Kind of a nadir in my motivation today. Yesterday, I apologized to the wall for hitting it; Friday’s infusion can’t get here fast enough.

Thankfully, I think I’m free of medical adventures this week, otherwise.

So, onto the prompt.

What did you want to be when you grew up? What are you, actually?

What did I want to be? You know, I don’t really know. There were several things. Obviously, a star in whatever sport was in season. (Except for, maybe, hockey, which I never could really get into.)

My dad was a soldier, so the military always had allure.

As a kid in the 90s, the space program was also something I paid a lot of attention to. The idea of space shuttles making regular trips to…yeah, I could do that. Until that cold day in 1986. (All the teachers had been watching in the smoking/teachers’ lounge while we were at lunch….after the accident, they gathered all of the classes of my grade into a single classroom and told us through tears, as that’d been the mission with the teacher aboard.)

But it wasn’t too long before I caught the radio bug. From listening to Royals’ gams on my He-Man AM radio in Kansas to listening to stuff on AFRTS/AFN out of Stuttgart (certainly the first place I was Rick-rolled.)

When we came back to the States, my dad was stationed at the Pentagon, so I was immersed in late-80s/early-90s DC zookeepers. Don & Mike. The Greaseman, who’d replaced Howard Stern, etc.

After another stint in Germany, and a year in exile in South Central PA, I started to seriously consider doing it for a living.

I didn’t have a great voice.
I didn’t speak terribly clearly.

I thought I could figure it out, though.

I took telecommunications classes in high school, where I did a bit of voiceover work for TV. Again, it wasn’t really my forte, but it was something I enjoyed.

I won an Air Force ROTC scholarship in high school.

I ended up not accepting the scholarship. Not only did I have concerns about being able to meet the physical requirements, I’d failed the uncorrected vision test during my physical. At the time (and it may still be true), if you couldn’t test 20/20, you couldn’t fly. So, no chance of even doing something like driving a C-130, ala Rick Perry.

I would be doing something on the ground. That didn’t sound too interesting.

Furthermore, I wouldn’t have been able to choose my own major. I was provided a list of majors, told to rank my top five, then they would tell me what I would be.

There was also the issue of finding a school with Air Force ROTC. I really only had the option of schools in Mississippi. My dad was on active duty, and a Texas resident. I had a Mississippi driver’s license. I was downloaded in Florida, so I was looking at Florida State.

I think Mississippi State was the only school that had both the engineering programs I would have had to choose. I wasn’t enthused by Starkville. (Though it was better than the promise of disownership my parents gave had I chosen Ole Miss….) Nor was I enthused by the other part of the deal with the Air Force scholarship. I would be on call as a reserve enlisted Airman for the time I was in college. After I finished, I’d be on active duty for at least four years, but they could choose to make me stay on active duty for eight.

The prospect of devoting, potentially, the next twelve years of my life to the Air Force without being able to fly didn’t sound at all like something I wanted to do. One of my high school football coaches had played at the Air Force Academy. I really didn’t envy him running the weather detachment at a remote Army Airfield.

What sealed the deal was FSU’s determination that I wouldn’t qualify for in-state tuition.

On my dad’s urging, I applied at Christopher Newport University. I enrolled in Army ROTC, which didn’t have the same sort of reserve requirements, and only a two-year commitment following graduation.

The ROTC situation at CNU was strange. We were cross-enrolled at William & Mary. While our classes were at CNU for the first two years, the third year was split between CNU and W&M. The fourth year was pretty much all at W&M.

Whatever. It was cheaper for me to go to CNU as an in-state student without a scholarship than it would have been for me to go to FSU on scholarship.

I tried hard to make sure I won an Army scholarship. Of the about 70 of those of us in the CNU first and second year programs, I think only one eventually got a scholarship and was commissioned. A friend ended up dropping out of school, and enlisting in the Army. He went to warrant officers’ school, and won the distinguished flying cross in Iraq.

