Sunday, October 19, 2014

Is Obama To Blame for Ebola? The Conspiracy Deepens!

It is clear by the most recent epidemic of Ebola cases in the United States, that African-American(Maybe) president Barack Obama clearly wanted to bring the disease to this country so he could go about microchipping us, tracking us through the CDC, ruin the cruise ship industry, get money sent to his homeland of Kenya, and get Walking Dead cancelled when people realize the creepy parallels.  

Or so I thought.

But then I did some studying.

Seems that several years ago when President Bush was fighting communist terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, to the dismay of liberals, he was also doing something that EVERYONE liked.   Namely, he was helping lead US humanitarian work in Africa to deal with poverty and various diseases.  And he's still doing that work.

So let's think about this rationally and examine the facts:
  • Bush spent a lot of time in Africa dealing with disease.  
  • Ebola is a disease.
  • The first person to bring Ebola to the US came from Africa.  
  • This person came to Dallas.
  • Dallas is where a Democrat President was killed in 1963.
  • Dallas is in Texas.
  • George Bush was Governor of Texas.   
  • GOP political power players Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, and Ron Paul are also from Texas.  
  • The disease didn't enter the US until right before the critical 2014 elections that could sway the Senate to GOP control. 
  • The GOP wants control of the Senate
  • Ebola panic could sway the Senate to the side of the GOP
See what I'm saying?   Ebola is a conspiracy that goes to the highest reaches of government back to the Bush Presidency.  Obviously with Bush's connections to the illuminati and the Koch brothers, he was able to set this vicious chain of events in motion with the express purpose of making people who fear Ebola vote for the Republicans.

Please spread this to every moron you know!   

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Me The Plumber

In the past several weeks, our toilet's flush mechanism went from being a little sticky to requiring the force of ten men and an anvil to flush.   Being the incredible handy man that I am, I dealt with this situation in the only way I knew how, reciting poetry.

If it's brown, flush it down.  If it's mellow, let it yellow.  
Because I Could Not Stop for Poop Emily Dickinson --  (May 1886)  

Unfortunately, as I am married and enjoy staying that way, I knew that this solution couldn't be permanent, so I debated my options.

Call a Plumber -- Back in the day (1950's sitcoms) when men went to work in seven piece suits to offices, plumbers were often called in to fix plumbing needs, most of which involved an offscreen toy stuck in the toilet, or grandpa getting his foot caught in the shower drain again.   Pipes were made of lead and would kill you and your brain cells before anything happened to them.   Toilets were 80 gallon flush toilets and a little leak would give it character.    Brave do-it-yourselfers would walk in to the bathroom with a monkey wrench, some rhino pliers, and an aardvark philips head screwdriver, examine the toilet, and fix it in manly ways, such as jiggling the handle, or putting a brick in the tank.    And it is because of this (and the $500 per hour rates) that I didn't want to call a plumber.   I think every person that walks into my house to do these manly things looks at me like "you called me to do THIS?   I should charge you double."  And then they would spend two second looking at my toilet, take ten seconds to fix it, and ask me "cash, check, credit, or second mortgage?"

Let It Go -- Yeah, now that song's stuck in your head to.   But the only thing that would be Frozen would be me, kicked out of the house because my wife and daughter had finally snapped off the flusher handle after doing their business.

Fix It Myself -- Seriously?   The list of handyman failures in my life is long, starting with the very first thing I ever attempted, a paper towel rack.    I got out my drill, level, and after spending an hour and a half carefully measuring, stud finding (hey, it's pointing back at me), drilling holes, and attaching the towel rack, found out that the wall anchors I'd chosen were too large for my drywall, which meant every tug on the towel rack would pull it a quarter inch from the wall.    And it stayed there for three years, mocking me with every soda spill and cat puke.  

But hey, Google is my friend, right, so I googled "Mansfield 160 toilet" and instantly found six thousand posts regarding my toilet model, all referring to a tough to flush toilet.   It seems I would need something called a "flush valve", which was essentially a giant rubber washer about the size of a Coke can.  My wife, who was worried about the overdeveloped muscles in her flush hand, cheerfully agreed to go to Home Depot and buy one, while I toiled away in the fields of corporate cubicledom.

I spent the day at work full of apprehension.   I had visions of the toilet flying apart as I replaced the flush valve, spraying water everywhere, until a giant hole opened in the ground and swallowed me and my entire family with it, but not before corpses that were buried there in the 16th century rose up and attacked us all.

