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Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 5, 2009

One of my followers , W. M. Morrell W.M.Morrell has bestowed upon me The Honest Scrap Blogger Award. Thank you so much :)Here are the rules of the award:1. 'The Honest Scrap Blogger Award' must be shared.2. The recipient has to tell 10 (true) things about themselves that no one else knows.3. The recipient has to pass along the award to 10 more bloggers.4. Those 10 bloggers should link back to the blog that awarded them.

random info:

1-Aqua phobic.

2-Had my very first kiss at the ripe old age of 24

3-Have a very quick wit, which can get me into trouble.

4-Have lived through 5 major earthquakes, including the 1989 San Francisco, dozens of blizzards, 4 tornadoes, 2 ice storms, 1 fire that destroyed 10,000 homes in San Diego, our home was spared, but we were evacuated.

5- Have limited memory of my childhood

6- Have moved 42 times in my life.

7-Hate the saying “We need to talk” up until recently it was never followed by anything positive

8-I am truly a nice person, but I have to convince myself of this on a regular basis

9-I find humor in most things, including my own cancer. The down side is sometimes the ON switch seldom switches off.

10-I was invited to Marie Osmond’s first marriage.

ten blogs I follow:

Abby Annis

books and other random things :)


Heather L. Hansen: YA Author

I Am Write.

Inspired by Real Life

Legend of the Protectors

Montana For Real

the lovers, the dreamers and me

What I Learned Today...

I am sure this is the last link to the honest blogger from me. As I am not sure any on that list follow me.

But I would like to thank Wendy again for the honor.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September 2, 2009

I wrote this for Jimsissy's chain blog: The seven stages of Query.

So I thought I would share it here also. Please go to her blog Fire Drill to read the rest.

Happiness can exist only in acceptance. -George Orwell

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

As I write this another in a long line of form rejections gracefully falls into my printer’s tray, with a soul-shattering thud. Once again an agent that showed so much promise in the beginning has proven that she does not share my dream. This agent seduced me with her web site as she beckoned me with her, “this agent is actively building her clients.” How many times have I fallen for that come-hither mesmerizing “this agent represents middle-grade” hypnotizing stare?
It would seem that lessons would have been learned by now. How do we as writers accept getting knocked on our butts, and keep coming back for more? Is it easy for us to see our dreams be dismissed subjectively? How many of us would stop associating with friends that told us that we just didn’t fit in, or were just not right. It is something we as wanna be authors face on a daily basis, or in some cases we face rejection three or four times a day.

Everyone of us go to our email countless times each day, searching for that solitary positive response to our query, coming back empty handed more times than not. We click our inbox closed with our “new no news is good news attitude”. We read with interest what other writers say about their queries, and how agent X rejected, or requested a partial, nano-seconds after they hit send. We wonder why a particular agent has responded to a particular writer, when the same agent has had your query for months without a response.

Well guess what. Rejection is the cold hard fact of the ruthless publishing business. The sooner we accept that 9 out of 10, and sometimes 99 out of 100 queries will get rejected or ignored is all a part of the game and never personal, the sooner we can move on. It’s hard to accept rejection after rejection, after rejection, but we must accept. Literary Agents do not sit in their offices and choose whose dream to crumble today. Accept that before a flower can grow there needs to be rain, or in my case monsoons.

Each and every one of us is a dreamer. We all chase our own individual rainbow. We all love what we do; writing is a passion for most of us. There is a price we all must pay for our dreams, rainbows are never free. Hope is the price we pay; it’s what gets us through to the next query. There is no doubt we hope our next query is our last query. Without hope there would be no literature.

I have always been a dreamer; I have never given up hope that my dreams will someday be the dreams of the perfect agent.

Give me the patience to accept that which I cannot change, and the courage to hope for my place in the stars.

Never give up. Accept failure with the determination to get it better the next time. Dream the impossible dream, and wish on the evening star.

One day soon, you’ll walk past a reader with their nose in a book and smile and say “that’s me they’re reading”.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 26, 2009

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been here. Truth is that I haven’t had much to say. My adventure with that nasty cancer ended not with a bang but with a whimper. In four more years I can say I’m cancer free. Mrs. Raballard insists that there is some kind of cosmic rule in waiting for five years has passed before such joyous announcements can be made. I can’t for the life of me figure out why, but she is always right. So you’ll have to come back in four years to ffind out that I’m cancer free. Sorry I don’t make the rules, I just follow them.

I know we all looked forward to a new adventure when I learned that the yucky liquid forced upon me prior to my cancer surgery could cause kidney failure. Please don’t be too disappointed that my kidney is doing just fine. Remember I’m old and could break down at anytime. Alas, there doesn’t appear to be any grand adventure in the very near future.

Please don’t ask about the evil, wicked, alien device that was implanted in my nether regions. That adventure is too personal, and uncomfortable. I was told by my psychotic doctor that it is only a matter of time before the device becomes like a second nature to me. Sure, like I’m going to believe that. My pace maker/garage door opener was forcibly implanted four years ago, and it still floats to the surface once in awhile. There is no adventure here either.

Many of you have commented on my platform, thanks. I’m not to sure how long I can keep my platform standing, as it is jimmy-rigged together with great quantities of duct tape and a good size was of chewing gum. I’m still not completely sure why I need a platform. Someone on twitter told me the platform was to see just how recognizable I am on the World Wide Web. Being recognized on the World Wide Web has never been a goal of mine. Of course being recognized on the North American Wide Web is a plus.

I wonder if there is any adventure to be had in reporting just how Raballard is received in his quest for web recognition. Na, it would only read like a report on Raballard, but I do so love reports, so here goes. (I would like to mention that this is not an interactive report; however feel free to Google along with me.)

Google raballard and magically 5340 hits come up; most of them are hits about me. Good deal, huh. Wrong. I send my query letters out under my real name, hint Ballard is not my real last name, so 5340 raballard hits does me no good at all. Now Google my real last name, yup you get exactly 16 hits. Not exactly Earth shattering.

The name of my juvenile fantasy is Tenebrae. That’s a great name isn’t it? There is one eensie-teensie problem with that Google search, seems as if the word Tenebrae is a very common Latin word. The search found over 550000 sites. I don’t know if any of them relate to me, I gave up after the first page of results.

Tenebrae has its own web-site, and gets a little over 100 visits a month, but that number is not enough to get any agents attention. I don’t even mention the web-site in my query.

My latest work, The Last Chance, has garnered a smattering of success, but not enough to build a platform around.

Well there you have it, a report on my lack of adventures, and my very wobbly platform. Please feel free to leave a comment. I hear comments help support a make-shift platform.

Tenebrae's web-site

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 24, 2009

MY Platform;

I just found out I need a platform if I intend to be a serious writer. Here it goes again, the "I thought all I needed to do was write" syndrome. I started the actual writing of my little fantasy almost two years ago. I would have stopped before I started if I knew then what I knew now.
I was almost sixty at the time. I was also very timid and shy. My age and demeanor are not great traits when seeking a writing career.

I have always been the fail once, and I'm out of here kind of guy. Now here I am, two years later, with so many rejection letters I qualify for the frequent rejection list. To be honest, every rejection breaks my heart, see I'm not thick skinned enough to be a writer.

There are times I really don't understand the system. I don't always understand a subjective rejection. Why aren't new clients given a passing chance by the agents actively seeking new clients? The way I see it is, I'm a new client, why not take a chance and ask for a partial before you send of your nifty form rejection letter.

OK now that I've hung myself out to dry, here's my somewhat less than formal platform. (copied from Query Tracker Forum.)

Why do people need my book as opposed to the thousands that already line the shelves?

Answer: Thousands of novels lined the shelves before the Harry Potter books became the vogue. You've lost the race if you go by the mindset that the shelves are already lined with excellent reading material.

What makes my idea unique? The characters in Tenebrae are unique, where else are you going to find a farmer that grows creamed corn with his pet/harvesting equipment giant Caterpillar. Fluffy, the near-sighted, lovesick sea monster, who has fallen in love with a pirate ship. It is also clean, good fun. Readers are entitled to a novel where they don't need to worry if the teenaged protagonist might be involved with activities not age appropriate.

