Saving a Life

I was kind of joking in one of my last blogs about my friend doing CPR on me in the ceramics class. That would not have happened.

But she’s actually considering taking a CPR class. She has seen some scary things recently. A couple of different situations where someone really needed somebody to do CPR on them.

In one case there was a person down, and a crowd of people around. It looked like a heart attack situation, where the person was lying there losing consciousness, and nobody knew what to do for him. Nobody knew how to do CPR.

They had to wait for the paramedics to come. My friend wasn’t sure if by that time it was too late. The person didn’t seem to be doing very well and the emergency technicians were having to work really hard on him.

They ended up putting the person in the ambulance with tubes and oxygen, and taking him away. My friend did not know how that situation turned out or if the person survived.

In another situation she witnessed, someone had some sort of trouble in a restaurant and ended up on the floor. People were shouting and there was a commotion. But someone knew CPR and they rushed over and performed the techniques on the person. The woman started breathing again and opened her eyes.

They still called 911 and emergency professionals came to the scene and took the woman away. But at least in that situation my friend was fairly certain that the woman was going to survive.

These incidences had a sobering effect on her. She realized that if she knew CPR she could have helped either of those people. She felt very helpless in the first situation when the person was obviously struggling and nobody knew what to do, including her.

She has looked into CPR courses where you can get certified. They are courses that teach you exactly what to do an emergency situation where a person needs cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

This actually reminds me of a show I was watching recently. It was a Nurse Jackie show. She saw somebody in a taxi–actually it was a taxi driver–who was slumped over his steering wheel.

She opened the door and pulled him out and put him on the ground and performed CPR on him.

I think we all expect health professionals to know how to do CPR, but it’s something that we all should know how to do.

I’ve seen basic information about it and have watched CPR being given in movies, but I’m not sure how competent I would be at reviving a person. I would do well at taking a course myself. Sometimes accepted protocols change over the years, and I don’t know if the things I learned about resuscitating someone are still taught today. Maybe there are different techniques to use now.

Anyway, it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all for all of us to take CPR.

A Little Tutorial

Okay so I decided to do a blog on how to paint a bare ceramic piece.

If you’ve never done this before it can seem a little bit daunting. Or it can seem like a piece of cake and then you can be disappointed in your product.

If you’re brand-new to ceramics painting, I suggest starting simple.

I should probably back up.

First you need to find a place where you can do this. I would Google ceramic painting and see what comes up that way.

If you live in a town of any reasonable size, there’s probably at least one place where you can do this.

It should be set up so that you can walk in, pick out an unfinished piece, paint it, and leave it there. They should glaze it and fire it and then you ahould go back to pick it up. Usually this process takes about a week.

There is usually a cost for the painting session as well as the price for the piece itself.

Typically you will pay around $18 or $19 for a mug, maybe $25 for a pot with a lid, maybe $20 for a square tile, $30 for a plate the size of a dinner plate, and then higher prices for bigger pieces.

If you’re brand-new to this, I would recommend starting with a flat piece like a plate or a tile.

That way you can get used to the process without trying to deal with a curved surface.

I would also recommend having a design in mind before you go in. It should be a fairly simple design. Nothing elaborate.

If you don’t feel particularly creative in coming up with a design for a flat piece, you could pick a piece like an animal or a mug. True, these are full of curved surfaces, but this could be easier in the long run because you might have a better idea of how to paint it.

A blank plate or a blank tile requires some creativity in deciding what to put on it. If you’re stumped about that then doing a project that doesn’t require as many ideas or as much creativity could be the route to take.

Next you’ll select your paint colors. If you’re just starting out I would only pick two or three colors. Don’t get too wild and crazy.

Think about what color goes in the background, and paint that one first. Let it try a few minutes and then paint a second coat. Paint the middle-ground color next, again letting it dry a little before applying a second coat. Lastly paint the foreground color.

Your colors will look pale, This is normal. The glazing and firing brings out the true color. The first time you paint a piece, you will be guessing at what the finished piece will look like. The next time you paint a piece, you’ll feel more confident.

