America and Guns

I was writing a piece on “hate crimes” and then the Las Vegas massacre happened. I woke up at 1am, which is about 11pm Vegas time, and my television was on…I was in total shock. I remember screaming out “NOOOO!!!!” followed by a bunch of nonsensical stuff as I started to cry. I could not believe what I was watching; seeing happening in Las Vegas, it was just too much to comprehend.
I live in the USA and there is this thing called the Bill of Rights. The 2nd Amendment to this is the “right to bear arms”…meaning we have the right to own guns. And because the NRA (Naitonal Rifle Association) basically funds Republican candidates and pays off politicians we have very loose laws concerning gun ownership. Recently our “president” signed a bill allowing mentally ill to once again be able to purchase guns without question. Yes, it’s a very sad state of affairs we have concerning gun ownership and responsibility.
Our “president” refuses to call the Las Vegas shooting an act of “terrorism” – which is exactly what it is. What could BE more terrifying than being attacked by machine gun fire while at a peaceful music concert? But, because this was a WHITE man who wasn’t acting on behalf of any terrorist organization he refuses to label it what it is: terrorism. Most acts of terrorism in this country are committed by individuals just like this guy. Trump just doesn’t understand what it’s like to be terrified and in fear for your life. He doesn’t get it, because he’s a coddled old nasty rich white man.
I’m sick of all of the mass shootings taking place in America. It’s horrific that we cannot craft legislation to help possibly prevent some of these people from being able to so readily acquire these assault style weapons and ammunition that can pierce metal – such as a car door or plane fuselage. What individual person needs this kind of ammo? Only someone with very bad intentions would purchase such ammunition or assault rifles. There is no good reason to own such items. If you think I am wrong, you tell me the “good reasons”. Unless you are preparing to kill multiple people you do NOT need an automatic weapon. They aren’t used for hunting, hell you’d tear up your target and not get any good meat! They have ONE purpose: to kill people. Period.
I believe in the 2nd Amendment. I believe we DO have a right to own a gun. And I would never want our government to try to remove that right. BUT, be serious, we need some regulations to help curb some of the violence and deaths. We need strict legislation. We all need to stand up to Congress and demand to be protected by such legislation and regulations! MANY other countries have put strict gun ownership laws into place and have vastly reduced gun related murders and deaths in their lands. Australia is the prime example. In 1996 there was a terrible mass killing, they put new laws into place and have drastically reduced gun deaths in their country to date.
I fully understand that putting more restriction on gun ownership won’t completely solve the problem of gun related crime. And yes, like illegal drugs, you can always get an illegal weapon if you try hard enough and know the right people – BUT remember, locks only keep an honest man honest. It’s a mentality thing, responsible gun owners understand the laws of gun ownership are there to protect them and other people. Intelligent, responsible people have no issue with things like background checks and enhanced legislation that moves toward curbing the wrong people from obtaining guns. I truly believe that if we all work together we can find solutions that will appease all of us. I believe we CAN save lives and lower the gun death rate if we just focus on the issues, work toward solutions for those issues and work together to solve them. It’s not going to please everyone, because that’s just impossible. There will still be that rogue gunman who, most likely because he has penis envy, will need to own 50 machine guns and armor piercing bullets….God only knows what his real reasoning will be. He will be in a minority I hope.
I too pray for the families of the victims of the Las Vegas massacre, but prayers without action to back them up are fruitless. I will continue to speak out and be visible in my fight to have better gun laws in this country. I will continue to pressure my Congressmen and Senators. I won’t idly stand by and feel like my voice has no impact. And if we all speak up, and speak LOUDLY, we can change this world and make it safer for all.
Peace. ~MB

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Tuesday Thoughts…Puerto Rico

I have been pretty much confined to my house for the last 4-5 days because of the pain and discomfort in my right shoulder, collarbone and both arms.  It’s been driving me batshit crazy.  I’m not accustomed to being held down by physical limitations like this.  But, it has given me time to get some writing done, attend to emails, organize my paperwork on my desk and do much inner reflecting.  I’ve basically spent far too much time in my own head!  I can basically recite the news broadcasts because I’ve watched them so much, over and over.  Yes, far, far too much time alone and secluded in my house!

