Blogging The Fifth Nail

Blogging The Fifth Nail

bizzare idiot

astounding though - what a web he weaves




Its one thing to be a hero, its another to be a survivor. A surviving hero? Nearly unheard of - until you read about this guy. And yes, I do expect you to go back in the archives the full 2 years just like I am. Funny, brilliant, insightful, and a fireman to boot. Im sure I would have liked to have a beer with this guy, or per his request - a $100 bottle of a dry cabernet.

now go read

New York Daily News - Home - Michael Daly: He's a bada bling kinda guy

New York Daily News - Home - Michael Daly: He's a bada bling kinda guy

This, being just blocks from where I used to live, makes me happier than hell that I left.


"If memory serves me..."

I love that opening to Iron Chef... but anyway

So today is the 1st. Go back 3 years, and it's still the 1st. Aint that somethin!

But.. If memory serves me.. Im pretty sure by now we had the pool filled. Big pool. One of those inflateable numbers you get a Toys R Us or WalMart. Somehow we got the biggest one they had. And it took up the whole yard.

No, Im not kidding - it was pushing against the garage and the fence, it was bigger than the available lawn it was on. 5 foot deep by 18 foot around I think.. And it was one of those "inflate the ring, then fill the pool, and watch the pool create itself through SCIENCE!"

Like sea monkeys I guess.

So here we had this great pool, bbq, patio - the whole 9 meters. Course, this was only on my days off - the rest of the time when I was working, I sat infront of the computer where the A/C was.

I think we filled the pool around June 1st that year, because it got hot out quick. So if you figure from June 1st to August 1st was "my summer," I was probably in that pool twice. If even that. Normally I stayed in the basement, laying on the bed having strange neck pains. Like a pulled muscle near the spine, but one that kept spasming.

I haven't said much about that pain have I? Well - it was that pain that kept my head at a seemingly permanent tilt. Imagine if you will having a tooth pulled, and the nerves in the root come out with the tooth, along with a full foot-long pencil thin muscle in your neck. Yeah, sorry about that - it is nasty. But the pain was like that. Oh - and at the base of my skull, it felt like some other muscle was trying to rip a chunk of my skull off the brain. Add to this the lightheaded feeling, and the occasional tingle of the tip of my nose, lips, and tongue - and what we had here was a failure to comprehend.

And like I said, I was still operating under the idea that I was hypoglycemic, and had a pulled muscle in my neck.

I can understand quantum physics, the theory of "hard light", and generally anything to do with the string theory - but my own body's warning signs? No habla ingles.

Of course everyone else around me knew something was going wrong, and wanted me to see a doctor. Would I? Would I? Hell no.

I had no insurance first off, and in NY they're not quite as understanding when it comes to charitable aid like the Carilion program which I am acquainted with. No, they would rather you bleed to pay them. And they are quite good at making you bleed.

So June ended and July began with my being basically lost in space. I was miserable, made everyone else miserable, unmotivated, seemingly angry all the time. There was little I wanted to do on a daily basis, and less on an hourly basis.

I know we went to see some movie one night, I don't really remember it - most of what I remember is shifting in the seat from side to side trying to get rid of the pain.

Well, thats all for today. Sometimes these memories dont come in order, so I have to pull back and try and sort them.

News from The Roanoke Times - Professors give online resource mixed grades

News from The Roanoke Times - Professors give online resource mixed grades

Ya see, now I like this guy. I've always liked Tom's writing - he has a very well-considered way of putting things. And Tom is spot on about the Wikipedia, it is great and generally accurate. But is it accurate enough?

Thats the one problem most people will have with any kind of user-edited source, always wondering about accuracy. But these same people will unquestioningly, absolutely accept a story written by the NYTimes or the WaPo as gospel. Even though, on countless occasions lately, the Times has been proven wrong on its facts. Essentially, the NYTimes is has changed from the Old Gray Lady, to the ancient, crumbling Gray Lady.

There will always be a NYTimes, but will it have the credibility of the Weekly World News?

Now then, back to the Wikipedia thing. There's a bit more to the Wiki than just the Pedia.

Head here: Wikimedia.org You will see the various branches of Wiki, including a Wiktionary, WikiBooks, WikiQuotes, and WikiSpecies.

Everything Wiki is under either a public domain or a creative commons license, and the creative commons license is probably one of the best devices to come on the internet since its inception. Scroll down, I have one.

But the Wiki is a world unto itself, and the Roanoke Times should be looking a little nervous. The future is not in journalisim, it will be in the ability to edit stories for facts, coallate the stories in order of importance for each user, and weed out the junk. In a few short years, everyone who chooses to will have the ability to audio- and video-podcast. Everyone will have the access to a blog if they so choose. It will no longer be dependant upon sitting at a desk, it will go live - to the streets. And everyone will be able to write news stories based upon their observations.

