While in the US Army from 2009-2013, I got to experience and listen to many stories from individuals that had received sub-par medical services at the hands of Army Docs. Anytime one of us had to visit a military facility, there was constant harassment of the atrocious things that we believed would happen to that poor bastard when he went in. And it was always funny as long as you weren’t that poor bastard. These jokes didn’t come from nowhere however, and the ranks were full of true stories that made our jokes hit just a little too close to home. Here are two of the best ones that I have heard. Government Healthcare at its finest. While the situations are undoubtedly serious, it wasn’t me in that chair. So you can laugh, cringe, cry, or sob at these, but I knew these guys. And I think it’s funny.
…Staff Sergeant Johnson, of the US Army, laid back onto the large chair in an Army dental office while the doctors and assistants bustled about. He watched them as they busily moved equipment into and out of the room in preparation for the procedure. An IV stand here, a tray of instruments there. Everything was sterile and ready to take care of the man. The nurse finally approached the waiting patient and prepared the gas that would render him unconscious for the duration of the dental work. The assistant asked if he was ready and lowered the mask onto his face.
“Just take a few deep breaths and we’ll see you in a little while Mr. Smith”
Mr. Smith? That’s not right. The Staff Sergeant was fading quickly and barely mumbled,
“I’m not Smith I’m Johnsonnn….”
And that was the last thing he remembered until he woke. Unfortunately for Mr. Smith, he was scheduled for a root canal. Luckily for our Sergeant Johnson, the assistant heard his last minute confession and searched his pockets to find his ID. After confirming they had the right guy and the right file in the same room, they performed the correct procedure. I think the story would have been more fun if he would have gotten the unnecessary root canal.
The next story is one that could have been much more serious than a sore jaw, but the remedy to the situation was much more personal.
…Sergeant Akers knee was swollen to twice the size it should have been before he decided that it was time to go in. His wife drove him to the clinic and he hobbled into the ER. It was a busy night and they waited… and waited… and waited. Finally he was taken back to be seen and a flustered doctor blew in to the room a few minutes later. After a quick examination and few questions, the doctor concluded that all was needed was for Akers to “man up” and put some ice on it. Not happy with the answer, but with no other recourse, he hobbled back home.
A few days later, his leg would no longer fit into his uniform and nothing was getting better. It was time to go back in and try again. This time it turned out much differently for him however. Akers had an infection in his knee and was only a day or two away from facing an almost certain amputation. Long story short, he had to have what is called a PICC line inserted. A PICC line is essentially an IV that can be used for an extended amount of time and goes almost directly to the heart. So Akers is getting this inserted under his left arm and they start pushing fluid into the PICC line. This immediately caused him to lose his vision and fade to unconsciousness rapidly. Not normal. When he came to a short time later, he was understandably leery of trying again. The doctor however didn’t feel the same way. He looked at Akers, shrugged, and said,
“Hell, lets try again. See what happens.”
Akers can be a little rowdy anyways and at this point was having no more. When the doctor reached for the plunger, Akers reached out and got a firm hold on his manhood. Looking him right in the eyes, he calmly told him,
“We’re not going to do anything that neither of us want, right?”
Now that he had his attention, they sat there awkwardly and waited for the commander of the hospital to pay the two new best friends a visit. Turns out he was allergic to the medication that was being given to him and the situation was just as serious as Akers believed. Good thing for Akers he wasn’t shy.
These stories are just two of many such experiences throughout our armed forces. However, don’t misinterpret these stories. The armed services are full of consummate professionals who are excellent healthcare providers. These stories are simply a product of the system that they are forced to operate in. Overworked and understaffed is many times the norm in these facilities. These stories are meant to be humorous, and not meant to demean those in the medical services. However, the stories are a product of Government Healthcare and should also serve as a warning to those that believe it would be a good idea.
This ranking is purely subjective based off of my own tastes buds and preferences. To determine this I visited many restaurants offering brunch in Missoula, MT. I took into account a few variables: price, menu, and service/wait time. As we all know, the person who invented Brunch deserves a gold medal, some mornings (or afternoons) it’s even a life saver.
This place has one of a kind atmosphere with it’s decor. You will feel as if you stepped back in time into a western saloon. The menu has much to offer, from broiled Rainbow Trout, to Chicken Fried Steak, to plain cold cereal. If you are a fan of omelettes then this is your place! They have up to 15 omelette varieties to choose from. Optimal dining times would be during work week, as there is a wait usually on weekend mornings.
