Posted by: guinness222 | February 12, 2018

Testing settings

This blog is driving me crazy! I read that it works on an iPad,……RIGHT!!! So show me how! It tells me I don’t have a site,….on my current site that I’ve used since 2005!!!

Frustration is setting in a lot!!

Posted by: guinness222 | January 26, 2018

It’s a damn PLOT to stop Social Security,….TRUST ME!!

Since I began paying into Social Security, then Medicare every week from my paycheck, (not counting the health insurance for my own family, dental and vision, etc. etc,) well I figured I put in about $350-400 THOUSAND of my money! At first it was a reasonable thing to to , considering you would be taken care of after you stopped working , but pretty soon it seemed like the “token” deduction, but it seemed to exceed the cost of my families health insurance about 25 years ago, and obviously that gap has grown even more!

I’ve always never really complained about it,….and then came 2009, and I filed for social security at 62 1/2, at which time 2007 had come around. I can safely say that I was ready to have the system I paid into since I was 14 years old to take care of me. About the only problems I ever had was an ear ache, the flu, or a cold. Everything else I could walk off, shake off , or drink away, or chicken soup myself to get back to health. BUT in 2009 I went to one of those “health screening” deals at the local church, as part of getting fully checked out getting ready for retirement. The next phase would be the financial planning aspect of it, since that would be the next logical step,…..but God threw out a “gotcha”!

One thing then another the “health Screening” exam by my own Pyhsician, upon whom I had explicit trust, led to results that after a lot more deeper tests and all had me in Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola on a Sunday night in April of 2009, taking cold showers( there was no hot water) with an antibacterial “soap”, designed to kill any and all germs on me, and I had to do another shower at 4:30 AM as well. Then at 5am the “Guy” came in ” to prep me” for an open heart “CABG” (Coronary Artery By-Pass Graft) procedure) Essentially a triple bypass because I was a walking time bomb of clogged heart arteries!

All went well, I’m still here, and my Surgeon gets the “Seamstress of the Century” award!!

But then the “Medicare Stampede” kicks in for you. You become a “valued commodity” (within the confines of the “Medicare guidelines”, of course!)  You are a quick source revenue building block for every Doctor, Specialist, Hospital, and “Lab”,  the world over. Only two questions are asked, EVER! 1) “May I see your Medicare card, please ?”, and then 2) “Do you also have a supplementary Insurance Card as well please?”. They are your ticket to the medical care special,….they charge the government pays.

No more “Co-pay” if you have the right “supplemental” insurance, AND if you happen to get the “Perscription card”,…..well free medical prescriptions! This is truly the land of milk and honey.

Question, folks! How do you stop the golden goose from laying gold egg? Put the government in charge of “regulating” golden geese and gold eggs! The geese get malnourished, and start dying of “unknown causes”, and the golden eggs start shrinking in size to only as big as mini Cadbury eggs. Of course the Government, driven by the stupid Senate and House of Representatives will propose a five year study on “Goose food” to determine if the cause is dietary in the “Golden Egg” situation, additionally the CDC (Communicable Disease Commission) agreed to fund additional studies at 8 figure prices to determine why the Golden Geese are failing as a species, and the American Wildlife Federation is proposing a full moratorium on the capture and retention of Golden Geese from the wild, and establishment of them as an “endangered species” and a protected area to be determined to be the entire country of Canada, which the United States will annex and establish the 51st state, and grant all Canadians except “Quebecers” who must return to France since they “love the French culture more than Canada”

But in reality folks, is that not how government handles the problems? Now back to my favorite subject,…..the care and handling  of ME!. Aspirin used to be good, 39 cents a bottle for 100 of them, but of course then came the government, (and the dreaded Pharmaceutical companies). THEREFORE, it is decreed that Aspirin is now bad, and Tylenol, Alleve, Ibuprofen, and things of that ilk are far better for you. Name me a person over 65 who is advised to NOT take aspirin, but 81 m.g. “Baby aspirin” (25% of the strength of a full aspirin at 325 m.g.), but you can augment it with any of the other aforementioned pills!!

Guess I am just a total “conspiracy” theorist, but I have had a back ache and after a couple dozen X-rays by “Orthopedic Specialists” it’s recommended I have cortisone injections in my lumbar region, to which I said “Please pound sand Dude”, and the alternative offer was “a special orthopedic brace” (Be aware Insurnace will cover both, but I opted for the lesser of two evils, the brace. ) so next month I’ll see how much they charged Medicare for it, Then compare it to the cost of a “Tommy Copper” shirt or a local drug store type favored by Brett Farve. (The results will probably be earth shattering, but what do you expect!

