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Today in My History

2000: It's Raining Dogs
2001:  Sex and the City
2002:  The Walls are Closing In
2003:  Can't We All Just Get Along?
2004:  Cycles
Good News and Better News
2006:  She Ain't What She Used to Be
2007: Speaking in Tongues
2008:  Lunch with Oprah

American Buffalo

Books Read in 2009
Updated: 4/4
"Sundays at Tiffany's" 

Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
(created 2/12/09)

Home Remedies


Smash Cake from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.

and on You Tube

Look at these videos!
Ned's Birthday Video for Bri
Dog in Blue Sweater
What a Wonderful World
Extreme Shepherding
Amazing Magic Trick
Ode to Joy

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Bri's 1st Birthday

Mirror Site, for RSS feed:
Airy Persiflage

Bev's 65 x 365

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Premio Dardos Award


11 April 2009

Nurse Kathy and I were getting my mother off of the examining chair this afternoon when my cell phone rang.  I knew it was Steve because his ring tone is himself singing "This is my voice...this is my voice..."   (I don't know if he knows that.)

I didn't bother to talk to him.  I just grabbed the phone, told him that we were getting my mother ready to leave the doctor's office and that I could call him back.

We wended our way through the labyrinth that is Kaiser Terra Linda and out to the parking lot and before I got in the car I returned Steve's call.

"Remember that guy on YouTube named 'Dougri'?" he asked.  Then he delivered the news that Doug had died.  When Denver Doug died a year or so ago, it was very sad, but not unexpected.  But Doug Blanchard was my age.   Surely people my age don't die suddenly.

I met "Dougri" (the name was for Doug - Rhode Island) when I started posting lots of videos on YouTube.  Doug wasn't from the hippie era, but farther back, from the Beatnik era. He loved Jack Kerouac and he was fond of telling me that my videos were "kick-ass."  We had some close interactions for several months as he kept talking about the studio that he was going to set up and the videos that he was going to post. 

He was the first person I ever had a video conference with when I got my webcam set up.

He loved a bargain and shopped eBay and the Dollar Store.   He once sent me a cheap video camera he found cheap on eBay that he thought I could use because it would fit in my pocket and it would be easy for me to take everywhere.  He found himself a toy video camera by Hasbro, I believe, that was designed for kids, but produced passable (if not exactly great) videos.  How proud he was of that camera!  He liked getting on his electric scooter and taking pictures of Providence for all of his viewers.

By the time he actually did what he'd been talking about for a year or so, setting up his home office so that he could start making regular movies, we kind of weren't communicating as much any more and since his "Coffee with Dougri" started being posted daily, he quickly developed a following.    Every once in awhile he'd send me the link to a particular video he thought I would like.  Sometimes I watched them, sometimes I didn't.

This was the last one he sent me a link to, on March 13.

He had just gone for radiation treatment and he sounded very upbeat.   He says at the end that no matter what happens, he's at peace.  Fourteen days later he posted his last video when his voice was so raspy that he made a silent video instead.  I'm not sure which day he died, but must have been not long after that.  

He was a unique, generous person, who enjoyed sharing with his friends.  I'm glad I had the chance to know him.  Wherever you are, Doug, I hope you're having a kick-ass eternity!

There was another R.I.P. today, but a happier one.  We have retired "Dracula," my mother's vacuum pump. 

She's really had a difficult couple of days and was in a lot of pain last night, unable to get to sleep until nearly 6 a.m.  She was really looking forward to her meeting with Nurse Kathy.  Kathy examined the wound and said that she had "some good news, and some bad news."  The good news was that there were signs of healing; the bad news was that there was some infection.  She attributed it to the fact that Momma had to go an extra two days before having her wound dressing changed (Kathy had been sick), and she thinks that the tubing from Dracula was rubbing against the leg and causing irritation.

So she cleaned everything, re-dressed the wound and told Momma to take Dracula home and she would put out the order for someone to come and pick it up.   My mother was still having some pain, but the smile on her face was about 2 miles wide.  Even though she only had the vacuum pump for a week, she detested it and hated the idea of having to wear it one. more. day.

We went to the store after the doctor's office and then I dropped her off at home, packed my stuff in her car, and got on the road.  Traffic was horrible and I went a very long distance at 10 mph.  But I finally got home and had an enthusiastic greeting from residents, 2- and 4-legged.

I'm home now until Sunday, when I go back to San Rafael for Easter, but I'm not staying the night.  Peach and Bob will be there next week, so she has another driver for her appointments with Kathy next week.


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I think they missed me...
(William is somewhere under Princess's paw, right under Lester's ear.


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MILES TO NOWHERE:  104 miles

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