Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Swimming Through Life

Friday, April 11, 2014

THE HANGY-DOWN THING * UVULA


The Rogue Speaks:

Yes, o.k., I know this looks familiar.  NO!  Not me with my mouth open!  Although that is familiar, too.  I have been so busy with my new life this week that I just couldn't come up with a bizarre "U" post, so I thought I would just post a redux.  "They liked it before," I mused.  "Maybe they'll like it again!  Or in the case of some, maybe they forgot and think it's all brand new!" And just so you know, in honor of Halloween, next week I will be posting another redux, but with some new photos added.  You'll love the new pics, so please check it out.


THE HANGY-DOWN THING

It's a strange little piece of soft tissue, that little hangy-down thing in the back of the throat, and I wondered just exactly why it is there. So I did a little research, and here's what I came up with. Yes, I know what a burning question this has been for all of us, but wonder no more, my friends!

One of the functions of the uvula is to keep food from going up our noses from the inside of our mouths. When we swallow, it folds back against the nasal passages. It DOES NOT prevent me from shooting wine out my nose when I hear something absurdly funny, however!

I began wondering if dogs have uvulas, so I decided to use my own two dogs as research animals. I first grabbed Lizzy and tried to pry open her mouth so I could look down her throat. She was very uncooperative, so I asked her nicely to just "say ahhh!" but she merely looked at me like I had two heads and hid under the bed. Mulligan noticed that something was up, so he hid as well. So I had to google my question and I discovered that the only dog who has a (rudimentary) uvula is the New Guinea singing dog, a relative of the wild dingo.

The uvula is important to the gag reflex, so when you are hanging over the toilet and you stick your finger down your throat, you throw up! I don't think you really cared to know that function of the uvula, though.

In the articulation of the sound of our voices, the uvula helps to form the sounds of speech. Working with the back of the throat, the palate, and air coming up when we exhale, it creates the guttural sound and other sounds as well. The uvular consonants are found in several languages such as German, French, and Portuguese, but not in most English dialects. Those click consonants in certain African languages are also produced by the uvula. I have been sitting here trying to make those clicks with my uvula, but I only succeeded in gagging myself a little. Those consonants are obviously something one must learn from birth.

Well, even though it is rather short, that is my offering for Alphabe-Thursday. I could have chosen other U's, like U2, or U-Hauls, or U Thant, the Burmese Secretary General to the United Nations from 1961 to 1971, but of course I wanted something that was not mundane, and that was, hmm, guttural!!! Yes, that's it!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

P is for Punishment

The Rogue Speaks:



In May of 1988, we traveled to New York to attend the wedding of a son of very close friend.  As a matter of fact, we have been to all his children's weddings over the years, and they were always grand events and lots of fun.

This particular wedding was held in the same old church where John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s wife had been baptized.  It was a very old and beautiful stone building.  Rod and I had offered to taxi people between the hotel and the church, so we were two of the last people to arrive for the ceremony.  We had attended the rehearsal, and had chuckled when the minister said he didn't want any surprises when he asked if there was anyone who objected to the wedding.

When that part of the ceremony finally arrived, a gentleman on the bride's side stood up and said, "I want to speak!"  An arm came from the pew behind him, and shoved him back down into his seat.  The bride's knuckles went white, and all the color drained from her mother's face.  Again, the man rose up, and someone whispered loudly, "Eddie, shut up!"  The minister approached the fellow, and after a few seconds, said to him, "Thank you for your sentiments, sir."  The man sat down and the wedding continued.

So here's the scoop.  Uncle Eddie had taken this particular day to "fall off the wagon."  And his words?  He was blessing the couple and their marriage.  Uncle Eddie did not appear at the reception.

The married couple, both investment bankers for different companies, went on to NYC to start their lives together.  We saw them again in New Orleans a couple of years later for another son's wedding.  They seemed happy.

It is now 26 years later, and we decided to Google our friend because we had not heard from him in a while.  We knew that his wife had died several years ago, and we wanted to see how he was doing since that time.  When my search came up, I almost fell out of my chair.  The son whose wedding we had attended was being indicted by the SEC for insider trading!  There was no mention of his lovely wife, but the article did mention his 36 year old ex- girlfriend (He's 55 now) and their illegitimate child.  It also mentioned his father, our friend.   If you are interested, here is the link to an article in USA Today.  This man, whom we have known since he was a boy, may go away for twenty years. That's kind of the punishment one gets for lying to the feds.  I'm sure the SEC has it's own punishment in store.

Rod and I have talked a lot about this for the last couple of days and wonder just what went wrong in the man's life that he should end up this way.  I think that the love of money took hold of him and made him think that he was invincible.  That happens a lot, you know.

