Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Twelve things learned in 2020

2020 —Here are 12 things to consider as we get closer to closing the door on one of the most horrible years of our lifetime: 
1. The dumbest thing I ever bought was a 2020 planner.
2. I was so bored I called Jake from State Farm just to talk to someone. He asked me what I was wearing.
3. 2019: Stay away from negative people. 2020: Stay away from positive people.
4. The world has turned upside down. Old folks are sneaking out of the house & their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors!
5. This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her dog. It was obvious she thought her dog understood her. I came into my house & told my cat. We laughed a lot.
6. Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.
7. Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands?
8. This virus has done what no woman has been able to do. Cancel sports, shut down all bars & keep men at home!
9. I never thought the comment, “I wouldn’t touch him/her with a 6-foot pole” would become a national policy, but here we are!
10. I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.
11. I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to the Backyard. I’m getting tired of the Living Room.
12. Never in a million years could I have imagined I would go up to a bank teller wearing a mask & ask for money.
Merry Christmas to all and here’s hoping for a Happier New Year!
I "borrowed" this from a co-worker in our work chatroom.

Monday, December 28, 2020


Forwarding on Behalf of Ann Brown, Medical Center Director, Atlanta VAHCS


Good Morning Everyone – I’m writing today to provide an update regarding the Eagles’ Nest Community Living Center here at the Atlanta VA Health Care System.


At the beginning of this pandemic, we made the difficult decision to move the Eagles' Nest CLC residents to other nearby facilities in areas experiencing less of a surge of COVID-19 cases for their safety. As a result, no Atlanta VA CLC residents that were moved currently have the virus.  We thank the other VA Southeast Network facilities for continuing to provide high-quality healthcare during the pandemic that our residents are accustomed to receiving.  It has since been determined that the building is no longer suitable for residential patient care.


VISN 7 and the Atlanta VA Health Care System leadership are taking decisive action to take care of Veterans' needs in Georgia now and into the future. The Atlanta VA Health Care System is developing a comprehensive plan to expand the long-term care services in the metro-Atlanta area to ensure greater access within the local community for the Veterans we are entrusted to serve.


Each Veteran's family are being contacted  right now to ensure they are informed of the short and long-term plans for their loved one's care. We will continue to provide opportunities for the Veterans to virtually connect with their family and loved ones during their time at the other CLCs within our region.


We know this is not going to be easy for our Veterans and their families. However, while the decision to not relocate the residents back to Eagle’s Nest was difficult, I firmly believe it is the right one.  Our Veterans deserve the best, and we are committed to ensuring our Veterans and their families are provided world-class care safely and in a high-quality facility without delay.


My staff and I are committed to providing updates to our Veterans and their families as we have them and as we can share. We will keep you and your staff informed as well as our long-term plans are finalized.


Thank you, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.


I hope each of you and your families have a wonderful holiday season!







The VA has experienced some problems at Eagles Nest and is good to see that they are trying to do something to fix it, 

I'm glad none of the residents were infected with COVID and that they are receiving quality care.

My questions are how did Eagles Nest  become unfit and why it took a pandemic to decide on that status. If it is unfit for residential use, does that make it unfit for a homeless shelter? For overflow in-patient service?


I would hope that the VA has a plan in the works to re-establish this facility into a top notch operation. If the problem is funding, lets get an increase in the budget to take care of veterans. We deserve it and the 22 Vets who commit suicide every day deserve a chance to live.

I have always received top notch care in the VA Medical system and have terrific Doctors who take pride in their work and take satisfaction in helping rather than monetary rewards.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Depression tips


