THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 143

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THE RETURN TRIP– Episode 143

…I miss Earth as much as you, but we cannot allow it to disrupt our survival and seeing Braden is definitely a case of Desert Mirage Syndrome…

Desert Mirage by SoolArt deviantart.com

“Braden!” Celeste’s reference to the guardian of her children and dearest of friends is way out of context in relation to what she and Sampson were discussing, over yet another strange meal provided by the “Infinity Kitchen” of the NEWFOUNDLANDER, permanently parked on the Martian surface.

Sampson finishes swallowing the pleasant tasting orange substance he was eating to address her disjointed alluding to their friend, “What does King have to do with learning how to fly this thing.” He is itching to unravel the procedure connected to the actual engine start-up & driving of this alien contraption.

“Nothing Sam, I guess I am getting homesick.”

“Getting? So am I… so was E.T.”

“Well okay, got it bad, thinking about the kids, when I saw Braden’s face. He looked worried, like he was trying to tell me something.”

That is definitely a case of Desert Mirage Syndrome. I miss Earth as much as you, but we cannot allow it to disrupt our survival. We must keep our best wits about us!”

“Of course we do and I often fight off the homesickness, but this is different. For a moment, I would swear that he was trying to tell me something; no Deke, Gus or peanut butter cups, just Braden with a message.”

“And no Baby? Hhmmm, this must be serious.” Sampson is understandably concerned with the mental well-being of his wife, especially as it applies to her pregnancy. This imposed isolation is playing mind games with them and it is a constant struggle to repel imbalanced thoughts; and without an OB/GYN, her dietary needs may or may not being met.

“If you are worried that I am teetering on the brink, forget about it, I am fine. I am merely astonished by the clarity of the vision. He WAS trying to tell me something.”

“Does this mean I can’t commit you to that rubber-lined room, the one we haven’t figured out its purpose?”

“Your 25 credits in Psyche 101 do not cut it here, oh and by the way, your title as Commander is hereby revoked. We are on an alien spaceship and you cannot make anything work around here without my help.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 143


page 135

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 75

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 75

CHAPTER FIVE

Change-up

“Queen Francine” – the egotistical, self-serving, superficial diva, has been bent on clawing to the top of the competitive field of broadcast journalism…

queen-of-hearts-carved-artwork

The Queen of Hearts Red Artwork carved from Mangowood

 Personality (noun)  per’son’al’i’ty

  1. somebody’s set of characteristics
  2. characteristics making someone appealing
  3. somebody regarded as epitomizing traits
  4. famous person
  5. unusual person
  6. quality of being person
  7. personal comment
  8. distinguishing characteristics 

ediitors-noteDefinition provided by Dictionary.com,

 

It would seem that the Francine Bouchette, before Roy Crippen met her, has these
traits…

  1. best friend is a mirror
  2. has a phantom fiancee
  3. co-anchors avoid if they can
  4. treats interns like indentured servants
  5. gives scriptwriters fits

… is not one and the same. Roy Crippen has yet to meet that woman, though he wonders about her obsession with “exclusives”.

Indeed, there is no reconciling the definition with the facts, though there is plenty Francine in the first. The dedicated, concerned, sacrificial person, currently operating in the name of humanitarian justice, now working with NASA, is dichotomous when placed side-by-side with the egotistical, self-serving, superficial diva, bent on clawing to the top of the competitive field of broadcast journalism.

Francine Bouchette is truly a personality in every sense of the word. But as she prepares to continue the fresh quest to aid in the rescue of Sampson & Celeste McKinney, mercilessly stranded on Mars, the least desirable aspects of Queen Francine have been tabled; at least for now {and longer if the rest of Houston gets a vote}.

***Contrast this with the following glimpse of what is going on inside, the otherwise occupied, Roy Crippen’s analytical mind:

‘She is quite a lady. With her knack for getting to the heart of a story, I am surprised thinkershe’s not working for network news. She is ten times better than that Elle Fanning on Sixty Minutes. Boy, she tried do a piece on the Colony and by the time she was through asking dumb nonsensical questions or sticking her nose where it didn’t belong, I had had enough. The damnedest thing is that her misrepresentation of the project almost did as much damage as the accident that destroyed it… I wonder why she never married? She is as gutsy as they come, pretty as a picture and probably financially secure, what could be her downside?’

