Tuesday, 29 January 2013

From Leek To No Leak.

On Wednesday, January Twenty Third, I had an another outpatients appointment at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in Stoke on Trent.

I was sent a letter informing me that I had to go to the Department of Anaesthetics.  There was a map included, but the map gave no indication of the building I was supposed to go to.  First of all, I was somewhat puzzled as to why I was going to that department and second of all, I reckoned it would be a darned good idea to find out where I was actually going to.

So, I phoned the hospital and asked why I was going to that department and where the department actually was.  The lady I spoke to didn't have a clue why I was going there, but luckily, she did tell me the location.  With limited information and thinking it must be an ultrasound test, I headed off.  And before you ask, I'm reasonably confident I'm not pregnant and if I was, I wouldn't want to know the sex of the baby.

From Leek, Staffordshire to the hospital is about a twelve mile drive westwards.  Upon my arrival, much to my surprise, I found the correct building.  Inside the building, I was directed to the Central Treatment Suite.  In the first reception area was an old dude sitting there.  He asked me if I was the ambulance driver that was going to take him home.  I told him I wasn't an ambulance driver and I'd had enough trouble remembering which side of the road to drive on.  He muttered something about, "I know what you mean...bloody drivers these days!"

The receptionist in the first area told me to go over and push a green button.  Upon pushing the green button, the receptionist in the actual waiting room, let me in.  I showed her my appointment letter and she asked me to take a seat.  And no, I'm not that pedantic.  I didn't walk out with a seat.

I looked around and observed there were a lot of really old dudes.  Suddenly, I felt real young.  I also realised it was pretty darn warm in the waiting room.  I noticed that a lot of the old dudes were getting cups of water from a drinks machine.  I thought, "How nice of the hospital to supply water to cool down the old dudes."

I sat there for about fifteen minutes.  "Mr. Perrick!?", yelled out a nurse with a very strong Northern Irish accent.  "Ah, do you mean, Mr. Pennick?", I responded.  "That's what I said, Mr. Perrick!"  Anyway, I'm figuring this nurse is gonna' rub some jelly on my belly or whatever.  "Mr. Perrick."  At this point I give up correcting my name.  "Mr. Perrick, your urologist has asked us to get you to do an urinary flow test. Please go to the drinks machine and have some cups of water.  We'll see how you're doing in half an hour."

Then it all became clear. Old dudes drinking cups of water.  If only I'd known beforehand.  So, off I went to the drinks machine and topped myself up.  One cup of water became twenty cups of water.  "Are you ready, Mr. Perrick?"  "I'll give it my best shot",  I replied.  I was led to a room and told to go urinate into this weird sink that had monitoring lights to the side of it.  I then remembered that I don't 'POD'.  Which is, 'Piddle On Demand'.  Twenty cups of water were having none of it.  I tried and I tried.  Nothing.  The nurse knocked on the door and asked me how it was going.  Well, it aint going, nurse.

I was taken out of the 'piddle room' and told to go back to the waiting room and drink some more cups of water.  "Drink some more and jump about a bit", another nurse told me.  Ten cups later and after a bit of hopping around, I was taken back to the 'piddle room'.  Now I had thirty cups of water churning inside me.  And yep, still nothing.

At this point I was taken back to reception and another appointment has been made for me for February Sixth.  I have to do it all over again.  You guessed it, as soon as I left the clinic, I headed straight to the public toilets and yes ah yes....

I got back in my car, right in the middle of "rush hour".  Why do we call it rush hour?  No rush at all.  Just a long line of vehicles seemingly going nowhere.  The only 'rush' I got was, to my horror, the other twenty eight cups or so of water, were begging to get out.  There I was stuck in traffic and my guts were busting.  I thought I was going to wet the seat.  I held back knowing that my car was going in for servicing the next morning.  Can imagine the mechanic wondering what the strange smell was.  By the time I got back home, I was in agony.  Back in Leek to take a leak.

Now I should hopefully be ready for the next time at the hospital.  I shall avoid going to the toilet before leaving my home.  Knowing my luck, I will sit patiently waiting my turn at the Central Treatment Suite, note the old dudes drinking cups of water and promptly pee my pants!  

