Monday, April 28, 2008

A Newlywed Man, A Professor and a Canadian go Fishing

The Men’s Spring Fishing Trip by Joe
Translated by Scott

It was the best of times it was the worst of times. A newlywed man, a professor and a Canadian, three brave fishermen, traveled north to the mighty Pere Marquette River in Baldwin Michigan for the start of the Men’s Spring Fishing trip. Their hearts were heavy as they grieved the absence of their trusty fishing pal who we'll call old-ticker, who, under doctor’s orders was forced to stay home and play an idiotic game of Fishing on his Wii. But their hopes were high of catching an elusive trophy steelhead.

So you could have a profile of Baldwin, I went to, who specializes in profiling more than 46,000 cities and towns in the United States. This map comes from their site:

Lesson here? Don’t use because they have no idea what they are writing about.

Many people come to Baldwin Michigan to take in some of the local festivities which include the annual Blessing of the Bikes and the annual Miss Lake County pageant. One notable spot that many tourists visit for a tasty treat on a hot summer day is Mom and Dad's Cone Shoppe. According to Wikipedia, Mom and Dad's has about the biggest one scoop cone that you will ever see.

The Famous Pere Marquette river is named after Father Jacques Marquette (June 1, 1637May 18, 1675[1]) a French missionary who founded Michigan's first European settlement, Sault Ste. Marie, and later founded St. Ignace, MI. He died of dysentary because Kesslers wouldn't be invented for at least another 200 years or so...

Four fishing trips had been attempted up at the PM, none successful. This year would be the first time we actually asked for help. Our mission: to hire a guide and find out what we’ve been doing wrong all these years.

The crew left the Warren hood at 4:13 PM on a sunny Thursday afternoon. Not long into their trek north came the first stop, Bass Pro Shops. This trip could have been completely avoided if the Canadian would have shared his secret "on-line" fishing license purchase website. Additionally, the only real purpose the newlywed’s newly purchased rain coat served was to ward off any sign of rain at all. And the professor’s polarized sun glasses became more of a fashion statement than an integral fishing tool. Nonetheless, the three enjoyed the stop, which took about an hour longer than it need be.
Apparently our trio was lost without the guidance and decision making ability of old-ticker, who was home noticing there was a hatch going on in his back yard.

Our trio survived the dreaded detour around the haunted open structure Zilwaukee Bridge, a grand monument to the wasteful spending of our hard earned tax money, and eventually landed at a pizza and grinder shop just 30 minutes outside of Baldwin. The sign on the wall read, buy two subs get the third one free. That is unless you purchase and pay for two subs individually in that case you did not buy "two" subs rather two people purchased "one" sub a piece therefore do not qualifying for the "free" third sub. A trick most city folk fall for we assumed. Where was old-ticker to thwart the man's evil sub deception? He was home watching a repeat of Rock of Love II.

Next stop... COLD BEER and breakfast. A simple early evening task? Think again...

Stop one, Wesco gas station... loads of beer, three kinds of pop-tarts, no packet oatmeal (the Canadian wanted stick to your ribs

Stop two, Gas station up the street from Wesco... loads of beer, same three kinds of pop-tarts but again, no oatmeal ... next

Stop three, grocery store CLOSED

Stop four, Only gestation left in town, same loads of beer, same three kinds of pop-tarts, still no oatmeal... frustrated, our trio purchases beer, pop-tarts, ice-cream, peanut butter (a fishing trip staple) coffee cream, water, coffee filters and ice... we almost left without the ice.

DID YOU KNOW? In 1971, a cartoon character named Milton the Toaster was introduced to promote Pop-Tarts. The campaign ended when a commercial showed a child hugging the toaster, leading to complaints that children might imitate the commercial and burn themselves. True story.
When you are single, the dizzy air headedness of women can sometimes be endearing, at least temporarily. When you get married, you find that they become all too annoying and you wonder why you even talk to them at all. Consider the conversation our newlywed had with the female clerk at on of the gas stations:

Newly Wed: Do you have water Whack Job: What do you think is in the coolers
Newly Wed: No, I mean large jugs of water
Whack Job: You walked right by it
Newly Wed: Um...ok, how are the steelhead biting
Whack Job: Pretty good, but you folks should try the Tippy Damn
Newly Wed: Really, what are they biting on
Whack Job: Some yellow fuzz and a hook

A small debate occurs, do we trust the Canadian's keen tracking abilities and sense of direction,(some call it the Spirit of the North, others call it JustinJustin) or do we trust the professor's high tech global positioning system to find the trout post... Good for our trio we had both.