I’ve been consuming coffee and smoking way too much as well.  That’s one of the drawback of being at home, in one place, for too long a period of time.  I’ve done a huge amount of reading and studying, as I am trying to educate myself about some new stuff to write about and I’d like the article to sound intelligent at least!

I’ve spent some time looking into new investments and venues of enterprise.  I got a couple of tips on making some investments that I am seriously considering.  I will be sure to share more on that at a later date, once things are more finalized with it.  But I must say, it’s really exciting stuff!

I’ve been keeping up with Facebook and Twitter feeds, which have been inundated with stuff about Trump and the NFL.  What everyone SHOULD be most concerned with at this moment is Puerto Rico.  That poor country, which is also a US Territory and who’s citizens are American citizens, is really in bad shape.  Hurricane Maria, on top of Irma a mere few days beforehand, really devastated the country.  I don’t think we have seen the real extent of the horror there because it’s still very difficult to get TV crews onto the island nation to report on what’s going on!  Plus, there is a severe shortage of food, water, medical supplies, medication, and basic living needs.  Travel within Puerto Rico is very limited due to washed out roads, downed power lines, downed trees and debris.  So, until someone can really get in there more deeply to show us on TV what is actually happening we are pretty much left to guess and depend on sporadic reports and first hand accounts.  Our “president” (I use the title loosely) isn’t doing a damned thing for Puerto Rico, period.  His words yesterday when asked about it were very demeaning to the country, saying they were in debt, and basically they were on their own.  He said they would get around to dealing with sending federal assistance “maybe mid-October”.  Do you believe that?  Puerto Rico is an American territory and has 3.5 million American citizens living there….and he doesn’t care!!!!

This is a link to PBS article about how you can directly help Puerto Rico.  It lists the main organizations helping.  I urge you to read this and act if you are able.  They really need our help.  If I can get healthy soon I am going to try to volunteer with VOAD if possible.  I’m sure it will be a few weeks before I am healed from the surgery that I need right now, but once that is done I plan to do more volunteering of my time with agencies like VOAD.

Ah, yes, surgery.  The MRI and x-rays that I had taken last week came back and the results were not good at all.  It seems that my neck and cervical spine area thinks that I am 85 not 55!  Because of degenerating discs, arthritis and a narrowing of the opening where the nerves go through my spinal cord and nerves are being constricted.  This is causing me to have pain and tingling and numbness in both arms and hands.  I also am having bad shoulder pain, be until I see the doctor on Thursday to set up the surgery I won’t know if that is part of the nerves being constricted or not.  I’m hopeful that surgery by a specialist will help to fix the problem and eliminate this pain and discomfort.  I am also hoping that the procedure won’t disable me completely for too long.  I hate laying in bed and doing nothing.  I know there will be a recovery time, but I’m hoping it will be as short as possible.  It’s a bitch getting old.  Haha…no seriously, it is!!!

The weather here in Maine right now is as hot as southern Florida.  It’s been in the low 90’s the last 3 days…and we got 2 more to go the weather person says!  I’ve been keeping things cool with the help of my overhead fan in the living room and fans in each bedroom.  That along with keeping the shades half drawn has kept most of the heat outside.  I should mow my lawn – one more time – but it’s just too hot.  Maybe tonight after 6pm it will cool down and I can get it done.  Only takes me about 30-45 minutes to mow it all.  And it only requires me to steer and walk behind it.  I have a self-propelled mower, so it’s easy to mow.  I thought my last mow was going to do it for the season, but then we got a bunch of rain just before all of this sunshine and high temps, so the grass took to growing again, nice and lush green!

I have made my website public.  I’ve been working on a basic site with GoDaddy.  It’s not finished by any means, but it’s up and live at: http://www.butchperspectives.godaddysites.com if you would like to check it out.  I have a more “grand plan” for it in the long run, but right now I am just working on getting a working site up and running.  You can sign up on the site for updates, etc. if you wish.  And I appreciate any feedback you would like to offer up!  I’m always looking for new ideas, new products, and fun stuff to do, so please if you have suggestions let me know! Eventually the site will become a dot com site, but for now I am leaving it associated with GoDaddy for convenience in editing.

It’s early afternoon here now and I need to go do those errands I mentioned earlier.  Thanks for stopping by to read me and also Thank YOU for being a subscriber and reader of my blogs!  I truly appreciate every single one of you!!!

What would you like to see me write about?

~Peace~   ~MB

 

 

 

 

 

Just WHY???