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Snow Way.

Oh my goodness, I was going to do another posting to delight you beyond any adequate adjective.  However, I'm putting that posting on hold.  I know, try to control yourself.

Instead, upon looking out the window, I noticed on Friday evening that we were experiencing one heck of a snowstorm.  Not exactly wanting to go outside in such weather, I opened the front door so Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star and yes, the next 'Paw Minister' of Britain, could go and change the colour of the snow in the garden.

She went out the front door for about thirty seconds and proceeded to scurry back in.  "Are you out of your mind, human?  I'm staying in here where it's nice and warm.  And go fix me some food!", the adorable dog declared.

Realising that she probably would soon need to relieve herself and eventually I might end up walking on a wet patch of carpet, my son, Tristan, got Penny suitably dressed.  Even I got myself suitably dressed to go out and brave the swirling flakes of snow.
This is what we encountered on the street outside our house.
I'd struggled to take a photo that wasn't blurry.  Not easy trying to take a photo while a Jack Russell is tugging at her lead.  So very near the house, I let her off the lead.  She doesn't exactly seem thrilled with being outside.  I'm assuming it's still an issue with the snow.  Or perhaps she has observed the pesky 'puparazzi' ready to hound her.  Such is the life of a famous dog.  
I managed to get one more scene of such a cold, snowy night.  The car in the foreground is mine.  Yes, of course, my Aston Martin, Rapide S, is getting serviced.  I looked around and where was Penny?
Tiny pawed track marks left clues on my snowed over pathway.  And there she was, at the top of the stairs, "Tristan, let me in!  Your dad is crazy!"  

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A Motivational Goal.

This is another article in my series on mental health well being.  If you missed the other postings and would like to read them, they are in the links at the bottom of this posting.

Today's topic is about Motivation.

Motivation, the driving force behind your desire to accomplish a goal in your life.  Motivation is the ability to inspire others and yourself to achieve or maintain a more positive life.

1 :  Take small steps :  Set and achieve mini-goals with the focus on a major goal.  Succeeding at mini-goals, helps reinforce further motivation.

2 :  See things through :  A partially finished project is of no use to anybody.  Quitting can become a habit.  Instil the habit of finishing projects.

3 :  Favourable friends :  The attitude of your friends can influence your attitude.  If they can't be bothered to make an effort, there is a possibility you will be the same way.  Thus, if you want to progress, you have to be surrounded by people who want to progress and encourage your progression.  Favourable friends will motivate you and you will motivate them.

4 :  Learn new skills :  New goals may require the acquisition of new knowledge.  The learning of new skills can enhance your motivation to realise your major goal or goals.

5 :  Fifteen minutes a day :  You don't have to spend hours and hours to accomplish goals.  You may discover that the greatest progress is the sum total of a series of small efforts.  Try and spend about fifteen minutes each day doing something that gets you closer to realising your goal.

6 :  Take a venture :  Yes, nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Failure can be the motivation behind learning from your mistakes.  Mistakes do not define you.  What you learn from your mistakes, defines you.

7 :  Positive affirmations :  Remind yourself of your goals everyday.  Have a one-sentence affirmation for your goals.  Using such an affirmation can keep you focused on the visualisation of your goal.  It can become a natural way of thinking.

8 :  Break your goals down :  Goals can be given up on because they seem overwhelming.  If your goals seem to be a daunting prospect, it's a good idea to break them down into smaller, realistic, achievable tasks.

9 :  Get it written down :  To see your goals written down and the progress you're making, will help motivate and help your chances of making your goals come to fruition.

10 :  Review your goals :  Ask yourself challenging questions.  If the progress towards your goal is not as you would of hoped for, what's impeding your progress?  It may well be that your priorities have altered and a particular goal may no longer seem applicable.  You might consider a rethink and concentrate your energy of a goal more conducive to how you are now.

11 :  Treat yourself :  Each occasion you achieve a goal,  give yourself a reward.  Knowing that you are going to have a treat at the end of your goal, is quite the motivation.

