T   P   O
The Patient Ox (aka Hénock Gugsa)

G r e e t i n g s !

** TPO **
A personal blog with diverse topicality and multiple interests!

On the menu ... politics, music, poetry, and other good stuff.
There is humor, but there is blunt seriousness here as well!

Parfois, on parle français ici aussi. Je suis un francophile .... Bienvenue à tous!

* Your comments and evaluations are appreciated ! *

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!... Bonne Année! - by Hénock Gugsa

Happy New Year!... Bonne Année!

Mireille Mathieu chante: "Je ne regrette rien!"

Non! Rien de rien ...
Non! Je ne regrette rien,
Ni le bien qu'on m'a fait,
Ni le mal tout ca m'est bien égal!

Non! Rien de rien ...
Non! Je ne regrette rien...
C'est payé, balayé, oublié
Je me fous du passé!

Avec mes souvenirs,
J'ai allumé le feu,
Mes chagrins, mes plaisirs,
Je n'ai plus besoin d'eux!

Balayés les amours,
Avec leurs trémolos,
Balayés pour toujours,
Je repars a zéro ...

Non! Rien de rien ...
Non! Je ne regrette rien ...
Ni le bien, qu'on m'a fait
Ni le mal, tout ca m'est bien égal!

Non! Rien de rien ...
Non! Je ne regrette rien ...
Car ma vie, car mes joies
Aujourd'hui, ca commence avec toi!

Telba (*) is Good for You!! - by Hénock Gugsa

Telba (*) is Good for You!
Hénock Gugsa

Telba is the Ethiopian name for what is otherwise known as flax seed. It is a very common staple. Oddly enough, it is even deemed a poor man's staple by some who don't really appreciate or know its goodness. The beauty of telba is in its easy availability and the simplicity of preparing a quick meal.

Two Ethiopian recipes are presented below ...

1 -Telba Fitfit (Flax Water mixed with bits of Injera)

- The first step is to take a cup of flaxseed and pour it into a frying pan, preferrably a cast iron one.

- Then heat the seeds till they are nice and brown, be careful not to overcook the seeds. Low heat is recommended.

- After that let them cool down a bit, and grind them in a clean coffee grinder. Presto, you now have flax in powder form.

- To the flax powder, add some salt and mix it in. You may also add a small measure of cinnamon powder and some berbere, if you wish.

- Then add water, and as you stir up this concoction, throw in some broken bits of injera in there.

- It is all now ready to serve; and bon appetit to all!

- Caution: This food can act as a mild laxative!

2 - Telba (flax) Paste or Sauce

- Take a cup of flax powder, add in a pinch of salt and some water. Stir continuously.

- The flax would start to thicken and form a paste as you keep stirring. The more you stir, the thicker it will get.

- You can always control the thickness by adding in more water, or by slowing down the stirring.

- When you have the right thickness (not gooey, and not watery), then it is ready to eat with injera or toasted bread.
(*) Telba is the Ethiopian name for flax seeds.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Little Green Apples" - Roger Miller

Roger Miller

Roger Miller (1936-1992)

"Little Green Apples"
  And I wake up in the mornin'
With my hair down in my eyes and she says hi
And I stumble to the breakfast table
While the kids are goin' off to school, goodbye

And she reaches out and takes my hand
And squeezes it and says, how you feelin' hon
And I look across at smilin' lips that warm my heart
And see my mornin' sun

And if that's not lovin' me,
 then all I've got to say ...

God didn't make little green apples
And it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime
And there's no such thing as Doctor Suess
And Disneyland and Mother Goose is no nursery rhyme

God didn't make little green apples
And it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime
And when myself is feelin' low
I think about her face aglow and ease my mind

Sometimes I call her up at home knowin' she's busy
And ask her if she could get away and meet me
And maybe we could grab a bite to eat

And she drops what she's doin'
And she hurries down to meet me and I'm always late
But she sits waitin' patiently
And smiles when she first sees me 'cause she's made that way

And if that ain't lovin' me,
 then all I've got to say ...

