Friday, November 03, 2006

Monday Night I'll See President Bush

This coming Monday night, I'll have both the honor and the priviledge of seeing President George W. Bush. The rally in Dallas will be the President's final one of the campaign season, where he will be the keynote speaker. He'll then go home to Crawford to vote Tuesday and watch the election results from his ranch.

Needless to say, the President always gets a warm welcome when he comes home, and I plan to do as much hoopin' and a hollerin' as any other loudmouthed Texan! I will of course give you a good report Tuesday.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mother's Dementia

It's times like these when I wish I were a good writer, because there are things I want to tell you, my dear reader, and I can't. I haven't the power of the written word to do the subject justice.

You see, my 89 year old Mother has dementia brought about by several strokes. Her mind, her very essence, is being slowly degraded and eaten away. Just as I don't have the power to properly describe what my family is going through, I don't have the power to help my Mother. I'm powerless.

Powerless in the face of a daemon so powerful, that it can wipe away the bond between Mother and Son, rendering me in her eyes at times no more than a stranger, at others giving me the persona of a long dead relative.

Powerless not to have my heart broken watching her looking out the window, waiting for Dad to get home with the kids. Powerless to console her when she remembers that Dad's dead, and grieves all over again.

Six months ago, my brothers and sisters and I were trying to keep the disease from destroying Mom, but now we're trying to keep it from destroying us.

As you can see, I've been reflecting quite a bit. I'm trying to take a step back, to be quiet, to listen for the beating of Angel's Wings, to see the Wisdom of the Situation.

And the Wisdom that I've gleaned is this. It is that things are as they are meant to be. She who dried our tears will now have hers dried by us, and all will be well.

I often revist the words of St. Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians, and with this, my dear reader, I will say goodnight:

"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.
But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.

Friday, October 06, 2006

There for but the Grace of God go I

As a practicing retail pharmacist of 23 years, I always hate to read a story about a child being hurt by being given the wrong medication.

"SAN ANTONIO -- Rhiannon Garza knew something was wrong when she noticed the name of the drug on a bottle was different from what a doctor had written on a prescription script.

Garza then called a Walgreen's in the Medical Center, where she had the prescription filled, to double check whether the antibiotic for her 9-month-old son was correct.

"He gave us the OK, so I trusted his judgement," Garza said in an interview with KSAT 12 News."

This is the worst thing you can do. You've made a mistake, the patient asks you about it, and you blow them off!

"Garza said that the pharmacist never called her to apologize, and in the future, she's getting her prescriptions filled at a different pharmacy."

Not saying you're sorry really pisses people off.

As are most mistakes of this type, it was a systems error. Not enough checks in place, or something happened to put stress on the system. No pharmacist gets up in the morning and thinks, hey, I think I'll try to poison a 3 year old today. Now, I've made my share of errors in 23 years, but thank God all minor, and no one has been adversly affected. And my personal policy is that when I fill a prescription for a child, it's FULL STOP, check it again and once again. It's a really tough and demanding job, because everytime I pick up a bottle of pills, I could kill somebody.

Now that's responsability, but it's my life's work!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

No Way to Treat a Wounded Warrior

In Britian it seems that soldiers wounded on the battlefield are sent home, but put in a regular hospital! The Telegraph reported an incident in which an angry Muslim verbally accousted a paratrooper just back from Afganistan and wounded in bed! The article states:

A paratrooper wounded in Afghanistan was threatened by a Muslim visitor to the British hospital where he is recovering.

Seriously wounded soldiers have complained that they are worried about their safety after being left on wards that are open to the public at Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham.

On one occasion a member of the Parachute Regiment, still dressed in his combat uniform after being evacuated from Afghanistan, was accosted by a Muslim over the British involvement in the country.

"You have been killing my Muslim brothers in Afghanistan," the man said during a tirade.

An officer in their military states, "It also does not do morale much good knowing that within 18 hours of being wounded you could wake up in a NHS hospital with a mental health patient on one side and an incontinent geriatric on the other."

I think the Blair government, as good an ally as it has been to us in the War on Terror, has much to answer for if this is how they treat their battlefield wounded.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Three Cheers for Charlie Rangel!!

It's not often that I praise the Democrats, but must give praise where praise is due. Charlie Rangel, Democratic Representative from New York, has ripped into Hugo Chavez after said dictator's speech at the UN. Chavez called President Bush "the devil." I'll let Rangel take it from here.

WASHINGTON - I want to express my extreme displeasure with statements by the President of Venezuela attacking U.S. President George Bush in such a personal and disparaging way during his remarks at the United Nations General Assembly.

It should be clear to all heads of government that criticism of Bush Administration policies, either domestic or foreign, does not entitle them to attack the President personally.

George Bush is the President of the United States and represents the entire country. Any demeaning public attack against him is viewed by Republicans and Democrats, and all Americans, as an attack on all of us."

