Thursday, April 26, 2007

A blog from Iraq from Michael Yon

Michael Yon, a former special forces soldier, has been embedded with U.S. and British forces in Iraq for a couple of years. Forget Faux News or any of the other mainstream media outlets. While they give important information about what's happening there, we all know they deal in sound bites and sensationalism and politics. For a truly fair and balanced view I can't recommend Michael's blog highly enough. While most report from inside the heavily fortified Green Zone, Michael is out there with the troops not just for a few hours or a day, but for days or a week or more. For the most part he is given full access and reports the good, the bad, and the ugly. I urge you to go to his site and read and read and read.

I hate this war and distrust the President who lead us into it, but Michael's blog explains better than I ever could why I will support the troops who are fighting there and in Afghanistan until we are finally able to bring them home and ever after. Visit his blog at

Good Night

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech tragedy

I am a news junkie, and I've spent most of my free time lately reading and watching reports about this horrible massacre at Virginia Tech. I grieve for the victims and their families, for all the students there, for us as a nation, and yes: for the parents of this obviously disturbed mass murderer. No need to provide links here, it's all over the news both online and off. However, to read about it from the Korean perspective I recommend Googling South Korea news. From everything I've read, they are fervent in their grief for the victims and their families and the university and us and in their hope that this tragedy won't result in any racial backlash against Asians. I share that hope.

Finally though, I went into information overload today. I just couldn't read any more. It became overwhelming and more than a little depressing. As tiny Tim would say, although not in the context of his happy ending, "God bless us every one." That is my prayer too as this tragedy continues to unfold. And I'm sure I'll start taking in all the coverage again tomorrow. Good night.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Drought or deluge

My mind has been wandering lately, probably because of the nature of my work. It goes up or down depending on the number of patients we have, i.e. census. This past week I was put on call twice because of a low patient census. Then on Thursday it shot up to 23 with 3 patients going home. Later we got 3 admissions so we were back up to 23. Today we were scheduled for 7 admissions so I fully expect our census to be close to 30 when I go to work tomorrow. The common phrase at work for this phenomenon is feast or famine. I prefer drought or deluge because we're either thirsting for patients so that everyone can get their hours in or we're so flooded with patients that we don't have enough staff to take care of them all. Somewhere in there is a happy medium, but we seldom reach that. Despite all this, I enjoy my work. I get to meet a wide variety of people, and most of them are discharged home within 1-3 days. Then a new crop comes in. My work is hardly ever boring.

All right, on to the wandering. Just recently finished reading Ship of Ghosts by James Hornfischer. It's a history of the USS Houston which was the first ship to see action in WWII after Pearl Harbor. Her crew fought bravely and then endured a horrific yet heroic time as Japanese prisoners. His previous book was "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" which chronicled the experiences of the sailors, marines, and pilots of the Battle of the Leyte Gulf. Both are riveting and well worth reading. The author's site is at

Just realized how late it is and I have to get up at 5:00 in the morning. More wandering soon but now I need to get some sleep. Later

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Zach Johnson wins the Masters!

Zach Johnson has just won the Masters golf tournament! He is a fellow Iowan. Not only that, he is from my home city of Cedar Rapids. I would not describe myself as being as excited as I was when the University of Iowa won the 2002 Big Ten football championship, but I am very very happy for him and his family. My hometown newspaper has had a columnist covering Zach at the Masters. You can read Mike Hlas's columns at

I see great things ahead for Zach. Okay, I'm outta here. Later.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been my favorite book since childhood. I've always thought of Huck, the rebellious white kid, and Jim, the runaway slave as almost being joined at the hip. As indeed they virtually were for most of that fateful raft trip down the Mississippi River. I've somehow always identified with Huck as I'm sure millions of other kids from the 19th century into the 21st have. Not because of his abusive father but because of his adventurous spirit and free thinking ways. I've also identified with Jim, not because I can ever truly understand what he went through as a slave, but because of his intense desire to be free ... to just be free. I try to imagine being a possession like a horse or a cow, basically livestock, and I just can't quite fathom it. Huck Finn was one of the books that shaped my life along with my parents who encouraged me to read and bought me all the books I wanted.

This blog won't be only about books, although I'll certainly write about what I've been reading which is mostly history and biography these days with a smattering of mysteries thrown in. To quote Cicero, "A room without books is like a body without a soul." That sums it up nicely for me.

My interests are eclectic though. I obviously love the web. Would I be here otherwise? 8-) I also work in health care and am, in the words of a web brother, "geeky" about my job meaning that I care deeply about it which I do. So expect to see posts here about whatever catches my interest.

Finally, (I can hear you saying "Thank God!) 8-) I am brand new to blogging and haven't had time to figure out how to post links to other blogs and web sites I enjoy. I'm learning as I go along, so bear with me okay? Until next time, take care.

About Me

I work in health care, love books, love music, enjoy the internet, my friends, and my routine. 8-)