Blog Archives

Grammar Police

Grammar Police

Sometimes my inner editor really needs to take a back seat…

Unexpected Recognition

This news won’t come as any surprise to my Facebook followers (where this blog has an autofeed) but it is still worth sharing here. A couple weeks ago, motivated by some friends on Twitter, I decided to chase a dream to get involved in social work – officially.

In the past, I used to counsel and mentor runaway youths, then moved on to working with parent-child dynamics and on to battered women. I had gone through the ordination process to become a non-denominational minister to back the services I was providing.  Years of doing this however had left me emotionally drained. It became very hard to remain compassionate while staying emotionally detached from the cases and I had to step away.

In speaking with a friend recently, he pointed out a link to two things I enjoyed: helping others and doing research on just about everything. This led me to start a project called Helping Hands Community Research. The propose of this project is to assist people in finding local resources when they are in need – things like food pantries, clothing, financial assistance, etc. – as these sources are often difficult to locate. Since the inception of HHCR, I’ve gotten numerous requests through the website thanks to friends helping spread the word of it via social media.

What has me excited today is that I got a call from CASTLE, a local family services non-profit, who heard about my project and asked that I meet with them in person to give them more information on it. They said it sounded like something that was in line with what they do and would like to try to fit it in as a part of their family services programs.

This… has blown me away. Never before have I been this recognized for anything I’ve done and this presents a huge opportunity for me to really get involved in community service with other local organizations supporting my cause. I’m just amazed! I meet with CASTLE Friday afternoon and am so excited to be able to discuss the project at length and drum up some support.

In the short run, I do hope this becomes a networking opportunity toward actual paid work as I remain unemployed and looking daily, but in the end, just knowing I have done some good here, created something worth being supported – that just makes me so happy. As always, I am here to serve.

PerBlog April 10, 2013

Trying to come up with some radical new idea (ok, maybe “radical” in this day and age was a bad term) – a BIG new idea for research for my next FME article.  With everything happening in the news, I should not be at a loss for a topic, however my fear is that I will just come across as repeating the same news we’ve been hearing every day.  What would YOU like to read about, or hear a fresh view on?  Tell me in the comments!

Just to drop an update on myself, ever since my boss passed away on December 28th and the company subsequently closed on January 2, I have been seeking work.  For 3 1/2 months, I have been living on my tax return and the grace of friends and charity however that is all running out quickly.  If I don’t find viable work *this month* I will be facing very dire circumstances.  

The stress of this has caused my blood pressure to shoot up as the worry is constantly there, 24/7, and I have rarely been able to sleep at night for the past couple months.  A week and a half ago, I ended up having to break down and go to the doctor with the joints in my right wrist severely inflamed – I was unable to move my wrist, hand or fingers at all.  The wrist was treated and cleared up in a matter of days with a brace and a prescription anti-inflammatory but we still don’t know the cause of it.  X-rays showed no fracture, blood tests showed no elevated uric acid and therefore no possibility of gout, and the doctor also ruled out arthritis.  It remains an excruciating mystery but at least I have leftover meds to treat it should it recur. 

While at that doctor visit, whereas the wrist was treated quickly enough, the focus of the visit quickly turned to my blood pressure when my vitals were taken.  Back to that – my BP was 210/140.  YIKES!  The doc immediately gave me a Clonidine and told me to go to the emergency room however if you’ve ever read my previous post about Lawnwood Regional, you’ll understand why I was loathe to even consider stopping in there.  In the end, I did not go to the ER, taking the prescription for Clonidine and hoping that would start to lower my numbers.

Like an idiot, I started right in on the full prescribed dose.  Had I remembered the problems I had when starting on another BP med several years ago (heart rate below 60, fainting, inability to walk more than a few feet without severe difficulty in breathing), I would have started small and worked my way up to the full dose.  The first 3 days of full-dosing this time, same thing.  I was fainting, could barely breathe due to very slow heart rate, and (thankfully this was over the weekend) was barely able to stay awake for more than a couple hours at a time.  My thinking and reaction times were very slow so driving anywhere was NOT an option.  By that Monday, I was vomiting and fainting and I stopped the med completely (another stupid thing, but I did consider how my BP would shoot up in doing so). I called my doctor and told him I *have* to do this my way.  By stepping the dose up slowly over the next few days, I was fine on the prescribed dose.  Hitting my system all at once though is something my body just couldn’t handle.  