Well said Congressman!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Light a Candle For His Holiness the Pope

I've got to admit that this business with Pope Benedict is more viscerally upsetting to me that the usual antics of the followers of the Religion of Peace and Love. Here they aren't threatening an author or a newspaper or a politician. This time it's the head of my Roman Catholic Church, a white haired old theologian who sits on the Throne of St Peter, the Vicar of Christ himself. I have read different places about calls for his execution, burning his effegy, and somewhere how he "worships a monkey on a cross." It's getting very hard to turn the other cheek. Lord, instead of turning the other cheek, when do we get to kick some ass like you did with the money changers in the temple?

One can only hope and pray that Pope Benedict does to Islamism what his predecessor Pope John Paul the Great of Blessed Memory did to Communism!

Terrorist Hiding Out in Texas?

Bar the door Katie, we've had reports of a highly sought after Saudi (them again?) terrorist who was spotted in the Austin area. The FBI is circulating his picture and description, as well as offering $5 million, so he's no small fish. The blog Ace of Spades had a great post. The long and short of it is that a Pakistani journalist with ties to Al Queda has said in an interviewthat the terrorist has been given a mission by OBL to detonate a dirty bomm in the US. From the interview:

"Mir also said that bin Laden has assigned a man named Adnan Al-Shukri Juma to carry out a new attack within the US which is intended to be larger than the 11 September, 2001 attacks. According to Mir, Adnan Jumaa has smuggled explosives and nuclear materials into the US through the Mexican border over the last two years and is hiding somewhere in America where the FBI has not been able to locate him."

Now back to the Texas connection. A post on the above mentioned thread at "Ace of Spades."

Ok, I have a dilemma.
I am pretty sure this guy came to [a] property in [] Texas looking to rent a house.

I was just checking my records and it had to have been i[earlier] this year. [redacted]

He had a Mexican Consular ID, no valid TX info. He would not allow me to make a copy of the ID card. I wrote notes on the visitor card when he came in because he refused to fill it out.

I will be looking at my records from earlier this year to see if I can find the info. He measured the distance between the homes - had a "friend" go into the home and yell, to see if it could be heard from outside.
I remember this incident so well, due to the fact that it was one of the strangest things I have ever seen. He did not have a hispanic accent, and certainly did not appear hispanic. [Other parties] were in the office when he came in. I showed the photo of this guy to [another party present] a few minutes ago and her reaction was "Holy Shit []! That is the guy". The photo that took me so by surprise is the one with the goatee & mustache, which I saw on a different site. Looked just like that guy!

Will let y'all know if anything comes of this!

[some identifying information redacted for safety.]

Now all this could be baloney, but what better place than Texas to hide out. We're next to a very porous border and blending in with brown skin wouldn't take too much effort. Lastly, escaping back into Mexico would be easier than the crossing into the US. Texas, no better place to hide, but no worse place to be caught!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Kevin Joseph Frawley

As a part of the project 2996, today I honor and remember the life of Kevin Joseph Frawley. Kevin was a special man, not because he died on September 11, 2001, in the World Trade Center. No, none of should be remembered by the day or the way that we die, but by the way that we have lived our lives.

I'll let his sister, Frances A. Conklin, tell us about Kevin.

"Kevin Joseph Frawley, 34, was born a triplet, the fifth of six children. He graduated from Manhattan College in 1989 with a degree in Finance and began work at Euro Brokers in May 1994. He married Tierney on August 11, 2001 and is survived by his wife, mother, three sisters and brother.

Kevin tried, often in vain, to hide away the simple yet uncommon acts that made him great. Despite his efforts, goodness is impossible to conceal. If Kevin got word that your glass picnic table cracked at the most inopportune time, surely he would arrive at the party with a replacement tied to his Jeep. Or if Kevin found out his girlfriend’s cousin never received roses, surely he’d show up the next day with her first dozen. As always, a smile was the payment sought and received. All the “Kevin” stories follow the same theme. In life and in death, the selfless giver has been exposed.

But Kevin gave more than picnic tables and roses. He had his bag of tricks and he knew when to pull them out. He would leave you with words such as "Take care brush your hair" or in the case of a balding friend, "Take care brush your teeth." He was nothing if not quick-witted. A 6’2 man wearing a diaper to ring in the New Year -- both 1989 and 1999. On his wedding day, Kevin greeted his wife on the altar wearing fake teeth. Then there was the day to day - two stepping across the street or commenting, "I can’t wait until tomorrow" when asked why he would reply, "Because I get better looking every day." And this was every morning. You could count on him.

Kevin had a special every day prayer card. One line reads, "Let me be joy, be hope! Let my life sing." Find comfort knowing Kevin’s life did sing. He only held onto good memories of people and understood the nature of being human. He had a knack for recalling, "Each kindly thing, Forgetting what might sting."

If I had to think of one word to describe Kevin, it would be safe. Safe in every sense: physically, emotionally, mentally. There is nothing you couldn’t tell him, nothing you couldn’t ask of him. Everyone was family and everyone was friend. Our gentle giant, my quiet bear. With our hearts we make a liar of Father Higgins for in that place a man who is so much more than good lives on."

Kevin soulds like he was a gentle giant, always ready to lend a hand. In those final minutes or hours, I'm sure he was trying to help others. I'm sure of it.