Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

Makes a great Christmas Gift!

Do you want to get a great Christmas gift for book lovers?

If so, then you should definitely go grab a copy of Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen, by J.L. McCreedy!

This is a modern-day fairy tale about a young girl from Mississippi who gets lured to a foreign land over her Christmas break, to meet relatives she never knew existed.  Unbeknownst to her, this is all part of a sinister plot by an evil witch and our heroine, Libby, falls right into her clutches.  Libby will have to rely on her wits and courage, and just a bit of luck if she hopes to save not only herself, but also those most dear to her.

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting Christmas thriller, then I can’t recommend this book strongly enough.  Available in both print and Kindle versions!

Go get your copy today, and remember to include it in your holiday gift shopping list!


Tropical Storm Jasmine

I get it.  This is the tropics and this is hurricane season in the Southern Hemisphere.

Still, this constant rain is starting to get a bit old.


My Awesome Wife Is Publishing Her Novel

As (both of the) regular readers of this blog know, my wife and I left the United States about a year ago in order to go live overseas for a while.  We had quite a few reasons for doing this, but overall, it was a desire to get out of the rat race of middle class America for a while and sort of “reset” our lives a bit.  We did this once before when we moved to Germany for a year and after being back in the U.S. for five years, we were overdue for a change.  So, in a bit of a whirlwind, we packed our bags, put our house on the market, and moved to a tiny island nation in the South Pacific.  To say the pace of life here is different than it was in the U.S. would be a bit of an understatement.

I’m still practicing medicine, but my patient population is quite a bit different than it was back in the states.

My wife is still doing consulting work for her clients back in the states (via really really slow and unreliable internet), but has scaled this back dramatically in order to pursue one of her main dreams in life, which is to be a writer.

She’s just put her debut novel “Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen” up on Amazon via the Kindle Direct Publishing program, and although my opinion is obviously somewhat biased, I gotta say I think she’s written a great story.

She got the inspiration for this story while we were living in Germany and walking and riding our bikes through the old stomping grounds of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (i.e. the Grimm Brothers).  A lot of people don’t realize that the original Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales were not the sugary cartoons full of sunshine and lollipops that were presented to us as kids.  In reality, the original tales were full of horrible people and terrifying creatures doing unspeakable things.  In a word, they were scary.

This story of my wife’s sort of returns to those original fairy tale roots a bit, but at the same time she keeps it just tame enough to be safe for kids to read (or have it read to them) without having bad nightmares.

If this sounds like a story you’d like to check out, just hit the link at the upper right of this page.  Amazon Prime members can download it for free via the Kindle Library Lending Program.  For everyone else, it’s still a heck of a bargain!

So go check it out and if you like the story as much as I do, leave some positive reviews for it and tell your friends, etc.  My beautiful wife would like to do this writing thing full time and I’d love for her to be able to do so.




Well Damn!

Although Mrs. DrSam and I have set sail on the lifeboat and are no longer residing on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, we still consider it home and are saddened whenever we hear of folks having a hard time there.

First Hurricane, Katrina, then the BP Oil Spill, Now the Oyster Harvest is getting drowned by Mississippi River flooding in the Mid-West.

To all my former neighbors getting hurt by this, I wish you only the best.  Here’s hoping you guys catch a break soon.  You’re long overdue!



Onomatopoeia is when a word sounds like that which it describes.  Examples might be “Buzz” or “Rustle” or “Meow.”

I don’t know if there is a similar word which labels that which happens when a person describes something in such a way that his very description ends up being an example of that which he describes.  It’s sort of like circular logic in a way, I suppose.

Anyway, I observed this phenomenon in defintion number two for “Speak Truth To Power” over at  It made me laugh.  Those on the left may not find it so amusing.  Of course, power rarely does when having truth spoken to it. 🙂


Lifeboat Calling

Hi Everyone! I’m still alive.

I realize I haven’t posted anything in what seems like forever. I think the last time I posted, the Saints had just won the Superbowl and as expected Hell froze over.

