American Idol Coming Back In 2015 With Same Judging Panel

Is there anyone still watching American Idol?  Has it run its course and is time to throw in the towel? 

After 13 seasons, Idol has hit an all time low number of viewers in 2014’s ratings, with only 6.6 million on the Tuesday night show-down between Rocker Caleb Johnson and powerhouse singer, Jena Irene and 10.1 million viewers tuning in on Wednesday night to see who would win the Idol crown for the season.  That’s the lowest number of viewers ever.  Back in 2006, there was a regular viewership of over 30 million. 

Fox has tried every trick in the book to boost the ratings on the ailing show.  It’s gone from having the judge you love to hate in Simon Cowell to an almost all girl panel (save for Randy Jackson, the sole hold-out who hasn’t gotten the boot or left the table until he wanted to leave) to the “Dueling Divas (Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey).  Nothing worked to bring back up the show’s ratings with the exception of having Steven Tyler’s (Aerosmith’s front man and lead singer), never know what he’s going to come out with or wear, type of appeal.  Or, perhaps it was mainly women tuning in, still trying to figure out how the aging rocker, who really isn’t all that handsome, can still have sex appeal?  Has anyone really figured that out yet? 

Many viewers tuned out of Idol and into competition singing show, “The Voice” and have stayed there.  Two singing shows in one week, taking up 4 nights out of a week, may have been just too much for viewers to handle, especially given that it’s the 18 to 49 year age group that sponsors are aiming their bows and arrows at to hook in.  

The 2015 American Idol Judges Panel remains the same.  Ryan Seacrest as host, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., will return for Season 14 in January 2015.

The 2015 American Idol Judges Panel remains the same. Ryan Seacrest as host, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., will return for Season 14 in January 2015.

Still, Idol is going on with the show in 2015 for its 14th season, hanging onto 2014’s judges panel of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. (who does bring a mix of both Cowellesque critique style and a tad of inpromptu Ellen DeGeneres (a former one season Idol judge squirming in her seat with discomfort and poorly written jokes, style humor to the show).  Ryan Seacrest will remain as host.  What would Idol be without Seacrest? 

2014 was fairly predictable, given America’s voting being sometimes flakiness.  It was fairly apparent that Caleb was likely the front-runner and many who tuned in to the first weeks of Idol, tuned out at least mid-season, if not sooner, once they’d gotten a taste of how the season was going to go.  Curiosity soothed as to both the judging panel and the contestants’ talents, most tuned out shortly afterwards.  

2014 came down to Rocker, Caleb Johnson and Powerhouse singer, Jena Irene.  Johnson took the Idol Crown.

2014 came down to Rocker, Caleb Johnson and Powerhouse singer, Jena Irene. Johnson took the Idol Crown.

It may be that audiences have heard it all and are tired of singing competitions while becoming more intrigued with dancing.  Dancing With The Stars took the lead in ratings with some 15.6 million viewers on average.  It may also be that more people are turning off television sets and downloading or streaming non-cable/mainstream watching.  

Whatever it is that’s happening, less people seem to be watching television shows as a lot of shows have dropped in their ratings or are never given half a chance.  

Then again, we are going by the sponsor’s ratings who only count the 18 to 49 year old age group they target, as “viewers”.  

With an aging population growing in numbers, it might be that sponsors need to turn their focus away from their usual aim and up the age factor to appeal to the larger crowds of viewers.  Many who park their rears on a couch to watch the old television, old style, are the over 49ers.  The younger groups are using technology to watch more unusual shows.  

Have sponsors and networks got it all wrong?

It’s time to re-evaluate that point…at least, that’s how I’m seeing it from my little corner of life.  

 

MH17 Tragedy Needs Action From The World As A Whole

There are no words to express the shock and horror of the loss of 298 people’s lives in a plane crash, let alone one that was most likely caused by fighting over land that had nothing to do with those 298 innocent people who were simply passengers on Malaysian flight MH17 this week, flying to their own personal destinations, totally unaware of the evil that lurked before them.

This type of thing is what happens with greed, territory, ill-intentioned governments and peoples who have no sense of right or wrong beyond their own causes.  

It’s unclear as to who shot down Malaysian Flight MH17 yet but eventually, it will be figured out. What is clear is that no matter what side was responsible for this tragic and horrific loss of lives, there is a wrong that has been done.  

Some will call this “collateral damage”.  Others will label it as a “casualty of war” but, no matter which way it is looked upon, it was wrong.  It was evil.  