1 mugging in Central Park, 5 different stories - each from a different person who was right there. Some have photos of the criminal, some have blow by blow descriptions of how the criminal came upon the victim and robbed them. Some will have live audio interviews with the victim, who discusses the fact that crime is up in cetral park, and this is the 4th time they have been mugged. That in turn spawns someone to go and interview the NYPD Cheif of Police, and someone else to interview their brother the cop. Then, of course, there will be a dark side to the story - someone will go and talk to criminals to get their take on how easy it is to get away with crime in Central Park.

And all of this will happen within 24 hours.

Then come the editors. Paid per story, they scan every one of the mugging stories - including follow-ups. They then check the licenses, make appropriate changes, credits, contacts - and combine all these sources into one comprehensive, cohesive story. Which he in turn then sells to one of the major media outlets.

All the while life goes on, and you, aware of the process, go to your personal favorite sources online, and read whichever story you like. Some people prefer to get their news from multiple sources, some from single sources.

It will be no different in the future.


Allright, here we go again

I just recieved an e-mail from the city containing the City Council meeting notes for next week, July 5th.

Pretty much what you would expect from a meeting held the day after a holiday, with the exception of 2 things:

1 -
a. A resolution abolishing the Flood Plain Committee.

Ok, what? What do you mean abolishing, and why?
I'd like an explination...

and 2) During a joint meeting with the City Planning Comission, this note:
Implementation report for Vision 2001 -2020 Comprehensive

Now I think that should be a matter of public record, and open to the public. Except its at Noon, the City Council meeting is at 2pm - both of which even if they were open to public debate (which the meeting is, natch) is still inconvient for those of us who wish to sit in/speak, and who the policies discussed would affect.

Roanoke is a digital city, with most city offices, offerings, notes, and documents laid bare upon the internet. For a city so open, why are the council meetings set for times which are inconvient for 3/4ths of the people? Could it have to do with keeping the attendance at the meetings minimal, therefore eliminating the possiblity the public having a say?

If the meetings are not convient for the public, then how is it an open government?

Even if only a monthly "town hall" style meeting was held, it would still show some effort on the part of the council to include those whom they purport to "serve."

Im only 1000 feet away from being a city resident, but sometimes that seems like the widest gap around.

T minus 2 years and counting...

Well, the lease has been signed for Explore Park, beginning the exploration phase of operations. This is when there are studys, schemes, plans, and purposes investigated, explored, and rewritten endlessly. But if the developer decides to go ahead - in 2 years the construction will begin.

I am a fan of Explore Park as it exists, I like the history and the wonderful walk. But I am not so foolish as not to realize there is much more land that is unused in that park, so I would like to see something seamless. Something that uses the park and its existing buildings and purposes, and creates based on that. There is a wonderful old church there, which could become a wedding hot spot provided the facilities are built for reception and hotel. But keep them tasteful, and the money will roll in. Virginia is for Lovers, then maybe Explore Park is for honeymooners, newlyweds - whatever you want to call them.

It's called a destination wedding. We found out alot about them back during the planning for our wedding. Up in NY, you get married in one place, then travel to the reception site. Which is usually someplace huge, grand, debt-inducing, and well.. overdone.

It's called a catering hall, and wether its by itself, or in a hotel - they usually provide every service in-house. We had a very hard time finding such a service here in Roanoke. Thankfully Bonnie at the Wyndham was very helpful in giving out vendor names.

But I digress, the point is, something like that at Explore Park would not be out of place. For the best example of what could be (and what is an extremely hot property for affairs and events in NY) check out the Milleridge Inn. Not only is it historically significant, it has all services right on site in a little historical village. Something like this at Explore Park, plus lodging would be, should be a true winner.

Yep, I said it - Roanoke needs more bakeries. Kroger is not a bakery, and neither is WalMart. They have baked goods, but they are not a full service bakery. ROANOKE NEED BAKED GOODS!!

How I long for a fresh jelly donut, unlike the ones from Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme. Or a fresh loaf of bread. Anyway...

So what we are looking at is this...

The recurring theme of the posting for the next month will be the BST (big stupid tumor). I have posted a link on the left to the ABTA - American Brain Tumor Association. There you will find more news, events, support groups, and even those rubber bracelets like the "Live Strong" ones, in brain matter grey. (5 bracelets for $10, a bargain)

Feel free to hit the link, poke around and whatnot.

You would probably be suprised how many people don't know anything about brain tumors. Remember, fore-warned is fore-armed, or is that four-armed? I have no idea.

Essentially, Im telling my story over the following weeks - not for any real reason, not for public awareness. Im just telling it, nothing more or less. Perhaps someone who has or had a brain tumor will stumble upon these entrys and find some humor, hope or something. Maybe someone who knows nothing about them will glean a bit of information. But if not, its not a big deal.

I just figure its an interesting story, ripe with drama and intrigue. And blatant stupidity on my part, which is always good for a laugh.


