Thursday, 30 July 2009

Stumbling in the Dark- The Jayhawks

Blue- The Jayhawks


The man comes to this center looking like a complete homeless, and yet, if he's a little late coming home, family members begin to get nervous and show up looking for him.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


BRIGHT IDEA #1 - Al DeCaro, NJ

On solving the Health Care Crisis:

" If a doctor can prove that he has treated, 100% free of charge, 100 individuals per year, including indigents without health care or undocumented aliens, he will become exempt from Federal and State Income taxes."

BTW he can treat them with prescription drugs by giving away free samples.

The same rule will apply to hospitals offering the same services.

Question: Al. do you see doctors secretly billing patients, but listing them as freebees, or faking paperwork re: homeless people, without addresses who can not be traced.

Answer: "Of course. That's why the doctors in the program would be required to have a fingerprint machine and ID information on all participants in his free healthcare service. They are using 'park benches' as addresses to register people for why not for healthcare services?

regarding the hellcare bill

Here are a few highlights of some problems with the healthcare bill.

These problems highlight the reason every bill must be read by the American people before they are signed. (if these points don't get you upset, please check your pulse and call 911):

Disclaimer: This summary was sent from a colleague. We encourage you to conduct additional research on your own.

* Page 16: Eliminates the choice to purchase private health insurance!
* Page 22: Mandates audits of all employers that self-insure!
* Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed!
* Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process)
* Page 42: The "Health Choices Commissioner" will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None.
* Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services.
* Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard.
* Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.
* Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans.
* Page 72: All private healthcare plans must conform to government rules to participate in a Healthcare Exchange.
* Page 84: All private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans)
* Page 91: Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens
* Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan.
* Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter.
* Page 124: No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No "judicial review" is permitted against the government monopoly. Put simply, private insurers will be crushed.
* Page 127: The AMA sold doctors out: the government will set wages.
* Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives.
* Page 126: Employers MUST pay healthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families.
* Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll
* Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll
* Page 167: Any individual who doesnt' have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income.
* Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them).
* Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records.

* Page 239: Bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors and the poor most affected."
* Page 241: Doctors: no matter what speciality you have, you'll all be paid the same (thanks, AMA!)
* Page 253: Government sets value of doctors' time, their professional judgment, etc.
* Page 265: Government mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries.
* Page 268: Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs.
* Page 272: Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing!
* Page 280: Hospitals will be penalized for what the government deems preventable re-admissions.
* Page 298: Doctors: if you treat a patient during an initial admission that results in a readmission, you will be penalized by the government.
* Page 317: Doctors: you are now prohibited for owning and investing in healthcare companies!
* Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval.
* Page 335: Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures: i.e., rationing.
* Page 341: Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMOs, etc.
* Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals.
* Page 379: More bureaucracy: Telehealth Advisory Committee (healthcare by phone).
* Page 425: More bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens, assisted suicide, euthanasia?
* Page 425: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Mandatory. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time.
* Page 425: Goverment provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.
* Page 427: Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends.
* Page 429: Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient's health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An ORDER from the GOVERNMENT.
* Page 430: Government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life.
* Page 469: Community-based Home Medical Services.
* Page 472: Payments to Community-based organizations.
* Page 489: Government will cover marriage and family therapy. Government intervenes in your marriage.
* Page 494: Government will cover mental health services: defining, creating and rationing those services.

Talk to Your Family, Friends, Neighbors & Co-Workers

You must talk to people about this. We need to get as many people informed about this as possible. Here are a few key points:

* This issue is not Republican vs. Democrat. It is government vs. individual rights.
* "What's the proper role of Government in our lives?"
* "Do we really want the government making decisions for us that should be between me and my doctor?"
* "Should the government be eliminating personal health insurance plans?"
* "Should the government be requiring seniors to attend 'end of life counseling'?"

