Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Housecleaning Hodge-podge

House-Cleaning Hodge-podge

As promised last week, I will be writing about the Presidential candidates later this month… putting on my non-partisan hat, and trying to give good, solid reasons for voting for either of the two, just as I did back when there were a dozen candidates in January before the primaries.

This week, however, before I turn my attention to the weighty business of choosing the next leader of the free world, I have a little housecleaning

to attend to

to take care of

to deal with.

(I was trying to get rid of the dangling participle… but I’m giving up. You’ll have to just deal with it.)

Just a few things on my mind I want to mention…

First, I want to pause to acknowledge the anniversary we observe this week: It’s been seven years since the 9/11 attacks changed our world.

Most of us lived through that dark day by watching news reports that left deep and lasting impressions… impressions that inflamed our patriot spirit.

On that day, President Bush said, “Terrorists attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”

Passage of time dampens those memories. But it’s important that we all maintain the knowledge that the battle started on that day continues, and will continue for many years to come. We cannot allow ourselves to be lulled into false complacency. America is engaged in a war we didn’t start, but must finish. And, that’s why -- in addition to honoring the heroes of 9/11 – it’s good that we observe the occasion each year and refresh our memory of that dark day.

Now on to a less weighty matter – or more, depending on your point of view…

The Weight Loss Olympics is over: We have a winner… and it is not ME.

Regular readers of this column know that 15 Fat Guys started a competition back in July – a seven week weight-loss competition. We each put $100 American dollars into a pot with the winner taking all.

And the winner was Northeast Columbia resident Don Gowrys, Store Manager of Michaels Arts and Crafts on Harbison Boulevard. Don initially weighed-in at 381.2 pounds, but lost a whopping 40 pounds in seven weeks!!! He says he did it with a simple balanced diet and exercise… but I’m suspicious. (Incidentally, he beat Yours Truly by 29 pounds!)

Honorable mention in the weight loss extravaganza went to Robert Wessinger and Rod Lorick, each of whom lost 25 pounds during the 49 day contest period.

The rest of us were mostly in the teens. We didn’t set any records, but we still ended up 10 or 15 pounds lighter than we started.

Next item –

This newspaper is planning to bring back an old feature: community columnists – the locals who contribute a few paragraphs each week or so about goings-on in your own neighborhoods or social circles.

We’re currently looking for the folks to fill those slots, and you might be one of them. If you’re interested in a new hobby – writing your own short column about the people you know every week or so – shoot me an email, and I’ll pass it on. My personal email is: RodShealy@aol.com

As promised a few weeks ago, I want to update you on my own medical condition.

In July, you may know, I was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, which turned out to be a recurrence of melanoma from 25 years earlier. Surgery in early August was successful in removing the tumor, leaving no further indications of the cancer. While there is a very real possibility of a future recurrence, my doctors have now advised against any therapy -- chemo or radiation -- at this time, opting instead for a program of monitoring, with an MRI scheduled every two months. This way, the doctors believe they will be able to catch any future growths early and “zap” them at that time. So, the bottom line is this: I’m doing GREAT! I’m back at work – although only 8 to 10 hours a day – and feeling stronger every day. And, once again, I am deeply appreciative of all the cards, letters, calls and emails of support, and the many, many prayers that, I am certain, resulted in this very good news. I thank you.

One last thing, which I found recently on the Electronic Internet:

Can you read this?

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Taht’s all fro nwo. I’ll be bcak nxet weke!


Debbie said...

You have been in our thoughts and prayers my friend.
Debbie Harwell

jim said...

Rod, great to have you back in fine form...look forward to reading all about it, as they say. Incidently, can you repost Don's mailing address inasmuch as i have a little unfinished business to attend to. thanks, jim miles

DR said...

awesome to have you back....looking forward to what you write about the candidates for November...don't want to be political on your blog, but suffice it to say that only one party offers a real commander-in-chief and a classy vice president who will provide true inspiration based on her character and achievement

Anonymous said...

Right, dr. Don't get political on this site.