GIVING SOMETHING BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hello and Welcome. This is a place to find personal help for searching the Internet. The author is Richard A. Lawhern -- called "Red" by friends, though my hair isn't anymore.  I retired as a systems engineer and operations research analyst, with 42 years of experience in acquisition management and systems engineering for military systems.  I've authored several cyberspace training courses and video tapes and helped various employers to train staff in the tools and resources of the Net. In my so-called spare time, I support an online community called "Living With TN"  as a moderator and content author, providing literature and internet research to chronic face pain patients. I also mentor young people who are struggling with life in our times. 

I and my spouse of 32 years now live near Charlotte NC.  To send me email, select Giving Something_Back

"Red" Lawhern This page last updated November 2012

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

* About This Page Finding People On Line and Off
* Personalized Search Help * Areas Where I Might Help You
(My Interests)
* Trigeminal Neuralgia
and Chronic Pain Help
* Special Interest -- Sailing
*  Photographic Galleries
*   Alternatives to Scriptural Religion
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 Throw the Bums Out -- No Incumbents - EVER AGAIN!

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Featured On-Site Article:

The Great Recession of 2008-2012 Isn't Over!




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About This Page

This site is an effort to give something back to the community of the Internet, a place where I've worked and taught for 19+ years. Many people have helped me to learn and grow. I hope to pass on that courtesy.

Resources: As part of returning something to a community that I care about, I offer here, a few resources that might help you find your way around the Net. Lots of Web sites offer huge resource lists, so I won't burden you with another collection. I merely refer you to some starting places I've found useful. I've had a lot of practice searching the Net for information, so maybe you can benefit from my learning curve. If you're an experienced Internet user, then I'll be equally happy to learn from you. That's ultimately what conversation is about. Feel free to offer suggestions by email.

An Invitation: After you've browsed this page, feel free to send me email if there is something I might do to assist you. I intend this invitation to be quite open-ended. I have many personal interests and hobbies. I've met a lot of interesting people in 40-odd years of adult life. I've traveled through both geography and personal awareness. I'm not afraid to speak to strangers who may become friends on a shared life journey. Come talk to me. If it seems to me that you need to talk with others who can help you better than I can, I'll offer suggestions on where to start.


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Searching the Internet

Part of my professional life has been spent learning how to mine information from the Internet. Everybody wants to find something, these days. Not everybody has time to learn the search process in detail. A few  years ago, when one of my daughters was going through University, I wrote her an article about how to find things in the Internet quickly. I update this mini-course from time to time at Voice of the Shuttle, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Feel free to take a look.

Quick Search the Internet

The Shuttle offers one of the largest and best organized collections in the world, for Internet resources relating to the liberal arts. The Shuttle's search engine will help you find links you need. I have found two sub-pages at the Shuttle that are also very useful to people who have other information needs.  These will give you overviews of the Net and its services, and a list of search engines and directory services.

Information About the Internet


Another resource has become a "classic" on the Internet, and should not be ignored when you want to browse a collection of high value links to learn your way around. There are hundreds of references here, so be prepared to spend time to learn your way about:
 

John December's Computer Mediated Communication Information Sources

 

Finally, there is a massive and authoritative information resource where I frequently find answers to some of the most difficult research needs.  I am pleased to be a supporter of Wikipedia.

Support Wikipedia


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Do You Need Person-to-Person Help?


Especially for people just getting started on the Internet, finding our way around can seem pretty intimidating. There are good books to help you learn. One of the first on my list was "The Whole Internet Catalog and Users' Guide", which is still available through Amazon On-Line and which I still recommend. There are others more recent. There are also great on-line courses (see Voice of the Shuttle, above). Newsgroups of USENET provide a place to post your concerns and questions, or to exchange points of view -- after you figure out which of the over 25,000 groups you want. It helps at times to have someone to talk with or to write person-to-person. So how do you find that person?

Have you found it difficult to use Internet search engines that may generate thousands of "hits" on common key words?  Quite a number of Internet sites provide an alternative in some form of person-to-person on-line help. Other sites are now attempting to automate this kind of help in organized searching trees by topic area.  One the latter is "Find How" -- a search engine organized around broad information domains.  .  Another and very large resource is Sources and Experts, compiled by St. Petersburg Times News Researcher Kitty Bennett.  A third avenue of approach might be through the valuable resources and supporting experts at About.Com. 500+ qualified subject matter experts support the forums there.

