Tuesday, January 29, 2008


It's been around awhile, possibly since copyrighted by Max Ehrmann in 1927. My first introduction was by listening to the LP by Les Crane in 1971/72. I still have the album and play it a few times a year on the brand new old Crosley Victrola my son relII gave me a few years back.

Although I didn't write it, this piece is what comes to mind when I hear the word desire. Listening to it helps me refocus and see what is worth desiring in my life and it always lifts my spirit.

Strive to be happy: The object of my desire!
10 signs a book is written by me

A blogging compatriot, KG, from "Write Now Is Good" has tagged me to do the meme:

10 signs a book is written by me

  1. The book will be no longer than 250 words.
  2. The story will always involve erotic romance.
  3. At least one character will be French and one Irish.
  4. It will be historically correct.
  5. It will take place in times gone by, i.e. medieval, renaissance era or there abouts.
  6. There will be some mysticism, magic, and or fantasy enmeshed in the story line.
  7. There will be high adventure breaking up the more mundane scenes of everyday life
  8. Three to five years will have elapsed before first publishing.
  9. It will be part of a series.
  10. The front cover in the lower right hand corner will have the initials: rel

I now tagging Paris Parfait, Kat, CB, Corey, and Lucy

Anyone else, even non-bloggers, are welcome to play!

Monday, January 28, 2008

The trip to Albany to visit our daughter was occasioned by a plan for a surprise birthday party arranged by M's friend Erin. Despite claiming to suspect something was up, she really didn't have a clue and we pulled it off perfectly. Her brother and his lady showed up as well as M's new boss and other friends from work. The actual day of her birth is next Sunday which is also Superbowl Sunday, so she gets two celebrations. It was a great weekend and there was shopping, eating, and partying enough to make the prospect of returning to work after a week off seem welcome. I did retire earlier than usual last night being that I'm on call tonight and the four hour drive home took a small toll on my reserve.

Now it's out to the gym to stimulate some muscle cells.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


We're off to visit our daughter in Albany. Be back Sunday night. ;)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Yessiree, It really is rel back to the keyboard for a blog entry! Aren't you impressed?
Last night we met Bonnie and Dick for dinner at the Granview, and Bonnie said, "Boy you really are on vacation aren't you?"
I'm like, "whadda ya mean?"
"You haven't posted on your blog this week!"

I promised her I would post something for her this morning and so here goes:

P.S. Bonnie and Dick are departing for Florida in a couple of weeks and will return in the middle of May, so that was the reason we met up for din-din. Not that we need a reason, but just so you know. ;)

The Writer's Island prompt for this past Tuesday is Fork-in-the road or Crossroad if you prefer.
I had a plan to write about how and why I chose the road toward nursing rather than the road toward doctoring, both of which were open and available to me, but I got busy with real life and took the path that led me to clean up the YEARS of clutter in my office, and computer room. Yes I have a room where I store most of my clutter, i.e. the Book room, and then the computer is set up in J's former bed room. Two rooms just means more clutter and longer time periods between clean ups. Oh, and of course there is the kitchen where I do most of my reading and mail sorting and pile making on the chair next to the window where no one sits unless we have company; Just in case French husband from Corey's place shows up next month, when and if he comes to Montreal, it seemed prudent to get the house in some semblance of neat and tidy. Wow, is that some sort of run-on sentence or what?

Now, to make a long story longer:

Last Friday the 18th I made a spur of the moment decision to take a vacation week this week. The fact that no other anesthetist was off for any reason was the impetus to request the time off. Any other reasons as to why I chose to take a vacation week will remain open to speculation!
Oh yes, Robert Frost, why the picture of Frost? Well, let me tell you; One of my favorite poems is Frost's The Road Less Traveled. To my way of thinking, if not everyday then at least weekly we are faced with choices and must decide which path we are going to follow. Not all are momentous decisions but choices none the less. Things like am I going to get up this morning, or am I going to go to work today or will I call in sick.
I chose to take a vacation week not to go to France, or Quebec City, Or Lake Placid, Or any of the usual reasons that I take vacation, I chose to take a vacation to sleep in, to clean out the clutter in the me spaces, and to limit my time on the computer. As much as I enjoy the internet and all my blogging friends and acquaintances I subscribe to the motto that "a change is as good as a rest", and folks I needed a rest!
So on Friday last I came to a fork-in-the-road and the last two lines of Frost's poem says it all:
"I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

There is a quote ascribed to Albert Einstein that says: "If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then is an empty desk?"
The implication being an empty mind.

