Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Holidays

Second weekend in December, we took the Amtrak train down to Florida for the holidays in coach style. It was the auto train and the first time we tried it. I must say it was a very pleasant experience as compared to driving all the way down. We relaxed in the comfortable seats, and were able to read, nap, and walk around with no problem at all.

The staff were pleasant, the meal in the dining car was plentiful and aesthetically appealing (chicken, rice, vegetable plus cheesecake and coffee). The restrooms were easily accessible and everyone around us was quiet (except for an older man up ahead who snored through the night!).

The only glitch to this trip was in the middle of the night, when the train stopped suddenly somewhere in South Carolina. I woke up, smelling rubber burning and looked out the window into the pitch black night. I immediately sensed something was not right when we saw the red flashing of police cars. I asked one of the staff what had happened and they said that someone's car was on the track and the train tried stopping in time. It was a very sobering moment for all of us, for we heard that there were other people in the car with this person and they tried to get him out, but he stayed in it. He did it on purpose. I prayed very hard for that person's soul. One can not and should not solve life's problems, which tend to be temporary, with permanent solutions like death. It just doesn't work that way. It is a very selfish solution - for each person has many loved ones in their circle, and when they choose to leave, just think about the anguish, guilt, and terrible sadness that they leave behind. How inconsiderate and foolish!

God gave us a brain, to solve and cope with life's problems. It took several days for me to get over that dreadful, negative feeling this event evoked in me.

Once in Florida, I sensed a refreshing feeling. We drove to the Tampa Bay area to visit family under cloudy weather but the next day it was fair. I immediately noticed how nice the weather was after that. It tended to be in the 70s, sunny and breezy. Also, the days were longer than up north. Instead of the sun setting around 5 pm, it was setting closer to 6:00 pm! So longer days and more sunshine were very much appreciated.

We visited the Greek church in Tarpon Springs the day before Christmas. St. Nicholas is nestled in the heart of Tarpon Springs and is quite a beautiful and spiritual experience being inside this church. I felt protected and very much at peace while the liturgy took place. The incense in the air, the chanter droning in the background, and the steady movements of the priest's robed body lulled me into a meditative state of being. In front of us stood a little old lady in the pew. She looked pious and wore a little scarf. Suddenly I heard the ringing of a cell phone and to my surprise, she reached down into her purse, gave an exclamation, and turned it off. Even little, old Greek ladies have cell phones these days! I smiled at the scene.

Our Christmas was enjoyable as we spent it with family and friends. Remember, it is the spirit of Christ's birth that sustains our faith and not how many gifts we give or receive. The greatest gift of all is Christ himself.

May you have a blessed and safe New Year 2012! Chronia Polla kai Eutichismenos o Kainourios Chronos!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Radiation Rises When it Rains

Here are my Readings from the Inspector+ Radiation Detector in our Hagerstown home in Maryland, using the software from Mineralab - where I can monitor readings on a minute by minute basis. I have two datasets. The first Table 1 shows a background reading on a sunny day. The average count is 28-30 cpm. Table 2 shows a higher reading with the average count up to 38cpm! The columns show the date, time, Count (CPM), Total Counts (CPM), and Average Counts (CPM).

I put the alert on 50 CPM, so if a reading is 50 CPM or over, the software will alert me. Notice how many readings on the rainy day showed over 50cpm! I presume the rise in levels is due to gamma radiation coming in from the outside rain. I plan to do a reading outside another day.
When I tried downloading the data, there were formatting issues and the numbers were scrunched but I tried to move the first few rows over so you can see the format.

Table 1
BACKGROUND READING:

Person Monitoring: Patty A.
Location: Inside home, Hagerstown, MD
Altitude:
Station Name: N/A
Geiger Counter Model: Inspector+
Other Criteria: Sunny Day, Readings in CPM