12 :   Savour the moment and  enjoy your success :  Validate the fact that you have achieved your goal. Take time out to really enjoy and reflect upon your accomplishment.  This will help invigorate you and renew your energetic enthusiasm to move on with other goals.  Positive momentum, indeed!

Through faith, hope, willingness, support and friendship, we are motivated.  To be motivated you must have a genuine desire.  Motivation is about focused dedication to gain a positive outcome.  Motivation continues through inspiration from others and inspiration from within.  We can all motivate each other to realise our goals.

And the photo at the top.  I look out my bedroom window and I have the motivation to get out there and be a part of it all.

Here are the links to the other postings in this series.

We Are All In This Together.

Recognising Our Validity.

Improving Your Self-Esteem.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Britain's Next Paw Minister.

This is a pawed pawlitical announcement on behalf of "Britain's Lovable Earnest Encouragement Pawty", also known as, "BLEEP".

Dear animal and human alike. At our recent convention in the London borough of Barking and 'Dogenham', we held an election, voted by pawty members, to decide who our leader would be in the run up to the next general election in Britain.

By a landslide decision, a Jack Russell dog, famous for her work bringing the ethos of a non-judgemental, unconditional, loving world, to the computer screens of humans and other creatures, great and small, was duly elected as our leader.

Ladies, gentleman and fellow creatures, we present to you the next Paw Minister of Britain, Penny the Jack Russell dog.

Penny will represent our ideals in the next general election. That of a nation where the "Fat Cats" at the 'Big Barks' will be penalised for getting us into such a financial mess. That of a nation where 'pawsterity' measures are not inflicted on the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, the disabled, to pay for the mistakes of the fortunate.

Those currently in power speak of, "The Big Society", that, "We are all in this together". What that really means is that the government in power, the coalition government formed by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats aka 'ConDems', takes away essential services and benefits from the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, the disabled. Yes, in the Big Society, those who are unfortunate are expected to fend for themselves. We at BLEEP will redress the balance.

We shall ensure that those who need help, get help. And we shall ensure that those who have caused so much misery will pay for the errors of their ways. It's time for a real change. A change for a better Britain. A Britain where mankind and all beloved creatures live in a nation of peace and equality.

After the next general election, in the 'Houses of Pawliament', a new dawn will see Penny, our kind and caring leader, take her place as the next Paw Minister of Britain.
Behold!  The next Paw Minister of Britain.  Penny the Jack Russell dog.  Penny's pawlitcally pawsitive pawty platform pawmoting peace.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Not In Vain.

Wayward flakes of snow gently float and paint the scene from dreary green to glowing white.  Out yon window, the moon casts shadows.  Snow of white becomes snow so blue.

And the muffled, the hushed silence, created by the falling snow, enhances thoughts of hope, of dreams becoming reality.

Son sleeps soundly in his room.  Beloved dog, breathing softly, curled upon her comfort blanket.  Ticking clock...pendulum beats, to the rhythm of my heart.
I gazed out my kitchen window.  So early in the morning.  Snowflakes drifted.  One last mug of hot chocolate, complete with extra marshmallows.  I thought about how determined I was to make this a positive year and I thought back upon Christmas Day when I was there for others and others were here for me.  With that, the following words danced around in my mind....

Tears stream,
Cheeks stain,
What I dream,
Was not in vain.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Blogfest? You Jest?

Here is a list of blogfest ideas.  Of course, they probably wont happen because they don't involve the alphabet.

The "BlogPest BlogFest" : Yes, I suggested this in a previous posting.  Thanks to the overwhelming response to this idea, it has made me give it some serious thought.  Just imagine a wonderful blogfest where we did a posting on a blogger that aggravates us so much that we would much rather go to a Justin Bieber concert than continuing reading their crap. This blogfest, however, could seriously backfire as it brings loads of visits and new 'followers' to the blogger that aggravates us.

The "Drive-By Blogger Blogfest" : This would be a blogfest where you visit a site just the once and leave some comment that has nothing to do with the posting.  All you do is mention that you are now 'following' their blog. What you are really trying to do is get them to follow your blog so as to add to your blog 'followers'.

