Tuesday, January 31, 2012


You know that if I'm here blogging, I'm not doing my homework which was due yesterday.
Just sayin'!

Monday, January 30, 2012

wasted time??

I ran outta time.  Out of time to put up a post of any significance.  On the other hand, what makes me think that any post I write has any significance?  Okay OK, I'm wasting valuable time.

I used to have enough time but on the seventeenth of this month I started a course called American literature: 1865 to present. Last week we started reading the Mark Twain Novel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  We will read it in it's entirety and critique it.  There in lies the rub.  I've read this story more than once and have enjoyed it every time, but I don't read it to analyse it, I read it for the enjoyment of the story.  Now it's work and as such takes time to understand the questions and even more time to find and structure my answers..... so that's where my time has....

Oops, gotta go 

Come again when I've got more time to sit and chat.... Ta ta.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

dream stream....

Images in my dream
Boomerang until I scream.
Celestial star stream.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Are we smart enough...

to elect effective representatives, or politicians as they are more commonly known ?

A conversation I engaged in earlier this week set my mind wondering if, in fact, common everyday people have the mental where-with-all to evaluate and vote for people with altruistic motives who will actually endeavor to do the best thing for the country and it's populace.

Today I don't even want to talk about the lobbyists who purchase laws favorable to their clients.

No, I want to look at some personal choices ordinary people make in their lives and ponder whether they can be trusted to make better choices when electing Representatives to U.S. government offices.

The fact that smoking causes lung cancer became public in  the 1920's by scientists in Germany.  Here in the U.S.,  in 1964 (the year I started smoking cigarettes,) the Surgeon General declared a link between cancer and smoking. It took twenty years before an aggressive effort began to discourage smoking in this country and even longer in some European countries..  Yet today people of voting age continue to smoke and  I doubt if any of them can say they are not aware of the facts that smoking has a deleterious impact on the users health.  Why should I believe that the personal choice to ruin ones health for momentary satisfaction can give rise to good choices in picking politicians?

How about the choice to over-eat to the point of Morbid obesity, and it is a choice.  Of that I have no doubt.

Or the fellow, or gal for that matter, who chooses to spend the weekly rent money or family grocery money in the local tavern or opium den.  What do you think of their history of making good choices.

The driver who chooses to drive drunk,  the rapist, the pedophile, the robber, murderer etc. etc.

In the conversation I alluded to earlier, the person with whom I was engaged, adamantly, wanted to paint all law enforcement people with a wide brush of negativity because a relative of theirs had been treated in a way that they felt inappropriate.  This example of what I call haywire thinking gives me pause to agree with pogo: We have met the enemy and he is us.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

CRNA week: Pauly said......

17 years ago, golly it seems like only yesterday, I took my youngest child, who was seventeen at the time, to work with me, in the operating room.  He had just recently graduated from high school and would be leaving in a few weeks to begin his college experience, and I wanted to give him a glimpse into the world of an anesthesia provider to add to his list of yet to be determined career choices.
At the end of the day, riding home with me, I asked him what he thought of anesthesia as a career choice.  His response after taking a few minutes to collect his thoughts: "No offense dad, but anesthesia is pretty boring.  I know, you have to know a lot to make sure it is boring but just the same....."

He was right on the money so-to-speak; one of the great satisfactions for an anesthesia provider is, in fact, to take a situation fraught with risk for catastrophe and make it safe and, yes, boring.
Yesterday, Paul and I split up the cases in the ortho room.  In the early afternoon while I was administering anesthesia to a patient undergoing an achilles tendon repair, Paul came in to get set up for his to follow case; an arthroscopic shoulder surgery in the sitting position.  The airway management of these types of cases can vary from institution to institution and even from provider to provider, but in our setting oral endotracheal intubation (OET) is the standard.

He comes to the head of the table wheeling the Storz video larygngoscope.  This is a device used to facilitate placing an OET in a patient with a known or even supposed difficult airway. A difficult airway being one that is hard to visualize using a regular laryngoscope.  Next he prepares an endotracheal tube by inserting a malleable Teflon coated stylet.  I say to him tongue -in-cheek; "wow, you're going all out today.  Do you anticipate some difficulty."
Paul says the patient has a pumpkin shaped head, short bull neck, and small oral opening showing a Mallempati III.  He then off handedlysays:

"It's OK to say that you'll deal with that bridge when you get to it; but make sure you've have the toll money in your pocket."

