Yes it's a blog – but you knew that

Hey, I’m still here!

Been a while since I last posted, not really sure why.

Life is better, marginally but still….

This last week has been a roller coaster, deep down one day but by the end of the week back to new heights.
We saw 9 people killed in their church by a 21 yr old, white, racist asshole because they were black.
We saw several states in the south take down the confederate flag and more at least discussing doing same.
Argued on FB about the rational behind the civil war. Assholes can come up with every reason under the sun except the one the states said was the cause. Slavery. That was the reason, full stop.
The supreme court upheld the ACA.
The supreme court upheld SSM. By reiterating that all humans are equal. Not a new concept for sure but one that seems to have to be litigated over and over. Some people may be equal in the eyes of the law but not all their fellow humans look at it that way. Always seems to be something. Color/religion/lack of religion/gender/gender identity/place of birth/bank account/…..

For 9 people and their families in SC a really bad week. And that makes it very bad for all of us. The good stuff doesn’t make up for this at all. It’s good stuff, no doubt, but compensation? No fucking way. Nine people, all their relatives/friends, lives torn apart by some murdering fuck who has hatred for skin color. Those people were chosen to die, for one of the worst reasons possible, just that of being alive.

I’m out of words.


Written by Ruckus

June 27, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Country, Culture

Life Today

I sit here warm and safe and wonder really how much life hasn’t changed in decades. Cops are still abusing people for reasons that fail me. Banks are still screwing their customers, at least we know it’s for money.. Wall St. is still gambling with OPM, as it has always been. Except now they have been able to rig the game in their favor even more. Cars last longer and do get better mileage but in the US we fail pretty miserably at public rapid transit. Our roads and bridges are crap but we have tax paid stadiums. Our schools seem to be top heavy with administration and test taking but not nearly as much thinking as the foreseeable future requires. Many of our jobs have been sent away, not to save us money but to make more for people who don’t need more. Health care? Don’t make me laugh, it hurts too much.

Written by Ruckus

October 24, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Posted in Culture

A dark and stormy party

H/T Badtux

This is why it is so hard not to be in a continuous funk. Even if some still fell through the cracks, easily available health care, including mental health care, ending this ridiculous war on drugs and providing financial help to those who either don’t have the tools or ability to cope “normally” would be so much better.

The ongoing conservative approach to just let anyone who does not live up to their ideals just die a slow and painful death is their worst trait.

Written by Ruckus

February 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


Someone on blog that I follow lost his grandfather yesterday. I didn’t think it was appropriate to discuss on that blog but it made me think about losing those around us.
Losing those around you is probably the hardest part of growing up, right up there with learning to be responsible, sensible, or whatever the hell else it is we’re supposed to do as we get older.
It always amazes me that humans have such varied responses to losing a loved one. So I was wondering if we get somewhat accepting of the loss and I remembered my own grandparents. My maternal grandfather died 13 years before I was born, a few years before my parents had even met. My maternal grandmother died when I was 10 or 11. I really did not know her well at all but my older sister told me a lot about her. My paternal grandmother died when I was 15-16 years old but I had had a chance to know her. She was a sweetheart with a real mischievous side, so this hit me harder than my other grandmother. Her husband died when I was 25, from cancer. I had worked with him for a few years and so I probably knew him best. I visited him in the hospital almost every day and we talked like two friends, both of whom knew the end was near. Don’t know if it means anything but I noticed that the older I got and the more I knew someone the harder it was to see them go.

Wrote this 2 years ago and have no idea why I hadn’t posted it.

Written by Ruckus

January 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A little late, Veterans Day 2010

I have not posted here for a while because life is going by and I get too melancholy some times thinking much about it. This is a comment at balloon-juice to the post by Tom Levenson about Veterans Day 2010. I was wasting time on the computer today and came across it. It is part of makes me who and what I am today so I thought it would fit in here.

Thanks for the great posts.
They stir up things in my head that I try to, if not forget, to try to diminish their brightness. These are not bad things on their own but they bring back memories of times and things I don’t normally feel the need to be reminded of. But every once in a while it is good to dust off the old internal history brain and remind oneself not just who and where we are but how we got here. Thank you for that. And all the commenters as well.

