Space Death, The Final Frontier


Please repeat after me: “Prescott Cactus is not a lawyer and isn’t giving legal advice”. Thanks !
The paperwork I show below is usually available on the website your State maintains. The italicized, quote boxed wording below is from the State of Arizona forms on the internet.

So now death. The next step beyond hospice. Yesterday you should have completed all your plans about dying. It is a process and wether you come to it slowly and naturally or as quickly as you adjust the radio station on your boom box near your the shower. Providing a game plan will make things SO much easier for those left behind. They will also help to assure that your wishes are fulfilled and that you begin to realize that we are here for just a short stay on this spinning piece of rock.

Docs, Hospital and designee should have copies and you should have original of all of these.

* * * * *

You may want a “Durable Health Care Power of Attorney”. (AZ Example)

If you want to select a person to make future health care decisions for you so that if you become too ill or cannot make those decisions for yourself the person you choose and trust can make medical decisions for you. Talk to your family, friends, and others you trust about your choices. Also, it is a good idea to talk with professionals such as your doctor, clergyperson and a lawyer before you sign this form.

This lets the one(s) you chose guide you toward the light when you are unable to make the decision yourself. If your written request to Nephew Billy is to turn off the oxogen and defibrillator when things break bad, it doesn’t take effect as long as you are conscious. You still make the call. You are providing guidance to someone you trust who will hopefully follow your wishes if you are unable.

* * * * *

You may want a “Durable Mental Health Care Power of Attorney” (AZ Example)

The Durable Mental Health Care Power of Attorney form if you want to appoint a person to make future mental health care decisions for you if you become incapable of making those decisions for yourself. The decision about whether you are incapable can only be made by an Arizona licensed psychiatrist or psychologist who will evaluate whether you can give informed consent. Be sure you understand the importance of this document. Talk to your family members, friends, and others you trust about your choices. Also, it is a good idea to talk with professionals such as your doctor, clergyperson, and a lawyer before you sign this form.

This lets you decide who calls the shots when the brain train comes off the tracks. Choose wisely dear reader as it’s an important one !

* * * * *

You may want a Living Will (End of Life Care) (AZ Example)

Use this Living Will form to make decisions now about your medical care if you are ever in a terminal condition, a persistent vegetative state or an irreversible coma. You should talk to your doctor about what these terms mean. The Living Will states what choices you would have made for yourself if you were able to communicate. It is your written directions to your health care representative if you have one, your family, your physician, and any other person who might be in a position to make medical care decisions for you. Talk to your family members, friends, and others you trust about your choices. Also, it is a good idea to talk with professionals such as your doctor, clergyperson and a lawyer before you complete and sign this Living Will.

Think Theresa Marie “Terri” Schiavo. Make your wishes known. Make it easier for those who need to make important decisions on your behalf. Your Durable Health Care Power of Attorney would be able to make these decisions for you if they are present and available. If not . . .

* * * *

You may want a Letter To My Representative: (AZ Example)

Arizona law allows me to make certain medical and financial decisions as to what I
want in the future if I become unable or incapable of making certain decisions for myself. I have completed the following document(s), and I want you to be my representative or alternate representative for the following purposes.
(Initial or check one or more of the following):
_____1. Durable Health Care Power of Attorney
_____2. Durable Mental Health Care Power of Attorney

Allows you to name a Representative and an Alternate Representative for the above 2 positions.


You may (or may not) want a Prehospital Medical Care Directive aka DNR or DO NOT RESUSCITATE. (AZ Example)

A Prehospital Medical Care Directive is a document signed by you and your doctor that informs emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or hospital emergency personnel not to resuscitate you. Sometimes this is called a DNR – Do Not Resuscitate. If you have this form, EMTs and other emergency personnel will not use equipment, drugs, or devices to restart your heart or breathing, but they will not withhold medical interventions that are necessary to provide comfort care or to alleviate pain.

IMPORTANT: Under Arizona law a Prehospital Medical Care Directive or DNR must be on letter sized paper or wallet sized paper on an orange background to be valid.

OK, if you are close to grabbing a seat in God’s waiting room you may want a DNR. If your gorgeous 30 year old body was just in a bad car wreck, you don’t want to have this card next to your drivers license.


Two things that you should know before you go. Last Will and Testament or perhaps even a Revocable Living Trust. These are means in which to disperse your worldly belongings when you depart. IMPORTANT ! ! !


Finely, about departure. We all go different ways.

Please know that the process of death is different with every person.

I’ll share some very, very general observations I’ve had.

Increased fatigue and sleeping with a decreased appetite.
Patient eventually stops eating and drinking do to lack of desire.
(Ice chips if allowed and wet sponge thingee’s)
Sleep becomes almost constant, though still responsive while awake.
Full time sleep, still responsive to touch and lastly sounds.
Patient becomes non responsive to any stimuli.
2 to 4 days after last food and water active dying usually begins.
The first sign of active dying is mottling (mark with spots or smears of color.) usually on feet and then hands.
Life ceases within 12 to 24 hours.