"The love of money is the root of all evil."

That concludes my "P" post!  Check out the other "P's" for Alphabe-Thursday!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mumbo Jumbo

The Rogue Speaks:




"Hello, I am calling you from Windows Tech Support.  It has been indicated to me that you have a serious problem with viruses in your computer, and I have been advised to fix them for you," said the deeply accented voice on the phone that WOKE ME OUT OF A DEEP SLEEP!!!!

"No, no, no, no, no!  Go away! You woke me up!"

"But, ma'am, I am calling to clear your computer of viruses.  I am from Windows Tech Support."

I fumble for my glasses to check the number showing on my phone. "Unknown name, unknown number"

"O.k., so give me your number and I'll call you back when I get to the computer."

"Sorry, ma'am, but I cannot do that.  I must fix your computer now.  I will hold on while you turn on your computer."

"O.k.," I told the caller, "just hold on while I go to my computer."

What a lot of mumbo jumbo! I gently placed the receiver on my nightstand and covered it with an extra pillow.  Then I went back to sleep.

I didn't just fall off the turnip truck.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Life (and death)

The Rogue Speaks:



In August of 2012, Georgia Republican Governor Nathan Deal announced that he would not expand the Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act.  He was firm that he would not take federal money to expand the state-based program which would provide approximately 650,000 low-income Georgians with health coverage in 2014.  His reason? That it would be too expensive.

(Now we all know that's not the real reason, don't we!!  If the Affordable Care Act had been created by a Republican administration, Deal would be all for it.  Unfortunately, the Republicans have said that should they come into power, the first thing they will do is repeal what they refer to as "Obamacare.")

Can anyone put a dollar amount on just how much a life is worth?  Is my life worth more than the life of someone on Medicaid?  My answer to that is NO, and here is why:

Our nephew Matt is dying of congestive heart failure.  He is 32 years old.  He has suffered from this disease for MANY years, and is now hospitalized, and needing a heart transplant.   His father died from this disease when he was only 35.

Matt is dearly loved by his big family.  He is smart, spiritual, loving, funny, helpful, and very, very ill.  He was able to work for a while, and sometimes had two jobs, until his condition began to seriously deteriorate, and he had to go on disability.  Even that has not stopped him.  He enrolled in college classes, determined to better himself.  But those days are now over.
 
Matt is on Medicaid. Have you ever known personally someone on Medicaid?  I'll bet Governor Deal has not.  He hasn't a clue as to just what that means to a person who is struggling to survive and become a productive citizen.

I hear talk all the time about " those people who use the system," and how taxpayers are paying for those folks' health care.  Matt is not one of "those people." He is a member of our family.  If you had a beloved family member who was seriously ill and on Medicaid, just how much would it be worth to you to see him get the help he needed? What if your own contribution could never be enough?

It has been said that America is a "great nation" because it is always ready to help out countries in need.  Just what is the difference between the citizens of those countries and our own citizens?  Do many of those citizens "work the system?"  How do we know?  We have been told that "charity begins at home," and America is our home.  Too bad that our home has become so dysfunctional that it can't help its own people in their time of need.

Friday, January 31, 2014

K is for Kinda

The Rogue Speaks:



It's kinda sad that after major incidents that cripple cities and put lives at risk, the
heads of state and local governments think that saying, "I take full responsibility," or "I'm sorry that this happened on my watch," will make everything o.k., at least until
the next time it happens.  In 2010, a major winter storm crippled Atlanta.  It was a complete and total mess!  After the fact, the people in charge apologized, saying that they had learned a great deal during that event, and measures had been put in place so that it would never happen again.  Oh, really????   What happened to all those "measures?"  Did the dog eat their homework?????

It's kinda scary that a politician would threaten to throw someone over a banister a couple of stories down onto a marble floor, and then say, " Sorry!  We'll do lunch soon."  Does lunch make it o.k.? Nooooo, I don't think so.  Frankly, I wouldn't be caught dead having lunch with someone like that!!!  Really!!!!

What is wrong with people these days!!!!!!  They seem to think they can say and do (or NOT do) whatever they want to, and apologizing on national television makes everything o.k.  Well, at least until the next time it happens.  If those politicians were people for whom I had voted to represent me, I can tell you now, they would never get my vote again.  I expect leaders to set a good example, and lately that just hasn't happened.

I'm kinda mad, so rather than risk saying something for which I would have to apologize on national blogland, I suggest that you head on over to Jenny's and read  some nice, friendly posts for Alphabe-Thursday!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

JUST BECAUSE

The Rogue Speaks:

In the last two weeks, two very sweet friends have forwarded political posts to me.  They don't know me like you do, so they don't realize that I am not of the same political persuasion.  Just because you support one political party, please do not assume that all your friends support that party as well.