God didn't make little green apples
And it don't snow in Minneapolis when the winter comes
And there's no such thing as make believe
Puppet dolls, autumn leaves and BB guns

God didn't make little green apples
And it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime ...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Now, Zen - by TPO

click to enlarge

Some Great Zen Sayings (*)


=> Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead.

=> Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow.

=> Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.

=> The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.

=> It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

=> Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

=> Always remember that you're unique, just like everyone else.

=> Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

=> If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

=> Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

=> If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

=> Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

=> If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

=> If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

=> Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

=> Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

=> Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

=> The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

=> A closed mouth gathers no foot.

=> Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

=> There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

=> Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

=> Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

=> Never miss a good chance to shut up.

=> Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

(*) Source:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Help Me Make It Thru The Night" - Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson

"Help Me Make It Thru The Night"
Kris Kristofferson (1936 - )


Take the ribbon from your hair,
Shake it loose and let it fall,
Layin' soft upon my skin,
Like the shadows on the wall.

Come and lay down by my side,
'till the early morning light,
All I'm takin' is your time,
Help me make it through the night.

I don't care who's right or wrong,
I don't try to understand.
Let the devil take tomorrow,
Lord, tonight I need a friend.

Yesterday is dead and gone,
And tomorrow's out of sight.
And it's sad to be alone,
Help me make it through the night.
Hmmm hmmm hmmm ....
" " " "
Lord, it's sad to be alone,
Help me make it thru the night.
Hmmm hmmm hmmm ....
" " " "
[trailing off]
Lord, it's sad to be alone ...

Some Ethiopian Cures - by Hénock Gugsa

Some Ethiopian Cures *
Hénock Gugsa


Mix 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon honey.
Boil the mixture in water.
Steep a tea bag of your choice, and drink daily.

Eczema (rash, itching):

Cut open some raw fresh garlic.
Rub the affected area with the garlic all the while squishing the garlic, getting the squished juice out of it and onto the skin.
Caution : It will sting and you may get a burning sensation lasting for quite a bit! But that is the price one has to pay for a lasting (maybe permanent) cure.

Other Skin (problems):

Generally, oil of the olive tree is recommended.
NOTE :  Ethiopians use Fetto, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and honey to cure most ailments. 

 * “Some Ethiopian Cures” ~ © Hénock Gugsa  (ሄኖክ  ጉግሣ ) - 12/28/2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ticked Off at NMMC (*) - by Hénock Gugsa

Ticked Off at NMMC *
by Hénock Gugsa
So, here I am again, dear friends … in another raving and ranting fit … but this time at a supposedly modern, “state of the art”, medical institution and how it conducts business. And perhaps I should be specific about what it is that has put me on my high horse [of furious indignation] ... simple: it is the staff in the radiology department of North Memorial Medical Clinic (Hospital.)

This was now my second outpatient visit (within a 16-day period) at this hospital. The ailment I had was the same one. My health distress was a right lower-back disk dislocation that had been causing pain down my right leg all the way to the toes. This situation had been going on for over three months, and my physician had finally recommended I undergo an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) followed by a lumbar epidural injection (a steroid shot.) And so, on November 30th, I was at the hospital in the x-ray department ready to take the shot.

As is to be expected, the hospital first conducts a screening procedure where all the necessary or required data is gathered from the patient. Next, they take readings of the patient’s “vitals” (pulse, and blood pressure.) Then, someone would explain to the patient what all the steps of the planned procedure were going to be. This was all just fine, and acceptable to me except
for some few idiotic details which I will enumerate here:

• 1 – One of the questions a nurse asked me was about the medications I was taking. I enumerated them to the best of my ability. But the nurse was not able to find some of them in the drop-down selections after keying-in leading letters. And alternative spellings were to no avail either. Yet, the nurse kept reading out the names of possible medicines back to me in the hope that I would recognize some of them! What a way to run a railroad!

• 2 – Then out of nowhere, I was asked if I had been under any sort of abuse lately. They wouldn't specify what kind however. I responded: “No,” ... because I had not been under any type of abuse, not even the self-inflicted kind. But the nurse kept on asking the same question(s) again and again with slight variations as if she did not believe me. Naturally, I was beginning to feel like a suspect in a police interrogation room.

