Sunday, November 26, 2006

And Is MY Face Red!!!!

I don't usually pass on stories or 'facts' that I get by email until I verify them by going to Snopes or other sources. That is why I am totally embarrassed by my last post: Red pointed out that none of the 'cases' sited in the post were true. I hadn't bothered to look them up before passing them along--sorry everyone! So, to make up for my last post, I will offer the winners of the 2005 Stella Awards--THE REAL ONES! They are just as ridiculous and outrageous as the made-up ones. Enjoy and get mad. :

The TRUE Stella Awards -- 2005 Winners
by Randy Cassingham
Issued 31 January 2006

Unlike the FAKE cases that have been highly circulated online for the
last several years (see for
details), the following cases have been researched from public sources
and are confirmed TRUE by the ONLY legitimate source for the Stella
Awards: . To confirm this copy is legitimate, see


2005 Runners-Up and Winner:

#7: Bob Dougherty. A prankster smeared glue on the toilet seat at the
Home Depot store in Louisville, Colo., causing Dougherty to stick to
it when he sat down. "This is not Home Depot's fault," he proclaimed,
yet the store graciously offered him $2,000 anyway. Dougherty
complained that offer is "insulting" and filed suit demanding $3

#6: Barbara Connors of Medfield, Mass. Connors was riding in a car driven
by her 70-year-old(!) son-in-law when they crashed into the
Connecticut River, and Connors sank with the car. Rescue divers
arrived within minutes and got her out alive, but Connors suffered
brain damage from her near-drowning. Sue the driver? Sure, we guess
that's reasonable. But she also sued the brave rescue workers who
risked their lives to save hers.

#5: Michelle Knepper of Vancouver, Wash. Knepper picked a doctor out of
the phone book to do her liposuction, and went ahead with the
procedure even though the doctor was only a dermatologist, not a
plastic surgeon. After having complications, she complained she never
would have chosen that doctor had she known he wasn't Board Certified
in the procedure. (She relied on the phonebook listing over asking the
doctor, or looking for a certificate on his wall?!) So she sued ...the
phone company! She won $1.2 million PLUS $375,000 for her husband for
"loss of spousal services and companionship."

#4: Rhonda Nichols. She says a wild bird "attacked" her outside a home
improvement store in Fairview Heights, Ill., causing head injuries.
That's right: OUTSIDE the store. Yet Nichols still held the Lowe's
store responsible for "allowing" wild birds to fly around free in the
air. She never reported the incident to the store, but still sued for
"at least" $100,000 in damages. In January 2006, the case was thrown
out of court.

#3: Barnard Lorence of Stuart, Fla. Lorence managed to overdraw his own
bank account. When the bank charged him a service fee for the
overdraft, he filed suit over his "stress and pain" and loss of sleep
over the fee. A few hundred thousand bucks, he says, will only amount
to a "slap on the wrist", whereas the $2 million he's suing for is
more like being "paddled". Kinky!

#2: Wanita "Renea" Young of Durango, Colo. Two neighborhood teens baked
cookies for their neighbors as an anonymous gesture of good will, but
Young got scared when she heard them on her front porch. They
apologized, in writing, but Young sued them anyway for causing her
distress, demanding $3,000. When she won(!!) $900, she crowed about it
in the newspaper and on national TV. Now, she's shocked (shocked!)
that everyone in town hates her for her spite, and is afraid she may
have to move. But hey: she won.

AND THE WINNER of the 2005 Stella Award: Christopher Roller of
Burnsville, Minn. Roller is mystified by professional magicians, so he
sued David Blaine and David Copperfield to demand they reveal their
secrets to him -- or else pay him 10 percent of their lifelong
earnings, which he figures amounts to $50 million for Copperfield and
$2 million for Blaine. The basis for his suit: Roller claims that the
magicians defy the laws of physics, and thus must be using "godly
powers" -- and since ROLLER is god (according to him), they're
"somehow" stealing that power from him.

TO CONFIRM THE VALIDITY OF THESE CASES, get more information on the True Stella Awards, or sign up for a free e-mail subscription to new cases
as they are issued, see

Copyright 2006 . This message may be forwarded as
long as it remains complete and unaltered.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Some People Shouldn't Reproduce

NOTICE: None of these stories are true. To read my apology, explanation, and retraction, see the post on 26 November 2006. Here is the link.

To read my reply to the commentator 'never forward a chain letter,' you will find the post here.

