Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

How well do you know PubMed?

Saab Medical Library PubMed quiz

And another on the same story

Internet searches: Librarians do it better

Nice to see in print

Librarians Provide More Health Information Than Internet Searches

Well, well, well

So Bill didn't fall off the face of the Earth after all, and he's getting married (third time's the charm?) again...also check out liamhart.org for information on Irish folk music in northern New Jersey.

Meanwhile, other than viewing Bill's webpage and questioning how I ever hooked up with this person (I plead insanity), over the holiday I:

  1. Went to see X-Men: the Last Stand with friends, which kept alive the possible continuation of the franchise despite cutting a swath through most of the main characters in much death and mayhem
  2. Went to Johnny Carino's, where I had tasty calamari (long story behind that one) and salmon
  3. Wasn't able to get my car on Friday because Sears doesn't take counter cheques and the bank had already closed. But one good thing; the manager of the auto repair shop drove me home, after which I went straight to bed, feeling overwrought and boo-hooey.
  4. Was able to get my car on Saturday after going to the bank and getting cash, with my boss giving me a ride over to the auto shop. I appreciate the ride a lot, although by comparison I drive like a little old lady and wasn't entirely sure we'd make it in one piece.
  5. Had a great game Sunday. We're in San Francisco and have uncovered a lot of puzzle pieces but haven't figured out how many puzzles we're juggling yet.
  6. Went home to Danville on Monday for my grandmother's birthday. She's 82! They're making plans for a family reunion with the whole gang in July. I'm going to try to get off work that weekend to go.
  7. This morning I cleaned madly before work because someone was coming to clean my carpet as part of a thank-you from the rental office for renewing my lease. I had just gotten into the tub and soaped my hair when the guy (who was very cute) showed up. It's amazing what he was doing with the carpet when I left for work...it looks brand new, and that's despite having trouble with both of my geriatric animals in terms of in-house accidents.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Well, the car is fixed

It took $105 for a new battery from AAA (yes, it would be cheaper somewhere else, but they came out with the battery and installed it, which I didn't have the tools to get one stripped bolt off the post, plus it's a six-year battery that will be replaced for free within three years and $1 month thereafter, within the six), and the solenoid was stuck and they couldn't get it unstuck, so the starter had to be replaced (I hope that wasn't just hooey, it's apparently made in one piece, according to Sears, so they couldn't just replace the solenoid) for $250. So, most of the income that was to be disposable for a change (and which I was going to put into shots for Cerys and Darius and glasses for me) went to the car and I'll have to wait on the others.

I had a Good Samaritan help me with the battery. She showed me how to fill the battery with water and how to jump one. Thanks, nice lady!

The bad news is I work tonight and there's no way to get out on the bus to cash my cheque and pick up the car and get back in time for work, plus one guy called in so they pulled in another person and need me to get there as soon as I can.

So, tomorrow I'm going to take off from job #1 (I'm already off on Monday for the holiday, so that'll be 2 days off from all three jobs), go get the cheque cashed, go get the car, and then meet some friends for X-Men: the Last Stand. Then I'm hoping to get some work on the house done in prepartion for Tuesday's carpet cleaning. Saturday I work; Sunday is the game plus I work, and then Monday, which is also my grandmother's birthday, I hope to go down to Danville for a visit.

That's it for now. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Argh! My car won't start

I was back on the bus today, with 100 pennies for the fare, since the car konked out right before payday. I'm hoping it's something simple like the battery (although the lights and radio work, maybe it's not charged enough to start) or spark plugs. I hope it's not the actual starter.

Poor Lorraine. Yes, I named her during the last period-of-no-car. She's a Ford Taurus, which always reminds me of upper-middle-age women in personality, and the name is one I associate likewise.

So this afternoon I'm going to 1) not go to the dentist 2) try to get the car fixed and 3) hopefully get paid, since I don't have any money for tomorrow's busride if we can't fix it.


A look at one factor in developing epilepsy

Low Apgar Score Linked to Higher Incidence of Epilepsy (free with registration)

They specifically excluded children with cerebral palsy, malformations, or with a parental history of seizures. Apgar is a scale upon which newborns are rated in terms of viability, with higher scores more desirable. Babies with low scores, such as those born premature, are at increased risk for developing epilepsy from birth to age 25.

Shouldn't efficacy be more important than politics in terms of therapy?

Medical Marijuana: Politics Trumps Science at the FDA (free with registration)

Ever wonder what some of those old ailments were?

See the Glossary fo Old Names for everything from Affrigtened to Worm Fit, and an explanation for having a frog in your throat.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I'd like to read this

Marley & Me by John Grogan, the story of a family and their very rambunctious golden lab, after hearing an interview with the author on the radio this morning. My favourite was how the dog went through the sheet rock of a wall when frightened by a storm. Then there was the window that his tail broke. Dogs do some of the weirdest, destructive things, and we forgive them every bit, because they are such a part of our lives. With my own lab nearly fifteen and in the sunset of her life, I look back at things like destroyed quilts and dolls and can't be angry, because there's been so much love and companionship, too. I can't imagine what things will be like without Cerys, and yet, I know that someday (probably soon), I'll have to endure it. But having the memories of our beloved pets is one thing we're blessed with. This sounds like a great tribute to a wonderful 'bad' dog.

An interesting timeline

I found whilst doing a search last night. It goes back to 15 Billion BCE to the Present, with entries colour coded and annotated. They include scientific information, mythological texts such as the Bible, astronlogical and astronomical data, environmental issues, speculative data, etc., all mixed together but plainly delineated. There are a few errors, especially in some entries where the dates are actually BP (Before Present, used by a lot of anthropologists/archaeologists) and BCE (Before the Common Era). Dates are given in BC and AD (Before Christ and Anno Domini). Check it out at Historical Timeline. It's very ambitious, covering world events rather than focussing on just one area. It goes in quite a bit of detail at least to 700 CE, then apparently the links break down. But it's remarkable and a good start to researching something like what events were happening in the 10th century BCE or when rice was first cultivated in China, that sort of thing.

Monday, May 22, 2006

But they're not sure why

Childhood Cancer Survivors More Likely to Be Jobless

There is no difference seen in Europe, but in the US there is a marked difference in whether survivors of childhood cancer held jobs, perhaps because of our links of employment with health insurance, perhaps because of societal prejudices concerning cancer. Those with brain and central nervous system fared far worse than those with blood or bone cancers, perhaps due to impairments the cancers left them. The younger the child was at diagnosis seems to be a factor, as did being female, having a lower education and/or low IQ, any motor impairment or epilepsy, or radiotherapy. Education is the only factor that can really be changed. I'm not surprised. I've seen firsthand how epilepsy or traumatic brain injury can cause issues for employment in people I care about. Plus, there's all the problems of living with a chronic condition such as depression, anxiety, and self-image issues, too.

It's certainly a topic worth more study.

