RE-BLOG and UPDATE: The Bronze Killer and Me

POST ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 7/03/2010. I am re-blogging it along with a new section as part of the national campaign for:
HEREDITARY HEMOCHROMATOSIS AWARENESS MONTH

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Still trying to catch up to where I left off before my trip. Too much to do but my body and mind just refuse to cooperate for more than a half-hour at a time. I am truly thankful for the fact that I don’t suffer from the huge mood-swings or periods of sudden rage that often accompanies Hereditary Hemochromatosis, at the same time though, I’m really frustrated by the increasing inability to focus both my mind – and my eyes. It’s like I’ve suddenly developed ADHD at the age of 56 and someone keeps moving my monitor closer than farther away then closer then… Well, you get the idea. HFE is such an odd disease in that it can have so many manifestations and it seems that no two people have the exact same combination of symptoms and the mix changes constantly.

Read More about Hemochromatosis Awareness Month

I’ve got great doctors – but none of them have HFE so they can’t really relate to what I’m going through, and I’ve been searching for other who have HFE to compare notes with. Through those searches, I came across a reference to the book “The Bronze Killer” by Marie Warder and on Amazon.com there were a ton of reviews of the book that were all just raving about how it’s considered the BEST book on the subject of HFE and more specifically, on the experience of the author’s husband and both children having it and how it’s affected all of them. Marie’s husband is like me in that he was not diagnosed until after he had already suffered permanent damage to his liver while her children were fortunately diagnosed before the disease had advanced that far. I ordered the book on Tuesday and received it Thursday. I used to read at least 1 book a day but those days are long gone and so I’m only on page 11. I’ll fill you in as I get farther along.

UPDATED INFO:

The importance of sharing medical records and information with your immediate family members must not be taken lightly or ignored. People rarely feel any significant symptoms of Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HFE) until it’s too late to avoid permanent, life-threatening harm. But unlike an unexpected car crash, broken spine, or burst appendix, the majority of cases of HFE CAN be predicted, tested for, and even prevented IF there is a known family history of a combination of certain risk factors (even where there’s no family history of HFE having been diagnosed). If a patient is found to have any of the genetic defects that can lead to Hereditary Hemochromatosis, from one or both of their parents, and before they have suffered any permanent damage to their organs, there are easy steps to take that can prevent most or possibly all of the debilitating and dangerous effects of the full blown disease and allow that patient to live a “normal” life and have a “normal” life-span.

Most people think that because they personally were never diagnosed with HFE then there is nothing in their medical records that could possible be of help to their family. WRONG! That’s because, despite being the most common of all genetic diseases, HFE is very rarely diagnosed. Before 1996 there wasn’t even a test that could positively identify it! But our medical records contain much more than a list of diagnosis and treatments. Doctors keep notes of symptoms you complain of, what they have tested you for, the raw results of those tests (meaning just the numbers without interpretation), and what the doctor suspected as well as ruled out as the cause of your symptoms. These are the most critical parts of your records because it is not a single number that is too high or too low that would indicate you MIGHT have Hereditary Hemochromatosis – rather it is the combination of which numbers are low, which are high, and which are “normal” – and how consistent those numbers remain or whether they steadily increase or decrease over the years and in combination with what other symptoms and diseases or conditions. So the judgment of which records are needed cannot be made by someone with either a conflict of interest and/or a lack of the specific medical training to understand the interplay of such information.

Yes, we each do have the right of privacy when it comes to our health records – but PLEASE consider the fate of your family: siblings, children, parents, grandchildren, and 1st cousins. Carefully weigh what is really more important: that none of your family ever find out you once had Herpes or an abortion or whatever else may be embarassing or even shameful – OR – that you can actually help save your loved ones lives or atleast allow them to have a better quality of life for a longer time simply by sharing your un-edited medical history?

A good way to start the dialog with your family members on the importance of being open and sharing, the Surgeon General of the United States has launched a public health campaign and has provided tools to help you create a Family Health Portrait. Access the My Family Health Portrait Web tool at https://familyhistory.hhs.gov/.

Now, back to the original blog post:

Completely off-subject but appropos for this weekend when those of us who are blessed to be Citizens of The United States celebrate our Independence Day on the 4th of July, I’ve created a few patriotic icons as well as a Desktop Picture (in 3 different screen sizes) for you. Enjoy!

