"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

CALL it "The Freedom Tower" ...

... Not that mind-numbing bureaucratese of "One World Trade Center".

(Originally published 1404 CDT 10 SEP 2011 - Updated below)

"Freedom Tower" is what it was originally meant to be called anyway, until somebody got their panties in a twist and thought that such a name would be a gigantic Foxtrot Yankee to those who tried to bring us down. (Sounds to me like an excellent reason to so name it.)

From the Wikipedia entry (for what that's worth) ...
In 2009, the Port Authority changed the name of the building from "Freedom Tower" to "One World Trade Center", stating that this name is the "easiest for people to identify with".

All I can say is (EXPLETIVE DELETED!!!).

I saw a NOVA special on TV a few nights ago, all about the design and construction of the  1 WTC Building (They've already forgotten the original name) and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

The Presence of Absence ...
That's what the architect of the memorial said it was to evoke;  the sense of loss in the footprints of the original twin towers.

That's not a bad description of what appears to be the attitude of Obama and many of his minions who will appear at the 10th anniversary on 11 Sep 2011.  An attitude of "Let's put this behind us and move on." ;  a good sentiment in some circumstances, but in this context almost like saying that the Holocaust Museum should never have been built.

In the Shadow of the Freedom Tower ...
To add to the mix, we also have the Ground Zero mosque, except we're not supposed to call it that on account of it ain't located directly on the former World Trade Center site, Ground Zero, nor is it primarily a mosque,  ("A rose by any other name ...")

Although the City of New York refused to let a Greek Orthodox church that was destroyed at Ground Zero be rebuilt, they appear to have no problem with this abomination.

Maybe some solace can come from the fact that its location, about two blocks northeast of the Freedom Tower suggests that in the fall (around Sep 11), each afternoon it will lie in the shadow of the tower.

So, where are we now? ...
I don't have a date for the picture on the left, but it would probably be several months ago. The two open squares will be the memorial (hopefully completed tomorrow 11 Sep 2011). The picture on the right is how the tower should look when completed a couple of years from now.  (All images in this post are from www.nyc-tower.com )


This one is dated 24 Aug 2011


And this was taken on 01 Sep 2011 - coming right along.

Where was I on that fateful day? ...
The same place most of you were;  at work that Tuesday morning 11 Sep 2001.  Being in IT, they tolerated my occasional surfing of the internet, but it was other workers who urged me to check out the CNN website that morning; something about an airplane crashing into one of the World Trade Center towers.

I immediately thought it was a horrible accident, with Murphy's Law working at peak efficiency that it would be the tallest thing in Manhattan to be hit.  Indeed, that even made sense as it would be a more likely thing to happen because of its height.

I had read, many times, about the July 1945 incident in which a USAAF (United States Army Air Forces) B-25 Mitchell bomber ...

... tried to land in zero visibility (because of fog) at LaGuardia Airport and the pilot became disoriented and crashed into the Empire State Building between the 78th and 80th floors.  At the moment, I felt that, because of the proliferation of tall buildings near landing approaches, such an accident was almost inevitable sooner or later.

Of course, that second plane hitting the other tower made it painfully clear what had really taken place.

The most horrific part was when the South Tower collapsed.  Most of the people killed would have been those trapped on the upper floors.  By that time, the ones below would have already been evacuated, with the only people still below being responders and others desperately trying to reach those still trapped.

What a horrible word is "only" when applied to people like that. The most merciful thing in their case was that when the rumbling started, they probably barely had time to wonder "What the Hell is that?" before it was over.  It was half an hour later before the North Tower went, and I believe that rescue people were still trying their level best there, knowing all too well what could happen and being totally aware when it did.

A year later, I took a driving vacation and, among other places, visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

On display in one wing of the museum was a U-2 reconnaissance plane.  On one wall, curving up from the floor, was a huge aerial photo, taken from that (or a similar) plane, of Manhattan Island.  What you could see so clearly in that photo were the Twin Towers, and it literally took your breath away realizing what was now gone.  I was trying very hard to hold back tears, and I don't think I succeeded. (If any reading this have been to the museum recently, I'd love to know if that photo is still on display.)

Update 27 Jan 2012 - As nobody has volunteered that information, I emailed the museum and received this reply:
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Your inquiry of January 26, 2012, regarding an exhibition has been received in the Smithsonian’s Public Inquiry Mail Service for response.

The oblique U-2 photo of the New York metropolitan area in the 1970s is still on view in the Looking at Earth Gallery (110) in the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall.

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Update - Sunday, 09 Sep 2012 - What was, ...
(Couldn't find a date for this picture)

... what is ...
As of April 2012 - from urbanpeek.com 
(The only image in this post not from www.nyc-tower.com )

As of today (Sunday, 09 Sep 2012) - from live camera

The steel structure is complete, with work on glass still proceeding and the spire to follow.

... and what shall be ...

The Tower is scheduled to be ready for occupancy in 2013, and at present has about 55% of its leases filled. The current economy isn't exactly helping, but those who worry about being able to find tenants should recall that the Empire State Building and the original Twin Towers took decades to fill to capacity.