That's good to know

Barbaro 'Brighter' After Surgery, But Vet Warns Horse Suffered Extensive Injuries In Preakness Race

I was at work, so I heard by word-of-mouth about rather than actually saw the shocking beginning to the Preakness in which Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's leg was broken in several places. I'm glad they were able to do surgery, but of course how he responds to the confinements that will be placed on him and whether he heals properly will really make a difference as to whether he'll eventually stand stud or have to be euthanised. I hope certainly for the former. It's a shame that once again there will be no bid for the Triple Crown.

Thoroughbreds are so high-strung, so fragile in many ways, despite being large, powerful animals. I have to wonder, as my friend Brenda suggested, if they're being overbred to be more likely to break down. I don't know enough about the business to know, really. I've always been a horsey-girly-girl in terms of reading horse stories, etc., but I've only been on one--at age three--and I've never learnt to ride, even though I live right in the middle of horse country. I would like to learn, but on the other hand, I have to admit I'm a little afraid of the size of horses. I don't know how I'd do up on one. Plus, I'm really, really allergic to them. :( So maybe I should just worship them from afar. :)

How bizarre

Vegan diet lowers odds of having twins

Still, it's one study that indicates the hormones given to cattle may be having an effect on women who consume the meat and milk, as those promoting organic farming practices have indicated for years. Shiver.

Friday, May 19, 2006

A generation whose cervical cancer risks will be far lowered

is surely more important than controversies over teenage sexual activity. This isn't a series of injections that will prevent AIDS or any other sexually transmitted disease. All safer sex practices will still have to apply, just as screening will have to continue given that approximately 30% of the current cancer rates will continue.

But can you imagine a world where a silent killer, number two amongst cancers in women, could be largely prevented by a shot or three? If I were a mother, I'd sign my daughter up as soon as it is approved. If I ever decide to have sex again, I'll look into it for myself, since I've fortunately missed HPV and want that to continue. The only bad thing is the cost of $300-$500 for the series, but that's so little compared to the costs of cancer.

But think of the far-reaching aspects of this. What other cancer-causers can we vaccinate against, eventually? Could we actually conquer many different cancers with similar technology? Let's hope so.

In the meantime, I hope that concern for children's health will overcome the oppostion who fears it will spark promiscuity. And I hope the message is loud and clear that if you do have sex, you still need to take precautions against HIV and other potential STDs, because fertility, sanity, and life are all at risk every time someone chooses to have sex. It's not a free pass to do whatever you like. Those days are still long gone, if they ever really existed. But what a wonderful weapon to have in an arsenal against disease!

Cervical Cancer Vaccine Gets Important Backing

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Will we all become universal librarians?

Building the Universal Library

Scan This Book!

Learn more about factory farming

and slaughterhouse abuses, and what can be done against them at The Humane Farming Association

There's also

Welcome to Stop Falling

Tease Catalog

Want library and reading related merchandise? Try

The Reader's Shop-Gifts & Apparel for Book Lovers : CafePress.com

Yesterday was not a good day

I woke up at 11:42 am. I was supposed to be at work by 10. I didn't feel well all day, and fretted about coming in late. My blood sugar was a little high. I acted irrationally and angered one person enough to stop talking to me entirely. I went home and tried to be productive, did a little around the house and for job #2, and then slept, got up, repeated, etc. Then I went to pick up a friend from work, came home, went back to sleep. I just couldn't seem to function. My meds are all okay. Maybe I'm just tired from working so much this weekend, I don't know. But I felt crummy and probably shouldn't have been around people at all.

Today I feel better, although oddly enough, I still feel tired and sleepy. What's the deal? I'm wearing my CPAP masque, etc. Arrrghhh!

I may take tomorrow off. Maybe I just need some rest. I work 10 hours again on Saturday, 2 on Sunday, then 10 on Tuesday. The good news, though, is that I have the money to make a payment on the car repair. I'm going to do that this afternoon. Yay.

I can't seem to stop blogging about this story

Uncommon depth of grief elicited by random death

I guess we're all asking ourselves, why? Why this woman, so close to what's supposed to be the joyous time of welcoming a new baby? Why did this happen? And it's the knowledge, I suppose, that any of us could have been walking down a sidewalk and be caught in such a twist of fate.

It's reassuring that she died quickly. It's sad and yet comforting that one of the things the coroner did was take footprints of the child that would never be born, giving the father something tangible to remember his daughter by.

I'm crying as I read this story, crying more as I try to put into words how it affected me. It doesn't make sense, really. I didn't know Stephanie Hufnagle. I didn't go to her bank. I didn't have any real reason for my life to cross with hers. She was nearly half my age.

But her death has affected me more than I expected it to. I suppose because her life was pregnant with more than a child. She was so young, just starting out in a marriage to her high school sweetheart. There was such an expectancy that came through in the stories. And I suppose this teaches us to cherish that expectancy even when things come crashing down upon us, because life could end at any time, but it is the good in people that will be remembered, and how they approached life. Mrs. Hufnagle seemed to be embracing life. I guess that's the best any of us can hope for.

To the families involved, the Cunninghams and the Hufnagles, I offer my deepest condolences. And also to the driver of the truck who bumped into the concrete wall--this was a horrible thing to happen, something that, again, could have happened to any of us but freakishly happened Tuesday morning. I know she must be in a world of hurt herself.

We always hope to touch people with our life, but sometimes it is also our death that really affects people. I know that I'll remember this young woman for years to come, even though I didn't know her.

The questions surrounding her death will eventually be answered, in terms of what happened and how the concrete gave way. There's a lot on the newpaper's site today on that. Yes, I want to know that. But I guess what I want to know more is that the families and friends of this young woman are getting the comfort they need, and those who responded to the accident, and everyone else who paused in their day in horror, come to have some peace of mind, if not answers to their questions.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Well, that's one factor

According to investigators, there was nothing in place to stop the truck in garage accident that killed a woman who was eight months' pregnant. I'm assuming they mean there was no kerb or other barrier between the parking space and the wall. One interesting twist, apparently the truck was a newer model Ford F-150, so it has an on-board data recorder that will help investigators figure out what happened. The driver did not appear impaired but submitted to blood tests for alcohol and drugs, and is said to be devastated by the accident, which is quite understandable.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Some more on that freak accident

Falling concrete slab kills pregnant bank employee

The woman killed was Stephanie Hufnagel, 22. She is survived by her husband, Brian, and 18-month-old daughter, Raigann. They were expecting their second daughter, to be named Sydney, any day now. The concrete slab, weighing several tons, fell when a pickup truck struck it as the driver was trying to park. The concrete fell from the second floor of a parking garage, onto Hufnagel, killing her instantly. That has got to be the only consolation in all this. Hufnagel was bringing food from her car to the bank where she worked and had arrived early to build up comp time for when she had the baby.