Minute Date Time Count(CPM) Total(CPM) Average
1 12/2/11 04:32 PM 29 29 29
2 12/2/11 04:33 PM 30 59 29
3 12/2/11 04:34 PM 23 82 27
4 12/2/11 04:35 PM 36 118 29
5 12/2/11 04:36 PM 34 152 30
6 12/2/11 04:37 PM 27 179 29
7 12/2/11 04:38 PM 28 207 29
8 12/2/11 04:39 PM 23 230 28
9 12/2/11 04:40 PM 30 260 28
10 12/2/11 04:41 PM 22 282 28
11 12/2/11 04:42 PM 28 310 28
12 12/2/11 04:43 PM 37 347 28
13 12/2/11 04:44 PM 27 374 28
14 12/2/11 04:45 PM 32 406 29
15 12/2/11 04:46 PM 28 434 28
16 12/2/11 04:47 PM 32 466 29
17 12/2/11 04:48 PM 31 497 29
18 12/2/11 04:49 PM 33 530 29
19 12/2/11 04:50 PM 26 556 29
20 12/2/11 04:51 PM 29 585 29
21 12/2/11 04:52 PM 30 615 29
22 12/2/11 04:53 PM 20 635 28
23 12/2/11 04:54 PM 22 657 28
24 12/2/11 04:55 PM 28 685 28
25 12/2/11 04:56 PM 27 712 28
26 12/2/11 04:57 PM 26 738 28
27 12/2/11 04:58 PM 24 762 28
28 12/2/11 04:59 PM 24 786 28
29 12/2/11 05:00 PM 29 815 28
30 12/2/11 05:01 PM 25 840 28
31 12/2/11 05:02 PM 29 869 28
32 12/2/11 05:03 PM 31 900 28
33 12/2/11 05:04 PM 23 923 27
34 12/2/11 05:05 PM 31 954 28
35 12/2/11 05:06 PM 38 992 28
36 12/2/11 05:07 PM 41 1,033 28
37 12/2/11 05:08 PM 26 1,059 28
38 12/2/11 05:09 PM 26 1,085 28
39 12/2/11 05:10 PM 22 1,107 28
40 12/2/11 05:11 PM 37 1,144 28
41 12/2/11 05:12 PM 30 1,174 28
42 12/2/11 05:13 PM 25 1,199 28
43 12/2/11 05:14 PM 36 1,235 28
44 12/2/11 05:15 PM 27 1,262 28
45 12/2/11 05:16 PM 26 1,288 28
46 12/2/11 05:17 PM 20 1,308 28
47 12/2/11 05:18 PM 34 1,342 28
48 12/2/11 05:19 PM 28 1,370 28
49 12/2/11 05:20 PM 26 1,396 28
50 12/2/11 05:21 PM 27 1,423 28
51 12/2/11 05:22 PM 24 1,447 28
52 12/2/11 05:23 PM 29 1,476 28
53 12/2/11 05:24 PM 27 1,503 28
54 12/2/11 05:25 PM 24 1,527 28
55 12/2/11 05:26 PM 27 1,554 28
56 12/2/11 05:27 PM 34 1,588 28
57 12/2/11 05:28 PM 24 1,612 28
58 12/2/11 05:29 PM 49 1,661 28
59 12/2/11 05:30 PM 31 1,692 28
60 12/2/11 05:31 PM 38 1,730 28
61 12/2/11 05:32 PM 25 1,755 28
62 12/2/11 05:33 PM 27 1,782 28
63 12/2/11 05:34 PM 30 1,812 28
64 12/2/11 05:35 PM 22 1,834 28
65 12/2/11 05:36 PM 31 1,865 28
66 12/2/11 05:37 PM 43 1,908 28
67 12/2/11 05:38 PM 32 1,940 28
68 12/2/11 05:39 PM 26 1,966 28
69 12/2/11 05:40 PM 35 2,001 29
70 12/2/11 05:41 PM 34 2,035 29
71 12/2/11 05:42 PM 32 2,067 29
72 12/2/11 05:43 PM 24 2,091 29
73 12/2/11 05:44 PM 25 2,116 28
74 12/2/11 05:45 PM 26 2,142 28
75 12/2/11 05:46 PM 35 2,177 29
76 12/2/11 05:47 PM 34 2,211 29
77 12/2/11 05:48 PM 22 2,233 29
78 12/2/11 05:49 PM 36 2,269 29
79 12/2/11 05:50 PM 23 2,292 29
80 12/2/11 05:51 PM 19 2,311 28
81 12/2/11 05:52 PM 33 2,344 28
82 12/2/11 05:53 PM 27 2,371 28
83 12/2/11 05:54 PM 34 2,405 28
84 12/2/11 05:55 PM 22 2,427 28
85 12/2/11 05:56 PM 30 2,457 28
86 12/2/11 05:57 PM 29 2,486 28
87 12/2/11 05:58 PM 36 2,522 28
88 12/2/11 05:59 PM 28 2,550 28
89 12/2/11 06:00 PM 27 2,577 28
90 12/2/11 06:01 PM 31 2,608 28
91 12/2/11 06:02 PM 30 2,638 28
92 12/2/11 06:03 PM 42 2,680 29
93 12/2/11 06:04 PM 38 2,718 29
94 12/2/11 06:05 PM 28 2,746 29
95 12/2/11 06:06 PM 27 2,773 29
96 12/2/11 06:07 PM 29 2,802 29
97 12/2/11 06:08 PM 36 2,838 29
98 12/2/11 06:09 PM 18 2,856 29
99 12/2/11 06:10 PM 29 2,885 29
100 12/2/11 06:11 PM 35 2,920 29
101 12/2/11 06:12 PM 31 2,951 29
102 12/2/11 06:13 PM 30 2,981 29
103 12/2/11 06:14 PM 28 3,009 29
104 12/2/11 06:15 PM 20 3,029 29
105 12/2/11 06:16 PM 29 3,058 29
106 12/2/11 06:17 PM 24 3,082 29
107 12/2/11 06:18 PM 29 3,111 29
108 12/2/11 06:19 PM 30 3,141 29
109 12/2/11 06:20 PM 42 3,183 29
110 12/2/11 06:21 PM 41 3,224 29
111 12/2/11 06:22 PM 32 3,256 29
112 12/2/11 06:23 PM 30 3,286 29
113 12/2/11 06:24 PM 31 3,317 29
114 12/2/11 06:25 PM 32 3,349 29
115 12/2/11 06:26 PM 37 3,386 29
116 12/2/11 06:27 PM 27 3,413 29
117 12/2/11 06:28 PM 42 3,455 29
118 12/2/11 06:29 PM 27 3,482 29
119 12/2/11 06:30 PM 28 3,510 29
120 12/2/11 06:31 PM 21 3,531 29
121 12/2/11 06:32 PM 27 3,558 29
122 12/2/11 06:33 PM 29 3,587 29
123 12/2/11 06:34 PM 34 3,621 29
124 12/2/11 06:35 PM 33 3,654 29
125 12/2/11 06:36 PM 42 3,696 29
126 12/2/11 06:37 PM 30 3,726 29
127 12/2/11 06:38 PM 34 3,760 29
128 12/2/11 06:39 PM 27 3,787 29
129 12/2/11 06:40 PM 33 3,820 29
130 12/2/11 06:41 PM 32 3,852 29
131 12/2/11 06:42 PM 24 3,876 29
132 12/2/11 06:43 PM 28 3,904 29
133 12/2/11 06:44 PM 21 3,925 29
134 12/2/11 06:45 PM 35 3,960 29
135 12/2/11 06:46 PM 27 3,987 29
136 12/2/11 06:47 PM 28 4,015 29
137 12/2/11 06:48 PM 36 4,051 29
138 12/2/11 06:49 PM 24 4,075 29
139 12/2/11 06:50 PM 28 4,103 29
140 12/2/11 06:51 PM 28 4,131 29
141 12/2/11 06:52 PM 30 4,161 29
142 12/2/11 06:53 PM 30 4,191 29
143 12/2/11 06:54 PM 35 4,226 29
144 12/2/11 06:55 PM 26 4,252 29
145 12/2/11 06:56 PM 36 4,288 29
146 12/2/11 06:57 PM 28 4,316 29
147 12/2/11 06:58 PM 30 4,346 29
148 12/2/11 06:59 PM 27 4,373 29
149 12/2/11 07:00 PM 30 4,403 29
150 12/2/11 07:01 PM 23 4,426 29
151 12/2/11 07:02 PM 40 4,466 29
152 12/2/11 07:03 PM 42 4,508 29
153 12/2/11 07:04 PM 31 4,539 29
154 12/2/11 07:05 PM 42 4,581 29
155 12/2/11 07:06 PM 33 4,614 29
156 12/2/11 07:07 PM 23 4,637 29
157 12/2/11 07:08 PM 36 4,673 29
158 12/2/11 07:09 PM 30 4,703 29
159 12/2/11 07:10 PM 29 4,732 29
160 12/2/11 07:11 PM 26 4,758 29
161 12/2/11 07:12 PM 39 4,797 29
162 12/2/11 07:13 PM 27 4,824 29
163 12/2/11 07:14 PM 46 4,870 29
164 12/2/11 07:15 PM 35 4,905 29
165 12/2/11 07:16 PM 26 4,931 29
166 12/2/11 07:17 PM 32 4,963 29
167 12/2/11 07:18 PM 33 4,996 29
168 12/2/11 07:19 PM 29 5,025 29
169 12/2/11 07:20 PM 30 5,055 29
170 12/2/11 07:21 PM 36 5,091 29
171 12/2/11 07:22 PM 29 5,120 29
172 12/2/11 07:23 PM 25 5,145 29
173 12/2/11 07:24 PM 23 5,168 29
174 12/2/11 07:25 PM 26 5,194 29
175 12/2/11 07:26 PM 29 5,223 29
176 12/2/11 07:27 PM 34 5,257 29
177 12/2/11 07:28 PM 32 5,289 29
178 12/2/11 07:29 PM 32 5,321 29
179 12/2/11 07:30 PM 28 5,349 29
180 12/2/11 07:31 PM 24 5,373 29
181 12/2/11 07:32 PM 30 5,403 29
182 12/2/11 07:33 PM 37 5,440 29
183 12/2/11 07:34 PM 22 5,462 29
184 12/2/11 07:35 PM 31 5,493 29
185 12/2/11 07:36 PM 24 5,517 29
186 12/2/11 07:37 PM 28 5,545 29
187 12/2/11 07:38 PM 30 5,575 29
188 12/2/11 07:39 PM 25 5,600 29
189 12/2/11 07:40 PM 32 5,632 29
190 12/2/11 07:41 PM 30 5,662 29
191 12/2/11 07:42 PM 31 5,693 29
192 12/2/11 07:43 PM 28 5,721 29
193 12/2/11 07:44 PM 30 5,751 29
194 12/2/11 07:45 PM 24 5,775 29
195 12/2/11 07:46 PM 38 5,813 29
196 12/2/11 07:47 PM 30 5,843 29
197 12/2/11 07:48 PM 31 5,874 29
198 12/2/11 07:49 PM 28 5,902 29
199 12/2/11 07:50 PM 28 5,930 29
200 12/2/11 07:51 PM 25 5,955 29
201 12/2/11 07:52 PM 31 5,986 29
202 12/2/11 07:53 PM 30 6,016 29
203 12/2/11 07:54 PM 31 6,047 29
204 12/2/11 07:55 PM 35 6,082 29
205 12/2/11 07:56 PM 30 6,112 29
206 12/2/11 07:57 PM 31 6,143 29
207 12/2/11 07:58 PM 28 6,171 29
208 12/2/11 07:59 PM 30 6,201 29
209 12/2/11 08:00 PM 26 6,227 29
210 12/2/11 08:01 PM 38 6,265 29
211 12/2/11 08:02 PM 20 6,285 29
212 12/2/11 08:03 PM 24 6,309 29
213 12/2/11 08:04 PM 38 6,347 29
214 12/2/11 08:05 PM 37 6,384 29
215 12/2/11 08:06 PM 37 6,421 29
216 12/2/11 08:07 PM 30 6,451 29
217 12/2/11 08:08 PM 44 6,495 29
218 12/2/11 08:09 PM 33 6,528 29
219 12/2/11 08:10 PM 28 6,556 29
220 12/2/11 08:11 PM 26 6,582 29
221 12/2/11 08:12 PM 36 6,618 29
222 12/2/11 08:13 PM 30 6,648 29
223 12/2/11 08:14 PM 21 6,669 29
225 12/2/11 08:16 PM 28 6,697 29
226 12/2/11 08:17 PM 24 6,721 29
227 12/2/11 08:18 PM 43 6,764 29
228 12/2/11 08:19 PM 30 6,794 29
229 12/2/11 08:20 PM 28 6,822 29
230 12/2/11 08:21 PM 27 6,849 29
231 12/2/11 08:22 PM 25 6,874 29
232 12/2/11 08:23 PM 25 6,899 29
233 12/2/11 08:24 PM 33 6,932 29
234 12/2/11 08:25 PM 32 6,964 29
235 12/2/11 08:26 PM 34 6,998 29
236 12/2/11 08:27 PM 36 7,034 29
237 12/2/11 08:28 PM 35 7,069 29
238 12/2/11 08:29 PM 28 7,097 29
239 12/2/11 08:30 PM 32 7,129 29
240 12/2/11 08:31 PM 18 7,147 29
241 12/2/11 08:32 PM 32 7,179 29
242 12/2/11 08:33 PM 28 7,207 29
243 12/2/11 08:34 PM 30 7,237 29
244 12/2/11 08:35 PM 35 7,272 29
245 12/2/11 08:36 PM 35 7,307 29
246 12/2/11 08:37 PM 39 7,346 29
247 12/2/11 08:38 PM 25 7,371 29
248 12/2/11 08:39 PM 23 7,394 29
249 12/2/11 08:40 PM 26 7,420 29
250 12/2/11 08:41 PM 33 7,453 29
251 12/2/11 08:42 PM 28 7,481 29
252 12/2/11 08:43 PM 24 7,505 29
253 12/2/11 08:44 PM 26 7,531 29
254 12/2/11 08:45 PM 44 7,575 29
255 12/2/11 08:46 PM 27 7,602 29
256 12/2/11 08:47 PM 28 7,630 29
257 12/2/11 08:48 PM 27 7,657 29
258 12/2/11 08:49 PM 26 7,683 29
259 12/2/11 08:50 PM 34 7,717 29
260 12/2/11 08:51 PM 27 7,744 29
261 12/2/11 08:52 PM 34 7,778 29
262 12/2/11 08:53 PM 33 7,811 29
263 12/2/11 08:54 PM 34 7,845 29
264 12/2/11 08:55 PM 24 7,869 29
265 12/2/11 08:56 PM 28 7,897 29
266 12/2/11 08:57 PM 27 7,924 29
267 12/2/11 08:58 PM 30 7,954 29
268 12/2/11 08:59 PM 23 7,977 29
269 12/2/11 09:00 PM 40 8,017 29
270 12/2/11 09:01 PM 35 8,052 29
271 12/2/11 09:02 PM 27 8,079 29
272 12/2/11 09:03 PM 26 8,105 29
273 12/2/11 09:04 PM 28 8,133 29
274 12/2/11 09:05 PM 34 8,167 29
275 12/2/11 09:06 PM 31 8,198 29
276 12/2/11 09:07 PM 34 8,232 29
277 12/2/11 09:08 PM 37 8,269 29
278 12/2/11 09:09 PM 32 8,301 29
279 12/2/11 09:10 PM 31 8,332 29
280 12/2/11 09:11 PM 25 8,357 29
281 12/2/11 09:12 PM 32 8,389 29
282 12/2/11 09:13 PM 30 8,419 29
283 12/2/11 09:14 PM 36 8,455 29
284 12/2/11 09:15 PM 32 8,487 29
285 12/2/11 09:16 PM 33 8,520 29
286 12/2/11 09:17 PM 24 8,544 29
287 12/2/11 09:18 PM 20 8,564 29
288 12/2/11 09:19 PM 33 8,597 29
289 12/2/11 09:20 PM 28 8,625 29
290 12/2/11 09:21 PM 16 8,641 29
291 12/2/11 09:22 PM 30 8,671 29
292 12/2/11 09:23 PM 35 8,706 29
293 12/2/11 09:24 PM 29 8,735 29
294 12/2/11 09:25 PM 36 8,771 29
295 12/2/11 09:26 PM 21 8,792 29
296 12/2/11 09:27 PM 30 8,822 29
297 12/2/11 09:28 PM 33 8,855 29
298 12/2/11 09:29 PM 26 8,881 29
299 12/2/11 09:30 PM 28 8,909 29
300 12/2/11 09:31 PM 42 8,951 29
301 12/2/11 09:32 PM 33 8,984 29
302 12/2/11 09:33 PM 40 9,024 29
303 12/2/11 09:34 PM 44 9,068 29
304 12/2/11 09:35 PM 30 9,098 29
305 12/2/11 09:36 PM 26 9,124 29
306 12/2/11 09:37 PM 30 9,154 29
307 12/2/11 09:38 PM 36 9,190 29
308 12/2/11 09:39 PM 24 9,214 29
309 12/2/11 09:40 PM 33 9,247 29
310 12/2/11 09:41 PM 25 9,272 29
311 12/2/11 09:42 PM 32 9,304 29
312 12/2/11 09:43 PM 27 9,331 29
313 12/2/11 09:44 PM 36 9,367 29
314 12/2/11 09:45 PM 34 9,401 29
315 12/2/11 09:46 PM 24 9,425 29
316 12/2/11 09:47 PM 36 9,461 29
317 12/2/11 09:48 PM 39 9,500 29
318 12/2/11 09:49 PM 29 9,529 29
319 12/2/11 09:50 PM 29 9,558 29
320 12/2/11 09:51 PM 26 9,584 29
321 12/2/11 09:52 PM 25 9,609 29
322 12/2/11 09:53 PM 32 9,641 29
323 12/2/11 09:54 PM 26 9,667 29
324 12/2/11 09:55 PM 27 9,694 29
325 12/2/11 09:56 PM 23 9,717 29
326 12/2/11 09:57 PM 26 9,743 29
327 12/2/11 09:58 PM 23 9,766 29
328 12/2/11 09:59 PM 25 9,791 29
329 12/2/11 10:00 PM 34 9,825 29
330 12/2/11 10:01 PM 23 9,848 29
331 12/2/11 10:02 PM 23 9,871 29
332 12/2/11 10:03 PM 30 9,901 29
333 12/2/11 10:04 PM 25 9,926 29
334 12/2/11 10:05 PM 29 9,955 29
335 12/2/11 10:06 PM 27 9,982 29
336 12/2/11 10:07 PM 30 10,012 29
337 12/2/11 10:08 PM 24 10,036 29
338 12/2/11 10:09 PM 28 10,064 29
339 12/2/11 10:10 PM 40 10,104 29
340 12/2/11 10:11 PM 37 10,141 29
341 12/2/11 10:12 PM 18 10,159 29
342 12/2/11 10:13 PM 28 10,187 29
343 12/2/11 10:14 PM 28 10,215 29
344 12/2/11 10:15 PM 27 10,242 29
345 12/2/11 10:16 PM 33 10,275 29
346 12/2/11 10:17 PM 25 10,300 29
347 12/2/11 10:18 PM 31 10,331 29
348 12/2/11 10:19 PM 36 10,367 29
349 12/2/11 10:20 PM 26 10,393 29
350 12/2/11 10:21 PM 44 10,437 29
351 12/2/11 10:22 PM 34 10,471 29
352 12/2/11 10:23 PM 34 10,505 29
353 12/2/11 10:24 PM 28 10,533 29
354 12/2/11 10:25 PM 38 10,571 29
355 12/2/11 10:26 PM 27 10,598 29
356 12/2/11 10:27 PM 28 10,626 29
357 12/2/11 10:28 PM 38 10,664 29
358 12/2/11 10:29 PM 35 10,699 29
359 12/2/11 10:30 PM 30 10,729 29
360 12/2/11 10:31 PM 28 10,757 29
361 12/2/11 10:32 PM 26 10,783 29
362 12/2/11 10:33 PM 32 10,815 29
363 12/2/11 10:34 PM 27 10,842 29
364 12/2/11 10:35 PM 39 10,881 29
365 12/2/11 10:36 PM 32 10,913 29
366 12/2/11 10:37 PM 41 10,954 29
367 12/2/11 10:38 PM 33 10,987 29
368 12/2/11 10:39 PM 30 11,017 29
369 12/2/11 10:40 PM 22 11,039 29
370 12/2/11 10:41 PM 26 11,065 29
371 12/2/11 10:42 PM 40 11,105 29
372 12/2/11 10:43 PM 23 11,128 29
373 12/2/11 10:44 PM 36 11,164 29
374 12/2/11 10:45 PM 29 11,193 29
375 12/2/11 10:46 PM 32 11,225 29
376 12/2/11 10:47 PM 28 11,253 29
377 12/2/11 10:48 PM 32 11,285 29
378 12/2/11 10:49 PM 32 11,317 29
379 12/2/11 10:50 PM 20 11,337 29
380 12/2/11 10:51 PM 38 11,375 29
381 12/2/11 10:52 PM 45 11,420 29
382 12/2/11 10:53 PM 34 11,454 29
383 12/2/11 10:54 PM 29 11,483 29
384 12/2/11 10:55 PM 35 11,518 29
385 12/2/11 10:56 PM 36 11,554 30
386 12/2/11 10:57 PM 32 11,586 30
387 12/2/11 10:58 PM 28 11,614 30


Table 2
READING DONE ON A COLD, RAINY DAY THAT TURNED INTO SNOW:

Person Monitoring: Patty A.
Location: Inside home, Hagerstown, MD
Altitude:
Station Name: N/A
Geiger Counter Model: Inspector+
Other Criteria: RAINY AND SNOWY DAY