Just the name itself says “cozy” and that is what Hob Nob is. This breakfast and lunch spot is the perfect stop before the Missoula Farmers’ Market or riding your bike to campus. Brunch is now complete with bakery items baked in-house, and ever changing breakfast and lunch specials. A well kept secret of the Hip Strip is the fantastic burgers Hob Nob offers as a lunchtime special in summertime.
Of course Paul’s kills it with the pancakes, but the Parlor’s menu actually offers much more. From BLTs and Polish Hot Dogs to Sirloin Steaks and seafood, Paul’s has something for the group that just can’t decide! For the breakfast lovers at heart, Paul’s offers many variations to their breakfast combos to ensure no classic (or new!) favorite pancake flavors or sides are left out.
A classic Missoulian favorite for Sunday brunch with your friends. Complete with tasty Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas, the deck at The Old Post is the best way to enjoy your eggs. The French Bread in the “Stuffed French Bread” is made from handmade brioche bread, topping scrambled eggs and bacon. For those who can’t say no to a good breakfast sandwich, give the J-Mac a try. It’s worth the extra charge to get your egg (cooked over-hard) and sausage on a bagel instead of the English Muffin, if that’s what you prefer. Something unique about The Old Post is they serve a Southern favorite here, in Missoula, MT! Get it as a side with your next authentic scramble.
The Catalyst is a Missoula favorite. Throughout nearly all hours of service, it’s likely there will be a wait. However the friendly wait staff and cozy basement with several couches and chairs, and a selection of current magazines make this wait tolerable. The many different sandwiches and soup specials make The Catalyst is a hot spot for lunch, but brunch is what keeps you coming back. Whether it’s an omelette, breakfast sandwich, or huevos rancheros, a recommended favorite side dish is the potato casserole, served in its own pastry dish. For those who can take the heat, try the Green Chili version of the potato casserole.
I am all for State’s Rights and the right each state has to choose a process in which the elections are conducted. But for the efficiency of the electoral process, it should be simplified and semi-standardized throughout. As an example, the Iowa caucuses were a nightmare this year. Several of the districts came down to a coin flip. Which of course, begs the question: is it an accurate representation of populous? Maine and Nebraska seem to have a comprehensive system where each congressional district gives the represented elector to the winner and then the spare two go toward the overall statewide winner. It gives each citizen a greater impact on where the vote goes.
I hate the way the primary debates are shaped and executed. Hate. Hate. Hate. For a year and a half we listen to a handful of grown people bash each other on live television and attack after attack on what the other candidates have done wrong. Especially this past election cycle with the GOP debates having shouting matches between the candidates and even with the moderators. During the MSNBC GOP debate, there were several moments when arguments got so off topic because the far left moderators weren’t asking informative questions and the far right candidates felt attacked by accusations and leading questions. As a voter who still isn’t sure about the candidate I would prefer to have in office, the debates don’t do shit for me. They need to be controlled better and limited to answering questions about policy not defending someone’s attack. Also, the moderators need to be impartial and not ask leading questions to get a rise out of a candidate and ask informed questions, so that an (admittedly ignorant) voter like me can have a chance of learning what platforms these candidates stand for.
Primary Debates (Again).
I said I hate the debate system. I meant it. I’m also a person who doesn’t necessarily identify with a particular political party, but rather finding a leader with ideas and policies I support. So I would want to see cross party debates in the primaries so they can be measured up all at once, pick the top 4-5 candidates from each party and pit them against each other in open debate and discussion. It would be a good place for a highly undecided voter to see the candidates’ platforms. It’s also extremely unappealing to listen for a year about how shitty each of the candidates are, and then one by one, as they drop out of the race all of a sudden they encourage supporters to support the leader two months ago they were calling incompetent and unqualified. The flip flopping of support is very annoying and seems like they are either lying now about supporting the frontrunner, or they lied earlier about why the frontrunner was a schmuck.
Electoral College Donald Trump. Trump. Marco Rubio. Rubio. Ben Carson.
I am in the boat that my vote doesn’t count (although I absolutely do vote so I can legitimately reserve my right to complain). However, it is hard to say that my vote actually means something when the past two presidential elections have been called by the time my state’s election is even over. A nation-wide popular vote would make every single vote count more since my part of three EC votes doesn’t even affect the outcome of the race.