Here is my original post:

Not only should these 'winners' not be allowed to reproduce, the lawyers and juries should be sterilized, also. I give to you, the "Stella Awards":

Time once again to review the winners of the Annual "Stella Awards." The Stella Awards are named after 81 year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's (in NM). That case inspired the Stella Awards for the most frivolous, ridiculous, successful lawsuits in the United States.

Here are this year's winners:

5th Place (tie):
Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving little toddler was Ms. Robertson's son.

5th Place (tie):
19-year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

5th Place (tie):
Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up since the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation, and Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. He sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed, to the tune of $500,000.

4th Place:
Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog might have been just a little provoked at the time by Mr. Williams who had climbed over the fence into the yard and was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

3rd Place:
A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, $113,500. She slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx (tailbone). The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.

Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.

1st Place:
This year's runaway winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mrs. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, (from an OU football game), having driven onto the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go into the back & make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the RV left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mrs.Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising her in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually do this. The jury awarded her $1,750,000 plus a new motor home. The company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit, just in case there were any other complete morons around.

Black Friday

I still am among the living--despite my lack of posts. We managed to eat ourselves into oblivion the last few days and it just continues: leftovers again tonight! Instead of the traditional Thursday meal, I cooked on Wednesday. It was so nice to be all done with the cooking and clean-up before everyone else had even STARTED to cook! I got to relax and do nothing yesterday as K relaxed and watched football--surprisingly, not a much different day than any others we have around here. :)

Today, as everyone knows, is Black Friday--the busiest shopping day of the year. The last time I went out shopping on Black Friday was five years ago. Youngest daughter and I figured we would give it a go and wound up shopping our little hearts out. She really got into the spirit of the day--she ran, sprinted, and elbowed others out of her way in pursuit of the almighty gifts we were hunting down. We had an absolute great time that day. That was only the second time I have faced the early-morning crowds and it just probably is my last. I checked out the ads this year and didn't really find much of anything I was interested it. I couldn't justify standing in a line at 4:30am just to get something I didn't really need and wasn't going to give as a gift. Oh, well, I guess I'm not all that much of a bargain hunter. Besides, five years ago was the last time I gave gifts to The Family--why give gifts to people who you don't see and don't talk to, right?

Speaking of gifts, I pretty much am sure what we're giving this year--and it isn't all that hard to figure out as we have a VERY short list. We only give to our children, grandchildren, goddaughter, and a couple of close friends--makes for an easy shopping experience! Anyway, we are giving money and books to the grandchildren, money and something little to the girls, and will save the special shopping for our friends. The grandkids don't need any more toys--and there isn't anything they want really badly--and the girls can always use the money, so we figured we would keep it easy and simple this year. And that's fine by me. I can actually do most, if not all, of my shopping online--which is ALSO fine with me! However, we WILL be doing a couple of road trips--a day run to Milwaukee and an over-nighter to Appleton. I can't stay away from Barnes & Noble at Christmastime!

During the month of May 2007, The Lion King will be playing at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton--AND WE GOT TICKETS! Our friends, her sister and husband, and we will be there watching the spectacle that is The Lion King the end of May--I can't wait. Youngest daughter saw the play in Toronto a few years back and STILL can't stop talking about how amazing it was. This should be a lot of fun--shopping AND a play all in the same trip! Who could ask for anything more!

Not much to report on the health front with K or me. My dr took me off of the blood pressure meds that were causing me to be sick--thank goodness--and I see him on Monday to discuss where we go from here. K is still going through testing in anticipation of his appointments on the 11th of December--he sees the internist at 8:00am and the nephrologist at 9:15--so I'm hoping we will then have some solid answers about his health. I'm not too worried--he says he is feeling very well and better than he did when all of this started.

I am feeling my old 'scrinchiness'*coming over me. I should really begin the Christmas decorating and I just don't feel like it. I probably WON'T, but I sure feel like not doing a damn bit of decorating at all this year--it just doesn't seem worth it. We'll see if I can get myself out of this funk--yeah, right--and get it together. I really haven't felt THIS 'scrinchy' in several years--I have to try and figure out WHY and then, maybe, I can work my way out of it.

Tomorrow night a very good friend of mine is taking me out for dinner in celebration of my birthday--even though my birthday isn't for a few more days. It is kind of a tradition between us--we take the other out every year for a birthday dinner. It will be nice to eat something besides turkey, already.

Tonight AND tomorrow night I get to watch the Wings play--they played on Wednesday night and lost, again. I won't even discuss Wednesday's game--let's just say they screwed themselves out of a win and leave it at that. I hope they can pull themselves together tonight and play like they were playing a week ago! Only time will tell.

