Light City Baltimore 2018

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Nice night to go to the Inner Harbor for the City Lights. Thinking that it would be really crowded, we parked on the other side of Little Italy and walked. Just over 4 miles round trip. It was still light out when we got there but figured by the time we walked all the way around the harbor, it would be dark on our return trip, and it was.

First up, catching the sun going down…

Then Mr. Trash Wheel. The harbor looked pretty clean.

Octopus at various light. Sun…

Then at night…

Kathy’s photo…

Then our own Tall Ship, my photo of the cannons.

And then Kathy’s, which I like better, because of the black/white contrasting line thru the ship and the Ferris wheel in the background.

A side shot.

This next one looked neat at night, I just couldn’t capture a good image.

Willie D (William Donald Schaefer, ex-mayor, ex-governor)

The Ferris wheel – they really relocated this off a ways.

Electronic mountain.

And soon, it will be dark and the flowers are lit up. (Another one from Kathy)

Shine on you crazy diamond.

Kathy in a display.

Something in the water.

A bunch of ducks.

 

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Two Birthdays One Cake

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Today, my daughter Julianne (Jules) turns 25. A quarter of a century has flown by. She shares her birthday with her grandmother, my mom, who passed away a few years back. Here are some favorite pics:

Here I am trying to teach Jules to give the finger and say “F-it”! I am such a good dad!

Jules and her best friend Lauren and their first day of kindergarten.

A self portrait that Julie drew.

A hike we took at Havre de Grace. Always a favorite photo.

Julie in Paris.

Hawaii

And most recently Colorado with Lauren. They were on hiatus from each other for a while, but now back to hanging out together. Kid sure has done a lot!!

And let’s not forget my mom. This would be Easter and I believe we were at Druid Park? My sister Betty, me and brother Bob.

My mom always wanted to take a cruise so I took her to Bermuda. It was a wonderful time.

A cake for Julianne and a birthday wish for my mom. Happy Birthday!!

Blue Bird vs Tree Swallow

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While down at Kathy’s parents, I saw a bunch of birds dive bombing each other over the field. Then one landed on a bird box. I thought it was an Eastern Blue Bird. Turns out it was a Tree Swallow.  Not having a tripod, I used the next best thing, which still was not stable enough.

A makeshift steady support – deer fencing around a tree.

What I thought was a Blue Bird.

The actual Blue Birds have always been hard for me to get a good shot. They are finicky and don’t sit long in the same spot. This guy was preening himself.

Heading over to the barn, this goose was on the lookout for his mate…

Who is on the nest, keeping the eggs warm.

Just a random hole.

The barn – ready to come down soon.

Random sliding door hardware.

Back at the pond.

And that quick, he is gone. Another nice weekend!

The Peale Center

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The Peale Center, also once Baltimore’s City Hall and Colored School #1 and then a temporary Water Engineer’s office. Then the Municipal Museum and then a vacant…am I missing anything? It has been a lot of things since 1814 and I am really glad it is being restored to a museum. 

View from across the street, at the Municipal Building – where the water engineers are now located. Workers had to move their scaffold out of the way so we could get in.

A walk out back. I think I would have placed this lamp elsewhere instead of in front of the relief.

Another gas lamp.

Back inside to await the history talk. Here is an artist rendition of what the Peale will look like when completed. 

A nice model of the proposed renovations.

Holy H.G. Wells! A freakin’ time machine. Damn, still under construction!

Hum Bug!!

More bugs.

And the real reason for my visit – a talk by Peter Manseau on his book “The Apparitionist”. It was a really good talk. One thing that kind of stuck in my head was when he said, “There are about 50,000 deceased persons on Facebook. Still being visited by family and friends.” It is like a modern day seance in the electronic social media age. People get to see their departed loved ones, just like the photographs taken by 19th century photographers of dead people posing. But Peter’s book goes more into ghost being seen in glass plate images. I can’t wait to read his book…

Liberty Dam Continued

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There were another 120 negatives in the Liberty Dam collection. I scanned all of those. The file drawer also contained about 250 negatives, building the Ashburton Filtration Plant. Fortunately I had previously scanned these from photo albums – all but 22 that were missing from those albums. I hope when and if they get someone to take my place doing this archiving, they will be able to put all like albums/negatives/photos together in proper groups. I am not sure I will have the time. As it has been, I just scanned and documented them as I pulled them from shelves, dusted them off, documented and then packed them back up for storage.