Why must I be the one to write this book?

Answer: There are few around that can match my overactive witty imagination. Besides, I don't think Sara would allow anyone else to tell her story.

What about my background or experience makes me the only one who can write this?

Answer: I have a Peter-Pan soul and heart.

What do I do really well?

Answer: I write good dialogue, I'm witty, funny, charming, I have written a very charming, clean fantasy.

What would I like my platform to look like in a year?

Answer: I dream. Like the rest of the unpublished authors, I would like to add published author to my platform. I would like this blog to be followed by a few more followers, but I suppose that's up to me.

Well, there you have my less than the formal platform. I wish to thank in advance, the thousands of Agents that read this blog.

I would like to close this blog with a prayer to those aforementioned agents (you know who you are) May your next book deal become next year's Pulitzer Prize (or me)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009

My adventure officially came to an end yesterday, April 21 at 2:45 PM. The journey ended when my alien contraption was activated. Don’t ask how it was activated, because modesty will not permit me to disclose how it was done.

I am now healthy, well as healthy as I will ever be. I am also a cyborg. I have parts inside me that are under warranty. You wouldn’t believe how many replacement parts, or repaired organs I possess. I however don’t want to bore you with the stories behind each cyborgian part.
I am also at a loss; I have run out of adventures to blog about. I really don’t want to blog about my unemployment. There are millions in the same boat as I am. The economy has made the boat overflow.

Without an adventure I am unsure what blog path I should take. Should I retire from blogging? Or should I find a new adventure to undertake? My insurance deductable has been met for the year. I suppose I could choose another organ to adventure about. To my knowledge my kidneys and lungs are virgin territory, and ripe for the picking.

I guess this is where you, my loyal followers come in. What should I do? What should I blog about? I am open for suggestions. I really don’t want to retire from this fine institution of blogging, but unless I come up with some viable topics, I would be dead in the water.

I realize I do perform a public service; I have had more than one hardened criminal sentenced to read my blog. A few have even been scared straight. However, I must admit most have requested to have their sentence reviewed, some even opting for solitary confinement.

I now leave my blog’s future in your capable hands. Suggest a topic. Let me know which organ should I explore next. Where should my next adventure lead us?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14, 2009

It’s time to finish up my latest adventure, ok not my unemployment adventure, my yucky surgery adventure. My unemployment adventure has not changed.
I believe I had given the general logistics of my impending surgery on our last blog. For those that survived the total grossieousity of that blog, welcome back. I commend you on your eagerness to continue my adventure through to the bitter end.

As far as I know the surgery went together like a hand and glove, total perfection. The alien device was implanted in its required location. Again modesty and protocols of internet blogging prevent me from saying exactly where that location might be. I have however been told as long as the location is presented in pure medical terms I can give a clue. Having never studied medical terms, I am going to improvise. The vital alien implant area is somewhere south of the navel and north of the knees. With that being said, I will move on.

I was awakened from my either induced coma, seems as if the hospital staff has nothing to do but awaken patients. After being transferred to a room where Mrs. Raballard and daughter Raballard was waiting, I discovered there was something extremely wrong. I was in extreme pain. How could that be? Wasn’t I still under the feint spell of the anesthesia? Apparently that was not the case.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not adverse to pain. I have raised teenagers, and have been through two messy divorces. I am no stranger to pain. This pain was different than the rest. I had never felt that kind of pain before. The delicate location of the procedure seemed to magnify the pain. I also knew the tunnel visioned hospital staff would make their own diagnosis to my pain. Pain so soon after major surgery equals automatic hospital stay. Do not pass go.

I kept my pain to myself, well almost to myself. I did tell my recovery nurse, but I told her in a roundabout way. I did not want to alarm her. I simply told her that after my last surgery I was given a steady dose of morphine to help pain. After I assured her I had no pain at all, I was just addicted to after surgery morphine. Her curiosity satisfied, I got one small dose of morphine. With my pain subdued somewhat, I prepared myself to escape the evil hospital confinement.

I am not known for my acting skills, I myself have never acted before. However, I needed the performance of a lifetime to convince the hospital staff I was able to be released. I knew I was in pain, but there was no need to tell everyone. After all I figured it would be better for me to suffer at home, in front of my big screen TV. I would be happier. The last time I checked the pursuit of happiness is one of our inalienable rights. The constitution of these United States gave me the right to suffer where I chose. I chose suffering and crying out in pain in the comforts of Raballard manor.

How did I run out of time? It Look as if you will have to come back to laugh at my pain. I will try to finish my adventure the next time we meet.

To be honest, I have no idea how this adventure ends. I am still on the adventure. They don’t turn on my alien device for another two weeks. That’s right, I said turned on. Scary huh.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March 31, 2009

I thought the sagging economy was someone else’s burden. My job situation was secure. I even wrote a blog about it in January. That was until the big bad wolf huffed and puffed and blew my secure job right out the door.

For the first time in forty years, I am unemployed. I am numb. However that is another adventure to explore at a later date. I believe you are here to read the conclusion of my next to the latest adventure. I am sorry, but this will not be the final blog about my adventure. Yippee, my current adventure will continue for the next three weeks. That’s right this yucky surgery adventure will walk hand and hand with my creepier out of work adventure. So if you are a current follower, or an on the fence follower, hold on to your hats, It is going to be a bumpy ride.

I am not sure if I have ever explained the logistics of my current condition. Most of you know I had prostate cancer, and for those that are new and had no idea, I suggest you go back to my blog for December 17th and familiarize yourself with my last adventure. Go ahead we will wait for you.

Lalalalala. I hope you don’t mind if I hum while we wait. If there are any one of you wishing to join in please feel free to do so.
Oh good they’re back. Was it all that you had hoped for? I know I was personally riveted to the adventure, but then I had a great advantage point to observe from.

What follows is totally embarrassing. I tried to train one of daughter Raballard’s pet rats to type, that way I could be in the other room when my condition was discussed. However the pet rats are not talking to me seems as if I made them out to be villains in my book INTO THE BLACK REALM. Needless to say they want little to do with me and left it up to me to discuss my condition. So here I go. Wait, before I continue, could I make a simple request? I would ask each one of you to read the following sentences with one eye closed. If you could read with both eyes closed that would be better. I figure maybe that will soften the blow to my ego.

There is a certain side effect that follows most victims of prostate cancer. More times than not the condition corrects itself. Most of you have seen the little boy fountain, you know the fountain where the water comes from a precarious location. I bet you didn’t know that you can actually turn of the flow from the precarious place. It’s as easy as turning off the valve. The fountain is off; it will not be turned on again unless you turn it on. Ok here’s the embarrassing part. In my case my little boy fountain returned itself on. I was hopeless. Do I need to say more? Good lets change to another part of the adventure.

I approached my doctor and asked him if there was any way to rectify my fountain. He assured me there was a simple procedure. He had performed many times with astounding results. I told him to sign me up. I was ready, willing and able. My buddy the doctor squashed my exuberant excitement “Don’t you think I should explain the procedure before you get all worked up?”

I asked him if the procedure worked he assured me again that it worked most of the time. That was enough for me. I was ready for the procedure at any cost.

Apparently my buddy the doctor does not do well with highly over-excited cancer patients. He made it clear that he was going to explain the procedure anyways. How do you like that, I thought he was working for me.

My buddy the doctor went to a desk drawer and pulled out a device. He told me the name of this device, but as it looked like one of the aliens from War of the Worlds I quickly forgot its name. I asked him what his toy alien had to do with my fountain. OK here’s the thing, this part is even more embarrassing then a broken water valve on my fountain.

Unwrapping his War of the World magical device, in order to show me its total creepiness my buddy explained the weird objects purpose. The device had what he called a tiny balloon attached to some kind of buttony thing.

I will leave to your imagination what happens after that. I am so humiliated.

There you have the procedure in a “nutshell”, I have ran out of time again. I will have to continue this adventure another time. Give me a few days to change my name, relocate, and forget about my humiliation.

I would like to welcome any new followers; I bet you’re wishing they had room for more followers on a less disgusting blog.