As some who know me know, I’ve long used the analogy of building a lifeboat in case the metaphorical ship I’m a passenger on goes down. That “Ship” basically represents life in America, life as a primary care physician in America, etc.

Well, over the past couple years, construction on the “lifeboat” has been in full swing. Finally a small prototype was felt to be ready for a test run about a year ago, and it was finally “put in the water” back in February of this year.

So far, the test run is going pretty well, and life is good floating out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Those who know me well, will understand all of the cryptic talk in this post.

Those who don’t know me well really ought to get to know me. I’m a nice guy, and I just might share some “lifeboat” plans.



He, She, It. Which is it???

Story here


Smart bird!

Calico CatNot sure why exactly, but this story really made me smile

Lost Parrot Gives Vet His Name and Address

It made me think of an experience my wife and I had during my medical school days in Jackson, MS.

One day, my wife came home and discovered a calico cat on the front porch of our house. It was a really beautiful cat with an extremely sweet disposition.

She petted it a bit and then went inside, figuring it belonged to a neighbor and would go home soon.

Well, the cat continued to stick around….for a day or two, so we decided to see if we could track down it’s owners.

It had a collar with a rabies vaccination tag.

So my wife called the veterinary clinic that was listed on the tag to see if they could use the tag number to locate the owner.

The clinic was located in south Jackson in what is essentially a nearly exclusively African American neighborhood.

The receptionist answering the telephone took the tag number from my wife and put her on hold while she looked up the owners name in her records.

A few moments later she came back on the line and my wife heard her say “That’s not yo’ kitty.”

My wife responded “Oh, I know she’s not mine. That’s why I called you. I found her on my porch and I’m trying to locate her owner.”

My wife heard her start giggling and say “No, that’s not yo’ kitty.”

Realizing she was not being understood, my wife responded, speaking a little more slowly “I know it’s not my kitty. I’m trying to find out whose kitty it is.”

They went back and forth like this a few more times with the receptionist getting increasingly giggly and my wife getting increasingly frustrated.

Finally, the receptionist between giggles cleared things up by telling my wife, “You don’t understand. I’m trying to tell you the cat’s name. Her name is ‘Nacho-Kitty.’   If you bring her down to the clinic, we can contact the owner for you and return their cat to them.”

(Maybe you had to be there, but usually when my wife tells this story, people give her a funny look.

I think maybe in our overly-P.C. society they think she is being racist and making it up or something, but my wife is by far the least racist person I have ever known. I honestly know nobody with a more pure, kind, and accepting heart.

She’s just relaying the story as it happened.)

HT for the parrot story to BadHabit.
Picture credit.

Ask Dr. Sam

Mail BoxHi Folks,

Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I guess I’ve been a bit busier than usual recently.

Also, quite frankly, I just haven’t had much inspiration.

I did do a brief addition to the disease index with an article on Erectile Dysfunction, but otherwise, has been a pretty quiet place the past week or two.

I had hoped by now to have more articles in both the disease and medication indexes, but I think perhaps I’ve been a bit too ambitious here. Writing these articles is pretty labor and time consuming and there really is a virtually unending number of diseases and medications to cover.

All of this has caused me to do some thinking about the direction of this website.

One thing I find myself doing a lot of is answering people’s questions. This occurs in my clinic, on the internet, and just in my general life itself. People ask my advice and opinions on all sorts of things, not just their health care. In large part, this dynamic was some of my motivation for starting this website.

One of my main goals was to cut down my work over time. Rather than verbally answer the same questions over and over, I figured I could just create a website where I could put that information and then refer people there to find their answers.

In reality however, I find that this has increased my work. Now I am writing articles and still having people ask me the same questions. I also find myself receiving emails at my address from folks seeking my advice.

Until now, I’ve typically just been engaging in private correspondence with these folks by replying to their emails.

It dawned upon me however that some of these questions and queries for advice I receive might benefit others who read this blog so I thought I’d create a new blog category and occasionally post these questions and my responses to them as actual blog posts. I’ll call this category “Ask Dr. Sam”.

The beauty of this concept I think is that with the ability to leave comments on blog posts, other readers can also chime in with their input and advice.

