I’m baaack!  From?  A twenty-three-day unwanted stay in the hospital (two hospitals actually, but I wont go into the details, since I wasn’t conscious half the time).  Turns out the doctors, after a seemingly endless number of highly intrusive tests on my tired old torso, have concluded that my July 27 seizure was a legacy of the West Nile fever that I contracted two years ago and thought I’d kicked for good.  Apparently not.

What might you gain from my pain?  Well, I advise you guard against the mosquito, and not just for its carrying the fashionable Zika virus, but the West Nile as well.  How do you do that?  The old familiar precautions: Liberal use of insect repellent--particularly from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.  Wear long-sleeved shirts as well; the same for long pants.  Close your doors and windows at dusk when the bugs are on the hunt.

Most importantly, rid your home and yard of standing water: in gutters, pots, barrels, old tires, bird baths, pet bowls—anything that might pool it for their breeding; wipe down likely breeding sites with a cloth to kill larvae.  Water plants at the soil line, not their tops.  Report
the presence of dead birds—often an indicator of the virus’s presence—to authorities.
Another plus for you from my minus?  Well, you have another fact to drop in the lap of your climate-change-denying Uncle Ed at this coming Thanksgiving Day dinner.  Yes, tropical fauna are moving north with the heat, bringing their unwanted viral baggage with them, infecting our Southern California paradise.  Doubters need only consult their local county health office records to see the alarming rise in casualties, including a sobering spike in deaths.

Leaving a hospital alive is almost always a cause for joy.  This time I had to wonder.  I found myself walking out and onto a stage in media res of a play that might be titled “The Further Follies of Gauleiter Lumpen von Trump,” a farce co-written by the ghosts of Samuel Beckett and Franz Kafka.  First there was cristalnoche (if I may be allowed a neologism in a language I don’t speak), playing out on two stages in one day—first rather awkwardly in Mexico City, hours later raucously so in Phoenix, where roasted Mexicano was served on the rare side to the angry local white folks.

Had nothing changed?  I found myself in need of some peace and quiet to speed along my recuperation.  Not to be.  Seems Donald, almost overnight, had transformed himself from clumsy diplomat to would-be admiral; Iranian patrol boats had buzzed a U. S. Navy destroyer in the Persian Gulf and insulted its crew with gestures.   An incensed Trump told his Florida audience he would have handled it differently: Those who circle our “beautiful destroyer with their little boats...and makegestures at our people that they shouldn’t be allowed to make, will be shot out of the water.”

What!  Go to war just for getting flipped off in international waters!  That’s insane.  Perhaps I was better off in the hospital where one is shielded from the news of the day.  OK, so I was in no personal danger, having done my five years of military service during the Korean War.  But counting children and grandchildren, I had eleven hostages clutched in fortune’s cruel hand.  Instead of more conflict, what the world really needed was a little love.  Even a whiff of romance.  

Patience, and the media will provide anything and everything.  

For some time I had been reading of a mutual admiration between Mister Bluster and the Short Assassin.  Could it be?  Normally I consider conspiracy theories and the theorists who spin them products and occupants of the nut bin.  But the persistence in the press of a Trump-Putin romance has triggered in my insulted forebrain a conspiracy theory of my own.  It’s a great, truly terrible and horrible shocker that’s going to change your whole world view.  No, I can’t give it to you now.  Believe me, though, it’s yuge. And some think it’s disgusting.  Greatly disgusting.  I’ve got some people in Moscow right now and you’ll be shocked at what they’re finding.   But before I expose the truth, I want to validate it with more research in the Book of Revelation and Nostradamus.

It’s absolutely coming.  Within a week...or two.  Right here.  It’s going to be the best blog, believe me!  IT’S GOING TO BLOW YOUR MIND!