So sad. So freaky. My thoughts go out to her family and to those involved. I can't imagine being the driver who hit the wall, either. It's just so sad.

This is just so terrible, so freakish

Falling concrete slab kills pregnant bank employee

A woman who was 8 months pregnant was walking down a sidewalk between her workplace downtown in Lexington and a parking garage when a pickup truck struck a 6 inch concrete slab on the side of the garage and it separated and fell--5,000 to 6,000 pounds--on her, killing her and the unborn child. She is survived by a husband and a small daughter.

I can't imagine. It must have been terribly quick, at least, but who would have thought such a thing would happen?

You learn something new every day

AskOxford: Are spellings like 'privatize' and 'organize' Americanisms?

The answer is no, and they go on to explain why. Readers of this blog will note that in general even though I am an American, I uses British English in spelling and grammar, although I use American names for things. I believe in using International English, as we are a global oeconomy and increasingly a global culture. So I use the spellings and grammar more popular in English around the globe. I tend to believe that Americans as a whole are a little too provincial, and I never really agreed with Webster and Dewey in their attempts to standardise our orthography anyway, so my spelling is sometimes a little idiosyncratic, as I prefer some archaic spellings, such as Aegypt. I do at least try to remain consistent.

And yes, I'm also a pretentious git who likes to be special. But I've done it for so long (much of my reading is British, for example, so I was exposed to the alternate spellings and tended to incorporate them) that it's hard not to now. But what can I say? I love words, I love their meanings, and I love spelling them the way I do.

By the way, for a really fun word-of-the-day (I find most of the general ones contain words I know. I want to learn more obscure words) try: Worthless Word of the Day. Today's Worthless Word?
the worthless word for the day is: noctuary

[fr. L. noctu, by night + Eng. -ary; after diary]
archaic a journal of nocturnal incidents

"It stands thus in a diary or rather noctuary of
dreams." - Robert Southey, Omniana (1812)

"When we had proceeded for a considerable time,
(at least so it appeared to me, for minutes are hours
in the noctuary of terror,--terror has no diary), ..."
- Charles Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer (1998)

See, isn't that fun? Much better than the OED's word today, interpolation.

A bipartisan call for open access

The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006

Bibliometrics at work

PLoS Biology: Open Access Increases Citation Rate

A deadly game of 'who dropped the ball'?

The New England Journal missed Vioxx warning signs

Looking at being a solo librarian?

LIScareer.com -- The Librarian & Information Professional's Career Development Center has some information you might be interested in. One of the author's remarks asserts that as part of the solo's day routine tasks such as e-mail and mail are interrupted by research questions, and of course, those questions are the main reason why we're here, rather than 'interruptions' per se, as one person on the SOLO list pointed out. I think the author was just trying to indicate that you have to be flexible and adpative rather than focussing too much on a routine. Also, there wasn't as much indication for the administrative planning, cataloguing, and other duties of a solo librarian. But still, it's a good start.

I love being a solo. Yes, I have to work to make sure I network with other librarians and grow professionally, and no job is too small or too big, but I find it challenging in a way I'm not sure I would being one of many in a larger library. I've done this for nine years now, so I don't feel overwhelmed and feel like I have input in the larger organisation and a good sense of control over my domain, without sounding like a dictator, hopefully. I keep up with other solo librarians through lists (I can't afford to be an official member of the Special Libraries Association, with its SOLO division, but I can still subscribe to their list) and of course with other medical librarians, and I am a member of the Medical Library Association, Kentucky Library Association, as well as our local consortium, which I think has just reorganised under the name Kentucky Medical Library Association. All of those keep me informed and networked. If any students or new librarians are interested in solo librarianship, I'll be happy to correspond with you.

Here are a couple of other articles, too, this time from Information Outlook:

September 2004: "Flying Solo?" by Donna Fisher

March 2005: "How Can You Be a Manager? You're a Solo!" by Carol Simon, former Solo Division chair

Monday, May 15, 2006

MY SECOND UNIVERSITY by Stanciu Stroia with Dan Dusleag,

I received this in my e-mail today and thought I'd pass it along.

Dear Librarians,

My name is Michael Kempt, M.D., and I would like to make you aware of a title I recently read, My Second University: Memories from Romanian Communist Prisons (ISBN # 0-595-34639-1), authored by two physicians, which has received excellent reviews in the local press and radio, and has won several awards, including the 2006 Writers Notes Award:

MY SECOND UNIVERSITY by Stanciu Stroia with Dan Dusleag

This is a memoir that speaks across the breadth of human experience, and compels attention to the age-old questions of oppression, betrayal and endurance. It is a narrative with a special relevance, bringing a new angle—that of a medical doctor and a fine observer of human frailty—to the prison literature.

I believe that this book is worthy of medical library distribution, and that yours should be no exception.

Thank you for considering my suggestion!

Michael Kempt, M.D.

It's way outside the scope of my small paediatric orthopaedic library, but perhaps you all might consider it for yours.

Okay, turning back to medical librarianship

after some anti-war ranting last night.

Joy Kennedy, who's a medical librarian in Illinois, made these interesting remarks in a post recently (I'm reproducing them with her permission):

The book Applying the Nursing Process (by Alfara-LeFevre, R. c2006, LWW) spells out the role like this: "CNSs [Clinical Nurse Specialists]:...have a master's degree..and are expert clinicians in a specific nursing area... In addition to providing direct patient care, CNSs influence patient outcomes by providing expert consultation for staff nurses, giving support in terms of education for nurses, and making improvements in health care delivery systems."

Wouldn't this be an excellent model to build a hospital librarian's job description around. Think about this: "Hospital Librarians: have a master's degree and are experts in a specific area--knowledge and information sources related to nursing, medical and healthcare literature. In addition to providing direct expert searching skills, Hospital Librarians influence patient outcomes by providing expert consultation for staff nurses and CNSs, giving support in terms of education for nurses, and making improvements in health care delivery systems by providing information skills as part of a multidisciplinary team or as consultant to multidisciplinary teams planning care and services."

I think she is so right. People generally have no idea that there are librarians in hospitals, much less understand what we do. It's a mantra in the field that "non-revenue-producing" departments like the library are the first to be cut, because they're seen as sort of whipped topping and cherry on a milkshake--something that isn't vital for the definition of milkshake but definitely contributes to the experience. I used to lament after our own cutbacks that I didn't succeed well enough in marketing my skills, but now with a little perspective, I realise that people went to bat for me, and kept me (and the library) from being cut altogether, so I did have some success.

Viewing a hospital library according to Joy's definition means we see ourselves very much as part of the health care team, and that's the first step in teaching others about what we do. Before the cutbacks, when I had more time, I was on several committees because my contribution was seen as valuable. Even now that I can't serve on so many, if people have a particular research or clinical question, or are dealing with patient education, really a fairly wide range of problems, they'll come to me, and furthermore, they always go away with the sense that I helped, because I'll go as far as I can to find the information they need--a trait I think you'll find in nearly every librarian, but especially in hospital librarians, because we know the value of getting results means a better quality of life for our patients.

