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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A little autobiography, anyone?

If you are thinking about what, exactly, your legacy might consist of, one of the first things you probably should consider is what, exactly, do you know about your great-grandmothers and your great-grandfathers?  Think about that for a minute or two and then read on.

Now, if you’re like me, you will answer this question with a definite, “not very much.”  And, if you’re like most of us, today, that is what your great-grandchildren will have to say about you if anyone might ask them the question after they have put on a few years themselves.  OK by you?  Well, it wasn’t OK by me, and that is the reason for this brief discussion.  You see, I couldn’t even tell you the names of any of my great-grandfathers or great-grandmothers other than one, “Bappy” Benham, was her name, and that “Bappy,” or so I was told, came from 4 year old great-grandson Steve when he visited her in Princeton, Indiana, many, many long years ago.  (How he came up with that name is a mystery to me.) 

And maybe, just maybe, that is exactly why I am sitting here, in my living room, at four in the morning, adding key stroke after key stroke to a desktop file called “SVGeddesAutobiography.IN-PROCESS.”  I’ve been working on this file for about 16 months, and what I thought would be a done deal in about four months is stretching out just a bit.  And, you know what?  That’s just fine with me.  So far I have about 180 pages.  I expect what I thought would be done after about 100 to 150 pages when I began probably will end up as a 200 to 250 page work.  In any case, we will see about that, whenever, and I will have filled in a few blanks for anyone who can claim me as one of his or her progenitors should they care to take the time to read the book.  And, you know what?  They just might learn a thing or two about themselves while they learn a thing or two about me.  And that, in my book, if in no one else’s, could be a good thing.

Well, I guess it's time to stop.  Wife wanders in, dog in tow, saying:  He wants to go out.  So, it’s “up, up, and away!”  (Remember that?)  And out to the front yard we two go (for about two minutes or so) to dewater.  Then back inside.  Then to bed (both of us—he’s gotten his relief, and the valarian I took a short while after I awoke has finally kicked in, which is to say I, too, will soon find some relief.)

Bye for now.

Well, a couple more hours sleep and I’m back at it—this autobiography thing, that is.  You know, I like what I’m doing.  You might too, if you give it a try.  And, do you think your great, great grandchildren might appreciate it too?  You won’t really know, but I think an educated guess might be made:  Damn right they will!

SVG

31 October 2017

And, for what it's worth, if you think you might like to follow me down this path, the easiest thing to do would be to start with a short how-to-do at Amazon.com.  Try clicking here:  https://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B01LA5IZUU/  You just might find it to be the best $2.99 you have spent in a long, long time.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Friends are as friends do

Well, it’s 5:30, Monday morning.  Great time to get up and write a bit—right?  Well it is for me:   Morningbrain attacks like this are something I have learned to live with.  Sometime they are very productive.

This time, I awoke thinking of someone.  This someone is a person who has been very special in my life, and it is time I recognized that fact, and passed it on to him.  (A copy of this will be delivered to his address sometime soon.)

Now, my friend would not want the publicity—he’s just not that type of guy.  He is, though, one of the best friends any person would ever want to have.

My friend (who, for purposes of this work, shall remain anonymous,) is someone I have known for many years, since childhood.  Still, if I had just met him a short while ago, I suspect the following would ring true to me and to anyone else who might have a close relationship with him.

He is the kind of guy who always seems to have a smile on his face, and a twinkle in his eye, and a friendly thing to say whenever I meet him.  Do I like him because of this?

He is the kind of guy who never forces an opinion on me, but who always is able to bring a meaningful comment to any conversation, regardless of the topic.  Do I like him because of this?

He is the kind of guy who tends to be quiet, one who lets others talk, one who is a good listener, always.  Do I like him because of this?

He is the kind of guy who will go out of his way to help you, if he thinks you need it.  Would anyone like him because of this?

To have friends, you have to be a friend, right?  Well, he has ‘em, by the bushel.

Would you like to have a friend like this?  You bet you would (if you said “no,” you would be lying, I’m sure.) 

And you know the crazy thing?  My friend doesn’t seem to think much of himself.  You know what, though?  He’s the only one who thinks that way.  This guy is loved.  All he needs to do is accept that as a fact, (“and acceptance is the answer to all my problems today”) and realize regardless of whatever he thinks he may have done or been in the past that makes him doubt himself today, that is all immaterial, long since forgotten and forgiven, no doubt.  And, if that problem has to do with someone else, a father, a brother, maybe even an ex-wife, whatever, “acceptance” works there, too.  No sense in having anyone else’s opinions, or whatever, continue to eat your lunch today. 