Well, I can assure you, that my mind is anything but empty. Although I like neat and tidy, clutter doesn't bother me until it gets to a certain point; when the space becomes unusable or I can't find things I want or need then I feel motivated to organize and dispose of the excessive clutter.

The problem is compounded by the fact that I'm some what of a hoarder, a saver of magazines, newspapers and newspaper clippings, books, paintings, photos, and bric-a-brac, souvenirs of each and every trip taken in 60+ years. Now don't think I'm pathological about it. This week alone will show you that I am willing to part with the junk and detritus of my life, it just takes me a few years to get to the point of realizing that if I haven't looked at something for a year or more it can probably be relegated to the trash heap or rummage sale. So far I've tossed tons of crap and useless stuff that other wise would have to be tossed by my children after I die and what's the sense in that,
So, for M, and B, and J: Dad threw out tons of shit and today he's going to go through that miriad boxes of old photographs and get rid of the useless junk in there.

Just to let you know I'm at a crossroads in my life and there are some momentous decisions to be made on the near horizon, Stay tuned!

In the mean time I want to let Lucy Know that I appreciate her tagging me to do a random things meme and I will do that before the week is out; God willin' and the creek don't rise.

"Til then:
We are going to visit our daughter this weekend so if I miss Sunday Scribblings that's the reason. ;)

P.S. I've found a printed copy of my resume/curriculum vitae. (I lost the digital when my old computer's hard drive crashed.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

# 94 Fellow Travelers

For me, blogging epitomizes what the term fellow traveler encompasses. We all, and I mean by all, not only our contemporaries but those humans who trod the planet before us and those we created to walk the paths after us, are fellow travelers. Sometimes we walk on the same paths, sometimes parallel paths, and sometimes divergent paths. Sometimes we meet serendipitously and walk the path together. The bottom line I think is that we are more alike and enjoy similar beliefs and follow like paths to kindred goals than surface impressions first display.

I my community this past few weeks we have lost to untimely death, two men; sons of friends and neighbors. These young men were the same ages as two of my children. My focus was on how terribly tragic for a parent to lose a child, to any reason, before themselves. We have witnessed this far too many times, and yet we still despair and pray that we will be spared a similar happenstance.

A third death during the same period was of more significance to me in particular but again to all of us in general. And so it was, that when I sent an email to a friend and fellow traveler who is at the south pole for the moment, I referred to the three recent deaths of young folk in our community. When he replied to me with the question; " who was the third?" I realized that he was not personally acquainted with any of the parties associated with the third young man's death.

I sent him this follow-up:


The third young person to die at age 36 besides Craig (40) and Rich (36) was a man by the name of David Gogolak. He died in a Montana Avalanche while skiing. His father was the former NFL player Pete Gogolak. Click link below:


Pete and Charlie Gogolak are brothers who emigrated from Hungary in the mid-fifties to Ogdensburg. Their father was a psychiatrist who was hired by NYS to work at the St. Lawrence State Hospital. Pete was a senior at OFA when I was a freshman, and Charlie was a year ahead of me. We were all football players for OFA. Both Pete and Charlie went on to play pro ball in the AFL and NFL as kickers, introducing the soccer style kick that is prevalent to this day in pro football.

