Due to a mechanical failure with my right knee I will not be posting a blog for the next couple of weeks. If everything goes the way I hope it will the next Blog will be June 10.My right knee appears to have suffered irreparable damage over the years, and according to the specialist that I consulted it is being recalled and will be replaced by one that he says is as good — if not better — than the original. However, it appears there was no warranty on the original, and the cost of the replacement will be between me and my insurance company, sort of like automobile comprehensive coverage.
I’ve been wondering if the specialists that are handling this procedure will do what many automotive mechanics do when replacing worn out parts, and toss the old one in the trunk to prove to you that it really was worn out and actually needed replacement.
When I was kid my Mother had an operation to have gall stones removed, and for reasons that I’ve never understood, she asked the doctors to give them to her when she was discharged from the hospital. She displayed them in a small, clear, sealed bottle of formaldehyde on a coffee table in our living room. They made a interesting conversation piece when people visited, picked up the bottle and asked: “What’s this?” When told, their expressions as they delicately placed the bottle back on the table, may have been what Mom had in mind.
Anyway, back to my bum knee. The doctor who is in charge of this replacement procedure is a personable chap with a thick Irish brogue named Gavin Duffy, and based on his heritage I’m assuming that there will vast quantities of Guinness involved…….hopefully on my part and not his or the anesthetist.
I’ve had operations in my youth to remove unnecessary parts, e.g. tonsils and an appendix, that the experts in charge told me were extraneous appendages, not worth replacing as they were worthless. I’ve never understood that. Are they like the “close door” buttons on elevators that aren’t really connected to anything, but give you something to do while you’re waiting for the door to close?
The knee, however, is a different matter. The replacement part is nothing like the original, as those are really difficult to come by these days. I understand the new part is made out of titanium and is immune to oxidation, doesn’t need gaskets, springs, levers, cranks, nails, motors, fans, belts, spindle pushers, or other stuff like that. I’m assuming it will come with a slot to insert lubricants, and I’ll have to carry a can of WD40 around with me at all times? I’ll have to ask.
I can’t say I’m looking forward to this operation, but do hope that following the replacement I will no longer resemble Deputy Chester Goode hobbling behind the U.S. Marshall Matt Dillon. I’d also like to thank friends Cal Atwood, Bob Weintraub and Tony Crawford, who have undergone this surgical procedure, for their advice and encouragement.
Following the operation, if you stop by the house to visit, don’t bother asking what’s in the jar on the coffee table….I think you’ll know.
Steve Raszkin: One of my best friends on the island, and a man that I never heard say a bad word about anyone, passed away this week, unexpectedly, and I am still having problems absorbing his death. Steve Raszkin, the owner of “A Taste of Wine by Steve” died Thursday, and his passing still has me gasping. Steve was diagnosed with non Hodgkins T cell Lymphoma just three weeks ago. His wife Donna said: “He passed away this morning (Thursday, May 19, 2016) at Warner Hospice after a very brave face off to this rare and deadly disease.” Steve’s courageous and wonderful wife, Donna, added that Steve made decisions for himself in a calm and incredibly focused way at the end making sure “I was going to be OK. Of course, I am not OK. I am thankful I could be by Steve ‘s side every second until the end. I’m absolutely heartbroken and my life will never be the same. NEVER.” Services for Steve will be Monday, May 23, at Oxley Heard funeral home in Fernandina at 11 a.m. Visitation begins at 10. Burial is in Evergreen cemetery in Jacksonville at 3:30. In lieu of flowers, donations to Warner Center asks the family. I am at a loss for anything else to say….he was such a good friend and I am so grateful I stopped by to chat with him a few weeks ago. I will miss my friend desperately.
News-Wrecker Wreckage: Last Friday evening a local 8th grade science teacher told me that he periodically assigns his students a project that requires them to research a scientific topic and then submit a report on it and to identify the source material for their investigation. According to the teacher a recent submission detailed a massive iceberg sitting off Main Beach that imperiled Amelia Island. Attached as the kid’s “source” was the front page News-Wrecker story headlined “Massive Iceberg Threatens Island.” Apparently there is little is any parental involvement in that kid’s education and if there is any that would be even more frightening.