 MSMAID is the toll money

Which makes dealing with a difficult airway look boring. 
Boring is the result of proper and complete preparation.

Caveat: My son's career choice: CPA.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Once upon a time.......

In the magic
Is the mystery of the forbidden.
I dare you to
You are gripped by
Take up your pencil,
Make the forbidden

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I went to the doctor and the doctor said........

I went to the cardiologist yesterday to follow-up on my admission to the ICU a week ago.  He looked at the EKG that the halter monitor had produced and said he wanted a stress echo to see if any abnormality showed up.
Two hours later he pronounced me normal.....
I said, "can I have that in writing?

The bottom line is that my heart appears to be in fine shape with only some minor electrical disruptions of no clinical significance.
So what you ask was the problem"
Eating pizza as a sleep aide.


Years ago; Yeeeeeaaaaaaaaarrrrrs ago when I attended school to become a CRNA, there was a caveat bandied about that anesthesia providers, RN & MD alike suffered from the "Rodney Dangerfield" syndrome:

"I don't get no respect!"

Monday, January 23, 2012

CRNA Week Jan. 22-28, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

magpie for the Mag.

formerly; Magpie Tales

Posing for artist
Dressed in your nakedness.
Artificial light

Friday, January 20, 2012

Whoa Nellie.......

Last night's snow storm left a meager dusting to 1/2 inch on the ground but the impressive part was that it fell in it's entirety over just a few minutes.  Which would lead one, at least the one called me, to ask why blog about it?  Because I think it's the first time I've been driving in such blinding whiteness.

Driving home from a friends home where I had been invited to share a delicious repast, I was tootling along at 55 - 60 when I noticed a spitting of snow wafting across the windshield.  I'm about 6 miles from home.  Within a minute to a minute and a half I'm impressed with the growing ferocity of both the wind and the thickening cloud of white buffeting my vision.  I was sure it was a momentary gust and would subside soon, but rather, it intensified to the point where I was able to discern where my windshield was only by noting where the snow stopped.

I could not see the hood of my car let alone the road, which of course by now was covered with a blanket of white making it doubly difficult to make out the road..  I could make out the shoulder and so slowed to 5 -10 miles per hour in the attempt to stay on my side of the road.  Fortunately there was little traffic; none that was near enough behind for me to fear a rear ending, but I did put on my four way flashers.  I met a half dozen cars proceeding toward me with the same precaution and making out their head lights and flashers was only possible when they were near 500 yards away.  It was difficult to stay in my lane, like being in a limbo of sorts.  I did so and in 5 minutes or so I was at the local gas station where I pulled in and refueled.

When I pulled back onto the highway, for the remaining 1.5 mile drive to my own garage, the storm had abated completely. 

I'm happy that I didn't have far to go and that the storm was short lived.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Back to school....... nick-of-time

Call it sixth sense, intuition, or whatever; yesterday I dodged a bullet.  A bullet that could be called procrastination.  I registered for my second course from Empire State College in early January 2012.  It is  an online course with 20 or less students from diverse areas of the country and a range of ages pretty evenly divided between male and female.

My previous and first college course since 1975 was also done online @ ESC, but through direct email with the professor plus a couple of initial phone calls.  No use of the college's "Angel" system of communicating with students/professors was utilized.

I kept waiting to hear via email from the college, if not the professor, when the course actually was starting.  I had in my mind that a start date of 1/12/12 was expected.  My visit to angel on January 5th yielded zero info and, until yesterday, I had not revisited.

Holy smokes!!  Yesterday, while twiddling my thumbs at work waiting for the last case to finish up, I thought, "I'll check "Angel" at ESC and see if by chance anything has been posted there," expecting to find, as per my previous experiences, nada.  Oh man, there it was; a welcome from the professor, syllabus, text to be used, and first 3 assignments one of which is an informal essay due Monday next. 

Scurry, scurry, scurry.  Near totally unfamiliar with the use of the "Angel," system I clicked on everything that was clickable and navigated haphazardly around the site until, I think, I've found everything i need to know and do; immediately. 

After supper I logged back on and read some of the other students submissions and commented on them as required in the first assignment.  As well I submitted my short answers to: 1. What is America? What does it Mean to be American?  2. How do you define "the American Dream?" Do you think that Americans, in general, are indeed in pursuit of this ideal?

