Things You Need Arms For – Episode 1

Let’s face it folks, you see football players, baseball players and the occasional man-about-town do it… Junk adjustment.

You’ll never know how uncomfortable a man can be when the berries get wrapped around the ol’ twig in opposing directions like bolas around the hind legs of a fine Spanish calf, and the twig ends up bent in half sideways, thereby locking the whole mess hopelessly in place.

No amount of jiggling can work the disentanglement conundrum loose, whether you’re hopping around bow legged thrusting your pelvis frenetically back and forth at increasingly awkward angles, or standing stoically trying to joggle the bits loose with one marginally useful paw that twitches spastically as fried nerves decide whether or not they want to fire from moment to moment. In any attempt to resolve the issue in a more public venue, your spouse will invariably decline assistance and content herself with halfhearted and rather sheepish attempts at shielding you from public view, mainly to placate her own embarrassment.

Assistance will only be provided once you’re safely away from the prying eyes, the howling shrieks of laughter and echoes of “Poor thang” that always seem to follow the less than dignified spectacle.

On a more positive note, I unwittingly placed third in an impromptu dance contest while visiting downtown Durham! What is “Twerking” anyway?…

Setback…

On June 16th, 2016, a day after spending a great evening cruising my favorite motorcycle route with my son, I woke up feeling very weak, had little use of my left hand and my speech was mildly slurred.  Fearing a stroke, I went to the Doc, who told me I was fine and sent me home to rest.  I woke up the next morning in worse shape and rushed to the ER with stroke-like symptoms.

Numerous tests were run to determine if I had a stroke or if it may be something else, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. As it stood, I had lost use of my hands and my speech was severely impacted. I had a CAT scan and MRI in conjunction with a lumbar puncture, all of which came back negative for a stroke, and nerve conduction testing eventually confirmed Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Weakness spread throughout my body, I could no longer walk, talk, eat and had no use of my arms or hands. I was moved to the ICU from step-down, had a port installed in my jugular vein for plasmapheresis treatments.

Within 48 hours of being admitted, my life was fundamentally altered.

Since that time, I’ve had 10 plasmapheresis treatments, spent a month in inpatient rehab, got discharged home, was readmitted to acute care and received 5 IVIG treatments, discharged home again and I’m currently going through outpatient rehab.  I’ve lost 50 pounds of muscle mass, I can now walk although I’m weak and tire easily.  My speech and facial function is returning and I have minimal use of my hands.  Full recovery is expected to take a year.  I began month 4 last week.

I am supremely blessed with the most amazing family and friends who have supported me through thick and thin, good times and bad.  My wife Cindy and son Sam have been at my side every moment and i owe them more than I can ever repay.  Thank you all!

Guillian-Barre Fact Sheet

Justice or a severe lack thereof…

I have a friend, Nicki Kenyon, who’s family has been besieged by a scum sucking dirt-bag of a human being by the name of David Scott Cooper and his ill-begotten white trash family.  Nicki, is the owner of home in Stephens City, Virginia that she rented to the above dirtbag without knowing his dubious past.  Something he also neglected to disclose in his rental agreement.

Cooper and his horde managed to catch up on their rent in March, but haven’t paid April. The judge, in his infinite wisdom, decided that they further didn’t have to pay rent for May, June or July.  So now, Dirtbag Cooper (I will not honor him with a “Mr.”)  and his bottom feeder family have been squatting in Nicki’s house without paying rent and continue to do so without concern for the financial burden that Nicki is being subjected to, and with the full support of the State of Virginia.  Nicki is a hard working mother who holds down two jobs to make ends meet, a United States Veteran and a victim of an activist judge that has now allowed the bottom feeders to continue squatting in her property for another 2-3 months.

Hip hip goscrewyourself for the Virginia (In)Justice system…

They’ve been renting from me since November 2013. At first, they paid 6 months in advance, and there were no problems, but as time went on, they started paying rent progressively later and later. My property manager didn’t evict them, even though he had every right to if they didn’t pay by the 5th of the month, but they did eventually pay – even though it was late.

