Monday, December 31, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Something for You...

Hello folks,

Now, while you're all out whooping up getting slobbering drunk and doing things that hopefully will only find you embarrassed for a could of weeks at most, here's a little slice of crazy to get the discussions going around you:

Hello took life in 1878 when Thomas Alva Edison said the first word through the newly invented telephone. Who really knows, the news media was not around at the time to give us an accurate account. He could have said, "Hullo," jokingly and mistakenly misprinted. The fact is that Hello was printed by Noah Webster's dictionary in 1883.

The telephone kept expanding, and so did the greeting. As the greeting "Hello" kept growing it soon became a general greeting. Webster's dictionary kept on printing "Hello" as a greeting word. Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) rejected the "Hello" greeting all his life. His greeting was "Ahoy, Ahoy!" The dictionaries became a standard foundation for the language and continued to promote the word as our standard greeting. We never questioned it; we took it for granted and learned it as it was always there..., and strangely enough it has become our most used word on a daily basis. "I" is the second. This negative phenomenon possibly has set its pattern. We have been too busy and too involved in our daily doings to see the whole picture. Until a person born in Kingsville, Texas questioned the connotation of the word "Hello." The "O" is not enough to hide the most negative word (Hell) printed in every dictionary! This greeting word "Hello" has been upon us for 117 years! Maybe subconsciously we have promoted and fueled the wrong message.

Let's now understand that we all have been misled. We should now put it behind us and call the 20th century negative and obsolete. We should now set a new example and set a new precedent! It is up to us now to make a change and start setting and paving a new road for our youth and ourselves. Let's show the rest of the world that we are united, friendly, and unique people.

now begin working towards the next 100 years with a more harmonious, intelligent, and positive new universal greeting: "HEAVENO!" A symbol of Peace, friendship and Welcome! (link)
That's a sort of nutty you only find this time of year, folks. But, I'm wondering about the pronunciation of this new greeting. I mean, is it "Heave No?" After all, I know that if I say "Heave No" to someone, they'll probably slap me.

Maybe we say it as "Heaven-O." Of course, sounds more like some sort of super Jesus breakfast cereal than any sort of greeting.

Now, solely for the benefit of Emily who knows words, totally digs words, and she's not afraid to use them, here's the little chart from that page which shows a little "history of the word 'hello.'"
  • 12th Century HALLOW Chaucer(1340) Europe
  • 16th Century HALLOO Shakespeare(1564-1616) England
  • 19th Century HULLO U.S.A
  • 20th Century HELLO Thomas Alva Edison(1847-1931) New Haven, CT
  • 21st Century HEAVENO Leonso Canales,Jr. (1940- ) Kingsville, TX
The funny thing is, this doesn't seem to be all that accurate to me. Unfortunately, I'm currently too lazy and woefully unambitious to ferret through my linguistic books and the OED to find out just how bang-on this etymology of the word "hello" actually is.

For what it's worth, Wikipedia has a couple of theories as to the origins of the word, but very little else of any use.

Fortunately, for humanity, this comical notion of Mr. Canales' has been bopping around since 1997, and it really doesn't show any sign of picking up steam, thankfully.

So, as you're whoopin' it up, and if someone says hello to you, do everyone a favor and say "hello" back to them. It's easy. It's efficient. And, if someone's drunk and trying to figure out just what the hell you mean by "Heave-no," I can pretty much promise their New Year's Eve will be far more confusing than it should be.

Anyway, have a great one, my friends (and occasional enemies), and remember: you don't have to be good, but you do have to be careful.

Until next year...

Party on,

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/31/2007 06:01:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] The Eve...

Ahh... Champagne.

You know, drinking champagne is like swallowing a really good book written in braille. Some people say it's like drinking stars, but those people are morons. To me, a guy who's plowed down his fair share of bubbly, it's like drinking freshly printed braille where the edges are crisp and the story is good.

Unfortunately, I think as a result of all those bubbles, champagne seems to only go straight up once it crosses my lips. It doesn't go down any pipes and plumbing to get worked into my system. Nope. It just goes straight up into my brain to deposit enough alcohol to bend the bloody hell out of my world and pretty much guarantee that I am going to wake up the next morning with what feels like a red-hot screwdriver stabbed into my forehead, and a mob of little gnomes chiseling furiously into the irises of my eyes with very pointy ice-picks.

Still... Champagne is pretty damn yummy.

On the other hand, this year, it's going to be no champagne for me. I do not mix pain killers with alcohol. That's a little too hard core for me. Sure, I don't mind drinking myself into a brilliant, glowing stupor now and then, but once you start mixing opiates with alcohol, you can potentially wind up with some rather unpredictable results. And, lets face it, with as much pain as I'm in, the last thing I want is to find myself running naked through the snow with a hot dog in one hand and an alarm clock in the other while screaming about crustaceans taking over the world.

Oh yeah... I'm weirdly paranoid.

Anyway, the thing I've noticed today is that a lot of people are coming out with "Year in Review" lists and whatnots. I don't think I have any desire to make one of those. 2007, for me, was actually a pretty great year, and simple to sum up without any tedious lists.

I blazed my way through the year with Remicade infusions that really had more of an effect than I realized. It was weird. I had no idea how well it was working, but I was still feeling a bunch of aches and pains in certain joints here and there; however, given the situation I find myself in now, I would, in a heartbeat, go back to that level of pain than deal with the crippling nonsense which I am currently trying to get a handle on.

Then again, aside from all that noise, I did finish up the first draft of a novel I'd been working on. Someday, I'm sure I'll try to sell it once I'm actually happy with it. I had a lot of fun writing it, and now I've just got to find the time and ambition to tidy up all the mistakes and screaming uglies and start shopping it around. However, dealing with medical morons is not only time consuming, it's pretty damn soul crushing as well.

Then, once it's sold, I am going to drink champagne... By... the... BUCKET!

Anyway, I do hope you all manage to spend some time celebrating the oncoming lunacy of 2008. I imagine that it's going to be a very weird year. The potential for craziness certainly exists, doesn't it?

The most important thing, however, is that you be safe (or safe-ish, at least). I want to see you all back here in 2008.

Enjoy the braille, and I'll see you all next year.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/31/2007 10:00:00 AM

Sunday, December 30, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Free Speech...

Man... I love crazy people. I don't know if it's the result of that whole "like minds" notion or what, but sometimes I'll delete a comment from someone who is so ridiculously off base and pretty much clueless, and, once they realize they've been silenced, they'll sometimes subsequently feel compelled to scribble out a maniacal email to express their rage at the unfairness of it all.

Oh! And of course they wail and bemoan how their precious First Amendment rights are being violated by me, the mean, vicious tyrant who, with his heavy iron fist censors and silences the outbursts of the free with a sudden, forceful, freedom-crushing smash...

And, well... Yes. You have no First Amendment rights here. And, trust me, that's a good thing.

For example, when I write an entry picking on the half-wit in the White House, and a comment comes along that, rather than even attempt to address what I actually say one way or the other, I find myself reading ham-handed attacks on me, my mother, the kind of car I drive, and whatever irrelevant gibberish tumbles from the frothy mouth of a mad, rambling lunatic, I'm going to do everyone (include the author of such a comment) a favor and delete it.

In other words, I get it, man. You hate me. But, do try to stay on topic, and if that's too hard, feel free to email me. I don't mind getting email. In fact, email chases away the crushing loneliness which I usually drown in a bottle of vodka. In my world, email is good for the liver, and it makes the voices happy.

What I don't get is why, if I offend someone so, do they even bother reading this blog?

Is it the unlimited credits on PacMan?

I mean, that's really the only reason why I come here. I play PacMan and drink vodka think about things. And, that's the beauty of the Man of Pac. He can, at times, become a portal to enlightenment. Tucked away inside the endless "woo-woo-woo" is The Answer. It has something to do with being both predator and prey, and the only thing which separates the two is a big, magical dot within a labyrinth of little dots pleasantly garnished with various fruit.