Please come back.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

March 21, 2009

Well I made it; my adventure is all down hill from here. It’s been a rough ten days. If you are the least bit squeamish about pain and suffering, this is the point where you should leave. However, if my ex-wife happens to be reading this, sit down you’re going to enjoy this.
What gives with scheduling adventures so dang early in the morning? Sure, I am going to sleep through the initial beginning of the adventure, but how about my dearest Mrs. Raballard and daughter Raballard? I got a peek inside the waiting room, it is kinda dinky, my dear support team could not sleep in such dire conditions. Mrs. Raballard said she would be unable to sleep anyway, something about being too worried. Daughter Raballard brought along stacks and stacks of school books, I will admit she took getting up early better this time than she did on my first adventure.

The first part of my adventure began exactly as my previous adventure began. I checked in with the hospitals concierge and showed him my yellow reservation ticket. I was given the ticket at my last meet and greet at the hospital. The R.N. told me “Don’t lose that yellow paper, as they will need it to prior to admitting you.” I begin to worry about the wisdom of the hospital staff. Here I am worried about my upcoming adventure and they hand me an important sacred document. To be fair to the hospital staff I was handed a similar sacred document prior to my last adventure, but Mrs. Raballard was there to shoulder the responsibility. I was alone at the meet and greet. Oh, dear I have gone off on a tangent, I kept the sacred yellow paper in a safe place, and it only took twenty minutes of frantic searching to locate the safe place.

The yellow ticket now safely in the hands of the hospital concierge, I was asked to repeat my name and birthday before they could give me my “your table is ready” buzzer. We didn’t have long to wait, my buzzer woke up Mrs. Raballard five minutes after we set down. My first tour guide was prepared to escort me to my first stop. What gives with the hospital staff’s short term memory receptors? My tour guide, I.V. administrator, gurney pusher, anesthesiologist, shot giver all asked me to repeat my name and birth date. All the information was readily available on my neat bracelet provided as an incentive. Each one of the staff I met along the way read my bracelet and asked me to repeat the information. It seems to me the hospital should be less concerned about me remembering who I am, the time to hire literate staff should be high on their to do list.

Let’s recap my morning. I arrived at the hospital with my yellow ticket. I have also been given a nifty new bracelet, complete with my name and birth date. Grilled and drilled to see if I remember the afore mentioned information. I was dressed in the official southern exposure adventure uniform. Poked and prodded by the Marquis de Sade I.V. nurse, either my veins refused to cooperate or she took extreme pleasure in turning me into a voodoo doll. I was then wheeled into the staging area. I spoke briefly to my Dr.Hekle /Mr. Hyde surgeon, and finally given a welcome to La-La Land martini. I was now ready to face my maker.

Where does the time go? I thought I might be able to get through my adventure with one blog. I have however run out of time. I promise to continue at a later date. Please come back, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The pain and suffering hasn’t even started, you will want to be sure to be here for that. I do miss you if you are not here.

On a purely selfish note, I need two more follower to reach fourteen followers. Four more followers would give me sixteen. Both are great numbers. In the words of Captain Picard of Star Trek fame “Make it so number one”

PS For the older followers among you I should give a more dated plea. In the words of Yul Brynner of Ten Commandments fame “So let it be said, so let it be written”

Monday, March 9, 2009

March 9, 2009

I start my newest adventure tomorrow, the moon, and stars are aligned. The pure cosmic thingy-ma-bob radiates with the glow of a 40 watt bulb. I am ready, ok as ready as I can force myself to be in; adventures such as this are not my cup of tea.

For those following my adventure please stay tuned. For the 500 million of you that have not been following my blog, you must be here by mistake. I will wait for you to gather your belongings and find the inspirational blog you had intended to read. I have checked the roll and those that had been court ordered to read my blog have chosen hard times instead.

I was worried I might have to leave on my adventure by myself, Mrs. Raballard has been away on assignment and my Sherpa guide had flown the coupe. My guide left to visit a friend in the small European country of Toodrnknstan, and we all know there is no extradition from there to here. Luck would have it; I don’t need a guide at all. The adventure is an outpatient procedure. That’s right I get to suffer and mend in the comfort of my own easy chair. I hope some good meds come with the suffering.

My meet and greet went out without a hitch, well almost. They asked me the dumbest question. “Will you allow us to give you blood if it is a life and death situation?” OK up front on your application for the adventure they ask your religious preference. I left mine blank, I figure which ever religious entity nearest me when the time arrives would be beneficial, but I know I didn’t add any religion that won’t allow you to save your own life. My answer was “duh”

I also had to have my pace maker checked, yah I know I had it checked in October, that is apparently too long a period. When the person checking my pace maker said I had four years left, I was on my cell phone checking for an online instant will site. I calmed down after she told me she meant the batteries in my pace maker had about four years left.
That’s about all I have to say. I am anxious for the adventure to begin. Mrs. Raballard is flying in as I type this.

I am cool, calm and collected, what could go wrong? Hey wait a minute, for those familiar with my luck on these adventures you are well aware, everything goes wrong.

Please return to see if I make it. We will miss me if I am gone too long.

Friday, March 6, 2009

March 6, 2009

The Following are ghost stories my mother told me, she swore they are true. I have always believed them, and I will let you be the judge. Comment on whether you believe the stories or not.

My mother was born in Charleston, West Virginia but moved to Indianapolis as a teenager. When my mother’s family moved to Indiana she left her favorite Uncle behind. She adored this uncle, as he adored her.

She was alone in her house one cold winter day, she was too sick to go to school and her parents were at work while her younger brother and sister were at school. A knock came to the front door; she got up and answered the knock. There was nobody there. She looked at the clock on the wall it was just a little after 8 in the morning. It was way too early for people to play pranks on her. Thinking nothing of the empty door way she went back to bed. She had barely pulled the blankets over her when she was disturbed by a loud knock on the front door. Again she answered the door. Again there was nobody there. This time the loud knock on the front door was followed by a loud knock on the back door. She scurried to answer the back door, just as another loud knock came from the front door.

Pranksters, why can’t they let me alone? The knocking at the doors was followed by knocking on the windows. A knock came to each window one at a time. My mother was terrified by this time; she was alone, wishing for relief from the knocking.

At about 8:30 the knocking ceased, all was quiet. Until the front door handle began to turn. She had no place to hide. The door flew open, revealing her mother and father. Her mother had been crying. “Iris (my mother’s name) please sit down, we have some terrible news. At 8 o’clock this morning your Uncle was killed in an automobile accident, we just found out.”

It was then my mother knew who had been knocking at her door.

Story two:

I don’t know if this concerns an Aunt or a neighborhood character, but the name was Mary. Mary was into the occult and weird by any account. She was always mentioned in neighborhood gossip. Mary died in her sleep. That should be the end of our story, right? I wish it were. One day my mother was playing on her front porch with a group of neighbor children. The subject turned to Mary and how weird she was. You know how kids talk. Well, my mother never met someone she didn’t like, she told her friends that Mary was really a nice person and they should quit making fun of her. I don’t know how it happened or why, but the children told my mother she too was weird.

That was more than my mother could take, “OK I’ll prove she was a nice person, you all like dogs, right?” Each child said they liked dogs, “OK If Mary was a nice person, she will appear to us as a large red dog”, mom was safe as there were no large red dogs in the neighborhood. Minutes after the request for Mary to appear as a large red dog, a large Irish setter came and sat next to my mother. The children of course ran screaming to their homes. My mother thanked the dog for showing up, and told her she could leave now. Well the dog stayed, it wouldn’t leave. “Mary, it’s OK, I know you were a nice person, you may go now” Mary the dog wagged her tail, licked my mother on the hand and left, never to be seen in the neighborhood again.

OK there you have it, ghost stories told by my mother.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March 4, 2009

I have been asked to tell the tales behind the haunted houses I have lived in. I am sure there are those who doubt there are such things as haunted houses. The tales are true, I have lived in haunted houses, however, there is not much to the tales.

