Saturday, July 04, 2015
Okay, I still have a lot to do on the game notes. I started them early enough, but we actually went right into the game last week without chatter and pretty much I've had to go ahead and put almost all of what's recorded in. It should ease up a bit now that I've reached the point where we defeated the warlocks in the department store, but I've got at least 3 1/2 hours of recording left, so maybe two hours left of transcribing. :( So I'd better go back to that. Happy Fourth of July, though! I hope those of you out there who celebrate had a really good time, and a safe one!
Straighten up living room.
- Put away old laundry.
- Gather new laundry.
- Put water in fish tanks.
- Water and cull plants.
- Clean out refrigerator.
- Take a dip in the pool.
Check on my friends.
- Check on my mom.
- Take out trash.
- Take out recyclables.
- Watch Galaxy Quest and/or The Wicker Man (the original with Christopher Lee, not that Nicholas Cage abomination).
Friday, July 03, 2015
Man Reunited With His Missing Dog After 8 Years, His Reaction Is Amazing!
I would like to say that I didn't feel like getting involved in anything I might have to interrupt while I was waiting for that call, but that's not it. Part of it is the 'when I'm alone I sleep' thing. But mostly, I just didn't feel like doing much of anything today. I find it relaxing to play on social media and blog. All the while I beat myself up for not accomplishing anything, but I think my body just said, wait, it's your day off, get some rest.
I have tomorrow free from my normal responsibilities as well. I may go to the festival for a bit, time it around an hour before the parade, so that I'm not spending all day there. That leaves the morning for doing some of the things I felt I should have done today--cleaning house, going over my bills, doing game notes, enjoying watching something [I would like to watch Galaxy Quest, as it's fun, and it's streaming on Netflix]. Then, after the parade ends (around 4 pm), I can either come home and do some more stuff, maybe get in the pool if we're rain/thunderstorm free (it never worked out today with the weather the way it was). Then I'll head over to the fireworks that evening. I'll check up on my friends, at some point, and call my mom and see how she is doing. So it should be a pretty full day, unlike today. Maybe I just needed a day to do nothing. I didn't even putz, really, just slept, ate a little, and played on the computer. I don't relax as well as I used to. I used to read, or listen to music, or watch something. Somewhere along the way I got used to relaxing with other people involved, and lost the ability to keep myself occupied. So tomorrow I'm going to work on that.
Dogs Raise Firework Threat Level To ‘Gray' (the accompanying graphic is great!)
There's also this, from The Onion: Nation’s Dogs Vow To Keep Their Shit Together During 4th Of July Fireworks
I spent awhile last night with a small black and white dog pressed against my under my legs for comfort while the fireworks went off.
Holders of Lexington Public Library cards can now take courses at Lynda.com (a LinkedIn company) for free. From the Lexington Public Library's description at the above link:
Lynda.com helps anyone learn software, creative, and business skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Users receive unlimited access to a vast library of high quality, current, and engaging video tutorials taught by great teachers who are also working professionals.The link to get there is at the page above, or you can click here: http://www.lexpublib.org/sites/default/dbforward.php?dbname=43220 and save it to your browser favourites/bookmarks. Apparently library access is not available through their mobile application, so check out the caveat at the bottom of the announcement page on using it on a mobile device through the broweser. Hope you enjoy this! I've looked through it and there's a lot on Microsoft Office, particularly Excel, some on personal finance, lots of technology stuff.
- Access to 3,599 courses and 274,000 tutorials.
- New courses added every week to keep your skills up to date with the fast-changing pace of technology.
- Switch back and forth between devices without ever losing your place.
- The playlists feature lets you create and manage a list of courses you want to watch, and bookmarks tag specific videos for reference.
- Courses are presented in small chunks, so it’s easy to find quick answers to specific questions. You can also watch an entire course from end to end if you choose.
- Instructors are respected professionals in their fields, and passionate about sharing their expertise.
- Compelling videos use screenshots, narration, live action, smart boards, charts, graphics, and audio.
- Creative Inspirations series goes behind the scenes with creative professionals and industry veterans to show how extraordinary products, ventures, and careers come to be.
- Read along with closed-captioned transcripts—or search the text to quickly find information within a course.
- Earn certificates of completion for each course viewed, and show coworkers, friends, and potential employers what you’ve accomplished.
