Sunday, March 30, 2008

Nostalgia Isn't What it Used To Be

Chickens - We eat them before they are born and after they’re dead.

Son of a Depression era Baby: I’ve reached that point in life when I’ve become a person “of a certain age.” I grew up in an ethnic home in which English was the primary but not the only language spoken. Three of my grandparents spoke little or no English and only one taught herself to speak “broken English.” My parents constantly reminded us that they were Depression Babies and therefore could make a week’s worth of meals from a single chicken.

Jokes were clean but the air was dirty: Growing up in Pittsburgh during the 1950s we did not realize how polluted the air was. When a new house was build or an older one re-roofed, the color of the shingles only lasted for a few months. After that all shingles were black. If we drove past the steel mills at a time when a particular process was underway, residue called “quencher” filled the air so thickly that headlights were turned on and windshield wipers were necessary to see. The accompanying acrid odor burned our lungs so we tried to hold our breath as long as possible.

Immigrants were considered less than the rest: Perhaps issues of immigration were not as pronounced as today because there was no email to send hate (only snail mail and the occasional chain letter), no cable news to fill the airways, (“Goodnight David, Goodnight Chet”), and most of the immigrants had come through Ellis Island and were therefore documented. But still discrimination existed. Banks would not loan to immigrants so groups of ethnics frequently got together, pooled their money, and loaned within the community.

No OSHA, FDA or other warnings: By today’s standards we lived unhealthy and risky lives. Nearly half the population smoked and all the chemicals in the air could not have been healthy. We had no warning labels per se, only our mother’s warning that “If you don’t stop that you’ll break your neck.” Nobody seemed to break their neck, although during the spring of my senior year in high school Mickey Hrvacic went swimming in the river and drowned.

So how did they live so long? My father died a couple of years ago at age 87. My mother, who could still bend at the waist and touch her toes well into her eighties passed away in her 91st year. My parents’ doctor, who was about 5 years their senior, continued his practice even after my mother died. A neighbor, Delphina, finally moved out of her home and into a limited care facility at age 98. Our next door neighbor, Mamie, is fit and spry and pushing 90. So go figure. Without the government looking out for our best interests, and by all of today’s standards, that generation, who almost never took pills, lived long, active, and healthy lives.

A little blogging music Maestro… How about the Jewish folk song, “La Chiam; To Life!”

BTW: We will be away from the computer this week. Please stop by and read some of the old blogs. Leave comments of what you’d like to read more of or see eliminated. See you around the corner.

Dr. Forgot

Friday, March 28, 2008

This, That, and the Other

Toothache Pain Can Drive One to Extraction

Sugar Baby: The fastest growing group with tooth decay is children. Sugar treats, candy, soda, and juice boxes are suspected culprits. Mamas, don’t let your toddlers grow up to be sugar babies.

Guns don’t shoot people, morons do: At this writing an arrest has been made in the Interstate 64 shootings in Virginia. Tests are required before one can drive, before one can get married, or before a person can graduate from high school. But any idiot with a few hundred dollars in his pocket can buy a gun. Oh, and while we’re on the subject, it might take a blood test to get married but any idiot can make a baby (ok, so it takes two idiots). The NRA sings its woeful tune, “When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns.” Here’s a newsflash, THE OUTLAWS ALREADY HAVE GUNS!

From the top to the slop: Times are tough for many people, unless of course you are the head honcho at Bear Sterns or other CEOs who have burned through their company’s money then jumped ship with a golden parachute. Good Friday became Black Friday when a California single mom with two kids lost her $ 70K per year job. She burned through her savings and her Mom moved in with her to help pay the mortgage. When she was flat busted she applied for food stamps – and was turned down! She’s caught in limbo. Her fall was so fast that the system still sees her as middle class and therefore ineligible for help. How many of us are one paycheck away from poverty?

Love me, love my dog: It’s a dog’s life. I’ve often said that if there is anything to reincarnation I want to come back as Mrs. Dr. Forgot’s dog. She’s not the only empty nester whose pets have become their babies. Cats have taken over the #1 spot (As the DiNiro character said to the Adam Sandler character, “Cats don’t sell out.”) but dogs are still the most pampered, especially small dogs. “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” a movie about pampered pets is opening soon. Tokyo now has an annual “Dog Fiesta for the little nippers, and a little rat terrier has a place in the Guinness Record book for the smallest drug sniffer. Their owners don’t even care if they bite the hand that feeds them.

Divided they fall: No less an expert than Democratic Party Chair John Dean has taken his two squabbling children to the woodshed for a stern talking-to. His message to Senators Obama and Clinton is that the dirty little mud balls that are being thrown should be aimed at the real enemy – the other side. To continually smear each other is to hand the election on a silver platter, albeit a muddy one, to the Senator from Arizona.

Just your average good old boy hero: While the Dems are wrapping the foot they continually shoot themselves in, the McCain camp airs its first campaign ad. The white haired tortoise just keeps rolling along.

A little blogging music Maestro… any cut from the Jackson’s album, Victory.”

Dr. Forgot

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

Politicians have amnesia for as long as they can remember.

Hillary ducks questions, not bullets: Ok, perhaps those paragons of media outlets CNN and FOX News have not shown the clip of Hillary taking flowers from the little Bosnian girl as often as they have shown the Wrong Reverend Wright, but it is now clear that the former First Lady’s recollection of the events surrounding her visit were, uh, not consistent with film of the event. The term, “I misspoke,” now has another definition – “Dang, you caught me.”

