Saturday, July 30, 2011

Like Glitter?

The Youngest and her husband were here for a long weekend the beginning of July.  Before they came here, they spent a day and a half with The Oldest and her family.  After they left to come here, my 2-year-old granddaughter was talking about Auntie A and Uncle A to her mom.  "Mom,"  she said.  "I miss Auntie A--she is so pretty and she sparkles!"  We still aren't sure what 'sparkles,' but it's nice to know she's loved.  :D

Friday, July 29, 2011

Some Common Courtesy, Please

There are some jobs that I really wouldn't want--for example, knife-thrower's assistant or Mafia hitman.  But, those are jobs that SOMEONE has to do, just as the job of telemarketer--another one of those 'not for me' jobs.  For the most part, I understand that telemarketers are trying to make a living, trying to pay their rent and feed their families.  And I am okay with that.  What I am NOT okay with is the attitude of too many of these people.

As I said, I don't want the job and I can imagine it is a very frustrating way to make a living, but I wish they would understand ME, as well.  For the most part, I try to be as nice and courteous to the caller as I can.  (I take issue, though, with the companies that call repeatedly, day after day after day.  I don't need to be HARASSED.)  As I said, I try to be courteous and friendly, while trying to get off of the phone as quickly as possible.  And I usually can do all of this with a minimum of hassle.  There are more times than I'd like to think, that I HAVE to be rude to these people or I would be on the phone with them all day long.  Some telemarketers are like a dog with a bone, they just won't give it up!  One thing that I will say is that I'm not interested and don't want to waste their time and then I'll say good by and hang up.  I feel bad when I have to be rude, but there are times when it is just necessary. 

I think what annoys me most are the times where the telemarketer is my BEST friend in the world until I make it clear that I am NOT buying from him/her.  When s/he can just say good by and hang up, WHY get 'that tone of voice' and be rude to me?  I wasn't rude in the first place and this is one of the reasons why telemarketers have such a bad reputation:  They get all pissy when you let them know you are not falling for their sale's pitch.  I want to tell them to suck it up and deal with the rejection--sorry to say, but this IS what you signed up for when you took the job.  (I DO know that jobs are hard to come by, but it isn't a secret how people feel about telemarketers.)  And while I know the majority of people ARE rude, please be happy that there are some, like me, that don't want to be.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Little Obvious

Living in this part of the country, I find I don't have nearly as many options as people in other parts of the US when it comes to purchasing items.  While things are getting better, we REALLY are limited in what we can get in a brick-and-mortar store.  We don't have the 'common' places that more urban areas have--for crying out loud, we JUST got a Walgreen's within the last couple of years!  Our chain stores are limited and the mom-and-pop stores just don't always have the inventory where you can pop in and buy what you want.  This is why the interwebs have been such a great addition to our lives--we can go online and order anything we can think of and have it shipped to our houses.  HEAVENLY--except, of course, for the waiting for delivery.  ;)  But, I have gotten used to the fact that I have to be patient--at least for a few days--when I want something.  It also means that UPS and FedEx have trucks that can navigate their own way to my house.

Today I got a package.  When we were in St Paul, K decided that he needed to upgrade our GPS system and bought a new TomTom.  While it has a bigger screen and free lifetime maps, I don't see much of a difference from the old one, but I'm not the one that uses it.  With the gadget being bigger, we now face the problem of where to put it when it's in use.  K used to just place the old one in one of the cup holders and things were okay--not so much with the new one, as it is just too big.  K won't mount the GPS system on the dashboard or window, as he doesn't like 'marking up' the vehicle permanently.  (And that makes it VERY difficult for me to turn my Envoy into a 'Wing-mobile,' but that is for another discussion.)  So this, along with needing an in-house charger, brought me to the interwebs for a solution and shopping.  I found what I wanted, placed the order, and waited until it was delivered today.  Nothing earth-shattering to report, just that I got a package, which was left on my back porch.  The thing that pretty much put me over the top about this whole thing is this:  There was a label slapped onto the package--obviously put there by whoever delivered it.  The label stated "Your package has been delivered."  Excuse me!?!?!?!?!?  I'm holding the package IN. MY. HANDS.  And you have to put a label on it to tell me it has been delivered?  Okay, I have, rarely, had a package put somewhere that wasn't obvious because of weather or such--they HAVE put packages in one of the vehicles or delivered them to the neighbor's if we weren't there to accept delivery--and a label has been put on the door telling where it was left, but I've not seen this.  It just kind of seemed to be a waste of a label AND the deliverer's time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What's In A Name?

