F. I. S. H. DIET


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My husband told me that his Mother did not know THIS, either: He had Testicular Cancer.


Here is what he told me:      

“While I was in the military they found out that I had Cancer in my testicle. They decided to remove it. The surgery was scheduled and I was not allowed to eat anything. The surgery was then postponed, so they gave me something to eat, with some tea. The surgery was then OK’d to proceed but—since I’d eaten, I got sick on the anesthesia and I threw up a little in the gas mask. I could’ve died! They removed my testicle because it had Cancer. I never told my Mom because I didn’t want her to worry about me.”

I read his medical report.
It says this:
“Patient entered military surgical unit for testicle that (did not drop) at birth. Routine surgery was performed to enable this. Patient was fitted with a prosthesis (rubber ball)
testicle, and discharged.”
ANY PERSON WHO TELLS PEOPLE THAT THEY HAD CANCER....                            

(when they DID NOT):
                                                  SHOULD GET CANCER!

My husband says that he spent 20 years in the military…


I have a copy of the discharge papers. There are several coded entries and dates. I would not have been able to figure it all out, if not for Google!  Every time I came across one of those entries I plugged it in and Google took me to congressional addendums and new laws having to do with the years-long process of downsizing the military.

Typically what happens is an enlisted man leaves the military, only to find that the skills they possess (that were so valuable to the military) did not apply as well in the Private Sector. Consequently, laws were brought forth and passed, allowing these skilled individuals to continue to work alongside their former colleagues, but under a new management—civilian.

The former soldier continues to work in their chosen field, and probably even makes more money than he did in the military. As an added incentive to take this route, the military retirement pension continued to accrue years toward a military pension.

That was the part that made tracing the lie so difficult!  If you hear my ‘Ex’ bragging about his military experience, it is always referred to as his

“Twenty years working as Crew Chief and Master Sergeant for Uncle Sugar’s Flying Circus!”

He has even been known to ‘pull rank’ on other military men, as was the case when he found out that his younger son had left high school early to join the marines.

This loving Dad got the boy's Drill Instructor on the phone. He identified his name, rank and serial number! He made damn sure that his son would be given every hardship. A double dose of what the other grunts were getting!

My husband thought he would assist in washing him out of basic training. That is how supportive HE was!                                                                                                                                                  


I had to laugh when, through investigation and sort of piecing these things together, I have come to the realization that my former spouse’s “twenty years in the military” was sort of a stretch of the truth. By how far or how much I can’t be sure. He WAS in the Air Force, I’ll give him that.  He joined when he was a skinny little eighteen year old.  There is a medical admittance form in his file proving—what with his bad eyes, concave chest and irregular heartbeat—that he was considered

                                                      A-OK for the USAF!

 They (apparently) will take anybody.

I think that he was in there for eight years. I found a certificate of discharge in a box of crap that he had abandoned in our storage unit.  There were half a dozen letters from a series of commanding officers requesting a promotion. Each one asked the same thing in nearly the exact same words. Sort of mechanical in the way they were alike. It was pretty easy to discern by these ‘recommendations’ that perhaps (and this is entirely plausible) he wrote them and presented them for signature and that the officers had not cared for him.                                         

He finally managed to obtain the rank of master sergeant, after some years as a technical sergeant.

The discharge papers were encoded with the special military lingo so it took a little bit of time and patience, but eventually it became clear and I saw the real story: The Military was Downsizing.

It seems that he took one or more of these deals, and was able to continue to build on his retirement years. The result: Twenty years’ accrued pension. I think that at least half of his “military career” was where he was working as a civilian, alongside his former military colleagues (and earning more money in the private sector.

My husband MIGHT have said, “For twenty years, I worked NEXT to the Military.


He could manufacture a fabrication with no effort; then believe it so entirely that it is likely he could’ve passed a lie detector. One good example of his fantasies that emerged out of thin air:

It was the Fourth of July weekend. He wanted the day off so he called and spoke to his boss.  The boss was about to say no. There was a shipment that needed hauling. My husband told his boss a whopper about the “poor children that will be waiting to see the Fourth of July parade on Main Street, and that he was supposed to lead that parade”, wearing his Air Force Master Sergeant Uniform (costume!).Oh the poor children!

