Friday, November 09, 2007


I mentioned earlier this week that I will start posting both short stories that I have written and starts to short stories that I have not figured out how to finish. Any comments or thoughts are always appreciated. Today's story is a start of a story that I wrote nearly four years ago. This is the first time it has seen the light of day. Be gentle...

The shadows clung to the still night, hiding everything they touched, drawing everything into their cold embrace. He wrapped himself in them now. Eyes, like those of a cat, gazed from beneath the hood which covered his face. Slowly he slid through the darkness, his movements sure, as though he had walked this tree covered hill a thousand times before.

The sharp caw of a raven high up in the night sky brought him to a sudden halt. Lowering his head in concentration, he listened intently. His sharp ears could hear nothing but the normal sounds of the forest. After he was sure that nothing pursued him, he continued on. Silently, stealthily he made his way deeper into the forest, deeper into the darkness. He did not hurry, but with measured, deliberate footsteps pressed on towards the clearing which lay ahead.

Ever so gently, a soft light began to penetrate the darkness. It came from the clearing, he knew. He was getting close. He continued to walk towards it, towards the light which shown down on what lay in the center of the clearing. Slowly the trees began to thin and then he found himself at the edge of the clearing. The light was brighter here and yet it was soft and gentle, like the warm glow of a full moon. The light had no origin, it simply was. And it shown directly on the cold stone table which lay in the center of the clearing. He did not step towards it, but remained in the shadows. Parth Kentan was a very patient man, and now the waiting began.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My first time

So I got a new job. It is in my field of passion (medicine) but it is definitely out of my comfort zone. I now work for the Donor Network of Arizona as a tissue recovery technician. Essentially, I wait around for a call telling me to come into the office and then I head out with a team to recover skin, muscles, bones, veins or nerves from a person who has recently passed away.

My first case was hard. I imagine the first one is hard for everyone. But mine really resonated deeply within me. It was pediatric heart recovery case. We went to the hospital operating room and removed the heart from a deceased newborn. The whole procedure took about thirty minutes and then we left.

As I read over what I just wrote, it seems so sterile, so cold and removed. The truth is, I can't stop thinking about it. I can still see those tiny, lifeless eyes staring up to heaven. An almost happy expression frozen on its cherubic face, as if it died mid laugh. It almost looked alive, except for the eyes, I would have believed that. Its eyes had nothing behind them, they were empty and terrifying. I've never seen a dead baby before and I hope to never see one again. No one should ever have to see that. Encounters with babies should be happy memories. Mine haunts me.

I'm sure that one day, it will be just a sad memory. But for now, it is still fresh. I don't know why it torments me so. I had nothing to do with the death. I could not have stopped it nor could I have even prolonged it. The baby was not someone I knew and I am usually able to stay so detached from things. But I can't this time. Why is that? I pray for comfort and it is only when I am praying that I find solace. How I wish I could close my eyes and forget. But every time I close my eyes, I can picture that little baby lying on the cold steel of the surgical table and it still brings tears to my eyes.

I know that God has a plan, I think I just need to draw near to him for a while before I'm willing to listen to it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hey, who turned down the AC down here?

Yes, I know, two posts in one day. Start up a hockey team in hell...

Anyway, this article caught my eye. Actually it was the picture that really caught my eye. Theoretically this should have been a major step in evolution. This girl was born with four arms and four legs. Instead of being a major fitness advantage to her, doctors in India just spent 30 hours removing the extra appendages and repairing her pelvic area. If you won't concede that it is a win for Intelligent Design, it is at least another tally in the Loss column for the theory of Evolution.

She would have made a great goalie.

Are you just fiddling with me or what?

So I'm back. At least temporarily. I think. Sorry for that brief hiatus. I've got no excuses.

Anyway, I have decided to make some interesting changes. One day a week, I haven't decided which day yet, I will post an exerpt from a short story that I have written or am currently writing. Most will be exemplary pieces of writing which you will want to show to your neighbors and distant relatives. Please leave comments as you see fit. Others will probably be lacking in the greatness department. It happens. With those, keep your opinions to yourself. What do you know anyway? Just kidding. I appreciate all criticism, constructive or otherwise.

