Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rave of the Day for June 28, 2009: 

Got this quote from a Facebook friend. Here is some excellent advice to follow....

Ten Spiritual Tonics

1. Stop worrying. Worry kills life.

2. Begin each day with a prayer. It will arm your soul.

3. Control appetite. Over-indulgence clogs body and mind.

4. Accept your limitations . . .

5. Don't envy. It wastes time and energy.

6. Have faith in people. Cynicism sours the disposition.

7. Find a hobby. It will relax your nerves.

8. Read a book a week to stimulate imagination and broaden your views.

9. Spend some time alone for the peace of solitude and silence.

10. Try to want what you have, instead of spending your strength trying to get what you want.

- Abraham L. Feinberg

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Real-life medical situations in the United States.... 

While the debate over health care reform rages, many have shared their personal experiences with the current system. Read these true tales....

Health Care Stories for America

No one should have to choose between groceries and prescribed medication. Or have to put off routine care because they haven't the funds for an office visit. Situations like this end up costing far more than proper treatment and diagnosis; in the end, they can cost lives.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Recognized versus ridiculed ailments.... 

You know the negative press about fibromyalgia is getting bad when someone who doesn't even have it is getting riled about it. This article on Facebook was written by a woman who counsels people with chronic illness....

Fibro: Living with disease and the skeptics

One interesting note: the author has MS, which, not so long ago, before the invention of the MRI, was not taken seriously by the medical community. If it becomes possible to someday measure the existence and severity of fibromyalgia with a standardized diagnostic tool, like, say, an fMRI, a lot of the naysayers will just have to shut the hell up. And that couldn't happen soon enough for me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Learned something new today.... 

Did you know that, even in states where gay marriage is legal, a same-sex spouse is barred from receiving survivor's benefits such as Social Security in the event of their partner's death? This is due to the "Defense of Marriage Act". If you, like me, would like this restriction to be eliminated, sign the petition here:

People For the American Way: DumpDOMA.com

I figure if a person is committed enough to become legally married, a spouse is a spouse is a spouse. The government should recognize them as such, particularly in the states that have approved gay marriage.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bonus Rave of the Day for June 14, 2009: 

Robert sent me the link to this blog entry, which of course I found amusing. And made me stop and think: which Styx song is really the best?

The Bleeding Tree: Nah, you mean Renegade

A bit of trivia: at my high school, "Renegade" was played on the jukebox in the cafeteria every day during lunch.

Oh, and while you're on that page, check out some of the links on the right hand side. There are some good ones.

Rave of the Day for June 14, 2009: 

Need a laugh? Then check out this trailer from Michael Moore's upcoming movie....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rave of the Day for June 11, 2009: 

Got this in an e-mail from Pete. Laughing my butt off!


Between 18 and 22, a woman is like Africa: half discovered, half wild,
 fertile and naturally beautiful!

Between 23 and 30, a woman is like America: well developed, open to
 trade and mergers, especially for those with cash.

Between 31 and 35, a woman is like Spain: very hot, relaxed and
 convinced of her own beauty.

Between 36 and 40, a woman is like Greece: gently aging but still a
 warm and desirable place to visit.

Between 41 and 50, a woman is like Great Britain: still enchanting
 with her glorious past fading gently behind.

Between 51 and 60, a woman is like Israel: has been through war and
 doesn't make the same mistakes twice, takes care of business.

Between 61 and 70, a woman is like Canada: self-preserving but open
 to meeting new people.

After 70, she becomes like Tibet: wildly beautiful, with a
 mysterious past and the wisdom of the ages...only those with an
 adventurous spirit visit there.


Between 1 and 70, a man is like Iran: ruled by

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rave of the Day for June 10, 2009: 

Lengthy but fascinating account of a California man's struggle with CFIDS. From the CFIDS newsletter....

Personal Profile: Cort Johnson

One thing that isn't addressed often is the tendency in an ailment such as CFIDS or fibromyalgia to develop sensitivities that come and go, or accumulate alarmingly. It can be like a domino effect: one day you react to bus fumes, the next it's the carpeting in your house, the next it could be your own clothing. Sometimes it almost seems we become allergic to ourselves.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Rave of the Day for June 9, 2009: 

Interesting article about a possible link between CFIDS and lactate levels in the brain. Courtesy of the CFIDS newsletter.....

Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - New York Presbyterian Hospital

There is definitely something amiss in the brains of those with CFIDS/fibromyalgia and similar ailments. If we could find a way to accurately diagnose patients with some sort of standardized test, we would be further on our way to finding effective treatments and perhaps even a cure someday.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Rave of the Day for June 8, 2009: 

Found in the CFIDS newsletter a good explanation of the cognitive dysfunction that occurs with this and similar ailments such as fibromyalgia. It also offers some solutions for dealing with it, using the scenario of grocery shopping as an example....

