I am so ashamed!
I have been writing this column for about 12 years and I have never spoken about my beloved parents to my beloved readers. Unfortunately, my parents are both gone now, but I feel their lives were interesting enough to warrant an introduction.
I am writing this column as I sit and wait for Hurricane Irene to unleash its potential havoc on Long Island. It is an odd feeling as I watch the television and follow the storm’s course to see when and where it will hit Long Island. Like most of my neighbors, I have moved my outdoor furniture into the garage, cleared everything off the basement floor and moved anything of value from the lower level to the higher level of my home. Now the wait is on. This hurricane is coming just one week after the earthquake shook us last week. Unlike many, that was the first earthquake I have ever felt. When it happened, I was seeing a patient in my office. The exam room door started to shake and both the patient and I thought someone was trying to get into the room. I opened the door and found no one on the other side but did note that the building was shaking. Not really sure what was going on, we organized the office, led everyone down the steps and waited in the parking lot to get the all clear and learn that we had just felt the earthquake.
There was no calm after the storm!
Irene blasted her way across the eastern coast of America like a scorned woman getting even with a cheating lover. She brought winds that toppled sturdy trees and rainwater that flooded highways that looked underused. She turned the lights off in many single homes and many condominiums, even those with underground wiring.
My cousin Hymie died three weeks ago, at the age of 90. He was one of my favorite cousins. His given name was Herman.
Herman is not a great name in my opinion, but Hymie was a great guy. He always had a joke on his lips or a puzzle, or funny saying. He was never negative about anything.
I attended his wedding to Dorothy in the Bronx when I was 13 years old (1947- you do the arithmetic.) It was held at the Imperial Manor on Westchester Avenue, and I remember the noise of a subway train drowning out the marriage oaths.
Vaccination against disease is one of the major advances in medicine and has helped prevent disease in countless individuals. Despite the importance of vaccination, many people in our country do not get the routine vaccinations, which are available. This action places them at risk of getting sick but also places those around them at risk of becoming ill. Which vaccines am I talking about? These vaccines include but are not limited to the influenza vaccine, the Pneumovax or pneumonia vaccine and the hepatitis A and B vaccines. Why don’t Americans get these vaccines? The answer is complex but usually comes down to several simple issues. Some of the issues are the lack of awareness of need, the lack of awareness of availability and the lack of the insurance company to pay for preventive medicine. As this is the Liver Lines, I would like to say a few words about the hepatitis B vaccine.
I do not watch television in the morning. The last time I watched something in the morning was Sept. 11, 2001. I received a call from Adam, my son, who worked in the Wall Street area.
I can watch a World Cup Soccer Match or Australian tennis match, even if it is broadcast at 2 or 3 a.m., but that’s about it for the morning. My television viewing really starts at about 4 p.m. with Judge Judith Sheindlin. She seems to properly enumerate the law, with all its intricacies, to her TV audience. Of course, she is strident and punishes severely those who speak out of turn. The cases are not earthshaking, but she does carry out the true sense of the law.
I’m not a big fan of roller coasters. I certainly don’t like the actual ones. I can barely even look at them without getting a little nauseous. But I don’t much care for the metaphorical ones, either. Specifically, I could do without the stock market falling into a terrifying descent, rising back up, and then tumbling some more.
It’s certainly no fun. We’re staring down the threat of another recession, and it’s hard to say where we’ll end up. However, we’ve seen record drops followed by chaos, and that doesn’t exactly inspire me with confidence.
Starting at 6 a.m. with Rambling with Gambling on WOR710 on your radio dial, my day is spent listening to the radio. John Gambling’s a reasonable guy who asks pertinent questions and follows up; he also has great guests, like Mayor Bloomberg among others. John and I seem to be on a similar wavelength- I used to listen to his father and grandfather.
Imus is not my cup of tea but I do occasionally switch to 880 CBS to get the latest news. At noon, in the car, I listen to Rush Limbaugh on 770 WABC. This will disgust many of my readers, but he explains much of what is happening in Washington D.C.
It’s few days before the official beginning of summer as my wife and I walk the west side of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. She quickly spots a delightful avian puzzle. It’s a sparrow-sized, brownish bird with two prominent, long white, eye bars on its rust colored head. The bird is perched on a bare branch in a clearing. Focusing binoculars we see that the bird’s thin curved bill is open and it’s repeatedly calling “tee it, tee it.” After a while the bird stops calling and sits there looking tired and cute. It’s a Carolina wren, a resident of the Eastern U.S.
Gray catbirds are suede smooth with small coal black eyes and have a distinct catlike call. Agile and athletic, they fly from one tree branch to another, landing as if on cats’ paws. One dives straight down from a height, lands and another comes up from the ground and chases it. Play time?
The doomsayers and naysayers have already written off the dominant role that the U.S.A. has played in world politics. They are projecting 50 percent unemployment, a plummet of 90 percent in the stock market and a 100 percent inflation figure. The possibility of a default on U.S. loans and debts is being called an economic calamity.
I do not believe that this deficit crisis is the end of U.S. influence in the world. Since 1941, America has been the outstanding nation for good in the world. We have been the most powerful and generous state in the battle against the Soviet Union in the past, and world communism.
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