Some thoughts on being stabbed

Finding something to write about is easy. Making time to do so? Not so much…I’ll make time, in this case. I have the good fortune to still be here after a complete stranger stabbed me in the face. (Yea, stabbed from behind, and I only got “lucky” enough to catch the blade in the face because I turned when I heard someone behind me. I’d pretty sure I’d have taken that in the neck..) If you’ve ever wondered why, in Dungeons & Dragons, thieves got a backstab bonus – it’s because even if it misses the original target, the damage is significant and you can’t always return it. I was fortunate to get away long enough to call the police. I was very fortunate to flag down a passing police cruiser, too. So some good luck came my way that night! Which was good, because I was at a severe deficit.

Speaking of the police? I don’t think anyone thanks them all that often. But if I had to deal with people like the one who attacked me every day? I figure it would be nice knowing that folks appreciate your efforts. Those officers made a huge difference in my life, and maybe made it possible for me to be here now. That was closer than I ever wanted to be to not making it through something. A couple of days later I took thank you cards to the responding departments. I’d like to say I was pretty cool and collected, but I could barely talk beyond, “I just wanted to say how grateful…” and then I ran out of words. I’ve never met the officers who responded, but at least I was able to send thanks.

Also, whoever invented lidocaine, bottled oxygen, saline drips, and blood transfusions? Those really, *really* kick butt! Saline quells the unbelievable thirst when you lose lots of blood. Saline with an O2 back? Heck, were it not for being covered in my blood I’d almost have felt normal!

Sooooo…What do I have to show for this? For starters, I have the unwanted experience of surviving violent crime…..I have a scar on my face. Thankfully, it’s not the full Glasgow smile, but it’s definitely something that isn’t easy to come by. I’m told that anyone can get a tattoo, but scars have stories. Ummm, if you have a choice? Get a tattoo and make up a story later on. You can CHOOSE the tattoo you’d like to see when you look in a mirror.

I have a nifty tax write off. Yup, I can deduct the expenses from having all my clothing destroyed by blood being cut off me in the ER.

I get lots of mail from the hospital and the ambulance. I can tell you that the insurance company will call you first possible moment after getting a bill like that, though. Have your case number ready, as it will save you some time. You might want to email it to yourself so you can pull it up on your phone.

I know what it’s like tasting blood by the mouthful, sitting on the side of the road with everyone driving by and not really caring if it made for good conversation for them. That is enough for now. I’ll write about what I wish I had, next.


Structural Similarities of Objections to Nate Silver and Global Warming from RealClimate

I found this article at Realclimate that does an excellent job of depicting the idea that if people don’t want to hear something? They won’t. Nate Silver, in case you live in America but also live in a hole, has the 538 Blog where he does election predictions based upon polling results. He wasn’t the only one predicting a victory for President Obama, to be sure, but he attracted the most negative attention from, largely, conservative commentators. As Gavin Schmidt introduced it, the type of criticisms were eerily reminiscent:

Does this sound familiar? A quantitative prediction is inconvenient for some heavily invested folks. Legitimate questions about methodology morph quickly into accusations that the researchers have put their thumb on the scale and that they are simply making their awkward predictions to feather their own nest. Others loudly proclaim that the methodology could never work and imply that anyone who knows anything knows that -it’s simply common sense! Audit sites spring up to re-process the raw data and produce predictions more to the liking of their audience. People who have actually championed the methods being used, and so really should know better, indulge in some obvious wish-casting (i.e. forecasting what you would like to be true, despite the absence of any evidence to support it).

Yes, I should probably say I’m one of those horribly maladjusted people who tend to think the case for human influence upon the climate is a reasonable conclusion. So, yes, I tend to enjoy reading RealClimate. Oh, I also go to Anthony Watts’ WUWT to see what objections are being raised against whatever new paper comes out in support of AGW. (I’d type anthropogenic, but I’d only strain myself; I can only handle so many polysyllabics each day.) In fairness to Watts, he does have an active site with many contributors, and I would encourage people to check out both. I happen to think RealClimate is more correct in its conclusions and observations, though. And I think Schmidt has made a very good point about the analogous nature of the two camps of objections in response to the source of their ire.

Ira Glass Advice on Storytelling

I know my writing has a LONG ways to go before even *I* like it, and this is a great bit from someone who knows what he’s doing. Well worth the view! Especially the idea that there’s a time lag between knowing what you like and being able to create what you like. I never thought of it that way before, but I will never think of it differently, in the future. That insight alone is worth the viewing.

TED Talk by Amy Cuddy

She did ask to share this one out. It’s a good piece with some information that might help.

NASA Making Data Beautiful

I found this by accident. It is about a very memorable video depicting the world’s ocean currents. (It’s in the video, but I’ll share it below anyway.) Most interestingly, to me, Lauren Hockenson interviews Dr. Horace Mitchell. He explains some of how Scientific Visualization Studio made that video. h/t Dr. Data


IKEA Hacking

Oh no! Now I’ll have even more reason to go through products from Ikea. It’s bad enough I have to avoid the place like the plague lest it consume more of my free cash. (Funny how I can tell myself, “You know, I think I do NEED a new bookshelf/chair/table, etc). It’s sad, I know! I’m not proud of it but they just have so much stuff that just “works” for me. But if it doesn’t work, well, there’s ways to get ideas for playing around with it and doing something new. Enter IKEA Hackers. Yes, now there’s even more possibilities that just never occurred to me to try. I suppose it won’t hurt to look at the various re-arrangements. I mean, I don’t have to buy anything….I’ve exercised admirable restraint not going there in months. And my bookshelves…they are getting a bit full…..

Jennifer B. McDonald’s “Why’s this so good” at Nieman Story Board

This is a great example of an analysis that, quite honestly, I think does almost as good a job as the subject it reviews. It’s a shorter piece, but I wish it were longer. I don’t have much spare time, so I’m picky about what I am willing to read. I’m going to keep my eye out for more things McDonald writes. And I’m also VERY glad that I stumbled upon Nieman Lab. Good schtuff!

I knew I was Going to Succeed! Creating a Successful Blog

I knew I was Going to Succeed! Creating a Successful Blog.

I think she’s right. I know that she’s definitely got more experience being successful at this than I do! So if you’re stumbling upon this site, I really recommend Lesley’s post as she lays out how to do something I don’t know how to achieve.

Best quote?

The more unrealistic I was with my dreams, goals, and imagination, the more I was able to achieve.”


There’s more than a little truth in that, I think. Hence the sharing of it.

Hard Boiled Eggs in the Oven

After having more than the usual amount of irritation peeling some hard boiled eggs recently, I managed to find this article. Lifehacker, in general, has some pretty useful tips, but this one? Oh good freaking grief! If I can peel those eggs more easily, I’m all over this. At the same time, yea, I write this knowing that I had intended to make a really good post on journalism and fact checking but….there’s only so much time in the day and maybe if we all had a little more time because we weren’t wrestling an egg out of its shell we might get more done.
The gist of the article is put the eggs on the rack, turn the oven on to 325F, and bake for 30 minutes. Afterwards, put the eggs in ice water. After they’ve cooled enough to handle, peel them, and put the unshelled eggs into more ice water to completely cool for use. (It’s sort of an odd thing, but still warm egg salad is a particular treat, in my book.)

Rod Serling on writing for television/film

Found this while checking for interviews of another author. It’s a pretty decent clip covering some of the major ideas about what writing is, what art is, and really how one might go about creating.



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