New Book Coming Soon: Below The Wheel

After publishing Angel with a Broken Wing last Summer, my next thought was… what do I do now? Go to the beach?

After much rumination, I decided to write another book. I wanted to create a hard-boiled detective novel that took place near Philly. Should I try to make the story inspired by real events? Maybe…

I also wanted to make it about a couple of guys who were friends and decided to go into business together. Using the classic Hitchcockian premise of the common man getting caught up in extraordinary circumstances. I wanted to explore some of the darker sides of life but seen through the eyes of lighthearted unique characters. I also wanted something with a shorter, tighter timeframe than my previous book.

And, Below the Wheel was born.

Below the Wheel takes place over two weeks in the Summer of 1998.

Alex Hunter and Scott Appel are two ex-investment brokers turned private investigators. Burned out from the competitive sales environment of buying and selling stock, they open the Watchman Detective Agency in Camden NJ. They spend their days investigating disability claims for insurance companies and law firms. Occasionally, they perform surveillance on errant spouses and even solve a crime now and then. But Alex and Scott aren’t taken seriously by local law enforcement, especially the chief of detectives, Lt. Ezra Chambers, and his belligerent assistant, Sgt. Otis Guth.

Alex is the obsessive suit and tie-wearing overachiever, who drinks too much and lives dangerously. Lately, he’s been trying to tame some of his vices by quitting smoking and seeking some spiritual guidance from a local pastor. His life at the agency is a bit mundane, but Alex dreams of one day solving a really high-profile case.

Five years ago, he invested the inheritance of an attractive local newswoman Alyssa Ward. He was immediately smitten with her. But, the portfolio tanked, and she lost a small fortune. She blamed Alex for the loss and never spoke to him again. Recently her younger sister Jennifer disappeared, and Alex has taken it upon himself to find her. Jennifer always had a wild streak, and Alex thinks she may have been recruited to work in an exclusive sex club somewhere in Camden or Philly. The only problem is, no one knows where the club is located, or if it even exists.

His partner Scott is the laid-back one. He enjoys watching cartoons, listening to heavy metal, and smoking weed. He’d be happy to just work the cases they get referred, keep the agency in the black, and leave the exciting stuff to the police.

The guys share the office space with an insurance agent named Genevieve Bouchard. She’s an independent hard working woman but is trapped in a bad relationship with her abusive common-law husband Bruno Cartiglio. When Bruno’s not involved in some sort of sleazy activity, he’s working construction at one of the nearby bridges. Genevieve hates her life with Bruno but is afraid that if she leaves him, he’ll hurt her. Scott’s attracted to Genevieve, but she’s already involved in some dangerous activities.

During an unbearable heatwave, the boys are caught up in a bizarre case. The Camden Strangler, as the media call him, has been murdering prostitutes in the area.

A teenage girl named Luna, whose mother was the latest victim, turns to Alex and Scott for help. Scott is reluctant to take on a client who obviously can’t pay, but Alex sees it as an opportunity to be a hero and takes the case pro bono.

Alex enlists the help of coroner Ignatious Feeny, who gives him access to the morgue and autopsy information on the victims. Alex also picks the brain of the brilliant but cantankerous Robert Wick. He’s a professor of criminology at Rutgers University. Although he’s bound to a wheelchair, he’s a master of criminal profiling. He tells Alex that the only way to solve the case is to go where the killer goes and see what he sees. Subsequently, Alex is drawn into the dark and sleazy world of the skin trade.

The boys work the case and it’s full of twists, and red herrings. Will they ever figure out who’s doing the killings in Camden? Will Alyssa’s sister ever be found?

You’ll have to read the book and find out.

Planned Release Date: June 22, 2021

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

7 Grounding Techniques To Calm Anxiety When You’re This Close To Losing It

Because it happens to all of us. I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression most of my life. But as I’ve gotten older I learned to rewire my brain and spank those demons and make them pay.

And you can too.