• 3 – Just when I was thinking things could not get any worse, I was asked if I had any problems understanding the English language, and if it was indeed my primary language. I replied, “Yes, English is my primary language, and I understand perfectly all the questions you are asking me.”

• 4 – I suspect that they had more questions for me about my level of education and/or intelligence; but I guess that they could see in my face that I was getting agitated and working up a fury. Good for them for noticing that ... because I would have made some rather caustic remarks along the lines of … Er, yes, actually I’m college-educated and I even have a degree. Would you like to know my GPA? … or … I have a higher than average IQ, … or … I’ve actually been told that I’m smarter than the average bear.

On my second and last visit to the same radiology unit, on December 16th, the staff were different. And I went thru the same rigmarole, but this time there was the added bonus of two especially out-of-this-world, dunderhead nurses. The first one, the one that brings you into the procedure room and interrogates you, was taking long pauses between his questions … same questions that were asked of me the first time 16 days ago. I do not, for the life of me, know what they do with the patient data that they collect. I should also mention that my provider clinic had already faxed the hospital all the pertinent medical information more than two days before this visit.

But moving right along, ... and on to my extreme irritation with a doozy of a nurse, also a male. As he was prepping me for the procedure, he read out my name and then asked an innocent (yet dumb) question about its origin. He specifically wanted to know where I was from. This was a completely inappropriate question no matter what the setting. A nurse could [and should only] be asking how I was feeling, and assure me that everything was going to be okay, etc. etc. But, this guy obviously did not know or care about the boundaries.

I was thinking this guy is more interested in blabbering about outside trivial matters rather than concentrating on the job at hand. But, I was good. I restrained myself. I chose to give a pleasant response. I said that I was from Ethiopia. After a slight pause, he said, “Ethiopia, huh? I had a roommate from Ethiopia.” I said nothing, I didn’t want to encourage this guy any more.

But he continued, “Oromo, my roommate ... he said he was Oromo. Are you er ... Oromo too?” Now, I’m really getting ticked off, and beginning to wonder how long I was going to put up with this moronic discussion about stupid oromos anyways. I’m an American now. I don’t go around announcing what my ethnic Ethiopian background is! The hell with that! I was getting mad because not only was I this idiot’s captive audience, but I was also in a vulnerable and defenseless situation here. In a few minutes, they would be sticking a needle into a lumbar nerve. If they don’t do it right, I could be paralyzed for life!

Then, I remembered that, in all this back and forth, nobody had bothered to tell me who my doctor was going to be. So, I asked if it was going to be the same doctor as the last time. And this same, irritating, lame-brained nurse replied in a smarmy tone, “No, it is going to be Dr. XXXXX. Is that going to be alright with you?” But, I just bit my tongue and kept quiet.

A minute or two later, the doctor entered the room, walked over to the head of the gurney so I could see him as I was laying face down. He stretched out his hand, shook mine, and introduced himself. He reassured me that this procedure was pretty simple and that he saw no problems or complications. Everything should go smoothly. Truer words were never said. This young doctor was really good to his words, the procedure was painless and quick. I was very relieved and at the same time itching to get out of there post haste.

On the way out, the first nurse accompanied me outside to the lobby, and again asked if I was having somebody give me a ride home. I was not to do any driving for the next two, three hours until the immediate effects of the medicines wore off. So, I again told this nurse that I was going to sit there and call my wife to come and pick me up. He did not seem to believe me, and was worried about insurance liabilities for the hospital. He sat next to me to make sure I made the call to my wife. Unfortunately, I could not reach her because she was at work and not expecting my call for another 45 minutes. The problem was that I had arrived at the hospital a half-hour early, and when I checked in they took me in right away because the nurses did not have any patients to torment at the time. They must have been bored out of their minds until I came along.