Do You Want Change With That? Does it bother anyone other than me when you pay with cash in a bar or restaurant and a server asks: “Do you want change?” To me that person is asking for a tip no matter what kind of service has been rendered. I’m always tempted to ask: “How much do you think your service was worth?” The other day I stopped at one of my favorite places for a beer, paid the gal with a five dollar bill for a two dollar brew, and she asked: “Do you want change?” The actual bill came to $2.14 with tax so that would have given her $2.86 for a two dollar beer that someone else, not her, put in front of me. I intended to leave two bucks. But because she asked I said: “Yes I want change.” She then handed me two bucks back and said: “I don’t have 86 cents in change” and quickly walked away.” She only got the 86 cents because she disappeared faster than I could object. When I go there in the future I’ll request that she doesn’t wait on me again. These are the people that Bernie Sanders says deserve $15.00 an hour?
The English Language — RIP: In a recent issue of the Weekly Standard writer Erin Mundahl wrote a piece on how corporations and business schools butcher the English language when students and business people write to each other in meaningless gibberish leaving the reader searching in vain to understand what the heck they’re going on about. The author opens the piece saying “Business schools are like sanatoriums for the English language — places where words go to languish and softly fade, easing towards a coughing, clichéd death.” After reading this I dug through an old file to retrieve a memo I received from a person at IBM Headquarters in 1981. Here is the memo in which the subject was “CIBS Installation Schedule”: “Due to the recent reorganization changes recently announced, we have reviewed the installation schedules previously approved by you in 1980. This was done to see if any major changes might be required as a result of the reorganization. In our judgment, no major changes are required. Nevertheless, we are submitting a revised schedule for your review. We have made some changes to the certain locations and these are highlighted in a comparison schedule which is attached to the new installation schedule.” To this day I still have no idea what that memo was about and have no idea what CIBS is. I’m sure that this person was just “reaching out to team members about this dynamic new opportunity that would empower them to remain relevant and competitive in a challenging work environment.” I ignored it and nothing bad happened…..yet!
Things I Wish I’d Said: “The Bernie Sanders campaign could mass-produce bumper stickers boldly touting ‘Bolsheviks for Bernie’ sandwiched between grinning faces of Marx and Lenin and our contemporary products of the American university system would shrug and cheer.” — Historian Paul Kengor.
A $2.50 Difference: The only policy difference I can see so far between Bernie Sanders’s campaign and Hillary Clinton’s is that Sanders wants a federally mandated $15 minimum wage and Clinton is saying that it should be $12.50. Other than that they both favor bigger government, a nanny state, higher taxes, anti-business legislation, and gifts for everybody at the expense of the ordinary working guy’s pay check. He’s a grumpy, goofy old man with a honking Brooklyn accent and she’s an empty pants suit with a cackle, and both of them want to continue the disaster that is the Obama Administration.
Speaking Of Politics: What exactly are the policy issues that Hillary Clinton is running on? All I’ve seen and heard is a litany of banalities and vagueness. Her supporters can project on her anything they want as it appears that she hasn’t got the faintest idea of what she would do if elected except cart around her traditional basket of liberalism and continue the disastrous Obama administration policies. The only thing that matters to Hillary fanatics is that Republicans are very, very evil people. Unlike Hillary, Donald Trump has made his policies very clear, no matter if you like them or him. He doesn’t seem to care. He’s not out to lead the Republican party. His sole interest is leading the nation. It will be an interesting race between a very unlikeable, cranky, dishonest, habitual liar and a boisterous, egotistical, hothead that kicked conservatism to the curb with his own brand of politics called “Trumpism,” which is American rage giving the middle finger to the Washington establishment, including both political parties.
Restrooms Get No Rest: Friend Deb Boelkes, who heads up a local branch of the conservative group We The People, is also a very concerned parent and grandparent and sent me an email this week that I agree with 100 percent. She is asking folks that feel strongly about the recent actions and potential adverse consequences of the Obama Administration’s Transgender Decree to Public Schools to send an email to Governor Rick Scott as he may be the only person in the state of Florida who can do something to prevent this absurd precedent from taking hold here. I’ve sent my letter based on the one issued by Deb and if you want to do the same please feel free to use the following while making your own personal adjustments:
Dear Governor Scott – Subject: Transgender Bathrooms in Public Buildings and Schools. (As a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc,) I hope you will do all you can to stop the insanity. I find it abhorrent that the Obama Administration is blackmailing our schools and putting all women and children across the nation at extreme risk by mandating we allow anyone of the opposite sex (including pedophiles and perverts) into public restrooms and, worse yet, into locker rooms and showers in our public schools. I never dreamed parents would be forced to pull their kids out of public schools just to ensure they are safe from voyeurism, exploitation, and perversion in restrooms and physical education classes. But here we are. Please do whatever is necessary to protect the women and children of your state.