I suppose to boil it down, the meaning of life is to eat fruit occasionally, and run like hell until you find a magical dot that lets you eat ghosts. In other words, fruits and dots keep the fear of floating spirits away.

That's deep people!

So, if you do find yourself with the urge to scribble an angry, raging response to something I write, please take a moment to play a little PacMan to compose your thoughts. You'll thank me, and you won't look so freakin' crazy.

Unfortunately, I can't get my PacMan to log high scores consistently so as to see who out there is the most pissed off. I figure if I write an entry on G-Dub or whatnots, and someone racks up a score of a million and change, I know I really must have struck a nerve.

Anyway, no. You haven't any First Amendment rights here. However, you DO have the right to play PacMan as much as your little heart desires.

See? I'm not so bad, am I? Name one other dictator who would let you do that?


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/30/2007 01:32:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Freeezow!


It's New Year's Eve Eve... Or, New Year's Eve2.

Umm... wait.

That doesn't make sense. How about this: It's New Year's (Eve2).


Okay... It's freakin' Sunday, okay?

Tomorrow's New Year's Eve. Is anyone doing anything special? Any wild parties with champagne and party favors?

Does anyone have any resolutions?

As for me, I'm keeping my resolutions pretty simple. And, so far the list is short. In fact, I think the few resolutions I have are that I resolve not to rob any liquor stores in 2008. I also plan to refrain from committing any acts of genocide. I also resolve not to run guns and alcohol to any guerrilla groups in South America.

There was also something on my list about not driving any cruise ships into other cruise ships because, well, I really like those bumper boats; however, I can't really promise to uphold that one since it just seems like it would be way too much fun.

Anyway, I'm sure the list will change a lot over the next 48 hours. For example, as a write this, I'm toying with the idea of resolving to bake a cake from scratch in 2008. It may be chocolate, even. Then again, it might be something else.... That is, if there actually is any other flavor of cake beside chocolate.

Ah well... I'll have to work on it. Right now, though, it's Sunday. I'd love to stay and chat, but I've got to watch football and think about eating pizza or something.

Aside from that, though, Happy New Year's Eve Eve... And, if on the odd chance your name is Eve, Happy New Year's Eve Eve, Eve.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/30/2007 11:03:00 AM

Saturday, December 29, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Just So's Ya Know...

Please understand, I am not under the impression that George Bush reads my blog. Whenever I address him directly, it's more of a rhetorical flourish than anything. It's a technique used to make opinions more personal by making them more direct as a result of choosing a very precise and particular target.

On the other hand, how cool would it be if George Bush not only read my blog, but kept one of his own like the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

Folks, I believe that would be the most hilarious thing imaginable. I mean, it's not like he'd ever really have anything important to write about, and he'd probably be reduced to answering memes from those cliquey little kids on MySpace.

Man... Just imagining that cracks me up.

Anywho... To the proud member of the 25% Club who emailed me with some odd --yet very creatively spelled-- statements and accusations, I hope this clears things up, Chumley! Don't worry. I like you. I think it's cute how you defend your hero, and, in a way, I envy you for your view of the world.

Simple is good.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/29/2007 11:55:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Funny...

"It's what I do during my presidency. I go around spreading good will and talking about the importance of spreading freedom and peace."

-- George W. Bush
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is probably one of those moments where the body of George is stumbling around or dancing behind a podium like a child with a bladder full of Kool Aid, and the cute little bean that is the president's brain is off somewhere in a land of ponies and strippers powdered heavily with Yale-grade cocaine like a box full of donettes.

Mmmm... donuts and strippers...


But, freedom and peace?!? From George Bush?!? And he thinks he's spreading those things?

Man... I'm going to say that the bubble in which George lives has got to be a pretty amazing and surreal piece of real estate. I obviously doesn't appear to have any windows, and I'm sure he doesn't get either TV or radio in there anywhere, but are those things really necessary when you're living in such a perfect little fantasy land?

Freedom and peace...

I'm going to have to say no, Gawdge. And, while you're curled up in your safe little magical bubble of complete obliviousness, perhaps you can have one of your handlers print out and read to you this list of 293 scandals which have plagued your inept, incompetent and downright corrupt administration. And, if that doesn't wake you up, how about a list of your most pathetically embarrassing and flat-out dumbest legal arguments of the year.

Still need more? Hmmm.... Well, since you're so keen on freedom (which you oddly define as the indefinite imprisonment and brutal torture of anyone your band of goons and thugs arbitrarily deems suspect), here's a sweet story of how your America imprisoned and tortured an innocent beauty from Iceland.

Then again, that Iceland chick? Yeah. I'm sure she was a threat or an enemy combatant willing to unleash the next wave of terror upon America by singing karaoke versions of Bjork songs. If that's the case, then thank god for you sir. You have kept us safe.

Dude? Did you ever stop to think that maybe the reason why you can't solve a single problem in the United states is because there's a damn good chance that you are the problem?

Still though... George Bush talking about freedom and peace has got to be one of the most tragically hypocritical statements of all time. You see, George, war-mongering fountains of incessant, nebulous threats who torture innocent people do not, under any circumstance, get to say they are "spreading freedom and peace."

However, Mr. Bush, you're definitely spreading something, aren't you?

So, do us all a favor and just lock yourself in a closet for the next 56 weeks and let the grown-ups have their country back. We'll give you donuts and some small, shiny object with which to pass your time.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/29/2007 09:28:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Whining again... (sorry)

Well now, this sucks...

I think I've got "tennis elbow" in both of my elbows.

I don't play tennis...

Nor do I go curling (like Paul).

But, here they are, all swollen up and pretty damn sore.

What I was doing was chipping a mountain of ice out of my gutters with a hammer and chisel the other day, and I think with this untreated arthritis that's running amok and having its way with pretty much any joint I get the foolish idea of using, the whole damn thing just seems to have flared up.

The only time it was worse than this was in college when I took up playing foosball instead of, you know, studying, and one of my elbows swelled up to grapefruit size. That was pretty damn freaky and fortunately, this isn't that bad.

Still... I'm like Robby the Robot.

On the plus side (there has always got to be a plus side), not only do I now have a legitimate reason to not take up tennis (all that running around seriously cuts into my smoking and drinking and consumption of deep fried foods), I have a feeling that so long as I don't use my elbows too much over the next couple of days and glut myself on the anti-inflamatory meds my doc's prescribed, things should clear up somewhat quickly.

In other words, drink with the shoulders, not the elbows (sometimes, it's referred to as the "European Style"). Thankfully, I spent a lot of time drinking there, so I am somewhat proficient in that form of drinking. I've not perfected it, mind you, but I think I should be able to manage well enough. The trick lies in keeping my balance as I tilt this fat freakin' melon of mine back to take a swig.

Nonetheless, the next time I am staring at the river of water running down my walls inside the house as a result of the ice dams in the gutters, I'm going to call some executive at the company that makes Enbrel and tell them to come over and use their elbows to chisel out the ice since they've obviously made it pretty damn impossible for me to do so.

Aside from that laborious little gripe, how is everyone's weekend going? Fun? Not fun? Anyone in jail?


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/29/2007 04:44:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Sad... And, Confusing.

I read this story, and it's disturbing, but also tremendously sad.
Man: Girl, 4, provoked me

WOODSTOCK – A retired Canadian pastor likely on track to leave a McHenry County courtroom Friday with probation for sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl instead found himself behind bars after he told a judge that the girl acted sexually provocative toward him.

“I tried to avoid the encounters. On a couple of times, I thought I was being sexually harassed,” Kenneth R. Cooke, 73, told a judge. “I think there is psychological evidence today that children, even in their younger years, could become interested in sex.” (Full Story)
Yes. That look on your face after reading this? Same thing on this end.

I don't know if this evil, dottering, old bastard and his sanity are collapsing, and as a result, perhaps he's too confused or addled to fully comprehend his actions. It's hard to say, and perhaps it's all an act on his part. After all, let's face it, only a truly sick and disturbed idiot would blame a four year old girl for the abuse she suffered at his hands, and at the age of 73, I'd imagine that there are people out there looking at this inhuman fool and thinking that the formerly "good" pastor has simply lost his mind.