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Chin Up, Bucky

I rediscovered the joy of face painting today at 'Bridgefest' (The Brige- 87.9 FM), an annual weekend summertime outreach and promotional event held in Ocean Grove NJ. At the meeting after the morning service last Sunday, one of the pastors informed the crowded room of volunteers that the face-painting tent was usually short on painters, and overwhelmed with lines of unpainted faces who would certainly be turned away come closing time Saturday. The image of crying children waiting in line for hours only to be "turned away" just broke my heart. Sad clowns. Furthermore, the pastor said that anyone who could pick up a brush and paint a heart would be welcome. Since I enjoy children and painting, and had some experience at a county fair over 30 years ago, I decided to sign up. Why not?

So this was my first activity with Calvary Chapel of Old Bridge, and it turned out to be quite fun and little of what I really expected. While most of the other face painters seemed to be transforming faces into beautiful butterflies and flowers, I did not have a single child ask for anything of that sort.

My first 14 year old customer asked for some kind of logo he had drawn on paper. Looked to me kinda like a red pitchfork pointing upward with a double ended arrow crossing the fork and pointing downward. He really could not explain much about the design except that it had something to do with Java the Hut. Star wars. As long it's Star Wars, and not some kind of occult symbol. He assured me that it was benign and mentioned that he was going into the 9th grade at Calvary Chapel HS so I didn't bother him about it. On to the next!

The second kid wanted the New York Mets logo, something which, though seen frequently in my home (Dad being a huge Mets fan), escaped my mind. All I could think of was Mr. Met.

" Do you mind drawing it for me, kid?" Because I didn't have a pen, the kid actually painted it on a paper towel for me. " OK, it's all coming back." Unfortunately, his dad was rushing him along (a game to watch, no doubt), and I had to wrap it up before I could apply the orange outline. Thankfully, some people's children are easy to please. This kid didn't care one bit, and was thrilled to have the interlocking NY in light blue on his prepubescent bicep. Good for him. Go Mets.

OK, so another little boy requested a dinosaur whose ferociously toothy mouth I painted around the side of his own mouth for an animated effect. When he smiled. the dinosaur would suddenly have human teeth. Really cute. Another child asked for a shark. "A shark, you say?".... It had been over 30 years since I had painted the Jaws shark. For some reason my blue shark evolved into a lively green alligator which, from tooth to tail, occupied almost the entire length of his forearm and part of his hand. It took a lot of fixing but turned out cool looking. Seems to be be theme of my life. What made it more of a challenge was the fact that I couldn't really see well, since I forgot my glasses. Rats.

One little 3 year old girl requested a swan on her face. As she sat there quietly, I spoke to her about the gentle gracefulness of swans and other swanly attributes worth emulating. She seemed interested, until I lost her with all that talk about the old swan boats in Asbury Park. No matter, at least the image came out well. This was my personal concern. Being found out. Having the parent who was generally standing by with a camera in hand, thinking they could paint it better themselves. I completely understand. No parent wants to have their child's face messed up with marginal looking face painting. Each time a child came to me, I would wonder if I would leave the child crying and a parent annoyed. And so each time I'd pray before and just try to relax and paint as though I was painting on canvas. Sure, I would often wind up having to 'fix' something, but each time the end product would bring a smile.

My favorites were the tiger faces. Time consuming but well worth the wait. So this cute little boy was next up in line, he must have been 6 or 7 and kept asking, "Are you almost done? how much longer?" Finally it was his turn, he sat down and looked at the colorful photoigraphs from which eh could choose any painting and immediately pointed to a saber-toothed tiger.

"That's the one I want."

The boy had dark skin and big brown eyes with thick brown eye brows, and spoke with a certain clarity, frequently asking questions.

" This will cover your eyebrows. Is that OK with you?"

"Yes you can paint over my eyebrows, but can you do the horns last?"
"Sure, (whatever he's talking about) What's your name, kid?"
" My name is William."
" Ah, William. A very good name. King William, with a crown."
" Yes," answered William, " Kings get to wear crowns. Queens wear tiaras."

William was clearly a very bright and engaging child. I would have to be extra extra careful with this one. I wonder where was his mother is?

"Where is your mom?"

