Derek's Blog Page

Can a libertarian curmudgeon survive in a post 9/11 America? Is it possible to create the perfect meal on a Baby Q grill? Will Elaine finally succumb to her innermost desires? Check out my novels - which I am excerpting to separate blogs as I write them. Just click on my Profile button to access their links.

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Location: Citrus Heights, California


Near Space Press presents Net Assets



Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I've got a problem here...

I've been lusting after a NuStep T5xr recumbent exercise machine for some time, but my personal finances are such that I cannot afford one on my own dime. I've had a blog set up to ask for donations but it's just not working - no donations! It runs out on April 4th and I'm thinking of letting it fade away. The problem with this is that I can't find any used ones and the new ones run over $5,600 plus shipping. What makes it worse is that while I'm losing, I'm still well over 570 pounds and the other exercise devices out there either don't handle my weight or they're just as expensive with none of the benefits. Anyone got ideas? No, grant funding or organized charitable help is not available - been there, found out there ain't any. And NuStep expects time-payments to not exceed 12 months which puts it out of my range. Nor do I have a hidden savings account, stocks, bonds or high-limit credit card. I'm willing to consider any reasonable ideas.

BTW, I'll be taking time these next few weeks to get Carl Bussjaeger's "Net Assets" set up as an ebook over at Amazon - and at Barnes & Noble for their Nook as well if it is possible. Please, if you like libertarian science fiction, look for "Net Assets" and tell your friends!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Good news from the docs!

It was NOT Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), nor was it full-blown stroke. Given the very limited area affected (what is known as the V2 or Maxillary area of the face) they know that for sure. However, they're not sure if it was a mild case of trigeminal neuralgia, AKA Bell's Palsy, or some other neurological disorder. If it flares up again, I need to get to the doctor and get a steroidal creme prescribed to kill the irritation to the nerve.


But not knowing, and having been warned by the doc to think that it could have been TIA or stroke, left me time to ponder what I leave behind if something does happen to me - and of course it will, sometime... just not today.

At this point in my life, I'd be leaving behind good friends, both online and off, a half-finished SF novel a mother I live with and other relatives. I took the time to contact my friends to let them know (this was before going to the hospital this morning) how much I value their friendship. Sometimes I think I don't do that often enough. Do you?

I also realized that there's really no reason why I can't get back on the writing horse and finish that novel. And then go on and write the next three I've either started or gotten ideas for!

Then there's all those birds sitting outside my window just begging to be memorialized by my dSLR.

So yes, life is more than just watching TV. That is what I most clearly learned today.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Considerations of mortality this week - TIA

I've had a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) event yesterday. I'm going in to get all the tests and exams done. There's a good chance I may be scheduled to have surgery to install stent(s) into my neck. There's almost a 100% chance I will be adding Plavix or some other medication to my daily meds cocktail, could be some form of ACE inhibitor or anti-platelet inhibitor. Given that I don't even know what those are, I can't be more specific.

*MY* journey will involve getting up very early tomorrow morning and heading to the closest branch of UC-Davis Medical Center (being the hospital I'm enrolled with) and waiting around in their emergency room until they can schedule a doctor to examine me and recommend I be shifted to the cardiac care specialists for further tests. Given that I'm a Medicare/Medi-CAL patient, and it's just a TIA and not already a full-blown stroke, I'll probably get the medication prescribed right away but may have to wait until early next week for the CT or MRI. That's okay. I could be a 'medically-indigent' patient, in which case I might not get those exams for months. No health care plan and no signs of money equals *minimal* care.

If they think I must wait, I might not get surgery this next week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and I'm taking all my meds! Still, even with surgery, things can go wrong... Thus my meditations on mortality and planning for the possibility. I'm not worried if I *do* die, because the health problems are GONE. No, I'm more worried about what happens if I have a stroke or something during the procedure and suffer major damage. I'm already disabled. I'd hate to lose more ability.

If everything goes smoothly, I'm buying a small exercycle and doubling my workout program! If not, I won't need to sweat it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Or maybe not...

It seems the person selling the Wii console on eBay neglected to mention that he was only selling the chance to participate in a scam that would bilk the 'customers' into complying with loads of 'free offers' that emptied a bank account to the tune of $19.95/month for a year. Do enough of these 'free offers' and, eventually - after draining well over $2,000 from the 'customer' (I'd call that person a victim.) - the 'customer' would get a Wii. Yeah. Right.

We're now waiting for the refund of our money to process.

Monday, March 08, 2010

I'm thrilled! We're joining the Wii Fit craze!

Yep. We managed to snag a Wii system on eBay. (Yes, eBay! We got our brand-new system for $165 because I spent the time to track the auctions and one of them closed out with our winning bid of $165! Deals CAN happen if you're patient enough.)

So once it actually gets here, we'll be setting it up and doing all those nifty sports and exercise games in order to expand our repertoire of exercises. Who knows? Maybe, unlike every other you-only-have-to-exercise-a-half-hour-per-day program, THIS ONE will cause Mom and I to massively shed pounds! (Not likely, but it will make the whole, keep the cardio going process more fun - and that's a good thing.)

I cannot stress enough that deals can be found on eBay. But it does require patience as you have to be willing to set hard limits on how high you will bid and keep to those limits. We've been searching for a new (as opposed to a 'used' or 'refurbished' unit) Wii since early September of 2009. But we set a goal of not paying more than $180 plus shipping. It took some time, but we beat our goal. To give you an idea, the ten Wii auctions we were following in the two hours before the one we won, the prices ranged between $207 and $276 - same exact system as we won.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

So, I recently read "And Falling, Fly"...

And I didn't like it.

"And Falling, Fly" by Skyler White is, in my opinion, 'ponderous'. Yep. Ponderous. No it's not that long of a book, but the writing style is one that leads the average reader to wonder just how long the pain will last - that's right, the pain! In this story we discover that vampires are really 'fallen' angels - and no, there's no 'becoming a vampire by being made into one by another vampire'. We also discover that vampires not only live off blood, they each seek to meet one desire they crave. Olivia craves 'love'. Her latest victim/savior craves release from the endless cycle of death and rebirth - yep, he, Dominic O'Shaughnessy, is one of the ReBorn. He thinks he's crazy because upon puberty he 'remembered' all of his past lives.

And, of course, we also meet Geahod - a very THIN disguise upon God. He runs an asylum for those - addicts, ReBorn, Fallen Angels, etc - who need to escape the pain of the world. There's a Garden of Eden inside the underground facility, complete with a snake and a Tree of Knowledge - the twist here is that the snake is (as in Norse legends) swallowing his own tail.

I could spoil the book for you but I won't. I also won't deny that the fight between the feelings of the protagonists is shallow, ponderously written and not worth spending money on. However, your mileage may vary - so if you absolutely MUST, I won't prevent you from reading it - but I'm not going to link to AFF on Amazon because I really don't consider it worth recommending.