The Story Behind The POW/MIA Flag

When you are in a calm and thoughtful mood, give this a read:

You know that flag? The one that supposedly honors history but actually spreads a pernicious myth? And is useful only to venal right-wing politicians who wish to exploit hatred by calling it heritage? It’s past time to pull it down.Oh, wait. You thought I was referring to the Confederate flag. Actually, I’m talking about this.

Source: The Story Behind The POW/MIA Flag

Rick Perlstein is the national correspondent of The Washington Spectator, on whose site this article first appeared. This piece was updated by the Spectator on August 13 to remove the word “racist” from the headline, and has been similarly adjusted here. An apology from the author and a response from Spectator editor Lou Dubose were also appended to the original article and have been replicated here at the bottom of the piece.

Essential Reading On The 70th Anniversary Of Hiroshima – Digg

Seventy years ago today, the United States dropped the world’s first atomic weapon on Hiroshima, Japan, in an attempt to force the Japanese into surrender in the late stages of World War II. The bomb flattened the city and killed tens of thousands instantly. Here’s what you should read about Hiroshima today.

Source: Essential Reading On The 70th Anniversary Of Hiroshima – Digg

Transient Ischemic Attack (mini-stroke)

Hi everybody, just want to try to get you up-to-date with what’s going on with me. On Tuesday, July 21, I apparently had a Transient Ischemic Attack (mini-stroke), although some of the Doctors and Specialists also posited that it was some sort of a migraine. They weren’t sure as all the CT and MRI scans as well as the other tests showed no brain or vascular damage.
My symptoms were mental confusion, slurred speech, completely lost some words (Aphasia), I was having a hard time walking, had a blinding headache behind my eyes, and couldn’t express that I didn’t know what was going on. Scary stuff.
I had a guitar lesson at 1 pm and began getting ready about 11:45. I noticed that what I was seeing in my right eye was brighter that in my left, like my left used a 150w light and my right used a 200w light. My left eye is dominant and I don’t have binocular vision, plus my right eye doesn’t work that well so I just wondered what it was up to now… I drove the 30-ish minutes to where my lesson was held. My headache began during the drive, having a headache was not particularly unusual but the intensity was.
My guitar lesson continued without incident though my headache intensity increased during the drive home. My head hurt so much I was having trouble driving and by the time I got home about 3:30 (bad Interstate traffic) I was just exhausted. I went straight to bed and I just felt horrible in general. While I was laying down I realized I was having trouble thinking and remembering things, for instance, I couldn’t remember who ‘that guy was’ that started Apple. For that matter I couldn’t remember who that ‘other guy’ was. It was Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. I got up about 4:30 and went to talk to Audrey, but all that came out was slurred gibberish. She said, “We’re going to the ER.”
There is a Urgent Care facility very close to the house so we went there immediately. They got me straight in and quickly established that I had what looked like a stroke in progress — I had 5 of the 8 warning signs. I couldn’t remember the town I lived in, I was fuzzy on a lot of other things but some things I knew like my address. It was very strange. They gave me a CT scan right away and I guess called an ambulance.
Soon I was at the local hospital and being admitted in the ER. Audrey and Ian were being very brave but obviously very concerned. There were a lot more questions, some I could now answer, others I still couldn’t, and a lot of squeezing of fingers, lifting of limbs, and doing bilateral sorts of things to check if my brain was affected. Frankly a lot of it was and is a blur. I was admitted into the Neurological Ward of the hospital.
I was hooked up to a lot of machines that go ping, much blood was drawn and vital signs were taken. I got a CT scan of finer granularity than at Urgent Care and I got an MRI for the first time. It’s really weird how noisy an MRI scanner is… There are more questions, more finger squeezing, and more machines hooked up. It was about 11 pm and I went to sleep.
Wednesday I had ultrasounds of my neck and heart examining the vessels and valves in the morning. The most notable things the medical professionals told me near the end were that I had an irregular liver profile, high blood pressure, and was overweight [duh]. All tests showed no brain damage or affected vessels! The lack of damage is what made some doctors opt that it may have been a severe migraine instead of a mini-stroke. I was released from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon.
So, I’ve been home a couple of days now and would estimate I’m 99% back. Occasionally a little spacey but I’m not sure that’s not ‘situation normal.’ smile emoticon I got scared s**tless and I’m going to make some lifestyle changes, who wouldn’t after a wake up call like that? I’m glad to be back relatively unscathed.

The Arvada Community Garden Is Officially Open!

Hope springs eternal in the hearts of gardeners. I think we have one more hard freeze so I’m holding off on tomatoes until probably Mother’s Day. But the herbs, onions, and cabbage, along with bee and butterfly friendly flowers are on deck. Three sisters (maize, beans, and squash) coming in about two weeks. I need to build some mounds first. I think I will put a small fish in each mound just for good form.

It Is Raining Apple Blossoms

The Crabapple tree out front blossomed in a big way two days ago. A cold front with associated winds is moving in from the northwest-ish causing the blossoms to swirl around outside easily visible from both the front and rear windows of the apartment. Now I want to plant lots of apple trees. :-)