“The Doctors are going to be so angry”

I heard this heartbreaking statement recently, delivered between sobs, from a patient who was faced with possibly being without her antirejection medication. “They don’t just hand out livers,” she said.

In a very gentle voice that was filled with conviction, I told her “let’s not worry about what the doctors feel. Let’s worry about how YOU feel. What’s important here is your health, and your safety. I want to make sure you get the medication you need and one way or the other I’m going to do it.”

I wanted to cry. It was her life at stake and she was only thinking of her doctors’ opinions. It reminded me of the horrific fire that happened in Bellingham more than a decade ago, where two boys sparked an inferno by unknowingly lighting fireworks when there had been a fuel spill. One boy, in the intensive care unit and covered in burns, didn’t care about himself. He only wanted to know that his mom wouldn’t be mad.

When do the opinions of others become more important than our own safety and well being?

My own story had a happy ending, by the way. The patient got her medication, and I stayed on the line till it was confirmed that she’d gotten her next month’s supply and could pick it up today.

Amazon recommended my own book to me!

This has actually happened twice. I bought a few fantasy novels and was delighted to see Amazon send me an email saying that because I had just bought these books, I might like to buy this other book in the same genre. And it was the novel I just published. It’s really, truly awesome to see The Dice of Fate up next to some of my favorite authors like Joel Rosenberg and William Gibson. Now if only I could write as well as they can!

 

Dice of Fate cover small

Click on the picture to be taken to the book… it’s free if you have a Kindle subscription!

CreateSpace

Kindle

Poem: Unexpected Toad

 

While walking out at night,

I hear a hop.

Expecting someone bunny-shaped,

I train my light upon the bump.

No fur I find there,

nor twitching ears.

Instead, a toad squats on the stone.

Leg after leg he roams the road.

He freezes underneath my light

revealing muddy-tinted stripe,

and warty lumps.

Substantial sumo legs has he,

amphibian lord with purposeful stride.

We walk together now until he wearies of my scrutiny,

then clambers down to rocky stronghold.

I wrote this one at a writer’s retreat at Diablo Lake, high in the Cascade Range of Washington State. This was with my Mom.

Sarcastic Answers to Stupid Spam

Here is a collection of spam questions, and sarcastic answers to it that I found funny.  In the WebMD Answers forum I frequent, it’s better to put an answer on a spam post, because it causes the spam to drop off the ‘unanswered questions’ list while we’re waiting for moderators to delete it.  So here are some of the more amusing pieces of spam, and their “answers.”

URLs have been deleted to avoid giving them any fame.

Q.

What does sleigh mean in cot beds?

Abacus Baby stock a wide range of baby products from pushchairs, car seats, cots and baby changing accessories, all at highly competitive prices.

A.

It’s a magical cot bed that takes you on wild ride through a fantasy landscape adorned with snow.  Watch out for the White Queen.

She might report you.

 

Q.

Flawless Elite Cream Reviews you have usual skin tone, moisturizing after daily must be enough, but should you have dried skin tone or skin tone using a situation you may want to look at moisturizing a second time every day :

A.

Wow.  How did you know?.  I totally have dried skin tone AND skin tone using a situation!  I can really use that “supplement.”

And… reported.

 

Q.

Today, I’m going to reduction out all of the important things that go into a dexterously meant bodybuilding diet and go ahead you how to put it all together for maximum efficiency

A.

 

Today, I’m going to reduction out all the SPAM so that I can go on a dexterously meant spamtossing program.

Reported.

 

Q.

Dermafi Cream Reviews will find without any formulas available of which offers you a method to renew this misplaced firming tissue that you’ll require as a way to get rid of the bulk of this lines on your pores and skin by way of example.

A.

Really?  I have lines ON my PORES?  Wow.  How did I get those?

Reported.

 

Q.

Flawless Elite Cream Reviews These unique elements work magic in opposition to drying and breakouts, and can make it much easier for the elements for being absorbed to the skin tone. Aloe Notara itself is usually 100 percent healthy,

A.

 

“Aloe Notara itself is usually 100 percent healthy.”  Okay, great.  But what about my skin when I put the stuff on me?  I’m glad the plant is feeling well, but will I?

Reported.

Q.

Colon Rejuvenator Reviews thirty days just isn’t prolonged sufficient with regard to enhanced androgenic hormone or testosterone amounts in order to have an affect on muscle mass growth as well as growth.

A.

