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As Long as We Remember...

May 4, 2009

If were Facebook

Steven R. Berryman

Not being in the mood to write, blog post, or comment, I started to consider some plausible excuses for skipping my Monday Tentacle column for this week.


The only really good reason I could come up with had the added advantage of truthfulness: Simply because it had been such a busy week, and after all, somehow I had managed to make time to post some good junk on my Facebook account.


Message: time enough for Facebook, time enough to post a column!


Also, I remembered back to a conversation I had with Del. Rick Weldon, another Tentacler of course, when I considered dropping out of our Internet “info-magazine.” He said, “Why would you want to miss the opportunity to be read by 30,000 people?”


We now get out to more than that, and he was right.


Coincidentally, daughter Lisa had pulled out my copy of Time Management for Dummies, and left it sitting out, strangely staring me down; this surely a sign!


So, out of guilt, here’s my week the way we do it on Facebook, with some extra elaboration:


Monday: Swine flu panic rules all media. Found authoritative reports of 149 casualties in Mexico, and heading our way. I immediately considered the implications here for the anti-illegal-alien movement. Should we close the borders?


Tuesday: Some schools announce closing due to students with sniffles. A fatality was reported in Texas; it was a child recently in Mexico City.


Tuesday: I traded E-mails with colleague Katherine Heerbrandt on this subject, as she had been writing about Fort Detrick of late. I passed along my concern that the “non-pandemic” was being exaggerated for some reason, and then on a link to a World Health Organization report surfaced.


Next entry: There were actually only 9 confirmed casualties, and that was exactly in-line with the population size in Mexico, having been infected for 10 weeks estimated duration. My paranoid thought was: Did the media hype this up to help facilitate awareness of the healthcare issue ahead of the pending “nationalization” efforts by the Obama Administration?


Wednesday: Washed my hands often, but this was made very frustrating by the Frederick County Lincoln-Reagan Dinner at Dutch’s Daughter Restaurant. It seemed that everyone wanted to shake hands!


Next entry: Congressman Roscoe Bartlett introduced keynote speaker Congressman Eric Cantor the House Minority Whip from the north-side of Richmond, Virginia. He noted that under a newly proposed healthcare plan being pushed by the president, you would not be able to choose your own doctor. Also, less folks would choose to become doctors under a typical plan, causing a further choke point on access to medicine.


Thursday: Invited to the biotech firm MedImmune in Gaithersburg to estimate a construction job. Wearing a biohazard suit for an hour certainly brings this all to life! No time for this, because the boss was out of town, but it seemed urgent.


Next entry: I thought back to February when I had a bad flu virus of less prestige and no title. I was about dead for a week and missed work. Had lingering chest aches for a full month afterwards. Upon visiting my doctor, I had been told to go home and let it run its course, as there was nothing they could do for the flu – because it was a virus. Were they saving the Tamiflu for somebody else, I wondered?


Friday: Had a normal day at work, but the pollen started to get bad, and each sneeze reminded me to be on the lookout for a fever, which could point to the much-anticipated Swine flu. Washed hands three times more than normal, and listened to Rush Limbaugh.


Continued: All the media was just as crazy about a possible pandemic; almost as excited as the Weather Channel was when they finally got a good hurricane to worry about. They were jumping all over themselves to be the most worried!


Had dreams about The Andromeda Strain.


(I just paused my column-writing long enough to make a real Facebook post about the Frederick Marathon, my morning event.)


Saturday: Up very early to attend the Maryland State Republican Convention in Hagerstown with my friend Brad Botwin, director of Took an extra long shower to be sure to hit all of the week’s microbes.


Continued: I couldn’t stop thinking about that other convention in Philadelphia that spawned the Legionnaire’s Disease. Set up a table to promote our anti-illegal-alien lobbying efforts with the attending delegates, senators, and Republican Central Committee members from across the state.


Strange that the GOP is still so slow to attach the coming amnesty issue to its platform; this especially as a medical evaluation is part of our citizenship and naturalization requirements!


Continued: One win of the convention was the Kelly Schulz from our Frederick County Republican Central Committee was elected the “Third Vice Chairman” for the state Republican Party. She will need to wash her hands often today.


Sunday: Got up early again to attend the Frederick Marathon and watch my wife Maria run a 2:02 clock time for the half. Standing out in the continuous rain has me very worried about getting sick with the flu.


The winner of the full marathon was Dickson Mercer with a 2:37:04.


Suppose I should be getting all of this on to my now. But first, an E-mail with this column to the persistent editor/publisher of, who wanted this hours ago – if not days.




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