Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Some people will say that I am on a Vacation all year. However this time I am going someplace other than the local Bar and Grill.

It's off to Chicago for the next two weeks. If the Hot Dogs, Pizza, Maxwell Street Polish and the Italian Beef and Sausage sandwiches don't put me in the Hospital; I'll be back in the Blogosphere in two weeks.

The Beach Bum

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Free Flying

This Friday I will be flying to Chicago to spend time with my family and boyhood friends. I do this every year in July. I don’t like to fly. Actually it’s not flying that bothers me; it’s the thought of crashing and burning in an airplane. I do not suffer from Pteromerhanophobia –The Fear of Flying. I do not know if there is a named Phobia for crashing and burning in an airplane, but if there is I have it.

They will say that flying in an airplane is safer than driving in a car. That is probably why I do not drive (I gave my car away) and more so hate being a passenger in a moving vehicle. Especially on the high speed Interstate roads, it’s always a white knuckle ride for me.

I’m really not afraid of dying, just crashing and burning.

I also have a fear of heights. A good friend (The Captain) once said that “George gets nose bleeds on a step ladder” Although this is an exaggeration, there is some truth in his statement. The truth is that I will not get higher that the fourth rung on any ladder. I don’t get nose bleeds; I get dizzy and begin to fear falling off of the appliance. I believe that they call this Vertigo.

This now brings us to the point of this Blog.

I read today that some idiot in the Pacific Northwest tied more than 100 Helium filled Balloons to a “lawn chair” and soared more than 13,000 feet above the ground (nearly 3 miles) He said the view (of the earth below him) was beautiful. Is it a full Moon week or what?

What would have happened to this guy if a Murder of Crows had attacked his balloons at 2000 or 3000 feet? Crows are attracted to bright colors, I can just picture them pecking at the Balloons! Boom, Boom, Boom and the lawn chair rapidly descends to the Earth!

Now, I have done some stupid things in my life; and in the process I have thrown caution to the wind. But tying a bunch of gas filled balloons to an aluminum and mesh chair wasn’t one of them; I enjoy being on “Terra Firma” and looking up at the sky and clouds rather than being up there looking down on the earth.

The Beach Bum

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Sunday, July 08, 2007


Two weeks ago before I had my latest Diverticulitis attack, I had planned to write a series of Posts. The posed question was “Why, I am the way that I am”? I chose three topics – Religion, Politics and Bigotry. Actually there are four topics that I will be ranting about – The forth being Genetics. I hope to post these Blogs before my annual trip to Chicago later this week.

After Thursday, I will not Post until I return to Florida on the 23rd of July.

No Great Loss!

Why am I and who I am? Usually, later in life, you begin to ask yourself these questions. How did I evolve into the person that I am? These are ethereal questions that one must ask themselves when they get older. I never questioned whether I was right or wrong in my beliefs and biases. I will believe what I believe, and base my opinions on what I see, hear and assimilate. Please remember that these are my opinions and not the Gospel.

This brings us to the Natured/Nurtured debate. I believe in the nurtured theory and that we are what learn to be from our parents, our habitat and society around us. I believe that we are all born “Tabula Rasa”, that is, that are born with no innate or built-in mental content.

You may agree or disagree, that is your prerogative. But please don’t slam me for whom or what I am! As the Four Tops once sang “I Can’t Help Myself”.

The Beach Bum



I believe in God. Or better yet a Supreme Being(s) or Higher Power. There has to be something more powerful and more intelligent than the Human Race. I prefer to use the word God for this being or beings. God is the word that I am comfortable in using.

I consider myself to be a spiritual person. I am not a religious person. Religious people go to church. The only time that you’ll see me in a church is for a funeral or a wedding. I’m a non-believer in organized religion. I do not need another person telling me about my human failings (and I have plenty of them). I do not need anyone to tell me that I must atone for my sins (and I have plenty of them). I judge not others and prefer that they judge not me.

I was born into the Catholic Church. But, I could have been born into any other religion and I would feel the same way about religion as I do now. “Religion is the opiate of the masses” is one of the few things that Karl Marx (or was it Groucho Marx – I occasionally get the two mixed up – one had a beard and the other a painted-on mustache) wrote that I readily agree with. Marx wrote “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.

I rarely pray. Why? Because, I know, if there is this all powerful being “up there” he’s too busy to listen to my petty prayers. He has billions of people on Earth praying to him daily. Not to mention the possibility of several other planets that may be inhabited in our Universe. These people must also be praying to him.

Praying to God just doesn’t work; he’s too busy with other stuff (like preventing a Super Nova).

I have a friend that prays to Saint Jude, who is the Patron Saint of lost causes and desperate situations. He’s says that he gets a 50% positive response to his prayers. So I figure that if I pray to anyone it will be Saint Jude, as my life is a "hopeless cause" Either that or I will pray to some tangible human being that I know can get the job done.