The instant our trio hit dirt road... crack fizz, crack fizz, crack fizz... three delicious beers never tasted so good.

Scared out of his mind the newlywed unlocks the trout post door and creeps down into the dark spider infested basement to switch on the electricity... Normally this is old-ticker's job, which we totally too for granted all those years.

With the lights are on and the all wheel drive Subaru unpacked and sleeping arrangements accounted for (the Canadian claims the master suite, the newlywed claims the empty bed room and the professor claims the couch, because he is the boss and doesn’t want anyone to step on his head if they get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom (The Office reference)). The trio settle in for the night sipping 12 year old scotch, drinking India pale ale and lamenting about years past when there fellow brethren had also made the trip with them.

Next Time: BEEP BEEP BEEP 6:00 AM time to go fishing...

Friday, April 25, 2008

White Man seeking Mechanical Heart Valve and Presidential Candidate

First, something to make your blood boil.

Recently, Nora Ephron wrote in her Huffington Post blog:

This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don't mean people, I mean white men. How ironic is this? After all this time, after all these stupid articles about how powerless white men are and how they can't even get into college because of overachieving women and affirmative action and mean lady teachers who expected them to sit still in the third grade even though they were all suffering from terminal attention deficit disorder -- after all this, they turn out (surprise!) to have all the power. (As they always did, by the way; I hope you didn't believe any of those articles.)

(the) outcome of the general election will depend on whether enough of them (white males) vote for McCain. A lot of them will: white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them. And McCain is a compelling candidate,
particularly because of the Torture Thing. As for the Democratic hope that McCain's temper will be a problem, don't bet on it. A lot of white men have terrible tempers, and what's more, they think it's normal.
Seems like the Democrats have chosen who the “Big Bad” is for this election: White Men.

Expect to see more like this in the coming months as we get closer to election time.

A couple of heart updates:

First, I decided to go with the mechanical valve over the bovine. Mechs (as the cool heart patients call them) last far longer than animal tissue. The only drawback is that I have to take Coumadin for the rest of my life. Every week I will need to test my blood to make sure the coagulation level is correct. Because I am on this “blood thinner” I will need to be careful about what I do to avoid serious cuts or internal bleeding. Excessive amounts of alcohol are out.

Meaning the days I did a keg stands after the rugby matches are long gone.

The alternative would be the animal valve, which I would have to get replaced every ten years.

I’ll give up the rugby matches.

Secondly, after I made the decision to go with mechanical, the rollercoaster ride began. Just this morning I met with my surgeon. We went over the details of the operation, the risks and the recovery period.

As I wrote before, the incision won’t be as long. Typically it’s around 6 – 9 inches; mine will be around 3 inches. It’s going to take me roughly six weeks to recover; possibly eight. I certainly won’t be able to drive till around week five.

Overall, it will be a good six months till I am fully recovered. I’m shooting for an early October Fall Fishing Trip, depending on how my rehab goes. Keep those dates open. Preferably someplace we can get a pontoon boat or something comfortable as I probably still won’t be 100% yet.

Then came the big moment for me: setting the date for my open heart surgery:

Monday, May 12….Roughly two weeks from now.

Once the rollercoaster ride starts moving, you can’t get off.

Next stop: Cardiac Catheterization or You’re going to put WHAT through my Groin?

NOTE: I will have an update on last week’s Fishing trip probably later this weekend. Promise. Joe sent in Part I of his report and as soon as I am finished formatting it, I will put it up.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fear and Loathing in the Democrat Party

The contempt that the liberal academic elite feel toward normal, working class Americans is beginning to become all to evident. Barak Obama’s recent remarks on the “bitter” working class people of Pennsylvania is a crack in the glossy fa├žade that threatens to unveil the true “wizards” behind the curtain of the Democrat Party.

