Time to break the the fast[s]…and maybe take the air out of a few balloons…

RFLKRNEW1061It is that time of year. Birds return to the northern hemisphere, baseball arrives to take the mind of many off of their troubles for about 2 hours each game [as well as supplant 'March Madness'] and around here there is an annual fast. This begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday, midnight EST. In the case here, [as was mentioned to **** and a few others] it involes giving up eating red meat, soda and some other things. This year, that litany included fast food, fried foods, any snack bars that did not include dark chocolate…but what was on the acceptable list were fruits, veggies, seafood, low sugar or no sugar added food/drink. All of this under the careful supervision of TheRoyalBadnesses, Catfishing4which makes me happy that they care.[This along with encouragement from the people who I am close to via Facebook, Twitter and those who know me from the thrice weekly trips to the Kroger, Safeway and the 2x a month pilgrimages to Subway...along with the Tri-Met drivers I am a shrink for]. After all, they want their mom to be around, as opposed to being laid up in the hospital.


The other valid reason for doing this has to do with, in roughly 2 weeks after this is posted, I see Steve the cardio for the yearly. And I want to show to him…as you see in the pics here…that the diet has been held to. That the ‘riot act’ took and in spite of the conventional wisdom of some that such a thing is not being ‘authentic’, the benefits of doing so more than made sense. Granted, being in good shape means that when I do see my Iowa brother [if one lived in Minnesota for a while like I did years back, someone from Iowa is considered practically a relative :)] the conversation will be less about the numbers and more likely about the fact that the Hawkeyes did not make it out of the initial round of 64 this year. Ok, the Golden Gophers did not get close to that, but that is another issue LOL. Anyhow….if truth be told, the fact is that I enjoy the visits with him, as I do with the other members of the ‘Gang Of Five’. If for no other reason than the fact that they are on the level, honest and are not there in the office to hawk some agenda or another.

RFLKRNEW1058When the pics did get developed [yes you read that right] I was pleasantly surprised for a couple reasons. One being that while the film is somewhat old [2003 to be exact], it proved that what was mentioned in the ads, as well as the technical papers which are still up on the AGFA website, or available via the wayback machine…that the colors are still true. Amazingly true and balanced. The other was that like with the digital [AGFA as well *S*] the images showed that the work leading up to same was constant. Granted, with the digital, the color had to be saturated a little so that even the inbetween shades can show up a little better. Which is ok, the right software can help in this. But the work in before the images were taken is what I am really happy with.

Consistency is a good hallmark, especially if it means that one is doing what is in their best interests, the right reasons sans any of the rather negative influences that abound. It is those inluences that are troubling, if not downright disturbing. Not just on the visage front, there are those concerning how one is supposed to ‘think’ based on gender, race, religion…you get the idea. And if one does not do so…then one is picked on like this was back in grade school or worse is not even talked to. For example, let’s take the ‘groupthink’ issue. Orwell had mentioned in ’1984′ how this concept can be used to control the masses, so that no one is able to think or reason for themselves. [Another example could be gleaned from the runup and the end result of what happened in Europe during the middle of the last century...but I will save that history lesson for another time, let alone those who I tutor]. When the conditions are right, this type of ‘fog of war’ is able to settle in and cause a lack of rationality, as well as a lack of respect for others. Be it the ethnic background, their religion, gender and other collections of items. Some of the biggest practicioners of this rather ugly level of discourse are those who have taken up the quixoitic cause of ‘diversity’, yet via words or other displays are doing that in name only. Now one has to give these folks credit for consistency, in that, they are consistently showing that ignorance, intellectual dishonesty along with groupthink are alive and well. The shame of this is that this is germanating from the generation that had parents from the 1960′s. Put another way, possibility along with sacrifice [the latter being akin to the social contract where everyone is interconnected, etc] have gone the way of the Plymouth division of Chrysler.

There is a cure for this, which is no different than what a cure would be for the malaise that keeps the urban core of the US in such dire straits, that keeps some rural areas in postions where not much has changed in the past 2-3 generations. Something like Scrooge’s epiphany. Before someone says that this is a mixed metaphor due to the season, actually the epiphany in this case has no time limit or expiration date. It will require some to grow up, realize that in some cases, while their progress in employment or education was based on hard work, it was at times more often based on twisted forms of privilege. It requires some not to dismiss those of us who do speak out against the hypocrisy of diversity, as much as we have listened and witnessed these said same folks sgo stroke about their toys, the notches on the bedpost while engaged in ‘horizontal enrichment’ or how they were able to ‘game’ the system to have elective items performed [while others can barely afford to get a yearly exam]. It would definitely require levels of honesty that some may not have heard in a long time, if ever. This is something where, to quote Gene Kranz, who worked for NASA all those years ago…’FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!!’ Plus with more in this life to do and hopefully one day being able to meet those who mean a great deal to me, failing to be around for that courtesy of being illogical about the health is not an option.