I can’t wrap my mind around WHY anyone would support or try to defend the words, actions, inactions, lack of words, absurd behavior, rudeness, lack of tolerance, and blatant lies of Donald J Trump, our supposed “President” of these United States of America. I just am completely baffled by anyone who promotes this man and his hate-filled agenda. I see it occasionally from some people that I know on Facebook, and it just makes me cock my head in awe, and it makes me want to ask them directly “Do you NOT understand anything? Are you so blinded by his lies and deceitful tactics that you are willing – that you CHOOSE -to follow him like a stupid little, lost sheep? Would you jump off a bridge if he told you this was necessary for him to remain your president? Some of you would, I just know you would.”

No one likes Trump or his crew of evil doers. He is so concerned with “party” and not with “people” and it’s so very easy to SEE exactly where his loyalties and priorities lay – with the richest and his most wealthy donors. He has absolutely NO concern for the citizens of this country, or for the well-being of any part of this world – unless it directly correlates to his bank accounts. WHY is this so difficult for some people to see and understand? Do they seriously “believe” that Trump cares about them in some way??? Because, believe me – and all of the millions of others who see, understand and truly get it – he doesn’t give two shits about YOU or about “making America great again”…that’s not even HIS slogan, that was stolen from Ronald Reagan!!! Reagan is the one who used the “make America great again” in his campaign. Trump is nothing short of a total copy-cat. Anything he sees or hears that he can use, he uses. He has NO IDEAS of HIS OWN. It’s all just complete nonsense in his head!

Trump instigates Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea, basically egging him on to do something that will give Trump the necessary reason to obliterate North Korea. Trump verbally threatened to “completely destroy North Korea” and I believe he fully intends to do just that because he thinks it will make him look “fabulous” and make more stupid people love his old ass.
Trump himself knows nothing about war or military service. He was a draft dodger, 3 times even! He didn’t have the fortitude, patriotism or guts to fight for or serve his country in the military. He only knows what he has watched on TV or in the movies, and he thinks it’s all glorious. He doesn’t consider the affect that a war of nuclear missiles will kill MILLIONS of innocent people – not just Kim Jong Un!

If Trump had ANY sense he would order a strategic removal of Jong Un…Obama did it to Osama Bin Laden, so we KNOW it is possible. But Trump can’t seem to do it with his buddy the “Rocket Man” as he calls Jong Un nowadays. Another “stolen” nickname originally given to Jong Un’s father by Newsweek magazine years ago. He’s just re-using other people’s words to make himself look good in some weird way. Like it’s very grown up and very “presidential” to call the leaders of other countries vile nicknames and speak of them in derogatory terms, yeah must make him feel REAL GOOD about himself.

Trump tries daily to convince his dead-brained followers that he has nothing to do with Russia. He claims Russia had nothing to do with our recent presidential election process. Yet, 16 security agencies of the US Government have VERIFIED this as a FACT. Trump does not even have confidence enough to believe his own security advisors. And THEY verified that Russia did INDEED interfere with our presidential election process. Whether this had any effect on the outcome is vaguely debatable, but it DID happen nonetheless. And how can you not believe all of the people who tirelessly work in our intelligence and security agencies who say this is a fact? All of them say it is so, and ONE man says it is not…and some people believe that one man? WHY??? I just don’t get it. It does not make sense.

And the new attempt by Trump to have Obama’s name removed from our healthcare is abominable. This “Graham-Cassidy” bill is the WORST suggested bill to date! All 50 state Medicare director has come out against it, the AMA is against it, doctors, insurance companies and most every health-related institution is against this bill. It is so horrendous that even some senators say they would not vote for the bill, except that they must because if they don’t they will lose the $$$ they get from their “donors” who are the ONLY ones who benefit in the form of the largest tax break for them in history if this bill passes. It is a very shameful thing when our elected officials choose “party” over “people”…just completely shameful. IF Trump is so fucking worried about Obama’s name being on the American’s Care Act (ACA) then just change it to Trump care and be DONE with attacking it and causing 30 MILLION people to worry about losing all practical healthcare and protections. IF they repeal the ACA as it stands the only ones who will be happy with the end result of a very, very poor standard of care for America will be it’s very wealthiest citizens, and no one else. Ordinary American’s WILL suffer and suffer very greatly.