Minute Date Time Count(CPM) Total(CPM) Average
1 12/7/11 11:55 AM 24 24 24
2 12/7/11 11:56 AM 34 58 29
3 12/7/11 11:57 AM 24 82 27
4 12/7/11 11:58 AM 37 119 29
5 12/7/11 11:59 AM 36 155 31
6 12/7/11 12:00 PM 31 186 31
7 12/7/11 12:01 PM 36 222 31
8 12/7/11 12:02 PM 34 256 32
9 12/7/11 12:03 PM 38 294 32
10 12/7/11 12:04 PM 31 325 32
11 12/7/11 12:05 PM 40 365 33
12 12/7/11 12:06 PM 39 404 33
13 12/7/11 12:07 PM 31 435 33
14 12/7/11 12:08 PM 31 466 33
15 12/7/11 12:09 PM 26 492 32
16 12/7/11 12:10 PM 27 519 32
17 12/7/11 12:11 PM 32 551 32
18 12/7/11 12:12 PM 42 593 32
19 12/7/11 12:13 PM 29 622 32
20 12/7/11 12:14 PM 30 652 32
21 12/7/11 12:15 PM 35 687 32
22 12/7/11 12:16 PM 35 722 32
23 12/7/11 12:17 PM 37 759 33
24 12/7/11 12:18 PM 27 786 32
25 12/7/11 12:19 PM 26 812 32
26 12/7/11 12:20 PM 37 849 32
27 12/7/11 12:21 PM 35 884 32
28 12/7/11 12:22 PM 37 921 32
29 12/7/11 12:23 PM 33 954 32
30 12/7/11 12:24 PM 31 985 32
31 12/7/11 12:25 PM 36 1,021 32
32 12/7/11 12:26 PM 31 1,052 32
33 12/7/11 12:27 PM 36 1,088 32
34 12/7/11 12:28 PM 36 1,124 33
35 12/7/11 12:29 PM 49 1,173 33
36 12/7/11 12:30 PM 38 1,211 33
37 12/7/11 12:31 PM 31 1,242 33
38 12/7/11 12:32 PM 38 1,280 33
39 12/7/11 12:33 PM 44 1,324 33
40 12/7/11 12:34 PM 39 1,363 34
41 12/7/11 12:35 PM 30 1,393 33
42 12/7/11 12:36 PM 39 1,432 34
43 12/7/11 12:37 PM 33 1,465 34
44 12/7/11 12:38 PM 34 1,499 34
45 12/7/11 12:39 PM 28 1,527 33
46 12/7/11 12:40 PM 40 1,567 34
47 12/7/11 12:41 PM 35 1,602 34
48 12/7/11 12:42 PM 34 1,636 34
49 12/7/11 12:43 PM 42 1,678 34
50 12/7/11 12:44 PM 27 1,705 34
51 12/7/11 12:45 PM 35 1,740 34
52 12/7/11 12:46 PM 40 1,780 34
53 12/7/11 12:47 PM 38 1,818 34
54 12/7/11 12:48 PM 32 1,850 34
55 12/7/11 12:49 PM 36 1,886 34
56 12/7/11 12:50 PM 45 1,931 34
57 12/7/11 12:51 PM 46 1,977 34
58 12/7/11 12:52 PM 29 2,006 34
59 12/7/11 12:53 PM 31 2,037 34
60 12/7/11 12:54 PM 36 2,073 34
61 12/7/11 12:55 PM 26 2,099 34
62 12/7/11 12:56 PM 29 2,128 34
63 12/7/11 12:57 PM 38 2,166 34
64 12/7/11 12:58 PM 36 2,202 34
65 12/7/11 12:59 PM 37 2,239 34
66 12/7/11 01:00 PM 37 2,276 34
67 12/7/11 01:01 PM 36 2,312 34
68 12/7/11 01:02 PM 44 2,356 34
69 12/7/11 01:03 PM 38 2,394 34
70 12/7/11 01:04 PM 35 2,429 34
71 12/7/11 01:05 PM 28 2,457 34
72 12/7/11 01:06 PM 41 2,498 34
73 12/7/11 01:07 PM 34 2,532 34
74 12/7/11 01:08 PM 39 2,571 34
75 12/7/11 01:09 PM 30 2,601 34
76 12/7/11 01:10 PM 38 2,639 34
77 12/7/11 01:11 PM 38 2,677 34
78 12/7/11 01:12 PM 36 2,713 34
79 12/7/11 01:13 PM 44 2,757 34
80 12/7/11 01:14 PM 38 2,795 34
81 12/7/11 01:15 PM 39 2,834 34
82 12/7/11 01:16 PM 25 2,859 34
83 12/7/11 01:17 PM 31 2,890 34
84 12/7/11 01:18 PM 37 2,927 34
85 12/7/11 01:19 PM 27 2,954 34
86 12/7/11 01:20 PM 24 2,978 34
87 12/7/11 01:21 PM 32 3,010 34
88 12/7/11 01:22 PM 37 3,047 34
89 12/7/11 01:23 PM 41 3,088 34
90 12/7/11 01:24 PM 30 3,118 34
91 12/7/11 01:25 PM 53 3,171 34 ALERT
92 12/7/11 01:26 PM 44 3,215 34
93 12/7/11 01:27 PM 39 3,254 34
94 12/7/11 01:28 PM 40 3,294 35
95 12/7/11 01:29 PM 44 3,338 35
96 12/7/11 01:30 PM 39 3,377 35
97 12/7/11 01:31 PM 42 3,419 35
98 12/7/11 01:32 PM 45 3,464 35
99 12/7/11 01:33 PM 33 3,497 35
100 12/7/11 01:34 PM 33 3,530 35
101 12/7/11 01:35 PM 42 3,572 35
102 12/7/11 01:36 PM 36 3,608 35
103 12/7/11 01:37 PM 47 3,655 35
104 12/7/11 01:38 PM 46 3,701 35
105 12/7/11 01:39 PM 35 3,736 35
106 12/7/11 01:40 PM 34 3,770 35
107 12/7/11 01:41 PM 25 3,795 35
108 12/7/11 01:42 PM 39 3,834 35
109 12/7/11 01:43 PM 34 3,868 35
110 12/7/11 01:44 PM 36 3,904 35
111 12/7/11 01:45 PM 34 3,938 35
112 12/7/11 01:46 PM 40 3,978 35
113 12/7/11 01:47 PM 36 4,014 35
114 12/7/11 01:48 PM 46 4,060 35
115 12/7/11 01:49 PM 41 4,101 35
116 12/7/11 01:50 PM 33 4,134 35
117 12/7/11 01:51 PM 40 4,174 35
118 12/7/11 01:52 PM 38 4,212 35
119 12/7/11 01:53 PM 43 4,255 35
120 12/7/11 01:54 PM 37 4,292 35
121 12/7/11 01:55 PM 31 4,323 35
122 12/7/11 01:56 PM 31 4,354 35
123 12/7/11 01:57 PM 31 4,385 35
124 12/7/11 01:58 PM 29 4,414 35
125 12/7/11 01:59 PM 35 4,449 35
126 12/7/11 02:00 PM 29 4,478 35
127 12/7/11 02:01 PM 40 4,518 35
128 12/7/11 02:02 PM 33 4,551 35
129 12/7/11 02:03 PM 37 4,588 35
130 12/7/11 02:04 PM 28 4,616 35
131 12/7/11 02:05 PM 29 4,645 35
132 12/7/11 02:06 PM 32 4,677 35
133 12/7/11 02:07 PM 43 4,720 35
134 12/7/11 02:08 PM 28 4,748 35
135 12/7/11 02:09 PM 41 4,789 35
136 12/7/11 02:10 PM 36 4,825 35
137 12/7/11 02:11 PM 35 4,860 35
138 12/7/11 02:12 PM 35 4,895 35
139 12/7/11 02:13 PM 34 4,929 35
140 12/7/11 02:14 PM 29 4,958 35
141 12/7/11 02:15 PM 42 5,000 35
142 12/7/11 02:16 PM 43 5,043 35
143 12/7/11 02:17 PM 40 5,083 35
144 12/7/11 02:18 PM 32 5,115 35
145 12/7/11 02:19 PM 26 5,141 35
146 12/7/11 02:20 PM 36 5,177 35
147 12/7/11 02:21 PM 30 5,207 35
148 12/7/11 02:22 PM 29 5,236 35
149 12/7/11 02:23 PM 35 5,271 35
150 12/7/11 02:24 PM 33 5,304 35
151 12/7/11 02:25 PM 35 5,339 35
152 12/7/11 02:26 PM 27 5,366 35
153 12/7/11 02:27 PM 38 5,404 35
154 12/7/11 02:28 PM 37 5,441 35
155 12/7/11 02:29 PM 33 5,474 35
156 12/7/11 02:30 PM 40 5,514 35
157 12/7/11 02:31 PM 37 5,551 35
158 12/7/11 02:32 PM 35 5,586 35
159 12/7/11 02:33 PM 38 5,624 35
160 12/7/11 02:34 PM 47 5,671 35
161 12/7/11 02:35 PM 27 5,698 35
162 12/7/11 02:36 PM 37 5,735 35
163 12/7/11 02:37 PM 57 5,792 35 ALERT
164 12/7/11 02:38 PM 42 5,834 35
165 12/7/11 02:39 PM 42 5,876 35
166 12/7/11 02:40 PM 38 5,914 35
167 12/7/11 02:41 PM 41 5,955 35
168 12/7/11 02:42 PM 26 5,981 35
169 12/7/11 02:43 PM 37 6,018 35
170 12/7/11 02:44 PM 30 6,048 35
171 12/7/11 02:45 PM 24 6,072 35
172 12/7/11 02:46 PM 30 6,102 35
173 12/7/11 02:47 PM 38 6,140 35
174 12/7/11 02:48 PM 28 6,168 35
175 12/7/11 02:49 PM 42 6,210 35
176 12/7/11 02:50 PM 37 6,247 35
177 12/7/11 02:51 PM 31 6,278 35
178 12/7/11 02:52 PM 33 6,311 35
179 12/7/11 02:53 PM 34 6,345 35
180 12/7/11 02:54 PM 45 6,390 35
181 12/7/11 02:55 PM 40 6,430 35
182 12/7/11 02:56 PM 25 6,455 35
183 12/7/11 02:57 PM 38 6,493 35
184 12/7/11 02:58 PM 22 6,515 35
185 12/7/11 02:59 PM 41 6,556 35
186 12/7/11 03:00 PM 35 6,591 35
187 12/7/11 03:01 PM 42 6,633 35
188 12/7/11 03:02 PM 25 6,658 35
189 12/7/11 03:03 PM 49 6,707 35
190 12/7/11 03:04 PM 41 6,748 35
191 12/7/11 03:05 PM 29 6,777 35
192 12/7/11 03:06 PM 43 6,820 35
193 12/7/11 03:07 PM 27 6,847 35
194 12/7/11 03:08 PM 54 6,901 35 ALERT
195 12/7/11 03:09 PM 33 6,934 35
196 12/7/11 03:10 PM 28 6,962 35
197 12/7/11 03:11 PM 38 7,000 35
198 12/7/11 03:12 PM 34 7,034 35
199 12/7/11 03:13 PM 30 7,064 35
200 12/7/11 03:14 PM 28 7,092 35
201 12/7/11 03:15 PM 40 7,132 35
202 12/7/11 03:16 PM 39 7,171 35
203 12/7/11 03:17 PM 34 7,205 35
204 12/7/11 03:18 PM 37 7,242 35
205 12/7/11 03:19 PM 38 7,280 35
206 12/7/11 03:20 PM 30 7,310 35
207 12/7/11 03:21 PM 40 7,350 35
208 12/7/11 03:22 PM 28 7,378 35
209 12/7/11 03:23 PM 34 7,412 35
210 12/7/11 03:24 PM 39 7,451 35
211 12/7/11 03:25 PM 35 7,486 35
212 12/7/11 03:26 PM 40 7,526 35
213 12/7/11 03:27 PM 42 7,568 35
214 12/7/11 03:28 PM 39 7,607 35
215 12/7/11 03:29 PM 42 7,649 35
216 12/7/11 03:30 PM 41 7,690 35
217 12/7/11 03:31 PM 36 7,726 35
218 12/7/11 03:32 PM 36 7,762 35
219 12/7/11 03:33 PM 39 7,801 35
220 12/7/11 03:34 PM 33 7,834 35
221 12/7/11 03:35 PM 45 7,879 35
222 12/7/11 03:36 PM 33 7,912 35
223 12/7/11 03:37 PM 52 7,964 35 ALERT
224 12/7/11 03:38 PM 41 8,005 35
225 12/7/11 03:39 PM 34 8,039 35
226 12/7/11 03:40 PM 44 8,083 35
227 12/7/11 03:41 PM 38 8,121 35
228 12/7/11 03:42 PM 30 8,151 35
229 12/7/11 03:43 PM 38 8,189 35
230 12/7/11 03:44 PM 37 8,226 35
231 12/7/11 03:45 PM 34 8,260 35
232 12/7/11 03:46 PM 35 8,295 35
233 12/7/11 03:47 PM 44 8,339 35
234 12/7/11 03:48 PM 34 8,373 35
235 12/7/11 03:49 PM 23 8,396 35
236 12/7/11 03:50 PM 47 8,443 35
237 12/7/11 03:51 PM 39 8,482 35
238 12/7/11 03:52 PM 38 8,520 35
239 12/7/11 03:53 PM 34 8,554 35
240 12/7/11 03:54 PM 26 8,580 35
241 12/7/11 03:55 PM 59 8,639 35 ALERT
242 12/7/11 03:56 PM 37 8,676 35
243 12/7/11 03:57 PM 41 8,717 35
244 12/7/11 03:58 PM 30 8,747 35
245 12/7/11 03:59 PM 34 8,781 35
246 12/7/11 04:00 PM 28 8,809 35
247 12/7/11 04:01 PM 43 8,852 35
248 12/7/11 04:02 PM 30 8,882 35
249 12/7/11 04:03 PM 34 8,916 35
250 12/7/11 04:04 PM 40 8,956 35
251 12/7/11 04:05 PM 39 8,995 35
252 12/7/11 04:06 PM 47 9,042 35
253 12/7/11 04:07 PM 48 9,090 35
254 12/7/11 04:08 PM 38 9,128 35
255 12/7/11 04:09 PM 35 9,163 35
256 12/7/11 04:10 PM 34 9,197 35
257 12/7/11 04:11 PM 33 9,230 35
258 12/7/11 04:12 PM 39 9,269 35
259 12/7/11 04:13 PM 45 9,314 35
260 12/7/11 04:14 PM 39 9,353 35
261 12/7/11 04:15 PM 32 9,385 35
262 12/7/11 04:16 PM 43 9,428 35
263 12/7/11 04:17 PM 39 9,467 35
264 12/7/11 04:18 PM 54 9,521 36 ALERT
265 12/7/11 04:19 PM 33 9,554 36
266 12/7/11 04:20 PM 31 9,585 36
267 12/7/11 04:21 PM 27 9,612 36
268 12/7/11 04:22 PM 35 9,647 35
269 12/7/11 04:23 PM 26 9,673 35
270 12/7/11 04:24 PM 44 9,717 35
271 12/7/11 04:25 PM 34 9,751 35
272 12/7/11 04:26 PM 35 9,786 35
273 12/7/11 04:27 PM 36 9,822 35
274 12/7/11 04:28 PM 36 9,858 35
275 12/7/11 04:29 PM 40 9,898 35
276 12/7/11 04:30 PM 22 9,920 35
277 12/7/11 04:31 PM 40 9,960 35
278 12/7/11 04:32 PM 39 9,999 35
279 12/7/11 04:33 PM 39 10,038 35
280 12/7/11 04:34 PM 33 10,071 35
281 12/7/11 04:35 PM 33 10,104 35
282 12/7/11 04:36 PM 42 10,146 35
283 12/7/11 04:37 PM 38 10,184 35
284 12/7/11 04:38 PM 43 10,227 36
285 12/7/11 04:39 PM 34 10,261 36
286 12/7/11 04:40 PM 40 10,301 36
287 12/7/11 04:41 PM 42 10,343 36
288 12/7/11 04:42 PM 50 10,393 36 ALERT
289 12/7/11 04:43 PM 38 10,431 36
290 12/7/11 04:44 PM 39 10,470 36
291 12/7/11 04:45 PM 45 10,515 36
292 12/7/11 04:46 PM 28 10,543 36
293 12/7/11 04:47 PM 35 10,578 36
294 12/7/11 04:48 PM 41 10,619 36
295 12/7/11 04:49 PM 42 10,661 36
296 12/7/11 04:50 PM 37 10,698 36
297 12/7/11 04:51 PM 33 10,731 36
298 12/7/11 04:52 PM 45 10,776 36
299 12/7/11 04:53 PM 39 10,815 36
300 12/7/11 04:54 PM 46 10,861 36
301 12/7/11 04:55 PM 46 10,907 36
302 12/7/11 04:56 PM 46 10,953 36
303 12/7/11 04:57 PM 46 10,999 36
304 12/7/11 04:58 PM 38 11,037 36
305 12/7/11 04:59 PM 33 11,070 36
306 12/7/11 05:00 PM 36 11,106 36
307 12/7/11 05:01 PM 39 11,145 36
308 12/7/11 05:02 PM 37 11,182 36
309 12/7/11 05:03 PM 35 11,217 36
310 12/7/11 05:04 PM 32 11,249 36
311 12/7/11 05:05 PM 38 11,287 36
312 12/7/11 05:06 PM 44 11,331 36
313 12/7/11 05:07 PM 40 11,371 36
314 12/7/11 05:08 PM 48 11,419 36
315 12/7/11 05:09 PM 47 11,466 36
