Friday, May 28, 2010

1000 down. More to follow.

I awoke at 1:35am this morning to wicked, wicked lightning outside my window. Safe in my apartment, I closed the blind in my bedroom as if plastic slats would protect me from a strike (perception may be all). Nature is expending a lot of energy; reminding us humans that we are not in charge.

I started this blog a year ago, the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, 2009. We are still at war. The news says that we (the U.S.) have reached the 1000-death level in Afghanistan. The dying continues. Our soldiers are still in the midst of man-made lightning on foreign soil and aiding in the midst of disasters on the home-front.

I offer my humble gratitude for, and pride in, the past, present and future service of our armed forces and the families & friends who support them.

God bless the USA.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Incident highlights irony and time ticks on

Had a bit of excitement at the infusion center yesterday. One of the nurses had just hung a bottle of chemo for a fellow patient. When she attached the tube mechanism to the bottle the assembly split and the medication started spilling onto the floor. She managed to flip the bottle before it completely emptied. Thus began the haz-mat routine. They called to report the emergency spill and got out the haz-mat kit. The nurse was already wearing her glasses and had on gloves so she didn't need to put on the goggles and gloves from the kit. She donned the face mask, plastic full-body apron, and shoe covers. Out came the large yellow disposal bags for the towels used to wipe up the spill. A man from Security arrived; his attitude so low-key that I decided this was just a small blip on an otherwise dull shift for him. A man from Housekeeping came with the haz-mat disposal container, mop and signage to mark off the area. I commented to the patient how ironic it was that 'here we sit with needles injecting the poison (yes, that's what it is) directly into our blood streams but wiping it off the floor necessitated protective gear with attendant alerts.' The nurses also had to fill out a report giving the date and time of incident, chemical info, what it spilled onto (clothing, floor, etc.).

About seven or so years ago, my brother got our mother an inexpensive Timex watch with a large dial and big numbers to aid her in getting to programs and meals at the assisted-living facility where she lived. After she passed away four years ago, he gave the watch to me and I stowed it away. I was looking in the drawer a couple of days ago and noticed that it was still running... the second hand moving past the numbers, marking the march of time. John Cameron Swazey was was right ... "Timex takes a licking and keeps on ticking."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Celebrations, this, that, and the other

Yesterday, May 4, was my son's 40th birthday. His wife pulled off a successful surprise party for him last Saturday evening. The weather was wonderful, the food good and plentiful, the guests my sons friends and relatives. Not as many people came as she had hoped, but all there had a great time. The men got to talk about guy stuff; the women got to visit and share family lore and talk about girl stuff. The kids played, computed, watched movies on TV... all without any least, none the adults had to referee.
Yesterday was also the 3rd anniversary of my official diagnosis. (When one gets a call from the doctor's office about the results of a mammogram with the message that it is imperative that one return the call as soon as possible, a less than favorable diagnosis is not a big surprise.) I look forward to celebrating several more anniversaries of the day.

In a blog that I do for Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (subject to editing and rewriting by the Marketing Manger before being published), I mentioned a dream of a special garden with a gazebo. While going through a magazine in the Garden Library (I'm a volunteer in the Library most Tuesday afternoons) a couple of weeks ago, I saw a picture of the perfect garden house. Windows all around it and wonderful color. My first reaction was 'Wow!' My second was 'Wouldn't it be great to be in that house during a rain storm?' There is even a turntable available for it. (??)
You can check out my Garden blog at:
You can check out the garden house at:

On April 18th, Sunday Morning (CBS) did a piece on SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). They interviewed Jill Tarter. She was the inspiration for the character Jodie Foster played in one of my all-time favorite films, Contact. The search continues. SETI is still watching and listening. I've always wondered what kind of intelligence they are hoping to find. I assume they want a species that is smart enough to get here and communicate in a way we can understand. Stephen Hawkins has finally decided to agree with me...
He recently said: "If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans."

The Other...
Who knows if, or when, aliens may visit Earth. Then again, they may have already arrived and been here for awhile. By the way, has anyone seen my copy of How to Serve Man?