Friday, October 3, 2014

Moving

It is 10:45 pm

I moved my blog to WordPress......better format,much better support and EVERYONE can leave a comment....hope to see you soon!




The Inner Circle has moved here

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My blog is having "issues"

It is 11:13 pm


    Seems like my blog has attracted a bot from the UK. It keeps showing a visitor from Seattle is coming by but I can track where the traffic really is coming from and its coming from the UK.
This is causing my traffic numbers to be falsely inflated and it sort of sucks. I had mentioned moving to WordPress and I guess this is my sign that is what I should be doing....

  While I figure this out.......I will be posting various videos until this fixed or I have to move.



This is classic Jack Benny along with Mel Blanc,the Man with the Thousand Voices.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rolling blog.....Ray Rice,part 2,Jack Benny and Crash

It's 11:09 pm

   Looking outside at the darkness outside,a car just drove by the house. The cheetah is downstairs again,he is buzzing from the catnip I gave him earlier and is happy that I got new batteries for his laser pointer.



   Been feeling a bit aimless this week,Jennifer Blanc-Biehn's writing challenge has turned out to be much harder then I thought. I don't want to put up just fluff to fill the challenge,I want it to mean something more then that,you know?
  Everything that I was grateful for is pretty much gone now...trying to reach out and grasp on to what is left is much harder then it looks. But I will keep after it,I think its actually a pretty good piece of therapy if you want my honest opinion.



   I wrote a few entries ago about how my friend Sue and I went to a new deep discounter called Oillie's. They had a few good deals and I found a real gem,a 39 episode collection of the old Jack Benny Show that aired from 1950 to 1965.

  I discovered many old time performers while listening to the old radio programs that were king back in the 30s and 40s. Bob Hope,Jack Benny,George Burns,Eve Arden,Jack Webb,William Conrad,etc got their real starts in radio before going into films and later on,television.
   I had heard of Jack Benny and how funny he was but it wasn't until I listened to his radio show that I could hear just how funny he really was. His cast of characters included his personal assistant Rochester,his long suffering girl friend,Mary and a various cast of different folks including Mel Blanc.

   So when I saw this collection for only 3.00,I knew it was perfect Dollar Tree Theater material. I have noticed I don't have a lot of comedies to watch so I have been looking hard for shows and films that make me laugh....
   So a couple of days of days ago,I put on the Jack Benny DVD and wow,he WAS very funny. The show was presented by Lucky Strikes cigarettes (Jack was a once in a while cigar smoker) and somewhere in the program,there was always a segment about Lucky Strikes. The DVD included the old ads as well.

   Jack was pretty fearless...his schtick included never aging past 39,his never spending a dime and how bad he played a violin. The truth of the matter was he was a very generous man and a excellent violin player. His girlfriend on the show,Mary Livingstone,was actually his wife in real life. He never missed the chance to be the butt of the joke,to put over his guest stars,who included the biggest names at the time....John Wayne,Kirk Douglas,Marilyn Monroe,etc...and since the show was live,many,many times Jack and his guest would simply struggle to keep a straight face but often failed to stop from laughing.

  The quality of the episodes varies,some are clean and crisp while some are a bit muddied up a bit but over all,well worth picking up. Sort of sad that these classic performers are so rarely mentioned anymore,just glad that DVD distributors like Mill Creek continue to put collections like this so that new folks can stumble across them.