Right off the bat you may be wondering, “Why would I ever want to create a blog or website?” to which my response would be, “Because you can monetize it!” Setting up a website is more simply done than you may think. It doesn’t take years locked in a dark basement learning how to write code to produce something you can be proud of (I am using WordPress, which is fairly simple and includes tons of useful tools). We all have our own hobbies and interests that we engage in each day, why not try to make a little cash? You may be an artist, a musician, athlete, poet, video gamer; whatever your hobby may be, there is a community of individuals who share that passion. Starting your own website is a great way to build traction within a community and develop awareness of what you do. By creating a blog, and fine tuning it through social media, you will learn more about what you love, you will meet people who share your interest, and you might be surprised to find that you truly enjoy it. Hanging your thoughts out for the world to see can be a little uncomfortable at first, but realizing that people are actually listening is a satisfying reward. Following are a few website creation and sharing tips that I hope can get the creative ball rolling.
Do Your Research, Create Content People Want
Diving in and immediately promoting your interests, or business, may seem like a good first step. However, many of us are overwhelmed and turned off by another’s attempt to sell us something. Your website shouldn’t focus solely on you. Your content should be developed around what potential users find interesting; can you spot any trends? If so, take advantage of trends and catch a wave to success. Do research on your subject, become a knowledgable voice in your field.
Another effective way to position yourself amongst the current big dogs is to watch them. What are their goals, who are they reaching out to, what are their strengths, are they failing to meet a market need on which you can capitalize? By developing a well-rounded understanding of what potential viewers like, or don’t like, you can tailor your content to cater to those needs.
When creating a blog it is important to remember that everything you share doesn’t have to be in print. If you have art you would like to share, heard a great new song (maybe you made one!), or saw a funny video, chances are that others exist in this world who will also find similar content interesting. Don’t be afraid to speak to your audience with passion. You have got to do something to break through the noise of a competitive market. When planning to speak to a group it is important to ask, “Why should they listen?” You have valuable things to say, but so do a million others. Pair that with peoples’ limited time, and it becomes clear that being unique is very important when getting someone to take time away from their day to pay attention. Understand your fans so you can produce something that matters. Be inspirational, be different, and aspire to talk to your audience in a way that is not only interesting, but also valuable enough to share.
Social Media Sharing Can Drive Magical Results
Social media sites are great platforms for sharing with those who are interested in what you do. People today spend a shocking amount of time on their mobile devices, computers, and social media sites. If you are dedicated to providing entertaining content, technology of today allows us to speak to millions at the touch of a button. That is POWERFUL. However, it will not always be easy and you may experience some failures (but that is ok, because they can be fixed). You may be surprised that your sweet new website fits seamlessly into this advantageous ecosystem designed for sharing. Social media is the best way for you to begin developing awareness of your message. Again, messages to your social media community should not be self-promotions. Do not become another advertisement that is ignored by your followers. Trolling for attention is not attractive either, so be mindful of their needs. Plug in to the topics that they are already interested in. Become content that users are excited to see because it provides them value.
Think of your website/blog as the center of a bike wheel. Social media are the spokes of your wheel. Create social media accounts for your blog, and promote information that is useful to your audience. Link your posts back to your site, and on your site provide links back to your social media. Each piece exists to support the other; and without one, the other loses its potential. Each of these pieces exist as a contribution to a bigger picture, your real life and business. You don’t always need to create all the content you promote. You have friends, and family, who are doing cool things. There are other individuals in your field who are setting trends and influencing change. Share what others’ accomplishments and explain why you think it is cool or relevant. Promoting others generates interest surrounding the topic, which is good for you and good for others. Do not be afraid of elevating the field, because in the process you will elevate yourself. More people genuinely interested in a topic also means more potential ears for you to attract.
Another great feature to social media, and website driven sharing? It is measurable. There is a long list of tools that can be used to measure how interested a community is in your cause. Google and FaceBook both provide software programs that will help you paint a clear picture of the way people consume your content. You can see whether or not people interact with your posts, how long to they spend on your site, where do users typically access your content? These are just the tip of the iceberg of web traffic measurables. Measuring your users interest may seem tedious, and at times painful, but allows for us to make our messages better. Did your last blog post flop? Are visitors rarely visiting more than one page on your site? You can either guess-and-check, say a prayer and hope it fixes itself. Or you, can use simple analytic tools to do better next time. Create your site with an online platform like WordPress, Foursquare, or Wix, and they will likely have plugins that allow you to measure and optimize content. Google has powerful tools for measuring online behavior. Find groups and forums that are have a shared interested in your topic, share your content with them, and use tools to measure who is responding. Provide more content to those who seem inspired. Alter messages so that they aren’t landing on deaf ears. It is smart to deploy two strategies with the same goal, and compare the two. What worked? What didn’t? You can start to play a game of leap-frog toward improvement.