*Scrinchy: a cross between Scrooge and the Grinch.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Things ARE Getting Better

Just a few updates:

--The guy just came to pick up the snow blower. Now we just have to wait for him to get around to checking everything out and fixing what needs to be fixed. All this could take a week or so. Hopefully, we won't have any storms so that the damn thing will actually be NEEDED before we get it back! I guess K will just have to take care of the thing earlier next year--after all, it isn't as if we are SURPRISED that we get snow every year. I don't know why this is one of those things that gets put off till the last minute--kind of like Christmas shopping.

--K had his appointment with the nephrologist on Monday. The guy said--what we kind of were thinking ourselves--that the kidney-thing was probably due to the fact that K was sick at the time of the blood work. That being said, he still wanted to do more tests just to be sure--after all, it HAS been 8 years since K has been to see the doc, so there is no way of knowing how long his blood pressure has been high. And high blood pressure can cause kidney damage--something I didn't know. Anyway, K had an ultrasound of his kidneys this morning and will see the nephrologist in about a month--that is, as long as the ultrasound doesn't show anything major going on. So, again, it is a wait-and-see sort of thing. I'm not as upset about the waiting anymore--I figure if there was something the drs were REALLY concerned about--something that would be considered life-or-death--they would be hauling K into the office IMMEDIATELY!

--The dr took me off of the blood pressure med because of the side-effects I was having--THANK GOODNESS! I am feeling MUCH better since going off and I hope he won't put me on anything else--or, if he has to, I want to go back on what I was on a year ago. I REALLY don't think I need anything, as my numbers have been okay, except for the spikes--small AND large--I get during times of stress. I've been doing quite well for the last week without anything.

--The oldest daughter decided to bring home a 10-week-old puppy last Friday. Into a house with: two adults, five kids, one half-time kid, and a full-grown dog. The puppy only visited for the weekend, because she was told by her husband--in NO uncertain terms--that she WOULD bring the puppy back on Monday. She is royally pissed. I agree with her husband: they didn't need to have anything else brought into their lives at this point!

--The youngest daughter and her husband have decided to keep the kitten she took in to foster. They now have two dogs--60 pounds each--two full-grown cats, and the kitten. All I can hope is that she doesn't become pregnant any time soon--there would no place for them to put a baby!

--STILL haven't figured out what is going on for Thanksgiving. All I know is that we WILL be here in town for the day and that I will cook. I just don't know if I will be cooking on Wednesday or Thursday--and I don't know if K will be working or not. He hasn't decided if he wants to take the vacation day or carry it over till next year. Doesn't matter to me either way.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Snowblowers, Escondido, Innocent Man, AND Hockey

--K has waited for the last two days for the snow blower to be picked up for servicing. It is still sitting outside and we have YET to hear from the guy as to why he hasn't been here. I don't understand why some people in business can't even do the barest minimum of customer service--such as calling and saying they are sorry, but something came up! We might not be happy that the service wasn't being provided in the timely matter we wanted, but at least we would know that they still wanted our business! K is STILL waiting for a guy to come and give us an estimate for a new driveway--FIVE YEARS AFTER THE FACT! I don't think he is coming.

--On Tuesday the new CD by Eric Clapton and JJ Cale came out and I LOVE it! (But, as I have said before, I would love listening to EC sing the damn phone book!) It is called The Road to Escondido and it is a bit hard to explain--it's a nice blend of blues, jazz, country, rock. Cale wrote 11 of the songs and they both sing and play--along with a roster of some great musicians. Nice music.

--I'm reading the new book by John Grisham, An Innocent Man. This is his first non-fiction book and it is really good--has the tendency to read like a novel. I hope it continues to be as good--I'm not quite halfway through. But like my love for anything EC does, I love Grisham's writing and will read anything he does.

--On Wednesday, the fall 'season' of Lost ended with a cliffhanger--DUH! The show will take a break until February when it will have 16 more episodes. I'm not too sure if this whole idea is a good thing. I'm really rather disappointed in the season so far. I think the show is being dragged out way too much and I'm getting too impatient to sit through the same storyline over and over and over again. Let's get some things going and then I will be more enthused about coming back to the show in February! But then, something may come on that interests me more and I may NOT be back watching the show. Hmmm.

--Speaking of shows that have been disappointing lately, I have to add Gilmore Girls in the mix. If the show doesn't get any better pretty darn soon, I may have to stop watching. And if I stop watching in the middle of the season, you can bet I WON'T be buying the DVD when it comes out! I keep hoping that the ones in charge know what they are doing and that things will work out in the end. Just have to wait and see.