  I also wrote a few entries ago about the mess that is the Ray Rice incident. Rice plays professional football for the Baltimore Ravens. He was caught dragging his then fiance out of a elevator. He was suspended two games by the NFL and was put in a very cozy diversion program that only money can by. His first practice got a rousing standing ovation from 22,000 fans. His fiance ended up marrying him,thus saving him from having her testifying against him.
   But then the complete tape was released and the shit has hit the fan,Roger Goodell,the commissioner of the NFL has been revealed to be a coward and an enabler. Ray Rice is shown to have an explosive temper and his wife is one of the most blind and clueless people I have seen in a LONG time.  She blamed the MEDIA for causing the fallout that led to Rice being cut and banned.
  Wow.....you barely missed being seriously injured when you got knocked out,got dragged out of the elevator and yet its the media fault? But maybe she does have a point....if the NFL had taken domestic violence more seriously and the owners been more proactive in writing contracts with clauses that would allow a club to cut a player who has been convicted of said crime maybe this could have been avoided and not become a media circus. You got players being suspended for four games for smoking a joint,first offense....and Rice only two games for almost taking his girl's head off. Goodell dropped the ball here plain and simple....watching the bubble heads at ESPN (owned by family friendly Disney) do the same is also bad. I wrote how ESPN Radio had a bumper for a show that asked the question "How will Ray Rice's suspension affect the Ravens offense?" Now all the bubbleheads there are condemning Rice and domestic violence and "demanding" he get punished.
What a bunch of immoral hypocrites,you should have been as outraged if not more so when Michael Vick got busted fighting dogs. No one stood up and said Rice should be suspended for the season,ESPN was looking FORWARD to his coming back for pity's sake!!!
   I will this,the Ravens surprised everyone by releasing him....its not that Rice is a fringe player or at the end of his career,he was a key and important player yet the Ravens saw something that Rice's wife fails to grasp...her life was more important then Rice's playing football for them.
  Domestic violence,or domestic terrorism as I call it,is insidious. Once a person,strikes another while in a relationship,its extremely rare it will end at the one slap,push,or punch.  Maybe the psychical violence MIGHT end but the mental abuse will not.
   Unless the abuser gets anger management classes or the person who is being abused leaves the relationship,more often then not the altercations will escalate.
  I asked my own mother why she never left her abusive second husband...he used to beat her so badly until I got older and was able to hold him off. The cops came so often that knew us kids by first name whenever they saw us around town.
  I asked my mother....its the same answer far too many women respond with...."I have no place to go" Women's shelters are already in short supply and shelters that can handle whole families that displaced due to abuse are even harder to find and get into...education,lack of a skill set,financial hardships often force the woman back into the same home where they were abused in and the cycle begins all over.
   Sadly,a lot women are forced to return and before they get a chance to explore a viable exit strategy,some are murdered by their abuser.

  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
  • Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
  • Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
  • Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.
  • Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.
  • Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the police for help.
  • The costs of intimate partner violence in the US alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.
  • Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.
Source: Domestic Violence Statistics.org


  The last statistic really surprised me....you would think a young boy would do everything in his power to never let that happen in his own life. Glad my brother and I never became that last statistic!

  My mother said she had nowhere to go and with a limited education,not many options either as her husband was the primary breadwinner. She could leave but she wouldn't leave us behind. And so lies the trap for many women.  The causes for abuse are many.....kids,economics,job loss,infielity,drug abuse,etc....who knows what sparked Rice's outburst,some say it was drinking,but I bet that was just the match that lit his fuse.  
  The fact is,his fiance chose to stay...will this happen again? I like to think Ray Rice will seek out anger management class and come to grips with this before anything else happens.
  

This is now a "rolling entry".....


I got to Crash sit this past weekend when Marlene (his mom) got to go to New York for a girl's weekend.  I always leave a diary whenever I cat sit for anyone,so they can see what their cat is up to. 
When Marlene and I talked,she mentioned she would leave a pad of paper and a pen for me. My sit was pretty short this time,only two days as Dylan was to handle the other two days.

  My first day was on Saturday and as I came in,Crash was in full Crash mode,meowing a mile a minute. I said hello back and went into the kitchen where I saw the pad and pen...and something else.
  Last year when Lori passed,I had asked if anyone could lend me a camera in order to film the service and our friends Amy and Michael stepped in and filmed it. A couple of weeks later I got the disc in the mail...and I happen to see Marlene that same day. I told her what I got and she offered to hold it for me until I was ready.
   Well as you can see,I got the disc but no,I haven't watched it as of this writing. I don't think I will share that when and if it happens....

I am so far behind in my writing


Guess I will post this,next entry I will try and catch up with my writing challenge.


Shout outs

Keith Smith- The Dallas Cowboys might have been watching the Carolina Panthers! Welcome to the NFL!!

Snowy - Wishing you a quick recovery!

Ivy - Thanks for being so supportive always

Jimmy - Can't wait to see what you cook up at the Rockbar

Fil - Thank you for bringing SoFA back,the pictures of the folks having a great time were priceless!