***The following is what Francine is thinking, during her time of frank introspection:

‘I’m not the person that I was yesterday, this whole experience with Roy has made me think, what kind of person is he looking to share the rest of his life with?… All the years I’ve wasted, mistreating everyone from United States Senators down to kids that may be looking up at her as role model…What has changed all of a sudden? Is it just because I am falling for some good looking science guy, probably goes to Star Trek Conventions and is what, 12 maybe 15 years older than me? What would people think? And how many people must I trample to get where I want?’

Enough of these long winded thoughts; it is time to focus on the successful launch of the new/improved deep-space New Mayflower!


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 75


page 70

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #307

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #307

…“If she turns you down Mr. Ford, you could pick me?” volunteers Dr. Jane. It appears that Friez is thawing…

my-project-21-001

“As far as anyone outside this hospital is concerned, Sara Fenwick is just another patient, is that understood?”

All heads nod.

“… Which means, we don’t want to read about “Constance and Ace” helping their friend become a Constance Caraway-001prima ballerina or anything to do with the fountain of youth.”

“Are speaking about little old me?” Lyn asks with a coquettish tilt of her head.

  “You got away with exposing secrets once before, acting all innocent and ignorant, so don’t think we aren’t watching you.”

“I’m flattered by the attention, Ben, but Bob and I are about to start another project as soon as we feel Sara is safe.”

“From this time forward, we control who knows what and when. The general public wouldn’t know what to do with information about Sara.”

Vertical-001 “You have my word, Ben, my wife will behave herself,” Mr. Ford assures.

          Carolyn Hanes has to think over what she just heard. “Wife? That means we’d have to be married and the last time I checked–.”

          “We can take care of that here in Washington. They have a chaplain and a chapel here at the hospital. What do you say?”

          “Wouldn’t we be spoiling a perfectly good friendship?”

“If she turns you down Mr. Ford, you could pick me?” volunteers Dr. Jane. It appears that Friez is thawing.

“He slurps his soup, Dr. Jane.”Vertical-001

          “So do I.”

          “He has a trick knee.”

          “I can fix that.”

          Hmmmm, I got it, she thinks. “All his underwear and socks have holes in them.”

          “Lyn?” Bob steps in.

          “Darn… socks I mean!” one last try for the doctor.

Lyn always has to feel like she is in control, even when she is not, hence her bantering with Dr. Friez. Even though this marriage thing is not her idea, secretly having considered it in rare quiet bravomoments, she is cornered.  “Since I seem to have competition Bob, I think it’s time we got hitched, fly-boy!”

The conference room erupts in raucous applause. The once stern and professional staff are quickly becoming like family. The coming years, the ongoing contact, with Sara at the center, will only reinforce that kindred ness.

horizontal-line5

Image result for capitol balletAt the gymnasium in another wing of the huge hospital, Sara is being coached by the choreographer for the Capitol Ballet. She will be happy for Lyn and Bob, because her memories of love and life are but a faint flickering ember. One night in Ceylon took care of that.


Alpha Omega M.D.

ceylon-001

Episode #307


page 290

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #306

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #306

…Sara’s every acquaintance seems new to her, with a lack of historical provenance, which happens to be the key ingredient in friendships and family…

the-unknwn-zone-001

“Do not attempt to adjust your television set. You have entered the world of the unexplained, where people disappear and reappear, a place we like to call,The Unknown Zone.” Lyn Hanes likens Sara’s predicament with the inconsistent reception and test patterns associated with the burgeoning field of televised imagery.