Still, there is absolutely no excuse for this man's actions, and I truly do hope he dies a miserable, slow death in prison where he belongs. However, that's not the troubling part. The thing that really grinds me is the following:
Cooke’s attorney, William Stanton, asked for Cooke to receive probation, a likely sentence considering Cooke’s lack of criminal history, age and health.

“He still remains a highly regarded member of his church and community,” Stanton said.

According to court documents, Cooke was a pastor in the Christian Missionary Alliance for 38 years.
A highly regarded member of his church and the community?!?

How the hell is that possible? Four and a half years ago, this evil beast assaulted a four-year-old girl while never once showing any remorse for his violation of this little girl, and he's still "highly regarded" in his church?

What kind of screwed up church and community is this in Woodstock, Illinois?

Do these idiots sit there and say, "Oh well... He's a Christian so obviously he has the license to subject an innocent child to a lifetime of emotional damage, and we don't care if he lies about why he abused this little girl. It was her fault, anyway. Who will save our souls if you take our pedophile priest away?"

Obviously, this church and this community are just as guilty as this predator if they're willing to condone the rape of a four year old girl at the hands of their sick, yet "highly regarded," pastor.

Hopefully, as this bastard is run through the cold, harsh machine of justice, both his and his family's fears come true:
Cooke said he pleaded guilty because he and his family didn’t believe that his ailing health could withstand a trial.

“My family felt I’d have a nervous breakdown or heart attack, so I had no other choice.”
Yeah... That would be truly heartbreaking. I'm sure he had no other choice but to plead guilty and claim that he was seduced by a four year old girl while preaching morality in his church for four and a half years and showing not one single shred of human decency to admit remorse or get any help whatsoever.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/29/2007 03:39:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] A Big Game...

So... Umm... I have to ask:

Does anyone think the Giants can beat the Patriots today?

I mean, I think just about anything is possible, but, well... We're talking about the Giants here (Sorry Dawn). The Giants have made a season out of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Personally, I hope the Giants do manage to win. I don't like the Patriots (sorry Cinzano). Randy Moss just makes my skin crawl, and Tommy Brady is just too shiny and pretty to be playing football.

The thing is, I am just so sick and tired of hearing about all this "perfect season" nonsense. Plus, Don Shula, and most of the '72 Dolphins belong out on a golf course instead of having to sit in front of a TV camera bantering on about the silly minutia of winning football games.

Ah well... I'm going to go wake up now. I need coffee. Then, I'm going to look at all this snow and swear a lot.

How's your Saturday going?


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/29/2007 09:30:00 AM

Friday, December 28, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] When Indigo Asks, All Must Answer...

I believe that's the rule. Indigo pretty much rocks, after all. And, she asked a question which certainly deserves an answer:
By the way did you ever get it straightened out so you could get the prescription you needed? (Hugs) Indy
Unfortunately, Indy, I am still dealing with people who sit at desks all day rather than go to medical school to get a degree to actually be qualified to make a decision that is in the best interest of the patient and not in the best interests of the pharmaceutical company and its shareholders or the insurance providers and their shareholders.

It's very hard too. Several times I day I see the Enbrel commercials on TV, and, as a result, I am perpetually reminded that what I need to make my life livable is just out of reach. So many times I have been given these prescriptions from hopeful and excited physicians for these supposed "medical miracles" which would greatly improve my quality of living by making me mostly pain free only to find out from the mouths of the pharmacists that I am denied access to them for reasons known only to a select few sitting behind a desk somewhere.

To say the range of emotions through all of this runs at a near manic sort of frequency would be an understatement. It is a form of manic-depression I suppose; however, it doesn't come as a result of some sort of chemical imbalance. What I deal with comes as a result of waking up in excruciating pain after a usually sleepless night never knowing what exactly is going to hurt one day to the next, only to turn on the television in the morning to see the answer to my problems right there. It's devastating to realize that every O.K. for me to take this medicine exists except one --that of the insurance provider. And, that person is someone who has, most likely, never once taken any sort of medical course so as to be qualified to put themselves in a position to declare what I do or do not need medically.

Every day is frustration. Every day is pain. And, I know that the more I move and undertake any day-to-day chore, I am doing permanent, irreparable damage to my body which will most likely consign me to a life of chronic, sometimes debilitating pain. Untreated arthritis is funny that way, and when the inevitable skin flares of psoriasis explode back to their previous severe levels where 80% of my body is covered and nothing is pretty much all I can do, I hope some options exist, but I doubt it since this madness explodes unbelievably fast, and it will literally suck the will to live straight out of me.

And yet, the commercials still blaze across the TV screen before me. It's torture.

Anyway, now is the weekend, and I imagine very little will get done until Monday. Then, I will be back on the phone dialing numbers at a mad, panicked rate in hopes of trying to resolve this before things get any worse. And, as anyone with this disease knows, it will get worse.

A while back, someone sent me an email wondering how, in spite of all this, I managed to stay upbeat and hang on to some shred of a sense of humor. And, I don't quite know the answer to that, really. I think there are times where I simply step outside myself so as not to be distracted by the chaos that is me. I think doing that makes it easier to focus on things, but there's also a huge hazard to that as well. After all, it's never a good idea to ignore one's problems for very long. However, since my problems are currently being ignored by others, I suppose I haven't any choice but to ignore them as well.

Then again, several times a day, here and there or now and then, I do pay attention to those aches and itches just to sort of stay current with what's going on should anyone ask. I mean, people do tend to ask some pretty damn strange questions now and then. Sometimes, when they get a little too nosy, I usually respond that the spots on my arms or hands are leprosy, and I was kicked out of my nice, warm leper colony in Hawaii where I drank Kona coffee, smoked a lot of weed and cheated at Parcheesi, and if they think they're having a bad day, I tell them to try being shunned by a colony of lepers.

And yes. It's fun being a smart ass. But, I do try to stay positive. And, though I don't know how I manage to do it sometimes, I truly am damn glad that I can. Sometimes, Iread about people in much worse situations than I am, and though it's horribly selfish, in a way it does help me to feel better about my own predicament. And, I admire those people. As much of a struggle as it is for me to get out of bed most mornings, I know for them, it would be so much easier to just give up. Yet somehow, they carry on, and, so long as they do, somewhere along the way, I realized that the least I can do is try to bring something positive to their lives in whatever way I can. Even if they have no idea who I am, or never read a single word I've scribbled, maybe, somehow, there's a chance that someone will find something here silly enough to share with those around them. Then, if I'm lucky, it will wind its way along some convoluted path to someone close to them who will share whatever madness tumbled out of my head. And the thought of putting a smile on someone's face or a thought in their head is really all I need to make my days a little better.

Yes. I know it's an odd way of going about things, but it's what works for me.

Anyway, I wish I had a nice, silly way of wrapping this all up in a tidy, little bundle, but I really don't. About all I've got left in my tank today is that I have learned that when making spaghetti and meatballs, it's a really good idea to have more noodles than meatballs in the bowl.

Trust me on this...

Well, I hope I've answered the questions. I hope you enjoy the answers. And, finally, I really do hope you all have a wild and wonderful weekend wherever you may find yourselves.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/28/2007 08:50:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] What the...?!?!

At what point do we just start shooting insurance executives on sight? I'm willing to turn a blind eye should someone just gun these greedy, corrupt bastards down for the pestilent little vermin they are...
Yorktown girl can eat only one thing: costly formula that insurance won't cover
(Original publication: December 28, 2007)

YORKTOWN — Three-year-old Hannah Devane is allergic to food. Not the kind that makes kids spit out their broccoli; the kind that can kill.

The Yorktown preschooler has a condition called eosinophilic esophagitis, a severe food allergy that causes a type of white blood cell to congregate in the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach, damaging the tissue when she eats.

A doctor-prescribed formula has allowed Hannah to grow to a robust 40 pounds, a normal weight for a child her age. Without it, Hannah could wind up with a feeding tube.

