N&O changes

October 20th, 2014

Gary Pearce weighed in on the News and Observer’s recent print changes so I figured I should do the same.

During our fair visit Friday, I stopped by the N&O booth and chatted with one of the reps there. I volunteered that I liked the new changes to the paper (the local section and front section have been merged) and was told that I’m “one out of a million.” Apparently the feedback from subscribers has been mostly negative.

I pay more attention to the local stories since that’s something the N&O can cover better than anyone else. I like that the local coverage is getting more prominent.

On the other hand, though, I do have to fight with my daughter (mainly) for a section of paper to read in the mornings. Not having a front and local section makes it difficult to share.

I certainly don’t blame the N&O for experimenting, though. I think any newspaper that doesn’t try to change and adapt in these times is at risk of extinction in these fast-moving times for journalism.

Spankings

October 19th, 2014

A Facebook friend (one who does not share my political outlook) forwarded a photo that illustrated the value of spanking. It showed a kid getting beat, with the caption “with more of this, there would be less of this,” showing a trio of young men dressed as gang members. I shook my head.

It reminded me of a spectacle I came across as I was on my way to the Player’s Retreat Saturday afternoon. As I was pulling into the parking lot, a father was loading his kids into his car. The father was shouting at his misbehaving kids to get in the car. His young son, probably four years old at the most, was defiantly yelling back at his dad, echoing his very same tone. As I rolled by, I saw the father’s hand smack the boy’s rear hard before the father loaded his son into the car. I thought the show was over but when I got out of my car I was appalled to hear the father screaming at the top of his voice “that is enough!” He was so loud I heard him across the parking lot even with his windows rolled up. He then drove off and I just shook my head. If his kids weren’t terrified before, they were now.
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Twitches and fatigue

October 19th, 2014

My initial optimism about the magnesium supplements helping with the muscle twitches I’ve had has worn off. The twitching has continued, spread out all over my body now. In fact, one night last week I felt the muscles between my shoulder blades twitch when I was sleeping – waking me up. It’s the biggest damn pain in the ass.

To top it off, we had only walked about the fairgrounds for about an hour before I started feeling very fatigued. I felt like my arm and leg muscles were slow as molasses. It dawned on me that night that I am finally able to effectively define fatigue versus simple tiredness. Fatigue is like tiredness but without the mental urge to sleep. Fatigue is not having any energy while still maintaining the will to do something. The mind is willing but the body unable. It seems that the fatigue that would once make a visit to me for a few weeks every year or so has begun to occur far more frequently and persistently. And it really sucks. I’m tired when I have no right to be and it’s starting to affect my quality of life.

I hope to revist my doctors soon to discuss next steps. This journey is obviously not over yet.

Weekend update

October 19th, 2014

It’s been a busy weekend. Friday morning was the press conference and the official kickoff of the Parks bond campaign. NFL stars Torrence and Terry Holt joined other city officials to urge passage of the bond. As the marketing co-chair of the bond committee, I helped plan the press conference and some of the talking points used. The location of the Chavis carousel was perfect, the weather was perfect, the messaging was perfect, and it all just came together. What’s more, I was able to collect the photographs of many attendees, all to add to our “I Flip 4 Parks” social media campaign. Oh, and the official website, iFlip4Parks.org, was unveiled as well. Marketing has been a group effort, with the Raleigh Chamber pitching in as well as committee members Jeff Tippett (committee chair), myself, and Patrick Buffkin (speakers chair). The website was designed by Scott Reston with video provided by Napoleon Wright. Everyone did a super job!

Friday afternoon was the visitation for Thomas Crowder, held in the lobby of Meymandi auditorium. There was a huge turnout of people paying their respects. I was glad to meet many of Thomas’s family and say hello to those I’ve already met.
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Thomas Crowder

October 15th, 2014

Thomas Crowder wrote the first “What I’ve Learned” column for NCModernist in 2008. Here it is again with some of his words of wisdom.

Raleigh native Thomas Crowder began his career as a draftsman with Holloway and Reeves Architects in 1973. In 1976 he moved to Bartholomew and Wakeham Architects until forming his own firm ARCHITEKTUR in 1993.

Crowder was one, if not the last, of North Carolina’s architects to become registered without formal architecture education, grandfathered under NCARB’s apprenticeship program which was abolished in 1984.

In the early 1980s he worked with Harwell Hamilton Harris on additions and renovations to a house for Kathy and Norman Bartholomew, which Harris originally designed for NCSU Professor Duncan Stuart.Crowder served multiple terms on the Raleigh Planning Commission and the Raleigh City Council.

Crowder wrote the very first article in NCMH’s What I’ve Learned series in March 2008:

via Thomas Crowder.