“The picture is a little fuzzy Miss Hanes, but one thing for sure, even though we’re without the whys and wherefores, your friend is going to require 24 hour observation. I recommend she remain in Washington with us.” Ben Wright confirms what Lyn and Bob had feared, being left with strangers, but in her current state, everyone is a relative stranger to Sara. Her every acquaintance seems new to her, with a lack of historical provenance, which happens to be the key ingredient in friendships and family.

Image result for psychedelic art

Psychedelic Art by Jen Stark

“Will she be able to continue her dancing? It is everything to her.”

“Oh, my, yes. Sara will be nourished and encouraged. She needs to be kept busy, so if you think we were going to lock her away and turn her into homebody, you can rest easy. And we encourage you to call and visit her frequently. You are the only people she really knows. It appears that she will not forget anyone she knows now, even if she continues her reversion.”

“When do you think this reversion will stop Dr. Wright, or will it?”

“The way it looks, because the human body will not shrink in size, she cannot regress to pre-pubescence. If we are able to stimulate her mind, we should keep her reality in the present.”

“Just think of it,” ponders Jane Friez, “looking in the mirror everyday, and instead of watching the wrinkles and laugh lines form, or have your bottom sag and put on weight, you have this woman, whose clock is running backward and is probably wondering why everyone else is aging so fast.”

“We cannot allow this to become a circus sideshow folks. We don’t need Walter Cronkite beating a path to our door. As far as anyone outside this hospital is concerned, Sara Fenwick is just another patient, is that understood?”

All heads nod.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Trippy Circle by Mike Hoekwater

Trippy Circle by mhoekwat.deviantart.com

Episode #306


page 289

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #282

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #282

…Sara Fenwick knows nothing, has nothing to hide and is simply missing body organs and part of her brain…

My Project 19-001And then there is the matter of the illusive Sara Fenwick. This one needs no thespian skills in relating her experiences. She does not remember a thing, period. As far as this seamstress-turned-globetrotter is concerned, she just wants to get back for Christmas (1941), even though it’s really 1947.

The same high-ranking officers that questioned Lyn have come to the realization just how futile any interrogation of this enigma would be. She knows nothing, has nothing to hide and is simply missing body organs and part of her brain.

“We will be leaving soon, Sara, I promise,” assures her friend. “Bob Ford is coming back for us.”Blue Ridge Angel-001

“There isn’t any water in the middle of the desert,” Sara correctly observes.

“He has a different airplane, hon. Remember I told you that he and I came from New York to confirm that you were really alive?”

“Of course I’m alive, silly.” She looks at herself in a mirror approvingly. “I don’t feel like I’m 50.”

“And I feel like I’ve caught up and passed you.”

          “You truly are mad, Lyn. I will always be five years older than you, not that I wouldn’t mind shaving those years off.”

          “I guess always is not as permanent as it used to be.”

          “You haven’t stopped loving me, have you – is that the “always” you are talking about?”

          “Just ignore me, Sara, I’m getting used to having you around again.”

          “Boy, I step out for a breath of fresh air and the whole world goes bonkers!”

  For now, they must rely on the hospitality of strangers and hope that Jupiter and Mars can possibly realign.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Stray Souls - Stolen Memories

Stray Souls (game) – Stolen Memories

Episode #282


page 263 (end ch. 15)

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #280

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #280

…Ford shrugs, Lyn is near tears, and before they can say boo, the word Clipper snaps Jane Doe out of her persistent daze…

Twiilight in a Daze by emedina13.deviantart.com

“Excuse my oversight, folks, but this case has me baffled. I used to think my name was Ben Wright, now I’m not sure.” He instructs the guards, “Tell the attendants to bring the patient.”

Female headshot-001One minute later a gaunt figure, with flat drab hair and an even more drab expression, flanked by two burly women/aides, come into the room. Bob Ford stares first at the mystery woman, then at Lyn for signs of recognition from either side. There is none. It appears he has dragged Carolyn Hanes across the arrow-downcountry for nothing.

“Do either of you recognize this woman? Could she have been a passenger aboard the Pacific Clipper, the one you reported missing?”

