Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

Pretty quiet around here.  The cat moved from her favorite spot a couple of times, excluding mealtimes and "nite-nite" time.  So that was interesting.

Had some fun with a Kindle borrowed from work.  I rather like it.   There's a certain exhilaration about being freed from the task of physically flipping a page.  Not having to squint to see the text in the gutter margin is always a plus.  And increasing the font size?  Priceless.

Next weekend's plans include borrowing the Nook for scientific comparison.

Went over to the branch where I'll start working at on July 11.

Nice people, nice building and, bonus, it appears that most of the customers bathe within 24 hours of entering the building.


I made some time this evening to go through and catalog some wacky pictures I've found over the years.  As you might expect, most of them fell into two categories:  Farts and Somebody Help Her.

And I took some time to think about my Daddy.  Due to health problems and birth at just the right time, Dad was the only person in my immediate family to serve in the military since the US Civil War.

He did not like serving.  No sir.  He did not.  Just didn't care for the idea.  By using a college deferral, he managed to miss the Korean war.  I can't imagine how that would have changed Dad from the mellow dude of my memory.  It's unfathomable.

He was in the Army Corps of Engineers.  A good place for him as he was, in fact, an Engineer. 

Meanwhile, In Wyoming

demotivational posters - Bison Jam

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Things That Make The Day Go Faster

Finding out you're being transferred to a position with some fan-frickin'-tastic opportunities.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mental Health and Mental Illness are not Mutually Exclusive

I am a rabid believer in fighting the stigma of mental illness.  We're in the 21st century.  We have science breaking new ground in the area every day.  Enough already.  Mental illness is real.  Mental health is possible. 

One can have a mental illness and be mentally healthy at the same time.  I am.  I make no secret that I have Bipolar II.  I am compliant with treatment.  I see my psychiatrist and therapist regularly.  Medication is a tool I have to keep my brain patterns in line.  Therapy is where I get tools to improve my life.  By combining the tools, my mental illness is held in check so I can live a mentally healthy life.

And I do.  I have been treated for depression, and then bipolar II since 1981.  Along the way, I've gained insight, learned about the brain and cognitive processes, and, incidentally, become a walking history of psychiatric medication in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

I have watched anti-depressants move from tricyclics to SSRIs.  I've seen mood stabilizers move from lithium to anti-convulsives to atypical anti-psychotics.  And all the while I have been moved from one to the other until, finally, we seem to have hit a combination that allows me to function at my best.  The tool of medication has helped me survive.

As we learn more about mental illness, including addiction, I have seen the therapies I have participated in improve.  I have seen therapy go from simply talking to process thoughts to using neuroscience to help improve the cognitive processes that keep me from identifying what is part of the disease and what is not.  I've seen more emphasis on how modern medications affect the brain and, in turn the thoughts that are behind my emotions and actions. 

The tools I have to monitor myself hardly existed years ago.  Now they are a God-send in understanding and managing my disorder.  I have learned about neural pathways that exist in the brain.  These are actual physical trails in the brain.  These pathways are created by thoughts we think automatically when we experience a certain event.  When we have an experience, our neurons actually take the easiest physical path.  For better or worse

Awareness.  Being aware of feelings and actions can lead us to identify those thoughts.  We can learn more helpful thoughts.  Those thoughts can actually change the physical pathway in our brain.  To a better outcome.  To mentally healthier lives.

Just as any other chronic illness, bipolar II will sometimes take over and I can't use my bright shiny new pathways.  No matter how well treated I am.  No matter how many tools I have.  Thanks to my tools, I can more quickly identify what is going on and go for help.  Make the episode shorter, praise God/the Maker/Scientific Principle.

I am mentally healthy.  I can reason.  I can take appropriate action.  Often, I am more mentally healthy than the majority of people around me.  Awareness.  Tools.  That's what it takes.

I have a mental illness.  I have good mental health.

Look at your own feelings, actions, and thoughts.  Are you aware?  Do you have the tools to improve your coping abilities?

You may not have a mental illness, but you may discover a Mental Health Wellness checkup will help you survive and thrive as I do. It's worth it.  Try starting with some of the resources below.  You may be amazed.

Psychcentral is as old as the public internet.  The quizzes there are nearly identical to those used in doctor's offices and emergency rooms.

National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) has a ton of information about different mental illnesses

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a project called "In Our Own Voice."  Those with mental illness share their stories to help fight the stigma.  Maybe you have a local group that would sponsor a presentation.

Read The Other Depression by Robert Grieco.  Even I, treated for mental illness for 30 years, learned things about treatment and management of bipolar II that I did not know before.

Learn.  Just Learn.  You could save a life.  That life could be your own.

Meanwhile, In Scotland

funny pictures - Richard couldn't afford a bagpipe,  but that  didn't stop a man with a  dream.

see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fibromyalgia Sucks

I have a few causes I am passionate about and May is awareness month for two of them! Today is all about fibromyalgia.

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1999. All of the tender points were there. All 18. Such a treat. It sure explained a lot. The fatigue, the pain, the fog. Ouch.

Somehow, I seem to have been blessed with what I call "fibromyalgia light." I can still work 40 hours a week. The pain rarely makes me need a day off. And the pain has been somewhat relieved by a big 'ol dose of Cymbalta. What a blessing that is.

Fibromyalgia is fickle. Things you can do one day you can't do a couple of days later. Fibro may not hit you directly after or even the day after. Oh no. It has to wait and sneak up on you.

Fibromyalgia is not just physical problems either. Some people experience "fibro fog" and have difficulty concentrating. Now there's a tough one if you're trying to work outside the home or even sit down and crochet. Now what number comes after 4?