No one is immune to feeling anxious at least on occasion. And no matter who or what it is that sparks your pending eruption, knowing how to calm down the anxiety and anger you feeling when you’re seriously this close to losing it can save you and those around you a lot of collateral damage.

Life happens, and a simple chain of events can slowly stoke a fire within you. Then all it takes is one “he said/she said” or “they did/they didn’t” to push you across the threshold into this close-to-losing-it territory.

Once you’ve learned some effective grounding techniques and coping skills for calming anxiety, calling upon them can be far more empowering than impulsively unleashing your fury ever will be.

Here are seven tips on how to calm down when you’re feeling anxious using simple grounding techniques and positive coping skills.

1. Excuse yourself, gracefully

Leave the room, the situation, the area, or park the car, but get yourself to a safe place. That can even mean staying right where you are until the heat of it subsides.

It may be a big test of your inner strength not to storm out of a situation while huffing, puffing, slamming chairs and doors, but do it with grace anyway.

Depending on the circumstance, leaving may not be possible or ideal. Take a deep breath before asking for a time out (or simply informing them that you are taking one), and be sure to do so in a calm and controlled way — even if you have to fake it.

Graceful exits may also mean hitting pause by drinking a glass of water and feeling it dampen your fire. If no water is handy, you can imagine it.

Leaving in a civilized way, either literally or virtually through a pause, versus going into full throttle bulldozer mode can be the step that helps quell your eruption from spewing.

2. Put pen to paper

Intense anxiety or anger can be vanquished by saying what you feel you have to say on paper rather than directly to the object of your frustration.

Kick it old school by handwriting everything that is on your mind so you can vent about this current situation.

The benefits of handwriting as opposed to typing it into a text message or email are twofold:

  • You can’t accidentally click send and unleash your unfiltered thoughts, feeling, and words into someone’s inbox
  • When you finish venting, you can shred the pages with your bare hands (another bonus), leaving no digital trace that may inadvertently be found later

Handwriting has been proven more cathartic than typing, and as well as to help improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills. And being this close to losing it needs solving.

And as explained by Eric Grunwald of MIT’s Global Studies and Languages Department, “Freewriting, a writing strategy developed by Peter Elbow in 1973, is similar to brainstorming but is written in sentence and paragraph form without stopping. Thus, it [increases[ the flow of ideas and reduces the chance that you’ll accidentally censor a good idea,” which can add another level of efficacy in reducing your angst.

3. Visualize the old heave-ho

Fantasizing about flipping the desk over, clearing the table in one swipe, or playing Frisbee with your laptop. It feels good and satisfying, doesn’t it?!

Visualization, also known as imagery, has been a tool employed by Olympians and other elite athletes for decades, and there is much evidence backing its efficacy for putting desired outcomes into motion without ever leaving the room.

How far can you imagine your laptop will actually fly? How well does it bounce?

Keeping your action-packed fantasy in your head allows you to see the action, feel your muscles contracting, hear the thud of your desk, taste and smell the scene in excruciating detail, without leaving an unpleasant mess to clean up afterward.

When you are this close to losing it, you are so wrapped up in the instant gratification of the moment that you don’t see the final scene — the one where you have to pick up the pieces and clean up the debris, all while shrouded in regret, remorse, guilt, and shame for literally following through with your actions.

4. Get tactile

When you are in overdrive and your foot is fully depressed on the accelerator on the thisclose freeway, take the off-ramp by redirecting some resources from that feeling and shifting them to a tactile action like counting your toes.

With the bulk of your attention invested in your current state, very little of you is connected to the physical.

Whether you are standing or sitting, wiggle your toes and notice how many you can feel. Press each individual toe into your shoe and count them, one toe and one foot at a time. Repeat and repeat again.

By counting your toes, you begin to re-ground yourself. You can go further by scanning your body and noticing how your shoe feels or how the fabrics you are wearing feel against your body or what the chair you are sitting in feels like.

