We have a sad prognosis.

My friend Tom Bakers Prognosis worsens, and we are asking anyone and all to read this with an understanding mind. The family isn’t  giving up this second, however the future is near, and we have received this as an explanation. Tom Baker has a Diffuse Axonal Injury;

DEFINITION

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), also called acquired brain injury or simply head injury, occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. The damage can be focal (confined to one area of the brain) or diffuse (involving more than one area of the brain).

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Concussion is the most common type of TBI. Technically, a concussion is a short loss of consciousness in response to a head injury, but in common language the term has come to mean any minor injury to the head or brain. Typically, there are no long term after effects on overall brain function from such injuries.

More severe forms of TBI occur in situations where the human head undergoes sudden changes in velocity, resulting in Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI). Motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) are a frequent example of such situations. Severe TBI seen in MVAs arise as a result of acceleration-deceleration events of the brain within the skull, without skull fracture (so-called “closed head” trauma). This event usually occurs as vehicle occupants are thrown forward or sideways, resulting in collisions between the head and windshields, dashboards, etc. Brain injury in closed-head trauma may result from direct trauma to the peripheral margins of the cerebral hemispheres as they impact the skull, but the majority of severe brain injuries in acceleration-deceleration events result from DAI. While many such injuries involve physical impact of the head with some portion of the vehicle, it is the sudden acceleration-deceleration of the head, apart from impact, that results in DAI

DIFFUSE AXONAL INJURY (DAI)

Mechanism
DAI involves massive loss of neuronal function towards the central area of the brain, well away from any areas of direct trauma with the skull. Researchers were initially puzzled as to why such extensive damage occurred without direct trauma. The mechanism of DAI was subsequently discovered to occur as a result of rotational movement of the brain during acceleration-deceleration events. The key to understanding the injury lies in the varying densities of brain tissue. Grey matter (primarily the cerebral hemispheres) is less dense than white matter (i.e.- the brainstem and central brain structures). Due to different inertial characteristics based on these densities, as the brain rotates during acceleration-deceleration events, lower density tissues move more rapidly than those of greater density. This velocity difference causes shearing of neuronal axons which connect between the gray and white matter, and explains why DAI lesions are seen most frequently in the areas of the brain where white and gray matter meet (see specific affected areas below). The term “shear injury” may be used interchangeably with DAI. The magnitude of axonal injury in DIA is dependent on 3 factors: 1) the distance from the center of rotation, 2) the arc of the rotation, and 3) the duration and intensity of the force.

Typically, the process is widespread and bilateral, most frequently involving the frontal and temporal lobe white matter, corpus callosum (bridge between the cerebral hemispheres), and areas of the brainstem not involved with basic life functions (cardiac and respiratory). As a result, individuals suffering from DAI rarely die. There is almost no correlation between DAI and the presence or absence of skull fractures, or subarachnoid or subdural bleeding.
There appears to be two phases to the axonal injury in DAI. Primary injury, in which axons undergoing shear forces are stretched at the moment of impact, and then a secondary, or delayed phase, where strained axons undergo swelling and rupture as a result of biochemical changes related to the primary injury. It is currently thought that this delayed phase may take up to several weeks post-event to occur. The previously held theory that axons undergoing primary injury at the moment of impact are mechanically disrupted has largely been discredited in favor of the primary strain/ secondary rupture mechanism.

EFFECTS ON NEUROLOGICAL FUNCTION

The gray-white matter interface of the brain, where damage due to DAI most frequently occurs, consists of tens of millions of neurons interconnecting all of the various distinct functional areas of the brain – it’s like a highly sophisticated communications complex. DAI results in massive disruption of these interconnecting neurons and has a devastating effect on overall neurological function.

DAI results in an immediate loss of consciousness, and most individuals (>90%) remain in a persistent vegetative state. Essential cardiac and respiratory brain functions required for life are typically not affected by DAI, as these functions are located deep in the brainstem, away from the gray-white matter interface. As a result, DAI rarely causes death. The prognosis worsens in direct relationship to the number of lesions present.

Slightly less than 10% of individuals with DAI will regain consciousness. Improvement in neurological function in these individuals, if any, will occur within the first twelve months after injury. After this point, further resolution of deficits will be minimal to absent. Because DAI can affect virtually every higher brain function, deficits can consist of a broad range of cognitive problems.

