Hootie goes country

My oldest daughter listens to country music all the time.  This is NOT a gene from the Thomas ancestry.  In fact, I don’t think it’s a generational trait at all – definitely a learned behavior.  Old Dominion and Carrie Underwood are her favorites.  On our many hockey road trips over the years, I’ve been  progressively introduced to this musical genre.  And, I like.  By the way, Carrie Underwood can sing.

I am more into main stream, semi cross-over into pop country acts.  The hard core hold outs are still a bit too twangy for my taste.  One thing I appreciate about country songs are the lyrics – there’s a story inside.  Granted, the majority of themes deal with heartache. Still, it’s quite refreshing NOT listening to one phrase being repeated 23 times in a 3 minute song.

Some country singers have totally switched to pop, leaving those country roots behind.  Rarely is an artist talented enough to do the reverse cross-over.

Darius Rucker (born May 13, 1966) is an American singer and songwriter. He first gained fame as the lead vocalist of the Grammy Award-winning American rock band Hootie and the Blowfish which he founded in 1986.  The band released five studio albums with him as a member and charted six top 40 hits.   Rucker co-wrote the majority of the band’s songs with the other three members.

Hold my Hand

Recently, I listened to the entire Cracked Rear View album.  For research purposes, of course.  I gotta tell you something. With a few minor changes – add a flat here – delete a riff there – almost every song on that ‘pop’ album has country potential.

He released a solo R & B album in 2002, but did not chart any singles. Six years later, Rucker signed to Capitol Nashville  as a country music singer, releasing an  album later that year. The first single released from the album made him the first black artist to reach number one on the country song charts since Charley Pride in 1983. It was followed by two more number one singles. In 2009, he became the first black American to win the New Artist Award from the Country Music Association, making him only the second African American to win any award from the association.  A second album was released on October 12, 2010.  His fifth country album drops October 20, 2017.

If I Told You

Few artists survive solo careers after ‘the band’  disbands.  The body count of musical industry casualties is an accepted standard.  However, Mr. Rucker appears to be destined to succeed in country. Personally, I think it was a good choice.  Besides, he  seems like a sensitive guy.  Remember – dolphins make him cry.


A woman walks up to the pharmacy counter – STOP

I know it’s not as funny as the ole ‘A man walks into a bar, … ‘ lead in.  But for those of us in this damn thing I call a profession, you know whatever follows is going to be humorous.  CONTINUE -

Anyway, this woman stated that she had just been diagnosed with – wait for it - non-allergic sinusitis.  Sorry, that really didn’t warrant a -wait for it – by Barney Stinson standards.  In fact, it wasn’t funny at all.  However, it IS the perfect introduction for this post.

legen – …

ICD Diagnosis code

Diagnostic coding is the translation of written descriptions of diseases, illnesses and injuries into codes from a particular classification.

The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (commonly known as the ICD) provides alpha-numeric codes to classify diseases and a wide variety of signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances and external causes of injury or disease. Nearly every health condition can be assigned to a unique category and given a code, up to six characters long. Such categories usually include a set of similar diseases.

When leaving a doctor’s office, each patient usually receives a summary of the visit.  Beside each symptom communicated to the provider, a code is entered as is a technical description with lots of big words no one can pronounce. Finally, this code is what the insurance companies require for billing.   For many years, ICD-9 was the standard.  With new disease states and complications, it’s been revised.

ICD 10 CM has been updated to reflect the current clinical understanding and technological advancements of medicine, and the code descriptions are designed to provide a more consistent level of detail. It contains a more extensive vocabulary of clinical concepts, body part specificity, patient encounter information, and other components from which codes are built.

In other words, it’s pretty detailed.  Just check out E 10 and only two of it’s subcategories.

everyday examples

A63 –   Other predominantly sexually transmitted diseases, not elsewhere classified –  translation:  Your dick is going to fall off.