The other thing that dawned upon me is the idea that perhaps other folks might like to try their hand at writing some articles for the disease and medication indexes.

I’ve already got some examples of the sort of format I’d like these articles to take. The goal with them is to put information in simple easy to understand words so that the average person can educate themselves a bit.

So what do you folks think?

Any of you interested in trying your hand at writing some articles?

Any of you interested in getting my thoughts on some particular subject?

If so, just shoot me an email at

If you submit an article or a question, I’ll take a look at it and if it seems like something appropriate for this website, I’ll publish it for you.

For the articles, if you wish to remain anonymous, then let me know. If however, you wish to receive credit for your work, I’ll be glad to put your name on it.

Anyway, I look forward to hearing from folks and seeing how this pans out.

Until then, cheers!


More On Spam (or should I say Moron Spam?)

Turkey SpamThis is a pretty new blog and I am a relatively very new blogger.

When I started this website and blog, one of my main goals was to simply expose myself to this cyber-world and get some experience and learn a bit about creating internet content.

Many/most of my blog posts have been excessively wordy, but I realize that this is part of my learning experience. All of them have been heartfelt. All of them represent countless hours of research and work.

As with most new blogs, my internet traffic has been less than stellar. This hasn’t really surprised me too much.

I read one statistic that stated that there are approximately 175,000 new blogs started every day. So, I know that no matter how great a writer I might be (which I know I am not), it’s going to take some time to get any sort of meaningful traffic.

So, with all that in mind, I must say that I was somewhat amused with my most recent post which I put up a little over a week ago. It was the one titled Fax Spam in which I briefly talked about an annoying though somewhat humorous fax I received advertising some sort of male sexual enhancement product being sold at the website

Of all my posts, this was the one I put the least effort or thought into. It was just a brief little blurb I typed out in about 10 minutes for fun.

Wouldn’t you know, it has garnered more traffic so far than all my other posts combined.

My traffic is still certainly pathetic, but this was a real head-shaker.

The most fun part of the whole thing was in the comments section of that post. I have learned that there are definitely some real loons out there in internet land.

Anyway, I thought I’d try a little experiment here and provide a small sample of the email spam I have received today just to see what happens.

If you are reading this, then thanks for your participation in this experiment in human behavior.

Here goes.

This first one is a spam email I received from “Anita Kaiser“. It’s subject line is titled BEST PRICE ! Buy Cialis, Viagra online NOW – and save 50% your money !!!

The body of the email reads as follows.

Hello !

Now you have the opportunity to save your time and money!

With US based online p,h,a,r,m,a,cy store you can buy any meds you

Forget about p/r/e/s/c/r/i/p/t/i/o/n/s and doctors. Now you save your

Forget about high prices at local stores.

M/e/n/’s H/e/a/l/t/h
A/n/t/i – D/e/p/r/e/s/s/a/n/t/s
P/a/i/n R/e/l/i/e/f
W/e/i/g/h/t l/o/s/s

Go visit:


Next in our experiment is the following spam email I received today from “Ernest Calloway“, though his return email address is

By the way Brian, if my publishing of your email address generates some spam for you, well you know, Karma.

Anyway, the title of Brian’s, er I mean “Ernest’s” email is “re: (no subject)

Ooh, now that’s original. Hey, do you think he was trying to fool me into thinking he was actually responding to an email I sent him? Oh Ernest, you’re so clever!

Anyway, the body of his email reads as follows.

Hey, want to get those bills under control for good, it’s easier than you think. We will help you.

Go here this is your solution.

Now, after “Ernest’s” scintillating email, I was really looking forward to the next one which looked suspiciously familiar. Its subject line was very similar to the one Ernest sent. It was simply titled “(no subject)” and was sent to me by Louise Hinson. Interestingly, like Ernest above, her email address,, didn’t really seem to match up with her name.

Oh and Sara, that Karma thing applies to you as well.

The body of her message is where she and Ernest bore the most striking resemblance however and it was as follows.