When you finish painting the piece, use a very fine tip brush and put your initials and the date somewhere (very small) on the surface. This is your masterpiece and you should sign it!

That’s all there is to it. After you’ve done one piece and gotten the feel for it, the next time will be much easier!

Paint Your Heart Out

I was in Southern California recently. I went to visit an old friend of mine who I have known since I lived there .

Every year or almost every year this friend and I get together for a weekend someplace . Sometimes it’s at her house in Southern California . Sometimes we meet someplace else for the weekend .

One time we met in Minneapolis at the mall of America . She picked that place. I probably would not have chosen the mall to be our focal point for the weekend but she was flying me there so I didn’t complain .

Another time we went to Las Vegas.  She had tickets for a Garth Brooks concert and that’s what we went to see. We spent the rest of the weekend just exploring and relaxing.

But this year I went to her house and we hung out there for the weekend.

One of the things we did was to paint ceramics.

There’s a chain of stores called Color Me Mine. They’re on the West Coast. I don’t know if they’re on the East Coast but I haven’t seen them here.

It’s a store where you paint your own ceramic piece and then they fire it and glaze it for you.

You go to the store and select the piece that you want to paint. They have two walls full of ceramic pieces that you can pick from. They’re all made of white clay and they’re blank.

They bring you whatever paints you want and then you paint your heart out. They take it away when you’re done and fire it and glaze it for you.

I have done this probably five times now with my friend. These five times have been spread out over the last maybe 10 or 15 years.

Every time we go, though, it’s just as fun as the last time. We always both enjoy it.

This time I was quite surprised that the store was crammed full of people. There was basically standing room only. So apparently the store has not suffered any loss in popularity over the years. If anything it has grown in popularity.

There was even a kid’s party that was going on. In other words, a mom and dad had reserved space for a whole bunch of kids to go and paint a ceramic piece as part of a birthday celebration . That was fun to see.

Also there were two or three families. Moms and dads and kids all grouped around tables and all painting ceramic pieces.

There were a couple of times when I almost made a mistake on my piece. That would have given me a heart attack!

But I didn’t need to worry because my friend knows CPR . She could have resuscitated me with no problem.

I’m just kidding. I wouldn’t have had a heart attack.

My piece turned out well. It takes the store a week to get pieces glazed and fired, so I actually haven’t seen my finished product yet. It should arrive this week, though.

Hockey Anyone?


So I just saw something kind of unusual for my neck of the woods . . . a men’s hockey game .

No, I don’t mean field hockey. This is rollerblade hockey or whatever you’re supposed to call it .

From where I am in my car it looked like it was ice hockey but of course that is ridiculous because I’m in Florida and it’s not below freezing, so it would not be ice hockey.

I went closer to get a better look and it was a team on in-line skates.

The other thing that was unusual was that the whole team was made up of young men and middle-aged white males.

I expected this team to be of varied ethnicities with no whites. So it was quite a surprise to find a hockey team of white males at this particular location.

They really moved fast in this game. I suspect that most of these men were from the north where they all played ice hockey.

They all looked like naturals out there, like they grew up doing this .

It was fun to watch them. Some of them were not spring chickens and I also wondered if they were like weekend warrior types, going out for a game with the guys and risking heart attacks. LOL

I say that kind of as a joke but it’s not really a joke. You hear stories all the time about men and women who engage in activities that they are not used to doing or they haven’t physically kept up for. Then they go and have heart attacks in the middle of the activity .

I wondered if anyone of them knew how to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It would certainly be a good skill to have handy at this kind of event—to be able to resuscitate someone who had gone down and was in trouble.

It doesn’t seem like it would take much for one of those guys to push it just a little bit too much and have a heart attack. I think it should be a requirement for teams of middle-aged men and women to have someone on or with the team who knows how to do CPR.

Someone should be always at the ready to revive a player who has succumbed to a heart attack. And someone should always have the presence of mind to be ready to call 911 as well.

Anyway, so it’s just interesting to come across an inline skate hockey game, at a community park where basketball and skating are king. Also to see it played by a team of the composition I’ve described. In an area of mostly Latinos.

To quote Forrest Gump: And that’s all I have to say about that.