Friday, November 20, 2009

MIKE WHITNEY (A John Wiswell Get Well Soon Message)


Stay strong, you've got some very good friends indeed rooting for you and sending good thoughts, prayers and money.

I can only imagine the pain, my dad had kidney stones and they would drop him to the floor.
Best to you, really, man!

mike whitney

Mike's blog can be found here.

To contribute to the John Wiswell Surgery Donation Drive, follow the link below...
Click here to lend your support to: John Wiswell Surgery Donation Drive and make a donation at !

Thursday, November 19, 2009

JODI MacARTHUR - Skittles (A John Wiswell Get Well Soon Message)

by Jodi MacArthur

Rainbow colored candies drop from the sky. I watch in amazement and try to catch them with my tongue, but instead they bounce off my teeth. I smile anyway and hold out my arms and hope they don't bruise me as they hit with the force of a bug bouncing off a windshield. One finally lands in my hand, a bright wagon red, and I put it in my mouth and chew. Strawberry flavor bursts upon my taste buds, the freshest, purest strawberry you could ever taste. This is the best day of my life.

Hey John,
I realize this is rather silly, but if it makes you smile I’ve done my job.
Feel better soon.


Jodi's blog can be found here.

To contribute to the John Wiswell Surgery Donation Drive, click this link.
Click here to lend your support to: John Wiswell Surgery Donation Drive and make a donation at !

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

John Wiswell Surgery Donation Drive

by John Wiswell

This campaign is to raise funds for the gallbladder surgery of John Wiswell. The combined bills could run over $10,000 (more on that below). That figure is outside his means to pay.

John has severe gallstones. The attacks began in November of 2008. The attacks became much more frequent in September of 2009, coming as frequently as once every two days, and lasting for up to twelve hours or until he passed out. These attacks included powerful vomiting, inflammation in the spine and shooting pains through the back and abdomen. John also suffers from a neuromuscular syndrome that exacerbated every attack, leaving him bedridden for as long as a week following any episode. This became even more agonizing once the attacks began occurring more frequently than he was recovering from them. Doctors found several gallstones in his gallbladder and diagnosed that removal of the organ was necessary to stop the attacks. Surgery is scheduled for November 20th, a week before the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving.

John is uninsured. Since 1993 he has suffered from a neuromuscular syndrome and related health issues that prevented him from being able to work. These same conditions made almost all health insurance companies decline him, charge far outside his means, or by their terms of “pre-existing conditions,” useless in getting coverage for nearly anything. With government programs failing to assist, he pays for all treatment out of savings.

Office visits, medicine, radiology and ultrasounds have already run over $1,000, but the surgery will be far more expensive. Due to billing being separated between multiple departments, the hospital has not given him a proper estimate, but complete with a necessary hospital stay, the total cost could exceed $10,000. Raising funds sooner is pressing as the hospital offers discounts for prompt payment (potentially 25% of the total).

Through his life savings, John has a few thousand dollars set aside to pay what of the procedures he can. The Pledgie Donation Drive will be set for $5,000. Any donation will help.

Though his other health issues will slow the healing, he is expected to make a full recovery from the gallbladder-related issues after the surgery.

Thank you for your time and generosity.

More info can be found here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Stephen Fry Is A Twitter God.

To me, Stephen Fry is one of the most intellectual, incredibly funny guys to have ever graced this earth. In celebration of the one millionth follower on Twitter, Stephen Fry sends us a message from the future.

Please enjoy this video blog of Stephen's, entitled "Twillionth".

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nothing Else Matters - by my son, Jesse.

My son playing Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" at his end of year music school concert, on the 16-11-09.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let The Feathers Fly (A Thanksgiving Tale)

“...and it has been announced that the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation will take place at Flying Pan Park, where the President will be presented with this year’s turkey, only this year, he plans on eating it. In other news...”

Monte’s head shot up at the announcement. Our farm, he thought, that can’t be right. Monte could see the farm owner and his wife sitting on the veranda of their farmhouse, listening to the radio transmission also.
“Did ya hear that, Mary? The President is gonna come here and pick himself a turkey for Thanksgiving.”
“Yeah, I heard. I guess we better spruce the joint up a bit.” Mary replied.
“It’s a fine day for us, a fine day indeed!”
Upon hearing this, Monte raced across the farmyard to inform the turkeys of the impending doom of one of their own.

“Are you absolutely certain that’s what was said?”
Monte had called the turkeys together to inform them of the news. Mr. C, the patriarch figure of the gang that had been locked in this enclosure for the past few years, had called for a meeting of the senior birds, to try and hatch a plan.
“Okay, here’s the deal. We have given in to the humans for too long now – the time for revenge is upon us. We must band together and prevent this injustice.” Turning his attention to Monte, he continued, “Monte, I want you to go out into the paddocks and relate this news to as many animals out there and see if we can’t rustle up some support. Let’s do this!”