Huffington Post political Editor, Thomas Edsall, in his recent blog: On Course for Another White Guy Election, wrote:

(Hillary) Clinton has set the stage for an election in which a crucial voting block will once again be white men, and the issues will be those that tend to push these voters to the right, towards the Republican Party, regardless of which Democrat is the nominee.

Those issues of course being themes like patriotism, gun control, terrorist threats, intimidation (reverse racism) by a black preacher, and a 3AM phone call signaling enemy attack.

The article is posted alongside this photo of the type of “White Men” Edsall must envision make up the bitter, gun toting, god-fearing, law abiding population that want only to bring down Obama because he is black or vote against their best interests simply because they are too ignorant to realize it.

Imagine if someone were to write a blog about work habits of Mexican Immigrants and posted this picture along with the article.

Further on in his blog he writes:

“Just last year, Democratic political scientist Thomas F. Schaller was breathing a sigh of relief over the prospect that white men were a steadily diminishing factor in the political landscape. In an essay titled "So long, white boy" published September 17, 2007 on Salon, Schaller wrote:

"The Democratic obsession with the down-home, blue-collar, white male voter,that heartbreaker who crossed the aisle to the Republicans many decades ago, may finally be coming to a merciful's a waste of time and resources for the Democrats to pursue them -- a classic sucker's bet....Democrats finally seem to realize that cultural contortionism in the pursuit of Bubba produces little more than smiles on the faces of Republican consultants."

You can read the entire blog here:

Both Edsall and now Schaller are of the group whose self esteem must really be the pits that they feel the need to look down their noses at us and tell us we are wrong, but just to ignorant to realize it. These are the upper echelon of Democrat Party Members who live in their small academic worlds, filled with disgust for you and me. To them, patriotism is jingoistic, guns are to be feared, going to church is like believing in the flying spaghetti monster, and laws should not be followed if you are anything other than a white male.

Remember that come election time. McCain is not perfect. Hell, I voted for Ron Paul in the primary because I wanted to teach the Republicans a lesson. But four years of Democrats in the White House may make the entire nation similar to Berkeley, where elected officials voted to remove the Armed Forces station from the city limits.

Back to the photo, if it was meant to characterize the “mentality” of white male voters, to those on the left that feel superior because they can tell the difference between a Fork and Spork, it may have a different result.

To me, these two fellows, based on looks alone, look pretty happy. They obviously don’t need a Prius as a status symbol or feel the need to spend $5 on a latte at Starbucks when a $1.25 jumbo Papst Blue Ribbon will do just as well. If I had the choice to hang out with “intellectuals” like Edsell or these two, I’d pull up a seat on the porch any day.

They probably know where all the good fishing holes are too.

For those of you interested, Tom Edsell is the author of Chain Reaction and Building Red America. Tom can be reached at

From the Heart: I've made my decision on heart valves. I'm going with the St. Jude Mechanical Valve. I'll tell you why later. For now, the next step is contacting my surgeon and getting the process in motion. It's now only a matter of time.

Next Time: More White Man Bashing or the Democrats Current Talking Points.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Artificial or Live Bait?

During this time of the year I'm usually picking out new lures for my tackle box. Instead I'm trying to make the decision on whether to go with an artificial heart valve or one made from animal skin.

As with lures, do I go with artificial or live bait?
Kelly and I went to see my surgeon for the first time last Thursday. A couple of things came from that meeting:

1) Seems like I'm going to need the operation sooner rather than later. Already knew this, but the time frame is now 1 - 1 1/2 months.
2) I may not need as invasive of surgery as previously thought. Here is picture of what open heart surgery would have looked like:

Not pretty. That would have been revenge for all those fish I filleted over the years. Now, my Doc may be able to operate in a less than invasive procedure, which will hasten my recovery time and leave me with less pain. Instead of feeling like I've been run over by a locomotive, it will now feel like I've been run over by a Prius.

3)I can't eat sushi. Seriously. Well...I could eat sushi, but no soy sauce, not even the low sodium stuff which still has something like pound of salt in a teaspoon. When I asked my Doc about what type of diet I should be looking at, of all the foods he could have named, he said "No Sushi."

No Fishing sushi. I smell a conspiracy here.