--The Red Wings player that got hurt the other night, Jason Williams, WAS knocked unconscious for a moment or two when he hit the ice. He suffered a concussion and received 30 stitches. What a way to make a living!

--And finally, the Wings won again last night--their eighth straight win! They are doing quite well--something I didn't think was going to happen by the way the season started. One of the reasons they are doing so well is that they are leading the NHL with allowing the fewest shots--after all, if the opposing team can't shoot at the goal, they can't score. :)

Friday, November 10, 2006


Last night while watching the Red Wings play--they won their seventh straight game!--I saw something that I had never seen in all the years I have been following hockey. In the second period, one of the Wings' players, Jason Williams, was coming around the back of the Oilers' net, trying to score. He was watching one of the Oilers and didn't see another one coming at him. The player he didn't see, came in and hit him in the face with his shoulder--it was a legal check--and Williams went flying through the air and landed on his face onto the ice. And he just laid there on the ice, not moving. Then, of course, all hell broke loose as doctors, trainers, medics, etc, went to see how badly he was injured. There was quite a bit of blood on the ice, but all that could be seen were the people surrounding him. It was quite scary and tense for several minutes. After the stretcher was brought out, the camera managed to show him moving his left foot--at least this proved he wasn't paralyzed and was conscious. An ambulance was brought right up to the ice and they took him off with the stretcher. As they were moving toward the ambulance, he waved to the crowd, indicating that he wasn't as bad as it looked. He was brought to a hospital for some tests and stitches and he will be fine. He is expected to miss a couple of games before returning to play.

As I said, I am so surprised that this is the first time I have seen anything so frightening while watching a game. I started watching hockey before the rule changes--back when a 'good' hockey game included at least one fight...WITH blood. The game today is so much less aggressive--but, then, the whole incident had absolutely nothing to do with a fight or any wrong-doing on anyone's part. Even though I don't in any way believe that athletes are worth the enormous salaries they get, I guess there just is no amount of money that is worth the kind of injury this player could have sustained in last night's game. Jason Williams is only 26 years old.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Thought It Would Happen Sooner

Yes, I know, I'm jumping on the bandwagon with every other gossip rag and news source, but I just HAD to announce the news: Britney has filed papers to divorce K-Fed! Oh, what a tragedy!

As if everyone didn't see this coming from the first time the news reported on them. I REALLY feel so sorry for the children. Those two pieces of white-trash were made for each other--too bad they reproduced. Oh, well, it will be interesting to see what produces more headlines--Britney and K-Fed or the election! (Now all we have to do is wait for the inevitable break-up of Brangelina.)

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Thanks to all for the well-wishes and concern. I know all will turn out right and not be as serious as I worry it will be. I will keep everyone informed as to what is going on. Have a good week!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Long, Boring Story

Here is what has been happening around here, in chronological order:

--A week ago Thursday, K went to the walk-in clinic to be checked out because of his cough.

--He was told he had a viral-thing that is going around and it will go away on its own.

--He ALSO was told his blood pressure was VERY high and needed to see a primary care physician ASAP. He hasn't seen his PCP--who is also MY PCP--in eight years. The physician's assistant gave him a prescription for BP meds.

--Friday at 7:30am I called the dr's office to set up an appointment for him--NOT because he couldn't do it himself, but because I was awake! :) They said the dr would be given the notes and reports from the walk-in clinic and decide from there what is to be done.

--At 9:00am the PA called from the walk-in clinic to say the lab results showed some possible kidney problem and he needed to be seen right away by a PCP. He said he would call the dr's office and get them moving along.

--At 2:30pm, a half hour before the dr's office closes for the weekend, the PA called to say that K needed to come in and sign papers so that his reports could be sent to the dr's office.

--Not realizing that the dr's office closed early on Friday, K didn't go to sign the papers until 3:30--not that it would have made any difference if he went any earlier, I believe.

--Through the weekend, I monitored his BP and the meds were helping--his pressure was elevated but not at the terribly high levels they had been. His pulse rate came down, also.

--HOWEVER, MY pressures went up--higher than they had ever been--because of the stress.

--I went for my physical on Monday and the second the nurse saw me, she began explaining what was going on. The dr wanted K to see a nephrologist first to see what was going on with his kidneys and THEN he would see K and do a complete physical to rule out any other problems. She told me to make the appointments on the way out and she would tell them at the appointment desk that I would do so.