Now I'm jotting down ideas to use over the weekend when writing  the informal essay addressing My past experiences with American Literature, what led me to select this course and what I expect to gain from the course, and my thoughts on what it means to be an American.

I think I'm current and on track.  Whew!!  Now to move on grab every bit of enjoyment I can from this course and my classmates.
Oh, the course, you ask?  American Literature 1865 to present.  Should be fun.
I ordered the text overnight UPS.  I hope it gets here today..... Yah right, maybe Friday.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Epidural interuptus........

0532 "Good morning Bob, Heather wants you to come put an epidural in her patient."

I'm in the shower just soaping up when my phone rings and I consider briefly not answering it, knowing that that'll give me the few minutes I need to towel off before my beeper sounds.  But no, I reach out and answer my cell phone putting it on speaker phone so that who ever is calling will hear the shower running behind me.

"Okay," I say.  "Be there in a few."

It usually takes me 10 minutes at most, even from a dead sleep, to arrive in the OB dept. after a summons.  This morning I moved deliberately yet took time to finish my ablutions, thinking, "really this is a call for a labor epidural, and while it probably constitutes an emergency in the pregnant mom's mind, in actuality is not an "emergency.""

I arrive in the parturients room 20 minutes post phone conversation and her nurse, looking at me sheepishly says, she's at 9 cms., she progressed much faster than I anticipated;  "do you want to offer her an intrathecal instead?"

"Mais oui," says I with a twinkle in my eye, and proceed to explain the difference between an interthecal and an epidural to this 19 year old, skinny as a toothpick prime-ip (first pregnancy).  Unsure if she wants a needle pick in the back to relieve her labor discomfort, she asks her mom what she should do, who in turn asks the OB nurse what they should do.

While this interlude is taking place the mid-wife appears on the scene.  I defer to her and step out of the room to await a decision. In less than five minutes a second OB nurse comes out and says, "she's" delivering so they won't need you."

Hear I am 40 minutes later, back in the frat house eating oatmeal, prunes, walnuts and skim milk.

"Ahhhh, the life of an on-call anesthetist," he muses smiling at the screen.

Monday, January 16, 2012

we interupt this programm.......

I know, I know I missed writing here for 3 days, but this time, upon reflection, I'm going to excuse myself.

Saturday morning I activated the EMS system; I called 911.

There have been a few times over the years when I should have called and didn't.  Thankfully  I was right in my reluctance but I reflect on the thought of what if that chest pain had been a heart attack; I'd more than likely be staring at the inside of a wooden box these past 15 years or so.

Embarrassment is one reason for not calling; what if I'm wrong, I'll look foolish.  The other is the machismo; It's nothing, it'll go away soon, and I can handle this.  I'm here to tell you the most foolish thing you can do is to not call when you have symptoms of a heart attack.  It turned out that I did not have a heart attack but at every step I was reminded; you did the right thing!

The average heart attack sufferer gets to the hospital almost five hours after the onset of symptoms. This delay significantly increases their chances of dying.

I was awakened early Saturday morning, 0330, with severe heartburn to the point that I had to get up for fear that if I continued to lay in the supine position I'd regurgitate and aspirate that caustic stomach acid into my lungs.  I'm not one who is plagued by GERD and consequently don't have a ready supply of antacid tablets; Rolaids or Tums near at hand.  Although we do have them in our home, I was in the Frat house (an apartment I co-rent with a co-worker to stay in when we are on call at the hospital.)  Fortunately my co-worker did have some Rolaids which I found and helped myself to two.  Within a few short minutes the discomfort eased.  Sitting on the couch, pondering the situation, the thought heart attack came into my head and I thought it prudent to take an aspirin tablet just in case.

This is the point that I should have activated EMS and dialed 911.

Ten minutes or so later my symptoms abated and I returned to bed.  I woke two hours later feeling like I'd been worked over by an assailant with a rubber hose.  I hurt in places I'd never hurt before especially my joints; all my joints.  I got up and took 800 mg of Motrin and began to revisit the happenings in the recent hours.  Now convinced that I at least needed to see a physician in the ER, I  thought about driving myself there.  When I stood up I was so listless and light headed that I immediately discarded that idea as too dangerous.

Still entertaining ideas of heart attack I went to the internet to see what signs,besides chest pain (which I did not have)are indicative of Heart attack.