Finally, back to choosing lures. Right now my only decision is choosing the right heart valve.

If I go with mechanical as seen here, It lasts upwards of 30 years, but I will have to be on Coumadin the rest of my life. Its an anti-coagulant that helps stop blood clots from forming. Blood clots lead to stroke. Plus, I would have to stop any physical activity that would lead to internal bleeding, so my days as a professional rugby player would be over.

If I go with a bovine valve, (the donor seen on the left), I won't need the Coumadin necessarily, but the valve is only good for 10 - 15 years max. Meaning I would have to undergo another operation to get that replaced.

I don't like going to the dentist so having to schedule an OHS every ten years will not make me a happy camper.

I am seeking two second opinions this week I've contacted the Cleveland Clinic and University of Michigan. We'll see if they get back to me; if not, then I will make the decision by Friday. Next step, actually setting the date for the operation.

Next Time: Justin's near-record steelhead: Hoax or Fish of a Lifetime?
BREAKING!: The Hippos Ass has obtained actual photos of the fishing trip and will post them soon. Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Outta My Thursday Moaning Mind...

The Hippo’s Ass read that Detroit Assistant Police Chief Dunlap is a proud owner of a Green Team Kilpatrick Jacket. Word on the street is he wears it even during meetings with Police Add ImageReserves.

Looks like The Detroit City Council finally grew a pair. Even though three members of the Council seem to be firmly in the back pocket of Team Kilpatrick (the Tiara wearing Barbara Rose Collins, Monica “DO IT, BABY! DO IT!” Conyers and Martha “I’m just famous” Reeves), the Majority decided not to entertain Mayor Kilpatrick’s grandstanding and firmly dismissed the Mayor when he arrived to present his budget. The council did their due-diligence and accepted the written budget, which is all they really need to do.

Apparently I’m a bitter person because I own two guns, go to church and believe that illegal immigrants should follow the laws of our country. Fancy that! Barak “The next President of the United States” Obama is a typical academic elitist liberal. We are just too stupid to realize that he is right. Anyone else think his posters look similar to Communist Propaganda posters from the Stalin era? You decide.

I hope Joe, Don, Justin and Chris all catch some fish up at the Pere Marquette River this weekend. The only thing worse than not being able to go is having them not catch anything up there.

Going to pull the boat out of my garage this weekend (with a little help because I can’t pull or lift anything right now). I need to get the throttle fixed now before I get laid up. The engine needs a tune-up as well. When we go Up North in August, I want it water ready. No telling what shape I will be in at the time so it needs to be easy to start and use as possible.

Speaking of boats…remember that couple that disappeared a while back and their boat was found abandoned in Lake Huron with the motor running? There is a mighty strange rumor floating around the internet about these two and a connection with a certain “Strawberry”. More later….

From the Heart: My first appointment with my Surgeon was today. I'll give an update tomorrow because it might be a little long.
Next Time: A Heart Update unless Kwame and the CLownsil do something stupid again.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Is this how you "represent" Detroit?

What the Frak is going on?!?!?

Yup...You guessed it. That is the "Queen" herself, Detroit Councilwoman Barbara Rose Collins at a council meeting Monday to discuss Mayor Kilpatrick's budget scheme. She came to the meeting wearing a tiara because it was her Birthday over the weekend.

Welcome to the City Clownsil Circus of Detroit.

You will remember that Barbara Rose Collins is the council member who insulted philanthropists in Metro Detroit, calling their volunteerism on Detroit-based non-profit boards, a "Slave-Master mentality" because they dared to live in the suburbs but were willing to help out the needy in Detroit.

Collins, according to the Metro Times, once held a fundraiser in a strip club, shortly after firing an aide for being gay.

When the Detroit Zoological Society offered to take control over the ailing Detroit Zoo and help relieve some of the City's financial burden, Collins voted against it saying, "This is not a plantation. Black people are no longer owned by white people."

Then there is this nice little ditty:

The Greater Corktown Development Corp had presented the City Council a list of nine Corktown residents it wanted on the Citizens District Council to help direct the (Tiger Stadium) project. But the initial list was rejected due to complaints because there were too many white people on it. Of the proposed members, six were white, two were Hispanic and one was black.

