The Mighty Casey

Posted October 10, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Baseball, Poetry

Tags: , ,

The Mighty Casey by Ernest Thayer

[Click here for the Wiki entry.]

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
the score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
a sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
they thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that –
they’d put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
and the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake,
so upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
for there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
and Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;
and when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
there was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
it rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
it knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
for Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
there was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
no stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
and Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;
and it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
he stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
he signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
but Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said: “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and Echo answered fraud;
but one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
and they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
he pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
and now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
the band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
and somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
but there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.

Second Tuesday

Posted October 9, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Aging, Family, Mary, San Pedro

Tags:

Okay, today is the second Tuesday of the month and that means that the ladies at the Assistance League of San Pedro/South Bay are having their monthly luncheon meeting. Go to hyperlink to learn more about the Assistance League. Both Paula and Mary are members and usually attend. Paula runs the Chapter Relations Committee and she needs to be there early. Getting there early means that she gets prime parking. This is important because Mary can’t walk too far.2018-10-09 09.04.19.jpg

So we got up bright and early, had breakfast and hit the shower. We got Mary up, fed and dressed. Mary needs help getting dressed these days (that’s Paula’s job). At 9:00 AM, I walk Mary down to the elevator and wait for Paula to drive around to pick Mary up. So I load Mary into the Prius and off they go.

One of the nice things about our condo is that it’s all on one level. No stairs. That wasn’t an issue when Mary bought the property, but it is now. There is an elevator that takes us down to the garage. Mary doesn’t handle stairs very well anymore. We need to always be keenly aware of handicap accessibility. Another fall would probably kill her.

That means that I am free for the next four hours. So I headed to Albertson’s to do some grocery shopping. First thing, I head to the Starbuck’s and order my usual venti iced coffee.  I also order a pumpkin scone. The barista tells me that they were out of “venti” cups so she had to give the larger cup. Twist my arm I tell her. I sit down at one of the small tables and sip my coffee and check the news on my iPhone. Ah, life is good.

So the first thing that the Barista asks me is “Where’s Paula?”. She’s at a meeting with her mother, I tell her.  I’m flying solo today. The butcher and checkout lady ask me the same question, “Where’s Paula?”

So, i finish my shopping and head home. I unload all the groceries and sit down for a quiet lunch. Now, I finish this blog post and it’s time for Red Sox baseball.

 

1 Second Everyday for September

Posted October 1, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: 1 Sec Every Day, 1SE

Tags: ,

Here is my video for September. Enjoy!

Single Payer

Posted September 23, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Health-Care, Medical, Politics

Tags: ,

So yesterday, I went to party for the Assistance League folks here in San Pedro. My job was tending bar. That’s a good place to get to know and talk to people.

I was talking to the husband (let’s call him Jim for the sake of the story) of one of Paula’s friends. He asked me to tell him about my cancer surgery and treatment. I told him about discovering a lump on my throat and having it seen by quickly by my Primary Care Doc. A week later I saw the surgeon. He did a needle biopsy on the growth. Surgeon says “inconclusive”. That’s a way of saying there are a lot of false negatives in the test.

So he schedules me for surgery a week later on Good Friday. I go through all of the pre-op testing and check in on Friday. Surgery went fine and I went home on Saturday. Then showed up at Easter Sunday services with a big white bandage on my neck. If you recall, Easter fell on April 1 this year.

Then I had appointment with the radiation oncologist. I had already planned a trip to Boston in May. Start treatment after I got back. Six weeks. X-Rays ended on July 6. That’s done and I am healing well.

Now back to the story. Jim told me that his daughter (26 years old) has a similar lump on her throat. Jim has been trying to get her to get it removed. The problem is that Jim’s daughter lost her health insurance because she had been laid off from her job. The $64,000 question is how does she/he pay for it? She might get it paid by COBRA insurance if she still had the coverage. I suggested that he look into “gofundme.com” as a possible funding source.

If she lived in Canada or the UK or Australia, this wouldn’t be a problem. You see those countries all have socialized medicine, which we in this country have been calling “Single Payer” or “Medicare for all”. That’s because the word “socialized” has a nasty stigma attached to it in this country.

I was lucky enough to have Medicare coverage as well as my private retirement coverage. I didn’t have to worry about how I was going to pay for it. I just had to worry about the outcome. I just had to pay the co-pays.

So Jim is worrying that his daughter might die because they will not be able to afford to pay for her care. One should not have to go to gofundme get healthcare. That is just wrong.

Senator Bernie Sanders and other Democrats have been urging our government to provide “Medicare for all” to the people of this country.