Between the March 8th disappearance of 239 people as again, innocent passengers on Malaysian Flight MH370, (who are all presumed to be dead at this point in time) and, this catastrophic loss of another 298 lives on MH17, it brings a total of 537 lives lost to evil deeds.  

Neither of the 2 plane disasters are thought to be due to plane or mechanical issues.  Both are thought to be the result of evil doings by one or many for their own, personal agendas.  Sadly, 537 innocent people have lost their lives because of the wrongs of others and their misguided, malicious, self-serving actions or lack of them.  

Terrorism needs to be stopped.  The radicals are not of the human race.  They don’t deserve to be treated as humans.  Their minds lay in the proverbial gutters of a hell that they have created and been aided by corrupt, greedy governments around the globe.  As a world of human beings, we need to rally together to put pressure on these groups, the tainted governments behind them and those who keep these types of attrocities going.  

No country, no religion, no piece of land, no amount of money, no one, has the right to impose upon others, what they want or believe by these means or tactics.  It needs to be stopped and the perpetrators punished accordingly by the rest of the world as a united front against these terrorists.  Until we do this…until we gather together as a world of human beings, more innocent people will lose their lives unnecessarily.  

At least, that’s the way that I see things from my little corner of life.  

 

 

Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford Says He’s A “Spendaphobe” Not A “Homophobe”

When Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford, refused to attend Toronto’s Gay Pride Week celebrations, it was one thing.  When he sat and refused to stand up in council chambers while the rest of Toronto City Councillors gave a standing ovation to Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam for her work in organizing 2014’s Gay Pride Celebrations, it was another nail in his own foot.  However, when Ford became the sole councillor who voted against adding extra beds to a LGBT shelter this past week, it became abundantly clear that Ford has an issue with the Gay Community.

A known Conservative, Ford has demonstrated over and over that he takes special distaste in all things to do with being Gay and is, perhaps, what many have called him, “homophobic”.

Toronto City Councillor, Doug Ford, Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford's brother, comes to his brother's defense.

Toronto City Councillor, Doug Ford, Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford’s brother, comes to his brother’s defense.

Rob Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, came to his brother’s defense this week as more pressure was being put upon Ford for explanations for his behaviour towards the Gay community and all issues concerning it.

“Rob Ford has decided not to go to the gay pride parade. And all of a sudden, he’s going to get up and he’s going to be applauding the gay pride parade?” he said. “It would be “hypocrisy” if the mayor stood, Coun. Ford argued.

Coun. Ford said not voting in favour of a study to see if devoting 25 per cent of space in an existing youth homeless shelter was simply that it’s not needed.

He said youth shelters are not full, thus a LGBT shelter is not necessary,” CBC News has reported.

“He’s a spendaphobic, not a homophobic,” Doug Ford said of his brother.

That doesn’t hold water, Doug.  Anyone with half a brain can see through it like a pane of glass, wiped spotlessly with glass cleaner.

Rob hangs around the Caribbean population on a regular basis.  We’ve all seen the videos of him speaking in Patois in members of the Caribbean Community’s presence and dining facilities.  He proudly attends The Caribbean Carnival festivities each year and, does all that he can to help it continue.

 

Rob Ford enjoys himself at  Toronto's Caribbean Carnival yearly but, refuses to attend or have anything to do with Gay Pride Celebrations.

Rob Ford enjoys himself at Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival yearly but, refuses to attend or have anything to do with Gay Pride Celebrations.

Yet, if Rob was truly a spendaphobe as you’ve termed him, he should also have issues with that three-week long celebration.

Both the Caribbean Carnival and The Gay Pride Week celebration have the backing from the city to the tune of some $500,000.00 or more each.  One is not more than the other or, at least by much.  Both bring in thousands of visitors to Toronto and put a huge cash infusion into the city’s tourism coffers.  So, how is it that Rob has an issue with spending when it comes to the Gay Community and not when it comes to the Caribbean community?  One could consider the idea that perhaps, Ford has been inflicted with simply, “Selective Spendaphobia”?  The question there then, would have to be why?  Why is spending on one thing totally acceptable but, not another?

Sadly, it’s a known fact that many Gay, Lesbian and Transgender youths and adults, have social and family issues that often create the type of tension that shoves them out of family homes and onto the streets, homeless.  Shelters specifically for the LGBT community are much-needed.  The vote wasn’t for more money from the city to fund those beds.  There was no financial backing asked for in this case.  The city simply needed to approve the expansion of beds for the facility in Toronto.  Ford was the sole hold-out.  Thankfully, it passed overwhelmingly, without Ford’s help.