Cezanne - Only you could make Honey Boo Boo so much fun....




   































Thursday, September 11, 2014

Days 7 through 11 of the Gratitude Challenge

It's 2:30 pm


Day 7


I am grateful for being able to write my blog. Writing isn't always so easy for me but I do find it a great stress releaser.


I am grateful to have been able to walk the hallowed fields of Gettysburg. To be able to walk where America's fate was decided is extremely moving. Walking it with Lori made it even more special.


I am grateful for my friendships here online. Many,many people I have talked with here have become good friends who take the time to talk with me as well.




Day 8

I am grateful for having the love of classic Hollywood. The cheetah and myself watched The Jack Benny show on a collection I recently picked up. Jack can still crack me up even after all these years.

I am grateful that both Michigan and Michigan State got that ass handed to them last Saturday!
It made watching my San Jose State getting steamrolled by Auburn a little easier to take Monday morning. The truth be told,all three lost to better teams and all three played hard.  And again,thanks to my friend Sue for letting me watch the game at her house.


I am grateful that my friend Gary Avila and his family walked the Relay for Life. Gary lost his wife a few years and he walks the Race. This year he reached out to some of us who have lost a loved one and included us in his walk.




Day 9

Grateful for my power STILL being on as we are still having some rough weather.

Grateful that the Yankees managed to eek out the season series against the Tigers....yes,I am rooting for the Tigers EXCEPT when they play the Yanks. But this win was sweeter as I won 5 Dr. Pepper's from a buddy.  Hey,small things like this mean a lot!

I am grateful to have been able to watch Candye Kane a couple of weeks ago. It has made me want to see some other artists who are touring.


Day 10.

I am grateful that I was able to stop my basement from suffering heavy damage after today's
big storm. Still lost some stuff but it could have been a LOT worse. Thanks to my job for letting me stay home to work on it.

I am grateful for Lori's Angels....Terrie,Karen and Melanie. Not a day goes by that I don't think of their hard work,courage and love they showed us and to every patient under their wings. I am so thankful for them!


I am  grateful to Crash sit this weekend!!


Day 11

I am grateful that men like BC Orio Palmer still walk this earth. Chief Palmer lost his life on 11 September 2001 along with over 3,000 souls. Do yourself a favor and look up Orio's story on YouTube....and bring kleenex.


I am grateful its college football season.


I am grateful we as a nation are once again talking about domestic violence/terrorism.
We need to love and cherish who we are with....and if you are in a relationship where its just not working,walk away from it. Don't hurt anyone.....






Sunday, September 7, 2014

Day 5 and 6 of the Gratitude Challenge

It's 11:55 pm

Day 5:

Grateful that I get another chance to Crash sit my neighbor's cat. He is a very sweet cat and I enjoy "talking" with him while I leave his owner a "diary" of our visit.


I am grateful that I was invited over for dinner while watching San Jose State play at Auburn. The game wasn't as we Spartans had hoped but we did bloody their noses a bit and we'll see them again next year...


I am very grateful I didn't lose power after our storms last night when over 380,000 households did.
DTE was telling folks that it could be days before power is restored,a lot of folks are going to lose a lot of food,many who struggle to put that food on their tables.



Day 6

Grateful to my dear friend Deb who generously gave Paladin a 25.00 Petco card in which I was able to buy him both food and a couple cans of good cat food. When one is struggling to stay afloat,small things like this mean a whole lot me!!


I am grateful for the beautiful day we had today,sunny with just a hint of a chill in the air.


I am grateful I am loved. I do my best to hold on to that every day.


Friday, September 5, 2014

My birthday week and a 30 Day Challenge

It is 8:45 pm

     It's a beautiful warm summer day in SE Michigan. The cheetah is downstairs looking out through his window,he was waiting for me to come home because he knows its canned catfood night. He was meowing,, roaring when I came home to feed him.
Got ESPN3 going on the computer listening to the UAPB-Texas State football replay...


Its been a while since I wrote so this might take a while...its been a up and down week.

