Good news and bad news

April 28th, 2015 by John Morris

Today I received both good news and bad news from the University of Pennsylvania’s Memory Center.  

The good news was my recent PET scan showed a lack of  amyloids in my brain.

This good news created the bad news.  I can’t continue with their promising three year long experimental program.  I wanted to help these scientists develop better way to fight Alzheimer’s Disease.  I’m now on the outside looking in.  

I watched as my Mother descended into the disease.  There was not much that could have been done for her.  She received the standard care available, but no matter what the disease kept taking more than the care could prevent.  

Does my good health report mean I will not get Alzheimer’s?  No!  If I had had elevated amyloid reading, would I be destined to contract AD?  Not necessarily!  

Right now, I’m mourning my departure from this study.  In a week or so, I may get as happy as I should about such a clean bill of health. 



The fix was in.

April 26th, 2015 by John Morris

I sometimes use my idle time by logging on to Wikipedia and hitting the “random article” button.   Hit after hit will be produce nothing of any real interest but after a while, something will pop up.

I was playing this game when the internet gremlins rewarded me with a story from baseball’s earlier era.  It was about the game’s most hated player probably of all times: Ty Cobb.  I knew Cobb was disliked and after reading about the forgotten event, I got a sense of the how visceral the hate was.

The 1910 baseball season had reached its final day.  Cobb and Napolean Lajoie were vying for the batting title.  Cobb opted to sit out the season’s last game because his average was such that Lajoie would need a 8 for 8 day to pass him.  This is were the “hate Cobb” bunch dug in to deny this title and its swag award – a new Chalmers Automobile – from the “Georgia Peach”.

Napolean Lajoie’s team, the Cleveland Naps* would play a double header against the Saint Louis Browns.  Every time Lajouie came to bat the Browns’ manager, Jack O’Connor moved his rookie third baseman, Red Corriden to the outfield. Lajoie could get a freebie hit just by bunting toward third base.  This is what he did. 

All went by plan until the scoring official ruled Lajoie’s last at-bat as an error and not as a hit.  O’Connor and his cohorts did what they could to bribe the official their way, but she held her ground.  The result was Cobb won the batting crown by a slim margin.

Howling accusations of wrong doings led American Legion president, Ban Johnson to arbitrate this tempest.  Cobb won out – he did still have the best batting average.  In a clever marketing move, both Cobb and Lajoie received Chalmers automobiles from the company.

Ty Cobb was a stinker without doubt.  Is there a modern day comparison to him?

But what actions can a man take to make others hate him so when he was just playing a game.   Cobb’s transgressions are documented well.   Whether he repented for them was between him and his God.

However his haters had other choices, and they own their bad actions.


* the team changed its name to the Naps to honor Napolean Lajoie.


The old boy writing this blog wears many hats: Vietnam Veteran, husband & father, salesman and techno-dude. After my service with the Army Security Agency, I operated a sign company for nineteen years, The sign industry changed after CAD/CAM machines made the task easy enough for the non-talented. I sold my company and never looked back.

Life has granted me a life partner better than I deserve. My wife, Lyn is a transplanted Kansas gal. Her bliss is teaching kindergarten and first grade.

I am the most proud of my children. My son, Adam lives an international life teaching English and living in Sozhou, China. He is married to one of life's truly lovely women, Yuri Kim. My daughter, Beth grew up in a small town and found her way in life means working and living in major cities like Chicago and New York. She and her life partner, Julie Sterling married in LaJolla, California in 2010.

I like getting the newest gadgets, but also I like to use things until they are useless, i.e., my last personal car was an 88 Honda Prelude Si.

I wrote a Vietnam Veteran newsletter for nine years. During this journey, I learned I like to write. It is a harmless exercise that rewards honest effort while tolerating failure gracefully. I been away from it for too long. My son gave me the blog, and it was a lifeline back to writing.

My best advice is to show the world what you can do but to accept only your opinion of who and what you are.

Update: In August 2008, my job became one of the half-million jobs that went away that month. I took the following year getting the home ready for my official retirement.

In October 2009, I took a part-time job as a saleman at the vaulted Maxwell's Hardware.

On November 29, 2011, I reached my 66th birthday, and I officially started Social Security. I intend to stay with Maxwell's as long as I can contribute.