KingMidget's Ramblings

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Covering the Bases

First Base

I took a few minutes this afternoon to head over to the library and check out some books.  On my way there, a nice gentleman was standing on the street with some type of computing device in his hands.  “Do you have a few minutes to talk about gay rights?” he asked me as I walked by.  I said “no” and continued to walk on and became more and more bothered by the question as I approached the library.  Why is that?  In general, I support equality.  I support the right of gays to marry.  I oppose discrimination.  I probably could have talked to him and agreed with just about everything he said.  But, there’s this.

The use of the words “gay rights.”  I wanted to walk back to him and tell him that I might have stopped and talked to him if he asked me to discuss “human rights.”  But, you know me.  If you’ve been hanging out on this blog over the years, you know I’m tired of identity politics and single interest special interest groups.  I’m tired of gay rights and women’s rights and ferret rights and Lego rights and every other right people are fighting for.  I’ll say it again and keep saying it.  Let’s talk about human rights.  The basic core rights that all humans are entitled to and which should be protected regardless of any characteristic that exists in them and defines them as something different than others.  Talk to me about human rights and I’m there.  I really want to be done with the rest of this.

Second Base

Last week, we spent a few days visiting colleges with my younger son.  He wants to be a vet and applied to several colleges that have agriculture programs or animal science programs.  He was accepted to three of them.  Oklahoma State in Stillwater.  Oregon State in Corvallis.  And Chico State, a California State University campus in, yes, Chico.  At the beginning of the week, the Queen Midget went with him to Stillwater for a couple of days to visit the campus.  Then they flew to Portland where my older son and I joined them for a couple of days in Corvallis.  Chico State is next week.  Here’s what I learned — kind of what I’ve known for years now, but when it’s staring you in the face, it takes on a whole new reality.

The idea of an affordable public college education in this country has become a complete and total joke.  I’ll leave it at that.  I’ll spare you the details about the costs and the limits on financial aid and that we make enough money to be ineligible for any real financial assistance while not making enough to actually be able to afford the thing.  I won’t mention that 30 years ago my parents were able to provide three of their kids with access to a public college education without having to borrow a dime.  It’s all just so ridiculous where this country has taken itself.

Third Base

Over at my fiction blog, I wrote a little short story that had a kernel of truth to it.  Briefly, I turned 50 a few months ago.  I’ve developed a couple of odd pains that started to make me worry about whether something serious was going on.  So I had the obligatory physical for us 50-year-olds.  The doctor did his thing (you know, it involves a finger and that place).  The lab did it’s thing (three vials of blood).  X-Rays were taken.

And the diagnosis is???

Is the suspense killing you???

Well, whatever is going on in my body apparently isn’t killing me.

Everything was remarkably, ridiculously normal.  Prostate was good.  All of the bloodwork came back in the normal range.  X-rays were negative.  The fact that I have had a sore tailbone for months and new, odd pains in my right hip apparently is based on … well that I have a sore tailbone and odd pains in my right hip.  But there is nothing from any of the tests and anything else that point to anything beyond the fact that when you get to my age, things just start hurting.  Getting older sucks.  My problem is that when one of these pains finally actually means something, I won’t know until it’s too late because I’ve grown tired of going through this routine … “doc, it hurts.”  “There’s nothing wrong.”  “So, why does it hurt?”  “Because.”  Kind of makes it difficult to keep going back.

Home Plate

It’s baseball season!  There really is nothing better than the story that is told over the 162 game course of the baseball season.  The Giants, the team of my childhood when I went to games with my family, of my early years as an adult when I went to games with friends, and my years as a parent when I took my kids and turned them into Giants fans, are back at it.  Three World Series in five years — a dream that still seems unreal and impossible — leads to only one thing to consider.  Can they do it again this year?

12 responses to “Covering the Bases

  1. Bruce Thiesen April 11, 2015 at 4:54 am

    Veteran (pre-2010) Giants fans rights. How about that nice game from Lincecum? Good to see. It would be amazing to see him return to amazing this season.

    • kingmidget April 11, 2015 at 7:14 am

      Yes. We need protection, don’t we? I’m still a skeptic as to whether Lincecum is back. We’ll see. But that’s the beauty of being a lifelong Giants fan. It doesn’t matter how well they do, I’ll always be pessimistic and skeptical about their chances.

  2. sknicholls April 11, 2015 at 6:20 am

    I’m glad nothing was wrong, but I get it. I had a pain and a lump under my right rib cage. They took out a small cyst. Next, the gall bladder had a stone so they took that out in a second surgery. Two years later. I still have this pain under my right rib cage. Doc said, “May be some adhesions from the surgeries. What? Crap. What was the point of the surgery?

    • kingmidget April 11, 2015 at 7:15 am

      I’ve got so many bumps it’s ridiculous. As long as they don’t get bigger or start to hurt, I’m not supposed to worry. But isn’t the fact that the bump didn’t exist six months ago mean it got bigger just by being there?

  3. sknicholls April 11, 2015 at 6:30 am

    Also, even though my daughter had an aunt who paid all her tuition, books and room and board, she took out thirty thousand dollars worth of student loans just so she could live independently off campus. She’s been out of school for years and has yet to pay them back. They’ve gone into default and revolve on her credit history every few years. She’ll be in debt for the remainder of her life at this rate.

    • kingmidget April 11, 2015 at 7:17 am

      I graduated from law school 22 years ago with $55,000 in student loan debt. At the time the interest rates were around 9%. I consolidated them (so I can’t now refinance them into a lower rate loan) and at various times we deferred payment . While the loans were deferred they kept accruing interest. So, yes, 22 years after I graduated from law school, I still owe more than $25,000.

      • sknicholls April 11, 2015 at 7:25 am

        I had a scholarship for books and tuition and Pell Grants, but still took out $20,000 in loans. I made it a priority to pay it back and had that done ten years later. It was at 7% interest. That money bought me a couple of cars for my commute because I lived out in the wilderness and had to commute to the nearest city for school. Without it, I would have never made it.

      • kingmidget April 11, 2015 at 7:32 am

        I went to a private law school that had an evening program. I planned on working full-time through the four years and only borrow enough for tuition, which was $9,000 a year. But after the first year, I cut my hours back to 30 hours a week. And for the third and fourth years I worked even less. Hence the $55,000. 😦 I got married a couple of months before I graduated. And there were always other priorities instead of maxing out repayment of the student loan. Buying a house, starting a family, the wife staying home for almost ten years (which actually wasn’t supposed to happen).

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