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I attended the viewing on Tuesday and the Funeral tonight for Ian Hinkle, my cousins son who passed away suddenly from complications of N1H1.  At the viewing there was an endless stream of teenagers, all crying both the boys and girls. Someone made the comment that you could see fear on their faces as they waited to walk pass the casket. There was a line from 5pm until 9pm and this is a small town. I believe almost everyone from the high school attended. His long distance girlfriend who he met online drove in all the way from Indiana. This is the first time they saw each other face to face.

Tonight was the funeral which was more a celebration of life service. There was a chorus from his high school, a band calling themselves “Ian’s Angels” and an acoustic guitar duo who wrote a song for him. The band played a spot on version of “I wish you were here” by Pink Floyd. Everyone lost it at that point. It ended with a power point presentation to honor him that his classmates put together. It included accolades from the kids and the staff at his school.  There were also about 15 kids who got up and gave personal testimony to their relationship with Ian. It was beautiful. Everyone said he was the greatest kid who never said a bad thing about anyone, and who would go out of his way to help everyone. Also that he put 110% into everything he tried from sports to music, to academics. My cousin, his father said tonight that the only thing that keep him going is the thought that God must have some higher purpose for Ian. Many of the kids said that this made them realize they need to put away the petty differences and look at the big picture. That they will be better people to honor him.

I wish I had known him more. I only really met him and clicked with him this past September. We had much in common. He loved the drums and history. He wanted to be a history major. We could have talked for hours.

They had him cremated because they wanted him at home, not in the ground. In fact his Dad, Mom, and sister all got a locket with a little bit of his ashes in it, to hold next to their heart.

I’ve been to many, many funerals. I have to go to another one tomorrow at 9am. I’ve seen people taken before their time, My Mom included, but this was the most touching and saddest I’ve ever been to. But also the most heartfelt and lovingly remembered.

After seeing the outpouring of love from his friends and classmates his father got up and said through choked back tears “I have been feeling totally lost and hopeless over this, but this tonight gives me some hope, Thank you all.”

Last, in a selfish way, or soul searching way it made me think, “Who would be there for me, and what would they say?” I need to get out there and touch more lives and be more positive. Since my injury I have been in a self imposed exile. The internet makes it easy to think you are well connected, but in reality your not.

I certainly left feeling I wish I had known him better.  Spiney

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In one stroke of a pen President Obama double the deficit of the United States. Then about 1 week later he promises to cut the deficit in 1/2 by the end of his first term through cuts in spending and raising some taxes.  Does anyone else see the bipolarness of this?  It’s like going out on a bender and then calling a family meeting to announce your quiting drinking. Both the President and Congress should have looked closer at their big spending bill the previous week if they wanted a good head start at cutting spending . Do we really need an 8 billion dollar hi-speed rail system between Disneyland and Las Vegas.  I’m all for Hi-speed rail.  We lag behind the world in Hi-speed rail but put it somewhere it can really help like between two major business centers like Washington DC and NYC.  Either way I digress away from my initial statement.  When announcing  that we need to cut the deficit did he really think we forgot that just 7-9 days earlier he doubled our deficit with the stimulus program and was proud of doing it. You can’t make this stuff up. One last thing. I’m tired of President Obama saying he inherited this horrible economy. President Bush is not solely responsible for the economic mess we are in. Congress had a large hand in it also. It takes congress and a president to create and sign off on a budget. Also while he may now have this economy on his plate he campaigned very hard to get this job. He knew what he was getting into. Quit acting like you found some big surprise behind door # 2. Hopefully someday we will all look back at these times and laugh about it, but I doubt it.  Thanks for listening… Spiney

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The media is and has been biased for years always depicting men as the snorers and woman as those who suffer listening to their man snore.  Well I came home tonight after everyone else had gone to bed.  My Wife is snoring, like she does every-night. My Mother-in-law in the next room, just on the other-side of the wall is snoring.  And the cat, a male is snoring.  Now if pushed for an honest answer my wife will tell you on average I don’t snore.  It also be because I rarely sleep.  She would also tell you that I love her very much, but I do say “She snores like a water buffalo”.  I often nudge her asking her to roll over, use nose drops you name it something to make it stop.  Think of all of the commercials and magazine adds for snoring treatment, that mouth-guard you have to wear, the Breath-right strips, and the sprays. They all show men, usually overweight dopey looking men with hot disgusted looking wives with pillows over their ears.  Well this is all biased prejudice. I have it on good authority having been raised by a mom, married more than once, raised a daughter, having dated several women of all stripes, and now living with my wife and mother-in-law. Women snore, burp, fart even if they’re SBD’s, make foul noises in the bathroom, hiccup, and curse just like men. We are not the only practitioners of the foul arts.  Spiney

If you have been wrongfully accused of snoring, or put down for making other body noises by your significant other, spiney wants to hear from you.

