Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you and all yours are enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Now just remember, since this is a holiday....



;-)

...just sayin'

Friday, November 11, 2016

Another bout with crud

Looks like I had picked up another throat infection, sore throat all week, now it's getting into my lungs and losing my voice.
All this and I got a split shift tomorrow with Guardian...joy.
More later assuming I survive...LOL!

Happy Veteran's Day

A shout out to all our veterans who have served and protected our country.  Thanks for your service!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Yes have been a little behind

There's has been a lot of stuff going on of late and I haven't really had time to post updates on here.

Rest assured I will be back eventually once I get a handle on things.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 11, 2001

That day and the weeks to follow are ones I will not easily forget.  One of the most interesting and somewhat light-hearted moments were the various cartoons and memes that popped up on the Internet in the period that followed.  I had saved quite a few of them and am sharing some of them here.

All images are, for the record, copyrighted and credited to the original poster and/or authors.









Thursday, August 25, 2016

Back up and around

Well I managed to finally get rid of this bug I had, it was not real fun to start your vacation off with.

In the meantime, am still waiting to hear back from Guardian about my application, and I decided to apply with Uber for package delivery driving since the vehicle requirements are a little more forgiving.

More later...back to bed I go.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Laying low

Looks like I caught a nasty bug, throat is burning up, despite cough drops.  So been trying to rest and keep hydrated.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Another quiet Sunday

Been a busy week for me, the good news is that I did pass my written test and am now officially certified as an EMT.  Now I'm ready to go apply with the company I am interested in for part-time work and get that done.  Once I have gotten their intent to hire, I can then be licensed by the county health district to practice.

Been a decent weekend overall, nothing too exciting happening.  Spent last night and part of this morning watching the first three Jason Bourne movies (the ones with Matt Damon) and just chilled. Now I just need to be prepared for the coming work week.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Weekend musings

I went over to Pearson's testing center this morning and took the written test for EMT.  I am somewhat disturbed that it ended after I had only completed about 65-70 questions.  Since the national registry uses adaptive testing, this can either I did really good or did really bad.  I won't know for sure until I see the results on their site next week.  So am keeping fingers crossed.

To help keep my mind off of things, I went over and saw Star Trek Beyond at the theater, and overall it was a decent escapist flick to fill time on a Saturday.

Now for some other things, the issue I had noticed last week at Sense of Event's blog has also seemed to have hit others who use Blogger.com, namely The Silicon Graybeard's page.  Someone in Russia is definitely interested in what we all have to say, or something else a little more nefarious could be in the wind.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The home stretch

I got my authorization to test letter from NREMT, and I have scheduled my cognitive exam for this coming Saturday at 0800.  It's do or die time...

But I know I should do OK.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Some interesting stats

Saw this interesting post over at Sense of Event's blog, so that made me think to check my own blog stats...and found this real interesting (these are from the past week):


So I will just say this...

Привет нашим российским друзьям!

:-)

A successful day

As those who regularly follow my blog would know, I have been taking an online EMT course since January.  Today I had went and did my psychomotor (hands-on skills) testing, and I am proud to report that I had passed all the required stations.

Now this puts me a little bit closer to getting certified and able to be licensed.  Once NREMT gets confirmation from the training center, I will be able to go take the cognitive exam (written test, although nowadays it's computer-based) and then I can apply to the location I want to work at.

Good day overall, I feel fantastic about the outcome.

Friday, July 29, 2016

A sad occasion

Just found out the unfortunate news...please go here and pay your respects.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pizza and melons (VERY NSFW!)


>;)

Proposed body armor ban introduced in Congress

Yet another piece of illogic bursts forth from the den of congresscritters in D.C.  This excerpt from the article's ending really says it all about the insanity these days:

The logic of this bill is so askew that it wouldn’t be surprising if perhaps next they will try and pass a bill that outlaws hiding behind things while being shot at.
In a continuation of that logic, law enforcement could use the PR line; “ If you haven’t done anything wrong, why would you need to hide behind anything?”
Link to the article.  Also a view of the proposed bill here.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

My apologies

Haven't really attended to the blog lately, other matters have been holding my attention, such as finishing up my EMT training, general mishaps, and a little bit of mayhem.