Multitasking: A Challenge for Patients with CFS

Grocery shopping is horribly exhausting for me, even when I use an electric cart, so I usually have to send Dan to do it, which requires an easily understood grocery list. I have a pre-printed list of the items I need on a regular basis, and when I run out of something, I immediately put an X next to that item on the list so Dan will know to buy it the next time he goes to the store. Due to my need for very specialized foods (gluten free, diabetic friendly, easy to digest), I have detailed descriptions on the list of each item so Dan won't bring something home that I can't eat.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

New blog alert! 

This was in the latest CFIDS newsletter. It gives you a pretty good idea of what goes on in the life of someone with CFIDS.....

Alyson's CFIDS Blog

I should probably do more formal advocacy for awareness for my chronic ailments. I did send a note President Obama's way about the need for removing the pre-existing condition clauses for health insurance, so I haven't been totally idle.

Rave of the Day for June 7, 2009: 

Although I have written my own articles on this subject in the past, I thought this one featured in the CFIDS newsletter had some useful info. If you are taking ANY prescription medication, consider taking these steps to ensure your own safety....

Get the Most from Your Meds

I have three sets of daily pill minders: one on the nightstand for right after I get up for the day, one on the kitchen counter top for meds I need to take with food at mid-day, and one on the bathroom counter top for bedtime meds. Unfortunately, out of sight is out of mind with me; I have to put the meds where I can see them or I'll forget to take them.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Rave of the Day for June 6, 2009: 

I saw an article about this in my local newspaper and couldn't stop laughing! Yet as funny as the concept is, it actually does have a useful function....


If you are not able to sit through an entire movie at the theatre without needing a potty break, this site lists popular films and at what point during each film there is a lull in the action during which you can safely take care of business without missing anything major. Believe it or not, I would actually consult this before going to another movie.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Rave of the Day for June 3, 2009: 

Ricky Buchanan has a site I hadn't visited before, which I am going to add to my Links list. This post was sooo hilarious I just had to share....

Cat Scans

There are also useful articles on this site such as suggestions on using a computer from your bed. If only we would all at least try to make the best of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Rave of the Day for June 2, 2009: 

Michael Moore has some very provocative ideas as to what to do with GM now. This is from his newsletter. And just for the record, Dan owns a Pontiac, which is truly a piece of crap, and I own a Saturn, one of the few quality INEXPENSIVE cars made by GM....

Goodbye, GM

by Michael Moore

June 1, 2009

I write this on the morning of the end of the once-mighty General Motors. By high noon, the President of the United States will have made it official: General Motors, as we know it, has been totaled.

As I sit here in GM's birthplace, Flint, Michigan, I am surrounded by friends and family who are filled with anxiety about what will happen to them and to the town. Forty percent of the homes and businesses in the city have been abandoned. Imagine what it would be like if you lived in a city where almost every other house is empty. What would be your state of mind?

It is with sad irony that the company which invented "planned obsolescence" -- the decision to build cars that would fall apart after a few years so that the customer would then have to buy a new one -- has now made itself obsolete. It refused to build automobiles that the public wanted, cars that got great gas mileage, were as safe as they could be, and were exceedingly comfortable to drive. Oh -- and that wouldn't start falling apart after two years. GM stubbornly fought environmental and safety regulations. Its executives arrogantly ignored the "inferior" Japanese and German cars, cars which would become the gold standard for automobile buyers. And it was hell-bent on punishing its unionized workforce, lopping off thousands of workers for no good reason other than to "improve" the short-term bottom line of the corporation.

Beginning in the 1980s, when GM was posting record profits, it moved countless jobs to Mexico and elsewhere, thus destroying the lives of tens of thousands of hard-working Americans. The glaring stupidity of this policy was that, when they eliminated the income of so many middle class families, who did they think was going to be able to afford to buy their cars? History will record this blunder in the same way it now writes about the French building the Maginot Line or how the Romans cluelessly poisoned their own water system with lethal lead in its pipes.

So here we are at the deathbed of General Motors. The company's body not yet cold, and I find myself filled with -- dare I say it -- joy. It is not the joy of revenge against a corporation that ruined my hometown and brought misery, divorce, alcoholism, homelessness, physical and mental debilitation, and drug addiction to the people I grew up with. Nor do I, obviously, claim any joy in knowing that 21,000 more GM workers will be told that they, too, are without a job.

But you and I and the rest of America now own a car company! I know, I know -- who on earth wants to run a car company? Who among us wants $50 billion of our tax dollars thrown down the rat hole of still trying to save GM? Let's be clear about this: The only way to save GM is to kill GM. Saving our precious industrial infrastructure, though, is another matter and must be a top priority. If we allow the shutting down and tearing down of our auto plants, we will sorely wish we still had them when we realize that those factories could have built the alternative energy systems we now desperately need. And when we realize that the best way to transport ourselves is on light rail and bullet trains and cleaner buses, how will we do this if we've allowed our industrial capacity and its skilled workforce to disappear?