My first haunted house is also my first house. The house my parents took me to after my birth. Yup they took me straight from the hospital to a haunted house. At the time I was unaware the house was haunted, I had yet to discover my feet let alone eerie ghosts.
By the time I was four I had been designated as a basement sleeper. I was now old enough to sleep in the downstairs bedroom with my older brother; this is where the ordeal takes place.

My brother had been terrified by the ghosts since our return to the house. My father was stationed in California during the Korean Conflict, a ghost moved into our house sometime between the start of the conflict and decided he need not move just because we returned to claim our house back. Why my brother failed to mention his spooky roommate is a question I can not answer.

This is where I come into the haunted house part of the story. Soon after being banished to the basement I started noticing a grey object standing in our doorway. Terrified I pulled the blanket over my head. My brother tried his best to comfort me, “Don’t worry little Raballard, that is only the grey man, I don’t think he can hurt us”

The grey object had the shape of a man. It appeared it could not enter our room even though I could see him trying. OK there are going to be those among you that will claim the grey man is due to overactive imaginations, I might agree with you, had I not been there.

I am not the same person my brother is, I am not going to live through terror without sharing my experience. I told my father about the grey man, after my brother admitted he saw it too, my father decided to spend the night in the basement.

To make a long story short, he spent one night in the basement; the grey man showed up, my father ran screaming up the stairs. We moved soon after.

Many years later I ran into the victim that spent his formative years sleeping in the haunted basement. After he found out I was the original occupant he asked me “Hey what gives with the grey man?”

That was a true story; the next story is just as true.

We moved directly from our grey man house into a house that was almost 100 years old, even back then houses that old were old. Our neighbors were a dry cleaner on the one side, and a couple that were about as old as our house on the other side. I tell you who our neighbors were because they will figure into the story. Behind us we had a huge backyard and a large field.
The house was a three story Victorian style house with a small basement. The basement walls were painted red, at least that is what I was told, there is no way I was going down into the basement. Fortunately the basement was unfinished so nobody was allowed to sleep down there.

The spooky activities started soon after we moved in. During the night the whole family could here a baby crying, as I said before, there is no baby around us. The baby cried soon after we were all in our bed and would continue for about 5 minutes. When you are 7 years old, 5 minutes are an eternity. My father worked up the courage to investigate the crying, he could find nothing.

After a couple of weeks of nightly crying my father decided to ask our ancient neighbors. The answer was disturbing. Around the turn of the century the occupant of the house went out of his mind.

The story goes an unnamed occupant lost his wife during child birth. The child was blamed for his loss. Unable to forgive his daughter, the man took his infant into the basement and bashed her head against the wall. He buried the child in the back yard and proceeded to paint the basement red. We moved soon after.

If you would like on my next blog I could tell a couple of ghost stories my mother told me. Both are also true. I think the ghoulish among you would get a kick out of them. Leave a comment if you would like to hear them.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March 3, 2009

The newest fad on Facebook is coming up with 25 random facts about you. I also believe they have to be truthful, too bad, I could invent some whoppers. The following list is truthful, embarrassing, and totally boring.
I am not sure if the public is ready for random facts about me.
Here we go?
1-Aqua phobic.

2-Had my very first kiss at the ripe old age of 24

3-Have a very quick wit, which can get me into trouble.

4-Have lived through 5 major earthquakes, including the 1989 San Francisco, dozens of blizzards, 4 tornadoes, 2 ice storms, 1 fire that destroyed 10,000 homes in San Diego, our home was spared, but we were evacuated.

5- Have limited memory of my childhood

6- Have moved 42 times in my life.

7-Hate the saying “We need to talk” up until recently it was never followed by anything positive

8-I am truly a nice person, but I have to convince myself of this on a regular basis

9-I find humor in most things, including my own cancer. The down side is sometimes the ON switch is stuck in the ON position

10-If I pay for dinner with my debit card and leave the tip on the card the ending balance always need to end in a 0.00 (example $40.00 etc,) I am a great tipper.

11-I have never hit another person, nor has another person hit me.

12-I was invited to Marie Osmond’s first marriage.

13-Lived in two haunted houses.

14-Love movies that make me cry.

15-Love my wife with all my heart, I tell her that often, but I really don’t know how to show it.

16-Met my wife in a “Southern California” chat room on AOL. She wanted to cancel our first date, but decided not to. Too bad for her huh.

17-Moved from Modesto, California to St. Louis Missouri to be with a girl I met on AOL. It lasted a little over one month.

18- Never smoked

19-Quit drinking on May 31, 1980. I was heading in the wrong direction at the time. It was either quit drinking or practice saying “My name is Ramon and I’m a …”

20-Posses a photographic memory that is in dire need of repair.

21-Short (5’-4) to be exact. This is a good thing; if I were any taller, all of my pants would be too short.

22-Shy, very shy, uber shy. Which is why I say I grew up invisible?

23- Taught Sunday School for ten years

24- Was married to a woman with 10 diagnosed multiple personalities. Over time, all 10 of them hated me.

25-Wear a tie to work every day. I have 30 ties with a matching shirt. They are all up on my closet on the order I am going to wear them. I never vary from the order.

Caution my next post will be the 25 random things about me that did not make the list. (there is nothing in the rules that say they need to be %100 accurate.)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

February 28, 2009

It’s time to finish what I’ve started, no more cliffhangers, no more time restraints, today is the day. If you are new to my blog, welcome. If you are a new reader the first blog on my adventure is the December 17, 2008 blog, you might want to start reading that post first, and read forward. For those of you court ordered to this blog, because of some evil deed, I agree this is cruel and unusual punishment. However, you are here so you might as well make the best of your situation, there are cots in the back, you may sleep off your sentence.

I wish I could tell you what happened inside the operating room, I am sure it would be riveting reading; however I was sleeping at the time. Apparently my surgeon takes a dim view of patients watching his procedures. I can only assume he chooses secrecy. I really shouldn’t tell you, but I have it on good authority he uses high tech, top secret operating tools. Tools that if they were to fall into the wrong hands it would be catastrophic to world peace; the thought I was placed in a trance to prevent me feeling intense pain crossed my mind but was dismissed.

I really can’t say how long the surgery lasted. Security at the hospital is stellar; prior to my surgery they removed my glasses and watch. I can understand why they removed my glasses, I can’t see without my glasses. If I were to wake during the procedure I would be unable to see a thing. I suppose sight during certain operations is considered National Security risks?

I don’t know how long I had been asleep, remember they removed my watch; all I know is I was shaken awake by an unknown assailant. “Mr. Raballard my name is Brucie and I’m going to take you to your room” I was too groggy to pay much attention or put up any kind of resistance. The ride to my room was nondescript, I slept all the way. I was jarred awake when I was transferred from gurney to bed. Mrs. Raballard and Daughter Raballard were in my room waiting for me. Tears rolling down there cheeks, both smiling brighter than the sun. The recovery was going to be a breeze; I had such a great support team. Wrong, oh not the part about my support team being great, the part about my recovery being a breeze. The breeze part was further then the truth then any cliché could imagine.

I was promised a three day hospital stay. Three days from start to finish. I hate hospitals, I fear them, I have a sever case of Hospitalstayaphobia. Three days in the hospital for me is an eternity. I figured I would sleep most of the days away so I could do three days. I might have been able to do three days, we’ll never know, I wasn’t given that option. No sooner had I been placed into my hospital bed my fever skyrocketed, my blood sugar doubled, and my blood pressure went up. Somewhere between the operating room and my room I had contracted pneumonia. My three day hospital stay flew out the window; I was stuck in the hospital until I was well. The only positive thing I could look forward to was my morphine cocktail every two hours.

OK let’s review my condition 1) I am stuck in a place I hate. 2) I just had major surgery. 3) I have a deadly disease, which I have to recover from before I can recover from my surgery. 4) The nurses see nothing wrong with giving me another habit (morphine) 5) my roommate was in the hospital to detox. He would actually howl at the moon while swearing at the staff. I am not a happy camper; well I am not a happy camper for only a few minutes every two hours. It is hard to be unhappy doped up on morphine.

The remainder of my stay is quite humiliating and embarrassing, so I will close my eyes and type the rest of the story, in hopes I can get through it without blushing. GUIyfkopannb akwojnabs k aiwnk, Oh dear I forgot I don’t touch type, I hunt peck type.