Chest pressure, tightness, and heaviness

>Pain in shoulders, neck, jaw, or arms






Shortness of breath with or without chest pain

I figured 5 out of eight was significant enough to make a move.  Nearly 4 hours have passed since first indication.

  It now being 7 am, I called the home of my back-up with the intent of having him come pick me up and drive me to the hospital.  His wife answered the phone and after I told her that I suspected a heart attack and wanted him to drive me to hospital  she vociferously insisted that I hang up and call 911 immediately.  In the mean time she would notify her husband and he would meet me some where along the line.

The EMS system worked like a charm and went as smoothly as anyone would expect; from rapid response to in-ambulance treatment to transport; flawless in everyway.  Kudos to Massena rescue!!!

The upshot is I was wrong in my diagnosis: I did not have a heart attack.  I was right to call 911.
A minor electrical disturbance in the upper chamber of my heart was noticed but probably not a significant problem and most likely not the cause of this episode.  This episode was probably the result of pizza.

After twenty four hours I was discharged with instructions to visit a cardiologist to follow up on the incidences of SVT that occur while I'm asleep.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Shoulda, coulda, woulda.....


Sleet...snow and freezing rain. Total snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches. Ice accumulation of up to a tenth of an inch. Highs in the lower 30s. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.

Freezing drizzle likely or a chance of sleet until midnight. Cloudy with a chance of freezing rain. Lows in the upper 20s. Southeast winds around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.

Okay then.  The weatherman warned us yesterday afternoon and throughout the evening that this was coming; freezing rain.  It's not that I didn't believe him; I seriously thought about staying at the frat house overnight.  Certainly that would have been safer and I'm thinking now at0400 in the morning with the freezing rain pelting me as I wheel the trash bin to the curb, that I was foolish to come home 50 miles away.  My reasons seemed valid yesterday with balmy, sunny skies.  I turned the heat down to 58 when I left for work yesterday morning and the cat isn't used to prolonged periods of time of the house being that cold.  Jane is going to check on him and make sure he has food and fresh water, but she probably won't touch the thermostat.  The other factor is that I'm on call this weekend and will be at the frat house Friday through Monday.  So I decided to come home and make sure everything was in order.  This forecast is supposed to last into this evening so I'll not make the same mistake twice; I'll extend my stay at the frat house to Thurs. thru Mon.  Of course I still have to get there this morning!

So then, I'd better get a move on; wish me luck !!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Awake at 0200.  Not unusual.  Woke up thinking about mankind and his place in the universe.  This is not the first time my mind has followed this train of thought, but the interesting thing is how it persisted over the next hour while slipping in and out of slumberville.  I resolved that if the idea could persist for another half hour through my work-out then I'd make it the topic of today's blog post.  It's 0500 now and time to shower and make ready to depart for the shop. 

Our bodies are covered with germs and unless we get a breakdown in our skin's defense system they do what ever they are designed to do and no harm comes to us the organism.  Man in his infinite ego, although I suspect that Strep and Pseudomonas aeruginosa  have equally high regard for themselves, thinks he is here on this planet for some higher purpose; a creation of some higher power for some grandiose purpose.  Perhaps that is true but I suspect that we are just one of many cogs in the universe's wheel.

In essence I'm inclined to believe that we, mankind, are but a germ on the entity we call earth and the earth is a germ in the wider cosmos of the universe and so on up the line.  Everything has a purpose and when the defenses are breached catastrophe is in the making;  think strep infection, psuedomonas blood poisoning etc., etc..

That's it.  Extrapolation only brings me back to the same conclusions.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Better late than............

Okay, admit it; you thought, Aha, he missed one.  Already he's slacking off only 10 days into the year and he can't come up with a blog post.  Well sir, you've every right to jump to that conclusion, but this time your wrong.  I was on call last night and when I have a call day during the week I don't take my computer to the frat house with me and blogging from my phone is too arduous a task.  I'm late to the page today for sure; 13 hours or so to be inexact, but here never-the-less.
My dad was a writer wanna be like me or is it me being like him, which ever,  He  only left behind those scraps of writing that he transferred from his head to paper.  Too bad, 'cause I believe he had plenty of good things to convey.  I'm not so egotistical to think my writings, left to posterity, will amount to anything but I don't want my children or grand children to come looking for what dad or grandpa had to say about this and that and come up empty handed.  I'm egotistical but not that egotistical.