In taking my BP every couple days over a week and a half, I saw the numbers were going down but not nearly enough.  I called the doc and reported the latest readings and he still *insisted* that I go to the ER.  It was either that or drop another $60 at his office to be seen for another reading and a dose adjustment.  I did not have $60, I’d just dropped my entire unemployment check at his office at the initial visit, so this time I had no choice – I had to go to Lawnwood. 

Checking into the ER, my initial reading put the staff on alert:  240/120 – Hypertensive Crisis.  The previous afternoon’s reading was around 203/116 – I am willing to bet that just the thought of having to go to this hospital spiked it.  Immediately, I was in a bed hooked up to a monitor, getting about a dozen vials of blood drawn, the works.  The odd thing is, I *felt* fine, but this is why they call hypertension “The Silent Killer.”  They ended up doing a chest X-ray on me and an EKG.  Bloodwork came up clear, X-ray came up clear, I don’t know what the EKG said.  After receiving additional medication, 3 hours later my BP had reduced to 174/91 – the lowest it’s been since this whole ordeal started.  That was enough for them to discharge me with two new medications in a combo pill to be added to my original one.  

Because of the urgency in getting those numbers down to stay, I have gone headfirst into the full dose of the new med(s).  Since I lack a way of checking my BP at home (can not afford a home device), I have to go to a pharmacy or a fire station to get it checked for free.  Driving right now is not an option, so it’ll have to wait until my head clears from the new med.  What a headache this has all been, especially thinking of all the medical bills when I’m trying to survive on a tiny unemployment check that pays my rent but nothing else 😦

 

Evo-Creationism (Or “When Good Threads Go Bad”)

So I’m just going to drop this thread straight into this blog post – it’s too entertaining to edit (save for removing some names to protect privacy).  In a nutshell, I watched the videos of the meteorite exploding over Russia this morning and immediately thought of North Korea’s nuclear threats because it literally looked – and sounded – like a bomb going off when the meteor broke up upon atmospheric entry.  So I made a quick quip onto my Facebook wall.  Then a friend of mine – well, an ex-friend now apparently – decided to add his own twist to my words a few responses in and that sparked a huge debate over God vs Science.  Actually, it wasn’t much of a debate.  Once I dug my heels in, he went and un-friended me.  That’s fine.  It was like trying to explain to Schrödinger’s cat directly why it was dead.

North Korea got nothin’ on that Russian meteorite…
Like ·  · Promote · Share
  • GRB Imagine if it landed in YOUR city.
  • Heather Noel It would be a welcome wipe-out.
    6 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Heather Noel I think God just needs to get rid of this world and start over. Again.
    5 hours ago · Like · 1
  • GRB It’s easier to blame a higher being instead of doing ones best to be better people.

    Also, I’m not sure what this discussion is involving into.
  • Heather Noel Well, no blame was mentioned by me so I’m not sure you’re following the discussion.
  • GRB Hey, you’re the one who started to get all apocalyptic here.
  • Heather Noel Wasn’t anything remotely about “blaming a higher power” though.
  • GRB “I think God just needs to get rid of this world and start over. Again.” ?
  • Heather Noel What about it?
  • Heather Noel Do I need to post the story of Noah and the great flood?
  • Heather Noel God got tired of the world, wiped it out and started over. That isn’t “blame,” that’s Bible.
  • Heather Noel Just saying, we could use another clean slate.
  • GRB Yeah, cause, y’know, that happened.
  • Heather Noel Yeah, cause, y’know, there is hard geological evidence that it did.
  • GRB And a man built a giant boat with hundreds of animals inside of it.
  • Heather Noel There are at least 18 occurrences of evidence of either massive flooding and erosion, extremely rapid layering of strata, or direct evidence of a Worldwide Flood. Such evidences are found in numerous places on virtually every Continent. Reference:  http://www.earthage.org/EarthOldorYoung/scientific_evidence_for_a_worldwide_flood.htm And if you want to get into a “discussion” about the translation of time as pertains to Creation vs Science as it pertains here, I offer 2 Peter 3:8 “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” and Psalm 90:4 “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”
  • Heather Noel God and Science DO coincide. It’s just that most of us little glorified apes lack the mental capacity to make the comparisons in conjunction with thousands of retranslations of the original works put to scroll in an attempt to try to correlate something we then had no way of understanding to the research that we do have the ability to do now to get a real, scientific understanding of what was written so long ago.
  • Heather Noel So let’s do the math, we have Creationist theory that man (as we know him) was created only 6,000 years ago, yet the Bible gives us a ratio of 1000:1, so if we take that 6000 Creational years time the 1000 represented years there’s 6,000,000 years and what? First human ancestor walks upright: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080320183657.htm  Now let’s take that biblical day:year ratio of 1:1000. Using God’s logic…1=1000. Let’s go out on a limb and say the earth is biblically 10,000 yrs old. That would be 3,650,000 days. 3,650,000 X 1000=3.65 billion years. Pretty darned close to that of which science is presently aware and can measure.