But the insurance program that covers her family through her father's job as a New York City police lieutenant has stopped paying for the formula, which costs $1,200 a month. Food supplements and other over-the-counter items are not covered under the family's insurance, the prescription plan administrator said.

Arriving home hungry from day care, the blond, curly haired Hannah stretches out on the sofa with a bottle of formula.

"Our daughter has a disorder where she needs the formula to live," said Jessie Devane, 37, a registered nurse. "There is tissue damage if it is not treated. The treatment is no food. The insurance company won't even listen to Hannah's doctor."

(Full story)

That's pretty disgusting, eh? I mean, even if you are covered, well, you're not.

This is not health care. This isn't insurance coverage. This is flat-out, cold-hearted extortion by both the drug company who makes the formula this girl needs to live and the insurance provider who is refusing coverage, and no American should fall victim to this sort of bullshit. And what's the Insurance provider's excuse?

The family had been getting coverage for Elecare because of an error, said Helen Sweeny, the administrator of the self-insured medical benefits fund run by the Superior Officers Council.

"The program would be broke if we tried to cover food," said Sweeny, who has run the program for 32 years.

Food... They call it food.

They act as if she's asking for gum drops and potato chips.

It's okay for them to cover a medication that someone takes five or six times a day, but, by labeling this medication as "food," suddenly they can deny this dying girl access so as to skip out on paying for it.

Forgive me Helen Sweeny, but I truly hope an out of control dump truck finds its way onto your empty head, you insufferable, unconscionable twit. Or, better yet, I hope you find yourself in a situation where you need something to save your life, and if you have the gall to shed a tear when someone denies you access, please remember those things you've told people to justify your company's insatiable greed.

Seriously. They call it food.

I suppose that makes Insulin nothing more than sugar-water.

It's fucking astounding how horribly inhuman some human beings truly are.

Don't worry Helen Sweeny. Soon this little girl will be dead, and you won't have to explain how you pretty much murdered her by denying her access to medication which would have saved her life. Don't let that trouble that under-used puddle of sludge between your ears. Just, you know, try not to eat too much over the course of the holidays.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/28/2007 06:18:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Let it Snow... Let it... Yauugh!

Yes. We're getting snow... It started a couple of hours ago, and we've already gotten what looks to be an inch or two. As you can see, though, I am a friend of the local avian wildlife. I've got a hummingbird feeder (which is the only piece of color in my entire freaking yard), and the typical garden-variety bird/squirrel feeder (I don't even try to keep the squirrels out anymore. It also doesn't help that my cat, who you'd think would love to hunt them down during the odd moment of blood-thirsty madness, is actually pretty goof friends with the rodents).

However, even in this somewhat clunky picture, you should be able to get an idea of how much snow has fallen since, when I woke up this morning, all that white was actually a field of green.

Here's a picture looking through my "cool" window down my street which, most likely, won't be plowed until sometime early next year.

How do I know this, you ask?

Well, the owner of that truck there works for the city, and if he was at all interested in dealing with this "emergency," his truck would be gone, and the street would be plowed.

And, finally, here's a mostly blurry picture of a really bored cat:

By the way, yes! I do know my cat has freakishly large paws. Try getting smacked by one of them once. That cat's got a right-cross that could drop a Doberman. Fortunately, when DogCat descends into the wild insanity known as"beating the snot out of a human," he doesn't use his claws and just resorts to pummeling me into stupidity with his blunt but furry little fists.

Anyway, I'll see if I can actually take a better picture of this beast. It's a little dangerous though. I'd rather try to snap a picture of a grizzly's wisdom teeth.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/28/2007 01:37:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Random Get-Well Message...

Dooce is sick.

Actually, Heather B. Armstrong is sick, and Dooce is her website (she even says so at the top of her fantastically designed webpages).

Anyway, this is just a random shout-out for her to get well, and I'm also using it as an excuse to post what happens to be the greatest picture I've ever seen in my life (yes. This also guarantees that I will be buying a Chuck calendar in the near future, and if I get scolded for posting this picture, I'll yank it down faster than my tuxedo trousers on prom night!).

If you're not familiar with the writings of Heather (which, if you've been living in a cave is quite possible), you're just not living your life in the right way. She's one of the biggest reasons why blogging is as popular as it is, and she can take even the most serious subject (such as a miscarriage, her depression, and her day to day struggles with being a great mother) and transform it into something endearing and amazing and inevitably enlightening, and, you know, I'm actually looking forward to reading about her short but ferocious brawl with strep throat. I imagine it will include opera singing.

Anyway, get well soon, Heather B. Armstrong. Dooce is your website, and I enjoy reading it.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/28/2007 10:21:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Doors-Windows.... You Know the Rest.

Well, you know what they say, "When God closes a door, He opens a window," and though I don't believe in god in any way whatsoever, I suppose I can get behind and grok the general concept in terms of finding other avenues (or, in this case, objects of my madman's obsessions) which to pursue.

And, such is the case today with that unstoppable yin and yang of Hollywood. Jessica Alba falls off the market baby-first, and voila! Robin Wright and Sean Penn are getting a divorce.

So, Hello Jen-nee!

I know. I'm pathetic. But, I've had this thing for Robin Wright ever since The Princess Bride movie. Heck! I even envied Andre the Giant for being able to catch her when she threw herself out the window.

Of course, with my bad back, there's no way in hell I could catch her if she jumped out of a window. But, there's at least a pretty good chance that I'd be able to slow her down enough so that she won't get hurt too badly. A helmet would definitely help.

Unfortunately, other than that, I don't have a damn thing to offer.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/28/2007 09:25:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Oh...

So... That's what the weather people were all freaking out about.

Yeah. I suppose I can see it getting ugly around here just in time for the weekend. In fact, rush hour should be just freakin' dandy out there since I think Milwaukee has exhausted its snow removal budget for 2007 (this storm couldn't wait a few days?).

This mess is going to hang around for a while, I'm sure.

Oh. and don't think that I don't notice that it's after 5:15 AM!



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/28/2007 07:15:00 AM

Thursday, December 27, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] The Weather Outside is... umm... Not Too Ba...


I mean, I knew this snow advisory we've been under for the last two freakin' days was a real nightmare, but, umm... well...

You see Wisconsin there?

It's the state that kind of looks like your left hand if you hold it up with your fingers together and your thumb sticking out a bit (that's how we learned to draw our home state in Kindergarten. Glad I wasn't raised in Florida with that teacher since Florida looks like... well... plumbing).

Anyway, the snow... Yes. I almost forgot about the snow. The evil, wicked, immense amount of snow that is supposed to bury us poor cheeseheads beneath a pile of frozen whiteness. See the Red Triangle of Impending Doom there at the bottom of my browser? It's beside the blue wrench... Yeah. It's the one with the exclamation point inside.

Well, earlier today, I wrote about its threat. It said something about a snow advisory in effect until 6:00 tomorrow night (keep in mind, these warnings started Tuesday morning, so I've lived with this terror for almost two freakin' days. I mean, this is like living in London during the Blitz. I wonder if it's this bad in the White House?).

Now, fortunately, this warning has changed. And, I suppose it's changed for the better. Instead of 6:00 tomorrow night, now the snow advisory is in effect only until 5:15 AM tomorrow.

No. I don't even wonder anymore about how in the hell they came up with 5:15 AM. Can't say 5:00, and they can't say 5:30. Nope. These bastards have to set the time at a quarter past five for no other reason than to drive the OCD afflicted Cheeseheads absolutely batty.

Of course, we're going to get snow tomorrow. In fact, I'm going to say that we're going to get a lot of snow tomorrow.

And, do you know why we're going to get snow?


We're going to get a blizzard because I just posted a picture with no freaking snow on it anywhere within eight hundred miles of my house!

Oh... And you just know that it won't start snowing until sometime shortly after 5:15 in the freakin' morning!

