Agent Orange Awareness #327 – 10/11/2016

I want to know, have you ever seen the rain? Comin’ down on sunny day? Creedence Clearwater Revival “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?”

Welcome to Drivel Over Coffee. You are a member of the only group who proudly dribble our French Roast down our shirt while Driveling about our fate in life. Sometimes our view of life becomes slightly skewed while looking through dog licked glasses.

October is14520397_10155016066480663_2295043113929845968_n-jpg Agent Orange Awareness Month. What is Agent Orange? Those of us who had the honor of fighting in Vietnam certainly know but many others do not. Its effects haunt Vietnam Veterans every day to the grave.
From 1961 to 1972, the U.S. military conducted a large-scale defoliation program aimed at destroying the forest and jungle cover used by enemy ranch-hand-c-123-agent-orange-600x400-jpgNorth Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops fighting against U.S. and South Vietnamese forces in the Vietnam War. U.S. aircraft were deployed to spray powerful mixtures of herbicides around roads, rivers, canals and military bases, as well as on crops that might be used to supply enemy troops.

During this process, crops and water sources used by the non-combatant peasant population of South Vietnam could also be hit. In all, Operation Ranch Hand using American C-123 transport planes sprayed more than 19 million gallons of herbicides over 4.5 million acres of land. Agent Orange, which contained the chemical dioxin, was the most commonly used of the herbicide mixtures, and the most effective. It was later revealed to cause serious health issues–including tumors, birth defects, rashes, psychological symptoms and cancer–among returning U.S. servicemen and their families as well as among the Vietnamese population.

VA presumes the following diseases to be service-connected for such exposed Veterans:

  • AL amyloidosis, Chloracne or other acneform disease similar to chloracne, Chronic B-cell leukemia, Diabetes mellitus (Type 2), Hodgkin’s disease, Ischemic heart disease, Multiple myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, Peripheral Neuropathy, Porphyria cutanea tarda, Prostate cancer, Respiratory cancers (lung, bronchus, larynx, trachea), Soft-tissue sarcoma are some of the diseases.

Well, here we go. Going to Vegas in a few days. Been in the planning stages for months now. It seems odd that having been in the Air Force and having flown around the world and all over the U.S. that I would be nervous about flying. Flying isn’t exactly what makes me nervous. It is all of the new-fangled rules and procedures to get on a plane. In my day you had a ticket that you carried in your hand to the check-in. I guess now you need your confirmation email. Seems a bit screwy. Okay, I used to be able to check my bags and have a carry on, no charge. Now, it costs extra to take clothes with you. Well these are just the preliminaries. What about this security business? As I understand you get in this line of people all wanting to hurry through this arch affair but wait you can’t hurry because there are uniformed robots blocking your way. You must empty your pockets, take out your computer, take off your shoes, strip naked get frisked and walk through the arch. If no sirens go off or you get shoved out of line for further review, you may get reassembled and proceed to your gate.

Now I take somewhere around a million prescription meds plus insulin and cpap. I can just imagine being separated from the others and accused of being a drug mule. Ho boy, would that be a hoot? Will I have to explain each and every one? Hell, I just take what the doctors tells me to. We have all seen and heard horror stories of people going through security. Actually, other than the drugs my main worry will be getting my shoes back on. Do they have a shoe horn to use? Probably not. If I delay getting them back on, will I get trampled by others coming through in a frenzy to get somewhere only to wait. I am not quite as limber as I once was. Getting down to the area where my shoes reside requires quite an effort these days. I may just go stocking footed the rest of the way. My next worry involves the plane. More specifically, the seat. I think over the years, the seats have narrowed a bit. Over the years my seat has expanded a bit. There may possibly be a fitting issue which brings into question the idea of a shoe horn again. Maybe I will pack one of my IKEA shoe horns. They are about 2 feet long. Yes, that is the answer.

October is a transition month here in Iowa. The temperatures are cooling. Leaves are turning color and falling to the ground. Being urban dwellers, we must winterize our lawn mower, get the snow blower out and readied. In other words, get ready to hunker down for the winter. Same goes for outdoor varmints. They know winter is coming. They build nice warm nests, store nuts and berries for the winter. Some search of indoor lodging for the upcoming winter. I noticed the other day some bits of foam rubber insulation next to our patio door. Looking closer, it appeared to have been chewed away from the patio door and as such allowing entry into the home. Ho Boy, I thought. I have a varmint running around in the house. A couple days later, my current wife, Sue, found a little pile of carpet lint in a pile next to the basement stairs. My fear is now confirmed, an animal resides in my home, other than Murphy.

