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Monday, October 9, 2017

Thanks Jan

"Vixen" album cover - via Wikipedia user Weatherman90 (here)
In 2012, the original members of Vixen, Jan Kuehnemund, Janet Gardner, Roxy Petrucci, and Share Pedersen (now Ross), were in the final stages of a planned band reunion. Then, in January 2013 just days before they were going to make an official announcement, Jan, the band's founder, was diagnosed with cancer. She fought the disease for nearly a year, but unfortunately passed away October 10, 2013, 4 years ago tomorrow, and the band's and its fans dreams of a complete reunion of it's original lineup never came to fruition.

Today's Music Monday is in memory of Jan and the great music she left us with. Told that an all-female heavy metal band would never make it, she and her bandmates were determined to prove the naysayers wrong, and man, did they ever.

Both of today's music videos are of songs from the bands debut self-titled album, Vixen, released in 1988. They both feature Jan's guitar playing and provide some great memories for her fans, including me, of her doing what she loved - playing her guitar. She was a talented guitarist.

Video #1 is of "Love Made Me" (embedded below or can be enjoyed here). Video #2 is of "Cryin' " which was filmed live at MTV's 1989 New Years Eve special (embedded below or enjoy it here).





In December 2013, Janet, Roxy, and Share decided to reunite the band, with a new guitarist, and carry on Jan's legacy. They're currently touring and keeping the music, and Jan's memory alive. Kudos to them for doing so.

As I wrote this post today, I found myself wondering if maybe there's a lesson here for all of us. We shouldn't put off doing this or that with family, friends, or others we care about, because if we do, it could be too late.

Thanks for the music, Jan.

Don't cry because it's over. 
Smile because it happened.
(from VixenOfficial.com - Jan K. memorial page)

Friday, October 6, 2017

Delaware Outlaws Discrimination In Organ Transplantation

Recently, Delaware Governor John Carney signed into law a bill banning discrimination in organ transplantation based upon a person's disability. Thanks to Gov. Carney and the Delaware legislature, the state is now the 6th in the U.S. to outlaw such practices.

English: A collection of pictograms. Three of ...
English: A collection of pictograms. Three of them used by the United States National Park Service. A package containing those three and all NPS symbols is available at the Open Icon Library (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I know from experience that there are a number of criteria by which a patient is evaluated in order to determine if a person is a suitable organ transplant candidate. This bill specifically prohibits a person's disability from being the reason they are denied transplant services and / or considered for transplant.

Rep. Debra Heffernan, the legislation's sponsor, said, "With this bill in place, families will have peace of mind and know that their loved one with a disability has the right to be treated fairly when they are undergoing the extremely taxing process of pursuing a life-saving transplant."

Governor Carney added, "A true measure of the commitment of government to the people is how well it addresses the needs of those who are living with disabilities. By signing this legislation into law, we are taking action to ensure individuals with disabilities have access to organ transplant procedures."

I agree with both of them wholeheartedly, and I implore Congress and President Trump to keep this non-discrimination theme in mind as they continue to work on the repeal and replace of ObamaCare.  The pre-existing conditions protection MUST be kept in place in whatever piece of legislation they ultimately agree on. Any discrimination to healthcare access is immoral and must be banned, because it ultimately leads to lives being needlessly lost.

I have 1 question in regards to Delaware's new legislation. Why do ONLY 6 states have such a law in place? Shame on the other 44 of you. Every state should have such a law on the books. I call upon the governors and legislators in the 44 states who have no such law to get to work and get it done.

Read More: DelawarePublic.org article - "Gov. Carney Signs Bill Banning Organ Transplant Discrimination" 

Monday, September 11, 2017

What If Today Was Your Last Day?

What if today was your last day?

September 11th. Today, we're remembering that dreadful day. It's likely that at some point today, you've thought about what you were doing when you heard the news. I know I have. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was still working full-time and was about halfway through my battle with heart disease. I arrived at work a few minutes before 8 a.m. and was just settling in. The report came over my radio that a small plane had flown into the World Trade Center. Next report said, no - it was an airliner. So, I thought, "How does an airliner accidentally fly into a building that tall? How could the pilot not see it?" Then, the shock, disbelief, and horror set in when the next report said it had been done intentionally. It was terrorism.

What if today was your last day?

CNN breaking the news of a plane crash at the ...
CNN breaking the news of a plane crash at the World Trade Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just like myself, millions of Americans went to work that day like any other weekday. We expected to come home to our families that night, have dinner, watch some TV, go to bed, and get up and do it again the following day. Unfortunately, several thousand of them did not have that opportunity, because of the hate within 19 evil men.

What if today was your last day?

The thousands who perished in the towers, the Pentagon, or serving as first responders and crew members on those planes had no idea what their day had in store for them. Neither did their families who saw their worlds changed forever in the blink of an eye, as did millions of us watching on TV. We will never be the same even though it happened 16 years ago.

Today's Music Monday is a special one as we remember. It has the opportunity to be the most powerful, positive, motivational, life-changing post I've ever been inspired to do on this blog, if we let it. My hope is that it makes you think and changes us all in a good way.

What if today was your last day?

Nickelback has received a lot of criticism over the years, much of it deserved, due to the racy music lyrics in some of their songs. However, "If Today Was Your Last Day" contains none of that. The band absolutely nailed it with the lyrics in this song. If you've never heard it, you are in for a treat. You may even want to share it with friends and family.

The song should make us think about what's really important. If you've heard some of the band's criticism, I encourage you to put it aside and take the time to watch today's music video. Listen carefully to the lyrics and think about what the band is saying. I think you'll find that even an ol' rock band can provide some thoughtful insight and wisdom every now and then. Don't write it off just because it's Nickelback. You'll be cheating yourself if you do. It could be the best 4 minutes of your day. Don't judge a book by it's cover or a song by the name of the band.

One other thing - watch the video all the way through. At the beginning, you may think, "This doesn't look good. This is gonna end badly." I thought the same thing and got a pleasant surprise. You will, too. Just trust The Sheepdog on this one. You'll thank me later.

Video is embedded below or can be watched by clicking here.


To the families of all who lost loved ones that day, my prayers continue to go out to you. To all the military families who have lost loved ones fighting the war against terrorism, thank you for your sacrifice.

To the rest of us, I'll ask again - what if today was your last day?