Tag Archives: a personal note

What’s with the Doctors?

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My wife needs medical treatment; but before you can get it, you’ve got to have a diagnosis. And that’s just what she hasn’t been able to get! Half a dozen tests, half a dozen lab reports, half a dozen visits to the doctor–and no diagnosis, no treatment plan. Just a lot of wasted time and money, and endless frustration.

We thought it might be just our doctor; but we have since heard from others (including Erlene, right here on this forum) that their doctors seem strangely averse to offering a diagnosis. And then, going online, we find the problem widespread throughout the country–you just can’t get a diagnosis! For example:


Go ahead. Search “Why won’t doctors diagnose” this or that disease? You’ll get so many hits, it’ll make your head spin.

Some of us are old enough to remember how, when you got sick, the doctor would come to your home (Doh! Really? The doctor came to see you?), looked you over carefully (pulse, stethoscope, eyes and ears, feel your joints), asked you what you were feeling–and then told you what was wrong with you, and what to do about it! And most of the time, he was right. That’s because doctors had plenty of experience, and because they knew how to listen to their patients. They didn’t just rely on tests and lab reports.

Something screwy’s going on in medicine. Maybe the medical schools aren’t teaching as they should. Maybe there’s way too much reliance on computers. Maybe there are too many lawsuits over wrong diagnoses. Or maybe the government has just plain meddled too much with healthcare. Or a combination of all those things.

A few years ago I had a doctor who knew how to do all those old-fashioned things, and did them–she called herself a “Swiss army knife-type doctor”–but she suddenly retired and now I wonder if she was the last one left.

‘My Enhanced Bio’ (2015)

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You name it, I’ve been there

I’ve been saving this post for a time when something just has to be done to pump up this blog’s readership; and that time is now.


You may think that this is all of my biography. You’d be wrong! I can invent more as needed. If certain presidential candidates can do it, then why not me?

I’d just like to think I do it better.

Dream or Vision? (Who Knows?)

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You know I make use of dreams when I’m writing a Bell Mountain novel.

The Wind from Heaven must be blowing for me, because here’s what I dreamed last night, which I will incorporate into the book as I write it.

It was one of those dreams in which you don’t know you’re dreaming because it starts out so mundane and ordinary. I dreamed it was night-time and I had to walk out to the curb to bring in the garbage cans. There seemed to be no traffic, no engine noise, out on Main Street–which should have tipped me off right there that I was dreaming.

The night was quiet and still, everybody’s lights were out… And as if from some great distance, I heard as it were the sound of many voices chanting:

“King Ozias! King Ozias! King Ozias!”

And just out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a great lion pass silently into the deeper shadows. It was Ozias, of course, who composed the sacred “Song of the Lion.” And it was Ozias, the last anointed king of Obann, who is the ancestor of the present king, Ryons–the first to hold the title “king of Obann” for some two thousand years.

I can hardly wait to get out there and write this into the story.

P.S.–If you missed earlier posts, The Wind from Heaven is the title of the new book I’ve just started writing.

‘ Mr. Nature’ (2013)

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I got named to this post without campaigning for it. All of a sudden there were people asking me questions about nature.


Now, how would I know what kind of a snake you’ve got in your garden, or how to discourage armadillos from hanging out under your porch? Well, most children, I think, are interested in animals and such. I know I was–and I never grew out of it. I’m still learning.

So, yeah, I’ll field your nature questions if I can…

Just call me Mr. Nature.

Lee the Liquidator

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People are always not asking me what it’s like to be a liquidator, a business I pursued for several years. “Easy Liquidators,” that was me.

You’d be amazed by how much surplus product there is, of all kinds–nothing wrong with it, but for some reason a company got stuck with it and just can’t move it. So there it sits in the warehouse, taking up space and reminding everybody there that business decisions sometimes turn out badly.

Sometimes it’s just poor timing. There is a time for selling Star Wars action figures, and a time to stop buying them because you can’t sell any more. Get the timing wrong, and presto! Four truckloads of Star Wars action figures.

Liquidators seek out this unwanted merchandise and find buyers for it. Okay, the buyer pays just pennies on the dollar; but by then the seller is more than happy just to get rid of it. If a deal is made, the liquidator gets a percentage.

Every now and then, I’d score. The very first day I tried it, I found a stockpile of assorted figurines at a warehouse right in my home town and a buyer just several miles down the road–and a $500 paycheck for me. I had a great time with Star Wars Cookies from Canada and Disney “Bug’s Life” books–made a year’s pay on each of those deals. Not that my year’s pay was all that large.

But mostly my deals were either small or not happening. The silver lining was that everybody always sent me samples, which had many different uses–as Christmas presents, stuff for my own use, items for Patty to sell at flea markets.

I met some good people who taught me a lot about the liquidating business, and about business in general–so I know, by observing the principle in action, “no profit, no business.” Socialists are hopelessly wrong about that. Indeed, unless you can grow your profits beyond a certain percentage–beyond 50%, usually–you’re just treading water. Working your butt off to get nowhere.

