Saturday, December 31, 2011

News Notes

These are all very current news stories:

Verizon - Those asshats wanted to impose a $2 fee for paying your bill online. How f#@&%ng dumb is that! Thankfully, the people spoke and Verizon listened and one day later, has decied to retract the fee which was scheduled to go into effect on January 15th.

Russell Brand/Katy Perry end their marriage - I don't know Russell Brand (much less Katy Perry) but the guy does not present well, as far as I can see - He's quite, greasy! Look, they're both young and I suspect have a few more marriages in them before they settle down.

Samoa - Here's the first paragraph of a current news article: "Today is the day that Samoans will never see.
The tiny South Pacific island is moving west over the international dateline, and its citizens will lose a day of their lives as they jump 24 hours ahead." Intriguing!

Sears to close stores in 2012! Perhaps the first sign the world is ending if I think about what just the name "Sear's" meant when I was a kid. The company is 125 years old and in danger of extinction; ouch!

Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis photographed together at Kansas basketball game - That dude Sudeikis is living the life, January Jones, now Olivia Wilde! WOW!

Van Halen announces 2012 tour with David Lee Roth - I say, big freaking deal. I don't bellieve they still ahve enough in them to sustain an entertaining concert event and I know they are far too pretentious to make the tickets be affordable - so, I think I might pass on this one. I've seen them three times, all with Sammy Hagar, who I like much better than Dave.

Finally, a sentence from a story that I'll leave you with to draw your own thoughts, feelings and conclusions: "A 99-year-old Italian man filed for divorce from his 96-year-old wife of 77 years after he found letters from an affair she had 60 years ago."

Friday, December 30, 2011

Two for 2011

On this penultimate day of the year 2011, I'd like to pay tribute to the two people who in 2011 I consider to be the most inspiring and amazing people of the year.

Number One, is the one and only Radioactive Girl, Tori. If ever there was someone the complete opposite of selfish, Tori is the one. Constantly putting others before herself and proving that there are good people in this world, certainly at least one, Tori is one of a very few people I know that constantly inspires everyone around her to be a better person. Despite adversity, Tori forges on, shoots for the stars and finds a way to reach them - plus, she's just about the best parent I've ever known.

Number two, Matthew Bolduc. At the age of four and a half, Mattie was diagnosed this year with Leukemia. In the seven weeks or so from the time he was diagnosed, Matthew showed everyone what bravery and courage meant and fought with all that he had - and won! Matty won his battle with Leukemia, going into remission in a very short time after treatment; he also won our hearts (not that he hadn't done that already) and taught us all a lesson about overcoming odds, fighting - even when it seems there is so much against your control, and about the power of prayer and love.

Torrie and Matty - you've both made me a better person and the world I walk in a better place; much love to both of you and here's to a great 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Stupid" Christians

Because there are "stupid" people, I will clarify this right up front. The title of this post is not meant to imply that all Christians are stupid or that those who choose to be Christians are stupid for that reason. In fact, I myself am a Christian.

Comedian Bill Maher issued a tweet the other day that read, "Wow, Jesus just fucked bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler "Hey, Buffalo's killing them""
Here's the deal, if you took that as anything other than a joke (note, the job of a comedian is to tell jokes), and, if you mae a big deal out the statement, then I must put you in the category of being a "stupid" Christian.

Lighten up! If you really have any clue about God, you would realize that he has to have a sense of humor so maybe, you should think about getting one also. Now, if you don't think the tweet was funny, that's perfectly fine, comedy is subective but if you think anything else of it, you need to get yourself checked out or get a life - if the most important think you can do with oyur life is to make a big stink over that tweet, you have less than nothing going on in your life.

For the record, I thought that tweet was freaking hilarious!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Waiting for Cars and Watching Saints

For the second time in less than a month, I killed off hours of my day sitting around waiting for my car to be serviced. The first time involved a tire mishap, Which I posted  about here. This time, it was a combination of a general maintenance (oil change, tire rotation, etc.) and a recall - which was a somewhat major one. As a result of these maintenance needs, I spent three hours of my morning at Herb Chambers Honda in Westborough, MA. I tried to use my time as wisely as possible - I finished off the book I was reading, futzed around with my iPad and drank coffee.