Free Clip-Art / Icons & Wallpaper of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Star Spangled 1600x1200

1280×854 px 1600×1200 px 1920×1200 px

Old FlagColumbia

Freedom Flag

Organizize!

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A very short post tonight to deliver up a 2nd serving of my “Organizize!” Icon Series. Tonight I present for your pleasure, four well-used oak file drawer images for your Accounts, Medical Records, Shopping Lists and Receipts, and Desktop or Scrapbook Wallpapers. Hope you enjoy them! I’ve got more coming over the next several days, but if you have any special requests, just leave a comment to this post and I’ll give it a whirl.

Sometimes I get asked where do my ideas for clip art, icons, or paintings come from. This particular series was created originally for my cousin, Flora Spector, who developed and maintains a few different websites (including several of her own) geared to fans of Sherlock Holmes. A couple of years ago, when she was looking to update one of the sites, I designed a few different concepts that I thought would be perfect. Alas, Flo didn’t feel any of my artwork fit what she had in mind. Normally, I would simply try to get a better understanding of what a “client” is looking for and try again, but this happened just at the time when I was undergoing a particularly grueling round of chemo and was having a hard time even sitting up or focusing my eyes. So – I put that artwork on the back-burner and forgot about it, while Flo went ahead and either created the artwork she wanted herself or hired another graphic artist. The site came out quite nice – but very different from what I had in mind, so I see why she didn’t find my designs suitable. A couple of weeks ago, when I was cleaning up my digital archives, I came across that artwork again. Seemed a shame to let all that work go to waste, and so, hopefully, now it won’t!

By the way, if you’re a “Sherlockian” or know someone who is, you might want to check out my cousin’s two related websites (or any of the other Sherlockian Web Ring sites that link to hers). One of Flo’s websites is a blog she maintains for her alter-ego “Mrs. Hudson” (yes, THAT Mrs. Hudson!) at: The Musings of Mrs. Hudson. Another of her websites is for one of the Sherlockian groups she belongs to, The White Rose Irregulars, which holds their meetings in and around Reading, Pa.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

Org_Accounts

Org_Medical

Org_Wallpapers

Org_Shopping

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE

The Bronze Killer and Me (+Patriotic Desktop Pix)

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Still trying to catch up to where I left off before my trip. Too much to do but my body and mind just refuse to cooperate for more than a half-hour at a time. I am truly thankful for the fact that I don’t suffer from the huge mood-swings or periods of sudden rage that often accompanies Hereditary Hemochromatosis, at the same time though, I’m really frustrated by the increasing inability to focus both my mind – and my eyes. It’s like I’ve suddenly developed ADHD at the age of 56 and someone keeps moving my monitor closer than farther away then closer then… Well, you get the idea. HFE is such an odd disease in that it can have so many manifestations and it seems that no two people have the exact same combination of symptoms and the mix changes constantly.

Read More about Hemochromatosis Awareness Month

I’ve got great doctors – but none of them have HFE so they can’t really relate to what I’m going through, and I’ve been searching for other who have HFE to compare notes with. Through those searches, I came across a reference to the book “The Bronze Killer” by Marie Warder and on Amazon.com there were a ton of reviews of the book that were all just raving about how it’s considered the BEST book on the subject of HFE and more specifically, on the experience of the author’s husband and both children having it and how it’s affected all of them. Marie’s husband is like me in that he was not diagnosed until after he had already suffered permanent damage to his liver while her children were fortunately diagnosed before the disease had advanced that far. I ordered the book on Tuesday and received it Thursday. I used to read at least 1 book a day but those days are long gone and so I’m only on page 11. I’ll fill you in as I get farther along.

Completely off-subject but appropos for this weekend when those of us who are blessed to be Citizens of The United States celebrate our Independence Day on the 4th of July, I’ve created a few patriotic icons as well as a Desktop Picture (in 3 different screen sizes) for you. Enjoy!