Ford shrugs, Lyn is near tears, and before they can say boo, the word Clipper snaps Jane Doe out of her persistent daze.“When are we leaving Captain Ford?” She says out of the blue. “Did you have a good time with that Lady, lady?” The second question is directed at Lyn, who walks up to the woman to take a closer look into her eyes. The essence of the woman she thought lost, has moved into her pupils and iris.

“Sara!” Lyn is moved, but can only move back to her seat, fearing the fragile figure in front of her.

“Did you take a picture of her when you found her?” Ford still is not convinced this is one and the same. Sara Fenwick would be 56 years old now. This woman is not.

Psychiatrist Wright opens his file, producing a photograph taken the morning after they found her standing like a statue, where she had no business being. The same blue dress, jacket cut low enough for a pretty good look at her ample breasts.

“Well, I’ll be damned, that’s her!” He points to the photo, but still cannot connect the two.

“Do you know how many morons stepped on my feet, Lyn? I felt like a rag doll, so I decided to go for a walk. Sorry I didn’t tell you where I went, but let’s go to bed. We have a big day in front of us.”

All in the room are stunned. It seems that Wright wasn’t wrong after all.

“There has been no stream of consciousness for the two weeks we’ve had her. It seems you have found the “on” switch.”

Omar the Tentmaker 1929 Thomas FRIEDENSEN

Omar the tent-maker
1929
Thomas FRIEDENSEN

“Get me out of these horrid clothes. Who designed them, Omar the Tent Maker?”

arrow-up “It is she, Doctor Wright! Only Sara would invoke the name of Omar. He’s not a tent maker, but being a seamstress and designer, she hates his designs, says they make women look thirty pounds heavier than they really are.”

“Who is Babe Ruth?” Sergeant Smith poses for further verification, albeit to trick German spies.

“A candy bar?” That is her answer.

“Ah ha! She’s not who she pretends to be.”

“This isn’t the war, Vince and what would a dressmaker know about baseball? Now let’s be serious.”

“I’m hungry, what’s for breakfast?”

“We haven’t been able to get her to eat solid food! Give her whatever she wants.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Dazed Dandelions by METAL WALL ART LLC

Episode #280


page 261

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #271

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #271

… A blank stare is the mystery woman’s default answer to most questions. She simply doesn’t remember… much…

 

Meanwhile Caption-001“This is 1947, Miss ______?” wonders United States Air Force Sergeant Vincent Smith of a woman who is sitting up in a hospital bed at the military facility near Alamogordo, NewHolloman AFB-001 Mexico. She was found standing on the main runway at Holloman Air Force Base, in the middle of a moonlit night two days ago. It is only the full moon that saves her from being run down by a jet airplane taxiing to a midnight takeoff. “Okay, let’s forget your name for now. What is the last thing you remember?”

 “Dancing.”

 “Dancing. That makes sense, considering the dress you were wearing when they found you. Can you tell me where you were dancing and perhaps how you managed to find your way onto the most highly guarded military base in the world?”

A blank stare is the mystery woman’s default the answer to most questions. She simply doesn’t remember… much. “Pearl Harbor – can’t go back, the Japanese…”

The man is puzzled why she always goes back to 1941. Maybe she was a prisoner of the Japanese? “That was six years ago,” he explains once again.

20140323psychiatry“No,” the woman insists, “we are leaving for Pakistan in the morning. I have to get back to the Clipper.”

The base psychiatrist, who has since come into the room, having dealt with this mysterious lady from the beginning, has been slowly putting some of the clues together. “I think she is talking about the Pacific Clipper, Vince, you know, the one Bob Ford flew for Pan American. When the bleeping Japs hit Pearl, he had to fly back to New York by the seat of his pants.”