This is especially effective when you are in a situation you cannot dismiss yourself from. Tuning into your body helps to calm the mind, and therefore, your emotions.

5. Catch your breath

When in a high emotional state, your breathing becomes rapid and shallow, which in turn moves you closer to losing it because it’s like fanning the flames of a fire to burn bigger.

Box breathing or four-square breathing is a grounding technique used by Navy SEALs you can put into action no matter where you are and is a highly effective way to get back into control of yourself when things are reeling out of control.

  • Inhale slowly to the count of five
  • Hold for a count of five
  • Exhale slowly to the count of five
  • Hold for a count of five
  • Repeat

As Healthline reports: “According to the Mayo Clinic, there’s sufficient evidence that intentional deep breathing can actually calm and regulate the autonomic nervous system (ANS). This system regulates involuntary body functions such as temperature. It can lower blood pressure and provide an almost immediate sense of calm.”

Deep breathing also delivers more oxygen to the muscles you are clenching as they begin to release with each cycle you repeat, essentially disarming the cortisol accumulation simultaneously.

6. Get physical

Dropping down and doing ten push-ups to burn off your anxious or angry energy may not be appropriate at the time, but taking yourself out for a brisk walk can help.

Being in nature helps calm the sympathetic nervous system (your “fight, flight or freeze” response), and putting your pent-up energy into your pace can help to return you to calm.

Even when you can’t get outside to commune with nature, you can use the power of your mind to take you wherever you decompress best.

Maybe your happy place is a white sandy beach where the ocean waves wash all your stresses away. Or perhaps it’s riding down the open highway on your motorcycle, sitting under a tree, or climbing a mountain.

Creating or recalling an image that brings life back into perspective is only a thought away.

7. Grab onto gratitude

Chances are, in a moment when you are trying to figure out how to calm down, you are as far away from feeling grateful as you can get.

However, you always have the power of choice, and flexing your gratitude muscle may effectively diffuse the situation.

Bring to mind someone who you are wholly grateful for, or think of ten things you are grateful for in your life. Feel that gratitude infuse your body and mind.

We cannot feel fully grateful or fully enraged at the same time, so go with the positive feelings gratitude evokes.

Most importantly, you can think about how grateful you will feel for not losing it when you don’t, as well as how proud you are of yourself for keeping it together in this volatile moment in time. Remind yourself that feeling this close to losing it is temporary, and gratitude is the long game.

Keeping a gratitude journal and choosing to be intentionally grateful for the people and things that add value to your life helps sustain you in times like this.

Gratitude acts as an antidote to stress. The benefits of giving thanks in our life are endless, especially helping us to build our resilience overall.

Be aware that not any one of these tips is guaranteed to work for you every single time you need to calm yourself down.

You need to find your combination of tools to get you on the other side of losing it, and all are most effective when sampled and practiced before you need them.

Regardless of how few or how many you need to use these techniques and skills, it’s worth the effort, in the end, to find what works best for you.

The Absolute Dater – Making Online Dating Easy Again

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

How To Tell Someone You Have Herpes, According To Experts

Herpes. For some, just the word alone can result in a rollercoaster of emotions. So to find out you have herpes, can feel really scary. But it shouldn’t be. While herpes may not be cured with an antibiotic, like other STIs, it is treatable. People don’t “suffer” from herpes; people live with it and continue to have great lives — and sex lives too.

But, as is the case with any STI you have, it is something that you need to tell your partner. If you’re going to be a responsible sexually active person in this world, you owe to yourself and everyone you sleep with, to be honest about anything you have that could possibly be transmitted to them.

“Any diagnosis of an STI can be frightening/upsetting/insert-other-not-good-feeling, but it is not the end of the world. I feel like I say that so often, but it really is the case,” Dr. Megan Stubbs, Ed.D, a sex and relationship expert, tells Bustle. When telling your partner, either potential or existing, “honesty and upfront communication is key. Try to find a neutral location for this conversation to happen. Right before bed or when you’re about to be sexual isn’t the ideal setting,” Stubbs says.