Free Clip-Art / Icons & Wallpaper of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Star Spangled 1600x1200

1280×854 px 1600×1200 px 1920×1200 px

Old FlagColumbia

Freedom Flag

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ZIP IT – with apologies to DEVO

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I started out 5 hours ago to write tonight’s post but just kept getting distracted by various incoming phone calls, e-mails, and notifications of some very relevant and significant new case-law handed down yesterday that I took the time to thoroughly read and digest. ( This was not a ruling in my case, as I expect that will be another week or two, but it could be important for me in the future if any part of my case gets remanded (sent back) to the trial court for more hearings. ) The long and the short of these distractions is that I am just too tired now to think. So this post will be another one of those short on talk but BIG on the freebies.

The reference in this post’s title to DEVO is probably obvious to those of you familiar with this quirky, brilliant band that originally hails from my neck of the woods. I was a big fan of theirs in the early-mid 1970’s when the members were still in college (and some in high school) and our paths had crossed often back then since I was working in radio, running the sound board for my hubby’s various bands, and a registered booking agent working with a handful of mall in the Cleveland-Painesville area. For those of you who think you are NOT familiar with DEVO, you’ve probably heard them a million times without even realizing it, as a number of their songs and derivatives of those have served as the soundtrack for a number of TV shows (‘Pee Wee’s Playhouse’, ‘South Park’, ‘The Simpsons’, ‘Rugrats’), movies(‘Austin Powers, The Spy That Shagged Me’, and commercials. Of the latter, there been one spot on for a few years now for a cleaning mop call ‘The Swiffer’ where you see this woman going off the deep-end sweeping and dusting everything in sight where her movements get more and more robotic as a techno-pop sounding song plays in the background with the chorus “You can Swiff it. Swiff it Good.” – The song is a parody by DEVO of DEVO’s own chart-topper from the 1970’s called “Whip It“. Once you become aware of the band, you’ll suddenly start hearing them everywhere – and most if not all of their work seems to incorporate one of their early trademark songs (‘Whip It’, ‘Mongoloid’, and ‘Q. Are We Not Men? A. We Are Devo’). It is not because the band isn’t creative enough to come up with something new – they are probably one of the most creative in the business (particularly Mark Mothersbaugh) – but if is perfectly in keeping with their philosophy of art and wonderful sense of irony and satire for them to spoof themselves spoofing others who take themselves much too seriously. – So the connection of my post’s title to DEVO is simply this: Every time I compress a file to make a zipped archive, I have this compelling urge that makes me sing to myself “Zip It. Zip it Good”. I know. It’s pretty lame but there you are.

So on to tonight’s GIGANTIC menu of Freebies, in addition to a few random Felted images, I’m serving up a link to the complete set of my Felted Series, which includes #205 .png images (512×512 pixels each) plus the coordinating felted wallpaper in 3 different screen sizes. Zipped down it’s still a whopping 40.81mb – so if you’re using a dial-up connection, you may want to stick with downloading the individual images embedded in these related blog posts:

  1. I’ve FELT Spring In The Air!
  2. FELT BETTER? (Felt System Icons)
  3. I FELT that!
  4. On Being Real (I FELT your pain)
  5. Easter Never FELT This Good

BTW, Please note that the zipped file contains many more images than what I’ve posted individually on this blog.

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

FOR THOSE WITH HIGH-SPEED, WIDE-BANDWITH ONLY. DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE SET OF #205 IMAGES ZIPPED FILE= 40.1mb

Felted-Basketball

Felted-Graduate

Felted-Smile

Felted-Loc-HTTP

FELT BETTER? (Felt System Icons)

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I’ve actually been having a little fun with this latest icon set. With the framed kelly green felt wallpaper on my desktop, I created a bunch of empty folders and set their icons to a bunch of the felt images from this new series and just played with them creating pictures and stories around them. Just like being in Kindergarten again! I’m thinking of maybe doing a kids book with these. Better yet, maybe some of you guys out there that have young children can let them loose with these and then send in your screenshots and stories that the kids make up and I’ll put them together in a download-able/printable book format for everyone to share and enjoy! Whaddya think?

Tonight I’m posting some basic system icons for those of you that want to have a more practical use for this series. Coming up over the next several days will be everything you need for your system, applications and user folders. I’ll close off the series in a week or so with characters and toys and animals so the young ‘uns (and those young at heart or just plain immature like me) can create their own villages and tales.

Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Felted-Fonts

Felted-Folder Felted-Folder-Smart

Felted-Burn

Felted-TB-Delete3 Felted-TB-Eject

Felted-Library

Felted-TB-customize Felted-TB-New

Felted-TB-Find

Felted-TB-Picture Felted-TB-Public

Felted-MultiMedia

Felted-TB-Music Felted-World

Felted-TB-Fav

Felted-Computer

I’ve FELT Spring In The Air!

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With the sunshine and warm temperatures this week, we have crocuses in bloom all around the yard and a family of 5 deer arrived to feed on them. As much as I love the blossoms, I just don’t have the heart to shoo the deer away. So much construction in the neighborhood the past 5 years has just about wiped out their feeding grounds and the poor animals are starving. The suburb I live in has made it against the law to feed the deer (along with the occasional bear and mountain lion) because it allows them to survive and proliferate. In other words, they want the wild life to starve to death, else they’ll become “pests” and have to be shot.

Now, I’m not a fanatic by any means and I understand that humans have needs and rights, as well. But the theory behind the law is a lot harder to take when I find myself face to face with a doe and her fawns. Somehow, being near the top of the food chain isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Yeah, I admit it. I’m a wimp when it comes to Bambi and Thumper.

What bugs me most about it though is that while all this “new” construction has replaced what had formerly been woodlands, there are blocks of homes and commercial buildings that stand unwanted, empty, and rotting and attracting their own brand of “wild life” as a result. It seems so wasteful and cruel to allow this sprawl to continue while there already is land to be used. From my experience working in the construction field, I’m well aware of the costs and other possible negatives of having to demolish an existing building and do environmental clean-up. But such endeavors are in the best interests of the whole community so those costs should be off-set in part through tax incentives and other public funds. That’s how it works in some neighborhoods or for certain types of buildings – but not all. And so the creeping blight and hungry deer continue to grow.

Sorry, folks. I hadn’t intended to get into a rant here tonight.

What I did intend to do was to welcome my second favorite season of the year – Spring – and note that Easter is early this year and just around the corner. To celebrate it all, I’ve created a great big icon/clip art set in a style that mimics those felt cut-outs we made back in grade school and bright green felt desktops and scrapbook album pages to serve as a suitable backdrop. Along with the Easter themed images, I’ve included a new alphabet (also felted) that includes all capitals, small letters, numerals, punctuation and some commonly used symbols. Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Felted Violets

Felted-Bunny-1 Felted-Bunny-2

Felted-Poppies

felted-egg-2 Felted-Egg-1

Felted-Rose Felted-Egg-3

Felted-Easter-Basket

Felted-Alphabet-Preview

Download is a zipped file containing #26 Capital Letters, #26 Lower-Case Letters, #0-9, plus assorted punctuation and common symbols.

Felted Desktop Preview

Download is a zipped file contains backgrounds in the following sizes: 1920×1200 (px), 1600×1200 (px), and 1024×768 (px).

The “Real” Hemingway – Or Not.

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Tonight I’m concluding my series of images that celebrate a tiny slice of the passions and achievements of Ernest Hemingway. More than half a century after his death, the appeal of this enigmatic macho-man continues to grow and remain relevant due to the eloquence of Hemingway’s prose and universality of his characters thrust into a rapidly changing world where conventional values, relationships and expectations no longer have meaning and tomorrow is the ultimate unknown, all woven together with exotic locations and varied adventures and all with the core theme of man as an individual and the compulsion to seek challenges to triumph over himself and his environment. From the point of view of characters dealing with the reality of living in the eye of the storm, life is at once thrilling, horrifying, compelling, alienating, inspiring, depressing, life-affirming, destructive, ancient, modern and seductive. But in winding up this series, I’d like to address an issue I feel rather passionate about: the perpetuation of bias and hatred against people due to the race, religion, or sexual orientation and a rarely used tool to help combat it.