By this time, 3 years ago...

I had probably lost 100lbs. I could barely hold food down. I was convinced I was hypoglycemic. I had pain beyond anything I could imagine. I had allready had major, major dental surgery. I was dizzy, numb in spots, and on my way to a major breakdown.

My ability to walk was comprimised. My thought processes were off-kilter. My mood was bad, my tongue was worse. I had the best intentions at heart, but the worst way of implementing them.

I was still over a month away from any kind of healing. I was degrading fast.

T minus 22 days and counting to personal armageddon.

But I was still going to work, for whatever misguided reason. I did not belive there was anything truly wrong with me, and I had a job which somehow afforded me the freedom to take a moment to recover from whatever it was that was affecting me.

I was sitting for hours on end, staring at the screen for no apparent reason. My fingerprints were becoming embedded in the back of my neck. I was ignoring peoples advice on going to a doctor, as I did not have any insurance.

I was a dumbass.

Yes, this is all going to be very self-centered, yes its going to sound strange. But when your talking about a brain tumor, nothing sounds quite right. Central Neurocytoma, blocking the CSF flow. Hydrocephalus.

None of it ever sounds quite right.


I am taking time out today and tomorrow...

I am preparing a very personal posting for tomorrow, a ramp up to August. Im going to try and track you through July, it wont be the only topic I will post on, but it will be a common theme to the month.

Therefore, your going to have to stay posted for the next pages in the Valley Metro history for a few more days. They will be posted by the end of the week.

But this is important, both for me, and for you - my readers.

You'll get it though, don't worry. And yes, I am being particularly vague about this. You'll see why soon enough.

This one is for...

Rhett, my uncle Brian, and all the FD's out there, volly or 'employed.'


Welcome to Roanoke, Va.

Welcome to Roanoke, Va.

ok.. Im sure you can find it.. YE HATH BEEN WARNED!!

(wha? did you think I'd be all respectable and dignified? hellllllno.)

Google Financial Information: GOOG

Google Financial Information: GOOG

quick, history has happened!!!!

Welcome to the internet V2.0

the tide has shifted...

Google Video Search

Google Video Search

just incase you thought today was going to be wholly unremarkable:
I give you Google Video (on demand)

just install the Google Player (Yes, they have their own now) and poke around

Oh, and Microsoft? I think theres a big ol dog on your heels. You might want to move.


Allright - You ready?

The page will be up either tonight, or tomorrow early... or late - depending on how the images shake out..

better make some popcorn


10 hours between shifts is not enough time to get the images done and overwith, so its going to have to wait till tomorrow - which means a late arrival tomorrow night, or early early Tuesday.

I do apologise, but to tide you over, heres a list of all the Hotels in Roanoke. Ever. (well, as far as I can tell anyway)

Eventually I hope to have an illustrated page up.

1919) Hotel Cox, Holt, Kimball, Randolph, Roanoke, Hampton, and Travellers, Ritz, Anderson.

1893) Hotel Woltz, St. James, Felix, Lee, Roanoke.

1889) City Hotel, Hotel Felix, Palace Hotel, Rorer Park Hotel, Woltz Hotel, Hotel Roanoke.

1893) Woltz Hotel, Ponce De Leon Hotel, Hotel Felix, Hotel Lee.

Ahh what the heck - heres the hospitals too - soon to be the next update to Forgotten Roanoke, once I get this one out of the way. I promise it wont take a month or more.. 2 weeks, thats the schedule Im shooting for.

Hospitals: Jefferson - 1311 Franklin Rd - 1907 (HSMM building on Franklin, former nurses home now parking lot.)

Lewis Gale Hospital - 419 3rd st. and 301 Luck Ave.1909
(merged with Jefferson to form the Community Hospital of the Roanoke Valley - 1965)

Burrell Memorial Hospital 611 McDowell St. @ 7th. aka Allegheny Institute 1890-1919

Roanoke Memorial (& Crippled Childrens) Hospital 1900-1988 (Carilion)

Shenendoah Hospital 712 Campbell @ 7th sw. 1913-1936

King's Daughters 'Home for Sick' 1890 - believed to be in Old Southwest.

Burrell Hospital (1915) 311 1st. St.

St. Charles Hospital (19??) 527 Mountain bet. 5th and 6th sw.

Well, obviously alot of history in hospitality and healthcare here in Roanoke. Got my work cut out for me, especially considering how many smaller, pop-up hotels there were.

Ever look at the backside of Billy's Ritz? Faded ad up there, view it while you can before the stainless-steel nightmare lands. It reads "Powhatan Hotel" and seems to have an arrow directing to a location. As of yet, I have no information on any Powhatan Hotel.

blah blah, if I had the information it wouldnt be a challenge. Right?

Anyone out there know of any other hotels I might be missing? Oh, and yes - I allready have the Hotel Raliegh. What a story that one makes...