And it is now raining cats and dogs. Time for a nap, caffeine be damned.
The Coke machine in the laundry room was out of Diet anything, and since I had locked the apartment already and was unshowered and in just an old shirt and shorts, but otherwise presentable, I drove up to the Circle K nearby and got a couple of Diet Sunkist drinks and some ice. It should jump start me somewhat.
The pool was deserted. It's cloudy, and not as warm and muggy as I thought it was. The sun keeps trying to peek out, but fails for more than a few minutes, so I haven't decided on the pool. It's only 76 degrees and there are scattered showers popping up all over the radar map around us. In fact, all of the weather applications on my phone report rain for Lexington at the moment, so it may be raining nearby. Maybe later this afternoon.
With the Fourth on a Saturday, it's a little interesting. I'm off work. City offices, trash pickup, etc., are off. I've seen the mail run (I guess they'll be off tomorrow) and FedEx come by. [Yay, this moment, the sun totally broke through the clouds, although I don't know how long that will last!] I'm assuming the banks are on holiday today and tomorrow, as at least two people I know got paid early. [And now I hear thunder. :(]
A said he looked at the weather and while tomorrow may be cloudy, the chance of rain is highest after midnight, so the festivals, cookouts, and fireworks may just go off as planned. I usually go to the Festival downtown, and watch the parade (we're the only ones they allow, with our badges as proof). I'm not sure if I'll do that this year, as it depends on the weather, what my other activities are, and the like. But I definitely want to go watch the Idle Hour fireworks, and I can park at the hospital I work at and then just spread a blanket on the front lawn to watch.
Okay, I've had a couple of glasses of soda. I think it's beginning to kick in. The sun is still shining, and I can hear cicadas. A butterfly just went by the window. It might turn out to be a nice day after all.
I am so sorry to hear of Teressa's passing. I worked with her for some time and after that we kept in touch on Facebook. She was a wonderful person, a hard worker, and very sincere. It's so hard to believe she is gone. She was just a few weeks younger than I, and was a mom and grandmother, and she fought a hard battle with cancer. Requiescat in pace, Teressa Billa. I am glad you are no longer in pain and ill, and you will be sorely missed by those whose lives you touched. My condolences to the family and loved ones. The celebration of life will take place in Florida, so I cannot be there. But my thoughts will be with Teressa and her family.
Thursday, July 02, 2015
Speaking of funeral flowers, I did get some sad news, although I'm waiting to see it in the paper because I don't necessarily trust social media for death information, but it seems that one of my co-workers at the gas station, a lovely woman who was very caring and worked very hard, whom I've mentioned here after her diagnosis when they were trying to fund the chemo for her cancer treatment, has died. A couple of weeks ago the doctors told her she had maybe six months to live and put her in hospice. She was just two weeks younger than I, a mother, grandmother--and just a great person. If this is true, I am so sorry to hear it; I know she struggled through two cancers in her life, and that's a shame. I enjoyed working with her and keeping up with her on Facebook, but I hadn't talked to her for awhile, although I did message her. But I'm glad she is at peace now, and no longer in pain. Rest in peace, Teressa. If I can find funeral information, I will try to go to it.
It is 69 degrees in my apartment. Apparently when the maintenance person came in and fixed my leaking air conditioner (again), he left it switched to 'on' rather than 'auto', and it's been running non-stop. I've corrected that, finally, but brrr....(pulls the covers over her in bed). Good night!
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
12: To Kill a Mockingbird
A great listener and a possessor of true compassion, you are a gold star of a person. You care deeply for your loved ones and are always sympathetic and ready to help in whatever way you can. You do more chores around the house than anyone, you buy almost all of the toilet paper and dish soap because nobody else remembers, and picking up that one friend from yet another hole-in-the-wall bar so that she won’t stumble home drunk at 4 in the morning has become somewhat of a routine. If you find yourself doing your sister’s taxes for the third year in a row or considering the possibility of murder in defense of someone you care about, take stock: you may need to readjust your life choices.
Too many kids with ADHD may be getting strong antipsychotic medications meant to treat diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, a new study finds.
And many are getting these drugs without any kind of diagnosis indicating they have a psychiatric disorder, the survey found.
Not only do these kids risk serious side-effects from the drugs, but they may be missing out on more effective treatments for their conditions, the research team writes in the Journal of the American Medical Association publication JAMA Psychiatry.