After all of the emotional excitement of finding out you're pregnant, one of the next steps is coming up with a name for the bundle of joy.  Considering what passes for names these days, I don't think everyone spends as much time deciding on a name, as I did.

One of the main considerations in a name, for me, was that no matter HOW you arranged the initials, nothing embarrassing could be spelled.  And this included all possible combinations of letters for a last name--this, if and when, my daughters would get married and change their names.  I spent HOURS working this out.

The first step of the process with each potential name was the straight-forward initials--first, middle, last.  Considering our last name starts with a 'K,' I didn't see too many problems.  I could have named my daughter 'Annie Sue' and her initials would have spelled 'ASK,' which wasn't too bad.  However, if she married someone with the last name of 'Smith,' THEN we'd have some trouble--the initials would, of course, spell 'ASS.'   Every name I could think of went through this scrutiny.  Also, I checked all combinations that would come up with a traditional monogram--where the last initial is in the middle and the first and last are on either side of it.  This brought up an entire set of additional problems.  To say this was a long process, is putting it mildly.  (Thank goodness I had almost full-term pregnancies--it took the entire eight months to go through all combinations!)

When picking names for the girls, I also had other considerations.  For my first, I wanted to give her a variation of my own first name.  Using the middle name of 'Marie' is a bit of a tradition, so my first was getting that as HER middle name.  (My great-grandmother's name was Marie, my grandmother's middle name was Marie, and The Mother's middle name is Marie.  My first's middle name is Marie and my first granddaughter's middle name is, too.  Five generations and, hopefully, it will continue.)  This gave The Oldest the initials of CMK, same as mine.  Try as I might, I couldn't come up with anything too embarrassing using those three letters--or any letter she could possibly marry into.  As it turned out, she married someone with the last initial of 'H' the first time and 'G' the second time--nothing awkward there.

The second daughter's naming took a different turn than the first's.  I wanted to give her a traditional Finnish name, but The Mother was horrified--said NO ONE would be able to pronounce it--and, like the obedient daughter I was at the time, changed my mind.  I then decided to give her names of great-grandmothers--but I needed to decide WHICH of the four to use.  (One of the great-grandmothers was named 'Josephine' and I wasn't naming MY kid THAT.)  She wound up with my M-I-L's mother's first name and The Mother's mother's first as her middle name.  THIS naming was a bit trickier, as the initials wound up being AEK.  A traditional monogram--after marriage--for her could have spelled 'ACE' or 'ATE,' but nothing overly embarrassing.  As it turned out, she didn't even have to change her initials, as she married someone with 'K' as his last initial.

I know we are 'the land of the free,' but there really are times when I don't think other countries have it so wrong with the naming of babies--some countries have an 'approved' list of baby names that you HAVE to choose from.  This would really stop the crazy names and crazy spellings altogether.  And I'm sure it would make things a whole lot easier for teachers.

***Believe me, I KNOW how OCD this sounds--but that's just the way I roll.  :D***

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Yes, Sir, I'll Have Another

For some reason or another, I have always been fascinated with tattoos.  When I was growing up, I didn't see many of them and pretty much the only people that had them were military members or hard core bikers.  And I didn't spend much time around either group.  But, I wanted a tattoo from a young age.  As the years went on, my desire didn't go away, but I became a lot more cautious about getting one.  What I wanted years earlier were now out of the question, so I thought for a long time as to what should be on my body forever.  About nine years ago, I finally decided on my tattoo and I've never looked back.

I went to the tattoo shop, talked to the artist, discussed what I wanted, told her to do the design, and made an appointment.  I got my first tattoo--and it was something that was of great significance to me.  The design, to me, shows the connection that the Jewish and Christian faiths have--it is a very important spiritual symbol.  This was placed on the upper part of my lower, left arm.

After getting my first tattoo, I thought I was done.  Unfortunately, I was hooked.  For years, I thought about the possibility of getting some more tats.  Six years later, I decided to go back for another one--I knew what I wanted.  This time, I decided on the symbol for infinity--also, for me, it means 'forever' and 'eternity.'  I got this one near my right wrist.