Las Vegas Whoopee: Remember Monte Carlo? No, not the one with Grace Kelly that was the setting of romantic movies in the 1950s but the one whose motto in January became, “You burn me up.” The fa├žade burned. The only thing that was hurt was the pride of the workers who accidently started the fire. Turns out those workers were welders who neglected to get the proper permits for their job. The result was 6,000 guests displaced and $ 100,000,000 in damage and lost revenue to the hotel. But the fire chief took a line from the NBA and said, “No harm no foul.” Translated that means no charges will be filed against the miscreants. That makes it the world’s most expensive weenie roast.

Are local high school students “Dumb, da, da dumb?” It is often said of some of the more promiscuous dropouts, “They can’t add or subtract, but Lord, can they multiply!” Recent tests taken by nearly all local high school students seem to support the adage. 91% of Algebra I students, 87% of Algebra II students, and 88% of Geometry students who took the January exams flunked them. I guess they don’t know if pi r squared or pies are round.

Why Math is important: In a town that likes to keep the acne off its face, it is interesting to see local publicists embrace the new film “21.” The movie is based on the true story of an MIT math wizard who decided that if numbers are predictable, he should be able to win at the casino tables. And did they ever… well, I don’t want to spoil it for you. Perhaps the movie should be shown to those struggling students so demonstrate how good math skills can be helpful.

Could that thump you hear be the Real Estate bottom: Real estate markets across the country have been taking a beating. The news media loves to cite Las Vegas to be one of the worst hit. But to quote that famous Vegas philosopher, Francis Albert Sinatra of song, “The higher the top, the longer the drop.” Real estate prices went meteoric for a few years just like tech stocks had a decade earlier. As we pointed out I a previous post, had you bought a house for $ 200,000 in 2000, it would have appreciated to well over $ 400,000 before the market slide. That same house is now priced at well over $ 300,000. See the big picture?

A little blogging music Maestro… Johnny Cash, “Home of the Blues.”

Dr. Forgot

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Naked Politics

Politicians, like diapers must be changed often – for the same reason.

Doing their best: Six months ago the current administration was being lambasted as a result of the war in Iraq, the economy in general, the housing fiasco and oil prices. “Oh Johnny Boy” might have been a song sung by many a tearful Irishman, but John McCain was running last among Republican nominees. Senator Hillary was polishing up her tiara for the coronation ceremonies – first as undisputed presidential candidate and then for the presidency. The lead horse in the race in the land of Demoville was champing at the bit to be crowned the first Queen of America.

Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory: Ah, but once again those lovable Democrats are doing their best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Seems like a 100:1 shot, the dark horse in the race weaved his way through the crowd of candidates to make a surprise run for the roses. And while the two frontrunners fiercely battle neck and neck, splashing mud on one another, Papa John meanders quietly behind, smiling and preparing to move to the forefront once the two leaders expend each other’s energy and bankroll. American politics – you’ve gotta’ love it.

All the news that’s fit to incite: I could not help but notice the two major cable networks regarding the Reverend Wrong – er, Wright. The 5- second snippets of his two inflammatory comments were shown probably thousands of times on “The Best Political Team on Television,” CNN, while “Fair and Balanced,” FOX upped the ante by not only running the constant loop but adding to it a photo of the retired Reverend and candidate Obama side by side, complete with music. Curiously missing from their respective, albeit not respectable broadcasts, save a casual mention in passing was coverage of the 4,000 plus American deaths in Iraq, nor the tens of thousands maimed, nor the estimated 170,000 soldiers who returned home with permanent mental injuries. Gossip sells.

Achy Breaky Heart: The above-mentioned news outlets and their imitators must be crying in their beer since Americans don’t much give a hoot or a holler about news of other nations. An old joke starts out, “Pssst, buddy… do you have any nude pictures of your wife?” When the answer is no, the derelict continues, “Wanna buy some?” Such is the case of French President Sarkozy whose new bride and former supermodel Carla Bruni. He and his bride were visiting the Queen of England and the Duke of Edinburgh when news of the naked pictures leaked. I guess the embarrassment harkens back to every mother’s warning about always wearing clean underwear in case you are ever in an accident. Well, at least wear SOMETHING!

A little blogging music Maestro… “Naked Pictures” by Electric Six.

Dr. Forgot

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Age is a State of... I Forget

It Ain’t the Age… It’s the Mileage

Today we will deviate a bit and share a bit of wisdom on age that came to me anonymously via email.

--Old Age, I decided, is gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.

I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will. I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.They, too, will get old.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)

MAY YOU ALWAYS HAVE A RAINBOW OF SMILES ON YOUR FACE AND IN YOUR HEART FOREVER AND EVER!

That seems to say it all. A little blogging music Maestro… “Those Oldies But Goodies…”

Dr. Forgot

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday, Monday

A Leading Authority Has Guessed Right Once

Bang, Bang... Whoops: From the “Post- 9/11 Genius Ideas” department comes the one from Usless Air – er, U.S. Airways. Seems that the panic driven rule that allows pilots to carry guns onboard planes, uh, backfired when a gun went off in the cockpit of a plane. The U.S. Airways flight was bound from Denver to Charlotte and had 124 passengers on board. Nobody was injured except for the pride of the pistol packing pilot. Officials say it was a full flight but full of what? We’ve not yet heard from the NRA but I’m sure the response will be something like, “Pilots don’t blow out windows in airplanes, guns do.”

Tums and Rolaids won’t fix this gas problem: Pain at the pump can be felt throughout the U.S. A few weeks ago I was in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla and the Union 76 station on the main drag posted full service premium gas at $ 4.99 per gallon. Was that a gouge or harbinger of things to come? Average gas prices this weekend topped $ 3.40 per gallon in some states. Tipsters tell us how to ease the pain: stay away from stations in ritzy hoods, avoid stations that are also repair shops or car washes, buy Wednesday morning and use wholesale club gas pumps. Oh, and how about driving less?