Rest assured am doing well, and should be back to somewhat normal by next month.  For now, it will be on a 'when I can' basis.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Happy Birthday to me

Yep, am another year older, and hopefully am a little wiser today.

Now let's see what the next year brings...

As a quick side note, Wirecutter is celebrating his birthday today, so go over and wish him a good one.  Also, Divemedic's blog is starting his ninth year today as well.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Another fun day at the range

Headed over to the Clark County Shooting Complex to get my optic zeroed in.  Was very windy and not a whole lot of people there, but was still good times to be had.  Now that my optic is properly zeroed, my carbine should now work as I intend it to do, so long as I use decent ammo of course...LOL!

OK that's off my checklist of things to do, what's next...?

Day By Day membership drive

Day By Day is doing their annual fundraiser.  Come on by and chip in to support a web comic that is going strong for the 10th straight year!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

More thoughts on the Orlando attack

Peter offered this discussion in which he reinforces some of the essentials when dealing with a mass shooting event.

Divemedic and Nicki also offer their observations, while over at Sense of Events comes this real piece of work.

It appears to be confirmed that ISIS is now claiming credit for the attack, as reported here and also by CBS News.

There had been some statements made that hinted that ISIS would try to start something during the month of Ramadan, which had kicked off late last week.  Combined with the apprehension of another suspected assailant out in L.A., this makes for interesting times.

And I thought this was gonna be a quiet month...silly me!

More later, including my adventures doing the second clinical rotation this past Friday.

More nonsense from POTUS

I just found out from a friend about the massive shooting in Orlando, FL this morning, and have been watching various news outlets both on TV and online.  It looks like at this point that the (late) gunman had possible radical Islamic tendencies, although right now only Fox News is stating this, so I will hold judgement until the authorities get their ducks in a row.

What really annoyed me was the President's statement where he stated about halfway through that this tragedy was another example of the need for more gun control.  Typical...the anti-gun crowd never passes up an opportunity to use tragedy to push their agenda.

Meanwhile, my thoughts and sympathies are with the family of those who have lost their lives or have been injured by the shooter who is hopefully rotting in hell at this moment.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The clinicals

I mentioned in a previous post that I was doing the first of my two clinical rotations for my EMT course at Desert Springs.  I wanted to go into what had occurred there...

I showed up bright and early at 7 am, wearing the prescribed clothing (class polo shirt, dark blue slacks or pants, black shoes and belt is what was specified; I substituted my EMS pants for the slacks which was acceptable), and after the nurses and techs had their morning meeting, I was paired up with one of the ER techs, who then proceeded to give me the 50-cent tour of how the ER department was laid out and where things were.  Most of the morning was spent in restocking the supply carts which were adjacent to each bed and assisting the tech in bringing patients to their rooms from the ER once they have been admitted and stabilized.

This continued until just after 10 am, when we were advised that there was a 'code blue' inbound, meaning a patient in severe cardiac arrest or a similar life-threatening condition.  In this case it was the former.

We went out to meet the ambulance, and when the rear doors were opened, there was a firefighter paramedic performing CPR on the patient, with the ambulance paramedic bagging her through an endotracheal tube (ET tube for short).  They got her inside, CPR continuing along the way, to a bed, then they moved her to the bed from the gurney, and it was a crazy but organized process to get her wired up and start the process.  I wasn't the only student there, there was an additional EMT student from the same training center I was (different class), and a paramedic intern.  After an interval it was my turn to do CPR.  It wasn't really too much different from performing it on a mannequin, but what had unnerved me a bit was when I glanced over at the patient and saw her eyes were open and fixed, staring straight up.  I steadied myself, told myself 'just remember your training', and continued.

