Thursday, 27 September 2012

A Second Opinion.

I've been rather in the background as of late.  Too distraught to get involved.  Last Friday, September 21, I took Penny the Jack Russell to our veterinary clinic.  We had noticed a small lump on her chest cavity.  To air on the side of caution, we thought it best to get the lump checked out.

The vet we saw was not the usual vet.  He made a physical inspection of the lump and drew the following conclusion.  He told me that what she had was a tumorous lump and to rid her of it would involve a high risk operation that could actually shorten her life.  I was told the procedure would produce significant scarring.  He recommended that we just let it be and the vet concluded that Penny had about a year to live.

Stunned, devastated, I cradled her in my arms and carried her back to the car.  Later on that Friday, I broke the news to my son, Tristan.  As you can imagine, he was deeply saddened by the diagnosis.  We got to talking about what the vet had said and realised something was very wrong.  In my state of shock, I had not queried the vet as to why he didn't do a biopsy to test the tumorous growth.  Indeed, how could he make such conclusions from just touching the lump.

On Tuesday afternoon, Tristan and I took Penny to another veterinary clinic.  We registered right there and then and explained we would like a second opinion.  Luckily, we got to see a vet within a few minutes.  This time, calmer and with my son posing questions, this vet did a biopsy test using a fine needle aspirate.  Further information can be found here : Fine Needle Aspiration

The vet inserted the fine needle into Penny's lump twice.  Penny, bless her, wagged her tail.  Feeling better in knowing we would be getting test results back on Wednesday, we took Penny home.  On Wednesday afternoon, the vet phoned back with the biopsy test results.  The test results determined that the lump was benign.  No hostile cells and the cells within the lump were uniform in nature.  We were told to observe if the lump got bigger and if required, a relatively straight forward operation, lasting about ten minutes, could be performed.

So, this is a cautionary tale.  If you have a similar situation and you are puzzled by a diagnosis, don't hesitate to ask for a definitive test.   Don't make the mistake I made and assume that a first initial diagnosis is correct.  Although we have been experiencing mixed emotions over this, I'm glad that we had the foresight to get a second opinion.

This posting is to bring further awareness and thus, turning what seemed to be a negative into a positive.  I must go now and give our beloved dog, a great big cuddle.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Undercover Boss.

Imagine this situation.  There you are, slugging away at work.  Slugging as in working hard and nothing to do with slimy critters or brawling with fellow workers.

You resent the lack of recognition for all your efforts on your minimum wage, high demand, stressful job.  I mean, really, you would think that just once, your photo would be proudly displayed above the pop machine as, "Employee of the Month".  After all, you take great pride in slapping together the best darned 'Big Crap' burger, complete with the secret sauce, at this fine eating establishment.  Yet, every month, you go unnoticed and the supervisor's lazy son always seems to be Employee of the Month.  Yep, a photo of his smirking face seems to be a permanent fixture above the pop machine.

Aha, what's this?  A television crew has descended upon the restaurant.  You've seen all those shows where television crews come into places to do 'documentaries'.  All those times when somebody made out they were doing a documentary about getting some work experience.  And all those times the person getting work experience was actually the boss of the company, posing as an old unemployed, down on their luck, man or woman.

The supervisor comes over to you.  "Hey you!  What's the name on your tag?  Hey Ernie, this is a television documentary crew and this old unemployed guy, down on his luck, is trying to get some work experience. He wants to see how tough it can be to get a job these days.  I want you to train him."

"Hi, my name's Fred", states the guy who is featuring in the documentary.  You think to yourself, 'Result!  It's the boss of the company pretending to need some work experience.  I'm gonna' show him just how good I am.  I shall then be rewarded at a meeting back at headquarters.  Yes, 'Fred' will heap praise on me, give me a huge bonus, a brand new job, buy me a fancy car and send me and my impoverished family on a luxury cruise around the world!'

So you show Fred how things work in the restaurant.  You are polite, pleasant and patient.  You demonstrate the fine art form of creating the very best 'Big Crap' burger, complete with the secret sauce.  Fred is useless and makes loads of mistakes.  This is overwhelming proof to you that he must be the boss.