I turned 50 on 26 August....normally a reason for a celebration with loved ones and friends...but instead the day found me over at St. Thomas a 'Beckett talking to Debbie Miller. It had been three months since I last talked to my regular grief therapist,Becka,from Arbor Hospice. My time with her was only supposed to officially last a year but Becka extended it to 14 months.

  Three weeks ago found me in a most difficult time as I was in a bad way and pretty close to walking off this mortal coil. I came out the other side hurting pretty badly but knowing I needed to talk to someone. So I reached out to Debbie and set up a appointment.
   Coming into her office,I saw it had been changed around a bit from the last time I had been there.
We started our session and I shared with her where I was at,she seemed to get a little edgy at this and I picked up on this but what could I do? I am just being honest,Lori and my bond was that tight. She asked me a strange question,she asked me if I thought I put myself in that box as she put it.
   While that is not the case because as everyone who has lost a spouse or a loved,the journey is different. I do NOT want to sit here in this sadness,if I did,then why is the point of even staying alive? Who desires to live with only half of you being able to function at any level? I thought it was asked with tinge of anger and now I am feeling uncomfortable with this line of questions when Debbie stops the session. She looked past me and said that I wouldn't have know this but her husband had died in May. He had a massive heart attack and had held on for a month before being placed on life support. It was Debbie who had to make the call to let her husband go.

 And just like that,it made perfect sense...why the questions,why the anger. I said I was sorry and said I wish I could tell you something,give you some advice but I can't. She said "I am glad,I don't want to hear any advice".
   She said "I want to know how are you are going to start moving on". Well my face must have said it all because she retracted that statement and said it wasn't then term she wanted to use.
I said I was glad because I really hate that term and said you will come to detest it as well.
 We talked about what plans God has for us,I struggle with that question everyday. There has to be a purpose and some days I see it and other days I simply see nothing. I know this will always be with me or anyone else going through this.

 The session for all intent and purposes was over as we talked about what happened to her husband. He complete blockage of one aorta and 95% of the other,Debbie said they call a "widowmaker" as mostly men suffer from this type of heart attack. She mentioned the month after her husband had died,his sister suffered the same type of heart attack but survived. Just another strange twist to the tale.
   I must admit,I am surprised,Debbie said she took two months off before coming back to work,that she came back so quickly sort of concerns me a lot. As a pastor of a large parish,the different types of emotions she has to deal with every day is rough as it is but doing so with a such a heavy loss.....I don't know....but I do know I will be doing my part by not going back and instead will look for someone else to talk to.

  The rest of the day was nice,was treated to lunch and some running around before coming back home.
Wednesday was another quiet day as I spent the day doing chores. My friend Sue had called the night before to take me to dinner on Wednesday but I suggested we do pizza and watch the first college football game of 2014.

  Sue loves football and so it was a easy choice....so that is how we spent my birthday on Wednesday. The game was Abilene Christian at Georgia State. The game was pretty exciting as it came it down to the last 4 seconds before GSU kicked a field goal and won,38-37. It was a fun way to start the season.
  Thursday morning saw me getting up pretty early to make the trek into Detroit to meet up with Lori's best friend and bridesmaid,Deb. She surprised me with a ticket to see Derek Jeter's last baseball game against the Tigers.

  I caught a ride with Marlene who works downtown and we made it downtown is 45 minutes. Traffic was pretty light and soon enough I was camped out at Tim Horton's drinking coffee. I peeked outside at a park where the annual Detroit Jazz Festival was being set up for the four day holiday. The festival attracts world class musical talent and its also free.

  I saw a few musicians walking about,many would be busking later on during the day. I sat back,enjoyed my coffee and people watched until Deb made to downtown.
We walked through downtown and looked at the light rail being built. This truly is what Detroit needs. The roads going through the heart of the city are narrow and cramped and parking downtown can be a circus. The light rail,just as it did in San Jose,will bring relief to those folks heading to a event.
  Deb took me to the The Hudson Cafe,a big,airy room which specializes in breakfasts. The food was excellent and very reasonably priced as well. Deb had mentioned that coming here on the weekends was pretty impossible as the lines waiting to get in are pretty long. Well on a early Thursday,the room was only maybe half full and the service was fast and friendly.

