Dog Story 3: Lacey Eats by Ron Steinman

Dog Story 3: Lacey’s Eating Habits by Ron Steinman

(On my Notebooks blog, I posted “A Dog Story,” 8/11/16 and “Dog Story 2, Lacey’s Routine,” 9/19/16. These are part of a work in progress called, “The Zen According to Lacey,” with photos of Lacey. Part 4, “Lacey’s Last Years” is coming soon.)

When Lacey, my purebred Shih Tzu, was 11 she had a serious stomach problem that put her into an animal hospital for an overnight stay. The vet inserted an IV to feed her and hydrate her in his effort to keep her alive. She was in bad shape. I thought I might lose her but, stronger than I thought she was, she came through. Her vet recommended home cooked chicken and vegetables based on the simplest food that one could find on the healthy diet menu of, say, the steamed food column at some Chinese restaurants. Rather than ordering in every night, I started to cook for her and did so for most of the rest of her life.
Her menu included slow baked chicken breasts that I marinated for twenty minutes with a touch of sea salt. I placed the chicken in a tabletop oven, usually for twenty minutes until well cooked, but not dried out. Into the same oven, I put a sweet potato or yam and baked that for about forty-five minutes. Sometimes I baked an Idaho potato for one hour. I boiled broccoli stalks but never the florets. For some reason, she did not like eating florets. She never explained why. I boiled fresh carrots cut into small pieces. When everything was ready, I cut the meat, the sweet potato, and the Idaho potato. I served her both the Idaho spud and the sweet potato or yam without the skin, always in chunks but never mashed. She did not enjoy mashed food. After I cooked her food using no spice or condiments, I placed it on a large dinner plate, brought it to her spot in the living room where she attacked it with gusto. Friends of mine contended she ate better than I did. There was no argument from me. But she was Lacey and deserved every bit of warm attention I could give her.
In the morning after her walk, I gave her three noshes that I cut into small pieces. I put them on the floor. She enjoyed a snack called Snausages. She had a small mouth. I broke those in half. She usually ate those immediately. Then I took a handful of her dry health food that she sometimes ate, or whatever else she enjoyed, and put it in a small pile near her water. She usually went right to it and chomped away, slowly and deliberately. Sometimes she let me know she wanted more food by coming to me and staring. She did that as if she were sending me a signal by mental telepathy, something I believe all dogs do.
I admit I fed her table scraps. For some reason that got her taste buds going, making her want to eat her own food. I never gave her sweets, but if I had dry cereal, I gave her small desert plate and added a spoon of skim milk. The vet said that was good for her. She loved tomatoes, so when I ate one I gave her a few small pieces. She loved cheese. If I had a piece of Swiss cheese or American cheese — she not like cheddar because it was too crumbly– I gave her a few tastes of those as well. That always satisfied Lacey and she would then sleep through the night.

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Beware the Girls in Your Email by Ron Steinman

Beware the Girls in Your Email by Ron Steinman

We should count our blessings for what we experience on the Internet daily when we see email ads that offer sexual favors and good times, seemingly for pleasure and ultimately, as perverse dessert. The ads are relentless, offering what is clearly beyond natural. Nothing stops the advertisements from coming. We are so lucky. The ads propose a plethora of the mundane and the bizarre. For some reason, I am, as I am sure you are, in a rotation, much like a gerbil in a cage. Nevertheless, I have the power to kill these ads, which I do, but they are immune to death and they keep coming back. They exist to entice. They rise majestically from the ashes, putting the Phoenix to shame. The names of the women who purvey these services, though, are what impress me as lessons in how to use a dictionary, especially when I believe the offers come from countries other than the United States. For your edification here are just a few: Angelica, Betty, Patricia, Lillie, Beulah, Bonnie, Robin, Joanne, Melody, Tonya, Janis, Karla, Verna, Brandy, Vickie, Anita, Crystal, Stella, Doreen, Blanche, Ramona, Tiffany, Nicola, Hannah, Samantha, Katrina, Suzanne, Daniel, Alberta, etc., etc. The list goes on relentlessly. Read them and weep, giggle or shudder. A word to the wise, though, as the saying goes, never open any of these offerings, yes, for all the obvious reasons, no matter how tempting they seem. Do not eat the apple. Open at your own risk, and know the trap you may get yourself into, a trap without escape. I, for one, never open any of those offerings. Call it anything you want but consider that fear plays a big role. As an indulgence, admire the sellers of those wares for their sheer audacity but never touch. If you do, it will only result in burned fingers.