To o make it easy for you, here is the link to send Governor Rick Scott a message: http://www.flgov.com/contact-gov-scott/email-the-governor/
Nearby Clay County officials said in no uncertain terms that they intend to ignore the Obama Administration’s directive while Nassau County school officials told Mary Maguire of the online newspaper NCFL Independent to hold off on their complaints to school officials as girls and boys hereabouts will continue to use the facility of their gender. St. Johns officials say they’re reviewing the directive and Duval schools, which already are some of the worst in the state and a disciplinary and academic chaotic mess, are allowing any kid that feels like it to use whatever locker room, shower, restroom, etc. they want and are facing a major lawsuit over it. Once the loopy liberals start a full court press to stuff as many folks of both sexes as possible into a bathroom stall I wouldn’t be so sure other school officials won’t cave. I wonder what Janet Adkins and Kathy Burns, the two leading candidates for Nassau County School superintendent, have to say on the subject? Ladies?
Locally We The People will conduct three events in June as follows: June 6: Aaron Bean; June 15: Todd Wilcox, candidate for US Senate; June 27: Debate for State Attorney, 4th Judicial District, with Angela Corey, Wes White and Melissa Nelson. For more information on We The People and its local meetings contact Deb at Deb.Boelkes@BWRising.com.
Drinking, Dining & Dancing: The Amelia Tavern has hit the right button as every night I been in it or even walked or driven past, the place is full of folks who look like they are having a good time. The folks in charge there are still tweaking the menu and adding and deleting as their customers request and soon they’ll have the license from the “Federales” giving them permission to crank up the huge brewing vats sitting behind those interior windows. Who knows, we may be able to buy Amelia Tavern brewskies in Milwaukee eventually. Restaurateur Tim Poynter has also hit the jackpot with his Timoti’s concept, as the recently opened one in Jacksonville’s Riverside area has just received another in a series of rave reviews, this one a front page Florida Times-Union Dining section opinion Saturday, May 14 that featured five color photos of the 1043 Park Street location and its food selections. Tim’s Karibo, Karibrew and Timoti’s North 3rd Street locations in Fernandina Beach have never even warranted a mention in the local News-Leader due to Publisher Foy Maloy’s irrational and passionate dislike for Poynter, who also serves as a city commissioner. In fact the News-Leader tends to ignore anything new in Fernandina Beach at all or for that matter anything considered news. The Battle of the Beach BBQ & Bluegrass Festival will be held June 10-11 with some 75 BBQ competitors signed up to compete at the Main Beach event. The city’s Jay Robertson has done a great job again and I have no idea if I’ll be in any shape to hobble over there by that time, but I’ll keep the windows open to get a whiff of the offerings. If you want to have good fun with good people for a good cause this Sunday evening, May 22 from 5:30-8:30, then you’ll want to buy a $50 ticket that includes an hour of food and drink at the Pajama Life store at 12 South 2nd Street downtown , then a two hour BYOB cruise with live music by Jim Barcaro and witty conversation with Pajamadave Voorhees. There will also be an on-board cash raffle with proceeds from all of this craziness going to Nassau County’s Micah’s Place, a center for domestic violence victims. For tickets call ’em at 904/491-6364 or go to AmeliaRiverCrusies.com or call ’em at 904/261 9972. Hurry, they’re selling fast. North 2nd Street’s Hola Cuban Cafe behind the Palace Saloon and across the street from Dog Star, is now featuring an interesting treat to cool off with its new all-natural ice pops. The flavors vary, but include Guanabana, strawberry, coconut, blueberry basil and coconut as well as ice pops with alcohol in two flavors – Sangria and Killer Whale Beer, proprietor Marisol Triana tells me.