Mother Nature is going to pay for this madness. Tomorrow morning, I am going to drive through the blizzard to Wal-Mart to buy myself one of those cheap styrofoam coolers. Then, I am going to go to the beach and crumple half of it up and throw it in the lake. And, lest I freeze while I'm defiling and violating Nature, I'll burn the other half of the damn thing to keep warm. I may even use an entire can of Aqua Net hair-spray just to stoke the flames.

It's going to be a long, long winter, folks...



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/27/2007 09:21:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Happy B'Day, Johnny Lee!

I didn't realize it until I saw it pop up on Fark, but today is Johnathan Lee Riches' birthday.

Who is he, you ask?

Johnathan Lee Riches is a batshit insane inmate at some federal correctional institution who has pretty much spent the last year suing just about everyone who's ever gotten his or her name in the paper. And he's filing these mad, paranoid, rambling lawsuits for some pretty insane reasons.

Then again, what do I know? I mean, I wasn't there when Britney Spears held a gun to his head and forced him to commit fraud to obtain money for an abortion. For all I know, it could have happened.

Now, as for my personal favorite, I always knew those bears were a little shady:
(PC)Riches v. Kaczynski
Plaintiff charges that defendant Theodore John Kaczynski is trying to unabomb his life because plaintiff won't return his manuscript that he received from the Washington Post. Plaintiff also alleges that defendant is rounding up all the Teds in the world to hurt him, including Ted Kennedy, Ted Bundy, Ted Turner, Bill and Ted, Ted Nugent, Teddy Bears, and Teddy Rumpskin.
I mean, that whole naming of Teds just sort of goes right of the freakin' rails...

Fortunately, this database has actually cataloged PDF copies of Mr. Riches' hand-written complaints. Just click on the number in the "document text" section, and you will be cast into a world of head-scratching wonder.

I'd almost feel sorry for the guy, but I think he's right where he needs to be in order to be safe, and normally, I would cringe at anyone who files hundreds upon hundreds of frivolous lawsuits, but Johnathan Lee Riches is a special case. His lawsuits are not only frivolous, they're freaking hilarious. And, I will say this, Mr. Riches' definitely has one hell of an amazing imagination.

Aside from that, here, my friends, is the greatest list of Defendants imaginable.

So, hopefully, if you find yourself having a bad day and in dire need of a smile. Turn to some of the court filings of Johnathan Lee Riches. It may be a little sad, but it's also incredibly fascinating, isn't it?


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/27/2007 04:28:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] I Can't Take It Anymore!!!!

Does the title of this post sound sufficiently crazy?

I couldn't really settle on the number of exclamation points. I mean, normal people use one. Crazy people use like seven or eight. And, since I don't want you guys to think I'm crazy to the point where you think it's in my best interest to call someone to escort me to someplace soft and padded, I decided to use four.

I think four exclamation points betray at least a little flicker of sanity. It's like Luke Skywalker looking at Darth Vader and saying "Dad? You totally went for the hand instead of the head. There's still some good in you."

Anyway, here's what's making me nuts:
Snow Advisory





More detailed local map tracking!
Mark your exact location on radar maps - click here

Seriously, folks...

This is going to make me looney, and I think those of you living in Wisconsin can back me up on this. But, isn't this like the fiftieth or sixtieth Winter Storm Warning or Snow Advisory or Whatever we've had this month?

It's like a freakin' weekly thing around here. And, it's annoying!

The only time I was more annoyed was that one summer some years back when somebody thought it would be a good idea to use the tornado sirens here in town to not only indicate the approach of a tornado, but to also wail every time a thunderstorm was approaching.

Gads! That thing was screaming pretty much every other day at all hours. And, I suppose it wouldn't have been so bad, but the damn siren is less than two-hundred yards from my house.

So, forgive me, but I'm a little insane.

It's the weather.

Now I know how the Donner Party felt. If I didn't have like ten cans of Spam and a nearly endless supply of Cream of Mushroom soup (what? sometimes things struggle on the stovetop), I'd probably eat my neighbor's leg.

Well, I think I'm going to go make some doughnuts while the madness overtakes me.

Doughnuts totally trump snowflakes!


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/27/2007 12:03:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] An Inevitability...

There's very little I can say about Bhutto's murder aside from the fact that ever since she returned to Pakistan from her exile, it was clear her life was cast into an incomprehensible danger.

What I find disturbing is that someone wanted this woman to die for whatever arbitrary reason their minds could cook up. Was it her calls for progress? Was it her stepping beyond the rigid boundaries of religious law in a nation which is fast becoming a theocracy? Or, was it just because she was a woman who wanted a fucking change and a little respect?

Yes. It's easy to see that it was the ubiquitous crazy Muslims who were behind this. And, that's the scary part of life in a nation which is fast becoming a theocracy. The voices of the smart and competent citizens are replaced by the much louder demands of the delusional in control of a nation's political and military machine who carry out what they believe are their god's wishes.

Nonetheless, I harbor a very bleak and pessimistic outlook for that region of the world in terms of stability. I imagine a great many are going to die in the days following this. Pakistan and India are two nuclear armed nations, and all it takes is one crazy, god-soaked fool in search of a pleasant afterlife to push a button.

All I ask is that when you demented religious fuckwits are finished with all your good and godly maiming and killing, can we, the enlightened folks who spend more time living in reality than in some twisted fantasy land of gods and monsters, have our fucking planet back?

Really. This nonsense is getting old, and the world would be a lot better off if you'd just keep your delusions and superstitions to yourself.

Oh. And don't think America is safe from these god-nuts. I think A&E is showing the movie Jesus Camp on Sunday. It's a pretty scary film, and if you watch, keep in mind that our government, our military, and our school boards are already choked and dying as a result of being packed with these morons and their superstitious bullshit. But, I digress...

I think the assassination of Benazir Bhutto will be a bad thing for America. It's already being tossed around that al-Qaeda is behind this, and if that is proven to be the case, that will be a tremendously bad thing for our nation. After all, our own intelligence states that the splinter of al-Qaeda active in Pakistan is the same exact group our soldiers had pinned down in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan before being withdrawn to embark on the irrelevant folly of Iraq.

I can't imagine how the cowering little whelp in the Oval Office will explain that away should this be proven to be the case. I do imagine it will include more photo-ops with blustery, chest-thumping and foot-stomping sound bites.

Nonetheless, you have got to admire the courage and determination of Benazir Bhutto as she constantly put herself in the crosshairs in an attempt to bring democracy to her nation and her people. And, if nothing else, her murder should should serve to remind us all in this country the price our own nation's founders were willing to pay for our freedom and democracy.

It's a sad day.


P.S. Now, I just saw a little clip of Bush playing the little tough guy and "promising" once again "those who committed this crime must be brought to justice."

I think, at this point, he just flips through a little Rolodex of smarmy platitudes whenever those he let off the hook do something bad. Heck! I'm surprised he didn't just go out and grab the nearest fireman with a megaphone and shout, "Those who knocked this woman down will hear from all of us soon!"

Really. I hate to kick Bush and his friends around like this (Seriously, I do), but we've dumped ten billion dollars into Pakistan, our alleged "ally" in the War on Terrah, just to keep this sort of thing from happening, and this is what we've got to show for it? Musharraf, who cares very little about his people's freedom, is equal parts corrupt and crazy, and those pesky "terrists" Bush keeps forgetting about seem just as strong as they've always been.

Am I jumping to conclusions?

I suppose I am. And, you're all welcome to scold me for this knee jerk response. The thing is: regardless of what the investigation turns up as to the motives behind this woman's assassination, it is yet another black eye for America.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/27/2007 08:41:00 AM

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Envy...

Here's DeafCat sleeping soundly, and at the time this picture was taken, the house was full of people, and there was no end of commotion going on around her. She heard nothing. She just found a tasty spot in the sun, curled up and that was the end of her day.

Man... Sometimes I wish I could sleep like that. And, I still believe it's impossible to look at a sleeping cat without feeling to urge to just collapse.

So, in light of that, I'm sorry if any of you have just passed out. That's one of my evil cat's super-feline abilities. She may be small. She may be deaf. She may be mostly blind and woefully uncoordinated. However, all she need do to render a fully grown human being into an unconscious pile of once-active person is to curl up into a ball and shut her eyes.

