Friday, January 7, 2011

Tough Start

It’s always good to start the day with a healthy dose of irony. Two Republican members of Congress skipped out on being sworn in.

Two House Republicans have cast votes as members of the 112th Congress, but were not sworn in on Wednesday, a violation of the Constitution on the same day that the GOP had the document read from the podium.

The Republicans, incumbent Pete Sessions of Texas and freshman Mike Fitzpatrick, missed the swearing in because they were at a fundraiser in the Capitol Visitors Center. The pair watched the swearing-in on television from the Capitol Visitors Center with their hands raised.

And, according to House ethics rules, they’re not supposed to have fundraisers in the Capitol.

That brought some proceedings, including a hearing to repeal the healthcare law attended by Mr. Sessions, to a screeching halt while they considered what to do. Both members were later sworn in on the floor of the House.

Meanwhile, the reading of the Constitution went on from the House floor. That had a couple of glitches, too, including a heckler in the gallery when they got to the part about a “natural-born citizen” being one of the qualifications to be president. Then there was the fact that the geniuses behind the reading of the Constitution decided to read only the parts of it that were still in effect, thereby eliminating the bits where African-Americans are described as 3/5ths of a person, or the 18th Amendment, which instituted Prohibition and was later repealed. As one Republican put it, “we will omit those portions that have been deleted by subsequent amendments that were adopted over time.” Except they haven’t been deleted; they’re still in the Constitution. They’re just no longer in effect. When you delete something, you remove it. But the text of the Constitution still contains the reference to 3/5ths, and the 18th Amendment is still there, too; there’s not a big blank space between the 17th and the 19th.

For a bunch of people who proclaim their undying love for the Constitution, they sure know how to mistreat it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Total Update

My bruised foot is feeling much better. I went to the doctor for a follow-up and he said everything in that regard is looking well, even if there’s still some tenderness and bruising around the toes. Meanwhile, the insurance paperwork flows on…

Monday, March 31, 2008

Gas Mileage

When I had the Mustang, I habitually filled it up every Monday morning on the way to the office, and it usually took six to eight gallons of gas to top it off, depending on my driving the week before. This morning I did that on the Pontiac, having driven pretty much the same routine last week. It only needed four gallons.

So I guess I’m going to save a lot of money on gas for the duration. On the whole, however, I’d rather not have gone through what I did to get to that situation.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

No Broken Bones

The diagnosis is in; all my footbones are still connected to the leg bone and everything is where it should be and intact. My doctor wants me to keep it elevated and avoid putting weight on it until the swelling goes down, and I go back on Tuesday for a follow-up. Let’s hope that’s the end of it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I was finally able to get a doctor’s appointment today to check my foot. The appointment was at 3:30, so I left the office at 2:30. I was taken to the exam room at 4:41. Then there was about a forty-five minute delay while the office verified that I had a claim number and of course by the time they called the office was closed. They finally got through but the claims adjuster had already gone for the day. So the doctor said the hell with it and he examined me, saying he’d get the office manager to clear it up in the morning. (This led to a discussion about universal health care; the doctor and I both agree anything would be an improvement.)

Anyway, the doctor wants me to get an x-ray and to use crutches until they know what’s going on in there.

Using crutches is nothing new; I used them for 12 weeks back in 1989 when I broke my ankle. It will take a little sense-memory recall to get back into the swing of it, so to speak, but it shouldn’t be too hard. Ironically, the last time I used crutches I was driving the Pontiac, and the new ones fit right between the front seats where the old ones did.

On the good news side, Allstate, the insurer of the guy who caused the accident, has accepted liability and I’ll be getting something for the total loss of the Mustang. At least that part of the ordeal is over.

Onward… however awkwardly.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Morning After

In light of last night’s events, I’m taking it easy today to arrange for the insurance adjuster to inspect what’s left of the Mustang and make sure that there’s no further damage to me.

Thanks for all your good wishes, and I am keeping an eye on my health. The only lingering pain is in my right foot where I apparently jammed on the brakes, although I don’t remember it, and I was wearing sandals, so there’s some soreness but no swelling or discoloration. I’ve had a bad foot injury before — I broke my left ankle in 1989 — and this is nothing like that. I also don’t have any neck or back pain twelve hours after the accident, but I live two blocks from a hospital, so if things get out of sorts I’m literally around the corner from an E.R.

I know a car is just a machine; a collection of parts and pieces of steel, glass, wires, and plastic, but we humans tend to anthropomorphize inanimate objects, but looking back through the history of this car — I bought it from my mom in 2003 and kept all the records — I have a lot of happy memories of where it took me. Mom bought it ten years ago, trading in a 20-year-old Volvo, and drove it to her classes at the University of Toledo as she finished up her degree, begun in the 1940’s, interrupted by marriage and motherhood, and finally finished nearly fifty years later. I took it to the Keys with the top down many times, and made it a practice of driving home with the top down every afternoon here in Miami, weather permitting — or sometimes not. Its ancestor — a red 1966 Mustang GT convertible — is an off-stage character in Can’t Live Without You, remembered fondly by Bobby and Donny as a talisman of a carefree time still within reach. So to see it forlornly crunched and distorted in the yard of a tow company in West Miami is a sad moment.

But I have a lot of pictures, and somewhere out there is another Mustang convertible waiting patiently for a good home, and someday soon we’ll find each other and take some more trips to the Keys.

In Spirit

First, the good news. I’m okay and the airbags worked.

I was driving home after running an errand when an elderly gentleman in a 2007 Infiniti made a left turn directly in front of me at an intersection. There was no time to stop and I t-boned him. Fortunately it happened in the middle of downtown Coral Gables and within five minutes there were three police cruisers and fire rescue on the scene. The other driver is okay — he cut his head but refused treatment — and will be cited for failure to yield. Triple A took care of the towing, the insurance company will take care of the storage until the adjuster can write it up, and at some point I get to shop for a new Mustang convertible.

So for the time being, I’ll be driving my reliable 1988 Pontiac station wagon, and even if it’s a while before I can get the new car, I’ll still be Mustang Bobby in spirit.

So long, pal. It’s been fun.