I am officially changing the age old adage of , “….the Lord give the, and the Lord taketh away!” It will forever be known as “The Lord giveth, through the government, but the Pharmaceutical taketh away via the outrageous price.”


The Gulf Coast Curmudgeon – Mr. Guinness

January 26, 2018


So. Now you know all about Mr. Hiss, from being a newborn kitten, to a week ago Wednesday, January 17, 2018, his last day with us. Now the wrap up and final memories for you.

On Wednesday January 10th our Pastor, Fr. Kevin Thomas Johnson passed away, and his final service was scheduled for Tuesday January 16th. As Barbara was preparing for the Cantor and Choir accompaniment for his service, and I for my attendance an robing as a Liturgical Assisstant at the Service,…..Mr. Hiss was REALLY beginning to fail. He stopped eating virtually anything, let alone enough to survive on, and was doing nothing but drinking from his favorite “Fountain of Youth”, our two toilets. He relocated during the last days to the second floor, and camped out in front of the bathroom door, and just sat. It was really becoming difficult for him to move about. I had to carry him up and down the stairs sometimes, the last week or two, as he could hardly get around. When he was downstairs, he remained just curled up on his “blankly” on the couch, and he was showing signs of Demetria as well, and sometimes just stood and stared blankly. He always, ever since he was a kitten fought against being picked up, but now there was no resistance, and even when we could pick him up it would not be longer than 30 seconds, and he would begin to fuss and wiggle to get down an even if you cradled him he clearly was saying,”OK I love you too, but let’s not get all emotional about it!” (After all he was a male cat!)

In the mornings for years he used to come into our bedroom and just jump up on the bed at our feet and curl up and napped, but more recently he wanted to be closer, and snuggle with us as well, which neither Barbra nor I minded in the least.

When I meditated, every morning and evening, he would always find me when the gong to start the meditation period went off and he would “appear”and jump up in my lap, and lay perfectly still and meditate with me. Not a joke folks, he would cuddle up in my lap until he was beginning to “chill-out”, and then would stretch out his entire length down to my toes and just become a totally relaxed and focused cat. He would never miss a session, and after the gong went off at the end of our session he would get up, quietly and jump over onto his “blanky” on the couch and take a real nap for a while, but he was struggling even to make this two or three foot crossing without slipping. Monday and Tuesday last week he was becoming so weak he could hardly stand up, so I had to pick him up and put him on the couch.

Ok,…..I’m a  “ Woose!”. But that Tuesday afternoon, after we returned from our Pastor’s funeral service, and we saw his imminent condition and plight, I called the Vet and made an emergency appointment for him The next day Wednesday January 17, 2018, I ,add an afternoon appointment at 3:00pm, because we were really concerned as I said before, and he never moved from his couch position that night and within the last two weeks he would be loudly vocal several times a day, like he was lost, or confused or ,….simply just scared of what was happening, “in his world”.

That night I put him on his “blanky”  on the couch and he just lay there, it was as if his fight had gone and he was just letting go to whatever was driving him inside. I had a hard time sleeping and finally got up about 3:30 or 4:00am,….and went out on the couch to sit with him and pet him. His muscle tone was completely gone, and he seemed to welcome the human touch as opposed to just the old surprised “mew” when you touched him. I spent an hour and a half with him, patting him, and we both knew, we were reaching the end of his life with us and on this planet. My wife was hoping death would just come naturally and we would wake up one morning and he would have passed away. Not as a wish, but as opposed to having to watch his pain and distress as he passed away.

That afternoon at the Vet’s Office, at 3pm we were sitting there with him in the waiting room, waiting to be called, he barely was even moving in his carrier, and had ignored the four or five little treats we usually put in the carrier during transport to the Vet’s, to distract him and get him to accept being there.

The Vet apparently had a “difficult case” that lasted longer than anticipated, and it was almost four pm when we got in to the examining room, weight wise it was even obvious to the vet, Mr. Hiss  had lost very significant more weight in the three weeks since we had been there , to have them check out his “failing condition”. No words were necessary, we all silently agreed the time had come to end any suffering and distress he was having and release him to “kitty cat heaven”, where he could play and just BE a happy kitty cat! The Vet looked to both of us and the little nod told the story,…..we agreed. He gently shaved a spot on Mr. Hiss’s left foreleg and injected him and within seconds he went calm and quiet, and his eyes became dialated, fixed and blank. We both continued to pet him and talk to him for a minute or so, and the Vet put a stethoscope on him in a couple of places, and lifted his head and looked at us and simply said,….”He’s gone”.