Fibromyalgia has some symptoms that may surprise you. Sensitivity to light is one. Like those with arthritis, we mighty fibromites can also forecast the weather. I call it geosensitivity. It's my only superpower.

No one's experience with fibormyalgia is the same. Different treatments work for different people. And there are associated disorders as well that must be addressed. Many people also have migraines. Depression often is found in patients.

Although I won't have a clear answer until mid-June, I suspect myofascial pain is also at work in my body. This is a deep pain in the fascia. Lots of people with fibro have this also. Knots develop in tender points that are not directly related to fibromyalgia. Press lightly on one and you'll feel pain. You'll probably also feel pain in another area in the body. This is referred pain and very nasty. I have a couple of spots that, if I touch them, I automatically flinch. It's better some days than others. When it flares up, I just don't want to move

Due to the pain of excersise, weight gain and the associated health effects are present in many patients. You even begin to fear exercise. Ironically, exercise is one thing that can also alleviate the pain. Further, Hypermobility in joints can be present. This further limits the types of exercise a patient may be able to do safely. I have the hypermobility and if one more person says I should swim, I may explode. Due to the freedom one feels in the water, hyperflexion is a natural response.  Hypermobility and swimming are not a good mix.

Fibromyalgia sucks. I survive and thrive quite well. Others don't. If you know someone with fibromyalgia, give them a gentle hug this month and learn more about it. It helps us to know someone cares and "gets it."

Meanwhile, in Soviet Russia

demotivational posters - IN SOVIET RUSSIA

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Post-Osama World

Things may change in the near future but, for now, things are pretty much the same for the 'ol Booktender

Osama bin Laden remains dead
demotivational posters - CHUCK NORRIS

That Chuck Norris Has Been Damn Busy
4koma comic strip - A Recreation of Actual Events

The Bearforce Seems To Be On Top Of Things Along the Arizona Border

wtf photos videos - Lincoln Calvary: Where Is Your God Now?

And Sheriff Joe Arpaio Remains On Top Of Things In His Personal War Against Immigration Reform

demotivational posters - BECAUSE HE'S GOT WARRANTS

Meanwhile, On Broadway

funny pictures history - TOTAL RECALL: THE MUSICAL

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Strange Days, Indeed

They say Americans will remember where they were when they heard the news of Osama bin Laden's death.  It's so awkward to say that you were playing Yoville when you got the news.  Really.  Yoville is a  dorky decorating game far less dignified than Farmville.  And so is my avatar.

I was having a lovely chat with some strangers in an oddly decorated room when a completely random avatar bursts in and shouts 'THEY GOT HIM!  THEY KILLED BIN LADEN!"

demotivational posters - WAIT.... WHAT????Anyone out there in social game land knows an avatar will say anything to get attention.  At least some do.  Personally, I play the old-age card.

So, being an experienced Yovillian, I ignored it.  Just your average nonsense.

But then another random avatar came in and shouted the exact same thing.  Now, either someone was trolling or maybe I should turn on the TV.


I chose the latter course of action and, lo and behold, the news was calling it in favor of the Navy Seals.

Immediately, a group of people, possibly birth-certificate carrying teabaggers went on the offensive.  Obama, a democrat!  A black democrat! Accomplished what GW couldn't. 

Where's the proof?  Where's the proof?  Where's the beef?  How do we know he's really dead? 

Those Navy Seals obviously lied with all their fancy DNA tests. 

It's a socialist plot!

Tarnation.  These people are really starting to get under my skin.  Srsly.  Skin, under.  See also:  rash

The good news is they have just added another foot to the rope that will hang them.  By questioning the scientific evidence gathered and studied by The Troops, they have shown their true colors.  Support The Troops, my ass.  Support them when they're bombing the hell out of them Muslims but not when they take out the Bad Guy in a clean shoot-out.

You heard it here first, peeps.  Teabaggers and their buddies are Anti-Troops.  That makes them, according to their own definitions, Anti-American.  I have suspected this for some time, but now they have outted themselves.  Where is their God now?

Meanwhile, in North Korea

wtf photos videos - Terrorbird!

There Really Is No Place Like Vegas

Breaking the Rules (Troubleshooters, #16)Breaking the Rules by Suzanne Brockmann

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Welcome back Ms. Brockmann!

Izzy and Fishboy start a bromance. OK, that's pushing it too far. What they are doing, what everyone in this novel learns, is communicating. Thanks to some timely intervention from Jenn.

There are disturbing things in this novel. If you are triggered by domestic violence and child sex slaves, do not read it. Brockmann explores these topics well. As well she should. If you have those triggers, though, best wait for the next great Brockmann novel.

Tons of relationship building in this one. Of course, we have the love relationships between Jenn and Dan, Izzy and Eden. We have family relationships growing between Dan, Eden, and their younger brother Ben. And, as mentioned earlier, Dan and Izzy. Friendship, family, and romance. Great mix.

And we have hints of coming possible pairings. While Ben is still under 18, a hunky gay Team 16 member is mentioned once in a while. Jenn's employer, Maria, is very much a part of finding solutions in this novel. Can't wait to see what comes next!

The bad guys are thoroughly and unquestionably BAD. Very Bad. The shame is that there really are people like that in this world.

Would I recommend this book to a Las Vegas showgirl? Yes. While the action that takes place may be a bit off, I think she might like that the "normal" side of Vegas is presented.

Would I recommend this book to a survivor of child abuse? No.

Would I recommend this book to a man in a bear suit? Of course not! It's too hot to wear a bear suit in Vegas!

View all my reviews