Saturday, May 12, 2012

Code Red


It makes me pause.

Joe seems to have, as do I to a lesser degree, what's now being called 'the 100 day flu' which is going around. It's the kind of thing you get, get over and then get again. Joe ended up going to see the doctor a couple of days ago. We were really, really, lucky to get a really, really, good doctor. We had been living up near Barrie and were desperate for a family doctor. After a couple of years, Joe set his mind to it and plunged in to get us a doctor down in Toronto. We, neither of us, remember how we ended up with our present doctor. But, good fortune smiled on us. We both like him, he's smart and, most importantly, he cares.

So during this visit the doctor informed Joe that the practice would be moving. He assured Joe that the new offices would be wheelchair accessible, would have accessible washrooms and much better elevators than the one they now have. Then he looked at Joe and said that they had been careful "because we don't want to end up in Dave's blog." Laughter.

I thought it funny too.


It made me think about having a blog and the responsibilities that come with it. I have tried to follow some rules. I never write anything negative about Joe - if we have a fight, it might be mentioned but only with 'Joe approval' - the blog isn't about airing those kinds of personal details. I've been criticised for this by some who want more of a 'reality show' vibe to the blog. The harshest criticism has come from my writing about the kids, Ruby and Sadie. I'm told that the kids are 'too nice to be real'. Well, firstly I think writing about kids who whine is about as grating as kids who whine. Beyond that Ruby and Sadie are people - with a right to privacy. They will grow up and maybe even read some of this stuff. I don't want them horrified, mortified or worse - embarrassed by what I've written. Rubes is very aware of my blog and loves the stories, she's been read every one. She even will do something and say, 'You should write about that, it would be a good story.' Usually, she's wrong, but I love the fact that she loves 'Ruby stories' on the blog. She likes them, I think, because I write them with her feelings, and her sister's feelings in mind.

I also don't name agencies where I consult or train, unless I specifically ask them and tell them what I'd like to write. Stories that come from these events might make it here but I take cautions that if I tell you won't make them cautions any more so trust me there are cautions - and even a few considerations. So, I don't do that. Vita stories are approved but I follow some practical and ethical rules. So, I don't tell tales out of school.

When I have negative encounters in stores or businesses, I tend to write about those, almost exclusively without naming the store or the business or the hotel or the restaurant. I don't want the blog to become a way to 'flame' someone's business. I fight my own battles, I write my own letters, I don't inform here. I do name businesses particularly when I've received good service. For example, I named Dunn's in Ottawa where they were helpful and even kind but did not name the restaurant across the street. Only those familiar with that part of Ottawa would have known the place I was speaking of - I felt that was OK.

I have named names, like I did a few days ago. But there,I was naming someone who was already in the press quite regularly. Commenting on a story that widely available seems different to me. So I've mentioned Rob Ford here, and George Smitherman, amongst others - but they are public figures.

My doctor really needn't have worried, I wouldn't have named him or his office if the building wasn't accessible - but I think I always knew, from his attitude and the attitude of his staff, that accessibility would have been considered anyways. I don't know that I would have been comfortable with a doctor who would have been comfortable with exclusion.

Anyways, I wanted to write this just so that readers know that I do try to follow some rules. I may occasionally break a rule, but only if there is a pressing reason to do so. I want RAIMH to be a blog that is respected BECAUSE it has boundaries.


Dr. B.

If you are reading this - not to worry - and thanks for the fact that I didn't have to worry either!


Anonymous said...


You are always honest in your posts and you are good researcher and teacher. In what I can read in your blog you always try to be upfront and you do not "complain" about things before you started personal action. You once did a very useful blog for me and I think I was not the only one learning from it. I guess your doctor did a joke (maybe irony) and the person you describe he might wantto have a little post in your blog?

Well he certainly got it now! Big Smile!


Dave Hingsburger said...

Hey Julia, welcome! I'm off to hear a 4 hour and 20 minute opera, sung in German, wish me luck. I believe, for me, that the best way to effect change is by person to person interaction. I am proud to say I can take you around my community and point to changes made because of that kind of personal contact with managers and store owners. When I started the blog I didn't want to become a 'distant complainer' rather than a present, here now, in your face, customer. I'm glad you've found previous posts helpful. Gotta run ... hours and hours and hours of opera are waiting.

Tamara said...

Good rules. It's your blog; you should write it the way you want to write it. I've never understood why anyone would want it to be anything other than what you want it to be. But then, I like the way you want it to be ...

Anonymous said...

In diesen heil¹gen Hallen - Sarastro's aria from Die
Dear Dave,

I hope you enjoy the opera. I guess it is a Wagner Opera - they tend to be very long. Lohengrin?

Here is my favourite part of an opera song which reminds me of you.

Cheers, Julia


In diesen heil'gen Hallen Within these hallowed halls
Kennt man die Rache nicht. One knows not revenge.
Und ist ein Mensch gefallen, And should a person have fallen,
Führt Liebe ihn zur Pflicht. Love will guide him to duty.
Dann wandelt er an Freundes Hand Then wanders he on the hand of a friend
Vergnügt und froh ins bess're Land. Cheerful and happy into a better land.

In diesen heil'gen Mauern, Within these hallowed walls,
Wo Mensch den Menschen liebt, Where human loves the human,
Kann kein Verräter lauern, No traitor can lurk,
Weil man dem Feind vergibt. Because one forgives the enemy.
Wen solche Lehren nicht erfreun, Whomever these lessons do not please,
Verdient nicht ein Mensch zu sein. Deserves not to be a human being.

literal translation by Lea F. Frey (

GirlWithTheCane said...

I have some rules for how I handle those things in my blog, too - pretty much in line with yours. But you've given me some things to think about, too. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear Joe (and you to some measure) are sick - again. It is a real bad bug. So many have been on the merry-go-round of flu for months now. Big hugs.

I have found your blog - even more of late - very informative and challenging. Based on the comments other do to. Keep up the good work.

Guidelines are always great - especially when you impose them on yourself. :-)