 

It seems that both Doug and Rob Ford need good swift knocks to wake them both up. One is looking almost as bad as the other at this point and, if people in the City of Toronto have paid any attention to what has really been going on behind the lies, smoke and mirrors these two moronic brothers have put up, they will make sure neither of them have seats in Toronto City Council come October 27th of this year with their votes.  Both of the brothers have nailed themselves in their own feet.  One with his lies, addiction issues, prejudices, illegal transactions (not yet charged for but, possibly coming in the near future).  The other, has done so by defending the buffoon of a brother’s actions or lack of them.  Both are making spectacles of themselves and disgracing the entire city.

From all accounts, both brothers have attempted to make Toronto laughable to the rest of the world and need to be out on their rears where their well-to-do family can bail them out and give them both jobs in the family business.  Let the Ford Family be the brunt of both morons’ antics.

It’s coming to the point where Toronto needs to take action for the city’s own good.  The Brother’s Ford are NOT the answer.  At least, that’s the way that I am seeing things from my little corner of life.

 

 

 

 

 

Disgraced, Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford Aggressive And Disruptive In Rehab

Tarnished Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford has allegedly completed 2 months of rehab for substance abuse but, not without the usual controversy that he creates for himself.

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The Toronto Star newspaper had interviewed Ford on his time in rehab.  Ford told reporters that he did fine and dared the paper to go ask.  They did.  What they found was nothing short of simply more of Rob Ford’s antics and lies.

All did not go well at GreenStone Rehab Centre in Muskoka, Ontario.

“[Ford] was both verbally and physically aggressive during his two-month stay at GreeneStone in Muskoka, where he reportedly disrupted other patients and was kicked out of his therapy group for preventing people from sharing their stories,” The Toronto Star reports others have said about his stint in rehab.

“Ford broke things, got into fights with other residents,” said one person, cited in the Toronto Star’s article. “Other residents felt intimidated. They felt he was bully,” said another. “He was always saying he did not belong there.”

Others, including staff, seemed to have feared that Ford was still “using” during rehab, something that might not be quite so off the mark.

However, Ford has stated the opposite of what others have reported to the newspaper.

“I now know the staff at GreeneStone saved my life. They forced me to confront my personal demons,” Ford has said to mainstream media sources.

If Ford’s “demons” were anything like those the world has seen, it’s likely they came out spitting pea-soup and causing Ford to display 360 degree head spins.

Apparently, so disruptive and aggressive, Ford was kicked out of a therapy group during his rehab.

Meanwhile, freshly out of rehab and back in Council Chambers, Ford refused to stand up in a show of appreciation while the rest of council gave a standing ovation to Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam’s work in this year’s Gay Pride Week Celebrations and Parade.

A known social conservative who is against Gay Marriage and has been heard spewing anti-gay and transgender remarks, Ford remain seated while later, Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, mouthed off to other collegues regarding Integrity Commissioner Janet Leiper’s recommendation that Rob Ford apologize for incorrect statements he made about Councillor Paul Ainslie and robocalls.  Rob Ford had left council chambers citing it as a “conflict of interest” because the topic was about him and left brother Doug to come to the rescue in his brother’s defense.

Doug Ford’s defense was that others say inaccurate things about his brother then, stated that his brother wouldn’t apologize until “hell froze over”.

Speaker, Francis Nunziata threatened to throw Doug Ford out of council unless he retracted his statement to her about “not knowing whether she spoke english or not”.  Doug Ford retracted his statement.

Wait, there’s more.  Yes, in just over a week since Ford left his debacle in rehab, he was also in the midst of yet another scuffle where a shirtless protester was shoved by Ford’s “rehab coach” this past weekend.  All charges were dropped on both sides but, the stories just keep amassing and this is all in the midst of an election campaign in which Ford and his brother both hope to be re-elected back into their seats on October 27, 2014’s elections.

Much fuss has been made about the story of Ford’s rehab stunts being published by the newspaper.  However, Ford himself, gave interviews to the Toronto Sun newspaper (a conservative backed paper) and challenged the Toronto Star to “go ask” how he did at GreenStone.  They did.

When asked about remaining sober and keeping his sobriety should he be re-elected for another 4 years as mayor of one of Toronto, one of Canada’s largest cities, Ford replied that he couldn’t promise that he would.  He could promise that he’d be fitter and leaner (weight wise) but, couldn’t promise to stay sober and clean.