After about 2 minutes of so, I handed off CPR to the other EMT student, then stood back a bit to catch my breath and continued observing the process.  They had an IO line put in by the paramedics at the scene, but it wasn't sufficient to do continuous medication administration, but by the time they pumped various drugs in, including epinephrine, we managed to get a weak pulse and rhythm going, which got her stabilized.  The ER physician then established what is called a central line, a specialized IV going into the femoral vein at the upper part of the leg.  It allows medical staff to put in a regular IV and administer drugs to the patient more easily.  After that was done, most of us then moved away while a few continued their work on the patient.

Once that initial excitement was over, me and the tech went back to doing various tasks, then it was lunch time.  I left the ER and headed to the cafeteria for a decent lunch, resting off my feet for about an hour, then back to the ER I went.

Now, one thing to keep in mind that despite the earlier excitement, it was actually a pretty slow day in the ER there.  So slow in fact, that the tech I had been shadowing was given an early-out around just before 2 pm.  So I was paired up with another tech, and the afternoon was spent with assisting the other ER nurses with various tasks, cleaning and restocking, and patient moves.  By the time 7 pm came about, my feet were about to commit hari-kiri, my lower back was hurtin' for certain, and I was pretty wore out in general.  I managed to (barely) make it to the parking lot, pulled out, and headed home, stopping to eat dinner at Denny's along the way as I was in no shape or mood to even microwave dinner, let alone do regular cooking.

Overall, it was a very interesting experience.  I managed OK and got a decent write-up on my sign-off sheet, and I felt I was a little bit better prepared for the second rotation.  That one will be at a different hospital this coming Friday morning,  We shall see what transpires then...

A blog I am newly following

I came across Indignant Conservative Mom's blog via a link to another blog I regularly peruse, and have found it to be a very interesting read.

The blog is the creation of Danielle Hollars, an Army veteran, and happily married mom of 6 kids (check out her about me section for her family pic).  Her recent post regarding Trump as a potential CINC is definitely spot on, and another reason why I am sticking with the Libertarians this time around again.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Another legend goes away

Just found out Muhammad Ali had passed away tonight.  I remember how iconic a character he was when I was growing up in the 1970's and 80's.  May his soul rest in peace.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Getting down to it

Been a busy couple of days, working on class stuff, and I now have my first clinical rotation at Desert Springs Hospital in a couple of weeks, with the second required rotation either there, or maybe doing a ride along with AMR or Medicwest or perhaps North Las Vegas Fire, but we'll see how the first one goes, a description I will be posting here later on (with some details retracted or renamed of course, must make sure I stay within the privacy laws of course), and hoping it ends on a good note.

I haven't really mentioned much about how my shack in AZ is proceeding, but I now have just received the fiberglass mast sections today via FedEx.  I had thought about the vertical, but then after seeing an ad for an end-fed half-wave (EFHW) wire antenna at MyAntennas.com, and reading the reviews, I decided to go that route, since it has decent bandwidth on the bands I plan to use, and it should not require an antenna tuner to function.  Other than that, the only major hurdle to fix will be getting power to the shack, which I am continuing to work on.

Today I got the last shot for my hepatitis B vaccination at the health district, then decided to take in 'Captain America: Civil War' over at Green Valley Ranch this afternoon.  It was a pretty decent movie, with some surprising twists which should bode well for the upcoming films with Black Panther, Spider Man, and the rest of the bunch.

More to come later when I get a spare moment or three...

Thursday, May 5, 2016

To continue from earlier...

...it appears that my dad's bladder cancer has been licked.  He did his last chemo session earlier this week, and he will go for a follow-up visit with his oncologist next month to confirm none of the cancer remains.  Am hoping he will be able to get back on the road soon.

The weather has been slowly getting warmer, with occasional bouts of rain here and there for the last several weeks.