I have to deal with that all too often, and it's probably a good reason why I never get anything done.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/26/2007 05:56:00 PM

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] The Eats!

Here's a little run down of what I served to the many family and friends wandering in and out throughout this Christmas Day. I'm actually kind of impressed with myself, and I just want to give myself a pat on the back...

First, for the morning crowd, along with bloody Marys, I made some strong Alterra coffee (Sulawesi Toraja. I strongly recommend it) and, from the fryer, two dozen beignets kept warm in the oven (not a great idea, but it worked well enough) and dusted with powdered sugar and Saigon cinnamon.

It was an awesome start to a great day of eating...

After that, for the afternoon crew, I made four dozen wings and a small prime rib, then I sliced the prime rib and served it on little triangles of toast with a slathering of a blue cheese-shallot dressing (that I also served up with the wings), or a zippy little horseradish sauce that I made for yesterday's batch of wings but decided on not using (or forgot to take to my brother's house). And, a little au jus of thyme and red wine.

Oh... And more bloody Marys. Lots and lots of bloody Marys.

The dinner rush got the best, but easiest.

I made a simple ham. In fact, the only way to make it any easier would have been to make someone else cook it. But, since I am the one doing the cooking on Christmas day as this house becomes the epicenter for family activities, I decided to go with easy since I knew I'd be cooking all freakin' day and, contrary to the scribblings within this blog, I do want to sometimes spend time with my family.

Here's the ham recipe:
One good sized bone-in ham (the one I made was around twelve pounds or so)
Two liters of Coke
One onion....
That's it. Just dump it all into a roasting pan, cover with aluminum foil, toss it all into a 350 degree oven for around 3 or 4 hours, baste occasionally, and that's it.

Along side this easy, yet delicious creation, I served baked sweet potatoes and roasted asparagus.

It was a good day, and as far as leftovers go, there really aren't many. Some people took a bunch home, but I do have three wings left, about four little prime rib sandwiches --which I plan to do away with for breakfast tomorrow--, and a few pounds of ham (some of which will be used in tomorrow's bean soup project. Apparently, the left over juice from cooking the ham also makes a great base for the bean soup (and yes. The ham bone will be used as well).

As for tomorrow, after I whip up my soup (which I can't even think about eating at the moment), I have a feeling I'll be calling my friends at my favorite Chinese restaurant here in town.

I suppose the point of it all is, it didn't take a lot of effort cooking, really. Most of the stuff required lengthy baking times and nothing challenging with regards to preparation (in fact, the most difficult thing was the beignet dough, and I made that the night before since it's supposed to sit for a long time anyway), and that allowed me to goof around and spend time with my guests. Once I was in the kitchen, it was nothing more than just simple slicing and whatnots.

I think that's the way to do it, really. Years ago, I used to muck around with wickedly complicated things with wild sauces, reductions and side dishes to really make some sort of statement with my food, but I realized that I was missing out on a lot of the holiday. So, I simplified it with easy things that spend more time in the oven than on the stovetop. In fact, while the ham was cooking in the oven, I actually managed to sit down with some popcorn and watch The Simpsons movie that my brother got as a gift.

So, really, you'll thank me for this, but if you keep things simple (especially if you've got a lot of people showing up at all sorts of different times), it makes a huge difference, and no one should spend their Christmas Day chained to their stove cooking like mad. Yes, it is nice to blow people's minds when you cook something absolutely awesome and complicated, but during the holiday's it doesn't pay off. Yes. You eat well, but you wind up missing out on a lot of fun.

Perhaps if it was just me and a small family, things would be different. But, I had probably forty or fifty people show up throughout the day (some even made return trips).

Anyway, this is just me patting myself on the back. I do hope you all had a great Christmas Day filled with smiling faces and enough presents to spoil you for a while.

As for me, I suppose if anyone should ask me what the best present I received this year was, I'd have to tell them that it was Time. I actually was able to put my feet up, eat, have a glass of wine (or many), watch a movie, play with my nieces and nephews, tell dirty jokes with my brothers, and that is something I rarely get to do, and being able to do it all in one day is a tremendous rarity.

So yeah. I had a great Christmas. And, I'm pretty sure anyone who walked through my door did as well.

Still... A Playstation 3 would have been nice, dammit!


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/25/2007 10:00:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Quote of the Week

From this story, we have the quote of the week, if not, quite possibly, the quote of the year:
"We are very pleased to have so much support for this project and anticipate a great deal of public interest in the long awaited return of the beaver to Scotland."
--David Windmill (Royal Zoological Society of Scotland)


Don't look at me like that.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/25/2007 02:12:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Merry Christmas!

I'm hoping everyone has a well and wonderful day today, and hopefully you will all find yourselves surrounded by those things which bring comfort to your world --be it your family, your friends, or your faith, whatever puts a smile on your face and makes this day a great one for you, I hope it finds its way to you.

As for me, it seems to be a hot mug of strong coffee, an electric blanket around my feet, and a Stargate marathon on the SciFi channel. In a couple of hours, the thundering horde of marauders that is my family will be spinning in and out of the door, but I am going to take this moment to relax and think about warm things on this frozen, winter morning.

Merry Christmas, friends.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/25/2007 10:52:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] A Follow Up.

Christmas Day -- Will Smith responds.
"It is an awful and disgusting lie," Smith said in a statement. "It speaks to the dangerous power of an ignorant person with a pen. I am incensed and infuriated to have to respond to such ludicrous misinterpretation."

Well, now... That's kind of what I was trying to say, but it took me, umm, a few more words to do so.

I honestly feel sorry for the guy, and I'm amazed this story even got the traction that it did. And, after reading some of the comments tacked on to a few of the articles I've read about this, it's amazing how quickly people were jumping on the proverbial bandwagon to scuttle this guy's career when, to see the truth, all anyone need do is simply engage his or her under-used brain for a few seconds to clearly see that Will Smith most certainly didn't say the words that some idiot reporter is putting into his mouth.

This is one of the things that I find most troubling about living in this day and age where the media are not only able, but openly encouraged to lie in order to further whatever agenda they may have. Turn on just about any cable news outlet (Fox News in particular), and you'll see this sort of unethical tactic employed time and time again. All it takes is a little "tweaking" of the truth, and we are suddenly tumbling ass over tea kettle down that slippery slope into a world where the news no longer is satisfied with objectively reporting the simple facts of the day's events, but they have also taken on the task of shaping public opinion.

Anyway, one of the things I find myself thinking about is how long this reporter's blatant lie will dog Will Smith. There are already fans of his out there who have written him off as a result of whatever misguided heartbreak they feel. People are whimpering and sad and angry and disgusted at this "revelation," yet their emotions are built upon a lie scribbled by an idiot.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/25/2007 10:37:00 AM

Monday, December 24, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Welcome to the Eve...

Hey folks. It's Christmas Eve, and though some of you may be home drinking the monster eggnog your brother makes with lighter fluid, others of you may be standing atop the lethal slopes of the dreaded K2 like Lane Meyer getting set for a fast and painful descent into Christmas.

Obviously, I have no idea why the movie Better Off Dead is trapped inside my skull this morning. It just is.

Anyway, I'll be off cooking all day. I've decided to make a mountain of wings with all sorts of wicked-yummy dipping sauces for the holiday fest that is my brother's annual Christmas Eve bash.

So, I hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday time today, and if you've got children, good luck getting them to sleep before midnight.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/24/2007 10:21:00 AM

Sunday, December 23, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] A Disgusting Hit Job!

So, apparently "people" are "shocked" that Will Smith allegedly stated that Hitler was a "good person."

It's a story which I am sure will be making the rounds, and unfortunately, it's a complete and total fabrication, and I honestly wouldn't blame Mr. Smith if he grabbed a frothy mouthed lawyer and took the "journalists" responsible for this hit job to task.

Here's the article. Let me know if you actually see anything in there which would show Will Smith as saying that Hitler was a good person:

Smith: 'Hitler was a good person'

Will Smith has stunned the world by declaring that even Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was essentially a "good" person.