While many who have gone through rehab programs know that the disease means an everyday battle and sometimes, moment to moment battle that one cannot say they will win, what’s clear is that Ford’s antics were not just the result of his substance abuse.  His obnoxious, lying, in-your-face attitude is still very much there whether he’s sober or not and, whether he remains sober or falls off the wagon, as any recovering addict can tell you, it’s not a battle easily won nor, can it lend itself to promises of sobriety.  That said, what would that mean to Torontonians to have the possibility of facing another 4 years of Ford and his brother’s abrasive, attack-mode tactics and attitudes running the city especially, if Ford slipped backwards in his recovery?

It seems that in watching both Ford brothers in action, the apples don’t fall far from one another. Neither set good examples of upstanding leaders for the city and most of Ford followers, are either simply intrigued with two jerks who can get away with their ill-tempers and disgraceful behaviours (sober or not) or, they are least likely to vote, period.

Late night talk show hosts have a field day with Ford.  They love to use him as material for their opening monologues or make fun of him.  It’s great entertainment, no doubt.  Even Torontonians laugh at the jokes.  Afterall, there is no other way to deal with it except through humor.

Somehow, there’s something inside of all of us…a tiny little piece of us somewhere…that kind of wants to see Ford succeed.  In spite of the obvious fact that the man is not fit for such a huge role especially, given his own personal struggles which get in the way of an important position such as his, the fact remains that there is an underdog cheer leader in all of us.  There’s something of wonderment in just how tenacious this fumbling mess of a mayor and man can go. How far can he and his almost equally disgusting brother can push things.  Can they win?  Will they win?

Most Torontonians hope both brothers will be out on their behinds but, there’s this nagging mystery as to how far they can go before they’re out of the running.  Perhaps, it’s a bit of envy that neither of the two buffoons seem to care what the world thinks about them.  They’re both like the old Timex watch jingle, “they take a licking but keep on ticking”.  How many of us would have not only the tenacity to keep on going in the face of such public contempt, distaste and disgust but, the proverbial “balls” to do so?  It’s almost unbelievable that they haven’t backed down and won’t give up.  Many are shaking their heads in disbelief, wondering how much further they can go.

The latest poll puts Ford at a rather distant third, running at 22%, in the top 5 front-runners for the Mayoral Seat right now but, that’s still ahead of 2 other up-standing candidates who have clean records.  It makes one wonder whether the 22% of people polled who would vote for Ford, are all behind the man and saying that his form of public disgraceful displays are acceptable to them or, whether they are simply rooting for the underdog because they’re in amazement that he’s still kicking?

Frankly, it would behoove Toronto to have a mayor who can run the city without the threat of more negative controversy, stays sober and clean so that they can do the job properly as well as having a mayor that isn’t a three ringed circus, in and of himself.  I mean that quite literally.

It will be interesting to see what voters do on October 27th but, in the meanwhile, it’s certain that there’s a lot more Ford Stories to come.  At least, that’s the way that I see things from my little corner of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Authorities Finally Have Evidence Missing Malaysian Flight MH370 Tampered With

Has Australia suddenly woken up from some sort of slumber or perhaps, a purposeful skirting of what they already knew but were reluctant to let out to the public over missing Malaysian Flight MH370?

Australian officials, overseeing the search for the missing plane have now come out and said that they have some evidence that the plane’s communications systems were deliberately shut off in the cockpit as perhaps, an attempt to avoid radar detection.  They’ve “discovered possible evidence of tampering” which they called “a mysterious power outage”.  Well, that took them long enough when most of the rest of the world, including laymen, have all figured this out long ago.

During a scouring of a 55 page report set out by the ATSB ( Australian Transport Safety Bureau ), they discovered that no one in the cockpit set way points to send the plane into the Southern Indian Ocean path “to crash”.  Leaving the question of whether or not it was set on auto-pilot.

However, what is clear is that Malaysia made only 2 attempts to contact the missing plane over a nearly 7 hour period.  One attempt was made, 1 hour and 17 minutes after the final sign-off from Kuala Lumpur’s control and then, Malaysian airlines waited another 5 hours before they tried again.  That leaves nearly 7 hours worth of non-communications and only 2 attempts with a missing plane.  Experts say that the 5 hours in-between was way too long and question why this was the case.

“I’m absolutely surprised there’s only two attempts to call on the satellite phone,” Qantas pilot Richard Woodward said. “If you’d lost contact with an airliner you’d be calling them on every frequency. You’d definitely be trying to call them on the satellite phone (as well as VHF and HF and by data link, similar to SMS).”