316 12/7/11 05:10 PM 41 11,507 36
317 12/7/11 05:11 PM 39 11,546 36
318 12/7/11 05:12 PM 38 11,584 36
319 12/7/11 05:13 PM 33 11,617 36
320 12/7/11 05:14 PM 32 11,649 36
321 12/7/11 05:15 PM 38 11,687 36
322 12/7/11 05:16 PM 38 11,725 36
323 12/7/11 05:17 PM 46 11,771 36
324 12/7/11 05:18 PM 30 11,801 36
325 12/7/11 05:19 PM 42 11,843 36
326 12/7/11 05:20 PM 39 11,882 36
327 12/7/11 05:21 PM 31 11,913 36
328 12/7/11 05:22 PM 39 11,952 36
329 12/7/11 05:23 PM 41 11,993 36
330 12/7/11 05:24 PM 38 12,031 36
331 12/7/11 05:25 PM 35 12,066 36
332 12/7/11 05:26 PM 38 12,104 36
333 12/7/11 05:27 PM 40 12,144 36
334 12/7/11 05:28 PM 33 12,177 36
335 12/7/11 05:29 PM 48 12,225 36
336 12/7/11 05:30 PM 41 12,266 36
337 12/7/11 05:31 PM 47 12,313 36
338 12/7/11 05:32 PM 51 12,364 36 ALERT
339 12/7/11 05:33 PM 32 12,396 36
340 12/7/11 05:34 PM 44 12,440 36
341 12/7/11 05:35 PM 36 12,476 36
342 12/7/11 05:36 PM 34 12,510 36
343 12/7/11 05:37 PM 29 12,539 36
344 12/7/11 05:38 PM 34 12,573 36
345 12/7/11 05:39 PM 40 12,613 36
346 12/7/11 05:40 PM 39 12,652 36
347 12/7/11 05:41 PM 45 12,697 36
348 12/7/11 05:42 PM 46 12,743 36
349 12/7/11 05:43 PM 40 12,783 36
350 12/7/11 05:44 PM 37 12,820 36
351 12/7/11 05:45 PM 37 12,857 36
352 12/7/11 05:46 PM 35 12,892 36
353 12/7/11 05:47 PM 25 12,917 36
354 12/7/11 05:48 PM 31 12,948 36
355 12/7/11 05:49 PM 34 12,982 36
356 12/7/11 05:50 PM 33 13,015 36
357 12/7/11 05:51 PM 41 13,056 36
358 12/7/11 05:52 PM 32 13,088 36
359 12/7/11 05:53 PM 36 13,124 36
360 12/7/11 05:54 PM 35 13,159 36
361 12/7/11 05:55 PM 42 13,201 36
362 12/7/11 05:56 PM 34 13,235 36
363 12/7/11 05:57 PM 34 13,269 36
364 12/7/11 05:58 PM 40 13,309 36
365 12/7/11 05:59 PM 34 13,343 36
366 12/7/11 06:00 PM 37 13,380 36
367 12/7/11 06:01 PM 31 13,411 36
368 12/7/11 06:02 PM 34 13,445 36
369 12/7/11 06:03 PM 40 13,485 36
370 12/7/11 06:04 PM 36 13,521 36
371 12/7/11 06:05 PM 43 13,564 36
372 12/7/11 06:06 PM 37 13,601 36
373 12/7/11 06:07 PM 40 13,641 36
374 12/7/11 06:08 PM 41 13,682 36
375 12/7/11 06:09 PM 39 13,721 36
376 12/7/11 06:10 PM 37 13,758 36
377 12/7/11 06:11 PM 48 13,806 36
378 12/7/11 06:12 PM 28 13,834 36
379 12/7/11 06:13 PM 45 13,879 36
380 12/7/11 06:14 PM 42 13,921 36
381 12/7/11 06:15 PM 39 13,960 36
382 12/7/11 06:16 PM 33 13,993 36
383 12/7/11 06:17 PM 38 14,031 36
384 12/7/11 06:18 PM 34 14,065 36
385 12/7/11 06:19 PM 47 14,112 36
386 12/7/11 06:20 PM 38 14,150 36
387 12/7/11 06:21 PM 46 14,196 36
388 12/7/11 06:22 PM 40 14,236 36
389 12/7/11 06:23 PM 41 14,277 36
390 12/7/11 06:24 PM 32 14,309 36
391 12/7/11 06:25 PM 23 14,332 36
392 12/7/11 06:26 PM 32 14,364 36
393 12/7/11 06:27 PM 41 14,405 36
394 12/7/11 06:28 PM 38 14,443 36
395 12/7/11 06:29 PM 36 14,479 36
396 12/7/11 06:30 PM 44 14,523 36
397 12/7/11 06:31 PM 48 14,571 36
398 12/7/11 06:32 PM 39 14,610 36
399 12/7/11 06:33 PM 44 14,654 36
400 12/7/11 06:34 PM 43 14,697 36
401 12/7/11 06:35 PM 38 14,735 36
402 12/7/11 06:36 PM 45 14,780 36
403 12/7/11 06:37 PM 46 14,826 36
404 12/7/11 06:38 PM 29 14,855 36
405 12/7/11 06:39 PM 41 14,896 36
406 12/7/11 06:40 PM 40 14,936 36
407 12/7/11 06:41 PM 38 14,974 36
408 12/7/11 06:42 PM 32 15,006 36
409 12/7/11 06:43 PM 35 15,041 36
410 12/7/11 06:44 PM 37 15,078 36
411 12/7/11 06:45 PM 43 15,121 36
412 12/7/11 06:46 PM 46 15,167 36
413 12/7/11 06:47 PM 30 15,197 36
414 12/7/11 06:48 PM 27 15,224 36
415 12/7/11 06:49 PM 42 15,266 36
416 12/7/11 06:50 PM 44 15,310 36
417 12/7/11 06:51 PM 27 15,337 36
418 12/7/11 06:52 PM 39 15,376 36
419 12/7/11 06:53 PM 44 15,420 36
420 12/7/11 06:54 PM 36 15,456 36
421 12/7/11 06:55 PM 35 15,491 36
422 12/7/11 06:56 PM 53 15,544 36 ALERT
423 12/7/11 06:57 PM 26 15,570 36
424 12/7/11 06:58 PM 38 15,608 36
425 12/7/11 06:59 PM 44 15,652 36
426 12/7/11 07:00 PM 30 15,682 36
427 12/7/11 07:01 PM 38 15,720 36
428 12/7/11 07:02 PM 41 15,761 36
429 12/7/11 07:03 PM 43 15,804 36
430 12/7/11 07:04 PM 34 15,838 36
431 12/7/11 07:05 PM 48 15,886 36
432 12/7/11 07:06 PM 28 15,914 36
433 12/7/11 07:07 PM 48 15,962 36
434 12/7/11 07:08 PM 39 16,001 36
435 12/7/11 07:09 PM 42 16,043 36
436 12/7/11 07:10 PM 34 16,077 36
437 12/7/11 07:11 PM 37 16,114 36
438 12/7/11 07:12 PM 41 16,155 36
439 12/7/11 07:13 PM 33 16,188 36
440 12/7/11 07:14 PM 44 16,232 36
441 12/7/11 07:15 PM 38 16,270 36
442 12/7/11 07:16 PM 47 16,317 36
443 12/7/11 07:17 PM 46 16,363 36
444 12/7/11 07:18 PM 34 16,397 36
445 12/7/11 07:19 PM 34 16,431 36
446 12/7/11 07:20 PM 31 16,462 36
447 12/7/11 07:21 PM 27 16,489 36
448 12/7/11 07:22 PM 33 16,522 36
449 12/7/11 07:23 PM 34 16,556 36
450 12/7/11 07:24 PM 44 16,600 36
451 12/7/11 07:25 PM 44 16,644 36
452 12/7/11 07:26 PM 37 16,681 36
453 12/7/11 07:27 PM 27 16,708 36
454 12/7/11 07:28 PM 45 16,753 36
455 12/7/11 07:29 PM 40 16,793 36
456 12/7/11 07:30 PM 35 16,828 36
457 12/7/11 07:31 PM 31 16,859 36
458 12/7/11 07:32 PM 32 16,891 36
459 12/7/11 07:33 PM 49 16,940 36
460 12/7/11 07:34 PM 40 16,980 36
461 12/7/11 07:35 PM 32 17,012 36
462 12/7/11 07:36 PM 34 17,046 36
463 12/7/11 07:37 PM 45 17,091 36
464 12/7/11 07:38 PM 52 17,143 36 ALERT
465 12/7/11 07:39 PM 42 17,185 36
466 12/7/11 07:40 PM 38 17,223 36
467 12/7/11 07:41 PM 27 17,250 36
468 12/7/11 07:42 PM 53 17,303 36 ALERT
469 12/7/11 07:43 PM 41 17,344 36
470 12/7/11 07:44 PM 41 17,385 36
471 12/7/11 07:45 PM 44 17,429 37
472 12/7/11 07:46 PM 42 17,471 37
473 12/7/11 07:47 PM 33 17,504 37
474 12/7/11 07:48 PM 38 17,542 37
475 12/7/11 07:49 PM 42 17,584 37
476 12/7/11 07:50 PM 40 17,624 37
477 12/7/11 07:51 PM 45 17,669 37
478 12/7/11 07:52 PM 36 17,705 37
479 12/7/11 07:53 PM 36 17,741 37
480 12/7/11 07:54 PM 35 17,776 37
481 12/7/11 07:55 PM 34 17,810 37
482 12/7/11 07:56 PM 36 17,846 37
483 12/7/11 07:57 PM 31 17,877 37
484 12/7/11 07:58 PM 38 17,915 37
485 12/7/11 07:59 PM 43 17,958 37
486 12/7/11 08:00 PM 41 17,999 37
487 12/7/11 08:01 PM 34 18,033 37
488 12/7/11 08:02 PM 40 18,073 37
489 12/7/11 08:03 PM 39 18,112 37
490 12/7/11 08:04 PM 44 18,156 37
491 12/7/11 08:05 PM 32 18,188 37
492 12/7/11 08:06 PM 37 18,225 37
493 12/7/11 08:07 PM 40 18,265 37
494 12/7/11 08:08 PM 58 18,323 37 ALERT
495 12/7/11 08:09 PM 34 18,357 37
496 12/7/11 08:10 PM 36 18,393 37
497 12/7/11 08:11 PM 39 18,432 37
498 12/7/11 08:12 PM 42 18,474 37
499 12/7/11 08:13 PM 42 18,516 37
500 12/7/11 08:14 PM 49 18,565 37
501 12/7/11 08:15 PM 38 18,603 37
502 12/7/11 08:16 PM 36 18,639 37
503 12/7/11 08:17 PM 28 18,667 37
504 12/7/11 08:18 PM 30 18,697 37
505 12/7/11 08:19 PM 26 18,723 37
506 12/7/11 08:20 PM 32 18,755 37
507 12/7/11 08:21 PM 45 18,800 37
508 12/7/11 08:22 PM 31 18,831 37
509 12/7/11 08:23 PM 37 18,868 37
510 12/7/11 08:24 PM 60 18,928 37 ALERT
511 12/7/11 08:25 PM 42 18,970 37
512 12/7/11 08:26 PM 44 19,014 37
513 12/7/11 08:27 PM 41 19,055 37
514 12/7/11 08:28 PM 51 19,106 37 ALERT
515 12/7/11 08:29 PM 36 19,142 37
516 12/7/11 08:30 PM 46 19,188 37
517 12/7/11 08:31 PM 44 19,232 37
518 12/7/11 08:32 PM 41 19,273 37
519 12/7/11 08:33 PM 37 19,310 37
520 12/7/11 08:34 PM 50 19,360 37 ALERT
521 12/7/11 08:35 PM 39 19,399 37
522 12/7/11 08:36 PM 44 19,443 37
523 12/7/11 08:37 PM 45 19,488 37
524 12/7/11 08:38 PM 41 19,529 37
525 12/7/11 08:39 PM 47 19,576 37
526 12/7/11 08:40 PM 33 19,609 37
527 12/7/11 08:41 PM 42 19,651 37
528 12/7/11 08:42 PM 31 19,682 37
529 12/7/11 08:43 PM 42 19,724 37
530 12/7/11 08:44 PM 38 19,762 37
531 12/7/11 08:45 PM 47 19,809 37
532 12/7/11 08:46 PM 44 19,853 37
533 12/7/11 08:47 PM 47 19,900 37
534 12/7/11 08:48 PM 35 19,935 37
535 12/7/11 08:49 PM 36 19,971 37
536 12/7/11 08:50 PM 45 20,016 37
537 12/7/11 08:51 PM 39 20,055 37
538 12/7/11 08:52 PM 40 20,095 37
539 12/7/11 08:53 PM 46 20,141 37
540 12/7/11 08:54 PM 37 20,178 37
541 12/7/11 08:55 PM 67 20,245 37 ALERT
542 12/7/11 08:56 PM 44 20,289 37
543 12/7/11 08:57 PM 34 20,323 37
544 12/7/11 08:58 PM 45 20,368 37
545 12/7/11 08:59 PM 30 20,398 37
546 12/7/11 09:00 PM 51 20,449 37 ALERT
547 12/7/11 09:01 PM 44 20,493 37
548 12/7/11 09:02 PM 51 20,544 37 ALERT
549 12/7/11 09:03 PM 46 20,590 37
550 12/7/11 09:04 PM 50 20,640 37
551 12/7/11 09:05 PM 42 20,682 37
552 12/7/11 09:06 PM 45 20,727 37
553 12/7/11 09:07 PM 44 20,771 37
554 12/7/11 09:08 PM 41 20,812 37
555 12/7/11 09:09 PM 40 20,852 37
556 12/7/11 09:10 PM 53 20,905 37 ALERT
557 12/7/11 09:11 PM 44 20,949 37
558 12/7/11 09:12 PM 41 20,990 37
559 12/7/11 09:13 PM 45 21,035 37
560 12/7/11 09:14 PM 30 21,065 37
561 12/7/11 09:15 PM 48 21,113 37
562 12/7/11 09:16 PM 42 21,155 37
563 12/7/11 09:17 PM 35 21,190 37
564 12/7/11 09:18 PM 49 21,239 37
565 12/7/11 09:19 PM 43 21,282 37
566 12/7/11 09:20 PM 40 21,322 37
567 12/7/11 09:21 PM 48 21,370 37
568 12/7/11 09:22 PM 39 21,409 37
569 12/7/11 09:23 PM 53 21,462 37 ALERT
570 12/7/11 09:24 PM 48 21,510 37
571 12/7/11 09:25 PM 44 21,554 37
572 12/7/11 09:26 PM 42 21,596 37
573 12/7/11 09:27 PM 33 21,629 37
574 12/7/11 09:28 PM 27 21,656 37
575 12/7/11 09:29 PM 41 21,697 37
576 12/7/11 09:30 PM 52 21,749 37 ALERT
577 12/7/11 09:31 PM 37 21,786 37
578 12/7/11 09:32 PM 39 21,825 37
579 12/7/11 09:33 PM 39 21,864 37
580 12/7/11 09:34 PM 31 21,895 37
581 12/7/11 09:35 PM 37 21,932 37
582 12/7/11 09:36 PM 56 21,988 37 ALERT
583 12/7/11 09:37 PM 35 22,023 37
584 12/7/11 09:38 PM 42 22,065 37
585 12/7/11 09:39 PM 46 22,111 37
586 12/7/11 09:40 PM 40 22,151 37
587 12/7/11 09:41 PM 40 22,191 37
588 12/7/11 09:42 PM 47 22,238 37
589 12/7/11 09:43 PM 53 22,291 37 ALERT
590 12/7/11 09:44 PM 34 22,325 37
591 12/7/11 09:45 PM 36 22,361 37
592 12/7/11 09:46 PM 41 22,402 37
593 12/7/11 09:47 PM 38 22,440 37
594 12/7/11 09:48 PM 39 22,479 37
595 12/7/11 09:49 PM 45 22,524 37
596 12/7/11 09:50 PM 40 22,564 37
597 12/7/11 09:51 PM 55 22,619 37 ALERT
598 12/7/11 09:52 PM 45 22,664 37
599 12/7/11 09:53 PM 43 22,707 37
600 12/7/11 09:54 PM 38 22,745 37
601 12/7/11 09:55 PM 47 22,792 37
602 12/7/11 09:56 PM 46 22,838 37
603 12/7/11 09:57 PM 52 22,890 37 ALERT
604 12/7/11 09:58 PM 36 22,926 37
605 12/7/11 09:59 PM 41 22,967 37
606 12/7/11 10:00 PM 38 23,005 37
607 12/7/11 10:01 PM 38 23,043 37
608 12/7/11 10:02 PM 37 23,080 37
609 12/7/11 10:03 PM 48 23,128 37
610 12/7/11 10:04 PM 50 23,178 37 ALERT
611 12/7/11 10:05 PM 46 23,224 38
612 12/7/11 10:06 PM 49 23,273 38
613 12/7/11 10:07 PM 37 23,310 38
614 12/7/11 10:08 PM 45 23,355 38
615 12/7/11 10:09 PM 36 23,391 38
616 12/7/11 10:10 PM 45 23,436 38

