Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #169

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #169

…Now, this is how you drive a truck: this is the throttle, that the brake and always look in both directions when you come to a place where another road meets the one you’re on…

WIF Travel-001

Ten Cents on the Dollar

Willy Campbell is pretty darn good at most of the things he does. He is best at leading by example; watch me and you will see how to do it. Wrapping those pungent Loyal Campbells is an example; this is how you do it: pick a leaf from the premium drying rack, place 2 ounces of blend 23, fold it into a cylinder, etc… and you get a perfect cigar. Now, this is how you drive a truck: this is the throttle, that the brake and always look in both directions when you come to a place where another road meets the one you’re on. What? Well, whoever gets to that point first can go through first, unless you are turning left, then the person to the right does, if he is going straight. What? Polite drivers always signal which direction they are going, with their left arm. What if they don’t? Then you guess and hope you are right.

The preceding instructions are not the words of Willy Campbell, who makes a mean cigar, but could not describe the rules of the road if he wanted to; there are no official rules, although there is certainly the right way and the wrong way. He will show Clete Wilsup the right way, on the way out to Blountstown. There should not be many motorcars on the road on a Saturday morning, maybe just enough to get the feel for sharing the road.

Map-001 It is late summer and the roadbeds are good and dry, as opposed to wet and muddy when travel will build character or fray your nerves. You do not get a choice of which one you end up with. Today is a good day for a novice.

The new Mack truck was delivered last week and has not been running more than five hours since. It has that “new” smell, a smell that defies description; it just smells “new”. The relatively veteran Willy can tell the difference in power and handling from the 1906 model that he drives, mostly on hills where, even fully loaded, they do not bog down.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #169


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #152

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #152

…In a single hour, there is hatched a magazine named the Pearson-Eastman Journal, thus beginning a fresh era of reporting world events and the people in and around them…

After Roosevelt leaves, just like that the lobby empties, leaving the Pearson-Eastman partnership feeling like they have been run over by a Conestoga wagon. Instead of five foot high wheel marks and hoof print across their backs, they are reminded who is a celebrity and who is not, at least not yet.

  “We have a conference room reserved on the second floor. After that unexpected development, we best not put the cart before the horse.” James Ferrell’s budding professionalism shows.

The group as a whole is conspicuous by the formality of their dress, for a day that is still considered young; an outward sign that these folks mean business. They file into a good sized rectangular room with military precision, greeted by a hostess who is there to tend to their every creature comfort. She uncovers a lavish fruit tray, which is flanked by carafes filled with piping hot coffee and tea. Flaky croissants are magnets to six sets of hungry hands, as they situate themselves randomly, checking egos at the door.

“This is very impressive, James,” Harv observes while observing.

“I agree,” adds George Eastman. “This gives me some ideas for my boardroom.”

“We at Beacon Hill want to demonstrate how much your business means to us.”

  “We are all in agreement about the arrangements,” says Herbert Love, “but I am equally overwhelmed by your securing our audience with Teddy Roosevelt, let alone him inviting our magazine out to the frontier states. You guys should get some great photographs. I hear the scenery is majestic.”

“You all are coming, aren’t you?” asks an assuming Judith.

“Not this time sweetie. I cannot speak for Herbert, but regular business will more than occupy me. Train travel and tents are not on my agenda… and Judith? How are you on horseback? … and Harv, are you a closet Rough Rider?”

“Hey, smarty pants, we know our way around a stable in Florida, right Herb?”

Panhandle Pete

“That’s right Panhandle Pete!” he affirms with more than a hint of sarcasm.

Oblivious to discussions of the first company trip, Abbey Ferrell distributes copies of the Articles of Incorporation to the principles. In a single hour, there is hatched a magazine named the Pearson-Eastman Journal, thus beginning a fresh era of reporting world events and the people in and around them.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Covered Wagon Show (3)

Wagon Train Headed West

Episode #152


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Vice Versa Visa or Passport Problemo – WIF Travel

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The World’s

Most Difficult

Countries to Visit

13,000 miles long and roughly 30 feet tall, the Great Wall of China symbolizes both the country’s military strength and its isolationism. Currently, no country has a Great Wall, but many countries are dedicated to staying isolated, often to avoid exposing their citizens to socio-cultural ideas and practices disliked by their respective governments. For various reasons, the following 10 countries may be difficult for tourists to visit.