Getting back to so good news, there has been that. For one, the family shop is still in business, even though some of the problems in terms of money would be enough for the Mets to claim a utility infielder off of waivers, it is still running. There is some media work that will happen in a few months, with the music under a couple of them thanks to Jim McCarty and Jon Camp from Renaissance. And these pieces are from the classic 5 era, which is a tribute to the musicianship then….something that still carries on, by the way. So there is that….

Also and this is not to sound like a parent [although I am beaming like one], the folks who I tutor are doing very well in their classes, projects and tests. I have never been prouder of folks in my life, due to the fact this is a legacy. What we have gone over, no one…NO ONE can ever take away from them And there will be a time when they will pay it forward. Not just to their own children…but to others. Not based on any agenda, outside of the fact that they will be passing on in a positive vein, knowledge that will help in the future and can in turn be passed on and on and on….

Before I close this out..if you have noticed in the pics there was an improvement in the image, this is a tribute to the folks I run with [To list would take the rest of my space here on WordPress, but they have, they are and they do have one hell of a style, each to their own] . Again…I cannot say enough about what does happen in the way of exchanging ideas and then seeing the end results of same. To be honest, they set a very very high bar. I am lucky if I can get within 1/256th of what I see on a daily basis when I log in. But through those inspirational pics, I try to to up the game here. It may sound a little like an odd tribute to my friends who live here in the US, as well as in the EU and Asia….but it’s a way of also saying that ‘y’all are showing how this can be done and this is to say thanks for leading the way’. No different than how things happen when I tutor.



So there You have it…..and as promised to a particular party…the new pics are here after the fast. Til next month’s ‘riot act’ *S*….from the land of the colourtini….enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air.

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Reality, honesty and other items are not just ‘concepts’ or ‘playthings’

RFLKRNEW1053If one is wondering or in looking at the sbubject line that this is going to be some type of internet-based sermon, or even something akin to ‘______’ [fil in the blank] shaming, no that is not the case. But we are in a world where even those words, those very words are more like ‘concepts’ to be brought, uttered so some can feel as though they are doing something important. A feather in the cap that says ‘what a good person I am’, etc. But I am going to save the editorial comments about that for a little later on.

Since the last dispatch, while there has been a major upswing in the amount of business at the family shop, there has been a problem with the funds that are needed to clear things up. Conversations and chats via a circuitous route have shown that there are several, rather severe outstanding amounts. If one is wondering how much, for those of a certain age, think of how much it would have cost for a major league team to have claimed a utility infielder off of waivers and one would get the idea. Yes, it is that amount. What is scary and at the same time disappointing is how things got to this point. And there is a deep level of disappointment in that one would think that others would have done the right or the honest things to insure that a legacy would exist beyond a finite arena of time.

RFLKRNEW1046When these issues are either closer to being resolved or being same in fullthe odds are we can then move ahead with the advertising that has been waiting in the wings. In that stead, as was mentioned to **** a few nights back, I was able to secure the clearance and renew same on two songs by Renaissance. One of them is a little more than apt, considering world events. As beautiful as it is, there is a deep irony in the lyrics that the late Betty Thatcher had penned for same [if you are wondering which song, it is the second track from the Renaissance album 'Prologue'] but for what is being planned, it’s the lovely instrumental opening. John Tout showed even early on that his piano work was out of this world….and it is from there we will draw the aural imprint.

As for what is going on here, well we have been dealing with the less than honest intentions [my term here] of those who want to use some of the space the landlord has for moving out to this part of town problems the more respectable section of the city do not want to have or see. We are not the only city where this happens, hence this is not something where I am saying ‘woe is me’. Far from it, this has to so with that funny little idea of the ‘social contract’. The ‘shared burden’ of a society to be their ‘brother’s keeper’. It seems that this is something that is one of those lovely bromides that is discussed either in houses of worship during that time of the week, or at city council meetings when the cameras are on. But what is honestly happening is that those folks who would be better suited to being ‘second story men and women’[kids, ask your parents about that term] are exiled from the gentrified sections of the town to be marginalized out in the deep burbs. In this city’s case, the east side of town. Out of sight…out of mind….out of range of the cameras. Unless of course, it’s sweeps time. Then it’s time to go out and point fingers in the name of a few ratings points or even sicker, try to get votes. What a city…then again too, what a country.