Thomas Crowder

October 14th, 2014

I began this post back on 25 September, the day Thomas Crowder resigned from the Raleigh City Council. I had to stop writing because it felt like an obituary and it was too soon for that. Thomas passed away this afternoon.

Thomas Crowder

Thomas Crowder

I’ve been in a funk for the past few days after hearing that the health of my friend Thomas Crowder has taken a dramatic turn for the worse.

I first met Thomas in person during the 2007 election when he appeared at the League of Women Voters candidate forum. He reminded me a bit of John Wayne, larger than life.

The last time I saw him was about a year ago. We were outside the Raleigh Times one morning when he suddenly stopped speaking and stared at me.
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Canadian Public Health Agency scrubs Ebola website

October 13th, 2014

As I touched on in the previous post, I recently came across some websites that reported that the Canadian Public Health Agency had recently changed the description on their website of research that suggests that Ebola can be spread through the air. The changes soften what was once an alarming statement about the spread. Here’s the August 2014 version:

In the laboratory, infection through small-particle aerosols has been demonstrated in primates, and airborne spread among humans is strongly suspected, although it has not yet been conclusively demonstrated

Ebola airborne transmission is strongly suspected

“In he laboratory, infection through small-particle aerosols has been demonstrated in primates, and airborne spread among humans is strongly suspected, although it has not been conclusively demonstrated.”

Now here’s the September 2014 version:

In laboratory settings, non-human primates exposed to aerosolized ebolavirus from pigs have become infected, however, airborne transmission has not been demonstrated between non-human primates

Ebola airborne transmission is not demonstrated.

“In laboratory settings, non-human primates exposed to aerosolized ebolavirus from pigs have become infected, however, airborne transmission has not been demonstrated between non-human primates.”

No explanation was provided for the change in the wording, which removed “strongly suspected” and changed “not been conclusively demonstrated” into “not been demonstrated.”
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AP News : Dallas health worker tests positive for Ebola

October 13th, 2014

The head of the CDC insists the nurse who became infected with Ebola Saturday made a “breach of protocol,” though the nurse is said to be at a loss to identify what the breach might have been.

In 2012, Canadian researchers produced evidence (published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature) that suggests Ebola can be spread through the air. Some websites claimed the government of Canada’s Public Health Agency recently watered-down the description of this research on its website. The Internet Archive’s Wayback machine appears to confirm reports of alteration. Compare the snapshot from August 7th:

In the laboratory, infection through small-particle aerosols has been demonstrated in primates, and airborne spread among humans is strongly suspected, although it has not yet been conclusively demonstrated

Ebola airborne transmission is strongly suspected


… with the one on September 16th:

In laboratory settings, non-human primates exposed to aerosolized ebolavirus from pigs have become infected, however, airborne transmission has not been demonstrated between non-human primates

Ebola airborne transmission is not demonstrated.


What if what some of the experts are saying is true, that Ebola may have become airborne? Why would the Canada Public Health Agency change the website description of peer-reviewed research? What if we are only slightly less unprepared for Ebola than these African countries? Are we being told the truth about Ebola?

DALLAS AP – A “breach of protocol” at the hospital where Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan was treated before his death led to the infection of a health care worker with the deadly virus, and other caregivers could potentially be exposed, federal health officials said Sunday.

The hospital worker, a woman who was not identified by officials, wore protective gear while treating the Liberian patient, and she has been unable to point to how the breach might have occurred, said Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Duncan was the first person in the U.S. diagnosed with Ebola.

via AP News : Dallas health worker tests positive for Ebola.

Love wins

October 12th, 2014
Deputy Biggs asks the crowd of supporters to move upstairs

Deputy Biggs asks the crowd of supporters to move upstairs

As I get older, but especially once I became a father, I started to really wonder why our world is so full of death and destruction, of war and greed. Though I am a veteran of the Navy I no longer take lightly willingly doing something that might make another suffer or die, “enemy” or not. I’m fortunate to have never seen that kind of action; I’ve seen enough of others’, though, to know how pointless it all is. The world could use a little less hate and a little more love.

This thought is always on my mind when the topic of what was once called “gay marriage” comes up. I’m a live-and-let-live kind of guy. If two adults want to commit to each other in marriage, what the hell does my opinion matter? Isn’t America about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Is there nothing that better embodies those ideals than the right to wed the person you love?
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Fantastic nerves

October 9th, 2014

I got the word back from my neurologist this morning regarding the nerve tests done Tuesday. The doc says my nerves look “fantastic,” so good that we didn’t even have to do the actual EMG test. He suggested I keep up the mineral supplements and he would see me again in a few months.

So, I’m still not completely sure what’s up with the twitches but it doesn’t appear to be nerve damage. Whew!