10. Canada

Surprised? Frankly, so are we. Canada’s requirements for air travel and border crossing have been more stringent since its southern neighbor, the United States, suffered a terrorist attack in 2001. Since 2007, anyone traveling into Canada by air must have a passport. People who frequently drive across the Canadian border may obtain an enhanced driver’s license that serves in lieu of a passport. Even with stricter security measures required, Canadian customs officials have a reputation for friendliness. The stereotype of the conversational Canadian customs officer is so pervasive that Canadian comedian Rob Bebenek has a stand up routine wherein he contrasts crossing the U.S. border with crossing the Canadian border.

However, one group of people may find Canada difficult to enter. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are considered particularly serious offenses in Canada. Someone who has been convicted of more than one DUI or DWI might not be permitted to cross the border. If a conviction is at least 10 years old and carried a maximum sentence of less than 10 years, someone who has the necessary paperwork may petition for Criminal Rehabilitation. If that petition is granted, the person will be allowed to cross. Those who aren’t eligible to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation may apply for Individual Criminal Rehabilitation, a status that is determined by the Canadian government on a case by case basis. Other options for those who are ineligible for Criminal Rehabilitation include getting a pardon or discharge of your conviction from the country where one was convicted, which must be accepted by the Canadian government, or obtaining a temporary resident permit.

9. Iran

Many cultural innovations that are now prized worldwide began in Iran. Refrigeration, postal delivery, guitars, and chess originated in the area. Tourists would be welcome to learn about the country’s culture and its history, if they didn’t have such difficulty visiting. In 2018, the United States both imposed sanctions on Iran and discontinued its nuclear deal with the nation. Those political decisions had a significant commercial impact, harming the country’s tourist industry.

Deterred by the sanctions, Americans and citizens from countries allied to the United States no longer visit Iran. However, the sanctions have especially affected domestic tourism. Seventy percent of Iran’s tourism revenue comes from Iranians traveling within the country. Fewer Iranians have sufficient money for traveling, since the sanctions are weakening the Iranian economy.

8. Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is a former Soviet bloc country that’s bordered by Kazakhstan, Uzebekistan, and Afghanistan. The Soviet bloc countries were satellite countries of the Soviet Union. Many of them were financially destabilized when the Soviet Union fell in 1991.

The revenue tourists bring is welcome in Turmenistan, but it’s a difficult country to visit. Most travelers who wish to visit must be invited by the government or fund a touring company, though tourists staying on the mainland may be granted five day visas. Social media is banned in Turkmenistan. All tourists are officially required to be accompanied by guides, who report the tourists’ movements to the government.

7. Yemen

We’ve talked about the warfare in Yemen before, and we’re mentioning it again because, sadly, Yemen is still at war. A brief history of warfare in Yemen: In 2004, the Houthis, a Shiite political and religious group, plotted to overthrow the Yemeni government. On September 21, 2014, the Houthis seized the capital city, Sana’a. Because many political and religious groups opposed the Houthis, the country began a civil war in 2015.

The civil war hasn’t ended, but it isn’t solely a war among Yemenis. Yemen’s civil war is a proxy war, a war instigated by major powers that don’t become directly involved. Iran provided weapons to the Houthis, while Saudi Arabia and the United States provided weapons to the Yemeni military. In 2019, the U.S. Congress voted to stop selling arms to the Yemeni government. Imagine: A Yemeni who was born in 2014 has never experienced peace, or a stable economy.

When the country is at peace, it is an enviable tourist attraction. Sana’a, the capital city, has been continuously inhabited for 2,500 years. For tourists who enjoy nature, Yemen would be an ideal vacation destination .Ninety percent of the reptiles in Yemen cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, tourism companies officially advise that the country is unsafe to visit due to terrorism, civil war, health risks, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

6. Angola

Angola, a large country in southwestern Africa, includes deserts and rain forests. Angola was formerly a Portuguese colony, but Portugal now depends on Angola for financial support —Angola possesses rich oil reserves. Angola has survived colonization and civil war. Now the country’s greatest threat is economic instability, caused by inflation.