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You need to photograph those you love no matter how adamant they are against it.  And have Them photograph You .  I just came from a funeral.  A sad event a father and husband cut down in his prime.  He was a very involved Father of twins,  a husband, a Son, a  Brother, an Uncle, a Friend and a prominent member of the community. In his later years I’m sure he was self conscious, because of a medical condition he looked obese, but was not, he had kidney failure and other issues that just made him look that way.  At the funeral his family took the time to make up 2 very nice display collages about 20×24 each with snapshots, professional portraits, newspaper pictures showing how involved he was. You saw him with his children from birth through college. They are both in the 4th year of college and in the middle of mid-terms when their father became ill and hospitalized for 54 days. These display boards showed to all of us what we already knew, how loving and involved he was, and it was all documented there to help us remember, now that he is gone. I was proud to see an image there I did of Him, his Mom, and his Brother with my 1953 Rollieflex and an off camera Metz.  My Wife and I have been together for 19 years now. I have very few pictures of her.  She does not like to be photographed, is never happy with where she is at in her eyes, though I love her much and think she is very beautiful. In the old film days she would look through pictures I took and literally tear them up. Now in this digital age she wants me to delete them.  And While I have many pictures of my daughter, and thousands of strangers, there are very few of me. It’s the old shoemaker has no shoes problem. ( I was a pro photographer for 15 years)  Ladies How many of you are guilty of not wanting yourself photographed.  How many photographers out there have few photos of themselves, especially snapshots.  Well my wife and I had a discussion on the way home.  I told her I would no longer stand for her not wanting to be photographed. It is a very selfish position that robs me of memories, God forbid if anything were to happen.  And I recently bought her a Kodak P&S at an after Christmas sale.  I told her I expect her to start taking snaps of me.  In the end this is all we have.  This poor man had deteriorated so bad during the 54 days that they had to have a closed casket.  Thank God he was a Bank President and had a very nice professional portrait to display on top of his casket.  So please don’t be selfish or inatentive.  Photograph all of your loved ones, especially your spouse, even in the morning before they make themselfs beautiful, and Spouses photograph your photographers so your not left without precious memories. It’s not too late.  Start right now!   Peace be with you,  Spiney-Dave

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Warning this is semi graphic.

My apologies to Lennon & McCartney for the title and anyone who knows me.