“Yeah, I have a buddy who knows one of the mechanics from that plane, said they burned 76 octane half the time,” Smith recalls. “But that was still six years ago! This is beginning to creep me out. Keep an eye on her Ben; I’m going to give Pan American a buzz. Maybe they can help figure this out.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Melancholia-Dr Sarvenaz Keyhani

Melancholia by Dr Sarvenaz Keyhani

Episode #271


page 253

You Are Missing These Things – WIF Simple Pleasures

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The Modern World

Has Robbed You

of These

Simple Pleasures

There are a lot of great things about the modern world, including instant communication, a wealth of amazing entertainment options, access (depending on your part of the world) to some of the best healthcare in history, and the ability to travel all over the world at incredible speeds that our ancestors would have found mind-boggling. However, all good things also have their downsides, and there are some negatives to our modern conveniences that we often don’t think too much about, sometimes because the modern convenience has hidden some past joys entirely from our view. In today’s article, we will go over 10 examples of this phenomenon.

10. An Unobstructed View Of The Night Sky

It used to be that most people could look up at the night sky and see an absolutely stunning vista. You could see a multitude of colored stars, and you could certainly imagine how your ancient ancestors could have once gazed up at that same sky, and imagined all the various powers that have been attributed to them in the past. Now, however, the modern world has largely taken that joy away from us. Due to light pollution, you often have to travel a good days drive from what some would call “civilization” in order to get a proper view of the night sky. Sometimes 50 miles or so can get you a decent view in one direction, but it is rarely going to get you a fully proper 360 degree view, unless you already live in an an area that’s relatively remote.

And even if you can get all the way to those few spots left, you will still have satellites, planes and other flying objects drifting through your view, and polluting the once pristine view of the night sky. While planes and all the city lights give us great convenience, there is an absolutely stunning view hiding right in plain sight, that most of us will live our entire lives never getting to see.

9. Leisurely, Peaceful Meals, With Time To Talk And Digest Our Food

Now, while some countries still take time to linger over meals for the sake of tradition (such as France and Greece), many other major powers such as the UK and the USA eat much quicker. An International Economic Study by the OECD Think Tank found that the United States spent about one hour total on average per day on meals, the UK only about one hour and 19 minutes, and the French, on average, spent two hours and 13 minutes on combined mealtimes, making them the most leisurely with their meals. The industrial revolution has made the world move incredibly fast, and people in many countries just find themselves spending less and less time eating food as the world becomes faster paced and they have to keep going quickly to survive.

It has been well established for some time that there is a strong link between weight gain and eating far too quickly, which is what makes this modern trend alarming. As people eat quicker and quicker in order to keep up with the fast paced modern world, they don’t take the time to properly digest their food, which makes it far easier to overeat. And of course, overeating is a huge contributor to obesity, and other serious weight gain related health problems.

8. Seeing A Phone Number We Don’t Recognize, And Not Being Afraid To Answer 

Phone calls have certainly gotten more advanced over the years, and even most of the older generation tends to agree that advances like caller ID, voicemail, and the like were really good ideas that made things a lot better. However, all the same, it used to be a lot more normal to answer a phone call from a number you didn’t recognize, without actually expecting some kind of devilry. Unfortunately, telephone scams are numerous and make up a staggering percentage of calls, so much that the telecoms and the FCC are trying to work to find a way to bring an end to it, or at least cut it down in a large way in the short term.

Elderly people often get fooled by scam calls the most, but the scammers, trying to find someone to steal from, will target anyone they can get to answer the phone for a little while, and will try to trick important financial details out of people. Now, no one really wants to answer a number they don’t recognize, as they are almost expecting it to be a scam caller of some kind, and with text, Facebook messenger and Snapchat, people tend to just communicate through those mediums in some way or another, and don’t bother to talk for more than a few minutes. The days of people simply calling and having a chat, or being able to answer an unknown number without paranoia, are mostly gone.

7. The Ability To “Go Offline” For A While Without Severe Anxiety

It used to be that before the internet and smartphones changed the world, people had to talk to each other, read a book or engage their hands in something perhaps a little more productive. At the very least, when spending time with someone else, they generally had to do something with them and make conversation. Now, however, people will spend hours hanging out staring at their phones, occasionally showing the other person a funny meme and making sure their phone is charged at all times.