Keep in mind that these latest revelations have come on the heels of Australians having said about a week ago, that they believed all of the passengers and crew had lost consciousness, suffocated and drifted aimlessly until running out of fuel and crashing into the Southern Indian Ocean.  This was a statement filled with more questions than answers.

How is it that a plane makes a conscious 170 degree turn, cross the Malaysian peninsula again, un-detected then, heads around the Indonesian northern point along the Straits of Malacca, and heads off into the Southern Indian Ocean and why?  What is down there?  What would be the reasoning for such a move?  How would all of that be done while unconscious?  Even the auto pilot story didn’t hold water or answer those questions with that theory.

“Given these observations, the final stages of the unresponsive crew/hypoxia event type appeared to best fit the available evidence for the final period of MH370’s flight when it was heading in a generally southerly direction,” were official’s only answer.

So, it was the only thing that “best fit” their hypothesis?

David Gleave, a specialist with Loughborough University has said in an article in Express U.K. was less than impressed with the idea of a mechanical failure hypothesis.

“There are credible mechanical failures that could cause it. But you would not then fly along for hundreds of miles and disappear in the Indian Ocean,” he said, making it what most people already believed.

In a statement published by The National Post, Gleave went further.

“The interruption to the power supply appeared to be the result of someone in the cockpit attempting to minimize the use of the aircraft’s systems. The action, he said, was consistent with an attempt to turn the plane’s communications and other systems off in an effort to avoid radar detection. A person could be messing around in the cockpit which would lead to a power interruption. It could be a deliberate act to switch off both engines for some time.”

Inmarsat, the British Satellite Communications company by whose data the search is and has been based upon, agreed with Gleave’s thinking but, stated that they didn’t know what would cause such a power outage.

In yet another twist of lack of truth, comes the realization from the pilot’s wife that it was her husband who signed off from 370 to Kuala Lumpur’s control, meaning that her husband was in control of the plane at the time of sign-off.

Faisa Shah, MH370 pilot’s wife, confirmed to reporters for the first time that it was her husband, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who spoke the final words, “”good night Malaysian 370.”  It was not, as previously announced by Malaysia, co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid.  However, Malaysian Airlines had announced that it was Hamid who had said those words, knowing that Mrs. Shah and her eldest son had confidently identified the voice as that of Mr. Shah on March 8, 2014 in the final vocal communications from the plane.

Malaysian police have also now released that Shah had made no future plans for flights or his personal life as the rest of the crew had done.  They also let out the fact that Mr. Shah’s home made flight simulator had programmed into it a path into the Southern Indian Ocean with the idea of landing on a short runway, something a Boeing 777 couldn’t easily do.

Hugh Dunleavy, commercial director of Malaysia Airlines said that he believes that something sinister likely happened to the plane.

“I believe it is somewhere in the south Indian Ocean. But when [a plane] hits the ocean it’s like hitting concrete,” he stated.  The wreckage could be spread over a big area.”

To date, it’s worth taking note that not a single scrap of wreckage has been found from MH370 in spite of over 4 million square miles of ocean having been covered on the surface and nothing having washed up on beaches some nearly 4 months later.

One other theory posed here, involves the idea of the search area, west of Australia.  Australia has a broad radar system that sweeps out into the area that is believed (according to Inmarsat data) to be the resting place of MH370.  Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN), would have or should have, picked up the plane had it gone the route that Inmarsat and searchers have designated as its final resting place.

Take a look at JORN’s covered areas in this diagram.
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Now, look at the area that has been covered and is being looked at further by searchers, led by the Australians.

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Yet, there has been no admittance that there was any radar sighting of MH370 by Australia.  Why not?

This entire mystery, wreaks of dirty fingernails.  Something is still terribly amiss with this entire scenario.  While tid-bits are coming out slowly, there’s a lot that is being withheld but, known by others.  The public isn’t being made aware of it yet.  The operative word is “yet”.   There is something sinister, lurking somewhere, somehow by some.  This was no accident.  This was not a mechanical failure.  This was a deliberate act as I’ve been saying all along.  I do not believe that this plane had anything wrong with it and I still am far from convinced that the plane rests on the bottom of the ocean where they are searching.  As a matter of fact, I’m not at all convinced it’s even in that area.  I doubt Inmarsat’s data being the answer to the southerly route and frankly, I still hold out hope that the passengers and crew are alive somewhere on land.  Am I nuts?  Maybe but, I have yet to be convinced that we are being told the truth about any of this entire mystery but, remain convinced that eventually, the reality of it will come out.  Or, will it?  Will it be held back forever and by whom or what government?

