As the days of 2017 dwindle down to a precious few, it's appropriate to reflect on the year in review, both from a personal and worldwide perspective.
And what a year it was.
Donald Trump took office after one of the most intense and nasty elections in recent memory, and the liberal left's collective heads immediately exploded. Fake news became the new norm for much of the already biased media, and most reporters dropped all pretense of any objectivity. Trump Derangement Syndrome is running rampant in Hollywood, where most any actor or actress finds something vapid, silly and downright ignorant to say about him. Rosie O'Donnell even went to far as to commit a felony on Twitter by bribing two sitting U.S. Senators to not vote for tax reform. She should be prosecuted and jailed to send a message.
North Korea is apparently working to mate biological weapons to ICBMs to use against us here in America. It's time to take that fat little runt out for good.
Congress, as usual, found more ways to waste time and money instead of doing the People's Business, with just about ZERO legislative successes until tax reform this past week. Republicans continue to prove that they are more concerned with social issues they cannot control than fiscal issues they can, and Democrats continue to refuse to engage in any serious conversations that don't concern increasing government control over the individual.
The entertainment and political worlds found a way to have a shared coming out party; not over the gay issue, but on sexual harassment. Seems they are equally adept at harassing women (or the occasional man) and finding ways to pay them off for their silence when necessary. Too bad when the politicos use our tax dollars to pay of their accusers, though. Oh, and a note to Meryl Streep and Hillary Clinton: stop lying about not knowing about that pig Harvey Weinstein. You knew. Everybody knew. Worst kept secret in the entertainment industry.
On the personal side of things, the best way to describe 2017 is a roller coaster.
The year started off great with my New England Patriots making the greatest comeback in the history of sports; being down 28-3 in the middle of the 3rd quarter in the Super Bowl, scoring three touchdowns and three two-point conversions to tie the game as time ran out, then winning the coin toss and marching downfield for the winning touchdown in overtime. Tom Brady gets his record 5th Super Bowl ring and is certified as the GOAT.
Then, two days later, my father-in-law passes away. Barbara no longer has any living parents.
Spring rolls around and Barbara and I sell our house in advance of retiring in two years to full-time RV living. We're excited to begin life as empty-nesters and to cut back on bills.
Then our daughter's rental house isn't ready on time. Our empty nester life is put on hold for 5 weeks as she takes up residence in our family room.
I get to drive a tank and crush a car! And our daughter moves out! Life is getting better . . .
Three weeks later, my other daughter, son-in-law and one year-old grandson have their rental house sold out from under them. Now we have 5 people in a two bedroom apartment (and they're still here!) Empty nesting still seems like a foreign concept to us.
Barbara and I buy a new MINI Cooper convertible as our future tow car, and rediscover just how much fun driving can be, especially with the top down.
In August, I suddenly lose all strength in my arms and legs and topple over like a tree (and yes, I did make a sound because Barbara was on the other side of the bed and heard me). I'm carried down the stairs to my apartment by the fine paramedics of Dawson County and rushed to the hospital. Five days and $141,000 later, I'm released from Northeast Georgia Medical Center following a battery of tests and a cardiac ablasion procedure to fix an errant wire in my already weirdly wired and plumbed heart. That one-in-ten-million thing is beginning to get old. The follow-up visit to the cardiologist shows complete recovery and no need to ever see him again for this issue - fixed for good!
Headed up to Massachusetts to visit my Dad and friends, stopping off at the Hershey RV show on the way. Sat in the exact model of our future land yacht for almost two hours talking with other prospective buyers and came to the realization that this could really be a home for us beginning in September of 2019.
Headed home to find out that the company I work for has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization and will be closing 1/3rd of all it's stores. Fortunately, mine isn't one of them.
Barbara's cataracts finally reached the stage where she needed to have them removed (after all, I can't have a navigator on the road who cannot read street and highway signs, can I?). The good news is we can afford to get implantable lenses to give her 20/20 vision for the first time in - forever. And she doesn't have to wear her wraparound senior citizen sunglasses anymore.
Ended up incurring over $170,000 in medical, dental and vision bills in 2017 before insurance kicked in. Wow!
But my company should be out of Chapter 11 by the first of the new year.
I'm too old for this crap . . .
Here's wishing you and yours (and me) a year of no drama and smooth sailing in 2018!
Hi! I'm Dave Richard, your host. I hope you enjoy your visit. We'll be talking about current events, politics, the occasional sports (I'm a HUGE New England Patriots fan, so get over it), and some "Get off my lawn!" issues.