2/6/08 Spent a few hours yesterday running each of my pages through a "Word 2000 Code cleaner."
The mess left in each of my pages from having edited them in Word was really turning me off from editing and updating. Also setting up the ftp from my Network Solutions web hosting service was not the most "user-friendly" procedure I've followed in a while.
When one hasn't updated in about 8 years, it's almost tough to know where to begin. I've lost both my parents in the past 6 years and they say that represents huge life stress events. My father died back on 2/7/02, and we just lost my mother on 1/26/08.
After about 8 years, I left the VA in December of 2006. I felt betrayed.
The Ranch has continued it's steady growth, and has been notable for adding the Hay Making business
Computers have remained a significant part of my life. When we finally replaced goodwench's unreliable HP desktop with a very well spec'd Dell machine, I changed out the hard drive for a new 320 G one, and installed Ubuntu Linux on it.
Of course it is perfectly obvious that this burst of website activity has not been a random occurance. With the elevated level of stress for the past 4.5 months, messing with this site serves as a great distraction.
5/7/98 I've done most of the updating on the various pages such as tractor, ranch, computer, and Jake, so there isn't much to add here today.
7/21/98 Getting the new house in shape has been taking up so much of my time that I haven't spent much time at the computer. I'm not really even keeping up with my E-mail all that well. I hope to get some pictures of the ranch, house, barn, shop, and tractors up on the web site very soon.
7/23/98 I finally got around to hooking the scanner back up after the move. Now there are some pictures of the ranch, commander the dog, and some of the tractors. Tanya the trailer finally has her own page, complete with the story of her wheel bearing adventure in Tuscaloosa. Many new pages have been added, though many of them still await some content.
On the CyberRanch front, the hot water heater died last night. It will hopefully be covered under the home warranty contract. I guess we'll find out tomorrow morning.
8/15/98 We're busy getting the house and outside in shape for the big events scheduled for September 5, 1998. Starting at noon we'll have a Car, Truck, Tractor, & Bike show. At 5:00 pm a DJ will show up, and at 7:00 Goodwench and I will be married on our island.
We finally got some significant rain yesterday. I'd been having to water all the trees, and the pond level had decreased a tremendous amount. I've started some grass seed in bare spots around many of the trees where the sun had been blocked until I did a lot of pruning.
Goodwench was in bit of car accident last Sunday when she was returning home from call at the VA. A young woman ran the side of her car across the front of Goodwench's car as she was waiting to make the last left turn on to our street. One of the worst things is that State Police insisted that Sassy (Goodwench's car) be towed away from the scene of the accident. The police had already allowed and helped us push the car off the road, and now it was just across the street from our property. Though we'd told the police that we didn't need a tow because we were already home and had to access to trucks and tractors with tow chains if the car was unable to be driven, the police called two tow trucks anyway. When I saw the roll-back backing up to Sassy, I ran over and informed the operator that we hadn't called for a tow truck. When I went to ask the officer why he'd called a tow truck, he accused me of trying "to run the accident scene" and said that he do whatever he'd like to maintain safety. He insisted that the tow operator load the car up. I even asked how much we would have to pay the tow operator to not get towed. When he continued to insist that he wanted the car towed, I asked if my friend's tow service could come and get it. He said he didn't think my friend's tow service was "on the rotation list" and we couldn't use him. The tow operator was laughing smugly when he saw that the cop was going to insist that we pay him $ 55.00 to move our car across the street. I guess Blonde's Tow Service just happens to know the right people on the police force around here. To add insult to injury, the cop then issued Goodwench a ticket because she had said she was waiting to turn left when the girl hit her. The so-called "investigation" they did was a sham. I can sure see the need for us to make the right contacts to get on the positive side of the police around here, because they sure won't hesitate to screw you if they happen to feel like it. One of the cop's superiors acted really interested in finding out about how the cop insisted that we pay to have our car towed across the street, but not surprisingly, nothing more has come of it.