Thoughts? Something to share ?

Ooooo! Oooo! I know! I know! Call on me! Call on me!

silly sully

Why? Because he’s a hysterical, pants-soiling drama bear? Let’s not forget, this is the same Sully who, after President Obama had a subpar debate performance in 2012, covered himself with beagle shit and ran through the streets of D.C. bellowing doom and woe (okay, only in my imagination, but it’s just a slight exaggeration!).

And Sully likes Obama. He hates Hillary Clinton, with such an irrational intensity that it’s as if he thinks she’s the evil harpy who personally circumcised him with a rusty teaspoon in a squalid NHS clinic. So of course he’s sure she’s going to lose to Trump, though Sully says he’ll vote for Clinton if there’s no palatable third party alternative.

[An aside: before all you puling BernieBabies show up in comments to shriek about how much Hillary sucks, we get it! You hate her! Go read the Sullivan interview — you’ll get a righteous stiffy, and maybe you’ll forget to crap all over the comments section.]

There was also something in the Slate interview that reminded me of Adam’s post last night. If you haven’t read Adam’s post yet, do. You won’t enjoy it as it is a compendium of the slime extruded on Twitter by pro-Trump, anti-Semitic creepy-crawlies who emerged when a journalist turned over a rock. Horrifying.

But anyhoo, the Slate article addressed the incident Adam talks about and also a headline at the Trump-friendly Breitbart site earlier this week that refers to Bill Kristol as a “Renegade Jew.” Now, it’s important to bear three things in mind when considering the Breitbart headline:

1) Kristol is a loathsome piece of shit
2) Breitbart is a flophouse for unemployable wingnut morons rather than a legitimate media organization
3) The person who called Kristol a “Renegade Jew,” David Horowitz, is himself Jewish (and a nasty wingnut hysteric of the WND variety)

But all that said — damn. As Michelle Goldberg notes, “the Trump campaign has been associated with white nationalism and a resurgence of raw, violently threatening anti-Semitism. Breitbart’s headline suggests that the Jew baiting popular on pro-Trump social media feeds is creeping toward the mainstream.”

That’s scary shit. Several weeks ago on a thread here, I expressed a thought I’ve heard many fellow American liberals express since Trump clinched the GOP nomination, something along the lines that the fact that Trump will top a major party ticket makes me ashamed even though I’ve never voted for a Republican in my life.

A commenter (I’ve forgotten who — sorry) replied that one advantage she enjoyed as someone who was raised by African American parents was never having to feel ashamed about something a white fool like Trump does. I don’t think I replied — didn’t know what to say.

Because honestly, it never occurred to me for a second to be ashamed because Trump is a fellow white person; rather, I felt shame as an American, that such a vile, bigoted dunce had captured the nomination of one of only two relevant political parties in my country.

That’s an aspect of white privilege, no doubt — the freedom from feeling any responsibility for what some random white shithead does, the certainty that it doesn’t reflect in any way on me. But as this white nationalist aspect of the Trump campaign asserts itself, I do feel a special responsibility to respond to it, as an American of the WASP variety.

I’m not sure how, aside from doing everything I possibly can to help elect Hillary Clinton. Maybe grab the lapels of fellow Saltine-American friends, relatives and neighbors who say they might vote for Trump and shake some sense into them? I don’t know.

But I do feel responsible. And more determined than ever.

Turn around; don’t drown!

Today in Houston, where they’ve had over a foot of rain:

Damn! I got caught in a rainstorm in Jacksonville, FL many years ago and was driving down a water-covered street, trying to find a place to pull over. Suddenly, I could feel my car floating, which is a scary-ass feeling.

Fortunately for me, I floated to a spot where I was able to get traction and pull up onto higher ground. The guy in the video wasn’t so lucky, but he’s damn fortunate to be alive. Amazing how the lights and windshield wipers were still working when only the radio antenna remained above the surface.

Be careful out there, Houston Juicers. Better yet, don’t go anywhere if you can help it.

Open thread!

This’ll Hurt

First — thanks again to Anne Laurie and the whole crowd for all the kind thoughts thrown my way on my Guggenheim news.  I’ll post on the sweet/bittersweet backstory to that when I get back to the computer that has the photograph I need.  Here, I’ll just say that yup: it’s been a good week, and that there is no gift I value more right now than that of time.


That said, on to the fun stuff:  cheering the discomfiture of our foes (while regretting the collateral damage) — and hoping against hope that this kind of news will, in not-too-long-a-time, have the right effect.

What news, you ask?


The Boss took no prisoners in explaining his decision:
To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them.