At one time, I supported yet a fourth forum called the "Internet Village Elders" at the Internet Sleuth, where we took on a similar charter.  The specialized databases and interactive expert assistance services of that site are now regrettably defunct. But you can find others through any of the major search engines.  Use the target phrase "Ask an Expert".


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Finding People On Line and Off

One subject comes up in Internet discussion groups more often than almost all others besides health and getting rich quickly via multi-level marketing [note: ironic humor intended!].  Lots of people want to use the Internet to find somebody. Because this interest comes up so often, I wrote an Internet article a few years back, to address the need. My research is not the "last word" on the subject, and it is somewhat dated, but the basic logic here may give you a place to start and a way to think through your project,  if you believe you need to find someone. It might also keep you out of legal trouble, if it prompts you to think first before invading somebody's privacy. 

Low Cost and Free Resources for Finding People On-Line and Off

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Medical Resources for Trigeminal Neuralgia

In one other area of volunteer service on the Internet, I have a significant personal investment. A member of my family is being treated for a relatively rare chronic nerve disorder called "Trigeminal Neuralgia." This ailment can cause the most severe face pain known to medical practice. Even narcotic drugs are unsuccessful in relieving pain for many patients.

In an effort to support patients, family members, and medical professionals who deal with facial neuralgias , a few years ago I teamed with Ms. Cindy Fleishman, a 20-year-plus chronic pain survivor, to develop a one-stop site for face pain information focused on these disorders. After over two years of Cindy's research and additional months of our co-editing, the result was a site with 120+ subsidiary pages that we wrote ourselves or compiled and abridged with permission from other sources.  While this site is no longer available to the public due to the burden it became to keep current, we have archived our links and files.  To tap into these resources, please feel free to correspond by email.

Independently of my effort at Face Pain Resources, I have long supported  the Trigeminal Neuralgia Association, now called the "Facial Pain Association".  I was a member of its Board of Directors for three years and webmaster for the TNA Home Page in the late 1990s. The site provides medically authoritative information on the disorder as well as a gateway to a network of US and international support groups. "TNA Connect" and "TNA-Network" discussion forums linked from the homepage are particularly valuable for talking with other patients about their experiences.  If you know of someone suffering from a sudden, sharp onset of stabbing pain in one side of the face, please refer them to TNA or to introductory notes that I maintain here at "Giving Something Back."  

In a more recent effort on behalf of chronic face pain patients, I am now an active Site Administrator and Moderator at "Living With TN" -- an online community of over 2,000 face pain survivors and family members engaged in mutual emotional support, information research, and referral to knowledgeable doctors.   Several of the resources below were written for Living With TN.

Unexplained Facial Pain - Introduction 

Bookmarks for Chronic Facial Pain

Who Gets TN? Demographics of A Social Networking Website

[MS-Word Version]   [HTML Version]

Demographics of 202 Facial Neurologial Pain Patients At A Social Networking Website

Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Face Pain

Coping with Crisis -- A Seminar for Facial Pain Patients

Facial pain patients are sometimes so deeply affected or disabled by pain that they go into crisis and need emergency medical intervention.  But especially with trigeminal neuralgia, they may be unable to speak clearly or even in rare instances to articulate their thoughts.  With these realities in mind, I have developed a one-page "Attending Physician Advisory" form, to help patents get emergency pain care when they cannot speak clearly.  This form should be filled out in advance of need, and carried by the patient at all times.  It can be presented to the admissions clerk at any hospital emergency room, dispensary, or community clinic. Visitors to this website are authorized to print out as many copies as you think you may need.  However, please do not remove the copyright marking from the foot of the form.

Attending Physican Advisory Form

Likewise, feel free to email me concerning on-line information resources.  I have corresponded with almost 3000 face pain patients during the past 17 years.  Although I am not a doctor, I may be able to help you find a professional who is appropriately trained and experienced in addressing your pain management needs. 