RFLKRNEW1055And that in it’s own way get into something that has been bothering me for quite some time. Well, myself and others who are seeing the ‘level playing field’ for what it is, with the hypocrisy in same. As what happened in Florida and Arizona. What was sad about the Florida situation is that it exposed to the rest of the planet that the US seems to feel as though that if those who are are of a different hue look ‘threatening’ then it is ok to kill them. After all, the law will protect them from being prosecuted for murder….and it will be ok to even bully those said same ones of color into being extremely afraid of just walking the streets. Or even going to the store. And there is a rather sick and ugly connection to what happened in Arizona re: a religious liberties bill . The common conduit here is that there are those activists in Arizona who want to be protected from a business refusing to do business with same due to an objection about lifestyle or other issues, are some of the same ones who see nothing wrong with someone being killed in Florida due to ‘the law being the law’.  That may seem a tad simplistic, but if this were brought down to street level, one has to look at who was involved in the activism in Arizona and those are simply wanting to be able to live without fear in Florida and they will see something rather scary. If not sickening. This has to do with that some feel their rights are to be protected above the letter of the law that others have to follow, while others who they claim to share a ‘kindred spirit’ about civil rights are to be placed back in the steerage section of the bus.

Let’s be clear here: no one…as has been said from here before is in favor of discrimination in any form. And this is something I stress to all of those who I close to, who I tutor and who I consider and call members of my extended family. Yes, if Rae and Marty were human….I would tell them the same thing. But what I am also not in favor of is blatant hypocrisy on the parts of those who claim to know better. Especially those who I have a common characteristic with, that being …a part of the same generation. Not only are the attitudes which were mentioned in the above paragraph rather common among those who have a few years or even a decade and a half beyond the half-century mark, but this has been passed on/down to others. Especially to the younger generation…no matter what the melanin level or even the gender status or who they love. Those who are impressionable and want to find a place to belong or something that says ‘gee I am just like the ones who came before me’. Again thankfully, this is not an occurance among the kids who I am around, or the adults who do know the score. Thank God for them, if only due to the fact they have a mature mindset, even while they are playful at the same time. But we seem to be in a bit of a minority, being honest enough to walk away from the clouds of myopia….not willing to blatantly deride others to fit in a group of other folks practicing derision. Then again, growing up is not something all do…which is why be it businesses or even places where those of the senior set want to gather bear a resemblance to a cross of kindergarten and high school…except no one graduated. If there is a solution or light at the end of the tunnel, it’s that maybe someday some may get a Scrooge-like epiphany. But at times, hoping for that is like asking that the Chicago Cubs actually get to a World Series and ….perish the thought……win.

RFLKRNEW1049Before closing this, if you have noticed two different hairstyles/colors used in the pics, this was part of something inspired by the folks I run with. Meaning the wine red ones.  For one, yes this color can happen naturally for those of us with built-in suntans, this has to do with that funny little thing about ‘A,T,G,C’ and Peptide bonds [Middle/High School Biology, folks]…as well as other factors. And for another, I like the color….although I will not wear it to see a member of the ‘gang of five’, but it’s something to have around in case there is something I do want to go to and try something a tad different.  Lastly, I wanted to see if I could do this as well as some of those who I hang out with online. These will get better soon enough, over time *S*


So there you have it……a little news, some pics and some food for thought til the next time. And until that next said same dispatch….from the land of the Colourtini….enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air…

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Back to our usual program……and other thoughts..

RFLKRNEW1037If one is wondering what the subject matter means, it has nothing to do with the current winter games that are going on and causing a little havoc with the television viewing patterns of those in the US. After all, some of us who are used to staying up late to watch movies are now getting used to watching curling and skeleton. Odd too that ‘skeleton’ is now a sport, considering kids have been doing this on sleds for years. In our neighborhood, this was considered an introduction to the ‘I want to be like Evel Knievel Club’, due to us acting foolhardy….and not having any protective gear.

So in any event let’s catch up on a few things. The family shop is for all intents, on a form of financial life support. Without deliniating the gory details, such as they are…the fact that the state has not gotten into this…even though there is a ‘grace period’ on businesses that are in flux after the passing of an owner, the fact that NYS is slow on the draw has been a minor blessing. Along with that though has been the curse of those being involved in the situation who have less than honorable or honest motives. This is not meant to be mean, per se. There are those who have brought the level of pettyness, that seems more the arena and prevue of the talk show circuit geared to the less intellectually gifted among us into the workplace. And some wonder why there are those who are openly hostile to some when it comes down to employment or education. Going into how that happened could be termed as visceral, but truth is not always a pretty thing.