I DVR'd the Saints/Falcons game from last night and was glad that I did. The Saints have become my second favorite team, right behind the Pats. I especially love to watch the Saints at home, the crowd is freaking electric! Congratulations to Drew Brees on breaking the single season passing yardage record!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Podcast:Adventures in Dessert-Christmas 2011 Edition

Herein lies a tale of a seemingly ordinary man wishing to bring a home made dessert to a friend's for Christmas and ending up embarking on an expensive adventure that can only be mocked in disbelief. In addition, there's a bit of small talk and soome great music beds.

You can listen right here:

Podcast Powered By Podbean
or go to the Podcast site to download or subscribe via iTunes.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bad Idea #43971

Being alone on Christmas Eve. I had the opportunity to make plans, I don't know where I went wrong or why. With the exception of the few hours that my attention was focused on the Patriots game, regardless of how much I worked to keep myself busy, I felt really lonely today (technically, yesterday since I type this after midnight).

I did get some house cleaning done and I baked a cake for Christmas day and finally wrapped my daughter's presents.

Christmas day will be different.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Now Featuring Facial Hair (For a little while, unitl I decide to shave it off again)

Taken in my office, by my webcam, while I was listening intently to a boring selection of voicemails.

The X Failure

A few hours ahead of the winner being announce on The X-Factor, I want to officially declare the show a failure. I hope Josh wins, I think he's the best of the three finalists but regardless of who wins, where the ratings for the season ended up, the fact is, the show is a failure.

The show is about finding talent, mentoring that talent, then seeing them through the competition. The focus of the show, for the most part, should be on the contestants but clearly, the egos of the mentors/judges was far too big and dominated the shows to the detriment of the viewers and especially, to the contestants trying to realize their dreams.

If you happened to see The Voice, which premiered last year, this show is similar conceptually only it ended up working because the celebrity mentors put the contestants first, and checked their egos outside the building demonstrating mutual respect for each other and setting a good example to the contestants.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wah, Wah, Wah

Email from a student after seeing the grade they earned in my class:

Hi Prof,

l am really surprise about my grade , i am just going crazy right now. l need to get at list C to move on to next level. Please can you help me by giving me some assignment to do to get a better grade , even if you want me to come take final i am ready for it. Please help me, ls really hard for me , i can't even get money to take this class again. l am single mom, struggle to get better life and beside i paying for my own tuition. Please help me out and i know is hard. Thanks

I made it clear after posting the grades that if you wanted to dispute or question your grade, that they had to refer to the grading methodology on the syllabus and show me their computation before we can move foreward. So I told the student to re-read the requirement on Blackbaord (the online classroom) and get back to me. Here't the student's reply:

Hi Prof,

l read what you had on black board , but all i am pleading with you is to give me some assignment to do to boost my grade to C. l even thought i was going to get B in this class. l knew i did good in my Quizzes and the office assignment and you were even give me 83% . So i don't see why you going to fail me at the end of this course. Please help me , am not feeling good right now. l am ready to rewrite the assignment on discussion or take some quizzes again. Thank You!

The student is clearly in a fog - so I replied as follows:

The problem is why did you think you deserved a B? Look at your grades for each component of the course and do the math - the formula is on the syllabus. There are no surprises here at all - if you are paying any attention at all to your grades, you would not be surprised in any way, that's why I want you to do the math and present it with a rationale for why you think the grade is wrong (or realize it is right).

As far as giving you another assignment or additional work, I can't do that for you - if I do, I would have to do that for the entire class and every student in all of my classes or it would be unethical. The semester is over, the grade reflects the work and effort put in throughout the semester - you had plenty of opportunities to improve your grades throughout the semester - I provided comments throughout on the Discussion boards each time so you can improve but you didn't seem to follow any of my advice or notes.

There's nothing at this point you can do to improve your grade and I feel unreasonable to ask. If you knew at the start of the semester you had to get at least a C, then you should have done everything in your power to do work that reflected the grade you wanted to achieve and monitored your work throughout so that you could stay on track.

I wish you the best of luck.

Some of these people need a real kick in the arse!!!

Christmas Cards

I remember when I was a kid and my dad would prepare his Christmas cards. He at first had a paper list, with all the names and addresses written down and he would work his way down the list, checking off each name, sometimes over the course of a few days, and get the job done.