In 2011, the capital city, Luanda, was the most expensive city in the world to visit. The average price of a melon at a street market was one hundred U.S. dollars. Someone who could afford to visit Luanda would still need to pay to be invited. Tourists must receive an official invitation from the government in order to visit. Anyone who requests a letter has to pay for it. If the letter arrives without a visa despite the visa having been paid for, or the visa is later denied, none of the expenses incurred can be refunded.

5. Saudi Arabia

Like Yemen, we’ve talked about the dangers of visiting Saudi Arabia. Also like Yemen, the Saudi Arabian government’s oppressive practices have since worsened. The Saudi government admitted to orchestrating the November 2018 murder of a journalist for The Washington Post, Jamal Khoshoggi. Khoshoggi, who authored articles criticizing Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman, was ambushed and strangled when he entered the Turkish consulate to obtain a marriage license. His attackers chopped up his body with a bone saw.

On 2019, 36 countries signed an open letter criticizing Saudi Arabia for its human rights abuses.Negative news coverage of Saudi Arabia has negatively affected its tourism industry. The Saudi royal family is the richest family in the world, worth over one billion dollars. The economic instability exacerbated by the decrease in tourism will affect not the royal family, but the Saudi citizens. Twenty percent of the population of Saudi Arabia lives in poverty.

4. Russia

Even before U.S. special counsel investigator Robert S. Mueller confirmed that Russia interfered with the United States of America’s 2016 presidential election, sociopolitical tensions created during the Cold War were still present between the two countries. And as long as the nation remains under the thumb of its president, Vladimir Putin, that tension is likely to remain.

Russia doesn’t recognize U.S. diplomats’ authority to intervene in visa-related difficulties involving American travelers. All travelers are advised to avoid unsanitary water, unsafe medical treatments, pick-pocketing, and government surveillance.

3. Kiribati

The Pacific island of Kiribati isn’t particularly dangerous to visit. It’s just incredibly difficult to reach. Any airport travel requires a long, costly flight between islands. There are few amenities to which travelers from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe are accustomed.

However, local families are willing to accommodate guests. A tourist who requires a passport — anyone living outside of the European Union — should schedule an additional trip to Wales. The only Kiribati embassy in Europe is in Llandewi Rhydderch. But hey, we hear Wales is nice this time of year, if you’re feeling particularly ready to — eventually — make your way to Kiribati.

2. Bhutan

The Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan was closed to visitors until 1974. As of 2019, obtaining a visa costs $40. A tourist must pay $250 to the government for each day of his or her stay. The daily fee includes the provision of accommodation, transportation, food, and a guide.

Travelers from India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives do not need to obtain a visa to visit Bhutan. Invited guests of the government aren’t required to pay a daily fee. The fee is intended to deter visitors, in order to protect the country’s forestry. Bhutan’s dense forests make it the only carbon negative country in the world, and federal law requires that sixty percent of the land always remain covered by trees.

1. Eritrea

Eritrea is the most difficult country in the world to visit. Formerly a colony of Italy, the northeastern African country gained independence in 1991, after a 30 year war with Ethiopia. As of 2019, Eritrea is a dictatorship. All tourists require a visa, and a visa costs $70.

Visitors aren’t permitted to use local transportation while they are in Eritrea. The only way to travel within the country is by prearranging modes of transportation with a tourist company. Anyone traveling outside of the capital city, Asmara, must receive the government’s permission to travel to each destination he or she wants to visit.


Vice Versa Visa or Passport Problemo –

WIF Travel

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 129

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 129

…“Well, if James becomes one-half the man, he can be proud!” No Southerner who ever truly knew Jefferson Davis could ever say anything different…

Jefferson and Varina Davis

John, Martha, James and Abbey Ferrell claim an adjacent room at the Hotel Niagara that actually has a door on their common wall. The kids are happy that it locks from both sides, thereby opening only when both parties consent; like now when both ladies have donned their Sunday best and the guys, well they are still guys, caring less about who sees them and in what state.