Getting back into the social issues, this whole mess about using the bathroom continues to occupy the thoughts of various groups, and I do tend to find the whole process wearisome.  I tend to agree with Divemedic's opinion on this.  While the need to protect children is of course important, women I believe do have some gumption to have the ability to express their displeasure to certain individuals who would use this newfound permission to play their own perverted games, and those same women will express themselves most eloquently and physically. :-)

Getting caught up

Been kinda remiss about updating the blog, but have had my hands full with personal, educational, and work matters, but now I think I am getting caught up.

On the election front here, looks like The Donald (as Trump was referred to years ago, not sure if he still is), is gonna be the definite Republican nominee for POTUS, while Hillary is of course the D's pick for President.

From what I see, they are both on the very extreme ends of the spectrum.  While Trump seems friendly to conservative and libertarian interests, I keep reminding myself of how things were near the end of the Weimar Republic in Germany.  Meanwhile, Hillary is definitely going to be an issue should she be elected.

Going the third-party route is being explored by Ted Cruz, but I don't think it would help matters. With some polls showing possible Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson pulling double-digits in the polls as a choice, any further muddling of the waters would make things seem like the 2000 election, where we didn't know for weeks who would be elected.

The current system in which the Electorial College winds up picking the winner is definitely in need of overhaul.  The popular vote has lost its meaning and to me now has zero influence on the election results.

More ranting and musing later once I get some sleep...

Saturday, April 9, 2016

History being made, SpaceX's Falcon 9 first stage makes first successful landing





That is just awesome, despite some naysayers stating it was fake (check out the comments on the video on YouTube), and even better that Bigelow Aerospace's payload will get to the ISS.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Thoughts on the current election climate

To me there just seems to be a lot of hypocrisy, hyperbole, and hysteria surrounding the election this cycle.

Donald Trump is most definitely a polarizing influence on the Republican side, one that makes most liberals apoplectic and sputtering in fury.  Even the mere chalking of his name on a college campus has sent the students scrambling for their so-called 'safe zones' and possible rumblings of further unrest.

Ted Cruz I personally like, but his baggage regarding his place of birth (he was born in Canada of an American mother and Cuban father), would no doubt hinder his chances of getting the nomination.

On the Democratic-slash-Socialist side, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are scary choices for all the wrong reasons.  Clinton for her seemingly cavalier way that she seems to approach obeying the law, and Sanders for his 'bread and circuses' approach to tackling economic and social problems.

I am looking forward to seeing if the Libertarians decide to renominate former governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson for their candidate for President.  In 2012, Johnson and his running mate managed to garner 1% of the popular vote, the best showing to date for a Libertarian Party candidate.  Although a long shot, further success would help with winning offices at the state and local level and make the Libertarians a more attractive choice to help break the deadlock between the two major parties.

Overall, I expect this to be an interesting campaign season this time around.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

Hope everyone has a great Easter Sunday, and I sincerely hope that the folks in the rest of the country do not act like these worthless fools.

Friday, March 25, 2016

A very educational day

As readers may be aware, I am currently taking an EMT course online, with various lab sessions scheduled periodically to allow students to get hands-on practical experience to reinforce what we read in the textbook.  Today I was at EMS Training Center to do some lab time, and though I thought I would do some patient assessment practice, turns out they actually had some ambulance ops and gurney practice scheduled, which turned out to be a very educational afternoon for me.

I was sitting in with the EMT Advanced class, catching the tail end of their covering soft-tissue trauma injuries which I happened to just complete, so it was a good review of what I had studied.  After they broke for lunch, they then quickly went through the next chapter and then moved on to a presentation on the do's and don't of proper ambulance driving (even including GoPro footage of good and bad driving of an ambulance).  Then we all practiced on operating the Stryker gurney (or cot, whatever term you prefer) as shown here.

Then the real fun began, as we then went outside to practice loading and unloading from a Type II van ambulance similar to the one shown below:
We practiced first with the gurney unloaded, then one brave soul from the advanced EMT class volunteered to be the 'patient', and I got picked by him to be one of the two handlers.  And although the weight wasn't too bad (he weighed about 180 and the gurney is about another 100 lbs), it still took a lot out of me, which drove home the need to work on upper-body strength and cardio.

