Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Google Ad Goblins

Suddenly my google ads have all become public service ads, which is fine, since they were only bringing in 50 cents a month. Still, I wonder why it changed, since I've made no changes to the layout and had no warnings from Google.

I'm guessing a lack of posting, thus a lack of traffic has confused the program that sends the ads.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Six Words

I was recently tagged by Country Dew with a meme for a six word memoir. That’s fitting, because whenever I work on my column or my blog, which has been infrequent lately, my son asks if I’m working on my memoirs. I think he learned that from his Momma.

He likes the word so much that when tasked in school to create a timeline of his life, he titled it “Noah’s Memoirs”. Memoirs of a six year old, that’s a good one.

So, I’ve been pondering this on and off for the last few days. Six words. That’s very tough to do, although enough people nailed it that it was turned into a book. I’m having trouble with the approach. We all wear many hats, mine: husband, father, son, brother, friend, writer, employee, co-worker, homeowner, home project manager, music lover, hobbyist, weekend athlete, sports fan, club member, etc. Then you have carbon life form versus sense of self.

Where do I begin? How can this be done in six words? I came up with a few that only apply in specific contexts:

Desk job daydreamer. Needs a vacation.

Father of one, master of none.

Not one to miss a meal.

But how should I sum up the whole package? I’m not sure it’s even possible, so I’m going to cop out, quote my all time favorite band The Police (excuse the pun).

De Do Do Do, De Da . . . .

I've never tagged anyone with one of these, so maybe it's a good time to start. There are a few neighborhood bloggers I can torture with this. Let's see your six word memoirs Katie, KHE, and Rob.

Monday, April 21, 2008

RDB: 1924-2008

We lost my father on Friday, April 11. He endured a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, the signs emerging well over ten years ago. Dad remained physically strong, though, and only took a very sharp decline after a fall in February. From that point on, he never really gained back enough strength to walk or get up from bed on his own. There were several attempts at physical rehab in a nursing home, but there was little progress. In the end, he was unable to swallow and died from aspiration pneumonia.

His wishes were not to have to life-sustaining procedures, such as a feeding tube. His passing was peaceful and he was in no discomfort.

I had visited in February, to help Mom navigate the process of arranging nursing home care for him. It was obvious that Mom's miraculous efforts in caring for him at home were no longer possible after his fall. She had done everything for him for years, and truly maintained his quality of life heroically. So much so that she had difficulty leaving his side to go home and sleep at night. Trust me, the staff at the facility was top notch, but it still didn't quite suit Mom.

They had been married 58 1/2 years.

The nurse manager called me at work, Wednesday April 9, and said that it was probably time to get up there. I arrived Thursday afternoon and was able to spend several hours with Dad. Mostly, he slept, but he did open his eyes a few times. There was a twinkle there. He may not have been able to say my name, but I think he knew who I was. At least I choose to think that. He gestured a lot with his arm, reaching out to us, mostly to Mom.

Friday morning when we arrived at his room, we were met by the nurse manager who said he had just left us. Mom was torn up that she wasn't there with him, but believe me, no one could have been at his side more than she had been. For 58 1/2 years.

Then we gathered the family, made the arrangements, moved on with the things that must be done. Having just lost my father-in-law less than a year ago, I knew the routine, so waiting for the undertaker, choosing a casket, all that, my brother and I handled without Mom even getting involved.

One of the saddest things in this is that my son lost both of his grandfathers, G'diddy and Pop Pop, in less than a year. He soldiers on as a six year old will, and we are glad he is old enough to have some memories of them.

My wife and son arrived on Saturday, as did much of the rest of the family. My parents have four sons, ten grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren. It was remarkable that nine of the ten grandchildren were there (the tenth unable to travel because she's quite far along pregnant with great-grandchild number fourteen). Sad to reunion over an occasion such as this, but we all knew it was coming. A long time coming, really. So we all shared some memories and toasted to Dad and each other.

We had a visitation Sunday, a service and burial on Monday. Mom and Dad had not been church members since they moved to Poughkeepsie in 1959, so the service was brief and mostly secular (though performed by a Lutheran pastor). My brother gave a eulogy, in which he read a piece I had written last summer for the South Roanoke Circle. Here it is, on page eleven of the pdf.

I do miss my father, but the truth is, we have all missed him for years. He was a strong man, not overly strict (with me, anyway. I think my older brothers may have another perspective), and he had a great sense of humor. It was sad to see that fade over the last years. Selfishly, and for the sake of my family, I hope there is a cure found for dementia, because I know it can be hereditary.

If any of your loved ones or friends have even been afflicted with Alzheimer's, or if you know someone who is a caregiver to a spouse or parent, you know how difficult it is on everyone. Please consider a donation to the Alzheimer's Association on their behalf.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Filler: Best Game Ever

Be careful if you start playing this new game. It will eat up a couple hours before you know what hit you.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Bite Of Soap

I was a bit worried after last weekend about my overall level of profanity here at JSR. After having a fair number of orange sodas while watching the NCAA tournament, I put up a string of posts laden with salty talk. Next morning, I got up and took a look and I thought it was a bit much so I yanked a post or two.

Now, I've got no problem with low humor. Shoot, I don't have a problem with what many people consider low morals. Sometimes taking it to extremes can be funny (NFW YouTube video, beware).

OK, maybe that's pushing it.

Still, I think well considered profanity can be effective, and isn't always a sign of poor character.

I do tend to disguise some of my foul language, not like this @#$!#%, but sometimes by changing the spelling or throwing in an apostrophe in place of a few letters. Isn't that f'n clever? No? Well, bite my ais!

Anyway, I was glad to get this low rating on the cuss meter:

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