The Men In Black star, 39, is determined to see the best in people, and is convinced the former German leader did not fully understand the extent of the pain and suffering his actions would cause during his time in power in the 1930s and '40s.

He says, "Even Hitler didn't wake up going, 'Let me do the most evil thing I can do today'."

I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was 'good'. Stuff like that just needs reprogramming.

Hitler's totalitarian leadership as Fuhrer during 1934 until his eventual suicide in 1945 resulted in the persecution of an estimated six million Jews in the Holocaust, and his invasion of Poland in 1939 led to the start of the Second World War.

So, what do you think? Is Will Smith saying that Hitler was a good person, or is he saying that Hitler believed he was doing good?

There's a difference there, and it's a genuine shame that some talentless, tabloid hack can't see it because he or she is excited to the point of pissing him or herself at the opportunity to twist an innocent man's words so as to besmirch what I think is one of the very few spotless characters in Hollywood.

This is not a scoop. This is a complete and total lie by this reporter. Will Smith does not think Hitler was a good person. Will Smith believes that Hitler thought Hitler was a good person. And, I'm going to side with Mr. Smith and agree that I seriously doubt Hitler woke up in the morning with the giddy desire to be the most evil human being known to man. I think Hitler was crazy, and I think Hitler was evil. But, I also think Hitler thought in his twisted mind that what he was doing was the best thing for the German people.

That is really what Will Smith was saying; however, his words are obviously beyond the comprehension of whatever half-witted, slobbering infant interpreting what was a rather insightful and eloquent statement.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, I'm certain Will Smith will be strung up and crucified as a result of some brainless reporter's zeal to destroy the image of a perfectly innocent, and unusually kind and gracious movie star for no other reason than... Well.... Who knows?

Anyway, I'm sure you'll probably be hearing a lot about this as the grist hits the gossip mill. Just do yourselves a favor and try to remember the truth to the matter, and don't give this unworthy story any legs with which to kick an innocent man. This is nothing more than someone trying to knock one of Hollywood's few remaining good people down a notch. And, I hope the disgraceful and dishonest fools at World Entertainment News Network (WENN) have the good sense to print a retraction and an explanation as to the punishment of the authors and editors involved in this disgusting hit job.

News should, at the very least, report the facts. This is Journalism 101. And, if the facts are something which are viewed as an obstacle to be manipulated and twisted until they tumble into the realm of the dishonest so as to further an agenda, then what remains is something which is more fabrication than a piece of genuine interest and relevance. And, it's clear from the antics of WENN that their dedication to the truth takes a back seat to the odious self-interest of their unqualified staff.

Now, in the interest of full-disclosure, I should say that I am personally not a big fan of Will Smith. I think he's a hell of a nice guy, but he's not that great of an actor or a musician. But, at least I base my opinions upon reality without the need to make something up just to destroy him or justify my dislikes.

I guess it just disgusts me when I see such obvious dishonesty in journalism. And, the thought that Will Smith's career will most likely take a hit as a result of some intellectually incompetent reporter is simply so damn unfair that it pisses me off. No one deserves this, and I really feel sorry for the guy. I mean, can you imagine that he's now got to explain all this to his children?

I can't imagine that. And, it's a damn shame that anyone should have to go through this.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/23/2007 11:54:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] I Have a Request.

Hi again!

Now, it's been a while since I've posted any pictures with my entries, and though I usually like to illustrate my entries with something odd, I haven't lately, and I don't know why.

I suppose it's because I don't have any new pictures, and I've not taken any lately. So, if you've got some lying around, please feel free to email me one or two. Maybe I'll use them in an entry and write something silly about them. Just, you know, keep it clean.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/23/2007 02:31:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's a Windy City...

Right now, I am happily hopped up on pain meds, and I'm watching my beloved Green Bay Packers as they seem to have forgotten how to play in inclement conditions, and the Bears, those sleazy, grime-coated goons from Chicago, haven't.

It's an ugly, ugly game. The temperature, I think, is somewhere around ten degrees, and there seems to be a gentle, steady breeze of about 40 to 50 miles per hour. I have no idea how to translate that into a wind chill temperature, but I think I can safely say that it's somewhere around sickeningly cold and insufferably nasty.

Nonetheless, as much as I would have loved it if the Packers won, I can't feel terribly bad about this game. The conditions are ugly --I couldn't play football in this nonsense--, and it's just the kind of day where the only thing anyone should be doing is sitting someplace warm with something hot to drink. It seems to me that every bad break is just going the Bears' way.

I think the person I'm most worried about on that Packers' roster would have to be their punter, Jon Ryan. His performance today is probably something people will tell their grandchildren about many years from now, and Jon is probably standing there in the freezing cold thinking of hanging himself. Unfortunately, from what I'm seeing today, if he put a noose around his neck, there's a pretty good chance that he wouldn't be able to kick the chair out from under himself. That's the kind of day the poor bastard is having. I've not seen such an epically dreadful performance since the last time Amy Winehouse took the stage in a drunken stupor and spat upon her adoring fans.

On the plus side, Jon Ryan is from Canada. And, Canadians can always be cheered up by a few cold beers (yes. Even in arctic conditions a cold beer is always welcome, and when he gets home to Green Bay, the beers for him will either be cheap or free), and a bucket of French fries with gravy and melted cheese curds on them.

The funny thing is, I'm really not all that upset with this loss. That's kind of odd. I mean, maybe this is a sign of a kinder, gentler Dan? Maybe I've turned over a new leaf? Maybe the Christmas spirit has settled in and I'm all "Mr. Sunshine now?"

Naaah... It's the pills.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/23/2007 01:57:00 PM

Saturday, December 22, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Gazoinks!

My feeds are forked!

Well, not mine personally. I think this blog is still sending out a feed. However, it seems every feed in my NewsGator collection has gone silent, and I am beginning to panic! People out there are writing things, and I'm not seeing them because technology has forsaken me.

The thing is, I've got gobs and gobs of blogs in my feeds list, and I have a feeling once NewsGator sorts out this glitch, I'm going to see a ridiculously huge number of supposedly new updates. The last time this happened, I went out of town for the weekend and came home to find something like 5,000 new things for me to read.

You people are a prolific horde, aren't ya?

Oh yeah... Aside from that, I've also got a bunch of news services on my feeds and those are always jumping (they usually put out about 500 - 1,000 updates a day or so as things happen in the world).

So, I have a request. And, yes. Call me selfish if you need to. But, could you all do me a favor and not write anything or do anything newsworthy until this issue is sorted out? Tell the rest of the world as well. Write your politicians too. It shouldn't be too hard keeping them from doing things (I mean, telling a Congressman not to work is like telling a fat kid to eat cake), but it may be a little rough keeping Larry Craig out of the bathroom and thus out of the news. So, if any of you bump into him, could you suggest that maybe he get a hotel room and keep his antics on the down low for a little while today?

I know it's a little hard getting in touch with the terrorists who always seem to be so eager to get their names and faces in the paper. But, if anyone out there knows a terrorist, could you maybe pass that message around as well? Tell them just to take some time off. It shouldn't be more than a few days. They can play World of Warcraft or Halo 3 if they need something to pass the time.

As for President Bush, well... I think to keep him from being in the news, it might be best to just lead him into the Oval Office with a handful of Slim Jims and tell him not to come out until he finds a corner. That should at least occupy his time until the New Year.

So, remember, if we work together, we can make a difference. And, to those of you who have already written or done something newsworthy, I apologize for not knowing about it.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/22/2007 10:25:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Saturday.... Saturday...

So, who's doing what this weekend?

Is anyone actually silly enough to try and get some last-minute shopping done? Or, are my readers more sensible in that they will spend the next couple of days with their feets up with a tall glass or a steaming mug of cheer in their hands?

As for me... Well... This Saturday is an absolute "nothing" day. Seriously, I have absolutely nada on the list of things to do. I mean, if I become ambitious (which is ridiculously improbable), I may install some new pickups into my dusty, under-played Stratocaster just for kicks and giggles. But, I'm afraid that would lead to the urge to play the damn thing, and the end result of that would be sore fingers and whatnots.