“This is the cat’s pajamas!” proclaims James, pulling every cord, drawer, knob, fob, bob and contraption within his reach, which is far more than when he toddled around getting his hands into everything as a kid..

 “Don’t you mean the cat’s meow?” John surmises the meaning. “The latest thing, I -the-cats-meowsuppose.”

“Yes, of course,” says the nouveau Bostonian. “I suspect that the South is becoming isolated from the rest of the world.”

“James, you very much sound like that primitive desk clerk,” Martha points out. “We sent you to Harvard to become a lawyer, not a judge; judgment coming only by wisdom. If you return to Tallahassee with notions like this, it is you who will be the stranger.”

Big City-001“There is much to be said in account of Southern charm, son,” John Ferrell seeks to temper mother’s stern posture. “If you do not use it, you will lose a valuable tool. Please do not become one of those slick city swindlers.”

“I plan to steal money from widows, defend murders and thieves and perhaps change the law that says students must listen to their parents.”

  Sarcasm has its place, just not here & now..

“Do not worry, Father, I keep him in his place,” Abbey assures. “You see, we are not known as the toast of New England. Somehow, somewhy, fellow students call us, “Jeff and Varina”.”

          “Oh my!” They all know what that represents; former President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis and his wife. “James is far more handsome than Mr. Davis,” Martha claims and accurately so.

“Well, if he is becomes one-half the man, he can be proud!” No Southerner who ever truly knew Jeff Davis could ever say anything different and Ferrell had and has an autographed copy of his book, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.

“Me thinks we doth dwell too much. The hour hath come to get ourselves to thee carriage.” James Shakespearian-izes the fleeting nature of the moment, lightening the mood from the grip of the South’s mostly forgettable history.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode # 129


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #126

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #126

…There are paved sidewalks, of all things! With the fashionable narrowing of the heel on a woman’s shoe, ankle injuries will be fewer, due to unexpected gaps  on a typical boardwalk….

Buffalo

Buffalo the Boom Town

The crowd now has begun to disperse, most likely signaling an executive (McKinley) dismissal. As the female Floridians go about the task of locating their hotel, The Niagara, Herbert Love informs the group that their presence is requested by William McKinley at the Statlers Hotel, for cocktails and dinner. The womanly conversation does an about-face; ‘What are you going to wear?’ replaces, ‘Ferry Street should be a few blocks west of here’.

Niagara Falls Power by Merto Allen

Niagara Falls Power by Merto Allen

Buffalo is a true boom town, which is obvious by the amount of new construction aside from that of the Exposition. A recent dose of hydroelectric power generated at Niagara Falls has ballooned population from 90,000 after the Civil War to a turn of the century 350,000, establishing it as New York State’s second city.

And paved sidewalks, of all things! With the fashionable narrowing of the heel on a woman’s shoe, ankle injuries will be fewer; a moratorium on looking down to avoid those annoying, mostly unexpected gaps in carefree strolling on a typical boardwalk.

As this group of tourists traverse downtown, there is a guy’s arm for every girl, making it Big City-001doubly easy to look ahead, for valuable street signs, or up to gawk at buildings ten times taller than those at home. Even for those considered worldlier, this city is as impressive as they may see for a while.

“There is…  I’sa mean goes our bags!” points out Willy Campbell, who earlier had helped the porter of the 12:10 Southern load the right cargo on the horse drawn carriage provided by their hotel.

“Look, he is turning right. Alfrey run up to that street and see where he turns again.” Herb Love advises, the younger Campbell gladly obliges the request, sprinting nimbly through cross traffic to see the wagon go two blocks north on Elmwood Avenue, then make a left.

Advance scouting pays off. By the time the balance of adults catch up to Alfrey, the marquee of the Hotel Niagara and Theater is in plain view. Ferry Street turns out to be a very interesting area. The buildings are older, but not run down, probably dating back to just after it was burned down (along with the White House) by a combined force of British and Iroquois Indians in 1813. There is also a ferry at the end of the street, hence the name. It is the mode of choice when crossing the Niagara River to Ontario, Canada.