As much as I would like to see my colon rejuvenated like a flower in the desert after Monsoon, I fail to see how testosterone  has anything to do with it.  Oh wait.  It’s because this is SPAM.

Reported.

Q.

Add at least 1 cup of well-ventilated or sedated blueberries or supplementary berries a day to your diet.

A.

I want to know where to buy well ventilated or sedated blueberries!

Surprising Benefits of Handwriting

Did you know that writing by hand, rather than typing or printing, might actually help your brain?

I recently read about a study that was conducted on kindergartners. In learning, the kindergartners who wrote during a learning activity had more active, adult like brain patterns than the children who didn’t. The same researchers looked at adults and found that not only did adults who wrote have more brain activity as well, but it was of a different kind, and apparently more beneficial, if they wrote in cursive rather than printing or typing.

There’s another benefit, too.  Cursive, or is that cursed-at? and even the dreaded Palmer Method or later D’Nealian Method, is designed to reduce hand fatigue.  It’s meant to help you write a longer time with better legibility, while still making your handwriting look elegant.  I’ve found this to be generally true, depending on your taste.

This is why I have started to write more letters and in my diary again. I also practice my handwriting with inspirational quotes or whatever poem I am currently memorizing. I find that handwriting puts me in a much more meditative frame of mind than when I print or type. I also find that my words tend to be a bit more poetic and eloquent, as if the beautiful letters demand more beautiful words to go with them.

As old fashioned as it may be, I am having fun with this and am really curious to see where it will go.

Learning to Fly: Turning

Turning in an airplane is interesting. On the ground, when you are taxiing, you steer with the pedals, not with the wheel the way you would in a car. Most modern trainers have two main tires that are fixed in place under the body of the plane, and a smaller one under the nose that can be steered. Some aircraft have the small wheel under the tail instead of the nose, and those are called “tailwheel” or “taildragger” to distinguish them.

When you are taxiing on the ground, you push with the main part of your foot to keep the plane centered on the yellow line, and if you need a bigger correction, you point your toes to use the brakes. Just a touch to one side or the other usually does the trick. One foot works the brake on the right main tire, the other works the left, so if you need to stop straight ahead, you’d better use both feet! Moving the yoke or wheel gets you nothing but a laugh from the instructor, unless you are in a crosswind and need to work the aileronn on the wings.

I was lucky not to have driven a car much when I was learning to fly. I didn’t have the reflexes to override, always wanting to use a steering wheel. In fact, when I flew solo for the first time, I still hadn’t driven a car without an instructor present! That didn’t mean I was instantly good at taxiing, of course. It still took some practice. After all, planes are not as good moving on the ground as they are in the air. But eventually I was trundling merrily down the center of the yellow line on the way to and from the runway.

Turning in the air is even odder for the uninitiated. Then you get to use the control yoke, using the ailerons to tilt the plane to the right or the left. It’s just like leaning on a bicycle if you are going around a turn really fast. You use your feet too if it’s a really steep turn, because now the pedals control the rudder instead of the nose wheel and the brakes. It can be fun, watching the horizon tilt to a fifteen, thirty, forty-five, or even sixty degree angle!

There are other considerations when you are turning in the air- wind speed, how fast you want to turn, what you are using as a reference. One of the things new pilots learn is S turns across a road, and turns around a point. That helps them with precise flying and putting the plane exactly where they want it, with no guesswork. So if you see a little plane circling around a particular area, over and over, when there isn’t really anything around to look at except maybe a barn in the middle of open country, that might be a student pilot out in the practice area, learning how to turn.

Writing tip: Scintillating Articles

This tip may be a bit basic but I think you’ll all agree that there are many authors who could use this advice.  So, as a public service, I repost this tip:

 

It’s not so hard to write a fascinating, informative article or blog post if you organize it right.

All you have to do is use the “inverted pyramid” writing structure that journalists do. Basically, you start with an eye catching headline, hopefully relevant to your content. Then you write a short introductory paragraph outlining your main point.

After that, you expand upon your main topic, giving detail and supporting evidence. There is where you would use the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of journalism to best effect.

If you want to make it really great, use interesting, descriptive words to draw your reader in and really illustrate your different pieces of supporting evidence.

When you are done, sum your subject or facts up again, make an interesting point about it or underscore your conclusion. This will keep the idea fresh in your reader’s mind. And it will make a coherent, very readable post!

There’s extra credit these days if you add an eyecatching picture.

Who knew you’d find something useful in high school writing class?