  We walked towards Comerica Park and soon we saw other fans heading the same way. We stopped at a sports merch place to look at hats....they didn't have any Yankees caps for some reason and the Tiger caps were 35.00,a little rich for my blood.
  We came out and finished walking to the ballpark,the crowds weren't too bad at the gate and the mood was pretty festive. There were as many Yankees shirts and jerseys as there were Tiger ones. Deb looked pretty nifty in her Rick Porcello jersey I have to say...it felt strange to see the park in the daylight and also without Lori. She loved baseball and we always had a good time at the games we went to.

  Since the game was a "get away" game for the Tigers,there wasn't any infield practice or batting practice as well. We did wait for an hour behind the Yankees dugout hoping for a glimpse of Derek Jeter but other then the pitchers getting their running in,only Chase Headley and Ichiro came out.
 The day was perfect and the game was pretty exciting,turned into a pitching duel and Brad Ausmus out managed Joe Giraldi. The Tigers pulled out the game in the bottom of the 9th,3-2.
   The battle to escape downtown was the normal Detroit nightmare,narrow roads,crappy drivers and the light construction made it an adventure to get out.
  We made it to Michigan Ave. and headed home...as we were,we passed by a location shoot on the Batman/Superman movie being shot at a local deli. Overall it was a very special day and I am extremely thankful to Deb for taking me.
 
 Got home in time to get ready for the college football season opener as San Jose State took on FCS squad North Dakota. Last year I watched the game against Sacramento State and was completely bummed as despite SJSU won,24-0,it was a ugly,boring win. This year,with a new look defense and some real talent running the ball,SJSU took care of business and blew out the Fighting Sioux,42-10.
 The passing game needs a lot of work and our best tailback was suspended for this game and the one against 5th ranked Auburn this weekend. The defense was fast and much more effective...plus no real serious injuries. Which is a good thing as the Spartans will need every single player in playing the best team they have seen since played Alabama in 2008. The spread is 31 points so there isn't many who think SJSU can pull off the huge upset.
  The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN 2,hoping for a minor miracle...would be quite a coup to win!!
    Joining the gym this week,feel much more into it this time as a couple of others at my work have joined so am hoping to get a good routine going. The city I live in has a nice trail system and they just completed linking up the main trails with the one right by the house.



  I actually decided to take my first walk down the new trail this afternoon...got about a quarter mile into it and noticed an overcast sky was turning darker so I decided not to risk it and headed back...just as I got to the Rodger Young,it started sprinkling lightly...drove home in about 5 minutes and as I pulled into my driveway,the heavens opened up and a thunderstorm dropped quite a bit of rain...
Seems like our weather is turning into Florida's weather...hot,humid and then it rains. Could always be worse...be hot with NO rain.
  But tomorrow is another day and I will try and walk the trail again.

My friend Brad started something a while ago on his FB page,he started listing 5 good things everyday that occurs in his life,some are small and some are big but he lists something every single day. I always thought it was a neat idea when he first started it but I have to admit,I find it very,very hard to find things to be happy about. Trying to find 5???? I love to but just isn't there yet.

  Then a very nice person named Jennifer Blanc-Biehn started a 30 day challenge starting in September and I decided to give it a shot...I started out posting on my FB wall but since I decided to post here instead.
 Here is my list so far

Day 1
I am grateful for my brothers Phillip and Monte. You two have really been so supportive with talking to me at anytime,

I am grateful for my job. The job itself isn't that great but the people I work with kick butt!

I am grateful for my cheetah,Paladin. He has been a joy..he makes me laugh every day on some level.

Day 2
1. Grateful for my good friend William Clark who I met while starting my first blog. 
Not only is he a true fan boy but loves baseball almost as much as I do. I am taking this time to wish him a most happy birthday!!

2. Grateful I have a home to come to. While it can be a lonely place to come home to,its a nice house and I am glad I live in a quiet neighborhood.

3. Grateful for having the passion to read pretty much anything put in front of me. I am not picky on what I read as long as I have a book with me.


Day 3
1. I am grateful to my friend Michael Hoover (R.I.P.) who let me read his vast collection of books and comics. It was because of Michael,that I became a fanboy. 