In addition I will not be adding anything else. Picture Tuesday will stick around but will probably be sporadic at best. All other posts are not gauranteed on their scheduled dates and may or may not be informative. The posts that do contain information may or may not be accurate and all sources will probably be fabricated. Look for an important update tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Grate slide

Here's the picture from yesterday, effectively making today Picture Wednesday. Next week we will be back to our regular schedule. Remember kids, sometimes slides aren't as fun as they initially appear to be.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Not again

Today, as you might realize, is Picture Tuesday. For the second week in a row, I have no picture. Sorry. I am working on finding some new material that will be appropriate to post. However, I have yet to find what I'm looking for. There's always next week.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Someday my prince will come

So one of the courses I am taking at GCU this semester is Advanced Composition. I was hoping to take Creative Writing, but it got canceled. So I am stuck with Creative Writing's ugly stepsister (no offense to all you ugly stepsisters out there). It's a fine class, it's just not what I was hoping for.

One of the things that excited me about Creative Writing was the professor. I have had her before for one of my Honors classes and we kinda clicked. I enjoy her teaching and she enjoys my writing. It's really a pretty sweet deal. What redeemed Advanced Comp for me was that she is teaching that class too. So I get to learn how to write advancedly this semester. And just in case your last name is Webster, no "advancedly" is not a word and I know this. It just seems to fit.

Also I was hoping to unleash my inner creative monster. I wanted to let it loose and allow it to roam the keyboard. I think it would have been fun to get creative and feel artistic for once in my life. But that hope is gone now.

Anyway, back to the ugly stepsister. We have been analyzing our own personal writing styles and habits and critiquing them. Self-criticizing is something I excel at. Oddly enough, so far I have given myself only compliments. Actually, that's not entirely true. It's weird to look at the way you go about writing. The processes involved in composition and revision are not normal things I think about.

As we talk about them in class, it's very interesting to hear how other people begin to write. Some muddle about for a while before procrastinating and then stalling and finally they throw something together. Others do a detailed outline and then don't follow it. One girl in the class does her outline after she has written her paper in order to check that she made a logical progression. It's quite fascinating to me to think about all this stuff.

One of the things that I found that I do poorly is the revision process. As I read over my rough draft, I have a hard time discarding things that don't work or flow well. They may be well written but they are like an asparagus on a birthday cake: fine by themselves but together they are odious (look it up, it's a good Scrabble word...). I get too attached to what I write and I don't like throwing things out. I think that's my goal for this semester, to look at my writing objectively and toss the junk out.

All of this is to say, even though I got stuck with the ugly stepsister, I think it will still be good for me. I am learning something. I just wish I could have gone to the ball with Cinderella. Maybe next time.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A whole lotta nuthin

Another semester of school has officially kicked off. I have just made it through my first week. What a blast. This is the most obvious reason for me not posting. The other reason would be that nothing exciting ever happens to me and so I have nothing to write about. True story.

Today Jamie and I went hiking up Squaw Peak in sunny Phoenix, Arizona. It's a pretty killer hike. Although it's only a little over a mile long, it's pretty much straight up. By about the half way point, we were struggling. Eventually we made it to the top and then began the horrible descent. Believe it or not, it was pretty much straight down. But the view from the top was amazing and it really is pretty invigorating to hike early in the morning. I think we are gonna do it again next week.

That's all the fun information for today. I am planning on writing some future articles and saving them for days when I don't feel like posting so that way things should be a little more consistent around here. Again, I apologize for those of you who feel gypped about the lack of posting. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

This isn't the way I planned it

Well, today's post is going to be lame. My amazing picture won't show up on the page. Or rather, it won't show up how it should. I got this email from a friend with a picture that shows a sequence of events for a ghetto transformer. It starts off with a box outside a warehouse and slowly it changes into a guy holding a fake laser. Huh. Reading about it makes it seem not quite as cool. I guess you have to be there.

So I'm sorry, but there is no picture for Picture Tuesday. There's always next week.