He pointed in her general direciton. Oh, there she is, off to the the side,smiling and busy with Willaim's siblings.

As I covered his face in orange paint, William kept up with the questions.
"Are you doing the horns yet?"

Horns...what horns? I glanced at the picture he held against his chest, suddenly realizing that the "horns" he kept referring to were the two sharp looking saber teeth.

"These are the teeth, William. Saber teeth like daggers. Pretty soon. "

I painted on the white area below his nose, and around his cheeks and forehead,and then added some yellow to the orange under his eyes. Throughout the entire operation, William here could not stop his constant fidgeting, all while firing off questions constantly.

" Are you painting the stripes now?"
"What exactly are saber teeth tigers?"
"Why do they call it saber?"

"Good question. I don't know, William. I guess the teeth resemble sabers. Whatever that means. Why don't you just ask your dad or 'google' it when you get home?"

"Well, Are you doing the stripes now?"


" Can I see at it now?"

"Not yet."

" Well are you nearly done?"

"Almost, but not nearly."

" Just try to keep still, and put the chin up, William. Look up.", I directed, gently tilting his chin in the right direction. Try as he may, William could not seem to hold any one position for more than a second or two. My gentle requests for him to stop moving became punctuated with an irritable tone as my patience waned.

" the mirror and closing it)"

And I wanted children. (Sigh) What kind of woman am I anyway...and where is his mother when I need her? Madame, can you please control your child's head movements? Sheesh, I am really getting hungry here (longing for one of those gyros I could smell wafting in my direction). Around that time a strong wind blew up, and the sky became misty and cool. Paint and water soaked paper towels were blowing around and I really needed to get to the porta-potty. Instead, started in on the black nose and line which went down to his upper lip which was also painted black. Soon William was receiving his tiger stripes. Three stripes per side, 6 dots near the cheeks. 6 whiskers. Again with the head movement.

"William, I need you to STOP moving in order to do these stripes right! Here's the mirror back. Hold it upwards and look into it."

After having to wipe the paint off of his face several times, I finally came to understand my my own lifelong struggle with a limited attention span, and the teacher's remarks on my report card regarding my day-dreaming. Sit still? We really can't. Almost everything around us is a distraction which draws us in.

Ironically, the most restless child was also the most involved and curious. The whole thing was very exciting to him. His mind was like a sponge absorbing everything his eyes looked upon. I wondered if every single day carries a certain excitement and newness to William and what he would wind up doing as an adult. God help him stay focused and as takes in every detail of every day...keep him safe and help his parents and teachers DEAL effectively with him. Finally we were down to the wire. 5 minutes left and 2 saber teeth later I handed him the mirror and he smiled at the saber teeth. Prince William was delighted. I was relieved.

Several minutes prior, we had been given the signal to wrap it up, and just as I began the clean-up, another mother was at my station with her little son.

"He's been waiting for a long while now and it looks like everyone else is done for the day."

I looked around. The other artists were finished and everything was being cleared away. Her 3 year old son stood quietly in front with her hands on his bare shoulders. She mentioned that she had 5 (FIVE) children between the ages of 8 and 4 months. Wow. Of course I can paint his face. As I prepared to do so, I thought about my own mother. 5 kids in 6 years. The memories she made for us. The times she'd gone to bat for us. I admired a parent who will speak up when their child is last one in line and the booth is closing up.

"If you could then, that black batman mask?"

The last few touches of paint to her son's face was made by that same mother who could see well enough to get those yellow bat eyes on straight. Bat eyes to see?

Matthew 13:1-17 "The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables:
"Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
" 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.' But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Breaklfast with Dad

Dad: WHAT is this dried out stuff here?
Me: Hard boiled eggs, Dad.
Dad: It's all dried out... I can't eat this.
Me: Then make em over. Sheesh. I don't know how moist you like your hard boiled eggs.
Dad: Did you hear the one about the 3 eggs?
Me: No.
Dad: 2 bad.