I receive way more emails from the opposition party supporters than  I do from my own.  I'm not sure what this means, exactly, but I would like to think that my own party is a lot more comfortable in what it stands for than is the opposition, and doesn't need to send out crude and insulting emails about the other party.  We're a lot smarter than that.  Eventually, the other party will screw up on its own, and it doesn't need any "help" from me.

This goes for religion as well.  I am very comfortable with my own spiritual beliefs,  and they are very personal to me, so  I rarely discuss my spirituality with anyone.  Just because   you are a member of a certain religious group, don't assume that all your friends are members of that group as well.  If and when you find out that you and I do not have the same beliefs, please don't try to convert me, or admonish me for my beliefs.  And if you no longer want to be my friend just because my beliefs are different, believe me, that is your loss.

Just because  you and I were both raised in the south, don't assume that I believe one race is superior to another.  I figured out that falsehood on my own, when I was a child.  Some people never do, though.  Byron De La Beckwith, Jr., 64 years old, still believes that the white race is superior, and still freely uses the "N" word.  In case you don't recognize that name, his father, Byron De La Beckwith, was, in 1994, convicted of murdering civil rights leader, Medgar Evers on June 12, 1963.  64 is a lot of years to be so outspoken and stay so ignorant, don't you think??

Now you know how I feel about the three most polarizing subjects in America today. And just because you have a lot more interesting offerings to read on Jenny's AlphabeThursday , I urge you to click on the link and start reading!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

IT'S EASIER

The Rogue Speaks:

When I lived in Memphis, many years ago, I was good friends with a couple who lived down the street.  The woman, Sarah, was sweet and pretty.  She had quite a variety of rescued animals that she cared for in their spacious back yard.  There were dogs, cats, and even a couple of goats, and a few rabbits.  She devoted all her attention to her adopted animals.

The couple had three children--two girls and a boy.  The older girl pretty much took care of the younger two, because Sarah was always busy with her pets.  Her husband, a prominent doctor, did what he could to help out with the children, but he had a very busy practice, and was pretty much whipped by the time the weekend came around.  It was a good thing that he made such a good living, because keeping all those animals was costing quite a bit.

One day, the husband had just had enough.  He filed for divorce and got custody of his children.  Several months after the divorce, I ran into him and the children at the local children's museum where I had taken my little granddaughter for the afternoon.  While the children played on the dinosaur playground equipment, he and I sat on a bench and talked.  I asked him what had pushed him over the edge.  He was very quick with his response.
"
"Control," he replied.  "Sarah really didn't want to deal with the children, or with me.  She just wanted us to do what we were told, and no questions asked.  She wanted to be in control, and her animals fit the bill. Dealing with them is, well, it's easier.  Animals don't have opinions, don't talk back, and all they want is to be petted and fed.  So it was all about control."

I could see where he was coming from with that response.  Whenever Sarah "adopted" an animal that turned out to be hard to control, she simply found another home for it.  She wanted her life to be "simple."  She didn't want any conflict.  "How nice for her," I thought to myself.    She wanted her "pets" to adore her, no questions asked.  And for the most part, they did.

But life is not really like that.  As adults, we have responsibility to our progeny.  They depend on us to show them just how to live in the real world.  If we don't want to live in the real world, and if we always want things to only go our way, we are in serious trouble.  Animals are, well, they are just animals.  They do not  need to know how to complete their homework, drive a car, learn a trade, or graduate from college.  They just live to be fed and petted.

Our children want and deserve much more from us.  They deserve to learn the rules of life.  They deserve to be loved and valued above any animal.  They need to be encouraged to become the best and smartest, and most successful person they can be.  Of course, if they fight you on this, and are determined to live their lives the way they want to, without any guidance from you, at least you have given them the option.

Feed and pet your cat or dog or your goat, rabbit, pig, or whatever. And for sure, love them. Take them for their shots annually, and don't let them play in traffic.  Protect them.  As for your children, put them first in all aspects of your life, give them the best that you can possibly give, so they grow up to be upstanding, responsible citizens of the planet--adults who love, study, and learn, and have the desire to achieve far beyond any expectations that you may have had for them.

Are you familiar with the work of Philip Larkin, a british poet? Here is the first stanza of a poem that particularly speaks to me:

"They [mess] you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had,
And leave some special ones for you..."

If you would like to read the rest of this poem, please click on this link:
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/178055

I wish I had been a better parent to my children.  If I could go back in time, and could have heeded the words I have written here in hindsight....

That concludes my offering for Alphabe-Thursday.  I may skip next week, so I'll see you next year!!!!!