    www.sciencedaily.com

    A shape comparison of the most complete fossil femur (thigh bone) of one of the …See More
  • Heather Noel LOL He actually un-friended me for standing my ground. Weak.
    2 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Heather Noel Sad part is I was defending his scientific viewpoint as well as my own religious viewpoint… oh well. Small minds.
  • BB what a jerk, they expect you to understand their atheistic and scientific beliefs but whoa nelly if you pull the God card lol. i agree hun. i’m a Christian-esque person myself and believe god should start over. if you’re another religion, your god should start over and if you atheist, then the earth needs to start over  just wish we didn’t have to worry about your little girl and my niece.
  • Heather Noel Thing with me is, I pull the God card and the Science card in the same debate and show how they work together and then people REALLY go “whoa!” …Annnnnnnd usually just run away like that. Why are we so afraid of different theories?
  • Heather Noel Oh wait – I remember now: The quest for knowledge is what got Eve in trouble and cursed all of humankind forever.
    Fun Stuff.

Taking Back The Quiet

Good Sunday morning to you all 🙂

Never underestimate the rejuvenating benefits of just sleeping in.  Looking for a full time job has been a full time job in itself, as has been catching up on housework (starting my Spring Cleaning early while I have the time).  So this morning I wanted a break and didn’t turn my alarm on, just woke up when the body wanted to.  Fed the fur-kids, played out back with the dog a bit, made myself a little breakfast and took my oatmeal, coffee and Kindle out to the front porch to just read the news and relax at my own pace.  Came back in, washed the breakfast dishes and lit some incense to settle in at Ol’ Reliable (my 10-year old dinosaur of a computer) to just… write 🙂  

Unfortunely, sleeping in did mean that I missed a very early message from a friend inviting me to breakfast (Sorry Alyn!) but I’m hoping I can see him later today since thanks to a foot injury (I’m a clutz), I ended up missing out on the reef volunteer work yesterday.  The poor foot is still quite swollen and red and there isn’t a whole lot of movement in the outer toes.  That happens when you somehow dislocate a toe.. then drop the edge of a desk on it that you’re relocating to a different room, THEN end up inadvertently kicking the corner of the bed that you’re balancing to make.  Tellin’ ya.. I need to start wearing steel-toed shoes wherever I go.  This foot has exactly three days to heal up proper though – at least enough for me to get decent shoes on – as I have two interviews coming up this week Wednesday and Thursday.  Flip flops or fluffy slippers are NOT a viable option!  (Actually, even the flip flops hurt at this point.)

So that’s my morning, as boring as it is.  The dog snoring under my desk chair has the right idea.  But you know… sometimes “boring” is a good thing.  No drama, no rushing… yes please 🙂

Oregon City and Newtown

This past Tuesday, someone very close to me sent me the following text:

“No idea what’s going on but Clackamas Town Center is literally surrounded by police w/medical and fire on hand en masse.”  4:02 PM PST Dec 11

He was right there, trying to get through the chaos, texting me as it happened:

“Units still arriving, all agencies, well over 100.” 4:03 PM PST Dec 11

I’m pacing at this point, wondering what the hell is happening.  He’s in Oregon City, I’m 3500 miles away in Florida and helpless to do anything to follow my first instinct to get him out of there (not that he’d have needed my help, that’s just the way I am).  Dreading what I’d see, I turned on the news…

http://www.oregonlive.com/milwaukie/index.ssf/2012/12/masked_gunman_unleasheas_fusil.html

http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2012/12/live_updates_on_clackamas_town.html

http://www.koinlocal6.com/content/breaking/story/Suspected-gunman-among-3-killed-in-Clackamas-Town/b56vE1pNmEWgkRmcWwejkw.cspx

This was hitting way too close to home as someone I love was THERE.

Then Friday… Newtown, CT… I could not believe what I was hearing as I was listening to the reports coming in on NPR.  As the count rose of all the children senselessly taken from this quiet community at a place where they are supposed to be safe, all I could think of was my daughter.  She was at school here and at that moment all I wanted to do was hold her, protect her, from anything and everything.  But that’s impossible.