After my first year, though, I was behind. I was having trouble meeting the physical requirements. I could run an awful long way, just not very quickly. I was fine on sit-ups, but iffy on push-ups.

I got along with the instructor my first year. The second year, notsomuch. Between her, and the W&M product LTC who wasn’t going to make COL, and was serving out his time so he could retire with more money, I judged my prospects of a scholarship as pretty low.

I dropped out of ROTC. The steady sting of Bs in ROTC was bringing down my GPA, anyway.

I got a job at the Go-Kart track at the post my dad used to command. The following summer, I got a job doing Master Control at a local UHF TV group. The work wasn’t terribly exciting, but it paid my meager bills. Even though the shifts were long, after I’d done the prep programming (tape sequencer) for the shift, I was basically just there monitoring things for the rest of the shift. That gave me time to read, and do a bit of writing on my school assignments.

It wasn’t a bad few months, really. I could have seen myself working there for a long time. I’d scheduled my classes so that I could be in class during the day, and tending the station nights and weekends. I did some camera work for, of all things, women’s fast pitch softball.

Then the cable merger came (courtesy the Communications Act of 1996). One of the big cable companies had bought up a bunch of smaller local cable companies. Because of that, the stations were not powerful-enough to meet must-carry requirements throughout the area. While the station had something like 85% market coverage, it was on three different frequencies over the air. Wanting another cable channel, the big company decided to pull the local station. I, along with everyone else, got laid off.

During my final two weeks, I decided to go check in on Tony Macrini, who was doing a promotion somewhat close to home. I told him what was going on, and he told me to send him a resume, and a tape.

Shortly thereafter, I got a call from Dave Morgan to set up an interview.

I went down for an interview.

Since I didn’t have a tape to send, he picked up a piece of paper from his desk, and told me to read it. It was Art Bell’s resignation address.

You can read. You’ve got a good voice. We pay seven buck an hour.
So, you have a wife and kids?
Ah, so a single guy. You have another gig; this isn’t many hours.
Yeah, I’m a college student.
Wait a minute. How old are you?

I was working Friday and Saturday nights. I had something like two breaks an hour, and could read/write the rest of the time.

Within the next year, I was working six days per week. Not a ton of airtime doing live assist work, but I did get to do things like write local news and weather forecasts.

I also took on repairing some of the broken IT stuff around. That wheezing 286 running the AP wire? Yeah, I can fix that.

After I graduated, I eventually was moved to doing mostly iT work. When I left seven years after I started, I was only on the air maybe two hours per week. The rest of my time, I was dealing with broken PCs for the rest of the staff.

In 2005, I started doing real government engineering work. I’ve been doing specifically IT work since late 2007.

Could I elaborate a lot more? Absolutely. Am I going to stop now? Yep.

Two-thirds of the way through.


This prompt has been difficult. I have a draft of some extensive writing that I’ll probably recycle parts of later. But I’m going to do this as simply as I can.

Recap of your year month-by-month.
Went to Shmoocon. Didn’t find a new job there, but did eat oysters.
Cold. Work continued to suck.
Not as cold. Work kept sucking.
Accepted a new job, and got the fuck out of the hell I’d been in.
Sorta started working the new job. Ended up going to DC for a GS interview, anyway. Interviewed for a GS slot down here, got an offer, and turned it down. Sorry, I saw my salary revert to 2007-levels in 2013. I’m not going back to 2004.
Settling into something resembling normal back at home.
That’s hot. I was working from home a lot because of the oppressive heat. I started writing in the month before my birthday.
I got older. Football.
Hospital stay number one.
Hospital stay number two.

November is underway. No hospital stays. fingers crossed December is TBD.


Write about three things you did for the first time in the past year.

Okay, so three things I’ve done this year that I’d never done before.  Please excuse the odd organization;  i started with bullets, and I’m not sure if that was the correct way to go.  There’s multiple paragraphs for each.  Of course, if I was writing a DoD PowerPoint presentation, they’d be awesome.

Anyway, on to it….