Monday, December 05, 2011

Save the Post Office!

The post office is having financial difficulties and is planning to shut down half of its mail processing centers.
Postal Service Faces Bankruptcy


Please send a comment to the following link to show your support:
Save the Post Office

I submitted a poem for this important cause.

Save the Post Office!

The post office has been the best of friends,
Throughout my youth and beyond,
It keeps me posted on life's trends
With nary a cause to frown.

Efficient and quick, they brought the news -
Always there each day for me.
Through birthdays, weddings, and college, too
They sent mail for a very small fee

I cannot think of another way,
To receive my very own mail.
The post office should be here to stay
Please, please, don't let it fail!!

by Patty Apostolides
2011

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Winterize your home

Lately, we've been watching the news about solar flares and cme's and their effects on our world's climate. Since solar flares come around every eleven years, and this year is one of them, expect turbulent weather ahead.

This winter is expected to be another cold one, and it is good to be prepared. If you own a home and live in the northern regions, here are some inexpensive and easy tips to prepare for the winter. This is what we did:

1) We bought a temperature measuring device (General Infrared Thermometer) from the hardware store that you aim at the wall or area and it will set off a little beam that measures the temperature and gives you a digital reading. It was very easy to use. We did that throughout the house and found areas around the basement, doors and windows that were showing lower readings than in other areas. We promptly sealed them with caulking. We retested the areas and found the temperature had risen by 2-4 degrees from our caulking efforts. So our efforts paid off.

2) We also bought foam insulation for wall outlets. The wall outlets were also a source of cold air. The foam insulation is shaped like the wall outlet. You just unscrew the cover and place those inside and screw back the cover. Our temperature readings rose after we did that.

3) Curtains - there are curtains now available that are designed to help in energy costs. Use them around the house to keep drafts out (if you haven't caulked your windows).

4) Get the spray caulking foam to caulk underneath sinks, especially those that face the outside walls.

5) If you plan to leave your home for the holidays, make sure you leave the thermostat on between 55-60 degrees, and open your cabinets that lead to your sink (allows the warmer air to infiltrate the piping underneath the sink).


Larger projects - if you haven't done so, installing energy star double or triple pane windows, or adding more insulation to the attic will also help in keeping your house warm and lowering energy bills in the future.

Stay warm, stay safe.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cancer cells

Years ago, I grew cancer cells in vitro and in vivo in the laboratory at the Cleveland Clinic. I grew them so that we could perform experiments on them. These experiments varied, from studying their cell cycle phase (mitosis vs plateau) to their radiation sensitivity, to their phosphorous content through NMR spectroscopy, plus much, much more. Cells that were dividing or in mitosis were more susceptible to radiation because the DNA was exposed to the damage from radiation, whereas plateau phase cells tended to be radioresistant and didn't do much when zapped with radiation except sit there.

The word in vitro means that the cancer cells were grown in petrie dishes or culture dishes in a certain type of medium. These cancer cells could have been mammalian or human in origin, but the bottom line was that they were cancer cells. This word "cancer" came with a lot of assumptions, such as the following:
1) Cancer cells grow in Carbon Dioxide incubators only
2) Cancer cells need some form of bovine fetal calf serum and glucose to live on
3) cancer cells needed to be reseeded after so many doublings
4) They typically doubled every 8-10 hours (mammalian cancer cells)
5) If left alone in a dish, cancer cells would outgrow their medium and eventually die.

The word in vivo means that the cancer cells were living in an animal host, mostly mice. The mice we used varied. Little gray mice with hair were used for certain cancers, while nude mice with no hair or color (and with hardly an immune system) were used for other cancers. The cancer cells would be cultured in the laboratory and then concentrated to a certain amount and injected into the leg of the mouse. This procedure usually had to be planned weeks in advance in order to have the right amount of cells for the injection. Once the animal was injected, a certain period of time would pass and the tumor would result. The tumors were then studied.

Now, years later, as a wife, homeschooling mother, author, and poet, I have other things to occupy my time. One of them, is writing cancer articles with my husband Anthony Apostolides,Ph.D. Our articles can be accessed through Townsend Letter

Now I am no longer studying cancer cells in the lab, but their devastating effect on human beings on a much larger scale. This has been a painful experience for my family, for I have lost my father, mother-in-law, and brother-in-law to cancer, all within a few years of each other. This has become a mission for me and my husband as we devote our time to educating the public on this cancer epidemic.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Berkeley Springs Book Festival

Morgan Arts Council in Berkeley Springs, WV is hosting its first annual Book Festival on November 26, 2011 at the Ice House (10am-4pm).