"I don't like that list," City Councilwoman Barbara-Rose Collins said at a council meeting.... "I would not approve any CDC that is all white in a city that is 90 percent black, even though the location is Corktown, and there's a lot of white people in that area."

As a taxpayer to the City of Detroit I don't like the fact that City Clownsil and the Mayor can misspend my money anyway they please but they won't give me any representation for my taxation. So there.

No wonder Southeast Michigan has trouble luring world-classed businesses to the City. When they look at the council and see one of its members dressed like a 7 year old girl, they must shake their heads in wonder.

From the Heart: Good news! The appointment with my surgeon has been moved up to this week. It was originally scheduled for early May. Now I won't have to wait so long. Check back later this week for an update.

Next Time: Revenge of Shrek, or How Some City Council Members Finally Grew Some.

YO! Big Bro is Watching You!

As if wasting $8.4 million of Detroit Taxpayers money wasn’t enough, the embattled Mayor of Detroit has created his own version of the Ministry of Truth from the novel 1984.

The Kwame Kilpatrick administration, or as they refer to themselves, “Team Kilpatrick”, complete with matching green jackets, has hired a Media Watch company to patrol television news reports, radio stations, print media and the internet for any “biased” reporting on Kilpatrick’s perjury, obstruction of justice conspiracy and conduct unbecoming of a public official.

George Orwell is spinning in his grave.

So since this media watch company searches by key words and full names, let me just say this:

Kwame Kilpatrick, you are a fool and a crook. Resign now you big dummy!

Team Kilpatrick’s Ministry of Truth is headed up by his hired PR person, “Minister of Truth” Denise Tolliver who has already admonished a Florida TV station for reporting a 20 second story on the Mayors crooked deeds. Apparently reporting the truth is “biased”.

Seems like Kilpatrick can’t spend this taxpayer’s money fast enough, huh?

Michigan’s economy is bad enough as it is and we would hate for Minister Tolliver to lose her job, so I will be featuring a Team Kilpatrick Minute in each of my blogs. As long I use his complete name, I’ll be sure that Team Kilpatrick is reading this and keeping Tolliver busy. Since I pay taxes, but am not allowed a voice on Council or a vote (Taxation without Representation), this may be my only way to voice my discontent with the crooks and cronies running the City of Detroit.

Meanwhile, the City Clouncil is doing its best to make Detroit the butt of jokes.

After shouts of “You’re not my Daddy, don’t disrespect me! and Do it Baby! Do it!” Detroit Clowncilwoman Monica Conyers degraded the City of Detroit further by calling Clouncil President Cockrel “Shrek”. I don’t know about you, but Shrek was pretty lovable.

See the verbal exchange here:

Maybe Monica Conyers sees herself as Donkey. Donkey was pretty annoying, but also lovable and there is nothing lovable about Conyers. Regardless, she’s certainly making a “Donkey” of herself if you get my drift.

Monica Conyers: this week’s Hippos Ass Award Recipient.

Heart Update: I have an appointment with my surgeon for May 6th to discuss next steps. That's the first available slot, but I'm on a wait list if there is an opening.

Friday, April 11, 2008


There is a Philip K. Dick story about a man who wakes to find that terrorists placed a bomb in his chest. At any moment he could explode.

A month and a half ago I was ok. I was healthy. Plans for the summer were being made. There was a vacation with my wife to Lake Cumberland in May. We were going to rent a houseboat for a week. This year’s Spring Fishing Trip with my buddies was going to be up at the Pere Marquette River in Michigan. It was time to pull the old Glassmaster boat out of the garage and get it ready for walleye fishing on the Detroit River. The garden needed tilling.

But I wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t ok. I was inching closer and closer to a massive coronary heart attack and didn’t even know it. I was on the way to being one of those people you hear about: “He seemed perfectly healthy then one day, boom, heart attack, at such a young age.”

Back to the bomb in my chest. Damn Terrorists. I’m more conscious about my heart beat. I can FEEL it beating now more than ever. Right now I have a 50% chance of having a heart attack in the next two years.