Sounds like, “I am not a crook”: Kwame Kilpatrick, that lover-boy mayor of Motown insists he will be exonerated. He and an aide were charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors say that sexually explicit text messages between the two may have been sugar sweet but lying about them in sworn testimony was perjury. Poor Kwame. All around him are people who spew hate and they do not get into trouble. But try a little loving and BAM! Your career is in jeopardy. Perhaps he can get an attorney referral or seek advice about how to handle the situation from Eliot Spitzer.

Sad day in Paradise: Few things are sadder than the loss of a loved one. Over the weekend the Paradise Animal Hospital in Las Vegas burned. The fire was so intense that rescuers were unable to save a single pet during the midnight inferno. One can only imagine the grief of pet owners whose pets were recovering from illnesses or being boarded during the holiday weekend. Everything was destroyed but if the owners are able to reconstruct their client list they should send each owner a letter of sympathy and include perhaps a gift certificate from the animal shelter and a gift card for future services.

Rrrrr-eeee-bbbb-eelllsss: The chant of the UNLV athletic teams was born during the Harvey Hyde football days. It has since been adopted by nearly every other UNLV sport and was heart during the March Madness tournament. Hats off to a ragtag group that the national media continually referred to as “Two walk-ons and a former air conditioner repairman.” Hats off to Coach Lon Kruger as well for bringing out the teams character rather than having to clean up after a bunch of characters.

A little blogging music Maestro… From the Rebel fight song, “U-N-L-V, UNLV Go Fight Win.”

Dr. Forgot

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Law Won

Every Snowflake in an Avalanche Pleads Not Guilty

Who, Me? Uh, uh. Well, Maybe. Ok, I did it: We’ve all heard the old saw that nobody in prison is innocent. Sometimes it proves to be true. DNA analysis and student lawyers often research old cases to determine if “the lady doth protest too much” or if the criminal is guilty. We hear about the few that are overturned but rarely about the guilty.

Is justice delayed really justice denied?: We often hear of somebody who committed a crime but somehow escaped the long arm of the law for years or even decades then is captured. Sara Jane Olsen became caught up in the SLA – a radical group from the 1970s. But she apparently discovered the error of her ways, changed her name, and lived a model life for 24 years before being caught and sentenced. A man from Las Vegas was convicted for a crime and walked away and lived life on the lam as an ideal husband and father for decades before being found out. If the purpose of prison is to rehabilitate and somebody is becomes a model citizen outside the prison gates, who wins?

Peek-a-boo, I see you: An old joke tells about professional skier Picabo (pronounced “Peek-a-boo”) Street donating a hospital wing that was named in her honor – Peek-a-boo ICU. But real peekers have sneaked into the personal files of presidential candidates. Passportgate broke this morning when it was revealed that several workers had spied into passport files of Barack Obama as many as three times. Another, proving he was a fair if unbalanced peeping Tom also scanned the files of Senator McCain. Hillary Clinton’s files were compromised. It reminds me of the Richard Nixon line when he said he knew he would be under a microscope while serving but did not expect to be examined by a proctoscope.

Smoke ‘em or smash ‘em: Las Vegas is said to have some of the most bizarre drivers anywhere. One reason might be due to the fact that everybody drives by the rules back home. But today the pipe dream of a trucker became a pipe nightmare for commuters. Seems that a semi hauling pipes was minding its own business in I-15 when some hibilly ran into it causing the truck to depipe. Result? 14 vehicles involved in six crashes. That’s some piping!

Quick! Think of Las Vegas: What is first thing that comes to mind? Lights. All those lights. One can read a newspaper at midnight. But somebody blew a fuse, or more accurately a transformer, that thrust four major hotels into electric limbo. Elevators stopped, lights went out, and most importantly, slot machines stopped spinning. Well, maybe not the slots. But at 8:00 p.m. or so until 9:30 we were reminded that we really are a desert community dependent on electricity.

A little blogging music Maestro: Anything by the Electric Light Orchestra.

Dr. Forgot

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Serious Matter

Another Award Winning Speech

Barack talks for 37 minutes: Normally I don’t take sides in this blog. I’m an equal opportunity jokester. I make fun of the president’s gaffes, of Hillary’s crying, McCain’s age, Obama’s turban photo (who does he think he is - a NY taxi driver?), and the rest of the plethora of candidates that began this race. But after listening to one of the most moving, eloquent, relevant speeches I’ve heard in decades, I am stunned to see pundits from the other side belittle and demean the words that are needed to heal a most divided country.

Rush and other nut cases: When Rush first came on the scene I got a huge chuckle out of his shtick. But then a funnier thing happened. People started to take that satire seriously and Rush’s ample head and body began to relish the attention to the point that I think he might actually believe his fawning ditto-heads. It is no sin to believe strongly in your side whether that side is your church, your country, or your political party. But to extend your belief to extreme in either direction, left or right, is to blind yourself to reason, fairness and objectivity.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, open your heart: Despite the fact that Barack Obama’s speech could have been given by few, if any other orators simply because of much of it was based on his experiences, had members of the opposition not known who was giving the speech and listened simply to the content, no rational person could have disagreed with most of what was said. Our country is divided. We are at a precipice in time, while publicly unspoken racial, class, religious, and other hatred eats like a cancer at the very fabric of our great nation, threatening to cast it further into the depths of despair. To attack simply for the sake of attack, simply because the speaker looks or speaks, or worships differently than we do is contrary to what our founding fathers and our soldiers in every war since fought for. Yet it has become chic to use the airwaves as bully pulpits of hot air, demagoguery, and to spread seeds of hatred.