Something is rotten in that area of the world.  At least, that’s how I see it from my little corner of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He’s Back! Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Leaves Rehab For City Hall Again

He’s back.  Rob Ford re-entered the role of Mayor of Toronto Monday, June 30th.  That is, as much of a mayor of one of Canada’s largest cities as he can be, given that he’s been stripped of all real power except the title.

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Yes, Ford has completed his 2 month stint in rehab and has apologized for a whole whack of things he’s done to the city and his family, fellow councillors as well as a competing mayoral candidate for the upcoming October 27, 2014 Municipal Elections.

“It was never my intention to embarrass the city or offend my fellow members of council. I deeply regret some of the personal choices I have made in the past,” Ford stated in what appeared to be a 15 minute, sincere apology in a media scrum.

Ford’s sudden departure for rehab, came on the heels of a realm of racist, sexist and homophobic comments that were recorded and made public just prior to him disappearing from the public eye.

“I had convinced myself that I did not have a problem,” Ford finally admitted. “But it soon became obvious that my alcohol and drug use was having a serious impact on my family, on my health, and on my job as mayor.”

Sadly, that statement rings rather hollow with a lot of Torontonians as Ford has uttered many an apology when his hand has been caught in the cookie jar and not until that point.  Shortly afterwards, more unsavoury, to put it mildly, acts and utterances have come about, causing heads to shake in total exasperation, frustration as well as disbelief.

“They forced me to confront my personal demons,” he said today, crediting Greenstone Rehab in Bala, Ontario. “I learned that my addiction is really a disease, a chronic medical condition that will require treatment for the rest of my life.”

However, other addiction counsellors and specialists aren’t quite so certain that Ford will remain on the straight and narrow unless he changes paths, something Ford is not at all willing to do, it seems.

“When you come into recovery and you get out, you’ve got to change the people, places and things associated with your addiction. In his case, that means everything,” Mark Elliot, a Toronto based, addictions counsellor has stated.  “When you come out of rehab, you come out on a high and you crash, and you build yourself back up.”

Elliot likened rehab to an “artificial world”, also stating that Ford would be best to drop out of the mayoral race.  Many others have also called for Ford to resign from his position for his sake as well as the city’s well-being.  Ford has refused to do so and went on with campaign style ramblings, something that a lot of pundits felt was far too soon for him to be doing.

“Rob Ford, save yourself,” Elliot said. “Toronto will still be here when you’re ready.”

Picked up from rehab this morning, Ford’s brother, Doug, stated that his brother is looking good, has lost weight and is ready to get back into the ring.  This is something that everyone, including the experts doubt though his popularity in polls seem to have risen.

While pretty much all of us wish Ford well in his personal struggles and send him only well-wishes for him and his future health, many of us are concerned that it might not be long before Ford slips back into old patterns and habits.  There was no mention of Ford dropping his criminal friends and their activities.  He’s been well-known for his connections with drug dealers and worse.  This is crucial to his recovery but, he hasn’t stated one way or another as to what he’ll do about that factor.

U.S. late night talk show hosts have had a field day with Ford’s antics.  They find him amusing and funny, joking about wanting to have a beer with him.  He does make great fodder for being the brunt of a joke and seems oblivious to the fact that during in person interviews on the different shows, he’s being made fun of.  Painfully, the rest of us see it.

From my little corner of life, I see Ford rushing to do what he thinks will win him back his right to go into the mayoral race ring again with a decent chance of winning.  He just may.  However, I personally, see him as an accident waiting to happen.  It’s not a matter of ‘if’, only ‘when’ he will slip up again.  I hope this to not be the case.  I’d really like to see another human being get and stay healthy but, from all prior indications, Ford protects Ford and is as stubborn as he is obnoxious.  He’ll do whatever he has to do in order to hang onto his mayoral seat…even if it means upsetting and letting down those who put their faith into him by voting him into office.  He plays us all like fools.

For his sake and ours, I hope that he’s able to hang in there and continue getting well but, if I were a betting person, I’d have to put my money on future events taking a turn backwards if he isn’t extremely careful and sincere about getting sober and staying that way.  I just don’t see it happening but, that’s just my view from my little corner of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gift of Sight: Catarct Surgery

For years, I’ve struggled to see.  I mean, I literally couldn’t see.  Cataracts had clouded my vision so badly that I’d lost the ability to see more than dark and light or, what amounts to having your glasses fog up after coming into a warm environment from the cold temperatures outside.  I literally had to put my nose right up to the computer screen in order to be able to see.  Glasses were of little use and I often relied upon the “text to speech” function on my computer in order to write.  I had long since given up driving, lest I kill someone.  Not being able to see an entire tanker truck one early evening was enough to shock me into the reality that I was nearly legally blind. 

