Monthly Archives: December 2016

Certified and Cast Upon the Archipelago

[I just realized the title for this post makes no sense. Upon the Archipelago? It is not a singularity. Can you be “upon an archipelago?” You can be upon one of its islands, but you can never be upon ‘it’ in the singular. Cast Amongst the Archipelago? No, that doesn’t work either. Into? That would be closer. Just as you are not “upon” America or Europe (unless you are talking specifically of being on its soil) but are in America or Europe.

Thus, you can be cast amongst the islands of the archipelago as you are cast amongst the states that make up America. But you would be cast into the noun or proper name that stands for its constituents.]

 

I got my CPC-A certification certificate (diploma certificate? sounds fancier) in the mail today. So I am technically qualified to work in the field. Seeing postings on the AAPC website of people frantically posting about having the same qualifications as I and getting nowhere, leaves me no less anxious.

Now all I got to do is find some work. That will be the hard part. From what I have heard, it can be the very hard part.

I did, however, take the exam a month after graduating my course and I have absolutely no medical experience. 50 – 60% (or so a variety of sources tell me) fail this test on the first attempt. And that includes people with years of experience in the field of coding and billing.

I hope that counts for something.

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I started this most interesting tale Sunday night. As usual, I am at a lost to explain this work thus far. It may be far too early to grasp what is going on. So far we have had introductions to several characters, some conversations, and a legendary drinking contest (you never enter a drinking contest cold, mate!)

As usual the prose is a delight in itself, and Lafferty is pulling no punches in toying with etymologies. It is a little more restrained (mature?) than the unbridled flair of other works; earlier or contemporary with the Argo series.

I am hoping I will not be too distracted with other things (like the continued study my new “career” demands) to pay this the attention it deserves. Lafferty is subtly metaphysical writer. You may think you are reading a simple paragraph describing a man’s walk to the market, but you can actually be knee-deep in the ontological speculation.

Also present here as elsewhere in his work is tiny excursions of historical fact (usually delivered as quips from a character) that you wouldn’t ever think to look up or even question.

For instance early on a character over coffee remarks how the beverage was Christianized under Clement VIII. I have consumed copious amounts of the beverage in my lifetime. I even grind my own extra dark roast beans and brew in a press – I even make cold brew coffee (yummy!).

But it never occured to me to look up a single historical fact about it. It was simply something existing in the constellation of the plenum. But the sentence was so off the wall. How do you Christianize a drink? And before I knew it I was again, thanks to Lafferty, acquiring another piece of arcana.

Is it arcana?

I find the value of knowledge to be a little scrambled today. If it has no direct, physical application, or monetary value – why bother? Or without the flair of shock and awe. After all, no one would actually watch The Mythbusters if they were really doing science. They do the scientific method in spirit, but science (most science) isn’t about blowing stuff up. Like every job, there is a lot of BORING you do not see.

So arcana. Is it?

 

 

 

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We Now (Slowly) Return You to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Having finally finished school and acquired my certification, I am eager to get back a few thing things I have been putting off. Probably most pressing is getting into R.A. Lafferty’s Argo cycle:

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[Note: this is not a pick of my Argo collection, but a pic I lifted off of the esteemed Mr. Daniel Petersen from his site, The Ants of God Are Queer Fish.

I hope he does not mind.

My collection is only partly hardcopy. Tales of Midnight and Argo I only own digitally, the rest I own hardcopy.Hard to get all of them in a line up when they are not simultaneously on the same plane.]

Anyway, I am eager to get this series read because I do not know how long these digital copies will be functional on what machine for how long. I could get an update on my ePub reader tomorrow that makes the two books incompatible with the new software.

That, and I am eager to take the trip!

The next back burnered project was this:

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I had only reached (in the Adult Formation course I was taking) Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple before I had to put it on hold for the demands of school. It remains to be seen whether my internship and two jobs (hopefully a job in the medical field, no?) make this a project taken on even further in the future.

At the end of this course you get a certificate and I think I would be prouder of this one than any other. They also added a level two which is more generally theological/philosophical. The course curriculum for level 1 is here.