Donald Trump is completely delusional. He is so focused on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that he can’t see anything else past his nose. He is SO envious of those two that it’s pathetic. He can’t get over the FACT that Hillary Clinton garnered MORE POPULAR votes than he did! FACT!!! He can’t get by the FACT that Obama did more in his 8 years than Trump could even THINK of doing in his however-many years…let’s hope it’s a VERY SHORT number of years!!!

IF you believe Donald Trump, he is the ONLY one telling the truth here in America. He claims that EVERYONE else – every media source, including Facebook, and every government organization – is telling lies about him and promoting “fake news” as he so readily calls EVERYTHING he disagrees with now. The man just can’t get over himself! He’s a blatant LIAR, yet a few very naive people seem to want to fall for his lines. I am very sorry for those people; they will surely be very disappointed when Trump goes down in flames. And it IS going to happen – in one way or another!

There are SO MANY fucked up things going on here with Trump and his family and his cohorts that I can’t even scratch the surface. From the RNC funding the Trump family’s legal fees to Price taking government planes to watch the eclipse…it’s all so corrupt and illegal that it stinks to high heaven! And so many other things too! But, I shall leave you here with these paragraphs to ponder about what is going on with Trump and America right now.

Peace. ~MB

PS…as I was writing this Trump sent US fighter jets over the airspace of North Korea…now we wait for North Korea’s response – or World War Three – not quite sure just yet!

Some Photos to Share…

The last couple of weeks in pictures. From the top…a segment of the new Sarah Long drawbridge that is being built to replace the old one, on US Route 1 in Kittery going to Portsmouth.  These segments will help put the span in place, which is supposed to happen at high tide on Oct. 17th and I WILL be there – night or day – to see it happen!  I can’t wait to take photos of the event.  The tractors hauling the segments had to come through my weigh station this week on their way over to the bridge construction site, which is close to my work.

Other photos…me being silly with the crown..yeah, I am king Butch! Ha!

The foot shot is my visit to the dentist yesterday to get a broken tooth repaired.  The dentist had a helluva time numbing my mouth, the novocaine just wouldn’t take and he had to keep adding more…finally the whole left side of my face was numb and he got it done.  My teeth are almost all completely fixed now, which is just awesome!  Come a long way since April!

I bathed the dogs and took that pic of them scowling at me from the back of the couch…where they perched to dry off.  They cooperate quite well for their baths, but if they know it’s coming they do both try to run and hide.  Once they’re caught they give in and let me bathe them without much incident.  Now cutting their nails is a whole other animal!  They HATE it and fight like crazy!

I got the pic of the bee on the cone flower when I was over at Lowe’s looking at plants.  I thought it was a great shot to take!  The bees are so endangered right now, we need to keep a vigilant eye on what is happening to them because without bees we don’t get the pollination we need for growing food…think about that.

I got those snazzy new boxers recently, I usually wear boxer briefs, but these caught my eye.  They’re quite comfortable to run around the house in, but I can’t wear them under clothing as underwear.  I’m stuck on the boxer-briefs for that purpose.  I did get a new pair of the Ellen underwear…which I am not that happy with.  They are too thin, the waist band needs to be wider by about 3/4″ and they need to be about 2″ longer in the leg….she touts them as the greatest thing since sliced bread…but I beg to differ.  They could use much improvement.  I am still very happy with the Aeropostale brand, they’re the best I have found!

The sunflowers are from my mothers garden.  I can’t believe how tall they all got!  Those are at least 12′ tall!  I’ve got to try to put in a patch of sunflowers of my own next year.

And yes, I am still smoking my beloved cigars on occasion….I prefer the Black & Mild Cream ones the most!

Have a great weekend!!! More photos and some videos to come!

Peace!  ~MB

 

Week’s Update Blog / Sept. 22, 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017…wow, this year is going by very fast for me!  It feels like May was just last week, yet here we are entering Autumn and the leaves are beginning to change colors, mornings are crisp and cool, and you can feel the change of seasons in the air.  I love this time of year.  I love everything about the Fall season; from pumpkins to raking leaves in late Fall…it’s just a super enjoyable time of year – although I am not a huge fan of the leave raking task, I do manage to get it done when it’s time.

