Counting My Blessings

I had a heart attack last weekend.

I am now at home recovering.    It will take me some time to get back to my previous level of social media involvement.    But today,  I find myself wanting to count my blessings and give thanks for them.

I am extremely grateful to the staff at St. Clare’s hospital here in Lakewood and St. Joseph’s hospital in Tacoma.    I feel so blessed by all of the help and kindness I received every step along the way.    I am also grateful to the Pierce County MedEvac guys who rushed me from the ER at St. Clare’s to the Cath Lab at St. Joe’s.   They couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful.

The cardiologist and the team at St. Joe’s Cath Lab worked really hard to make me comfortable and proceeded immediately with the cardiac catheterization procedure.     I feel as though I was very lucky in that using angioplasty and placing a stent they were able to resolve my heart problems without need for further surgery.

I am so grateful to my huzband,  Ron,  who was such a huge help.   I am so happy and grateful to be back at home with him.       I am grateful for the insulin and other meds the hospital gave me to take home with me.    My blood sugar is down to 240 today and I expect that with continuing to take my Lantis every day it will be down to a normal range in less than a week.     I was also thrilled that my blood pressure in the hospital was normal every time they checked it after the procedure.    

The smaller good news is that my cardiologist is also affiliated with the clinic I had been going to.   The doctor told me to just ignore the nasty letters from billing and make an appointment and get seen.    So Ron is going to call and try to schedule that next week.    I also have a follow up visit with the cardiologist scheduled for 11/22.

The big good news is that my two year waiting period for Medicare is about to end.  We expect we will get the letter/enrollment package any day now and I will probably be covered on Medicare from Jan 1.    

I am so grateful for all of the love and light that has been put in my path this week.     I am sleeping a lot, taking my medicine and doing my best to recover.       I will be back to social media as soon as I can.

By Libdrone Posted in Alan Tagged

Only One For 1.1

I’m just thrilled that on Tuesday November 8th I will be publishing Walking Down The Avenue, release 1.1. It is not a major re-write.   If you’ve already downloaded and read release 1.0,  there really isn’t anything brand new and earth shattering in 1.1 that you would likely want or need to buy another copy for the .1 upgrade.    I have expanded the lists of connected networks to include all of the new possibilities,  and I have made a few minor changes to accurately reflect the current state of game play on Empire Avenue.

The folks whom I really want to push this book upon are the newest newbies,  continually arriving on Empire Avenue.   I do believe that having the book very early on in their Empire Avenue experience will give the most bang for the book and help newbies much more quickly understand how to use and play on the Avenue.   Since my goal is to try to pitch the book mostly to brand new players,   my marketing will be very different this time.     I will not be doing any shareholder mail promotions and I only intend to distribute one  100% discount coupon.    I will be sending it to my low volume e-mail list only.    You can sign up in the sidebar at the right.    Everyone who has signed up for the list by Tuesday November 8th  will get an e-mai on that date which will contain the one and only coupon code which will be valid until the end of the year, December 31, 2011.      I hope that many of those who receive the coupon code will take it upon themselves to pass it along to newbies as they meet them on the Avenue.      It is find to share the coupon directly with any one other user by any private communications.     I specifically ask that anyone receiving this coupon NOT post it to any discussions, groups, bulletin boards, listerservs or any other means of communicating with more than one person at a time.

The price of the new 1.1  edition will only be 99cents and my hope is that with a lot less coupons going out,  at least some of my audience will choose to pay the dollar and get the book.    My sincerest thanks to each and every one of you who have downloaded and read Walking Down The Avenue.     I have had so much fun on Empire Avenue and in my online social life on the various sites and networks.     It’s been a real joy to work on the book,  and I am very much looking forward to releasing a slide show presentation of Walking Down The Avenue which I hope will add real value to the material.     So don’t forget and don’t be shy– sign up for my low volume e-mail list and as soon as release 1.1 is published I will shoot you a coupon code so you can download the latest copy  and keep it handy to share with any newbies you meet.

By Libdrone Posted in Alan Tagged

15 Minutes To Live

I’m participating in #Trust30.    #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey.    

Today’s prompt by Gwen Bell:

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.
1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.
———–My Story———-
I should be in New Orleans.   When the judge told me I was to be executed in fifteen minutes,  I found myself thinking about my home town.   Thinking about the taste of a shrimp po boy, dressed with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise;  of sticky, muggy, HOT nights, riding the Zephyr at Pontchartrain Beach.   Remembering Mardi Gras parades,  Hurricanes at Pat O’Briens and the ever-changing spectacle of people-watching on Bourbon Street.   I found myself thinking that if I had never left New Orleans,  I never would have ended up  being executed for breathing without a license on a space habitat no one back home ever heard of.     I tried to remember the taste of oysters Bienville,  to hear the sound of the streetcars sling-slanging down St. Charles Avenue, to recall the wonderful iciness of a chocolate snowball on hot summer day.   
As the air-tight door closed behind me I pictured myself as a child,  on a day trip on the paddle-wheel riverboat Mark Twain,  recalled my senior prom at the Roosevelt Hotel and pictured the double shotgun house where I grew up on Iberville Street.  As I tried to remember the names of the brother and sister who had lived down on the corner,   were they Dawn and Ken,  or were they Frank and Ruth, or…the air tight door ahead of me opened,  and I was spaced.
By Libdrone Posted in Alan Tagged

normal? (or something like that)

“The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless longing for some
Solitary company.