I was closer to Charlie than Pete. I fact I was a catcher for Charlie on our baseball team as well. What a thrill it was for me as well as all of our classmates to have known and played with two guys who ultimately made it to the big time. To think I laced up my cleats in the same locker room with the Gogolak brothers was a big high. I mean, come on man, I tackled both those guys at one time or another from my position as middle line backer in numerous scrimmages and practices. Well you get the idea. Fame by association. ;)

Anyway, during a time frame when two local boys died an untimely death, the son of a high school team-mate also was called to the other-side. The fact that these boys were the same ages as my daughter and middle son made their deaths all the more poignant to me.

Sorry if I confused you.


I believe that we, fellow travelers, are impacted by the fates of those we know as well as those we don't on this trek to.................................................................................................?

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's been a hard day's night, and I've been working like a dog!

I've been a little recalcitrant in my posting this week due to the past weekend reminding me of a Beatles song. When I first broke into this Anesthesia business I could work all night and bounce back the next day with nary a dark circle under my eyes. However these days it take me considerably longer to bounce back from an all-nighter. That could be interpreted in a couple of ways, but here I'm specifically referring to working all night.

Here it is Thursday and I'm finally feeling 100%. The week has been overly busy also. Tuesday serendipity intervened, like the rays of a bright morning sun, and I got to be the first anesthetist to "pass gas" in our brand spanking new OR.

Morning sun photo from Karen

L to R. rel, Marty, Kari, Letti, Kim, Steve. First team, first day; OR #1


Just another day in paradise!

Kim assisisting Dr. Majak with a bunionectomy.

Dr. Majak having a conference with Letti, the OR nurse manager! ;)

All in all is was a good day even though we started from a minus 2 on the readiness scale to Up-to-speed by ten AM. We finished the day at 1815 and everybody felt pretty-darn-good.
The team effort from the cleaning staff, pharmacy, tech crew, supply people, nurses both OR and ACU was superlative. Most definitely a job well done!!!!!

The number of runs up the stairs to 3rd floor main OR qualified this day as an aerobic training day so we skipped the gym after work.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

# 17 Treasure

Traditionally when I ponder what treasure means to me, I immediately think of a pirate's chest full of rubies, pearls, and gold and silver coins. Certainly these chests, full of treasures, exist and just as certainly they are hard to locate. The searches go on, as they have since the dawn of man, to find these riches. The prevalent thought is that if I find a treasure such as this, I'll be set for life. No more worries, no more woes; bye-bye Blackbird. We believe this to a greater or lesser extent despite having witnessed the opposite too many times. Brittany had the world on string, while she sat on her rainbow, and did it bring her happiness in the long term? I don't know, 'cause I don't know Brittany, but I know mankind, and I know what I see and I've come to believe that happiness does not lie in the treasure chests full of gold.

Since Saturday, when Rob put "Treasure" out there for we Islanders to ponder, I've done just that. Thinking to myself; what do I treasure, what makes me happy? Memories come to the fore immediately. Memories of pleasant things rather than memories of unpleasant things. Thinking of warm fuzzy encounters, family cuddles and happy birthdays. Yes gilded memories are treasures of great worth, but memories also carry great resentments, great pain when contemplating perceived insult and back stabbing. And these memories are not conducive to wellbeing. At least not to the happiness one would expect from the treasure chest of memories.

While many things are treasured, true treasure that brings lasting quietude and happiness is harder to find.. That is what makes them so treasured, their rarity makes them all the more sought after, all the more subjects of great worth. I asked myself, What would I risk everything for, what is it that would bring me happiness when I'm growing old? What would I consider to be a pearl of great worth? As is my habit, I mulled this over for a couple of days, Googled treasure in and of itself as well as all of it's possible incarnations. Most importantly I slept on it, I meditated on it. My experience is such that when a question presents itself to me I already know the answer, I just have to find it.

What I settled on is this: Forgiveness is the greatest of treasures and the hardest to find. Oh no, not forgiveness for myself, though that is well accepted should it be offered. No, the greatest treasure for me would be the ability to forgive. Some indiscretions can be forgiven and we can feel magnanimous for doing so. But what If some murdered your child (no matter how old), could I forgive them? NO, NO, NO Of course not. If a person long thought to be a friend betrayed that friendship, stabbed me in the back for their own selfish gain, could I forgive them? Again, NO. Finding forgiveness in my heart is not a natural thing and almost impossible to find. Yet I'll continue to search for it; this ability to forgive perceived insult and injury to myself as well as others. I will look within myself to find this; to me the greatest treasure one can possess:
The ability to forgive.