Fair and balanced is neither: Media outlets have catchy phrases to tout their supposed positions – Fair and Balanced, Best political team on television, and other arrogant boasts which rather than being based in fact are so much puffery. In a two day period while admittedly watching only part of the time, I counted 35 showings of the hateful language by a pastor that the reporters attached to one candidate, yet I heard nary a word about the hate spewed by pastors on the other end of the political continuum who marginalize minorities and other groups with hate-filled rhetoric. So much for fair and balanced.

What this country desperately needs is a huge dose of kindness and understanding by its leaders and men and women of God. But even more so we as proud Americans need to show the world what makes us proud, what has made us the envy of the rest of the world, and what has made this country grow and prosper. Lose the hate, friends. Pay homage to the melting pot we once were and the tossed salad we have become. God bless America.

Dr. Forgot

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Money and Politics

If your feet smell and your nose runs, you’re upside down

Running for office: Obama gave one heck of a speech. No known connection but as the O man was talking the DOW was climbing. Both were pleasant surprises. Hillary decided to release her schedule while First Lady. If she wins the election, will be First Laddie? Meanwhile, back at the oasis, Senator McCain spoke to his camel, his troops, and anybody else who would listen. Three candidates, two parties. This reminds me of some of the fuzzy math that was spoken of during past elections.

Nosing around: Meanwhile, Dick Cheney, the “Where’s Waldo” of politics was spotted in Israel. No, it was Oman. Whoops, I mean the West Bank, Wrong, it was Saudi Arabia. Uh, uh, he flew into Turkey. That man moves faster and is seen less than a guilty husband during the holidays.

From the Sunshine State to the Rust Belt: Who is the bad guy here? Let me see if I have this straight. The states of Michigan and Florida, both members of the “Me first” club, wanted to upstage other states by having their primaries early. The Democratic National Committee said that if they do it would not count, but they did anyway. All eight candidates (back in the days before the dropouts dropped out) signed an agreement to ignore the to baddies who had violated the rules. Now the baddies are crying “Foul!” Sir Walter Scott got it right: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

Some good news and some bad news: ICE and Homeland security have teamed up to sweep many of those who entered this country illegally back from whence they came. More than 380,000 illegal entrants have been deported in fiscal 2007 compared to 186,000 a year earlier. That is a good thing, right? Maybe yes, maybe no. Reports from around the country show that many menial jobs typically held by illegals are going unfilled. Labor intensive job are among those where shortages exist.

Snip snip. How much will it help?: At this writing the feds just announced an interest rate cut of 0.075%. Within minutes the DOW dropped over 100 points. Not sure where it will end but the free fall continues. We will keep you posted.

A little blogging music Maestro... “Every Little Bit Hurts” by Alicia Keys.

Dr. Forgot

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Pinch of the Blarney

Money Talks. Today it said “Goodbye”

Erin go Braugh: Oh those Irish. Perhaps your image is of elves, or heavy drinkers of green beer, but the cabin crew hostesses aboard Ryan Air stand before you in their demure, button-up blue suits and high neck blouses. Oh, but mention the word “charity” and something other than the wheels begin to come off. The Girls from Ryanair Charity calendar changes the staid prim and proper seat belt chequers into bikini-clad trolley dollies. All proceeds from the calendar go to the children’s charity Angel’s Quest. Hat’s off (and that ain’t all) to the gals.

Luck of the Irish: We’re not sure if NEW York Governor David Paterson is Irish or not but if former Guv Eliot Spitzer was the nude Guv caught with his pants off, DP found his four leaf clover as the New Guv. The old had a sharp tongue, the new has a sharp wit. When asked if he consorted with prostitutes his response was, “Only lobbyists.” Hail to the new state chief. Senator Clinton attended the ceremony but former Guv Spitzer did not. He and Bill were probably planning a boys night out.

Money, money, money… it’s a rich man’s world: Let’s say you were a Bear Sterns employee. You bought all the stock you could in the company because you’re a loyal employee who believes in the company. Let’s further say that one year ago your portfolio of BS (pun intended) stock was valued at $ 1.7 million and you earned $ 120,000 per year as a lower lever bank employee. Then as the TV chef would say, BAM! A sale to JP Morgan Chase. You’re likely out of a job and your $ 1.7 million is now worth $ 20,000 – about two months salary. Ouch!

Wall Street shaking in its booty: Shareholders of JP Morgan Chase stock are as happy as clams. Their stock price soared after the buyout announcement. Some pundits suggested JPM-C should have worn a mask when they stole Bear. But on this day, as many portfolios run red, JP Morgan owners are green with pride. Is it any wonder that the bank whose name springs from the man (Mr. Chase) whose picture graces the $ 10,000 bill (I’ll bet you didn’t know that) should end up with the biggest deal in banking history? Meanwhile, back at the offices of other Wall Street moneyists stocks tumbled. Morgan Stanley dropped 8%, Goldman Sachs fell 13% but later rebounded a bit, and Lehman Brothers sunk 24%. More fallout will no doubt follow.

A little blogging music Maestro... “If I had a Million Dollars” by the Barenaked Ladies.

Dr. Forgot

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Senior Sillies

Old Age is Nothing to Worry About Unless You’re Cheese


Today, just for a change of pace we will pay tribute to seniors. May we all live to become same. For most of the stories I thank my good friend Dr. Jerry. I’ve added a few from my own archives.

Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked,
“How old was your husband?”
“98, she replied, "Two years older than me”
“So you're 96,” the undertaker commented.
She responded, ''Hardly worth going home, is it?"

Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman: “And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?” the reporter asked.
She simply replied, “No peer pressure.”


An elderly couple walked into a pharmacy. They asked, “Do you sell canes?” The pharmacist nodded in the affirmative. Walkers? Again in the affirmative. Dentures? Yes, Depends. Uh, huh. And on and on went the interrogation listing every conceivable product used by seniors. Finally the pharmacist asked why all the questions. They both smiled coyly and the gentleman said, “We’re planning to get married and are looking for a place to register."

