Tuesday, December 18, 2012

pieces of my past

I am becoming a dinosaur. A relic of a time past that, in my mind, reflects a simpler time. A time where life seemed to be more well-defined, boundaries were understood, and expectations somewhat clearer.

A throw back to the days of Blue Laws (where certain things/stores/places could not be open on Sunday, aka: The Sabbath) which compelled one to stay home with family or go to grandma's place after church for the usual fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and whatever else was put on the table.

A slower time. A state of innocence.

Enter the new world. The Next Generation for you Trekkies. A time of 24/7 busyness. An internet world where literally everything is at your disposal at all times. Where relationships consists of electronic transmissions via text, social media, or email. Whens the last time you bought a stamp? yep. thought so.

Shopping for christmas gifts this year, it struck me just how much we rely on gadgets for our lives. Smart phones, Tablets, Ipods, electronic Furby's (as if the old ones were not bizarre enough), flat screen tvs. The list could go on and on. My favorite tv shows now are Toy Hunter, Pawn Stars, American Pickers. There is a recurring theme here: these shows are about items, and these items are usually something from the past. A bygone era. And since I am also, it resonates with me. And I believe it resonates with lots of folks who remember. I believe this is part of the success and popularity of these shows. People can indentify with a simpler time. Something from their past.

So, to help keep me in touch with my past, I bought a Stetson Felt Cowboy Hat this week. Not just any ol' Cowboy hat, but a full blown genuine authentic Stetson Cowboy hat that makes anyone, not just cowboys, take notice. Its a 5X Beaver Silverbelly and its a thing of beauty. Its the kind the "good guys" wore in the old westerns (pre Tombstone and Wyatt Earp movies). And it says "Made in USA" inside on the hatband. Growing up, all the old men and cowboys wore these. The Marshal and Sheriff wore them.
The Texas Rangers law enforcement group, not baseball team, still wear them today. When I was a youngster the town marshal would give me his old hat when he bought a new one and I would wear it with pride. I still have his shotgun that he left to my dad when he died and my dad passed it to me.

And I don't really know why I bought it. Heck, I didn't have one so there's that. And I look pretty silly in a hat really. But something drew me to that hat. A connection with a time past. My grandfather always wore a Stetson hat, and over the years it showed the wear from the sweat stains around the base of the crown, and yellowing at the front of the brim by the constant swirl of cigarette smoke that came from whatever cig he had in his mouth during the day. A remeberance from my youth. Something tangible from a bygone era. And I got one. And I plan on wearing it.

I don't care what others will think of it when I wear it. Its not really about them. Its about me. A statement to a fast paced, latest fad, electronic consumerist gadget society that I can still be me, tied to the past, here in the present.

Of course the irony is I bought the hat on Ebay using a computer and pay pal account. but still. ~npp

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Public Service Announcement from NPP - please read

What I type here just may save your quality of life or that of someone you know and love. I could not in good conscious keep this to myself if i can help someone else. I was poisoned three months ago. Yes. Poisoned. Poisoned by a medication I had never taken before and come to find out leaves 100s of people (and counting) in pain, disabled, and numerous other descriptors (including suicide). The drug was Ciproflaxicin. Known as Cipro. A synthetic antibiotic. It is in a class of drugs known as FLOUROQUINOLONES and includes several different names including Levaquin and almost anything ending in flaxicin. You can see a little list and some info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adverse_effects_of_fluoroquinolones I had went to the doctor for a small pain and it was suspected I had an infection (similar to a urinary tract infection) and was prescribed CIPRO. I had no knowledge of this medication except that it was an antibiotic and was supposed to help me. Five days into this medication I began having pain in my hips and groin area. Ceased medication and given another antibiotic. But the damaged had been done. The medication attacked my lymph nodes in the groin, prostrate gland, hip and pelvic joints which makes it painful to walk, tendons and ligaments from the waste down. I was unable to walk for almost 2 weeks and in severe pain for three weeks then moderate to severe pain for another month. Tons of research latter (not to mention medical visits, changing doctors, MRIs, CTscans, Xrays, Ultrasounds, Blood Work, Urinalysis, Meds for prostate now that I never had issues with before) I have found that this drug is very dangerous and was developed initially as s SUPER DRUG to fight those things that normal antibiotics will not work on and are supposed to be used as a last line of defense drug. Drs. now consider it a first line catch-all drug that will take care of anything and it does, including healthy cells and tissues. It was widely used in the ANTHRAX scares about 2o years ago with devastating effects on those prescribed to. It has ruined several young people's lives who were previously totally healthy. Teh Public Broadcasting System (PBS) did a documentary on this in 2011 which I will attach here. Please watch it. Please do not take this class of medication IF there is any other antibiotic that will work on your issue. The risks are too high and too devastating. I am just over three months into this and fortunately am not in as much pain anymore, have regained a lot of my mobility (although it is limitied in how far I can walk and how long I can stand) and it is still effecting my nervous system as I have shooting pains down my legs and buttucks (nerve endings) which makes it difficult to set for periods of time either. I have missed family reunions, a funeral of an uncle that i was asked to be a Pall Bearer, have not been able to teach my class at church in over three months, missed church altogether for 2 months, and cannot do easy things I used to : like mow the lawn and work on stuff. But I am getting better. Slowly. Day to Day. Which is better than hundreds of others I have networked with on blog sites like www.survivingcipro.com and quinolone vigilance foundation. I am hoping to make a full recovery so I can have my life back the level it was at. I am grateful to God that I am not fully disabled as I feared I would be. Please watch this clip. I would hate to think that any of you would end up like this if I had the opportunity to let you know ahead of time the potential it has for destroying your life. I wish I had known. My family will never be taking this ever. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june11/antibiotics_06-16.html

The Shack - Revisited!

A new book by C Baxter Kruger, PH.D. is an indepth review/commentary/theological discussion on the popular book THE SHACK published a few years ago by William Paul Young that spurred discussion on many fronts - mostly in favor of and a few who attacked him for heresy. When I see something labeled heresy, I read it. THE SHACK REVISITED needs to be read AFTER reading The Shack, hence the word Revisited. A lot of discussion goes into the thoughts and struggles of Paul Young who had a tumultous early life and had come to know God (Papa), Jesus, and Saraya (The Holy Spirit) in more relational terms outside the boundaries of conformed doctrine. (hence the attackes of heresy as God is portrayed as a middle aged african american woman) and other issues. Kruger examines these characters closely in light of the struggles of all of us, including the main character Mackenzie (loosely a reflection of Paul Young) and goes into depth on the trinitarian nature of God, Jesus and Holy Spirit and where these three meet us in our lives. Its not a lectionary book. Its not supportive of doctrine. It is reflective. Thoughtful. Insightful. Which is why I guess Paul Young and Kruger have become friends and have toured together all over the place (US, Europe, etc) talking about these two books and sharing their stories and insights. Reading THE SHACK REVISITED makes me want to reread THE SHACK again in a different light, now that I know more of the motivation behind why Paul Young wrote the story and his life journey. If you are a fan of THE SHACK, you will want to read this. ~npp