A couple of months later, I went back and got tattoos number three and four.  The third one was placed on the back of my right hand, up from my thumb.  It signifies the ten year anniversary of the day I quit smoking.  I had it put where I could see it if I ever decided to smoke another cigarette--I usually held the cigarette in my right hand, in the day.  And tattoo number four was placed under the Star of David/cross tat.  It, too, holds a spiritual significance for me:  It is a Trinity knot, signifying the three-in-one, or the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Of all of my tattoos, the only one that isn't spiritual in nature is the third one:

And here is the last one that I got:

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about getting another tat.  I would really like to get something to do with the Red Wings, but I won't get red ink--if a person is going to have a bad reaction to ink, it probably will be red.  I'm kind of leaning toward something that involves the Greek letters alpha and omega--again, spiritual meaning--but it isn't as unique as some of my other tats.  Whatever I get next, I don't think it will be too long before it is done.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Every time I am channel-surfing and see the movie 'Jeremiah Johnson' playing, I stop and watch it.  For some reason or another, it is one of my favorite movies.  I have always like Robert Redford and he is the star, but I also like the story.  In a few words:  'Jeremiah Johnson' is the story of a guy who decided to go west and become a Mountain Man.  He wanted to live a life of solitude and trap, hunt, and fish.  And because of circumstances, he got caught up in a 'war' with the Crow nation--and this helped him establish his reputation.  It was a story of a man who wanted to be left alone and 'do his own thing,' but it didn't happen in that way.  Despite the fact that there was a lot of killing in the movie--very little blood, however--it was kind of idyllic and beautiful in its own way.  But what else would you expect from a Robert Redford movie?

A couple of months back, I FINALLY decided to investigate 'Jeremiah Johnson' a little further, after another viewing of the movie.  I found out that there was a REAL person that this movie was based on and his name was John Johnson--and as in the case of most of the Mountain Men, he was very much different than the man portrayed in the movie.  When I realized that there was a book written about John Johnson, I KNEW I had to read it.

The book 'Crow Killer:  The Saga of Liver-Eating Johnson' is in a genre that I don't normally gravitate to.  While I DO read some biographies,  I don't know if I would necessarily read one of a 'western' character.  But this book was completely fascinating--probably because it was a very truthful look at a period of US history that has been exaggerated so much over the years.  This book was published in 1958 and I was amazed and surprised at how 'unvarnished' the truthfulness of the story was.  We are so used to the days where the 'red men' were vilified as savages--as so many of the movies and TV shows of the 50s did--and today we are being brainwashed into believing that they did NOTHING wrong, whatsoever, to ANY 'white men.'  This book showed the savagery that both groups of people brought down on each other.  And this was accomplished in a way that was quite matter-of-fact--this was how living was then and the book showed it.  There was no judging, no blame, and both the 'white men' and the 'red men' were shown to be savages, as well as kind and compassionate.  The movie did, to a certain extent, have an even-handedness about it, but change was already coming and, while subtle, it was implied that the killing of Johnson's wife was pretty much justified.  (He led a group of men through the sacred burial grounds of the Crow, even though he KNEW it was forbidden--so the Crow were justified in their revenge.  In the book, it was just a group of young Crow who were on a rampage, who killed his wife.  HE was justified in going after THEM for revenge.)  Tiny, subtle difference, but very glaring when you examine the book and movie side-by-side.

Without going into the book much further, I must say that it was refreshing to read a book that really didn't have an agenda attached to it.  This was a straight-forward history of what this country was like--although it was done in a non-dry way, as too many history books are.  With the political correctness today, I really wonder if this book would be allowed to be published--OR if it would be protested because of the 'hatred' that the Native Americans had to endure in it.  I really wish we could get more plain truth and less of the PC crap that we have to have today.  For crying out loud, the word 'nigger' isn't allowed to be uttered in ANY context--in a news story or as a quote, even--because it isn't PC.  In this book, some of the Native Americans were called 'red niggers' by the Mountain Men--and this isn't something you would be allowed to write today without a horrible backlash.  I guess I'm just getting old, because I will have to say 'sometimes I wish for the good old days.'  ;)

***John Johnson got his nickname of 'Liver-Eating Johnson' because he cut out the livers of the Crow he killed and ate them raw.  (This was an insult to his enemies.)  Cannibalism as a way to survive or insult another wasn't unknown at this time in history.  This is something that I wonder how it would be handled in a book published today--would it be written as it actually was, or would it be white-washed?  I DO wonder how much of what I read today has been 'sanitized for others' possible hurt feelings.'***