RFLKRNEW1041As for the health issues, those are stable. Ironically, the cold I had a
few days ago was the first one  that happened here in close to a year. That is a record. A year….which goes to how well the diet and other items do work here. As well as understanding that if one does not want to be read a riot act or see numbers that indicate one should be making a reservation for the day when they meet St. Peter…then one does the right thing. Yes, it means not having that active a social life, but giving into that type of peer pressure can only result in this person being on her back in hospital again and as much as I love the folks who did work on getting me back to health, I do not love them that much to make a return visit.Plus the cats would be hyper-upset if I were to not be here. After all, whoever would be taking care of them does not know where the stash of pot, I mean catnip is.

Plus as was mentioned to ****, as well as the cats…I am back to tutoring again. This is sill as fun as it was before. It has less to that feeling of being needed, this is more about…passing on what is known here and also letting those know that in some cases what is being taught may or may not be the overall common parlance. For example, what is being mentioned in some cases in re: English is still based on what many of us kids heard on the radio, thanks to the BBC wireless service. Those were and STILL are fantastic courses, but how the language usage [syntax and context] has morphed can cause some problems. Which is where I come in and explain that what could be considered to be acceptable is more or less a minor colloquialism, but may not work when one is in an office setting. [Think in terms of how 'Brooklynese' would work in a movie about baseball, but does not operate rather well if one is in the corporate office of let's say a Fortune 500 firm.

While doing this, I also do research on other issues, to back up my own knowledge of same and it is rather sad, if not frightening that many here in the US are using junk science, as well as ethnocentric based thought patterns to advance a social movement. Not necessarily for the right reasons, but for selfish ones.  No one, least of all yours truly is in favor of any type of discrimination [except towards those who are felons who have, to be blunt have violated society's rules and as such deserve derision] but when things are done, via using lies about government programs, etc. to justify an action, then is it any wonder why there are some who look upon those in a particular sector with anger and at times, disgust. It calls into question if people actually have read about what they are protesting for, as well as understand the possible outcome[s] of same. As for those using bad science to say their points are valid, what many are not that aware of is that some of what they are using to advance their points had been done before. But when that did happen, it was done during the middle of the last century, by folks who were using same to turn parts of the world into their [quoting Rod Serling] ‘own personal burial ground’ [see the script for 'Deathshead Revisited' ....a classic Twilight Zone episode that needs to be seen to understand that the same level of arrogance on the part of the agenda pushers is similar to that of the main character in the script]. Sadly perhaps these folks just wanted to change a couple words to feed deficient egos, as well as create a greedy level of social change for some honorable, but many purient purposes.

Now if the above sounded a tad terse, it was meant that way. Part of any honest discussion….ANY HONEST DISCUSSION of what the society is coming to is going to need that. No patronizing, no propaganda, no lying. It also requires us to openly admit that we have created, fostered and established an ugly  profit motive into an environment, where only some lives are considered valuable due to hue or melanin levels, while others can be killed without thought, conscience and in some very very sick ways….rewarded. Plus, if this is related to some level of social psychosis, the seeds for not correcting this were set in motion when the shift was from remedying these ills [which some have actually used as excuses for being racist or against a particular religion] in a somewhat more clinical setting and letting them be dealt with in places that are akin to Attica or via psychoactive medications, which in their own way, may have helped to hasten these problems. Again, this may not be nice to hear, but facts are not nice to look at, especially when they indicate that the US is looking at repeating what other ‘empires’ have done. And we know from the records the end results.

So that is it for now. The schedule needs to be adhered to again so I am awake, let alone available to tutor for the next few weeks. That schedule means I do need to keep to the diet because a visit to Steve the Cardio is on the boards soon and the last thing I want is another riot act *S*


RFLKRNEW1044So from the land of the colourtini…..and til after the next oilchange or strange incidents with humans…..enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air…

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Of all things…the year turns, but the old problems and foibles are still consistent…

RFLKRNEW1009Before I get to the meat of this post, you are going to see a lot of pics with the main colors of either the Chiefs or the Chargers. I promised TheRoyalBadnesses that I would do this, seeing their teams did not make it to the conference championship round. Yes…that one for the chance to play at ‘Ice Station Zebra’, I mean Met Life Stadium in New Jersey. If they wanted it to do this in a place that is used to the cold, the ‘Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field’ would have sufficed. However will leave that debate for another time….

