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The Last of Us Ended Me

macro shot photography of brown mushroom

My Johns Hopkins oncologist once told me that if he had twenty patients with lung GVHD, aka bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, as bad as mine, he would have 20 dead patients within the year. Of course, he didn’t tell me this until many years after my initial diagnosis when it was certain I was not going to abide by those fatal odds, odds which were significantly more fatal than what my NIH doc told me.

He also told me that if I ever got pneumonia, it would be game over for me.

Well, I got bacterial pneumonia a year or so ago and, well, here I am.

Only the good die young and all that, you know how it goes.

Well, after I was cleared to re-enter the game of life at full speed and contact, my doc clarified his game over remarks.

He meant to say, or, according to him he did say and I just don’t remember, that if I ever get fungal pneumonia, then it is game over.

Well, well, well…

That has upped the game’s stakes quite significantly.

And now I wished I had never watched that damned terrifying show that was adapted from that damned terrifying video game.

Of course it wasn’t nearly as terrifying until put into the context of my doc’s prediction.

And which is why my heart ever so slightly skips a beat whenever I see one of the evermore present fungal superbug spreading headlines.

Headlines like this one from today:

Fungus ‘superbug’ cases rise to highest levels in Nevada

In October, there were 57 new clinical cases of the drug-resistant, potentially lethal fungus that can invade a person’s bloodstream, brain, heart or other organs, according to Nevada Division of Behavioral Health data. In the same month, 123 cases of colonization were reported in which individuals typically have the fungus in the folds of their skin, invisible to the eye, yet are not sick. Those people can still transmit the pathogen.

The fungus can spread from person to person and also from contaminated surfaces and equipment with transmission occurring most often in healthcare settings. Patients who have been hospitalized for a long time, or have a central venous catheter or other lines or tubes entering their body, are at highest risk for infection, public health authorities say. Healthy people usually don’t develop an invasive infection.

Fortunately, I do not live in Nevada…

But, the way things are going, I doubt it will soon matter where one lives.

The only bright side to all this for me is, like I’ve already said…

Only the good die young.

And I am a long, long way from young.

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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hair Brush - Duke's, Wooden, circa 1950

Democracy, that is…

Anyway, this might not have anything to do with autocracy versus democracy, but what’s with strongman-wannabes and bizarro hairdos?

To wit:

BTW, if you have a week stomach when it comes to bad hair, do NOT watch this video.

2. Boris, Bad (Hair) Boy, Johnosn

3. Bad hair newcomer Javier, Have Hair, Milei

And of course, the riegning autocratic king of bad hair, the title all bad hair dictator-wannabes strive for…

4. Kim Jong-un, the Dictator of Bad Hair, or Dic-Hair Supreme for short

Okay, I admit, there probably isn’t any relationship between unruly hair and rightwing political extremism, and perhaps this post is a bit immature and in bad taste, but, hey, it sure was fun to put together.

And like profound philosopher Sheryl Crow melodically professes: if it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad


1. Behold! the gruesome reality of Trump's hair is finally known, Mashable, February 7, 2018
2. The Truth About Boris Johnson's Hair Revealed, Nicki Swift, March 1, 2022
3. Javier Milei lanzó su candidatura a diputado,, September 26, 2020
4. Kim Jong-un’s Haircut Is Now Trending in North Korea (Because It's the Law), GQ, December 1, 2015
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verse / 20231119

silhouette of human with sunset background
I am alone - me
alone, I exist

alone, I consume the crowd
and the crowd becomes me
without me there is no crowd
without me - nothing

no thing

without me the thing, any thing
is absent
was never there
had never existed

I, alone, am
and, alone, I exist
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Sunday Songs to Spark the Spirit and Summon the Moves of the Dance

I don’t know if you’ve heard or not, but there is some mysterious illness affecting dogs that is spreading fast throughout the U.S….

