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Insane ramblings and other random commentary

Saito Takauji (Matt Parker)
Date: 2008-01-04 23:09
Subject: Voices from the Dead (One Less B5 Fan)
Security: Public
I have very firm beliefs about the War in Iraq, that those who know me no doubt know, and those who don't can find out by reading some of my other writings on other places (which I will get around to posting later).  I am not going to mention my political views here, because it would be out of place.

I never read the man in question in the article I link to here; I never knew him personally, never heard of him.  And yet he gives us an opportunity.  We hear the speeches of the politicians telling us about the war in Iraq, about how good it is or how bad it is.  But the vast majority of soldiers have no voice.  The dead have even fewer voices speaking for them.  This is one.

It is equal parts funny, thought provoking and overwhelmingly sad.  It is macabre and amazing, and one of the most amazing things I have read.  I laughed until I read until the goodbyes, and then I wept.


"May God stand between you and harm in all the empty places where you must walk."  John Sheridan, Babylon 5.
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Saito Takauji (Matt Parker)
Date: 2007-08-10 09:34
Subject: A small group?
Security: Public
Location:Work (as always)
Music:The Terminator Theme

I have joined what I believe is a small group now, with yesterday's purchase.  I am now a gun owning Democrat.  Yes, I am a commie pinko with a rifle.

I went out and purchased a Springfield Armory C80 .22 rifle from the early 1960s yesterday.  Originally I was going to purchase a Marlin .22, having heard thar marlin makes very fine rifles, but the Marlin at the shop had a broken ejector, and would have taken four-five weeks to repair.  In all likelihood I would have accidentally spent the money before then, so I bought the Springfield.  I was initially disappointed, but I do like the Springfield; Springfield Armory is, after all, the shop that essentially outfitted the World War II soldier.  Odds are a GI in WWII had either a Springfield M1 or M1911A1 .45 Pistol.  So its like owning the Garand's baby brother.

Besides, this means when I look at purchasing another rifle in the future I can go to a Marlin.

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Saito Takauji (Matt Parker)
Date: 2007-08-07 14:13
Subject: More insane patients...
Security: Public
We had a guy call in today looking for some help with his appointment.  He needed to cancel his appointment on August 31st, but did not want to reschedule for the third week in August like he would have to.  So after five minutes of begging, whining and wheedling to try to get an appointment sooner, he comes up with this brilliant line:  "Why don't you call another patient and see if they'll switch with me?"  Well, we would sir, but we'd have to give your information to them or theirs to you (which is illegal) and, oh yeah: They don't need to inconvenience themselves for your scheduling mistakes.  But no, really, we'll just give you a list of phone and social security numbers and let you go hog freaking wild.  We're not committed to keeping your information private, we'll give it to anyone, because the world revolves around you.

And another lady who was understandably peeved no one had called her back yesterday when she left a message at 9 in the morning and we don't close until four.  But she keeps ranting and raving in my ear about how bad this is a way to run an office, how horrible it is she has to wait to get in when she is an active patient, and what bad people we are.  Then she posits "If I'm an active patient and I have a problem, I have a right to be seen!"  Yeah, lady, but so does EVERY OTHER ACTIVE PATIENT WE SEE.  I promise you we are not booking random patients, inactive patients, non patients or hobos off the street just to screw you over.  Or at least we weren't, until now.  Thank you, come again.
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Saito Takauji (Matt Parker)
Date: 2007-08-07 14:04
Subject: Responsibilities, et al
Security: Public
Tags:adulthood, maturity, responsibility

You spend so many years looking forward to being an adult, to being able to drive and do all the things you think you can't then; but then you get there and you realize exactly what is associated with those things.  Driving, for example, both is and is not the mythical road to freedom.  I could, quite literally, get in my van and drive, and not stop till I felt like it.  Or I ran out of money, which is what you never think of until you're doing it, how much money driving costs.

Or tickets.  A couple of weeks ago I had friends in that I was leading to an SCA event.  I half knew how close they were following, half didn't; but I drive in Denver like a native, and I thought we could make up some time.  So I did over 80 in a 55, and they kept up; they got pulled over, I didn't.  They now have to deal with a court date, the possibility of having to drive in from Kansas, and frighteningly high fines being levelled on them.  All for following me, who knows the area and should have known the damn speed limit.  So I'm calling the city frantically to get information, trying to find out how they can ask to plea bargain through the mail to avoid coming in for the arraignment and missing time at their job(s).  It sucks, all around; for them having to do it all, and for me knowing I've cost my friends time, money, and respect for me; getting ones friends in trouble is always worse than getting in trouble yourself.

Being an adult isn't getting to do things, or even getting to not make mistakes.  Being an adult, apparently, is making mistakes and doing everything you can to work through them, fix them, and move on.  And it sucks.  Can I go back to being fifteen?

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Saito Takauji (Matt Parker)
Date: 2007-07-20 15:13
Subject: Intolerance, and first response
Security: Public
Music:The clock ticking

This letter was sent by Joe from Rogersville to a Tennesse newspaper.  This is not my opinion, and I respond to it after:

Immorality is destroying America

Modern day America is just about as immoral as Sodom and Gomorrah. The people of this day and age are unthankful and unashamed.