"What's especially important is the finding that around 1.5 percent of boys aged 10 to 18 are on antipsychotics, and then this rate abruptly falls by half as adolescents become young adults," said Michael Schoenbaum of the National Institute for Mental health, who worked on the study.
Schoenbaum, with colleagues at Columbia University, Yale University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, looked at prescription data from across the United States. They found a troubling pattern of use of antipsychotics.
"What we see is patterns of use, particularly in boys, that suggest that antipsychotics are largely not being used for the disorders the Food and Drug Administration has approved them for," Schoenbaum told NBC News. "Rather, among boys, particularly teenage boys, uses are much more consistent with prescribing to manage behavioral problems."
The manila folder is full of faded faxes. The top sheet contains a brief description of my first medically confirmed manic episode, more than 20 years ago, when I was admitted as a teenager to U.C.L.A.’s Neuropsychiatric Institute: “Increased psychomotor rate, decreased need for sleep (about two to three hours a night), racing thoughts and paranoid ideation regarding her parents following her and watching her, as well as taping the phone calls that she was making.”I've never been psychotic, and there's some debate over whether I have been merely 'hypomanic' or truly 'manic', but I have bipolar disorder, officially diagnosed as Bipolar Disorder II. My main drug is not lithium, but lamotrigine, also known as Lamictal. It is a mood stabilizer. Apparently standard antidepressants, SSRIs (selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors) are often prescribed to people who present with depressive symptoms, and while usually they work, occasionally they have a tendency to send a person into a full-blown mania, indicating that the diagnosis should actually be Bipolar. So while they are sometimes still used in someone who has bipolar disorder, they usually have a mood stabilizer in there as well. I also take aripiprazole, Abilify, which is an antipsychotic, even though I'm not psychotic. The two together work to keep me on an even keel, and it's been years since I've been too down or up in mood. I'm lucky. They found a good combination for me that worked pretty much from the get-go. I am very compliant in terms of medication, missing only occasionally, like today, when I didn't realise my pill-reminder box was empty. I'll fill that up tonight. They are just like any other tablet I take for my 'physical' conditions. (I put those quotes in, because psychiatric illnesses such as Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Disorder are the result of physical imbalances in brain chemistry, even if they are classed as mental illnesses.) By taking those medications, I am a productive member of society who pays her taxes and holds down a job, etc.
I believed I had special powers, the report noted; I knew ‘‘when the end of the world was coming due to toxic substances’’ and felt that I was the only one who could stop it. There was also an account of my elaborate academic sponsorship plan so I could afford to attend Yale — some corporation would pay for a year of education in exchange for labor or repayment down the line. (Another grand delusion. I was a B-plus student, at best.)
After I was admitted to the institute's adolescent ward, I thought the nurses and doctors and therapists were trying to poison me. So was the TV in the rec room. I warned my one friend in the ward that its rays were trying to kill him. The generator outside my window was pumping in gas. The place, I was sure, was a death camp.
I refused meds because they were obviously agents of annihilation. It took four orderlies to medicate me: They pinned me to the floor while a nurse plunged a syringe into my left hip. Over time, I became too tired to refuse medication. Or perhaps the cocktail of antipsychotics started working. The Dixie cup full of pills included lithium, which slowly took hold of my mania. After a few weeks, I stopped whispering to the other patients that we were all about to be killed. Eventually, I stopped believing it myself.
My biggest fear as I go forward in the next couple of years is that my job will be ending in 2017 unless I find something else before then, and that means I'm going to lose my insurance. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) may be my salvation. I am terrified of going off my meds, and not just the ones for diabetes, but the ones for my bipolar disorder as well. I didn't do all the crazy things that this writer did, but I did crazy things that affected my credit, my relationships, my schooling, my job, and my own sense of self worth. I don't want to be actively crazy again, ever.
I can relate so much to this article. Medication = a mostly decent, normal life. Off medication = chaos. It's pretty simple. My brain is not my friend. There is something seriously wrong with me, but it can be helped. I realise this. I have the insight, which is why I take my tablets every day. I want to be in control of my life, not at the mercy of it.
Nicholas Winton, a Briton who said nothing for a half-century about his role in organizing the escape of 669 mostly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II, a righteous deed like those of Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg, died Wednesday in Maidenhead, England. He was 106.