Whether it's worth reading or not I've promised myself to come here and write something everyday.  I'll fail, it's the way of things, but I'll do better than last year 'cause this year I'm willing to write drivel and be done with it.

Good writers, (good meaning published, I earn a living from putting words out there for others to spend time looking at, good) write drivel.  How do I know?  Well I take their word for it.  That's the kind of guy I am;  I'll believe you 'til I catch you in a lie.  Then  I'll never believe you again, or almost never.  The point?  Good writers tell you that they write shit but they never show you, or if they do, not often enough for me to have seen any of it_--------- _ tired of reading this yet?

10 days into the first month of the new year and I can say I'm so far totally unimpressed with my new desk calendar; The calendar of AWESOME.
Tomorrow's awesomeness reads: "Wearing the shoes you just bought out of the store
Sometimes those old ratty sandals need to get buried.  When sidewalk steps rattle your spine and walking to the store gives you severe Blackfoot, it's time to go shopping.
Next time you slide on that fresh new pair in the store, just pause for a second and look wistfully at the broken, smooth-soled flat ones in your hand.  So many rainy nights, so many deck parties, so many trips for gas.
Fight tears and steady your lip as you stare the teenage cashier square in the eye and say:
"Do you guys have a garbage can?"
Come on, are you kidding me? Awesome? I don't think so.  On the other hand:  If this shit can get published then maybe there's hope for me.... Yeah, Fuck Yeah!!!!!!

By-the-way:  old worn out shoes, what else spells comfort like old worn out shoes?

CU2morrow. GWATCDR.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Normal is change

Normal is now; not the way it was in 1963 and not the way it will be twenty years from now.  Normal sits within a set of parameters that are arbitrarily prescribed by ourselves per se, to fit today.

The weather, particularly the winters when I was growing up we're more severe than those we've experienced in the last 15 to 20 years.  So what is normal?  Between you and me normal can be the same, an arm's length, or a Continent apart.  When the weatherman says the day was unseasonably warm or cold or dry or rainy or whatever, he's referring to what is expected based on the recent past.

Normal is what lets us make sense of the world and gives us comfort in our day to day routine.  When the normal begins to vary, we become uneasy with the effort required to adapt to the New Norm.

The only thing normal is change and adapting to those changes is what manifests itself as survival.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

For Magpie # 99

All of my life
I pretended
To be
Someone I wasn't
Until who I
Became who I was
And who I was

Finding inspiration in Thin Air;

 Picking out a time slot to write that you can adhere to so that it will become a habit.  Test the waters they said: see how well you handle four or five hours of writing at one sitting!  Are you fucking shitting me?  Oh and they go on to say;  "You may find that only two hours a day works best for you."
Listen jerks, I like to write and I spend time everyday doing some writing.  Maybe I write for five minutes.  Maybe longer, but 4 or 5 hours/ not on your life.  You must enjoy writing prescriptions for failure.  Maybe that's all you have to do but I have a real job that reliably pays real money and a lot of it besides. Staying current in my profession requires a few hours study every week so I don't have a Michael Jackson catastrophe on my watch.  Not only that, I like to work out daily; you know, walk, run, lift weights, do push-ups and that sort of activity.  I don't need to do that everyday for 4 to 5 hours to become healthier, stronger, more fit than most people my age.... thank God, or I'd let that go by the wayside.  Habit you say?  Well I haven't missed many exercise sessions in the last 18 years; maybe a day here and there but otherwise I'm as regular as a bowel movement.  Oh and did I mention that I have an hour drive each way to work every day? And in that two hours I manage to listen to audio books to add to my reading. Eating takes up a couple hours a day and obviously I need more (6 - 7 hrs.) sleep every night than you do.  Shoveling snow, when necessary, takes an hour or more per session.  I contribute a large number of hours to my vegetable garden from May through October and like to kayak the rivers around my neighborhood a few hours at a go when I can find calm water and "free" time.  Add in time to socialize with family, friends and neighbors, travel to exotic places, and don't forget Facebook obligations and I'm at a loss for where you, dip-wad, think I'm going to find 4 or 5 hours a day to sit and write in order to make writing a habit.

Mornings are my most productive time and I attend to most of my non work related activity during those hours.  Recently I completed a course in Creative Nonfiction and wrote and revised  many pages of a memoir in the three months the course lasted.  For a final grade I had to submit 25 to 30 pages of a finished product plus critique 5 to 7 books assigned.  While I may have spent upwards to 2 hours at a session on a weekend day it was not a daily phenomenon.  I received  an A in that course and by your idiotic standard should have received an F.