Here are some more from Liberty Dam 9/1/1952 – 10/6/1953 (The next drawer has a bunch of negatives from building the bridges across the reservoir).

Another accident. A truck went off the bridge and is being hoisted out by crane.

Man, I wish I was there with my kayak! This is the relief opening so the contractor can start building on the opposite side of the river.

Images 125 through about 180, the negatives all have this overexposed spot on the left hand side. Some I trimmed but others I was not able to.

And then the floods came.

This one was strong enough to wipe out the coffer dam, but the men are steadily working on the right, placing forms for this portion of the dam.

While one crew is placing the foundation to the west, the east gang continues to raise the elevation of the dam.

Still working against the floods and snow.

Meanwhile, upstream a ways, the intake structure is almost done. A couple things about this photo – how tall the structure is and how deep the water will be at this point of the reservoir. Also, I’m not sure why they didn’t grub, remove the plant growth that will eventually be underwater?

After a few months, the base areas of the dam are completed. Not seen here, underwater, is a relief opening (Kayak hole). Another flood has happened and the water has risen.

Wow – kind of looks like Conowingo Dam on a small scale. I wonder how much sediment is in this reservoir, against the face of this dam?? Since 1956??

The water just rages through. eventually the relief opening will be closed and water will either go over the top of the dam or through the intake structure and head to the Ashburton Filters.

Putting the finishing touches on the intake structure.

Almost done. I have posted on another blog (or Facebook) the finished dam and that engineers were wagering on when the reservoir would fill and the dam would crest? The Liberty Reservoir reached the crest point of four hundred and twenty feet on February 6, 1956, approximately nineteen months after the filling of the reservoir began on July 22, 1954

Loose Ends Never End

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Loose Ends Never End sounds like some spiritual/metaphysical quote (It does come from the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 9). But in my case it is more about my trying to tie up some loose ends before I retire. Just when I think I’m about done documenting and scanning the archives – Poof!! More just appear out of nowhere. Well actually I found a bunch more under my work bench. Three index drawers full of 3-1/2″ x 5″ photographic negatives. At first I thought there was only 500 or so. There are over 1,500 of them! I started scanning them yesterday and got about 100 done. Below is a sampling of those. 

Just glancing through the first couple hundred, it appears these are from the building of the Liberty Dam, starting in 1952. This photo shows a happy foreman on top of the intake structure as it is being built.

The Engineer’s Office – must be before MBE/WBE requirements. Not sure why the one guy has his arm around the other one?

There were four floods on the Patapsco during 1952, all stopping work for a few days – Change Order!

The coffer dams held back some of the water.

The Arundel Corporation’s cement plant.

Ooopps! Not looking too happy now. There were a lot of accidents on the job site in 1952. Most notably a crane fell, crushing one of the workers. There are actually a few photos in this group of that, but I am not posting those. One shows the worker’s head crushed under the I-beam. I cannot believe someone took that photo.

This looks like an accident waiting to happen. I don’t think that truck is capable of holding that bucket safely.

These guys are working. Trying to make up for lost days due to flooding.

The intake structure rising from the river.

I have been using an Epson 4990 scanner for a few years now. It works pretty good, except the software that came with it is a little off. By that I mean, if I scan a photo negative, it automatically turns it into a positive in a file, but it is too dark and takes a lot of work in the Photoshop Elements software. So I scan it as a positive, which it converts to a negative. Then in PE I invert it and hit auto levels and it looks just right. Some of course will never look right, only because of what the photographer did when taking the photo.

I guess taking care of these loose ends will give me something to do for a while!

Easter Weekend in OC and on the Farm

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Friday we went to Kathy’s parents down the Eastern Shore. It is always nice to spend time with her family. They treat me like family. After a few hours of chores, time for dinner and relaxing. Saturday we headed down to Ocean City. Went early enough to beat most of the holiday traffic. 

The Easter Bunny was there, taking carriage rides with visitors.

Started our walk at the Life Saving Museum.

Not a bad crowd for Easter weekend. I know them three ladies! The inlet and other municipal lots have a new system of charging for parking. Seems like it is going to be a pain, having to remember you license plate # and it is going to be expensive – but today it was free. People were still feeding the new meter. OC must have made a ton of money on Saturday. New meters went into effect on Sunday.

While Kathy, her sister and mom headed to some shops, I headed to the water. You have got to touch the ocean while there! The fishing pier.

The inlet from the jetty. After the storms a couple weeks ago, they said this sand bar was sticking 20+ feet into the channel. 

Looking south from the pier, towards the jetty.

Looking north. This sandbar went under the pier. 

Heading back to the Boardwalk. The last time we were here, they had just started painting the water tank. Looks good.

So back to the farm and after some chores, I decided to take a hike around the property. The farm next door, the guy has cut a lot of trees down and deepened his storm water trench. Merrill says the guy plans to plant pines back there.

Nice green color. Lots of water throughout the woods. 

Woodpecker condo?

No car or truck research today.

Looking through the trucks engine compartment to another car.

Car from another view.

This one does say Cosmopolitan.

Nice dash.

Left the car cemetery and thought I could take a path not taken before – too much water. I did have my water proof boots on but this was a little deep and muddy. Private property on the right and water on the left.

Headed back and took another trail. (Lots or trails back there. Merrill does a great job keeping them clear). A new sniper stand. 

Hit another pool of water so I cut across and found this path. 

Am I laying on my back, looking up? Or is this tiny house laying on its back?

Passing the little house, I see an open field and a fairly large storm water ditch and these two guys. They didn’t see me for a couple minutes and I just stood there watching them. Always a peaceful feeling to see nature at her best.

After a couple minutes of watching, I turned the corner and these three were on the other side of the ditch. After posing for a couple pics, they took off.

This fence heads to the road, but I wanted to head back to the farm through the woods. 

But unfortunately I hit more water. I was going to follow my path back the way I came but Kathy texted me and wanted to know if I was alright? It was about 2 hours of hiking and enjoying nature! 

I followed the above fence to the road, and came across an old farm. Being a guest at some ones home, I thought it best not to trespass to get a better look. 

This is the path my Not-So-Smart phone said I took. (Just watched a show about a girl who followed her smart phones directions and ended up lost in the desert for a few days)

And this is my path, I shall follow this path, come what may. And here I will find peace.

John Davis – Engineer and Architect

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On April 30, 1804, the Baltimore Water Company, a private company, was formed. Their first task is to furnish water to a portion of Baltimore City. It now became necessary to secure a site for the erection of the works, and in 1806 a purchase was made of a lot now occupied by the office of the Northern Central railroad, on Calvert street. The works, which were erected under direction of Mr. John Davis, consisted of a wheel and pumps, which forced the water into a reservoir on the southwest corner of Cathedral and Franklin streets. The water was obtained through a common mill race from what was known as Keller’s Dam, which supplied Salisbury Mill, the site of which was near the site of the old Belvedere bridge. (Baltimore History by Clayton Hall).

Photo of drawing from MdHS. The City does not reimburse me for digital copies, these start at about $50 each, so MdHS let me photograph them.

From John Davis’ Autobiography; Maryland Historical Society Magazine Volume xxx, 1935: “I at once entered into an Engagement, with Mr. Latrobe, and the City, Corporate authorities, to Superintend and aid therein, as Clerk of the works [in Philadelphia]. In the situation aboved named, I continued connected with Mr. Latrobe about three years, until sundry other engagements, required both the service and talents of Mr. Latrobe in other portions of the United States, more Especially at the Cross Cut Canal between the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, and the water works in New Orleans. After this period, the entire direction and management and the Execution of the works, for watering the City, of Philadelphia, Devolved on me. In that capacity I continued until the Spring of 1805. In the autumn of 1804, I received an Invitation to proceed to the City of Baltimore, to give some advice and aid in an Examination that had been made in relation to the contemplated means as to the supplying that city with water. A company had been organized and a capital of 250,000 Dollars provided, A President and Managers, Chosen, water rights and water Power had been purchased, and various suggestions given as to the manner and plans to accomplish the object, and to appoint an Engineer, and Manager, to Execute the requisite works. I repaired to Baltimore, to impart such views, and advise such measures, as appeared to me proper, for the furtherance, of the object this company had in view. Under these circumstances and considerations I could not comply and entertain a New engagement. But these Baltimore Gentlemen made strong appeals and almost insisting that I should be Employed by them they likewise desired me to endeavor to propose or point out some way or means to relieve them of their difficulty and it was agreed to adjourn the meeting until the following evening and then to receive my views and see if I could suggest some manner or means to meet the Case. At the Meeting of the Board on the next evening, I submitted this proposition, That I would still attend to the business and continue to direct the Superintendence of the Philadelphia works, endeavor to select and appoint a competent person to take my situation and place and Impart to such person, every necessary Instruction, and information that would enable and render him capable to perform and attend to the duties that would be required in the water works at Phila until the managers of that concern were fully satisfied that my Successor was Qualified and efficient to the performance of the required duty and as soon as such assurance was by the watering Committee of Phila agreed to Then I was willing to accept of the proposition of the Gentlemen in Baltimore. These conditions was accordingly agreed to and strongly urging me to make all my arrangements as soon as the nature of the business would permit.” [Davis states that he has twenty year old Frederick Graff replace him in Phila. under B.H. Latrobe] “I received the cordial thanks and a kindly parting* dismissal from the managers of the water company, and Mr. Graff commenced his services on May 1st 1805 and he continued in the same situation of Superintendent of the Phila water works until his Death in 1848, a period of 43 years.” [A statue was erected to Graff at Fairmount Water works]. Davis goes on to talk about how two years later he went back to Phila to write a report with Graff for the recommendation of a new water works at Fair Mount.

*Interesting to note here, from the book Benjamin Henry Latrobe by Talbot Hamlin: September 24, 1805 Nicholas Roosevelt (friend and partner of Latrobe) had turned the water off for three hours, at about the time that a serious fire was burning in Philadelphia. Latrobe wrote Roosevelt in panic, “I hear the spread of the fire was owing to the withholding of the water. I hope this representation is not true.” The city was enraged; a mob led by the sheriff charged the water works, threw out Roosevelt and the men working under him, turned the whole works over to municipal operation replacing Davis with Graff. [Perception of events]

A photo I took a couple years ago of the Philadelphia water works.

“I entered into a new arrangement with the Baltimore water company, Their works being then in successful operation and not requiring all my time and attention, I was appointed President, of the Company, at a reduced compensation and devoting only such portion of my time as their services demanded. In this capacity, I resided and continued during the whole period that I lived in Baltimore and until I removed to the Country in Washington County, Md. I will now proceed to give a little diversified statement of some of the objects, engagements and employments in which I may say I was almost incessantly occupied; Say at the Susquehanna Canal, from Tide water unto peach Bottom; a distance of about 10 miles, pulling down and rebuilding the Locks, Both widening and Deepening the Canal and other improvements there occupying a period of about 2 years; Surveyed and Leveled and attended the Improvements of Gwynns Falls by a mill Race of about 3 miles, in length terminated, by the building in succession, 4 large Merchant Mills, each carrying 4 Pair of Millstones; aided, and assisted in the erecting, Large Cotton manufactory; and a large Merchant Mill on Jones Falls, 6 miles north of Baltimore, Superintended the erection, and other Improvements, a little South of Havre de Grasse, Leveled the water & aided in building a Large Mill on Elkridge about 15 Miles west of Balt., Leveled and surveyed several streams and Located many Cotton Manufactories and other improvements that was either designed or Executed by my Direction.” 

Gwynn’s Falls improvements.

“There is one Improvement kept in fine order and is still a favorite spot and frequented by many persons, called the City Spring, situate on North Calvert Street city of Baltimore about 2 squares south [North] of the Battle Monument near Barnums Hotel.” [Also known as the Northern Fountain]

Print from DPW museum archives.

[Davis states that his crowning achievement was the sinking of a well at Fort McHenry in 1814]. “I must say that the success of this undertaking gave me some gratification, especially as it was stated by some Engineer’s impossible to be done But Major Bentelow still insisted on it that John Davis should pursue his own views, and the Exulting Major said to the Secretary of War. Did not I tell you, Genl. Armstrong that Mr. Davis would succeed and we would have good water at the Fort, uttered in his broken French language.” In 1813 the Board of City Commissioners, in conjunction with Mr. John Davis, examined the spring at the head of the Basin (known as Clopper’s Spring) and decided that it could be reclaimed and made to afford a copious supply of pure and wholesome water. August 19, 1934 Sun Paper Article in Scrapbook: Donation of drawings from first superintendent of Baltimore Water Works to Maryland Historical Society. Sketches were made by John Davis (1770-1864). 160 drawings depicting first water works. I did not see the drawing below from the article, but a similar one.

Sunpaper article.

Drawing from MdHS

Non A – Non B and Me

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Non-A Non-B and Me

March 21, 1987: I stopped doing drugs and have been clean ever since. Somewhere in my using days I contracted the Hepatitis C virus. This is my story:

April 28, 1988: Called the doctor about my blood test. He said everything looked good except my liver. It looked a little messed up?

Two years later, more stuff was about to happen concerning my liver. It will continue for the next 30 years.

August 1, 1990: The Red Cross sent me a letter today telling me that they can no longer accept my blood donations. That the reason being is… At this point I dropped the letter on the floor. It would take me a couple hours to pick it back up. In my mind I was thinking it was going to tell me I have AIDS. At this time, there was a lot of that in NA, and the world. Instead it said I came up positive for Non A – Non B hepatitis? What the heck is that and where did that come from? Need to go see my doctor.

August 2, 1990: Talked to my sponsor about the Red Cross letter and he says he has it too. That it’s no big deal. I will feel more assured after I see my doctor.

August 7, 1990: I called in sick today. Went to the doctors. That was a waste. He has no info on Hep C. He read my letter from the Red Cross and repeated what it said. He did explain about antigens and antibodies. I came up positive for both B and C antibodies which means at some time or another I had/have B&C. He said the B I can’t pass on but he’s not sure about the C. When I arrived home, I called the National Institute for Health, who told me to call Johns Hopkins. The doctor I talked to asked me how I was feeling and when I told him ok, he said I should make an appointment to see him, but it would probably take a couple weeks. I will call for an appointment tomorrow.

August 9, 1990: Called out sick again. Called Hopkins and they said I could not use their library. I called the University of Md. and they said I could. Upon arriving, the guard would not let me in. Then the guy at the reference desk said I really shouldn’t be in there. That only doctors and med students are allowed; that I wouldn’t be able to understand what I was looking at. I explained what’s going on with me. The ref desk guy took me over to a computer and showed me how to use it. I found some journals on Hep C and made copies. I gave the computer a bad command and it froze on me, so I left.

August 31, 1990: Went to Johns Hopkins and talked to Dr. M. He wants me to get three different blood tests done. He said depending on what they find from these test, will determine what he will do next. Possibly a liver biopsy.

September 13, 1990: Dr. M called and said that I have the Hep. C antibodies, which means I have had it. The only thing is, they don’t know if I still have it or not. Or if I’m a carrier or what. My liver enzymes are normal, and I should come back in a year for some more tests.

January 22, 1992: Went to the Dr. for a follow up. My liver enzymes are normal.

After getting married in May of 1992, and then my daughter being born in 1993, someone told me that I needed to get life insurance, to help them financially if something should happen to me. Well, being in recovery and supposedly having to work an honest program, I told the different insurance companies about my liver disease. Of course, they all turned me down. The one company representative told me, “This disease may kill you in forty years. We don’t want to risk insuring you, knowing that.” What the hell!! I told the guy, “I’m surprised I stayed alive this long. I’m almost 40 years old. I’m pretty sure I’ll be dead by 80.”