For one….this year started out a little better than the last, in that the health is still stable. The ability to run for the bus is still as good as it was before, maybe getting even better due to just making a few more slight tweaks to the diet, which in turn keeps the weight down so the joints do not have to work overtime.  This actually is a great thing, if only due to seeing quite a few in the same age group here basically giving up the spirit of being able to do anything, sans a scooter. I am not trying to be mean about this, far from it. And yes, there are cases where one can and does need to have this type of assist. It’s those who actually are lazier than earthworms who seem to want to do this 24/7 and yet, are the same ones who wonder why their leg muscles have all of a sudden, atrophied to the point of being painful to just put on shoes.  But that is not a worry on this end in the least.

Secondly…..there is the issue with the family shop. To be kind, it has turned into a somewhat more bizarre affair. Without giving away more than is already a matter of record, or will soon be public in some way shape and or form….there are more letters being sent trying to make my oldest nephew out to be the villain in this situation. While each of us makes mistakes [Lord knows I have...the cats and even **** will tell you that] there is something to be said about those who wish to pile on, in turn trying to make one seem like the stereotype. It’s rather reprehensible, disgusting, despicable, vindictive,  as well as completely out of character for those who are making the accusations. And if truth be told, if it were not for my oldest nephew, who could wheel and deal with the best of them [even with the likes of a Gordon Gecko] the odds are better than even money, the surrogate courts, as well as others would have shut the place down right after the old man had passed on. Plus a lot of those tricks were the same ones dad taught me and there was and is still nothing wrong with them. Not at all….hence one has to wonder why someone would go completely off their rocker to target one person and in turn, destroy a business.

RFLKRNEW1024While the year has changed, sadly another aspect that has not….and it is somewhat disheartening to see this..is the constant whining among those say that the world is being hard on them because they belong to the alphabet soup umbrella. Odd, if only due to the fact that when those who are minorities thanks to other items [ethnicity, religion, disability] discuss similar items in their day to day, they are dismissed. This is a consistent theme that one can see all over the net, as well as being played out in real life off line. It’s almost as though, the social contract, where everyone is to be valued or helped in achieving even the basics, as to improve their state of life is ignored, unless they fit ‘X’, ‘Y’ or ‘Z’. And with the umbrella group, this is more common than is let on. Not with all, hell I know quite a few who are like me….where this is 1/xxx of whatever is going on, which means……surprise…..there are more aspects to this life than that one blatant, bordering on Bellevue-level obsession. One has to wonder what would happen if there was a more honest assessment and discussion of what is going on and why certain things work as they do. Yes, one has to wonder because, to quote a line from ‘Dr Strangelove’: ‘…Truth is not always a very pretty thing….’.

RFLKRNEW1009Another consistent item is the tutoring , which makes me happy that it still goes on. There is a beauty and a reward when this goes well. After all , it’s an extention of what I do with my cats as it is. As in, if Rae and Marty were my human daughters, what would I want to teach them about the world, what can be done to augment and supplement what is being taught in the classroom. What is still so darn cool…..someone gets that good grade, someone wows a teacher or gets ahead in their profession, because of a little boost from here.  That truly makes the day….

RFLKRNEW1017Before I close this one out….I do need to mention that I got a package a few days ago, from overseas. Russia to be exact from Ana S. who I have mentioned here before. She is a dear friend of mine and we have a few people in common.  We exchange a lot of chats, as well as a couple items being sent from here to her and her mom. Well imagine my surprise when in this box, which had pictures, some candies and chocolates….there was this:

Ana'sGift 1WOW….I mean WOW. Ana’s mom is an artist and from this, I can see where Ana gets that quality and drive to do her own work on Tumblr. Again it’s a wow……and another reason why I am so happy to have her as my friend.



So there you have it…..to begin the year. And until the next dispatch….from the land of the colourtini….enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air.

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To start the year…..a good ‘oilchange’ and ’208′ is not a bad number either….

RFLKRNEW1021If one is wondering about the pic at the left, as well as the title…..this has to do with a couple issues. The pic is to show support for the junior partner’s fave football team, the San Diego Chargers. During the last weekend of the NFL season, Marty’s Bolts beat Rae’s Kansas City Chiefs in overtime to get into the playoffs and that is not a bad thing in the least. Although, here in the flat it was touch and go during that game, because if the Chargers did not get into the playoffs…the NFL version of the ‘big dance’, then the local urgent care clinic would have been the next call. And the top is in navy blue, a Charger alternate color. If one looks at the team page or over at Wikipedia, they would see the Bolts do have 3 different jersey tops, 3 different types of pants and 3 different helmets. At the risk of showing my age, this is no different than what the Pittsburgh Pirates had during the 70′s. In effect, like the Bucs, the Chargers have technically 27 different combinations and can go over 1 1/2 seasons and not wear the same combo 2x. Of course these little facts are not why y’all are reading…however…you can share them during the next poker game [or if you are **** and you are reading this, in the office. Besides, I am more than someone who will speak on and on about Renaissance, the cats and what goes on during those abnormal psychology grad courses, also known as trips to the Kroger *S*]