According to the Center for Disease Control, “more than one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 years have genital herpes,” also known as HSV-2, in the United States. As for oral herpes, HSV-1, that number is much higher, with the World Health Organization estimating that 3.7 billion people under 50 have it. Because oral herpes, aka cold sores, are so common, many people may not think they need to have a conversation about it with their partner — but because oral herpes can be transferred to the genitals, it’s still a conversation that needs to happen.

“It just takes that skin on skin contact to transmit the virus, so when we think about oral sex, we need to think about our oral herpes,” Dr. Stubbs says. “Again, this may take some time for them to process. Herpes is so common, but some people may still be unaware of the finer details of the virus… it’s something that you should disclose to your partner so that they can make informed decisions regarding their own sexual wellbeing.”

It should also be noted that if you have herpes, genital or otherwise, it’s not as though you will be walking around with sores for the rest of your life, but there is no cure. According to the Mayo Clinic, herpes treatment comes in the forms of prescription antiviral medications like Acyclovir (Zovirax) and Valacyclovir (Valtrex). These medications not only help to heal sores faster than they would without them but also help to prevent future outbreaks, as well as the severity of those outbreaks. While medications also minimize the chance of transmitting the virus to others, there is still no guarantee, and wearing condoms, even if there isn’t a current outbreak, is always necessary.

With that in mind, find a cozy place, get your facts straight, and tell your partner you need to have a chat, start with:

  • I just had a checkup.
  • I have a diagnosis of herpes.
  • This means we need to have to talk bout it.

After that, here’s exactly what to say to a partner if you find out you have herpes.

1. Tell Them Before You Have Sex

Ashley Batz/Bustle

Although telling your current partner you have herpes before you have sex the next time is likely to be a little more difficult than telling a new partner, it still has to be done.

“It’s great to have this conversation before you engage in any sexual activity,” Dr. Stubbs says. “For an existing partner, this can be trickier. Assuming you both were tested before you became sexual partners, this may be a larger conversation than just revealing your status. Was there cheating involved? Was there an exposure during group play? Have you been sexual with your partner since then?”

Let them know as soon as you find out and definitely before you are sexual again. You just need to put it out there and tell them you have herpes — and do it before you get into bed with each other. As Dr. Stubbs points out, a neutral spot is really the best option. The bedroom should be free of all serious talks anyway — that’s a place for dirty talk and sexual fun.

2. Tell Them About The Virus

If you’ve been diagnosed with herpes, not only were you probably sent home with a pamphlet, but you probably got on your computer and did your own research for hours. Dr. Stubbs suggests telling your partner about the virus and giving them the facts. A good place to start is with statistics, so your partner realizes just how common herpes is.

There are two types of herpes: HSV-1 and HSV-2. The World Health Organization estimates that, globally, 3.7 billion people under 50 have HSV-1, while 417 million people between 15 and 49 have HSV-2. The difference between the two strains of herpes is that HSV-1 is contracted and transmitted orally, and the outbreak is a cold sore. HSV-2, on the other hand, is sexually transmitted and shows up as sores around the genitals. However, HSV-1 can cause genital herpes if there’s contact during an oral outbreaksay, if you give your partner head while you have an active cold sore.

3. Give Them Space

When you tell your partner, either current or new, that you have herpes, there’s no way to know how they’ll react. For a current partner, this could open up a whole conversation about fidelity or past partners, while in both cases there might be a bit of a shock. Because of the stigma surrounding herpes, it’s important to give your partner space after you have the talk.

“Let them think about it,” Stubbs. “Don’t pressure them for an answer right away. They may want to do their own research on it.”

Some people buy into the stigma and, even after telling them all the facts, may choose to keep their distance. If that’s the case, let them do that. It’s their loss; not yours.