Let me suggest that in your next revised edition in the chapter/page January 3rd you might rather suggest the following:  Pick a time of day that you can reliably spend 15 to 30 minutes a day devoted to writing, more if the spirit moves you and time permits.  The important thing here is to come to the page for some minutes everyday.  Don't set a goal so undoable as to undermine your resolution to write everyday.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Every Day

 Some time ago I bought a book.  I'm always buying books, Kindle editions and real paged in your hands tactile books, so what's the big deal?  The book I'm referring to for today's post is titled ; the daily WRITER by Fred White.
 It's a book with 366 meditations to help a would-be, wannabe writer, cultivate a productive and meaningful writing life.  366 makes sure you don't miss a day even in a leap year such as the current year.  The premise proffered by all who would advise would-be writers is to establish a habit of writing everyday.  I asked myself why there are so many books doling out the same advice. Every writer is looking for the golden key, the magic clue or clues to becoming the next Hemingway or Dan Brown.  I'd be satisfied to write like Wendell Berry.  And since the answer is too simple, new advisers spew out the same advice in their own renditions and make some pocket change by selling their book to those seeking the holy grail of writing.  Bottom line: write Every Day.

on page, oh wait; the pages aren't numbered per se.   Page January 2 is titled: contemplating art.  The assignment: contemplate a piece of art of your choice and then write a one page story in which you enter that piece of art.  And describe how you interact with your surroundings.
"Hello there passerby."
"excuse me, "
No, you're not losing your mind.  You can hear me because of your interest.  Yes. I saw you glancing at me multiple times and kibitzing with your paramour there beside you."

I ask Di. if she heard anything.  Giving me a puzzled look she says, "like what?"
"Nothing," I say, "I thought I heard someone talking."

"OK I'll play along. I think to myself."

"Do you know who I am?"

"I like that statue of David, Di., I say out loud.  "What do you think?"
"Yeah, I like it.  Let's go in and see how much they want for him."

"Smart girl you have there! You're right of course, I'm a knock off of Michelangelo's famous sculpture, David, in Florence, Italy."

"How come I hear you but my wife doesn't"

"I talk to everyone who passes by but most pass by without notice."

"I still don't understand," I think.

"Let me tell you a story.  In the year 1501 a 26 year old sculptor named Michelangelo was walking by a large piece of marble that had been partially chiseled by an earlier artist who, under the influence of the great Donatello, attempted to create a commissioned statue.  Later Antonio Rossilino was commissioned to take up the work but did not do so.  Michelangelo heard a voice speak to him from the block of marble.  It said, "Oh great artist to be, please free me from my marble tomb."  Michelangelo appealed to Operai to grant him the commission, which they did.  On Monday September 13, 1501 Michelangelo began the task of releasing the biblical hero,David from his marble tomb.  Of Course he was guided along by the voice of David, until  on 8 September 1504 The masterpiece was unveiled."

"That's a pretty fantastical story, all the same, and talking marble figures is a little hard to fathom."

"All the same, you are hearing my voice.  Each replica of the David carries the ability to communicate with novice artists and offer to help them reach their potential."

"You think I'm an artist?" I laugh.

"The fact that you hear my voice is proof enough that an artist resides with in you.  Take me home with you and I'll be you mentor."

"Diane," I say to my wife who's talking with the salesman, "Let's buy the statue of David that's in the display window."

"The price is $46.95, but we can have it for $35.00 plus tax " Di tells me.

That was in 1967 and although well worn and chipped, David adorns my dresser still and admonishes me daily; write, write today, write now; write everyday.

"OK David, I'm on the page........................

"Uh Bob, Could you get the dust rag and  clean me up?"

Friday, January 06, 2012

Dreamstate while awake

 I've been a blogger for 69 months; since May 2006 and I'm wondering if I haven't exhausted my treasure chest of ideas, knowledge, and thoughts on erudite topics.  Probably not, but it does get harder to find something interesting to blog about.  This is especially true if when blogging or searching for a topic one is thinking about an audience.  If you step away from blogging for any amount of time, that is, fail to come to the page or fail to comment on other blogs, your following will diminish to Google searches, "next blog" searches and perhaps, occasionally, a family member or close friend will pop over to see if you've come out of your shell.  That's kind of freeing in a way; one feels freer to write anything, and everything that comes to mind and to hell with what "My readers" will like.  We'll see!