I may go for a walk --or waddle-- in the fog since I always think foggy walks are cool. I'm not sure why, either. It's just sort of cool slinking and skulking around in the mist and haze of a foggy winter day.

Anyway, what's going on out there in your worlds? Christmas is upon us, so some of you may actually be traveling to be with family and friends, and if that's the case, do be safe and if you're flying, don't forget to take a deep breath and count to ten when muddling your way through the TSA.

Well, I think I'll be off for the day. Have a great weekend everyone, and if you're off until Wednesday, do yourselves a favor and do what you can to forget you even have a job.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/22/2007 09:28:00 AM

Friday, December 21, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] My Email...

Lately, I've not really been getting a whole heap of email. Usually, I get a ton from people condemning me for one thing or another, and I will admit, sometimes the things I write do step on people's toes now and then. But, lately, it's been slow.

On the other hand, I did get one email from someone who strikes me as a little mean and nutty:
Dear Dan,

How can you not believe in our Savior Jesus Christ and celebrate Christmas? Our Lord knows all and knows what a fraud you are and that your just using Christ as an excuse to have fun.
I'm kind of disappointed in that this is the craziest email I've gotten in the past several weeks (of course, that doesn't count the spam I get where I apparently have amassed quite a fortune in international lotteries which apparently, I can spend on a magical pill to increase my bra size so as to please my man.). I'm kind of sad about it too. I miss my crazies. I've even printed out some of the emails to keep in a file just in case I ever wind up in therapy. I'd like to have that resource available for when I'm on that couch, wearing a tin-foil hat and telling the shrink that the ink blot I'm looking at looks like an angry clown driving a school bus full of mimes over a cliff. I want to be able to whip those emails out and say "Look, Doc. I may be abso-freakin'-lutely insane, but here are some real folks you need to worry about."

Lately though, it's been quiet... Almost too quiet... Perhaps the nutters are regrouping? Maybe the religious crazies have reached some sort of deal with the secular crazies, and they are just biding their time until they can unload upon me a massive assault of brain-shredding madness.

Then again, perhaps I'm just being paranoid. I mean, they could be busy wrapping Christmas presents for all I know.

Anyway, speaking of Christmas and how I go about celebrating it, it's actually pretty easy. On Christmas Eve, I go to my brother's house where this massive clan of mine gathers to tell jokes, laugh and just enjoy the company of one another. We eat a lot. Occasionally a gift may be exchanged, and as is always the case, there's never enough beer; so, at some point in the evening, several of us will inevitably have to hop in the one-horse open sleigh and head over the river and through the woods to find the nearest open liquor store.

Now, the really ironic thing is that up until the 1970's (I think it was the 70's it may have even been later), my brother's house was originally a small church. For some reason, that always cracks me up.

After whooping it up there, I usually tend to ramble my way home to get to bed. Sometimes, there's an after party at my niece's house which always gets way out of hand, but as far as I know, this year I am planning on just heading home.

On Christmas Day, I usually go through the same morning ritual as I always do (spill coffee, trip over cats, swear a lot, etc.). Then, when and if I am sufficiently conscious, I start cooking because throughout the entire day, my house will be peppered with family and friends usually roaming in and out and in and out, turning my furnace into a spastic, rattling little collection of sheet metal and ductwork.

Poor thing. Now I know how my father's Volvo felt all those years ago when I was first learning how to drive a manual transmission.

Anyway, that's my Christmas. I just surround myself with the smiling faces of family and friends, and I have absolutely no need to give any sort of supernatural being credit for those smiles and feelings of comfort. I'll thank those who are actually responsible for those things.

Nonetheless, I do hope all your Christmases are wild and wonderful regardless of what you believe. Just make sure you do what you can to enjoy the holiday in whatever way works best for you.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/21/2007 08:29:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Pain Management...

Well, I'm thinking there's going to be a pretty good chance I will wind up in the emergency room this weekend.

Don't worry. It's nothing tremendously wrong or overly life threatening. It's just that my doctor seems to have a pain management philosophy roughly akin to that of your garden variety school nurse.

So, let's see... What exactly am I taking for pain?

First, I was prescribed 50 to 100 mg of Tramadol three times a day as need for pain. It's a fair medication (it's what did in Ol' Dirty Bastard), and it helps with the little joints such as those at the ends of my fingers and toes. It really doesn't do much for anything else such as the knees, neck, elbows, ankles, wrists, lower back, and most of the tendons in my hands and feet which keep me from straightening my fingers and toes (that's actually a recent thing, and, oh my god, it hurts like freakin' hell. If you've ever taken a misstep and tweaked that tendon that runs along the bottom of your foot roughly where the arch is, you know what I'm talking about. That's what I'm wrestling with every hour of every day, and it's maddening).

Anyway, when those don't work well enough, I boost them up a bit with a side-car of Tylenol 3... I gun down two of those as well, and instead of the prescribed "every four hours," I've had days where taking two every hour still wasn't enough.

Advil. I take a lot of Advil. They're like Skittles, and I eat so many of those that I wish they came in different flavors. Sour cherry would be my favorite. I'm a huge fan of sour candy.

So, yesterday, I got the ball rolling on the begging and pleading for my Enbrel. I called one foundation after another to see if they could do anything, and I think I managed to find one to help.

That's a good thing.

No... That's a very good thing.

However, I don't expect any answers until after the New Year (leave it to me to have this odd collapse of health during the freakin' holidays), and so, to get me through the ever-increasing aches and pains I, once again, asked my doctor if she could prescribe something to maybe keep me from succumbing to the urge of driving my Jeep into a bridge abutment at top speed until the Enbrel idiots come through for me.

So, what did she prescribe?


She prescribed Aleve and Pepcid.


Now, at first, I thought she was pretty dense for doing such. I mean, I'm not a doctor, but I don't believe an OTC anti-inflammatory is going to work any better than a prescription opiate such as Tylenol 3. And, as for the Pepcid, well... My stomach is pretty much the only thing that doesn't hurt.

However, after thinking a little more about it, I realized that the only time I'd ever taken that combination previously was the morning after an unholy binge-drinking bender of beer, whiskey and Jagermeister at the end of Hell Week in college when I slaughtered a semester's worth brain cells over the course of one evening.

So, maybe she's expecting me to just drink myself stupid for the next several weeks, and though I don't really have a big problem with this course of treatment, it's going to be a pain in the ass because, since I've been on all these pain meds, I've not had so much as a single beer in months (I think it was the first Packer game of this year's football season).

Yup. It's going to be one of those kinds of holidays. On the plus side, though, with the Pepcid, I think I may actually be able to finally try my brother's Christmas clam dip of death and abdominal distress without too much trouble. It's nasty, and I think it's made with a combination of old, canned clams, pepper-spray and battery acid.

So, we'll see what happens. So far, things aren't terribly bad, but I do know that once the sun sets and the cold, damp dread of winter seeps in, things are going to start hurting more and more.

Now, as I am writing this, the news is broadcasting a story about how Cigna Health Care essentially murdered a 17 year old girl just in time for Christmas (more and more). I hope someone makes a massive example of these inhuman bastards at Cigna, and hopefully they'll hemorrhage stockholders as a result. I have zero tolerance for these sorts of criminals, and no one should decide whether a person lives and dies in such an arbitrary manner as this.

The sad thing is, I could probably find at least one story a day about this sort of thing. In America. Where people are supposedly treated with equality. But, it's clear health care is immune to the notions of equality, and it has gotten to the point where it's less about saving lives and considerably more about extorting what they can out of the sick and dying.

I wonder what would happen if everyone in America just stopped paying their premiums. I'd rather be taxed and have my money go toward not only my own health care, but the care of others, rather than fork over gobs of cash to a corrupt and greedy industry which may or may not use that money to help you.

Something to think about, I guess. And, I wonder how much worse it has to become before people are held accountable for these sorts of things.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/21/2007 11:40:00 AM