He is my friend, and I am just one of many who love him just the way he is.



SVG  24 October 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

Bigfoot Convention, 2017 with J. Jones

Notes from the second “Annual” International Bigfoot Conference
By:  S.V. Geddes, CSRA Environmental Examiner

Three Rivers Convention Center, located in Kennewick, part of the Tri-City area associated with the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, was the location of this three-day conference about “Bigfoot” held the first through third of September 2017. Two local residents were in attendance:  An area veterinarian of note, Dr. J. Jones and a local environmental writer and one-time environmental systems manager, Mr. S.V. Geddes, were there to gather information about the subject and meet individuals who may be useful as contacts in the future.  While it is understood many feel the subject is a bit less than a scientific reality, the dozen or so presenters, a few of whom are discussed below, would definitely disagree. 

Derek Randles of the Olympic Project, discussed the project’s work.  The Olympic Project is an association of dedicated researchers, investigators, biologists and trackers committed to documenting the existence of Sasquatch through science and education.  (Sasquatch is just one of the names used for Bigfoot.  Other names, mainly from other countries, include Yeti, Ts'emekwes, Yowie, to name just a few.)

Dr. Jeff Meldrum:  2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Patterson-Gimlin film, a film showing a Bigfoot (purportedly) walking across a meadow into a forest. Having weathered repeated attempts to discredit it over the past half century, the P-G film repeatedly emerges unscathed, as new understanding of hominoid evolution and advances in forensic technologies reveal new insights into the film and its subject. Dr. Meldrum examines a small sample of these insights that Patterson could not have anticipated 50 years ago, which speak to the credibility of this foremost photographic evidence for the existence of relict hominoids in North America.

Dr. John Bindernagel:  Most people at this conference already know that proposing the Sasquatch or Bigfoot as an existing North American mammal has generated scientific resistance to a degree which was unexpected by some, given the quality and abundance of evidence supporting this interpretation.  As one of a small minority of scientists in the relevant scientific disciplines attempting to overcome this scientific resistance, Dr. Bindernagel has relied heavily on evidence documented by amateur investigators.

Also presenting was a member of our “local” academic community, Dr. David Floyd, Associate Professor of English at Charleston Southern University.   His primary research deals with the consistent presence of Bigfoot-type creatures in folklore and legend throughout human history, and the theory, far from being merely some psychological archetype or cultural emblem, that there is a substantive, biological reality behind the accounts of this mysterious creature.

The presentations were interesting and varied.  So, how does this affect me, you might ask?  Well, if that little “Bigfoot” that has been eating the extra catfood you have been putting out by your back porch should hurt itself and seek your assistance, you just might want to know where to go to get that help.  That being the case, Dr. Jones and his team at the Ark Animal Hospital in Aiken (https://www.facebook.com/Ark.in.Aiken/) is the place, in the CSRA, in any case.  Seriously, though, you never know what might happen when it concerns this animal called “Bigfoot.” 

And as for that “annual” convention—should you have any questions, you might go to https://www.internationalbigfootconference.com/ (which is where the information on presenters provided above is found.)  While reservations for the 2018 Conference are not available at this time, the desired information should be on this web site sometime early next year.  Who knows, maybe you just might run into Dr. Jones and Examiner Geddes at the third annual convention, should you decide to attend.

For pix associated with this article, you might try:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1496190297141209&set=pcb.1496196407140598&type=3&theater










Saturday, January 7, 2017

Painkillers and other ‘problems’


I have a problem (and,) my problem is pain.  What do you suppose I should do about it?  Well, the obvious answer, to me at least, is I should take my problem to my doctor and see what he might be able to do about it:  And therein lies the rub:  My doctor does not want to prescribe pain killers.  So--why is this?

It seems pain killers are now a popular issue of choice for our lawmakers.  All of them (the lawmakers, not the pain killers) are jumping on this bandwagon lest they be seen as promoting the use of these addictive substances, mostly the oxycodons, or hydrocodons (each has various commercial names) and the problems (addiction, overdose, death) that may accompany their misuse.  And, while our legislators’ injecting their (questionable) opinions, bills, and votes into this issue may make them seem responsive and give them an issue that may increase their popularity in some quarters, it does nothing for the person who may benefit from using the medications in question—the person in pain.

