Friday, July 27, 2018

Alert: Not Safe for Weak Stomachs

Unlike so many others who have started blogs and quickly lost interest (see my blog rolls on the right as proof), “Banana Winds” has been sailing these waters since October 17, 2007. Your Captain has tried to communicate something of value to you at least weekly, for a total of 765 posts to date.

With apologies to the Krewe, the Captain has been preoccupied of late and has been unable to focus on Banana Winds. I am not giving up the ship, but the past couple of weeks have been a real bitch and your Captain has not had the time to reflect as I normally do.

It started with a Revival at one of my churches. Every night, Sunday through Wednesday. I wasn’t the preacher, and the revival services took precedent over my normal evening schedule of Bible Studies. But having a commitment every night for five nights in a row is tiring.

Captain’s Note: Yes, you math wizards, the fifth night was the result of poor planning on my part. I scheduled a meeting. Not the brightest move I have ever made.

But sadly, in the midst of the Revival, one couple that I call friends drove up to St. Louis to babysit their almost- two-year-old granddaughter. While there, Jim’s heart started racing and he was taken to the hospital; he had a blood clot in his lung. Surgery followed almost immediately, but shortly after the surgery Jim’s heart stopped and they were not able to bring him back.

He was 59 years old.

When I received the news, I cried.

That was on Wednesday of last week. We still had one more night of revival. And the Captain had to bear the sad news to my congregation.

There will be two memorial services this weekend for Jim – one in his home town in Illinois and one at the church here. I’ll be leading both.

And then there is my calendar.

According to my calendar, the month of August begins next week. Children go back to school, marking the unofficial end to Summer.

Now, thanks to global warming, the weather will continue to be hotter than the devil’s armpit at least through September. But we still haven’t found time to take The Tiki Hut out since the middle of June.

And that’s gnawing at me like termites on a pirate’s leg.

We still haven’t located the First Mate’s kayak yet. At least physically. We found it for sale in a Craigslist ad, but the seller (by the same name that pawned the other kayak) is not responding to attempts by the police to contact him. My guess is that it is already sold.

Someone is paddling around the lakes in a stolen kayak! 

Captain's Note: Be ye warned! We are still looking!

And finally, there’s this:

Sorry if you’re squeamish.

Your Captain can’t recall when this started. It was just a small itchy spot on my shin – which is often dry and itchy.

By mid-May it had turned into a full-blown rash.

I tired hydrocortisone, but that only made it angry. When I stopped that it seemed to move toward healing. But never went away.

A couple similar spots showed up on my arms.

The Captain thought to his self, “Self, perhaps you have gotten into poison ivy or poison oak or something like that.” So I bought some Calamine lotion and applied that for a few days.

Again, that only made it angry.

My last resort was an anti-bacterial cream. The photo above shows what good that did!

I was beginning to think someone put a hoodoo on me!

Finally the First Mate insisted I see a doctor.

As one might expect, the Captain has no great affection for people in the healing arts. I am generally healthy and see no need to waste time and energy “establishing a relationship” with a general practitioner.

I had already called my dermatologist – yes, the Captain has a dermatologist because I also had skin cancer. I tried to get an appointment but he was booked up through September. His P.A. was available in only a month.

So much for establishing a relationship...

I passed, assuming the rash would either be gone by then or have eaten through my leg.

So on Monday I went to Urgent Care.

The intake nurse recoiled in horror when she saw my leg.

The doctor spent all of 30 seconds looking at it. He swabbed it and sent it off for tests to rule out Staph infection, wrote me a prescription for an antibiotic and another cream, and that was it.

Now, five days later, the results have come back "normal", but the blisters continue to spread on my arms and legs.

And my body is itchy all over now.

Probably due to the antibiotic.

So I called Urgent Care again and the doctor has prescribed a different antibiotic.

It’s funny, in a way. I’m not dying. I don’t think I’m communicable. And it doesn’t itch to the point of scratching.

Besides, the Captain is not a scratcher.

But it’s constantly on my mind. A very real distraction from my every day work. And it’s most unattractive.

Hopefully in my next post I will be able to share with you a photo of the First Mate and me out on the lake in The Tiki Hut, with beautiful tanned skin free from blemishes.