Bottom line, about that name ...
I hope this will be read by bloggers with far greater readerships than my humble 3 or 4 hundred a month, because I beg you to launch a campaign to make "Freedom Tower" the official name of this magnificent structure, or failing that, at least make it the de-facto name.

For my part, from here on out, I shall never refer to it as anything else

If honoring the memory of those who fell there was the only reason, that would be more than enough.

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Friday, September 08, 2017

I have been BLESSED, ...

... with SO MANY FRIENDS. :-)

Thank you;  ALL of you.
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Sunday, August 06, 2017

Two months ... Updated 01 SEP 2017

... is what I think I have left.

On Thursday, 03 AUG 2017, I went to the eye surgeon for a follow up exam of the left eye surgery eight days prior.

Dr. Morris was pleased with the reduced pressure in that eye (a result of the drainage tube inserted at that time). He wants to see me again on 31 AUG 2017.  

When I asked if it would be another five to seven weeks before setting up surgery on the RIGHT eye, he didn't want to commit just yet; saying, "We'll schedule it WHEN IT'S TIME".

He's reluctant to perform surgery on my best eye (it IS SURGERY, after all, and a problem during it could result in LOSING that eye, leaving me with only the LEFT, which is damn near USELESS).

On Thursday, 10 AUG 2017, I'm scheduled for a physical and lab work, taking most of the day

After THAT, they wanI to set up COUNSELING, because of suicidal thoughts I've expressed on occasion.

Problem is, NONE of THAT helps with the MONEY situation that brings up the thoughts in the first place and makes ACTING on them almost INEVITABLE.

I've asked some of their social workers to help me find SOMETHING I can do to earn PAYCHECKS again.  Because of my age and condition, they are VERY pessimistic on that score.

WITHOUT those paychecks, I will NOT survive;  it's really just as simple as THAT. When the money RUNS OUT (as it IS slowly doing;  I estimate TWO MONTHS), That's IT.  That's all she wrote.

To Alec and Melissa:  PLEASE keep the email announcing THIS post.  When you get the phone call from a First Responder, you'll know how to edit the subject line and content of that email, and pass it along to everyone, with "Reply All".

Thanks.  :-)

UPDATE - 01 SEP 2017 ...
I first published this post on August 6 (Hiroshima Day, ironically), as my best estimate on how long I had before my financial situation left me no alternative to ending it all.

So far, I appear to be right on schedule.

The VA is setting me up for something they call Vocational Rehabilitation, for which a Social Worker (who struck me as VERY savvy) has great confidence in their ability to really help Veterans find employment, even at MY age and in MY conditions.

Trouble is, this could take MONTHS, by which time I will be quite DEAD.

So, once AGAIN, I am BEGGING for donations, but WARNING you that it COULD be all in vain.

I STILL have the PayPal  "Medical Donation" button near the top of the left column on this page, in hope of help.

Alternatively, a check can be mailed to
 Paul Gordon
 3433 West Dallas St, Apt. 1102
 Houston, Texas 77019

 Email: gordpnp@airmail.net


I'm QUITE aware that some of you have MAJOR problems of your own.  BUT, if you CAN help a bit, Thank you.

If you CAN'T, well, don't worry about it.  I'm becoming resigned to my fate.  I've lasted 75 years, so far.  Better than SOME.  ;-)
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Friday, July 28, 2017

First surgery - results ...

On Wednesday morning, 26 JUL 2017, I took a taxi to the Michael DeBakey Veterans Hospital for a 7 AM appointment with the eye-sugeon.

This was for surgery to my left eye (the worst one), to remove the cataracts, and to insert a tube to help with drainage (to reduce pressure in the eye).

Because I would need some attention for the next 24 hours, and there was NO ONE to provide it, I stayed overnight. Had to sleep with an eye-patch taped on, to avoid injury to the eye.

When the patch was removed, I really couldn't see ANY difference in vision with that eye. The surgeon had warned me that could be the case, but felt the surgery was necessary.

When asked if I felt any pain or irritation, I mentioned feeling something between my eye and the lower eyelid. He said I was probably feeling some of the stitching. STITCHING on an EYEBALL!!!  Trying to IMAGINE that.  Perhaps I SHOULDN'T. :-)

He gave me a steel patch (with holes like a pepper shaker) ...

... to tape over my left eye before going to bed. This will be for a week.

He also gave me still MORE eye drops. I've been taking three types of drops, to control the pressure in both eyes.  I'll continue with those, but NOW for the right eye only.  The left gets three NEW types, for the next four weeks, to control any inflammation resulting from the surgery. SIX types to keep track of.  Does THAT sound like FUN?  :-)

I see him again, on Thursday, 03 AUG 2017, for a follow-up check.

They tell me it could be six to eight weeks before surgery to the right eye. Dr. Morris (the eye surgeon) is confident of more improvement with THAT eye, as its optic nerve damage is far less.