Still, I resisted going for the surgeries that would cure this defect.  Fear ran down every neuron in my body, sending shock waves of panic through me at the mere thought of my eye being cut into.  In spite of many people’s reassurances that it was an “easy-peesy” surgery, I couldn’t stop shaking long enough to pick up the phone and make the necessary appointments to get that ball rolling. 

I’d had many falls.  I couldn’t distinguish between stairs or flat ground, dips in concrete or, even tiny retaining walls that I’d trip over.  It wasn’t until I was in the midst of one of those falls that seemed to run in slow motion as I was in my downward descent that the thought, “I’ve got to get this done,” catapulted me into limping home and making that call. 

Within a few weeks, I was in the O.R., being prepared for the surgery. 

It’s amazing to me what our minds can do to us.  If you’ve ever had surgery of any kind, you’ll know the anxiety that I’m speaking of and recognize yourself in the thoughts that run rampant to cause the panic that one gets struck with as you’re awaiting to be wheeled into surgery.  A little education as to what to expect is a good thing but, the amount of research that I’d done, had given me more information than I really should have had for my own good.  Thoughts of complications were looming all around me as I watched people being wheeled in and out of surgery. 

Most of those around me, were of more advanced age.  I was one of the youngest in there.  There was only one other gentleman who appeared to be much younger than me.  I watched with eagerness as they rolled them into the recovery area, which was just across a desk in the central area, dividing the before and after patients.  I actually found myself angry when a nurse would step in front of a patient because I so badly wanted to see how they were making out post-op.  Yes, I had the thought that it wasn’t too late to rip out my own IV and head for the hills…even if I did trip and fall, doing so.  However, as I watched them chatting with the nurses and whomever they had accompany them to the surgery, eating cookies and drinking juice, tea or coffee in recovery, I realized they didn’t look any worse for the wear.  They were also much more likely to have serious health issues than me.  As fast as they were wheeled into recovery, they were being ushered out again. 

It was an assembly line feel to the process.  As chairs emptied in the O.R. section, more were brought in to be prepared.  Drops were put in the surgical eye several times while waiting, an IV was inserted, a heated blanket was placed over us, EKG leads were put on, blood pressure taken and we were all given a lovely blue disposable cap over our heads.  No one changed out of street clothes or shoes, though we were to wear fully buttoned shirts. 

The lady beside me, sitting in her lovely recliner chair that would eventually fold down to a flat table in the O.R., was having her second eye done.  She’d already been through this process before and, I couldn’t help but ask her how it felt, what they do…essentially, reassuring myself that I too, would come out of this alive. 

“Oh, it’s nothing,” she said, waiving her hand in front of me like I was a loon.  “You get a lovely light show, some water squirted into your eye, some pressure and it’s done. Then, they give you cookies and juice.”

The woman with her, whom I presume to be her daughter, simply smiled.  It appeared she’d also been present during the first surgery as well and this was old hat to her as well. 

Though many doctors were doing surgeries that day, we realized we had the same doctor.  She was to go ahead of me, even though they’d run behind by about 45 minutes. 

“I’m bloody bored,” she said, shifting herself restlessly in her chair. Her daughter just rolled her eyes and sighed.

Bored?  How does someone become bored when I was quaking with fear?

Finally, a male nurse came to wheel her into the O.R.. 

“See you on the other side (poor choice of words for me at that very moment),” she uttered, waiving back to me.  “It only takes about 10 minutes and you’re out.”

The nurse jokingly corrected her for her daughter’s sake, telling her that it would be more like a half hour or so. 

“Oh, you’re full of sh*t!” she exclaimed, waiving once again, behind her head to both me and her daughter. 

The nurse just chuckled and shook his head, wheeling her off. 

Panic was setting in now.  I knew I was next but, still had at least a half hour’s wait before it would be my turn to be wheeled off.  I’m not good with waiting of any kind, let alone panicked waiting. 

In less than a half hour, I could hear the woman on the other side of the desk that separated us pre-op with those who were post-op. 

“I’m done!  I’m here!” she yelled.  I could barely make out her hazy image from across the room as she excitedly waived at me.  I waived back, not knowing if she saw me or not but, her daughter had been brought back in again while cookies and juice were being downed and instructions given. 

Within moments, I was being wheeled in, saying my “see you laters” to my husband sitting beside me in a regular chair.  Was I sure I was coming out of there?  I’d watched about 10 people come and go and they all made it out.  Was there one who hadn’t?  Or, would I be that one?