E 10 - Type 1 diabetes mellitus

  • E10.3 - Type 1 diabetes mellitus with ophthalmic complications
  • E10.3212 - Type 1 diabetes mellitus with mild nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy with macular edema LEFT EYE

F99 – unspecified mental disorder – NOT the customer type you want to frequent your store

K21 – Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (gerd) – heartburn

M77.11 – Lateral epicondylitis, right elbow - translation: tennis elbowtake some ibuprofen and shut the fuck up, bitch

N52 –    Male erectile dysfunction  Viagra anyone?

Z00 - Encounter for general examination without complaint, suspected or reported diagnosis - reserved  for hypochondriacs  


Thankfully, this woman didn’t include the code when she rattled off her ailment.  Trust me, some have.  Then, it’s usually followed by a prescription for Xanax in a futile attempt to curb that ‘obsessive’ behavior.

I’ve decided people need to have a label for their symptoms whether their issues are real or imagined, which may of them are.  Of course,  ICD wasn’t designed for this twisted purpose of validating unnecessary  ’drama’.  Still, it does aid the medical professional when communicating with patients.

All this being said, I’m going to end with a Stin(t) from the Barnacle himself.  This has absolutely nothing to do with the post, but I suffer from V07. 1965.


Holly-wood guide to High School: 101

My youngest child is starting High School today.  She is way ready though.  More so than my other children were at the same age.  She has already ‘been there done that’ vicariously through her older siblings.  Also, she runs Cross Country.  Summer practice began back in June.  With two meets already under her belt, her friend base has drastically increased because of the affiliation.

A few months back, she made an announcement.  She wanted to watch three movies before High School began. Thankfully, this was an easily achievable task.  Yes, these were all movies she had seen numerous times before.  For some reason though, she wanted to watch them in a specific order on her terms.  By this stage in the parenting game, I never ask questions about trivial matters.  Hell, I’ve stopped wondering pretty much about anything.  Since I have two daughters, the rationality behind their thinking process numbs my entire being. So, watching three movies is relatively low on the teenage AND parent angst meter.  Bonus – if I play it cool, I may get to join her.

One last comment before I  present her selections.  This is my book worm.  She follows every worthy YouTube reading site, has shipped her share of fictional literary characters AND proudly adheres to the unofficial ‘oaths’ of fandom.  Why would three movies be her guide to High School?  Hmm… .

Who knows! I just offered to make the popcorn.


Loosely based on the classic  Emma  by Jane Austen,  Cher (Alicia Silverstone)  attempts to shed her shallow, rich girl persona by matchmaking and making over those ‘less fortunate’.  A funny go to movie that cures every “overwhelming sense of ickiness“ known to both teenagers and adults.  Oh, her driving road test is comic genius.


High School Musical

This is actually one of my favorite movies.  Please don’t judge.  There is some serious shit that goes down in those four short, long years of High School.  So, this musical presentation is a parental sigh of relief that things may not be that … . Fuck – Who am I kidding? I’m not that delusional. High School can be awful. I enjoy this movie for what it is and hope for the best. Besides, it launched the career of every adolescent girls  favorite  ’Neighbor‘.

Something New

Mean Girls

October 3rd – the infamous day that defined this movie as a cult favorite. Lindsay Lohan’s best work.  Well, you know, before she went all *fetch* and started wearing sweatpants. Like, every day.   Best of all, Regina George still made it to prom and was able to share the ‘crown’.  Classic!

Regina meets the bus

Yes – these are all great movies.  Yes – my daughter  completed her task, watching them all with her older sister.  Go figure on that one.  Finally, Yes – I made the popcorn.  The only thing I did not understand about these selections is that the main character in each movie is a junior.  Like I stated above, I ask few questions. It’s better that way.

Ugh. As if!

Adam Thomas picked a peck of purple peppers

Okay, okay, okay – it’s NOT the tongue twister without Peter Piper. And, my peppers are NOT pickled.  They are purple.  But, hey, I grew purple peppers in my garden.   I am so excited. They’re beautiful. Before I continue though, I need to qualify one important fact. My garden is properly located behind the garage with other vegetables.  It is NOT random plants haphazardly placed in the middle of the lawn like I ranted about in my last post.

