I'd filled them out, I couldn't tell if I could send them together or not.

On Monday, I called the helpful number. They weren't so helpful this time; it was Martin Luther King day and they were closed. So I called my accountant again.

Of them all, she is definitely the most helpful.

Finally, the task is done, and I'm confident I did a better job of it than my payroll company.

The Desk Drawer writer's exercise list

Killing the Child Within - The Things we Teach our Children

Why does child believe us when we tell him/her that Santa exists, that he comes down the chimney bearing presents, that he knows when they've been naughty and nice, that he eats the milk and cookies they set out for him? Why does a child laugh when you throw him/her up in the air and they're falling for a second or two? Why does a child fall asleep on your shoulder on the way home from school? There's only one word that answers all these questions - unfailing trust. But we as parents abuse this trust by teaching our children, albeit inadvertently, things that slowly push out the innocence in their hearts and replace it with the skepticism and suspicion that adults carry around as a matter of course. If you're a parent shaking his/her head against this allusion, read on to see what we teach our kids to do, without even realizing it:
· To tell a lie: Children do not know how to lie, at least not until you teach them to do so. They are disarmingly truthful, so much so that a rhetoric question brings a literal answer. Try asking a little boy who's broken the cookie jar, "Now how on earth did you manage to do that?" and you'll most probably see him throw down a glass bowl and say, "Like this!" Kids can be exasperating at times, but they speak what they feel inside, unlike adults who with each passing experience become shrewd and calculating. We are the ones who teach kids to lie, when we tell them to turn away salespersons at the door with a "Mommy's not home" fib. And when the man at the door asks, "When is she expected back?", don't be surprised if your precious darling runs to where you're hiding and yells, "When will you be back mommy?"

To swear when angry: Young minds are impressionable, which is why your angry outburst at your spouse, your child or anyone else leaves a lasting memory in your child's mind. The next time he/she is frustrated and wants to vent his/her anger, be prepared to hear the choice words you used coming from your innocent child's mouth. If you gnashed your teeth when you yelled at your kid, you can be sure that he/she picks up the habit from you.

Cartoon about bad parents

· To hide mistakes: How often have we seen our moms do something wrong and tell the kids to hide the fact from dad? How often are broken objects swept under the proverbial carpet so that the peace is maintained in the family? Children pick up on this, and then the lies that hide and cover mistakes are born. They start with protecting siblings and friends, then to protecting themselves, for the small things at first, and then the more serious ones. There's no one to set the example of owning up to responsibility and accepting the consequences of one's actions.

· To be double agents: You hate your next door neighbor and spew venom at her over the phone to your best friend. But when you run into her as you take out the garbage or on your way out the door, you pretend she's the next best thing to homemade apple pie, a la mode. This sends your child, who has both overheard your conversation on the phone and seen you interact with your neighbor, mixed signals, telling him/her that it's ok to say one thing to people's faces and a completely opposite thing behind their backs.

A child is a source of joy and constant wonder just because he/she is a child. As children grow into adults, they lose their innocence along with the baby fat. Let's not hasten the process of making cynical adults out of guileless children. If we cannot return to innocence ourselves, the least we can do is be a part of our children's artlessness, for as long as possible.


This article is contributed by Heather Johnson, who regularly writes on the topic of Correspondence degrees. She invites your questions and writing job opportunities at her personal email address: heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.



Two Book Reviews here plus an intriguing update on an old one.

First, two girls go missing under similar circumstances in Oregon. One woman feels certain the suspect is right in front of investigators' eyeballs. "Missing: The Oregon City Girls" tells the sad story of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis, two happy young teens who should be alive and planning their weddings today. The book is by one woman and her struggle to move the investigation in the right direction against all odds.

I broke away from my beloved True Crime book genre to read a book about The Beatles. For as a teenager I adored this Fab Five. I never heard of author Tony Bramwell but his book "Magical Mystery Tour" contained details about the Beatles, their business and private lives, their failures and pluses, in a detail that could be only be known by someone who knew the Beatles well.

Finally I complained about a lack of pictures in a previous book review. The book was "Unfinished Murder", a story about the Cleveland rapist and a prosecutor who got him jailed for life. Only thing, while the lovely rapist Ronnie Shelton was described and "handsome" and "all-American", there were NO pictures of him in the book.

A reader sent me a pic of Mr. Shelton whose mother is so proud of her boy. Click and judge his good looks for yourself.

Pic of the Day
Tattoos intriguing

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"Missing:...The Oregon City Girls" by Linda O'Neal, Philip Tennyson and Rick Watson

This book's Amazon link.

So okay, first odd thing here, why does this book require three people to write?

The book is mostly about Linda O'Neal, a woman related to Ashley Pond via a complicated series of marriages, who is also a private detective.


The book's intrigue is more about the story of the investigation rather than the True Crime Itself.

In fact Ashley Pond once lived with her murderer. Again, via a complicated series of relationships by marriage and proximity, Ashley moved from her mother's home into the home of her friend. Said friend had a father who was a bit too close to Ashley, reportedly allowing the young girl to sleep in the same bed with him.

