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The Ant And The Grasshopper

This  one is a little different….
Two  Different Versions …
Two  Different Morals

OLD  VERSION

The  ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The  grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come  winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The  grasshopper has no  food or shelter, so he dies  out in the cold.

MORAL  OF THE OLD STORY:

Be responsible for yourself!

MODERN  VERSION

The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house
and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come  winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide  pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit  the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green …’

Occupy the Anthill stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the SEIU group singing, ‘We Shall Overcome’.

Then Rev Al Sharpton’s assistant has the group kneel down to pray for the grasshopper
while he damns the ants. The Reverend Al cannot attend as he has contractual commitments to appear on his MSNBC show for which he is paid over two million dollars a year to complain that rich people do not care.

President Obama condemns the ant and blames President Bush 43, President Bush 41, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper’s plight.

Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview on ‘The View’ that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the ‘Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act’ retroactive to the beginning of
the  summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government Green Czar and given to the grasshopper.

The  story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn’t maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again.

The grasshopper  is found dead in a drug related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken
over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the ramshackle, once prosperous, and peaceful neighborhood.

The entire Nation collapses bringing the rest of  the free world with it.

MORAL OF THE STORY:

Befree lo careful how you vote in 2016.

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Our New Trailer

Well after four years in our little 19 foot Salem Trailer, it was time to upgrade! It worked very well as an entry-level trailer and we had no problems with it. It just became too small for us and was time to trade it in. A few weeks back, we went to the Tacoma RV Show and looked around to find out what we liked and didn’t like! This next trailer was just going to be an interim one to keep for 5 years or so until Debbie possibly retires. Then at that point we would decide what and where to go from there. We decided to just look at mid level quality trailers then that were inexpensive but NOT cheap! That changed our plans when we went down to the Valley RV Supercenter to have a look at the Jayco trailers and stumbled on this one! It was a little more luxurious and higher priced than what we originally intended, but we fell in love with it. They gave us a great deal on it and paid us generously for our Salem and the deal was inked!!! So now, we are the proud owners of a 2015 30′ Jayco Eagle Trailer and the next chapter of camping trips begin! We will bid a fond farewell to our Salem which did us good for many years and hopefully, it will be enjoyed by some new campers in the near future!

Very Well Said

You must watch this video from this very well spoken man, Frederick Wilson II. He has a very important message to all his black brothers and sisters that I wonder if any of them will heed! I could have said the same thing, but would have been labeled some racist “cracker honky”. Wonder what label they will attach to him?

 

In Recovery Mode

Awhile ago in an earlier post, I briefly mentioned under going testing to get my hiatal hernia examined for potential surgery. I have had GERD and acid reflux my whole life and it was mainly caused by this sliding hiatal hernia. Years of stomach acid bubbling up into my esophagus has turned into me also having Barrett’s Esophagus! I have been controlling this with medications, but learning about the long-term effects of such medications, we decided to get this fixed. So after a few consults with my doctor, on April 14th I had surgery, my first in my 54 years on this spinning planet. There are two common procedures in fixing hiatal hernias and I had a combination of the two, called The Hill-Nissen Hybrid Repair which is a fairly new procedure developed to reduce the failure rate of each of the procedures done individually. I had it done at our brand new high tech hospital just a few mile away, Swedish Hospital Issaquah by my highly competent and respected physician, Dr. Ralph Aye. It was done laparoscopic with five small incisions into my abdomen. The pain wasn’t too bad, but the medication in the pain pump gave me a horrendous headache, so I had to take something less effective orally in a liquid form……bummer! I was up walking a few hours after surgery and did quite well. The biggest problem after a surgery like this is the inability to get anything into the stomach through the repair area as it is very tight and inflamed. Getting anything in liquid form was very hard and I had to do it very slowly. This also caused me to stay an extra night in the hospital until I was able to start getting fluids and nutrition.
I am home now and the recovery begins. It will take 4-6 weeks to get back to work, which boredom may set in, it is very nice to have the time off!! I am on a full fluids diet for the first two weeks…..jello, pudding, broth, juices, thin smoothies and I am dropping weight like crazy and every other commercial on TV seems to be related to food in some way! The only exercise I am getting is just some short walks in the neighborhood and fatigue is easily achieved. I’ll go back for a follow up appointment on the 28th and may be able to start eating more foods, yaaaaaa! It will 6 weeks and beyond before I will return to a “normal” diet, but I have a feeling I will be seeing a new normal from now on. We’ll see how much weight I will lose and will I be able to keep it off. Below is a video I took after coming home which is kind of funny! My voice was screwed up from the surgery and Debbie thought it was funny. Apparently, so did I. Don’t worry Swedish, I was just kidding about suing!