I remember one day asking him if he would like me to type the list out for him so it would be neater and after getting the go ahead, grabbed the old Royal manual typewriter out and typed away. I remember having to correct typos using this little card you would but between the paper and where the letter struck the page and it wold cover the error with a white dust that you could type the correct character over. Later, "Wite-Out" came along - it was pretty cheesy!

Years later, when I left the flock and lived on my own, I took on the tradition of writing out Christmas cards of my own and followed in my Father's methods of making a neat list, though in the mid 1980's, I had the sophistication of using a computer to maintain the list.

I kept up the tradition of sending Christmas cards until the year I separated from my ex-wife, where things were just awkward and tense. The following year, once the divorce had been final I decided I couldn't afford to send cards out any longer, which kind of still bums me out but money's much tighter with just my income and spending over a hundred bucks to send out cards just has to get dropped from the budget.

There was also a long period of time where Christmas, and holiday's in general were very difficult for me. Not having my parents around has made them so much darker than they ever were, that is, until my daughter came into my life. I've always tried to work hard to make the holiday special for my kid - it's a bit more of a challenge with two households to bounce between but she's a teenager now and is much more aware and flexible.

I just read this back and it seems to have transformed from a neat memory to a therapy session. Regardless, it's in print now. I hope all of you enjoy your Christmas :)

My Cat Likes The Christmas Tree

Every time I plug in the Christmas tree, my cat stops and stares at it for a while, seemingly mesmerized by the lights and decor; it's super cute to watch his expressions. Plus, he likes to drink from the water well at the base of the tree...LOL!

I don't like the fact that I've got the I want a new cell phone itch and at the same time, my cell phone has been acting a bit flaky. I need to let a little time pass before I get a new cell phone.

I had the chance to watch Tim Tebow play a game this past weekend as the Broncos hosted "my team", the New England Patriots. The kid has some good raw talent that could develop into something fierce. However, when it comes to being on the football field on game day, a little less praying, a little more praying. I'm a Christian, I don't shove my religion down anyone's throat and I don't want anyone to shove theirs down mine. He doesn't come off as religious to me as much as he comes off as insecure and annoying. Play the game on the field, thank God for your talents when you get home.

I'm trying to learn more about the new timeline feature in Facebook before I eventually get switched over automatically, which is what I presume will happen. It scares me because just about every Facebook "upgrade" has sucked.

Enough for now.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Lucky 33 Meme

I stole this from a blog whos specializes in steling memes; prefereable stolen ones.

1. Can you cook? Yes, I had to learn because I was pretty poor and needed to eat food that didn’t require a hazmat suit to prepare or dispose of.

2. What was your dream growing up? That a monster would crawl out from under the bed, grab a limb that may have been unprotected by the blanket, and drag me into the world of monsters and evil.
3. What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could play piano, or any musical instrument.

4. Favorite place? Of the places I’ve been, Northern California is pretty hard to beat, though Prince Edward Island was quite special as well. That Hawaii has its special spots as well.
5. Favorite vegetable? I haven’t met too many veggies I don’t like though I’m not sure I’d be heartbroken if Okra suddenly disappeared.

6. What was the last book you read? Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life, by Steve Almond.
7. What zodiac sign are you? Sagittarius, not that it matters.

8. Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? No. I did once have an earring in my right ear and there are traces of a piercing hole still there but otherwise, no.
9. Worst Habit? Attempting introspection in search of my worst habit.

10. Do you personally know anybody on Blog? Who wrote this question? I know many bloggers – does that count?
11. What is your favorite sport? Baseball and Football

12. Negative or Optimistic attitude? Somewhere in between?
13. What would you do if you were stuck in a lift (elevator) with someone of the opposite sex? Ask her which of us should use our cell phone to initiate a rescue then make small talk. After about an hour, I may try to convince her that this might be the end and perhaps some elevator sex might make it less horrific.

14. Worst thing to ever happen to you? Being mugged at gunpoint or knife point were pretty horrible but I gotta say, not listening to the doctor who insisted I take the prescribed narcotics at a specific time post-surgery and ended up in so much pain that I consciously considered hacking off my own leg to stop the pain.
15. Tell me one weird fact about you: I can write on a chalk board with both hands simultaneously – forward with my right hand and in revers with my left.