Finally Ashley did tell someone about her friend's father and an alleged rape.

Then Ashley disappeared.

A few months later, ASHLEY'S friend, Miranda Gaddis, disappeared, abducted from possibly the same bus stop as Ashley.

Linda O'Neal details the investigation into the Oregon girls' disappearance as it unfolded and it's a sad story indeed.

For the mighty FBI got all involved; there were various jurisdictions involved in the investigation. Meanwhile the real murderer had a secret hidden under a concrete floor for a new patio and a real stench in a shed on his property.

The thing that puzzles me about this book is I question why all the investigators involved in this thing and an arguable two-bit private detective knows all the answers, including the big answer of just when and how Ashley Pond first disappeared. Everyone else assumed that Ashley went missing early in the morn. Linda O'Neal presents a compelling argument that Ashley went missing the evening before.

This timing makes all the difference in the world.

Yet with the FBI, local cops, cops from other jurisdictions and the variety of views such a concoction would bring, only Detective O’Neal has a glimmer that there could be a critical time factor in play and that time factor, recognized early on, could have led to the discovery of Ashley and perhaps saved the life of Miranda Gaddis.

This is another book where the intervention of the FBI into the investigation is greatly Unappreciated. I’ve never read a True Crime book where the FBI involvement is ever wanted by the local investigators.

Only in this case the politically correct FBI involvement in the ongoing investigation was a hindrance that possibly held up the discovery of the bodies of the Oregon girls for several months.

”Unfinished Murder” …Update

In this book review for “Unfinished Murder” I lamented the lack of pictures in this True Crime book, particularly a pic of the perp.

The book is the story of a serial rapist who terrorized the Cleveland area, his capture and court trial. His name was Ronnie Shelton and throughout the book he was alleged to have come across as an All-American boy, good-looking, clean-cut and polite. When an author basis the story of a criminal on his or her looks, a picture of the perp would be most appropriate.

A reader of my review sent me a pic of the All-American Ronnie Shelton. The reader found this pic easily enough by looking in the investigative database of jailed criminals.

So why couldn’t the book’s author do this?

Ronnie Shelton

“Magical Mystery Tour” by Tony Bramwell

I was 14 years old when a British group from a town with the unlikely name of Liverpool blazed across my screen on the Ed Sullivan show. I was the perfect demographic to fall in love with the Fab Four and so I did.

Now my chest still throbs as my quadruple coronary bypass heals entirely too slow. John Lennon is dead, shot by a nut case. George Harrison is dead, felled by lung cancer. Paul McCartney married for love, became a widower, then married a one-legged beauty who did him wrong. Ringo Starr is I don’t know where. The Beatles have long since ceased to exist, both as a group and as human beings in some cases.

I’m far away from that 14 year old who fell so in love with George Harrison (every Beatlemaniac had one favorite Beatle, it was the rule) and who listened to Beatle 45 records over and over.

I have no idea who Tony Bramwell was, either back when the Beatles were wowing the world or even now, after reading his book about the Beatles: “Magical Mystery Tour”, Amazon link here.

Magical Mystery Tour book

"They say once bitten, twice shy. There's also the phrase, "Once is happenstance, twice is a coincidence, three times is enemy action." So maybe the gods decided to play a long running joke on me, because I lost all my money three times.

I think Tony Bramwell would be called a record promoter. Although in this case Tony was a friend of John, Paul, George and Ringo and ended up becoming a record promoter by virtue of his friendship with the Beatles and their manager, Brian Epstein.

The quote above is part of the confusion I have about Tony Bramwell and what he does. He says he lost all of his money three times and by me, I still don’t know WHAT money and how he made it. I do know that Bramwell describes some of his duties on behalf of the Beatles, which included fetching food and getting rid of unwanted females.

Which is not to say that Bramwell’s book didn’t provide an insight to my favorite singing group of my adolescent self, to include a macabre insight into the tortured soul of Brian Epstein, the Beatle manager that I vaguely understood to be homosexual and troubled.

There are tales of famed Beatle femme fatales, to include Patty Boyd, who married George Harrison, Jane Asher, who romanced Paul McCartney, Linda Eastman, who married Paul McCartney, and, of course, a wealth of information on the very strange and greatly disliked Yoko Ono.

Bramwell is also a bit of a name dropper. Readers are treated to vignettes of such celebrities as Phil Spectre, Joan Collins, Christine Keeler, Richard Branson (didn't like him) plus all kinds of singers...Rolling Stones, Cilla Black, Marianne Faithful, Gerry and Pacemakers, Peter and Gordon, Eric Clapton.

I’d recommend this book to all current and former Beatle fans.

For the Fab Four weren’t quite as cherubic as Brian Epstein would have us believe. These formerly middle-class kids from the blue collar city of Liverpool had known a mostly normal life and were thrown into a life of sex and drugs. Bramwell’s crafts their story of reaching the pinnacle then the struggle to return to normal roots.