  • Ate a raw oyster. A few, actually. They were listed as a specialty at my friend’s restaurant. I’d been considering doing it. The opportunity presented itself, so I went for it. Reaction? Not bad. Probably something I wouldn’t go for often, but it was good. If you want an example of what a nerd I am, in the months leading up to that time, I actually googled how to eat them. Do you chew them? Swallow whole? What? Obviously, roasted or fried you chew, but what of the raw variety. The answers I found said, essentially, take a few bites, let the flavor circulate around your mouth, then swallow. Yes, this is a pretty lukewarm reaction, but I’ve found months later that I have a craving again. It’s the oddest damned thing.
  • Spent a night in the hospital. This one didn’t happen until it was oyster season again. Obviously, they don’t serve those there. Both times were terribly unpleasant. One night the first time, two the second. The second instance was one day shy of a month later. Both were due to infections. Both of different bacteria. Both, ultimately, of the same cause. Protip: when you’re killing your immune system every four weeks, inserting foreign bodies into your body is a really bad idea(TM). Ultimately, I place the blame on one medical provider. I won’t write much about this here because I’m still considering all options (and, yes, that includes whatever legal remedies might be available). But, in my current job, I have no leave at all. None. I don’t even get paid holidays. If I’m not working, I’m not getting paid. I was also completely out-of-control. When I was younger, I prided myself in my ability to put up with nearly anything. Since I got sick, I’ve had to get over that. There’s things that I just can’t control anymore. My body is included in that growing list. That includes my emotions. I’m tempted to go back to some of what I wrote in about 2005 where I felt like I was completely numb to everything. Things have certainly changed. There’ve been high highs, and low lows. Sarah and I chuckle at one of our animated sons, Butters from “South Park,” (And if you know either of us, you can see how that’s our boy….) who was sitting on a curb crying after his girlfriend (a waitress at a place modeled after Hooters) dumped him. Stan was sitting nearby despairing about getting blown out by his new circle of friends. “I’d rather be a crying little pussy than a faggy goth kid.”
  • Walked away from a terrible work situation. Here, I’m talking about my last job. I don’t even try to miss it, knowing I won’t be able to. I’m still on decent terms with a few of the people I encountered, but there’s others I hope I never speak to again. Aside from the last two jobs, I’ve never felt that way before. Again, there’s a lot more I could say on this one, but won’t. I was used. I hope the people responsible have memories so short that they can look themselves in the mirror again someday.

I could write for hours about these, but I think I’ve said enough.  The last one is a bit of a cop-out;  I could have written about the sheer volume of whining about the election.  Oh, you’re going to have a peaceful protest?  Yeah, I give that about half an hour.  Also, nobody cares.  The Commonwealth of Virginia supported a loser.  Again.  This has been true many times in the past.  So, too, that I voted for whoever lost.

But I get it.  I’m a bigot because I didn’t vote for the party of historic racism.  Hmmmm…okay.

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I accidentally had a second prompt for my trip to Georgetown.

That happened, and I described a bit of it yetsterday.

Takeaways I didn’t cover yesterday:

With those out of the way, what else do I have to say….?

I’m trying to keep an open mind about the electoral results. This, really, could be real change in Washington. Notsomuch due to the Trump surrogates’ bigotry, but because at least it’s a completely new crowd.

Regardless of what happens, it’s not going to be an administration full of recycled Ford and Clinton folks (which is what we saw with the last two administrations). If an opportunity presented itself to get me to DC to work in the Administration, I don’t know that I’d turn it down. (Though they probably would want nothing to do with me after I didn’t vote for them…..)


I accidentally put in two prompts for my trip to DC.

As I wrote the other day, I’m excited about some of the research being done with MS.  It’s very rare when you see words like “miracle” coming out of trials.

The neurologist who saw me was definitely tracking with me, but they didn’t really have anything where I’d fit in nicely.  She thinks I’m doing well on Tysabri.

The message exchange with my local near follows:

Thank you for the updates
All the supplements for the most part sound reasonable, are being studied in MS.
Hope you are otherwise doing well.
Dr. K
—– Message —–
Sent: 11/16/2016 10:25 AM EST
To: Michelle B Kuczma, DO
Subject: Non-Urgent Medical Question

Dr. Kuczma,

I did go to Georgetown Monday. Unfortunately, they really don’t have anything they think I’d slot into well as a research target. If I wasn’t on Tysabri, and doing well, they might have something. Nothing yet on the remyleinization (sp?) studies.

I will stay in contact with the doctor to see if they’ve got anything that pops up. I told them they could contact you, or EVMS if they’ve got questions about what’s up with me.

She did recommend the following suppliants:

1000 mg flax seed oil per day.
5000 mcg Biotin 3x/day
1000 mcg B12 sublingual in the mornings.



The trip, itself, was stressful.  Maybe I’ll write some more about it tomorrow.  I am very near the end of my Tysabri charge.  On the bright side, I do kind of feel okay overall.  The folks in the office did make those sorts of comments when I went into the office today.

By about 1510, my eyes were really going crazy, so I left.  It took almost two hours to get home.  Every seat on the bus filled as we headed south.

I will write more tomorrow when I have some time to breathe.  The long weekend will be greatly-appreciated.


On being sick.

I understand why I chose this prompt for this date.  I wrote much of this on the train heading to Washington DC to visit the folks at Georgetown School of Medicine.  I wrote a bit about it recently.

The potential to get some of my life back would be worth getting my femurs drilled and Humira, or chemotherapy.

This is not a condition I’d wish on my worst enemy.  (And if you know who my worst enemy is, please let me know, because I really don’t know who’d that’d be at this point.  There is one individual I’ve dealt with professionally, recently, that I’d just assume never speak to again, but…)

So, I find myself trying to decide what would be the best way to tackle this.

The less-pleasant parts I really don’t feel like relating, but they’re all a part of the overall experience.

The most maddening part, though, is not one of the more disgusting things, honestly.  I really am nearly blind these days.  When I was younger, I’d say that I’d much rather lose my vision than my hearing.  I was working in radio, and there was the big story about the things Rush Limbaugh was going through with his opioid0induced hearing loss.

Obviously, working in radio without being able to hear would be very difficult.  But doing just about anything without decent vision is just as tough.

No, I really can’t see what you’re pointing out.

No, I can’t tell the difference between those colors.  (And this is more than being lectured on the differences among cream, Ivory, and other shades of white.)

Saturday, we took my mother to the football game between her alma mater, and my wife’s school.  Not only did her school not even who up, I couldn’t really see anything that was going on on the field.  Getting up and down to our sets with the stadium steps with no handrails was difficult enough, but…..

It was also rather chilly.  Normally the cold doesn’t bother me much anymore, unless I’m out in it for a long time.

So, not a particularly enjoyable experience.  I think my mom had a good time, though, which is what matters.  She and my wife got to experience the sorts of things I deal with being reliant upon public transportation.  You can get pretty much where you need to go, but it takes a long time.  I guess it took probably about 40 minutes to get from our place to the university;  it’s fifteen by car.

At the same time, it probably cost as much in transit fare as it’d have cost to park near the stadium.    And no need for a long-distance walk.

I can still walk some, sorta.  I’m good for about a block and a half most days.

Trying to get though this is annoying me.  I guess I’ll revert to the list from NMSS.  It might be easier to say which of those more common symptoms I don’t have.

I really don’t have emotional changes or cognitive changes.  The others listed I do have to some extent.

The less common symptoms, really, I only deal with a few.


So, the appointment went okay.  I have a prompt for a couple of days in the future to write about it more thoroughly.

At this point, since I’m on the Tysabri, I should stick on that until it quits working, or I test positive for JC Virus.

Who knows.

Initial impression:  They’ve got their stuff together, and I think I’d be happy to be treated there if/when we move up.  It’s probably an older facility, but they’re doing some of the newer interesting research work.  That matters to me.

Much as I appreciate EVMS, MS isn’t a big focus.  If I had diabuatteus /Wilford_Brimley_voice, I’d be interesting.

As I said, I will see what happens.

We are sticking with the same insurance arrangement as this year  Yes, it’s going to cost something like $120/mo. more.  Yes, it’s all after-tax.  But I’m in a strange employment situation, and this is what I have to deal with courtesy the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

That’s probably going to go away with the minor change in government, but I’m sure it’s going to take awhile.

I could probably write more, but I’m tired. My current debate is whether I try to make it in to the office tomorrow. Or work from home. I don’t know.


Okay, I’m supposed to find something I wrote five years ago, and say how things are the same or different.

From NoJoMo 2011:

NJM Day 15 – 11/15/2011

1. Using a maximum of 15 songs, what is the playlist of your life so far?

This one is really tough, because my life’s been so damn odd. It’s funny that I’m having trouble answering this one considering the seemingly always-on playlist running through my head.

Probably stems from time spent working in radio….

What I have noticed lately is that certain songs do have that sort of emotional effect on me I once thought impossible….people getting overly emotional about a song. I just didn’t get it when I was younger. I guess I sort of do, now. But more than that, I think I notice the songwriter’s emotions more these days, perhaps appreciate them more.

This is especially true when it comes to relationship emotions. Before I met my wife, I though a lot of the romantic sentiments were hokey; having now felt the same things, I understand.

Since my dad died last year, I’ve been unable to get a full listen in to Love Without End, Amen by George Strait. Pops up on random on iTunes, comes over the radio, whatever, I can’t listen, even all the way to the first chorus.

But, as for what’s describing me now, I have no idea. What I put up with I don’t think is captured perfectly by any one song. I’m tired. There’s songs that capture that, but not tired in the way I’m tired. Not in pain the way I’m in pain.

2. What comes to mind when you hear the term “comfort food?” Share the recipe (if it has a recipe) and why it is your comfort food.

I think most people think of old-fashioned homemade stuff; you’re not going to find a reasonable example at TGIRubilibees. Can I think of a single specific one? No, not right now. So how’s it made? Chances are, the recipe starts with, “first you make a roux…“

3. Aside from money, if you could have anything, but only one more thing than you currently have, what would you get, and why?

A long break. Without pain. Material things mean so little to me these days.


~hugs~ I wish there was a miracle for us. Have you tried that Low Dose Naltrexone therapy? I did, but it didn’t work for me. [Cats Rule] 11/18/2011 2:36:27

This was one I wrote from prompts. I don’t know, really, that a lot has changed.

I am still tired. Exhausted.

When I wrote that entry five years ago, I was just a few weeks removed from my honeymoon. Yes, there was stress involved with that due to the travel. Even when we were there, we spent a lot of time worrying about getting one place or another. See this. Do that. Visit these people.

Aside from our time actually on the train, maybe we didn’t spend enough time just relaxing as the two of us.

Since then, it’s only gotten worse.

She’s in school. I’m bouncing back-and-forth to doctors’ appointments. On top of really not having enough money to do much of anything.

I’m reminded of Office Space, and the discussion between Peter and Lawrence. What would you do if you were rich enough that you didn’t have to work?

Other than two chicks at the same time, nothing.

Unfortunately, I’m in no position to do that.  In my current role, I don’t even get paid holidays, much less leave and sick leave.

In the job I had five years ago, I got four weeks’ comprehensive leave.  Oh, and I wasn’t going to be paying $700/mo. for health insurance.

I apologize in the turn into curtness, here.  This afternoon’s meeting signaled that my situation is not at all unique.

But it doesn’t mean I should be okay with it, either.

I have my Georgetown appointment recap penciled-in for Thursday.  Maybe by then I’ll have more to say.  Right now, there’s not much.


Let’s start with today’s prompt…

Nervousness. Write about what last made you really nervous.

You know, I don’t really know what makes me nervous anymore. I’ve been through so much, I really don’t know what more there is that could really embarrass me.