However, enough of that for the time being. The last ‘oilchange’ of the year yielded a consistent result. That being a 2.24 creatinine level. While this may not mean much to anyone else here, barring they have gone through with someone or are themselves dealing with renal failure….this actually is a good thing. It means that the kidneys, which while they are damaged are still working. Putting up one hell of a fight to be blunt. Also while the failure is still at a [and once again, this is dependent on who's scale one is using] a high level 2 / low level 3…the filters have not gotten worse. For that I am extremely happy, even with the fact this news came over the phone in a message that was a tad on the cryptic side. However, if one does their research and does know how to translate from medical speak to standard parlance, then they are able to get the overall gist.  So the New Year’s Eve mini ‘Twilight Zone’ marathon the kitties and I had here on DVD was more like a quiet celebration as a result.

RFLKRNEW1022As for the mention of ’208′ this has to do with the weight. Yes, you read that right and compared with what it was last year, when I was shooting for less than 198 and came a little close, this is not bad. I realize too, that much like the debate about hair or eye color in some places [Biology lesson time again folks: thanks to that wonderful chemical known as 'DNA' and those funny initials that make that up otherwise...A,T,G and C along with their peptide bonds, these are resident in all humans. It depends on circumstances during the pregnancy period as to how things match up, etc, with the end result being arrived at the usual way. The rest of this in some detail will happen in this space at another time....but the general idea is there], the weight one is another that causes considerable rancor. In the case here and those who are loyal readers [HINT HINT HINT] then you know that when Steve the cardio read the riot act, I listened. It was not easy and during the holidays, the temptations to forgo the diet are omnipresent. But….because of that exam and bloodwork with Todd, I wanted the numbers to be clean, as well as the weight to be down.  Plus, there has been an investment over time in outfits and tops that now really flatter due to same. Again this is not to brag…..far from it and if anyone took this as same, I am sorry…that was not the intent. But this being down and stable…like the creatinine….means I may be around for a little while longer. As well as having to be able to have a visage that says something about being confident, vis a vis what seems to be more present in media than anything else. As in the cartoonish, out of control one that says the kg/lbs are high, but the IQ’s are low….if you see what is meant. [And if one is offended by that, it was not meant to be that offensive. It is that in this flat, in this life here....that does not work due to what can result over the long term as a result of not keeping things in a healthy status. Especially if there has been an investment in time and effort in same by others, more like initially strangers who actually give a damn].

RFLKRNEW1022So with that being the beginning of the year, along with the Chiefs and Chargers both making it to the dance, it would seem things are on the upswing. One can hope. The current situation back east took a rather dark, sinister and sickening term thanks to someone trying to play Perry Mason, without realizing they are really acting like a low rent Dan Fielding. Yes, those are TV lawyer references, but in this case they make sense. Sadder still, is the pettiness that has arisen out of this on the parts of those who want to keep things hidden and blame the issues at the shop on those who actually were helping to bring more business in. If that makes sense to you, please clue me, my cats, my oldest nephew and others who are doing the right thing in this on what the rhyme and reason is in this insanity. If only because, sure as heck….we cannot figure why some people are acting this way, barring they were absorbed by a blob of ignorance and greed that would have been at home on a n episode of ‘The Prisoner’ [kids, on that reference....really ask your parents. It's one that even took me close to 20 years to figure out what it meant...and some adults from that same generation are hardcore fans of the CBS/ITC  program and have a better handle on the meanings in same than I, as well as getting to that much sooner].

Before calling this one to an end, something to consider from a post before NYE arrived [and this was on my FB wall]:

“Happy New Year again all….and something to consider for the next 365.

A while back, there was a documentary on HBO about someone who to this day, I still hold in very high esteem for many, many reasons. One of those was related by someone who worked for him and this has to do what what was said on day one:

‘Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly ……and I mean RELENTLESSLY pursue perfection. We will never achieve perfection, but along the way, we will achieve excellence’

The person who related this story was Bart Starr. The man who made the statement was Vince Lombardi. What he said was and is true in any walk of life and means even more when one knows what Vince’s background was. And unlike those who were his coaching colleagues on other teams….and even compared to those in other lines of work/sectors of society…Vince did not put a qualifier as to who was acceptable on the Packers [or even the Redskins that one year], based upon a societal construct or for that matter, social pressure brought to reward a select few. If one was willing to work hard and was a good person and treated their fellow person, not just in the locker room or the field, but also in their community with dignity and respect….Vince was their strongest ally. Along the way, he did teach them the above lesson…which is something anyone can relate to. One has to wish that others who have developed a myopic, semi-Orwellian based focus as mentioned in his second most famous book, would learn this lesson from a Brooklyn Original as well.”