Over the years I continued to have blood work done and my liver checked. My liver enzymes were mostly always elevated. Every time I saw a new doctor, he wanted to have a whole bunch of tests done. It started to feel like a bunch of bullshit. When I started attending a lot of NA meetings up in Harford County, I heard a lot of people share about Hep C. Most of them were on Interferon and most of them became depressed. They had to take anti-depressants. I didn’t want that happening to me. My body/addiction doesn’t know the difference between a prescribed medicine and street drugs –  if one makes me feel good, 1,000 will make me feel even better!

October 27, 2008: Went to get a sonogram of my liver done. The technician who did it was very informative as to what she was doing. She explained everything to me. My liver and spleen are both normal, healthy sizes (She explained the function of the spleen and what happens to it when the liver stops doing its job). My gall bladder, kidneys and aorta all look good she said. My gall bladder has a tiny polyp in it, but she said I shouldn’t be worried about it. All these years worrying about my liver and having hepatitis and what not, and my liver and insides are all fine. Now to see what the blood test results are. Same as usual – elevated enzymes.

March 26, 2009: Off work today. Had a doctor’s appointment with a specialist for my liver, Dr. H. He was finally going to go over my results from all the test that I had done back in September/October. When I first went in, I felt pretty good about everything. Especially after I talked to the lady who did my liver sonogram. By the time I left his office, I was feeling pretty shitty. This doctor swears that I need this Interferon treatment for my Hep C. Truthfully, I think he’s wrong. How can I go from having elevated liver enzymes in 1988 to normal in 1992 to needing treatment in 2009? It doesn’t make sense. When I asked him that, he said the new type of test that they do these days show that my liver is inflamed. So, it makes you wonder about testing. I told him that I didn’t want the treatment. That everyone I know in NA who was on it, gets really depressed and ends up on medication. I told him if that happened to me, I’d be afraid I’d start using (drugs) again. I will end up dying quicker from relapsing on drugs than I would from my liver killing me. He gave me this weird look and said, “Yea, I guess so.” He told me that I have until May, to make my mind up about treatment.

I eventually made the decision not to do anything about my Hep C, other than to monitor it. Nineteen years later and it hasn’t killed me yet.

June 23, 2010: I ran into Dr. M, my doctor from when I first got Hep C back in 1989 and he said there is a new cure coming out next year that isn’t interferon, that it’s 3 pills for 6 months with a 75% cure rate. I told him I will come talk to him in a year from now.

2010: LK died on Christmas. His body rejected the liver he received a couple months ago. He was one of the people I knew that was on the Interferon and who got really depressed. Apparently, the meds didn’t work and he went to Greece to get a new liver.

February 3, 2016: Doctor’s appointment with my primary care physician for a yearly physical. He set me up for blood work and referrals for a colonoscopy and a new Hep C doctor. I really don’t like how doctors now just go thru motions during a visit. Hardly any eye contact while they are busy typing into a computer. I do like the website called MyChart, where I can see everything and stay in touch with my care team. It all just seems so impersonal though.

March 22, 2016: Work and then to a new Hep C doctor. Young woman whose name I forget. Trying very hard to push a new Hep C drug on me. Harvoni. It has a 94-98% success rate. It also costs $94,000.00 for 12 weeks’ worth! Left her office and went to get blood samples drawn – lots of blood. I need to get an ultra-sound next. Tried to get it done while there but they would not take a walk-in.

April 1, 2016: After work I went for my ultrasound. Girl said everything looked normal. I think my doctor is disappointed, but she said she is still going to try and get the meds for me?? It made me wonder if she gets some kind of kick-back from the pharmaceutical company? My Rx insurance, through my job, said they would not cover the cost of the Harvoni.

November 16, 2017: Doctor’s appointment at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Another new Hep C doctor. She doesn’t understand why my insurance wouldn’t cover the Harvoni for my Hep C. She is going to re-submit and make sure I get it. She also told me there are other treatments these days for Hep C. I will be cured before I retire she said. More blood work done – HIV Screening (came back negative) and a comprehensive Hep C test (elevated).

