I’ve been offline because of the death of my older brother, Robert Thomas, of pancreatic cancer, and am “on the road” visiting family. Regular blogging will resume later this week. Please do continue to share comments about whatever until I get back.

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  1. Dolorous Stroke  •  Dec 14, 2014 @10:45 pm

    My deepest sympathy. My mom died of pancreatic cancer in 2012.

  2. Doug  •  Dec 15, 2014 @12:31 am

    My condolences on the passing of your brother. I’ve also lost family to cancer. It’s a disease that affects the whole family and I hope all find peace after the struggle.

  3. Swami  •  Dec 15, 2014 @1:05 am

    My condolence, Barbara. Your brother was quite an accomplished man. May you find peace in his life well lived and the heart he showed toward others.

  4. erinyes  •  Dec 15, 2014 @5:56 am

    That pain is too familiar. Deepest sympathy.

  5. Hunter  •  Dec 15, 2014 @8:26 am

    Condolences to you and your family, and my sympathy.

  6. kathyp  •  Dec 15, 2014 @8:32 am

    My deepest sympathy to you.

  7. PurpleGirl  •  Dec 15, 2014 @8:55 am

    Condolences to you and your family. I’ve lost several friends to cancer. It’s a horrible condition to have.

  8. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 15, 2014 @9:42 am

    Oh my goodness…
    My sincerest condolences, maha.
    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  9. joanr16  •  Dec 15, 2014 @9:57 am

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Wishing you and your family peace.

  10. Bob  •  Dec 15, 2014 @10:22 am

    Condolences Maha…Brothers are a wonderful to have…especially when they quit beating up on ya…kidding…I lost my brother three years ago…small cell carcinoma…I miss him…and I feel your pain…

  11. James F. Epperson  •  Dec 15, 2014 @11:06 am

    My sincere and heartfelt condolences, Barbara. My brother-in-law is dealing with this, too.


  12. sluggo  •  Dec 15, 2014 @12:20 pm

    Very sorry for your loss.

  13. uncledad  •  Dec 15, 2014 @12:31 pm

    Barbara, Sorry for you loss.

  14. Lizzy L  •  Dec 15, 2014 @1:25 pm

    I’m so sorry, Barbara. My sympathies to you & your family.

  15. moonbat  •  Dec 15, 2014 @1:32 pm

    Sorry for your loss, Barbara. Your brother sounds like a very fine man. I lost my cousin, my age, to pancreatic cancer earlier this year.

  16. goatherd  •  Dec 15, 2014 @1:40 pm

    I am so sorry to hear this, he was too young. I guess we’re at the age where we all have some similar experience.

    I lost my father to pancreatic cancer. But, what comes to mind is what he said when his mother died. He wasn’t normally one to personify, but I remember him looking at me and saying, “I don’t know who Death is. But, whoever he is, he’s a miserable son of a bitch.”

    That about says it.

  17. grannyeagle  •  Dec 15, 2014 @3:29 pm

    Ditto to all the previous comments.

  18. Bonnie  •  Dec 15, 2014 @5:59 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Take care.

  19. Bruce  •  Dec 15, 2014 @6:44 pm

    so sorry for your loss

  20. paradoctor  •  Dec 15, 2014 @6:53 pm

    Condolences on your loss.

  21. csm  •  Dec 15, 2014 @7:25 pm

    Our condolences, thoughts and prayers to you and the family.

  22. buddhasteps  •  Dec 15, 2014 @10:15 pm

    Having lost 2 wives and a close friend to cancer, I really can feel your pain. I’m so sorry you lost yr. brother. I try to remember the Buddha’s words.. that which is born dies. Still hurts, though, doesn’t it?

  23. William Burke  •  Dec 16, 2014 @6:42 am

    What an extraordinary life your brother led. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  24. Annie Ryan Zuvanich  •  Dec 16, 2014 @4:18 pm

    My condolances on the loss of your brother. My thoughts are with you.

