Monthly Archives: August 2011

Post 297: The Last One………Why I am Giving Up Beer

Best Experienced With:       Simon & Garfunkle;          The Boxer (live version…the one with all the lyrics)

(Please right click on the link below to open the suggested music in a new browser window.    The Central Park version of “The Boxer”.   The version with all the lyrics.   The best version with ‘after changes upon changes we are more or less the same.”)

This is the last thingamagig I will be able to write for the next six months and, unlike all but nine of the other three hundred posts here, it tells something real about my life.   The birthday stuff was true three weeks ago and all the animal stories are real.    The rest is nonsense and business theory.   Thanks for reading.   I enjoy our time together and will miss these visits over the next six months while I laser focus on my career adventures and learning how to operate my new Wolverine-like stabbing hands.

Raised in the Catholic faith, I never understood the value of “giving something up” for Lent.    Many viewed it as an excellent opportunity to lean up for the mountains of candy that arrive at the end of Lent.   I viewed my God as a giving God, one who would not want me to have less on a daily basis.  My God wants me to have more.    Not less.

Moreover, I view the world through long event horizon goggles and was aware even at a young age that part of growing into the older “you” is giving things up as the years roll by.     Giving them up and finding a suitable, age appropriate replacement.   Neither Silvio Berlusconi nor Newt Gingrich have ever learned this lesson.   That’s a shame.

The items listed below are the three primary replacements from the past two decades; rife with digressions and tangents, all coming to a suitable Seinfeldesque conclusion.   This is a ridiculously long winded account as to why I am giving up beer on August 15.   Accompanied by a beautiful Simon & Garfunkel tune.

Change One (Giving up Running)

I’ve never been called “svelte” or “gangly”.  In fact, my friend KB calls me refrigerator box as a nickname.    This is a suitable nickname.   No one has ever said or written my God given name in the same sentence with the phrase “naturally gifted athlete”.   Or the same paragraph.   Have always been the “just happy to be there” person in athletics.   The “happy to be there” person with a deep and abiding love of hitting other people.  Which is why, years and years ago, football was a far better choice than soccer.

My first football injury was “ridiculously swollen knuckles”, known as RSK Syndrome in the New England Journal of Medicine.   Visited our family GP at thirteen and Dr. McEvoy diagnosed me with arthritis.   Gave me the following choices:

  1. Stay away from the cold and damp.
  2. Rub a little dirt in it.

Chose “B” and continued along with my mediocre football adventures:  getting into the game whenever possible and hitting as many folks as possible while in the game.   That was great fun because hitting people is great fun.

Despite my non-svelteness, have always adored running.   I am quite a slow runner, when not being chased, yet love running nonetheless. As with most of my athletic pursuits, I am just happy to be there.  In 1994, with both knees and both hips hurting after one of the slowest four mile runs in the history of mankind in this universe or any other universe, chose to visit an orthopod and see if he could RX anything for the pain.   He took a full set of films, circled the really nasty parts and we had a conversation that resembled this:

Me:   “And…….?”

Him:  “Has anyone ever told you that you have arthritis?”

Me.  “Yep.   Back when I was thirteen”

Him:  “Then why the hell are you still running?   You are not a small man and your joints are all messed up.   You are a moron.   Now get out of my office.   Moron”

And that’s why I gave up running in 1994.

Change Two (Giving up Cheese)

Raise your hand if you adore cheese.    Standard party fare here at Chez Mulligan for years was a dozen bottles of tasty red Malbec or a Meritage and a five pound lump of parmesan cheese on a plate.   No knife.    You had to rip off chunks of parmesan cheese with your fingers to get that red wine/cheese taste sensation.     Mmmmmmm.


Of the various international surf trips I have had the good fortune of attending, the El Salvador surf trip was the best.   Surfing El Salvador was magnificent.

Went on a solo surf trip to Costa Rica in 1994 and for some odd reason we had a layover in San Salvador, El Salvador.   As the plane left San Salvador for San Jose, Costa Rica we banked over El Salvador’s Costa del Sol.   Below were miles and miles of beautiful waves with no riders.   Mostly because the El Salvador civil war had ended two years earlier and it is challenging to build back your tourist base after a civil war.    And especially when that civil war involved military death squads murdering Caucasian nuns and generally exhibiting poor behavior and ill developed social skills.

