Pressure does interesting things to a person.

In most cases, I think I handle pressure well. I’m usually able to think clearly, make a quick analysis and determine what should be done next. An example: During a weekend visit by my parents a few years ago, my father had an “episode,” which means he fainted. He had been doing this frequently enough at that point that his doctor had fitted him with a tiny EKG monitor and a little clicker that activated it; it was to be used the next time Dad had an “episode.” When he had his “episode,” we were unprepared. He didn’t have the clicker; none of the four of us brought a cell phone along to dinner. But something in my brain told me to do this:

  1. His doctor thinks the “episodes” could be related to a heart problem; he needs to go to the hospital.
  2. Borrow a cell phone and call 911.
  3. Send The Wife to their hotel to get the clicker. Tell her to come back to the restaurant to pick me up.
  4. Remember, out of the blue, Dad’s age and medical history. Relay that information to the paramedic and EMT who arrived with the ambulance.
  5. Have Mom ride in the ambulance along with Dad to the emergency room.
  6. Ride up to the hospital, get the clicker to the right person in the ER and make sure it’s activated.
  7. Go outside and have a cigarette. Have trouble lighting it because hands are shaking.

Dad was fine by the way, and the information from his little EKG helped his doctor determine that Dad needed a pacemaker.

Writing under pressure isn’t a big deal for me either. I do it all the time at work. It’s actually one of the things I enjoy most about working in the newspaper business — finding the information I need, boiling it down to an understandable form and getting it written while a grumpy night managing editor is bitching at me about not writing my fool head off. I’m one of those freaks that finds that experience to be fun.

Given those two instances, I’m wondering why a seemingly innocuous thing like writing one little blog post a day for thirty days is apparently a COMPLETELY FREAKING INTIMIDATING PROSPECT.

But. There. I made it through the first day.


  1. I hope your dad is doing better. I will keep him in my thoughts.

    I, too, am going to try to blog each day in November. You have inspired me UC.


  2. Kristi: Jesus. This is what I’m talking about. I initially wrote that my folks were here a few weeks ago. Wrong. I meant years. And Dad’s doing great — the pacemaker he had installed a couple months after the “episode” is ticking along just fine.


  3. Not only do you work well under pressure, but you’re a quick-thinker. Although I also do well with the former, I fail at the latter.

    It IS hard! But we will succeed! Me? I’m excited for all the fresh reading.


  4. UC – just my observations – but I’m picking up a bit of tension in your thoughts regarding what your blog is for and what you should be doing with it – maybe your goal / intention has changed over the past couple of years – maybe you want to stay with the new direction, or maybe you are a bit unhappy with it – potentially your perceived bloggers block could stem from the idea that you just don’t want to post a blog everyday – may not be the UC thing to do – I’m certain you could, but it may not be what you want your blog to be, which is not work related in form, content, and structure, but an outlet –


  5. UC,

    Glad to hear that “Father of UC” is doing well. We will keep him in our thoughts and prayers.

    Don’t sweat the potential changes in your blog. Whether you believe it’s evolution or God’s grand plan, the result is the same. Nothing stays the same.

    I promise to continue to pop in and pop off on anything that I find interesting.

    Keep the faith!


  6. Cindy: That’s a good approach. Maybe the drawings could serve as illustrations for the novel? Wrap it all into one big, unified effort?

    Rachel: You have a great start. And the pix are as good as the writing.

    Kewyson: I still don’t have a solid idea about why the blog seemed to become such a drag. Too much self-applied pressure? Don’t know. Trying to relax and let it come is always a good idea.

    Large: And don’t feed no bears.


  7. I once knew a guy that went by Large.

    Funny, he lived in Pittsburgh too. The first time I was ever in Pitt was for his wedding.

    Mmmm. NWIH it is the same person. Just thought that I would mention a random coincidence.


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