2. I am grateful to Joe Kelly. It was through Joe that I got my start in the music business. I helped him break down the stage and he got me hired on as a doorman at Marsugi's. He also got me hooked on the Simpsons as well. 

3. I am grateful to the hardy daisies that keep coming back to bloom every year.
Its a nice treat to walk outside to a a bushel of flowers solaring in the sun!!

Day 4

1 Glad that I am getting to join a gym again. The first around wasn't so fun but I think this will be more my speed. What a nice birthday gift!!! 

2. Discovering new writers,well at least to me. Read my first Elmer Kelton novel this past week,Kelton was a prolific writer of Westerns. I only discovered him because one of his collections was at my local Dollar Tree. 

3. Speaking of Dollar Tree,I am grateful my store has customers who enjoy reading. Because of this,our store has a high turnover rate of books which in turns leads to fresh titles. This isn't always the case at other stores where they have the same old musty books for months on end.


 Okay,I am going to post this and hit the hay. Thank you for reading this and feel to drop a comment.

If you are on Twitter,follow me @Jinzo_2400


shout outs

San Jose State - We believe!
Sue,Cheryl and Deb - Thank you for my birthday week.
Marlene- thank you for letting me Crash sit next weekend!!
Jennifer- thanks for the 30 Day challenge! Its been fun so far!
Hello Kitty - We know you are a cat.
Donna - sending you light and peace
Rome - we got it right with the Rock as Black Adam!! Could be very bad-ass!














Saturday, August 23, 2014

Reflections,Candye Kane and baseball

It's 4:26 pm

   Looking outside at a nice day...its a bit overcast and muggy. The last 5 days have been like this,we get humid and steamy,storms pop up,it rains and then goes away. It is almost like being in Florida. Guess we might get a bit of a summer yet!!

  Past week has seen its highs and lows. Had a real sad patch of 3-5 days of feeling like Lori just left me. It felt like the day of her death and I really started to flounder badly,lot of tears and wanting to pack my bags. I always wonder if I am the only one to feel that way,are feelings solely my own. Am I the weirdo widower in the room? I am both saddened and relieved to know that these feelings are natural and not uncommon. Saddened to know others are feeling this terrible and desperately wanting to go home by any means possible and relieved that I am not alone in feeling this way.

  The trigger was trying to clean up our spare bedroom. I really hadn't been in the room for about a year other then put my winter bedding away. Otherwise I have not gone into the room for any reason. So I started looking in the top drawer when I saw a card with two tiny birds and the word "lovebirds".
The card was was from 2005 Lori and I went to Washington D.C. for vacation,she wrote how much fun we were going to have and how we were going to have so many more in the future.
 That was all I could handle and I started to cry. I put the card back and walked out of the room about 60 seconds after I walked in.I was pretty saddened at this,that it still absolutely like she passed that day. I tried to de-stress by going down in the basement and cleaning Paladin's box and doing some laundry.
But my week was shot,just beyond sad and missing Lori....struggled hard to finish my last week of overnights at my job. We were doing inventory prep and only had a 6 man team to prep a huge store....

  Saturday presented a new challenge for me....a co-worker's brother had died and his viewing/funeral service was being held on Saturday afternoon. My friend Sue and I drove over to pay our respects. As we got closer Sue told me about the funeral home,it was one of the smallest ones she had ever seen and as we pulled up,she wasn't just whistling Dixie,it was incredibly small,it was there first and the city built around it. A apartment complex was directly behind it as well as a pre-school right next to it. You could only drive in one way to park and parking lot was pretty narrow.

   Sue and I got there just as the service started...the little chapel was packed,my co-worker's brother was a popular guy,well loved. It felt surreal to be standing there...so many fresh memories and emotions. We stood outside in the hall as the chapel had no seating left. The pastor gave a nice service,listening to little stories and tributes sort of gave you a idea of what he was like. While laughter was there,tears were the order of the day.
  Two of our fellow co-workers came as well....as we watched,I could feel myself start to hurt inside,the room was getting smaller and the sound of crying was starting to effect me. Well Sue got a urgent call and we had to go about 5 minutes before the service did.
  I was both happy that I had lasted as long as I did and didn't waver. I was only sorry I didn't see Linda,my co-worker,who supported me during Lori's cancer. She too,lost her spouse only a short while ago..and now this...
 