I got a ton of things done around my house this last weekend.  I did a really deep cleaning of the interior of the house, right down to washing comforters and pillows.  I’m getting ready for the winter and want to have everything organized and in place in preparation for the cold and snow.  I got the grass mowed for what I hope is the last time this season. It has slowed in growing quite a bit, so I doubt that it will need to be mowed again this year, but hey, I could be wrong!  I still need to trim my forcynthia bushes and do another coat of paint on the front porch railings and spindles. And I still need to get the back porch painted.  There’s just always something that needs attention around here, I guess it’s all a part of having a home and caring for it properly.  I like to keep things updated, in good shape, and looking nice, so I put in the extra effort to get it all done. Â

Friday: September 22, 2017 — While I’ve been feeling really great lately mentally and my immune system health is excellent, I am still dealing with a good amount of pain in my neck and cervical spine area that radiates down both arms and affects my hands.  Last week I had one day that I couldn’t keep a grip on things, and I dropped my favorite coffee cup and smashed it to smithereens.  It’s got something to do with the nerves and some disc issues in my neck that is causing the pain, tingling, and weakness in my arms and hands.  I recently had an x-ray and an MRI done on the neck/c-spine area and am awaiting the doctor’s advice and suggestions as to what we can do to help with it.  I may be facing a possible surgery to repair the degenerated discs…I am not sure yet exactly what is going to be done.  Something has to happen because I don’t want this to get any worse, or to lose the use of my hands.

The kidney issue is still also up in the air.  I’ve undergone some extensive testing, and do not know the results yet.  I have a cyst of some sort on my left kidney, and it’s showing signs of disease, but we are not sure how bad it is, or if it’s even bad at all.  I’m not real worried about it, I’m in no pain from it and had it not been for an abnormal blood work result I wouldn’t even know there was a problem at all.

So, while I have a couple of challenges health-wise, I do feel really good about things overall.  I haven’t felt very much up to using the computer the last 10 days or so, it hurts to be on it and typing for too long. This has caused me to get behind in my emails and in replying to people.  I just hope everyone will understand that I cannot always get right back to them when I am feeling like this.  I do occasionally use my phone to check email, which I did earlier this week – to find that one friend was quite angry with me for not replying to her email from the 15th.  I tried to tell her I wasn’t feeling up to even opening up my laptop, but she can be a bit extreme when it comes to being mad at me for little things like not replying to her fast enough for her tastes.  I’m wicked sorry about it, but not much I can do.

My girlfriend’s internet is down for repairs at this time.  She and I haven’t been able to really communicate for over a week.  That bums me out because I am very used to connecting with her every day at some point, but until they finish replacing the internet lines in her town they are all without cable and internet.  It’s supposed to be completed by next Thursday.  I’ll be happy when she can be back online and we can Skype once again.  I really miss talking to her and seeing her on Skype.  It’s also like this when she is out of town on business travel too.  But we have learned to cope with it alrigh
I am in quite a lot of pain in my right collarbone and right shoulder and arm tonight.  So I cannot continue typing for very long, and I have to keep resting every paragraph or so because it hurts so damned much!  I have taken Aleve, a prescription Celebrex pain reliever, as well as applied a 4% lidocaine gel to the areas to help relieve some of the pain.  I have upcoming appointments to have the nerves tested in my c-spine and arms, and am preparing to most likely have some disc surgery on my neck and c-spine.  I’m not sure what all that will entail at this point as the doctor has just started discussing it with me and we are going to do further testing to try to really pinpoint the problem.

I have to go respond to some personal emails tonight and beg forgiveness for my tardiness in doing so.  Tomorrow I am going to TRY to paint the kitchen cabinets that I installed this last Spring as well as get to the rest of the outside painting that needs to be finished up.  This will obviously all depend on how high my pain level is and if I am physically up to doing it in the morning!  Let’s hope so!

I am watching the world news very closely lately.  As I am sure most of you are too.  I am not going into my thoughts on what is going on here, it’s just too frustrating for me to deal with right now.  I fear we have entered the twilight zone in some ways.  It all seems so surreal sometimes.

Hope you all are doing well.  So, tell me, what is your #1 concern about world affairs right now?  What are you doing to deal with it?

Peace.  ~~MB

Personal Stuff, Updates

Hello my fearless readers! I hope you are all in the very best of health and spirits – wherever you are on this big blue marble we call Earth.

