Author Archives: Val

Have you seen the birds?

  American Goldfinch in front yard, eating miniature crabapples. A sure sign of winter. No photo op for it, too quick in its get-away. Got used to not blogging, trying to get back into the habit of it. Reaching into year 3 of waiting for VA compensation. Our case is a slam dunk but there are only 59 judges serving the entire US, basically one for each state and being in NC with a strong military presence means we wait […]

So glad no one reads this…

Bloggers make big bucks, this comes as a great surprise to me. I’ve blogged since 1997. Yup. Back to the days when one had to know HTML, before WordPress, blogging used to be called something else — like an online diary or something. Paragraph line breaks are back. Who knows why? Ours is not to question why, ours is but to do or die. In the beginning, I wrote about how screwy this small town was. Now I accept its […]

No Oxy in the House

When I decided to cease taking oxycontin, it meant more than just simply stopping a certain drug. I think almost everyone knows that oxy cessation causes physical and mental reactions, all of them devastating and difficult. There were many reasons I stopped Oxy. Small town, big conversations. I simply didn’t want to be known as a person with Oxycontin in my house. I knew my neural pathways were damaged by the six years of oxycontin use. Remember my disclaimer: I […]

A writer needs a muse

The Reverse Negative Continuous positive airway pressure System for the harvesting of cow flatulence.

Joan and Joni concert

I’m here to give a shout out to my favorite duo: Allison Shapira and Kipyn Martin who put on a fantastic show at the Arts of the Pamlico last night. The show, titled Joan and Joni is more than a tribute to Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. It’s a walk through history as these two remarkable young women explain how a song came to be or who it was meant for or the general folk history of a Baez classic. […]

Ghosts in Wilmington NC

There’s something wrong with WordPress. The last update eliminated paragraph breaks. This looks f’ing awful… Get ready for a run on story, until I can fix the line breaks, we’re stuck with it. so sorry …………… only breaks when I use headings ….     Sometimes what I have to tell  you is so complicated that therein lies the difficulty in the telling. Where to start, what details to tell, where to end the tale?   Such is the story […]

Thomas Erskine on the Advantages of Free Speech

When men can freely communicate their thoughts and their sufferings, real or imaginary, their passion spend themselves in air, like gunpowder scatter upon the surface; but pent up by terrors, they work unseen, burst forth in a moment, and destroy everything in their course. (Rex v. Paine, 1792) That’s what is on my mind today … free speech and its consequences. With or without.

Afterimage by Helen Humphreys

Superb book. I have to quote it here for a while, sit back and let the words flow into you. This is, unquestionably, one of the most beautiful paragraphs I’ve read in the last ten years. Eldon is a map maker, late 20th century, eating alone in large formal dining room — on an English estate. Eldon bends his head over his plate of underdone turkey, which has been hacked from the bone in rough, stringy wedges. There’s the whicker […]

Flunked my piss test

How funny is that? Had to go a week later and pee again, for Tramadol. Peeing for Tramadol, not even an opioid. Ridiculous. Apparently I need to drink a LOT of water for a few days before going to the doctor, in case the random testing begins anew. Point taken … no more amphetamines or salad before doctor appointments. thanks for not reading… see you in the funny papers.   Artist David Munroe as featured image.

The Beckman Trade-Off Triangle

Years ago, longer than life I think, my mom learned the Beckman Trade-off Triangle. If my Photoshop / Illustrator skills were up to par — I’d draw it for you. Instead you must envision it. A perfect triangle, each side a word: CREDIT — KUDOS — COMPENSATION. If you research trade-off triangles today, it’s a whole different kettle of fish. Project management rules the day: Resources abound. Time, Cost, Quantity. Not so with Beckman.

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