It was only after Mr. Winton’s wife found a scrapbook in the attic of their Maidenhead home in 1988 — a dusty record of names, pictures and documents detailing a story of redemption from the Holocaust — that he spoke of his all-but-forgotten work in the deliverance of children who, like the parents who gave them up to save their lives, were destined for Nazi concentration camps.
Monday, June 29, 2015
I spent some time with a friend tonight watching a children's programme from Britain produced by Russell T. Davies, who used to be the person behind 'Doctor Who'. This is called 'Wizards vs. Aliens', and while it's a little, well, hokey, it's actually quite a bit fun. We also watched some YouTube videos together. I still need to watch the last episode of 'Grace and Frankie' as well.
Now I'm home, and I've been on the computer putting off a book review and looking over my notes for class on Wednesday, so I'll probably wind up doing those tomorrow. My co-teacher should be back from her trip to the Greek islands on Wednesday. :)
So I'm listening to some music, updating applications on my phone, and that sort of stuff. I think I'll go to bed pretty soon, though; tomorrow is one of my early days and I want to be to work by 7:30 am so I can get my allergy shots tomorrow. With the testing and stuff, I forgot to call the office about the leaking air conditioner. I'll do that tomorrow, and see if they've prepared my new lease to sign as well. Plus, I need to drop off a library book I couldn't renew tomorrow so it won't be late. :) Okay, I guess I'll say good night. Hope you had a good weekend and enjoy (for those folks in the US) a short week. I've got a three-day workweek this week. Yay! And yes, my neighbours are already shooting off fireworks, which I just don't get. It's not even July, after all.
You know those things on Facebook that go 'things only children of the (whatever decade) understand'?
21 Things Only Kids Who Grew Up In The 1590s Will Understand
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Just got home from playing the game and discovered that my air conditioning is, in fact, leaking again, so I put a bucket in the spot that it's dripping on, and I'll have to call them tomorrow, which annoys me. That's less than a week after it was supposedly fixed, and the fifth time in ten years this has happened. Don't get me wrong, I like my apartment, my complex, etc. But I'll have to find another place for the big tub of Yule tree because it simply can't go in there; everything else I had in there won't ruin, but that would. Mind you, I hadn't even gotten the stuff back in there yet.
The game was good. We went right into it this time (last week we visited for a couple of hours first, and didn't actually do much). Today two of our characters were attacked by warlocks who tried to kill us and our children, but it all worked out. But both of us are tainted due to wounds by their daggers, and one of my other characters shares this because she is magically linked to the one injured, meaning she also received the injury and taint, miles away at her home. Ah, Call of Cthulhu, you have to love it. Our game master has drawn on the games Werewolf and Witchcraft for some of the stuff we saw today. There are several game systems adapted and integrated into our game, because our game master is just that good, and it's one reason we've been playing for so very long (24 years!), with such a rich story, various player and non-player characters, children, etc.
I drank too much soda today and sat too much; my feet have swollen, so I'm going to prop them up and let them rest on a couple of pillows until they go back to normal size. I also left some cream cheese over at my friends' house, which is unfortunate, as I would have liked to have had a bagel this evening. But I've eaten plenty in (fairly healthy) game snacks--cashews, string cheese, and berries.
I must remember not to go into work tomorrow; I'm off due to some cognitive testing I have to undergo. It lasts for 1 1/2 hours in the morning, then there's lunch, and then another 1 1/2 hours after lunch. We'll see how that comes out. I'm not sure what to expect. I need to double-check the time it starts; I think it's 10:30 am and ends at 2:30 pm. If the weather's nice, I might be able to go for a swim. It's supposed to be partly cloudy at the beginning of the day and then go into afternoon or evening thundershowers, so I'm not sure. But I can sleep in a bit tomorrow morning, at least. And I'll be across town near Beaumont, so I may see about going to Masala's Indian buffet for lunch, since I get a break. I also need to work on a book review before the end of the month, so tomorrow or Tuesday, and there's also some stuff to do over at my friends' house.
Okay, I've checked the news, I've done a few things here. I think I'll just get some rest and recharge the laptop and me as well. Good night.