Marvin, Eb, and I had a week of surfing amazing waves like the one pictured below with no other gringos competing for the waves.   Because most gringos are sissies.   This is why Disneyland and those dolphin petting pens in Florida exist as vacation destinations.  Three men with sawed off shotguns and one man with an AK-47 guarded our condominium on the Costa Del Sol each evening and we three spent our evening time playing cards.  You did not want to head out at night in El Salvador in 1995.  Not even for a cup of sugar.

The most dangerous thing about El Salvador was not the newly jobless, well-armed, ex-rebels roaming the countryside.  The most dangerous thing about El Salvador was not the ten foot day we caught at Zunzal, where we three were destroyed over and over and over again.  The most dangerous thing about El Salvador was the food.   Marvin limited his daily meals to potted meat, perhaps the most nauseating thing ever killed and canned by mankind.  Eb and I ate whatever we wanted and on day four I paid for this choice dearly.    No details, suffice it to say I lay curled up in a fetal position in the back of our rental car as we looked for great surf spots, paddled out with my friends, and then spent more hours in a fetal position as we drove back to home base.     Did not see much of the El Salvadoran road scenery.

For years after that El Salvador trip, would get laid low once or twice a year by what I assumed was a parasite that my general practitioner was never able to knock back with drugs or a stern talking to.   These episodes would, again, leave me in the fetal potion in various locals around the house (bed, floor, bathroom floor, living room floor, kitchen floor, ad infinitum) and they always went away on their own after eight to ten days.

Ended up at Scripps Green in spring of 2010 for five days with what I thought was a particularly strong El Salvadoran parasite rebellion.     Since I went to public school, I was off by several thousand miles with my diagnosis:  the El Salvadoran parasite rebellion was, in fact, a full on colon rebellion.    My colon and part of my bladder were feeling rambunctious and wanted to live the life of Jack Kerouac.  Never being one to hold anyone or anything back from their dreams, I allowed them to leave on July 15, 2010.

Am not sure where my colon and bladder parts went or how they are doing.  All I do know is that my stay at Scripps Green hospital from July 15 to July 20 allowed me to get this photo:

And that is a damn fine photo.    Also allowed me to take this one as well.   Once they told me it was simply a rebellious colon and not anything dangerous or terminal, we turned my room into a party room.   Was a damn fun five days at Scripps Green

The photo above would have been my 2010 holiday card, had I not found a random pen of sheep with breast implants in November, 2010.    The sheep with breast implants became the 2010 holiday card because my friend CC blessed me with the “SILF” shirt several years back and since the day he handed it to me in Texas, that “SILF” shirt has been a conversation starter.    The “SILF” shirt is the finest shirt in the galaxy.   Thank you, CC.

I digress.     Back to Change Two and away from the sheep.    When part of your colon rebels and chooses to move on to greener pastures, it behooves you to take a close look at your dietary choices.   It forces you to make more age appropriate choices and colonic appropriate choices that will encourage the rest of your organs to stick around for a while longer.     Moreover, ten days with a catheter reaching into your rebellious bladder as it heals is precisely ten days too long to have a catheter.   Going to digress a bit more.

Because it is a fantastic story.

Took a cab home from Scripps Green after the left hemicolectomy on July 20, 2010.  Mostly because it allowed me to type the following line today:  “I took a cab home from Scripps Green after the left hemicolectomy on July 20, 2010”    No one else in this universe can type that line, now….. or for centuries to come.    Marketing folks:  that is known as a differentiating benefit.      Write that down.    It is unique.

Before I left Scripps Green, the discharging nurse showed me how to change the bag attached to the catheter to a leg mounted bag and then back to a larger bag that would hang on m bag for the additional five days after the five days I spent at Scripps.    She explained that even though I had gone to public school in Cleveland, I would be able to easily make the switch upon arriving home…allowing me to recuperate comfortably in bed on m painkillers.    Watching “COPS” marathons on cable TV.   In high definition.

The discharging nurse did not know about the cat menagerie.

The cab dropped me off and I got into my house with the leg bag still firmly affixed to the left thigh.    Crossed that off the “to do” list.    Got into bed, affixed the larger bag to one of the bed posts and made the valve switchover….effortlessly.    Crossed that off the “to do” list.     Reclined back into the seven thousand pillows I keep at the head of bed and thought to myself “damn….that was easier than conquering France or getting on “Girls Gone Wild in Cancun”.   Until thirteen minutes later when I looked to the left and down and saw all five cats playing tetherball with the bag of pee.