  25. KWN  •  Dec 16, 2014 @4:53 pm

    Reflecting the sentiment of your previous post,” I’m still here”, we’ll still be here after you have dealt with your brother’s death.

  26. chefloveshiking  •  Dec 16, 2014 @7:10 pm

    Sorry for your loss. Prayers and positive thoughts in your direction.

  27. mileslarboy  •  Dec 17, 2014 @8:44 am

    My sincere sympathy.

  28. JDM  •  Dec 17, 2014 @1:58 pm

    Sorry to hear that. I hope the family and friends are holding up well… as well as can be expected.

  29. Elizabeth  •  Dec 17, 2014 @2:47 pm

    condolences, Barbara, and many blessings …..

  30. Doug  •  Dec 17, 2014 @8:56 pm

    Since we were invited to talk about ‘whatever’ (my favorite subject), I’m not exactly going off topic to comment on the politics of the day – US relations with Cuba.

    We have been keeping a ‘mad’ going for 50 years over the revolution. Contrast that with Vietnam. We normalized relations with that communist country after 20 years. In the Vietnam conflict, 58,000 American soldiers died. How many Americans died in the Cuban revolt? Ahhh, but the Castro regime is evil and oppressive. Can we examine ‘evil and oppressive’ by comparison with a different communist country – China? The government of China resists efforts by labor to organize with military force and arrests of organizers. When a move for democracy was made by students in Tienanmen square, the government rolled tanks over the demonstrators – literally. And what sanctions did the US level against China? Zip. Nada. Nothing.

    So what gives? When communist China uses despotic force to keep labor cheap, that’s going to please Wall Street who has invested in China as a manufacturing hub. The conflict with Vietnam only cost American lives – no US property was confiscated. Which brings us to the cause of the 50 year mad over Cuba. American property – expensive resorts that were making US investors rich – were ‘nationalized’. That’s a political term for ‘stolen’. That’s the difference between ‘evil’ communist nations and ‘we can be friends’ communist nations. The ones we like haven’t nationalized any American interests and ‘good’ communist nations will oppress and kill for American Wall Street interests.

  31. erinyes  •  Dec 17, 2014 @9:39 pm

    At last Cuba will open. I don’t see a down side to progress.

  32. Swami  •  Dec 17, 2014 @11:40 pm

    ¡Vive Fidel! 🙂 Your’re right about the nationalization of industries and economic interests as being the sole cause for the embargo and bitter relations, Doug. Looks like Marco Rubio is going to lose his grossly distorted narrative about the oppressed people of Cuba and how they don’t have freedom.

    For some reason, among all the mutts in Congress, Marco Rubio stands out as the least substantive of the bunch. He projects an air of being intellectually and spiritually hollow, an empty vessel in search any cause to give his political life purpose. To hear him howl about how Obama’s initiative won’t stand because he’s going to all within his power to stop him gives me great delight. Only because I know Rubio is an intellectual apparition who is going to find himself pissing against the wind in the long run.
    Gee, Marco. How’d that immigration reform work out for you? Your home boys left you out to dry? I’m surprised your Repuglican’t buds didn’t tape a traditional “kick me” sign on your back.

  33. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 18, 2014 @9:16 am

    Two things about Cuba (the first being about the Republican reaction):
    1. It took him some time, but I think President Obama has finally figured out that if you can’t negotiate wid ’em, you might as well f*ck wid em!
    In that sense, the next two years could really be fun.

    2. I can hardly wait for Havana to get a Major League Baseball team.
    Then, I can move down there when I pick a place toetire, and not feel like I’m completely leaving this hemisphere.

  34. Barry  •  Dec 19, 2014 @12:13 pm

    I feel for you.

  35. Bernard  •  Dec 21, 2014 @2:54 am

    I’m a relatively new reader of your blog and you have affected the way I think. You have my sincerest condolences at this difficult time.