Overall it was a good day, and my instructor congratulated me on my overall progress.  I am about 2/3 of the way through the course, and I plan on doing the two 12-hour ER rotations sometime either in late April or early May. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Some very weird logic from the gun control bunch

I came across this interesting post on Facebook today:


At this point, I feel just like Riker does.

Just what planet do these folks come from??

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Black Tide Rising anthology is out!

Baen Books just released the long-awaited Black Tide Rising anthology.  View the reviews and sample chapters here.

I've already read through this twice, and I am really pleased on the selection of stories that they have included.
For those who want to explore the entire series, the books can be viewed here.

Monday, February 29, 2016

An interesting election analysis from DiveMedic

Confessions of a Street Pharmacist: My election prediction



He raises some good points.  I would be taking a close look at how Super Tuesday goes and see what happens.

I just love leap years...

...having an extra day to play around with is just excellent beyond measure.

Short week for me, gonna work tonight then am taking a couple of vacation days to chill and get more studying done.  Probably put in a trip down to Laughlin as well, since I got a free stay waiting to be used.

The weather is warming up nicely, supposed to be in the low 80's by the weekend.  Shame our pool is in the process of reconstruction, no ETA on completion yet that I am aware of...oh well.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Just a little bit of exaggeration by CNN (may be NSFW)

I came across this sensationalist headline on CNN this morning: "Mexican Journalist's naked, bound body found beside highway".

OK, understand, this is a horrific crime that has occurred, and the unfortunate deceased by the name of Anabel Flores Salazar was an obvious victim of the current lawlessness which is occurring down there.  But after deciding to do a little Googleing of her name and looking for photos, it appears that CNN decided on a little titillation for their viewers, since my curiosity was piqued by the verbiage which was used.

According to the article, "a woman's body had been found naked and bound, with her head wrapped in a plastic bag."  Well, they did get one out of two right, as the photo I found on Google Images does show her bound, but she was still mostly clothed, although she appeared to just have panties on from the waist down.
(image #2 from www.lapolitica.mx)
(image #3 from www.pen-international.org)

So as you can see, while the images are somewhat horrific, it is not as exciting as the headline puts it out to be.  I find it a shame that mainstream media has to stoop to such levels to attract readers hoping for some excitement out of such a tragic event.

This is yet another reason why I do not trust most all of the media and always try to get at least 2-3 different points of view on what is happening.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

A possible game-changer?

Just got home, launched the browser, and got a very nasty surprise.  US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died today.

Considering he was appointed by Reagan, was a true conservative, and was well-liked by the Republicans, this means potential opportunity for President Obama to add another lib-tard judge to the lineup as a replacement before he leaves office.  I'm sure he's rubbing his hands with sadistic glee right now.

Because if another left-leaning justice gets appointed, it could tip the balance on any potential cases which may come before it, such as Second Amendment rights, immigration, social and financial policy...it could get ugly.

Let's hope the Republican-majority in Congress can hold things off, but to be honest I am very worried about what could happen right now.

Pardon my blunt language...

...but if you have not had the opportunity to go see Deadpool, get the fuck off your lazy ass and get to the theater!!

Oh and make sure you stay through the credits ;-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ah, February...

...when it starts showing signs of warming up from the chilly weather we've been having, and the sun is rising earlier and earlier.

So far, things have been proceeding well on my life, despite some recent hiccups.  My coursework is proceeding apace, although some of the chapters including the one I am on (chapter 14 to be precise) have been some ball-busters.  If you are curious to see where I am at, you can try to locate a cheap copy of Brady's Emergency Care, 13th edition.  Amazon has it cheaper, but used ones tend to be scarce.  Turn to Chapter 14, 'The Secondary Assessment', and you too can marvel at the 50+ pages of reading I get to do!  :-)

This Friday me and my dad will head down to his property to haul some stuff down there from out of the garage, and we'll be purchasing a used gas stove to install in his mobile home.  Plus get a rundown on how things stand with the contractor and when he can get moved in.