Cognition is a term used to describe the processes of thinking, reasoning, problem solving, information processing, and memory. Most patients with severe DAI, if they recover consciousness, suffer from cognitive disabilities, including the loss of many higher-level mental skills. The most common cognitive impairment among severely head-injured patients is memory loss, characterized by some loss of specific memories and the partial inability to form or store new ones. Some of these patients may experience post-traumatic amnesia (PTA), either anterograde or retrograde. Anterograde PTA is impaired memory of events that happened after the DAI, while retrograde PTA is impaired memory of events that happened before the DAI.

Many patients with mild to moderate head injuries who experience cognitive deficits become easily confused or distracted and have problems with concentration and attention. They also have problems with higher level, so-called executive functions, such as planning, organizing, abstract reasoning, problem solving, and making judgments, which may make it difficult to resume pre-injury work-related activities. Many DAI patients have sensory problems, especially problems with vision. Patients may not be able to register what they are seeing or may be slow to recognize objects. Also, DAI patients often have difficulty with hand-eye coordination. Because of this, DAI patients may be prone to bumping into or dropping objects, or may seem generally unsteady. DAI patients may have difficulty driving a car, working complex machinery, or playing sports. Other sensory deficits may include problems with hearing, smell, taste, or touch.

Speech is often slow, slurred, and garbled. Some may have problems with intonation or inflection, called prosodic dysfunction. An important aspect of speech, inflection conveys emotional meaning and is necessary for certain aspects of language, such as irony. Affected individuals may lose a previous ability to speak a foreign language. These language deficits can lead to miscommunication, confusion, and frustration for the patient as well as those interacting with him or her.

Most DAI patients have emotional or behavioral problems that fit under the broad category of psychiatric health. Family members of DAI patients often find that personality changes and behavioral problems are the most difficult disabilities to handle. Psychiatric problems that may surface include depression, apathy, anxiety, irritability, anger, paranoia, confusion, frustration, agitation, insomnia or other sleep problems, and mood swings.

Problem behaviors may include aggression and violence, impulsivity, disinhibition, “acting out”, noncompliance, social inappropriateness, emotional outbursts, childish behavior, impaired self-control, impaired self-awareness, inability to take responsibility or accept criticism, egocentrism, inappropriate sexual activity, and alcohol or drug abuse/addiction. Some patients’ personality problems may be so severe that they are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, a psychiatric condition characterized by many of the problems mentioned above. Sometimes DAI patients suffer from developmental stagnation, meaning that they fail to mature emotionally, socially, or psychologically after the trauma. This is a serious problem for children and young adults who suffer from a DAI. Attitudes and behaviors that are appropriate for a child or teenager become inappropriate in adulthood. Many DAI patients who show psychiatric or behavioral problems can be helped with medication and psychotherapy.

DIAGNOSIS

Virtually all individuals who are rendered unconscious by a closed head acceleration-deceleration event will suffer some degree of DAI. Those who regain consciousness will manifest disorders of cognition

and personality to variable degrees, and recovery from these disorders will be equally variable. In depth evaluation by appropriately trained neuro-psychiatrists is probably the most effective means of determining the breadth and extent of neurological deficits in a particular afflicted individual. Imaging studies of the brain have been used to chart DAI, particularly when medical-legal proceedings take place post-injury. Juries in such cases tend to be more impressed by lesions that can be seen on brain scans than by lengthy verbal expositions by neuro-psychiatrists. There are, however, distinct limitations to the use of currently available brain imaging in DAI. The sensitivity of imaging studies in detecting the full extent of DAI may be low, particularly in the early post-injury period. There may also be a very poor correlation between findings on imaging studies and actual neurological deficits. In the first several weeks post-injury, deficits tend to be greater than lesions on imaging studies would suggest, whereas at 12 months, the relationship is often inverted. Imaging one year out may show extensive brain atrophy in individuals whose deficits have actually improved due to re-assignment of brain functions from damaged to healthy areas.

PLAIN FILM RADIOGRAPHS

No specific findings related to DAI can be seen on plain film xrays.

CT SCANS

50-80% of individuals with DAI have a normal CT scan when performed immediately post-injury. In those cases where CT scan is positive, small hemorrhages may be seen at the gray-white matter junction, within the corpus callosum, and in the brainstem. Small focal areas of low density on CT, corresponding to edema in areas of shear injury may also be seen. CT scan may also be helpful in demonstrating areas of atrophy 12-24 months post injury.

