Monday, April 26, 2010

The Ambler

Durward Winze was an ambler. Not only did he amble when he walked along the byways of his country village, he ambled through life. Being such, he was one of those fellows who took life as it came. Not much ambition that Durward, but somehow he got along. It's not that he wasn't smart; took one of those IQ tests and scored over 140. No, he was smart enough, he just didn't have any goals in life.

Durward was a reader of books. He accumulated tons of books for his own library, mostly from secondhand shops and library sales. The city library was a weekly stop for him. and it was usual for him to bring home 4 or five books to read. And read them he did, returning them faithfully each Saturday morning and returning home with an armload of new tomes. To say that Durward lived vicariously would be a gross understatement.

One day while having a conversation with an old family friend, Doctor Lambed Kroner, Durward admitted that from time to time he regretted not having set any real goals in his life. Mediocrity satisfied him most of the time but every now and then, usually when observing friends more driven than himself,or when reading biographies of men like Michelangelo or Leonardo de Vinci he would ask himself how much better his life would have been if he had set some goals in life and then worked to see them through to the end.

In the early Fall of his life, Durward suffered a nonfatal heart attack which caused him to go on disability. A truck driver/laborer his whole life, he was now, effectively, grounded.
What to do? What to do?

Throughout his adult life, from time to time he would listen to people tell him he should've been a teacher of English or literature. "Perhaps," he thought, "this heart attack is a blessing in disguise." He enrolled in college. Probably for the first time in his life he had a goal to work toward; becoming a writer/teacher of literature.

His wit and intellect endeared him to his much younger classmates and professors as well. Exceeding even his own expectations, he was soon on his way to a magna cum-laude.

As one enters the special room in the library dedicated to Durward Winze, two things catch the visitor's eye: Durward's silver topped walking stick propped against the wall just inside the doorway, and a sign on the door which reads,; Come in and set a spell, amble amongst the books here-in and find your Goals. D. W.
Durward Winze died of a massive coronary, nestled in the bosom of academia, his junior year at University.
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

rain forest

Google images All

Where were you on Earth Day #1?
The first "Earth Day" was actually dubbed the National Environmental Teach-In. But almost immediately the "Earth Day" name took over and has held for 40 years.
On April 22nd 1970, I was in Albany, NY enrolled in my Nurse Anesthetist schooling. In July of 1972, I found myself in the library at the military base, Fort Campbell, KY. I chanced across a small magazine the same size as a Reader's Digest titled "OGF" (Organic Gardening and Farming.) Robert Rodale was the editor and CEO of the then fledgling Rodale Press empire.
I was hooked on Organic gardening from that day to this day. That summer I planted my first garden; an organic garden. Meaning no pesticides and no petroleum based fertilizers. Just compost and hand weeding. Over the years I've stuck to the organic methods and to this day employ only one pesticide: Bacillus thuringiensis.
Compost and farm animal manure have given me some of the finest loam any farmer or gardener would envy (as attested to by my dairy farmer father-in-law. who always said when he'd look at my garden: "what I wouldn't give to have soil like that".)
We've enjoyed an organic garden for 38 of the past forty years and this weekend I'll probably (depending on the rain forecast) start the planting with onions and spinach.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's a rare post, on this here blog, where I discuss my work and even rarer, to non-existent, that you have ever seen mention of my "busy" day.
For posterity I must make note of yesterday's work schedule: busy, tiring to the max, and so, so rewarding psychologically on so many fronts.
We did 9, yes I said NINE, surgical cases in an eight hour span of time yesterday. 7 pediatric cases and two adults.
In my 38 years of administering anesthesia, I can't recall doing that many cases in a day let alone in 8 hours.
7 ENT cases: 2 Bmts and a bmt, adenoidectomy. ages 2, 4, & 3.
4 T&As (tonsils and adenoids) ages 2, 5, 11, & 7.
2 GYN cases with young adult women. 1 D&C and 1 endometrial ablation.
Started exactly on time: 0730
finished 5 minutes early: 1455.
early bedtime :))
P.S. For those of my readers who have worked in an OR, think about this; ' that is 8 turn-overs! + 9 cases .... OMG


Monday, April 19, 2010

Magpie tales # 10
Do you like to read? Books, I mean? I like to read books. I also like to read magazines and newspapers, to say nothing of blogs and facebook and so on and so forth. But it's with books that it all started for me. My fondness for books preceded the television age in my house.

This past weekend I started and finished a book, and when I went to enter it in my "Shelfari" list, I was informed that 'til then I'd read no books this year. To be honest, Ive started a few but haven't finished them as yet; haven't taken the time.

Time is a funny thing isn't it? When we don't get to things that we wanted, wished, said we would or should, we find it easy to say: I didn't have time. Baloney! We take the time to do things we really want to do and we waste a fair amount of time to boot. At least I do, Maybe you're one of those people who has mastered the art of time management and have it all planned and scheduled out so as to get the maximum accomplished, but then you wouldn't be here reading this drivel now would you?

Growing up, I did most of my leisure reading at the kitchen table, usually while eating breakfast. I remember reading Tarzan books and Bomba the jungle boy while eating my Wheaties in the mornings before school.

The kitchen table is still my favorite place to read. This weekend my wife went off to Lake Placid to help a friend celebrate her "55th" birthday. Which left me at the kitchen table for most of the weekend. (It rained off and on all day Saturday, precluding any gardening efforts on my part.) I thought that I'd make good use of the time to write an impressive piece for Willow's Magpie prompt this week. Blank, blank, blank. I recalled a caveat of the many books and articles I've read over time that suggest the best way to prepare to write is to read. Since my creative juices were at a stand still I decided to follow that advice.