In September of last year, I got a call from Mike (my property manager), and he said he was really concerned, because they just didn’t pay. If I didn’t get that money, I would default on my mortgage. I pay $2600 for rent out here in Arlington, plus approximately $1600 for my mortgage. If I had to pay both, that would be the majority of my takehome pay for the month, so it was absolutely critical that they paid.

After a couple of months of this, and one month where I actually WAS late paying the mortgage, because they only paid part of their rent, I finally decided to sell the house. I met with them and Mike, as well as my realtor. I explained the situation to them – that this was a financial hardship for me, and that I had to sell the home. I told them they were welcome to stay until I sold the house, but asked them to make sure it was in a condition to show well.

That didn’t happen. They literally sabotaged showings. My realtor would text them and tell them he had a showing scheduled at a particular date/time. They would either not reply, or complain that the agent showed up late, or that the time wasn’t good for them. They sabotaged an open house. They were asked to leave for a few hours and have the place in presentable condition. They instead hid in the basement and presented a cluttered home. The last showing I had, they basically blocked the entrance to the kitchen, so the prospective buyer couldn’t get in, let their dogs loose in the house, and one of them ran up to the buyer and the agent, squatted right in front of them and pissed on my floor.

They were given a termination letter in February giving them two months to move. They called me at the end of March and asked for an extra few days. The wife begged, told me they just needed a few days, told me they were moving in with her daughter and putting stuff in storage. I believed them. I had Mike draw up a legal order giving them until April 5 – this was the date they had asked for in the first place – for them to sign, guaranteeing that they would be out of my house, and that they would pay for the days they stayed there. At that point they cut off all communication, and after a week or so, sent Mike an email basically telling him that they didn’t find a place, had no other place to go, and they’d be out when they’re good and ready. And sorry for the inconvenience.” That entire message is in that first link.

At this point, we petitioned the court for immediate eviction and possession of my home. A sheriff’s deputy delivered the notice telling them to either vacate or show up in court on April 23.

In court, Mike told the judge that they’d been given a termination more than two months ago, that they hadn’t paid the rent for April, and that I wanted possession of my home. The Coopers told the judge that they deserved to stay there, and lied and told them that they paid a $2400 security deposit, probably hoping the judge would just allow that deposit to be used in lieu of rent. That’s illegal in Virginia, AND they only paid a $1600 security deposit, but the judge either didn’t know this, or didn’t care.

Our initial petition requested that I get immediate possession of the home and that they be forced to pay April rent since they stayed there for free the entire month. The judge told them to pay April, and instead of giving me possession of my house, set a trial date – nearly THREE MONTHS later. Not only that, but he didn’t require them to pay rent for May, June, or July. He said that since we only requested April, they could just stay there until the July 9 trial date. Free. At my expense, apparently, because someone has to pay the mortgage.

A friend has created a GoFundMe page to help Nicki with her legal fees. If you can see your way clear, she is very worthy of your consideration and support.

Additional references:

This Ain’t Hell

Nicki’s Blog

Nicki’s GoFundMe Page

David Scott Dirtbag Bottom-Feeder Cooper

Ringing the bell

Ringing The Bell… Excellent read

Brad R. Torgersen

Picking up where I left off with my post on tribalism. Because I wanted to talk specifically about a recurrent kind of “broken” I am seeing in arguments all over the place — beyond the tiny halls of the Peoples Republic of Science Fiction. This “broken” is most commonly manifested among well-meaning straight Caucasian folk, but is often fostered and preached about by non-straight and/or non-Caucasians of a particularly aggressive “progressive” persuasion.

The “broken” goes like this:

● Any member of the majority group is always guilty of ism no matter what.
● The ism is a fatal character and moral flaw, from which the afflicted cannot fully recover.
● Members of the minority group can never be guilty of ism; because the minority group lacks power.
● Members of the majority group must be “shown” their ism and/or be made to confess their inherent flaw; en route…

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