With Donald Trump in the White House and GOP in control of the US Congress, providing this care will never happen. They will be happy to let people die who cannot afford for their health care.

There will be an election coming up on November 6. We can’t vote Trump out of office yet, but we can vote out the GOP. Please VOTE out the GOP on Nov 6.

Thanks,

Joe

Shameless Plug

Posted September 22, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Blogging, Writing

Tags:

As you may know (or not know), my brother Rich is a writer. Head on over to his blog to see the cover of his latest novel coming to Amazon soon.

https://richardbowker.com/2018/09/22/cover-for-my-new-novel-2/portal-_home-cover_9-16-18/

Be sure to start following his blog about writing.

Crazy Rich Asians

Posted September 20, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Movies, Reviews

Tags: , ,

Crazy Rich AsiansWednesday night was date night again. This time Paula and I decided to go see “Crazy Rich Asians” still playing at the AMC in Torrance. It stars Constance Wu and Henry Golding. Been meaning to go see this movie but didn’t quite have the time or baby sitter availability.

The movie is based on the best-selling novel of the same name.

This is a story of a young Chinese woman, Rachel Wu (played by Constance Wu) who travels with her boy friend from New York City to Singapore to meet his family. So you get the impression from the get-go that his family is very rich

He is in Singapore to be best man at his best friend’s wedding. They travel first class all the way.

The story begins with a scene where Eleanor Young travels with her three children to the Calthorpe Hotel in London where she is told that she doesn’t have a reservation (for obvious racist reasons). She is turned out in the rain to call her husband who proceeds to buy the hotel. She returns triumphantly to have the manager clean up the mud on the floor.

It was a fun movie. There was lots of pomp and rich trappings displayed. Major friction between son and mother. Go see the IMDB page for the full plot synopsis.

It was nice to get out without Mary. We stopped for KFC chicken on the way home.

New Laptop

Posted September 13, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Laptop, Windows

Tags: , , , ,

Well on Tuesday my new laptop arrived from HP. Ordered on Sept. 1, arrives on Sept. 11. I requested priority shipping. The website said 2-4 days for extra $40. I hate to think what regular, non-priority shipping was like.

The laptop is an HP Spectre series with 15″ screen, 8Gb of Memory and 500Gb Solid State drive. Old computer was also HP but with 13″ screen. I still get my employee purchase discount which is about $250 off the price.

So it arrived by FedEx. I had to sign for it which was to be expected. After all, the box says “Intel Inside” which translates into English as “Steal Me”. They tried to deliver on Monday, but no one home. I told the driver that you said it was going be delivered on Tuesday so I wasn’t going to be home all day Monday. Driver tried to deliver during the 1.5 hour that I was out.

So the laptop has 2 USB-C ports, 1 USB-A port (the old fashioned kind) and a HDMI port to connect an auxiliary monitor. Also, it has headphone port and power connector.

I’ve been setting it up over the past few days. Took over an hour for the first boot and load of Windows 10. I had considered buying a Mac, but decided that it would have cost me over $1000 more to get a Mac laptop similarly configured.

First steps were to download the Dropbox app and login and find my files that were stored in the cloud. Then loaded Chrome browser from Google. Logged into Google and magically all of my web shortcuts reappeared. I was impressed.

Then logged in to Microsoft and downloaded MS Office. I have subscription to MS Office, so no additional fees.

Next, I was looking for a PDF editor. First try was PDF Suite. They added a couple of other utilities that I thought might be useful, but when I tried to load them. Loader says “Virus Detected”. Not good. The loaded the PDF editor. That didn’t go well either. App locks the file and prevents my ability to change file name. Support person argues no viruses. I tell her if Windows says virus on my computer, then it doesn’t get installed, PERIOD.

Call support and tell them I want money back. She tries to get my to take 50% discount. No dice, I tell her. I want 100% back. I stood firm and said I want 100% back. Eventually I got my way. Received email confirming refund. Will need to check credit card account to see if the refund was really done.

I found another PDF App called PDF Pro 10. Works much better. Two major things that I do with this app. First is to reorient pages from portrait to landscape. Second is to delete pages that I really don’t need to save.

Next step is to get copy of NoteWorthy. This is an app for editing sheet music. I have been using this for about 8 years. Email to support with license info. They immediately sent me a link to download the app. No muss, no fuss, no money. Happy customer. For anyone that does any work with sheet music, this is a great app.

Next step was to install drivers for audio interface that I use at MA Grand Chapter OES and the Mixcraft recording app. All set for next May.

Final step was to download HP software to connect to my HP printer. This allows me to scan files directly to my laptop. Connect to HP support site. No fee.