And, last but certainly not least, my writing. This has suffered a big-gloved, bitch-slap, crotch grab since January 2015. But I have been building back my finger muscle and coordination on my new typewriter for the last month. And when the job hunt is over, I am going to come on a swinging.

Having been with the typewriter for a month I can say it was no nostalgia that brought me back. I love the fact of having a first draft (alright I did a little writing…) that is as physically unique as the words themselves (as unique as I can make them anyway…). And if you look at the words on the paper, they are unique. No two people, except for perhaps two perfect secretaries from the 50’s typing at 90 words a minute without error, would type the same thing the same way. And since it is not diction, the two pages would not be the same anyway even if the words happened, by miracle, to be.

 


Death and Life in the Tenth Century

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The 900’s what an obscure century! But what an interesting one! I’ve been slowly going through this over the last month or two in between coding mayhem. You have Charles the Fat, the Ottos, the East versus the West, Church versus King/Emperor, dastardly deeds both secular and religious. It includes the arts and drama of the time, the learning, the wars and conflicts.

Unfortunately, having started this I realize my knowledge of the century preceding the 10th is pretty bad as well. I think 600AD to 1100AD is pretty dark for most people. But, I don’t think it is so dark as under appreciated.

Good book. I just wished they had the energy to think up more than 4 names per sex – Charles, Charles, Charles, Otto, Otto, Otto, Matilda, Matilda, Matilda… in a few years the English will introduce Edward, Edward, Edward!


I’m Back in… Flannel! Not Wearing Black at the Moment…

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Yep, I got myself this for finishing school and slam dunking my final exam. Still waiting on grade results for certification exam I took last Saturday (which is different than the school final).

This is the tool I am going to write on. I confess. I have sorely missed the typewriter since it was pushed out by the word processor some 20 to 25 years ago. I don’t like the writing process on the computer. It is a step removed from physical form. And this is even besides the fact that the computer is (especially now) nothing other than a giant distracting machine. The story itself lacks physical form while it exists in only my head, and when I thwack it out on a computer keyboard it still feels removed. I like the hammering from the muse down to my fingers forged, physical, onto the paper -whack! whack! whack!

I see it take physical form before me, from spirit to matter one stroke at a time. That, and I have always hated editing in a word processor. It is a slow, cumbersome affair. Just the act of selecting text is an extra inconvenience. There is no selecting text on a typewriter, there is the slash. The strikethrough. And replace features never impressed me. If I want to change the name of a character, I see no great advantage in being able to replace that character’s name in an instance throughout the manuscript. I edit line by line, word for word. I do not hit spell check and leave it at that (which I know is the universal way it is done now with embarrassing results).

Also, it in no way is an extra step in the writing process for me. I always printed out my work for hardcopy editing anyway.

However, now it will exist in no form in a computer when I am done editing so that is an extra step. I have thought of the scanning method with OCR, and I have experimented with it. However, it seems to be a little complicated. I think I will try the Dragon-speak oral method. I think this has several advantages. One is that I will be able to hear how my words flow in spoken form, especially when it comes to dialogue.

At the moment, since I have only just finished my education (the primary part anyway) I have been practicing retraining my fingers for the work of manual typewriting. Anyone younger than I probably hasn’t had the experience of manual typewriting. I takes practice, finger strength and coordination. How you press a key, and a succession of keys, determines how it will appear on the paper – or if it will appear on the paper, or if you’ll simply jam up your keys.

There is an authentic pleasure to writing this way that I never got on the computer. A sense of immediate gratification, if that is the way to explain it.

The picture is a picture of the actual typewriter that I purchased. It is a Royal Epoch, which is one of the few manual typewriters currently being manufactured. Royal is the brand I used back in the day which looked like this:

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It is the basic full metal model that Paul Sheldon brained Annie Wilkes over the head with in Stephen King’s Misery.

When I become a homeowner, I will be collecting these machines wherever I find them and collecting them. Using some, restoring others.

Hey, if I ever become a successful enough author, I will just submit my work on typewritten pages. I am sure if Stephen King started submitting his work on such a machine, they would have to suck it up!