We are coming into a time where people are becoming so desperate that they are more and more often resorting to more violent means of crying out for help, for getting their points across.  Only two emotions can remain after such attacks in our own communities: Anger and Fear.  The anger will only progress into rage and more calculated killings.  The fear can only drive innocent people away from public places, into their homes afraid to go out in public anymore.  No place is immune from someone snapping and opening fire.  Temples, churches, schools, malls… I think if we really come together as communities and pay attention to what is happening around us, pay attention to the signs that others are giving, we may be able to prevent some future attacks from occurring.  If we can catch warning signs earlier that someone is hurting, perhaps we can direct them to help, or get help to them.  I don’t know – I don’t think anyone does.  There is no one solution to the growing problem and definitely no easy one.  I do think however we can all start by caring a little more, reaching out, pulling together.  We are our brothers’ keepers.

Topics Today: The Future Of Print Media

Topics Today: The Future Of Print Media

As my Kindle Fire and I approach our one-year anniversary of being together, I become aware of how dependent on the device I really am and how much it has come to mean in my daily life. I received the Kindle Fire as a birthday present last year and first thought, “Now this is a neat new toy.” Little did I realize how streamlined such a tiny tablet could make my daily routine.

At the bottom of the home screen on my virtual shelves of favorites, my mornings and evenings are lined up for quick access. I check and reply to my e-mail, check my calendar, the weather, local and national news, play a couple rounds of a popular word puzzle game, and finally check my Facebook and Twitter feeds for messages or anything else of importance. Within a few minutes, I have all the information I need to get on with my day. Repeat the same process at night, and then settle in with the next few chapters of whatever book I’m currently reading. During the day, I even use it to take hand-written notes on schedule changes, class and work notes, to-do lists, story or article ideas, etc. After a year of daily use, I still go to bed amazed that all this is at my fingertips, instantly available.

Maybe it is because I grew up in the 70s and 80s accustomed to going out to retrieve the newspaper every morning from the lawn, looking forward to magazines in the mail, reading comics on Sundays and clipping coupons with my mother. The faster technology grows, the harder it seems to be to let go of such deeply rooted habits that formed before such things even existed. Those of us in our 30s and 40s however seem to be finally – slowly – giving in to the conveniences that digital media offers. As we find we have less personal time than in years past and a higher demand for instant information, we are starting to turn away from print media and opt for more advanced tools and resources. So where does the digital domain leave traditional print media? This is a topic of heavy discussion and concern that just keeps getting bigger.

A recent study also entitled “The Future Of Print Media” indicated that From 2007 to 2009 revenue change in newspaper publishing, including advertisement, sales and other sources of income decreased 30 percent in the United States, 21 percent in the United Kingdom, 20 percent in Greece and 10 percent in Germany (Boghani, 2012). This year the New Orleans Times-Picayune cut its newsroom staff practically in half and reduced its service to only three days a week (Carley, 2012). The same fate may loom for other print-run media such as The Recorder and the Orange County Register as well as other small papers across the nation as publishers continue to see interest and sales falling from an audience leaning toward obtaining their news digitally. Newsweek, a weekly paper launched in 1933 by Thomas J. C. Martyn, announced in October that beginning in January 2012 it will transition to all-digital (Boghani, 2012).

While some printed options disappear, others are determined to supplement their lost print revenue with digital revenue. The New York Times and The Washington Post have broadened their reach into the digital world while remaining in print. The Washington Post for example has experimented with the Trove recommendation engine (Ingram, 2012). The Facebook social reader has also become an option for expansion for media companies with the support and ability to explore other avenues to reach their readers.

As traditional readers age and technology advances, adaptation on the part of both publisher and consumer is the best compromise. Print media publishers must find new ways to reach an audience that increasingly demands digital content and readers will need to come to terms with the inevitable – that technology is progressing and changing the way we live. For younger generations, this transition from print to digital will likely be a non-issue as they have been raised in technologically advanced homes and classrooms. For the older generations, it may be a bit more difficult to acclimate to the new ways we have of getting our information.

References:

Boghani, P. (October 18, 2012). Print Media: Is It Globally Doomed? Retrieved November
11, 2012 from: http://www.cnbc.com/id/49471896/Print_Media_Is_it_Globally_Doomed

Carley, M. (July 3, 2012). The Future Of Print Media. Retrieved November 11, 2012 from:
http://www.recorderonline.com/articles/media-53261-newsroom-half.html

Ingram, M. (April 16, 2012). The Future Of Media: Many Small Pieces, Loosely Joined.
Retrieved November 11, 2012 from:
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-16/the-future-of-media-equals-many-small-pieces-loosely-joined