Hey, want to get those bills under control for good, it’s easier than you think. We will help you.

Go here this is your solution.

So these are three little slices of spam I’ve dined on today and thought I’d share them with you. I’m curious to see what sort of response they generate.

Let’s see!!



Fax Spam

Fax SpamWow.  This was a new one for me.

About 20 minutes ago, this came over the fax machine at my clinic.

I know the picture quality isn’t so good as I took the pic with my cell phone camera, so I’ll type what is written.

It is a fax from LBI, INC. of Toronto, Canada and was sent by “Tod

The subject is “Re: our last conversation

Under the comments section it says

“Sorry, my cell battery went on me.

The pills I use Work Better than Viagra & you don’t need a prescription because it’s herbal.  That alone saves you $100 for a doctor visit.

This website gives out FREE samples


I’t very, very effective, you’ll be happy you tried it.  The Free Sample offer can end anytime so I’d get it now while you can.”

For what it’s worth, I don’t know Tod, nor have I had any cell phone conversations with him.

At the risk of revealing too much information, I will also state here for the record, that I have no personal need for any product of this sort.  The plumbing is still fully functional so far!

I know a lot of folks routinely receive this sort of spam via email on a regular basis. This is the first time I’ve ever received any via the fax machine, however.

Since I am the only male working in my clinic, the girls all had a good laugh and told me that this fax was obviously for me.

I’d sure like to know who gave Tod our fax number.

You can’t really see it in the picture above, but Tod has wisely blocked his number from appearing on the fax copy.

Anyway, hope you all have a laugh at this, and I hope this isn’t the first in a new wave of spam.

On a positive note however, perhaps this is just the sort of thing to drag the medical profession kicking and screaming into the 21st century and convince us all to get rid of the fax machines.



Disease and Medication Index Added

Hi folks,

This is just a quick note to point out a couple new links in the sidebar on the right. These are the Disease Index and Medication Index.

Each of these will take you to a page which will (eventually) have alphabetically listed links to other pages which will have information about particular disease conditions and medications.

As of this writing, I have a sample page in each one.

For the Disease Index page, there is a link to a page describing Giardiasis. This is information that is a cut and paste that came from the Centers for Disease Control website.

For the Medication Index page, there is a link to a page describing Amoxicillin. This is info that is a cut and paste that came from wikipedia.

Continue reading ‘Disease and Medication Index Added’

Here’s the “One Semester of Spanish Love Song”

Okay, this post has absolutely nothing to do with medicine, the healthcare system, medical practice or anything of the sort.

In a sort of tangential, really-making-a-stretch way however, it does have to do with staying healthy.

There’s an old saying that says “Laughter is the best medicine.” There’s even a good bit of empirical evidence to back that up. Here’s just one example.

Continue reading ‘Here’s the “One Semester of Spanish Love Song”’

Future Plans for the Blog

I’m still in the total newbie stages of this blog thing.

Yesterday, I finally received my order from Amazon that included the book WordPress For Dummies.

I’m quite excited by this as I hope to be able to greatly expand my abilities with this software and make this blog much more useful and much more user friendly.

Right now, what I’m hoping to do is use the software for more than just blogging. I want to use it as a content management system.

I’m hoping to create indexed pages that aren’t blog entries but that are rather stand alone pages that provide information about specific subjects. Things like information about specific diseases, treatments, medications, etc. Continue reading ‘Future Plans for the Blog’

Welcome to

Hi everyone. As you may have guessed, I’m Dr. Sam. See my “about me” link for further details.

This is the first of what I hope will be many posts.

This is my first foray into the world of blogging, so please bear with me as I learn the ropes.

My obvious goal with this blog is to reach people.

I’m a practicing physician and find that on an almost daily basis I seem to have less and less time to really discuss issues with my patients. Issues ranging from their specific medical problems to problems in society as a whole.

There is an endless flood of bureaucratic hurdles that get between me and my patients.

This is not just true for me, but for pretty much all doctors these days.

I think this is disastrous.

My goal for this blog is to make up for this somewhat.

Continue reading ‘Welcome to’

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