Shower. Not a bath, a shower. Use water as hot or cold as you like. You don’t even need to wash. Just get in under the water and let it run over you for a while. Sit on the floor if you gotta.
Moisturize everything. Use whatever lotion you like. Unscented? Dollar store lotion? Fancy 48 hour lotion that makes you smell like a field of wildflowers? Use whatever you want, and use it all over your entire dermis. 
Put on clean, comfortable clothes. 
Put on your favorite underwear. Cute black lacy panties? Those ridiculous boxers you bought last Christmas with candy cane hearts on the butt? Put them on.
Drink cold water. Use ice. If you want, add some mint or lemon for an extra boost. I always use lemon. 
Clean something. Doesn’t have to be anything big. Organize one drawer of a desk. Wash five dirty dishes. Do a load of laundry. Scrub the bathroom sink. 
Blast music. Listen to something upbeat and dance and loud, something that’s got lots of energy. Sing to it, dance to it, even if you suck at both.
Make food. Don’t just grab a granola bar to munch. Take the time and make food. Even if it’s ramen. Add something special to it, like a soft boiled egg or some veggies. Prepare food, it tastes way better, and you’ll feel like you accomplished something. 
Make something. Write a short story or a poem, draw a picture, color a picture, fold origami, crochet or knit, sculpt something out of clay, anything artistic. Even if you don’t think you’re good at it. Create. 
Go outside. Take a walk. Sit in the grass. Look at the clouds. Smell flowers. Put your hands in the dirt and feel the soil against your skin.
Call someone. Call a loved one, a friend, a family member, call a chat service if you have no one else to call. Talk to a stranger on the street. Have a conversation and listen to someone’s voice. If you can’t bring yourself to call, text or email or whatever, just have some social interaction with another person. Even if you don’t say much, listen to them. It helps. 
Cuddle your pets if you have them/can cuddle them. Take pictures of them. Talk to them. Tell them how you feel, about your favorite movie, a new game coming out, anything. 
May seem small or silly to some, but this list keeps people alive. 
**Your absolute best won’t ever be good enough for the wrong people. At your worst, you’ll still be worth it to the right ones. Remember that. Keep holding on. In case nobody has told you today I love you and you are worth your weight and then some in gold. So be kind to yourself and most of all keep pushing on!!!!
**copied and pasted, feel free to do the same**

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Vaudeville Never Died 2

  If you’re American when you go in the bathroom… and American when you come out, what are you in the bathroom? European. 

 What did the fish say when he swam into a wall? Dam. 

 What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh. (That's why it swam into a wall. (BRH))

 Why are you scrolling down? It's your turn to say something. 

 I sold my vacuum the other day. All it was doing was collecting dust. 

 What is Forrest Gump’s email password? 1forrest1. 

 Did you hear about the guy who invented the knock knock joke? He won the “no-bell” prize. 

 Did you hear about the fire in the shoe factory? 10,000 soles were lost. The police said some heels started it. 

 Two guys walk into a bar. The third guy ducks. 

 What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta. 

 Did you hear the story about the claustrophobic astronaut? He just needed some space. 

 What do you call an alligator in a vest? An in-vest-igator. 

 What kind of tea is hard to swallow? Reality.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Vaudeville Never Died 1

 A man and a giraffe walk into a bar. After a few drinks, the giraffe falls over and dies. The man begins to walk out when the bartender stops him. “Hey, you can’t leave that lyin’ there!” The bartender yells out. The man turns around: “It’s not a lion. It’s a giraffe.” 

Why can’t a nose be 12 inches long? Because then it’d be a foot.  

Why don’t dinosaurs talk? Because they’re dead.

The wedding was so beautiful. Even the cake was in tiers. 

What did the janitor say when he jumped out of the closet? “Supplies!”  

What did the buffalo say when his son left? Bison! 

What do you call a can opener that doesn’t work? A can’t opener!

Did you hear about the Italian chef who died? He pasta-way.

Monday, December 21, 2020

News of the Weird 2

 DIY meal kit -- The Design Museum in London has included a "DIY meal kit" featuring steaks that could be grown from a diner's own human cells among the nominees in its Beazley Designs of the Year exhibit. Developers of the Ouroboros Steak envision that an individual will be able to harvest cells from their own cheek and feed them with serum derived from donated blood that has expired, Dezeen reported. After about three months, the steaks would be fully grown. "People think that eating oneself is cannibalism, which technically this is not," said Grace Knight, one of the designers. Researcher Orkan Telhan added, "Our design is scientifically and economically feasible but also ironic in many ways," he added. [Dezeen, 11/13/2020] 