Creating Interest Takes Time, Don’t Get Discouraged
Chances are unlikely that you will create a good blog, link it to your social media, go to bed, and wake up to the new FaceBook. Your content may be spectacular, your messages on point, and you may truly be making an impact on those who are listening; but considerable growth will take time. Hopefully you have chosen to create around something you find enjoyable, because success will require a dedicated involvement. Your content must be consistent; both in what it applies to and your timeliness. If you have begun to generate some interest, you better begin to generate more content! This is where all the available measurement tools come into play. Pay attention to trends, to your audience, and to your instincts. Encourage people to share by creating a community, and providing that community with something they enjoy. At first it may seem daunting, but as the pieces begin to fall into place it becomes pretty cool. You just mind find that in the process of providing others with something they enjoy, you can stumble upon something new and surprising that you enjoy. When you find it, pursue it. Don’t give up, just get better.
If you are interested in more content regarding individual growth, and business development, please check out my blog @ Protect Our Roots
The modern world of dating is a god damn war zone. It’s hard enough to meet a decent person in real life, but trying to meet someone online is a whole different realm of chaos. For those of you that don’t know, Tinder is a mobile dating app that allows losers like myself to “swipe” yes or no on other, equally as pathetic people. If we both swipe right, it’s a “match” and the floodgates of communication open. Basically, this app allows you to waste your time sifting through profiles, hoping to stumble across someone who seems relatively normal and is half way decent looking.
When I moved to Portland this summer, I thought Tinder would be a great way to put myself out there. I had just gotten out of a relationship and it seemed like a fun, easy way to meet new people. Boy, did I have no idea what I was in for. Of course I always took the proper precautions when I went out (talking with them extensively beforehand, meeting first in public, etc.). but nothing could have prepared me this. After much thought and deliberation, I give you seven very real accounts of the worst dates I’ve ever been on, no thanks to Tinder.
#7. The Guy Who Was Actually Nineteen
In my defense, he definitely seemed to be a few years older. He was smooth, mature, intelligent, and seemed to have a lot going for him. That is… until he started talking about his football team. I asked him if he played for a college, and he got red in the face and quickly changed the subject. It was only after a few minutes of prying that he finally blurted out that he was a senior. In high school. As I got up to leave he tried to justify that he “only told me he was 22 because he thought I would never go out with someone who was younger on my own accord.” You were correct, sir.
#6. The Guy Who Was 2 Hood 4 Me
When I was greeted with, “Aye! Wass good lil mama!?” I immediately realized that I’d made a grave mistake. I smiled back and weakly replied that I was fine, thank you. We had met up for ice cream at Salt N Straw on NW 23rd Ave in Portland, and there was a long line. The next forty-five minutes were agonizing as the sun beat down on my forehead and I internally cringed at almost everything he did and said. His poor grammar, the lack of manners, the fact that there were small children scattered all around and he cursed every other word. As we moved further up the line, he told me about his life growing up in the projects (his language, not mine) and how he aspired to “make enough dollas to neva eva go back.” I, too, aspire to neva eva go back.
#5. The Guy Who Photoshopped His Profile Pictures
I should have really looked into this one more before I agreed to meeting up. First of all, his name was Leonardo, so that’s problem number one. Second, he talked about his looks a lot (like, a lot) which should have been a red flag that there was something wrong. He told me all about how tall he was, and how much he weighed, etc. but I thought nothing of it, because they seemed to be normal measurements and I am not too concerned with that in the first place. What I am concerned with is when someone extensively photo shops their own pictures in order to make themselves look taller and not morbidly obese. Well guess what. Leo was approximately 5’6” and at LEAST 200 lbs. He even wore those god awful tight skater pants that exposed just how out of shape he was. I was really irritated that he had lied about this, but then felt bad and thought maybe he could be a nice guy who just really needed a date. Nope. His personality was just as awful as his photo edits. I’m not proud of the fact that I sat through four beers with Leonardo because he was buying, or that I agreed to go to a future Trailblazers game that I knew I’d never attend, but hey. At least I was honest about who I was.
#4. The Guy Who Only Talked About Work
First of all, I have to say that I truly appreciate when people are passionate about what they do. As a graduating senior this may, I hope to find a job that I love and want to share with others. But I could never live my work like this guy does. Now, I thought we would get along great because we were both Greeks and both business students. I am studying marketing, he went into sales. I don’t even remember what the hell it was that he sold, although I should remember. I should actually be an expert. Why? Because he spent the better part of two hours explaining the logistics of the technology behind it. And that is what we talked about. The entire time. He then begged me to come out with him for a night of dancing, and I should have stopped while I was ahead. But he was cute, and I thought maybe I could save the date. So while we were out, he got a phone call from one of his “best clients”, aka some rich old man who frequently bought speakers for his fleet of Malibu boats. My date then hung up the phone and exclaimed, “I’m so glad you’re dressed up! Steve is coming out with us tonight! I need you to impress him!” Um, what? The rest of my evening was spent with my date and a sixty something year old man getting black out drunk downtown and talking about boats accompanied by a slew of weird comments about my dress. I called an Uber home and never looked back.