I plan to be there to booksign my four books. Also, I will probably read a couple of my poems during the open mic session (3-4pm).

Here is more information about the book festival:

http://www.berkeleysprings.com/bookfest.html

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Listen to your Heart

Listen to your Heart

How many times must a rocket
Flare a path up into the air,
Slicing, dicing oxygen
Laced with petroleum
Fast and furious path
To nowhere,
Only to fall back down
Broken piece of junk -
To humble Earth.
Its cost absorbed by millions,
Yet no one knows why, except
A few privileged.


How many homes must a
Nuclear power plant light,
Spewing radiation poisoning
Like Medussa's venom
Into the frigid night air
While babies cry out.
Somehow they know
Radiation is not good for them,
Yet no one listens.
Children's hospitals
Sprout forth like mushrooms
Postponing death's call
To diseased children
For a few more months.


And when we lay down our heads
At night,
Do we dare listen to our heart
To the love that binds our
Destiny to one another
And do something about it?
Or do we turn our heads,
Choosing to ignore the
Cries of babies in the night,
Unable to defend their right
To live one more day,
Victims of a polluted universe
That spews them forth like venom
Into the pitch black of night.
Only they don't get to return
to humble Earth.


by Patty Apostolides, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Growing up Greek

I was born in Piraeus, Greece and came to the United States with my family when I was four. My parents were staunch Greeks and spoke only Greek at home. We ate Greek food and celebrated all the religious holidays. We lived in Cleveland and we went to the Greek churches there (4 churches) , sang in the Greek choirs, danced at the Greek dances, and even married Greek men. While in college, I co-founded and was president of the Hellenic Student Association and also ran the weekly Greek radio show on campus. How more Greek can that be?

When I visited Greece for the first time in my twenties, I visited Lipsi island, where my parents were from. The people there were very hospitable and I enjoyed myself tremendously. I returned there several times during my college years - until I began to envision living in Greece permanently.

I attempted to move back to Greece after graduating from college and having worked a few years as a biologist. I was in my twenties, enamored with the idea of going back to my roots. I stayed with my uncle and aunt in Piraeus for awhile. At first, it was like a honeymoon, everything was nice and rosy. I liked the evening strolls near the water and the beautiful scenery. I liked the music and the food. But somehow the longer I stayed, the dream began to sour. I remember waiting in the bank line in Athens and people pushing and getting in front of me, thrusting their papers at the clerk without so much as looking at me. I remember my uncle driving normally in his car and getting cursed by other drivers who wanted to speed past us, giving us the five fingers, thinking we were going too slow. I remember the dowries and proxenia, and how we Greek Americans were looked at as dollar signs. I remember trying to flag a taxi and once they heard our destination ( a bit away from the airport), declined and we had to pay double to get to where we needed to go. I also worked in Greece in an endocrinology lab because of my degree and I knew English and was able to run radioimmunassay tests for pregnant women, but got paid a fraction of what I got paid in the United States.

After several months of attempting to fit in, I experienced a culture shock. I sorely missed my family and Greek community. I missed the professionalism and intellectual stimulation of my former job at the Cleveland Clinic. The Greece that I envisioned was totally different from the Greek American culture that I had experienced. Compared to the Greeks living in Greece, Greek Americans were very conservative, being more religious, busy working and building dreams in America. The Greek Americans I knew had adopted a comraderie and fellowship that was evident in the church community. Unfortunately, I did not witness that in mainland Greece. There was a sophistication, an almost arrogant stance to us "Amerikanakia" and a decadence (particularly television shows) that was unheard of in America (Lipsi island was an exception because practically everyone there was a relative and the islanders tend to be hospitable).

So I returned to America, having learned that although I was born in Greece, there was a difference. Greek Americans are a hybrid of Greek and American cultures, having captured the best of both worlds, and that made all the difference.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Publishing Trends

For many years, my family and I have been patrons of Borders, Barnes & Noble bookstores and BooksAMillion bookstores. Twice a week we would visit one of these bookstores and I would browse the different bookshelves, skim through books, and note what was in stock. We also are avid library patrons, and also frequent used bookstores.

As I was growing up in Cleveland in the seventies, most of the books I read were clean books like Heidi, Jane Eyre, and Black Beauty. The libraries were well stocked with clean covers, clean stories, and better stories, in my humble opinion. "Noir" stories were not the norm then, as they are now.

Now, when I enter one of the bookstores (Barnes & Noble, etc.) I see black every where, black covers, black stories, black ideas; even the music is harsh and grating. Magazines show more bare skin. Even book titles are vulgar and use four-letter words. It is a depressing atmosphere for an optimistic person like me. Who is buying these books and why are they buying them? It sure isn't me! I like to see bright cover colors, bright ideas, optimistic and hopeful stories. Where have they gone?

Where are the stories that inspire, and make me laugh? I crave for stories comparable to the following movies: Sound of Music, Inspector General, Easter Parade, TopHat, Daddy Longlegs, Mary Poppins, Good Old Summertime, etc. Where have they all gone? Am I living in the wrong time period?

I'm also seeing this infiltrate into the educational system. We were going to send our son to sixth grade public school this year. He was tested and placed in the advanced section for all his classes, and for his English class was given a book to read over the summer. It was about misfits and a foster home and how the parents had abused the children. It was a terrible story. What garbage! The choices that these authorities are making shows me that our society is missing in values. Who wants to read about misfits and abusive parents? How depressing. My son who is an avid reader, was depressed by the story. We ended up not sending him to the public school after all but decided to homeschool him another year.

We visited our public library the other day. I usually choose books for my son to read. He reads one fiction and one non-fiction a day as his limit. If I did not set a limit, he would be reading all day.
Choosing books for him to read has been a chore. I search for books that have an engaging story, are uplifting, and capture the imagination. Most of the new books are tailored to the Harry Potter series, full of fantasy and evil. Most of the new books have at least one description of death, one description of something bad happening to someone (prevalent in vampire stories), and so on. This is becoming a dilemma. He has already read all the classic books by now (Heidi, Anne of Greengables, Black Beauty, Robinson Crusoe, Mary Poppins, Winnie-the-Pooh, and many more!). Dare he venture into the dark unknown? I shiver at the thought of my impressionable, intelligent son being influenced by these dark forces.

So I pray that the universe listens to my prayers for the good of humanity - to spread this goodness into the publishing industry and embrace it with much love and light - so that we may learn from life through positive examples and not negative, downgrading horrific stories. Let the positive forces win over the dark forces.

This prayer also holds true with all the art forms - music and fine art.

Signing off and God bless!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Radiation and more Radiation

One "new normal" activity these days includes a daily check of our inside air with our radiation detector Inspector+ which is linked to the computer through a software program (both detector and software program bought by Mineralab.com). Typically, the detector would range from 20-40 cpm. The last few days, I've been getting alerts (I set the threshold to 50 cpm to alert me when it reaches that count) for 50 cpm and above. One alert was for 56 cpm. Although it's not exceedingly high, it is almost twice the normal reading that I got in the past. This additional radiation is probably gamma rays, since the radiation is coming from the outside and passing through our walls.

I wonder if others have been seeing spikes in their radiation readings. To answer that question, I just checked the www.radiationnetwork.com website and I do notice at this time, 3:30pm Nov. 15 2011, that east of Pennsylvania, there was a 55cpm reading. That's high, also.

Although the site uses 100cpm as an alert threshold, I feel that 50 cpm is a better number. Any low-level radiation is unacceptable.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Excerpt from The Lion and the Nurse

THE LION AND THE NURSE

by Patty Apostolides

CHAPTER 1

April 1979

Truth exists, yet often times we don’t see it. Elusive, like a deer in hiding, it waits, revealing itself only when the beholder stands still, ready to accept it unconditionally. Such a moment of truth exposed itself on this spring afternoon to Cassiani, but was she ready for it?

Cassiani stepped out on to the sunlit balcony carrying a bucket of dirty soap water in one hand and a wet mop in the other. Her mind was miles away at the University Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, where she worked the past five months as a registered nurse. Today she would have been taking blood pressure readings at seven o’clock in the morning or popping thermometers into patients’ mouths. Or she would have been reading charts and administering medications. Instead, she was here on the Greek Island of Kos, mopping Mrs. Lukas’ upstairs apartment.

A week ago, when she and her sister received the telephone call from the doctor at Kos Hospital telling them that her mother experienced a heart attack, it had come as a shock. Athena couldn’t come because she was pregnant with her second child, so it was decided that Cassiani would come. Cassiani rushed to get here, dropping everything she was doing with no other thought but to nurse her mother. When she arrived three days ago, little did she know that today she’d be cleaning and mopping Mrs. Lukas’ house.

Cassiani lifted the bucket and poured the soapy water over the side of the balcony, watching the water disappear down the slope of the lime-green hill below. Further observation revealed flecks of color among the hill; clusters of white cyclamen, bunches of daisies, and bright red poppies that swayed with each caress of the wind. She took a deep breath, enjoying the fresh mountain air.

“This would be a good place to rest,” she said aloud. Two wooden chairs and a small square table sat on the balcony. She sank into one chair, plopping her slender legs up on the other chair, enjoying the sun-drenched panoramic view of Kos Island below. She could see far on this clear day; the whitewashed houses scattered here and there, the sandy beach of Tigaki with its salt lake, and in the horizon, the small island of Pserimos.

Her gaze settled to her left, beyond the row of Cypress trees that marked the property’s boundary, on the winding road leading to the house. She remembered the walk she had with her mother years ago down that very same road. It was dusty and half the width; suited more for pedestrians and donkeys than for cars. This morning her mother said, “You’ll find the road paved now, so don’t miss the way. It was done two years ago when Mrs. Lukas bought a new Mercedes.”

Cassiani glimpsed the dark shade of a lonely automobile driving up the road, but lost track of it just as quickly; probably her imagination at work. Mrs. Lukas was napping downstairs and wasn’t expecting anyone. She yawned, rubbing her eyes, enjoying the feel of the warm sun on her face. Her eyes fluttered shut as she fell into a light sleep.

Thud.

Cassiani jumped up from her chair, knocking it over, her heart beating wildly. She anxiously peered through the balcony’s glass door into the darkness of the apartment. Could it be that Mrs. Lukas had walked up the stairs looking for her and had slipped on the newly mopped floor? Then she caught sight of the man. His movements were slow and cautious, as if he had sensed another presence…her presence. “A burglar,” she whispered. She quickly made the sign of the cross. “Dear Lord, have mercy on me.”

He was lean and dressed in dark clothes, and was heading purposefully towards her.

* * *

“What are you doing here?” Leo demanded. Just as he was about to reach the balcony he slipped on the wet floor and landed on his back.

At that very same moment Cassiani sprinted past him, then slid on the wet floor, her arms flailing about her until she regained her momentum. In her haste to leave, she blindly ran into the luggage lined up at the door. She lost her balance and grabbed the doorframe managing to keep from falling. She shakily pulled the two large suitcases upright. Were these the cause of the sound she heard from the balcony? She glanced at the nametag. “Dr. Leonidas Regas,” she whispered. Why did the name sound familiar? Her eyes flew open. “Oh, no!”

The burglar was none other than the much-awaited nephew of Soula Lukas. How could it be? He was supposed to arrive tomorrow. Ashamed at her behavior, Cassiani turned around and stared at the fallen man. She inched her way towards him, careful not to slip on the wet floor. Although his eyes were shut, to her relief she could make out the faint movement of his chest rising and falling rhythmically. Yes, he was alive…and undeniably handsome. His tanned face was lean, with a strong chin and a prominent, straight nose. She bent down, ready to check his head for bumps when his eyes fluttered open, staring upwards to gaze at the ceiling.

She caught her breath when his eyes settled on her. Magnificently large in size, their golden hazel color, speckled with emerald and saffron, glowed like a cat’s eyes…no…more like a lion’s eyes…as if there was a fire brewing inside them. It was unnerving, the intent way he studied her.

“Ouch,” he said, touching the back of his head. Apparently satisfied with the result, he raised himself in a sitting position. He studied her once more.

She could feel the warm rush of his breath against her face. Suddenly aware of how physically close he was to her, Cassiani moved back, trembling. A minute ago she was nursing a vulnerable, weak patient. As soon as he spoke, as soon as he was a man again and not a patient, society’s norms, her Christian principles, and her parents’ sound upbringing joined forces, sending warning signals up her spine. You’re alone in this apartment with a man.

“Don’t worry, I won’t bite.” His teasing voice was low and husky. She smiled. He smiled back. “What were you doing here?”

“I, I…was.” she said, very conscious of his stare. For some odd reason, she couldn’t speak. Instead, she stood up and pointed towards the balcony where she had left the bucket and mop. She made the motion of mopping.

In one swift movement he was up on his feet, his agile body moving cautiously to the balcony. “You were mopping the apartment,” he finished her sentence. “That explains the wet floor.”

Cassiani was about to introduce herself when she heard a faint call coming from downstairs. She turned her head to hear better. “It’s Mrs. Lukas. She is calling.” She ran towards the door, knocking the luggage over.

