Sunday, March 11, 2007

Juan's World: Missing Monday

I hope to make this a regular feature of my blog. Today, I want to remind you of a beautiful little girl who went missing in 2002. Tomorrow, she'll be missing 5 years and 5 days. This picture shows an approximation of what she'd look like now, at 19 years old. Where are you, dear Stephanie Mills? I'm sure your family wants to know. I just want and hope that one day, you'll be safe again, and happy.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hey Scooter, Grab Your Ankles Baby!

Bubba and Scooter,
sittin' in a cell,

Bubba sez jump,
Scooter's in hell!

Iran, Lebanon & Palestine

I got one thing to say about the crap that has gone on and is going on in these countries:


Iran: didn't we do enough damage when the US re-installed the Shah of Iran after Iran kicked his ass out? The way I understand it, Iran never wanted to be an enemy of the US, and more than once she has tried to reconcile with us, even though we insist on calling her names and smacking her around. Tell me, who wouldn't want some protection against someone as brutal and selfish as us?

Lebanon: does being allied with the Zionists mean we stand by and let them kill whoever they want? Does it mean that we hold their victims arms behind their backs
while the Zionists shoot them in the head? I, for one, am glad that Hasan & Hizb ullah kicked the IDF's ass. You're not a terrorist when you're defending your own country.

Palestine: we demanded fair and free democratic elections. They had 'em (better than ours, by the way), but WE didn't like who got elected! AGAIN,
You're not a terrorist when you're defending your own country.

the BOOT is the SAME, whether it's Zionist or American...

remember the Battle of Algeria

I'm back!

Yes, back from the dead, you could say. I've just not been willing to share what I was going thru since Ricky died. I'm sure you understand, cuz I know you've either gone thru it, or know someone else that has had to deal with it.

And this past year has not been a picnic. I got selected to get a transplant by my doctor, but the process isn't that simple (Haha, what ever is?). I went thru the orientation, was all excited too, then I shut down. Thinking about the operation brought me to a halt. I've been thru several operations, more than ten actually, and lately I've found that if I start the "What if I die on the table" routing, I can't go thru with it. So, I had to muster up my courage AGAIN, finish my questionnaire and get my clearance letters from my dentist and cardiologist.

Oh, did I tell you that I almost died right after my 50th birthday? No shit. See, I had a fall maybe a month before October 1st, that left a bruise on the left side of my back. Didn't think much of it; just tried to be more careful. September 30th rolls around and I darn near burnt the house down with 50 candles on my birthday cake, but I wasn't feeling much like eating it. Went to bed like I usually do when my belly hurts, watched some TV and tried to get ready for football the next day (who played that sunday?).

It didn't go away. I held out until the early afternoon, then called 911 cuz this wasn't normal pain, and I didn't think I could make it driving myself.

Turns out that I had internal bleeding into the peritoneal sac that surrounds the organs like the kidneys, liver, stomach et cetera. I found this out two weeks later, after I came out of the coma I went into in the emergency room. My doctor told me that my blood pressure went very far south. I remember bits and snatches of things, but not until that thursday did I regain consciousness. I don't recall what they did to stop the bleeding, but with God's help and some time, I'm about 99% recovered.

For awhile, I thought that episode would make me ineligible for a transplant, but it didn't. My cardiologist did a catheterization to look at my valves and stuff, and he cleared me on March 1st, 2007. Now I'm in line for more blood testing and probably a visit to the GI folk. If I make it past them, and whatever else is thrown at me, I'll get on the list this year, and hopefully get a matching kidney in the next 2-5 years.

I know, it's a lot of work and contingent on my health, but what choice do I have? I've been on dialysis for nearly 7 years now. Being unable to work is only as depressing as the changes to my body. But I have to deal with it, or give up and die. Lucky for me, this process is much better than what my father went thru when his kidneys failed. He did give up, because he couldn't stand the pain he was in. The 8-hour dialysis treatments he went thru were not as effective as the 4.5 hour ones I go thru now. His treatments only removed about 40% of the waste products (creatinine et al); mine get rid of about 70%.

So I've given Enrico a proper send-off, and it's time to get back to my life. I don't know how much writing I'm gonna do. I thought I'd try giving some political opinions, but things are too damned crazy for me. I can only get upset trying to make sense of these fools. But there's other stuff I like to do, like music and Unreal Tournament (yeah, Vehicular Capture The Flag ROCKS!) and networking (computers, not people).

So, we'll see what the future holds for these bits I call mine...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Rest in Peace, my brother

He who stands on tiptoe doesn't stand firm.
He who rushes ahead doesn't go far.
He who tries to shine dims his own light.
He who defines himself can't know who he really is.
He who has power over others can't empower himself.
He who clings to his work will create nothing that endures.

If you want to accord with the Tao, just do your job, then let go.

Translation by Stephen Mitchel

My brother Enrico was very dear to me. It was him who lifted the weight of my secrets from my shoulders. We differed when it came to religion, but he showed me how to give my opponents the respect I want to get from them.

Enrico was blind from his teenage years, but it never stopped him from doing any thing. I would often see him making his way thru Philly, cane out in front of him and speeding thru the streets to get wherever his destination was at the time. In his civil service career, he led his department for more than 20 years, creating social services to solve many of Philadelphia's ills.

He was a deacon in his mother church, and helped to found and administer two other churches in his neighborhood.

At 76, my brother Enrico died of a massive heart attack and died in his home...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

My World has shrunken

About 5 minutes ago, I found out that my brother, Enrico Ralton Noyles, has died. I don't know what else to say right now. I may be away for awhile...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Chairman Speaks

PACE: It is absolutely responsibility of every U.S. service member if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene, to stop it.

RUMSFELD: I don't think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it, it's to report it.

PACE: If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it."

Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets). His blog is a wonderful source of military history and commentary.

In South Philly, 'zero tolerance' for crime

"I would advise you not to jaywalk. It will be zero tolerance," said Capt. Jerrold Bates of the 17th Police District in South Philadelphia. "It's going to be pretty intense."[read]

As far as I remember, it was always "zero tolerance" at 20th & Point Breeze!

Photo courtesy Albert Yee

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Iraqi Civil War

Pat (Lang),
Your most important point deals with a general failure of people to define clearly what they mean by the term "civil war." Almost a thousand days into this civil war in Iraq, and we still have only a few Americans -- such as yourself and retired Army General William Odom, to take only two examples -- willing to point out this glaring deficiency. I've had it out with Professor Juan Cole in e-mails over this issue, since -- at least until recently -- he refused to see a "real" civil war in Iraq because no large-scale clashes between rival armies, like "Gettysburg" or "Antietam" (my examples), had yet taken place. General Odom, on the other hand simply sees "Iraqis fighting Iraqis" (as you also say) for power and rescources; a fight that began almost immediately after we knocked over the political, economic, social, and military order in Iraq: thereby creating a predictable power vacuum that we could not fill. Iraqis now fight openly -- as they have for almost a thousand days now -- to fill it. Civil War. -- Michael Murry read more

"Al-Qa'ida." Only one apostrophe. It represents the consonant "Ain," pronounced something like a dog growling. "Al-Kayda (sic)" means "air conditioner." -- Alan Farrell

Thursday, November 10, 2005

That was Stupid, Terrell

It's true that you helped us get to the Super Bowl last year, and I might agree that your contract enhancements would be fair if I knew what they were. After all, Philly has always been cheap when it comes to player salaries.

But that never gave you the right to act out like you did. Now, like thousands of other cheesesteak lovers, I AM GLAD THAT YOU'RE GONE, AND I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL WE MEET YOUR ASS ON THE FIELD!!!

Who's been here?