But, at any rate, I was eventually able to convince this nurse that I understood where he was coming from, that I did not drive to the hospital, and that ergo, I could not possibly drive myself back home and would have to wait for my ride. I did not think of it at the time, but I should have also said to him, “Don’t worry about me. Everything is cool. You can go back inside to your dungeon of tortures and await your next victims.” Oh, yeah, and I could also have added that he and the other nurses in there won’t have another go at me ever again! This second date had sealed it … NMMC and
Hénock definitely are not compatible!

 “Ticked Off at NMMC” ~ © Hénock Gugsa  (ሄኖክ  ጉግሣ ) - 12/17/2010

* NMMC … is North Memorial Medical Clinic (hospital) in Robbinsville, MN

Friday, December 10, 2010

"Silver Bells" - by Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson (1911 - 1972)
"Silver Bells" 
(TPO's  Favorite X-Mas Song)


"RIDIN' THE ROAN" - by Ann Applegarth

A beautiful blue roan mare!

By Ann Applegarth (C*)

I stopped by the horse show to check out a mare.

It was hot as blazes – hardly anyone there.

The horses were dragging, and the judge finally said

that riders could show in shirtsleeves and bare head.

The guy who owned the little blue roan

said he wanted three thousand for the mare alone,

but he’d make me a deal and throw in the tack

for thirty-five hundred (the guy’s name was Mack).

I tried out the mare, and I liked her a lot.

She had a smooth lope and a rocking-chair trot.

I jogged her around just to see how she’d ride.

She was honest and willing with a stranger astride.

Then we sprayed with water (I sprayed myself too).

When her hide got wet, she looked really blue.

I decided to try her for a three-week test.

Mack said, “Lady, you’re gettin’ the absolute best.”

I told Mack I’d pay part right then and there

and the rest if I wanted to keep the roan mare.

We shook hands on the deal, and I loaded her in

for the long ride back to the barn – and then

I swigged the cold Pepsi I’d bought at the show,

turned the a.c. up high, hollered, “Mare, here we go.”

Well, I’ve had that blue mare now a goodly long time.

She’s fast and she’s smart and she’ll turn on a dime.

I reckon she sure was worth all that money

‘cause as horses go, my blue roan’s a real honey.

(C*) Copyright belongs to Ann Applegarth

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"I Won't Back Down" - by P J

Pearl Jam lead singer, Eddie Vedder

Pearl Jam

"I Won't Back Down"

Well, I ... won't back down,
Well, I ... won't back down,
You can stand me up at the gates of Hell,
But I'll stand my ground,
And I won't back down,
No, I'll stand my ground,
Oh, I won't be turned around,
In a world that keeps on draggin' me a down,
I'll stand my ground,
And I ... won't back down.

Hey, baby, ... there ain't no easy way out,
Hey, I ... will stand my ground,
And I won't back down.

Well I ... know what's right,
I got just one life,
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around,
I'll stand my ground,
And I won't back down.

Hey, baby, there ain't no easy way out,
Hey, I ... will stand my ground,
And I won't back down.

Hey, baby, there ain't no easy way out,
Hey, I ... will stand my ground,
And I ... won't back down,
And I ... won't back down,
No, I ... won't back down.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sarisha Palin (a.k.a Abiola Abrams) - by TPO

Abiola Abrams (1976 - )
This video was made right after the Vice-Presidential debates in 2008 by News One. It may be old, but it is still good and valid and hilarious!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"My Rifle, My Pony, and Me" - Dean Martin

Dean Martin

Dean Martin (1917-1995)
 From: Rio Bravo - "My Rifle, My Pony, and Me"
with Ricky Nelson (1940-1985), and Wally Brennan (1894-1974)

The sun is sinkin' in the west
The cattle go down to the stream
The Red wing settles in her nest
It's time for a cowboy to dream.

Purple light in the canyons
That's where I long to be
With my three good companions
Just my rifle, pony and me.

Gonna hang my sombrero
On the limb of a tree
Comin' home, sweetheart darlin'
Just my rifle, pony and me.

Whippoorwill in the willow
Sings a sweet melody
Riding to Amarillo
Just my rifle, pony and me.

No more cows to be ropin'
No more strays will I see
'Round the bend she'll be waitin'
For my rifle, pony and me
For my rifle, my pony and me.