The weather is turning here in southern Maine.  It’s beginning to feel a lot like Autumn, or Fall as we call it here.  Morning temperatures are pretty cool, down around 50F and it does warm up into the 70F range by mid day, but summer is now behind us as well as her very hot, humid weather.  Personally, I love this time of year. I love the smells, like fresh cut hay, newly fertilized fields, pumpkin and apple pies being baked, and that crisp clean smell of the ocean as the tides roll in and out.  Yes, this time of year just feels good.  I like being able to wear my sweatshirts and flannel shirts, and dressing in layers is key as you want to shed some as the days warm up.  I  like that I don’t have to run the air conditioners in the house – and have actually removed them and stored them for the winter – yet, I also don’t have to run the furnace for heat either.  Living with the ambient natural temperatures is perfect.  Sleeping is great, the cooler weather makes it so for me anyway.  And days are just comfortable.

I’ve been doing all the regular stuff.  Working, keeping up with the house and taking care of the dogs.  Everything is going pretty well.  I get to talk to my girlfriend every day, and we are doing really well.  Thank goodness for Skype!  And messenger of course.  what the hell did we do in days before cell phones and computers?  Dating was very different back then for sure, you were relegated to dating only those you could meet in your local circles.  I’m really glad that’s not still the way it is.  I never would have met this awesome woman had it not been for social media – this blog specifically.  And I’m really glad I met her and have gotten to know her.  She’s planning to come here in late November.  She’s got a lot of work between now and then, thus we are waiting.  I’m really looking forward to us spending a week just hanging out together.  It’s going to be great.

I decided not to bounce the friend of mine, who is staying here, out of the house just yet.  After giving it some careful consideration I decided to make a rule that politics are not to be discussed and told him to please be considerate of the fact I don’t want to hear it.  I felt bad cuz I know he doesn’t have much choice other than moving back to the motel.  Thus my choice to give it another try.  So far so good…although I am having some issues with his excessive alcohol consumption.  I don’t think that he will be here very long, too many things tell me this.  He’s planning to head to Florida the second week of December, and I think I can deal with him until then.  We shall see.  Regardless, he won’t be coming back to this house when he returns to the Maine coast, and returns to fishing, in the Spring. I’ve already decided that definitively.

I’ve been feeling really good.  Met with my doctors, each of them, in the last week.  Been having some issues with my c-spine, pain radiating down into my arms and hands.  So I am on a non-narcotic pain reliever called Celebrex and I have a brace on my left wrist.  We think I may also have carpal tunnel in that arm, thus the brace.  Both have seemed to help, I am in far less pain now.  Then I met with my HIV specialist yesterday.  My current tests just came back from the lab and I’m doing great.  T-cells up around 790 and my viral load is remaining undetectable.  This makes me really happy.  It means the cocktail of drugs that I am on is working and keeping my immune system healthy.  I’m feeling excellent, although I still battle a little weight gain, but I’m not real worried about it right now.  I know it’s a result of healthier living and being on the Suboxone…got to give a little to get a lot, so I’m just letting it ride.  I’ll work on losing the weight along the way.

My dogs are doing great.  Here’s a cute pic of them invading my spot in the bed…

2017-09-02 13.25.44

Well, I’m off to Groups…my weekly check in is on Wednesdays.  Things are going well with it and I’m continuing the program.  Staying clean is pretty important to me right now.

I hope you all have a great night!

Peace!  ~MB

The Insomnia Files

cropped-seacoast-sunrise-8-7-17.jpg

I’m awake. I should be sound asleep, dreaming of sex or something equally as deviant. But, hell no, I am wide awake and just wishing I could sleep some more; hoping that maybe after I write a little and just chill that I’ll be able to fall back to sleep for a few hours.

The news in America is just so troubling. From Trump’s continuous blunders and embarrassments to the devastation from Hurricane Harvey on Texas and Lousiana, you just can’t escape it. Every news channel is focused on these points; these topics of communal interest.

I, like everyone here, am so saddened by what is happening in Texas/Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast of Texas. From Corpus Cristi to Houston, and every small town and city in between there has been so much loss and destruction. This hurricane is the single largest natural disaster that the USA has ever witnessed or experienced on her own soil. And my fear is that we are only at the beginning of the losses – there will be so much fallout from the storm in the form of human suffering, pollution, ecological disaster, more fires, massive loss of personal property and real estate, and more. Yes, I think things will get much worse there before this is all over with.