Monday, August 20, 2007

You're how old???

First of all, today is the twenty-first birthday of my favorite brother-in-law. A big congrats to him on making it this far. To celebrate, Jamie and I are not hanging out with him. Actually we were really hoping to, but tonight Jamie starts her first day of art classes at Phoenix College. Big changes for everyone. Except me.

My life continues to be boring. So today's blog is understandably short. Tomorrow I should have an amazing Picture Tuesday, but I don't know if everything is going to work out. If tomorrow is lame, you know my plans fell through. If it rocks your world, then you have just made my life a little more exciting.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Chocolatey goodness and the return of blogging

I have been debating whether to return to blogging after my brief hiatus. My wife and I attempted a joint venture which sputtered out after a couple of weeks. Since then, I have missed writing and today I have found some time to kill. The pieces just came together.

Today, I want to discuss a little something called irony. I have been telling my friends for years that eating chocolate is the best way to keep healthy. A new study has just come out validating my claims further. This article from discusses how chocolate can actually help prevent cavities. Amazing. Every time I go into the dentist, they always comment on what nice teeth I have. I blame it on chocolate. I eat it excessively. And it has done me a world of good.

So, I think it's about time that chocolate got the recognition it deserves. I'm all for starting a movement that makes it an official food group. Three servings a day, I'm thinking. I'm going to be a good pediatrician. The kids will love me, I'll tell them to eat lots of chocolate. Their parents can't argue with me. I'm a doctor.

Anyway, now that I'm back, I suppose you should expect the usual. Infrequent posting, promises that I don't intend to keep and plenty of apologizing for both. It's going to be a bumpy ride, but tons of fun as usual.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

So long... for now

My dear sweet wife has finally convinced me to quit my solo project. Be Radical is getting shelved. After nearly three years of infrequent blogging and broken promises, I will be moving over to our combined blog: Pandamonium. I bid you, the faithful reader, farewell.

It has been a fun journey, but all good things must come to an

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This little piggy works at the hospital

It certainly has been a while since I last posted. No excuses this time, just making a comment. I think it has been about two weeks. Wow. That's a long time.

And so on to other stuff. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a little something about how much I love working for Chili's. I still love it. But it's time to move on. Tomorrow I will be turning in my two weeks notice. It is with a somewhat heavy heart that I do this. I'm pretty sure I was made to serve people. I absolutely love taking care of other people and making sure they have everything they need or want; being a waiter is an occupation that comes naturally to me and is a great fit.

However, since I don't plan on being a waiter for the rest of my life, I need to start thinking a little bit more about the future, and that means it's time to start getting my foot in the door of hospitals. I already have a training date set for John C. Lincoln hospital in Phoenix in the middle of March. It should be a very nice transition from serving people as a waiter to serving patients in a hospital. I will be volunteering at the hospital for about 15 hours a week instead of working at Chili's. Although I'm not exactly sure what my duties will include, I will be having lots of patient contact. It seems a little scary now, the unfamiliarity of it all, but it is definitely a good thing.

I know this is a little discombobulated, but I wanted to write something while I had a chance. Maybe if I have time to think tomorrow, I will post something a little more intelligible.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Aren't you a little short to be a stormtrooper...

I like kids. Really. And I definitely do not condone the trafficking of kids to provide circus midgets for the enjoyment of the uninformed. Have a great picture Tuesday and don't forget to watch your kids.

Monday, February 12, 2007


So I got an informal offer to work for Macaroni Grill this past week. The restaurant is located in a nicer part of town and I would be put on a fast track to become a bartender. They also have a different philosophy concerning how best to care for the guests, a philosophy that I like better than Chili's. It's a pretty amazing offer, and I probably won't be taking it.

My choice has less to do with the fact that I will only be serving for another two and a half months and has more to do with loyalty. I don't know much about being a manager, but I know that I have been blessed with some amazing bosses. They have taken such good care of me as an employee, working with my schedule, treating me fairly and being very gracious and forgiving when I make mistakes. They make the work environment fun and have taken the time to get to know me and my wife and to make sure we feel special whenever we visit the restaurant.

