Hello, it's me. It's been a while. It's a tad more difficult than I would have thought getting started again. This is a sort of omnibus return post, much like the omnibus spending bills that Congress churns out, including everything but the kitchen sink, a Hungarian goulash of a post.
You may have noticed a change to the left sidebar. "The Royal Blogroll" was a bit ungainly. I use it; if you do also it's to your benefit. It's been re-configured into "Kings and Queens", i.e., big and/or great fish, and "The Blog Scroll", i.e., really really really good fish. Several defunct blogs were culled from the herd. I'm sure I'll think this is also dog poop at some point in the future.
Of course, the most honored position in the sidebar is for "Friends of Giacomo." To be listed higher this is where you should aim. What gets you there? Blogroll JTF without expecting a reciprocal link, then come by to visit regularly, and publish a quality blog yourself.
I'd like to thank my three running mates over at The Right Place, Mr. Right, Stephen and Anna, for supporting me and for being patient with me during my absence. Good on you, mates!
There've been few noteworthy news niblets that have surfaced during this time, and it seems that blogging for many has been quiet during the holidays, what with travel, family obligations, and Congress out of session.
Even with Congress out of session, though, Massachusetts senior senator managed to shine the spotlight on his ... intellect. Ted Kennedy writes, and the Boston Globe publishes, a column attempting to bash Bush on civil liberties, based on the NSA wiretapping 'scandal'. Unfortunately his most shocking piece of evidence includes a hoax, a false claim by a UMass-Dartmouth student that government agents showed up at his door because he attempted to check "the official Chinese version of Mao Tse-tung's Communist Manifesto" out of the library. James Taranto shot this full of holes here. Later, through a spokesperson, Sen. Kennedy insisted on the "fake but accurate" standard. Massachusetts must be very proud.
Lastly, I'd like to write briefly about my dad, who passed away eight days ago, on a professional level. He was a remarkable physician, a cancer specialist in a way that really no cancer specialists are anymore. He performed all manner of cancer surgery, soup to nuts, including the plastic reconstruction of any deformity created. He guided the radiation therapy and chemotherapy for his patients. He read their MRIs and CTs himself. He looked at their pathology slides. This was one-stop shopping cancer care, something that you need six or seven different doctors to provide now. You might think that each of those six or seven physicians would be more highly informed in their particular area to optimize their portion of the care. You would be wrong. And you'd have to coordinate six or seven different physician offices to get anything done.
He retired four years ago, and had to be dragged kicking and screaming from his practice. When he left, he spent the next two years staying in contact with his patients, and working with each of them to be sure they had the best follow-up care he could arrange. That's something you don't see either.
I won't be writing here on a personal level. That's something I did for his burial two days ago. We miss you, Dad. We all miss you very much.
If anyone is interested, here is the link to his obituary. Oh, and, if you'd like to read more than this and the words to "Mary's Boy Child" then go to the December archives for some oldies but goodies.