The water is still mostly there, stagnant and putrid. The rescues continue with people still being IN the water, standing in it, sometimes neck deep. Animals are still being found, some lost, some abandoned at the last minute, and all needing food and care. Humane societies from around the country are trying to help out; some even taking in many animals to care for and help find homes for. I am sure there will be dogs headed up to Maine, I saw where the Maine shelter was preparing for them. I might even have to find room for one more little fur baby in my home for one of them.

My employer donated half a million dollars to the Hurrican Harvey relief effort; $250K to the Red Cross for use specifically for their efforts in Texas/Louisiana and another $150K to our company employee fund that will be used to help employees of the company who are affected by the storm. I thought this was very generous of them. And it makes me a little proud. At work, we are asking customers to join us by donating their change to the cause. I don’t mind asking knowing that the company themselves have made this huge donation as well. Basically, I ask each customer that comes through my line to donate the change rounded up to the nearest dollar, like if the sale is $5.47 I would ask that they donate .53 cents to the relief fund, rounding up so that the customer pays an even $6.00. Most say sure and are glad to do so. The money we raise at the counter there will go to the Red Cross’s efforts in the hurricane zone as well.

I can’t even bring myself to comment on Trump’s actions and behavior during this whole crisis. Let’s just say I believe it’s just plain – using one of his own favorite words – SAD.

Hopefully, our government will not make this a huge political battle to get funds to assist the victims and to rebuild the area.

Of course, the immigration debate and the government’s threat to deport all illegal immigrants will directly affect the rebuilding efforts. Ten percent of the population there is illegal, and most of them are construction workers. It’s just a shame that it will all become such a political battle that will severely affect so many innocent lives.

It’s turned very cold here at night. Temperatures are dropping down into the 40’s at night, brrrr…chilly willy! I wake up mornings and I’m damned near freezing! But I have yet to turn on my furnace! I refuse to start burning valuable oil, which has now skyrocketed in price because of the hurricane. They shut down all of the refineries in the Houston – Corpus Cristi area, which is where most of our heating oil and gasoline fuels come from. I ordered a load of heating oil this last Tuesday and got it at a price of $1.90/gal. Today, just a just 4 days later it’s up over $2.30/gal. And gasoline, OMG, that has gone crazy high! I paid $2.11/gal at the beginning of the week, and last night I passed the station where I usually fill up and it was at $2.67/gal.!!! That’s one helluva increase in just those few short days!!!! So, burning oil right now is a commodity that I can do without. I’ll just wear extra layers in the mornings and shed them as it warms up. The daytime temps have been up around 70-75.

With Fall coming in so early the leaves on the trees have even begun to change. It is pretty early for this to start happening here, which means that peak leave change and peak colors will be fairly early as well. I’m hoping to take a drive up to the White Mountains this season to see the foliage there. Maybe go over to Cathedral Ledge and check it out from the cliffs.

I finally got to the doctor for the pain in my arms and neck. And now I have a brace on my left wrist, immobilizing it pretty much. That seems to help. That and the addition of a non-narcotic pain reliever called Celecoxib. Between the two I’m considerably less pain and discomfort. The doctor ordered x-rays of my c-spine area, and I haven’t heard back on those yet. We’re not sure if the pain is being caused by nerve damage in the c-spine, or if it’s carpal tunnel type stuff that’s happening.

Also had my blood drawn for my quarterly level testing to make sure I am staying healthy and my medications are working properly to keep my HIV suppressed. I meet with my specialist about that this week. I’m feeling just fine, so I am not worried as I am sure the tests will show that I continue to be healthy and my virus is being kept in check.

I’ve been spending a good amount of time online and on Skype with my sweetheart. She was out of the country for a little while, traveling for her work. We managed to stay in touch thanks to Facebook’s messenger even during that time. I’ve really gotten spoiled by being able to Skype video call with her quite a bit. She’s really become the Rockstar in my life, and I’m so friggin happy about that!

Alright, it’s dawn here in Maine. Looks like it’s going to be a nice clear day, not much for clouds in the sky that I can see. I’m not sure what the day will bring, but probably some garden work and a run to the post office to mail a package to start off.

Here’s a new pic of the front of my house with the freshly painted porch and some new flower baskets and hangings.  The old place is looking pretty good!   Peace!  ~MB

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