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cross THAT Off Of The List

I don't know how many people actually have written 'bucket lists,' but I am one who HASN'T done so.  Of course, as I get older, there are things I want to do before I die, but nothing so important that I need to actually MAKE it happen.  I have seen Eric Clapton in concert, so that is one thing that's off of MY imaginary list.  I still have 'see a Red Wings game in person,' and 'see my Baby Boy PLAY a game in person,' on my list, but other than that, not much else.  I think most of my list would consist of  'things everyone should experience once in their life'--such as 'see the Mall of America' and 'go to Las Vegas for a couple of days.'  THAT list would be much, much longer--but, STILL not anything earth shattering.  One thing that everyone should experience at least once in their life, happened to me on Friday--and it didn't only happen ONCE, but TWICE!  I met, talked to, and shook hands with TWO famous people!  What fun!  So now for the story.

 As I mentioned a few months ago, Air Supply was going to be in concert less than an hour away from where we live.  For the past few days, The Oldest has been so excited by this that I don't know if she slept at all.  On Thursday evening, she made it to our house for a little shopping and relaxing before we had to get ready and go to the concert on Friday.  I *almost* think she was too excited to miss her family and I had to calm her down a few times because she was a bit over the top in anticipation.  (I didn't want her to get her hopes up TOO high and then have them dashed and squashed!)  Completely in line with the way she lives her life, we managed to get to the concert and slide into our seats about thirty seconds after it started.  And she was overwhelmed!  Not only was this a concert featuring the FIRST band she ever LOVED--and still does, by the way--but it was the first concert she had ever been to!  Everything HAD to go perfectly for her not to have her heart crushed, to say the least.

The concert was great.  We sang along with ALL of the songs and The Oldest was GLOWING when Graham Russell stopped and waited for her to take his picture.  (This was during the portion of the show where they came down into the audience and shook hands with the fans.  Unfortunately, we were in the middle of the row and couldn't get to the guys.)  For an hour and a half, my daughter was as happy as she has ever been.

When all was said and done, we asked one of the ushers if there was any chance of a 'meet and greet' with the band.  She told us that they would be out in 20 minutes at the ticket office window and would sign autographs and talk with fans.  About this time, I though The Oldest was going to BURST with happiness.  As we stood in line, the anticipation for her just grew and grew.  FINALLY, it was OUR time to say 'hi' to the guys.  C went to Graham Russell, had him sign his name, and shook hands with him.  She told him "Air Supply was the FIRST band I EVER loved--and you were my favorite!."  While continuing to hold her hand, he put his other hand on top on hers, looked into her eyes, and asked, "Am I STILL your favorite?"  (QUITE a showman.  ;))  And she just melted.  I shook hands with him, chit-chatted for a few seconds, and moved on to shake hands with Russell Hitchcock.  He looked at the tattoo on the back of my hand, ran his finger over it, and looked at me questioningly.  I told him it was my 10-year anniversary tat of not smoking.  He then showed me HIS tat on the back of his hand and said, "This is for 5 years of...nothing."  And he laughed.  We then went on and compared and discussed our arm tattoos.  To say it was surreal to be talking tattoos with a famous person, is putting it mildly.  ;D  But they were absolutely great, friendly, funny, and all-around nice.  My daughter is STILL flying high from the experience.

While this was on the top-10 greatest days of all time list for my daughter--she HAS given birth 7 times, so I think THOSE days top this ;)--it also was one of MY favorite days ever.  To see someone you love SO happy just makes the world seem like a good place--even if only for a short time.

***Afterwards, The Oldest commented on my conversation with Russell Hitchcock.  She said, "What was THAT all about with the tattoos?  You two talked like a couple of old Navy buddies!"  :D**

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Political Post

While this MAY come off as snarky, I don't think I mean it to be such.  Well, not TOO much.  ;)

I am not a fan of the Democratic Party.  However, the Dems do something that the GOP can't--they can convince the electorate to vote a person into office that shouldn't be appointed dog catcher, better than anyone ever has.  If the GOP could do this, Sarah Palin would be sitting in the White House right now.  Now THAT'S something to think about.  ;)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Obsessions and a Master Race

I don't understand the obsession so many of my generation have for WWII.  It was a war, it was history, but it WAS before our time--get over it!  K is one of the obsessed.  Whenever he is channel-surfing--ALL the time, by the way--if he comes to anything to do with WWII, he has to stop and watch it.  It doesn't matter if it is a movie, mini-series, documentary, or propaganda film, he HAS to watch it because it deals with WWII.  It completely baffles me.