I’ve seen seven million four hundred thousand three hundred fourteen things in the last few decades that made me laugh like a hyena.   None top that feline pee bag tetherball game.   I switched back to the leg bag for the duration and grounded the cats.

And that’s why I gave up cheese in 2010.

Change Three (Giving up Typing….& Beer)

Have mentioned seven times in the past four years that I was the worst boxer in this galaxy.   This is an understatement.     When you like to hit people, you have two choices as an adult:  prison and boxing.

Never a fan of roommates, I picked up boxing as an alternative sport in my thirties and hired an ex Golden Gloves private coach to wail on me twice a week.    David kicked the crap out of me twice a week when we finished the forty-five minute skills session and then sparred three, three minute rounds in the ring.     David beat me senseless during those nine minutes and that hour workout twice a week was better than any training I have found since.    And it enhanced my bar fighting skills.

The heavy bags and the water bags mocked me when I walked into the gym.   All twenty-six of them smirked when I began wrapping m hands and I pictured them laughing out loud when I lined up to hit them.

Remember change one up above?   The arthritis?    When you combine poor boxing form and years of arthritic erosion in small joints, you get two wrists that look like this:

Given that most of us are not clinically trained in hand and wrist anatomy and physiology, here’s what my orthopedic surgeon said this past fall when he saw that X-Ray.   He dumbed it down for me.    He said this.   “Ummmm, all your bones on the bottom are in the wrong places.   We should fix that.  That looks like it might hurt.”  

And, it did.   My hands have hurt every minute of every day for the last two years with the last three months being the most painful.    The good pain, though…the kind that lets you know you’re alive and wakes you up in day long meetings.


Beer has pulled me through.    Brett Favvvvvvvrre’s answer was pills.     Mine has been beer.

This morning, as you are reading this, my wonderfully skilled surgeon at Scripps Green is removing some of those messed up bones in one of the wrists, pulling the remaining bones together with K-wires, plates and screws and then using an iliac crest graft from my hip as the frosting on top of his four corner fusion on the left wrist.     He is going to do this:

Am going to pay one hundred dollars extra for two things:

  1. To make the scar from the middle of the forearm to the middle of the left hand very pronounced.     If he does his job correctly, when I turn sixty, on my birthday, am going to have the cover of the Rolling Stones album “Sticky Fingers” tattooed on both arms with the scar as the zipper.
  2. To surgically attach the item below so that I can be Wolverine forever.   And that’s pretty awesome.

Was unable to exercise for three months after the colon resection in 2010 and will be unable to lift from August, 2011 through March, 2012.   When you have to cut back on the exercise, you need to make significant dietary and drinking changes or risk a BMI north of twenty-five.    Which apparently will get you a handicapped placard and a free scooter from Medicare.   I do not want a fat person scooter or a handicapped placard.

Which is why, as of today, I am giving up beer.

Because while I sincerely look forward to having really cool scars on both arms by Thanksgiving, I am scared to death of getting fat.    Good bye beer, I will miss you.

Hello, wine!      I am doubling down on you this fall.   As Mr. Dickens so aptly wrote:  Fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship and pass the rosy wine.   There are even boxes of wine!    Imagine that.    Wine in a box.    We have come a long, long way.

A few hundred folks visit here daily.  Thank you for visiting.   While I’ve been diligently practicing typing with these braces on for several months, am relatively certain the cast on the left arm and the brace on the right arm are going to preclude extraneous typing from August 15 through November 7 and then we’ll be switching it up to a cast on the right and a brace on the left from November 8 through February, 2012.   Also, the portion of my colon that chose to leave last summer sent a Telex back home from some tropical beach near Fiji seven weeks ago, inviting more of its breatheren to join it for scuba diving and fizzy umbrella drinks.  I will be re-visiting my RN friends at Scripps for another colon resection in September and have purchased a new pair of slippers for the colon resection vacation.   These slippers.

Dead sexy slippers.    We are going to have another party room at Scripps Green in September.

Given these limitations, this will be the last Mind of Mully Biz Haus Shoppe posting until February 14, 2012.

Because Singles Awareness Day would not be complete without a celebration here at Mind of Mully Biz Haus Shoppe.   Singles Awareness Day is more entertaining than Festivus.   Nothing in this world or any other world is better than the airing of the grievances.