The good news is that the accident really did get us moving on our search for another vehicle. Goodwench had decided that a decent sized Sport Utility Vehicle would be a good compliment to our present vehicles, and she was interested in having four wheel drive. We'd pretty much decided on a Jeep Cherokee, but there sure weren't many decent used 4x4's around to choose from. The really good thing about this accident is that we ended up going out and buying a brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited. This 4x4 has the luxury of a Mercedes, and the performance of a muscle car. It will make a wonderful off-road vehicle someday.
11/15/98 I've been working at the VA for just about two months now. It sure does take up a lot of time. Having a job so different from my old private practice sure is frustrating. This kind of work really tires me out now, even though it's nothing like I used to do in my private practice. I haven't seemed to be able to get much else done before or after work so far.
2/6/99 Goodwench and I just got back from week up in PA trying to get some closure on the motorcycle accident I had on 5/23/94. The trial was supposed to over on 2/4/99, but things didn't get finished up yet, and the trial will proceed again on 2/16/99. The judge appears to be an impartial person who cares and is really paying attention and trying to understand everything. I really don't understand the attorneys representing the trucker's insurance company, but sure have given me a distaste for lawyers. Actually, if I'm not careful, these attorneys tend to get me upset with all of humanity. I can understand taking one's job seriously, but I could never do it to the point of disregarding reality. Donna Adelsberger and Susan Weiner are the lawyers for the truckers insurance company. While they will continually smile at everybody in the court room, they are always looking for anything to discredit me. This even went as far as using my web site. They came to my page and read pieces I had written over the past two years. When I wrote these things I had been in denial of some of the changes that led to my no longer being able to continue my private practice. They introduced print outs of some of my web pages as evidence that I stopped my practice simply because I was unhappy with what the insurance companies had done to the current state of medicine. Even if I had been aware then how much I had been changed by the brain injury, I wouldn't have been able to tell it to the world at that time. Because I tried to deny some upsetting things from myself, these people would like to say that those things aren't reality. I've suffered too much pain coming to terms with reality to let Adelsberger or Weiner distort it. After trying to use my own web site against me, they didn't even have the courtesy to sign my guest book. These lawyers produced witnesses that they had sent me to see for evaluations. Both the orthopedic doctor and the psychiatrist that they sent me see are actually attorneys. Though they have MD degrees, they make their livings giving testimony in court cases, rather than in primarily treating patients. These are people who specialize in helping insurance companies. The orthopedic doctor had been helping plaintiffs with medical malpractice suits until the Philadelphia orthopedic community got fed up with his selling out medicine and the physicians that were trying to care for patients. The doctors pressured him into giving up representing plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases and now it appears he helps insurance companies with their side of cases. Dr. Newman, their orthopedist, gave video testimony under oath that I had made a complete recovery from my injuries sustained in the motorcycle accident, and that there was no longer anything wrong with my left leg and ankle or with my right shoulder. He stated the pain from my chronic tendonitis could be relieved by a "three minute operation to remove the screws from the top of the rod" that runs through my tibia. He also stated that the rod could easily be removed during the same operation. He was completely unaware that the patellar tendon had been split longitudinally to insert the rod and it would need to be split again to remove the rod. One of the biggest insults of the whole case was the testimony of John Sebastian O'Brien II, MD who represented the trucking company. This man was paid to show up at the trial and testify that I was symptom exaggerator who had misrepresented my injuries and remaining difficulties to him. Thankfully, upon cross examination it was shown that he had probably only read my hospital discharge summary and assumed all the things that I told him were made up in hopes of getting some sort of monetary settlement. I told this man about the fractures of my skull bones that had been caused by my brain accelerating forward when my helmet hit the trailer. He decided I was embellishing or making things up rather than going to