Specific criteria for detecting DAI in the immediate post injury period have been suggested by Wang et al (1998) as follows:

-Single or multiple small intra-parenchymal hemorrhages less than 2cm in diameter in the cerebral hemispheres

-Intraventricular hemorrhage

-Hemorrhage within the corpus callosum

-Small focal areas of hemorrhage (

-Brainstem hemorrhage

MRI

Individuals in whom clinical symptoms exceed injury noted on CT scan should have MRI imaging performed. Compared to CT, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tends to be a more sensitive modality for detecting DAI, particularly in the immediate post-injury period. There are several techniques for the application of MRI imaging of human tissue. These techniques are named and categorized according to how specific portions of the magnetic data are emphasized (weighted) by the computer in creating the final image:

“T1-weighted” images are sensitive to hemorrhage within areas of shear.

“T2-weighted” and “diffusion-weighted” images are sensitive to non-hemorrhagic areas of axonal injury.

“Gradient-echo” images have a very high sensitivity to changes associated with DAI in both the early and late post-injury periods, and are the current mainstay for detection of shear injury

NUCLEAR MEDICINE

Nuclear medicine imaging is not currently being used to assess individuals with possible DAI, however, iodine-123 single-photo emission (PET Scan) studies have demonstrated abnormal brain function in areas that MRI studies have missed. This and several other developing imaging technologies show promise for the future.

PROGNOSIS

90% of individuals with DAI remain in a persistent vegetative state indefinitely, and may remain so for decades. Of the 10% who regain consciousness, the majority will sustain permanent and far-reaching functional deficits as reviewed above. Only a small percentage of these individuals will attain near-normal neurological function. What improvement occurs does so within the first 12 months after the injury. Significant improvement occurring more than one year after injury is rare.

With the inevitable here, we are asking that you post comments here as to not flood the girls and family members of their loss. They have chosen to get a second opinion, however are aware that the prognosis will possibly be the same. In that case we will be saying goodbye to  A Friend, A Father, and A Dang Good Cowboy.

Tragedy in Connecticut Open for discussion, Concerned Father.

Open for discussion, what are your thoughts as a bystander watching this terrible tragedy unfold in Newtown, CT. Please keep language content down, however, I feel as a father of a kindergartener that it is important to open my eyes to much more than just my feelings being a parent. What are your feelings, opinions. this is open for discussion, even if you are not a friend or acquaintance.

CBS IMAGE

CBS IMAGE ©

The gunman is believed to be 20-year-old Adam Lanza. Authorities previously reported the shooter was Ryan Lanza, Adam’s 24-year-old brother.

New reports suggest Ryan is currently being questioned by police in New Jersey.

Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance has confirmed that 20 of the 26 victims of Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting were children between the ages of 5 and 6-years-old.

The shooting took place in one section of the school and in 2 classrooms in the school — one of which was classroom where the suspected gunman’s mother, Nancy Lanza, taught kindergarten.

Lt. Vance told reporters that 18 children died at school and 2 in transit to hospital.

6 adults, and the gunman himself, have been confirmed dead.

We’re all trying wrap our minds around how someone could be so incredibly sinister. This is truly, truly horrific.

Again, My heart and thoughts go out to the family’s of those young victims.

Barack Obama stated in a press release “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies.” and I agree we certainly have. Barack Obama’s Press release below;

“We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. Each time I hear the news, I react not as a president, but like a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America that doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do. The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10. They had their entire lives ahead of them. Birthdays. Weddings. Graduations. Kids of their own.”

“Among the fallen were also teachers. Our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these children and the families of the adults we lost. Our hearts are broken for the parents for the survivors as well. For as blessed as they are, they know their children’s innocence was taken.”

“As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s [here or a movie theater in Aurora], these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are out children.”

“And we’re gonna have to come together to take action.”

“Michelle and I are going to hug our children a little tighter and remind them how much we love them. But there are families in CT that cannot do that tonight. I will do everything in my power to help.”

“All of us can extend a hand to those in need. To remind them that we are there for them. That we are praying for them.”

“May God bless the memories of victims.”
VIA BARACK OBAMA

A Friend, A Father, and A Dang Good Cowboy.