So there you have it……some of the above not being a  bad way to start the new year. Yes after the playoffs, there will be pics with the jersey color of the team that the kitties root for that advanced. While I have a sense of who that would be, at least let’s let Marty and her Chargers have their moment in the sun.


So til the next dispatch……….from the land of the colourtini…..enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air….


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The 42% Solution and other events….[a post before the end of the year]

RFLKRNEW1009Something says one is looking at the title and thinking that yours truly has actually gone a tad overboard. Or had spent a little too much time watching items on Netflix or BBC America, if only due to the title of this dispatch has the ring of a somewhat obscure ‘Sherlock Holmes’ novel and movie. That being ‘The Seven Per Cent  Solution’  [featuring the great detective working with Sigmund Freud ....with Freud aiding Holmes in curing his substance abuse issue. An odd concept, but a tad thought provoking....the novel for same having been written by one of my favorite writers and film directors, Nicholas Meyer]  and in this case, this has to do with the visit to Todd the nephrologist on 11/26/13. One has to wonder why one would want to go out on a day which is the other side of the infamous coin, known in retail as ‘Black Friday’. However, amazingly enough that part was peaceful. Then again, too….a 3:30PM appointment will do that.

In any event, the title also refers to the current state of the kidneys. That number or even 41% is the best that can be hoped for, in the restoration of filtering function. Considering all that has happened and how we got to this point [and if you have been following along like I hope **** has, then you know that this has not been a easy thing to achieve] this actually is not a bad thing.  This supplementary problem to the one with the heart, as well as the gout is at bay, it signaled as well that the diet has and is still working. Thank goodness…and the number is about 209 lbs there. Pretty darn amazing considering too all that has been going on.  But that is a credit to several things…

RFLKRNEW976One of which being just sticking to the list [be it the memorized one from all the trips to the Kroger or Safeway] or the one that I have written out for same. To be honest, there are times when at the market, I do find myself looking at an item, reading the calorie count, as well as the levels of Sodium and sugars and saying: ‘hell no, this is not something I am going to get near’ and it has worked. Yes, there have been a few momentary lapses into the very old patterns, but is only a guilty pleasure that lasts for that evening and then….it’s back to the strict litany. This goes along with being around really positive folks where there is a dialog that seems to be more centered on being somewhat more mired in the malaise or the ongoing funk that has been mentioned in this space via several posts , vis a vis seeing that these issues pale in comparison to those of others where the daily struggle is not about an optional chemical cocktail [not being short on this...but compared with blood pressure or uric acid lowering medication which are needed for the basic functions to operate, among others...yes it's an optional deal]or which hyper-revealing outfit to wear to a club or setting that is about as well lit as a subway tunnel in the middle of a blackout. For those in that regard..other parts of the world, it’s an issue of trying to get to the next day, worrying if there are enough resources just for  a simple existence.  Not trying to say via a long, compound sentence that all are like that…there are a few folks who operate in real time and real space and deal with the real world and that is a major credit. But there is something akin to a cloud crossed with the big white blob from ‘The Prisoner’ [look it up in Wikipedia or otherwise online. CBS imported this program  back in the 70's, which was about a spy trapped in a world that even Kafka would have to say 'WHOA!!!!'] that many seem to want to be a part of.  Commonality is a great thing because it can…in theory…bring people together, but it can hinder progress of the person involved, if they want to be able to look above ground. Long story short, a positive atmosphere does help, as do positive people who know that who you are is 1/xxx of whatever the hell is going on.

Speaking of hell going on, the situation with the family business has taken on a taint what would be more apt to be seen on a higher, intellectually toned version of the talk show ghetto that does exist on weekday TV in the US. For one, due to some other issues….the court case about the estate has been pushed down the road. More like the NYS Thruway. At some point, the attorneys will need to have their end financially covered, which will allow for that to proceed. This is assuming that the visceral and ugly level of bullying of the one person who was keeping the place going…that person being my oldest nephew…ends. Lord knows why his mother-my sister…along with my niece and the egg donor have launched into this very ugly campaign of smearing, attacks, threats, illogical actions and schoolyard tactics. There is something about a bad spirit corrupting even those who are trying to do the right thing. And they are corrupted either due to their belief that the end on this will justify the means [Sidebar - this is close to the same level of behavior that some LGBT people or even those who are involved in ethnic or religious identity issues. Either bullying others or lying is seen as a correct and righteous tactic if it results in a 'positive end'. That is something that does not work long term, in fact it calls into question the maturity of those who want to engage in same, seeing that they will have make by proxy, a list of enemies about as long as the list of persons who have played 3rd base for the Mets or the number of changes that the Chicago White Sox have had to their uniforms since they joined the American League of Baseball]. What they fail to understand is that others are watching and should the shop that the old man started and wanted to keep going passes on before it’s time, those vultures will fly high.