I don’t think I could ever have a kind thought about Yoko Ono after this book. Further, I can’t have much respect for John Lennon, who let this woman run his life like the steel magnolia she wanted to be.

In fact, this book is worth the read for the insight into the sometimes sad romantic life of these lads who should have been the happiest of us all.

More Book Reviews HERE


Gardens and Birds-A May 08 Garden Tour and the State Bird of Georgia

Four weeks after quadruple coronary bypass and with THAT story told, time to pay attention to things that bring about an upbeat attitude. Not to mention an emotion so strong that it equates to nothing less than what life is all about and the joy of being able to live it.

First, the state bird of Georgia decided to build a nest in my hedge roses. I was just so honored. We've got pics of both the hedge roses what took over the world and the Brown Thrasher which so availed itself of that thorny bush.

Second, a video garden tour. My gardens won't win the prizes from Better Homes and Gardens but I built it with plantings from the old homestead and new native plants. This year, the fifth year of my handiwork, it looks right nice.

There's also plenty of garden pics for those without video capability.

Pic of the Day
They never used steroids

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The Garden Matures

It's now been five years since I moved to my homestead of Serendipity Shore here in the swamps of Delaware. I'd left a plot of land in neighboring state Merryland that I called Critter Cove. Critter Cove had the benefit of fifteen years of my gardening ministrations. My Delaware home had a lackluster garden with no lawn whatsoever when I moved in. Over the five years I've planted various plantings from the old homestead, plenty of new ones from native plant sales, and I've added a few new gardens.

In this year of our Lord 2008 I finally discover that I've achieved my first gardening goal from that moving day of five years ago. Only now I've got to un-do a lot of my handiwork in my Serendipity Garden now run slightly amok.

For a perfect garden would be one that has perennial blooms that bloom happily for each segment of the growing season. Said garden would be neatly planted with plants that have enough room to grow without crowding out the others with space for a few annuals to accent the collection. The plants should attract the birds, butterflies and critters to use, opportunists that they are.

If a garden matures well, blooms will accent the space in each applicable garden season, the plants will wax and wane with those waxing taking over for the waning. The necessity of mulch will be a minor thing as the properly spaced plantings prevent a wild undergrowth of noxious weeds.

Hedge rose begin bloom May 08

hedge rose day two bloom

Garden Montage May 08

Points of pride garden May 08

So I don't have to mulch every other day as I used to but now I face gardens that are, let me admit the truth, almost running away with plants wanting to grow and a few of them are selfish and don't want to share the soil.

This means, next year when my heart has healed and it is ready for the challenge, I'm going to have to dig out some of those plants and put them somewhere where they have more room to roam.

Below is the video of my garden tour of May 2008. Enjoy.

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What's the State Bird of Georgia Doing With a Nest in My Hedge Roses?

I knew that rusty, reddish bird with the speckled breast that had been hanging around my front yard was some kind of "thrasher". I'd seen these birds before but always during the March period of migration. They were mostly just passing through is what I'm saying here.

Yet this thrasher didn't appear to be moving through back home to Georgia. I noted it was hanging around the front yard and that, to my complete surprise, seemed to be spending a lot of time entering and exiting the thorny depths of my famous hedge roses.

Those hedge roses do defy the laws of Physics. They were little scraggly things when I ripped then out of the ground from Critter Cove's shadowy lot and gave them a new chance in a new state. As yon reader can see from the pics in the garden post above, the things have grown into a veritable mountain.

They are filled with thorns but fortunately I planted them in a real nice spot and hey, the hedge roses like it there too.

Birds regularly flit in and out of the depths of those thorns and I often sat on the front porch and marveled over this. I couldn't even reach over a branch to snip a spent bloom without burying a nasty thorn somewhere in my skin but the birds love that bush, winter too!

brown thrasher montage

It was right before I went into the hospital for my surgery that I realized that this very handsome pair of brown thrashers were, to my amazement, surprise and delight, actually building a nest somewhere in the depths of that hedge rose mountain! In fact, there was located, at the bottom and far right edge of the bush, what I referred to as a "door". It was an area where no branches, blooms or leafs of the hedge rose grew. This lack of growth was, as I figured out after much observation, was caused by birds endlessly flying in and out into the bowels of the bush.

By the time I got out of the hospital, those thrashers had babies in that nest and I spent many recovering hours sitting on my porch swing and watching the fledging.

It was mesmerizing to watch, as bird fledgings always are. I watched a parent bird sit on my Serendipity Shore sign and call the reluctant youngsters.

For reasons I don’t understand, I never got a chance to see one baby Brown Thrasher. I saw the parents all over the place and I heard their loud call and the soft warble they sent to their children, depending on conditions upon.

But they’re still out there so given time I might see the children thrashers.

This was one of the more delightful nests I’ve ever entertained in my yard and I intend to make a nomination that the Brown Thrasher be made the state bird of Delaware.

”Loving My Heart” Posts

”American Idol” 2008 Posts
True Crime Posts
The Bird Fellows Posts
Gardens Posts
Kaitlyn Posts
Movie Reviews
Book Reviews
More Gardens and Bird posts HERE