Hand Sanitizer Hazard -- College student Benjamin LaRose of Millis, Massachusetts, is recovering from third-degree burns he suffered at an outdoor party with friends this fall when someone used hand sanitizer as an accelerant in the fire pit they were gathered around, Boston25 reported. "It was rather sudden how quick it reacted," LaRose said, "very much like napalm," catching his leg and shorts on fire and requiring skin grafts to treat the burns. LaRose's pediatrician, Dr. Lester Hartman, warned of the dangers of using hand sanitizer and then being exposed to open flames: "Alcohol is very volatile and explosive ... and people that are doing a barbecue or even lighting a cigarette or lighting a candle" need to let the alcohol evaporate first. Or, experts say, use soap and water. [Boston25, 10/5/2020] 


Saturday, December 19, 2020

News of the Weird 1

Name Change -- After more than 1,000 years, the Austrian town of F--king is getting a new name, The Local reported. English-speaking tourists have had a field day snapping selfies with city signs, even stealing them, and the 100 residents of modern-day F--king have had enough. According to the minutes of a municipal council meeting published on Nov. 16, the town will change its name to Fugging as of Jan. 1. "I can confirm that the village is being renamed," said Andrea Holzner, mayor of the surrounding municipality. "I really don't want to say anything more." [The Local, 11/28/2020] 


Walking it Off -- After a heated argument with his wife in late November, a 48-year-old unnamed man from Como, Italy, stepped outside to walk it off and kept on walking until he was stopped a week later by police officers patrolling after curfew in Gimarra, more than 260 miles away, Oddity Central reported. The man said he had walked the entire way, without using any other modes of transportation and relied on the kindness of strangers for food and drink. "I'm fine. I'm just a little tired," he said. His wife, who had reported him missing, picked him up the next day, but had to pay a fine of almost $500 for his violation of the curfew. [Oddity Central, 12/3/2020] 


Monoliths -- Germany has also experienced a recent monolith mystery, according to the Associated Press. Local media in southern Germany reported the disappearance on Nov. 30 of a wooden phallus sculpture about 7 feet tall that inexplicably appeared on Gruenten Mountain several years ago and had became a destination for hikers and tourists, even appearing on Google Maps as a "cultural monument." But over the weekend, someone chopped it down, leaving only a pile of sawdust. Police in the town of Kempten are investigating. [Associated Press, 11/30/2020] 


Incompetent Criminal -- Daniel M. Rizza, 20, of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, driving a gray Audi SUV, ran out of gas on Nov. 27 and called state police to ask for help, but when he was told a trooper would be responding, he abruptly said he'd changed his mind and hung up, according to court documents. WTAJ reported the trooper responding to the call learned en route that a gray Audi had been reported stolen nearby earlier in the day, and after a check of the SUV's make, model, identification number and registration, he arrested Rizza, who was charged with a felony count of receiving stolen property. [WTAJ, 11/30/2020]

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Army Missing Soldier Policy Created

Army Missing Soldier Policy Created to Prevent Disappearances Ending in Tragedy 

 The Army has announced a new classification system for missing soldiers in response to an independent review of Fort Hood, Texas that found that many sergeants showed an "unwillingness or lack of ability" to keep track of their soldiers. 

The new policy is designed to create greater urgency to find soldiers when they fail to report for duty. It comes in the aftermath of the disappearance and murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen and other Hood soldiers who were found dead after being listed as absent without leave. Guillen, a 20-year-old 3rd Cavalry Regiment soldier, went missing in April. It wasn't until July that her remains were discovered and identified. She was allegedly murdered by a fellow soldier, Spc. Aaron Robinson, shortly after leaving base.

Guillen's murder prompted the Army to form a five-member, civilian Fort Hood Independent Review Committee, which made a two-week fact-finding mission to Hood in late summer to examine the command climate and culture at the massive post. "The murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen shocked our conscience and brought attention to deeper problems," McCarthy told reporters at the Pentagon 8 DEC. 