16. Do you have any pets? Yes, my cat Oliver.

17. Do you know how to do the Macarena? Maybe, I’m sure it isn’t pretty and I may screw it up if you pressured me to do it alone.
18. Is the sun shining where you are now? Not particularly.

19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary? Yes, I do.
20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be? Nicer teeth.

21. Would you be my good angel or bad angel? Depends on the moment and the mood.
22. What color eyes do you have? Brown

23. Ever been married? Yes, I was a one time.
24. Bottle or Draft?  Draft

25. If you won £10,000 today, what would you do with it? After getting over the shock of winning a bounty in England, where I’ve never been, I’d probably convert the pounds to American dollars and put half aside for my kid’s education, donate a percentage, then, of the remainder, save half and have fun with half.
26. What kind of bubble gum do you prefer to chew? Orbit, Sugar-Free

27. What's your favorite bar to hang at? Not much of a barfly at this point in my life.

28. Do you believe in ghosts? Yes, though it might be more accurate to say I don’t disbelieve in them.

29. Favorite thing to do in your spare time? I love spending time with friends and hanging out with my daughter (while she still lets me hang out with her).

30. Do you swear a lot? Not as much as I once did but probably more than I should.
31. Biggest pet peeve? The only time I have a hard time rattling off pet peeves is when I am asked what my pet peeve’s are. That being said, it really drives me bananas when people don’t use their turn signal while driving.

32. In one word, how would you describe yourself? Affable.
33. In two words, how would you describe yourself? Caring friend.


The Occupy Movement - Confusion at best.
I consider myself on the liberal side of the fence and am supportive of the right of  tax paying American citizen to protest in this country. However, I think if a group of people is going to protest, they must have a unified and clear message, they must be truly organized, and they must have a clear focus. After months of observing the occupy movement , and having spoken to a number of folks who've wither participated at some level or been amongst the protesters in some capacity - I am more convinced than ever that I can't suppor tthis particular protest; I don't believe there is a clear focus or message being delivered and I believe that the protesters are doing more damage to public property that all citizens, protesters and otherwise, should have equal access to.

Friday, December 16, 2011

10 things later on a Friday night…

I snatched this from Brookem over at Skrinkering Hearts:

1. How do you eat your eggs? Most of the time I use egg beaters or some equivalent, so as to help keep my cholesterol in control. I’ll typically either just scramble them with some simple spices or do some sort of an omelet. On a rare occasion, I do enjoy the delight of a deviled egg.

 2. Do you volunteer?  I do spend quite a bit of time volunteering for various ministries at church.

 3. What’s your favorite brand of jeans?  Most of the time I just grab a pair of $20 or less Wrangler’s. I can’t bring myself to spend big bucks on a pair of pants.

4. What was your child’s first word? Or what was your first word?  I first met my child when she was 4 and at that time, she spoke only Portuguese-which even now I only have a command of about 11 words. In short, I must confess that I don’t know the actual answer to this question.

 5. Can you french braid?  Perhaps the best response to this question is to not respond but keep in mind, I was a boy scout, so I know my knots.

 6. Do you prefer wide rule, college rule, or blank paper?  For ruled applications, I like the college ruled variety.

 7. Is there a specific treat that you always make during the holidays?  Surprisingly, no.

 8. Do you have a KitchenAid mixer? Do you want one?  I do, a 6 qt. professional model.

 9. What kind of computer do you use?  I have an HP desktop and an HP laptop, which doesn’t necessarily mean I have any particular affection for HP – it just worked out that way.

 10. Favorite Christmas movie?  From the classics, Frosty the Snowman; there is nothing more satisfying to me than hearing Frosty say “Happy Birthday”. From the modern day collection, Elf.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Yawning With the Stars

I definitely need to get on a program to get more sleep.
I've got the holiday blues.
TPMS sensor lit up the day after I had a new sensor put in. I had to bring the car back in...seems they figured it out but I had to waste another hour or so and waste a friend's time as well.
Done for now.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tire(d) or Car Ownership Has It's Drawbacks

It started on Monday night. I was at church for a vestry meeting and as I pulled out of the parking lot, I hit a pothole and immediately my Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) light went on. I shouted an expletive then pulled over to assess the damage and couldn't see well but didn't think it looked as if there were a flat but I drove home slowly just in case. When I got the car in the garage, I put the lights on and again, no sign of a flat and I thought perhaps the TPMS light came on coincidentally at that time and it was just my air pressure was lower than it should be and a warning to that effect.