4. Talk About STI Screening

Rocketclips, Inc/Shutterstock

Let this conversation open the door to STI screening. Anyone who’s sexually active should consider regular STI screening because condoms aren’t foolproof and, honestly, you just never know.

“Often times you can be asymptomatic and not know you have the virus,” Dr. Stubbs says. “So even if your partner isn’t exhibiting any symptoms, it’s best to be tested.”

STI screenings are quick and easy. They’re also something we should all do for ourselves and our partners, no matter if they’re casual, short-term, or long-term.

5. Allow Yourself And Your Partner To Be Emotional

“Herpes can bring up a lot of emotions, especially when it comes to our sexual partners,” Dr. Stubbs says. Since that’s the case, let yourself be emotional! It’s OK! We have emotions for a reason and that reason is to feel them, then express them. But it’s also important to keep things in perspective.

“Being informed, upfront, and honest with your diagnosis is the best thing you can do for yourself and your partnership,” Dr. Stubbs says.

6. Tell Them This Really Isn’t The End Of The World

More than anything, make sure your partner truly realizes this isn’t the end of the world — not for you, not for them, and certainly not for your sex life together. It’s simply an STI that you have, something that you take medication for, and something you both need to be aware of when having sex.

“Genital herpes will not ruin your sex life,” Dr. Sheila Loanzon, a board-certified OB-GYN and author of Yes, I Have Herpes, tells us. “This diagnosis has the opportunity to cause isolation and destroy the possibility of future relationships if you let it. While the virus may seem catastrophic to some, in terms of disclosure to future partners, outbreak management, and cultural stigmatization of the virus, there are numerous HSV positive men and women (who are publicly sharing their virus status on social media), who are in fulfilling and loving sexual relationships.” And Dr. Loanzon says this as both a doctor and a woman with herpes.

“As a single woman dating, I have actually found that after disclosure it has not made a difference to my partners what my positive status was,” Dr. Loanzon says. “They would like to get to know me as a person.”

Definitely not the end of the world at all.

Finding out you have herpes isn’t easy. Nor is telling your partner. But it still has to be done. So take a deep breath, find a neutral place, and just tell them with clarity and honesty. It’s likely to go smoother than you imagined.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

One Slip…

Philadelphia, PA – 1969

I was 7 years old and in 2nd grade at Lawndale school. My teacher was Mrs. Koffler. She was like any other lady. When you’re really young anyone older than 12 years old looks like an adult. But I suspect Mrs. Koffler was in her mid to late twenties. A plain girl. Cat glasses with her straight blonde hair pulled straight back in a ponytail. Neatly dressed in the style of the day. Conservative sweaters and blouses, and always a nice skirt. She preferred patterns to solids. Always wore nude colored pantyhose. Comfortable shoes adorned her feet. Flats on most days. I suppose being on your feet much of the day dealing with a roomful of kids would tire any person out.

I remember Mrs. Koffler would sit at the front of the class and read to us sometimes. I remember she would sit cross-legged. I would be listening to the story with the other students and admire her legs. She was a young lady and I’m paying attention to the story, but her legs were distracting me.

I remember on occasion I would sometimes drop my crayon or pencil on the floor so I could bend down under my desk to pick it up, all the while stealing a glance at her well-turned gams.

Funny how you like certain things even as a young boy. You’re too young to even have any thoughts or actions in regard to sex. I know I didn’t find Mrs. Koffler attractive and didn’t even really like her. But I would still check out her legs. Odd, how things fire in the mind even when you’re very young. It doesn’t mean anything, but it’s still a vision you find pleasing.

I was a bright kid but found school in general an enormous bore. It felt more like a prison to me.

It was the time of day for us to do art. Which meant all sorts of supplies appear and an assignment given. I was always surprised that even art was structured in school. You got assignments. I get it. Draw a nice picture and give it to your parents to hang on the fridge. It’s Thanksgiving. Trace your hand and we’ll make it a turkey.