In response to the findings of the independent review, McCarthy signed a directive giving clear guidelines to leaders on actions to take when soldiers are missing from duty. "The policy will assist in tracking and finding missing soldiers," McCarthy said. "It clarifies expectations and responsibilities of unit commanders and [Army] law enforcement authorities focusing on the first 48 hours of when a soldier is missing." 

Under the new policy, commanders must determine from evidence that a soldier's absence is voluntary to classify their duty status as AWOL. Otherwise, commanders will classify absent personnel as "missing," and the Army will simultaneously initiate a "duty status whereabouts unknown" (DUSTWUN) casualty case, according to an Army news release on the policy. Opening a DUSTWUN casualty case is designed to provide the soldier's family with a liaison officer while it attempts to locate the missing soldier. 

Guillen wasn't the only Fort Hood soldier never again seen alive after going missing. Pvt. Gregory Morales was last seen on Aug. 19, 2019, days before he was set to be discharged from the service. He was originally classified as AWOL and later listed as a deserter. Morales' remains were discovered in a field on 19 JUN as investigators were searching for Guillen, leading Army officials to suspect his death was the result of foul play. 

The independent review committee found that the command climate didn't recognize "the slippage in accountability procedures and unwillingness or lack of ability of noncommissioned officers to keep track of their subordinates," according to the report. "The accountability for soldiers at the first muster, or various musters during the day, had slipped, particularly during COVID-19," said Chris Swecker, chairman of the review committee and retired assistant director for the FBI. 

Part of the problem was that NCOs didn't seem to know enough about their soldiers, he said; the other part of the problem was with all the regulations and all the protocols in the Army and all the procedures, there was none for a failure to report. "There are rules and procedures around AWOL and when to carry that as a status ... but at the front, first-line level, each NCO had to rely on their own devices and their own judgment and their own experience as to whether that failure to report was under suspicious circumstances or circumstances where the soldier might be in jeopardy," said Swecker, who applauded the Army's new policy for missing soldiers. "It starts on hour one. Any missing person case, the first 24 hours is extremely critical; you can't get started 24 hours into it. You have to start on Hour One. 

The review included nine findings and 70 recommendations addressing major flaws in the Army's Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Prevention (SHARP) program at Hood, as well as a "command climate at Fort Hood that that was permissive of sexual harassment and sexual assault," McCarthy said. The report also found Fort Hood's Criminal Investigation Command (CID) detachment "was under-experienced and over-assigned, factors which adversely impacted investigations of sex crimes and soldier deaths," according to the Army release. 

 As a result of the committee's findings, the Army announced 8 DEC it has relieved or suspended 14 Fort Hood leaders, firing Maj. Gen. Scott L. Efflandt, deputy commanding general for Support at III Corps, Col. Ralph Overland and Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley Knapp, the 3rd Cavalry Regiment commander and command sergeant major. "We are holding leaders accountable, and we will fix this," Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said, adding that he had talked to Guillen's mother, Gloria, about the actions the Army is taking. "I told her that we are going to fix these issues, and change, the culture that allowed them to happen. I told her we must and will provide a safe, secure environment for America's sons and daughters serving in the Army." 

[Source: Military.com | Matthew Cox | December 8, 2020 ++] 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Richard Corben, 1940-2020


Richard Corben, Iconic Heavy Metal Artist, Has Died

RIchard Corben, the iconic award-winning comic book artist best known for his work for Heavy Metal, has passed away at the age of 80. 

Click on the link to get the details.


 Like a lot of the members of my generation, I discovered the marvelous, mind shattering art of Richard Corben in the so called "head shops" that sold alt-lifestyle clothes and paraphernalia. Most of them carried SCREW Magazine and underground comix.

After discovering Frank Frazetta's covers for the Edgar Rice Burroughs paperbacks from ACE under Don Wollheim; Richard Corben was the next great artist I followed. From Corben, Jeffrey Jones, Berni Wrightson and Michael Whelan followed expanding the worlds of horror, fantasy and damn fine story telling.

Den, Bloodstar, Fantagor, Heavy Metal, Metal Hurlant - the more you followed Corben, the more you discovered other like minds and talents.