As a continuing contribution to chronic face pain patients, I sometimes support patient support groups with presentations on Trigeminal Neuralgia and related disorders.  In January 2003, I gave the following overview of recent research in facial pain, for the Bethesda Maryland / Washington DC TN support group.  Feel free to download and print it out.  However any further use of this material should credit the author and this webpage as source...

Presentation: Recent Research in Trigeminal Neuralgia

Related to this presentation, the following collection of Pub Med abstracts will introduce you to recent research on TN and facial neuropathy.  I hope to update these lists periodically, between the demands of normal working life and other community service.

Review of Recent Medical Literature on Trigeminal Neuralgia

Review of Recent Medical Literature on Trigeminal Neuropathy


As part of ths overview, I would offer additional links to other sites which I consider valuable to anyone who deals with chronic face pain.  I have at various times contributed peripheral articles or editing services to some of these sites. But none of them are necessarily influenced by my research or points of view.

Comfort and Encourage.com

This is a patient-centered creation of Judi S. Coleman, herself a trigeminal neuralgia patient.
The site supports an informative and compassionate periodic newsletter that offers
both information and personal support for patients and families.

Facial Neuralgia Resources

Also a patient-centered resource, with a 15-year-plus history of generating
very well-organized research and information for patients who are searching for answers to severe facial pain.

For chronic face pain patients, one of the on-going issues is very often how to obtain affordable health care.  The following overview of the subject has been expanded from research by Susie Margaret Ross, a helping colleague on the Neurological Disorders patient forum at Web MD.  This collection has not been approved or validated by WebMD or anybody else. 

Free and Low-Cost Medical Care Resources



Resources for General Healthcare Education

In a more general sense, I may also be able to suggest resources to expand your personal  healthcare education, in fields other than chronic pain.  As a part of the community service work that I do on the Internet, I once supported three "Experts" forums at Yahoo.  In the Men's, Women's and Stress Management groups at Yahoo, several resident volunteers answered questions from all comers, dealing with physical and mental health issues, personal growth, family life, and interpersonal relationships.  Some of the questions that kids (and some adults) ask at Yahoo and other public forums  might seem a bit outrageous to a person who has a college education.  Other questions express urgent needs for help, voiced by people who are hurting, scared, or simply uncertain of what to do next.  Taken in total, these questions reveal a lot about the health and personal concerns that occupy people around the world:

Frequently Asked Questions About Healthcare 

- (And About Life) -
 




A Modest Political Proposal: Throw All the Bums Out!

In the US in 2012, there is a great amount of discontent over the state of our politics in Federal, State, and local government. Quite a number of people have become convinced that something fundamental in our governance is broken.  Enough of us thought that way that we elected an inexperienced though articulate junior senator to lead the nation.   So far he hasn't done very well. If he wins the 2012 election, it will be because his opponent is too inept to tie his own shoelaces without a script written by big-money special interests. And Obama is no less beholden to the same interests.

Meanwhile, millions of us are totally disgusted with efforts by entrenched political elites - including but not restricted to those who helped to elect Obama to ram something called "health care reform' down our throats -- legislation which reforms nothing about health care costs and will almost certainly increase middle class taxes while further burdening the medicare system. We also see Congress still maneuvering to slip through an amnesty for illegal immigrants despite the outrage of resisting citizens.  The bums continue with this idiocy despite the wide-spread evidence that voters just aren't having any of that nonsense.  The feeling is widespread that something really fundamental in our politics has to change, and soon.

As a leader in America, the President has repeatedly failed to exercise leadership.  His party hasn't proposed a single Congressional budget. His notion of economic stimulus is to nearly double the size of the US National Debt in four years, leaving the mess to fall on the shoulders of his daughters and mine.  Worse than that, however, Mister Obama early in his term appointed several people as his advisers on the US economy, who should now be doing long prison sentences for their active participation in speculation and frauds that led directly to the financial crisis in 2008. People like Treasury Secretary Geithner (then a chairman of the Federal Reserve bank of New York)  stood by and watched as their friends on Wall Street ripped off investors to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, and then walked away scott free.  Not one of these crooks has been seriously investigated, much less indicted.

Mister Romney is no better.  Like other Republicans, he's signed a pledge not to raise the taxes of the super-rich whose super-PAC political money is expected to elect him.  He's also artfully dodged away from explaining any concrete plan for bringing Federal government spending anywhere close to our likely tax receipts.  The numbers don't add up, you nitwit!  You can't balance the budget without raising tax rates on the top one half of one percent, AS WELL AS lowering the level of benefits provided by Social Security and Medicare.  It won't happen, And by avoiding this issue, your team will make the meltdown in our social safety net all the worse when it occurs.Which it will.

I've reached a point where I am no longer willing to be made an accomplice to political fraud. I can't vote for either of these bums.  So this year, when I go to the polls, I'll either vote Libertarian or leave the boxes for President blank.  It doesn't matter which of these fools we elect.  They are both in the pockets of the super-rich, and neither of them will bite the hands that fed them. 

THIS YEAR, I'M NOT GOING TO VOTE FOR PRESIDENT

Many loose-knit groups of people in the US believe that there ought to be an alternative to the mess we're seeing in Washington and our Statehouses. We come from all parties, or from no party at all.  However we are united in believing that voters need an effective means of informing political elites that they have lost touch with the electorate, which is us.  One proposal for doing that might be to insert a voting choice on the ballot for every office in the land, for "NOTA: None of the Above."  If NOTA gets a plurality of votes, then the slate is wiped clean and we have a special election where the previous bums don't get to run. I find this idea intriguing and perhaps long overdue. For an expansion of this proposal, click on Write In None of the Above

During the months before the 2012 Congressional mid-term elections, both of the 10-year-old automobiles at our house will proudly display this bumper sticker:

Congress is the Problem!
Throw ALL the Bums Out

And we will vote under that policy.  If a politician has been in office before, then he or she is a part of the problem, not the solutions.  Even the guys who protest that they've been trying to reform the rest of Congress, don't deserve to go back.  If they tried at all, then they failed.






My Personal Interest Areas -- Assistance Offered

If you've found your way to my page and bothered to read this far, then you've hopefully concluded that I am basically a "people" person. I believe in reaching out to others whenever I can, as humanely and thoughtfully as I can.  I believe in helping, contributing, and "giving something back." My time and knowledge are far from limitless, but I try to do the best I can with what I've got.

I've had opportunities in a varied career to turn my hand to a lot of different subjects, and to dabble at hobbies, interests, and small businesses. Because this web page is about giving back, I invite inquiries on any of the following  subjects. I'll do my best to find you good information or to share my own experiences regarding any of the following.

 




A Special Interest:  Sailing


From the mid-1990s, my wife and I sailed the Chesapeake for six seasons on an S-2 Model 8.0B (26-foot) pocket cruiser.  She was a lovely little boat who taught us a lot of things and was very forgiving of our mistakes.  But with less than five feet of headroom below deck, weekend cruising was a little like camping out, without the ants.  In the winter of 1999, we stepped up to a much more comfortable 1973 Bristol 34.4 sloop. Rafiki ("friend" in Swahili, or "companion" in Arabic) taught us quite a number of other new things.  In the seven seasons we sailed her, she impressed us with her handling in both light and heavy air.  We took her through the trailing end of a tropical storm in May 2005, weathering 30 knot headwinds, 4-foot chop and heavy opposing tides, without complaint from the boat. Finding deck leaks can seem like purgatory -- no doubt about it.  However, the maintenance time on her deck teak was more than compensated for by her longer cruising range, sailing comfort, and stability in Chesapeake surface chop.  She also scooted along at over seven knots on a close reach, when she hit that 'sweet spot' that sailors all look for. 

In the Spring of 2006, Rafiki went on the hard at Annapolis Sail Yard, and was sold.  We've relocate about 30 minutes south of Charlotte NC, and will learn a new variety of life on the water, on Lake Wylie and Lake Norman -- in a smaller boat.  The picture below offers some idea of why we were so happy with our sailing friend.   I would recommend Bristols without reservation, for just about any kind of sail cruising.
 

 

This brings us to the bottom of my homepage. Feel free to write me, to share your journeys if you feel so inclined. Or write to pose a particular question.  I'll help if I can, or I'll find somebody else to help.  I'm here for you.

Go in Peace and Power

Last Updated -- November 2012

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