So I was taking a nap and dreaming about the Cthulhu game and in my dream I was counting and doing math to see what year I turn 65 and wondering if we'd still be playing (so far it has been 24 years next week). My clock beeped the hour chime and I woke up, and the sky was barely light, and I was like, 'oh, no, it's morning and I haven't done the game notes yet!' After a moment I realised it was 9 pm and the sun was going down, not dawn. So now I just finished the notes, and it's off to bed for real. I wonder if there's a name for thinking you've slept the night away? And you know, I never did finish the math. I think it's 2032. Here's to playing even then, even if we're all in the same retirement home. :)
Saturday, June 27, 2015
I was catching up on Twitter and was amazed at the sheer number of hateful comments being directed to the SCOTUSblog account. Mind you, the blog is in no way affiliated with the Supreme Court - - they just report and analyse the decisions. But they were handling the hate with aplomb, tongue firmly in cheek, so yay for them.
Friday, June 26, 2015
Finally, the last barricade to marriage equality has fallen. Our governor, who was one of the parties defending in the cases, promptly announced that new forms would be sent immediately to county clerks so that same-sex marriages could get underway. My faith in the justice system, and the Supreme Court, was renewed today. And while I'm glad history was made, my main concern now is what to wear to a wedding. :)
Thursday, June 25, 2015
From the Wikipedia article on Washoe:
One of Washoe's caretakers was pregnant and missed work for many weeks after she miscarried. Roger Fouts recounts the following situation:People who should be there for her and aren't are often given the cold shoulder--her way of informing them that she's miffed at them. Washoe greeted Kat [the caretaker] in just this way when she finally returned to work with the chimps. Kat made her apologies to Washoe, then decided to tell her the truth, signing "MY BABY DIED". Washoe stared at her, then looked down. She finally peered into Kat's eyes again and carefully signed "CRY", touching her cheek and drawing her finger down the path a tear would make on a human (Chimpanzees don't shed tears). Kat later remarked that one sign told her more about Washoe and her mental capabilities than all her longer, grammatically perfect sentences
AN ENGLISH WEBSITE INCLUDED HOZIER AS A BRITISH ARTIST IN THEIR ‘BRITS BLITZ’ LIST
Hozier has become one of the most famous faces in music after his debut album went stratospheric, so he should be pretty well known at this stage.Um...no. He's Irish, from Wicklow, not from Northern Ireland, not from Britain, not British. What, if I were a famous musician, would she claim me because I happen to have genetic roots in Britain, even though I'm American? Doubtful. What about an Indian singer, since they 'used to be part of the British Empire'. I'm sure that would go over really well, too.
The writer of the piece below even acknowledges that Hozier is, in fact, Irish, but she still claims that her publication are "happy to take him to our British bosom".
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
You must be around 26 years old! You have a young, optimistic and hopeful attitude about the world. You are very liberal when it comes to most issues, especially social and economic ones. Things like social justice, human rights and the environment are very important to you. You consider yourself a pacifist and activist. It's a good thing you're so passionate because your generation is the next one to take over the world!Not bad for someone in her late 40s.
These kids aren’t just all right, they’re brilliant. A group of schoolchildren have invented a condom that changes color when it comes in contact with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Safe to say, this isn’t the glow many of us are anticipating between the sheets.Not sure how practical it will be to put into place, but it is a very interesting concept.
The condom, called S.T.EYE, won the health category at the TeenTech Awards in London, which is an annual competition that aims to inspire 11- to 16-year-olds to realize “their true potential and the real opportunities available in the contemporary STEM workplace.”
S.T.EYE would theoretically have molecules in the rubber that would glow when it comes into contact with different pathogens. The condom would glow green for chlamydia, yellow for herpes, purple for human papillomavirus (HPV) and blue for syphilis. The conversation that would follow would certainly have the culprit blushing bright red.
- My air conditioning is back on and working!
- T-Mobile rolled out an over-the-air update for the Samsung Galaxy S5 to Android 5.1.1. :) My inner geek is happy.
- Class was the best one so far since I started teaching it. I'm getting more comfortable.
- I saw two deer running across a field near the hospital when we were outside after class.
- I'm finally eating dinner (macaroni and cheese).
- I get paid tonight (don't get excited, creditors; it's mostly allocated already)
- I found out my stove hood light is actually a standard light bulb. I thought it was a smaller one, because it was clear glass and looked to be as old as the actual apartment buildings, which I think were built in the 1970s. :)