Their kindness has transformed me from an employee into a LOYAL employee. That one little adjective makes all the difference. Because of that loyalty I am going to stick with them, knowing that I am treated well and I am important to them, rather than going to another job which may pay more but may or may not take care of me as well. That one little adjective means that I will go the extra mile when they ask me because I know that they will take care of me when I need that extra day off. That one little adjective means that I'm going to work just a little bit harder, even when no one is watching.

That one little adjective means that I'm going to be sticking around for a while.

Monday, February 05, 2007

A whole lot of not much

So I signed up for Google's AdSense thingy. You may have noticed the ads on the bottom of the page. I figured they would be a little more inconspicuous there and not too much in the way. I'm just not quite sure if I like it yet. We'll see, they are on probation and I can get rid of them whenever.

Tomorrow I'm going to go to the Arizona Science Museum and check out the Body Worlds exhibit. If you haven't read about it in the papers or heard about it yet, it's a pretty cool thing that these people have done. Dead human bodies are dissected and preserved and then posed to show different activities like playing soccer or praying. According to their website, the idea of the exhibit is to help people understand more about their own bodies by showing them in real life situations that they can relate to. I'm pretty excited to be going, and I will have a full run down on the exhibit on Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sometimes you just have to face the music

I am nerdier than 74% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

So I just took a "How much of a nerd are you?" test. It was a pretty fun little test and if you click on the nerd score above, you can see for yourself. I heard about the test from my father-in-law, who is a self proclaimed nerd. I scored higher than he did. This is not good news to me.

On to other news, I promised to keep up the food analogies for the inside of the human body which I'm disecting for class. Today's two analogies are corn and chicken. These are two good foods that most people I know seem to enjoy. I'm going to do my best to ruin them for you. As the disection has progressed up the leg, the fat globules have grown larger. Now they resemble large, squishy yellow corn kernels. Yummy. While digging down below the skin, I stumbled upon the muscle layer in the arm. It definitely looks a lot like chicken. 'Nuff said.

As I look at my post, I can see that maybe my fascination with the internal working of the human body may contribute to my nerdiness. Oh well. At least I don't wear glasses... oh...never mind.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I think this means my keyboard is an unassembled book

Today Picture Tuesday returns. Next week, Picture Tuesday will again be on Tuesday. This is a fairly simple system and it should help me keep things under control here at the Base of Operations. Have a great rest of the day, and hopefully I will be back tomorrow.

Monday, January 29, 2007

A little like peeling an orange...

This blog should have been called "Broken Record." I know, I know, I promise to blog and then I don't. I'm sorry. Sometimes life happens. I think I may have set my sights too high for the beginning of the semester. So here's my new "commitment", and I do use that word very lightly, I'm going to do my best to post every Monday for sure. Also, I should be able to post on most Tuesdays. And that's it. The other three weekdays are up in the air for now. Sorry. They may happen, they may not.

I do however have some exciting news that should cheer up even the most glum of you dedicated few. I started skinning my first person today. I am in a human dissection class this semester at school and I have to say, it was the coolest thing I have ever done. Not to compare it to spending time with Jamie, but it was just like when we go out on a date - time flew by without me even noticing it!

There are six of us to a body and my group got a very old female who has very thin skin. I have been assigned the task of working on the upper right side, so I have the right arm and chest. It is a crazy feeling making that first cut into the skin, but once you do, there's no turning back and you just have to keep going. I got a pretty good chunk of the forearm done today. It's going to take a lot of time, but I have all semester.

For those of you who are wondering, it feels a lot like peeling an orange with a really sharp knife. If you were to try and remove just the peel using a knife and forceps (pinchers) that's the general idea of what I'm doing. There are plenty of other food analogies (like how the subcutaneous layer looks a lot like string cheese and the fat globules under the skin look like little yellow, jello balls...) but I don't want to ruin all food for you. If you keep reading, I may post some more about all this stuff and I'll try to keep the food analogies going.

Hopefully, there'll be more tomorrow.