So while I was wrestling hard with this,I made plans to attend my first concert in forever. I missed seeing Dave Alvin in July but another of my favorite singers was coming to Ann Arbor.
  I first saw Candye Kane back in 1992 when she opened for a great roots rock band called The Blazers at the Cactus Club. I was completely blown away and went on to maybe 12-15 shows in San Jose,Santa Cruz and San Francisco. One of my last shows at the Agenda was a Candye Kane show which was really well attended and just a great vibe all the way around. I helped the band load out and thanked her for a great show,she kissed me good-bye and that was the last I saw her,that was in 1998.
  Flash forward to 2008...Candye breaks the news she has pancreatic cancer and is facing a life and death struggle. I started to write her via social media and sent encouragement just as thousands have done. She has multiple surgeries, including one where they used 150 plus stitches to sew her up.

She tours,undergoes chemo,records,more chemo,flies to Europe,huge medical bills starting to pile up. Fans rally around her as she undergoes more treatment,she was once weighed around 270 pounds,not anymore she writes.
   Lori gets sick,my writing to her becomes less and less as Lori gets more and more ill. Candye is fighting so hard as is my Lori but Lori is fading now,no letters now,just blogging here. Candye writes me,wondering how we are doing,I sent her my blog.
  2013....Lori is gone in May...a cancer that was preventable has taken her. Candye,with a cancer that normally kills within two years,is still alive and shining brightly. I write her twice in the past 18 months,once to tell her Lori has died.

 But now Candye is coming back to Michigan,playing the Ark. I haven't seen a live show in 5 years,haven't been to the Ark in years when Lori and I saw Kim Richey play. I reach out to my friend (and frequent guest blogger) Susan to see if she would like to see Candye. She is game and we make plans. I also ask my other Sue who is also game for a show.
  So here we are last Tuesday meeting at my home to carpool to Ann Arbor. It looks like a thunderstorm type of night as it starts to get ugly. Paladin the cheetah is sitting in the windowsill which is open...when a huge bolt of lightening flashes and thunder cracks across the sky. Does the cheetah run? Hell no!! Paladin sits there and meows good-bye at us....


   The rain dies out as we leave our town and head to Ann Arbor,we went via Michigan Ave. so it was mellow as far as going into town,no passing the UM Hospital.
 Downtown Ann Arbor was buzzing with life as we headed to Main St. Lot of places to eat,drink and be merry but not so much in terms of pure shopping. Last time Lori and I were downtown Ann Arbor  was about two years for the art fair. We had a good time but we couldn't stay very long as Lori got tired pretty fast back then.
  But the same kind of buzz was still going on....tons of foot traffic and construction cranes all around.
Parked our car and walked to the Ark,got our tickets and seats. The Ark shows pretty much start dead on time and so at 8 pm,her band,led by the amazing Laura Chavez on guitar,hit the stage.
  They played two instrumentals and then Laura introduced Candye. Wow....I knew she lost some weight during her cancer journey but I wasn't ready to see how much she had lost....and she looked GREAT!!
The voice was still quite strong but the Ark's sound system leaves a lot to be desired so her vocals were bit muted. The small mid-week crowd was fully into the show and Candye sang a lot of her favorites "I'm the Reason Why You Drink", "Toughest Girl Alive" and "Superhero".

 But something started bothering me as the show went on,in between songs,Candye shared her journey on how she was so happy she was still alive and how blessed she was .While I am happy she is doing so well,a miracle in fact,I found myself feeling more and more upset....bitter and resentful,something I never expect to feel when talking about about a cancer survivor. I mean,I harbor no ill will towards Candye herself,no one thinks that of course. It is the whole process....like another widower said when he mentioned he doesn't go to any of the cancer events (Relay For Life,3 Day Walk,etc).
 