Then one day I stopped in at The Record Shop and there was Corbens' cover for Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell. My worlds had come full circle.

And now, after all those years I'm filled with emotions. I remember the joy of the first finding something awesome; and, now the pain of it going away.

My condolences to Dona, his family and to the world as it has become a sadder place.


A Taliban Army Platoon was on patrol when the commander noticed a lone Marine standing on a hilltop above their location. 

The commander told two of his soldiers to go take out the Marine, so they dropped their packs and promptly ran as fast as they could toward the Marine. 

Just before they got to the top, the Marine ran over the other side of the hill. The two soldiers followed. 

For the next few moments there were bloody screams and dust flying in the air. Then as quickly as it had started, it stopped and the Marine appeared back on the hilltop. 

He brushed off his cammies, straightened his cover, crossed his arms and stood there looking down at the Taliban soldiers. 

 The infuriated commander called for a squad to go get the Marine. They promptly ran as fast as they could toward him. 

Just before they got to the top, the Marine ran over the other side of the hill. The squad followed, and for the next few minutes there were bloody screams and dust flying in the air. When it stopped, the Marine again returned to the hilltop. 

He brushed off his cammies, straightened his cover, crossed his arms and stood there looking down at the remaining Taliban soldiers. 

 The commander was really hot now. He ordered the rest of his platoon to attack the Marine. 

Determined that Taliban soldiers were far superior to one lone Marine, they had blood in their eyes as they ran up the hill. 

Just before they got to the top, the Marine ran over the other side of the hill. The blood-thirsty soldiers followed. For many minutes there were horrific screams and clouds of dust flying in the air. It continued and continued. 

When it finally stopped, one lone soldier came crawling back to the commander, all bloody and beat about the head and shoulders. His uniform was torn, cuts were all over his body. 

The commander demanded a report. 

The lone soldier, trying to catch his breath, replied in a forceful yet trembling voice, 

"Sir, run... it was a trick. There are TWO of them!!"

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

A Winter's Tale



This is available on Amazon Kindle now and there should be a print edition available in a few days. If you are in the Atlanta area, stop by Dr. No's Books in Marietta and get Cliff to sign it for you. On some days, Charles may be around as well.

A Marines Sense of Humor

 A Marine was deployed with 1/7 in Vietnam. 

While he was there he received a letter from his girlfriend. In the letter she explained that she had slept with two guys while he had been gone and she wanted to break up with him. AND, she wanted pictures of herself back. 

So the Marine did what any squared-away Marine would do. He went around to his buddies and collected all the unwanted photos of women he could find. 

He then mailed about 50 pictures of women (with clothes and without) to his girlfriend with the following note: "I don't remember which one you are. 

Please remove your picture and send the rest back."

Sunday, December 6, 2020


 Why is England known for being such a wet country? The queen has been reigning there for generations. 

 Knock, knock. Who's there? To. To who? I think you mean "to whom." 

 What did the time traveler do when he was still hungry after finishing his dinner? He got up and went back four seconds. 

 What do you call a bear that does not have ears? B. 

 What do you call a fish that does not have eyes? Fsh. 

 Why did the skeleton decide to stay home from the school dance? Because it had no body to dance with. 

 What part of the chicken can you make music with? The drumstick. 

 Why are Saturday and Sunday the strongest days of the week? The rest of the days are weak days. 

 What do you call an alligator that breaks the law? A crook-o-dile. 

 What do you call an alligator that makes a living solving crimes? An investi-gator. 

 What does the ocean say when greeting its friends? Nothing. It just waves. 

 What did the beach say when the evening tide came in? "Long time no sea." 

 Santa Claus' helpers are known as subordinate Clauses. 

 She had a photographic memory but never developed it. 

 The two pianists had a good marriage. They always were in a chord. 

 I was struggling to figure out how lightning works, but then it struck me. 

 The grammarian was very logical. He had a lot of comma sense. 

 A chicken farmer's favorite car is a coupe. 

 What do you call a person rabid with wordplay? An energizer punny.