September 5, 2012

Requiem For Neil Armstrong

My hero is dead.

Now that some time has passed and everyone has said his piece about the death of Mr. Neil Armstrong on August 25th, 2012, I have had time to process my thoughts on his passing.  In spite of some harsh words I posted back in January of 2011, Mr. Armstrong was my hero.  I suppose it isn't so much the man that I respected but everything he represented.  I was born too late to enjoy the moonshots as they happened. I was only three years old when mankind first made his mark on the lunar surface.  But, the static excitement of the moment was still arcing in the air in my preteen years. I fully expected that lunar travel would be the norm when I reached my current age.  With Neil's passing, I acknowledge that my childhood dream will never reach fruition. I'm stuck on planet Earth.

My life at times is marked by interesting coincidences.  This is yet another one of those times. On the weekend prior to Armstrong's death, I visited a used bookstore. It is a quaint shop to which I go not to find a particular book, but to discover something new.  Among my finds was a book by Dan Simmons called Phases of Gravity. The book centers on a fictional lunar astronaut from the Apollo program. It takes place in the late '80s—after the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded. I haven't finished the book, but so far, it seems to be a lament to the loss of the lunar program. It seems a fitting requiem for my hero.

I would have liked to have spoken to him. I would have like to have met him.  A friend once asked me what I would say to him.  I didn't know then, and maybe I don't know now. But to shake his hand would have been an honor. I am saddened by his death.  And, I am saddened that I will never follow in his footsteps.

March 18, 2012

Culture Shock - Hospital iZation

Yesterday I spoke with a friend who had been to India for several weeks as part of a Rotary Club outreach.  She indicated that she had met a gentleman who had lost his family in a plane crash and subsequently started a hospital in India.

It was a touching story, but there was a strange twist that I was having trouble following. Several times, instead of simply calling it a hospital, she called it an iHospital. For the life of me, I could not figure out how this worked. Was this some new technology by Apple? Was this an online method of working on patients? Unfortunately, I was so caught up in this, that I missed some of what she was saying and ended up destroying the heart warming nature of the story with my big reveal.

As the story progressed, it became clear to me that I was missing something very important.  It turns out that this iHospital has several iDoctors who were helping out somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 iPatients a day.

That's when I realized my error. She was talking about an Eye Hospital.  Yeah, I shared my ignorance, and we had a good laugh.

I blame Steve Jobs.

January 19, 2012

Paid For Writing - Sorta

When writing e-mails at work, be aware that you are still writing.

Recently, I put together an e-mail article to a friend of mine. (Yes, sometimes my e-mails are much more than simple messages and are, in fact, articles.)  This friend has influence with one or two organizations who could use the services of my employer. So, I wrote the message with sales in mind. I also billed my employer for half of the time spent writing the e-mail since the organization could potentially benefit from it. To be fair to my employer, I forward the message to my boss and told him what I had done. He was pleased with the message and asked if he could post the message in his blog!

So, I have been paid for an article and have had it published.  Successful writing has humble starts.  Here is a link to the post containing my article: