Don’t Kick Sand In Their Faces



Autumn in the Highland Lakes

Sans Souci 085A month ago we booked a lakeside rental along the Highland Lakes, not knowing if the week of Thanksgiving would be a balmy 90 degrees as in days of yore, or a frosty 29 degrees, as in other days of yore. One never knows in Texas. As the preschool teachers are fond of saying, “You get what you get, and you don’t get upset.” A nice sentiment, but not quite as catchy as, “Zip it, lock it, and put it in your pocket.”

As it turns out, what we got when we arrived two days ago was not sunny and hot; but what Winnie the Pooh might term a very blustery day indeed, with temps near freezing, and drizzle to boot. However, the foliage was stunning, as far as dying Texas leaves can be, so were not entirely disappointed by the dreariness of the weather.

And although we did not dare to jump into the lake, we did get to glimpse it as we drove along the meandering hills.

Always take your cameras, dear readers. We are older today than yesterday, and our memories fade as we go.

In My Country, Too, We Like Its Speed

Colliers006I like the vagueness of the token foreigner’s words, “my country” because that could mean anything. Perhaps he is a successful businessman, since he is well-dressed and has access to slick hair creams. I like his grand gesture as well. It’s like he’s welcoming Barbara Bush to Fantasy Island.

countryPerhaps some of you are programmed to be on the lookout for racism, so you can’t possibly enjoy this. Let’s find an opportunity to be offended; won’t that be fun? But break down his words; there isn’t anything pejorative there. He’s not represented in a demeaning way.  He’s not dressed in rags or carrying a water vessel on his head–or a towel–or a sombrero. He’s simply declaring that all countries can appreciate the merits of Convair. And if it still existed, perhaps I could, too.

Things To Be Grateful For: A Polio Vaccine


This information was in the back of my August 21, 1953 Collier’s. At the time, as stated at the bottom, a vaccine was not yet ready. But there was HOPE. And there was follow-through. And thankfully, Jonas Salk produced an injectible vaccine. Along with the oral vaccine licensed in 1962, they reduced the worldwide incidence from an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988 to just 223 cases in 2012. 

It was a time before Big Pharma, the term for the enormous and ever-growing, ever-powerful pharmaceutical industry. RationalWiki points out three abuses of Big Pharma:

1. Trying to suck every penny out of the pockets of the sick, injured, dying, and hypochondriacs.

We’ve all been there, right? Several years ago, I was prescribed an antibiotic called Clindamycin post-root canal, which caused a C.diff infection, for which I was then prescribed ANOTHER bottle of pills to cure THAT, to the tune of  $400. As it turns out, it was completely unnecessary. Not familiar with C.diff? It’s like Satan raping you from the inside out, but without buying you dinner first.

Of course, there are drugs that legitimately aid us and even prevent death in many cases, but they are few and far between. There is no race for a cure; just a race for the dollar.

Families USA claims that: among the nine pharmaceutical companies examined in the report… all but one spent more than twice as much on marketing, advertising, and administration than they did on research and development… Six out of the nine companies made more money in net profits than they spent on research and development last year.

2. Inventing new maladies so people will buy more drugs.

Surely you’ve seen the commercial for pba (Pseudo Bulbar Affect) on TV. I’m afraid I’m gonna have to call bull$hit on this one:

3. Renaming old maladies so people will think their conditions are more serious, forcing them to  pay higher prices for prescriptions.

Remember in middle school when you learned Hitler gassed six million Jews, and that seemed like a TON? Well, that’s how many children are taking pills for ADHD, aka ADD, aka hyperkinetic disorder. When I was in school, they just called hyper kids “spaz.” Maybe ADHD meds work for some, but SIX MILLION seems a bit overkill.

Granted, muscular rheumatism isn’t as catchy as fibromyalgia is nowadays, but other conditions sounded much better in the way, way back. Depression is lame, but black dog paints a picture. I remember the volunteer at the humane society telling me very few folks adopted black dogs because they couldn’t read their facial expressions. Now that’s depressing.

And don’t get me STARTED on side effects…


Speaking of anal leakage, recognize this fellow?

Jerry Lewis hosted the MDA telethon nearly every Labor Day weekend of your life.  Do you think he would have signed on as host if he thought there wouldn’t be a cure 45 years and two billion dollars later? Doctor, please.

Chris Rock said it best in his stand-up routine: “What’s the last $hit a doctor cured? Polio? You know how long ago polio was? That’s the like the first season of Lucy...Ain’t no money in the cure, the money’s in the medicine…that’s how a drug dealer makes his money, on the comeback.”

Docs and Big Pharma

Need more drug rant? Reference last year’s post:

Countdown to Thanksgiving

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving holiday in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS, keep these important facts in mind:

  • If your in-laws are coming to your home, stock up on Pepto-Bismol. And remember what Benjamin Franklin said: “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Hollah.


  • If you’re the one traveling, make sure your vehicle has been well-maintained. I can’t overstate this enough.


  • When you’re fueling up, use high anti-knock gasoline. You never know what kind of weather you will encounter.


  • Many Americans enjoy spending hours swilling beer and watching football as a way of offering up thanks on this four-day weekend, so make sure your big screen TV is not on the fritz.


  • Don’t forget the most important part: dessert! Everyone loves pies–pumpkin, pecan, apple, sweet potato, blackberry, chocolate cream, coconut cream…There’s always room for dessert.


  • But above all, avoid excessive gluttony.


  • And remember what it’s all about, Charlie Brown–an annual tradition since 1863, when Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”