I've sure gotten old! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes, I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license.

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.

An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart.
“Wal-Mart?'' the preacher exclaimed. ''Why Wal-Mart?”
“Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week.”

My memory is not as sharp as it used to be. My memory is not as sharp as it used to be.

It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffee maker.

These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, “For fast relief.”

Always Remember This: You don't stop laughing because you grow old, grow old because you stop laughing.

Finally, sorry if I missed anything but my memory is not as sharp as it used to be. My memory is not as sharp as it used to be.

A little blogging music Maestro... Vern Pullens, “Old Folks Home.”

Dr. Forgot

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Artificial Intelligence vs. Natural Stupidity

A Weekend Wasted isn’t a Wasted Weekend

Wrath of Basketball Gods: March Madness is a phrase that probably very few jocks or basketball fans know is borrowed from the Bard. That’s Shakespeare’s Hamlet for those of you who were absent that day. Not to be confused with his Julius Caesar who was told to “Beware of the Ides of March.” That refers to March 15, 44 B.C. the date Caesar was murdered. So today is the 2,052nd anniversary of his death. But for fans today is the last day for amateur bracketologists to try to figure out which teams will go to the NCAA Big Dance (college basketball playoffs) and which will stay home. Perhaps the basketball gods were making their preferences known when they huffed and puffed and almost blew down the Atlanta arena that was hosting playoffs.

With friends like this: Now that Albany Whoregate seems to have fizzled out media pundits are searching for new muck to rake. There is probably no truth to the rumor that former VP candidate Geraldine Ferraro who dissed and denied will be the new host of the Imus show. She’s old news too. But Fox News might have caught one that will last more than 72 hours. The Barackster’s minister has made controversial statements. If that is a criterion for being lambasted I’m hoping the media never finds out who my friends are.

Space jockeys work well with Son of HAL: Remember HAL in 2001 Space Odyssey? He was the computer in the space ship who was the lone astronaut’s best friend until they had sort of a lover’s spat. Then HAL proved he had a mind of his own, which led to the end of the mission. Today the space station’s new robot, Dextre, is powered up and operating smoothly. Dextre has its own bed, called a pallet, and now has power. To date everything is working well and no Klingons have been spotted.

Space station – Vegas connection: Speaking of space stations one must include Star Wars in the mix. Star Wars producer George Lucas flew into the Valley of the Dollars for the annual theater owners convention, Showest. He teased the group with clips from the latest Star Wars movie, The Clone Wars, premiering the ides of August. It will be a TV series as well so future astronauts can learn the finer points of surviving when clones go wild. The movie will refresh Obie-wan in the theaters during the time Obie-two is making a run for the presidential nomination. Who says life doesn’t imitate art?

A little blogging music Maestro... a bit of Strauss, “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” also known as the theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Dr. Forgot

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday's Follies

Las Vegas Silliness

More churches than casinos: Everybody has heard the old saw that there are more churches than casinos in the Valley of the Dollars. If true, it might be that so many people are either praying for a winner or praying for forgiveness. But there is one church just off the Strip that lets people know that all donations are welcome, even gambling chips. The church receives such a large percentage of chips that it sends the offerings to a nearby monastery to have the money separated from the chips. The chips are then separated by denomination and casino and turned in for cash. And who does all this work at the monastery? A particular sect of holy men – the Chipmonks!

Blonds in Vegas: A blond was seen at a soda machine. She already had about a dozen sodas but continued to put dollar after dollar in the machine. When a security guard asked what she was doing she replied, “Duh… winning!” Then there was the blond who called her parents after being in Las Vegas for two weeks to proudly announce that she had finally learned how to spell “MGM backwards.

Las Vegas mob boss: As the story goes a mob boss hired a deaf accountant. That way if the mobster was ever arrested and the accountant was hauled before the grand jury, he would be unable to tell about the skimming and other nasty tales. However the accountant embezzled a million dollars from the mob boss before the boss discovered it. The boss brought in somebody from the sign language institute and sat the deaf accountant down, placed a gun to his head and said to the translator, “Tell him to tell me where he hid the money or I’ll blow his #%^&$ing brains out.”

The translator signed the message and the frightened accountant signed back that the money was under a tree next to a rock in the desert. The translator looked at the mob boss and said, “He says you’ll never find it and you don’t have the balls to pull the trigger.”

World’s smartest Vegas dog: A gambler from Iowa comes to Vegas every six months and only plays blackjack. One day he goes to his usual poker table and is shocked to see a dog sitting in his usual chair. The gambler watches a few hands as the dog scratching his paw for a hit and tapping the table to stand. After a few hands the gambler says, “That is the smartest dog I’ve ever seen!” The dealer yawns and says, “He’s not that smart. Every time he gets a good hand his tail wags.

A little blogging music Maestro... What else but Elvis doing, “Viva Las Vegas.”

Dr. Forgot

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fun With Spitz and Kris

Stupidity Left Untreated, is Self Correcting

What was the Guv thinking?: It might be three months past Christmas but the words “Ho-ho-ho must be ringing in his ears. Client #9. Too bad he didn’t get caught in traffic. Then he would have been “Client #8 and perhaps missed all this. A comment on yesterday’s post pondered, “Where was the official Guv Security Detail while all this was, uhm, “going down?” This puts a whole new meaning to red lights on the Secret Service cars. Let’s see, did 2-timing Client 9 go Code 3 down I-87 to arrive at Room 813 on 2/13 by 10 p.m.? Was Kristen 2 good 2 be 4 gotten? Will he be the ex-Guv by 3/17? 10-4.