Posted by: Ritchie White @whiteritchie

A good friend of mine watoms hit by a drunk driver on November 30th in Charlton, NY. I wanted to take the time to pray for him, and wish him well, and his family all the best in his recovery. It will surely be a long road ahead for him and his family. Tom is a Rodeo Cowboy, and like me former military. He is a former Marine (RECON 3rd Batt.,First Marines, 1st Mar.Div) He lives a simple life and has three wonderful daughters, Katelyn, Jaimy and Faith, and a whole lotta family and friends that are rooting for him to get better. He lives by the cowboy’s Code and one simple philosophy. “Work Hard, Do Your Best, Keep Your Word, Never Get Too Big For Your Britches, Trust In God and Never Forget a Friend, and I am a lesbian trapped in a mans body.”

Below is the newspaper Article that was written in the Saratogian Dec. 01 2012 Edition

Dec, 01 2012 CHARLTON — A man remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma after a drunken driver allegedly ran a stop sign and crashed into his car Friday evening, sheriff’s deputies said.

Traci L. Briskin, 38, of Clifton Park Center Road in Clifton Park was charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, after the accident. She was later released.

Saratoga County sheriff’s deputies say Briskin ran a stop sign at the intersection of Route 67 and Jockey Street in November 3oth.

He was airlifted to Albany Medical Center with internal injuries.

Baker’s daughter contacted The Saratogian Saturday evening and reported he is “not doing well at all,” is on life support and underwent multiple surgeries as of about 5 p.m. She said Baker was on his way home from work when he was hit.

The accident remains under investigation.

cowboy druck driving ribbon

**********************************************************************************************************

I have checked in with Katelyn his daughter every day since the accident to get an update on his recovery and this is what she has told everyone yesterday afternoon.

“Update on my Father Tom Baker : over the past couple of days his numbers have been remaining low and his ct scans looked decent so doctors gradually took him off sedation, a few hours afterwards his ICP’s were raising well above where we want them so doctors put him back on sedation to ease the pressure and relax his body. Although it seems like a large setback his body is just not ready and he is very anxious and stressed so they want to give him more time to rest and heal. We will be sure to inform everyone when they decide to start taking the sedation back off and the status of the long journey ahead of us. It is so nice to hear from all the people who care and love my father and I appreciate the thoughts and prayers sent our way. ♥”

Either way Tom, Get better, and remember to Cowboy Up, hang in there, and I share my Prayers with you and your family. Thanks for being a PAL Ritchie.

tombr

And remember;

Before you judge a person, walk a mile in their shoes.
That way, if they get mad, you’ll be a mile away
and you’ll have their shoes.

I am asking some good Rodeo Cowboys to drop a line and say hi, Tom fought for our country, and he deserves a fair shake.

“Whatever you do don’t let go
It’s time to be a cowboy don’t you know
If you get through this you got it whipped
But till you hear the whistle blow
Whatever you do
Don’t let go”
-Justin Mcbride ©2009
 @jstnmcbride

Hunting is part of the Circle of life.

I have many hobbies, several things that I enjoy doing, however there is one thing that is my most favorite, and that is Hunting. I don’t hunt for sport, nor do I believe in shooting more than I need. In saying that, I want to touch on several subjects with hunting, the most important one being anti-hunters. with the whitetail deer season beginning, here in NY, and VT I have seen over and over, “ANIMAL CRUELTY.” Listen hunting itself isn’t cruel, it is h0wever part of the circle of life.

It has been tried before stopping all hunting, and what happened was more a devastation, more cruel than any hunter can ever be. When there is no hunting there is no control of animals in any sense, and seeing more and more urban areas popping up all over the country, there is also less habitat for the animals as well. If you add overpopulation, no habitat, no food, you will have devistation to population of animals everywhere. Disease, starvation, now that is inhumane, that is cruel. why would you anti-hunters want that to happen? The worst ones, are those that while complaining about me hunting are the same ones drueling over a juiced up, drugged up Angus for 19.99 at Applebees, with all the fixings. How does that work? They want to stop us from hunting, but its OK to buy a slab of Angus, that was raised on drugs, and once butchered had red dye, and preservatives drugged into it so it can sit in a cooler for a week before they purchase it. I am a person who loves animals, and quite frankly drugging a cow just to have a 20 dollar meal at Applebees, or an all beef hotdog at Hannaford, now that is cruelty to animals. See the do-gooders, don’t look at all tokens, they can’t open their simple brains enough to see what happens when you stop hunting altogether.