RFLKRNEW978If what was mentioned in the last paragraph seems to be a little on the dire side, it is. And one would have hoped that because of the history of ‘minority operated or owned’ businesses in the US is what it is that none of this would be going on. Since these records started being kept in the last century, less than 50% of those in the US make it past the first generation of operation. After that, much less than half of the remaining number survive. Should one think this is hyperbole, here’s a task to verify the information: if one has access to the libraries of the best business schools in the US….be they Columbia, Wharton, Harvard, NYU or even those in the better state run systems and read through the statistical data and stratum that does exist about business start ups, as well as those who created same and then their overall longevity. You will see, in some rather ugly detail that this is somewhat more common than others are willing to admit or will lie about in order to ‘keep the idea going’ about this not being true. It is though, that is the fact. Indisputable and in black and white, pardon the pun.   Considering that my sis does understand that, why she has turned to the dark side and become an embalming version of Darth Vader is beyond me. One has to hope she does wake up and see that the true puppet master on this has been causing problems in the family for YEARS. If the alarm clock goes off on time, then yes…..things can be reversed.

Well that is about it for now. I did forget to mention in the positive attitude department that the cats as well as music helps. As has been said before, that combination is great….and the fact that Rae and Marty love Renaissance as much as I do….heck that makes the day [this goes hand in hand with their love of football as well *S*]. But if they ever do make it out this way on a tour, it would be difficult to get TheRoyalBadnesses tickets. Still, they share quite a few of my interests and that is a beautiful thing.


Yes, that is it for now. The next post will be next year…..and here’s hoping that it’s a darn sight better than the previous. So til then, from the land of the colourtini….enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air.

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A Followup with coincidences that abound…

RFLKRNEW972Well this is sooner than I thought due to the fact that less than 24 hours after meeting Herr Undichtlieber over at the OC, there was a call from my primary. Courtney’s office said I had an appointment practically on the heels of the other. So heck yes, I went. And heck yes….I was still mad.

Actually ‘mad’ is a rather strong adjective. If you are reading this for the first time, I will refer you to:


as to why there may be some other colourful metaphors that would be more applicable. However, seeing that Courtney and other members of the ‘gang of five’ and I have one heck of a darn good relationship, I was looking forward to this. As well as having done some research about what OTHER tests are available to diagnose what is going on.

At the time of the appointment, it was another one of those ‘going home’ moments. The nurse who checked me in is a great person, she and I have met over at the Kroger…and I have met her family. So yes….it was great to catch up with Gladyia. Even she agreed that what I was told over at the OC was somewhat out of line. After that Courtney and I had a nice chat about a lot of things.

The great news in this is: we are now going to look at the two other tests:

- a DNA based blood test which will check on the status of any strange or indicator proteins that are connected with gastrointestinal issues.

- a more efficient home exam that has a lowe risk of false/positives.

and the odds are better than even money that insurance will cover either of these. From there, well then we’ll make the decision about where and how to proceed.

The ‘WE’ is because this is going to be a team effort. Not a solo or one of those where it’s RFLKRNEW967self medicated. There are plenty of folks who have done same for other issues….with results that would be akin to….well….uh…the overall success the Chevrolet Corvair [kids, ask your parents]. But there will be consulting with the other folks I see…..and with those who I am close to [TheRoyalBadnesses, my sis and of course the others I talk to....one way or the other including a certain someone across the pond via email]. After all, if I am going to be doing this, it is not going to be something half-assed if the tests come back saying there is a problem.

So within the space of 48 hours, I went from seeing the associates of someone who may be a good surgeon but with a bedside manner that Mephistopheles would have to say ‘WHOA’ over to being back among friends who give a damn. It is that last part that makes one hell of a difference. My ‘gang of five’, as well as their staff give a damn. The trips to see them have been worth it because of that, even though those visits are not as common because, well….things have gotten to be a little more stable.

If there is a lesson in this, it’s that after being upset, there was just the odd little coincidence that led to things actually having a better outcome. As Mel Allen would say….’HOW ABOUT THAT!!!!!!’



With that update…..til the next dispatch, from the land of the colourtini….enjoy the words about the update as the pics fly through the air

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