There are certain parts of the body that kind of swell up to enormous sizes directly after prostate cancer surgery. I will not tell exact parts, but I will give you an example. My marbles turned into bowling balls, and I was able to bowl for almost three weeks after the surgery.
I was suppose to get up and walk every few hours, the only problem with that was every time I stood up I would bleed from unseen places. Not a simple stream of blood, I was the Niagara Falls of bleeding.

Let me paint you a picture, I am weak from surgery/pneumonia, I have to walk every few hours to gain my strength, and every time I get up I leave a trail of blood, and I am going “bowling”. Not a pretty picture.

My three day hospital stay stretched into ten days. My pneumonia disappeared. My roommate checked himself out of the hospital. I was released into the loving arms of my support team. I was now free to finish my recovery in the comforts of Raballard Manor. My bowling days lasted for a few more weeks, I was able to return to work just after Thanksgiving, all was right with the world. Well as right as I am allowed. It seems as if the world isn’t right unless I have an adventure to overcome. My cancer is gone; I won’t have to go on that adventure again. My next adventure is humiliating and embarrassing. My next adventure starts March 3, with another meet and greet at the hospital. I won’t go into the details of my next adventure, but I will give you a tiny clue. You have seen the little boy fountain?

Ok I have finished, the tale is over. I hope you enjoyed my cancer. Please return for my next adventure, coming to a blog near you.

As always, I miss you when you are not here, so please come back.

PS The poor souls court ordered to my blog are still sleeping in the rear of my blog, let’s not awaken them when you leave.

Monday, February 23, 2009

February 23, 2009

I hope my readers/reader doesn't mind if I get serious for one post.

The time when I met Mrs.Raballard is drawing nigh. I met her in a San Diego chat room on AOL.
I had just moved to Anaheim from Salt Lake City. It was very late at night, or very early in the morning, maybe we chatted through late night, early morning. All we did was chat that fatefull night/morning, we scheduled a date a few chats later. The rest is history.

She decided she did not want to go on our planned date, and as she could not reach me she decided the best thing to do would be to go on that date.

The date was good, we both had a great time, however it was not meteroic good.

Love to me had been elusive, everytime I fell in love, I came away with my heart in tatters.

The following poem was not written for Mrs Raballard, I wrote it almost 4 years prior to meeting her. I tell people that visit my web site I wrote this for a freind who decided I was not the right person to fullfill her dreams. That is partially true. I wrote this poem for a wild-eyed dreamer, who had given up on love. Namely myself.

May your life be full of sunshine. Even when your skies are gray.
May you find the strength to go on when you think you've lost your way.
May the smiles you get from others be the warm fulfilling kind.
May your dreams that you are dreaming be easier to find.
When you look into your past, may you look without regret
of people, places or things you would be better to forget.
May you find your happiness as you pass on through the years
But remember you receive wisdom, when lessons are learned from your tears.
May the love you find in your life be the kind you know will last,
the kind of love that will free your heart from the pain of the past.
When it becomes time to look into that final bright light.
May you look secure in the knowledge you have loved and loved right.

There is no doubt in my mind I have now loved and loved right.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

February 21, 2009

It has been a week of amazing discoveries. Welcome to the grand opening of my bi-weekly “WHAT I LEARNED”. I have a few blogs, which I follow I enjoy reading them. I have decided to promote these blogs, well I am promoting them without mentioning names. I wouldn’t want to cause any embarrassment. Just to know I am following a blog could cause embarrassment. Therefore, no names will be mentioned to protect the innocent, keep cosmic harmony, and prevent an overwhelming leaving blogspot stampede.

I learned that in Texas, there must be some kind of law that in order to drop off children to grandparents’ tumbleweeds need to be involved.

There is a certain talented multi-tasking woman somewhere in Texas. She amazes me every time I see her online. Not only does she have time to write her paranormal novel, but also she is able to keep up an excellent blog, and spend time twittering, she also reads. Not just reads, she has a list of books she is reading long enough to fill my local library.

I would like to thank the girls on the prairie; I had no idea that I would be a perfect candidate to be the next great Romance Novel writer. Especially since I admitted, I am not a romantic post on Valentines Day. It appears the prerequisite for Romantic Novel writing is a great love for cheesy old TV westerns. Who knew that my love for Bonanza could turn into a career in Romantic Novels?

I learned that I should avoid Sony Readers like the plague. I can’t afford one in the first place, but I hear they are highly addictive. I think the exact words were that the reader was as addictive as chocolate and caffeine. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford another bad habit. I just got addicted to Twitter and Facebook, I don’t need to attend any Sony Reader addiction meetings, “Hello my name is Raballard, and I’m addicted to reading.” Sorry but my free addictions will have to do for now.

I don’t know how I got this far in my life without writing a Haiku. I, like writing, do not do well when composing Haikus’. If finding an Agent requires the art of Haiku, then I am in big do-do. The Haiku contest was fun, but I don’t think my Haiku will be read anytime soon.

Another Agent chimed in how to write a query letter. The letter should have more story lines and less about the author. I need get back to my query; I am so boring I have not added anything about me. I suppose I could make up a fantastic blurb about my past life. Maybe aliens, that would be cool, Wait, abducted me, I have it, I was abducted by aliens and forced to write a historical account of their home planet. “Dear agent, I have no writing credentials on Earth, but I have quite a fan base on the Planet Thastursge”

I was so naïve when I started writing my little book, I thought all that was needed was a great story line, and boy was I wrong. You also need patience, a strong sense of survival, and determination.

Writing is a dangerous career toes are stepped on. Rejection comes with the territory. I don’t know if I am ready for all that. I hope I can rise to the required level and hang in there. So far so good, the internal battle has had very few casualties. I have found a few great friends along the way. Giving up is not an option.

Finally, I learned I had to step up my determination a notch or two. I read about Author Christopher Nolan, who passed away this last week. Talk about determination, he overcame great obstacles to become a writer. He attached a pointer on his head to write. This person truly wanted to be a writer. If I had to write with a pointer on my head, I am sure nothing would be written. You would be reading a blank screen. I find it hard to write when I am infected with the Bubonic Plague. An attached head pointer would be unbearable

OH ya, I almost forgot, my good friend reminded me to stay away from peanut butter.

It looks as if I have run out of time again; I had so much more to share. I really learn a lot when I read my friends blogs. Maybe next time you can sit next to the fireplace and read along with me. Please come back.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 19, 2009

Stop the presses. I have an important announcement. It is with the great pleasure to announce that I do not have the common cold. I have a very bad case of Bronchitis, I am so happy. If I had the strength, I would do the happy dance, between my coughing and wheezing. You see Mrs. Raballard was not 100% right. When I informed her I had the Bubonic Plague, she insisted I had a common cold, not I had Bronchitis. She didn’t even mention the possibility of something other than the cold. Ok maybe she mentioned the possibility of Bronchitis a few days later. I am excited Mrs. Raballard was semi-wrong.

I had another appointment with my family physician today. However, I chose to go to Dr. Pepper’s partner Dr. My Eyes. It is not that I don’t trust Dr. Pepper, he is an adequate doctor. He was unavailable, so I settled on Dr. My Eyes, although I had never seen him before.

I arrived at my appointment on time (no shock there), as I was the only patient, my wait time was short.

My turn came in a matter of minutes. This time the receptionist weighed me, well kind of. Seems as if the receptionist made extra money as a Carney, she took one look at me and guessed my weight within 3 pounds. I was then taken to an examining room and told I would be seen shortly.

I barely had time to sneak in a decent nap when the door opened, followed by Nurse Sue E Ryhmes, she felt my biceps and declared my blood pressure was slightly higher than it should be. She left as quickly as she entered.

I was in the middle of a coughing fit when the door burst open. Dr. My Eyes goose-stepped into the room. He placed his dangling monocle into his left eye. “Ve don't need to examine you, do ve. I see notzzingkt. You haf Brunkhitus” He took a quick look at my file, and then slammed it shut. “I see you haf been gifen a Antibiotic, goot. You haf been takingkt your medicine hafn't you? Ve haf vays uff makingkt you take your medicine.”