And it is certainly a useful tool to have, but it has become an entertainment crutch for many people for any sort of boredom, and has become such a part of us that many people now get anxious and upset if they don’t have their phone on them or have it charged. According to a study by researchers from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences at the Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, roughly three quarters of young adults suffered anxiety like twitching, or even scratching when observed for research purposes without their smartphones.

6. Delayed Gratification Is Something A Lot Of Even Older People Are Forgetting 

It used to be that you had to wait for certain times for your TV shows to be on, but now anyone can typically just binge their favorite shows without bothering to even wait for commercial breaks, which means even many of the older generation are forgetting the joy of delayed gratification. Across all generations, whether it is a self-scan at the grocery store or a second drive thru lane at McDonald’s, we are all being trained to hate waiting for more than a few seconds.

No matter what the generation, people in developed countries seem to have become less and less willing to wait for anything, and this likely isn’t good for any of us overall. The evidence for this goes back to the famous Marshmallow study, conducted by Stanford professor Walter Mischel in the 1960s. He offered children a marshmallow, but told them if they could wait while the researchers were out of the room, they would get a second marshmallow. As you can imagine, some of the children went ahead and just ate the marshmallow, while others resisted the temptation. After following them for 40 years, the numbers showed better success at SATs and the like, and less issues with stress and substance abuse, among those who had waited to gain that second marshmallow. This suggests that delayed gratification is a very useful tool for success in life.

5. Learning A New Hobby (And Impressing Our Friends And Feeling Super Cool About It)

While this isn’t something we have lost entirely, there is a certain magic that is definitely gone, due to the ubiquity of the internet. Before the ability for everyone in the world to instantly record and upload anything they do, it actually took some exploring and discovering to get the information you needed for a brand new hobby, and then, once you actually figured it all out — or at least the basics of it — you were usually the only one any of your friends knew who could do something quite like that, at least at first (if it doesn’t catch on with others around you).

However, now we really have lost that simple happiness, as people have become so incredibly jaded. It isn’t as hard to get into a new hobby anymore, as you can find a billion tips on the internet, easy starter kits for everything, and a ton of people who can do it a lot better than you. And of course, it’s right at the fingertips of your friends, too. While they may still be somewhat impressed to see someone do it live, and encourage you as their friend, it certainly won’t wow them as much when they can go online and immediately find someone who can do it a million times better than you can, who has been doing it for years. It also can make it hard to keep up with your hobby when it’s so easy to compare yourself to actual experts, and feel discouraged at how long it takes you to reach that level. The internet has sort of ruined us. (Except this site, of course — keep reading this site, guys!)

4. Being Able To Relax Away From Unnatural Or Industrial Noises 

It really wasn’t that long ago, back before the industrial revolution, when we had a much more peaceful world (with regard to noise pollution and, well, regular pollution). There were no big factories belching smoke. You go back a little longer and we didn’t even have trains. No WiFi, constant radio communication, internet, or satellites, and no planes constantly flying overhead. All the sound pollution, both audible to the human ear and not, was almost entirely non-existent just a few hundred years ago, but now there is almost no escape from it. And while you have to go out of the way, you can get a mostly unobstructed view of the night sky if you travel far enough (although you will still see planes and such), but it is a much more difficult issue when it comes to noise.

Researchers who have tried to find any quiet spots on earth have only found spots that are temporarily quiet from unnatural sounds. No matter how far you go, at the very least, the occasional airplane will fly by and ruin the natural soundscape you were trying to enjoy. Planes may be convenient, but there are tens of thousands of flights every day, and the sound from them constantly soaring through the sky has made every corner of the globe a site for intermittent noise pollution.

3. Waking Up To Natural Circadian Rhythms Is An Almost Non-Existent Privilege 

It used to be we just kind of went to bed and got up based on our natural alarm clock, but electronic aids now wake the world up. This is also kind of necessary now, because almost no one goes to bed shortly after sundown, or gets up at sunrise anymore. The privilege of simply going to bed like everyone else does, and knowing the whole world has pretty much the same schedule and will be waiting for you when you get up, is gone.