Just my two cents' worth first thing in the morning. Now back to work.

When policies kill

Mentally Unfit, Forced to Fight

Thousands of Smiles, Thousands of Personalities...Gone

Casualties in Iraq, along with statistics from Afghanistan
Iraq Body Count, reported civilian deaths

I have opposed this war from the get-go. I still oppose it. I have utmost respect for those who put their lives on the line every day, but have no respect for those politicians who send them to die in another land without proper reason and equipement. I think it's important to look at both the military and civilian cost, and to remember that these are not just vapid numbers...each one represents a loved one, a life, a unique person lost in the shuffle of conflict. It frustrates me as a child of the Vietnam era that we have learnt nothing from history and yet again we're in a conflict without a clear plan or exit strategy. It makes me sad and disgusted all at once. For those who have lost someone special to them, you have my deepest sympathy. I only hope that we can bring the troops home safely without destabilising the area of conflict further. There has to be a solution to this, but for most of us, there is nothing to do but wait till it all plays out. But if enough of us make a stir, those in charge have to hear eventually.


An interesting idea

Bake Sales for Body Armor

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, but They're Still Heroes Who Should be Remembered

Friends, family honor service, sacrifice of gays

Interested in peace? In women's music? Catch

MUSE - Cincinnati's Women's Choir
Catherine Roma, Artistic Director
The Great Peace March
23rd Annual MUSE Spring Concert
MUSE & Holly Near
Cindy Sheehan
Muslim Mothers Against Violence

Friday and Saturday, June 9 and 10

Pre-Concert Teach-ins begin at 7:00PM
Friday, June 9: Cindy Sheehan - Gold Start Families for Peace
Saturday, June 10: Shakila Ahmad & Saba Chughtai - Muslim Mothers Against Violence

Concert Begins at 8:00PM

New Thought Unity Center
1401 East McMillan Street, Cincinnati

Ticket Price: $15 (sliding scale $8-$25) in advance, $20 at the door

MUSE - Cincinnati's Women's Choir hosts Holly Near, Cindy Sheehan and Muslim Mothers Against Violence at the 23rd Annual MUSE Spring Concert, The Great Peace March, June 9 and 10. Pre-concert teach-ins, featuring Cindy Sheehan (Friday, June 9) and Muslim Mothers Against Violence (Saturday, June 10), will begin at 7:00PM. The Spring Concert with MUSE and Holly Near will begin at 8:00PM. All will take place at New Thought Unity Center at 1401 East McMillan Street in Cincinnati.

Activist, singer, teacher and recording artist Holly Near has spent the past 35 years working for political and social change. As one Near fan put it, "She is a divine mix of Pete Seeger and Judy Garland!" Near and MUSE will sing peace and justice-themed songs promoting local and global solidarity among women. Near will introduce songs from her newly released CD titled, Show Up. Mothers and their children will be invited to sing together on stage as part of the Annual Mother's and Children's Chorus, and MUSE will present the 4th Annual Enduring Spirit Award.

The Enduring Spirit Award recognizes a woman who embodies any or all aspects of the MUSE philosophy, including a commitment to feminism, diversity, musical excellence, community service and social justice. The choir is accepting nominations from the public for this award until May 22nd (contact the MUSE office for details).

Cindy Sheehan, internationally renowned peace activist and founder of Gold Star Families for Peace (www.gsfp.org), will join MUSE for a one-night, pre-concert teach-in on Friday, June 9. Sheehan has drawn attention to the peace movement since her son, Army Specialist Casey A. Sheehan (May 29, 1979 - April 4, 2004), was killed in action in Baghdad. In August 2005, Sheehan set up "Camp Casey" near President Bush's compound in Crawford, Texas. She is working to keep the camp functioning until the President agrees to meet with her and personally discuss her concerns. She also led the national "Bring Them Home Now" tour last year, and will soon release her book, Dear President Bush, with an introduction by Howard Zinn.

On Saturday, June 10, Muslim Mothers Against Violence (MMAV) will lead a pre-concert teach-in. MMAV is a 100-woman organization based at the Islamic Center of Cincinnati. The group's goal is to encourage non-violence through collaboration, understanding and unity within communities. These women work locally to open dialogue with Muslim mothers and their neighbors, providing adult education and youth forums, such as "Bullies and Buddies" in schools. One of MMAV's projects was to write to families who lost children in war to express their support as mothers and share the families' pain.

At the concert, MUSE will display two peace-related works of art: an interactive spiral peace mandala by local artist, C. Pic Michel; and Eyes Wide Open, an installation by the American Friends Service Committee. This spring, Michel's mandala will travel across Cincinnati, growing as people from many communities add paint and fabric while meditating on peace. The Eyes Wide Open exhibit includes 24 pairs of combat boots, each representing 100 US soldiers killed in Iraq, intended to illuminate the human cost of war.

Holly Near and MUSE Artistic Director Catherine Roma encourage Cincinnatians to attend the 23rd Annual MUSE Spring Concert and to participate in the international movement for peace:

There is so much going on out there. Peace and justice organizations are everywhere. We are no longer a minority. Becoming visible to each other is one of the great challenges we face. So, show up. It will be of great use to other peace loving people around you!
- Holly Near

Indeed this has been a year of collaborations for MUSE. We aim to build a chorus of voices to amplify our sound for change, giving our strength to the struggle, mano a mano, arm in arm. Let's all be a force for peace across the land.
- Catherine Roma

Tickets are $15 (with a sliding scale of $8-$25) in advance, and $20 at the door. They are available online at www.musechoir.org and by calling the MUSE office at (513) 221-1118. Other ticket outlets include: Shake It Records (Northside), Epic Books (Yellow Springs), and Sam and Eddie's Open Books (Yellow Springs).

Sign language interpretation will be available Saturday night only. Free child care is available with reservation by June 2, and the venue is handicap accessible. This event is co-sponsored by UC Diversity Education, UC Department of Women's Studies, UC Friends of Women's Studies, The Peace Collective, and other supporters.

MUSE - Cincinnati's Women's Choir
Phone: (513) 221-1118
Email: muse@musechoir.org
Website: www.musechoir.org

Purchase Tickets

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Little Bunny Foo Foo

Someone came into the gas station this morning looking for a box. Turns out he works for a lawn mowing company, and he'd found a baby rabbit, about half-grown. He had it in a Wendy's cup. It was very cute.

I worked 10 hours yesterday between two jobs, and ten today at the one, so I'm pretty tired. There are two tomorrow and then another ten on Monday, and then I'll just have the one job on Tuesday and Wednesday. Still, it's good when I have the car to pay off. I am trying to get Memorial Day off at the gas station, since I'll be off at the other two and getting paid for it. :)

Happy Mother's Day, Momma. I don't know if you read this blog, but if you do, I just want to thank you for all the help you've given me recently. I appreciate it. Hope you get to enjoy your day (and hope the card went over well).