Some may see the forgiving person as weak. But I disagree, I think the forgiving heart has the superior strength.
I believe that the meek do truly inherit the earth.

Let's meditate on this for awhile and see what we find:
And when we find it:


Saturday, January 12, 2008

#93...the Date

The exact date escapes me at the moment. It was late fall, 1952, I’d just turned 7. Donny, Mark and I, second graders, were walking home from Madill School. Walking beside the wire fence that surrounded the whole block that was Mr. Well’s property, we were at the half way point in the block when Donny says, “there’s no Santa Clause!”. Mark says, Yeah I know, it’s really our mom and dad that put the presents under the tree.”

They looked at me and I screamed at them, right in their faces, “LIARS, LIARS, LIARS.”

My face was livid and the tears running down my cheeks were evaporating before they could reach the edge of my jaw and drop off. I ran the remaining four blocks home, alternately sobbing and yelling back, at those two, profanities and curses galore.

When I slammed through the front door and into the living room of our house my mother, standing at the ironing board and ironing, said, “What’s got you all riled up?”

I told her that Donny and Mark had said that Santa wasn’t real and that our mom and dad were really Santa. “They lied, right mom?”

I don’t rightly recall what her reply was, but Santa died that day for me and I’ve never forgiven Donny or Mark for stealing my innocence that afternoon by Mr. Well’s fence!

Week-end Call.

As an olde sailor would say: It's your turn in the barrel.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

In January come the thaw
The snow all melt
The ground left raw.

Holy moly man
The wind she blow
Like hurry-can.

Trees is pulled from
the ground.
Electric lines are
All pull down.

A truck tips, falls and slide,
The bridge is blocked
From side to side.

When mother nature gets upset
There's no safe place
For you to get.

Tomorrow comes the sun
Power restored
The storm is done!


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It's naive to think that gossip elevates one's station.


The weather man says rain and wind today with a high of 55 degrees F. Golly Mr. Wilson, ain't this just some kinda bafflin' weather? Never seen nothing like it afore, lessin' you count that December in "75 when it was 6o degrees and rainy and mud all 'round. Like ta suck the boots off'n yer feet just walkin' to the car.

Heck can't do nothin' to change ricky, might just as well enjoy it whilst ya ken, cause sure as shootin it'll turn freezin' cold any day now.

Yup, no wonder folks is gettin' sick right and left these days. Why the missus been sick with one thing or 'nother since we got back from vistin' them frenchies. I tell ya, it ain't natural, it ain't. They say it's that globes warning, but I don't know nuttin 'bout that, i just knows it ain't right. Sump'n bads gonna happen; I knows it. Just you wait and see.

So, other then that, how ya been?

Fair ta midlin I 'spect; fair ta midlin. I's on call last night, but thank the good lord, I didn't get nary a call. Well, ceptin' that ectopic we done at five, but shucks I's already there so I guess that don't count as a call in. Yup, ya wouldn't a believed it; It looked like she had a bilateral (that'd be both sides) ectopic! Darn, Nobody ever heard a such-a-thing. The doc, he took the more obvious one and said we'd watch her to make sure the other wasn't. I said to him; what's this we business? I just put'm ta sleep an' waken thems up, after that the watchin's up ta you bud!

Anyway mose, it's gettin' 'bout that time. Gonna do some pushups, take a PTA and shuffle on down the road and see what's in store for me t'day.

Y'all have a great day bud; smile at everyone ya meets. ;)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Blow, blow, thou winter wind.
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember’d not.
Heigh-ho! sing, &c.

Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind
Act II, Scene 7 from As You Like It by William Shakespeare (1600)

Today = 52 degrees F., Raining

Monday, January 07, 2008

January 7th, 2008
43 degrees F.
low lying fog
1940's Big Band Radio

Sunday, January 06, 2008

New/New year.................................................................................Over the Horizon

A new day edges
the Horizon

Blind to the other side
Of the horizon,
I stand naked
As the light slowly edges above
Earth's far rim.

I am a book full of
Chapters I have written.
Each new day I choose
Words; new and old, to
Write in the book.

This writer chooses the
Story and the story is
The writer.

The other side of the horizon
holds the mind's imaginings.
On the new page
I will follow my pen,
My tale..



Thursday, January 03, 2008

When it snows, ain't it thrilling, Though your nose gets a chilling We'll frolic and play, the Eskimo way, Walking in a winter wonderland.

No prognosticator I, 'cause I've been fooled too many times before, but it seems to be shaping up to be an old fashioned winter like the ones we had here when the kids were growing up.

It's the third of January 2008, there is a foot or more of snow and this morning at 4AM the temperature is 2.2 F° or -17 C°.

I enjoy shoveling snow when I have the time, but when we get 8" or more at a falling it gets tedious. Fortunately Andy came over New Year's evening and knocked down the accumulation in the driveway to a manageable 2-3" with his four-wheeler to which he has attached a plow.

When I got home yesterday I cleaned up the two additional inches of light fluffy snow that had fallen over night. Even that small amount of light weight cottony snow took me 2 hours to neaten up. I know, I know, but it has to be neat if I'm doing it, ya know? When Ryan does it, I tolerate a sloppy job, 'cause he does move 98% of it off the drive and paths.

Speaking of Ryan, he conveniently comes around only when the snow-fall is 4" or less. On both occasions when we've received 10" or more he is like the ghost man....no where to be found.
I have noticed this year many more young boys in their teens who are out soliciting shoveling jobs this year. I only mention that because in years past I've mentioned that the "kids today don't seem to want to work anymore." On the other hand it might have been a combination of facts; such as too little snow fall. Or perhaps the village was devoid of shoveling age kids! Anyway, It has done my heart good to see more industrious kids out and about this year.

If this cold snap lasts for two weeks leading up to a mid January thaw followed by a month of sub freezing temps in February, then indeed it will mimic the winters when I was raising chickens and rabbits and had to change their water dishes 3 to 4 times a day since they where housed in unheated accomadations....Ah those were the days. The wood stove hasn't been hopping of late these past few years either. With both of us working full time it's too dangerous to leave the stove burning during the day, and if you fire it up at night and let it die out over the course of the day the danger of creosote build-up is greater. There is nothing like the heat from a wood stove though to warm a body on a frigid winter's night if I recall correctly. ;)

I'm on call today so it's off to the gym to churn the treadmill tracks for a few minutes.

Y'all stay cozy now ya hear?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. ~Thomas Mann

I'll agree with Mr. Mann on an empirical basis; we humans are infact (fact as far as I know, which is about as far as the end of my nose,) the only species here on this planet, Earth, who mark the passage of time with a calender and mark time in years.
On the pragmatic side that is true, but as a writer of fiction, poetry and as a man, I like to look at the hypothetical, speculative or even the dreamy side of things:
Yesterday was the first day of the year 2008. In celebration, mother Nature (speculative to believe in such an entity), blanketed our neck of the woods with a fresh coat of white. In fact giving us a clean page to mark. We could choose to stay inside and leave it unmarked and pristine, waiting for nature to do what it will to change the scene, turn the page if you will, or we could choose to make a mark of our choosing on the new page; the new page of life.

Or, we can make our mark, a foot print, to speak figuratively as well as literally. The fact is that for us here in my home town have been offered an example which we can choose to apply to our lives; Today starts a new day, a new year. The slate is cleared and our past deeds covered over, left in the past where they belong. We can make the same marks we did last year or we can chose a new tact, behave differently and make a different mark .

That Mr. Mann is the difference: the other species do not enjoy those choices and therefore have no need to mark time.