The "Blatant Self-Promoting, Self-Obsessed Blogfest" : Rather similar to the blogfest mentioned above.  What you do in this blogfest is demonstrate the fine art of self-promoting and being self-obsessed.  Here's an example sample of what you might write in such a blogfest :  "You must read my latest posting that ties in nicely with my other posting about the upcoming posting that tells you about my posting that I posted last month about how great my postings are!   You know, my blog is a very important place.  A meeting place where other lesser bloggers can come and note just how wonderful I am!"

The "Blogbuster Movie Blogfest" : For those of us who haven't actually had our exciting lives made into a blockbuster movie, we could do a fantasy posting about a must see film about ourselves.

The "New Kids on the Blog" blogfest : This one might actually work. Although still no mention of the alphabet.  This would be a blogfest bringing further awareness of new bloggers.  A sort of a big hello from this amazingly caring community.

The "Captain's Blog: Stardate 2013.2" blogfestThis would be blogfest for all those with this fascination for all things spaced out.  Make it so.

The "DogFest BlogFest" : This would be a blogfest where we show our appreciation for our doggy friends such as, oh I don't know, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! 

The "Cynical Blogfest" : This would be a blogfest about stating that blogfests are a way of drawing attention to the creators of blogfests and a darned good way to self-promote, plug their latest novel or try to sell you timeshare properties in fashionable Stoke on Trent.

The "Groundblog Day" blogfest : Wouldn't it be great for a blogfest?  This would be where we repeat the same paragraph, over and over again.  Yes indeed, a paragraph that repeats over and over and over...If you get what I mean?

Wouldn't it be great for a blogfest?  This would be where we repeat the same paragraph, over and over again.  Yes indeed, a paragraph that repeats over and over and over...If you get what I mean?

Wouldn't it be great for a blogfest?  This would be where we repeat the same paragraph, over and over again.  Yes indeed, a paragraph that repeats over and over and over...If you get what I mean?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The Magic Of The Written Word.

During my nearly six years of blogging, yes Gary, get some sleep...Um...during the nearly six years since I began my little known, apparently, according to my 'admirers', a well kept secret blog, I've had the privilege of interacting with bloggers who are either published authors or aspire to be so.  Thanks to their determination, their passion, the encouragement and support of published writers, other aspiring writers and bloggers, I sense the caring ideals within this great and diverse community.

Here is a list of some published author and blogger friends:

Jenny Woolf
can be discovered here at these two linksJenny Woolf author information.  And you can find her main blog here*An English Travel Writer*

Of course, we have our good friend, Joylene Nowell Butler, who has written "Dead Witness" and "Broken But Not Dead".  Joylene was most kind and forwarded me an e-copy of "Dead Witness".  You can get information regarding Joylene and her books here : Joylene Nowell Butler  Her blog can be discovered here : Joylene Nowell Butler, suspense author

Then we have the lovely Teresa Ashby, author of, "You Can't Love a Stranger & Other Stories".  You can find a list of her books here : Teresa Ashby and you can find her blog here : A Likely Story

We also have our buddy, PT Dilloway, author of "A Hero's Journey".  You can find information about his writing here : A Hero's Journey  and his blog site here :  PT Dilloway

Then there is my dear friend, Diane Perry, who has a book titled "Red Kite", which you can get details about here : Red Kite  You can also discover her blog here : Working 2 Write.  At her blog, you can find out details about her other blog.  Diane also has another book which can be checked out here : 100 Ways for a Chicken to Train Its Human

I have the delight of interacting with this author and blogger, Michael Offcutt, you can find information about his books here : Michael Offcutt: Books and his blog here: Michael Offcutt Speculative Fiction Author

And you can find all about Pearl and her book here : I Was Raised To Be A Lert  You can find her blog and information on her latest book "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats", at her blog site here : Pearl, Why You Little...