 "It isn't because of the people,it is because of the sheer greed of the medical field in treating this. Billions in research,drugs and fund raising and there isn't even ONE cure for any one cancer. It is always hope for a cure but never any real answers. People and companies get wealthy off our blood,loss and broken souls but won't even allow for one cancer to be cured".
Caught this wonderful and telling blog entry that is very worth checking,just click the link to check out the blog.
  Taking a quick run through some search engines,I find this emotion is not publicly talked about,but it IS talked about. I have discussed this with at least six other widowers,widows,parents,children who have lost someone to cancer but have a hard time being around survivors/events. The feeling of "why only some but not all" is a strong feeling to feel but as you are reading this,much,much harder to express without being criticized for it. Personally,I don't care if I am or not...I am just sharing just another part of my journey. I'm saying its a normal feeling to feel anger and resentment but to make sure you know who you really directing that to.

   Back at the Ark,the show was a extremely good one and Candye played two encores as she received a standing ovation (which she deserved).
  One very sweet part about Candye's show,while she is tries to push her latest CDs and shirts,she also has a CD, "The Power In You" which she sells but knowing a lot of folks may have just enough money to see a show but not afford a CD,she gives those away. It depends solely on the honor system that if you can't afford a album,you can either pay what you can or get a free CD. Very sweet gesture indeed.
  We hung around as I wanted to say hello....and playing thousands of shows since 1998,I didn't think she would remember me at all...which she didn't until I mentioned the Agenda Lounge show. Then her eyes opened wide and she smiled. She said Laura was from Mountain View,then she really remembered when I mentioned Lori. She whispered she was sorry in my ear,grabbed the CD and signed it for me. She had a lot of fans to meet and greet so I let her go. Laura and I talked as we talked about the EDGE and she had been in a band that opened during one of Jimmy's Y&T shows.
   We said our last goodbyes and headed towards home. Both ladies loved the show and said they were glad I shared Candye with them. I was just glad to be able to see a live show again. I don't know who I will be seeing next,only that it won't take 5 years to see it.

  Seems like Dollar Tree Theater is catching on....had a couple of people both mention Dollar Tree Theater in telling me about a couple of new (to me anyways) discount stores in our area,a chain called "Ollie's" and a store called "Five Below".  Said they had some very low prices on books and DVDs.

  So took a ride to Ollie's last week and took a peek. It wasn't too bad but you have to pick and choose as not everything was that cheap. The DVD section was so-so but I did find a couple of Dollar Tree class deals,20 war movies for 2.99 and the short lived "Lonesome Dove" series for 7.00. Also picked up Terry Francona's book about the Boston Red Sox 2004 championship year for 2.99. Thought it was worth going but you get the feeling the turnover isn't very fast and that in 3-4 months,you would be looking at the same stuff.
   Haven't been to Five Below yet but I aiming to venture there this week to take a peek.

 

   Heading to Detroit on Thursday to watch the Yankees-Tigers play. While the Yankees season has been plagued by injuries to the pitching and termites eating the bats,the Tigers zoomed ahead in the AL Central. The Yanks were at one time in 4th place while the Tigers had a commanding lead in the Central....but suddenly the Tigers have started to crumble,stumble and bumble their way out of first while the Yankees have moved to second place in the East. Now as this writing,the Tigers and Yankees are fighting for the last wild-card spot,the Tigers are a half game back while the Yanks are hanging on (barely) at 3.5 games back.
 This series not only will help figure out the wild card but marks Derek Jeter's last regular season game against Detroit. This will be my first game in 4 years,Lori and I took her Aunt Jo to see a game against Tampa Bay back in 2010.
  This time I will be seeing it with our friend Deb,who got me a ticket for my birthday next week. I am very grateful that so many people have shown me kindness during this time. I never take such acts lightly or for granted...it helps me stay grounded here. And paying it forward is a common theme here in my blog and so I will be looking for a new Pink Hat mission come September,don't know what it will be yet but it will happen.

 
Well that is all I have in my tank....I am heading out to do a little walking. I am re-joining the gym this week so I want to start walking before winter gets here.

If you are on Twitter, follow me @Jinzo_2400


Shout outs

Candye  - May your miracle continue!!
Susan and Sue - Thanks for allowing me to share Candye with you
The Fluffy Twins - just because!
Deb,Cheryl and Marlene (Crash's mom) - thank you for the birthday goodies!!
John,Justin,Darryl - thanks for talk.
San Jose State football - Beat North Dakota
Bene Benwikere - Spartan Strong!
Monte - thanks for the phone call!