Monte was pleased with himself. He knew that calling in on Chuck the Woodpecker first was a great idea. Chuck was more than happy to assist. Monte watched in amazement as six midnight-black ravens rose from the treetops, answering Chuck’s coded call-to-arms. He had also received partisan support from Slithers, the rattlesnake, and his rhumba. Also, he had the word from a bale of box turtles from Florida. What would have been a nightmare getting the turtles from Florida had been made easier by an agreement between the turtles and one of their natural predators, a brood of Harpy Eagles.
All of these creatures would come under the command of General Sam, an ageing, but highly respected, Bald Eagle. He would oversee the whole defence plan and make sure that everyone involved would know their role and perform to the best of their abilities.

“General Sam, Sir, Airborne One reporting in as requested. We have locked sights on the oncoming fleet of vehicles. ETA is fifteen minutes and counting.”
“Thank you Airborne One. Keep us informed of their progress.” General Sam glanced around at the cowering group of turkeys, each one determined but scared.
“Okay, gang, they are almost here. Mr. C, can you and Marion be sure to bring up the rear of the escape group. We will need your size and experience in case those bastards try something sneaky.”
General Sam flew to the top of the enclosure and spread his wings, garnering silence from the rest of the group.
“May Jupiter go with you all.”

Chaos erupted immediately upon the arrival of the Presidential cavalcade. Several of the president’s Secret Service men were seriously injured by Slithers and the other rattlesnakes, who had hidden in the long grass, awaiting their chance to strike. Added to this, the ravens and the eagles had begun dropping large stones and tree limbs onto the entourage, forcing them back towards their vehicles. The farmer was absolutely livid with proceedings and raced into the shed nearby, bringing out shovels, axes and other items which may be used to fend off this massive assault. Secret Service agents revealed their handguns and fired a few warning shots in the air. This seemed to startle the defenders somewhat, and the humans used this chance to make their way toward the gate of the pen, swinging wildly at anything that appeared to get in their way. Several turkeys were lost in this melee, including some of the younger poult who were eager but desperately outmuscled.
But what the humans had not counted on were the box turtles. They were lined immediately in front of the gates. On the command of General Sam, their heads and necks were replaced with cannons - which had been affixed earlier in the day – and began firing off explosive rounds at the encroaching forces. Although the explosions weren’t large enough to do any major damage, the shock and awe was enough to drive the humans back again.

With the humans receding to a safe distance, one lone turtle made his way to the other side of the enclosure. He had been assigned the job of firing into the fences, to make a hole large enough for the turkeys to make a break for freedom. The eagles and ravens had resumed their aerial attack, keeping the men locked down around their vehicles. The turtle was young and idealistic, his head full of bravery and his heart full of passion. He knew that one or two shots weren’t going to open up the gap enough for the turkeys to make their break for freedom, so he took it upon himself to take one for the team. Closing his eyes, he voluntarily created a backfire, sacrificing himself for the good of the many, blowing a hole so large that even the turkeys were amazed, but saddened, by this sudden turn of events.
“Go, go, go, go,” screamed General Sam, urging the turkeys to flee. “Now is your chance. Viva La Resistance!!”

Monte and Slithers had observed all this from a safe distance. Slithers’ family had done their job, preventing the first wave of invaders from entering the turkey compound. As the lone turtle made his brave sacrifice, Monte and Slithers both hung their heads and gave thanks for his gallantry and courage. It wasn’t long until Monte realised the implications of this and said softly, “Excellent!”

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dracula: The Undead - New Novel

112 years is a long time between sequels, but direct descendent of Bram Stoker, Dacre Stoker has joined forces with Dracula historian Ian Holt, to create the long-awaited sequel to the original horror story.

Using Bram Stoker's own handwritten notes, these two have cobbled together a story which has been both applauded and criticised all around the globe. For me, I don't know if I will venture down that path. To me, is seems like these authors are trying to ride on the popularity of 'Twilight' and associated stories that are popular at the moment.

However, if you want to know more, here is a link to the book's website, 'Dracula: The Unborn' and also a link to the Amazon listing for it. Make up your own mind.

November Down Under

November: where have the disheartening drizzle and the blasting Siberian chill gone?

November: the year feels reborn, flowers blossoming, laying the foundations for a glorious summer; the birth of a new generation of kingdom Animalia, eager to frolic in the wilds with abandon.

November: the sun belts down from the heavens, brightening our earth, ridding the land of the bleak and characterless winter, lifting our spirits, gladdening our hearts.

November: the Pacific shimmers gracefully with sunlight, dappling across its majestic waves, stretching from the graceful horizon to the resplendent sand-lined shores, where we now frolic and play.

November: the trees are filled with virginal leaves, fresh and green, obscuring their formerly stark frameworks, adding colour to what was once a dull and lifeless landscape, invigorating our senses.

November: warm country breezes, birdsong and blinding sunshine...Christmas must surely be on its way.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Why I Write Contest" at Editor Unleashed

The topic that every writer takes on at some point is: “Why I Write.” In fact, reflecting on what compels a writer could be a genre in itself. You might say it’s the literary equivalent of an artist’s self-portrait.

That’s why I’m so excited to announce that Editor Unleashed is once again teaming up with Smashwords to present a writing contest with a theme:

Why I Write…

More info here.