Now that I have that clarified, …. .  I actually have a ‘peck’ of purple peppers. How cool is that?


I don’t have the time nor the patience to begin a garden from seeds.  Martha Stewart has an entourage of staff members that can do that shit.  Me – I ain’t got no entourage, baby. Also, living in Northern Michigan dictates planting.  A few years back, we had a frost over Memorial Day weekend. Be the weather as it may, my goal is to have everything planted by Father’s Day.   Since my garden was awful last summer, I wanted this year’s to be more bountiful. I tilled the soil, went to the local Co-Op to purchase the seedlings, and proceeded to plant.  I even anchored the four corners of my garden with marigolds. Nice!

growing season

The weather cooperated better than anticipated.  Still, I had my concerns.  My plants weren’t growing.  I fertilized, added some additional Peat, and – ugh-  NOTHING.  Hell, I don’t even think my plants grew one bit.  Then, the summer got busy and my focus shifted.  Since the temperatures were mild and rain plentiful, I rarely checked the growing progress.

One day, I needed to water.  Holy purple vegetables,  I had peppers.

the harvest 

  • Sweet peppers become sweeter when they change colors.
  • Peppers continue to ripen after picking; place peppers in a cool place after harvest.
  •  Keep one to two weeks after harvest at 50° to 60°F in a moist place.
  •  Use a sharp knife or pruners to harvest peppers.
  • Leave some of the stem attached to the pepper when cutting vegetable.
  • A good pepper harvest practice is to harvest some peppers to serve green and let others mature to red or full color on the vine.
  • Harvest peppers when they are the right size for your use.

To be perfectly honest, I’m nervous to harvest.  Premature picking my peck would be preposterous. Though, I’ve read ‘immature’ vegetables enhance entry taste profiles. Still, I wanted to ensure I ate the damn things.  Retail hours hinder potential dinner planning.  I wouldn’t want my harvest to ‘wrinkle’ in time.  Fortunately, we are having company.  Stuffed peppers are on the menu.  I need to start pickin’

Since this post is about said vegetable, I was compelled to close with a fun song by Peppers of a different variety.

RHCP go for a ride

And, the original limerick , of course.  Just in case anyone else forgot how it actually read.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

- Mother Goose

My Favorite Posts 2017

Another blog year has come and gone.  It’s been good, though.  In general, I still hate 2017.  But as far as my  blog is concerned,  … .  Yeah, It’s been good.

I must’ve been hungry this past ‘year’.  Real hungry.  Cast iron skillet corn bread, chocolate cake, pistachio cake, ramp pesto all made the Random Nonsense topics of postdom.   Hell, even a staple kitchen appliance was highlighted. Though the Aug 26, 2016 oven ready didn’t make the annual cut.  Yes, it contained the recipe for my children’s favorite cake.  But, my MasterCard ‘hood’ moment focused too much on that damn stove my neighbor had in front of his garage.  Since I strive to keep as balanced as possible, the oven was turned OFF.

In 2016, I had a lot of Ode and MasterCard moments. This year – not as much.  Remember, my goal is to keep it fresh and readable.

That being said, I present my annual recap of posted musings.

Sept 10, 2016     a poem written by my mother     what better way to start things off than a poem to celebrate my mother. Well, her poetry skills.  And, it’s about Autumn – very timely, I might add.

Oct 18, 2016       In Pizza We Crust   With sign lady ‘retired’, I may need to look elsewhere for inspiration.  Plus, I think the marquee thing may be getting old. What about … bumper stickers? Hmm… . But I must say, pairing each  marquee entry up with a song or commercial was fun.

Nov 01, 2016      PBJ     this is more a daily ritual then anything.  Therefore, it’s inclusion was mandated.

Nov 09, 2016      as seen on T.V.
Nov 13, 2016       couch potato therapy session     comparing your spouse to the static on the television set is an ultimate, yet classic burn.  No therapist can fix that shit.

Jan 10, 2017        the cast iron skillet     still love my cast iron skillet.  Now that it’s fall,  it’s time to get the lead out and cook again.  Or would that be iron?