Flee to escape political persecution: This pilgrim boarded the Mayflower in hopes of escaping political persecution but will likely be facing legal prosecution. There might not have been anybody to deflower at the Mayflower, but when the voyage was complete the charge for the Mayflower compact was $ 4,300. That is more than a week’s salary for the Guv but an hour or so work for an unelected official. But the Guv overpaid by $ 500 according to reports. Was the extra five “C’s” a tip, a down payment for a future voyage, or did the trollup ask if he could loan her five hundred until she got back on her back? Such mysteries we may never know.

Las Vegas gossip: For the young hip crowd who know the difference between MTV and the MGM, we’ve discovered that “The Hills” star Audrina Partridge will head from the hills to the Valley of the Dollars to dance onstage as one of the Pussycat Dolls. Doesn’t ring a bell? Think Paris Hilton, Carmen Electra, and Gwen Stefani, other stars who’ve bumped and ground their way onto the PURE stage at the Luxor. No dead mummies in that pyramid, only scantily clad hardbodies and maybe an IRS agent or two.

If you got the money, honey, Vegas has the time: Ok boys and girls, today’s lesson will be on gambling. Why do we go to Las Vegas? Right, to gamble. To Atlantic City? Right again, to gamble. And is there a chance you might lose your money when you test the fates with the gods of dice, cards, and sports books? Yes. That is why it is called… GAMBLING! Ok, one bonus question: what do lawyers do? That’s right. They SUE.

Since you got 100% class, we’ll tell you about Arelia Travis, an accomplished attorney who earned well into six figures annually. She gambled in Las Vegas and Atlantic City and, wonder of wonders, she lost! Whose fault would that be? Right! The casinos. The disbarred lawyer is now suing seven casinos for $ 20 mil because they ENABLED her. Hello! Counselor! That is what casinos do. They are not there for the 49 cent shrimp cocktail. Here’s a tip, counselor: you’ve got to know when to hold, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run…”


A little blogging music Maestro... What else but Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler.”

Dr. Forgot

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Running From Office

A Fool and His Money Are Parted at the Mayflower

The Guv who was: Client 9. How long until that becomes the trade name of an expensive perfume, or a line of Victoria’s Secret negligee, or even a code work in the escort business for a high roller? After watching the wife of the N.Y. Guv at the press conference today, I’m sure she deserves plenty of retail therapy. Perhaps he can get the Kobe Bryant playbook. Perhaps the Guv can buy the bauble from Kobe’s wife. Somehow, watching him say he is sorry just doesn’t seem like enough punishment. Poor wifey looked like she was hungover – the wrath of grapes.

More Political Brickbats: Ok, let’s see if we are able to make heads or tails of this political game. One of Barrack’s minions called Hillary a monster and resigned under pressure as a result. One of Hillary’s minions struck back with a nya-na-na-na-na stating that the only reason Barrack is running is because he is black. Huh? If that were the case President Jesse Jackson would have had his Rainbow Coalition Cabined in place several elections ago. BTW, the statement maker was none other than the first female VP candidate. Oh yes, Hillary’s reaction was a severe mild slap on the wrist. Can’t we all just get along?

Another Politician in Trouble: These are difficult times for politicians. Yet another scandal has rocked the foundation of the political system in New Haven, Connecticut. That bucolic community that boasts Yalies and other Elis has seen one of its icons tumble from grace. Michael Sheridan was discovered to have committed a crime and was stripped of his political office. He was barred from attending activities surrounding his office and was banished from the city-owned property where he had served. Michael, formerly class vice president, had committed the grievous error of purchasing a bag of Skittles from a classmate. A school official stated that candy sales had been banned in the school district since 2003. Is there no end to the transgressions of rogue politicians?

Leaving Las Vegas: Visitor volume has declined in Las Vegas over the past year a whopping 0.6%. That is less than one percent. Such a downward trend must be stopped and reversed! Fortunately the brain trust of those who take care of such nagging problems plan to spend $ 12 million to tease the gamblers back to the Valley of the Dollars. If you snooze, you lose.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving: Clinics, doctors and nurses continue to come under scrutiny as officials investigate unsafe practices. Hepatitis and other diseases could have been transferred. Those implicated and shown to have been a party to the fiasco need to update their resumes: References – “None. I’ve left a path of destruction behind me.”

A little blogging music Maestro... “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” by Boy George.

Dr. Forgot

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Love American Style

Sin Is Attractive Because Wages Are Paid Immediately

The Guv’s hooker was a looker
: Good ole Client 9. Did he use Love Potion #9? He asked what his gal looked like and was told she was pretty. For $ 4,300 she’d better be. To resign or not to… that seems to be the question. Hillary prays he does not (he’s a Super-delegate pledged to her). Obama hopes he does (the replacement will pledge to the Barrackster). Rumors have it the First Lady of Noo Jork has wrapped yellow crime scene tape around his waist. I guess that would be considered Capitol punishment

Who’s Number one?: The CDC (Center for Disease Control) released a study that cited statistics on STDs, (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) which showed that one in four teen-aged girls are infected. This is a sad fact. The U.S. is number one in many areas but does not care to have this statistic amongst the bragging rights.

The Professor and Maryann: Here on Gilligan’s Isle. The popular comedy series from about 1,000 years ago starred Bob Denver as Gilligan and among others, Dawn Wells as Maryann, the pure, sweet girl-next-door character who was cast opposite sexpot Tina Louise. We always wondered how the Professor was able to invent all manner of life sustaining contraptions but could not figure out how to patch their boat and get them off the island. We should have wondered what they smoked in their spare time. Bob Denver was busted for smoking grass numerous times and sweet little Maryann was recently busted in Idaho for smoking while driving. She copped a plea.