Speaking of my Boston Terrier watchdog, Murphy. I have found he is great at alerting us to nonexistent threats outdoors. He alerts us to people walking up the street, the mailman, Fedex and UPS. He hunts chipmunks, squirrels and rabbits in the yard. Does he care about our indoor animal – NO! Seemingly, he could care less. His nose is sensitive enough to pick up the smell of a food crumb from 2 rooms away but he can’t smell a foreign animal. I have seen him come home from doggie daycare and instantly know someone has been in the house. He traces the visitors footsteps all around the house. What gives Murphy? Realizing Murphy is not going to be much help, I deployed some anti-rodent/varmint devices strategically around in the basement. Several devices were deployed in a way to herd it/them toward the stairs where they will find sticky things they cannot rid themselves of. I know, I know they will walk right thru them leaving sticky tracks through the basement. It is a plan anyway, maybe not a good one but a plan nonetheless.

Enough of my tale of woe. I would like to share with you some things that I have pondered this past week and want to share with you.

Ever lay in a hammock or on the lawn and stare at the puffy white clouds floating by? I try to find shapes in them. I got to wondering what the weight of clouds are. It seems on average a cloud weighs 216 thousand pounds. An average storm cloud weighs 105.8 million pounds. How do they stay in the air?

Humans have specific sleeping spots, the bed, recliner, sofa, hammock, church pew and so forth but pandas don’t have a specific spot for sleeping, they simply fall asleep wherever they happen to be.

If you like sleeping in Alaska, they will pay you upwards of a couple thousand dollars a year if you live there for at least 190 days a year and aren’t a convicted felon. You are paid just for not leaving it seems.

Have you seen a picture of a Zonky? Maybe you have one. If so, I want one too. They are so cute. Apparently, donkeys and zebras have been known to, let’s not go Trump here, and have relations that resulted in a baby known as a Zonky. Honestly, tis true.

Staying with animals for the moment, you know that elephants are very interesting animals. They are smart, have tremendous memories, care for their babies and travel in packs. But did you know that elephants bury their dead and will revisit graves generations later usually on Memorial Day. No, the Memorial Day thing was a joke. They’ve even been known to bury humans that have passed away.

Looking for a job? There are openings in China for “Panda Nannies”. Yep, it is a real job position, where you get to spend 365 days a year with panda babies for an annual salary of $32,000 per year and all stems, leaves and shoots of Bamboo you can eat.

I went down to a travel agency last week to put together a group charter to Russia. It will be 7 days and 6 nights in September double occupancy only. We will be there September 12 which happens to be “Conception Day” in Russia. Couples get a day off specifically to have sex.

Actual newspaper headlines sent to me by MacBlu. Can you believe it?

  • Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter
  • Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
  • Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
  • Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
  • Miners Refuse to Work after Death
  • Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
  • War Dims Hope for Peace
  • If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
  • Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
  • Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
  • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
  • Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
  • New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
  • Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
  • Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
  • Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Italian Altar Boy Confession
‘Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose girl.’ The priest asks, ‘Is that you, little Dominic Savino?’ ‘Yes, Father, it is.’ ‘And who was the girl you were with?’ ‘I can’t tell you, Father. I don’t want to ruin her reputation.’

“Well, Dominic, I’m sure to find out her name sooner or later so you may as well tell me now. Was it Tina Minetti?’ ‘I cannot say.’ ‘Was it Teresa Mazzarelli?’ ‘I’ll never tell. ‘Was it Nina Capelli?’ ‘I’m sorry, but I cannot name her.’ ‘Was it Cathy Piriano?’ ‘My lips are sealed.’ ‘Was it Rosa DiAngelo then? ”Please, Father, I cannot tell you.’

The priest sighs in frustration. ‘You’re very tight lipped, and I admire that. But you’ve sinned and have to atone. You cannot be an altar boy now for 4 months. Now you go say a rosary and behave yourself. Joey walks back to his pew, and his friend Franco slides over and whispers, ‘What’d you get?’ ‘Four months’ vacation and five good leads.’

“It’s not that I can and others can’t, it’s I did and others didn’t.” Remember your Vietnam Veterans – All gave some, some gave all!! If I can make at least one-person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted.

Until we meet again -TA!