Feb 24, 2017        chipped off     this damn chip thing has been around for close to a year now.  People are STILL clueless AND stupid.

April 14, 2017      a condiment conundrum     I guess my son was eating at a restaurant recently.   The steak was so good, he didn’t even have to use ketchup.  No comment!

May 05, 2017       7 things I hate because of others     Damn birds.  Did anyone notice that the pharmacist in the ‘Next’ video included in  TMI (July 25, 2017)  had a mustache?  Oh, the irony, eh.  By the way, it was intentional.

June 01, 2017      MasterCard Moment – only in this ‘hood  
June 07, 2017      creature comfort concerns      Yes, the stove is gone.  Though my neighbor decided to plant a tomato garden – in the middle of his LAWN.  Once again, no comment.

 Aug 01, 2017        Ode to Highway signs     an Ode has to make it into every year in review.  Besides, this was kinda my anthem to travel hockey.  It’s all good.

Contrary to my postal hunger cravings, I’ve gained little weight.  I still exercise –  A LOT.  Though none of my fitness fueled posts made this blog in review cut.  Maybe 2018?

Thanks for reading.

living obituary

As you probably guessed from the title, this entry is about something few want to talk about – death.  So, I’m thinking it’s a great topic for a post. During a recent lecture, obituaries was the subject discussed.  More importantly,  who would write it AND would you really want that person to write it.  Currently, some have started writing their own obituaries, ensuring the content.  Morbid as it may be, the concept is equally compelling.

Years ago, even if the person was a complete and utter douche bag, the obituary was written otherwise.  Granted, it probably had more factual information than humorous anecdotes about the deceased.  Still, there was an etiquette that was begrudgingly observed.

Not in 2017, baby.  Today, full disclosure is the new norm. Emily Post is long gone.  Nowadays, if the deceased is downright nasty, there is NO holding back.  People are choppin’ at the bit to include their ‘thoughts’  in the virtually Google doc obitchuary.  Then, Dr. Phil would discuss the emotional consequences.  Everyone would cry. Yada yada yada.

Fortunately, I’ve never written an actual obituary.  A few years back, I posted a few words, remembering a mentor that had passed.  It truly is a daunting task, attempting to sum up a life in a brief ‘statement’.

In order to present the topic appropriately, I researched.  Then, decided to add a little commentary, of course.  We’re talkin’ death.  So, any attempt at humor is usually appreciated.

  • Be aware of identity theft.  unfortunate this is even a concern
  • Strike a balance – it’s not only a notice of the death, but also a compelling ‘life’ story.   I HATE life stories – unless it’s  fiction AND mine.
  • Describe the deceased as an individual, in the third person.
  • Decide how many family members to include. How many generations do you want to go back? Who was Aunt Edna again?
  • Think of three words.  Find three words that sum up the life lived.  Fucking ass hole CAN be three words if you think about it.


That being said, who then could be trusted to write such final words?

  1. family member - probs the safest bet, especially if you have lots of money to pass on to those ‘loved ones’
  2. friend - another safe bet. Usually – Though, you could offend a certain someone by asking a different person instead.  But then you’re dead.  Too late to re-evaluate not only your decision, but your relationships as well.  
  3. famous person - Entertainment Weekly always highlights this in the year end issue.  Fun concept to … entertain.   
  4. write it yourself - a definite way to get the facts straight.  Not for me.  I want my legacy to be my published fictional works; not some damn non-fictional paragraph.  Boring!
  5. opt out - my choice. Unless  Jeremy Piven or even John Cusack have something nice to say. 

Serendipidous send off

Well, that’s all I’s got.  Time to put this post to rest.  Hope reading what I’ve written didn’t bore you to …. death.


commercially relevant

I don’t think sign lady is ever coming back.  Apparently, my ‘get well’ wishes back in April were never received.  Either that or … .  She retired? Hmm… .  Hopefully, NOT permanently, if you know what I mean. I’ve never met her.  But, I do miss her musings.  Especially considering that  Friends are the chocolate chips in the cookie of life is the best the establishment’s marquee replacement worker can deliver.  … the cookie of life? Ugh!  Fuckin’ rookie.  Or would that be fuckin’ cookie?