Today I was dusting in the living room and caught a bit of the program--a WWII documentary--that K had on.  It was all about the Nazis wanting to build a master race and the steps they went through to achieve their objective.  Of course, the WAY the Nazis went about this was very, very horrifying, but it got me thinking:  What if, at some point in time, humans decided to help evolution along and try to breed the best and the brightest that could be.  If race and ethnicity had been taken out of the equation, would people have objected so much to trying to build a better race of humans?  Is it possible that this could have been achieved, or would those that weren't 'good' enough rebel?  Quite an intriguing thing to think about, right?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Pet Peeve

First, I have to say I never knew that air could be as hot and humid as it is here, outside of a sauna.  I hadn't been out all day and saw my window bird feeders needed filling, so got my supplies together and proceeded to open the breakfast nook window to complete the chore.  (That is why I have window feeders:  I can fill them from inside the house.)  Anyway, the air that came in when the window was opened was like nothing I ever have felt before!  I really feel sorry for those people who HAVE to be out in weather like this--and now KNOW why deaths are being reported.  So, back to my pet peeve.

If the summer temperatures around here are above normal--or even close to normal--we run three window air conditioners.  Just because they are all installed doesn't mean we run them every day, but since coming back from our trip, they have rarely been turned off.  Today for sure, they have been NEEDED and can't be considered a luxury.  (Combining heat and humidity, it feels as if the temp is over 100*.)  All day long, I have felt quite comfortable--neither too warm or too cool.  I have been happy.  But right now, K is exhibiting behavior that makes me go completely postal:  He is on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket.  AND he will not admit that he would like at least one of the a/c units turned off.  The way I see it, if you are cold while a/c is ON, turn it OFF!!!!  DO NOT wrap yourself in a blanket for warmth.  And I'm just stubborn enough to not turn the a/c off because he won't ask me to.  He can have fun paying that electric bill next month...

Yes, I am passive/aggressive.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Being a Non-Luddite

Damn You Autocorrect! is one of those sites that can suck you in and cause you to waste far too much time.  There have been times when I wondered if people just made things up for the humor, but I have to say, after spending time with the autocorrect feature on MY phone, that I believe most of them are real.

The Youngest and I text each other almost daily.  While I would much rather talk to someone, she is more comfortable texting--probably so that she can have numerous conversations going on at once.  The other day my autocorrect brought me a couple of chuckles.  First, I was complaining about the weather--what else is new--and texted how "I'm not a happy camper!"  Of course, my phone changed it and it became "I'm not a happy computer!"  Then later in the conversation, she said something I found amusing, so I texted "Hahahahahahahahahaha."  My phone corrected it to say "Guadalajara."  THAT one I found laugh-out-loud funny.

Even though the autocorrect on my phone makes 'mistakes,' I am amazed at how intuitive it really is.  Sometimes I think the phone could write my text messages without any input from me.  The thing that I'm enjoying most about the texting feature on my phone is the program/app that I'm using for my keyboard.  I'm using Swype and it is unbelievable!  Gone are the days of 'hunt and peck' typing--all you need do is slide your finger across the letters and the word you want typed comes up almost magically.  I never would have thought that this would work, but it does.  When I first got my phone, AT&T blocked third-party apps, so I wasn't able to get Swype, but as soon as it was available, I downloaded it.  Now I don't know what I would do without it.  Technology STILL amazes me after all these years--and I'm definitely NOT a Luddite, as are far too many of my generation.  It's great to embrace and learn new things.

*Yes, I'm back.  Actually--other than the few days we were out of town--I have not been away, just too lazy to post.  I will be writing about our recent trip within the next day or two, hopefully.  I MUST get out of this non-posting rut that I'm in!*

Monday, July 04, 2011

A Little History Lesson

Those of us here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan have had to endure the derision of the 'trolls'--those that live 'under the bridge' (the Mackinac Bridge)--in the Lower Peninsula, forever.  For all of history, founded or not, we have felt that we have not been given our due and that the LP has all of the power and gets most of the considerations when it comes to money, etc.  And while this may be an exaggeration, there is some truth to it.  And this all goes back to the days when Michigan was FORCED to take the UP instead of getting the piece of land it REALLY wanted.

