Saturday, December 27, 2008

The strange and unexpected connections made on the intarweb

I recently received one of those "out of the blue" emails that I occasionally get related to this blog. A nice lady from the American Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine contacted me regarding my statement of "recovering electrician" in my Bio. She has electrician types in her family and wondered if there were interesting or hair raising stories associated with this phrase that I would be willing to relate.

It turns out that part of this lady's job is searching out any reference to oriental medicine or acupuncture on the web and checking out the content. My blog popped up in her search, and one thing led to another.

It is a trip to think that my few mentions of acupuncture in this blog tagged it in a way that it could possibly now be part of the national (or international) conversation about this subject. I'm sure you'd have to dig to find the blog, but this lady did, and did find me. The mind spins at how the intartubes are changing our societal discourse. I couldn't possibly imagine trying to catalog or quantify the amount of change and novelty that is being produced this way.

Here is part of my long-winded response to her query, for those of you who are interested:

So, the "recovering electrician" comment is a tongue-in-cheek statement, because I'm changing careers due to really not liking that job much.

However, there is more to the story, and since it seems you (look to be) a health care practitioner, I'll relate it.

When I still had awesome Union insurance, I went to a naturopath/acupuncturist here in Portland named Bernie Bayard. He's phenomenal. He used to joke that he was using me as a guinea pig for checking out the effects of multiple electrical shocks on the human system. Since I was primarily a service electrician, I almost always worked in inhabited houses -- doing repair and trouble shooting. That kind of work is almost always done hot, because it's less disruptive to the client and for troubleshooting, it's just way more informative. I got shocked as often as once a month. [for those of you concerned about this statement, know that it was almost always "small" and in my hand only, not big electrocutions going through my torso or anything]

Back in the day, in the 30's, electricians used to test circuits with their fingers. Even the national electrical code had instructions for how to do this. Many of these men ended their life with a severe palsey, because their nerves were literally fried. Since nerves are our electrical conductors in the body, I believe that's where the resistance is least and so when we get shocked they take the brunt of the force. That's my non-scientific opinion of course.

As for funny stories, I have so many that my wife wants me to write a book of short stories (named "Electrical Shorts" of course) about the bizarre, scary, and humorous events that happened during my career as a service electrician.

Enjoy the novel connections that seemingly harmless online activity can produce,


[image courtesy of wiki commons]


Anonymous said...

Another vote for that book! va momma

Anonymous said...

Another vote for that book! va momma

Catherine Just said...

write it! you've got time at 4am!

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