So, I decided to look elsewhere. And, I found some suitable offerings.  Granted these aren’t the best pearls of wisdom, but not everything sign lady wrote was blog worthy either.  I’m a writer.  I’ll make it work.

In the April post, I matched each phrase with an appropriate song.  That was fun.  This time around I wanted to keep it fresh.  I decided to go commercial.  Literally.

Be a fountain, not a drain

Unfortunately, I am surrounded by drains.  Worse scenario – when a drain thinks they’re a fountain.  Hmm… . Deep shit, eh? Well, I have a solution, of course.   Plug the damn drain and watch it implode.  Or just cut the ‘water’ supply.  Either way, that fountain is fucked.  Still, there are those stubborn drains  where drastic measures are necessary.

call a Plumr?

when life knocks you down – do a burpee

 Thank my local gym for this little ‘exercise’ in maintaining mental and physical health.  While I’ve never been a burpee dude, going to the gym is crucial for my well being.  Lifting weights is the ultimate stress relief.  Bonus – few ‘tourists’  frequent my gym.  So, that ,bitch with three addresses stays away.  Though, I’m certain she’s still confused at which house she is actually at.

‘ultra’ burpee

In the word scent, is the -s- or the -c-  silent?

Late Middle English (denoting the sense of smell): from Old French sentir ’perceive, smell,’ from Latin sentire. The addition of -c- (in the 17th century) is unexplained. So the c is silent and also shouldn’t really be there.

The world according Webster has spoken.  If that’s the case, how would there be a differentiation between sent (past tense of send) and this whole scent with the -c- that shouldn’t be there? Hmm … .

Wow, two deep thoughts in one post.  I need to stop.  Moreover, I really need to stop with that Hmm … shit.

Gain perspective

Just so those that know me don’t think I’ve gone off the deep end, over contemplating meaningless musings.  I’m fine.  These marquees are strategically placed along my commute – at very long stop lights, I might add! Avoiding these messages can’t be denied.  Though it’s NOT the extent of denial as that whole drain/fountain identity issue. For now, I’m just going to crack open a bottle of Liquid Plumr and Gain insight.  Cheers.

 Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you may diet

Ode to highway signs


It’s that time of year for road trips.  For me, seven hours or less one way is ideal.  Once you get passed that, it’s no longer an extended weekend excursion.  I often thought having two additional drivers on road trips made driving more manageable.  Sadly, I was wrong. Those additional drivers no longer wanted to go on family outings.  Work schedules complicated planning.  And … .

Actually, I travel less this time of year.  I live in the ultimate summer destination.  Why would I want to go elsewhere? Probably to get away from everyone else coming to the ultimate summer destination. Doesn’t really matter – I get little time off during July/August. Besides, the majority of my vacation days are reserved for travel hockey the other ten months of the year.

Over five years of travel hockey, I’ve become quite the proverbial road map. Fortunately, this blog has served to highlight several of those events – MasterCard Moments.  It’s been quite fun.  In fact, I even decided to dedicate a post to highway travel and those signs that … guide.

So, here it is.  Fasten those seat belts.  I promise nothing posted here will induce car sickness.  Well, not intentionally.  Though, if you do get sick reading this post, that’s your own damn fault.


Below are a few staple items I need to ensure an uneventful trip.

 bubble gum   -  always have a stash in the glove compartment. Hmm… . Maybe I should rephrase that.  Regardless, I learned that gum chewing decreases the yawn complex.  Who’d a thunk that, eh?

pbj   - never go anywhere without a pbj, baby.  Pitch the sandwich bag on the floor –  good for another 100 miles.  Unless I have to pee, of course.

MapQuest -  still don’t trust that GPS.  Remember that whole Canadian map fiasco back in December?  Besides, I’m totally old school.  I like having a hard copy of directions to my destination.