I assured him I had been taking my medicine on a regular basis. The doctor looked at me with suspicion, snapped his feet together and gave me a curt salute. “Gutten Tag. Herr Raballard.”

My appointment was now officially over, I was free to escape,

I have Bronchitis, there is a cure, and I will survive. However, Mrs. Raballard might not be able to live this mistake down. She was semi-wrong I was semi-right. For those at home keeping score, she is still right 99.999999999999% of the time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

February 17, 2009

I had a pow-wow with my Sherpa Guide/Adventure Planner/Doctor yesterday. It is official; I have been scheduled for another adventure. However, before I can tell you about my upcoming adventure I must finish my current adventure. I have had several requests concerning my adventure. I have carefully considered each one of them, and decided to continue anyway. Are we ready? OK ready, set go. Wait, I should give a quick synopsis of my adventure up to this point.

Here is a very quick synopsis, (1) I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September. (2) I chose surgery to remove the cancer. (3) I was attacked by vampires dressed as blood bank volunteers. (4) Finally I was poisoned by my doctor. That about does it, you have been caught up. We are now current, D. Day, the day of my surgery.

BUZZZZZ-BUZZZZ, my alarm clock woke us up at 4:30 in the morning, we were suppose to be at the hospital at 5:30. I don’t know why the hospital felt the need to schedule my surgery so early. I had no problem with the early time, but Mrs. Raballard and Daughter Raballard were not happy with the time. Daughter Raballard takes time to transform from her zombie like sleep to the beautiful daughter she really is and 4:30 in the morning is too early for the transformation to take place.

We arrive at the hospital 20 minutes early, not that I’m excited to be there, My OCDness goes into high gear when time is involved, I feel the need to be on time to all appointments. The best way to assure you will be on time is to get to your appointment early.

I was ready my support team was not. We walked into the lobby, Mrs. Rabalalrd’s head on my shoulder, clutching her favorite blanky. Daughter Raballard stomped into the lobby arms outstretched Frankensteinish. We were quite a sight.

Heading straight to the check-in desk, we are given a “your name came up, and your seat is ready buzzer. I knew restaurants used them, I had no idea the technology had been adopted by the health care community also. I patiently await my buzz, while my support team slept on. A tech, with a clipboard entered the lobby, I swear he looked just like Igor, “Raballard, Raballard” my buzzer hissed at me at the same time. I told the hunch backed lab tech that I was Raballard. The tech checked my new lovely hospital supplied bracelet, he had to be sure I was who I claimed I was. (Editors note: I have not Goggled this yet, but I am sure there are very few people impersonating prostrate cancer patients. I am also certain if you are the one to stand up when a name is called out for the surgery, you are who you claim to be.)

Satisfied he motioned me, and my support team to “walk this way”. The four of us leave the lobby and pass through a set of double doors, Mrs Raballard slugs me in the arm. I look surprised; although I knew the reason, she slugged me. I take things literally, when the tech instructed me to walk this way, I was doing just that. As I walked, I dragged my left leg behind me. I was mimicking the lab tech, trying my best to walk his way. Mrs. Raballard was not amused.

We were escorted to the holding cell, where I was given a tie from the back, southern exposure robe, a fancy blue paper helmet, and a pair of brown slipper socks. The socks clashed with the rest of my surgical uniform, so I refused to wear them. After changing into my early Surgical Halloween Costume, I was ordered to lie on a rock hard, tiny gurney and wait my turn.

Before long a continual parade of hospital, staff march into and out of my cell. The first being the staff in charge of admittance, I feel sorry for her, she is so addicted to my space she pushes a computer along through out her travels. My pastor drops by to say hi, I secretly know he has deadlines to meet. He wants to publish my demise in the next week’s church bulletin. The doctor, anesthesiologist, janitor followed my pastor’s visit.

I don’t know when it happened but someone had unbeknownst to me had slipped a elephant tranquilizer into my I.V. The last two to enter my room were Guido and Lefty. It was now my time. Guido and Lefty were there to wheel me to my next destination.

For those among you that have not had the pleasure of a similar adventure you might be surprised my next destination was not the operating room. I was escorted to a staging area, full of other people going on their own adventures.

We dropped of Daughter Raballard in the waiting room on our way to the staging area. Mrs. Raballard was able to join me while I waited.

Guido assured me the vultures circling the staging area where actually just family, waiting for news of loved ones. I was also comforted when they told me the person dressed head to foot in a hooded black robe was not the grim reaper. It was the hospital administrator on her way to a Halloween Party.

The remainder of my journey was hazy at best. I can only assume Mrs. Raballard’s sworn testimony that I requested that a Dr. House or any of his staff not be allowed to assist. I knew I had cancer, and if any of you watch House know my concern,

I was asleep by the time I was escorted into the operating room.

Dang, where does the time fly? I am out of time. I will have to continue my adventure another time. I promise to complete it before my next adventure begins.

Please come again, pull up a rocking chair and sit a spell. You are missed if you are not here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

February 15,2009

I survived another Valentine’s Day. Don’t take it the wrong way but Valentine’s Day has never been my favorite holiday. This might have been caused by the wrong choice of spouse, or a spot of bad porridge. I’m getting better. Mrs. Raballard and I have been married for 51/2 years, and with each passing year I loathe Valentine’s Day less and less.

Another thing about Valentine’s Day is the day is set aside for the romantics. I will be the second one to admit, I am not romantic. Mrs. Raballard knew this before she married me, and married me anyway. It’s not that I don’t love her; she knows I love her with all my heart (pacemaker included). I tell her constantly about my undying love, I just have no idea how to show it.

This blog is not about Valentine’s Day, nor is it about love. It’s about trying to get into any kind of a restaurant on Valentine’s Day without a reservation.

OK I here you all snickering. Some of you might be echoing Mrs. Raballard’s response. “YOU didn’t get a reservation? I said you should get a reservation weeks ago.” Yes she asked me to get a reservation; yes I had every intention of making a reservation. I have a good excuse. I forgot.
I do have an innate dislike for reservations anyway, most likely caused by my OCD condition. Let me give you an example. Say you make a reservation at Red Lobster, you are duty bound to eat at Red Lobster. It is etched in stone, there is no way out. Any semblance of spontaneity has been chucked out the window. If I were to wake up on the day we had reservations and find that today was not a good day to eat at a restaurant with an “R” in its name, I would be doomed. I made the reservation in advance, I had no idea that my cosmic anti “R” day would strike on that particular day. My universe would swing out of kilter. To simplify this blog, I Raballard did not make a reservation.

Informed by my know-it-all wife that it would be virtuously impossible to find a place to eat at such a short notice, and we should try The Village Inn first. I of course told her everything would be alright, while I was trying to decide if 3:59 on a Saturday gave sufficient time to make a reservation for 5 o’clock.

“Hey Mr. Flyby The Seat of Your Pants” (one of her endearments for me) maybe if we get there early we might be able to get in.

What have we got to lose? Springfield Missouri is a small town in Southwest Missouri. The population is just over 200,000 (which is small in my book). There is a Chinese Buffet on practically every corner. There are plenty of other fine restaurants to go around. I am positive we will find one.

Our first choice was Logan’s Steakhouse, after circling the parking lot, and the adjacent parking lots, we decided we weren’t in the mood for steak anyway.

TGI Fridays was our next choice. I am positive if we had chosen that restaurant on Friday we would have been in luck. Patrons were overflowing into the street.

We had similar luck at Chili’s, Chucky Cheese, Crispy Cream, The Mall Food Court, and The Café at Borders.

I had a brilliant idea; we should see just how bad our economy really is. Our next choice was a $35 dollar a plate Brazilian Restaurant. You know the type? It is a restaurant where they bring you all kinds of yummy meats on a skewer. This is not a place for vegetarians. We manage to get past the PETA picketers, find a place to park. The waiting list for placing your name on the list for placing your name on the seating list is 40 minutes.