Remember Voodoo politics: Ah that burning question on the lips of every candidate and Florida and Michigan delegate: “Who do the Voodoo that you do so well?” All the doo doo about the do-over would put Rover in the clover. But the manure spread by both candidates over whether or not to redo the primary or caucus in the states begs this question: “Didn’t ALL candidates sign an agreement to ignore the two states that broke the rules?”

Who shot the ice cream lady and why: Remember a couple of weeks ago when a Henderson ice cream couple got in trouble with the cops? Hubby was pulled over for speeding and the cops called his wife. I’ve been pulled over for speeding a few times and nobody ever called my wife. But it wasn’t in Henderson. Maybe that’s the difference. Anyhow, wifey arrived and argued with the cops and was shot. Cops claim she was threatening them. Hubby said she was on the ground when it happened. An independent autopsy showed she was on the ground. Whoops. I smell a lawsuit if the lawyers have time between Endoscopy centers.

Here’s a tip - No outrageous behavior: The extortion that went on at LAX and perhaps other night clubs, as documented in the Las Vegas Sun tells a lot about the young generation. Back in the 1800s when I was a young bachelor in Las Vegas the closest thing to clubs were lounges and the drinks were free.

A little blogging music Maestro... “Memories.”

Dr. Forgot

Monday, March 10, 2008

Whores and Politicans

Politics: Poly (Many) + Ticks (Bloodsucking parasites)

May your Mayor check his Willie: The Big Apple’s serpent slithered into D.C. According to news wires, the law and order Guv of New York left Time Square to walk the plank on board the Mayflower – Hotel that is. The Loot Guv, as blind justice works, will now become the Guv. Seems that while he crusaded against bad guys doing nasty stuff by day he was a hooker booker after the sun went down. Like the song in Les Miz: “She plays a virgin in the light but needs no urgin’ in the night.”

Who’s Number one?: You’ve got to give the Clinton campaign credit. They’ve learned a lot by getting attacked in office for four years. Slick Willy helped trick with Hilly as she offered Obie-one the chance to be Obie-two. Here’s the logic: “You flunk the P{resident test so let’s put you a heartbeat away from the presidency.” Huh? Obama paused for a comma, then pointed out the ludicrousness of the suggestion. Perhaps the Clintons did not learn well enough from the marauding Rovers - the attempt to flip flopped.

The Mac flies above the flack: Several months ago everybody in the Repub party including many of his campaign workers and that crew whose politics are three miles to the right of Attila the Hun were taking part in the McCain mutiny. He was carrying his own bags, made a seat on Southwest Airlines his company plane, and pundits said the wheels had come off the Straight Talk Express. But just look at him now! Basking in the glow as a presidential nominee, he smiles and waves and holds the hand of his pretty Rodeo Queen wife. What a life!

Shaking the family tree can cause embarrassments: Ever since Alex Hailey’s book Roots hit the best seller list nearly 40 years ago genealogy came out of the Mormon closet and into the limelight. Somebody did a family background check and discovered that Obama and Vice President Lon – uh, I mean Dick Cheney were cousins. Barack admitted that the revelation caused embarrassment in his household – related to a Republican?

Speaking of the Vee Pee: Speaking of the Dickester, he leaves aboard Air Force Too in a week or so to visit Oman, Saudi Arabia, and other oil producing countries. It is said he is headed there to visit his other relatives – the Halliburtons. We’re not sure if this trip qualifies as visiting a prostitute.

Is Oregon clinic going nuts?: Our final bit of today’s blog comes from the Pacific Northwest where people quack up and Ducks play sports. The Oregon Urology Institute wants to add a little sadness to March Madness. The institute’s director suggested a vasectomy for men who want to watch the entire weekend of basketball. It will give them an excuse to sit on the couch four days to recover.

A little blogging music Maestro... Is there a musical version of “The Agony and the Ecstasy?”

Dr. Forgot

Friday, March 7, 2008

More Guatemala

Chichicastenango

No politics today: Today I again refuse to satirize the Democratic nomination process. They are doing quite a good job themselves. Instead I will talk about some excitement during a recent visit to Guatemala. It is a beautiful country on the south border of Mexico. Like the U.S. if is bounded east and west by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans respectively. The weather is not unlike Hawaii – eternal springtime.

First visit can get one hooked: My first visit to Guatemala was in early 2007. I spent most of my time visiting three universities and a college of dentistry that are all in close proximity of one another in the capital, Guatemala City. University Francisco Marroquin was named for a holy man and is the one that caters to the wealthiest students. Their curriculum: law, economics, medicine, assures that they produce many of the country’s movers and shakers. Universidad de Valle is also beautiful but most of its students do not come from the privileged background of its neighbor. Universidad Galileo is my favorite. They are the “University of the 21st Century,” as they were founded in the year 2000 by a brilliant scientist, politico and educator, Dr. Eduardo Suger.

Former capital Antigua: For many years Antigua was the capital but an earthquake changed all that and the capital was moved to the current location. Still, Antigua is a must-visit, especially if you get lonesome for ex-patriot Americans or if you wish to immerse yourself in one of the many Spanish language households.

Highways, byways, and buses: This time we were taken to a village several hours away in the mountains. The highways are improving under the plan of newly-elected President Colom, but driver education is something to be imagined. Our driver was named Louis. He had worked several years in the U.S. but returned home to care for his ailing father. Louis carried a handkerchief that he used to wipe his right eye while driving to Chichicastenango.

The narrow mountain roads had no apparent speed limits as we passed several police cars while doing 60+. Center lines mean little as we were passed around blind curves by buses doing 80+. I learned that every little boy in poverty imagines being a bus driver. The buses are personalized like some of the 18-wheelers in the U.S., with girlfriend’s names and home villages painted or etched in gorgeous artwork.