The day comes to an end.  The camera crew pack up their gear.  You shake Fred's hand.  "Thanks for that", he states.  "It was most enlightening and I hope it will be of benefit to the viewers of the documentary."   "Okay", you state with a wink and a smile.  "Um Fred, I look forward to be taken to a mystery meeting at headquarters in the very near future!"   "What are you talking about?", responded Fred.  "This was a documentary called, "Old Folks and Finding Work".  I'm just an old unemployed, down on my luck, kinda' guy."

Still not believing him, you wait, week after week, month after month, for that 'meeting' that praises you for all you do.  It never happens.  Suddenly, you rush over to the tub of secret sauce and cover the supervisor and his smirking son, with the entire contents.

A few days later and now jobless, you notice that the documentary you were in is on TV.  On the screen, 'Fred' announces that due to unforeseen circumstances, the guy who was training him was not getting rewarded.  Instead, you see on the screen, the supervisor and his smirking son, being praised and rewarded for a job well done.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Hello Sunshine, My Old Friend.

Oh, I've known those times.  When sunny days seemed dull and dreary.  When any hint of glistening light was hidden away.  Hidden away, as I lay in fear under the darkness of my duvet.
Sunshine was for others.  This man, this sad and lonely man, did not deserve the sunlight, the reassuring warmth.  The ravages of a tormented mind, dismissed the sunshine, dismissed his own validity.  And the madness of  this man with a broken heart, a broken soul, nearly killed me, nearly saw the sun set on his life forever.

I reached out.  The last fragments of a shattered dignity called my name.  Slowly, with racing heart and gasping for air, I pulled back the covers to see a wondrous sight.  Through the tiny gap between my curtains came forth a streaming shaft of sunshine, glorious sunshine.  At that moment, that frozen moment in time, the tears trickled down my face and I began to live once more.

With the support of you, my journey along the highway, destination hope, grows ever strong.  I am bathed in sunshine where once there was darkness.  I am profoundly grateful.

I have been honoured to have received the "Sunshine Blogger Award" from the lovely and thoughtful Suzanne Bean.  Suzanne resides in the beautiful city of Victoria, British Columbia.  It is, if you didn't know, the capital of that fair Province and is situated on Vancouver Island.  This dear lady is a wonderful writer and an artistic talent to behold.  I would kindly suggest, if you have never had the delight of visiting her site, to check it out via this link : Suzanne Bean   

If you are down or just need some sunshine in your life, please know that my gift to you is this Sunshine Blogger Award and my heartfelt friendship.

Hello sunshine, my old friend.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Penny's Pawmoting Pawsitivity.

Hi there, yes it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star!  I wasn't going to post for about another week.  I had other things to do like snooze, go out into the garden, chew on grass, come back inside and puke up a green slimy lump onto my human Gary's freshly washed bed sheets.

However, I have been listening to Gary go on and on, in a rather cynical fashion, about all those self-obsessed, self-promoting, egotistical bloggers with like a zillion followers.  "Look at this one, Penny!  Their writing is absolute crap and they have a zillion followers!   Heck Penny, even my crap writing is better than that!"  "Calm down old dude!  Calm down!" I responded to my human.  "Not all those bloggers with loads of followers are self-obsessed, self-promoting and egotistical!"  

I then proceeded to show Gary an example of what I meant.  "Here Gary, check this blog site out."   "Good grief, look at that!  This guy has over 1600 followers" , noted Gary.  "Heck Penny,  I have been, along with your good self,  actively interacting with other bloggers for five and a half years.   Of course I'm not jealous Penny, but excuse me while I go sob uncontrollably in a darkened room."

"Gary!   Have a good look through this site.  This blogger promotes, brings further awareness of others, writes up about movies and loves music.  Most notably, one of your favourite Canadian bands, "Rush".  Heck Gary, the guy even has two science fiction books published, "CassaStar" and "CassaFire".   And Gary,  in embracing the ethos of a sharing, caring blogging community, he has made mention of me, yes me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star!  Heck Gary, even mentions you!"

Alex J.Cavanaugh, we are most flattered and grateful that you would make note of us amongst that fine list of bloggers you mentioned in your latest posting.  You know, for a human, you rock!  If you have never had the pleasure of visiting Alex's site and witnessed an ideal Gary and I adhere to, here is the link to his site and his latest posting :   Alex J. Cavanaugh 

And speaking of 'followers', the 'puparazzi', once again, have been following me and hounding me.  Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses, Penny xx

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Watching The Numbers Through A Smelly Gaseous Cloud.