I was a bit discouraged by this time, and more than perturbed at Mrs. Raballard from her constant “It’s OK”. It wasn’t OK I was getting hungry, we had to fill our tank up for the second time, and I was beginning to loathe Valentine’s Day again.

Around 9:30, tired and hungry, we pulled into a McDonalds near our home. I tipped the maître de an extra $5 to get us near the top of the list. Mrs. Raballard said it wasn’t the maître de, I disagreed, and we placed our name on the list, and waited the required 40 minutes for our name to come up. I ate my Happy Meal in silence, silently fuming.

Should I have made a reservation? Probably, Mrs. Raballard is always right. Will I make a reservation next year? Probably not, I am still OCD, and always will be.

(PS I am thinking of making a “What I have learned from other Blogs” a bi-weekly Blog. The last one seemed to go over well. Comment me and let me know what you think. I always love comments)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

February 11, 2009

I took my friend’s advice this morning and visited my doctor. My friend advised me that if the Bubonic Plague went untreated it could lead to death or something even worse. Early this morning I delegated Mrs. Raballard to arrange an appointment with my family doctor.

Let me tell you little about my family doctor, Dr. Pepper, he is a wonderful backwoods, backwards doctor. He shuns modern technology, my kind of doctor, sort of.

The exam begins the usual way; he always asks the same question, “What’s ailing ya’ll?”
I proudly proclaim that I have the bubonic plague, and I would like to cure it while I still had the time. His eyes brightened, I knew it had been ages since he had seen a good case of the plague. I decided I should not mention my impending kidney failure, due to drinking Phosphopoison prior to my last surgery.

“Ah ha, taint seen no plague round these parts fer ages. I spect we should check it out” do you see why I love my doctor. The nurse came in to check my temperature, apparently she is a mother. Dr. Pepper took a pencil from behind his ear and jotted down a few figures “That’s ok missy, ya’ll don’t need to be exact when you are cyhperin tempyatures” he thanked the nurse as she departed. “Looks as ifn we needs to check your lungs.”

Remember, I said he shuns modern technology? Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t the stethoscope been around long enough to be declassified modern technology? Dr. Pepper claims he hears an annoying thump, thump whenever he uses one of those new fangled contraptions. He prefers to place his ear next to your chest; it is by far more accurate.

He placed his ear to my chest and thumped my back as if it were a melon. Satisfied with his diagnoses he stood up and wiped his hands on my shirtsleeves. “Taint got no Boobinic Plague, what you gots is what we call in the medical perfession as a common cold. To bad, ya’ll know thar taint no cure for that?”

As a precaution, I was given a prescription for some kind of “cilion” I can’t pronounce, nor spell, patted on the head, handed my lollipop, and told to pay on my way out. “Ya’ll come back ifn ya’ll get one of them life treatenin’ diseases, I’ve been a hankerin’ ta have a whack at one of em”

As I left his office I turned and informed him how mistaken he was, and how he would regret his decision. He of course looked at me as if I was crazy. In disgust, I lifted my no longer plague infested hand to show him the green lollipop he knows I prefer orange.

There you have it, my doctor’s visit. I am on the road to recovery; it is just a common cold. I’ll get over it.

I now have to face Mrs. Raballard and admit she was right. She always is.

Friday, February 6, 2009

February 6, 2009

I have the Bubonic Plague. Mrs. Raballard insists it is only a cold, but I know she is mistaken. She is a wonderful wife, and a fantastic mother, however her knowledge of plague symptoms are limited. Sure, she can feel your forehead and guesstimate your temperature with unheralded accuracy.

If by chance, Mrs. Raballard is right, and she usually is, then I am sure I have yellow fever, typhoid, malaria, or diphtheria. What ever I have, I feel icky. I can only hope I have one of the fatal, disfiguring diseases and not common cold. No, I have not lost my mind actually the wish for a horrible disease over the common cold is pure genius. Last time I checked there is not a cure for the common cold; all you can do is suffer until the cold decides you have had enough. Yellow fever, typhoid, malaria, diphtheria and the Bubonic plague all have a cure.

There is a slight hitch in my plan. My internet, magic eight ball, or etch-a-sketch has yet to locate a doctor that practiced medicine between the early twentieth century and medieval age.

To my dismay, I must suffer through my ailment. Unfortunately, I don’t feel yucky enough to miss work. I pretend I have a common cold and shuffle off to work. I informed my supervisor if he was to find me sleeping at my desk he was not to worry. I would actually be in a plague-induced coma; I would never sleep on the job.

I have to go; I just got a hit on my web search for medieval surgeons. It was nice talking to you. If by chance you come back and find me staring intently into my computer screen, there is no need to worry. It is just me searching for my cure. However, is you feel so inclined to worry feel free to call 7-1-1.

What, you have never heard of 7-1-1? It is almost like 9-1-1, with the exception of the need for speed. The EMT’s can take their time, please ask them to stop for donuts. It appears this Merlin guy my search found is some kind of myth. I might be here for awhile.

Monday, February 2, 2009

February 2, 2009

I spent my pre-super bowl day reading the blogs of my friends. I follow a few on a regular basis, I even have one particular blog prominently displayed in my Favorites on my cell phone.

I learned even heroes get discouraged. I read all about super husbands. Although that one made me cry, I thought Mrs. Raballard had a super husband. I of course will have to bow to the real super husband. I learned how difficult Eighth Grade was in 1895, I almost remember that first hand. I learned how to format query letters. (thanks EJ) I will most likely get the same great form letter rejections, but my query will look spiffy. I read about the crazy truck driver in Kansas City.

I enjoyed reading my friends blogs, however it did lead to a stark realization. I am not a writer. I have no idea how to tug at the heart stings with flair. I am unable to advise on marital bliss. There is no way I can convince the reigning super husband to relinquish his thrown for the real super husband.

I can't begin to tell you how discouraged I get, without coming out whiny. That blog was a work of art. It should win the Pulitzer prize awarded to blog. I am discouraged on a daily basis. I have a constant struggle to keep going and not to give up.

I can't even remember 8th grade, let alone tell you how hard it was. (Actually school was never hard for me)

You would fall off of your chair in shear horror if I were to tell you how to format your query letter.

I don't know if I am a recovering perfectionist, an optimistic pessimist, or a gloom and doom humorist. I am also not a writer. I am a story teller. I can twist my cancer into a humorous tale. I have the ability to make people smile with my words, they might not be formatted correctly, or spelled right, but even I have to admit they are funny. It is also fun to write.

I will let you in on a little secret. Mrs. Raballard had never read one of my blogs. Until last Friday at Chilli's, she had forgotten her book and wanted something to read. My blog site is also posted in my favorites. This was a great place for me to be in, she had nothing to read and I my blog was at my disposal. After reading the Menu one more time, my wife submitted to my torture. She read my blogs and loved them.

If a reader comes to my blog in hopes of sage advise, I suggest you try one of the amazing blogs I follow. Well actually if they are here looking for advise I might suggest therapy.

If a reader is looking for a sanctuary from daily struggles, a place they can smile, have a good time, please pull up a chair. The fireplace is always lit. There are plenty of easy chairs, or cots for the comatose.

For the rare adventurers out there feel free to click on the follow button. I will try my best to be entertaining.

For any of you that have read previous blogs, I have revised them. The revision is slight and you might not notice they have been revised, but they have. I have deleted two that just couldn't measure up to my low standards.

Please come back, I truly miss you if you stay away too long. Feel free to leave a message, I promise not to tell anyone you have read my blog.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

January 24, 2009

OK, I know what you are doing. You figure if you don't tell me where I left off, I will forget and move onto another subject. At my advanced age I might forget about my adventure all together. I might even forget where I put my blog, and head off into the sunset. It's not going to work. I am going to finish my adventure, and I am going to start the day before my surgery. That is where I wanted to restart in the first place.

I was given a long list of instructions of what to do the day prior to my surgery. I figured the day prior to my surgery would be an excellent time to read them. I know what you are thinking "hey that guy raballard is a procrastinator" I can assure you that is not the truth. I happen to be a "put things off until the last minute person"

If any of you out there have had major surgery, you know the preparation the day prior is vital to your survival. As a public service I feel obliged to share a few intimate things on that important list. Please remember I do this for posterity, so indulge me.

