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Seven Days Blogs: Freyne Land

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Vt062303freyne Time to bid farewell to "Freyne Land."

It's been a great run. New writing challenges ahead.

Heck, I've outlived Tim Russert by six months!

In fact, thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, and six months of chemotherapy from the good folks at the Mary Fanny on Hospital Hill, I beat the deadly cancer that was on track to end it all about one year ago.

But along the way, something else popped up. Had one of those grand mal seizures during a chemotherapy session. They did tests, but couldn't explain it. And I, Dr. Freyne, figured it was a reaction to the chemo-dose going in too fast. Sensitive, Pete!

Anyway, for more than a year I took my twice-a-day anti-convulsive pharmaceuticals like a good boy. Felt fine, but felt slightly "different."

However, I never appreciated how important those little yellow pills were until I stopped taking them for two days earlier this month. I started feeling like my "old" self again!

Then, bingo-bango! Had another seizure and ended back up in the Mary Fanny. Learned my lesson well.

Each day of life is a gift.

It's got to be for a reason, eh?

And it only works best when we realize we're in it together.

That's the only way we'll get this country back on course.

The Bums of Bush Land have taken a very heavy toll, but the times are a-changing.

See ya out there!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Farewell, Tim Russert!

Howard Dean on the Passing of Tim Russert

Washington, DC - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement on the passing of NBC Meet the Press host Tim Russert:

20070131russerttim "Today we lost one of the true giants of American journalism and a tremendous public servant.

Tim Russert will be remembered for many things.  A committed family man, devout Catholic, devout sports fan, author, mentor.

A tough interviewer, Tim delivered the news with authority, in a plain-spoken way that made the great issues of our day accessible to everyone.   His love of politics and our country came through in his relentless pursuit of the truth and in the quality of his work as a journalist.

On this sad day, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones."

Thanks, Ho-Ho.


Friday the Thirteenth

Dark_sky_2 Relax, Pedro. You’re back on the Keppra, the stuff that prevents seizures. You thought you were smarter than the doctor. Stopped taking it. After more than a year of twice daily pill-popping, you wanted to be “off drugs.”

But you learned the hard way that some drugs are good for you, didn’t you?

Some are downright necessary.


Meanwhile there is a gubernatorial race going on somewhere, isn’t there?

Gentleman Jim Douglas, we know, is in continuous campaign mode. Gov. Scissorhands wears the name proudly. Sure he’s a Republican at a time that political label isn’t doing too well, but folks trust him and he’s regularly distancing himself from the Bush-Cheney cabal.

His Democratic challenger House Speaker Gaye Symington is out there somewhere, isn’t she?

And seeing Progressive candidate Anthony Pollina campaigning with a haircut in a pin-stripe suit is just too funny for words.

The Old “Inside Track” would suggest the wagering lines would be around whether or not Speaker Gaye breaks the 40 percent line in November....and whether Tony the Prog gets into double digits, as in over 10 percent.

P.S. At right "Dark Sky" by sister Maureen out in Santa Fe.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Miss me?

Cest_moi Couple days in the Mary Fanny was I. Thought I knew more than my doctor and stopped taking one of my prescribed twice-daily pharmaceuticals.

Not going to do that again. Ever.


Ah, life. We're only passing through....

As has been my experience, nothing but the best care up on Hospital Hill from the docs, the nurses and the rest of the Fletcher Allen Health Care staff.

The good news is that, upon getting out, I've discovered my older sister Maureen has a website!

Placita Maureen's got eight years on me and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She majored in mathematics many years ago in college [Marymount] and started her career in the IBM computer-world of the 1960s.  But she subsequently radically changed career paths and tapped into an artistic talent that opened up a whole new world inside her.

I don't know about you, but her work blows me away.

Check out more of her incredible paintings right here.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bernie Tips France!

Bernie Vermont's Independent U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has declined to endorse a presidential candidate...until now.

Ol' Bernardo finally let his ol' cat out of the bag this week - to the people of France, well, actually to the readers of Le Monde .

Sen. Barack Obama is his candidate.

Le Monde Capitol Hill writer Corine Lesnes ends her piece on Vermont's one-of-a-kind senator with a little insight into things to come down Washington-way in January.

Cheer up, folks. Time to pull together. Brighter days ahead.

Here's a translation of the kicker on Corine's Le Monde piece:

Bush_plate "Bernie" and his group of progressive friends in Congress are already working on a program for first 100 days of 2009: medical coverage for all, reduction in military spending, reform of trade agreements, and the end of the war in Iraq ... "I told Barack Obama not to worry for its first three months, we have already prepared the ground for him", said "Bernie".

Also... I caught this license plate down the block the other day.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Noway It's 2:45 on the east coast, and no public concession yet from Hillary Clinton wife of Bill, mother of Chelsea.

But Barack Obama has claimed the Democratic nomination, and behind the scenes the deal is going down, hopefully before the evening network newscasts.

Please, Baracko, please don't give the lovely lady the vice-presidential slot on your ticket.

Please, no more stories about presidential fellatio by White House interns in the Oral, sorry, Oval Office. No more blow jobs that become impeachable offenses.

Please, Obama WHamma. Don't go there.

How's about....Bill Richardson of New Mexico?

The dude speaks fluent Spanish!

Gratias, amigo.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tuesday Afternoon

Hayward_fleurs Dark and damp in Burlap this afternoon, so let's take a look at the ol' corner of Howard & Hayward Streets  a couple weeks ago when spring arrived.


Earthquakes in China and Burma and Tibet. Tornadoes churning across the United States and America's airwaves are dominated by the stage-crafted presidential political horse race.

The "He Said-She Said" soap opera that sells advertising.