While there was a sense of relief that he was no longer struggling, or wondering why, ……we had just lost 18 and a half years of never ending love, and affection, and a member of our family.

While our youngest Son, Jay, passed away this past February, at 40, from Bacterial Meningitis, and we loved him as well. He was a human being and a “grown up”, a Husband, a Father of two Children, and a totally unique person, whom we will always miss and remember for his 40 years on this earth, but there is still a big difference.

Pets offer you an unconditional love, they can melt your heart as quickly as “aggravate you”, but they work hard to never disappoint you and will always world hard to trust and love you totally to the absolute end of life.

I’m sure there is a pet “heaven”, and Barbara and I are equally positive that Mr. Hiss is there,… and is happy, and unfettered,…..after all, they are what they are, but we really are continuing to have a hell of a time trying to live without them!

Good bye Mr. Hiss,….we love you and miss you and after a while we’ll go and get another kitty kat, but you are the model, and the standard, the original kitty cat.

Enjoy your new life and always be happy and good to everyone, what more can we ask.

Rest In Peace.

January 23, 2018


Where last we met, ….”Michael” was about to have his name changed to “Mr. Hiss,…the sainted Cat!”. Well as I said it was about six or eight weeks after we got them and they were just becoming more stealth. They were eating fine, not doing any damage, but were developing “anti-social” tendancies so we needed to break the routine for them and let them know two things; first, that we loved them, and second, that we provided for them, and at a minimum expected a little reciprocation of love as well.

So as things progressed I decided Michael’s hissing and Nikita’s alienation of us was going to have to change! So I decided that the answer was some “solitary time”. I took Michael first, (ok, I’ll admit it I liked him better anyway for his determination to protect his sister above all. So I “lured him” into the spare bedroom, closed the door and let him explore. There was no way out, no “hiddie holes” so he would have to come to grips with life. I made sure I fed him on schedule and with plenty of food. He whined a bunch, and when he didn’t Nikita would come upstairs and meow for him at the door, and try and reach under the door and touch him, and vice versa. And at feeding time I would take the food up to him, put it on the placemat by the window, and lay down on the double bed by the window and just “talk” with him for a half hour to an hour very quietly, trying to build a bond with him. After a couple of days, it began to work!

He didn’t Hiss when you came near him now, and just gave a little surprised “meow” if you touched him. This continued along with the feeding, talking to him, and after a couple days of that he actually jumped up on the bed and walked close to me to see if everything was ok! The next day he actually let me touch him and stroke him a few times, and began to meow and I swear I heard a purr of two as I chatted with him. So much for his solitary meditating time, I let him back out into general population and run of the house and he continued to explore me in particular when I’d sit on the couch, and occasionally stick his head under my forearm and lift it up, sort of a Cat sign for “OK, you can pat me now,…you’re OK!”

The next day I lured Nikita into the solitary chamber and repeated the same process. Michael spent most of his time just outside the door meowing to Nikita, (rough translation probably, “it’s OK he won’t hurt you, just be nice and time will fly, and you’ll be out quickly,….just learn and cooperate, I still love you sis!” He was more agile and could get his paw and about an inch or two of his paw and his front leg under the bedroom door. imitation seemed to calm down and relax quickly. She started letting me pat her the next day and purred even louder than Michael and seemed ready to accept us much quicker. (OK women are more intuitive and faster learners!) So I was able to let Nikita out of the bedroom and she seemed very well acclimated to us and the house.

Since they were born feral, we decided letting them outside alone was out of the question, or they would be gone, so we bought a couple of leashes, and collars and that was a waste of time and money! Our first cats we adopted back in New England, Toonses, and Tiddles defied all cat logic, all we had to do was open the back sliding door, whistle and call them by name and poof!, they appeared and came right in the house. They were kittens when we got them, but they immediately took to us, and were just SUPER little cats, both common Orange Tigers, and brothers as well.

Since Michael would still Hiss at us once in a while,….and all we did was say “No hissing!” and shake a finger at him, we started calling him “Hiss” and the name stuck, and as many times as we tried to get him to stop before going to “Solitary”, we noticed he would stop and look at us with the “You talking ta Me? look. So the name Mr. Hiss was coined and stuck for the last 19 years.

Being a “macho” male cat, Mr. Hiss started chasing Nikita more often, and not in a “fun and games” way, but a more 15 year old hormonal teenager way. So we took them both to the Veternarian and had them “fixed”. (Down here in Florda there are Feral Cats everywhere, a restaurant was out of business for less than a year and when the property changed hands they had to remove over 100 feral cats from the place, it took a couple of weeks to round them all up and remove them!

