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.


The Umlaut Cult

“At such times, I feel like I’m reading a snarky newsletter issued by a self-selected collective of snooty grammar trolls who live in a bubble and worship a giant umlaut.”

Still chuckling at that one. But while I have never heard of Cohoes, I do know how to pronounce Puyallup!


Robert Cotrell shares some great links

Robert Cotrell shares some great links

A short composition that is worth the reading for the links, alone, but worth the read for its own sake, too.

Absolute OpenBSD 2nd Edition Pre-order!

I first ran into Michael Lucas’ writing through his Big Scary Daemons articles. They were clear, concise, and had a lively sense of humor! When he started to write books, I knew I would have to get a copy of AbsoluteBSD. I still have it, in fact! I pre-ordered it and, due a congenital lack of ability to be patient, spent weeks irritable whilst waiting to get a shipping confirmation from NoStarch Press. It had some minor delays in printing, but finally it did arrive and there was much rejoicing!

Did it transport me to new dimensions of being? Did it make me capable of peering across the landscape from a transcendent height? No, but better still! It was as enjoyable to read as I had hoped. And, I submit, THAT is an achievement for tech writing. Fun, interesting, and instructive? I don’t think you can beat that very easily! There are many who write turgid passages for tech books that barely keep one awake, let alone engaged with the subject. There are few that I have seen that are as interesting, and no one I have pre-ordered as often.

I haven’t been able to follow the BSD world as closely as I would have preferred these past years, so I didn’t catch Lucas’ announcement about pre-orders for AbsoluteOpenBSD when it came out. On the other hand it made for a great surprise and something to which I am again looking forward to reading!

More BrainPickings

I really do like BrainPickings! This from yesterday is yet another really fun piece from her site. 🙂 What I like most, though? She puts so much information in each post. There are many links to follow within each of her pieces. For someone like me that’s fantastic! I can take the time to ferret out each one and just see what contributed maybe even one line to something she wrote. For others, I suppose, it might be a bit tedious. I like to consider her articles somewhat like a clock that you can look inside and see how everything is working together, though.

One of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite humorists

One doesn’t usually come across Petroluem V Nasby. So when I saw this post? I knew I had to repost. Nasby was a satirist in the 19th century. I first encountered him reading Shelby Foote’s trilogy, wherein I learned that Abraham Lincoln was a great fan of Nasby. (P. V. Nasby is a pseudonym of David Ross Locke, by the way.) The writing style is much lengthier in its exposition than one typically encounters today.

Every time I read things from that time it strikes me that they must have had more time. Or they must have had fewer options for entertainment and thus preferred something to take up the time. Whatever the case, this is a neat find!

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.

Fireside #7

I turned off my monitor and just listened to Roosevelt speak. That experience alone was interesting but to go through the transcript of the chat and examine how Roosevelt put the information together? This is some good, persuasive writing well worth examining for its own sake, and not just historical interest.

David Foster Wallace reading an excerpt

I have nearly everything DFW wrote, but I never knew that he had so many readings that were online.


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!

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