Here are a few of my favorite highway signs; for various reasons.  Some of those reasons are obvious.  Some, … not so much.

SPEED LIMIT 75   - the speed limit in most of Michigan changed from 70 to 75 AFTER hockey season was over.  Go figure.

KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS   –   I hate people who camp out in the left lane.  So frustrating.  Get the fuck over, bitch.

BRIDGE ICES BEFORE ROAD   -   even in summer, this sign scares the shit out of me; some latent form of PTSD related to customer service  no doubt.

 NO U TURN -  the Rule of the Road I break most often.  Other than speeding, that is.  I even banged a U-ey on an exit once.  Don’t ask.  Probably not my best idea, okay.  But remember – a hockey road trip is not a hockey road trip until at least one ‘Rule’ is broken.

ROUGH ROAD AHEAD   -  Rarely did I run in to this sign while driving – thankfully.  Though I think it’s a permanent fixture on that other ‘road’ .  Unfortunately, there is never a WARNING designating said fucking ‘bumps’.


Well, there’s my Ode.  Think of it as a postal SCENIC OVERLOOK. (Pause) Sorry, that was a bit cheesy. Oh, well … .  Just know, I hope all who travel in these remaining days of summer are safe and happy.



Welcome to Shaw Pharmacy. What can I help with?
I’m picking up a prescription.
What is the name?”
“Meyer, Elisabeth.”
” There are two prescriptions ready for Elisabeth Meyer. Verify the address or date of birth.”
May 11, 1955.” *

That is how the previously posted conversation should’ve transpired.  But, (heavy sigh), it didn’t.  Sadly, none do.  If every interaction went that well, I would truly have nothing to rant about.  Actually, I would, but that’s not the point.  The point is that even the simplest task is complicated when too much information is provided – especially when said information is neither warranted nor welcomed.

The whole thing makes me fucking crazy.  People, mostly woman, talk way too much. Once again, that whole address question … . I don’t care that you have three houses, bitch.  Just answer the question and shut the fuck up.  When I check out customers, I always opt to verify the date of birth – it never changes and can never be disputed.  Hmm … .  Let’s just leave it with – it never changes, okay?

The concept of providing too much information is older than … me.  Remember that old saying about not asking a certain person the time because ‘she will tell you how the watch is made‘.  Yeah, … . Much to my, and every other customer service associates, dismay, the situation has gotten totally out of control.  You would think with the advances in technology this issue wouldn’t be an issue.  But it is.  Look at texting. The goal is to be as brief and to the point as possible. Why can’t that be adhered to in conversation?

I don’t know. Maybe people are just overcompensating.  Thankfully, I don’t.  After fifty-two years, my ramblings have decreased significantly.  I still rant random nonsense.  But, the information I provide is never … too much.


* , bitch wasn’t necessary. Hell, I don’t even think the ‘adjective’ crossed my mind.  Well, that’s not true.  They’re all bitches.

simple questions – wrong answers

Welcome to Shaw Pharmacy. What can I help with?

“I just flew in from Florida … .”

“Were you dropping off or picking up a prescription?

“Well, it’s complicated.  The prescription was originally filled in Florida, but I requested it to be filled here.  I just landed in Traverse.  My flight was … .”

“So, you’re picking up a prescription.  What is the last name?”

“Elisabeth Meyer. Elisabeth spelled with an -s not a -z. I was named after my great-grandmother.  But I go by Beth.  My really close friends call me Liza.”

“There are two prescriptions ready for Elisabeth Meyer.”

“Is it spelled with that -s? Someone tried to change it once and I got really upset.  My granny… .”

“Verify the address or date of birth.”

“Well, what address do you have?  I have three houses you know.  One here, one in Boston and I just flew … .”

“Then, verify the date of birth.

“Silly, that’s embarrassing.  You never ask a woman her age.”

“Well, you know, the address question seemed so complicated and identity needs to be verified.  Fortunately, your date of birth n-e-v-e-r changes.”*

“Hmp.  May 11, 1955.”


*insert:  , bitch.  Silently, of course.

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