Monday, 20 July 2009


creation's love song- G Clair

There's a music that's playing down deep in my soul
where the wilderness beckons us all to be whole
from a far away place it calls like a loon
it was written for us and it's always in tune

In tune with the weather as clouds rolling in
bring the music of thunder and rain on the wind
In tune with the valley as I climb to the peak
yodel-lay-hee, who goes there!? To the echo I speak

The sun streams through branches and glistens on streams
and pine needles carpet the throne room which sings
the birds do not worry. they have no concern
they're singing a song we could all stand to learn

Still it flows down the creek bed and the rivers grow wild
rhythmic waves on the shores where I walked as a child
and the breath I exhale like the one you breathe in
keeps us all in this lifetime. how strange it's all been

The natural world, truly awesome and wild
and the worst things can happen and take down a child
the smallest and delicate flower of life
snatched up and the music is bitter with strife

And the tone of my song is of pure aggravation
and way out of tune with the whole congregation
and I just can't relate to the choir and organ
and I wander alone down to Stanley and Morgan

Distracted by life and in wanting much more
I've lost time with the singers and forgotten the score
I yearn for the song which brings faith to the living
love to the lost and joy in the giving

born for a purpose not just to survive
to walk certain of hope while we're all still alive
And in search of my God who can touch my heartstrings
in sickness and health and and the questions life brings

Who in still quiet places or noisy train stations
in subways and alleys and the worst situations
speaks His Peace in the midst overriding my brain
adding fuel to my fire and I'm drawn back again

And sitting alone somewhat stuck in the mire
I remember the Psalm and it draws me up higher
Deer long for the water, as I thirst for You
You alone my desire, my soul longs for You

Friday, 17 July 2009

the walk of shame

My sister sent some money
'cuz things had gone to hell.
Said "You don't belong there Honey,
a trip home will do you well."

On a three day smelly bus ride
Away from what had been obscene
Turned my nose to New York City
where the air was fresh and clean.

Pulled into Central Station
a different kind of highland
Was met by my dear sister
a castaway on Gov'nors Isand.

Being broke was half the trouble
and we played it like a game
but the nasty shoe debacle
well it made me take the shame.

I didn't know quite what to do
but I knew I had a job,
a suit of houndstooth off 'The Give'
and my hair cut in a bob.

The suit was fitting perfectly
and for shoes she found some flats
pink with silver circled cutouts
kind of clownish without spats

Well I stood there in a laugh-cry
'cuz my job was in the city
I gotta make these babies black
or be lookin' 'Hello Kitty'.

So she gets that strange expression
perhaps it's from the Lord
In an empty apartment down the hall
was some paint for the old baseboard.

We laughed the night we dipped the shoes
laughed until we cried
And early the next morning
It seemed the paint had dried.

You could see that they were shiny
and ready for the weather
and from an eyeball's distance
they could pass for patent leather.

I was ever careful
as I slipped my stockinged toes
into my brand new Government issued
shoes and No-Frills tailored clothes.

Mincing along but gingerly
I hopped aboard the ferry
missed the bus to Beekman
in the dark, the walk was scary.

Made it to the building
not a minute did I lose
I tidied up my hair and
then I glanced down at my shoes...

Blasted bloody got em muddy
bits of paper grass and sand
I heard my toes scream out, "Hey, buddy!
for shoes, tar paint is banned!".

Quickly then I kicked 'em off
and tried to wipe 'em clean
but every little thing unstuck
took off the tacky sheen.

I did my best to conceal a sob
but had to pay my dues
as more than one allergic snob
caught sight of battered shoes.