There are many things in these posts to jog memories that I had not heard or read in a long time. Someone asked me if I would be celebrating Veterans Day and I said I normally don’t. Like many here who served in the military, I served my time during warfare and even though I wasn’t sent to combat I could have easily been. I went where I was sent, did what I was told. There is no honor in that, only duty. But there is much more honor in doing that then sending humans to wage needless war and far more honor than that in demanding that other people send humans to wage needless war that will never affect them directly. I did spend 2 months in a hospital with Marines who fought in Vietnam and the first person stories are as much warfare as I need. The look in the eyes of these men would tear out your heart. The words they spoke are even more haunting. Thinking about it affects me greatly just trying to type this and it has been almost 40 years. The average age of these men was probably 20-22 years old. I wonder what these decades of that pain has done to them? To their lives? To their families? I know what my limited contact to it has done to me. And I know why many vets spend their lives trying to forget the horrible things they know.

Written by Ruckus

December 5, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


I finally figured it out. I still hope for good outcomes in life, but I have no expectations that anything good will happen. I don’t know when this lack of expectations started but I think I’ve arrived at the no expectations threshold. It’s not a depressing thing and maybe I’ll get back to my old Pollyanna ideals some day, but not now.

The glass is not half full or half empty, there is no glass to fill. The good part is not the lack of expectations but the realization that I don’t need any expectations to get up in the morning nor to work all day. Every day is just another day. The sun comes up, the sun goes down. Rinse, repeat…

I have friends who still have expectations, both for themselves and for me. But I just don’t get it anymore. I wonder if this is just getting old(er) or have I just reached the no expectation zone due to the crap around me. If it’s just the crap then it’s possible I’m just temporally miserable. Otherwise I’m just a miserable old fuck. Either way I see a theme here.

I have one friend who keeps telling me things I need to do to improve my situation. He still has expectations. He can’t understand that I don’t.

Written by Ruckus

March 5, 2010 at 2:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized


I can not imagine what Haiti is like right now. I doubt that very many people could either. This poor country has been hit by so many natural disasters, political upheavals, and just plain crappy luck. They are getting over major hurricanes 5 and 2 years ago. And now a 7.0 earthquake.

I urge you to give what you can. All the agencies are asking for money instead of stuff so here is a number of places

American Friends Service Committee

Red Cross


Dr. Without Borders

Written by Ruckus

January 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Posted in Public Service

A Better Day

So today I took in a rescue dog. A senior rescue at about 10 yrs. I figure two old farts in the same house is better than one. Don’t actually know why that would be but what the hell. Because the dog is for all intents and purpose older than me, it’s more like having a new roommate, one who pees on whatever smells like it needs to be peed on.

Written by Ruckus

January 10, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

What’s next?

Don’t know about anyone else but I’m pretty discouraged today. And yesterday and the day before that. The economy still sucks, the country is still loosing jobs left, right and center, people are running out of unemployment benefits (and I’m not even eligible because I’m self-employed, so I’ve got that to look forward to), it looks like this will last at least another year, most likely two. I have no health care, although it is possible that I may qualify for VA benefits, because the economy and I are doing so badly.
So I ask anyone who may be reading, what do we do now? How do we make it through the rest of the Great Recession? I have no land on which to grow or raise food. I have no one to lean against, and viewed another way, I have no one to lean against me, either. Now I know that there are many in the same or similar predicaments and I ask again, what do we do?

Written by Ruckus

October 11, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

When do we come to our senses

Of course Digby gets it right again.

This is why we need progressive politicians who understand consequences of the laws they pass and of the damage that happens when idealism gets in the way of realism.

I believe in choice.

I believe in choice where I live.

I believe in choice what I eat.

I believe in choice of who I live with.

I believe in choice of what I do for a living.

I believe in choice of religion, or not.

I believe it’s my choice of what I say.

I believe that it’s my choice to do what I want/need to do with my body

I believe that every person should have these choices.

I believe that I don’t have the choice to make these decisions for others.

I believe along with choice comes responsibility to own those choices.

If this makes me a DFH, so what?

If this makes someone call me a liberal. all the better.