Our legislators need to examine problems and issues that relate to the public.  Our doctors need to deal with problems and issues that relate to the needs of each individual patient.  While some time the twain will meet, when the legislators interject themselves between the doctors and their patients, they are making public decisions on issues that should be kept between two individuals—the doctor and his patient.  Public solutions are not solutions that may be tailored to the needs of individuals, as the decisions of doctors for and with their patients must of necessity be tailored to each individual situation. 

If our legislators insist on inserting themselves between us and our doctors, I think we need to insert ourselves between our legislators and their jobs. 

Correcting my pain is not a public matter.  My legislator needs to remove himself from interfering with my relationship with my doctor.

My pain is not a public problem.  

Monday, January 2, 2017

What, or where, is Ninety Six?

Watching CBS this morning, January 2, 2017, I found Conor Knighton’s clip on “Visiting all of the National Parks” interesting.  (http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/on-the-trail-years-end/  If you choose to call up this address, sorry about the leading commercial—guess CBS has to pay their bills some way.)  In any case, Ric Nipper, a friend of mine from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, and I have been taking annual trips to various Georgia and South Carolina sites for several years.  This year, we ended up in Ninety Six.

I had a dear French teacher in High School, who told her students she had grown up in Ninety Six.  Now, I have had occasion, over the past quite a few years, to drive down one or more of our state roads near Ninety Six, and I had noticed highway signs pointing “To Ninety Six,” but, until Ric and I set out on our annual pilgrimage to wherever, I had never even given consideration to visiting Mme. Butler’s home town.  Nor did Ric, or I, give any consideration to going there when we left Aiken this year just before Thanksgiving.   Guess we just gravitated in that direction.  So, you say, why bring this up now?  Well, it seems this year, we inadvertently went to a South Carolina National Park Service site—the one in Ninety Six.

And, should you need a reason to try this site, maybe the fact that it is one National Park site you might be able to visit and see in just one day might provide that reason: https://www.nps.gov/nisi/index.htm.  Now, before I go any further, let me quibble just a bit.  The National Park Service calls the Ninety Six site a “National Historic Site,” making it one of nine sites in the state on its list of places you might like to visit:  (https://www.nps.gov/state/sc/index.htm) .   In any case, if you are anywhere near it (it is close to Greenwood, SC,) I recommend it to you, whether or not it qualifies as a “National Park,” proper.


I would also recommend the other eight sites on the NPS’s above list (most of which I have had the pleasure to visit in the past) as being worth your time.  Maybe, next Thanksgiving, I might be able to convince my friend Ric to come a day or so early so we can show our wives this little bit of history, just down the road from Aiken, in Ninety Six, South Carolina.  As road trips go, this is a “good 'un.”

Friday, October 21, 2016

Politics, Politicians, and Prevaricators...say what?

Here I go again (to paraphrase RR,) "Morningbrain" has struck, and sleep is no longer an option.  Writing seems to work, though.  Problem is, by the time it works, it’s usually too late to return to sleep.  No matter, at least I feel the papers left by the process may, occasionally, have some value, if to no one but myself.

Facebook can be a waste of time.  Then, again, so is television, but, at this point in life, I’m not willing to totally give up either.  Politics has resulted in strange photo-fellows, it seems, and the picture of Trump alongside of Hillary is rife on both screens: Which  brings to mind the phrase, “I don’t know how to love him,” (followed by) “He’s a man, he’s just a man…and I’ve known so many men before, in so very, many ways, he’s just one more,” and while the first part definitely does not apply to this pairing, the second does, especially when you consider they are both genuine “superstars” in their own right, even though neither could appropriately be compared with the “Superstar” the quotation originally applied to.  (Can the election come soon enough?)

Which brings to mind a Facebook “friend” who I choose to call “Chad.”  Chad is an ornery sort,  one who majors in negativity.  He reminds me of a stanza from a Limelighter’s album:

            “The whole world is festering with unhappy souls:
              The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles;
              The Poles hate the Yugoslavs; South Africans hate the Dutch;
              And I don’t like anybody very much!”

He hates Hillary, and professes to not like Trump much either (but of the two, Trump is his stated choice, and if you disagree with that, YOU’RE a “DA.”  (And, for those who might seek clarification, as “Fred G. Sanford” might once have said, “And the ‘D’ is for ‘Dumb,’ dummy!”  Hope that gets the point across, ‘cause Ah ain’t a’clarifyin’ “Chad” any further.)

We are two days beyond the third, and final (thank God,) “debate”  of this pitiful political season.  Truth of the matter is, I knew “debate,” and this, my friend, was no “debate.” (Apologies are in order, I’m sure.)  Four years from now, hopefully, our talking heads will see the need to settle on the term “debacle” to define the process with an added degree of clarity.  Debaters everywhere need to rise up and see that this is done to preserve the sanctity of their time honored process. 