Until February 14, 2012 feel free to peruse the three hundred or so postings here at your leisure or take advantage of the other four billion three hundred forty three thousand blogs available daily on Al Gore’s World Wide Web .   Wash your hands before you leave the restroom, change your sheets at least once a week, always call if you’re going to be late, and keep Ephesians 4:32 in mind as you roll through your respective days.   And, again, thanks for visiting.

Good bye.

And, as always…..good night, Bethany.

Post script……


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Non Sequiturs & Banana Splits

Best Experienced With:          Michael Stanley Band;  Midwest Midnight

(Please right click on the link below to open the suggested background music for this morning’s suggestion on what would have made last week’s Iowa Presidential “debate” better in a new browser window.    That’s a fine little guitar lick in the background beginning at 3:08.   Was my favorite as a kid.   Back when candidates actually debated.)

There are no more extemporaneous Presidential debates.    Years ago, the candidates would come with a prepared opening statement, a prepared closing statement and then would actually answer the questions and opine in the middle.    For the past twenty years, we are subject to a series of prepared answers that seldom fit the actual questions asked.     An hour of nonstop non sequiturs, tailored for sound bites and spin doctors.   Reminiscent of Brick Tamland from the movie “Anchorman:  The Legend of Ron Burgundy”.

The following non sequiturs, spoken by either Mr. Cain or Mr. Pawlenty during the Iowa non sequitur hour last week, would have made the Iowa “debate” far more interesting.   Once they get the field narrowed down to four, it would also be more entertaining if those four candidates rolled up to the stage in the Banana Split mobile dressed as Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, and Snork.    “Making up a mess of fun….loads of fun for everyone.”     Indeed.

Brown dress shoes can only be pulled off by 3.9% of the general population

Sed Patris, et Fili, et Spiritus Sancti una est divinitas, aequalis gloria, coaeterna maiestas. Qualis Pater, talis Filius, talis Spiritus Sanctus. In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti

Miniature collies are fun to watch run because they are so proper.   This is how I would imagine Queen Elizabeth runs.

Watching Joe Cocker sing “Feeling Alright” is forty-three times more entertaining than watching golf, twenty-seven times more entertaining than waiting to re-enter the United States at the border crossing in Tijuana, twelve times more entertaining than reading US magazine and equally as entertaining as taking the “Maid of the Mist” under Niagara Falls.

Inductive fallacies of logic are entertaining and common in sound bites.    For example.  Premise 1:   Having just arrived in Ohio, I saw a white squirrel.   Conclusion: All Ohio Squirrels are white.    That is an inductive logical fallacy.   Most debate answers these days contain several examples of logic fallacies.

If you drive a convertible, and Styx’s song “Come Sail Away” comes on while you are driving on the highway, you should act out all the lyrics with your free hand.   If you are driving with the top down.    If the top is up, this will not be as effective or amusing.

The CERN Large Hadron Supercollider will allow the discovery of the elusive Higgs boson and may possibly cause a rip in the space time continuum.   This would release pirates back into France and Switzerland.  Pirates!

A duck’s quack will not echo

Three ounce bags of South Park’s Cheesy Poofs will soon be sold for $2.99 per bag at Wal Mart.

The first sign of the downfall of the Roman Empire was when the barbarian Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustulus in a bloodless coup.   The first sign of the downfall of the American Empire is the new show “Whisker Wars” on the Independent Film Channel and “Repo Games” on Spike TV.

There is a math proof that proves 2 can equal 1.   Here it is:

a = b
a2 = ab
a2 – b2 = ab – b2
(a – b)(a + b) = b(a – b)
a + b = b
2 = 1

Translated in Italian, Pinocchio means “pine head”

Governor Rick Perry chose not to participate in the Iowa Republican debate last week in Ames, Iowa.   Some postulate that he did not want to be within a country mile of wife trader-inner Newt Gingrich.   Others believe Governor Perry has something against Eastern Goldfinches and still another minority thinks he stayed away because the Iowa straw poll is utterly worthless in the grand scheme of things.  Iowa has only seven Electoral College votes and is, indeed, quite boring and flat.   Although Iowa does have the world’s largest popcorn ball (Sac City, Iowa) and the world’s largest rocking chair (West Amana, Iowa).

I believe Governor Perry chose to avoid Iowa because he is a true believer in my marketing theory….”The Xbox Scarcity Theory”.    Those of you who are still in the dating world might recognize this as the “People Want What They Cannot Have More Theory”.   This theory holds everywhere.  In business, in dating, and in politics.    People want more what they cannot have.