It does suck for NC Springsteen fans — many-t0-most of whom I’d bet loathe this law as much as Bruuuuuuuuce does.  But public and bitter consequences are the only way I see of driving the point home.  The legislative assault on civil rights led by Republicans all over the country is exactly the kind of crap up with which we will not put.

So, to celebrate Mr. Springsteen — and to give just a little salve to our North Carolina pro-E-Street-anti-bigotry cohort, here’s a little something from 1978:


Image:  Antonio de Pereda, Allegory, c. 1654

Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Spring Is Sprung

raven easter weekend 2016

Courtesy of perennial commentor Raven, the trees in Georgia welcome spring, and in the photos below his spouse shows off her design chops celebrating Easter. Which is, of course, a fertility festival as well as the holiest of Christian holidays. (So’s Passover, to some degree, but this year Passover is still three weeks away.)

Yesterday I bought the first transplants of the year, a half-dozen pansy sixpaks and an almost-open hyacinth for the living room. (Hyacinths are very strongly scented, one is enough for a whole room, and once it’s finished blooming I’ll dig the bulb in next to the front stoop, near the survivors from a half-dozen previous years.) So — unless the rain shows up earlier than expected — I’ll celebrate this afternoon by filling some planters with color, as an encouragement to start the tedious process of cleaning up the winter detritus.

What’s going on in your gardens (planning) this week?

raven easter chick display

raven easter centerpiece

A Parental not so humble brag bleg

My daughter is a smart cookie. She can play with the world around her and twist and turn the shapes that she sees in different patterns from different angles until it makes a lot of sense to her. I have a lot of fun watching her explore the world and I have to sit back as I see her drink in information like a dehydrated desert trekker coming to an oasis.

She is in first grade by age right now. For the past quarter she has been spending a morning in first grade and then going to second grade for the post-lunch periods. Even in the second grade class, she is still an excellent student as she is a sponge and more importantly a synthesizer of information with a ridiculous ability to find links and hooks.

My wife, myself, and her teachers decided that she has nothing left to do in first grade. We fear that my daughter will be like me, if she is bored she’ll first never learn to work hard when it is easy to learn how to actually work hard and accept a challenge, and secondly, when bored, I disrupted classes as I made sure my teacher knew I as bored. The solution is to push her forward to second grade for the rest of the year and then she’ll join the third grade cohort in the fall.

My bleg is are there any books where the storyline is making skipping a grade less scary? I know there are bunch of books for potty training, for the first day of kindergarten, for moving, for bullying, for parental and familial reorganizations and splits. Are there are books like this for skipping a grade?

The Whole Enchilada, Megillah and Nine Yards

Via valued commenter Lamh36 in last night’s primary results thread, a CNN clip of Van Jones calling out Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord about Trump’s dishonest and deliberate racist shell game on David Duke and the Klan:

Lord follows the conservative deflection playbook to the letter: The Klan is a liberal Democrat group! We just want to be a color-blind country but you are dividing us by race!

Trump has a little something for everyone, including formerly well-paid manufacturing workers who are now Walmart greeters. His views on building a huge, tremendous, beautiful wall to keep immigrants on the south side of the Mexican border are probably more aligned with rank-and-file Democrats’ opinions than many of us would like to admit.

But racism is a central component of his campaign because it’s a core part of who Trump is today and who he has always has been. Just a few years ago, Trump was a key figure in the explicitly racist birther nonsense, and he shouldn’t be allowed to wave that off because he’s “moved on.” Within the past several months, Trump has retweeted shit from neo-Nazis and publicized fake murder statistics to perpetuate dangerous, deadly lies about black-on-white crime.

In a country with a functional political media, that kind of bullshit would be fatal to a campaign. Hell, then-candidate Obama had to go out and give the speech of his life to calm a raging media firestorm about the exponentially less offensive things his pastor said when Obama wasn’t even present.

But it’s okay to play footsie with David Fucking Duke if you’re Trump; apparently this is the latest iteration of IOKIYAR. Well, it shouldn’t be. Hillary Clinton got some flak last night for countering Trump’s “Make America Great Again” line with this:

“We know we’ve got work to do. But that work is not to make America great again. America never stopped being great. We have to make America whole. We have to fill in what’s been hollowed out.”

Yeah, you can quibble about how great America is if that’s your thing. Arguably, your complaints (and mine!) are covered in the “hollowed out” part. But one thing that actually is kind of great about this country (though not unique to America by any means) is that we sometimes make progress. Haltingly. Often for the wrong reasons. But we move forward.

It’s easy to get discouraged and hopeless and cynical. To cite just one topic that could send a reasonable person down that path, there’s the fact that the frontrunner in one of our two major parties waffled about denouncing the fucking Ku Klux Klan in 2016.

But there’s still time to say no to that bullshit. To stand up and say we cannot, we must not, we will not go backward. That we’re all in this together. That’s what can make us whole, and I’m still naïve enough to believe this message will resonate more strongly than Trump’s.