I had been peripherally monitoring the caucuses and primaries for this year's contest, and looks like Trump and Sanders are taking an early lead.  Looks like the others are gonna need to regroup and get busy going into the primaries in South Carolina and here in Nevada this month.  Sad to say, since Nevada is a closed primary state, and I am registered as a Libertarian, I won't be voting.  But I am still waiting to see what will happen after the Libertarian Party does their convention this summer and find out who we pick for our nominee.

Some more fun to be had...oh joy!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Lost someone today

Earlier tonight my dad had got a call from my second cousin letting us know his wife had passed away.  She had suffered a massive heart attack on Wednesday, and though they did get her heart back to beating, she is no longer responding to stimuli, and her kids decided yesterday to pull the plug and let her go in peace.

She was a remarkable lady, who met my cousin when he was in prison and they did marry when he did get out (a singular achievement in Texas since death penalty convictions rarely get overturned, but it did and rightly so in his case.)  They had visited me and my folks several times, and I did visit her when I was moving back to Vegas from Vermont in 2004.


The first pic was me standing out by my truck that she taken with my camera, the next two were of her at her home in Mississippi.  I spent two days there just taking a breather and getting my bearings back from the mess of a sudden breakup and short-notice evac from a suddenly bad living situation.

They were hoping to come out to my dad's property in Arizona for a change of scenery, but of course now that isn't likely to happen.

I am feeling down about it now, but I am sure tomorrow it will pass and I will cherish her memory.

Monday, January 25, 2016

OK I guess I must be a degenerate

I was heartened and then repulsed by this story that the Air Force has told defense officials that airmen do have the capability of carrying open or concealed on base and that commanders have total discretion to authorize such activities.  That was a very welcome bit of news.

The repulsion came from the comment by the spokesman for the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence, who spewed this atrocious sentence from his piehole:

"Don't hold your breath waiting for them to embrace America's degenerate gun culture. They won't, and
thank God given the potential implications for national defense."


What the hell was that nonsense??  Are they trying to equate a right to defend yourself the same as unsavory behavior such as child abuse, kicking puppies and necrophilia??

Just totally unbelievable. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

Help out a good friend in need

One of my buddies up in Canada has an issue that needs taking care of, and I'm helping to spread the word.

His wife has a service dog named Veto, who is invaluable to her as he is able to alert to potential seizures from her.  Right now Veto is not well and needs treatment from the vet.  They have just about exhausted their savings and maxed out their credit cards, but they still need to raise about $3,000 to cover everything.

There is a GoFundMe campaign which has started to help raise the money.  Please try to chip in and help them out.

Just gotta love New York (warning NSFW video)

Came across this video someone posted on LiveLeak showing an older lady showing off her ample assets on the NYC subway.  That was a nice eye-opener let me tell ya ;-)



Mmmmmm...melons ;-)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

More fun and excitement (not!!)

This past week has gotten off to a decent start.  I am making decent progress with the online EMT course, with my objective of doing at least 2-3 chapters a week holding true so far (I'm working on chapter 7 which deals with pathophysiology, the study of how disease and trauma affect the body), and I'm pretty confident that things will go well as I proceed with the course.  The fun part will be when I do my 12-hour clinical rotations at the local ER or on an ambulance crew.

My dad's place down in Arizona is getting close to livable, with the sink and water heater now installed, with only a few more items left to do to make it ready for him to get moved in.  Ideally in another month or so, he'll be off my couch and situated down there.

Financially I'm a little tight this month, but after the first of next month things should smooth out better.

More to come later, stay tuned...

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Where I have been in my journeys

I came across this nifty tool that allows you to visually show where you have visited in the US.