In the past it would have been John Wayne, now it is Clint Eastwood, Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson. These are guys that can the job done (at least in the movies) and I have about a 50% chance that my prayers will be answered (as long as I don’t ask for something dumb, like winning the Lotto), about the same odds as praying to Saint Jude 50/50.

Where is this all going? I have been nurtured in to my beliefs about religion. Partially from what was thrust upon me as a child (this is our beliefs – so this is what you will believe). And partly because I had an inquiring mind that wouldn’t accept the bullshit that was being preached to me.

I don’t knock anyone’s religious beliefs. You can believe anything that you desire, as long as to don’t try to push your Religious beliefs on me.

The Beach Bum

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Friday, July 06, 2007

"The Boss" Will Love This!

Until this morning I had never heard of Amy Polumbo. Amy is a senior at Wagner College on Staten Island, New York. She is also the reigning Miss New Jersey, crowned on the 16th of June.

Amy was surprised that she won the title because it was only the second “Beauty Pageant” that she had entered. She had actually tripped on the stage during the evening gown competition. Very reminiscent of Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) “Miss New Jersey”, in the movie “Miss Congeniality”.

Why is this self-proclaimed "Proud Jersey Girl" in the news? It seems that she is now being blackmailed with some photos of her taken in the recent past. The Blackmailers want her to relinquish her crown and abdicate as the reigning “Miss New Jersey”, or they will publish the photos on the internet. I like seeing naked nubile women, especially if the hail from New Jersey.

However her attorney says that they are not nude photos. So I wonder what could be so bad that someone would think that Amy would back out of the “Miss America” contest to prevent these photos from being splashed across the internet. Is she kissing another woman? Or possibly worse yet, eating a live Goldfish or Toad. I’ll leave this to my imagination, which is very vivid. I smell a publicity stunt here. I may be wrong or I may be right. But I would have never known the name of Amy Polumbo, Miss New Jersey, hadn’t it been for this tidbit in the news.

Perhaps New Jersey’s Poet Laureate, the Boss, Bruce Springsteen will write a song about her. He’ll change her name to Sandy and put her on the Boardwalk in Asbury Park, where women aren’t afraid to flash their boobs, eat goldfish and act like real people; and not like cardboard replicas of their human form.

The Beach Bum

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My Dad

My Dad once said that “we live our lives ‘til infirmity”. He reached that point in 2003 and passed away in January 2004. He was 89 years old.

Dad was a very wise person; however as a son, I could never admit this fact. All children believe that they are much wiser and better informed than their parents. To do so is human nature.

My Children most likely believe that they know much more than I.

Again, this is human nature. It’s written in our genetic coding. We must rebel against our parents. This is a natural thing. If you agree with your parents you are not normal.

My children rarely ask me for advice. As I rarely asked my Dad for advice. I knew better, as the honest advice that he gave was not the advice that I desired to hear. I gave him lip service and nodded at the appropriate times.

I always respected my Dad, buy rarely agreed with him. He was “Old School”, a fossil! Looking at it objectively, I am now “Old School” and a fossil.

Dad was very opinionated, but I now find myself to be more opinionated than he was. It’s a funny fact that we slowly change into the parents, that we held in disdain, as we age.

It’s a scary thought but I have turned into my Dad! Like it or not. I have.

I am a boring old man with nothing to say of interest to our youth. At least this is what the younger generation will say about me. I prefer to think otherwise.

The Beach Bum

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

HIM and I

"Click on Photo to enlarge"
More than 40 years ago, I spoke to an Emperor! Haile Salassie ("Might of the Trinity") I of Ethiopia. Our conversation consisted of (H.I.M.) “You are tall, are you a basketball player?” My answer was “No, your Majesty, I play Baseball and Football.” End of conversation; which lasted less than 20 seconds. However it is my 20 seconds claim to fame, I had a conversation with a living Emperor. How many people can say that?

His Imperial Majesty (HIM), Ras Tafari Makonnen adopted the name of Haile Salassie I when he ascended to the throne. His official title was the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Lord of Lords, King of Kings of Ethiopia and Elect of God. We (GI’s) also called HIM the “Lord of the Flies”. There were at least 20 flies per person living in Ethiopia and Eritrea in the 1960’s.

The title Ras in Amharic (like in Hebrew) can have several meanings. Prince or Duke is the most common translation. Since Tafari Makonnen was the Crown Prince of Ethiopia before his ascension to the throne I assume that the title Ras meant Prince.

Haile was a cool little guy that spoke with a British accent. We were told to not look down on the Emperor, so all that I saw was the top of his hat when he was speaking to me.

He enjoyed reviewing and inspecting the US Troops that were stationed at Kagnew Station, Asmara, Eritrea. He liked Americans, which is unusual for an African leader. He would visit Kagnew at least once a year, mainly to get his annual medical and dental check up. Later he would award himself another medal for his visit. Haile really liked medals; he would award himself with a medal any chance that he got. They looked good on his uniform. And he loved wearing his uniform.