In my den there are many books, including too many stacks of unread books piled on the floor. as I perused the area my eyes settled on the book "Rules for Old Men Waiting." That looked interesting and coincidentally had a photo of a pocket watch on the cover. The photo prompt for this week's Magpie is a pocket/pendant watch. Atop the pile beside the one where sat "Rules" was the book,"play it forward" which if I recall correctly is about taking time to give some of your time to someone in need of caring attention.

So there you have it: I read a book, cover to cover, Thought about TIME, and wrote a blog piece.

Now I'll spend some time doing my Monday morning exercise routine and get myself ready to spend some time caring for others.

For more and better Magpie tales click HERE!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sitting here eating my gruel, with milk, I'm listening to Pandora and the song playing is; Where have all the Flowers gone.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE, words and music by Pete Seeger.
Where have all the flowers gone?Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

And I ponder: Who are They?
And I answer: we are They and we seem to be deaf!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Okay!, It's 5 AM. Email checked Xs 2.
Blogger checked, comments made.
Facebook: messages read, status posted
Start breakfast before shower:
Get Pyrex pan.
Add 1/3 cup old fashioned oatmeal
2 Tbls flax seeds
sprinkle with cinnamon
1 cup water.
Put on back burner on low/med heat.
Stir oatmeal, turn heat down to low.
Shave, brush teeth, clip finger nails.
Stir oatmeal, turn down to wm.
Get dressed. Put work hat and undershirt in locum bag.
Stir oatmeal, add sweetener.
Open fridge, get milk......
get milk!
Who forgot to stop at Wegman's to get milk?
Oops, I did. :(
Thin with hot water, eat.
Make note.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Magpie Tale # 9
He was certain it wasn't a dream, every detail was exact and fresh in his mind; the smell of her perfume still in his nostrils, the taste from her glossy chocolate painted lips lingered on the tip of his tongue.
From the bumbling, tongue-tied attempts at conversation when he'd first noticed her sitting beside him at the bar, to the complete and satisfying release from their volcanoes of lust at 3AM when they'd awakened for a second go 'round.
If it was a dream, his imagination was definitely in overdrive like never before.
His ego waning, he raised himself from his bed, looked back and seeing no evidence to confirm that anyone but himself had occupied said bed, he plodded to the bathroom to relieve the mounting pressure in his bladder. Dejected at the prospect that the newly awakened passion, nay, love of his life had only been a dream, he stood in the dark relieving himself and thought, " I even remember her name: Genetta, and she said she worked at the U.S. embassy. How could I have dreamt that?"
Stepping to the sink and flipping on the light, he turned on the water to wash his hands and blinked in disbelief. Thinking, maybe he should slap himself to make sure his was really awake as he stared at the object standing upright on his marble vanity top. Like a turgid reminder of the night's activities, stood the lipstick; the glossy chocolate lipstick whose taste still glazed his own lips.

For more Magpie tales go HERE.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hold on, I'm ruminating

Ruminating by
A.K. Sircar


Thursday, April 01, 2010


Quaint cobblestone streets, pastel plazas and balconies brimming with bougainvillea make Cartagena de Indias one of Latin America's most photogenic cities.

Leigh and I have an avid interest in Pirates and Pirate history. When we were perusing the various excursions into Cartagena offered by the cruise line, we settled on the one we thought would give us the opportunity to explore The fortress and massive wall built around the city. That being the case the girls had no interest in joining us so we went off on our own. We had chosen the wrong tour for our purposes. We did stop by the fortress first for a 10 minute photo shoot and then it was on to a combined shopping trip with some historical wanderings thrown in.

At our fist stop we became painfully aware that this excursion was going to be marred by the gnat like presence of the in-your-face-sidewalk-vendors. Aggressive is an appropriate adjective to describe this onslaught at every stop. They stopped short of following our group into buildings or onto the bus. However they would come to the bus doors and thrust their wares at arms length in through the bus door in one last effort to get you to buy; sunglasses, belts, drawings, coke/water, jewelry, ad-infinatum of trinketry. It really did put a damper on the enjoyment of an otherwise intriguing city.

I should have know better by the time we came upon this brightly colored young lady. Who could resist taking a photograph for this traditional costume? After the photo was snapped her hand came out to ask for a dollar. Of course I paid her. Lesson learned!!!!!

A side walk painter painted a tropical scene on a mirror complete in about 5 minutes. Really very talented. Someone in our group did, infact, buy this souvenir painting.

You may or may not be aware of the fact that Since 1533 when Cartagena was founded it was the port where gold and emeralds flowed to the galleons bound for Spain. That fact was the reason the city was a frequent site for pirate attacks and of course the reason for the wall. And we did make numerous stops to visit shops selling gold and emeralds, as well as trinket shops galore.
Leigh and I are not shoppers.....'nuff said!

But the time spent in the museum of the Spanish inquisition and the various Churches appeased us somewhat.

Let it be known, if you ever doubted it, man has devised torture devises to torment his fellow human beings that boggle the mind and make "water boarding" seem like a little girls parlor game.
After our four hour tour we were definitely ready to return to the safety of the ship for some liquid refreshment and salsa dance watching. Yes I said watching. There was no way I was going to embarrass my self getting up on the dance floor with a bunch of Latins who'd been salsa dancing since the age of three.
A side note: The girls did venture, briefly, off the pier and the experienced the assault of the sidewalk vendors also. They knew exactly what we meant when we related the events of our tour.
Next: Santa Marta, Columbia