Mr. Hiss began to mature, but still wanted his sister BAD. Again being responsible animal parents, we knew this would eventually lead to huge frustration problems, so we opted to turn Nikita, the Vixen over to a “no-kill” shelter, and they were so impressed with her the employees adopted her, and shortly there after she was running the place and had the run of the place to boot!

And that’s how we wound up with Tom, Barb, and Mr. Hiss.

Stay tuned for the final installment next time, “Mr. Hiss, 18 years of love and care,…..for all of us.


January 21, 2018

Posted by: guinness222 | January 19, 2018

Good night, Mr. Hiss,…we loved you!

PART I – Coming home

Here’s a story I shan’t soon forget.

My wife came home from work at her part-time job one evening in the fall of 1999. We were just entering the process of trying to buy a new home, or townhouse, after deciding the lease we had on a townhome in Miramar Beach was just throwing “rental money” down the drain. We had a line on a builder who was building a new development, and we knew his work, which was top quality, had gone out to see it, and it was in it’s early stages. Having owned our own homes since 1972, when I got out of the U.S. Navy we found it impossible to be “confined” as life’s little treasures and things just keep “accumulating” and all the closets were full. We had to do it. So as we mulled over the options, the costs, the income we’d need to have to support the house, etc. plus just “living”. My wife announced her manager at the store had asked if we would like a couple of kittens, from a new litter of a feral cat who had settled into her fenced in back yard at her house. We figured a great way to Christen the new house would be our own “pets”, but felt a cats would be low maintenance, inexpensive costs, and a little fun to boot. Her boss had said it would be about six or eight weeks til the kittens were weaned from the mother and then we could have them, and if we took two of them they could keep each other company and play during thee day while we worked!

Thus began the adventure!

We were watching a new TV series called “La Femme Nikita” on television, and one night soon thereafter we had gone over too “visit” our new pets and first meet them. We found them with the Mother, cowering for their lives under the double bed in thier spare bedroom. All we could see was a “bunch” of round yellow eyes staring out at us. I asked why we couldn’t see anything else, “Because they are totally black and curl up in little balls under the bed and even we have a hard time finding them”, we were told.

My wife was born and brought up in Salem, Massachusetts, home of the Salem witches, and even their high school rings had a gold witch on the stone in the ring. It caught my funny bone that how perfect for a Salem girl, graduated from Salem High School and wore a class ring with a witch on it, to have two black Cats as pets!!

One was a boy cat, and the other a female, so we, and they, each would have company. Since we were watching the “La Femme Nikita” TV. Series we decided it would be cute if we called the Male cat “Michael”, and the Female “Nikita”, after the main characters.

The big day came we went to pick them up and the folks had to lift the entire bed up so we could get them out and in a carrier to take home. Nikita was easy and did not offer much resistance, Michael put up more of a fight but we prevailed…and made it home, it was obvious that he was trying to be a good brother and “protect his little sister”. We had purchased litter boxes for each, and set them down, all fresh and shiny filled with litter, set up a big bowl of water, and a bowl of “kibble” for each of them. So when we got home we just put them down in the dining area, opened the gate on the grate, ….and they didn’t move, so we just left them and eventually they wandered out to investigate, Nikita first, and Michael later. After a little bit of “acclamation time” we gradually moved toward them, ….and they both ran back in the carrier, Nikita first and Michael second, so he could protect her. So we backed off and waited, and the next time we approached we figured since Nikita was a little calmer we’d approach her first. Funny thing the next time we approached her Michael stood between us and her, and began to make “hisssssssing” noises and was protecting her.

We tried to leave them alone some more and gave them the run of the house. They stayed close to the carrier and “hung out together” The next morning the food was gone and they were lounging around a little less offended by our presence. But every time we approached Nikita would cower and Michael would stand defiantly and “Hisssss” until we backed down and left her alone. (For a minute or two it occurred to me perhaps we had a psychotic kitten on our hands, but we kept trying to be friendly to no avail)

As Christmas approached we put up a tree, decorated it and other decor of the season, we tried to keep close, but not intrude on the kittens until they allowed us to get closer. We spent time just talking in low comfortable tones to them, as well as amongst ourselves. We tried to freshen up their carrier which had become “home” for them, it was small, dark inside, and no one bothered them in there. We figured they would acclimate and eventually get curious as to who the “strange folks in the area” were, and investigate.

