Therapeutic Bear Hugs

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A couple of days ago, I got together with a friend that I hadn’t seen for over 40 years. While the occasion was a sad one (he had come up to Ohio from his home in Florida for his father’s funeral) it was really wonderful to see him. Of course, when you haven’t seen someone for many years, the first thing is to try to catch up on all that’s happened in each other’s lives. My favorite part is in hearing all about the other person as it gets me out from under my life and I get to imagine what my friend has seen and done and felt. When the focus turned to me (as arriving with a walker or in a wheelchair that the friend wasn’t expecting is bound to do) my tongue seems to trip on my words. After all these years, I still have not figured out how best to respond to the question, “So, what happened to you?”

Not to make light of the pain of those who’ve fallen down a flight of stairs or been in a car wreck, but I wish there was some simple one sentence statement like that I could use to reply to such questions. There are some people who ask “How are you?” that are merely being polite and who really aren’t interested in details. Those are easy. To a friend who really does care, I feel that it’s a matter of respect to tell them the truth. Of course, I also don’t want to come across like a whiner or to depress them or cause them to feel badly for me. And there lies the problem, because the answer to “What Happened to Me” entails a recitation of a long series of illnesses and circumstances that built upon each other over a period of 56 years to land me in the condition I am now. While there is one cause (Hereditary Hemochromatosis “HFE”) that has been at the core of every other major condition or disease or disability that I’ve suffered, most folks have no idea what HFE is but they do know what Epilepsy, Stroke, deafness, Uterine Cancer, Hepatitis C, Non-Alcoholic cirrhosis, Arthritis, Haemolytic Anemia, Osteoporosis, Esophagitis, Peripheral Neuropathy, and chronic pain are. So whether I start with HFE or end with it doesn’t much matter and it doesn’t much matter whether I spend any time at all on the details of any of those conditions and how they’ve affected me or simply just stated their names in a single sentence. The result is still the same. People feel overwhelmed simply hearing that list, can’t imagine how any one person could have endured all that (much less still have a smile on their face) and wonder what kind of hex was put on me while still in the womb. Their reaction is understandable but for some reason I tend to feel a bit embarrassed as I know it has to be difficult to think of “the right thing” to say after someone has answered “What happened to You?” with such a mucked up laundry list.

The best friends I’ve found are those who can hear that list and then go ahead to tell me a joke or can be comfortable laughing at one of mine. People who have such a generous nature as to be sensitive enough to know when to just listen, when to ask for more info, when to laugh with you, when to share with you their own troubles and dreams, and know when you just need a great big bear hug, are priceless. (Thanks, Mark!)

Listen To Simon & Garfunkel’s “Old Friends”

On the menu tonight is a smorgasboard of orphaned icons and clip art that have little in common with each other as far as style or theme but they are easily usable as application icons, avatars, or a variety of scrapbooking or illustration purposes. Enjoy!

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

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My Mammy 2

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The Waiter-Fatchef's hat

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Get Neue-Melamine in One Swell Foop

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This evening’s post is a quickie just to let you know that I’ve put together all of the images I created for my “Neue-Melamine” series into one gigantic zipped-up package for your convenience in downloading. It includes all that were posted here individually along with a few extras. The only categories it does NOT include are “devices”. If any of you are interested in having a set of those as well, or desire an image in the Neue-Melamine style for some other function or application not already posted, let me know via a comment to this post.

Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

Simply right-click (or control-click) on the link below to save a zipped file to your desktop that contains the complete “Neue-Melamine” series. Each image in the package is a 512px X 512px image in .png format and the entire zipped download is 6.63mb. Usage of these images is strictly per terms of my Creative Commons 3.0, Non-Commercial-Attribution-No Derivatives license applies (see sidebar for details)

Download Neue-Melamine Now

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Countdown To Justice

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The count down to justice continues… In the Fourth District Circuit Court of Appeals in south Florida, the judges publish their rulings only once a week, on Wednesday mornings. It has now been 5 weeks since the three member “Merit” panel met and made it’s decision on my case, but I will not know what that decision was until they publish their written decision. And so, it is yet another Tuesday night that I will go to sleep wondering whether the morning will bring news that the legal monkey is finally off my back. Try as I might not to dwell on the negative, the continued burden of this case weighs heavily in my mind and heart. It is a sad situation that never had to be, yet at the same time, it was inevitable. Math was never my strong suit, and perhaps that is at least one reason why I had not been able to see the simple equation that set this nightmare into motion:

PARTY “A” = PARTY “B” =
+ bitterness + trusting, forgiving nature
+ sense of entitlement + believes no one is “entitled” to anything that they haven’t earned or at the expense of other’s rights
+ law degree, member of Florida Bar: 20 years experience dealing with Florida legal system, connections in clerk’s office, knows system’s weaknesses and how to use them. + no legal education nor relevant experience.
+ forced into early retirement from civil service job + self-made entrepreneur with long history of intellectually satisfying and financially rewarding business.
+ opportunity to obtain assets, status, power and revenge through appointment as fiduciary. + believes revenge is foolish & morally wrong
+ believes fiduciary duty, rules of attorney ethics, and “inconvenient” laws apply only to others. + strong sense of ethics, personal responsibility and that one’s good name & honor must be earned & is only “possession” of true value.
+ lacks willingness to recognize own wrongs or the unfair, harmful effect of those wrongs on others. + Self-Esteem not tied to superficial facades and holds no interest in having power over others’ lives.
+ lives in south Florida, where case is being heard, in relatively good physical health (able to walk, drive, travel, lead a “normal” active life. + lives in Ohio (1500 miles away) and can’t travel due to being confined to bed for last 7 years.
+ lack of ability to feel true empathy. + in a particularly vulnerable position where person “A” had sole possession and control over critical medical information that could be used either to help or hinder “B’s” chance of survival.

Now give judicial oversight of PERSON “A” and determination of what to do when “A” breaches fiduciary duty and willfully engages in a number of serious incidents of misconduct that caused serious harm to PERSON “B” (and “B’s” family) in the hands of the trial court which has for years held position as one of the top five “Judicial Hellholes” in America, and in particular put this case in the hands of one judge who has been fodder for late night talk show hosts as the “Weeping” Judge and for the last two years since he resigned as a judge, has been battling a law suit against him for his own (alleged) breaches of fiduciary duty and fraud in regards to an 82 year old neighbor, and our second judge who was subsequently forced to step down as “Chief Judge” due to political pressure over a number of (alleged) legal and ethical violations (yet still presides over this case at the trial level), and where more than a dozen other judges and prosecutors have been either forced to resign after being found guilty of various legal and ethical misconduct or in an effort to avoid facing trial for such charges or whom are still currently under active investigation for either ethical or even criminal misconduct.

Yet, despite all this, I still believe in our system of justice and I believe that Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals in particular takes their job and their duty to the honest citizens who rely on them to ensure that they’re legal rights are protected, that the “bad guys” are held accountable, and that “justice” is done as well as humanly possible. I pray that THIS time, my faith is well placed.

On a much more positive and fun note, I give you tonight’s freebies: Part 3 of my multi-part series, “Neue Melamine”. Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). Create Commons license applies (see sidebar for details)

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