Now we go to bed at all sorts of weird hours, sometimes for only brief snatches, and many types of workers have schedules where shifts change throughout the week, leaving their poor bodies even more confused. On top of that, many are so trapped by social media, that even waking up for a brief moment, they have to check their feed — this kind of behavior is not good for our sleep patterns.

2. There Is Now No Escape From Shocking, Horrible And Grotesquely Sensational News 

With the ubiquity of the internet and the 24-hour news cycle, we now have access to news from any corner of the world at all times and a corresponding need to fill air space. While you’ll see the occasional positive human interest story, the news is mostly dominated by the worst of the worst, and because of such instant, worldwide, mass communication, no editor has any trouble filling their entire news block with a stream of horrific goings on.

No longer are the days when the news could simply only find so much negative to give you, and wasn’t going to be on 24 hours a day regardless, so at least you got a break. For some people this puts them in a quandary, as they feel as a responsible person they should keep up with the news, but it can be hard to filter out the important things from the constant horror. No matter how important you think it is to keep up with it, you may want to be careful about your consumption. Multiple replicated studies have found that people who viewed negative news broadcasts have more anxiety afterwards, and are more likely to start talking at length about things that worry them, and make them out in their heads to be something far bigger than they are.

1. The Constant Fear Of A Lawsuit Over Everything Has Left Us All On Edge 

In the news over the past several years, we’ve seen a steady stream of stories about little kid’s lemonade stands getting shut down by city authorities, with the police sometimes literally coming in and tearing them down. And just recently, the State of Texas passed a law specifically aimed to not make it so impossible for children to run a simple lemonade stand. However, we have to understand that the reason behind the police taking down lemonade stands is not to be mean to children, but due to the way our modern world works. Today, it is not just the US legal system, but also American culture that has become extremely sue-happy.

State laws regarding licenses and permits, which these lemonade stands obviously don’t have, because they are run by children, require you to be inspected and get licensed, because it both protects the public safety, and protects the proprietor from lawsuits. Now of course some may consider it silly to sue a child, because if you get sick drinking lemonade from a child’s stand obviously you understand that you took the risk in your hands. However, if someone got sick, it could potentially open the child’s parent up to a lawsuit, and perhaps the city as well if it could be proven they were negligent in their duty to make sure roadside food stands are properly licensed and inspected for food safety. Whether it is a lemonade stand being smashed to bits by the police, or a parent freaking out at a neighborhood kid climbing their tree (over fear of them potentially falling), the lawsuit-happy culture of the modern world has left America on edge.


You Are Missing These Things –

WIF Simple Pleasures

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #78

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #78

…My son is in love with my adopted daughter, my daughter is in love with her brother, my invincible brother has been murdered by some cruel force in a far off harbor and I fear my husband has been lying to me for God knows how long… I do not wish to continue…

Southern Lady-001

John Ferrell looks over his shoulder to see for himself and reads further. It describes the horrific events of two days earlier, equally taken aback…

USS Maine explodes on February 15, 1898. Public Domain

..by the some 260 deaths reported. Reports of Maine survivors vary, but with an original crew of 325, one can rely on math and the missing list to fill in the blanks. Two of the four officers are dead and they know the Captain did not go down with his ship.

“Martha dear, we should not assume the worst,” encourages a comforting spouse, knowing Maynard is almost always topside.

So much for a perfect world, as it relates to John Ferrell. The last remaining thread in his wife’s hem seam seems to have unraveled. Brother Maynard has exited her reality, leaving no North American Gaskel left to commiserate with. So fragile is her current state of mind that the very prospect of Maynard’s demise searches out the darkest most recesses of a heretofore dormant state of consciousness.

hell_hath_no_fury“My son is in love with my adopted daughter,” she states without hesitation. “My daughter is in love with her brother.” There is a good measure of regret in her voice. “My invincible brother has been murdered by some cruel force in a far off harbor.” Tears are streaming from her heart. “And I fear my husband has been lying to me for God knows how long… I do not wish to continue. Please take me home, my Lord and my God, to the peace and quiet of heaven.” Martha Gaskell Ferrell retires to the foyer settee, to take rest from all the dizzying concerns.