I know that I must do what’s right’
Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus
Above the Serengede

I seek to cure what’s deep inside
Frightened of this Thing that I’ve become”

From Africa on the album Toto IV by Toto

Today just felt, well, normal. As per the letter advising me of my paid administrative leave instructed I called my branch supervisor prior to my 10:30am shift time. It was a brief and pleasant conversation. A pleasantry or two specific instructions about calling her cell phone tomorrow and Sunday and thanks, have a nice day. It was Much cooler here today and Ron and I went out and ran several errands, which took us on a nice little circuit around the county, about half through more rural areas. I didn’t start to feel hot until we came out of Walmart and got back in the car parked in the direct 3–4pm sun. There was lots of traffic of course and that last ride home was unpleasantly hot when we were standing, though it was fine when we were moving and catching a cool breeze. It appears our car’s AC needs freon or other servicing since it only blows Hot air. Can’t worry about that today.

Thanks to everyone for all of the thoughts and prayers you’ve sent my way. I am hopeful that all of this will be resolved and I will get back to work within another week or two. Hope so at least. Here’s wishing you a cool and pleasant weekend.

By Libdrone Posted in Alan Tagged

notes from the nervous breakdown day 1

If you are uncomfortable with frank talk about mental illness, stay away from this blog while I am having my nervous breakdown and trying to share it with you. All are welcome to read but this is really and truly Very personal. All names have been changed to protect me.

Thursday afternoon I went in to work and by Friday morning the one hour meeting I had with my supervisor, Roberta, had me to the point of what both my psychiatrist and my huzband (who has 20 years of work experience as an RN) both agreed was– right on the verge of a “nervous breakdown”. I am like constantly on the border of hysteria and my mood cycle swings (often Quite rapidly) between talking wildly and in circles and crying in deep despair.

My psychiatrist, Dr. Young gave me a new medicine that got me calmed down and let me get a good, long nights sleep and also wrote a medical excuse that gets me out of work until Fri 7/31. with good pills, good herb I am staying mellow. My illness has been very hard on my poor sweet Ron. I’m in a state where I am constantly on the verge of having a Horrible panic-anxiety attack. I truly hate having them. They are excruciating for Ron to watch and the fact is that I get by in this life by keeping a lid on all of my panic and anxiety. (I have been diagnosed with at least seven different serious and debilitating mental illnesses.)

Since old Ronny Raygun’s old theory of “trickle down economics” is finally coming true for me. For the first time. The Library System is funded by property tax. Foreclosures, people not paying and a sudden halt to much new construction and the LS has a half million dollar budget shortfall staring them in the face. This is my first experience working for government rather than business. Any private company that realized on march 1st they were half a mil short would have sent out pink slips til they were back on budget. That didn’t happen. They announced instead that we would be using Very few substitues from now on. Now whenever someone is sick or on vacation or otherwise absent, we pretty much have to just do without.

Would you be surprised to learn that the Branch Library where I work, where I specifically chose to work because it was such an easy, fun and no stress way to earn a little bit of money to get by on. Since the substitute announcement, my library has gone from easy, no stress to a treadmill of ever increasing productivity demands where in front line workder are being told that keeping their job depends on moving materials at a rate that most of us are not capable of physically possibly acheiving. Work under the new standars my boss told me they were implementing my severely arthritic hips were Screaming in pain and my anxiety level was truly Dangerous.

And when I called in sick the following morning, having been completely unable to sleep and literally on the verge of hysteria , actually making the call myself (ron usually handles the phone since my hearing is so bad) she was clearly Ticked off with me for calling and Warned me that I would need a doctor’s excuse and that my calling in was starting to become a “pattern”. (I didn’t realy hear all this; Ron was listening on the speakerphone and explained to me in detail Exactly what she said and her tone and connotations. I has been so focused on making sure she understoond I was absent because I was sick and let her know that I would definitely get a doctor’s note.

I spent the day panicking while we first e-mailed (which required going to my friend Kathi’s, who cheerfully allowed me to use her excellent broadband desktop) then Ron spent hours on the phone trying to get me in to see Any psychiatrist who had a slot available. my former shrink, whom I liked a lot accepted and who left the Tacoma practice a couple of months after getting a slot in the Seattle office which she says she likes much better. One of Ron’s phone calls was to her and she could not have been more helpful. She told Ron exactly who to call and what to say, and then I had a 4pm appt with Dr. Park, who gave me pills and wrote me an absence excuse form that will allow me to stay home from work til Friday 7/31. It was my first time seeing her but I was very impressed and walked out of her office feeling relieved and almost overjoyed.