Every now and then they slip a little something in about the latest display of incompetence and felonious deceit in the White House, but, hey,it takes away from the flag-waving and the hand-shaking and the advertising.

And has anyone else noticed the absence of jokes in our daily discourse?

I'm not talking about stand-up comics, I'm talking about the jokes we used to hear and share on the way to work or school or in the lunchroom? The laughter once a key part of daily life in our human existence?

Over the past week, everyone I've asked - "Hear any good jokes lately?" - has drawn a blank. In fact, since George W. Bush moved into the White House, humor has been a stranger.

This decade will be remembered for many things, but "funny" won't be amongst them.

Finally, my inquiries did turn up this one from a UVM grad student moving out across the street. She said she got it from her father who passed it along to her as a joke to keep handy for moments such as these when they're in short supply:

Adeliepenguin A cop had a radar speed-trap set up and a guy drives by in a Honda with a penguin in his front seat.

The cop puts on the lights and siren and pulls him over.

"Excuse me, sir," says the cop. "You'll have to take that penguin to the City Zoo."

"Whatever you say," replies the driver.

Next day. Same cop. Same speed trap. Same dude with the penguin in the front seat drives past.

The cop pulls him over again.

"Hey, I thought I told you yesterday that you had to take that penguin to the Zoo?"

"I did, Officer," he replied. "And today I'm taking him to the Art Museum."

Monday, June 02, 2008

Brain Surgery

Hayward_fleurs_2 Lunchtime on Monday, though I rarely eat lunch anymore. Sorry.

But can someone please tell me why, in this high-tech TV Age, I cannot watch U.S. Sen.Ted Kennedy's brain surgery "live" on my television set, or laptop or cell phone [were I to actually own a cell phone]?

C'mon. I was raised on The "Dr. Kildare" Show and "Ben Casey" in the 1960s. Even worked for two years in the surgery ward at the old General Hospital in downtown Minneapolis [1972-74]. I can handle it.

Instead, it's the commercial-hawking endless stream of Barack "town meetings" and Hillary "town meetings" and McCain "town meetings" that fills America's screens.

Pathetic propaganda.

But propaganda is what sells, right?

Everything from gas-guzzler, air-polluting cars to hard-on-enhancing pharmaceuticals.

Propaganda sure worked well for Adolph Hitler in the 1930s. And here at home, as successfully employed by Robert McNamara in the 1960s, worked for LBJ, the Texas Democrat in the Lincoln Bedroom. And, as successfully employed by Karl Rove in this decade, it's worked for "W," the Texas Republican currently leading the United States of America.

Lucky us!

Anybody catch 60 Minutes on CBS last night?

David Martin's story on "The Pentagon's Ray Gun" is certainly worth a visit.

As a wise old man once said: Holy fucking shit!

When will we ever learn?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Last Track

Freynes_last_track_2 As you may have noticed, dear reader, the writing stopped in Freyne Land two weeks ago, both here in cyberspace and over there in the print edition of Seven Days in the "Inside Track."

Here's why.

Been covering the Vermont political/news/media scene since autumn 1979. Way back before Bernie Sanders ever won an election and nobody had heard of Howard Dean M.D. other than his patients.

And for most of that time, I simply could not believe they were actually paying me to have so much fun!

But in the last few years, what had been pure pleasure had turned into work - drudgery, in fact.

Not good.

Depression set in. Cancer followed. And, surprise! surprise! - beating the darn cancer did not change things. The depression, which those who've been there know is utter misery, came back. Why?

Because being "successful" at one's job does not mean being "happy" with one's life.

It has not been easy, mes amis, but the lesson learned in the last month has been positively enlightening.

I deserve to be happy - as do you -  and if that means putting the period down, ending the paragraph on the last "Inside Track" then so be it!

Life is short. As my ol' pal Mike always said, "We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time." And as I've come to realize, one cannot begin that new chapter of life until one closes the page on the current one. It's a big step to take, a risky one, but until one takes it, the misery reigns supreme.

Health-wise, things haven't been this good in Freyne Land in decades. And the writer within - the non-political columnist - has a whole lot of material that's been waiting much too long to get out.

Stay tuned. We continue our good relationship with Seven Days as contributing editor and blogger and who knows what's next?

The simple fact is that life is good...and getting better.

And I haven't been able to say that in years!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Window Change

Windshield A new windshield in Freyne Land!

Like having a new car.

Took a little over an hour for Justin Smith, 20, of Georgia, to remove the old one which had a crack in its outer layer (of three) that was about three-feet long, and install the new. Mine was his third window of the day, and, coincidentally, they were all on Saturns.

Been doing windows since last summer, he said. Had tried the two-year mechanical engineering program at VTC in Randolph, but it had been a bit much. If he had it to do over, he would have spread it over three years.

Learning the window trade to get the job at Safelite Auto Glass required completing an 8-week training course in Albany, New York. And like a lot of other technical jobs here and elsewhere, they're hiring. Good benefits, he said, health and dental.

Got to admire someone who actually knows how to do something of practical value, eh?

Obama And when the political columnist inquired if he were paying any attention to the presidential election circus, his eyes suddenly lit up.

Justin the windshield replacer/fixer is on the Barack Obama train. Why?

Because "He's down-to-earth."

Hillary, to him, is "more of the same."

And the fact that's he's a black man makes absolutely, positively no difference whatsoever. It's simply not a factor. I've noticed that more and more of late as Justin's generation hits their twenties.

When I was 20, in 1970, that, unfortunately, wasn't the case.

We've come a long way, baby!

P.S. A little Montpeculiar action today under the Golden Dome. Ol' Bernardo's making the rounds and Gov. Scissorhands is having his "weekly presser."

What fun!

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