As a hunter I have laws, and rules to follow. There is a season, a tag limit, and regulations on what time of day I can pursue a hunt. I don’t break them, those rules are there to protect me, and the wildlife. Would I kill anything protected? most certainly not, I am not a savage, and most hunters are not savages. In fact most hunters are people who love the wildlife just the same,which is why we are outdoorsmen in the first place, and most are not cruel about how they hunt either.

Hunting is a skill, and takes a lot more that just “The Kill”, it is a lot more than that. When a beautiful Whitetail deer gets away, course I’m disappointed, I missed my shot, however, it is still nice to just watch them in their habitat as well. “Ya get some, Ya Lose some” as they say.

So when you feel the need to harass me about my hunting, before you do ask me why it is I do it. Don’t just assume, it is rude, and it is wrong, to think that I am being cruel to animals. Wildlife conservation includes hunting, without it, the animals you love would suffer from disease, starvation, loss of habitat, overpopulation, which leads to an agonizing and painful death for them, so if you think it is cruel for me to feed my family, in a very natural, and organic way, think of how cruel you are for letting thousands of wonderful Whitetail deer Starve to death, Die of disease, and get hit by a car on the highway by possibly one of your loved ones. So my question is to you, would you rather let the circle of life continue as it has since cavemen hunted, or would you like all hunters to stop hunting altogether and watch something drastic happen, that could have been stopped in the first place?

How To Design A Book Cover

This is a tutorial from my upcoming eBook
“Self Publishing When You’re Broke”

How to Design Your Book Cover

Basic Jacket Template

Designing your book cover can become a challenging task, especially if you do not know where to begin, a place where I was just over a few years ago. When beginning your book cover questions rush in. Where do I begin? What program is the better one? Where can I get a template? These questions without the right tools can take a very long time to answer, which is why I feel as a self-published author that this tutorial needed to be included on my blog.

Before we start you must know that your cover is number two on the list of very important things for your book, it is often  that people buy your book because of the cover. Presentation, images, even scene, can mean everything when it comes to sales, so you must put a lot of thought into this aspect of your self-published book. Since it is a very important part of your book why should you have to spend so much time researching where to find all the things you need, just to design it in the first place.

I choose Adobe Photoshop; it has so many options for editing the perfect cover. If you can not afford Photoshop there is a download link for a freeware app in my sidebar. Be aware that it is not a complete program, so help desk will not work, nor will plugins for the program, however you can use it effectively, and save your cover to your liking.

The next thing is where to get your template, Lulu.com has a few templates that you can download and, if savvy with word templates you can use the guidelines to make a good base to begin your cover, for spine width most self-publishing websites have a spine calculator that will help you decide the measurement of your spine. The spine is based on the number of pages you have in your book and divided by the PPI (Pages per inch). There are many other resources out there to decide your PPI and book spine, so if you choose to google search it as I did, here are my results. Book Spine Calculator.

If creating a cover from scratch, I suggest checking out the Templates that you can easily download from collages.net.  This way is my favorite,the margins are all set for you all you have to do is adjust them to your measurements and begin copy and pasting your ideas within the document, once complete, save it as a PDF or JPG, and upload it to where ever you choose to publish your book.

There are other ways of designing your book cover, if you do not have access to using the Photoshop program. Word , PowerPoint, and some other programs can be used as well, once you are finished it needs be converted to PDF or JPG for uploading to POD Publish on demand sites. which in Word, Publisher and Photoshop you can save as and convert the document to a PDF file.

Images are the next question where do I get images? and what can I do without stealing someone’s copy written image?

First thing is if you plan to use someone else’s image make sure you get their permission, written permission is the best way to go. If you plan on using your own pictures, you can do that as well which is even better if it is your stuff, you do not have to get anyone’s permission to use it, however there are some websites out there that have free royalty images, you just have to do a little research, a good suggestion to me was Dreamstime.com. There are also many websites that allow you to download royalty free images, you may have to join and pay a monthly fee to be part of the sites, but the images are free to use as long as you notate or acknowledge  the person who took the image in your book.

If you find that this is just not what you had in mind, Lulu and Createspace allow you to use their cover designer platforms, just remember that the artwork on the cover does not belong to you, if you use their cover designers, you only own the content inside the book and actual pictures that you used if they belong to you or a friend etc. The rest of your cover belongs to Lulu or Createspace.