(please familiarize yourself with this list prior to the day prior to surgery, as your life may rely on it) Editor note: Gee I wish I had read that before.

1-Eat only clear liquids for 24 hours prior to appointed surgery.
2-Never run with scissors
3-Don't talk to strangers
4-Never count your chickens before they hatch (unless you are a census taker or a chicken farmer)
5-Wait one hour after eating to swim (Editor: this one confused me, because of the don't eat for 24 hours prior)
6-Tie a yellow ribbon round an old oak tree (Editor: we don't have an old oak tree, or a yellow ribbon, so I tied a faded light brown sock around my neighbors wood fence. I hope the doctor doesn't check)
7-Clean out your system with Fleet Phosphorus at exactly 11:30, repeat in two hours if your system hasn't cooperated.
8-Don't drive, operate heavy machinery while cleaning out your system. You might want to avoid walking and chewing gum also.

There you have the major selling point of the do's and dont's of major day before surgery. I followed the list to the T's, except for the few places I improvised.

I took my Fleet Phosphorus at exactly 11:30 give or take a few minutes. The Fleet stuff is supposed to be added to an eight ounce glass of water. I will let you in on a raballard secret, I hate plain water. I seldom drink it. I was reconsidering my options. I had to choose the worse of two evils 1- living with cancer or 2 drinking an eight ounce glass of water. A eight ounce glass of water with Fleet junk in it made it no more palatable. I of course choose the living with cancer. That was until my wife Mrs. raballard called me a baby. I think her exact words were chicken gizzard sniveling coward baby. I can't have that now can I. I took my medicine. I was not surprised to find out adding Fleet Phosphojunk does not improve the taste of water.

System cleaning junk was now pumping through my body, I could now sit down and watch a little TV before my system needed cleaning. Guess what, the first evil dose of hell water didn't work. I had to take a second dose. I still had an unclean system. My thoughts about Fleet Phoshojunk was not too clean at the time either.

What I am going to say now actually happened, it is way too weird to be made up. The second dose worked like a charm (I wont go into the actual ritual of system cleaning, needless to say it is dirty business) Within one hour of having my Fleet Phosposatin complete it's task, while relaxing watching TV, not bothering a soul. (except my irritated neighbor wondering what a faded sock is doing on his fence) A commercial comes on TV, you know the kind, the class action suit kind.


Warning if you or anyone of your loved ones have taken Fleet Phosphorus in the last five years contact the law offices of R. U. Ready, T. O.dye. Weneed, Mooremoney. Your next of kin might qualify for settlement in our class action suit. Fleet Phoshpokiller damages kidneys and other vital organs. (true story). Great now my kidneys are going to fail. Look on the bright side, my next of kin is going to be paid for my untimely demise, and I will have another fantastic adventure to thrill you with.

The rest of the day prior to my surgery was uneventful. We settled down for my last meal of nothing. Watched a little TV and went to bed early. We had to get up at four am in order to get to the hospital in time to meet my maker. Sorry I misspeled the doctors name, it is M.Y.Maaker.

Darn, I ran out of time again. I was sure I was going to finish my adventure this time. Please accept my apology. Come back soon. I will try to finish this dern-balsted adventure the next time.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20, 2009

I am taking a break from my adventure to make the following disclosure.

I am a big Technotard, I think that is computer talk for I am a big idiot. I tried to put a people counter on my blog, but as you can see there is not one on my blog.
Not that I really need one, I think I can count the traffic on this blog with a calender. Being a one time math whizz, numbers have always been an important, sometimes useless part of my life. Unless of course if you are actually talking about some life altering number, the number if forgotten, can toss my never chaotic life into ruin, I forget those numbers instantly.

It is important to me to see my blogs traffic. You wouldn't believe the amount of satisfaction I derive from seeing one person visited my site eons ago. Some might chalk it up to vanity, but I chalk it up to something beyond my OCD driven existence, can not control. That and the fact I have no life.

I made several attempts to add this, yet to exist people counter. Failing every time. So I have come up with a better solution.

! !
! ! Chalk board
! !
! !

As you can see, I have added a cute little chalk-board to my blog.
All you, my reader needs to do is place a tally mark upon it when you visit.
I know this is a savant like genius, I will work out the logistics of how to place the tally mark there later.

Please turn out the lights when you leave


Saturday, January 10, 2009

January 10, 2009

It has been brought to my attention that I have left one or two of you in the edge of your seat for far too long. I have an excuse, I haven't felt up to it. Worry no more, I will not leave you in the lurch any longer. Your wishing, hoping, anticipating, snoring, waiting for my final post on my adventure is over.

We last left our hero (that's me) in his doctors office, where he was told of his "condition". If I remember correctly our hero had opted for surgery to remove his "condition". OK are we up to speed? Are you ready? Good, now lets finish my adventure.

I knew I wanted the cancer removed. There was no question about it. Mrs. Raballard agreed with me, so actually my appointment to go over my options was a mere formality. Surgery was the only option as far as we were concerned. My doctor agreed with me (although I think he would agree with which ever option I decided to chose).

As I said before we scheduled my surgery for the end of October, now I could go home and try to relax. My fate was now in the hands of a competent surgeon. There was nothing left for me to do but wait, relax, and worry myself sick. Wrong, did you know that you donate your own blood for your own surgery? I didn't. Did you also know that it takes two visits one week apart in order to donate the right amount of blood? I didn't. I find myself thrown into the wonderful world of blood letting. Running around donating your own blood leaves very little time to relax. My first ordeal was scheduled for October 8th, twenty days prior to my surgery. There is no doubt that donating blood is a noble cause, as long as it goes to the right patient, which in my case is me. I don't know if I am the most deserving patient, but it is after all my blood and I want it back. I would be amiss if I failed to mention the snacks they force you to have after you donate. My next appointment with the legal vampires was scheduled for October 15th, thirteen days before my surgery. My donating was much like the previous appointment (so please read the last few sentences again, go ahead I'll wait.)

I now have thirteen days in which I can relax, watch TV and worry myself sick. Wrong. They have a little thing called pre-op appointment. That's sort of like a meet and greet at the hospital. I scheduled my pre-op appointment for October 21rst, one week prior to my surgery. The pre-op appointment is not for the faint of heart, it is a grueling meet the staff marathon. I met the administrator, the head nurse, the paper shuffling insurance curator, the anesthesiologist, the lunch lady and the janitor all one right after each other. The staff wishing to meet me, and tell me what to expect were lined up for miles. Hours of blood pressure taking, heart monitoring, question answering, dragged on and on. Finlay I signed my name for the last time, crossed my last "T" and dotted the last "I".

The surgery is now official, I have met everybody I am required to meet. I now have seven days left prior to the surgery. I can now go home, relax, be with my family, and worry myself into a coma. Wrong. I get an out of the blue call from the anesthesiologist, he refuses to be apart of my team, unless I get my pace maker checked. (have I failed to tell you I have a pace maker?) I assure the sleep inducer that I had my pace maker checked earlier in the year, but that isn't good enough for him. He tells me he can supply a good hammer, and I can put myself to sleep, but if he doesn't hear from my heart doctor, he will be playing golf on the day of my surgery. I call my heart doctor on Thursday, he is on vacation for two weeks. I now have five days left before the surgery, five days to relax and be with my family, and my heart doctor chose that exact time to go on his Eastern Caribbean Cruise. I asked the receptionist if there was anyway I could get my pace maker checked, it was a case of life or death, my life and my death. I was told the doctor does not check pacemakers, his assistant checked them, and I could come in on Friday and she would check it for me.

Here's where we stand, I have given two pints of my rare blood (my blood has a yellow streak down the middle) I have qualified for the meet and greet marathon. I have had my pace maker checked, and I now have three days left to relax. Wrong, have you ever tried to relax when you are facing major surgery? It can't be done. I am a nervous wreck.

Oh my, where does the time go? It looks as if I will have to make my adventure a four parter. Please come back to here the end of my story. For those that are glued to their seats, please get up and move around. I promise to return to the story in the near future.

Till next time fan.

Raballard, out