The one thing they never teach in school is creativity. Because they can’t. They can only give you exercises to develop it. Because they can’t do it and don’t even know what it really is. They’re just the hired help. You either have creativity or you don’t.

So, we’re all making something at our little desks with cloth felt and construction paper and Elmers glue. I always like Elmer’s glue. My favorite thing to do with it was to pour a small amount into my hand and spread it out across my palm. I would wait for it to dry and it became like an extra epidermis on my palm. I would slowly peel it off, and I felt like a snake molting its skin. I noticed that the glue made a beautiful impression on my tiny hand. I could see every detail of my palm on the sheet of dried glue. It even felt like skin when dry. I could see the fingerprints and everything perfectly. I used to wonder if this type of glue would ever have any practical applications for law enforcement or forensics. But what did I know? I was just playing with something I should have been slathering on the back of a piece of colored paper so I could affix it to something else. It was non-toxic so no one would die if they ate it. (Which I have done. It’s quite good and not nearly as salty a delicacy as Play-Doh)

I was nearly finished with my little mandatory art project and got up from my desk to throw away some scraps of paper. Maybe I was distracted by the ethereal beauty of my classmate, the lovely Donna McHugh with her blonde wavy hair and ice-blue eyes. But somehow as I rounded a desk I slipped on a piece of felt that had fallen to the floor along with other artistic detritus.

My head struck the edge of one of the desks, just between the suborbital foramen and the margin. (My left eyebrow)

I don’t remember actually striking the desk or any pain. I just remember someone getting me to my feet and walking me out of the class. (I think it was room 6) I was with this person, (Maybe Mrs. Koffler?) and I saw something I never saw before. As we walked down the hallway along the polished light hardwood floor, I watched as drops of bright red blood dripped away from my face and struck the floor. Big drops. Just every few feet as we quickly moved along. Drip….drip….drip.

We got to the school nurse’s office and whoever brought me in left. I simply obeyed the nurse’s orders. I wasn’t frightened. I wasn’t in any pain really. I just laid down on the little cot. I felt the white butcher paper crunch under me. I just wondered why would someone put paper on a bed.

She went to work on me with bandages and compression. My brow was apparently split open in a nasty gash. I never saw it and I suppose that’s a good thing. I’ve seen blood before. No big deal. Boys are always getting banged up in everyday life. It’s part of having wild fun. I suppose it’s a good thing I didn’t see it because maybe that’s when the fear may have crept in.

I’m assuming they called my mother first. She didn’t drive so I’m sure she then called my father who worked at the Provident National Bank over on Cottman street.

I remember lying on the little cot when my father walked into the nurse’s office. He was wearing his overcoat and of course his hat. My father always wore a hat. He wore a hat beyond when it was no longer fashionable. He stayed right in the late sixties with his style. He told me that if he wore his style long enough it would come back again. (It later did!)

It was weird to see my father at school. Only moms haunted the school. Not dads. They were all at work every day.

The nurse had stopped the bleeding and had me bandaged up pretty good. My father lifted me up into his arms and carried me out of the school. I liked being carried by my dad. You feel safe in your dad’s arms. His cold coat. His rough face. His aftershave. All safe and familiar. Strong. He’s going to take care of this.

He carried me outside and put me in the back seat of the VW minibus. He asked that I lie down and be still, but hold on. I don’t know how long the ride was. Everything seems long when you’re little. Time is a crazy thing when you’re young. But time is relative. If you’re 50 years old and something’s going to happen in 6 months, that’s no time at all based on how long you’ve been on Earth. But if you were 5 years old and someone told you that Christmas was 6 months away, that’s 1/10 of your entire life. That feels like forever!

Anyway, we get to the hospital. I don’t remember going in or anything about the place. Just that everything was bright white. They laid me down on a bigger bed. (More butcher paper) The doctor came in and looked at my head. I remember him saying he was going to give me a few stitches. I’d never seen stitches except on the Frankenstein monster in the movies. Would it be a long black line, with shorter lines going across it like in a cartoon? Is that what they really looked like?

I know my dad stayed in the room the whole time. I remember looking up while the doctor went to work on me. He had a curved needle and thread. I guess my head had been hurting and the tiny little pricks really didn’t bother me at all for some reason. You’d think with my anxiety I’d have been freaking out, but anxiety is the fear of what might happen. This already happened. The doctor was just patching me up. I felt totally calm.

The doctor told me that he had put 12 stitches in my head.

It didn’t take long, and within no time my dad was taking me out of there. I don’t remember if I sat up or laid down on the way home.

Whenever any of the kids in the family had a cold they obviously stayed home from school. Sure you were coughing and sneezing and were just generally uncomfortable. But the cool thing was, we had a convertible sofa in our living room. We never used it for guests. We only used it when the kids were sick. My mom would open it up, prop up the head, and grab some pillows and a blanket. It was right in front of the TV. So getting sick wasn’t really that bad. getting your temperature taken and eating gross medicine was a bit unpleasant, but you got to watch TV all day and not go to school. Oh, and your mom waits on you hand and foot. Brilliant day.

Soup. Toast. All the fixings!

So, dad gets me home and my mom already has the sickbed ready. I got in my pajamas and hopped right in. I had a bandage on my head so my sisters couldn’t see my injury or my stitches. I remember it being described as a little black eyebrow above my real one.

Everyone was making a fuss over me and I was happy to be home. I just relaxed on the bed with my two sisters around me in the room as we watched TV.

I guess my dad had left for a short while because for about a half-hour I didn’t see him. But he soon returned and handed me a big bag. I opened it and inside it was a box full of little plastic spacemen! They were red white and blue and in all different positions. (Just like army men) I was very grateful to receive such a bounty. It wasn’t Christmas. I had simply slipped and busted my head open.

“Charles was so brave today. He never cried and laid perfectly still during the entire process. I’m really proud of him.”

I’ll never forget that.

Physical pain isn’t so bad. It’s mental cruelty and wickedness at the hands of others that make me cry. That’s an enduring pain.

A week or so later they took me to our local doctor. Dr. Alexander removed the stitches once the wound had completely healed. “The other doctor said he gave you 12 stitches, well  I just took out 13,” he said.

Seems like a more appropriate number in regard to what had happened to me that day. The doctor did a terrific job on my injury that day. The scar is so light you’d never know I had one. I’d have to bring up the story and show it to you.

And if we ever meet, I will.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Tales of Rock – Keith Richards Gets Cockroach Named After Him For 77th Birthday

A museum in Keith Richards’ home state gave him an unusual birthday present: a creepy-crawly cockroach.

A museum in Keith Richards’ home state gave him an unusual birthday present: A creepy-crawly cockroach.

In honor of his 77th birthday on December 18, the Children’s Museum in West Hartford, Connecticut, named a Madagascar hissing cockroach “Keith” to commemorate the Rolling Stones rocker’s special day.

Keith the Cockroach even got his own insect-sized guitar for his enclosure, thanks to Denver classic rock station 103.5 The Fox, which sponsored the adoption.

Keith Richards and Keith the Cockroach

The cockroach will permanently reside in an enclosure at the museum, which is located just 60 miles north of Richards’ home in Weston, and it will be cared for by staff at the museum, noting that “all of his rider demands will be met.”

“It is said the only two things to survive a nuclear war would be cockroaches and Keith Richards,” the museum wrote in a press release. “Chances are the real Keith will outlive the newly named, oval-shaped invertebrate whose life span is two to five years.”

keith richards cockroach children's museum guitar
Keith the Cockroach checks out his mini guitar at the Children’s Museum.

The museum said it was inspired to name the nightcrawler after Richards, who himself has notoriously cheated death on several occasions, including when he fell out of a coconut tree in 2006, and in 1978, when someone laced his dope with strychnine, which landed him in a coma.

 

Happy 77th Keith! We Love You!

 

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