I shouldn’t really knock Haile, he was a fairly good Emperor (as Emperor’s go), except when it came to his treatment of the Eritrean people.

And who else (besides Haile Salassie) can claim that a Religion bears his name. The Rastafarians called him Jah – the living God.

The Beach Bum

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

Yes, I am a Flag waver. I believe that all Americans should be Flag wavers. This is a good habit. When watching a parade I cover my heart with my right hand when our flag passes. I also do this at Ballgames when the National Anthem is played. And yes, I do look at our flag and not the players on the field or the people standing next to me. Our flag means a lot to me.

Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central has coined a word - “Flagaphile”. Because he is a comedian you never really know if Colbert is being serious or not. He gives no definitive definition of the word Flagophile. But I take it to mean someone who reveres our flag and what it stands for.

Therefore, I am a Flagaphile!

From Wikipedia (and probably posted by Stephen himself) -

The Honorable Dr. Stephen Tyrone "C-Train" Colbert, D.F.A., Greatest Living American, is a news reporter and anchor known for his romantic style, supergravitastic poise, Lincolnish intellect, extreme uber-hotness, and witty delivery. Best known for bringing truthiness to America's heroes through his eponymous The Colbert Report and its lead-in program The Daily Show, Dr. Colbert has fought the battle of hearts, minds and guts over here, so he doesn't have to fight it over there. His hard-hitting approach to infotainment leaves no stone unturned, no guest un-nailed. From the panoramic heights of The Eagle's Nest, Our Glorious Stephen takes on the secular progressives, the liberal media elite, the fat cats in Washington D.C., the people who don't watch his show, and other enemies of freedom.

Tonight I’ll watch the pyrotechnic display on Treasure Island’s Beach. But I will be thinking about our flag and what it stands for. I will also be thinking about our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I had spent two Independence Days on foreign soil. And I know what is going through their minds.

God bless America and God bless our military personnel who will be spending this holiday in a foreign land.

The Beach Bum

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Week in Hell

A week ago on Saturday, actually it began earlier in the week; I started to feel major discomfort in my lower abdominal area. This happens to me often, so I really didn’t pay too much attention to this ailment. I should have, I didn’t heed the warning signs.

On that Saturday I made 5 trips to the Porcelain Throne. This is somewhat unusual for me, as I usually make one visit per day, sometimes two. At this time the warning signs began to flash into my shallow mind. I was about to have a diverticulitis attack.

I’ve read that 50% of people over the age 60 have diverticulosis. These are small sacs that form on the Colon. Undigested food occasionally gets trapped in these sacs, especially small seeds (Poppy, Sesame and Popping Corn hulls) and red meat. And there they sit, rotting away, until they cause an infection. This infection will cause a cessation of the bowels normal Peristalsis (the rhythmic contraction of smooth muscles to propel contents through the digestive tract).

I have been diagnosed with diverticulosis, so I generally watch my food intake. But I threw caution to the wind when my old Army buddies came down to visit me the week before. I've cheated before and gotten away with doing so.

Last Sunday I made about 20 visits to the Throne Room. After the third or fourth visit it was all diarrhea, and the pain in my lower abdomen had increased 10 fold. Wanting to avoid a trip to the VA Hospital, I therefore took counter measures to avoid a Hospital visit. Yet I still informed my family and friends that I may be shortly incarcerated at the Bay Pines VA Hospital.

Both friends and family suggested that I check in immediately. I decided that I would give it a day or two to see if I could cure myself (one friend said that I was a fool for doctoring myself).

First, I went on a fast. Secondly, the quart of water that I usually drink per day was increased to one and a half gallons. I also doubled my digestive enzyme (Dietary supplement) intake and started to take 4 Brewers Yeast tablets three times a day. I cut my alcohol consumption to two beers a day and reduced my smoking habit by 1/3.

Late Tuesday night I had a bowl of oatmeal. The pain in my abdomen had receded a bit. But I was still visiting the Throne room much more than normal. I was preparing for a 3 to 4 night stay at the VA Hospital, where I would be lying in a bed with three IV's in my arm.

When I awoke Wednesday I felt much better, so I decided to give it another day before I checked in to the hospital. I ate 2 bowls of oatmeal. The diarrhea had ceased and most of the pain subsided (it was down to a dull ache).

On Friday I began to have normal bowel movements and no abdominal distress unless I coughed (only a light tinge).

One week later, yesterday, it was all systems go. No Pain – Real Food – Normal Daily Beer Ration.

I do not suggest the course of action that I have taken to people with diverticulosis; it was out of sheer desperation on my part. I have a fear of Hospitals (actually it’s of dying in a Hospital) so I decided that I would try an alternative solution to my problem and have luckily healed myself.

The Beach Bum

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