Abortion is not an easy decision for anyone to make, but how is it even possible that I could make the decision to limit that choice when I could never be the one that gives up the possibility growing inside them? Children are what life is all about but making them suffer when that is the only outcome is cruel and is absolutely punishment for all concerned.

Modern medicine (when you can get it) has given us the ability to see the future where birth is concerned. We have to use that vision maturely, wisely and sometimes we have to do the humane thing and not allow suffering for no good reason.

Dr. Tiller seems to have been a very compassionate and humane person and the world has been diminished greatly with this very inhumane act.

Written by Ruckus

June 1, 2009 at 11:18 pm

A Public Service


I’m a 1st year medical student at Yale writing on behalf of my friend Natasha Collins, and I’m hoping you might post to your blog about her. She is a leukemia survivor and an incredible young woman. She has relapsed and is currently in need of a bone marrow transplant. I’m attaching a picture from her birthday party this year, right around the time she went back into treatment.

Please consider joining the National Bone Marrow Donor Program. All it takes is a few minutes–you just swab your cheek and mail the sample in. If you are ever called upon to donate, it’s a simple and fairly painless process, much like donating blood. (Donating bone marrow used to be very painful and surgical, but it is generally done as a simple outpatient procedure now that the technology has evolved. However, if you are concerned please check out the website!). It’s much harder to match bone marrow than blood, so if you are a match for someone, you may literally be the only person who could save their life.

Our friend Natasha is half black and half white, which makes her bone marrow especially difficult to match. A match for her is likely to also be of mixed heritage, and minority and mixed heritage donors are underrepresented in the registry. ***There is currently no match in the national registry for her***, so our best hope is someone like yourself who is willing to get typed and sign up. These grassroots drives do actually work–people have found matches because friends and family mobilized and contacted everyone they can think of.

Please encourage friends and family, especially of minority background, to register to the NBMDP. They could be Natasha’s match and save her life. Please please please forward this note to anyone you can think of.

Register Online
Go to
Click Join in person
Use the code BK041309 (0 = zero) (THIS WAIVES THE 52$ FEE IF YOU USE IT BETWEEN 4/24-4/30!)

Register in Person

Find a Drive Near You

Join Natasha’s Facebook Support Group

Written by Ruckus

April 19, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Posted in Public Service

Lost my best friend and found Norah Jones

Today is just short of one year since I lost my best friend. Like most long relationships we didn’t start out as best friends. For a while we were just brother and older sister. One day when I was about 12 or 13 she came home from collage. That day changed at least one of our lives. It took me many years to figure that out and to figure out what the change was, but that day was the spark that started a friendship that was greater than just being siblings. I’ll leave the details of that day for another time if at all.

My friend was a character that’s for sure. Friendly and nice to all one minute and a hellion the next, she suffered the bane of all perfectionists in that she didn’t understand that flaws are what make us unique, if sometimes insufferable. A gifted artist, her paintings are usually simple but dramatic, drawing you in until you get the point.

That hellion part… for the last 6 years of her life she battled breast cancer, operations, treatments and all that comes with them. And the hellion disappeared. In it’s place came full time, this unbelievable calm, open witty wonderfull person. Oh ya she had her bad days but even then the difference was palpable. I think she found her place. All the searching for whatever, she found it. Sometimes I wonder if she needed to see her own immortality to find her spot in the world.

She never got to see her granddaughter, missed by one month, almost to the day. Speaking of days. Her last was in a hospital room after mom’s 90th birthday party with a bunch of her friends and family. The morphine made it easier for her, not so much for those not on it.

I guess I have to tell of that day so long ago, to make any sense of the story.

At the dinner table I was told by the new sorority sister to get my elbows off the table. Not being a sorority sister I declined. Probably in a some what inhospitable way, as can be my nature. Now being the control freak she was, she had to take control of the situation, so a fork was forcibly inserted into the offending elbow. That didn’t sit well with the recipient of the fork and a chase ensued. She was just fast enough to shut the door of her room before I got there so a hand had to be placed forcibly on the door. The door held. Damnit. Because all of the damage was superficial to this point and a stalemate was at hand, tempers were allowed to cool naturally and a truce reached. But what happened next surprised me. Not then because I was too stupid to notice but as I grew up I realized that what I gained was simple respect for being an actual person not just a little brother. It didn’t hurt that I had grown enough to be larger than her (finally!) but I’ll take whatever respect I can get. From then on we became friends, until as adults in the later half of life my take was best friends. We could and would talk about us, not just the little things that make the days go by. I miss that. A lot.