What went on the last three times we have seen a “Presidential Candidates Debate” would have been much more interesting, and just as informative, if the Candidates’ Podia had been placed about one foot apart from each other.  That would have given us a real spittin’ contest, with real spit, I’m sure.  At least we the audience would have had something to smile about if this had been the case.

Now, I have just enough time to make myself a cuppa and get back to my other tube for the six o’clock news.  Whatta way to go!  And to all of you, won’t you please have yourself a “Good Morning,” unless, of course, you’ve already decided not so to do.

(And, of course, that last was for you, “Chad.”)


Anyone else have any suggestions?  Comments are allowed.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Addiction: Can anyone help?

Truth of the matter is, only one person can help an addict; the addict hemself  (i.e., herself or himself, etc.)  And, by the time that drug of choice has gained the upper hand in the addict’s life, permanent changes in the brain and liver chemistries will have occurred, making the attainment of a life of sobriety much more difficult than just the making of a mental choice.  It is, at that point in time, too late for the addict to simply make a decision and stick with it:  It is a problem of living with an addicted body long enough for the body’s continual need for the addicting substance to subside to the point where that constant physical craving no longer stands in the way of the addict’s decision.  This is why medically supervised withdrawal is suggested (if at all possible,) and it is why the tendency to relapse remains strong even after the body has rid itself of the drug.

What we were taught about that “weak-willed” alcoholic—or drug addict, for that matter—just is not the case.  Anyone who has tried to get an addict in their family to give up that addiction will attest to this truth.  No, “weak-willed” has nothing to do with it at all.  By the time the “experimenter” turns into the “user” and the “user” turns into the “addict,” the body and brain have teamed up to conspire against any flights of reason that may from time to time rail against the results of the disease. 

If you have an addict in your family, the best thing you might do for them is ask them to read two articles. 

First is a commentary from “Nora’s blog, “Addiction is a disease of free will” in one of the National Institute of Health’s web sites: 

Second is a personal description of addiction found in this writer’s blog: “My AA Story” something I wrote in response to a fellow AA’s request that I give “my story” to his group:  http://stephenvgeddes.blogspot.com/2015/02/my-aa-story.html.

Should your addict have that “moment of clarity” and give consideration to a life away from drugs and/or alcohol, you might first help hem find a detox facility.  In Aiken, SC, that facility is Aurora Pavilion, https://www.aikenregional.com/community-outreach/aurora-pavilion-behavioral-health-services, a division of the Aiken Regional Medical System.  Alternatively,  the Veteran’s Administration, Augusta Health, or possibly Augusta’s University Hospital may have similar, reasonably close, facilities. 

Following detox (usually a five day medically assisted treatment period,) a good second step would be a two week to one month stay at a rehab facility.  I took this second step twice (actually, three times.)  The first time was at a place called St. Simons by the Sea on St. Simons Island, Georgia.  The second time was at the Veterans Administration facility in Augusta, Georgia.  I would recommend either to your addict, if hem qualifies.  Had I known, I might have skipped the 5 day local detox and gone directly to the VA or St. Simons facility.  Both places also are more than able to provide the medically assisted detox if they have the beds when your addict becomes ready and willing.

Should this second step be out of reach (it often is quite expensive,)  a daily dose of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous is, at a minimum, what I would recommend.  If you can, though, augment this with a weekly trip to a qualified psychologist.  Your addict needs all the help hem can get.

My third time was a bit more demanding.  Being an addict, I had finished my most current year in AA by picking up one more “blue chip,” AA’s way of saying “congratulations on having a year (or another year) in sobriety.”  I was in my current “first year away from my drug of choice” following my most recent relapse (relapse is a fact of life for addicts, you see,) and, several weeks later, when some friends came to visit for Thanksgiving, I had the thought:  “It will be different this time.”   Well, that’s the same thought I’d had prior to several previous relapses, but did I “remember” this?  Nooooooo!

Thanksgiving day, following an evening of drinking with our friends, I awoke to blue lights in the street in front of my house.  No more need be said here, though:  It’s in that second reference, the one to “My AA Story” in “blogspot.com” (above.)  Was it different, though?  Yes....  Quite.

In any case, I think I finally figured it out.  If you have an addict in your family, my hopes are that he or she (my “hem”) figures it out, too.

And the sooner, the better.