The saga will continue next time I have time to add another day’s notes.

By Libdrone Posted in Alan Tagged

plans continue

for the hiatus and site upgrade. My punch list is evolving:

Let publicists know about the break and re-luanch plans– emailed Julie, Miriam and Tracee on 4/23 (done)

Let advertisers know about break and re-launch plans. msg’d all 8 advertisers on CMF. will take PW widget down during hiatus.

TRL on hiatus 4/29–5/26 4/29–migration post goes up. post is closed to comments.

1) JD creates mirror

On mirror site:

2) change theme to

substitue existing header graphic for theme included graphic in new theme. re-size rather than crop the header image. make sure the barcode scanner’s line shows

3) Consolidate all of the About pages under one About Page that has links to About Me And About This Blog, About The Links, About The Bookstore, About Books and Libraries, About My Audience, About,

Add widgets and privacy policy page– this page may go under About or under something else but definitely buried.

Add review copies and submission page– this can under Something

4) Change dotCom page title to Blogroll. continue to promote the addy but get rid of the too cutesy dotCOM page name

5) Review and Revise Suggestions and Guest Reviews page

6) Add bookstore page using Amazon’s a store AND Powell’s bookshelf pages. “Freedom of Choice”

Ask JD about putting up a second WP blog to use for the sales and blogroll pages. gives me a second sidebar to sell ads in. And now that I am signed up for Amazon I CAN do the LibraryThing THING as below, on the store site

7) Experiment and work with widgets and widget placements to get a very well designed an professional looking layout

Add a Welcome page that explains all of the changes

8) check and test EVERYTHING three times

9) Write and schedule May 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th posts about Michael Connelly’s The Scarecrow, Barry Eisler’s Fault Lines, Steve Luxemborg’s Annies Ghost, Joel Goldman’s The Dead Man

consider) ??Renew paid Library Thing membership Re integrate Libary Thing Links to all posts less than one year old. Consider using Library Thing widgets to place long strings of book covers on some pages. (but would have to sign up for Amazon to get paid and don’t really want to do that. Include a link to library thing profile in sidebar leaning maybe to Yes on this

May 24th– JD points the URL to the new site a full day plus before the Resuming post goes live

(gives time to work out any kinks and can put up a ‘how do you like the new look’ post as soon as the new site is up and running properly)

sent to advertisers:


From April 29th to May 26th my blog The Thin Red Line will be going on hiatus. The site

will be up (and will continue to get traffic from search visitors, which is my main source of

traffic) but I will not be posting any updates during this time. When I relaunch on May

26th, I will have a brand new look and theme and a number of new pages and site features. I

am writing to you because you have an advertisement on my site that will be running during this

planned hiatus. As I said, the site will be up and will no doubt continue to receive search

visitors, so your ad will receive some impressions. If however, you feel that you want to

pull the ad during the hiatus, just reply and let me know and I will request that your ad be

canceled and your credits refunded. Alternatively, I would be happy to place an ad on your

site when I re-launch next month. I wanted to let you know about this a few days in advance,

just to keep you in the loop. Thank you for advertising on The Thin Red Line, which will

be back for it’s third great year starting 5/26.


By Libdrone Posted in Alan Tagged

it seems as though

I am never going to be a consistent regular poster on this blog. Watching the new Obama administration with a bit of hope and the crumbling economy with a bit of fear, though down here at the bottom I honestly don’t think things will get much worse for us. My work schedule has switched from Monday mornings to Monday evenings, so now Friday and every other Saturday are our only get up early days. That is nice, since we both prefer to sleep late. No news to report from these parts.

By Libdrone Posted in Alan Tagged

I’m afraid I’m Still

ignoring this blog. Though I have buckled down with the other one and gotten it published Mon–Fri this week and have pushed it back to the top slot in Books on Entrecard. I also updated my Entrecard drop list to try to focus more on friends who drop regularly and eliminated a number of EC drop outs and moved some non-droppers way to the bottom. (And thanks to EC for providing the drops rankings again. Not having that info was Really annoying.) I have also been using Turnip’s list and have done the full 300/day more often than not this week.

And I am back to work and feeling bizzy. A happy weekend to all.

By Libdrone Posted in Alan Tagged

lost days

I _so_ did not get around to doing 5 posts for the books blog today. I spent lots and lots of time watching hurricane Gustav on tv, some time reading and too much time sleeping. It was a relief to see the hurricane give New Orleans a pass. I am annoyed with myself, however, for not getting any of the blog posts done.

Meanwhile Sam arrives tomorrow afternoon around 1:30pm. Ron talked to him on the phone tonight and he is really looking forward to being out here.

By Libdrone Posted in Alan Tagged