Dreams.  I've been dreaming of late.  Of late being the last couple of years or less.  "They" say that everybody dreams, but for the longest time of my adulthood I have little recollection of dreaming.  I mean that I've commented aloud at the time that I wonder why I don't dream.  I know dreams are forgotten within the first 5 minutes of awaking.  That's not what I mean.  I just never awakened with the knowledge of having dreamed anything.  It was different as a child.  I had all the requisite dreams about paralyzing fear and chase scenes, erotic dreams and nocturnal emissions and premonitory dreams especially about dead relatives or soon to be dead relatives.

Now once again I'm dreaming; nothing bizarre or unsettling, but actually the process if not the content is comforting in a way.  You know, that feeling that you've joined the click, that you're like everybody else.  Well any way that's where I'm at.  That said, back in the days of Poetry Thursday (a poetry (duh) blog)  I did awaken with a poem in my head, from time to time. that necessitated my quickly arising and writing it down first thing upon awaking.  That hasn't happened in a while.

This morning's dream scene in the waking moments was a beach, camp scene including my friend Leigh, and Katie and many assorted and unknown kids and the ocean and swimming and towels and well of course I've forgotten the the memory now but that's the gist of it.
Maybe I should come to the keyboard and immediately write my remembered awaking dreams.  Who cares; nobody will read it here and I'll feel freer to speak/write naturally.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Update on open window in winter

The story goes,
"I was in the apartment on Saturday to install a wi-fi for the computer and was cooking some pizza.  The oven started smoking.  I haven't used the oven in quite awhile so I don't know what happened.  Anyway, I opened the window to let the smoke out.

The window is not on the windward side so it shouldn't have been a problem."

Oh OK, minus 4 degrees F. and the open window is over a sink; no chance the pipes could freeze.


Speaking of cool; it's currently 27 degrees outside so I'm going out for a 2 mile walk.  No really!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Imagine my surprise........

I was on call last night for anesthesia and therefore stayed at the "Frat House."  The Frat House being the apartment that Dane, myself and Joe rent for the express purpose of having a place to stay when on call, since all 3 of us live too far away to take on-call from home.

The apartment can be empty for any number of days during a month when none of the three of us are on call.  To minimize the electric bill (the apartment has electric heat) we turn the thermostat down to 45 degrees when we leave in the morning.

With the influx of frigid temps to the area yesterday and projected into double digit below zero F. degrees last night, I expected the apartment to be on the coldish side when I arrived at 4 pm.  And indeed the thermometer inside read 52 degree.  I turned the thermostat up to 70 hoping that my bed would be warmer when bedtime rolled around.

I was washing a dirty bowl that I found in the sink and noticed that the window above the sink was open a good 6 to 8 inches.  If I recall correctly, none of the frat house denizens were on call over the holiday weekend so that the last time any of us were here in on call status would have been last Thursday.  We enjoyed some milder temps on New year's day but the rest of the 4 day weekend was pretty cold.  I hesitate to image what catastrophe might have ensued if no one had been on call last night.  "Frozen water pipes?"

I'm reminded of the situation a few months ago when I discovered that the oven had been left on at 350 degrees for in excess of three days.

I know who left the oven on and the same person was on call last Thursday. I'll mention the open window to him this morning at work and express my concern that with the apartment being unoccupied so frequently we must increase our efforts to make sure everything is copacetic before we leave.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Winter 's arrival

0330 and walking, still bleary eyed, to the backroom to feed kitty, I glance at the inside display of the inside/outside thermometer and see that the forecast from last night is right on; the temp outside registered 9.9 degrees F.

Debating whether to walk (that is walk 2 miles for exercise) outside and risk frost bite or to submit to the boredom of the Nordic Track or treadmill, I come to the keyboard to render my daily FB status report and to come here to blogger to practice write.

It's now 0424 and if I don't make my way to my garage gym is the next 6 minutes it'll be an outside excursion upon arrival at my work place.  So; ta ta.

Monday, January 02, 2012

What are you doing New Years; New Years Eve?

Di:  "rel, come here quick"!!!

Di is in the downstairs bathroom.  rel is sitting on the heat register in the adjacent living room.

rel:  "At my age quick doesn't compute.  What's the matter"?

Di:  "You're not going to be happy!"