Can you remember a December holiday season when there was not a shortage of Xboxes?     Can you remember a December holiday season when you did not see parents beating each other with tire irons in Wal-Mart parking lots to get a more strategic place in line and not miss the opportunity in November to purchase an Xbox for little Sally or Billy’s Christmas or Chanukah?  And, when these white trash, no tap out fights happened, they would make the evening news programs and the periodicals.


I read three newspapers papers a day whilst on my gym’s Precor in an effort to forget how painful the actual exercise is as a geriatric.     I read the USA Today as an appetizer (two minutes cover to cover), then the Los Angeles Times as a small main course (eighteen minutes cover to cover), and finish up with the New York Times as the main course (as long as it takes).  Weeks like this, when the market is an entertaining Sin wave, I will throw in the WSJ as dessert.   Today, all four papers had an article where they lumped together Mr. Santorum, Mr. Romney, Mr. Cain, Mr. Paul, Mr. Huntsman, Mr. Pawlenty, and Ms. Youcannotfollmeiknowyouarecrazy and discussed their Iowa strategy and how they fared in the debate.    Each paper also had a separate article dedicated solely to Mr. Perry and his conspicuous absence in Iowa this week.


This will be the silliest Presidential race ever.     Game on.

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The Finest Book in the Galaxy

Best Experienced With:          REM;        E Bow, The Letter


(Please right click on the link below to open the suggested background music to this evening’s treatise in a new browser window.     “Will you show me something no one else has ever seen?”   Indeed.)





Many believe that the most challenging Michael Stipe lyrics to sing are the “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”.  They are wrong.   The most challenging Michael Stipe lyrics to sing are “E Bow, The Letter”, because of the pauses.    Patti Smith’s cameo backing vocals are easy to sing and quite beautiful.    “I’ll take you over……there”.   Indeed.

This is the best book in the galaxy and quotes below are from the best book in the galaxy.     You are welcome.


“Illusions – The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah”
by Richard Bach – 1977

Perspective – Use It or Lose It. If you turned to this page, you’re forgetting that what is going on around you is not reality. Think about that.

Remember where you came from, where you’re going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place.

You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don’t turn away from possible futures before you’re certain you don’t have anything to learn from them.
You’re always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.

Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it.    Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you.    You are all learners, doers, and teachers.

Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a false messiah.

Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully.

The simplest questions are the most profound.

Where were you born?
Where is your home?
Where are you going?
What are you doing?

Think about these once in awhile, and watch your answers change.

Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.  Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.

There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.

Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect.

Then be sure of one thing:
The Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have.
The original sin is to limit the Is.      Don’t.

A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion….this is the place to go now.
But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.

You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.

If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.

The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do your sums.
It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages.

Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.

In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.

The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, “I’ve got responsibilities.”

The truth you speak has no past and no future. It is, and that’s all it needs to be.

Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.

Don’t be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.
And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.

The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

You’re going to die a horrible death, remember. It’s all good training, and you’ll enjoy it more if you keep the facts in mind.

Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution it not generally understood by less advanced lifeforms, and they’ll call you crazy.

Aluminum…tastes like fear.

Adrenalin…pulls us near.

Choose to sacrifice boredom.


Good nigtht.

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La Belle Dame Sans Merci, La Belle Brigade, & Cats in Boxes



Best Experienced With:      Belle Brigade;   Losers

(Please right click on the link below to open the suggested background music in a new browser window.    You know who didn’t care about being smooth with women?   Keats.    And neutered cats.   In boxes)





La Belle Dame Sans Merci   (Johnny Keats:  1795-1821)

Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
Alone and palely loitering;
The sedge is wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever dew;
And on thy cheek a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads
Full beautiful, a faery’s child;
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long;
For sideways would she lean, and sing
A faery’s song.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She look’d at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna dew;
And sure in language strange she said,
I love thee true.

She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she gaz’d and sighed deep,
And there I shut her wild sad eyes–
So kiss’d to sleep.

And there we slumber’d on the moss,
And there I dream’d, ah woe betide,
The latest dream I ever dream’d
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings, and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
Who cry’d–“La belle Dame sans merci
Hath thee in thrall!”

I saw their starv’d lips in the gloam
With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke, and found me here
On the cold hill side.

And this is why I sojourn here
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.











Find Ceeeeeeatie, Deeeeeeeeeogie,, and Bruiser in this photo

You have four seconds

Do not be thrown by the lack of box

Trust your instincts




Good night, Cassius……..

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