Back in the early 1800s, Michigan was not a state.  When Michigan asked to become a state, things didn't work out that well because of a piece of land known as the Toledo Strip.  Michigan wanted this land and Ohio said it owned it.  Blah, blah, etc, etc--things happened, words were exchanged and there came a 'conflict' known as the Toledo War in 1835-36.  It turned out to be a relatively bloodless war, but ended with the Toledo Strip being given to Ohio and the UP being given to Michigan.  (You can read the entire story here.)  Case closed, but Michigan wasn't happy.  Everyone was completely convinced that Michigan came out the loser in this deal--and it seemed that way.  After all, Toledo was a very important port on the Great Lakes and it was a 'gateway' city to the west.  And the UP was nothing more than a wilderness, far, far away--inhabited by nothing more than trappers, fur traders, and Indians.  Even though this deal paved the way for Michigan to become a state, it didn't improve the 'oh, woe is me' attitude.  And really, who could blame.

As things turned out, Michigan--while not exactly a WINNER--didn't lose at all in this deal.  Copper and iron were discovered here and it brought a great deal of money to the state.  Despite the copper boom lapsing, eventually, iron ore is still being mined today.  There also has been some gold, silver, and nickel mined here, as well.  And the UP is most definitely a vacation destination for a lot of people--we have great beaches for swimming, lots of lakes for fishing/kayaking, etc, places to hike, hunting, snowmobile trails, campsites, ski hills, etc, etc, etc.  All in all, Michigan DIDN'T get screwed, no matter WHAT the 'trolls' might think.  Besides, if it wasn't for the 'great' Toledo War, would we have the Ohio/Michigan sport rivalries we have today?  I think not.

Saturday, July 02, 2011


Just a couple of laughs for the long weekend:

Hope your weekend is great and fun!


Why is it so wrong to accept the status quo?  Why do we INSIST that things have to change?  I know that 'change is inevitable,' but why can't we leave some things alone and be happy?  As a species, we really are strange.

Friday, July 01, 2011

You Have GOT To Be Kidding

There is a financial crisis in far too many governments--local, state, AND federal--and it seems as if the powers-that-be can't figure out why.  Most of the 'common, little people' have a bit of a clue as to the reason:  OVERSPENDING!  And where is this money going to?  Services, salaries, and just, plain redundancy, in many cases.  While this story is NOT one of government excess, it does illustrate a problem that is seen far, far too often in this country.

Not too long ago, I told the story of a friend of mine, Pete, and the way he is dealing with his leukemia.  As I said in the post, he was diagnosed with AML almost one year ago.  He has spent a good deal of his time in various hospitals since getting this diagnosis--dare I say almost 50% of his days?  It has been AT LEAST one-third of his time spent in the hospital and much more of this time sick, while being under DIRECT medical care for almost all of this past year.  In that time he has been stuck with more needles than he could possibly count, been poked and prodded more times than the average person could be in several lifetimes, had more tests done, and had to give up more bodily fluids to medical personnel than a 500 pound man has in his entire system.  You would think they couldn't ask for anything more--especially considering his blood-marrow transplant is going to happen sooner, rather than later.  WRONG!!

Yesterday, Pete got a package from the hospital that he has spent so much of his time in this past year.  In the package was a 'test kit,' asking him to swab the inside of his cheek so that they could test his HLA type.  (HLA testing is what they do to find a bone marrow donor.)  Once he did this, he was supposed to send this package back--Fed-Ex Priority Mail, nonetheless.  After all of this time, after all of the testing he's gone through, the hospital neglected to test for his HLA type in anticipation of his transplant--something he was told many months ago is probably his ONLY chance for a full and (possibly) permanent remission/cure.  So, instead of doing a cheek swab when they actually had him there in person, they SENT a kit to him--via priority mail--and want him to send it back to them--via priority mail.  UNBELIEVABLE.

While, in the whole scheme of things, this is a drop in the bucket in terms of cost--I don't even WANT to know how much Pete and his wife are going to have to spend for his 'cure'--it is a redundant cost.  If this country--not to mention our health care system--is run so inefficiently, is it a wonder we are going broke?  Is it a wonder our health-care is so expensive?  If we could only get some common-sense people to become 'powers-that-be,' could we get back to being the great country that we once were?  Unfortunately, I don't know if even a change in those in power can help things along.  After all, "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."