--My physical went about the way I expected: I'm fairly healthy despite the chronic problems I have--blood pressure, thyroid, weight issues. I got the same old, same old 'diet and exercise' routine, which I was expecting. I will be having more lab work in two weeks to look at my thyroid and make sure my anemia is fine. Of course, he went crazy when he saw my BP--and I let him know it was because of the stress I was under because of K's health. I needed him to know that I wasn't happy over the lack of progress in getting appointments for him. (I don't believe the dr had a clue that there weren't appointments in place.) He prescribed a BP med--an ACE-inhibitor. A year ago I went off--with his okay--of the beta-blocker I had been on for years, and I had been doing VERY well until this stress-induced problem. He wanted me to try this 'new' (for me) drug.

--To make sure things get even MORE screwed up, when the nurse came in to give me my flu shot, she told me the nephrologist in the office who is actually taking new patients wouldn't be able to see K for two weeks, so she would talk to the dr and see if he could move things along, so I didn't need to make appointments--they would call me.

--The nurse called me at 5:30--the office staff had already left--and said the dr said to get the earliest appointments possible: he would see K first and get started on the lab work, etc, that the nephrologist would need. The scheduler would call me the next day as the computers were off for the night.

--Tuesday at 9:00am, the scheduler called and told K--he answered the phone--that his appointments were this: nephrologist on November 13 and PCP on December 7. EXCUSE ME! THIS is getting him in to see someone ASAP!!!!

--Tuesday afternoon I called and spoke to the nurse and asked WHAT WERE WE TO DO NOW! She said she would get back to me after talking to the dr.

--After 15 minutes--they are getting back to me sooner--she said the dr wanted K to keep the scheduled appointments and to have his BP checked in the office before he came in to see the nephrologist. I guess they figured he wasn't dying by looking over his numbers that I gave them. And, yes, the meds seem to be doing their job very well--his BP is in perfectly acceptable levels. Okay, so that is taken care of--NOT to my satisfaction, but what can I do?

--Then, of course, on Wednesday night, I begin to feel as if I have a stomach bug. This continued through Thursday. I slept for most of the day--except for the trips to the bathroom. Couldn't eat much because of the stomach pains and I was completely exhausted.

--Friday I put my game-face--or mother-face--on and pulled myself up by my bootstraps and willed myself to do the laundry and cleaning that needed doing. As a mother, I learned early on that I could only wallow in an illness for only so long. I got through Friday with a lot of help from Pepto-Bismol tablets! :) I was pretty sure I had gotten over the worst of the stomach bug.

--Woke up today and guess what? I'm STILL feeling just as lousy! So, I figured I better investigate. I now am pretty sure I DON'T have a bug, but what I am experiencing is side-effects of the BP meds. Oh happy day. Now I have to call the dr's office on Monday morning and see if he will change my prescription--I just hope he won't tell me that these are symptoms that will pass in time and that I just need to hang in there! I think the office will be installing caller-ID just so they can screen for MY phone calls.

So there is the long story made even longer. Boring, I know.

Now, as for what is going on in the dr's office: I don't think it is my PCP's fault. Several years back, he and his partners sold their practice to the local hospital, so they are now employees of the practice. Granted, they are very high level employees, but I don't think they have nearly as much say-so in how the practice is run as some people would think. (I mentioned something to my dr about the office not faxing a prescription for me--against office policy--and he was shocked that that was the case!) So, I really believe he has very little say-so in the scheduling of appointments. My guess is that the office personnel want to leave AT 5:00pm and not a minute later--they probably don't get over-time pay. I came to this conclusion the last time I tried to pay my co-pay on the way out of the office: it was 5:15pm, the receptionist was sitting at the desk with her coat on, and she told me to forget paying, that they would bill me. I have let them bill me ever since. SOOOOOO, I guess appointments are never made that could possibly go beyond 5:00pm.

The other problem we have here is this: we have only two internal medicine practices in town. If you leave one practice and are not happy with the other one, you are left with the Family Care doctors--who happen to be residents that leave the area after their two year rotations! Not exactly good for someone--like me--who takes a long time to get used to a new doctor! So until something VERY HORRIBLE goes on with our dr, I guess we will keep on keeping on. It just isn't good for my stress level!

I worry about K's health, of course, but NOT because he has had problems in the past! My worry comes from the fact that he is no longer 25 (or 30 or 35...) and he has a family history--mother and father--of diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, early heart attack, and heart-related problems. I know he doesn't want to face these facts, but I am not going to let him ignore the facts any longer. However, he IS feeling very well, so I am trying not to worry too much.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Sorry I haven't been posting--we have had a few medical issues going on here and I just haven't felt much like writing. I WILL get to posting about what has been going on soon. Hang in their, people, and you will be able to read a very uninteresting account of what has been happening in my life!