December 14, 2017: Went to Hopkins to see my Hep C doctor. She was all flustered about this, that and the other. She mentioned that I needed another sonogram because of my cirrhosis? What cirrhosis I asked? First time since 1989 that someone said I had that! She looked at me all crazy and said, “oh, well we need to do a fiber scan and we can do that now”. So, I went into another room and another doctor did this thing with some sort of pulse on my liver, handed me the printout and sent me back to my doctor. No cirrhosis detected – none, nada, zilch. She says, “well good, we still have you approved for the Harvoni”. I’m thinking someone fudged some numbers or a report just to get the insurance company to pay for the meds. My levels from my blood test did increase by one million points since 2016. So, I went with a nurse to the pharmacy and was given a bottle of Harvoni. Instead of paying a $30 copay, it was only $5.

December 15, 2017: Started my meds this morning. One pill a day for 12 weeks. They only give out 28 pills at a time. $30,000/28 pills = $1,071/pill.

January 5, 2018: JHH Pharmacy called me about my refill. Lots of bullshit going on with this. All because my insurance changed on January 1st. I told the doctor and pharmacy and nurse about my concerns of starting the meds for a month and then my insurance changing. They all said not to worry!

January 9, 2018: Was supposed to get my next batch of 28 pills but the insurance stuff was all messed up. I did get my bloodwork done though. I only have a few pills left. Here is my bloodwork to date:

……………………………….. 3/22/16      11/16/17      1/9/18    Standard

HCV RNA By Rt-PCR:  4,800,000       5,660,000        21         <15 [IU]/mL

HCV RNA Log Value:        6.68                6.75         1.32        <1.18

That is one helluva drop in numbers! (Although I’m not sure what these numbers and abbreviations mean!)

January 11, 2018: I picked up my meds today at CVS Pharmacy in Parkville. $31,185/28 pills = $1,113/pill

February 5, 2018: Picked up final 28 pills at CVS. Same price as above. They gave me a $30 discount, so my co-pay was only $5.

Grand total for insurance companies was $92,370 or $1,099.64/pill. Unbelievable!

March 8, 2018: Last pill.

March 14, 2018: Dr. visit and bloodwork. Visit went well, and we discussed a lot of the numbers and what they mean. Most are just markers, like the ones above. These numbers are checked to see if the patient is still taking the Harvoni (or any other med) continuously. Which I have. Never missed a dose. There are a lot of factors that the doctors look at, to determine whether I am clear and cured of Hep C. I go back April 12th for a follow up and then June 1st for another blood test, followed by my last visit to see my doctor on June 13.

March 21, 2018: Clean 31 years and my final blood test results are listed. As I stated earlier, I am not sure what all the numbers mean, I just know that they all fall in the standard range. Cured of Hep C? Most likely (Next blood test should tell). Cured of addiction? Never will be.

And with that, I leave you with this:

And may I not with great propriety ask myself From whence have these daily and long continued mercies been received? By whom? And by what source have they been administered unto me, And thereby enabled me to take my pen, and answer these solemn, and important questions? Let me truly, and faithfully Answer, From my Savior and my God. And most grate fully do I acknowledge his goodness for every Blessing granted unto me; humbly praying, that every error, that I may have committed or incurred, in my passed life may be blotted out and forgiven and that the few remaining days that may yet be allotted unto me, may be passed in preparing to appear in the presence of my Savior and my God.

John Davis, Water Engineer. Hagerstown, Md. January 1851.

Baltimore 1918 – What Happened Baltimore?

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1918 – From the City Officers’ Reports, including Mayor’s Message:

The people of Baltimore are proud of their city and sanguine of her future. With an awakening sense of her advantages; with confidence that Baltimore will have honest and economical and at the same time constructive and progressive City Government, private enterprise is going forward by leaps and bounds, co-operating with the public, through their City Government, in giving Baltimore a secure place in the front rank of cities famed for progress, for enterprise and business, for happy homes of a healthy, contented people, and for good government. Very respectfully, [signature] James H Preston, Mayor.