Create Your Own Visited States Map


Most of the states I have visited when I made my journey to Vermont in 2003 and then moved back in 2004 after the relationship I was in blew up in my face.  Some states, such as North Carolina, Florida, and Minnesota I have flown directly to for work reasons (airline dangerous goods training in Minneapolis for Northwest Airlines and security training for US Airways in Charlotte, then field IT support in Jacksonville and Orlando when I was contracting for Eli Lilly & Co.), while others were for visiting friends in Illinois and Texas. 

Several bloggers including The Silicon Graybeard have used this map on their pages, so I decided to join in the fun.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Some more good reads are coming

The illustrious Peter Grant, aka the Bayou Renaissance Man, is getting a new volume of The Maxwell Saga ready to publish.  I know I had mentioned that I would review his previous works in the series, but for one reason or another I had not had a chance to do so.  Now I do and let me tell you, these books remind me a lot of the Heinlein juveniles such as Rocket Ship Galileo, The Rolling Stones, and Time for The Stars, but with a little more occasional coarse language and some titillating paragraphs which would have raised eyebrows and fists in the 1950's but not even bat an eyelash today.

The books tell the adventures of a young man from Earth, Steve Maxwell.  He is an orphan who desires very much to get away from the oppressive and regressive society of a future Earth and seek his fortunes among the stars to which the best and brightest of humanity have scattered.  Through a series of fortuitous events, he finds himself going from a spacer and shuttle pilot for a freighter, to joining the military of the Lancastran Commonwealth and moving through the ranks from enlisted to officer.  Along the way, he tangles with various villains from Chinese Tong to maniacal pirates to elements of fringe societies at the edge of explored space.

I found that there were very few slow points in any of the books, with enough background offered to help you fill in a very good picture of this future world, and enough action to whet the appetite and keeps you looking forward to what will happen next.  While this may not be totally appropriate for a pre-teen to read depending on your sensibilities, I think young people as well as older readers will enjoy this series.

The first four books of The Maxwell Saga, Take the Star Road, Ride the Rising Tide, Adapt and Overcome, and Stand Against the Storm, may be found here at Amazon, for a very good price for all four.  Please check them out for yourself, and I am sure you'll enjoy them as much as I have!

And it just keeps on coming

Now Powerball is at $1.5 billion, and fortunately yours truly has one more shot going into the drawing tonight.

First major thing to do should I win: change my F*ing phone numbers :-P

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Now it's just getting insane

Amazingly, nobody got the winning numbers for Powerball last night, so the jackpot is now going to be $1,300,000,000 or about $800,000,000 lump-sum.

If things aren't crazy before, they are gonna get even more so now.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Some interesting blog stats

Just happened to glance at my stats for the blog, and it's an interesting breakdown:




For those in Europe and Malaysia, I bid you guten tag, bonjour, hari yang baik,

and of course
хорошего дня for our Russian readers and/or spambots ;-)

New year, new headaches (and new threats?)

I had hoped that the new year would be good.  Unfortunately, on the personal side things totally went to shit.  I just hope things will get better and I plan on keeping busy.

On the brighter side, I start my online EMT training course on Monday.  This had surprised me because I wouldn't think this type of course would be offered given the strict requirements.  As it turns out, I still need to go attend lab sessions to practice all the practical skills for the psychromotor exam (the hands-on testing needed for national certification along with the written exam), plus do 2 12-hour clinical rotations at the local ER.  Once done, I plan on maybe doing some weekend work part time for one of the event EMS services, or I could try part-time with Medicwest or AMR.  Since that won't be until mid-summer before I complete the course and take the exams, I got plenty of time to consider things.

I just saw this story about a cop in Philly getting shot by some idiot saying he did it for the Islamic State.  Whether he actually did self-radicalize or just blowing smoke is hard to say, but it just drives home the fact that bad things can happen to anyone at any time.

Meanwhile, I noticed that Powerball is likely to be close to $1 billion dollars by the time the next drawing occurs on Saturday night.  I'm already in the office pool, but decided it couldn't hurt to make a trip over to the Arizona side and get some tickets.  At that level it's almost certain that there will be multiple winners but at this level I would be happy with a few million.

Official Time from NIST.gov