At 5 PM back on the street
with nowhere else to roam
my misery, was made complete
as I tracked some more dirt home.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


love is hairy redux- G Clair

Love is hairy, stubbly stuff shave all week, it's never enough
whether I shave it or slather on Nair, whack it or hack it, will always be there
Keeps coming back as much as you crop it, waxing and chemicals can’t even stop it
try to ignore it, the nubs comes in thick,even my eyebrows,a uni-brow chick

Sitting there pondering love and love's looks,flippin’ through Cosmo and metrosex books
Beauty is bare in my favorite rag, nary a hairy or haggard old nag
Eyebrows are separate and carefully arched, Lips are injected and never seem parched.
Legs are butt smooth, and so are are the pits, Love is not given to hairy chick fits
Speaking of nares,mine is exempt,the nose and the ears are extremely well kempt
as far as the rest of me, something has changed, my hair and my love have been looking deranged

Sunday mornin’ rolls around but his razor can’t be found...
I call out his name and wait for an answer,his ditty bag’s gone could it be that dancer?
The one that he watches, the one he admires, could she be the one who's igniting his fires?
I’ve seen her there waiting the picture of grace, smooth, fair and agile, not a hair out of place

I sit on the edge of the tub shocked and numb,look in the mirror then look at my thumb
I eye up the woman whose not spent a dime ,on personal pleasures as though it’s a crime

My overgrown garden could not see the light,missed out on the sweetness of bare skin’s delight
Bought into myth and every girls hope,that she’d still be worth something without any soap

Rummaged around in a drawer feeling sick
through tears I lay hold of my old Lady Bic
Slipped into the shower, convinced he despised me
lathered and cried ,none of this has surprised me

He'd seemed a bit distant, preoccupied,
the more I persisted, the less satisfied
I should have considered my Love is not blind
his eyes are like sponges his vision will find

The best of the beauties the cream of the crop
as sweet sugar blossoms parade past his shop
I have an epiphany there in the suds
Time's never wasted on pruning the buds

Better to nip 'em if you're feelin manly
can't be mistaken for Charles or Stanley
Lord knows the time I've put in at Curves
not that he noticed the good that it serves

So who really cares if he's after that minx
just between us we know how she stinks
Let him go sistertry rising above
cuz if that's all he's after, it ain't really love

Making my plans to rip up his picture
wipe out his memory, no longer a fixture
I can't say that I needed nor much that I cared
much for the man or his laundry I've aired

When into my steamy retreat disconcerted
the voice of the man I was sure had deserted.
I silence my heart and put down the Bic
ease back the curtain and see my St. Nick

The hairy faced heathen, battered and worn
face kind of prickly, needs to be shorn
"What is THIS?" he demands, and holds out his hands
"Why, a worn out old mach 3, the triple edge brand

"I just CHANGED this blade and the thing's dull and rusted!"
"Heck if I know" but I know I’ve been busted.
Step out of the shower, bare skin drippin wet
"At this rate I think I’ll buy stock in Gillette."

I hold out my bic and smile at old Bones
"Would you like me to light your cigar, Mr. Jones?"
Leave him to his business which won’t include the shave
Love is stubbly,love is soft and hairy to the grave

Monday, 13 July 2009

muzzled love

they wandered down the path alone
but hand in hand she longed to own
a place inside his cautious heart
but never told him from the start

the pieces of their puzzle fit
yet never did they speak of it
and waiting on the words to say
in time her hair was feathered gray.

but who'd have known and who'd have guessed
they had their time together
they spent their days and both were blessed
in clear and stormy weather

And all this time you'd think she'd know
since everything he did, did show
and almost sure, she'd never ask
and left him to that silly task

the years flew by and they grew old
and still no word of love was told
and in the end he held her hand
and knew somehow she'd understand

they spent their days and both were blessed
in clear and stormy weather
with three small words, she breathed her last
and left him there, together.

Quiet Place

Our God is an....

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

DaVoista Me- G Clair

not a lot to think about
i seem so light and easy
but suddenly the clouds roll in
and feeling kind of queasy

i run and close the windows of my soul
but just can't win
the winds are blowing up now
and the thunder's rolling in

and suddenly it's raining down
you'll have to wait it through
you should have seen the signs before
just like you always do

it beats upon this old tin roof
we're stuck inside together
you've slept right though this scene before
and understand my weather

pretty soon the rains let up
and skies begin to clear
the sunset's red and orange haze
means better days are near

we all have nasty weather
inner conficts you can't see
and when those storms come, brother
you can weather da voista me.