We shall see. :-)
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Saturday, July 01, 2017

Selfie taken in 2009

I STILL look like this (or WOULD, with a decent haircut);  someone who takes himself WAY too seriously.  I'll try to update this evening, less gloomy than I've been lately.  ;-)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I WEAR this, wherever I go ...

- (the uncensored version) on a cord around my neck.


It's double laminated, so if whatever happens to me is messy, it can be wiped off and read by first responders.  I've checked with a few of them, and have been assured that, while their IMMEDIATE priorities may be different, EVENTUALLY someone WILL get around to calling the three numbers on this.

That's a relief, because what will come when the money runs out is SO inevitable, I'm getting resigned to it;  almost looking forward to it.

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Saturday, May 06, 2017

"The COWARD dies a THOUSAND deaths, ...

... the BRAVE man dies but ONCE."
(Variations attributed to Shakespeare AND Hemingway)

Dear God. I wish I WAS a BRAVE man.

WHAT brought THIS on?

I have faced SO MANY fears in my life.  But, THIS one may FINISH me.

I fear that I may be slowly going BLIND.

For some time now, I've had spells of cloudy vision, that would clear up after awhile. But, they are lasting longer and longer. Bright sunlight makes things VERY difficult.

Should I see somebody about this? You BETCHA. BUT, my experience with doctors and clinics is that, before I can get past the receptionist, THIS question arises, "And HOW will you PAY for this, Mr. Gordon?". The ANSWER, "I CAN'T." is GUARANTEED to be a problem.

I'm fairly certain that a proper diagnosis will cost hundreds of dollars, and treatment (if there IS any) probably THOUSANDS.

And THEN, there is THIS problem with the car, mentioned in THIS previous post ...
##############################################################
Could have been KILLED today ...
... but, I lucked out and WASN'T.

At around 5 PM, today (Thursday, 06 APR 2017, I decided to take a hike to Kroger's, to get some groceries. That's about half a mile from my apartment. I can barely walk; lower back pain interfering with balance, and the sun was directly in my eyes a lot of the time, making it difficult to read the terrain on which I was walking. Less than a hundred yards from my apartment, I tripped and fell while crossing a street, and a car, making a fast turn, barely managed to stop in time.

A couple of people got out of their cars and helped to get up.  Didn't break anything;  just scraped my hands, my left knee has a hell of a bruise, and it ripped part of the left leg of my slacks. Noticing that I was trying to continue on my way (I STILL needed groceries). the one who nearly killed me was nice enough to give me a ride there and back.  (Sadly, it was a GUY this time, instead of the nice LADY who helped me when she noticed me struggling with the walk, several yeas ago. :-).

So, WHY IN HELL was I trying to WALK there?

Thursday, a week ago, I started to drive somewhere, and the automatic transmission, on my 2000 Honda Civic, began slipping and jerking when shifting, and the "Check Engine" light came on.  The next day, I had AAA take the car over to A+ Transmission Specialists. They have a fairly comprehensive set of electronic and driving tests they will do for no charge.

On Monday (03 APR 2017) I learned from them that pressure drops, in the transmission, were causing the shifting problems, but to determine the cause of those drops, they would need to completely disassemble the transmission (for $395.00), and (depending on what they find) I could be looking at a total from $1500.00 to $2500.00.

At the moment, there is absolutely NO WAY I can handle THAT.  So I got AAA to bring the car home.  I am without transportation, for the foreseeable future.  If I CANNOT get the car fixed, I can NEVER afford to get another one.  my current situation will be THE REST OF MY LIFE..

I STILL have the PayPal  "Medical Donation" button near the top of the left column on this page,
 in hope of help.

Alternatively, a check can be mailed to
 Paul Gordon
 3433 West Dallas St, Apt. 1102
 Houston, Texas 77019

 Email: gordpnp@airmail.net

If you CAN help a bit, Thank you.

In earlier posts, I mentioned the possibility of going for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to help with my financial problems.  After long consideration (and research) I have taken THAT off the table, concluding that, my current circumstances being so different from the time I exercised that option in 2000, THIS time the end result would most likely be a do-it-yourself .44 caliber lobotomy.

The only REAL possibility I can see is to TRY and get myself into shape to be able to get (and be able to DO) the extra hours I so desperately need.

Today's incident has made me decide to make a note or card, listing several of you (names and telephone numbers) as people to notifiy if something final happens to me.  I should have it double laminated, so if it gets covered in blood, that can be wiped off so it can be read.

I hope some of you will KEEP the email you received about this, and if YOU get a call, you can haul out that email, edit the subject line and the content, and pass the news along using "Reply to all".

Thank you.

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Put together, I'm looking at THOUSANDS of dollars worth of help that I desperately need.

HOW can I POSSIBLY ask this of you? The plain truth is that I am a very poor investment right now, as it will be a miracle if I'm not DEAD before mid-summer, probably at my own hand.

Right now, all I see in front of me is DEATH.

Kinda DEPRESSING.  :(
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