There’s things that happen that once would have been a big source of shame that, on account of my condition, I really can’t control. Does my disability make me a bad person? Umm, maybe. Probably me from a decade ago would have been completely unable to understand it, because I did really think there wasn’t much I couldn’t do if I really needed to.

When I left radio in 2005, I was very much at the point where I was saying, “this isn’t working.”

Would I end up going back to school?
Would I end up on the Gulf Coast trying to do my part in rebuilding after Katrina?
Would I be dead?

If you’d told me I’d end up married to someone much younger than I, and very afflicted with MS, I’d have thought you were nuts.

Same goes for if you’d told me that Donald Trump would be elected President. (Hell, that would have been true two years ago.)

So, what inspired this prompt?

Tomorrow I’m off to Georgetown School of Medicine for consultation about potentially being used as a research subject in whatever they’re doing for multiple sclerosis research.

They can do whatever they want to me. If some short-term discomfort can make this nightmare end, okay, I’m willing to try.

So, that’s tomorrow. Up-and-back on Amtrak is a long day, but at least I can do that now.

Hell, me taking Amtrak at all would have evoked the “you’re nuts” response.

Facebook seems to be especially-good at bringing up bad memories, too. Today saw pictures of my destroyed apartment back in 2009. This is the first thing I wrote after the storm.

Cold November Rain – 12/1/2009

So, yeah, I’ve slacked off again, but I have a good fucking excuse this time….

When the remnants of Hurricane Ida turned extra-tropical, and became a Nor’easter, well, Norfolk (and me, personally) got hit pretty hard. It’s been a wild few weeks, and my apartment still isn’t fixed. My dollar damage was just below my insurance deductible, but…..

Four days without power
A week without hot water
Two weeks without laundry in the building

I ended up doing work at the radio station in the middle of the storm. They lost several machines during the power weirdness, and I spent time getting them back running. They’re still using a spare computer of mine as their mail server. What else was I going to do? Not like I had anything to do at home.

Still don’t know when my bedrooms are going to be fixed. Plaster down. Mildew. Stained carpets….

In brighter news, we’re going to see the Saints play the Redskins this weekend. In DC. It might snow.

Can I catch a break sometime?

In the midst of all the chaos, I did, however, finish up the two year project from hell at work. Ironically, a disaster recovery project…..

I have to take two buses to do my laundry, so that last complaint is vetoed! 😛 The rest of it does suck, though. [donut] 12/1/2009 8:47:41 PM

Ahh, that is so not cool. 🙁
Hope you had a great time at the game!
[.Red] 1/4/2010 2:29:01 AM


Describe your most recent doctor visit. I’m specifically looking for the one(s) you see most often.

I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking when I wrote this prompt. Maybe I should have consulted my calendar before i wrote.

My two most-recent visits were with specialists. One to replace the folks likely responsible for my two hospital stays this month. The other was to see what’s going on with something else in my messed-up body.

I guess my most recent medical visit was with my longtime dentist. I’ve been seeing the guy pretty much continuously since I was in high school. My medical issues have definitely included attack on my teeth; he’s been helping keep me sort of functioning. Yesterday’s visit was for a cleaning. I have to get an extra one each year because my disease modifying drug affects my oral bacteria. That said, no cavities!

As for regular medical stuff, I’ve been seen at Ghent Family Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School since the day that I had the MRIs that led to my diagnosis.

I should probably write a counter to this lousy Yelp review. They’ve been great for me, especially last year when my oh-so-wonderful plan wasn’t accepted by the two specialists I’d been seeing.

Dr. Robert Newman is my primary care physician. He helped find new specialists, including my new neurologist, Dr. Kuczma. I also have to tip my hat to Dr. Thomas Grant, who has looked after me for several years at EVMS.

My last visit was with a resident at EVMS (who I’d link, but I can’t find her bio right now….Dr. Jodi Newcombe). I was there to follow up with them after my second hospitalization, and to get a prescription refilled. She was one of the residents I recommended to my wife after the one she’d been seeing left. My wife ended up with the other one, who’s since left for a fellowship, but she went with me to my last visit with Dr. Newcombe. “I like her!”

