Thursday, December 10, 2015

Go Ahead. I'll Wait.

At least a few nights each week I'm back at work. In my dreams. Sometimes I'm at a sector working traffic but usually I'm visiting with friends in the hallway or saying my goodbyes on my last day of work. In my more than 33 years of being an air traffic controller I only ever dreamt about the job a handful of times. It happened so seldom, so why now?

I occasionally think about where I'd be in my countdown to my last day had I not retired when I did. A part of me still would like very much to have gone the distance to January 2nd but it's a fleeting thought. Being home for Tammy to give her relief from caring for her mother is much more important. Also, getting my hearing back as a tradeoff makes any other desires of mine pale in comparison.

As a point of note for years from now when I revisit this page or when my future grandchildren discover my blog long after I'm gone: Gas prices have been steadily declining for the last 6 months to somewhere well under $2.00 per gallon as OPEC continues to flood the world oil market with cheap crude in an effort to put the hurt on the North American fracking industry. Historically, fracking is only profitable when crude is selling for around $60-70 per barrel because of the expense of extraction. Crude oil is currently selling for $37 a barrel. From what I'm reading, the fracking industry is becoming more efficient and in some cases cutting the normal cost of extraction in half. It will be interesting to see what happens as OPEC continues to put the squeeze on the frackers. Enjoy the low prices while they last.

I went in for my biannual CT scan of my Common Iliac arteries yesterday morning to check for any changes. Most of the focus was on the aneurysms they discovered in those arteries when I was in the hospital last January for blood clots. All looks good. I'll go back again in 6 months for another scan.

I'm so blessed to have the health-care coverage I have. It's doubtful that I'd be alive today without it. I think about the cluster headaches I get and wonder how I'd manage if I couldn't receive the help for them that I get. How awful that would be. Watching the refugee crisis has me mentally trading places with one of them and wondering how I'd ever survive? All I can say is there but by the grace of God go I. Imagine being on the run as they are with no earthly possessions but what you can carry and best of luck if a serious illness afflicts you along the way.

As I was driving home from my doctor's appointment I tuned into Rush Limbaugh's program. He was speaking with a woman from Mississippi who was talking about how Donald Trump should've been Time Magazine's Person of the Year and that it was wrong to give it to Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany. According to the caller, all Merkel did was allow a bunch of refugees into her country against the people's wishes and that they're only going to destroy it. The way she and Limbaugh spoke of the Syrian refugees was so calloused and uncaring. There's a disconnect with Limbaugh and it worries me that so many people are listening to his reassuring words and finding themselves agreeing with his warped sense of what is right.

And I was one of them once.

I've talked about my road to Damascus here before so I won't go into that now but I do understand the spell one can fall under and the lack of feeling a need to do any critical thinking for oneself when you've got the huge megaphone of right-wing media doing that thinking for you. I know my words fall pathetically short and will never convince anyone who believes otherwise but please read on.

Humans of New York is my favorite site on the net. Brandon has been doing some incredible work bringing the stories of so many (from not only New York but around the globe) to life for the rest of us to see and maybe begin to understand what life is like outside of our own little spheres. He just finished a series of interviews with Syrian refugees who were recently granted admission into the US. Their stories are so incredibly sad and at times difficult to read. I was reading some for Tammy this morning and she was in tears. You owe it to yourself to ignore the voices of fear for just long enough to hear what it is that some would rather ignore.

Click on the photos. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Would any of us want to trade places with them? I'll take my chances that any miniscule amount of those making it into our country will turn to terrorism. Helping them is the right thing to do in my opinion.

On a lighter note, check out the video below. It was buried at the end of the 10 minute video of Elaine's 90th birthday party from a couple weeks ago. Unless you're family you probably didn't see this. It's quite cute...


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