Well, that's all. I should probably go to sleep but I just don't seem to be ready to yet. Good night.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A very well-thought out quiz

You scored 94% correct!
Did you get it right, or would you like to learn more? See the correct answers here!

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on correct
Link: The Do you know Hekate? Test written by eihdos on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

I missed one question, concerning the sculptor who first made the triform image of the Goddess, according to Pausanius. Not bad, but I feel as a priestess, I should have made 100%. Still, now I've learnt better, and I'm sure even Christian priests don't know everything that's been written or crafted concerning their God.

Friday, May 12, 2006

More on Google Health

Google Co-op - Health

Google Health is part of Google Co-op, which allows participants to label and annotate web pages.

Significant contributors are the National Library of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health On The Net Foundation, Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic, University of California, and San Francisco Kaiser Permanente

Not bad. Try it out. I found it very useful with syndromes and drug information without all those online fly-by-night "pharmacies" that tend to have useless links. One of the things I came across was the FDA's Statement on ADDerall in response to Canada pulling the drug for ADHD after cases of sudden unexplained death happened with patients with underlying heart problems. I knew that was an issue with the drug (my doctor told me about it and checked to make sure I had no heart irregularities before putting me on it), but I had not seen the statement, yet it came up on the first page of this search.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Well, on the hard drive front

the old drive doesn't seem to want to register as a slave drive either. This may be something for my stepfather to puzzle out later. I've still got to get my games from Real Arcade but otherwise I think I'm in decent shape in terms of recovery of what was lost. Oh, well, the music is trashed, and I haven't found drivers for the Ethernet or sound cards yet, but that's such a small thing. In the meantime, I'm listening to a CD in the actual CD player and enjoying a quiet evening at home.

I had a therapy session this afternoon, where we talked about various things including my family dynamics, the potential abuse, my problems with intimacy, and the fact that I tend to go off into my own little world when out and about rather than noticing the actual people around me. I think it's an offshoot of the social phobia. Then I went looking for Dar-bar's medicine (still no luck, but I know that it's been ordered by PetSmart and costs $24.95 for three pills, and they get new shipments on Tuesdays and Fridays, so I know when to call back and have them hold some. I also got my state refund cheque today (which should just about cover that medicine, come to think of it).

I think now, having stayed up way to late last night, I may go take a bit of a nap (or just head onto bed, whichever it turns into). Have a good night.

I just heard a very effective commercial

from Kellogg’s Smart Start: Healthy Heart, Antioxidant, Soy Protein warning of the dangers for women of heart disease (it's the number one killer of women). The woman describes her sister, who went and got her mammagrammes faithfully, starting at age 40. She died last year at age 47--of heart disease. Then they gave the website above.

It doesn't get nearly the attention that breast cancer does, but heart disease is just as devastating, and often more stealthy.

With my weight and diabetes, I'm at a higher risk for heart problems. Are you?

It's an interesting blend of commercial marketing and health awareness.


Greek Gods Poised to Make Comeback

Greek courts have ruled that the worship of traditional Greek Gods is to be unbanned, in what Pagans in Greece hope is the first step to the government recognising their religion. Until the ruling, all other religions except Christian (primarily Orthodox in Greece), Judaism, and Islam were banned. The Church in Greece isn't so charitable, as the following quote from Father Eusthathos Kollas demonstrates,
They are a handful of miserable resuscitators
of a degenerate dead religion who wish to return to the monstrous
dark delusions of the past.

I don't think Father Kollas quite understands the religion of his forefathers. Anyway, hurrah for Greece. Maybe Pagans there can get permission to use sacred sites for serious worship (rather than the free-for-all that solstice celebrations became at Stonehenge, for example).

Before she was the author of books

and the victim of plagiarism, she kept a diary. megan mccafferty: (retro)blogger chronicles the real-life experiences of the writer of teen novels as a teenager herself. It was her work that teen author Kaavya Viswanathan 'inadvertently' lifted for her book, "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life". The publisher has pulled the Harvard student's book and cancelled a second book deal. Rather than discuss a lot of what's going on currently, McCafferty transcribes her old diary for fans to relate to. It's a neat concept, and given the subject matter of her books, very appropriate.

Here I am, having chronicled my daily life for nearly five years, a startling post accrual that's nearing 3,000, and one of my biggest regrets is that I could never do this on paper when I was younger. I never poured out teen angst into a diary, because I was too OCD to forgive myself if I made mistakes or missed a few days. That's the beauty of blogging...if you don't like it, change it. No ripping out sheets of paper, no trying to fill blank pages semi-legibly, etc. I could never do for myself and could never do it for school either. Yet journalling is a powerful thing. And one thing I've learnt about it is that it doesn't have to be perfect. Be messy. Be as curt or as loquacious as you want. Just write. Because unless you're a rare individual with a nearly perfect memory, you're never going to remember the little things that have made such a big impact in your combined experience.

If I ever have a child, I'm going to advocate journalling from the moment she or he can write...writing on paper, writing on a blog...whichever works. To go back and visit childhood and the past is a wonderful gift, and I believe it also spurs writing in general. I'm a much better writer now than when I first started this, I think, because it's the one disciplined thing I do regularly and as often as possible. If I could meditate like I blog, I'd be a master by now.

I don't go back and look at the past with this blog as often as I should. Sometimes I go back to the same time last year or a few years ago and see how things have changed and what has stayed the same. I think I can say my sense of humour comes out throughout, although sometimes I'm nearly giddy and others I'm terribly depressed.

And through it all, not only is this blog a comfort to me, but it makes me feel good that there are other people reading it, who might actually be interested in what happens next. Thank you all.

25 years of AIDS

Check out the newest Newsweek for a special report from various angles on AIDS, its beginnings, the triumphs, the tragedies, how it changed generations, and continues to be a heart-wrenching killer despite better drugs and safer practices. Politics, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation and money all play very much into it. I only hope someday we can look back and say HIV/AIDS was conquered 25 years ago.

She transformed libraries and librarianship

Henriette D. Avram recently died of cancer. Her work at the Library of Congress brought us the MARC record, the standard that transformed paper card catalogues into the searchable databases we have today. Her work also greatly expanded interlibrary loan capabilities throughout the US.

A photo is at the IFLA website.

The New York Times has a very eloquent obituary, but you have to pay for it, so I won't link to it here. The Washington Post obit is quite informative, though, and will have to suffice.