Until then, be patient with me mates. What say ye?

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

If Not Now, when...?

I don’t even know where to begin.

The Captain has been preoccupied with other matters of recent, but I have been keeping up with the news.

And my heart aches!

This post was going to be rant about the recent rash of white people calling the cops on black people doing normal, everyday activities.

     -A family having a cook-out in a public park.
     -Two guys waiting for others to join them in a Starbuck’s.
     -A man wearing socks in a community swimming pool.
     -A little girl selling cold water on the sidewalk on a hot day.
     -An eleven-year-old boy on his first day delivering newspapers.
     -A man lounging at the pool in the apartment complex where he has lived for more than a year.

In the same vein, a Puerto Rican woman was verbally assaulted in a park by a white man for wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag on it.

“If you’re American you should wear an American Flag!” 

Captain’s Note #1: Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States; Puerto Ricans are American citizens. 

Captain’s Note #2: The U.S. Flag Code specifically says wearing the American Flag is an offense.

And all the white guy’s ugliness was recorded as a park police officer stood by doing nothing.

Don’t y’all have anything better to do than stick your racist noses into other peoples’ business?

People have argued that such behavior is nothing new, that it is simply being video-recorded now.

Somehow that doesn’t make the Captain feel better.

But then the President of the United States of America met with the President of Russia, and that changed everything.

Russia has long been the enemy of the United States.

The Captain grew up during the Cold War. I am familiar with the rhetoric between the nations, the threat that the Soviet Union would annihilate the U.S., and the promise of “Mutually Assured Destruction” that somehow maintained an uneasy peace as the nuclear stockpiles of both countries grew to an absurd level.

The break-up of the Soviet Union eased some of that tension, but the election of Vladimir Putin, a lieutenant colonel in the former KGB, to Russia’s highest office renewed those tensions. And with accusations of Russian meddling in the U.S. elections in 2016, it has become very clear that Russia is not our friend.

But all of that seems lost on Trumpf. He has pissed of our historic allies in Europe and he and Putin are acting like best buddies.

It boggles the Captain’s mind that Trumpf and Putin were allowed to meet together in private – as Trumpf did with Kim Jong-Un a couple months ago. There is no record of what they discussed; we must simply take their word.

After the summit with the North Korean leader, Trumpf declared that the world was safe from a North Korean nuclear threat. The next day we learned North Korea was ramping up its nuclear capabilities not dismantling them.

Yesterday, following the summit with Putin, Trumpf announced that America and Russia are on better terms now than we have ever been. The Captain shudders to think what the new day will bring.

But in that press conference, Putin denied Russian interference in the 2016 American election and Trumpf, despite conclusive evidence to the contrary, stood with Putin and put down the U.S. intelligence community and the Mueller investigation.

Continuing his theme of destroying the credibility of our government agencies, he sided with Putin over:

     -the CIA
     -the Office of the Director of National Intelligence 
     -the FBI 
     -the National Security Agency 
     -the Justice Department 
     -the House Intelligence Committee 
     -the Senate Intelligence Committee 
     -the other ten U.S. intelligence agencies who signed their agreement

“He said they weren’t involved, and I believe him.” 

Are you fuckin' kidding me!?!

Both Republican and Democrat leaders immediately began ripping into Trumpf – some even calling his remarks “treasonous”!

Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke out against Trumpf’s comments.

But will he do anything about it?

I doubt it.

By the way, if the Captain has heard correctly, the new tariffs President Trumpf has levied on China will cause the price of his MAGA hats to double!

*Now available in Russian!

Mates, it has become quite clear to the Captain that no one with the power to stop this idiot president of ours has the wit or will to do so. The only way to stop this horrible, horrible chapter in our nation’s history is at the election booth in November.

Get informed. Then vote! Let the Republican Party know they have abdicated their responsibilities these past two years and that is unacceptable. They must go!

Mates, right at this moment, the Captain is afraid.

This is no longer about Hillary’s emails.

This is about the heart and soul of our nation. 

And if you are half the American Patriot you claim to be, you need to step up and do something. 


Before it is too late.