 

 

 

 

My Acting Debut

Well here it is, my first time ever on a stage, and performing a monologue to boot. A little back story first. Awhile back in late 2013, the San Juan Islands (where we have our cabin) experienced a phone and internet outage caused by a severed cable that lasted for ten days. You can read about here! My good friend, Kevin Hillstrom, a budding playwright wrote a play about the outage and poked a little fun at it. He asked me if I would star in it. I said sure although I have never acted before. It was to be performed during the Playwrights “On the Fringe” at the San Juan Community Theater. He went out on a limb with the theater director because I couldn’t come up for the rehearsals, she never met me until the day before the first show, had no idea how it would work, was worried because I was going to go off script and ad lib some of the lines, and the other actors were thinking Kevin was get some preferential treatment. But he managed to persuade her and emailed me the script and let me know where I could just ad lib and ramble within it. So after looking it over for a while, and putting my thespian hat on, here is the result below,  no real rehearsal and no real experience. I think we did a fine job. Thanks to Kevin for writing a great and funny script and Julie Laidlaw for allowing us to “wing it”.

A Challenging New Year

Well 2014 hasn’t started very well for us in the Givens household! Granted, everyone in the Seattle area were partying with the Seahawks winning their first ever Super Bowl and that was a helluva party and something to cheer for!! And except for a couple of bumps in the road, thing are still going good for us. Now for those bumps! Back in August I did something to my right heel which created a knot on the inside of where the Achilles tendon inserts itself in to the heel bone. Deb and I went on an easy three-mile, level trail run and I felt fine. No holes or rocks were hit and no trauma was experienced. I had been breaking in some new Brooks Adrenaline shoes and they just never felt right! When we were through, my foot felt fine, but the next day I noted some soreness in my heel. I gave it a day or two then tried another run, and barely got out of the neighborhood and had to turn back. Haven’t run since!!! I kept it quiet for a while and finally gave into going to physical therapy! They worked on it for over a month and it wasn’t getting any better, so I resorted to seeing my foot and ankle sports medicine guy. We have worked on it with anti inflammatory, ice, and six weeks in the below walking boot! I remained working, but I did have to remove the boot while I drove the bus! It was a pain, but after a while, I was used to the boot and it actually felt good when I had it on. There has been improvement and I am back in physical therapy to strengthen the tendons and try to get back to normal. I am just trying to avoid surgery, because it will be major and I will be out of commission for three months!

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My Walking Boot

Speaking of surgery, our poor little boy Cordell had to have some to remove a small tumor discovered during his last physical. We were very worried about our little guy and luckily the test results came back benign. He is on the mend and has almost fully recovered, although he still has a hairless patch on his side. He was a real trooper through the whole thing!

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Poor Cordell has an oowie!

Now while all this was going on and we didn’t have enough to worry about, the scumbag in the photos below hacked our debit card account and ripped off almost $10,000 out of our bank account!! We presume he somehow phished our information by a fake reader or something because we still had possession of the card. Since the debit card was linked to all of our accounts, he took from savings, checking, and also a personal line of credit. What a hassle it was getting it all sorted out and changing bank account numbers and re establishing bill pays and etc. We are no longer going to use a debit card in such a manner for the future. We opened a local account that we will transfer a limited amount of money into and use it. Below are photos captured from multiple ATM’s he was using and while they are not the best, if you see or know this piece of shit scumbag, contact police. He used ATM’s at only Seven Elevens in the following places: Bellevue, Factoria, Kent on Meeker Street, Seattle on Denny Way, Woodinville, Crossroads, and once in Marysville.

Finally as things have slowly returned to normal I am going through tests to possibly get surgery to fix my GERD I have lived with for years! I had multiple tests done which included a manometry, endoscopy, and a Bravo pH study done. I go back shortly to have a consult on where to go from here! Wish me luck, I will need it!

Vacation 2013 Part II

Part two of our main vacation was not as fun, full of hard work, but very rewarding! After our big camping trip to Oregon and California, we cleaned up the trailer and then shot up to the Island cabin on San Juan Island to get the rest of the flooring done! We had to clear out all of the rooms of furniture before the installers showed up, that was the extent of our work. They installed and then we put the place back together! It turned out fantastic!! We couldn’t have picked a better color and type for the cabin. It also smells much better in there now that the old dank musty carpet is now out. Now we will turn to the bathroom flooring and the “Man Cave” out by the garage! Slowly we are turning our ugly duckling into a swan!

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