“Wait!” Leo shouted.

Cassiani flew down the steps. This time there was no turning back. She sprinted through the large kitchen with the peppermint tea scent, across the narrow hallway with its paintings, and into the bedroom. She found Soula Lukas sitting upright in her bed, propped up by several large pillows. The pink satin robe covering her thin frame, meant for a much younger woman, captured the eye first before settling on her olive-skinned, wrinkled face. Her fluffy white hair circled her head like a misplaced halo.

Maybe it was the way her brown eyes, clouded and unfocused, looked up at Cassiani, or the dazed look on her face, as if she had just seen a ghost; whatever it was, something had caused her to call out.

Cassiani leaned over and touched her shoulder. “Mrs. Lukas, is everything all right?” she asked, feeling breathless. “I heard you calling.”

“What? Oh, yes,” Soula muttered. Her hand fluttered over her eyes. “I had a dream…yes…a dream. That Leo was here.”

“Actually, Leo did—” Cassiani began, then stopped when she saw Leo.

In a few strides Leo reached his aunt’s bed. “Aunt Soula!” he said. He bent down and kissed his aunt tenderly on the forehead then eased his body on the edge of the bed

Soula’s voice trembled with joy. She gripped his hand as if she were testing the reality of his presence. “So you weren’t really a dream after all! I thought I saw you in a dream…that you had come.”

Captivated by this new development into Mrs. Lukas’ world, Cassiani watched with surprise, witnessing the caring look on Leo’s face and the gentle way he touched his aunt’s arm. There was sensitivity in that gesture, one that conveyed a soul that had experienced love and knew how to show it and this spoke louder than words to Cassiani’s fine-tuned heart. She was mesmerized.

The tender way in which Mrs. Lukas gazed back into her nephew’s eyes revealed no coldness or hardness that Cassiani had glimpsed in the past, but a startling show of affection…resembling the love of a mother towards her child.

“I stopped by earlier, but you were asleep.”

“Ahh, so that was what happened!” Soula said, touching Leo’s face fondly. “Weren’t you supposed to come tomorrow?” She scrunched her face, thinking. “What is today…Thursday or Friday?”

Leo playfully patted her on the hand. “We had arranged for me to come today, Thursday.”

“Oh, my,” Soula replied, appearing apologetic. “For some reason I thought it was tomorrow. You know…I’m becoming rather forgetful.”

Cassiani quietly removed herself, not wanting to interfere with the reunion. As a nurse, she had learned not to pry into people’s affairs. She paused at the door and looked at them. “I must be going,” she said.

Leo stood up. “I’m sorry if I frightened you. I wasn’t expecting to find anyone upstairs in the apartment.”

I wasn’t expecting anyone either. “That’s all right. I’m the one that should be apologizing,” Cassiani replied.

“What happened?” Soula asked Leo, her eyes narrowing.

“I slipped on the floor she had mopped and – ”

“Did you hurt yourself?” Soula interjected, looking concerned.

“I’m fine,” Leo chuckled, gingerly touching the back of his head. “Not even a small bump for a souvenir.”

“I have to go now,” Cassiani said, feeling awkward under Mrs. Lukas’ scrutiny. “My mother hasn’t been feeling well. I need to be with her.”

“Ah, yes. Say hello to her for me,” Soula said, her face softening. “Oh…and don’t forget to take the payment for cleaning the upstairs apartment. The money is on the kitchen table.” She signaled towards the kitchen.

Cassiani blushed at the patronizing manner in which Mrs. Lukas had just spoken. I helped because I wanted to, not because of any payment. Instead of replying, she fled from the room.

* * *

Leo watched with amusement at Cassiani’s flustered exit. His mind had been preoccupied all day with business deals and his aunt’s health. Cassiani’s brief entrance into his life had been a refreshingly beautiful diversion. I wonder whether I’ll see her again. I wonder where she lives. “Who is she?”

“She’s the daughter of my hired companion, Vera Meletis. Vera had a heart attack recently. I needed help, so she sent her in her place.” Soula motioned to Leo. “Come, take my arm so I can get up.”

Leo held on to his aunt as she arose out of bed. “I didn’t see her car outside. Does she need a ride—”

“Don’t go thinking too much about her,” Soula interjected.

“What makes you think that?” Leo asked, shrugging his shoulders.

“Oh, an old woman’s intuition,” was his aunt’s tart reply.

* * *


Available on www.Amazon.com

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Goodness of Heart

Today is Sunday, and we read the Bible. I particularly like reading the Proverbs section, and of course, passages from the New Testament. Sometimes we bring in other reading that is spiritual.
Today, we read a portion from a book by St. Therese of Lisiuex, France. She had written an autobiography before she passed away in her twenties. It showed her simple, pure thinking and how she prayed for all the souls so they wouldn't go to purgatory. She was very inspiring.

If we could all see the goodness in each other and forgive one another, knowing that we all are God's children, wouldn't this be a better, safer place to live?

Miracles

Miracles have been a part of my life since I was a young girl. I call them miracles because they defy normal life happenings and the probability of them happening is so rare, that no other explanation other than that they are a miracle, or a grace from God. I am deeply thankful for these. I may have written about them in the past, but cannot seem to locate that article, so I'll write them once again.

The first miracle I remember is when I am around five years old, chasing after my sister and aunt, who are older than me. It is a sunny day and we are crossing the street. I am wearing black shoes, white socks, and a dress. As I'm crossing the street, I run into the path of a car. The next thing I remember, is that I'm on the sidewalk, and there are several people around me, looking down with concerned faces. Apparently, the car had run over my leg, because my shoe had been removed. I remember looking for my shoe, and slipping it on. Being five, I did not have laced shoes, but a strap that was buckled. I then stood up and walked away, very shy and not used to all this attention. It wasn't until years later that I realized the miracle that had happened. Someone/God/angel had kept me from being harmed by the car.


The second major incident was a few years later. I must have been 8 or 9 years old. In the Greek Orthodox religion, we are christened when we are babies. The nouna, or Godmother gives the child a cross as part of the christening. I wore my cross just about everywhere, and while going to school. I loved it because the gold was intricately woven, almost lacelike in feature, and shaped like a cross. In the center was a small stone. Anyway, I remember coming home one day from school. It was a September afternoon, and I found out that somehow I had lost the cross. I was dismayed and so was my family. I kept looking for it at school, in my classroom, gym class, etc., but couldn't find it. Three days later, as I was walking to school, a black girl came toward me holding the cross. She showed it to me and said, "Is this your cross?" I was so happy to receive it. I did not know who she was and did not see her again. My mother was very happy and said it was a miracle. That day was the day the Greek Orthodox observed the day of the cross. Was it a coincidence or a miracle? You decide.

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Winners of Giveaway Posted

The winners of the giveaway of The Greek Maiden and the English Lord are now posted on my website. I hope every one of the winners enjoys the story!

Until the next giveaway...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Giveaway of The Greek Maiden and the English Lord

Today is the last day to sign up to win a free copy of The Greek Maiden and the English Lord!

Click here to submit

I will contact the winners and once confirmed, will post their names on my website.

Good luck!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Musings of my past - College and beyond...

I attended Case Western Reserve University in the late 70s, and found it to be a very demanding school, with course loads that ate up a lot of my time, but it was all well worth it. It was rated very highly at that time in Chemistry due to Dr. Olan who had a whole floor designated for him. I heard he left afterwards and took all his people with him to California. Anyway, due to several reasons I mentioned in an earlier post, I switched from a Chemistry Major to a Biology Major my second year. I found Biology a more suitable match for me. Studying about life was more interesting than studying chemicals.

I also minored in music (played viola since 3rd grade) and theater, and performed with the Reading Orchestra on campus. The purpose of the small group was to play music we had never seen before and broaden our exposure of different compositions. In addition, I took modern dance classes while working towards my minor in theater. This made for a more balanced curriculum than the strictly science/technical orientation of chemistry and biology and thus allowed my creative side to be nurtured.


While at CWRU, I met another Greek student. She was very friendly and we talked about forming a Greek club together on campus. We met a couple of times and our plan finally materialized. We reserved a room for the meeting and put up flyers around the campus, baked some cookies, and had the meeting. About thirty Greek (mostly from Greece) students showed up. Some were Greek but did not speak Greek. Shortly after, we had elections and I was voted President of the group and my friend was vice-president. We also had a secretary and treasurer. We met several times to design the bylaws.

The Hellenic Association was recognized as a student organization after we supplied the appropriate forms and bylaws to the university. When we wanted to meet on campus, we were able to reserve rooms through a certain process. The group consisted of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, specializing in many fields, including: nursing, dental, engineering (civil, chemical, biomedical, etc.), medicine, and biology. Our group evolved and we had more meetings, and interesting events, like a picnic off the campus, Greek professors giving lectures, visits to restaurants, and other Greek events in the community (dances, dinners). etc. As a result, I was very busy with not only schoolwork, but the Hellenic group, and loving it. I would write up newsletters and provide them to the members. Another highlight of this group was that I was able to sign us up for the radio program on campus. They allotted our group a half hour radio time every Tuesday as a community service. I had to learn the technique of engineering the show, and after a few painstaking hours of training, planned each show carefully, including an opening theme, a Greek quote of the day, and which songs to play. I tried to arrange the music with slow and fast songs using a variety of singers. Most of the music came from records provided by the university, which we were grateful for. We also supplied some of our own records. We would tape the music and submit the recording before the show and they would play it for us. A couple of times I interviewed a professor or two as part of the show. Sometimes friends from our Hellenic club would also speak. Eventually, I learned that the Greek community was listening to our radio program and I was very pleased. However, because college is a temporary situation, when I graduated, I was sad to see the radio show end. No one else picked up the torch to continue it.

After graduation, I joined the Cleveland Women's Orchestra, an all-women's orchestra conducted by Hyman Schandler. I audtioned and was accepted. I enjoyed playing viola with them, and was a member of the orchestra for many, many years. We played annually at Severance Hall as well as at benefit concerts. The pieces were complex and long, mostly symphonies that would last 30-40 minutes each. We would work on these pieces for months at a time before the concert. We also performed at nursing homes on a weekly basis. Schandler would start the program by saying something about the compositions we would be playing and he always threw in some humor to make the residents laugh. The music was usually popular waltz pieces. These outreach performances were my favorite, for the audience was so receptive and appreciative. They would come up to us after the performance and thank us profusely. There would inevitably be a reception also, with drinks and food. One concert, Mr. Schandler's baton flew off the stage and there was commotion for a moment before he could get another one. Another time, a violinist went to sit down on a chair on stage and the chair broke. No lie. One other reason I loved the orchestra were the ladies in it. Sabina Berman, an old timer who played the viola was my best friend. She always greeted me with a bright smile. Rehearsals were weekly and at a boys' school in East Cleveland. We didn't leave rehearsals until close to ten, and and often we would have refreshments afterwards. The orchestra was composed of women from a variety of backgrounds...there were twins who played the cello and viola. We also had a nun who played the bass. There was a blind trumpet player who played from braille music using her hand to read. We also had a famous journalist from the local newspaper who went on assignment in Kosovo. Those were very pleasant times.

Until next time...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Chemistry Stockroom

I have so many memories of my youth that range from childhood into college and beyond. There are so many interesting stories of my life that I would like to write about. I don't think it would be worth a memoir, but for a blog, it just might be the right thing.

One such memory is during the time I was a student at Case Western Reserve University. I had entered the university with dreams about becoming a Ph.D. biochemist, no lie. It all started when I was fourteen years old and a cousin of mine from Australia had hydroencephalus and leukemia at the age of 13 months. The family brought him to the U.S. and they stayed with us. The poor child did not make it and he was so adorable. I was affected deeply by the loss, and began to read as much as I could on leukemia and other related topics.

Upon graduating from high school, I went to Cleveland State University but felt that the classes were not what I was looking for. The following year, I entered CWRU. There, the counselor I spoke to suggested I major in Chemistry rather than in Biology. Big Mistake. This was through the Case Institute curriculum which is primarily science oriented and a very rigorous program. The first year I took five difficult courses, and also worked part-time in the Chemistry stockroom. It was down in the basement and filled with all kinds of inventory, including chemicals. I would fill the orders for graduate students and staff and maintain inventory.

There were several harrowing moments that occurred during my experience there that convinced me not to pursue chemistry. These events will be imprinted in my mind forever. One particular event was when we were called to attend an emergency. I tagged along, not knowing if I was needed, but felt impelled to be there. At the end of the hall, in a locked room, were many barrels that held chemical waste from the chemistry labs in the building. Typically, each barrel held wastes that were compatible with each other and did not react with each other. However, someone had placed the wrong chemical in a waste barrel (mislabeled) and a reaction was occurring before our very eyes - similar to a mushroom explosion. I thought the room was going to explode. I stayed outside, peeking in as they ran a large hose into the room. To my consternation, I learned that the auditorium was just above this room. Fortunately, the head of the department with several others were able to avert a disaster.