John plays second base for the amateur baseball team in Tallahassee, the Panhandlers. Back in 1890, they played the Cincinnati Red Stockings, a professional team from the National League of baseball, in a spring exhibition game. The unpolished laymen played a spirited game, but still came out on the low end of a 15 to 7 score.-

Panhandlers-001

–It now appears his wife has taken up the sport, at such a late age. Her undoing has come from deep left field.

Just like the coward that lurks in the soul of every man, John Ferrell of the unsavory list Martha had spewed, acts as if he does not hear a thing. “Let me get you a moist towel for your forehead, dearest.” He had been witness to a similar sudden brush with reality when his adopted daughter recognized Willy Campbell, a horrifying piece of her sorted past, in November of last year. Shock surely triggers a process that exhumes buried or repressed memory. In Abbey’s case, her perception, no matter how skewed, is her reality. Martha, on the other hand, could not be more correct.

“I am going back to town and try to contact the Navy. James will be home from school soon. Let me take you upstairs. You should rest a while.” His only chance to save face is to divert her attention, refocusing on matters concerning brother Maynard.

The late afternoon trip back to Tallahassee will not be necessary. There is a report from the heavy brass knocker on the front door. John responds to the unknown beckoning, to find a Western Union agent with a message labeled for Martha, sent by the Department of the scorned-001Navy. He signs for the cable in her stead, fumbling through his pockets for a proper gratuity for the likely grim messenger.

Martha views the note without outward expression. Her manner is cold and calculating, withdrawing to catatonic solitude.


Alpha Omega M.D.

“Have you heard about poor Martha Ferrell?”

Episode #78


page 71 (end Ch. 4)

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #58

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #58

…  Old friends and neighbors do not ask too many questions…

Without capturing the one last deep breath that would sustain her for a couple of minutes, Princess Olla submerges herself, without intentions of surviving.

John Ferrell sees the black shoes on the bench and correctly guesses the rest. He searches for bubbles and dives in the water at that spot. Several inspired strokes in his pitch-black underwater probe, he touches saturated fabric. He prays it is Laura’s dress, grabbing what feels like the collar and lurching for the surface of the lake. It takes more strength than he has, but what he has not, the rest is provided. Two bodies break above water, both gasping for air.

San Luis Lake-001   The rescuer knows how critical every minute is, if his unborn child is to survive. With a display of superhuman strength, John Ferrell carries an unconscious Olla the distance back to the stable, then deciding not to stop there, ferrying her to the house of his neighbor, a retired physician around the south side of San Luis Lake.

Old friends and neighbors do not ask too many questions, like, ‘How often do you save drowning people at this hour?’ or ‘How did you know this woman is with child?’ Instinctive, Doctor Siegfried Endlichoffer resurrects his black bag to treat a patient he is already familiar with. He has spent many an afternoon picking Princess Olla’s brain about what she knows about life on the Apalachee Indian Reservation, as he spoke to the Ferrells’ maidservant and gained her confidence. As it turns out, it is he who provided Olla with the skills of the written word, as rudimentary as it is, even though his native German tongue would be easier for him to relate.

Princess Olla Early Years

He wields his stethoscope skillfully, timing the hearts of both mother and child, like he had never put it down. Prone and scared, his patient stares down her clothes less body, watching the cold steel disk move from her chest down to her burgeoning belly. She is not used to being naked, whether it be in the presence of the doctor or John Ferrell.

This modesty keeps the latter in another room and frustrated, nervously pondering all the numerous ramifications. Most of these scenarios fall on the side of social disaster. He cannot imagine how Laura Bell can return to Hillside Estate, whether the baby survives or not.

After what seems to be an eternity, the crusty German emerges from his den, leaving Laura to don one of Frau Endlichoffer’s house dresses, with plenty of whom to grow.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Ziggy-001

Episode #58


page 53