The O.R. was cold, as I presume all O.R.s are or, maybe it was simply me and my panicked state.  Whatever it was, I was shaking as they wheeled me into the room.  A swirl of masks and scrubs were around me, hooking my leads up to monitors and my surgeon greeted me.  She’s not the most friendly of people.  Rather clinical and somewhat cold feeling, I wished there had have been some music or chatting to take my mind off of the hospital O.R. setting but, there was nothing of the sort.  Everything was timed and like clock-work, everyone knowing what to do and what order to do it.  It was clearly obvious this was done every day of the work week, many times a day.  That, in itself, made me feel a little more at ease. 

My head was strapped down tightly to the table so as not to have the inclination to move inadvertently.  A clamp was quickly and expertly placed on my eyelids to keep them open.  I couldn’t blink if I tried.  Oxygen in the form of a tubing into my nostrils was placed on and a drape was quickly put over my face and nose, exposing only the eye being worked upon.  For a brief moment, I felt rather claustrophobic (a usual state for me in these types of situations) but, it was quickly dissolved when I realized that I could breathe with the oxygen I was being given.  The anesthesiologist administered something that he said would relax me a bit but, not put me out, into my IV port.

I saw bright, multi-colored lights and nothing else.  I felt pressure and water being squirted over my eye.  I asked how it was going and was told “almost finished”.  Before I knew it, I was being dis-masked, leads off, head un-strapped and being wheeled out of the O.R.  I was heading for recovery and I knew the cookies and juice were awaiting me soon. 

My husband met me in the recovery within moments as they call for whomever has accompanied you to come in again. 

I was offered cookies and juice, tea or coffee and chose the juice as my mouth was dry from my own unnecessary panic. 

Within 15 minutes, I was being seen by another younger doctor who checked my eye, a plastic clear shield put over my eye and told to go home. 

I bumped into (I mean that literally) the older lady that I’d met in the O.R. as she was putting on her coat and also leaving. 

“See, I told you it was nothing,” she said, patting me on the shoulder. 

I slept for a couple of hours when I got home, tired out from my self-made hell that I’d mentally put myself into for weeks prior and lack of sleep from the night before.  My husband had picked up take-out food and we ate.  I was starving but, full of pride that I’d done it.  I’d gotten it done.  I’d faced my fear. 

The next day, I took off my sunglasses (yes, it was photosensitive still) and looked down at my new puppy.  I cried.  I realized that I’d never seen him.  I’d gotten him while I couldn’t see.  There was his fur, his little eyes, all of the details that I hadn’t ever seen.  I looked at my husband and for the first time in years, I could see him clearly if I shut the eye not yet done.  He looked fabulous to me.  Then, I looked in the mirror.  How I’d aged 20 years overnight, I don’t know but, I did.  Still it was a delight to be able to see what everyone else had been seeing and I didn’t. 

For the next week, I found myself extremely emotional, crying at times, unconsciously because I could see the buds on the trees, the birds, stop signs, street signs, changes in houses around ours, people walking on the street and so much more that I’d chatter on endlessly about being able to see each and every thing that I was seeing for the first time in years.  I could even see the grain in the new flooring my husband had put down 3 years prior.  I had been missing the world and all that was in it.  How did I let it get so bad?

It’s been 7 weeks since this first surgery.  My eye has been healing.  I’m still having a bit of difficulty with small things and light sensitivity but, mostly because I’m still very unbalanced because the other eye needs to be done still.  I have more questions for the surgeon about seeing what appears to be the edge of the lens but, I know it’s not and a few other details that she has said will improve with time and more healing.  But, all in all, I’m pleased that I can see again!

Thursday June 26th, I’ll be once again, going through the same process on the other eye.  Am I nervous.  Just a tad.  Mostly it’s because I hate waiting but, I know it’s part of the process and that I’m in good hands.  Will I be glad when it’s done?  Of course.  More than anything, I can’t wait to see with both eyes again. 

If nothing else, I’ve learned a couple of interesting things.

One is that our minds can do numbers on us that needn’t be the case.

Secondly, is that older people have more nerve and fight than we youngsters.  Maybe, it’s because they’ve experienced much more than we have or, perhaps it’s that they’ve come from a generation where they don’t look up everything on the net to scare themselves silly?  Whatever it is, I was truly “The Baby” in that O.R. that day in every way conceivable but, I’m grateful for the gift of being able to see again.  

From my little corner of life, that’s the way that I see things now.