If you want an excellent read, I would suggest you check out this author, Alex. J. Cavanaugh.  You can find out about his books here :  Books by Alex J. Cavanaugh and his blog here : Alex J. Cavanaugh

I also have the great privilege on interacting with a recently published author who lives in Victoria, British Columbia.  Suzanne Bean's book can be discovered here Between Concrete & Earth. Poetry by Suzanne Bean  Her blog which is a combination of her wonderful art and words, can be visited here : Suzanne Bean

And there's this wonderful children's author, Carole Anne Carr, who very kindly sent me a signed copy of her book, "First Wolf".  You can discover the magic of Carole's books here : Books by Carole Anne Carr.  And her blog site is here : The Adventures of a Children's Author

Here are a few aspiring author blogger friends :

A gentleman whose passion for writing will continue with the determination to make his dream come true.  His name is Jeff Hargett and you can get some information on Jeff's writing aspirations here : Jeff Hargett  You can read Jeff's blog here : Strands of Pattern

I've had the honour of getting to know Sharon. K. Mayhew and she is currently working on a book that I know will make for a most fascinating read.  And the book she is working on has a coincidental aspect that I relate to.  You can find out about some of Sharon's endeavours here : S.K. Mayhew Manuscripts   Her blog is located here : S.K. Mayhew, Kid Lit Writer

And you might just know our dear friend in New Zealand.  "Gidday",  Wendy Morrell.  Wendy and I quote, is an, "Aspiring children's author who likes ripe blue cheese, wine and people who love animals.  Not necessarily in that order..."  I know very well how much passion and desire that Wendy has to see her published writing dream, become a magical reality.  You can find Wendy here :  W.M. Morrell's Musings From Down Under.

Of course, we have the enchanting "unikorna".  This wonderful lady loves elves, fairies and writing about them.  She is going to try and finish her first book before May of this year.  I wish her much success and fulfilment with her novel.  You can read her blog here :  Why I Wake Up Every Day

Our friend, Misha Gericke, is working to finish her epic fantasy novel.  To get an idea of Misha's caring ethos within the blogging, writing community, you can check this here :My First Book: ANNOUNCING: My First Book's Plans for 2013.  You can visit Misha's main blog site here : My First Book

I know there are several published writers and aspiring writers I could of also mentioned.  If you are a published or an aspiring author, you have my utmost respect and admiration.  May we all be here, supporting and encouraging each other.   Feel the passion, the magic, the power of the written word.  I thank you.

Friday, 4 January 2013

A Few Links Plus A Special Announcement.

Right then, I noted there are a number of "blogfests" out there and I see that a number of my blogging friends are doing this one, The Insecure Writer's Support Group  Details about this group, where those involved, do a posting about their insecurities, their hopes, their dreams and the support that those involved share with each other, is done on the first Wednesday of every month.  If you have never been involved with the group and want to be a part, then I would recommend it as a worthwhile endeavour for you.  This group was created by a gentleman that many of you will be familiar with.  However, if you don't know him and want to see his highly interactive and supportive blog, you can discover him here, Alex J. Cavanaugh

And of course, there's this blogfest,  Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2013) Yes indeed, the "brainchild" of Arlee Bird who can be discovered at his primary blog named, Tossing It Out  The last two years, I have been mostly doing alternative, satirical postings about the 'Alphabet Challenge'.  It has all been done in a sporting spirit and we've exchanged some good natured banter.

I was thinking about setting up my very own blogfest.  I'd name it "The BlogPest BlogFest",  Just think a blogfest where we could put up postings about how much a certain blogger annoys us and the reasons why.  Okay, forget that one.
Now then, continuing on, have you checked out the recently released book by Nancy S. Thompson, titled "The Mistaken"?  Nancy, one of my 'adoring fans' says she's not that famous.  If that be the case, perhaps you might check out this link and help make her famous, "The Mistaken" by Nancy S. Thompson   You can discover Nancy's blog site here, Nancy S. Thompson

Over the last couple of years, I have been working in the background with an author named Colin Hall.  His book is about to be released and it will be like no other book you read.  I'm very excited for Colin and I'm very flattered that he asked me for my opinion.  It has been my pleasure to support and encourage him.  Here is a taster of the book and I will publish further details when I receive them.  Here's a taster link, but the release date is incorrect.  Fact or Fiction?