#3.The Guy Who Only Talked About His Mom
Again, I think it’s great when a man is family-oriented. It tends to be attractive when a guy has a great relationship with his mother. But everything is only good in moderation. It is difficult to explain the insanely creepy obsession this guy had with his mom. To say she was his best friend would be a gross understatement. They got coffee together multiple times a week. She came over to his house to cook for him, do his laundry, bring his groceries etc. (by the way, how dependent CAN YOU STILL BE at 24 years old?). In short, he spent our entire date gushing about how wonderful his mother was. And when he asked me things about myself, he’d say things like “oh! My mom does that too! You have so much in common.” Please, no. It was such a bizarre experience. Like, I get it. I love my mom too. But you need to make some other friends. By the end of the date I felt like I knew his mother way more than I knew him. Oh and by the way she didn’t even sound that great. But I didn’t have the heart to tell him that.
#2. The Bastard Who Stole My Favorite Book
Oh, Michael. I really thought we had something special. We had such a grand time gallivanting through parks, exploring old dive bars and bonding over the fact that we both know an absurd amount about Greek Mythology. Yes, Michael was excellent. Until one weekend when he had to travel to California for work. I suggested he borrow my favorite book, The Alchemist, because I thought he would enjoy it on his flight. Well, I drove him to the airport and waved goodbye. And that was the last time I saw Michael. Weeks went by and I became incredibly offended. Not because I was distraught over his absence but because I wanted my god damn book back. It’s about self-discovery for crying out loud. Anyways, I never heard from him again, but a few weeks later connected that his ex-girlfriend lives in the part of California he was visiting. My theory is that she was so overwhelmed with his new view of life (that he clearly derived from MY book) that she took his lame ass back.
By the way, if you haven’t read much Paulo Coelho, 10/10 would recommend.
#1. The Guy With The Sith Lord Tattoo
There are some very strange people in this world, my friends. And the terrifying thing is that more often than not, they disguise themselves as cute quirky nerds and then lay wait for you in places like Powell’s Bookstore. I’m not usually into the sci-fi scene, but this guy was a very rare breed of cat and somehow made it all work. We hit it off surprisingly well, and spent the whole afternoon together walking around downtown and chatting. During this conversation we somehow got on the subject of our mutual love of Star Wars (by somehow I mean I guessed that he liked it and I slyly brought it up because my flirt game is just that strong) and we delved into a long discussion over the classics. During this time he made an offhanded joke about how he was a Sith Lord, which I thought nothing of at the time. He added me on snapchat a few minutes after we left, which I thought was a bit over eager but nothing that strange. Then I saw his username. Sithlord199-. Then he sent me a snapchat: “want to see my tattoo?” This was strange, since it was completely out of the blue and we had just got done hanging out less than an hour ago. I should have said no. I should have just said no. IF ANYONE EVER ASKS YOU IF YOU WANT TO SEE THEIR TATTOO, JUST SAY NO.
So I said sure, and the picture I received is still burned into my frontal cortex to this day.
Image a giant tattoo that covers someones entire chest and stomach.
Now imagine the tattoo is of Darth Mauls face.
I’m not kidding. It covered his entire body. The worst part is that he then went on to explain to me just how much he personally identified as a Sith Lord. As in, he psychotically associated himself with the dark ways of the force and was completely freaking nuts. He proceeded to go 0-100 and let out all the crazy, all at once. I think the reason it was so traumatizing was because we had just spent an entire day together and he had totally hidden this side of him. Needless to say, this was not exactly what I had in mind when I hoped to meet someone who shared my love of Star Wars. To this day I still don’t understand why he felt the need to share his terrifying chest tattoo with me, because it was something straight out of the nightmare zone. In fact, after I blocked his phone number I kind of just went home and crawled underneath my covers.
Although I’ve been on some of the worst dates of my life because of Tinder, I’ve also met some great guys. I certainly have a love/hate relationship with this app, and let’s be honest I’m probably going to continue using it. In fact, I actually have a date set up for later this week. Let’s call him The Guy Who Might Be As Sassy As I Am.
Details to come soon! In the mean time, happy swiping!
If you’ve had a funny dating experience, from Tinder or just in general, please leave a comment below and tell me about it!