Time frame Saturday evening until Sunday evening, early January.  Evening started with a wonderful visit from my sister and her husband and most importantly my Daughter who I don’t see enough of.  My other-in-law whom I live with spent the previous 24 hours frantically cleaning her house in anticipation of guest. The house got cleaned post Christmas this year because this is the 1st year we didn’t have a large family Christmas in this large Victorian home. Many happy Christmases have been had here with large gatherings, lots of children of all ages, and way too many gifts. But then unexpectedly the man of the house died. He was hospitalized for 45 days from just after Thanksgiving thru Christmas and into January of the next year. The holidays in this house haven’t been the same ever since. There were attempts, but they were pushed trying to be happy and it just wasn’t the same.  Then this year another tragedy struck. A family member became very ill. Instead of celebrating Christmas at the big house we all gathered at his families house and had a nice Christmas gathering. He gave a meal prayer that God willing we would all do it again next year. That left a real lump in your throat. Anyway that was a long way of telling you why the house didn’t get straightened up until after New Years, and why This Family gathering was important.  Spiney did his part by helping to clean his little piles of existence around the La-z-boy, and doing whatever the ladies asked.  Most days I need to be told what to do or I’ll do nothing. Not because I’m lazy, but depression and pain make you want to take the path of least resistance. If you’ve seen the Cymbalta commercials, that’s what it is really like.  Mom being an incredible cook, cooked us a wonderful dinner of stuffed pork chops, real mashed potatoes, stewed apples, and vegetable dish that Spiney didn’t partake in.  Being in my mental state I was nervous. When in depression you like what is familiar.  Anything that disturbs your groove, even though it may be a very positive thing, makes you nervous.  I was nervous as to what I would say. Would I have enough to say for more than 10 minutes of niceties?  When the majority of your days are spent with you, a cat, a rabbit, and the TV your conversation skills aren’t honed.  Except for those in your head.  They are very well exercised. You run the coulda, woulda, shouldas through your head all day.  Sometimes they even get a chance to come out.  And sometimes you have to yell “Shut Up” to get them to quiet. A noisy head is no fun.  It doesn’t allow for great productivity.  Well all that came to rest when my guest finally arrived.  They offered up conversation, as did the other two ladies of the house, my Wife and Mother-in-law.  So that gave me a springboard to jump in.  There was a time you couldn’t shut me up.  I was once class clown, life of party, foot in mouth guy, and once had very long, very meaningful conversations with my daughter. These conversations kept us both sane during her teens, and really bonded us.  I know she misses them and can’t understand where that went.  I miss them too. I have god days and bad.  Unfortunately the good are spread pretty thin and you got to be there when they happen.  Sometimes they are weeks or even months apart.  and when they come, I feel like I can do anything.  Anyway we had a great dinner. I did disturb my sister when I kept disappearing during the visit and meal. My medications make me thirsty so I drink a lot. I drink diet Sierra Mist Free because it’s  decaffeinated.  The 2nd part of the equation is drinking makes me pee a lot, but the pain killers I take 24×7 make it very hard to go. So I have two speeds in that department.  I either can’t go, or I go every half hour or less.  I take Flomax for that, which again is always advertised on TV.  I could be doing TV pharmaceutical commercials. So I kept going to the bathroom and this upset my sister for some reason.  My wife, mom, and cat are very used to it. If my sister reads this and gets upset that I call my Mother-in-law my Mom it is not out of disrespect to our much loved, deceased mother. It’s because she treats me very much like a son, she is a mother figure in my life, and it’s easier to write mom, than mother-in-law all the time.  We then exchanged belated Christmas gifts with my Sister and Brother-in-law before they had to leave.  I know my sister wants a closer relationship too.  Both our parents are dead, our older brother is estranged, many of our aunts and uncles have passed on also.  She feels I’m all the family she has, even though she has three sons, two that are married, one grandson, and a granddaughter on the way.  So she has family.  I wish we did more together too.  But again she doesn’t understand that while I look normal, my days are far from normal.  I bid her and her husband goodbye.  Then My Wife and I exchanged gifts with our daughter.  That was nice.  I think we surprised her. She’s our one and only so we did the best we could do.  We wanted to give the gift or more time together doing things we all like, such as concerts and plays.  But our schedules and the distance between us, about 1 hour, make it difficult. So we have that on the back burner in case we can work it out.  We then sat down to watch a movie. Since the Spineys don’t get out much we invested a windfall last year in a 42″ LCD TV.  This Christmas we followed up with surround sound.  This is our entertainment since we don’t get to the movies and such.  So we broke out “Mama Mia”  My Wife and I had seen the play in NYC and loved it.  This was the first time for our daughter and Mom to see it.  The first time actually for all of us to see the movie.  It was fun and uplifting.  The only bad part was feeling bad for Pierce Brosnan. They should have used a vocal dub.  Everyone else could sing pretty well, especially Meryl Streep, but not poor Pierce.  During the movie I was in a good bit of pain because I had been up quite awhile without rest. I sat with an ice pack on my shoulder, then my aching knee, and also used the massage of the La-z-boy throne. I had to change position constantly to redistribute the pain.  I also disturbed the others with my constant trips to the bathroom.  I got up probably 5 times during the movie.  At the end of the movie we checked out some of the bonus footage, because we all wanted a little more.  Then knowing I had to get up to travel the next day, and being co-dependant I kept asking my daughter if she had to go.  I was worried about her driving home, I was selfishly thinking about going to bed, and I was in unfamiliar territory.  At one time this was very familiar territory. When we all lived together My Wife, Daughter, and myself would often have all night movie, music, TV, or cleaning jags. We were all night owls who had gobs of energy at night and loved to sleep in late the next day.  We lived in a 2nd floor apartment with no neighbors. We would break out 100’s of 45’s from when I was a DJ and have our own little listening and dance parties till the wee hours.  Music, Family, conversation, and 13 rabbits we a big part of our life then.  That was before the 2 big operations and subsequent downturn of my pain. Plus our daughter grew up, moved out, went out on her own, had a life changing epiphany, we moved away and closed our business. A lot changed in a few years. But when we are together I think we all realize that we miss being a family.  I know my wife and I do, and we sense it in our daughter. And I will state here, I have changed the most. I’m in pain, I’m depressed, I’m alone a lot, and I’m not real fun to be around anymore.  So back to day.  Our daughter stayed a bit more, we had a bit of desert and we all bid adieu.