Another more advanced way to create a cover is Adobe InDesign, something that I have yet to try, but the directions below, are what I found when I Googled how to use InDesign for a book cover.

1. Create a new file
2. Make the width of the document size =trim size(back) + spine size + trim size(front).
3. Set columns to 2.
4. Column size should equal spine thickness (here, .5″)
5. Set margins. I like to use .25″ for the bottom elements (logos, barcode, etc.)
6. Left and right margins should be one-half the trim size (e.g. a 5.5″ trim width, set margins to 2.75″)
7. Set bleed.

File should now have guides for spine, and the center marks for both front and back covers.

A great place to further the set up using InDesign is to visit selfpub.info, where there are many tutorials on how to set up the template for a book cover.

Once again your book cover is one of the most important tasks when publishing a book, so be creative, and use your imagination, anything is possible if you try, however you want to also make sure it’s not to over the top or to glamorous as readers buy online they do judge a book by its cover. If you have any thoughts on this post please add them, any extra info is helpful. I am also reachable by phone if you want to pick my brain.

Ritchie White
518-810-4113 

A Cowboy and His Crazy 8-second ride | Sonia Marsh – Gutsy Living

A Cowboy and His Crazy 8-second ride | Sonia Marsh - Gutsy Living

Published in: Uncategorized on April 16, 2012 at 3:44 PM  Leave a Comment  

The Cisco Kid – The Loss of My Best Friend

I stumbled onto this story this morning, and found it fitting to blog, coming from Candace Michele, and Michael Paxton, I share Mike’s story. It is a terrible thing, an officer of the law to take action like this, with no justice, no apology, and no remorse, in my opinion, he should be accountable for these actions, would he have done the same if it were mike’s son in the driveway, who’s to say but an officer such as this, certainly is not protecting and serving.This officer should remember the oath he swore, was to protect and serve, and not take matters in to his own hands.

I am usually not one to get into the politics of people’s opinions of law enforcement. I know there are good and bad people in every walk of life, but I always try to give the benefit of the doubt to those that are in a position to “protect and serve”. But yesterday, a harsh reality was “served” when I received a phone call from a very near and dear person to me. The words I heard coming through my phone were nothing I would have expected in a million years—a very distraught voice saying, “The cops just shot and killed Cisco! They killed my best friend!” In shock, I asked what had happened. At the time, I only got a very brief description, as Michael Paxton was in shock and traumatized over the horrific loss of his dog. I immediately drove to his place (which is about 30 minutes away). When I arrived, I found him clutching Cisco’s body, crying and trying to understand what had just transpired.

Apparently, unbeknown to Mike, there was a domestic disturbance between a male and a female in his neighborhood, and the Austin Police Dept was called in. Unfortunately (seems like such an understatement), Mike found out quickly about the call when he walked into his driveway from his back yard where he and Cisco, his Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Healer), had been playing frisbee. Police officer T. Griffin, Badge #6778, was standing behind Mike’s vehicle, in his driveway. Before Mike even realized Officer Griffin was there, the officer had pulled his gun on Mike, yelling at him to freeze and put his hands up. In a panic, Mike stated to the officer that he lives there, and asked what and why this was happening.

Hearing the commotion, Cisco came from the back yard and into the driveway, barking at the officer, as any dog would do. Mike’s hands in the air, a gun pointed at him, he was afraid for his life, and therefore could not move or attempt to quiet or restrain Cisco. He told the officer that Cisco would not bite him, to please not shoot his dog. Almost immediately, a bullet was put into Cisco’s chest, killing him instantly. Mike still leaned against his truck, unable to move, was not allowed to even hold his best friend as he took the last breath of his abruptly-shortened life.

As was realized after this horrific event had transpired, THE COP WAS AT THE WRONG ADDRESS!!! An innocent man was traumatized by not only having a gun pulled on him by someone that is supposed to be there “to protect and to serve”, but his best friend of seven-and-a-half years was wrongly shot and killed. FOR WHAT?! Because Officer Griffin did not confirm where he was supposed to be before these events transpired!

Nothing will likely happen to Officer Griffin for any of this, as his supervisor arrived after everything took place, and she defended his actions. Mike was given the officers’ information, as well as a phone number to call, if desired. No apologies, no sympathy. Nothing. The officer even told Mike that Cisco should have been on a leash! IN HIS OWN YARD?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!