the records that were supplied to him to check on the reports from the CAT scans of my head. He stated that I told him about the avulsion of my biceps muscle when he believed it had in fact been a superficial injury. He didn't even know how many surgeries were required to repair it, or how low my hemoglobin had gotten from the blood loss. It almost appeared the judge was not happy with my attorney taking up most of the morning showing that this O'Brien had accused me of terrible things without really even reading my medical records carefully. Unfortunately, when someone is willing misrepresent a large number of facts, it is hard to know how many of them need to be shown to be false before the judge will understand what that witness was doing. The amazing thing is that although I presented the same symptoms to both attorneys, Dr. Newman said I minimized and O'Brien said I was an embellisher. I know that the founders of our country felt that an adversarial system was the ideal way to find facts and try cases, I can't help but wonder if it really hasn't gone too far. The really scary part is not knowing when the judge has understood something. An engineer that reconstructed the accident took a long time to testify on things such as the position of the truck at the time of the accident. A knowledge of basic physics was required to understand how he calculated my speed and direction of travel from the damage done when I hit the trailers landing gear and where my bike came to rest. This man was really bright, but I'm not sure he was able to make himself easily understood. I found it very interesting and understandable, as did my mother who has no physics background. I'm just not sure if the judge grasped all of it. If I could be sure her honor understood the engineers testimony, I wouldn't have to be wishing we could call another trucking expert to help make it more clear. Without knowing when you have been understood, it becomes necessary to prove everything to the point of overkill. This sure uses up a lot of resources.
4/1/99 The first birth at the CyberRanch occurred today. Patches delivered a healthy little bull. Mother and baby are doing fine.
6/1/99 Today I received a letter from the attorney who was supposedly representing me in my motorcycle vs. semi-truck accident. He didn't even have the guts to call me personally. Despite all my severe and lasting injuries and major changes in my life, the judge decided that I should have absolutely no award. Either the judge is really quite stupid or my representation was truly reprehensible. In her excuses for her decision the judge states that she doesn't believe the angle of the impact my bike made with the truck could be determined from pictures of the bent landing gear on the trailer. It's obvious this judge never had a course in Physics. My only consolation is that her ruling is so outrageously stupid that she probably opens the door for an appeal. One really has to wonder when a semi can pull off the road, return to the road with it's 4-way flasher on, and his another vehicle in it's blind spot, and then have a judge with no understanding of Physics say she doesn't think he committed any negligence. The judge also said she found the truck driver to be a credible witness. I wonder which version of his story she found so darn credible. If the OJ decision didn't totally shatter any faith I might possibly have in our legal system, this decision certainly puts the nail in the coffin. The whole thing sure reminds me of an old joke, "What do you call an attorney with double digit IQ?" ... answer = "Your Honor"
10/30/99 Another trip to PA. This time a 1940 Ford Coupe and a 1957 Chevy returned with me.
3/17/00 Things have been moving along at the CyberRanch. I got 12 acres of pasture plowed up last fall and plant oats and rye grass. There was no rain for a few weeks after I planted, so there was no germination for a while. We eventually got a couple showers and the stuff sprouted. In January I fertilized right before a couple more showers and right now we have lush, green forage. We've had two more baby calves so far this year. On 1/24/00 Patches gave birth to Button. I'm not sure if she might have been a little early, and button sure was small. On 3/10/00 Zelda had a little bull and he's already about the same size as Button.
12/31/05 OK, I guess over 5 years is a bit of a long
time to be away from the website, but I have really good excuses.
For the time being, let's just say I decided to not let 2005 end
without getting "The CyberRanch" back up. The website may have
have been stagnant and unavailable for quite a while, but The
CyberRanch has continued to grow and mature. I'll be doing a lot
of up dating on this over the next few months...
1/08/06 Finally getting my absolute "Return to Home" links back to working the way they should. I'm using NVU on my Motion LE-1600 Tablet with wireless connection to my satellite modem. I've come an incredibly long way in the past 5 years.