This morning, again, I inspected the tires and no apparent problem but I decided to go to a gas station for air and check the pressure all around and top off where necessary and monitor for a leak. I get to the station, add a bit of air to one tire, then go to the next to add air and the valve gets pushed all the way in rendering the tire flat and useless without repair.

Oh, I forgot to mention that half the way to the gas station, I remembered that I have my own air compressor just for this purpose in my garage and could have added air right there at home. Anyway, in my dressy work clothes, I had to change a tire (I could have called AAA and usually do but I had getting to work on my mind and that would have taken an additional hour).

So I get to the Firestone shop, where I have a road hazard warranty and hope for the best. Turns out that while the tire valve repair was free, thanks to the road hazard warranty, my TPMS sensor was broken and need replacing - this wasn't under warranty. The guy said her can get one sent over from the dealer relatively quickly so I decided to wait.

Long story (literally) short, around three hours all together and approximately $81 later, I drove off to work.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Customer Loyalty Means What?

It pisses me off that every time I see a Verizon add trying to attract new customers, the deals they offer are better than what I get as a loyal customer for many years. I'm picking on Verizon in this particular example but they are not alone in this practice.

Through my last billing period, I had been receiving a $20 per month "loyalty" credit that expired. I called to ask if I can continue to receive this to which they outright said, "NO, I am sorry but we can't offer you that promotion any longer. You can downgrade your package though to save money." WHAT? Downgrading my package wouldn't "SAVE" me anything - sure I would pay less, but I'd be getting less and just as now, would be getting what I pay for and paying for what I receive - no more "loyalty credit" though I am remaining "loyal".

I told the woman I spoke with that I understand that she is doing her job and that it may simply not be in her authority to offer me more. I told her to leave a note for a supervisor to return a call to me though because I am considering cancelling all services and switching to the competitor after teh new year unless I can get a rational and/or honest response.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

You Deserve It

Have you seen this game show yet? I haven't yet gotten through an episode without tears. The premise is that everything the contestant wins, is for someone else; someone they think "deserves" it. There is something very feel-good about this show and in fact, I am so moved by it, I just now completed an application to be a contestant. I can't say more, or I may render myself ineligible but I can without a doubt, recommend watching this show.

Friday, December 09, 2011

The Groomsmen

How about another home video? This is my cat Oliver - he's darn cute!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


Today, a short simple post that may or may not make you laugh. A new sniglet I created:

Incognative: the intentional masking of one's feature's/attributes that identify their heritage.

Thank you for your time, I hope I made you laugh.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Facebook Makes Birthday's Tolerable

I love birthday's on Facebook! from the minute you first log in until deep in the day, it's a constant flow of birthday love, like, affection, acquaintance, sentiment, what have you. The thing is, you don't feel alone, whether you are or not and that, is wonderful.

Here are some whimisical brithday interactions:

Text from friend Barbara:
"Good morning and happy, happy, birthday to u!!!!! Yay!!!
My response:
Thx...I really do look fantastic for this many years old.
Her response:
U r hot stuff! :D
* * * * * * * * * *
FB Friend:
Happy 1 year closer to retirement day!
My reply:
When you get this old, that's the prevalent
* * * * * * * * * *
Here's phot of a card I got that made me chuckle:
The inside reads: Happy Birthday, You wear it well.

Love my my Gaga!

Monday, December 05, 2011

USPS Woes, It's Their Own Damn Fault

There's a lot of talk about the USPS and the trouble they've been in and today, they announced they are now likely to close many of the processing facilities that are "crucial to next day delivery". So it looks like "snail mail" will evolve truly into "Snail mail" and in fact, there is talk that ultimately, mail delivery will go down to one day a week.