Thus, as GM is "reorganized" by the federal government and the bankruptcy court, here is the plan I am asking President Obama to implement for the good of the workers, the GM communities, and the nation as a whole. Twenty years ago when I made "Roger & Me," I tried to warn people about what was ahead for General Motors. Had the power structure and the punditocracy listened, maybe much of this could have been avoided.

Based on my track record, I request an honest and sincere consideration of the following suggestions:

1. Just as President Roosevelt did after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the President must tell the nation that we are at war and we must immediately convert our auto factories to factories that build mass transit vehicles and alternative energy devices. Within months in Flint in 1942, GM halted all car production and immediately used the assembly lines to build planes, tanks and machine guns. The conversion took no time at all. Everyone pitched in. The fascists were defeated.

We are now in a different kind of war -- a war that we have conducted against the ecosystem and has been conducted by our very own corporate leaders. This current war has two fronts. One is headquartered in Detroit. The products built in the factories of GM, Ford and Chrysler are some of the greatest weapons of mass destruction responsible for global warming and the melting of our polar icecaps. The things we call "cars" may have been fun to drive, but they are like a million daggers into the heart of Mother Nature. To continue to build them would only lead to the ruin of our species and much of the planet.

The other front in this war is being waged by the oil companies against you and me. They are committed to fleecing us whenever they can, and they have been reckless stewards of the finite amount of oil that is located under the surface of the earth. They know they are sucking it bone dry. And like the lumber tycoons of the early 20th century who didn't give a damn about future generations as they tore down every forest they could get their hands on, these oil barons are not telling the public what they know to be true -- that there are only a few more decades of usable oil on this planet. And as the end days of oil approach us, get ready for some very desperate people willing to kill and be killed just to get their hands on a gallon can of gasoline.

President Obama, now that he has taken control of GM, needs to convert the factories to new and needed uses immediately.

2. Don't put another $30 billion into the coffers of GM to build cars. Instead, use that money to keep the current workforce -- and most of those who have been laid off -- employed so that they can build the new modes of 21st century transportation. Let them start the conversion work now.

3. Announce that we will have bullet trains crisscrossing this country in the next five years. Japan is celebrating the 45th anniversary of its first bullet train this year. Now they have dozens of them. Average speed: 165 mph. Average time a train is late: under 30 seconds. They have had these high speed trains for nearly five decades -- and we don't even have one! The fact that the technology already exists for us to go from New York to L.A. in 17 hours by train, and that we haven't used it, is criminal. Let's hire the unemployed to build the new high speed lines all over the country. Chicago to Detroit in less than two hours. Miami to DC in under 7 hours. Denver to Dallas in five and a half. This can be done and done now.

4. Initiate a program to put light rail mass transit lines in all our large and medium-sized cities. Build those trains in the GM factories. And hire local people everywhere to install and run this system.

5. For people in rural areas not served by the train lines, have the GM plants produce energy efficient clean buses.

6. For the time being, have some factories build hybrid or all-electric cars (and batteries). It will take a few years for people to get used to the new ways to transport ourselves, so if we're going to have automobiles, let's have kinder, gentler ones. We can be building these next month (do not believe anyone who tells you it will take years to retool the factories -- that simply isn't true).

7. Transform some of the empty GM factories to facilities that build windmills, solar panels and other means of alternate forms of energy. We need tens of millions of solar panels right now. And there is an eager and skilled workforce who can build them.
8. Provide tax incentives for those who travel by hybrid car or bus or train. Also, credits for those who convert their home to alternative energy.

9. To help pay for this, impose a two-dollar tax on every gallon of gasoline. This will get people to switch to more energy saving cars or to use the new rail lines and rail cars the former autoworkers have built for them.

Well, that's a start. Please, please, please don't save GM so that a smaller version of it will simply do nothing more than build Chevys or Cadillacs. This is not a long-term solution. Don't throw bad money into a company whose tailpipe is malfunctioning, causing a strange odor to fill the car.

100 years ago this year, the founders of General Motors convinced the world to give up their horses and saddles and buggy whips to try a new form of transportation. Now it is time for us to say goodbye to the internal combustion engine. It seemed to serve us well for so long. We enjoyed the car hops at the A&W. We made out in the front -- and the back -- seat. We watched movies on large outdoor screens, went to the races at NASCAR tracks across the country, and saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time through the window down Hwy. 1. And now it's over. It's a new day and a new century. The President -- and the UAW -- must seize this moment and create a big batch of lemonade from this very sour and sad lemon.

Yesterday, the last surviving person from the Titanic disaster passed away. She escaped certain death that night and went on to live another 97 years.

So can we survive our own Titanic in all the Flint Michigans of this country. 60% of GM is ours. I think we can do a better job.


Michael Moore

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