A friend gave me a birthday present (yes, my birthday was at the beginning of April, but he rarely pays attention to timetables, which makes for a better surprise). I received two wonderful presents. The first is the newest Amelia Peabody novel, which I just realised was out a few days ago whilst perusing a magazine that had one of those Mystery Guild cards in it. So I now have Tomb of the Golden Bird by Elizabeth Peters. I'm eager to read it, but I want to savour it. Amelia and her clan are aging, as is their creator. I'm not sure how many more books there will be. :) The second gift was a miniature zen garden, which was perfect. Apparently this selection took quite a bit of thought. The first thing that cried out 'Lisa' was the miniature belly dancing kit with the little cymbals (I know they're called something else...it it zills?) But he decided not to loose that upon the world. (Actually, I own that one already.) :D Then there was the tiny bonsai, but with my attention span he couldn't see me waiting for it to grow, and what if I snipped too much??? The zen garden is perfect, because on one hand it's soothing, and on the other hand, it's perfect for someone with ADD and OCD because I can fuss with it until I get it like I want it, and it stays that way until my attention comes back to it. Somehow I don't think that's the point of the zen garden, but, there you go. :) Anyway, YKWIA, thank you thank you thank you. I'll enjoy these immensely.

PS Happy Old Bealtaine, which I tend to celebrate rather than the standard May Day celebration.

Only problem with getting the computer back working

is I stayed up to 2 am doing stuff like downloading Firefox and some extensions, various programs designed to make my life easier, etc., etc. One extension by Google allows you to see comments that others have written on their blogs about another blog you read. Thus, for example, I can read Liz talking about sending her secret pal goodies, and those sent to her, and then go to the secret pal's blog and see those goodies from her perspective. Yes, I have no life. Right? But still, it's a neat concept.

One piece of software I found is particularly intriguing. It's called yWriter and it's by the same person who does the freeware BookDB. It's a novel writing tool that allows you to set up characters, chapters, tension, conflict, rate the humour involved, etc. It's really nifty. I transferred some work that I'd done and had in separate blogs and then deleted the blogs, leaving this as my only beloved blog.

Next on the 'get Lisa's computer back up and running' is to see if I can take my old hard drive and recover the data by making it a slave to the current master. That sounds awful if you don't know the computer lingo, doesn't it? But that is for another day. For now, I leave you with a meme from Scratching the Itch:

01) A conscientious lawn mower who cuts it at least once a week or a procrastinating lawn moving avoider who lets it reach nigh jungle level before you cut it? I don't mow lawns, but if I did, I'd be a procrastinator, definitely.
02) One who likes to have sex while music is playing or one who likes to have sex without any musical distraction? Sex with music sounds fine, depending on the music.
03) The kind of person who would have a fire (bonfire or in a firebowl) despite local laws prohibiting them or the kind of person who wouldn't because, hey, they're illegal? Bonfires are a religious observance for me, although I do prefer to get a permit from the fire department.
04) A hard-spot-to-get weed-whacker user or an "if the lawn mower can't reach it, it's not getting cut" type? Never used one but if I did, I'd cut everything suitable for cutting in a most obsessive way.
05) Preferring of wooden decks or preferring of stone / formed concrete blocks / brick decks? I misread this as ducks for a minute there...was wondering what the hell a brick duck was. Umm...stone decks, more popularly known as terraces or patios.
06) A fan of winter sports (hockey, skating, curling) or summer sports (baseball, golf, volleyball)? Winter because of ice skating. I sit in awe because there's no way I could do it without falling flat on my butt.
07) Happy with your neighbours or unhappy with your neighbours? I love my neighbours. One is a policeman, representing security. The others are Indian, representing wonderful smells of delicious food I wish they'd share with me, but in the meantime I will simply sniff with pleasure.
08) One who tries to shoo away bees / run away from them or one who leaves them alone knowing they'll just go away once they realize you're not a flower and not a threat? Leaves them alone, doesn't run, and lets them crawl all over me until they figure out I'm not putting out nectar.
09) A lover of structured fun or a lover of unstructured fun? Structured fun. I don't like the idea of losing control over what I'm doing.
10) Selfish with your possessions or selfish with your personal time? Selfish with my possessions, sadly, especially food and books. My personal time I'm quite generous with.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

This is one of the best support sites I've ever seen

and it's for an extremely heartbreaking syndrome for which I was doing some research today. A lot of the caregiver information is useful for anyone dealing with a child or adult with a chronic condition. And since Rett Syndrome is primarily a disorder that strikes girls, it has useful information for dealing with puberty, menstruation, and sexual maturity issues.

International Rett Syndrome Association

Another snippet from Medscape

Providing Health Insurance for All (free with registration), an opinion piece on Massachusetts' attempt to require health insurance for all citizens of the Commonwealth. It's a little like auto insurance, where states require a certain minimum coverage to drive, but more importantly, it's based on the idea that individuals, employers, and the state share responsibility for health care, and that at the same time, insurance should be affordable. That model has been used by the Commonwealth of Kentucky to help bring insurance to children, by making insurance for children affordable regardless of prexisting conditions, and providing a state programme called KCHIP to help.

We've also seen expansion of coverage in Medicare to include prescription medicines, where different plans cover different drugs and different levels of cost, but for those under a certain income, the government is helping with what otherwise would be prohibitive premiums or copays. I think that's certainly a move in the right direction. Limited income should not mean limited access to health care. For those not eligible for Medicare, pharmaceutical companies also still provide their assistance programmes. Health care agencies continue to work on solutions for providing care to the uninsured. We need to look at this nationally and continue to seek strategies to keep health care costs down and prevent any one agency or group from being burdened by those costs, and most importantly, prevent any idividual from dying or having other adverse health impact from a lack of a solution.

A great point to make with doctors

Can Your Patients Afford the Medications You Prescribe? (free with registration) written by Richard J. Sagall, MD, president of NeedyMeds, a nonprofit organisation that provices information on pharmaceutical patient asssistance programmes and other patient resources.

Getting questions about the bird flu movie that aired last night?

Check out the government's guide to theABC TV Movie: Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America, including questions and answers about pandemic flu.

I haven't been updating that much lately

Mainly I've used 'blog this' to simply put in links to items that appeared in my e-mail at work, rather than talking about my life. There were several reasons for that. One, the 'blog this' thing took almost no time, and I was in such a fog I couldn't really sit down and string words together. See, I ran out of my medications, and then went to refill them, and ran into some managed care issues. My paroxetine, which is generic for Paxil, was moved from a Tier 1 to a Tier 2 medication by my insurance company, bumping it from $7 to $25. At the same time, I was $25 from the limit for my flexible spending account, meaning I could get one medicine but not the other. (Yes, I know, we're not even through the first half of the year. I obviously didn't plan well enough for my FSA...the dental work has hit it harder than I expected. But at least it's not like last year, where I overestimated and wound up losing some of the money).

So, I went four days without Paxil or Adderall, four pre-menstrual days. Emotionally I was just a little uneven, but more importantly I couldn't concentrate, I felt foggy and, well...stupid. Since I wasn't taking those, I got spotty on my metformin and Abilify, too. I just felt like my brain was so much sludge. I did start to feel better...it may have been withdrawl issues, and of course I got my classic post-Paxil headache, too. So I was down to about four cents with no way to get my meds until Thursday.