Back in my day, people shouted as they walked to church, and they shouted all the way home. Now people don't even go to church. They took prayer and Bible study out of the schoolhouses and brought in sex education and witchcraft. You parents that let your children read these Harry Potter books are guilty of witchcraft and idolatry and you're going straight to hell.

Instead of getting a thrashing for misbehavior, the parents, teachers and doctors today get these children heaped up on ritalin. You could give ritalin to a cocaine addict and they wouldn't know the difference. Then, they wonder why this generation has amounted to nothing more than drug addicts, fornicators and murderers.

Back in my day we didn't turn to a pack of pen-pushing pantywaists and labcoat Larrys to tell us how to live. We turned to the word of God.

It seems like every time I go to the store I see a teenage girl carting around three or four young ones. You used to not see that kind of thing around here.

The women in this day and age ain't worth marrying. The Bible says a beautiful woman without virtue is comparable to a gold ring in a pig's nose.

If I had my way, I'd have it to where these women and their children wouldn't get food or medicine through welfare. The Republicans tried to do this in 1996, but Clinton vetoed the bill twice until Republicans finally gave in.

You people ain't smart enough to come in out of the rain. I never thought the good Lord would let me live to see this day.

Joe Lawson



My response, mailed to the same newspaper for publication:

The bible teaches us a variety of virtues to live our life by, seeking to tell us how to be better people.  By giving mercy where we see none, giving forgiveness where we find none in return, and turning the other cheek when smote.  Mercy, charity and forgiveness are the hallmarks of the bible, both old and new testament.

Thus it pains my heart when I see a man claiming to be in God's good graces shouting intolerance and hate in this publication, namely Joe from Rogersville.  Seeing young women getting pregnant he says they should be thrashed, rather than seeking to give his time and effort to help other young women not get pregnant, and help those who did give birth raise their children to have better lives.

When faced with mothers and children struggling for food his first instinct is not compassion or charity, to help them with money and food in order to keep their children healthy, but to scorn them and demand the government leave children peniless and homeless.  How compassionate is it to blame children for the sins of their parents, to let them die on the streets because you lack the courage or the morals to do more than rant and rave.  You speak of a religion of love and yet use only words of hate, anger and retribution.  In the face of this I can only give the shortest verse in the bible:

Christ wept.

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Saito Takauji (Matt Parker)
Date: 2007-06-29 12:53
Subject: Patients say the darndest things...
Security: Public
Location:Work (Dermatologist's Office)
Music:My skyrocketing pulse rate
Tags:customers, humor, phone calls, work
I work, off an on, at a Dermatologist's office.  I answer the phones and give patients appointments, and take notes, messages and general abuse.  This is, and will be in to the future, an attempt to catalog some of the truly idiotic things I have heard patients say.

I told a patient the next appointment was on August 3rd; he called on June 29th (Today).  He said "I could be dead for two months by then!"  I wanted to explain there are only 34 days between now and then, so technically he could only be dead for a month.

When informed it would be 4 weeks before we could see a patient for a rash, a patient asked "Well what do I do if its an emergency?"  When told she could perhaps go to the emergency room she said "Oh, I didn't realize I could do that."  Gee...why do you think they call them Emergency rooms?

We give out pamphlets on what Melanoma looks like to any patient that wants them, as well as there being a great deal of literature available on line on how to identify it; for the record A) A mole that is changing size suddenly B) Has an irregular border C)Has an irregular color or all of the above.  So when a patient calls in saying he has melanoma because he has a series of small red bumps on his arm I am somewhat less than sympathetic.

My favorite odd customer statement comes from when I sold appliances for Sears, however.  We had accidentally installed the wrong AC in a man's window, a one legged man's window, for which he was upset.  And his words were "Just because I only have one leg doesn't mean I won't come down there and kick your ass!"  He would literally be a one legged man at an @$$ kicking contest.  To which I wanted to respond a variety of things:

1) If you did I would give you a standing ovation.
2) You know how I'd get away, sir?  I'd jog.

Now I respect people who overcome disabilities and sympathize with people who struggle with them, but can we be serious for a moment?  I'm sorry, but in addition to not being the best way to get anything done (was threatening violence necessary?), it is a little bit of a ridiculous statement to make.

Anyway, back to the grindstone.
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Saito Takauji (Matt Parker)
Date: 2007-06-29 10:51
Subject: Standing on the Toilet, and other incisive commentary
Security: Public
Music:Annoying patients clamoring for appointments they knew they needed 2 months ago
I always feel when I write one of these that I should have some sort of great comment to make, something witty and incisive that makes people stop and go 'Wow, that totally made me change they way I think about my life.  I should subscribe to his newsletter.'

But I was in the hospital yesterday, so I have nothing of the sort.  So remember: Man who stands on toilet is high on pot.

So there.
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my journal
January 2008