You are woken up by the sound of ringing.  In a confused, sleepy state, you reach over to knock your alarm off, only to discover, that you've actually smashed to bits, your bedside phone.  You look over at your alarm clock and realise it's only three in the morning.  You smile with relief knowing that your alarm wont be going off for another five hours. You drift back off to sleep.......

Suddenly, you wake up.  Looking over at your alarm, it dawns on you that it's nine in the morning and during the moment you smashed to bits, your bedside phone, you  inadvertently knocked off your alarm. This leaves you in a state of panic.  Just ten minutes to shit, shave, shower and shampoo.  And five minutes to put on your fancy clothes in readiness for your interview for that dream job.

It's now just gone a quarter past nine and your interview is for half past ten. You rush out of the house.  Quickly,  you guzzle down a coffee and munch on a stale chocolate doughnut.  As you race to your car, you slip on something.  No time to inspect what caused you to slip. Time to start the car and get the heck to downtown for the interview in that very tall building.

The car starts up. Okay the car started up after several attempts.  That was when you figured out that even though the house key sorta' fits in the ignition, the car key would work much better.  Off you go.  Every traffic light is on red.  And every other street has roadworks.  Somehow, you get to the very tall building where you are having the interview for that dream job, at quarter past ten in the morning.  Fifteen minutes to spare and to gain your composure.

You hastily park up in the underground parking lot.  You run over to the elevator and this one guy gets in with you.  You head to the ground floor.  Just long enough for this guy to let rip with a massive fart that leaves a smelly gaseous cloud in the elevator.  He gets out of the elevator on the ground floor and mumbles something about eating that curry the night before was a big mistake.

One well dressed gentleman gets into the elevator.  He looks over at you in a disgusting manner.  You both stand in the stench filled elevator and watch the numbers go by...ever so slowly......... blurred by the smelly gaseous cloud...."Two.....Three...Four.....Twenty Five...Sixty..."  And the guy is still with you in the elevator when you reach your destination, the seventieth floor.  You both get out and he heads to another door.  Time to introduce yourself at reception and wait for the interview for that dream job.

Nervously looking around, you note what a nice place it is, complete with plush, cream coloured carpets that seemed very new.  Finally, a few minutes gone half past ten, you are summoned into the interviewer's office.  The receptionist screams at you!  To your horror, you now know what you slipped in on the way to your car earlier that morning.  Yes indeed, you have trampled dog crap into the plush, cream coloured carpets.  No time to do anything about it.   You knock on the interviewer's door.  Upon entering, you immediately recognise the interviewer as the well dressed gentleman from the elevator.
The interview for the dream job doesn't seem to go too well.  Yes, that dream job of being the publicity officer for a personal hygiene company.

When you get home, you check the messages on your other landline phone that still works.  One is in regards to the interview stating that you were unsuccessful but they will keep you on their records.  The other message was from your hippy cousin who moved to California to find herself.  This would be the same cousin who had no concept of time zones and when she phoned at three in the morning, she thought it must be seven in the evening.  Her message was that she wished you the very best with your interview....

Monday, 3 September 2012

The Daylight, Night Time, Any Time Robbery Bank.

The Daylight, Night Time, Any Time Robbery Bank

Dear customer,

This is a letter in regards to your letter querying why your current account is overdrawn.  Well, here's what happened.  One of our computers accidentally caused one of our human bank staff to key in the wrong current account details on one of your direct debits.  Which means, the computer is blaming it on human error.  This also meant that your healthy financial balance and credit rating has been destroyed.
We also understand from your previous letter, that you had to phone up all your direct debit companies, who could not withdraw money from your current account. You state that each company you phoned in regards to this, kept you on hold for ages, at considerable expense to you, while you listened to, amongst other things, a rousing rendition of the "William Tell Overture".  We also realise that you tried to phone us to sort it out and was kept on hold for ages, at considerable expense to you, as you listened to, "For the love of Money", by the "O'Jays".
Upon further reading of your previous letter, we are also aware that this error has caused you to get into serious problems with a collection agency.  We can only apologise for the stress caused by the overzealous bailiffs who ransacked your home and removed all your worldly goods.
We think it only fair to let you know that your current account, accidentally overdrawn, will be rectified within the next two years.  We are also informing you that there is a £25 administration fee being charged to you for the sending out of this letter in regards to our mistake.

Have a nice day.

The Daylight, Night Time, Any Time Robbery Bank