Jim Burroway

November 10th, 2016

rickyDuke. Coyote. Vato. Sonny. Drill Pipe. Hot Dog Man. Each nickname had a story behind it, and Ricky collected stores like he collected nicknames. Somewhat physically disabled for the past 40 years, most of his stories about himself involved ninja moves or a plot line from a Spaghetti Western. “Ricky!” his mother would exclaim, “You’d climb a tree to tell a lie!” On September 10, he celebrated his 65th birthday. He passed away five days later. He didn’t want a funeral so there wasn’t one. He was just gone and that was that. So long, Vato.

— — —

I remained offline for much of the past three months for several reasons: family stuff, the campaign season was seriously messing with my headspace, I just needed a break.

Also: sometime in late August, my host provider upgraded its version of PHP in an attempt to speed up this web site’s load times. Doing so seemed to fix that problem, but for whatever reason the template that powers the site’s design stopped working correctly, which led to a host of other problems. So during the downtime, I contacted a friend of mine to see about possibly moving the blog to another host server and beginning again with a whole new design. We decided we’d tackle it sometime after the election was over.

But who knew that the country would lose its collective mind and elect the most dangerous, unstable, xenophobic, racist, misogynistic, homophobic and authoritarian ticket in our nation’s history. We are in for a very ugly four years, and the ugliness began almost immediately Tuesday night with right-wing nationalists, now fully legitimized by the incoming administration, crawling out of the woodwork and staking their claim to the mainstream.

So we don’t have time to wait until this precious little web site is all prettied up and restored to full functioning. I’m bringing BTB out of hiatus, and beginning today you are likely to see a couple of new contributors to the blog. The immediate priority is not to look good, but to do the good work of confronting the mess that is now before us.

So that means that the Daily Agendas will remain on hiatus for the next several days while we sort out a new design that should appear perhaps this weekend or sometime next week. Once the new design is up and running with the bugs worked out, then the Daily Agendas will make their reappearance. Along the way, we will fix the Twitter and Facebook integration so you can follow us wherever you are.

Life goes on. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.


November 11th, 2016

I posted on a different entry already about this, but I have so desperately NEEDED to hear from you and to have this outlet!

Very sorry for your loss. It looks like you have the best memories of your friend and I hope everyone is starting to heal.


November 11th, 2016

My condolences on your loss. Thank you for sharing Ricky’s story.


November 11th, 2016

What do you expect when the Democrat turnout for these elections was significantly lower than that of Obama for his election and re-election?

The DNC put out a shit candidate who was so easy to derail.

Maybe next time they’ll convince Elizabeth Warren to run.


November 11th, 2016

It’s great to have you back

Eric Payne

November 11th, 2016


Wow, you’ve had a lot to deal with over the last several months, you and your husband have my deepest sympathies and condolences over your loss.

Thank you, though, in putting together, again, BTB. I’ve truly missed it, and still visited the site daily to see, if nothing else, there was any update on Ricky. With your final posting before hiatus, you proved your talent as both and observer and a reporter — capturing the spirit of the moments being observed, and relaying that spirit and that moment’s emotion to a faceless, diversified audience. I’m in awe; that is a talent of which I’m quite envious.

It is amazing just how quickly the sun set on “the progressive era,” isn’t it? At just how fast the people, who were labeled “the fringe” Tuesday morning, faced dawn on Wednesday empowered, bold, and ready to strike. Perhaps DJT (I still can’t bring myself to call him President) will govern well and wisely. Maybe, just maybe, he woke up Wednesday morning and thought “Oh, crap! The idiots elected me! What do I do now?”

Uh-huh. Right And once the laughing stops…

A few weeks ago, I woke up deaf. It’s a condition, the name of which I’ve forgotten, but it translates to “Yep. You’re deaf, alright” (Hold on… I can find it here, somewhere… here it is — Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), commonly known as sudden deafness). It hits about 1 in 5,000 people. My ENT doc, on Monday, is beginning a treatment of injecting anabolic steroids directly into my ear drum. If that doesn’t work, then I’m deaf.

The steroid has to be injected, instead of taken orally (even though both methods have the same efficacy rates) is oral steroids are contraindicated by my essential cardiac medications. But… (sometimes, my life feels like a bad ’60s soap opera, you know, before they actually talked about sex, and had to keep those housewives tuning in day after day)

The manufacturer of the pacemaker/defibrillator implanted in my chest announced a recall of one of their models and, sure enough, it was mine. These battery powered gizmos are designed to initiate a small electrical charge to get my heart to beat, pace the heart so that the beat stays at a constant rate, if the pace can’t be maintained, a slightly higher charge is sent out… but if the heart stops, or the beating becomes wildly erratic, the defib discharges at a much higher voltage, zapping the muscle into obedience. They have a 7-year lifespan, generally, before batteries run out. In the week preceding battery drainage (or when batteries reach a certain point of degradation), it emits an audible alarm. I just had a fresh device installed last year; it should have six years of charge in the batteries. Devices are externally checked by a cardiologist using a sensitive probe that is draped over the chest, the probe reads the chip on the device and relays that information back to the cardiologists’ computer for their assessment.

When they checked last month, I should have had over 6 years of charge left; maybe 5, after the heart attack I had two months ago. But definitely years more than 2. But two is what I got. My cardiologist and I scheduled a surgery to replace the unit for Thursday, November 10. Initially, he wanted it to be the 8th (this was before I went deaf), but I actually told him, “Sorry, that’s election day, and I have to vote this year.”

On Wednesday morning, I cancelled the surgery.

So, if there’s anything I can do to help in the next two years, just let me know, okay?

Ben in Oakland

November 12th, 2016

Welcome back, Jim. I’ve missed you.

Edgar Carpenter

November 12th, 2016

Welcome back, Jim.

I’m sorry that the current dangerous craziness of American life brought you back so abruptly, but it’s really good to have you here.

Eric Payne

November 12th, 2016

Just curious, Jim… this Michael Airhart person going to be a regular contributor or just helping out a bit? What happened to Tim Kincaid?


November 13th, 2016

I kept checking and checking to see if you were back. You weren’t. Then I knew it was something really bad for being out so long. I didn’t know what it could be. I suspected it was a long death for someone. and so it was and I just want to express my sincere condolences. I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you and those connected to Ricky find peace and support.


November 14th, 2016

Thanks for coming back!


November 18th, 2016

Great to have you back. You were missed, man!

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