Locals and Yokels: Locals ride the buses along with their goods to sell at market, including pigs, chickens, bricks, tile, clothing, and any manner of items. The goods are stowed atop the bus and a “conductor” rides the top like a bucking bronco rider as the bus swings back and forth around suicide curves. At each stop the conductor amazingly knows whose baggage belongs to whom, for as the peasants exit the bus their stuff is tossed down to them even as the bus clamors to get back on the road. Time is money, you know.

After several close calls with other vehicles and mountain roads with no guardrails, we arrived in Chichicastanango. I asked our guide about his eye and he replied, “I recently lost this eye and have very bad cataracts in the other one.”

Thinking quickly I said, “I’ve always wanted to drive in Guatemala. Do you think I could drive back?” He agreed and I drove the return trip. The ride home was not nearly as eventful or as quick, but we arrived.

A little blogging music Maestro... Duane Eddy’s “Forty Miles of Bad Road” comes to mind.

Dr. Forgot

Thursday, March 6, 2008

What a Day

Day From Hell

Ever have one of those days? Mine was the day before yesterday. That’s why I have not posted for a couple of days – coping and catching up. It started innocently enough. I was doing my normal morning routine – one slice of toast with peanut butter and a banana and 4 ounces of orange juice. After that I read the local paper and do the crossword puzzle. That is my morning routine. It rarely deviates. After the crossword is done the hygiene – shower, shave, scrub the cavities, etc.

Ding dong – not Avon: The crossword was frustrating for a Tuesday. I was so deep in thought I barely heard the doorbell at 7:15. Mrs. Forgot answered and a neighbor said, “Did you know the windows are broken on your car?” That started the downhill slide. I purchased a small used Saturn for my granddaughter’s graduation and parked it in front of the house. A “Club” locks the steering wheel since every teenager in town knows how to start a Saturn with a screwdriver. The potential thief apparently broke the driver’s side window, saw the club, and took off.

Have you priced a side window lately? I swept as many glass shards as I could then got the small vacuum for the rest – and promptly broke it while trying to drag it through the car. Went to get the upright vacuum and Mrs. Forgot said, “Oh, I meant to tell you, the vacuum broke last week.” Could it get worse? Yes.

Prices vary: I began phoning and checking the internet for auto glass replacement. A dozen bids later I discovered that bids ranged from $ 140 to $ 375 for exactly the same job! Now I remember why it pays to shop around.

Driving Miss Dizzy: While driving the car I noticed a pulsating in the brakes. After the glass was replaced the car went to the shop for brakes and related work. I was quoted a price for a complete brake job but after the technician examined the patient the cost tripled. No thank you, we will take it to another brake shop.

Car troubles, vacuum troubles finally end: As the great philosopher, 10-year old Annie once said, “The Sun’ll Come Up Tomorrow,” and it did. The glass was replaced, the brakes repaired, the vacuum needed a new belt, and the small vacuum simply needed a bag change. Everybody needs a day from Hell so when the good days happen an average can be established.

A little blogging music Maestro… anything else from “Annie,” of for that matter, anything upbeat.

Dr. Forgot

Monday, March 3, 2008

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

WHAT A WACKY WEEK!

Why lovers never say “Goodbye” My goodness. A fellow can’t even leave his hometown for a week without the entire Valley of the Dollars going to Hell in a hand basket. We got out of town for a few days to visit the land of fruits and nuts on the left coast. Since a little 6.0 earthquake hit the state of Nevada a week earlier we wanted to see the coast before the Big One puts Las Vegas landowners in possession of beachfront property. While our back was turned things went even more nutty than usual.

Hospitals and clinics: The CEO of the only local public hospital in Las Vegas was indicted on felony theft and official misconduct charges. The CEO was charged with giving no-bid contracts to cronies in Chicago. No bid contracts??? Who does he think he is, Halliburton? The CEO’s alleged comments included one to the deputy DA that he was “…not interested in abiding by the law,” and to his boss that she “did not have the authority to fire him.” Give the man an A for Arrogance.

GIGO: Garbage in, garbage out: Seems like a local health clinic decided to cut costs by reusing syringes. Single use vials were used over and over, exposing patients to potential risks of hepatitis B, C, and the AIDS virus. Up to 40,000 patients were considered to be at risk. In this writer’s mind, the doctors who called for reuse of the vials to distribute anesthetic prior to colonoscopies should be given the procedure – without anesthesia.

Ricin Krispies for breakfast? You remember ricin. The white powder that caused such a stir around Capitol Hill when it showed up in the mailroom. Well, the same stuff showed up at a local motel whilst we were gone. Seems like some loser from Utah was doing something other than a school science project in his rented room. Nobody is sure exactly what happened or how but the guy is on his deathbed in a hospital, his cousin’s house in Utah is being combed by HAZMAT, and the perennial reporter’s questions, “Who, what, when, where, and why” are being asked.

Pussycats fly from LAX to Pure sans taxes: Pussycat Dolls Lounge in Vegas is a hangout for the young hip crowd. Ditto LAX which is neither short for laxative nor and airport lounge. Both joints are swanky and located in major Strip hotels. The management group that operates the two has a third club called Pure. It is that club that drew another three-letter acronym – IRS. No, not the name of another hip club but the guys that Governor Huckabee wants to abolish. Vegas has always operated by crossing one’s palm for a favor. The IRS wants a piece of the palm crossing.

Trouble in Paradise: Another story that broke while we lay soaking up the rays on a California beach was about the Guv himself. This is the same guy who was accused of making a pass at a gal during his election campaign. No known connection but sources close to the mansion say that the first lady might fly the gilded coop. And that was the week that was.
A little blogging music Maestro… “If You Go Away,” by Karen Carpenter.

Dr. Forgot