A week or so later, Barbara was working one evening and I was sitting on the couch watching TV, at the other end of the couch was the Christmas tree The kittens seemed to be in their carrier napping and being kittens. It was a quiet evening, I forget what I was doing, other than just sitting there thinking, when I had that Errie feeling of someone watching me! As I looked over toward the Christmas Tree I noticed four little yellow/green eyes staring at me out of the Christmas tree! They had climbed up the tree close to the center and were just perched in the middle staring at me. They didn’t move, and neither did I. After a bit I lowered the TV volume and started trying to talk to them, gently and quietly, an eventually tried to move closer. Every time I ventured closed “Michael” would hisssss furiously sort of a “one more inch and I’m gonna rip your face apart” type hisss, and I’d just backed down a bit and relaxed. That worked, but EVERY time I altered movement or shifted on the couch,…..”Hisssssssss” started again. (Dumb adult,… I logically “YUH?”, thought, ‘maybe he doesn’t like his name, because we had been trying to use their names to relax them and hope they learned them well enough to show a reaction when we used their name, the first step in obedience training!. However I forgot the basic rule of cat ownership, “you don’t train them, , they “humor”you at their pleasure”. But it didn’t seem to happen and the hissing continued. Both Barbara and I were concerned that this little black kitten called “Michael” was going to hurt his vocal cords, or whatever equivalent cats have, so we just moved to a “mutual non-aggression pact” with them and we all seemed to get along ok for a month or so.

But since our offer for the townhome had been accepted and moving would be coming in 60 to 90 days, ) both Barbara and I felt we needed to expedite the process to make things better for all of us,….but HOW?

Section II – Tough love for Kitty Cats or “How Michael became “Mr. Hiss” , next in installment #2.

January 19, 2018

-30- for this installment

Posted by: guinness222 | January 16, 2018

An “oldie but goodie!!

Wrote this in August of 2015,….looks like some of the old birds have come back to roost,….AND now they have a REAL President to lead them,…..Love it!! Read and heed!


Will it take a military coup to bring this country back to it’s sanity!!

I heard a comment yesterday about an open letter to the Congress and Senate signed off on by about almost 190 retired Generals and Admirals urging both houses to decline the Iranian agreement out of hand, and support it’s defence in the process thereafter, (i.e. the Executive Veto, and subsequent necessity of our Senate to “man up”, not “suck up”. Then this mornng I heard about another open letter to both houses asking them to affirm the ageement and vote for it’s passage.

Ok folks, this has now been elevated above my paygrade so time to get informed and also decide WHY for the first time in my life that I can remember,….the highest ranking retired military officers and leaders of this country are ACTIVELY and specifically voicing their opinion on both a legislative and political question, whose impact can have immediate and far reaching effects on the United States of America,  a number of it’s allies around the world, most particularly our BEST ally in the middle east, Isreal, and most assuredly the future of our families and friends, wherever they are living.

Letter number 1 is signed by 190 retired Generals and Admirals who invested their entire life defending, supporting and working, by virtue of their individual oaths of office, within the framework of our country’s Constitution and Bill of Rights. They, to a man/woman , say OPPOSE it out of hand. It damages our country, disgraces our world wide image and will “come back and bite us in the a**!” (my paraphrase of the document, or more simply put “a bad deal overall for us”.)

Letter number 2 is signed by 36 General Officers from the USMC, the US Army, the USAF, The NAVY, and the Coast Guard!  They reccomend both houses ENDORSE and approve the action.

And there you have it!

WHEN in your lifetime has  the General Officer Corps of this country EVER stood up to be counted, personally, professionally, …and PUBLICALLY, in such massive numbers, particularly to reccomend ANY individual Legislative action, not withstanding even a Declaration of War,! Yet a total of  226 of them have not just given their own opinion, but BANDED TOGETHER, and not only expressed the opinion, BUT Agreed on it. And even those who are dissenters did as well.

But if the sentiment is that strong, and that overwhelmingly opposed, that is OVER 81% of the current, and retired military leadership of this great country, (one of whom I had the great priviedge of serving directly under during my tour in the NAVY) . They have had access, and far more than a passing knowledge, of both the art of war, and it’s weaponry that we can not even hope to know let alone comprehennd its total powers,….., and the art of peace.

As welll as   the thousands of people who have individually put their lives at risk to simple bring back “crumbs” of knowledge and facts which our defence and intelligence experts can weave and mold into the REALITY that “We the People” will never probably publically know is trying to annihilate us. All of this to defend protect, support and uphold the very basic concepts and foundations of our country, and our CONSTITUTION,….as we, and our children, sleep quietly and peacefully, secure in the belief that everything is being handled by OUR EXPERTS, and greatest leaders, NOT nickel dime political “hacks”, for thier own “legacy orpersonal bragging rights”.