I decided to watch a YouTube video to prepare me.   Then I realized "Kittens Riding a Pony" wasn't going to help much at all, so I googled "Mansfield Flush Valve", where a man with a nice voice walked me through the process.   I was psyched.   This looked easy.

But on my drive home, that fear rose up again.    I steeled myself for the procedure.  When I got home,  I put on my most ill fitting pants that exposed a portion of my butt crack as I'd seen the professionals do.   I got the bag from Home Depot, opened up the giant ring, and went in for action.   First I turned off the water to my toilet, then I drained it.   Then I opened up the toilet tank and did the minor plastic surgery necessary to remove the parts.   I pulled the old flush valve up.   Instantly my hand was covered with a black inky substance.   My toilet was attacking me like an octopus!   I continued.    I threw the old flush valve away, crossed myself, and gently put the new one on.

"There are two notches on the mechanism.   Make sure you align it with the TOP one, and not the bottom one!"   The nice man's voice spoke in my subconscious like some sort of HGTV version of Obi Wan Kenobi.

I imagined the designer of the toilet chuckling to himself at creating a needless complication for Do-It-Yourselfers.   How many people put the ring on that second notch and were condemned to a toilet that wouldn't flush and would mock them until they called the plumber, who would insult THEIR manhoods, and steal their wives.

I slowly moved the ring around the mechanism, guiding it into place.  I then gently put the entire assembly back together and turned on the water.  

DAMN IT, A LEAK!   The water from the top tank was slowly seeping out into the bottom one after the flush.

I went back in for surgery again, this time making sure the area around the flush valve was clean and had no gaps in it.   Feeling cocky, I turned the water on again.

WHAT?   Water was pouring down the front of the tank.   I'd somehow created a magic hole in the tank itself that was spilling everywhere.    Then I realized in my haste I'd forgotten to reinsert a water fill tube into the top of the mechanism.

I fixed it.    I flushed again.   To my surprise.   It worked.

As I stood there flushed with success, I imagined what this would mean for me.   My wife would see me in a new light, and swoon over my newly proven manliness.    I ran into the living room.  

"Come be the first to flush this."  (Okay, it was a lie, but c'mon.)

"I'm good."

"No, please!"

My wife, realizing my fragile ego needed a stroke, came in and flushed the toilet.   The handle pressed easily at the movement of her delicate and fragile fingers, and I'm almost certain I saw a tear forming in her eye.   Or it could have been some stray water I hadn't yet wiped up.

So there it is, my first real Do-It-Yourself success.   No plumber needed.  No anxious call to my Father-In-Law (a pipefitter) to come fix my mistakes.    Just a manly $1.87 five minute repair that a well trained dog could do.

Now to change the battery in the smoke detector that's been beeping since 2012.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Quick Political Rant on Ebola

Want to understand the consequences of a country in which companies cut corners to save money, and many people don't have health insurance, an income safety net, or basic protections of job security?  Think of these things.

  • How many privately run hospitals and doctors offices have invested time and money in adequately identifying and containing infectious diseases?  
  • How many doctors and nurses are working with patient quotas and incentives for the number of patients they see, increasing the chance they may misdiagnose patients?   
  • How many nurses have a workload that allows them adequate time to prepare, sterilize, clean, themselves and other things before moving on to the next patient, or a stress level that they are mentally prepared to dot all Is and cross all Ts when dealing with major health issues?
  • How many health care facilities either outsource or run short staff on cleaning people?  How many of these cleaning jobs are low paying enough that they attract people who don't care how well they do their job, or the jobs turnover so quickly that training and experience is non-existent?   
  • How many people have no or inadequate insurance, and either go to cheap facilities that aren't prepared to handle a major infectious disease, or avoid going to the doctor until it is too late?  
  • How many people cannot leave their job for illness of any kind, either because they fear losing their job or because they cannot afford to lose their income?   
When you have a country that continually spends less and less on regulation, has a privatized healthcare system that increasingly is only accessible to those with the most money, and has been continually chipping away at protections for workers, it's not hard to see we might have some serious issues if we continue to vote for the people who think unfettered capitalism will somehow solve all woes.   

This November, if you vote for the people who think healthcare for all is a bad idea, protections of our workforce are an undue burden on employers, or that government oversight of businesses and adequate resources to monitor regulation of them are a fate worse than death, think of what could happen if Ebola or any other disease reaches epidemic proportions.