The good news is later that night I came home, checked my mail, and inside was my federal tax refund, for nearly $500. Yipee. That became an adventure in itself, trying to get the check cashed...but the upshot is I got my medicine, filled up my car, got minutes for my phone, paid off some debts, set aside $100 for next week's payment for the car, got groceries, picked up a DVD for a friend (Avatar: the Last Airbender, an excellent show if you haven't seen it on Nickelodean), and bought a new hard drive for the computer, since the old one is not recognised by the computer at all. Then I did my first attempt to install said hard drive, with stunning success. So, I should be able to blog from home now. Yay.

Anyway, that's an update. I'll sign off now and get to work.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Pediatric/adolescent mental health sites

MoodyKids.org, a website about children and mental health

Your Mind, TeensHealth Answers & Advice, includes articles on mental health, including cutting, eating disorders, and suicide and its companion site from KidsHealth for younger kids

Thanks to Ellen Detlefsen for the suggestions.

Friday, May 05, 2006


www.whonamedit.com is a database of medical eponymns describing syndromes and their namers.


Sense About Science is an independent charitable trust to promote good science and evidence in public debates.

We respond to the misrepresentation of science and scientific evidence on issues that matter to society, from scares about plastic bottles, fluoride and the MMR vaccine to controversies about genetic modification, stem cell research and radiation.

You couldn't make me take Ambien

Not ever. I don't care if I couldn't sleep a wink. It just has too many bizarre effects. It can also cause hallucinations (nothing like seeing plushie people all around you) and there are reports of people doing bizarre things after supposedly taking it, meaning to go to bed. The latest? Patrick Kennedy, son of Edward Kennedy, was involved in a crash near the Capitol, believing he was late for an important vote. I haven't heard of similar effects with other sleep aids. And as Kennedy found out, mixing it with the anti-nausea aid Phernergan isn't a good idea. His doctor or the pharmacy should have warned him that it can cause extreme sleepiness. Maybe this will prompt an investigation into the drug.

Rep. Kennedy blames medication for crash near Capitol

PS I had a root canal yesterday. :( But from now on it should be a matter of crowning and cleaning. Otherwise things are going pretty well. I'm enjoying having the car back, but of course it's a challenge to keep gas in it, although at least the gas prices went down a little ($2.71 here) Also, my Li'l Cthulhu calendar has a shoggoth shaking a maraca for Cinco de Mayo, which is a little wrong, but I have to admit, brightened my day.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

It makes sense, certainly

Contact: Doug Newcomb (703) 647-4923

NEWS for Immediate Release:

American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, Association of College and Research Libraries, Medical Library Association, Special Libraries Association

May 2, 2006

Library Groups Applaud Legislation that Improves Public Access to Federal Scientific Research

(Washington, DC) A coalition of national library associations praised the introduction of the "Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006." The legislation, introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) would require federal agencies with extramural research portfolios over $100 million to make the electronic versions of peer-reviewed articles publicly available via the Internet within 6 months of publication.

"Far too often the results of research that the U.S. government funds – with billions of taxpayer dollars each year – are not broadly available to researchers, scientists, physicians and members of the public. This legislation will greatly expand public access while at the same time, ensure that these articles generated with federal support are available to future generations," said Prudence S. Adler, a spokesperson for the coalition.

Enhanced public access to publicly funded research spurs innovation and competition by accelerating research, sharing knowledge, improving treatment of diseases, and supports the educational enterprise.

The coalition is made up of the American Association of Law Libraries, the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Medical Library Association, and the Special Libraries Association. These associations collectively represent over 139,000 libraries in the United States employing 350,000 librarians and library workers. The mission of libraries is to foster global access to information for creative, research, and educational uses.

# # #

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) is a nonprofit educational
organization with over 5,000 members nationwide. AALL's mission is to promote and enhance the value of law libraries to the legal and public communities, to foster the profession of law librarianship, and to provide leadership in the field of legal information and information policy. http://www.aall.org/ Contact: Mary Alice Baish (202-662-9200)

The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit educational organization of over 65,000 librarians, library trustees, and other friends of libraries dedicated to improving library services and promoting the public interest in a free and open information society. http://www.ala.org/ Contact: Miriam Nisbet (202-628-8410)

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123

research libraries in North America. ARL's members include university libraries, public libraries, government and national libraries. Its mission is to shape and influence forces affecting the future of research libraries in the process of scholarly communication. ARL programs and services promote equitable access to and effective uses of recorded knowledge in support of teaching, research, scholarship and community service. http://www.arl.org/ Contact: Prudence S. Adler (202-296-2296)

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning, and research environments. http://www.acrl.org Contact: Mary Ellen Davis (800-545-24222, x. 3248)

The Medical Library Association (MLA), a nonprofit, educational organization, is a leading advocate for health sciences information professionals with more than 4,700 members worldwide. Through its programs and services, MLA provides lifelong educational opportunities, supports a knowledgebase of health information research, and works with a global network of partners to promote the importance of quality information for improved health to the health care community and the public. http://www.mlanet.org/ Contact: Carla Funk (312-419-9094 x.14)

The Special Libraries Association (SLA) is a nonprofit global organization for
innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves more than 11,000 members in 83 countries in the information profession, including corporate, academic and government information specialists. SLA promotes and strengthens its members through learning, advocacy and networking initiatives. http://www.sla.org/ Contact: Doug Newcomb (703-647-4923)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

An interesting idea

GoodSearch : Welcome to GoodSearch, a Yahoo-powered search engine that donates money to your favorite charity or school each time you search the web.

Ever need info on anatomy beyond the norm?

Anatomy | Radiology Anatomy | Anatomy Atlas | Anatomic Variation - Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation - Anatomy Atlases

Good to see this issue addressed

The National Sexual Violence Research Centre and The Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault are working together to address concerns about sexual assaults and services to the victims during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, sponsoring a series of meetings (.pdf) around Louisiana. The idea is to come up with ways to prevent further violence and provide victim support during future disasters as well.

Nice to know

I went to an ophthalmologist yesterday and:
  1. There's no sign of diabetes related issues with my eyes
  2. I have a new prescription for glasses
  3. They offered to take off an annoying skin tag under my right eye
  4. I apparently have an optimal prescription for LASIK surgery, should I ever decide to do it

I don't know why, but surgery on my eyes seems potentially scary. I guess, having always been so nearsighted, I have a real fear of complications and blindness. I always said I'd consider surgery when techniques improved. Now that's come and I have to say the only thing keeping me from doing it would be the cost (about $3000 for both eyes), since I don't think it's covered by my insurance.

Still...to not need glasses. To wake up in the morning to sharp vision, rather than the fuzzy wash of colours I do now...it's very tempting.