Now what brought up the post title…  Shortly my friend/sister passed I was commiserating (drinking tequila) with her business partner of 16 years in their house and putting on some music. Having never heard Norah Jones I played it. Her partner said that was one of her favorites. Not long ago I was reading Open Salon and came upon a post about music. Music that the writer wanted a friend to hear. One of the titles was Norah Jones singing “Don’t Know Why”. Now I know that there is no connection here but some blogs seem to hit a spark, and here the timing was….  can’t say perfect but I miss my friend.
Here’s the link to friends music. Try the Norah.


Written by Ruckus

February 13, 2009 at 2:51 am

Posted in family, friends

Day One

Another blog -who’d a thought.

So not only am I full of crap, I’m a smart ass.

But that doesn’t mean anything because contrary to some opinions, none expressed here yet, I am human. So I start this journey to see what’s around the next bend, to see if another sunrise brings a better day. I’ve had a lot of days, not as many as some, more than others. Some of those days have been great, over the top days, some not so much. I’ll be writing about both as they hit me. Some of my crap will be political but not too much here. I hope it will be entertaining but that of course is not the point. I hope to hear back from you when a story hits a spot you like or that affects you in some way.


Written by Ruckus

February 13, 2009 at 1:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized


How does a person make the decision that torture is OK? I can not get behind the idea that someone can have a level of fear that it’s OK to throw away your moral compass. I’m sure some people don’t have such a thing as a moral compass, but still, most do.
What does it take to decide that you’re no better than you imagine your worst enemies to be?
Can it only be fear of the unknown? I have been in life and death situations before and never had a level of fear that ripped away my moral compass. And I did not get my moral compass from religion nor from an upbringing with a lot of guidance in that area. And yet it seems like a pretty strong, sound system. And I don’t consider myself anything out of the ordinary.

So, what does it take?

Another take from Andrew:

Does torture become something less awful when we do it? Is it a function of “paranoia” to worry about it when it’s done by Americans or Brits? When a “good man” like George W. Bush does it? When a personally humane person like Donald Rumsfeld does it? When we know our motives are good ones? Orwell’s answer is categorical. That’s why he set Nineteen-Eighty-Four in his native England:

The scene of the book is laid in Britain in order to emphasize that the English-speaking races are not innately better than anyone else.

Do you believe that or not? Churchill didn’t, which is why, despite a 9/11 every week in London during the Blitz, he never capitulated to the evil he was fighting against. Bush and Cheney, in contrast, made it standard operating procedure after one attack by people armed with nothing but box-cutters and our fear. History, as John Ashcroft once said, will not be kind.

Link here

Written by Ruckus

January 24, 2009 at 12:06 am

Posted in Uncategorized

A New Day

We’ve all been talking about it, and it’s getting very close. And it would be a shame that we expect so much and then become disappointed, discouraged, and begin to feel hopeless.

There is much to be overjoyed about. I was a child but I remember JFK running for president, with all the negitive crap that was being spread. The great speeches, the person he was overcame all that. The last year or so has seen many similarities. But JFK had his warts that we saw as time went on and we will see Obama’s as well.

Still… This is the most exciting history that I’ve seen in my life. I used to say my grandfather was born almost before cars were invented and lived to see 2 world wars and a man on the moon and that this was an immense amount of history in one lifetime. I think we are topping that on the 20th. We have a chance to reboot our country, not quite a do over but we never really get those in real life.

I am hopeful and yet reserved. I owned a business that survived during 2 large recessions and now own another. I’m not sure that it will survive because this recession seems much worse. I worry every day that everything will be wiped out and years of effort will be down the drain.

Still… It’ll be a new day and I can only be hopeful. Things will change, they always do. I’m just thinking that for all of us having to pay the economic price for the crappy politics we did not have to pay an even higher price. Many have done just that and we should never forget that.

To January 20th! Cheers!

Written by Ruckus

January 18, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized