Category Archives: Uncategorized

Reading skills?

I read an article on the internet about an anthropomorphic cookie printed on a shirt.  I was curious what reading level would allow someone to understand that word.  I assumed it was at least a 12th grade word, but maybe higher.  Perhaps only a college student would be able to grasp the word, and the dichotomy between animals acting like people and inanimate objects such as a cookie that has characteristics of living beings, which is one of the definitions of anthropomorphism.  I do not want to reference only people here, because animals have eyes, mouths, and teeth as well. The two definitions of anthropomorphic is giving animals the characteristics of a human, such as speech and the ability to walk upright, such as Hello Kitty, or giving similar features to inanimate objects, like Thomas the Tank Engine.  This paragraph has a reading ease score of 12.9, so I was correct about needing to have college-level reading skills.

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Have I mentioned that I believe in karma?

Remember this name: Dr. Kenneth Yaw. Recently, he and his family have been in the news in Pittsburgh and also probably in New Mexico, the scene of the worst parts of the crime.  I’m not sure if this was national news or not, but because he practiced medicine at UPMC and lived in the upscale suburb of Fox Chapel, it was news here.

Here’s a link to the story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08230/904934-455.stm. Here’s another one; http://www.pittsburghpost-gazette.com/pg/08226/903798-85.stm

If you read the article you will see that Kenneth Yaw’s first wife, Maureen, was a wonderful woman who raised 10 well-adjusted children who had many friends and were involved in many activities in the community. When she died of breast cancer, that was the end of her happy family. Without Maureen, the real Kenneth came to the surface.

Let me tell you how I know about the real Kenneth.  When we became involved with him, he was a surgeon at UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.) Our son had a painful lump on his hand, and Dr. Yaw performed the biopsy that discovered a rare bone cancer. The options were, removal of the bone and associated finger plus chemotherapy, or a combination of radiation and chemotherapy.  Our son, being 17 years old, determined that he wanted to try to keep the finger, so he opted for radiation and chemo. 

That did not sit well with Dr. Yaw, and he called us repeatedly to insist that our son should have the surgery. We told him that he was under the care of an oncologist that we trusted, and that he had opted for the non-surgical treatment. At one point, I indicated that our son had made his own decision on this, and we stood by his choice. His reaction was, in hindsight, exactly what you would expect. He could not believe that we were allowing a teenager to be involved in his own care.

Eventually we changed oncologists (to the doctor who would later treat Mario Lemieux for his Hodgkins lymphoma) but this new doctor agreed with our son’s choice of treatment, too.  Since our son is cancer-free for over 15 years now, we feel that it was the best option.

But that was not the end of Dr. Yaw. What he did next will inform you as to his basic character.  He sent us a letter that said if we did not make our son have the surgery, we were negligent as parents.  Then he proceeded to say that our son would probably DIE, and that it would be our fault. I believe he also implied that he would turn us in to the authorities (probably child welfare services) if we didn’t respond to him. Imagine receiving such a letter, when you are in the midst of a terrible crisis, where your child is facing a life-threatening illness. Imagine using the word “die” in such a letter. I rarely cry, but this letter made me so angry that I think I may have had what they now call a panic attack. I wept and shook uncontrollably.

Yaw is one of the few people that I believe can be called evil – he lacks empathy, thinks he is always right, and doesn’t care about the effects of his actions.  I’m pretty sure he’s what the mental health professionals call a sociopath; no conscience.  Karma in this lifetime has caught up with him. It will not change who or what he is, but at least the remaining children are free of him.

I guess I’ll have to give up concerts

We went to a great concert this weekend. The main event was Styx, and they put on a great show.  It’s not all the originals, but they sound great, so I don’t care. The Eagles are not all the originals, but I believe the five that came out of retirement sound better than the group they had in the very early days, so there!

The opening acts were The Chris Higbee Project, fronted by the fiddle player from the now defunct Povertyneck Hillbillies, and the Outlaws, a southern rock group that sounds like a combination of Tom Petty and Lynrd Skynrd. The only thing against them is that a good proportion of their songs sound pretty much the same.

What was not good was the crowd. They were smoking during the sets, which was against the rules, and if you needed to get away from it to breathe, you’d miss the show. People moved into other people’s seats between sets, and when they were asked to move, there was some pushing and shoving around us. Someone almost fell on me. Afterwards, out in the parking lot, people were falling-down drunk. And then they got into cars to drive home.

The crowd stood up through the whole concert. I am very short, so as soon as a twelve-year-old stands up in front of me, I’m done. I’m used to that happening with certain bands, and my husband tries to get aisle seats for us, but in this case we were mid-row.

What I’m not used to is having to use my inhaler multiple times before I can breathe again after getting a face-full of smoke. You can’t turn them in, because they know it was you and then you can’t go back to your seat. I always thought that Pittsburghers were nicer than the average, but maybe I need to revisit that assumption.

I’m kind of glad the NFL has instituted text messaging during the games to turn people in.  That should be the case for all of these venues.  Who knows who you are texting; after all, everyone does it all the time.  I already added the text address to my contacts; first game is coming up soon for us.