Those 226 Generals and Admirals are skilled in their various diciplines and the levels of knowledge required to insure the best possible and most accurate job performance that can ever be weilded.

This is not Checkers, folks, nor Monopoly. It’s real world “stuff”.  It’s what we euphamistally call a real “Life or Death” decision point!


Recently a person I know, who is a “stylist, color specialist”, or hairdresser wrote a short “rant” on Facebook, and asked me to read it. I told her I liked it and then introduced her to my ultimate form of REAL writing, (according to me), i.e. “STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS”.

It’s not “taught” anywhere, it’s definitely not fully understood, nor is it  “politically correct”,… just is exactly what it says, it goes from the heart  to the fingers, (or pad of paper or the computer keyboard), to the “ether layer of ‘the cloud” or whatever  medium you use. We ALL have stories, we all have thoughts, we all have judgements, and we all become frustrated, because we are not “writers, a/k/a Hemingway, Vonnegut, William F. Buckley, etc., nor any of the others lining the shelves of the local bookstores!

It we can all, (or mostly all) write! We are human and by nature only a fraction of us have what it takes to be “REAL WRITERS”, but we can ALL be hobbists or amateurs, even if we are hacks sometimes. The MOST  important point is, we all have something to say,….so say what you have to say! Never be ashamed of it either! No matter what God endowed you with it’s enough to write. Look at folks who were not “writers” like, Anne Frank, and others who are now world renown, not for necessarily having BA’s, or MA’s , but telling a story, AS A HUMAN BEING.

What we are,  is basically,  human beings, fraught with many imperfections for sure, lacking the “proper education” in formal writing skills, (per the “politically correct crew”), but where did folks like Edger Allen Poe, Charles Dickinson, Ernest Hemingway and others come from? Did they all graduate from Columbia School of Journalism, and writing, Harvard University,   or their equivalent .

And WHY MUST everything be so linked together as to no longer resemble the fractured nature of our thought process and mental being as to present a “singular” view?

We are human, and as such, being a human animal, we ARE fractured. We play different roles, have different thoughts, mind tracks and concerns,…….95% of the time! I will guarantee you that a “socially adjusted person” and a “crazy dude” are not the same person, ALL THE TIME, ….BUT.. they are close..Why is that ?

The “crazy dude” compartmentalizes things, BUT in hermetically sealed, totally isolated places in their mind where they never see the light of day,….until they burst! (Like Ted Kyzinski) the Uni-bomber, and most of the time that is not a good thing! But sometimes they have things to say,…. for all of us are “STORYTELLERS”, regardless of credentials!

Whereas  a “socially well adjusted person, is both a career /business person, a family person,  a person with individual convictions and personal and religious beliefs, definite likes, and dislikes.” They, unlike the “crazy dude” are “spinning more plates” and weighing their values and melding it all together in a unique personal form,……called a “normal” human being.

Recently I heard of a Dean/Professor, who assigned a project to follow a “Blog” as part of a semester program for college students, BUT it had to be a totally compartmentalized Blog, i.e., a business blog had to always, and totally, be about business, a “mommy blog had to be totally about “Being a Mommy Blog” only.

HELLO!!!! That is plain stupid, and in my mind, contra-productive to ANY goals of the project!  Man (not the gender Dean, the universal reference to ALL mankind)  is not a specifically isolated and compartmentalized being. We are all the SUM of our life experiences, and as such MUST be expressed that way to be successfully comprehended by the world! And remember, some, because of motivation, formal training, etc. can do it better than others!

I don’t sit down to chose my subjects, I usually let my subjects choose me,….it’s better that way. Writing is a personal communication for no one in particular, but most in general, …the key difference is one simple word that makes that difference count,…..PASSION!!!

Not the passion of “hot” subject matter, ( like a good looking 25 year old blonde on the Boardwalk in a Bikini, …that causes traffic accidents!) but the passion that will ignite your SOUL, not your libido!

The world is fraught with good, bad, happy, sad, worthy,… and not so worthy things, but it’s what “trips YOUR trigger”, which is where your capacity to be a writer comes from,…inside your self from that little thing that catches your awareness, creates curiosity, vehemently turns you almost violent or angry, or is directly opposed to the “normal rule of order”. That is what writing should be about!! Improper grammar and all. (“Never end a sentence with a preposition”, – Sr. Alice, my teacher, 1955. But I just did with the preposition “ABOUT” two sentences back in this article.

Writers are usually “poor folk”, from a monetary standpoint in this world,….why? Because the Bible got it right!! “Man must serve God or Man,…but not both!!” (Loose translation.)