Alpha Omega M.D.

City Street

1901 America

Episode #126


page 116

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #125

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #125

…Doubtless, few other married couples have only one set of in-laws, they being shared parents…

“I married my…”

William McKinley turns his attention to the gathered throng, reveling in a moment that every politician, or even want-to-be ones, dreams of; being President of the United States and addressing hundreds of admiring citizens. He has truly reached the pinnacle of his career.

  “On behalf of the fine people of Buffalo, organizers, engineers, builders and volunteers, I would like to invite you an exhibition of marvels and wonders, feats of science and ingenuity, culture, art and music. The Pan-American Exposition will go down in history as one of the Western Hemisphere’s greatest achievements!”

“President McKinley is quite an orator, is he not,” comes a voice from behind the Ferrells, who like the rest were listening forward. All of a sudden, they were not expecting the obvious. John pivots not to a stranger, but the big, beautiful smiles of of James and Abigail.

“Ohhh my, Martha, looks who is here! We were so inspired by Mister McKinley, we lost track of time.”

“You would never have found us, Father… Mom, ummmm, how are you? You look great!” James hugs his mother. She squeezes him within an inch of asphyxia. Abbey gets cradled by John. Doubtless, few other married couples have only one set of in-laws, they being shared parents. It is tough to figure out without the family history in previous pages herein. “Yes, I mean it Father, have you ever seen more locomotives in one spot! We arrived from the other direction, ten tracks away! It was our good fortune to hear some chap telling another that word was the President was waiting for the 12 o’clock Southern and here we are.”

“You are becoming quite the big city gadabout, are you not?”

Abigail lends her ear to John’s assertion. “My dear no, Father. He still knows little of Boston proper and is known himself to lose his way in the Law Building on campus.”

James accepts Abbey’s assessment of his guide skills without refute. He has learned to set aside his male pride, reluctantly nodding. All of his eggs are in the legal basket. Abbey can have that navigator job.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Lost Directions by Ann-McLaren

Episode #125


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #123

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #123

…Anticipation to see the newlyweds  is building…

“Do I look alright, John?” Martha Ferrell fidgets with the mound of hair atop her head, he being the mirror in the absence of one. She is afraid that if she goes to the washroom, sheLegacy-001 will miss their entrance to the station. She pictures James and Abigail waiting and waving.

“Yes you do Ma’am,” answers John–rather the conductor. And he is not lying. She wears her 48 years very well, perhaps because her 19 Century vogue hour-glass figure intrigues the male eye. “We will make the Buffalo station within the hour,” he offers as a more relative addendum.

   Well, at least she got one response. Deep in thoughtful contemplation, her John may as well be in another car. He is watching the landscape turn from empty rural to farm rural to suburban to urban. During that span, he reflects on his life. What will be his legacy? Sure he has his stores, but there are a hundred stores of one kind or another in Tallahassee.

He has fine children, all grown except for little Maggie Lou and who knows just what will come of that; Martha mostly washing her hands of the issue. He suspects that parts of the truth have already filtered into the gossip stream. ‘And I am entering my forty-fourth year. My father died when I was sixteen, he was only 45 and leaving us with only the shack we were living in,’ he thinks back with trepidation. The doctor did not know what killed him, believing he was, “Healthy, surely not,” he mutters aloud.

“Pardon me?” responds Martha to the only sounds coming out of John’s mouth for 100 miles.

“I was saying that I hope the children are healthy,” masking what he had made audible.

“It looks like we will see for ourselves in a minute.” Martha is anxious and content at the same time.

“Their train may not be in as yet, so don’t get your hopes up and try not squeezing them to death if they are there.”

Anticipation to see the newlyweds is building.

“I was saying that I hope the children are in good spirits,” repeats John F., seeing that those kids did these, in ascending order:

“It looks like we will see for ourselves in a minute.” Martha is anxious and content at the same time.


Alpha Omega M. D.

Episode #123


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