Here is the front cover of Colin's book.
And here's an extract from Colin's book.
And here's the tantalising and intriguing back cover of Colin's book.  And Colin, thank you for considering my input to be of help.  It was my honour.

So, that's all for now.  May we realise a peaceful, positive 2013.  A year where we celebrate the diversity of mankind in an all different, all equal world.  .

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year's 'Wee've'.

This posting has nothing to do with the 'wee folks'.  Three weeks ago, I had an appointment with the nurse at my local health centre to have a blood test.  We established I did indeed have blood and it was red.

Two weeks ago, I had an appointment with my doctor at the local health centre in regards to my blood test results.  He told me my blood test results indicated some slight concern.  Then he put on the rubber glove, that would be the surgical type and not, thankfully, the type you use when doing the dishes.  Not exactly comfortable with my doctor prodding my posterior, I tried to 'crack' a joke.  "Hey doc, if your career as a doctor doesn't work out, you can always go work for Customs!"

"Okay Gary, to air on the side of caution, I shall arrange for you to see a urologist."  Two days after seeing the doctor, I got a letter from the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.  And on the letter it stated that I had an appointment with a urologist on December 31, 2012.  Yes indeed, a meeting with a urologist on New Year's Eve.  Now that really took the p**s!

"Should old acquaintance 'wee' forgot..."  Actually, I was never asked to bring a sample in one of those little tubes, which can also be called 'vile', I mean, vial.  Besides, if I had to bring a 'wee' tube of fluid, knowing my luck, I wouldn't of closed it tightly and well.....Now then, where were wee?  So there I was on New Year's 'Wee've' morning driving to the hospital.

Upon my arrival, I noted that the building I had to go to was named, the "Main Building."  The Main Building didn't seem like a hospital.  More like an airport terminal.  I even had to go to a computer check-in kiosk, which issued me with a ticket that informed me which clinic room to proceed to.  In the waiting room of the clinic, was a display screen which indicated the number of the patient who was to go to the next section of the clinic.  So I waited for my patient number that was on the ticket.  Finally, after nearly waiting an hour longer than my scheduled time, my number came up on the screen and a voice informed me to, " please go to Subwait 3."

At Subwait 3, I waited a further fifteen minutes to see the urologist.  While waiting there, I realised I had to fart really bad, but squeezed my butt cheeks really tight and managed to keep it in.  I then started thinking about the urologist maybe wanting to probe me and what if the fart escaped while he had the surgical glove on....

"Good morning, Gary.  Urine trouble?"   "Gosh, I hope not!  Wonder what I've supposed to have done?"  Okay, I made that up.

Anyway, after having a discussion with the urologist, he asked me if it was okay to inspect my bum.  Trying to desperately forget about the trapped fart, I tried my 'joke' distraction technique with the urologist.  "I reckon if this career doesn't work out for you, you can always get a job with Customs!", I stated.  "I've never heard that one before.  That's funny!", he responded.  And no, I didn't fart.....

I was then taken away by a nurse to go and give a wee sample in one of those vials.  "Go in there and when you have finished filling the vial, place the vial in the little open cupboard on the wall", said the nurse.  After finally accomplishing the mission at hand, I placed the vial in the cupboard which looked remarkably like one of those "dumbwaiters", which is a small elevator to convey food or drinks from one floor to the other.  I shuddered to think that my vial might be mistaken as part of a drinks display.

From there, yes I know, by my standards, this is a long posting, from there I had to go for yet another blood test.  I went to the blood test clinic and took a number.  "Number 79", called out the nurse.  "Can I have an extra portion of fries with that please?", I responded, cause basically I'm an idiot.

I now await the results of all the tests and I will also be receiving a letter from the hospital to go back for an ultrasound.  If I turn out to be pregnant, you can be my agent.

On a serious note, if you have health concerns and put it off due to feeling embarrassed, please don't let that stop you.  I wasn't exactly thrilled with baring all, but I know it's best to get things checked out before they could potentially get worse.

May you have a peaceful, positive New Year.