I do normally end up seeing a resident when I’m there; that’s what the clinic is for. At the same time, part of the reason I decided to go there is that when I was looking for regular medical care, I had no idea what the fuck was wrong with me. At a medical school, there should always be more than one opinion.

Sometimes, though, I do think the professors take some sick sadistic pleasure in sticking a rookie resident with me.
“Do you have x or y?”
“Well, which one?!”
“Both. Depends on the hour. Check my record; I have multiple sclerosis.” “Oh.” brow furrow “OHHHHH.”

As I said, I went as a followup after my hospital stay in October.

It was also an opportunity to get my flu shot. I don’t know if there’s some academic group that gives them brownie points for handing them out, but I’ve gotten the flu shot every year since I’ve been going there. Magically, I’ve not gotten the flu. It’s like it works or something.

My wife did get the flu last year, so she got hers on the last trip, too.

But the way the clinic works, you’re seen by a resident, then normally the supervising faculty member, like Grant or Newman, comes in to check over whatever the resident did.

Occasionally, they’ll change things. This past spring, I managed to fall getting off the bus. Validating gravity’s function – it’s one of the things those of us with perpetually-numb feet and vertigo issues do. The resident wanted to send me for a bunch of X-Rays; the faculty supervisor came and checked me out, and decided against it.

Yes, I was sore for a long time, but I’ve recovered. Lasting soreness implies I’m getting old or something.

Monday, I’m going up to see if I might be an appropriate candidate for studies at Georgetown.

I did a study on some thing that didn’t work, previously. This failure pretty much made me swear off serving as a test subject, but I am intrigued by this, and think Georgetown might be one of the places on the East Coast where they might try it. I also have zero reservations about using my own cultured stem cells.

We’ll see how it goes.


I got out of order on my prompts trying to fill spaces.

Armistice Day. I’m going to write about the war Tom Browaw forgets.

As a kid living in Germany, there were lots of things I saw related to the First World War.

98 years ago today, the fighting stopped, but I think a good argument can be made that the war’s never really ended.

I’ve been googling around, looking to see if I can find relatives who served. I know one of my great-grandfathers did. He was a Second Lieutenant in the Army. My great-grandmother used to tell the story of how they were let out on leave between training and shipping off overseas. The platoon sergeant told them not to go get married during their breaks. All but a couple in the platoon did (my great-grandparents included).

But, there’s so much that people don’t know about. How about the Rape of Belgium?

The quip about Tom Brokaw is related to this. So much of what Brokaw’s been doing since he “retired” is directly-related to the “greatest generation.” Yes, World War II was a disaster. Yes, the blame for some of its causes can be squarely pointed at the United States.

Still, the seeds of the war were planted as the European empires collapsed. Because we had an ineffective academic president (sound familiar?), his grand scheme to punish the Germans in perpetuity didn’t pass the Senate, and let the French and British set the state for the use of the Third Reich.

Also lot on many is the sheer number of people who died in a four-year war. I can remember my dad taking us to the Somme battlefield, and having no way of understanding what it meant that one million people. died in that single battle.

I was last in Belgium in 1993 or 1994. The town of Bastogne was invaded by the Germans at least three times, but when most Americans think of it, all people might know is General McAuliffe’s “nuts.”

I don’t remember much coverage of it when I was in high school, despite being in Germany. When I got back to the States, there was even less. I asked my wife about what she’d learned, and it was basically nothing.

As we’re now in the century mark since the war, there’s been bits here and there. Seeing poppies at the Redskins’ game probably befuddled many.

I watched the ABC/CBC/BBC documentary series on one of the streaming services (Netflix or Hulu). Just incredible. People just don’t know.

And today is Veterans’ Day, which is the US version of what was the commemoration of the armistice. The cease fire went into effect on the Western Front the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the month.