The skin tag, also not covered, since it's cosmetic, would only be $150. Not bad, not bad at all. Maybe when I've paid off the car....

PS I passed the bus this morning and it had either broken down or had an incident; there was a police car behind it and the people were standing outside. I'm glad I wasn't in it, although I had a moment where I wanted to pick everyone up and take them to the transit centre, which given the size of a Taurus and the number of people, would have been impractical.

PPS I checked and my insurance covers 15% of Lasik, and another plan we have covers up to 25%; that's about $500-$750 savings. Hmmmm.....

Monday, May 01, 2006


Oh, I just want to hug it. :) :) :) :)

A fellow from the Julian Society recommended this blog

Tropaion: Researching Neo-Hellenic Polytheism & Ancient Greek Religion...past and present

A friend alerted me

to a story on a local evening news about how an Indian security system is in charge of protecting the chemical weapons at Bluegrass Army Depot, and the controversy ensuing as the result of a foreign company--whose CEO was linked with President Bush in footage--having anything to do with nerve gas and other weapons of mass destruction at our nearby depot. I can't find anything out on the web by it, and today's newspaper didn't arrive as usual, but I'll keep trying. I admit that it's certainly worrisome. Here in Lexington there's a controversy over whether our water company should be locally owned or owned by a German company, as it is presently. How much more important it is to figure out who has access to nerve and other chemical agents that could kill thousands if there was a leak!

PS I did see just a snippet about it myself, so I know the channel, WTVQ 36. Apparently the company was linked to a Sikh religious organisation but has been reorganised to erase any direct links. A spokesperson for the company said that all employees had to go through rigourous clearances. Unfortunately, they didn't put the story on the Internet, so I don't have complete details. I have asked them to do so.

It would be nice to see some alternative funding available

maybe from the military itself, since this programme helps with the retention rate. As a military brat, I watched my mother, a nurse, have to leave positions where she had seniority and move hundreds of miles away at the drop of a hat. She at least had a career that was relatively easy to get a job in. This, along with a programme that allows spouses to work for major temporary employment companies and accrue seniority and retirement, are good things.

Job training programme for military spouses in jeopardy

May is Mental Health Month

Communities across the Nation will celebrate Mental Health Month in May--an annual observance designed to increase public awareness about mental health and mental illness.

Mental health problems can affect anyone, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), through its National Mental Health Information Center Web site (http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov) and call center, offers reliable mental health resources to support mental health consumers-including individuals with mental illness, their families, and others in their communities.

Our special online features can be valuable supplements to your own Mental Health Month celebration efforts. You can post them on your Web site or listserv or use them in any way that is convenient for you. Please add a link on your site to SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center Web site as your source.

Some publications may be available for downloading online only. To order printed publications, go to http://store.mentalhealth.org/publications/ordering.aspx, or call
800-789-2647 for bilingual information services (TDD: 866-889-2647), weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., Eastern Standard Time.

Features for May 2006
* National Observances
* Featured Publications
* CMHS Program Spotlight

National Observances


* Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, May 8. Launched by
SAMHSA to coincide with Mental Health Month in May, this designated day is an opportunity for SAMHSA and SAMHSA-funded organizations to promote resilience, recovery, and the transformation of mental health services delivery for children and youth with serious mental health needs and their families. The theme for this inaugural celebration is "Thriving in the Community." Learn more at http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/highlights/may2006/ChildrenHealthMonth/default.asp
* Mental Health Month. This annual observance is sponsored by the
National Mental Health Association (NMHA) and the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (NCCBH). It is designed to increase awareness about mental health and mental illness. The theme for this year's observance, MIND Your Health, emphasizes the mind-body connection. Get related resources at http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/highlights/may2006/mentalhealth/default.asp.
* Older Americans Month. This observance is sponsored by the U.S.
Administration on Aging, the Federal Government agency that provides
home- and community-based care for older adults and their caregivers.
This year's theme, "Choices for Independence," was chosen to promote consumer-directed and community-based long-term support options that focus on helping older people remain independent. Link to resources related to older Americans' mental health at http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/highlights/may2006/OlderAmericansMonth/default.asp.
* Schizophrenia Awareness Week, May 21-27, 2006. During this
annual observance, sponsored by the National Schizophrenia Foundation, events and programs will focus on eliminating the fear and ignorance that often surrounds schizophrenia and related disorders. You can find details and resources at http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/highlights/may2006/Schizophreniaweek/default.asp


Featured Publications


* Free To Choose: Transforming Behavioral Health Care to
Self-Direction (SMA05-3982)

The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health called for the development of consumer-driven models of care and systemic changes to support community-based services in behavioral health. A subsequent summit meeting, hosted by SAMHSA, convened recipients of mental health and addiction services and their family members, policymakers, providers, and State and Federal representatives. This booklet provides an overview of the many issues raised by the attending working groups.

* Community Integration for Older Adults with Mental Illnesses:
Overcoming Barriers and Seizing Opportunities (SMA05-4018)) http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/sma05-4018/

This report is designed to help State and local Olmstead coalitions understand the barriers that older adults with mental illnesses face and learn about the innovative solutions being adopted and adapted across the country.


CMHS Program Spotlight - State Planning/Mental Health Block Grants http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/cmhs/Stateplanning/about.asp


The CMHS Mental Health Block Grant program supports comprehensive, community-based systems of care for adults with serious mental illnesses and children with serious emotional disturbances. Since its establishment in 1981, the program has become the cornerstone of Federal efforts to work in partnership with States to plan and deliver state-of-the-art systems of community-based mental services for adults and children. Find details and related resources at http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/cmhs/Stateplanning/about.asp.


Thank you for your efforts toward promoting mental health awareness and providing support and services to individuals with the greatest need.

Please send your feedback to:

SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center



SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center's Web site http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov and call center (800-789-2647; 866-889-2647-TDD) offer consumers of mental health services, families, the general public, policymakers, providers, and the media with reliable information and resources to support mental health needs and objectives. These services are administered through SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services division.

Happy Bealtaine!

It's May Day and with it comes leaping of Bealtaine fires (not recommended if you're not planning on getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant; I jumped one year and did something to my foot that lasted until Samhain...the Gods know if you're planning on celebrating truly as intended) and dancing of Maypoles. "Sumer is a-cumin' in, loudly sing, 'cuckoo'". I should watch The Wicker Man tonight in celebration. :)

I'm excited because my car work is finished. I'm going to pay half up front today, and we're going to work out a payment plan. I don't know as of yet whether I'll be able to pick up the car today or not...I hope so. Wish me luck.

The computer's hard drive seems to be the problem. I'll have to do some work on it and see if I can get it running again.

That's all for now. Have a good May Day. I know a lot of people in Europe get a holiday akin to our Labour Day today. I'll be at work, but thinking wistfully of holidays to come, the first being Memorial Day at the end of this month.