And I met a couple bums and shysters, too.

I don’t do it anymore because all I ever wanted to be was a writer and besides, I wasn’t all that good at liquidating. But oh–those quality cigars! Twenty-five boxes of free samples. Neither the seller nor the buyer–I had an eager buyer–nor I knew you needed a special license to move tobacco products. So I was stuck with hundreds of high-quality cigars that I hadn’t had to pay for and that Mr. Ramos didn’t want back. Months and months of pleasure!

It kind of made up for the trunkful of hospital johnny-coats that I couldn’t sell to anyone.

An Obann Moment–for Me

Yesterday, before noon, in broad daylight, I was sitting in my chair outside, relaxing with a crossword puzzle, when I sensed something moving right beside me. For a moment I thought it was a big dog; but when I turned my head, I saw it was a deer. She jogged right past me, almost close enough to touch, and disappeared around the far corner of the building.

She didn’t make a sound, and was so light on her feet that she appeared to be floating on the air.

A minute later my neighbor came walking up, from the same direction as the deer.

“Did you see the deer that passed here, just a minute ago?” I asked.

“I followed it into the parking lot,” he said. “Just before that, it was following a woman who was walking her dog. I heard her say to the dog, ‘We’ve got to walk faster.'”

To me it was a special moment–an Obann moment, if you will. If you’ve been reading my books, you know there are a lot of strange animals moving into that country, sent by God from parts unknown. A deer in your yard, here in the Jersey suburbs, is almost as unusual a sight as the knuckle-bears in Lintum Forest. Almost like the stories I’ve been telling come to life.

I won’t forget it. Thank you, Lord–I take it as a sign that you know my work and have blessed it.

I Self-Identify as… Hercules?

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I’m wondering if this is the picture I should have posted as me. After all, this is the great age of “identifying” as something you’re not. I mean, people looking at the real photo that I posted yesterday, and saying I sort of look like Obst–well, gee whiz, Obst would look at me and call me “sonny”!

Of course, if I’m trying to get people to think of me as a Steve Reeves look-alike, I’ll have to avoid TV appearances and celebrity dinners. I’ve successfully done that, so far.

Steve Reeves, by the way, was a great guy. Years ago, Patty mailed him her copy of his book on power-walking, asking for an autograph. He not only signed it for her, but threw in a casual photo out of his own collection–not a publicity shot, but a personal photo. He didn’t have to do that, and it was much appreciated.

Once for her birthday I sent a photo of Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, one of her favorite players, to Ozzie, care of the St. Louis Cardinals, asking him to autograph it. I allowed several months for that, but he signed the picture and sent it back in just a few days. Ozzie, you, too, are a good guy!

Not as Cute as a Quokka

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Well, Weavingword, you asked for it, so here it is–it’s me, at work. Writing The Wind From Heaven. I’m on Chapter 2. I have a long way to go, to catch Violet Crepuscular.

Pattytook the picture and somehow managed to get it into WordPress Media, or whatever it’s called. I’m sorry you can’t quite see my yellow legal pad, but them’s the breaks. We’re new at this.

And now I’ve got to finish Joe Collidge and see if I can capture a bit more book-writing time.

A Bit of Progress

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Under threat of rain, I managed to get outside today and finish writing the first chapter of The Wind from Heaven. Boy, I’ve sure got a lot of characters whose stories I have to pick up where they left off. May my work be fruitful in your service, Lord.

With my car’s brakes finally fixed, I was going to go to Keyport today and get us a nice seafood supper from the Keyport Fishery. But there are thunderstorms in the forecast, and I really don’t want to be on the Parkway in a heavy rain. I know what’ll happen. If I go, it’ll rain. If I don’t, it won’t–and I’ll feel like a right dicky-doo-dah.

You may have noted that I’ve avoided commenting on our nation’s absurd politics lately. You don’t need me for that; everybody else is doing it. The Democrat Party is like a giant bug that clings to our legs, sucks our blood, and trips us. It must be put out of business–forever. Nuff said.

Went for a bike ride, but had to turn back because raindrops kept falling on my head.

Oh, well, I guess I’ll have to put off the Fishery till next week. Better safe than sorry.

P.S.–We have just received our sample ballot for this year’s primary elections. There are no Republicans on the ballot. No one to vote for. *Sigh*

Ghaaa! (Frustration)

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I don’t have a piano, otherwise I’d be chewing the keys.

I wanted to go outside and work on my brand-new book today, The Wind from Heaven–and it’s raining. Like, it’s always raining. So instead I tackled my Newswithviews column, hoping the rain would stop by the time I finished it: but I have, and it hasn’t.

Why not just put the computer out of the way and write indoors?

Because I can’t write fiction indoors. Haven’t done it for ten years, at least. The phone rings, this happens half a dozen times a day, and it’s either nobody at all or else a fatzing robot pretending to be human and trying to get money out of me. I just can’t do that kind of writing indoors anymore. I need the trees and the sky.

Well, find some other tasks to do…

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