Not going “Evangelical” on you, but TWO (2) of the Gospel writers, Matthew and Luke, both warn about it! (Matt 6:24, and Luke 16:3,….check it out!)

Part of the ” secret” of being a writer, is to be both a reader, and a “learner”. “Knowledge builds on Knowledge, and is based on Knowledge” – (ME, 2017)

One does not just pick up a pen, (or a laptop) and WRITE, one must explore, gain knowledge,research, and consider “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, as a certain document.  I’m personally fond of what anyone has to say. One must “learn”, expand their knowledge, first in life,  and then in writing,…. define and expand that knowledge as YOU are drawn to relate it to others!!

This whole “blog” is more of a philosophical presentation, than “informative opinion”, but I write it to challenge YOU, the Reader, to let me know your feelings, and thoughts,…..or,……am I just wasting my time, sitting in a Bar with a pint of Guinness, and wasting my heartbeats!!

January 10, 2018


Posted by: guinness222 | January 8, 2018

Thank You,…Father!!

Father Kevin Johnson passed away January 8, 2018

As an active member of the St. Rita Parish in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida for about six years now, my wife and I were both saddened by the passing of our Pastor, Father Kevin Johnson,…..but there is much more to it,….so read on.

My wife,Barbara, and I are both what are called “Cradle Catholics”, meaning we were born to Catholic Parents, christained, or baptized within weeks of being born, and were brought up to be Catholics. As a kid it could be frustrating, with getting up on everySunday morning to go to church, whether you really wanted to or not. Like good Catholic Children , our parents felt one of their most important obligations was to insure all their children grew up to be a “good Catholics”. Parochial School was a must for their children and their duty was to make it happen, regardless of the personal sacrifices it entailed. Whenever physically possible we went to parochial grammar schools, high schools, and even College if we could get into one of the few Catholic Colleges. A great deal of our “Extra-curricular” time was also spent in activities fostered within the confines of Catholicism, Boy Scouts for example had a “Catholic” award called the “Ad Altare Dei”, (which. I earned and received from Archbishop Richard Cushing when I was 13 years old at the Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston. (Several years later he was made a Cardinal.) , Both my wife and I, as well as parents and siblings, participated in “Drum & Bugle Corps” under the auspices of the “Catholic Youth Organization (CYO)”, which is where we met, went on to marry, have three children and are celebrating our fifty first year of marriage together.

Why do I tell you all of this? Very simply to make you aware of Fr. Kevins contribution to this area, and all of our lives, and assure you he has a seat right up there with Mother Teresa in heaven with the Lord! He didn’t found a great order of priests like the Jesuits, Benedictines, Dominicans or the like. He didn’t rise from a humble family to go on to become a bishop, cardinal, or Pope, but what he did do was to personify his Priesthood with the characteristics of Catholicism, and something each and everyone of us could, and should do every day. It makes you, everyone you meet, and everyone you come in contact with both like and respect you far more, and it costs you absolutely nothing!

What is it? SIMPLY SAY “THANK YOU!”, sincerely and with meaningfully, for everything in your life that happens. Not the mumbled “thanks”, or muffled “thank you”, or the nod of acceptance, but simply say “thank You” with emphasis on the “YOU”, and do it with a smile!

I used to think of Fr. Kevin as “Father Thank You”, that will be the memory etched forever in my mind . I serve at Mass on the Alter, and after the Alter Boys and Alter Girls  finish washing the Priests hands during Mass, Father “Thank You” would always tell them and smile as he did it. He said “Thank you” to every person ever bringing up the gifts at every Mass which I witnessed as well. When he first fell ill he was in a wheelchair for a while, and I was fortunate enough to have pushed him to the altar, up the ramp and around the altar as he celebrated mass, and regardless of his personal pain and trials he always, and I mean every time, said “Thank You!” to me, with a smile and a sincere way such that you knew it was as real as it gets. I’d see him after Mass in our Church function room, after daily Mass, he loved to just sit, have coffee and a Donut or two, and talk to “his lambs”, be they three, or 93.  Before Mass he would ask to be pushed over to any of the elderly parishioners to say hello and a word of comfort to them.

He was born without an evil, sarcastic, or cynical bone in his body, and he never met a man, woman or child, whom he did not love, and respect. During an average Mass, he probably said “Thank You” a half a dozen times, and always made everyone he came in contact with feel like a personal friend and special fried. I was so proud when he agreed to help my wife and I renew our wedding vows on our fiftieth anniversary at Mass, this past summer, and it felt like we were the only people there, despite a full church. He had that effect on everyone he ever met!