Was the boss supposed to feel bad? Was he responsible for the poor suffering children who had no parade?        I don’t know if he did or not but he said NO. He said get your butt back in the truck.

I was puzzled. I was unaware of any parade. My husband told me that he had made the whole thing up on the spot! What? I don’t understand why he thought that sort of guilt trip would work on his boss.

  My spouse worked as a truck driver. We were owner/operators for five years and he worked for six different freight companies. It wasn’t that he was dissatisfied with one company or that he favored another. He told me they were all pretty much the same. It was the recruiters.

My husband liked to be wooed.

He would set his eye on the “best company”. He would talk to drivers that were with that company. He would probably use it as an excuse to hold some company driver prisoner for the price of lunch. How very like him!

Anyway he would glean all of this information about a certain freight company. He would go to their website and express an interest in working together. As an owner/operator, he was jumped at by a mob of adoring (hungry) recruiters that would wine him and dine him to get him to sign with them.

He would be the belle of the ball!

Later after our truck was sold and he was a company driver, he had some trouble getting a job as he had by then worked for so many companies that questions were raised as to why he worked at 36 different jobs.

He had painted himself into a bit of a corner.


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My Test Flight

The Plane

June, 2010


There I was…

…just a day away from my second knee replacement surgery.  I normally would be stressing

And scared as I AM SUCH A BABY, however—since I would be flying the plane, that gave

me other, more immediate crises about which to fret.

Did I say, “Flying the plane?”


I had spent thirteen Wednesday evenings in a row at the Red Bluff Airport, where I

studied Aviation ground school with six other diverse and interesting people. I needed to

get down to Napa valley for my knee surgery, a trip that takes about three and a half

hours by car.  I didn’t want to put that kind of stress on my old car, and renting a car was

just about the same cost as a car rental.

When you rent a car, then you have someone that you can call and yell, “Come and get

me!” I like that.  The time element is the same only instead of driving, we would be

planning the route, checking the weather, checking the plane.


It was really cool. My Certified Flight Instructor is Irwin, whom I’ve known for centuries. He owned a print shop for many years and was District 3 County Supervisor. Irwin had me controlling the rudder and at the wheel and he was completely hands-off! It was great....            

at first...but then he was telling me all the things that I should be DOING!


Holding the throttle (controls the speed and thrust) with one hand, the wheel with the other (controls the flaps that help to turn) and right and left foot on separate pedals (to move the ailerons, rudder and enables turning) BUT ALSO...

AM I.....

looking at my gauges, altimeter, pressure, gas, level flight indicator, air speed indicator...

Am I....

keeping a balance of all adjusters to ensure level flight (no mawing, dipping, sliding, dropping altitude) or is the nose up TOO HIGH am I gaining ALTITUDE, AM I ADJUSTING MY SPEED...?!!

AM I.... scanning the sky for other planes....OTHER PLANES??????!!!!!


Well, I was doing fine until all of that stuff began to weigh down on me and how it was


..flying this thing and OMG!   ME?????   OHHHHH....that could be bad! I DON'T KNOW HOW!  (MORE SCREEEEAMMMING......) so I said "Irwin, I am ready for you to take over."

He did and it was all fine and once on the ground (oh and the closer we GOT the better I felt!) then Irwin said Oh yeahhhhh, all of those feelings were completely natural and expected and EVERYBODY tends to feel that way (at least the sane and sensible ones)

and in fact if I WAS completely comfy with it....that would NOT be so good as it would prove that I was probably unfit (they want you OPEN to insanity, but not necessarily THERE yet).
Irwin said that I did great!  I liked it and was terrified at the same time.

Just the same as I feel about everyday life.

The lessons in the book are complicated beyond belief!  The lessons in the air are scary and thrilling!  The PLANE...actually just flies itself mostly and the pilot's job is to hold on. Those pilot/plane folks were unique and fun individuals and I made some new friends.


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