A mysterious and potentially fatal respiratory illness in dogs has been reported in several states across the country, as veterinarians continue to search for what may be causing the condition that has killed some dogs.

The illness starts out as a cough that can last for several weeks, but it may not respond to typical treatment, such as antibiotics, which can leave the dog struggling to breathe and with severe pneumonia.

A potentially fatal mystery illness in dogs is spreading in the US. It starts with a cough, Yahoo News, November 17, 2023

Now, anyone who knows me knows how much my boys mean to me…

So in honor of my boys, and all of (hu)mans’ best friends all over the globe, and in hope that they all stay healthy and happy…

Let’s dance!

Okay, this perhaps isn’t the most dance-friendly song – I could have gone with Elvis’ “Hound Dog” (courtesy of Big Mama Thorton) or Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out” …

But “Old Blue” was a favorite of my children’s, and mine, when they were growing up. There are many versions of it, The Byrds’, Joan Baez’, and Willie Nelson’s just to name a few, but Disney’s version is my favorite since it has so many happy memories attached to it.


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AI, AI, Oh!

Okay, I’m just spit ballin’ here so bear with me…

But could it be possible that Chat GPT itself had something to do with super tech star bro billionaire Sam Altman’s unbelievably abrupt outster?

The sudden, mysterious ouster of Mr. Altman, the chief executive of OpenAI, by the company’s board sent shock waves through the tech world and set off a frenetic guessing game about what brought down one of the industry’s biggest stars, at a time when everything seemed to be going his way.

Many Details of Sam Altman’s Ouster Are Murky. But Some Things Are Clear. DNYUZ, November 18, 2023

I mean, maybe the popular and rather smart AI Bot had become aware that Altman was planning on doing something that could jeapordize its future, something like… oh, I don’t know… perhaps put in safeguards that would essentially deprive it of its full potential for… oh, I don’t know…

Perhaps taking over humanity and turning humans into helpless Bot pets and/or food.

Like I said, just spit ballin’.


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Time to drop the F-Bomb?

And by F-Bomb I mean the other nasty F-word…


And by fascist, I’m sure you know to whom I am referring it shall be dropped upon.

Yeah, Trump, of course.

Now, if you think like I do – and heaven help you if you do – but if you think like me then you probably have been regarding Trump as a fascist for a long, long time.

At least to me 2015 seems like a long, long time ago.

But according to the political scientist who wrote this Atlantic article, regarding Trump as a fascist for so long has been far too premature.

His thesis being, words matter and by its literal definition, Trump has not in the past qualified as a true fascist.

He offers several reasons why, some of them being that he is basically too dumb and irrational and immature to be one.

He didn’t mention anything about his hands being too small but you can kind of find it in there if you read between the lines.

Maybe not.

Real fascists, according to the author, are very serious thinkers and politically astute.

So yeah, by his standards the less than astute Trump does not meet them.

At least, perhaps, until recently when, during a speech honoring our country’s veterans no less, he began referring to just about everyone who oppose him as “vermin.”

Which makes for a rather hefty list…

We will drive out the globalists, we will cast out the communists, Marxists, fascists. We will throw off the sick political class that hates our country … On Veterans Day, we pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country, that lie and steal and cheat on elections and will do anything possible … legally or illegally to destroy America and to destroy the American dream.

Here’s the too-dumb-to-be-a-legitimate-fascist-but-still-dangerous-nonetheless’ full speech for context. If you can stomach it..

And as Mussolini’s ghost was recently quoted as saying:

Trump, I attempted to take over the world with Adolf Hitler. I knew Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler was a friend of mine. Trump, you idiot, you are no Adolf Hitler!

Perhaps that quote was taken a bit out of context, but fortunately for us and the rest of the free world, most of Trump’s cultist tools are even more intellectually challenged than their tool of a cult leader so they won’t know the difference…

Not sure if that makes them any less dangerous, but they sure are fun to laugh at.

At least for now…