Upon entering the bathroom my eyes follow the trajectory of her finger and I see a bulge in the ceiling of our recently remodeled bathroom and water is dripping down the wall and onto the storage cabinet.

Standing there, my mind awash in words and phrases not fit to print, Di says, "what are we going to do"?

I'm computing: Shut off the water to the upstairs bathroom.  Where is the shut off; is it in the cellar?  Did Willie leave the shutoffs in the laundry room during the renovation?  With due haste I make my way around the house to the laundry room and espy the shut off valves with bleeders and think OK good, but darn, OK I did say damn-it or some such superlative, the valves and bleeders were located behind the washer in the corner and nearly inaccessible.  But access  them I did and was able to shut off the valves and bleed the lines. 

Within the hour the bulge receded almost completely and by morning there was no longer any bulge.  Diane called the home of the contractor, who had done the renovation, and spoke to his wife and told her the situation.  She said she would tell her husband, when he returned, and have him call.  Di told her that we were going out to the neighbors for the evening and to have him call in the morning.

In retrospect it appears that we discovered the problem in its early stages.  My initial thought was a burst water pipe.  The puzzling thing about that, though, was that we've been through two winters prior to this one without problems and much colder temperatures then.

Willie came up the next morning and we trouble-shot the problem and found a small trickling leak where the water line feeds into the toilet reservoir.  Such a small leak failed to garner our notice he said because there was no accumulation of water on the floor.  Rather, the trickle just ran down the inlet hose and through the access hole in the  floor.

The good news is:  no frozen water pipes and minimal damage to the ceiling that willie says can be easily repaired when the leak area dries out.

A new toilet and pluming accoutrement's will be installed Wednesday.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Another year older........

I find the nice thing about New Year's celebrations is the sense of renewal; we get another chance to accomplish goals we didn't quite mange to finish, get to, or stay on task with in the previous 12 months.  Yup, every 365 days we can choose to recommit to whatever we want to..........

We pause here to remind the multitude of readers flocking to my blog for inspiration that this year you are given an extra day to get'r done;  2012 is a Leap year.

I went back to my New Year's 2011 post to see what pearls of wisdom I laid down and discovered that while I admitted that I don't often make New Year resolutions I recanted enough to resolve to make an effort to do a blog post everyday for the year 2011.  I did pretty well in January but even there I fell short of my goal. The year's posts declined more and more over the year and in fact I think Oct. got only a single post.  I claim no excuse; I was too lazy, period.  Now that said, I'll mention in my defense that I did put up a status update on Facebook everyday or pretty darn near so.  Also, I signed up for, and took to completion, a college course at the Empire State College without walls, in creative nonfiction.  So from September through the middle of December I did in fact do a pile of writing, reading and revising.  And the payoff was an A in the course.  Yes I neglected my blog but not my writing.

 In years of my youth I was believer, or want to be believer in magic, witchcraft, divination, hypnosis for less than upright purposes,  prophecy, and all related manner of slight of hand to include also astrology.  Even drifting away from those beliefs as age accumulated it's been nearly impossible to ignore the publicity and media attention given to the Mayan calendar's end, on 21 December 2012, as meaning the END.

I'm 99% willing to pooh-pooh this and believe that life and time will go on and, God willing and the creek don't rise, me and mine will be here to celebrate Christmas 2012.


But what if it's true?  Lord o' mercy, if it is true what, alas will we do?   Well here's one thing that I'm 100% sure of; nobody gets outta here alive, and if we're all going to leave on the same day; well that calls for a celebration, don't you agree.  So I propose that we suspend all unkindness, personal and world wide, for one year or as close to that as is possible given the dire prediction.  Suspend all war and hostilities, all murder, mayhem, rape, and slaughter of populations.  Lay aside, Just for one year, come-on you can do it for one year; all avarice,  wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.  Let's be a little more loving and charitable for 365 days, then, heck, we can go back to our mean and selfish ways.  Whatta ya say?  Willing to give it a try?   I mean, everybody says how fast the year went by.... Hell, we're all gonna die together anyway, so why not?

 With that in mind, here are my resolutions for 2012:
  1. Be kinder to everyone but especially to those closest to me.
  2. Think positively more, cynically less.
  3. write
  4. read
  5. reduce my calorie intake
  6. continue my exercise regimen and try to stay on task with out excuse.
  7. Lend a helping hand before being asked.

What are your resolutions for this end of the world leap year?