When my cardiologist told me it wasn’t a good idea to go fishing and to put a limit on what I do, it finally hit home. No Fishing Trip. No vacation with my wife. No getting the boat ready. No gardening. No exercising. No excessive climbing of stairs. No heavy lifting, no stress etc, etc, etc…And this is just BEFORE my operation.

Although something is different, I’m still the same person. But I have different plans now to deal with.

I’d hate to put the pressure on my wife and my friends, having something happen to me in the middle of the woods, with little cell phone coverage, more than 30 minutes away from any major health facility. So, on the advice of my doctor, I’m going to put off many of my plans.

A little inconvience now ensures that I have many more chances to enjoy vacations with my wife and family, fishing trips with my friends, and many more chances to see my garden in bloom.

I don't want this blog to be a Whoa is me Blog. I just wanted to get this out there. But I promise to keep you updated as things progress. And should you be going through the same thing, drop me a line...I'd love to hear your story.

Especially if you really DO have a bomb in your chest.

Since I can't go fishing, I guess I'll try frying some bigger fish.

Next Time: Team Kilpatrick’s Ministry of Truth, or Yo! Big Bro Got the Peeps on You!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Aortic Stenosis: 12th Cylon?

According to Wikipedia, Aortic Stenosis is a valvular heart disease caused by the incomplete opening of the aortic valve.

Major causes and predisposing conditions of aortic stenosis include acute rheumatic fever and bicuspid aortic valve. As individuals age, calcification of the aortic valve may occur and result in stenosis. This is especially likely to occur in people with a bicuspid aortic valve, but also occurs in the setting of perfectly normal valves as a result of age-induced 'wear and tear'.

Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject, so you know you are getting the best possible information.

Michael Scott The Office

Apparently I had a mild form of rheumatic fever when I was younger. The fevers were attributed to tonsillitis and stopped when my tonsils were removed.

I also have a mild regurgitation. Dave had regurgitation once, but that was due to small woodland creatures. Mine is basically backwash in my heart chamber.

I hate backwash. When I was younger, my brother Dean would purposely backwash into a bottle of pop just so that he could claim the rest of the pop for himself. Little bits of food floating to the top would gross me out.

There is also a Battlestar Galactica wiki here:


The first Hybrid gives a monologue about his knowledge of the Final Five in the extended version of "Razor". It states that "...the fifth is still is in shadow, drawn toward the light, hungering for redemption, that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering."
I think the key word here is redemption.

My guess: Tom Zarek. He is also portrayed by actor Richard Hatch, who portrayed the original Apollo in the Original Series. “…this has happened before and will happen again.”

Next Time…Finding Out You Are a Toaster, or Why I Can’t Go Fishing.

Friday, April 04, 2008

You Can't Spell HEART Without the HA

We can Rebuild him...We have the Technology...Better...Stronger...Faster.

My first real experience with blogging was when I wrote to a newspaper in response to the cancellation of the Six Million Dollar Man. Back then there weren't any blogs or entertainment sites on the Internet to give us an update that a show was gone. It just disappeared from the TV. Honestly, I thought the original Battlestar Galactica was on for three years. It only had 21 episodes. (We won't talk about Galactica 1980. Ever.)

I even had the Six Million Dollar Man action figure. There was even the space capsule that turned into an operating table. The action figure had a telescopic eye, the skin peeled back on one of the arms to reveal circuitry.

Don't know whatever happened to that figure. Probably sold it at a garage sale for $1. Its worth about $100 now.

In a few short weeks (probably), I'll be on my way to becoming the bionic man. However, I'm not getting the cool eye or super strong legs.

I'm getting an artificial heart valve.

Without it, I may be dead in five years.

I've used this space in the past to poke fun at members of the Blue Hippo Fantasy Football League. But now, I'm going to use this blog to talk about my experience with Heart Valve Replacement, you stuff.

Imagine being 39 years old and finding out that your heart is defective and has been your entire life. Go into the Doctors office for a routine physical, come out needing to have your chest cracked open and some doctor putting a fake valve in your heart.

Right at the start of Fishing Season. Yeah....Frakkin A it sucks.

But I imagine there are others out that may benefit from my experience. So, I hope this helps you in some way. If it does, drop me a line.

Tomorrow...Aortic Stenosis, Medical Condition or the 12th Cylon