We ended up taking Cisco’s body to be buried at a friend’s house, out in the country. Four of us spent two hours digging and breaking through limestone-filled ground, to make a hole large enough to lay to rest this man’s best friend and companion.
There are so many things wrong with this situation, that I just can’t even express it in words. My heart aches for you Mike. I know how much you love Cisco, and how much Cisco loved you. Although I am not sure what justice can or will be served in this case, your story will not go unheard. Along with many of your friends, in an effort to gain some sort of justice for you and Cisco, I am tagging all of our local news media here to get the word out.

This type of excessive force has GOT to be stopped. There needs to be consequences for behaviors such as this. There needs to be a system of “checks and balances” used, to be certain this type of thing doesn’t happen anymore—none of this would have occurred, had the officer just VERIFIED THE CORRECT ADDRESS before pulling a gun on Mike and his dog. I urge anyone and everyone that reads this, to please share this story, and let it be known that these happenings aren’t just things we read about going on in some “other city”, but right here, seriously affecting people we know and love.

If you want further information, please feel free to contact Mike directly. He is looking for any help he can get in seeking justice for his dog’s unwarranted killing.

The Cisco Kid

If you feel that Cisco’s death was bad judgement, and just wrong, please share, and keep sharing, this officer should be held accountable. If it were the other way around and a civilian killed a K-9 it is considered killing an officer in the line of duty, and you are tried for 25 years to life , why then is this officer not responsible for his actions?

My prayers are with Cisco that his death gets justice. Good luck to you Mike as you search for justice, For more information visit Justice for Cisco, or contact Michael Paxton directly.

Thinking about Grandpa…How do you explain death to a child?

This is not my normal post, however it is the first thing that happened to me this morning, and it just seemed right to share.

My daughter brought me to tears this morning, it all began when we drove Rozie to work this morning, and we happened to see a white quad cab dual wheel Ford truck. “Look it’s Papa Rocks truck, Where is Papa Rock, Daddy?”
I explained it to her the best way I knew how , “Papa Rock is in Heaven Baby, you know that” and she replied “Is my Papa an Angel?” and I said “well of course he is.” At this point the tears were already rolling off of my face and she said the sweetest thing I have ever heard her say. “Papa Rock needs to come home to my Grandma Christine , because I really, really miss him.” So if your listening up there Rocky, were thinking about you today, and we all miss and love you.

The first time Rocky held his baby grand.

How do you explain death to your child? What are the right words to say? especially when you don’t understand death itself, it has been nearly 13 years since I lost my grandpa, and I still miss him, and still cry about him being gone, only wishing that I could call him up or go and visit to tell him all about my books, and what I am doing.

My grandparents at their 38th Anniversary

About the old thing I can think of is;

“If heaven wasn’t so far away
I’d pack up the kids and go for the day
Introduce them to their grandpa
Watch ‘em laugh at the way he talks
Then tell him we’d be back in a couple of days
In the rear view mirror we’d all watch ‘em wave
Yeah, and losing them wouldn’t be so hard to take
If heaven wasn’t so far away”

                                                                  —Justin Moore

So what have you said, when little hearts ask these questions, so not to break their spirits, or their heart at the same time? Because I am at a loss of words.

Published in: on April 5, 2012 at 10:07 AM  Comments (1)  
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15 Key Links When You want to Self-Publish Your Book

This week I decided to add the links that I used to self-publish my work, create my covers, ebook  publish, and so much more.I have done so much research as a writer/author, and can tell you first hand that I need to learn more. I hope that you will find these links helpful in your journey to becoming an author too.

The first few websites are writing community websites, and are great for meeting other authors, and writers that share your interests,and genres:

http://community.writersdigest.com/

My favorite writers community

http://www.writerscafe.org/

This is an online writing community

http://www.writers-network.com/

This is a online creative writing community

http://www.writing.com/

A writing community for all skill levels and genres

The next and some of the most important links in my list are bloggers that blog about writing, publishing, etc. These websites will help in some of the greatest ways possible, and most of them offer free ebooks in guiding you through some of the key elements in creating your masterpiece.

http://www.rachellegardner.com/

Literary agent,and blogger

http://wordplay-kmweiland.blogspot.com/

Wordplay is a blog by K.M. Weiland helping writers become authors

http://www.authormedia.com/blog/

Author tech tips to help grow your platform

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/

Joanna Penn’s blog helping you write, publish and market your book.

http://diymfa.com/

Do it yourself degree in creative writing.

