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My Bio

Martin W. Dodge



503-579-4847; cell 415-518-6769

Work Background

Since 2003:

Freelance writer, editor (part time). Produced copy and content for Web sites, collateral materials for small businesses. Researched and gathered instructional data for a producer of educational publications. Clients have included howtogetridof-stuff.com and Gayle Medical Encyclopedia. This employment has complemented my pension.

1985 – 2002:

Technical writer, editor. Produced computer tutorials, systems diagrams, computer developer documents, medical papers, newsletter, and CAD/CAM training manual. Also edited medical textbook on the pancreas and a peer-reviewed medical journal. Employers included State of Texas, Verizon, IBM, Centinela Hospital, UCLA, CADAM.


Training manager. NCR.


Ph.D. Syracuse University, Instructional Technology.

M.A. UCLA, Journalism

B.S. California State Polytechnic University, Marketing



(From howtogetridofstuff.com)

Influenza, more commonly known as flu, is one of mankind’s oldest infections. Its symptoms were described as early as 2,400 years ago by Hippocrates. Described as “the greatest medical holocaust in history,” the 1918-1919 Spanish flu pandemic was one of the deadliest pandemic infections in history, claiming an estimated 50 to 100 million people worldwide.

Though it is sometimes confused with the common cold, especially in its earlier stages, influenza’s symptoms are much worse.

Flu Causes

The viruses responsible for flu are the RNA viruses of the Orthomyxoviridae family. They are transmitted primarily through the air when someone suffering from flu infection sneezes, coughs, or talks. You can also get it from objects exposed to the virus, such as a keyboard or telephone, and then transfer them to your eyes, mouth or nose. The virus can also be transmitted via saliva, blood, and from droppings of infected birds.

Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms and effects of flu are more severe and they typically last longer than your common cold. While the cold usually goes away after a couple of days, flu lasts for as long as two weeks. For the chronically ill, the old, or those whose immune systems are compromised, flu can be deadly.

The usual symptoms include chills, accompanied by high fever with temperatures as high as 39 degrees celsius. Some can become so ill as to be bedridden. These two symptoms are usually accompanied by:

  • body aches

  • coughing and sneezing

  • fatigue

  • headaches

  • nasal congestion

  • watery eyes

Getting Rid of Flu

As with most viral infections, you really have no choice but to ride flu out. There are medicines out there that doctors prescribe to help fight off the virus but essentially, you’ll have to rely on your immune system to drive the invaders away. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Get plenty of rest. When you go down with flu, the best thing for you to do is call in sick and stay at home. Get plenty of sleep and rest as your body will be taxed from fighting the infection. Do not waste energy by doing unnecessary tasks. Your immune system will need it to recuperate and heal. Try to lie under warm and comfortable covers so you can sweat out the flu.

  • Hydrate yourself and drink plenty of fluids. The fluids will help you lessen the risk of getting dehydrated—a possible situation when you’re down with flu. When choosing what to drink, get natural fruit juices or just plain water. Orange juice will help you get that much-needed dose of Vitamin C.

  • Drink warm soup. Warm soup will warm your body, inducing sweat. It will also help in hydration. Chicken soup will also provide your body with the proper nutrients it needs to help fight off


(From Gayle Medical Encyclopedia and Answers.com)


The condition called hypoglycemia is literally translated as low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar (or blood glucose) concentrations fall below a level necessary to properly support the body’s need for energy and stability throughout its cells.


Carbohydrates are the main dietary source of the glucose that is manufactured in the liver and absorbed into the bloodstream to fuel the body’s cells and organs. Glucose concentration is controlled by hormones, primarily insulin and glucagon. Glucose concentration is also controlled by epinephrine (adrenalin) and norepinephrine, as well as growth hormone. If these regulators are not working properly, levels of blood sugar can become either excessive (as in hyperglycemia) or inadequate (as in hypoglycemia). If a person has a blood sugar level of 50 mg/dl or less, he or she is considered hypoglycemic, although glucose levels vary widely from one person to another.

Hypoglycemia can occur in several ways.

Drug-induced hypoglycemia

Drug-induced hypoglycemia, a complication of diabetes, is the most commonly seen and most dangerous form of hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia occurs most often in diabetics who must inject insulin periodically to lower their blood sugar. While other diabetics are also vulnerable to low blood sugar episodes, they have a lower risk of a serious outcome than do insulin-dependent diabetics. Unless recognized and treated immediately,

Groundhog Troubles

(From howtogetridofstuff.com)

Groundhog, woodchuck, or whistling pig – they all amount to the same thing: a cute, furry pest. The genus, Marmota monax, known best through its weather-predicting spokesperson, Punxsutawney Phil, is found in lowland areas of the Northeast (such as Punxsutawney, PA) and the Midwest United States, but has also somehow burrowed its way into northern Washington state, Alaska, and British Columbia, Canada.

Also called the woodchuck (and, no, we don’t know how much wood a woodchuck would chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood), the genus is more commonly called “groundhog,” so named because, like a pig, it roots in the earth. We don’t know why some call it “whistlepig,” however, because nowhere has it been recorded that these things can whistle. We do know that the name “woodchuck” is the English corruption of an Indian name for the animal.

The groundhog is a type of marmot, and what marmots are, essentially, are very large squirrels. Squirrels root in the earth to bury acorns for storage. This seldom bothers people because squirrels, having quite small paws, dig only tiny holes (Learn how to get rid of squirrels). Woodchucks, having large paws, dig big holes, not to bury acorns but to build tunnels to live in, and they will dig them in any relatively flat area, including your lawn. This makes them nuisances to those who prefer having lawns that are un-besmirched by groundhog burrows.

Some things that make groundhogs unwelcome

The main problems with groundhogs, where we human beings are concerned, include:

  • They love to eat vegetation, and that includes vegetation that the owner of the groundhog-besmirched lawn has planted, but not for groundhog eating and/or viewing pleasure

  • Their tunnels are rather extensive and complex, having many entrances and emergency exits; if a web of tunnels extends under a structure’s foundation, they can crack, weaken, or even sink it

  • A horse or other large animal can break a leg from stepping in a groundhog hole.

By clearing out forests and killing off wolves and other natural predators, farmers and foresters have caused the groundhog to

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