Sunday, June 28, 2009

Annie and Ava - BFF

If "Poppie" ain't around and "Grammie's" far away, then it's "Annie" for Ava Suzanne Thompson.

As we are blessed to watch Ava some days while Noelle or Scotty are busy with other things, all one has to do to get some quiet time and calming down in the house is listen for those words of wisdom from Ava "Watch Annie"!

She goes into Andy's old bedroom and gets the three plastic chairs, brings them to front row center (two feet from the screen). Invites some teddys and doggies to sit down with her, and gives me about fifteen seconds to get it going or it's "WATCH ANNIE!"

We've watched it at least five times this past week. One good thing amongst many is the fact that it is a fairly good movie, with what I call "hummable tunes" (unlike church - another blog entry). To hear Ava sing "Tomorrow" is priceless (even if I am the granpa). The fact that I have only seen five different segments of the movie helps too, I haven't actually sat down with Ava and watched it from start to finish. I should, I guess to get the context of all of these great scenes in my mind.

For me, Carol Burnett steals the show as the alcoholic and "needy" Mrs. Hannigan. With lines like "I never could understand why anyone would want to be an orphan", and "I thought orphans were supposed to be boys!" coming from Albert Finney, the whole movie is worth watching, HMMMM, maybe five times a week.

Ava thinks so.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day

Well, here we are. I was trying to think of a way to include all of us Wilson fathers so everyone will know where they are headed. Andy is the lucky one, he missed the Wilson nose. What shall we imagine that Isaac and Braden will look like when they are fathers? This post does work as a time machine of sorts to get us to thinking of how we never stop growing, we never stop aging, until we stop. Life is just that cycle, there is nothing new going on, just things going differently.

2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
3 What profit has a man from all his labor In which he toils under the sun?
4 ¶ One generation passes away, and another generation comes; But the earth abides forever.
5 The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, And hastens to the place where it arose.
6 The wind goes toward the south, And turns around to the north; The wind whirls about continually, And comes again on its circuit.
7 All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; To the place from which the rivers come, There they return again.
8 All things are full of labor; Man cannot express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 ¶ That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after. (Ecclesiastes, chapter one)

If you get a grip on this portion of Scripture, the life you lead will take on new meaning. The only lasting efforts are those designed to accomplish God's purposes for eternity.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I made it. Some of the worst is over and I can relax now and hope that the prostate cancer bug is being bugged by my newly acquired radioactive demeanor. I do not glow all that much. The biggest downside to all of this is limited contact with the grandkids and those folks who might become pregnant for one reason or another (hopefully, it's the one reason).

I had a good experience and very limited discomfort. The biggest problem with having things like this done to your body lies between your ears, not your hips. I have posted a picture of what radioactive brachytherapy seeds look like, compared to a penny. Then if it all works good, there's a picture of my very own seeds now in place. Other things are pictured there, as well. The catheter, some bony structures and other mystery parts. This should satisfy those of you who want to look. I'll refer you to the picture.

The hospital folks were most hospitable (as they should have been after all) and they were able to use up paper faster than Delta Airlines did (does). When we left, we had been asked the same set of questions at least four times and each person dutifully entered my answers into the computer and had it printed out somewhere. I would like to have the sticky label franchise for this hospital too. Everything that wasn't bolted to the ground seemed to have a label of some sort on it (often more than one) and anything I brought with me was quickly labeled (myself included). It all must have worked because I left with all of my belonging and some new good stuff to keep.

They gave me a lead-lined bag to put any radioactive materials I may "pass" in. I'm not sure what one does with them then, but there's probably a label stuck to the box the bag came in that tells me in six different languages. Of course retrieval is through the use of a fine sieve. I am committed to "passing" through this device for quite a while now. When this is over, it will make a fine kitchen utensil. OOOOPS! no one will ever enjoy my cream of leek soup from now on.

The catheterization experience is one I'll speak to men about over cigars and brandy. Who invented Vicodin anyway? Enough said.

In case anybody ever reads this, and cares - I'm fine. The cancer is almost sure to be eliminated and good times are on the horizon. Tonight there'll be white wine (did I tell you about grĂ¼ner veltliner?) and good chinese leftovers.

Oh, and the half life of the radioactive seeds is about ninety days, pretty much the same for the chinese foods.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Ok, here's the thing…
DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT, go to the internet and google the name of the medical procedure you are about to have that afternoon. Twice now I have not followed my own good advice. You blog fans may recall that I googled "chemical stress EKG" back in April and came up with much more than ANYBODY would want to know about the chemical part of that search. It turned out to be correct information, but not what was in store for me. I was allowed to get one more sleepless night out of it, thank you very much. The test came out OK, and the Doctor signed the release form and paid his airport fees for the month.

I did it to myself again when I googled "brachytherapy images" Tuesday morning, preparing for this blog entry. Trust me, HEAR? do not do this. Not even if it is "splinter removal". Although come to think of it, that's not a bad idea for some 'cause you might read about what Jesus had to say about it.

41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Luke 6)

Anyway, I began to look at the images and couldn't make it past the first few before I closed the page. So, forewarned is forearmed, or something like that. Got it? Don't do it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Good News!

I am most happy to report that Jeanie and I went to church this morning. Yeah! That's right, church. We manifested ourselves to others as a part of the "Big C" Church and worshipped God in Spirit and in Truth. You have to know (if you know me at all) that I was glad to find myself in church with folks who are as interested as I am in finding out about God and most importantly, His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. Alleluia! The message, from the short letter written by Jude (Jesus' half brother) was great and Pastor Dave J. did a wonderful job of relating the Scriptures to our current needs and proclaiming the Lordship of Christ as well. The time spent studying went quickly and before you knew it, it was time to go.

I'm about to drop the other shoe.

Jeanie and I are old (as some may know). We like music of many kinds and listen to some things here at home or at least recognize the good stuff on the wireless or played on the iPod. That said, we still have a hard time coming to grips with having been disenfranchised from our worship experience during the instrument playing/chanting portion of the service in most of the "modern" churches of today. The music (I don't want to call it that, but I can't come up with a more descriptive term) in churches these days seems to be simply performance art. I would guess that fewer than a third of the congregants were singing along with the instrumentalists, however, most gave hearty applause when each song was over (hmmm, I just began to wonder WHY they were clapping). Anyway the loudness of the instrument playing was such that we sat in the back row and I looked at the floor most of the time.

I have come up with our solution. We will go to church late. We will leave the house when church begins and arrive in time for the one (hopefully) quiet contemplative hymn or the modern variation thereof which comes before the sermon. We will not be embarrassed and we will give, love and support this church and never speak of this again.

Except in the car, afterwards, having arrived on time for some reason beyond my control.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Now, I Understand…

An Easily Understandable Explanation of Derivative Markets

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around about Heidi's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit.

By providing her customers' freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi's gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets. Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics.

Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar. He so informs Heidi.

Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since, Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the various BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the Government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers.

Now, do you understand?