The last few websites are of the Tools and resources category , places to go for templates, etc. Also below are the most common Publish-on-demand websites available, and will get you up and published in a short time.

Collages.net

A great place for book cover templates

Simply the best fonts

some great fonts for instant free download

http://createspace.com

publish-on-demand, and self-publishing website

http://www.lulu.com/

Independent publishing website for publish on demand, etc.

https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin

Kindle Publishing direct

https://www.smashwords.com/

Wonderful Ebook Publisher carries all ereader formats.

I hope that all of these websites help you out, as they have me in publishing my books, one of the few things that I recommend is getting your author platform built, and draw in an audience, you may be excited about getting your first book in print as I was, however if you don’t have an audience it will not sell that well. get a marketing plan, and gain a following, use social media to your advantage, share, share and share, if you find links like this above, and think it relevant add it to comments,and groups that you belong to, it will not only help your platform, but help out many of your peers as well.

Published in: Uncategorized on March 31, 2012 at 12:15 AM  Comments (5)  

Thank you for helping me write.

I have not blogged in a while, heck I haven’t even been writing, and it has driven me crazy. Life caught me up in a drag for a while, and everything that has gone on with family stuff has just been overwhelming. Good news, I went on vacation to clear my mind and it worked, I have a few days of house work to do, and some stuff coming in to take care of for my wife’s new business venture, but I think in a few days when things are in order I may just get to sit down with my novel, read and rewrite, and some more writing, there is a lot to do, however, I have to read what I have, because I sort of forgot where I left off. I know as a writer, you should write something everyday, so today is my starting point of the next step of my writing career, I plan to write something everyday, even if it is just thoughts, or scenarios, anything that might stimulate my novel, and anything else that I am working on. I have a how to book that I have ached to finish which explains the road I have taken to self-publishing my first two books, with no money at hand at all. They are not a complete success,  but a great experience all the same, it has surely gotten my feet wet in how the writers world works. I want to say With gods amazing grace self-publishing introduced me to some wonderful people, and they deserve to be mentioned.

  Honorable mentions are Dan Blank, a great teacher in learning how to build an author platform, I have learned a lot from him, and have not yet taken his course, mostly because I am financially embarrassed, at the moment and don’t have the cash to take it, but still have learned a lot just the same, if interested in his course you can join by visiting http://wegrowmedia.com/, I hope you can learn something from one of the leaders in the industry. Another honorable mention, and my very first tutor in writing in K.M. Weiland, an awesome teacher, and her blog, and videos, just happen to be in my price range, Free, although free, Ms. Weiland is great with teaching, and sharing how to build your characters in your story, and I definitely have learned a lot from her, my favorite blog among them all that I follow. The Creative Penn is another great place to learn, and refresh writing, skill, and vocabulary, etc, Joanna covers it all from writing, publishing, even selling your books, to subscribe to these wonderful blogs, visit K.M Weilands blog www.kmweiland.com, and her wordplay wordplay-,kmweiland.blogspot.com/, which helps the writer become an author. Visit Joanna Penn’s blog www.thecreativepenn.com/ for some awesome interaction, with writing,blogging, publishing, etc.

Now I must not forget a dear friend that I have met via the writers digest community, that lives in the same town as me, memoir writer Kathleen Pooler, with some of her advice, and points in the right direction, I may not have found the above people. she has helped me in my journey of becoming an author, and deserves some great credit, so please if you enjoy a good blog, visit krpooler.com/, through faith, hope, love, and adversity Kathleen is in the middle of telling her story, and directly from her blog  How does a woman from a stable Christian home go off on so many self-defeating detours and how does she come back home again? 

From some of the stories that are in her book, I feel that you will ask these questions while reading the whole book, and those questions will hook you to the very end, I can assure you from a western genre reader, and writer, Kathleen’s memoir, is a must read even for me.

Well to the wonderful people I mentioned above, I want to personally thank you for all the lessons, and learning that I have picked up from you, and I want to also personally thank all the people who I have not mentioned, you know exactly who you are, from writers digest, twitter, blogging, and facebook. you are wonderful, and I thought it was about time that I thanked you all. Jackie Gordon, Steven Law, James Wright, Larry Payne, J.R. Sanders, and everyone in my group Western genre Fiction/nonfiction. Thanks to all of you for the support, comments, blogs, and webinars, I appreciate it.

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