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The Soldiers’ Story: Audio Book

The Soldiers’ Story: Audio Book by Ron Steinman

Just letting my readers and followers know that there is now an audio book of”The Soldiers’ Story,” my oral history of the Vietnam War that has been continuously in print since 1999. Available from PRHAudio, BOTLibrary, at Facebook.com/PRHAudio and Facebook.com/BOTLibrary. It is also at Audible through its subscription service​. Seventy-six​ men tell their stories as read by Edward Holland. Running more than 13 hours, it is a powerful​ reminder of that war, the men who experienced it and those who survived to tell their stories, in their own words.

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“Death in Saigon,” Newly Published by Ron Steinman

“Death in Saigon,” Newly Published by Ron Steinman

At long last, “Death in Saigon,” my novel of love, drugs, murder and how life was lived by some on the edge in Saigon during the Vietnam War is now out in a new edition. It is an unusual view on the Vietnam War found nowhere else. With its new cover it is getting the wide distribution it deserves. Published as an eBook by KCM Publishing, it is available on Amazon as a download and a paperback so you can add it to your collection of books. Its new wide distribution includes Apple iTunes, Barnes&Noble, Google and Kobo and for retailers, Ingram Books.

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There is No Escape by Ron Steinman

There is No Escape by Ron Steinman

I have long believed that PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) can affect anyone who serves in war. This goes especially for reporters, and here I include anyone who covers war— camera operators, sound persons, and field producers, because they are often victims of the unseen consequences of what they encounter. There is no profit for me to name those professional journalists I know who suffer from PTSD in various degrees. I know who they are, as do they. Few if any of them own up to the problems they carry home once they leave a war zone. Journalists by nature are reticent when it comes to telling the outside world what they went through as non-combatants covering combat or its results. Everyone is equal on a battlefield whatever the role they play. Recently I chanced on a story by Dean Yates of Reuters, an Australian who covered Iraq extensively and suffered the seemingly never-ending consequences of PTSD. His story is moving and powerful, a stark reminder that we journalists are not immune to the after effects that come from covering the horrors of war. But most journalists refuse to acknowledge or accept they could be victims of PTSD. It goes against being macho for those who cover conflicts — a misused and weakened term, by the way, a poor euphemism for people who shoot at each other to kill and maim. I have no answer what for me is accepting the obvious, that when you are in war even as a non-combatant, a civilian, the effect on you can be, and often is, deep, disturbing and long lasting.

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We Are Knocked Out by Ron Steinman and Eileen Douglas

We Are Knocked Out by Ron Steinman and Eileen Douglas

With the holiday season upon us we have more interesting and intriguing news about our film, “The Dance Goodbye,” starring Merrill Ashley. Libraries across the world have been picking the film for their collections about dance and ballerinas. We are now in over 200 libraries, as diverse as the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, the National Library Board in Singapore, libraries in Montreal, Prince Albert, Canada, Edmonton, the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. Major universities like Columbia, Cornell, Ohio State, Stanford and MIT to the Citrus Community College District in Glendora, California, Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Maine. Everything from the New York Public Library to the Timberland Regional Library in Turnwater, Washington, and many more. If anyone wants to buy it, it is still available on Amazon. Ron Steinman and Eileen Douglas.

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Picture Imperfect by Ron Steinman

Picture Imperfect by Ron Steinman
Despite the expense of boring you, dear reader, or even reminding you about the horror of the wars in Iraq and Syria and especially the fight for Mosul and Aleppo my reposting this piece is because I saw a powerful story on the PBS News Hour, December 1 by Jane Ferguson about the battle for Mosul. Read it and weep. I will allow you that right. But whatever you do, do not ignore the reality of unbridled war.

The terrible civil war continues unabated in Syria. In case you forgot, which you might have already done, the boy in the picture is five-year-old Omran Daqneesh. We watched him as he sat dazed and wounded in the back of an ambulance in Aleppo after yet another bombing of his neighborhood. He lifts his hand to his face, tries to wipe the blood away, something he cannot, and then he stares emptily into space. The photo went viral, became a major meme of the war, a sensational symbol of all that is evil and hopeless in Syria. Some thought the photo would have an effect on the war and its conduct. After all, Omran is a young boy in distress. He should not be wiping blood from his face. He should be playing in the street without fear. Because of social media, the photo has probably been viewed millions of times. Since it first appeared, there have been other horrible images of the war. But what happened to Omran’s photo? However many times we pull it up it is still as wrenching as when we first saw it. Despite its power, it has had absolutely no effect on the state of the war. It is easy to consider it yesterday’s news, as I am sure many do. That it had no effect on the war says something damning about the Internet. Omran’s photo had a very short life. Instead of a shot heard round the world, the picture became a shot too soon forgotten. Omran disappeared in the morass of social media where everything is exposed and nothing lives for very long. Social media is a world of plenty. Omran had no longevity because everything on the Internet has a very short life. In the end Omran was just another photo on a typically nasty day in an increasingly ugly war. More is the pity.
Photo by Mahmoud Raslan/Aleppo Media Center

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