His family, growing up was a typical Irish Catholic family, (in the “old Days” it was the pinnacle of parental success for a parent when a Son became a priest, and a daughter became a Nurse, Both Father Kevin and his brother became Priests, and his sister a  Nurse.

I could go on, but I’d rather remember Father Kevin Johnson as “Father Thank You” and am going to try and say “Thank You” myself, to more folks, be it the receptionist in a Doctors  Office Lobby, a “Bagger” at the supermarket, of even a salesman, or aPolice Office handing back your Licence and registration after you were stopped for a petty light bulb or other infraction.

And by the way Father Kevin,….”Thank You” for spending time with all of us as well!

It’s working!!

January 8, 2018


Friends are hard to find,…..that’s a fact! Sometimes they go back to childhood, …got a couple of them,….but more likely as the old adage goes, “God gave you your relatives, ….but you can choose your friends!” One of the most sage pieces of wisdom ever spoken.

I met this friend over 13 years ago, we both used to stop in the same neighborhood bar, along with another friend, who has since passed away.  He was a big catalyst to our friendship, ….as well as helping what friendship really means, and what you would do for a “friend”, without any further question!

Suffice it to say, as readers will remember, I managed a retail store in one of those “mega-mall” Outlet Centers. Our passed friend was named “Mikie” ( his real name), and it was through “Mikie”, that I meet the other  Mike , a charter member of my “true friends”club.

We both liked playing chess, we both loved our military time and service, (not old war stories, but honoring our “debt” to our country for our freedoms and that of our children, siblings and the future) we both loved life, and were not so much conscious of what it brought, but learned just how many few REAL FRIENDS a person can add to their personal list of “real friends” in their life.

As a matter of fact we used to play chess at the local pub, (I beat him once in the hundred or so games we played),…..he was not only good, but a real GrandMaster at the game! (Being a Pub in the area of LA “lower Alabama”, or the Florida panhandle) folks used to come over and say things like “Those are strange lookin’ checkers”, and “Is that some kind of new game y’all are playin’?”

Our friend “Mikie” added the “comic relief” to our budding friendship, as Mikie was the last of the real “Woodstock generation”, or, as Mikie I’m sure plagerized from somewhere, “If you remember Woodstock,….you weren’t there!” (If you don’t understand that comment drop me a line and I’ll explain it for you!).

I know Mikie knew how to play chess, but he loved “playin’ Dumb” and watching Mike and I play.

As life has it, we all move on, Mikie passed away about a year and a half later, and Mike had a really tough break and he too, moved on,….but we kept in touch, via facebook, and a lot of the other “lifelines” friends use to just keep track of each other “without being invasive”. Just being sure a “friend “ was doing ok.

Mike had some personal situations, and had to move on with his life. He and my wife Barbara were both of Polish/Ukrainian heritage, and they struck up a friendship as well. We had him to dinner, he had us over for dinner, and we all kidded around together, but even she asks me “How’s Mike doing?”, occasionally.

Mike had been a real Army Ranger”(closest thing to a SEAL, that can’t swim well”- an old Navy slam, but lovingly meant as they are just as “badass” , and the real deal, he had retired after about 12-14 years,  and gone into professional protective services, as well as staying open to “independent options”.

Read as “independent contractor”, as the military started “scaling back” our involvement in the “Eastern European situation” region, and the “ Middle Eastern” areas. I never asked, and he never really told me anything specific,….but he was there for sure, and since we’ re both getting older things become a little clearer. He filled in his “out of Country gigs” with reasonable “regular jobs”. At one point he was either the head of the detachment, or senior guy for one of the most important United States Diplomats since the end of WWII. But also a personal “body guard” for our ambassador in the Bosnia/Herzegovina “situation” in the 1970-90 era. But never talked much about experiences, with the exception that he “had to  carry “X’s” daytimer for him “so he didn’t have a bulge” in his pocket!

He truly was a REAL person, AND MY FRIEND!

Some time ago he packed it in, at our little “ vacation kingdom” and moved to Las Vegas. We checked each other’s welfare via face book postings, and that occasional e-mail back and forth.

About a month and a half ago he sent me a note that he and his parents and siblings all wanted to “go to the beach” for Christmas so he’d be here between Christmas and New Years and would like to get together to check that “we were all “doing ok”!

He called two days ago, and we set a date and time to get together “for a beer”, and catch up,…….and that we did yesterday.

Got to sign out and go back to “real life” but stay tuned for the next update in the next week or so, and really see what real friendship is all about!! (Or what I can tell you without breaking confidences with a “Real Friend”!


January 1, 2018

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