Much has been written about Ernest Hemingway, the “Man’s Man”, full of bravado, machismo and courage. Not the least to have extolled and claimed these qualities was Ernie himself. Yet in the past 10 years (fifty years after his death) there has been a new focus by certain theorists cum biographers/scholars who have steered the conversation away from two-dimensional character portrayed in the popular media to reexamine the softer side of the man. While such attempts to discover the “real” man behind the myth are laudable, because these publications were released shortly after the tragic death of Hemingway’s youngest child, the scholarly value of such books or essays as Ernest Hemingway: Machismo and Masochism” and Hemingway’s Masochism, Sodomy, and the Dominant Woman”, both by Richard Fantina, “A Matter of Love or Death: Hemingway’s Developing Psychosexuality in For Whom The Bell Tolls” by Marc Hewson, and “Hemingway’s Quarrel with Androgyny” by Mark Spilka, strike me a less than certain.

Editor’s Note — My concern is in large part due to the very public revelation that the 69-year-old woman who died of natural causes while incarcerated in a Miami Florida women’s jail for indecent exposure was in fact Gregory Hemingway, the youngest son of author Ernest Hemingway who had just 3 years earlier undergone a sex-change operation.

It is unknown to me whether the research and conclusions about Ernest expounded by such works were initiated due to their author’s knowledge of Gigs Hemingway’s “secret”, or evolved independent of such knowledge, and/or whether the publisher’s release date was intentionally timed to capitalize on the tragedy, or whether the close proximity of the release date to that intensely personal family tragedy was instead just a reflection of the Publisher’s gross insensitivity to the Hemingway family, to the Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender community, and to the scholarly reputations of these authors. But regardless of the true circumstances, it strikes me as hard to deny the potential cloud placed over the credibility of the author’s conclusions about the inner-life of Ernest Hemingway nor the potential harm to the G.L.B.T. community as a result of feeding into the already existing misperception of the general public who not only consider such people as “freaks” or worse yet, as “sinners” but who either overly believe or inwardly fear that homosexuality, trans-genderism, as well as any other “non-standard” sexual preference is not only a “disease” but one which can be “caught” by an innocent bystander and therefore must be protected against by ostracizing and punishing the “victims”.

Of course, biographers and scholars are not responsible for the biology, psychology or circumstances of the person(s) about whom they are writing and the farther a biography or critical analysis strays from the facts and reality of their subject’s life the less credible their treatises become. So the dilemma for them and their publishers becomes:

  1. How to ensure your analysis of a deceased person’s psychological make-up doesn’t get tainted or inappropriately influenced by a combination of the biology, psychology and circumstances of the lives of other deceased persons and, perhaps, your own personal cultural biases?; and
  2. How can you (as author or publisher) help prevent your readers from using your analysis about one specific person as confirmation of their own pre-existing bias’ applied to an entire category of people?

Unfortunately, I have no sure-fire answer as to how to prevent the initial bias but certainly having Editors and Publishers as alert to such weaknesses as they are to grammatical errors and typography should catch it at the gate. On the latter question, to those of you who may presume that anyone intellectually smart enough to even be interested in reading such publications are also culturally intelligent enough not to misinterpret them, I ask that you simply consider the evidence that intellect does not necessarily correlate equally to cross-cultural understanding or empathy (for example: Thomas Jefferson was intellectually brilliant yet owned many slaves, Richard Wagner was a genius composer yet was stridently anti-semitic). And to those of you who may feel it is unfair to even ask biographers, scholars, essayists, and journalists take such questions into serious consideration before they finalize and release their efforts to the public, I ask that you reflect upon the fact that if the skills of these authors are such as to create compelling enough material that not only attracts many readers but presents their theories in such an effective manner that convinces their readers to accept those theories, then in situations where there is a reasonably perceivable risk of faulty conclusions and abuses of their tomes, doesn’t it make sense to ask these writers to use their considerable skills to complete the circle of education by expressly pointing out what are or are not valid applications of their theories beyond their specific subject while they still have their reader’s attention? And wouldn’t this create even greater value to their works and benefits to society?

It’s something to think about at least.

And now, for the lighter side of tonight’s post, I present you with 3 different 1920×1200 px-sized pictures created specifically to coordinate with my Hemingway Series of images, suitable for use either as a background for your desktop, scrapbook page, or ….? -Enjoy!

Free Desktop Pix of the Day

The following images are reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 1024px X 768px in .png format). Create Commons license applies (see sidebar for details)

Hemingway-San-Fermin

Hemingway KenyaGold-Screen

Hemingway Havana-Screen

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