The second incident was when a graduate student was measuring mercury into a container, and spilled it. The hood that they were working in was less than a foot from my desk. We had to clean it up but didn't know how. I read up on the technique and called for help. The spill was cleaned up. I don't think I saw that graduate student again.

The third incident was when I was carrying canisters from the mail room into the chemistry stockroom and I read that if they were left at room temperature, they would explode. The date on the canister was at least 2 days old. I was very scared as I properly placed the canister in storage.

The fourth and final incident that definitely sealed the coffin on the word Chemistry was when two bottles of Nitric Acid that I was stocking up, clashed and broke, splashing my legs with the acid. I had to be rushed to the ER for this. Although it didn't hurt much, I had to be placed in a warm bath and ultimately a burn scar was the result of this.

The following year, I switched majors to Biology and I haven't looked back since.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cancer Cells Continued

With my first job at the Cleveland Clinic, I was sent to the University of Berkeley in Berkeley, California, to learn the techniques of tissue culture and also perform experiments with the staff there. It was beautiful, sunny weather in the month of July, but somewhat cool. I was fresh out of college, young and energetic and eager to learn all that there was. My lodging was an old building, a section of the university reserved for visitors like me, where everything was dark and the ancient steps creeked as I walked up the stairs to my room. Over the course of a few days, the lodging’s old character had revealed a quiet charm that was easily embraced by my receding spirit after a busy day at the lab. I also enjoyed walking the sprawling campus of the university each sunny morning with my female colleague, ogling the beautiful campus buildings and architecture, heading toward our research building.

I remember walking the halls of the science building with my colleague, who proudly told me that several Nobel Prize winners had worked in this very same building. I remember entering the women's restroom in the basement floor of the building and finding a person huddled in their sleeping bag, apparently having slept overnight there. I learned that some experiments were timed so that the researcher needed to remain overnight. This was the dedication I saw over and over again over time from several scientists who were willing to make sacrifices for their research.

Once I learned the tissue culture technique and the cell cycle experiments, I returned back to Cleveland and resumed working in our lab. Our initial experiments were held at NASA's cyclotron in Brookpark, which emitted neutron beams on tumors located on the legs of mice. The idea was that these powerful beams would zoom in on the target without killing the surrounding tissues. We worked with another researcher who came from Massachusetts General Hospital, and would drive 14 hours bringing all his mice with him in his station wagon just for these experiments. It was a multi-institution project, with the Clinic, NASA, and MGH involved in these experiments. The cyclotron had initially been used for other reasons, but when I arrived at this job, they were using it for mice experiments. I also heard at the time that it was being considered for late stage cancer patients who were willing to give neutron therapy a try.

Until next time....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cancer Cells In Vitro

It's been a few years since my work as a biologist at the Cleveland Clinic, and sometimes I will read something in a scientific journal that will trigger memories of my work. This is an attempt to write a bit about my experience stemming from my many years working in the lab.

I was employed at the Cleveland Clinic first as a Research Technologist/Lab Manager in the Radiobiology Lab, and later as a Lab Manager in the MRI Research Center. In both departments, I designed and ran the tissue culture labs and performed experiments on cancer cells, ranging from human cancer cells to mammalian cancer cells.

The lab was essentially equipped with a CO2 incubator for the cancer cells, vented hoods, centrifuges, microscopes, refrigerator, freezer, sink, and UV lights overhead that turned on when closing the lab in order to sterilize the room. UV light destroys the DNA of the bacteria so that they cannot reproduce. Everything was positioned in such a way as to maximize sterility and efficiency.

The hardest part about growing cells in tissue culture was to keep them not only alive but clean from contamination by bacteria, viruses or fungi. The water used to prepare the media had to be pure, without contaminants so as not to interfere with the cell growth. All glassware was washed and rinsed several times with pure water to remove any soap residue. Even a little residue could affect the cells. Also, it was preferable not to use antibiotics, but if a cell line became infected, it could be costly, because they would have to be disposed of and a new batch prepared. So there were times when antibiotics had to be used.

Until our lab was up and running, I worked in another department of the Cleveland Clinic. In those days, they cultured the cells in an open lab, working over a lit burner (the heat was supposed to keep the bacteria away). I was initially trained in this method. Also, glass pipettes were used and had to be cleaned all the time. Any one of these methods were potential for contamination.

When our new lab was finally opened, we had disposable pipettes and range hoods that vented out. We also had pressurized rooms so that when we entered the room, the air from the outside would not enter the lab. I guess the difference between our lab and the older lab was the funding. We were the new kids on the block and had received funding that allowed for these upgrades, whereas they somehow didn't feel a need to do so.


Many times our work focused on radiobiological experiments, and we used radioisotopes often. We always worked with powdered latex gloves and often two pair at a time, one over the other, in case we needed to leave the room and return. When leaving, we would remove the outer layer and upon return, would put on another pair over the first layer.

Different cancer cell lines had different food requirements, but all cancer cells needed the basics, like fetal calf serum and L-glutamine, and glucose. The culture media varied, though, and the pH had to stay within a certain range. I could tell when cells were thriving or dying just by the color of their media. Yellow media meant they were overgrown, and needed to be recultured into another petrie dish, and purple media meant that the cells were dying.

Cancer cells were basically stored in a tiny capsule in a frozen state with DMSO,which helped them not crystallize and die. The freezing and thawing procedures were very delicate and came down to a fine art so as not to lose any cells in the process.

Cancer cell lines we used had finite lives before they began to mutate into something else, so many cultures are frozen at the very beginning of a cell line to use. After about 15 propogations, we would pull a new batch from the freezer and thaw it and grow into a new culture. If this was not done, and a culture was used continuously for a long time, the cells would start changing and the results would vary, making the cell line unstable.


Until next time....

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tips for Novice Authors

Tips for Novice Authors

If you are reading this article then you probably have asked yourself at some point in your life, "Do I have what it takes to become an author?"

I believe that successful authors, those who actually write and finish that novel, or book of poetry, or even that book of short stories, and see it all the way to publication, have certain characteristics.

Characteristics of Authors

1. They like to sit for hours in front of a computer screen (or with pen and paper), typing (writing) away.

2. They think about their book, even when they're not writing.

3. They are motivated to finish their book.

4. They are motivated to proofread, edit and revise their finished book until it is the best it can be.

5. They are motivated to publish their book.

6. Once they publish the first book, they are already working on the next one.

If you answered yes to anyone of the above, then you have a good chance of attaining your dreams of becoming an author. Don't listen to those people who say it's a competitive market out there. Don't listen to those people who say they've written five books and haven't had one published yet. And don't listen to those people who send you back your manuscripts! Listen to yourself. Listen to that inner voice, the one that is whispering now. But wait until you get started. Once your book is written and published, that inner voice will be roaring! And the whole world will hear about it.

I know, I know. I tend to be the optimist. But we have so many pessimists in the book business, we sure need some more optimists around!

For you, the novice writer who would like to start writing that first book, the best way to begin is to start writing. Yes, just sit down and do it. Stop the other activities, the television, the reading, the shopping, the chatting on the telephone, and find the time to devote at least one hour a day to writing.

What's one hour a day in the scheme of things? It comes and goes like this, poof! What do you have to show after an hour of television? A lazy yawn? If that same hour were spent on writing, then there would be a product in your hands, something that will be shared, hopefully, one day with others.

So, go ahead, shut the door to the rest of the world for one hour (or more) and make yourself comfortable in front of the computer screen (or pen and paper). Let's take the first step to becoming an author.

How To Begin

Foundation

Just like a construction company which builds a foundation to a home, you also need to prepare a foundation for your career in writing. Don't skip this step, it's important.

Your "foundation" will consist of basic writing skills. Remember those English courses you took in high school and college? If you don't remember anything from those courses, then it wouldn't be a bad idea if you found your old English textbooks, dusted them off a bit, and looked through their pages to refresh your memory.

If you haven't taken any courses in creative writing, you might consider signing up for one. Check with your local community college. They often offer weekend and evening classes, and sometimes even online classes. If you're on a budget, then visit the public library and sign out books relevant to writing.

In addition, it would be very useful to join a writing group (online or in your local area) that critiques your work and gives you the opportunity to critique also. The group provides wonderful support and an avenue to sharpen your skills as you gain experience in writing, as well as exposure to other people's writing. For example, Writing.com is a good example of an online resource that provides many opportunities to share your writing, and get your work rated and reviewed. If you want to join a critique or review group, it offers that also.

The second step to becoming an author, is to have the right tools.

Tools Needed

Besides a comfortable chair, plenty of lighting, and a quiet room, you will need a computer with a word processing program (e.g., Microsoft Word), a printer, and plenty of paper.

Why a computer? First of all, publishers typically will request a copy of your files sent to them on a floppy disk. More importantly, working with a word processing program will aid you in many ways towards becoming a published author. It will provide the opportunity to save your work as a Word file, without having to use up tons of paper (as with a typewriter). This greatly aids you in keeping your work organized. It also gives you the flexibility to edit and re-edit large sections of your work quickly by allowing you to utilize the copy and paste functions.

Other advantages of using a computer word processing program is that it provides spell check capabilities, and also helps you count the number of words per page. In addition, when you want to spice up your vocabulary (For example, if you like to use the word "walk" often, and are getting tired of that word), place your cursor on the word "walk", hit shift F7. It will give you a list of synonyms you can choose from - like stroll, amble, etc.).

The time saved by using a computer is very valuable. It gives you more time available to write! Of course, if you don't have the above materials, don't let that stop you from writing that book! Using a pen and paper is perfectly fine. Books were written with these two basic tools for centuries.

Let's assume you are using a computer and a Word processing software. First of all, before you begin writing, form a subdirectory that you can add all your chapters to. Maybe you know the title of your book already. Fine, then form a subdirectory using the name of the title. After you finish writing that first chapter (oh joy!), just save it as Chapter 1 under the subdirectory. If you are writing a book of poetry, then you might want to save each poem as a separate file.

When I write my chapters for my novel, I format them in double space mode, with a Times New Roman 11 font. All the margins are at least one inch. This way it will be ready for manuscript submission.

Try not to add your page numbers until the very last revision. Page numbers constantly change when you're revising, so wait until the end.

Finally, another reason for having a computer is for Internet access. As a writer, you will have opportunities to submit your fiction online, such as http://www.Writing.com, or even your articles online for e-zines, such as http://www.articlecity.com. Any chance you can get to write online, do it. As long as it doesn't take too much time away from your book. It's also a free way of promoting yourself before the book is even published.

So you need to balance your time in writing that book, honing your writing skills, submitting your work along the way for others to critique, and promoting yourself. Can you do it? Of course you can!

The third step to becoming an author is:

What to Write

If you are planning to write a novel, it would help to know what general category your book is going to be in. Will it be in the romance, mystery, or science fiction category? If you don't know, take some time and think about it. Read some books in those genres. Which books seem to attract you the most? It's highly likely that you'll be writing in the category that you like to read. My preference is romance because I read those types of books the most. Once you decide the category, then you are closer to writing that novel!

For poetry, you might start by writing a poem and submitting it to a poetry journal, or a poetry contest. Gain exposure for your poetry. Join a critique group so you can sharpen your poetry skills. A chapbook usually consists of about 25-35 poems. For a poetry book, you'll need at least 60 pages of poetry, if not more.

Types of Novelists

I have found over time, that there are two types of novelists. The first type is the writer who prefers drawing up a proposal or plan of what they will write about. The second type prefers to write whatever comes into their mind at that moment.

You decide which writer you will be.

Type 1 Novelist

They begin by describing the characters, their names, personalities, and sometimes their motives. Then they decide when and where the setting will take place. When will it take place? If it takes place before the 1900's, then it will be considered historical. Also, will the setting be in the country, in a city (which city?), in a house (whose house), on a cruise ship? That needs to be defined also.

Once those decisions are made, they write brief sketches of each chapter. It could be a page or two long. Once all this is done, then the real writing begins. If this method works for you, then feel free to use it. It may take some time, but you will become more confident about what you'll write once you go through this initial process.

Type 2 Novelist

What if you're the type of person who doesn't want to spend all that time writing proposals and character sketches? What if you're like me, who prefers to just write whatever comes into your head? Then do it! Sit down and start writing. Write anything.

As the story develops, something wonderful begins brewing in your mind. Something called creativity. I've caught myself hours after I finished writing a chapter, and I'll be preparing dinner, or walking somewhere, and a scene from my novel will begin to unfold. It's called creative problem solving. My mind is working to solve the problem that the writing presents it, even though I'm not actively writing. When I get those urges, I immediately stop what I'm doing and jot down my thoughts. It's helped me many times, particularly when everything clicks together.

How Long Will It Take?

It took me almost two years to write and find a publisher for my first novel, Lipsi's Daughter. For other people, it may take longer or shorter, depending on the amount of time they allow for writing and how many pages they are writing. I know of authors that took six, seven, up to twelve years to write their first book. I also know of a famous author who writes two novels a year!

So unless you begin writing that first page of your book, you'll never know how long it'll take you to write it. Go ahead, make that first step, and good luck!

This Article is available also on EzineArticles.com: http://EzineArticles.com/31617