David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Saturday, August 23, 2008


This is an awesome music video...featuring a special free-flying Bald Eagle named 'Challenger' (in honour of the lost space shuttle crew) cared for by the non-profit American Eagle Foundation (AEF).

He's a 'human socialized' bird accidentally raised by the people who rescued him - after being blown from a wild Louisiana nest in a storm as a baby in the late 1980s. Declared 'non-releasable' by federal and state wildlife authorities, he was trained by the AEF to perform educational free-flight demonstrations at high profile public events.

He's the first Bald Eagle in U.S. history that learned to free-fly into stadiums, arenas and ballrooms during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. The celebrity eagle has appeared at numerous major sporting events...like the World Series, Pro-Bowl, All-Star game, BCS National Championship, Fiesta Bowl and Men's Final Four, etc. Challenger has also flown before 4 U.S. Presidents! His life story is told in a children's storybook titled 'Challenger, America's Favourite Eagle.'

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I have not been posting of late owing to the fact that I have been suffering from a nasty bout of shingles which has laid me low and caused a great deal of discomfort. For anyone interested, shingles is an infection of a nerve and the area of skin supplied by the nerve. It is caused by a virus called the varicella-zoster virus. It is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox in the past may develop shingles.

About 1 in 5 people have shingles at some time in their life. It can occur at any age, but it is most common in people over the age of 50 and I am in that category. It is uncommon to have shingles more than once, but I am told about 1 in 50 people have shingles two or more times in their life. God forbid!

Mine started with shooting/stabbing pains in the head, followed by a rash under my left armpit. I immediately consulted my doctor who, without hesitation, diagnosed shingles and prescribed a course of antiviral medication. The rash soon healed but the pain associated with the condition persisted and required strong pain killers. Now, four weeks later, I am still suffering severe discomfort under the armpit and the itching is driving me mad! I am using refrigerated calamine lotion to ease the itching and it does help for a while.

I am told there is no definitive answer to how long the postherpetic neuralgia may persist. Shingles causes inflammation of the nerve. Pain can be expected whilst the rash and inflammation occur. However, it is unclear why some people continue to have pain when the inflammation has gone. It is thought that some scar tissue next to the nerve, or in the nearby part of the spinal cord, may be a factor. With treatment the pain eases gradually and the symptoms are gone by three months. However, without treatment, about 3 in 10 people still have pain after a year. The thought of either is enough to drive one insane believe me!

If anyone out there has any advice about shingles which I have not mentioned I will be pleased to learn more details. My doctor has been most helpful and an internet search on Google has also provided me with a lot of information.

I am continuing with aspects of my life to the best of my ability but am finding the condition debilitating and a little depressing. I am however, very mindful of other people suffering far worse, even life threatening illnesses. That certainly helps to keep my mind balanced. At least I know I will get better sometime soon.

Monday, August 04, 2008

In Celebration of a Diamond Wedding

Dean and Arlene Eddy of Murphys, California

Dean and Arlene were married on 7th. August, 1948 and celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on Thursday 7th August, 2008.

Although I have never met them in the flesh I have got to know them really well through our internet friendship over the past few years. Dean is a decorated World War II Veteran having served as a Paratrooper in the 11th US Airborne Division and saw active service in Japan with the 511th Parachute Infantry Patch during wartime.

In peacetime he later became a police officer and specialised in dog handling. He retired from Antioch Police in California and now lives in retirement with his beloved wife Arlene in the Californian Mountains at Murphys. He is a devout Christian and dedicated family man. It has been my honour and privilege to rank him amongst my best friends. I wish both of them a really happy Diamond Wedding Anniversary and long may their union continue with good health and much joy.

That happy and wonderful day on August 7th, 1948

Still wonderfully happy 60 years on!

You can send your good wishes to them by leaving a comment on this posting as I shall be drawing their attention to this tribute. Go on, make their day very special indeed!

Alternatively, Dean and Arlene have a delightful website which I can commend to your attention. The address is: (copy and paste into your browser)