At this point I wanted to crawl right into bed, but we had to clean up the house to the spotless condition it was in earlier that day because everyone worked so hard on it.  Then we retired. Part of our nightly ritual is after we brush and such, and take my nighttime regiment of about 7 medicines I get a massage from my wife with a handheld percussion massager. This is every night to break up the pain. It usually last about 5 minutes though it could go one forever as far as I’m concerned.  It’s a concert of a little to the left, a skinch to the right, yes yes right there, that’s where it hurts.  Then onto another hurting spot, or instructions back to THE spot as my wife falls asleep.  And I have to have pity on her because she needs to get up the next day, I usually don’t.  But this day We both do, to travel to her Fathers for a belated Christmas gathering.  One last thing before we retire.  I get an Ice pack which is a semi frozen blue gell in a plastic pack, wrapped in a light towel.  I get one for each of us.  My Wife uses it to fight back her constant headaches, and I use it for my shoulder, neck, and back pain.  In fact I will go through about 3-4 throughout the night. We keep them in a small refrigerator freezer on the 2nd floor, just for this purpose. We now have 9 on hand at all time.

This is getting really long and I’m tired. Thanks for sticking with me.  It’s 1:45am so as they say on TV to be continued….

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To use and update a Bruce Springsteen’s song we have 357 channels and nothings on.  Bruce’s original was 57 channels and nothins on, an ode to cable TV.  We we don’t get out much here at the Spiney household so we invest in digital cable which gets us many channels, but not alas any of the subscription ones, or the one that has the movie or show that looks interesting.  Tonight we had a little age regression in the Spiney House.  The Mrs. and the Mother-in-Law both worked today after having travelled or had a busy day yesterday.  Spiney, yours truly did a little traveling today.  While it was a beautiful 60 + degrees, it was very foggy.  Also I had travelled much both before, during and after Christmas, so my pain threshold was low, my pain was high, and we were all tired.  Well when your a kid, someone tells you when to go to bed, and you resent them.  When your an adult, there is no one to be the voice of reason.  Your tired, your cranky, and on top of that you just had a very late supper of take out Chinese.  A bad setup indeed.  You then feel, somewhat justified that you deserve a little entertainment before you give in, even though you are tired and cranky.  A check of the regular suspects ABC, CBS, and NBC shows re-runs, or Sports, or the Sound of Music.  Personally I could have lulled into the alive hills full of musical sounds, but it was on until 11pm, and lights out was 10pm.  So I suggested we watch Mama Mia, light, airy, no-brainer.  I was shot down, the girls weren’t into a musical.  I then saw Paladia had Christina Aguillera concert on.  Looked good to me, “No Music was the cry of the land”, but I wanted to see it so I hit record on the DVR.  We had 20 things on the DVR that someone wanted to see bad enough at one time, so that they taped them.  But noooooo, no one wanted to watch those.  So disgusted, I turned the entertainment selection over to Mrs Spiney.  She was tired, cranky, wanted to watch something, but like a cranky toddler, nothing suited.  Then to top it off, we get a phone call from someone who wanted to talk, probably needed to talk.  But when your tired, cranky, and miserable the last thing you want to do is talk.  I tried, but gave up after 10 minutes.  Finally after wasting probably an hour the voice of reason called off the hounds, turned off the TV and said lets go to bed.  This made Spiney think about the origins of two great little numbers.  The previously mentioned “57 Channels and nothins on” by Bruce and “I want to be sedated” by the Ramones.  I could relate to both.  Why when we are fully emancipated adults do we not know when to quit?  Why do I hear so often I’m so tired at say 3:00 in the afternoon on a day off.  I reply, lets take a nap.  Not some convoluted ploy to get Mrs Spiney in Bed, just a simple let’s take a nap.  I can’t I hear, it’s my day off and I need to do something.  The Mexicans, or anyone else that is wise enough to take a siesta, my hat or sombrerro is off to you my Amigo.  You are smart enough and man enough to say Whens when.  And what is wrong with silence, music, read the paper, or talk?  I love entertainment, but if there is truly nothing on, why then keep searching, or worse watch a re-run, just to watch something.  Thank God cooler heads prevailed and we pulled the big plug and called it a day before I had to be sedated.  Can you relate?  If so drop us a note of how you and yours doesn’t know when to quit and call it a day.  Thanks,  Spiney

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