It's kind if sad but no surprise. The post office is such an unappealing place and so poorly run, it surprises me that they were able to survive as long as they have. Most postal workers have horrible personalities and are mean and angry - amongst the worst customer service workers I've ever seen.

Then, anytime I have packages, there seems to be zero consistency about how to mail it and how much it will cost. Every different counter jerk has a different story about why I can't send it this way unless I send it that way so so forth. Then, the amount of paperwork is insane and there's zero logic to any of it. It shouldn't be so fucking complicated to send a simple package and you shouldn't be so fucking mean to me when I am trying to do it. So, in a few months when you are out of work, I am not really going to feel so freaking bad for you because you've treated me like shit for ever.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

The "W"

Since October of 2010, I've made a very concerted effort to take good care of myself. For example, since October 9, 2010, I've never missed a day of exercise, despite say the past week where I've been as sick as I've ever been, I still find a way to exercise. On that day as well, I basically gave up eating processed sugar, I am very on top of that since I was diagnosed at that time as a "pre-diabetic" and am working diligently to not develop type 2 diabetes, a disease that I spent a lifetime watching dismantle before taking my mother's life.

I've lost around 40 pounds since that October 2010 day, have maintained this new weight and lived a much healthier lifestyle having avoided many bad foods other than processed sugar, such as fast food and the sort. This past week, I've been sick, real sick, needing medicine and a doctor sick. I haven't been able to even put food into me sick because I have no appetite sick. Today though, I woke up hungry, for the first time in a week and I had the urge for a freaking burger so darn bad. Having recently seen a barrage of commercials for "The W", from Wendy's, my favorite burger maker of the major chains, and being the closest to my house, for lunch today, I treated myself to "The W" after a medicine run.

I've gotta say, I can only rate it in the spectrum of a "fast food burger" and given that, I can easily call it awesome and delicious.

Now, I must go back to my meds and my bed because clearly, I am ill.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Sleeping it Off?

Around 6ish, I was tired from not getting enough sleep the night before, I had started hallunicating instead, I am guessing as a side effect of the narcotics - which I had then stopped immediately!

Anyway, I was hoping to get a couple hours in and found myself getting more - I woke up at 10:30 this evening, and having sweated out what must've been a fever, through two shirts.

This freaking respiratory infection has kicked my ass a few times over! Very humbling. I have listened to a lot of podcasts....

Friday, December 02, 2011

December Birthday's (Some of them)

Jennifer Oberle - Happy to have gotten to see ya twice this year - your gig in Stamford with Five for Fighting and just last month at Michelle's wedding in NOLA. Keep on rockin' dear friend! One day, I'm gonna make it out to LA to hang with you and Stevie.

Jill O'Connor - Enjoyed hanging on Thanksgiving - still love the Dictionary game a bunch!
Allie G - so super glad we've reconnected via FB. I hate that you've had to go through some crappy stuff recently - get your but up to MA and teach me some of that Zumba.

Carol - yours is the one birthday easiest to remember cause of course, it's the same as mine! Happy B'day cuzz!

Rob Marinoff - BUBBA!!!! the official necrologist of FB!

Kathleen (White) Lennon - We've known each other over 40 years! I'm fairly certain you were my very first crush - LOL! Miss you old friend.

Steven - My nephew - your a fine young man....hope to see you soon!

Thursday, December 01, 2011


After getting increasingly sicker since Saturday, what started as an allergic cough has knocked me out. I haven't slept more than 2-3 consecutive hours since it started and the last few days have seen periods of high fever.

This morning I sought medical attention and was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection and left with a script for antibiotics and narcotic based cough medicine.

I can only hope that the infection is bacterial, so that there is hope that the antibiotics will cure the infection and I can get some relief.

Having had a similar thing in the past, deep in my brain, I know it will go away but geez, when cough to the point where your breathing is impaired, feel like your lungs are bleeding through your nostrils - it's hard to think about anything but wanting relief.

However, in the moments, though very brief and rare, where I find a position where I can breath and not cough for more than a few minutes in a row, I stop and realize that this is really nothing compared to what others with more serious illnesses endure. It's not to minimize the severity of what I have or the pain I feel, it's to appreciate that my body is well enough to heal from this and in a few weeks, it will be a thing of the past while there are so many people of so may different ages and walks of life who battle far more serious illnesses.